Category Archives: fine arts photography

Improving your photography/advice from a pro

In this blog I will share with you some simple tips for you to improve your own picture taking.Photography is made up of light and composition,you need both elements to make a great photograph’ The photograph below has both,great composition, notice how I framed the cats eyes.framing is a law of composition and will definitely make your photos much more interesting

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In the photograph below I purposely used the noon sun (a time you do not want to take portraits) I wanted the effect of shadow and depth.In this composition I filled the frame with the subject.

UP RISEING

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The best natural light for photographs is overcast,skin tones are even and colors pop.You cant always get what you want so if you are going out shooting in natural light,go in the”magic hour” first light of day and an hour before sunset when the sun is low in the sky.Below a great example of overcast and also “framing”

Featured Image -- 1021

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The photo below,”LEADING LINES” Another rule of composition,I rarely put my subject directly in the middle,when you have leading lines its O.K to do so.

 

The photo below/what makes this photograph great are a few things.the angle,shooting from above looking down,see how this also isolates the background.There is nothing more distracting to me in a photograph than clutter. The photo also tells a story,it says something not just a photo of the couple smiling and looking at the camera,it captures the love the joy between this just married couple.fws1-003

Photos below two thirds rule,see how in these photographs the subject is NOT directly in the middle

 

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n order to capture a clear silhouette, you’ll need the background to be brighter than your subject. The best way to do this is to shoot at the beginning or the end of the day. The optimum time to shoot a silhouette is when the sun is low in the sky – either when it is rising or setting. Sunsets are a favorite among photographers who regularly create spectacular silhouettes, but you can also shoot a decent silhouette against a blue sky.

Happy shooting! Practice makes perfect!

 

 

 

 

 

 

ALONE AT LAST /the intimate session

part of a four part series on wedding photography. getting ready,the ceremony,the intimate session,and the reception  Advice for the client.

The only thing that I do insist on with my clients is an “intimate session” This will perhaps be the only alone time that you will have on your wedding day.I feel that these photographs are the most romantic and probably the ones that you will be hanging on your walls.

http://creativefreedomphoto.com/ Some people do not realize that photography is made up of light and composition.

When you are working on your timeline, leave at least a half hour or more in the best light of the day,the last hour before the sun is setting.Think about the background,are there some beautiful nature spots on the grounds of your venue? If not try to explore and find a beautiful nature spot nearby your venue

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Do not allow anyone to tag along,this is a distraction to you and to your photographer.Your guests will be fine, might be a good time to plan a cocktail hour. Always work with your D.J. and wedding coordinator and let them know in advance .

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When I am photographing a destination wedding,I sometimes plan with my couples for a “day after” session. using the destination as my background. My couples are always so much more relaxed the day after,I get to spend allot more time with them = more beautiful and interesting photos.

 

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GETTING READY! wedding advice

This blog will be in four parts,”Getting ready” Ceremony”., “The intimate session” and the reception.

Today I will be covering “getting ready”

I always get to the location early. The first thing that I photograph is the atmosphere of the venue,this is important to my couples,they have chosen this venue for a reason. After twenty five years of photographing weddings I have had the privilege of traveling to castles in Germany,the super dome in New Orleans,the Biltmore in North carolina,Hemingway house in Key West just to name a few.

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international fine arts wedding photojournalism

 

 

For my couples,try to have the ladies and the guys get ready at the same location,there are two sides to the story.I like to go back and forth.

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international fine arts wedding photojournalism

During this time I like to photograph the details,  have a go to person for your photographer. I always ask to have the details ready for me when I come in.The rings,the flowers,an invitation or newspaper,something with the date on it,shoes dress,vows etc…

Advice to the ladies,choose a room with the most natural light,remember that light is very important for the sake of the photos,you do not want to get ready in a room with florescent lite with no windows.Try to keep the room free of clutter.

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international fine arts wedding photojournalism

Leave plenty of time for some bride and groom portraits when you are all ready.For the brides do not be last to have your hair and makeup done.

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international fine arts wedding photojournalism

Try to get plenty of rest the night before and if you get nervous remember it is about the marriage. Dont sweat the small stuff,just go with the flow.

“SEEING THE LIGHT” NATURAL LIGHT PHOTOGRAPHYhttp://www.creativefreedomphoto.com/

232ee5Photography is mainly made up of light and composition, you can have the greatest composition but without the right light…bla,or you have the most amazing light but with out a great composition,it will not be a great photograph

  I have been asked many times, how do you learn about light. My answer is go out there and shoot in every possible light.
  The two “magic hours, the first and last hour of light.
Back lighting is my favorite (makes things POP,look three dimensional)
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When your subject is in front of the sun silhouette)
NOON the WORST time of day for portraits deep shadows and texture,however
 if that is what you are going for like the photo below I wanted her to look as if she were rising out of the ground (I call it up rising) would NOT have worked at all in the “magic hr”
UP RISEING
 NOW my FAVORITE is overcast makes colors POP, skin tones perfect,so dont freak out if it rains on your wedding day chances are the light will be great for portraits.
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Rain, protect your gear but DO get out there or right after the rain, puddles and reflections make such interesting photos.
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TWILIGHT, the 10 minuete window after sunset when the sky is not black yet and all the neon and available night light comes out,good to use a tripod at this time and perhaps a slow shutter speed.
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Now get out there!!

HERE COMES THE GROOM

1ws

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Everyone always gets so carried away with the bride,what about the groom’s?

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I always ask my couples to get ready at the same location.I like to go back and forth between the guys and gals to get both sides of the story.

The brides room is usually chaotic,a mess,full of emotion,makeup,hair spray,chocolate, and mimosas everywhere. The contrast when you put the two together is hilarious. The guys are just hanging out and having a good time with their buddies. The only stress they have is how to pin on the boutonniere ,.

I always ask my couples separately “What is the most important moment to you” 90% of brides will say “When he sees me coming down the isle”When I ask the guys the same question most will say,”the first time I see her coming down the isle as my bride”

I always make sure I get this shot,I am usually shooting behind the bride and her Dad focusing on the grooms reaction between the shoulders of the bride and her Dad/Mom or whoever is walking her down the Isle. I have a student/apprentice have another camera focused on the groom from another angle, I teach my student (this is usually their first lesson on capturing emotion) do not turn around keep you focus on the groom at all times, you will know when he see’s her and I want a series of shots. Its very rare that a groom will not show any emotion , the most beautiful shot to me is when the groom cries. Guys try so hard to hold in their feelings.It is   an amazing moment/

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The “Intimate session”Capturing The Love/http://www.creativefreedomphoto.com/

 I ask my students what is the”most important subject between the couple  or siblings that you are photographing.most dont guess the answer right away,it is the love,the relationship between them.

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.I ALWAYS insist on  that, I call it “the intimate session”NO ONE is to follow. I take them to a beautiful spot in nature, I try to schedule this session during the last half hr of sunlight”The magic hour” At that time,have a cocktail hour for your guests,they will be fine.This short time maybe the only”alone”time you will have on your wedding day,my couples of course welcome this.These are the photos you will cherish and have them framed and hanging on your walls.

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Sometimes at destination weddings (especially In New Orleans) I like to have a “day after session”, when the couple gets to put their wedding clothes back on and have a blast for about two hrs while I use the destination  for a backdrop, the couple is so much more relaxed, people are congratulating them,playing music for them,buying them drinks along the way everywhere they go,and they are getting the most interesting,romantic unique and fun photographs!! I also love to incorporate the people we meet along the way !

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What is it about Murals?/http://www.creativefreedomphoto.com/

Being an artist in paint and a photographer, I love to combine both by using murals as a backdrop for my clients. I have spotted some amazing murals in Fl,New Orleans, North Carolina.Everywhere I travel am looking for them,sometimes,they find me !! I am driving around a new place and just get lucky and of course have to stop the car and admire this amazing huge canvas. Wish I knew who the artist were,thank you mural artists for making this world a bit more interesting and colorful!

Some of my favorites…enjoy!

New Orleans mural  New Orleans mural 2

One of my favorites I came across this mural in New Orleans.

 bridzilla

Made a perfect backdrop for the bride before her ceremony and for a primal scream session!

 lower 9th ward mural New Orleans_JMP7396

The one above found me near the ninth ward in New Orleans

 mural near Asheville

Driving somewhere near Asheville N.C had to pull over!!

 engagment session in West Palm beach

While on an engagement shoot in West Palm beach,I got lucky!

 New Orleans mural 3

New Orleans course, one of my favorite places to spot murals they are everywhere!

 new Orleans mural 5

Uptown New Orleans

 New Orleans mural 7

I want to live here! Another cool find in New Orleans

  gay for pay

yes you guessed it,New Orleans

 villaobos

And the famous Villaobos from Pitbulls and Parolees

The art of finding the perfect wedding photographer/by creativefreedomphoto

It must be an overwhelming task,everyone and their mothers are now “photographers”

When selecting a wedding photographer, there are three important elements you should keep in mind: personality, the photographer’s style, and cost. The first two are related to character traits unique only to that person and cannot be copied. The third element fluctuates due to many different variables. Let’s talk about each in the order of importance.

into the light

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STYLE-

The  first element and almost as equally important as personality is the photographer’s eye. That is, the way he or she sees and captures the wedding day. This unique trait separates one photographer from the next, and is considered “the photographer’s fingerprint.” In other words, a photographer can copy another’s style, but the fact is no two photographers see exactly the same way. Therefore, when looking at different photographer’s work, really take notice of how and what they see.

Do the images move you?

Are They emotional?

 WAITING FOR ROMEO Ahttp://www.creativefreedomphoto.com/

Do they tell a complete story?

Are they artistic and creative?

Fairy Tale

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Are they real, and do the people look comfortable?

Here comes the bride

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Finally, out of all the photographers you met with, whose images did you gravitate towards the most? Usually, the answer to these questions, and the definitive question “Who is the right photographer for me?” is only an inner voice away. Just listen and trust.When you finally say “yes to the dress”,You have no doubts in your mind, you know this is the one!

PERSONALITY-

Very important is the character and personality of the individual who you will hire to capture your day, and invite as a guest to your wedding. These characteristics may not be the first thing you think about when choosing a photographer, however, it will definitely be the most important factor in the decision-making process.

The most obvious component is to determine whether or not you like the images and style that this particular photographer has to show you. Before you even schedule an in-person consultation, it may be helpful to browse through that photographer’s website. After you have scoured pages and pages of samples, your instincts will help you eliminate those photographers you don’t want to see and help you to figure out which ones you do. It is definitely important to be intrigued or excited by the images a photographer has to offer. If you have made an appointment or decided to visit the photographer, chances are you already are interested in their work but this is not always the most important factor.

What is? Personality.

Now that you are in this person’s studio or space, the questions you have to ask yourself are:

Do I like this person?

Do I trust them to handle such an important day in my life?

Do I feel comfortable with this person?

Will my friends and family like him?

Would I invite him or her to my wedding?

You could find the Ansel Adams of wedding photographers, but if he or she annoys you in any way and you are determined to politely overlook that fact, the only person who is going to suffer is you. The bottom line is, if you don’t like your photographer for any reason, your wedding images and your memories are going to be reflected upon as if looking into a tarnished mirror.

Cost

Finally, the last deciding factor is usually the cost. You have likely spent hours, if not days, of your time interviewing photographer after photographer and now you have found the perfect one for you. The images are amazing and he or she has a great personality, and it all feels right. However, your inner voice picked someone who is a little out of your budget. What do you do?

When it comes to budgeting, ask yourself an important question:

After the wedding is over, what am I going to have left?

Answer: Your pictures and your memories.

Everything else is going to be forgotten, eventually remembered only through your photographs. According to a survey run buy the largest online wedding website, the number one regret couples had is that they wished they would have spent more money on their wedding photography.

Shopping for a wedding photographer is like buying a house: you get what you pay for. In both cases, the purchase is based on emotion. Buying a little more than you can afford is always a wise investment that you won’t regret as long as you have put in the time to find the perfect one for you. first danve

Don’t make the mistake of weeding out photographers because you called or e-mailed them for prices and then crossed them off your list because they exceed a certain dollar amount that you determined photography should cost. Finding a great photographer is much like discovering a great restaurant. Let’s say you were to call around to ten different eateries and ask, “How much are your meals?” If you never take the opportunity to meet the owner, taste the food or experience the ambiance and charm of the restaurant you cannot make an educated decision. All of these things make dining a great experience, and simply calling on the telephone won’t give you the same education. So, go taste the food. Wouldn’t you feel better spending more afterward because you loved your photographer and your images were so great you want to buy them all, than to get less than you imagined and end up spending more than you dreamed?

In summary, there is no secret formula or one photographer who fits every couple. What separates the good from the bad is in the eye of the beholder; after all, art is subjective. Just make sure you feel great about the person you hire and see a distinction in the work. Give careful consideration to your photography budget and invest as much as you can into that part of your wedding. In the end, you can’t afford to be disappointed when the curtains close on your wedding day.

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Improve your photography/rules of composition 2/by creativefreedomphoto

Portrait of Ivya Bat Man

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Unlike technical aspects of photography, artistic aspects cannot really be easily defined and applied to every photo. Probably the most important element of any photograph is its composition. The composition is what makes or breaks your photograph and yet not every composition rule will work well with every photo

FILLING THE FRAME

There’s an old adage in photography that says if you want to improve your photographs 100 percent, move closer. It’s true. The one sure way to keep from including too much extraneous information in a photograph is to fill the frame with your subject and nothing but your subject. Filling the frame from edge to edge leaves little doubt about what your intended target was. There are two ways to get closer: Use a telephoto lens or put some more wear on your walking shoes.

Fill the frame encourages you, as a photographer, to really spend some time thinking about your subject and how best to feature that subject in your photograph. How can you bring forward the details or the patterns or the most critical element(s) of your subject? How does the background add to or take away from the story that you are trying to tell?
 footloose and Fancy FreeGROWTH B SIOS

Background

This is one of those rules that almost all beginning photographers break. Sometimes we get so wrapped up in our subject that we don’t pay any attention to what’s going on behind them. If the background is busy and doesn’t add anything to your composition, try using a wider aperture so those distracting elements will become a non-descript blur. Or you can just try changing your angle.

Not all backgrounds need to be excluded, of course. Just make sure you pay attention to them and ask yourself whether they will contribute to or detract from your final image. Your answer will let you know whether you should get rid of them or include them. In the photo of the young just married couple walking on the beach, I included the old couple leaving the beach in the background for a reason,it does make the photograph more interesting. In the photograph of the little girl blowing bubbles, I used a swimming pool to isolate the background.

Asheville growth bubbles

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COLOR

Most people don’t conside rhow color can effect a photograph/make it POP.Know your complimentary colors! Colors that compliment each other, the opposite colors on a color wheel,remember the saying “Opposites attract”Blue and orange,yellow and purple,yellow and blue etc…

VANTAGE POINT

One of the most common mistakes an amateur/novice photographer makes is to take the majority of their photos standing up with the camera held near chest or eye level. Although this is the most comfortable/natural orientation it’s not the one that is going to yield impressive or unique photos. Everybody else is doing it and if you’re interested in taking photos that are going to impress an audience outside of friends and family it’s time to get down & dirty, climb, contort & twist your body all over the place

DSC_0064 1 a flower girl jj

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1) Look Up / Look Down

As mentioned previously, taking photos from chest or eye level is what 90% of other photographers are already doing. Start noticing what’s going on up & down. You might notice a man shaving nearby an overhead window or a cute dog scurrying about at ground level. Try taking photos of somebody climbing up steep steps from an overhead perspective. The next time you take a portrait of somebody have them sit down and look up towards the sky or ceiling before taking their shot from an above perspective. Try capturing architecture or a statue from a close-up perspective pointing your camera upwards to capture a distinct or select element.

2) Climb a Mountain, ladder, tree or just some steps

One of the easiest ways to change your perspective is to shoot from a higher vantage point. In other words, be prepared to get physical and do a little exercise climbing a mountain, ladder, tree, or just some steps When shooting above and looking down it’s almost as if you have a bird’s eye perspective of what is going on below. From a higher vantage point you can take great shots of parades, crowds, traffic or scenic valley views. The rewards of doing this are that ‘many’ other photographers are simply too lazy to ‘climb’ something. This is a tip that can’t be underestimated: putting in a bit of grunt work

…To show accomplishment, a child holding a trophy for instance,get down low and shoot up at your subject.

Hello world! I am a fine arts photojournalist with over twenty yrs of experience that I will be sharing with you! Whether you are interested in photography,want to start shooting weddings,planning your own wedding or just want to be inspired!

Hello world! I am a fine arts photojournalist with over twenty yrs of experience that I will be sharing with you! Whether you are interested in photography,want to start shooting weddings,planning your own wedding or just want to be inspired!.