I want to share little details with you from time to time for ideas on making your sessions better.
Today's share is for those brides out there...look at how adorable this little dress is! It just makes me happy. And you could absolutely do something like this to your own dress! It's the details that makes the difference.
If you are interested in purchasing this dress, or contacting the seller, check out this etsy shop! I did not take this image.
1. Why is it advantageous to shoot in full manual mode? How does this help you? How come I can't just pick my own aperture and let the camera decide my shutter's speed (aside from bumping up my ISO when needed)? Okay, I'm going to try not to be too long-winded here.There is so much more than I'm going into here, and I'm writing this assuming most people asking this question have an inkling of understanding about the three, even if you don't shoot in manual. If you are a hobbyist, it might not really matter that you shoot in full manual mode. However, if you are a die-hard/perfectionist hobbyist, or an amateur and really plan on taking your images to the next level, I do believe that it's important to learn to shoot in full manual mode. For those that don't know, that means that you control three aspects of your camera. These include aperture (how big or small the hole is that lets light into your camera), shutter speed (the speed at which the shutter opens and closes, which also determines the amount of light that hits your camera's sensor), and ISO (which you can compare to film...the larger the ISO the more light that hits the film, in digital this simply translates to how sensitive the sensor is to the light it takes in. Note:Generally a higher ISO lends to more grain in your image and is used in darker situations). Think about it: each of those things has to do with light....Anyway, those three things, when combined, determine what your image will look like. If you want to create a specific look to your images, you can't always trust the camera to do that for you. The camera will read the light, and make it's best guess. Sometimes it guesses well, for a well exposed image, and sometimes it doesn't (reason #1 to know how to shoot in manual). But even when the camera guesses correctly, it might not be the result you want (reason #2 to shoot in manual). Remember what I said last week about knowing the long way around? This applies here too...you need to know how to make your camera work for you; how to manipulate the settings to get your desired affect. This doesn't happen if you are letting the camera take it's best guess. Now, that being said, once you DO know how to do this confidently, I see no harm in using one of the other modes to shoot with. I know that some photographers do, because they have a certain style of shooting, and are adding other light sources, and it works well for their methods. The key is that they know why they are shooting that way.
How much time do you spend processing your images? I TRY really hard to get good images SOOC. It doesn't always happen, but I do my best and have gotten really consistent with the images I get SOOC. I also like my processing to be consistent...just one of those things, and I'm also not very big into manipulating images too much (I respect those that do...it's just not my style). So I usually do only a few things. First, I open my image in Light Room to make sure that I have a good White Balance (so that the color is pleasing and no color casts are there...sometimes I still don't get this quite right). In LR I add contrast, brightness and saturation. I then export the image and this is what I have:
My first step in this image in Photoshop is to clean up any blemishes (see forehead)and any spots on baby, as well as any lint. (not sure why the color is off on my print screens...sorry!)I use the patch tool (my favorite PS tool) or the bandaid to clean these up:
Next I usually run Portaiture and reduce the opacity until I see the pores showing through (I do my best to avoid plastic looking skin...sometimes I look back at when I started using it and cringe).:
At this point sometimes I'll add a slight S-curve to increase the highlights and deepen the shadows just slightly (giving it a little more vibrant contrast), but I don't think it necessarily needs it here.
I then simply sharpen my image for print and I'm done! This was a simple image, and sometimes images take a little more. I'd be happy to show you some of my longer processes in the future, but for now, I hope you found this helpful! Be sure to email me your questions at joannataylorphotography at gmail dot com
And it's the last week to sign those contracts for your wedding (and referrals) for the complimentary 16x20! Utah Photographer
In what has been a miserable attempt to catch up, I am finally sorting through the last of the fall photos, and have a few to share with you!
The Turner family was absolutely adorable. Ryan and Debra were high school sweet hearts. In fact, they went to my high school (but I didn't really know them well), so it was fun to chat and catch up and see the adventures they've taken in their lives. And their girls were so sweet. I mean, look at them!Too cute, right? They were so cute with their sweet dog (Holly) too. It was a cold morning, so we rushed just as fast as we could. And the girls were so, so good. I was all bundled up and feeling it, but not them...they braved the chill in the air and I don't think they complained once. I feel so lucky to have such great clients. Salt Lake City Family Photography
Joanna Taylor Photography's images were featured today on Good Things Utah under Teresa Collins Designs. Go check out Teresa's blog. She is an incredibly talented woman (really, she can do just about anything) and I have been lucky enough to get to work with her. She's created both a wedding and baby line, and is using many of my images to feature her products! She's BIG in the scrapper world, so you may already know her, or may have already seen her speak somewhere in the world, or met her at one of the many conventions she attends. Her new lines are especially exciting and I have to tell you, she is just as adorable in person as she seems.
Here's the clip!
Don't forget to refer those weddings my way. Only 2 more weeks for a complimentary gift for both the bride and the referrer!!
So, as I mentioned, I get asked questions by a lot of different people, and often times they are the same questions. I figured it would be good to start answering some of them on the blog. They may be from a client's perspective, or from a photographer just getting started. I'll try to keep up on this weekly, so make sure to submit your questions to me at joannataylorphotography at gmail dot com
1. What kind of camera do you have? What other gear do you have?What do you recommend I start out with (should I go with something basic or something top of the line?) I get asked this question frequently. While there is no RIGHT answer here, I'll tell you how I started out and where I went from there. I bought a Pentax K100D when I started out. Why? Well, it's simple really. Mr. Taylor used to shoot film with a Pentax camera and still had several lenses. I'm the type of person that picks up a 'hobby' for a couple of weeks and then drops it because I get bored. Although I'd always been interested in photography, and had even taken some film classes, I wasn't sure if it was something I'd end up bored with in the long run and didn't want to waste my (husband's) money....so I bought a Pentax. Luckily for me, I realized that I'd finally found what I loved to do. And I picked it up relatively well, and had a bit of a knack for it. So I used my Pentax for about 9 months when I realized I needed a different type of camera for the type of shooting I was doing, and the goals I was making for myself. So I researched and finally decided to go with the Canon line of cameras. Currently I shoot with a Canon 5D Mark ii with a Canon 5D as a backup. I also own three lenses that I love. The Canon 50mm 1.4 (an excellent portrait lens, and one I'd suggest to anyone starting out), a Canon 24-105 4.0L, and a Canon 70-200 2.8L. I also own various lighting equipment that I use when necessary. I'd suggest you start out with a basic camera and learn it inside and out. The camera does not make you a good photographer. You make the camera work for you, not the other way around.
2. Do you use actions? I'm a firm believer that with anything, you shouldn't use shortcuts until you know the long way around. This goes for processing images too. Once you know HOW to get the desired affect, I say go for it! There's no reason to take numerous steps to processing an image if you can save yourself time. But again, you should know WHY you are using the action, not just because you don't know what you are doing and it makes your image look "cool." I use one action I love and have created my own for the way that I process my images. I know what I want an image to look like and do what I can to save myself time.
3. How do you get your images to look like they do?They are so bright and soft, yet so clear! I do my best to make sure that the image comes SOOC (straight out of the camera) looking as close to perfect as possible. This means I have good exposure and good focus. This helps me to have the best pallet for post processing as possible.
Next week I will share some post processing tips with you, to show you my SOOC images and what I do to post process them. If you have any questions, send them my way!
And off topic, but LADIES, if you are looking for a great Valentine's gift for your man, contact me. I am offering some tasteful boudoir mini-sessions with my business partner next weekend! You don't want to miss out. You will be pampered by hair and makeup artists and look absolutely amazing.
I just got done cleaning a portion of my house, because the thought came to my mind that I'd be mortified if something happened to me and someone had to come into my house and see this disaster. Then they'd wonder what kind of person I really am. Yeah, with four kids+holidays+six (yes SIX) cases of strep throat, it's gotten pretty out of control. Okay, so it's not likely that someone will be forced to come into my home while I am hypothetically out of commission, but still...I'm a thinker. My hubby has noted that I'm an irrational thinker sometimes, which may be true. Regardless, I think a lot.
Like last night as I was lying in bed, Mr. Taylor sound asleep next to me, and I thought to myself, "In this moment I am so happy. This spot in life is so good." And I reveled in it for another 45 minutes while I tried to fall asleep. Sweet slumber finally found me, but so did crazy dreams from days past, which woke me up and got me thinking all over again. It made me realize once again how blessed I am. In life, in love, in business. Has it always felt that way? No. But I'll keep hold of it while I can.
Because of the way my life has fallen together so far, I've learned to embrace change. Change can be a good thing. And in the new year, we often find ourselves thinking about the changes we will be making for ourselves. Right? Of course I have to think about the changes coming in my business this year, and even though some of it is scary, I'm really excited for the new opportunities that will be coming my way.
So I thought I'd tune you in on a BIG CHANGE for Joanna Taylor Photography. Something I've been keeping under wraps for some time, but am super excited to share with you!
Joanna Taylor Photography now has studio space in Salt Lake City. I'll be sharing space with some INCREDIBLE, INSPIRING photographers (and for this I feel blessed). Can I tell you who? First, the amazing, artistic Duston Todd. Next, someone with beautiful perspective, Matthew Ryan. And last, the fun-loving Sheryll Lynne, who has the most amazing style. And I have a top secret project going on with Sheryll that will be announced in February.
I have to make goals for my business, and one is to blog more, to offer more information. I'm going to start a Q&A series, so if you have any questions, please send them my way! I'm going to start showing you more products that I offer. I'm reworking pricing again...as I enter my fourth year of business I've seen some trends in my pricing and have finally started seeing where I need to be priced for the Utah market. I'm going to be focusing a lot more on weddings and newborns (so if you have friends with either of these, be sure to refer them my way! I have a great referral program!). These are all good, exciting things for me, and I'm excited to watch them unfold for a great 2010. Join me, won't you?
And since we're talking about change, something a little different from me:
We got snowed out. That's right. Snowed out. Thumbs way down to that since I had SO. MUCH. MORE planned for this engagement session. But we still got some fun stuff to work with and I'm excited to get to shoot ANOTHER set of engagements in the spring. Brandie and Conley are so happy (really, he told me, "I'm just so happy") and I could tell that he was. And why wouldn't you be if you were marrying Brandie? She is absolutely beautiful inside and out. So without further ado, push play on the video (and then pause) and while it's buffering check out some of the images...then don't forget to come back and watch the video. It's adorable.
If you have a session or wedding that has not been blogged from 2009, I will be playing catch up over the next couple of weeks!
And don't forget to refer those holiday engagements my way! If they reserve their date in the next four weeks they'll get an awesome gift, and it gets YOU an awesome gift too!