Category Archives: lessons in 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”

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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!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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”
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 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!!

PHOTOGRAPHY LESSON/VANTAGE POINT

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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

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

IMPROVING YOUR PHOTOGRAPHY “FRAMING” /by creativefreedomphoto

Framing is the technique of drawing attention to the subject of your image by blocking other parts of the image with something in the scene.

For this photograph I tore a hole in a leaf-in order to frame the couple

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The benefits of framing pictures include:

1. giving the photo context (for example framing a scene with an archway can tell you something about the place you are by the architecture of the archway or including some foliage in the foreground of a shot can convey a sense of being out in nature).

2. giving images a sense of depth and layers (in essence framing a shot generally puts something in the foreground which adds an extra dimension to the shot).

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3. leading the eye towards your main focal point (some ‘frames’ can draw your photo’s viewer into the picture just by their shape). Some also believe that a frame can not only draw the eye into a picture but that it keeps it there longer – giving a barrier between your subject and the outside of the shot.

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4. intriguing your viewer. Sometimes it’s what you can’t see in an image that draws you into it as much as (if not more than) what you can see in the picture. Clever framing that leaves those viewing your image wondering a little or imagining what is behind your frame can be quite effective (get it wrong and it can also be quite annoying!).

Frames for photographs come in all shapes and sizes and can include shooting through overhanging branches, shooting through windows, using tunnels, arches or doorways – you can even use people (for example shooting over shoulders or between heads) etc.Your frame doesn’t need to go completely around the edges of your image – they might just be on one or two edges of your shot.

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My rule of thumb when considering framing is to ask the question – ‘will this add to or take away from the image?’ Sometimes framing can just add clutter to a shot and make it feel cramped – but at other times it can be the difference between an ordinary shot and a stunning one.

GO OUT THERE AND START FRAMING, challenge yourself see how many creative ways you can think of to frame your photographs

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Framing with color

This photo was captured at the Goombay festival in Key West

The photo below I wanted to find something to frame the beautiful eyes of this child

INNOCENT

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Wedding Photojournalism/The Story Teller by creativefreedomphoto

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 In the limo

Dont just keep pressing the shutter and hope that something sticks,wait,watch,observe.Do not ask people to do anything,allow life to happen .There are moments at a wedding like the dances that you are just about guaranteedfws1-003

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that there will be plenty of emotion to capture.Shoot like you are using film.If you are just starting out,I suggest that you use film. One of the best angles for capturing candidws is above,do take advantage I always look for this vantage point

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…A great wedding photographer is a great story teller. . Get to know your clients,meet with them, do an engagement session, it is very important that they feel comfortable with you, the more you know them the more passion you will feel.

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As a wedding photojournalist, I allow the story to come to me.I very rarely tell people what to do (unless I am doing the group shots,my least favorite because I feel I am missing out on the “real moments”) I ask my clients to keep the group shot list to a minimum. They didint hire me for a bunch of posed group shots but for my ability to “capture emotions” To me weddings are by far the easiest because they tend to be a field day of emotions.

  •  At the beginning of the story,remember to photograph the place,the details,the venue.These are all important to the couple and are a part of their story.

Mecedes Benz Super Dome New Orleanswedding details

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I ask my clients to have the guys nearby so that I can go back and forth between the guys and the ladies, You want to get both sides of the story!

Try to be a fly on the wall, wear black not bright colors.You want people to forget that you are there so that things can happen naturally. I long zoom lens is a good Idea for candid s at weddings.

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Keep in mind that there are two sides of the story,during the ceremony for instance,its not just about the couple but pay attention to the audience,know who the parents are,most often the Mothers will shed some tears.

 

The most important shot during the ceremony most often it is the grooms reaction when he sees his bride for the first time

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My students often ask me what do you photograph during the reception when everyone is eating. Good question, it is not flattering to photograph people eating,but children can be adorable during this time.It is also a good time to shoot some of the details.Also the atmosphere,the musicians if they do have live music

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A great story has a beginning,middle and an ending, think of a parting shot,it could be a back shot of the couple walking away in the sunset or grandma asleep at the reception,most often I dont think, I just allow things to happen naturally.Sometimes my couple does request a specific parting shot .

Super dome wedding

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Most important,dont pose people,allow them to be themselves,stand back,remember you are there to tell the story and to capture all the emotions

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