Category Archives: people 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

aaanrrsws43

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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!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Improve your travel photography/advice from a photojournalist

 

My very favorite thing to photograph is travel/street photography. Especially when I see a place for the very first time.Being a “people” photographer No place on earth inspires me more than New Orleans.To me its the people that make the place!

1ws

 http://www.creativefreedomphoto.com/

  My best advice.:
1) use a lens that cane do both wide angel and zoom.Invest in a camera backpack,limit the amount of equipment. Its NOT the equipment that capture the moment,its you.
2) Do not walk around alone.
3) Be fearless,go off the beaten path.While visiting New Orleans I went to the ninth ward. There is a magical place  called “musicians Village” that is were I met David
4) DO NOT go on a guided tour
5) Talk to people,get up close and personal
6) Street musicians are a good place to start,they never mind if you are talking their photo.
7)Pay attention to detail
8) think outside of the box,try interesting views,different angels and perspectives
9 ) Go out with your camera in the magic hour right after the sun comes up,right before the sun sets.After the rain,photograph reflections in puddles,take advantage of overcast light,makes colors pop and skin tones, even. Twilight immediately after the sun sets for night scenes.
10)Try to stay in the center of town,I shot this one from my balcony at three in the morning.
wsrsts
11)Most of all, let the story unfold before you,enjoy the adventure.Its like when I photograph a wedding I dont think about it and put pressure on myself,the story unfolds before me, I am there to tell the story

PHOTOGRAPHY LESSON/VANTAGE POINT

by http://www.creativefreedomphoto.com/

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

Shttp://www.creativefreedomphoto.com/ay “YES” To the engagment session!!

Benafits of having an engagment session

1. Get yourself some sweet photos!

am21

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Sounds pretty obvious, right? But as time inches closer to the big day you start to find yourself getting busier and busier. Early in the engagement is the perfect time for an e-shoot; while the excitement of the proposal and visions of the future are still fresh in your mind, that emotion will be clearly evident in your photos.

 2. A chance to let loose and get creative.

You have an opportunity to take some truly unique photos, different from any you’ve had before, so make good use of it! Start with the location and pick a place that means something to both of you. It can be where you got engaged, a first date or just a verymemorable date, where you met (maybe your highschool/university). It can be any place that puts you at ease, something familiar that naturally makes you feel good, such as the zoo, a beach, or even your regular coffee shop. Where ever you decide, make it mean something to you.

afbto103

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Fred Howard Park,Tarpon Springs

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Your photos are actually pretty useful!

Speaking of creativity, your photos aren’t limited to the confines of a picture frame! Many savvy do-it-yourselfers are using their e-shoot photos in many crafty ways. Use them for save-the-date cards, receptions seating charts and table indicators, wedding programs, guest books, or even just a really awesome coffee table book for home.

 

Practice for the big day .http://www.creativefreedomphoto.com/

Chances are you haven’t had your photos taken by a professional before, so how do you know what to do? On your wedding day you’ll be surrounded by cameras, not just the one you hired. With everything that is going on during the day, it’s great to have one less thing to worry about.

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Whether you are camera shy or a photogenic vixen, the e-shoot s a great opportunity to instill confidence and build comfort in front of the camera. It can be daunting to have a camera follow you, it happens to all of us, and it’s best to get that anxiety out of the way in advance. In no time, you’ll stop focusing on the camera and more on each other. Your nerves will calm and your stress will float away. Your interactions with each other will become more natural and you’ll learn to avoid the innate reflex to stiff up and smile directly into the camera.

 

 

 

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If you want to really make it a true dry run, try coordinating your e-shoot with your hair and makeup trials; it will allow you the chance to see how they show up in photos.

Letting your photographer get to know YOU.

2WSCC

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Not only is it good practice for you, it’s also a great trial run for your photographer. It allows him/her to see how you interact; to learn if you are timid or big on the PDA. They will learn about your personalities, whether you are goofy or serious, and how much direction you’ll need or want. It’s a great time to learn about your love story, chat about your wedding plans, and push to see how affectionate you can get in front of the camera. The opposite is also true, you’ll be able to communicate what you like and don’t like, as well as your preference for angles, expressions, lighting, and editing styles. All this will allow them to tailor the photos to make your images more personal and memorable.

Getting to know your photographer.

It’s great to have your photographer get to know you, but it’s more important that you get to know THEM. Get a taste of their shooting style and learn how they direct you. It will be very similar to how they direct you on the wedding day so you’ll know exactly what to expect. Chat with them about your wedding plans and get tips about planning out the schedule. Your photographer has seen it all and probably has a ton of advice on how to organize the day and minimize rushing and delays.

Lastly, think about this, you will likely see your photographer more than anyone else on your wedding day … including your fiancé! The e-shoot is a perfect ice breaker to transform your photographer from a ‘stranger’ taking your photos to a ‘friend’ taking your photos. Establish a relationship with your photographer (and all your vendors for that matter). Get to know his personality & hobbies to the point where you feel comfortable enough with them that you’ll look forward to spending time with them on your wedding day.

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FOR THE LOVE OF “STREET PHOTOGRAPHY” PART 1 /creativefreedomphoto

I have a lot to say on the subject of street photography so I am going to have several blogs on this subject,I post approximately once a week, sometimes more when I have the time.

WHAT IS STREET PHOTOGRAPHY?

” Street photographs are mirror images of society,displaying unmanipulated  scenes,with usually unaware subjects”
street musician,french quarter,new orleans at dusk
 Street photography shows a pure vision of something,like holding up a mirror to society.Street photography often tends to be ironic and can be distanced from its subject matter,and often concentrates on a single human moment,caught at a decisive or poignant moment.On the other hand,much street photography takes the opposite approach and provides a very literal and extremely personal rendering of the subject matter,giving the audience a more visceral experience of walks of life they might only be  passingly familiar with.

 

Growing up in New York,It was my first photography class in ninth grade.My Mother would drive me into the heart of New York city ,she was very impatient and I had to roll my window down and shoot from the car, she would say “shoot,Shoot,life is happening fast “! .I wish I still had my work from that time,I do still have these photographs in my mind; angry faces of NYC cab drivers cursing at the traffic,   old ladies looking at the world from the safety of their windows.I have just one photograph from around that age.
 the Bowery NYC,1972
I started to take the train into the city by myself and wander down into”the bowery” a “very bad neighborhood” I was told to stay away from, of course that  intrigued  me!    I started talking to the street people, back then they called them”bums” I asked this old man, bottle of whisky between his legs,sitting against the tire of an old truck ,wisdom and pain displayed on his many wrinkles”Hey,Whats going on,how are you doing today”that would  strike up  a conversation, He then started to tell me a bit about his life while I listened and photographed him,periodically putting my camera down.
      I would bring the film back to class and develop it in the darkroom watching the photo  come to life before my eyes in the developer, in those days I had to wait a long time before I could actually see the photograph .
     I was born with amblyopia and only have sight in one eye), I learned much later in life this is a good thing, close your eye and see the world with one eye, after all that is what the camera does
   ,My photography teacher loved my work,at that time in my life I did not have any confidence in myself,(coming from an abusive home ) it felt strange to me to be complimented, I did not believe in myself all I knew was that I fell in love with photography,It was a way for me to not only express myself but a way to capture a moment forever..I was hooked!!
There seems to be a sentiment out there that somehow “legitimate” street photography involves only candid shots. I began with candid shots myself. It was when I began interacting with my subjects, however, that my photography truly began to stand out. By involving your subject in the process, you can not only compose your shot better, but also reveal more of the subject’s personality.
   I tend to do both,it depends on my subject
 New Orleans Lady

Start in a crowd.

I encourage new street photographers to start with a busy public place such as a street market or an outdoor event as a comfortable start.  You are more invisible in a crowd and can more easily overcome your fear of photographing strangers. Street performers are excellent street photography subjects to start shooting. After all, they are there to be seen and are used to being photographed plus they are part of the culture of the place you are visiting. Buskers perform to make a few bucks, so shoot away, and be generous with what you toss in their hat!

Jah Bless

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I photographed the shot above of a street  vendor  at the Goombay festival in Key West. There is always that one face in the crowd that stands out, that particular day, this man was the one face.At that time I was photographing for the newspapers.

nola-2

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Now that I am older,I enjoy getting to know my subjects,getting up close and personal and listening to their stories.

I was starting out in my career,not as bold as I am now and shot mostly candid with a 300mm zoom lens.I walked up and down the crowded streets that day,hoping for that one shot that would capture this colorful Caribbean festival. I kept my eye on my subject waiting for just the right moment. I had my camera ready and zoomed in on him,a tourist stopped by his set up and asked to see a particular item, that is when he stuck his head through the beautiful material that framed him perfectly with abundant color,that was it!, the photograph that captured the festival, even though I was using film and couldn’t see it right away, I knew in my heart that I had gotten “the one”!

New Orleans,streetmusician

The street musicians of New Orleans among my favorite subjects to photograph (in my favorite city on the planet!)

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“Which of my photographs is my favorite? The one I’m going to take tomorrow.”
~ Imogen Cunningham

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

http://www.creativefreedomphoto.com/

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.