Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy children and engagement photos.

I suppose I should get an obligatory, "happy fourth of July!" out of the way before I start this post because I don't have anything Independence Day related to talk about :O I could have taken photos of the fireworks downtown last night, but I didn't bring my camera. More on that later, actually.

Nephew and niece.

So while I'm sorry that I don't have anything patriotic to share, I am delighted to say that I had two extremely successful shoots this weekend. After a week of being lazy and hardly taking any photos (I had reasons but shame on me all the same!), I had two full-out shoots to round off the week with. I just ended a sentence with a preposition and for that I am sorry.

My sister and her daughter Emily and son Elijah.

On Saturday I packed up all of my gear and went to my sister's house to take photos of her children. My nephew Elijah will be four in October, and my niece Emily turned one in February. They're certainly not the easiest age range to work with! My mom, sister and I encountered a fair amount of issues while attempting to get them to cooperate. We ended up down by the beach because there are some lovely photo taking areas, but they ended up being too excited about being in a new area.

Not 100% sure how I feel about the one on the left. I think I'm headed in the 
right direction but it's still incomplete. Love the one on the right though!

Emily's primary interest rested in tossing rocks into the water, which was adorable, and it did not lead to many good photos. Perhaps someday I'll invest in some waist-high waders, but on this day I had no way of getting out into the (super cold) water to get pictures of her face while she threw rocks.

 Face snuggles and kisses from her kids.

I did my best to remember what I had learned while at the first studio in Ireland. It was a family and child portrait studio, which is not my forte. However I did pick up a few useful tidbits on how to photograph children and I tried to put them to use on Saturday. Cassidy and I had ideas in mind about what kind of photos we wanted, and the kids were having none of it. Eventually we gave up and tried to just go wherever they wanted to go, but they still lacked the interest and cooperation to look at the camera.

Elijah. Not sure what he was going for but
he was looking at me so I went with it.

As we were preparing to leave, dejected and resolved to trying again another day, the two became enthralled with a big toy/jungle gym type play structure that was in the park. We stood and waited for a few minutes before I decided to give it one more go. I climbed inside and attempted to get a few photos that way, but still no luck. Finally Cass climbed inside of it with Elijah and that's when the magic happened.

Little Emily playing at the bottom of the slide.

We were finally able to get the photos that my sister was hoping for, it just had to be on the children's terms. Even though I knew that, I was still uncertain of how best to go about it. The whole day was a learning experience, to be sure, and I'm guessing that the next time I have a photo shoot with her kids things will probably go a bit smoother. On a final note though I am bummed that the one place they chose to finally cooperate included the big green wheel that was covering parts of their faces in a lot of shots. What am I supposed to do about that sort of thing? I almost fell off of the big toy a few times because I was balanced on a wooden slide and was holding on with one hand while swinging out in front of them. Danger!

After viewing these on the computer I wanted to scream bloody murder
because of the people standing in the background. But hey, nothing 
I could do because it was a public park. Either way this is a great photo
of Elijah and Emily laughing and playing together :)

On Sunday I had another shoot with my friends Rachel and Zach. They're getting married next summer and asked if I would do their engagement photos. I was happy to oblige.

All of yesterday was a raging success of beautiful picture after beautiful picture of them smiling happily in various places downtown Poulsbo. Rachel and I took a walk through this particular park earlier in the week and she absolutely loved it. It proved to be a great place for their photos.

I thought this was a cute idea. Feedback?

We had a really fun time finding different places to shoot, and they did a great job with the variety of outfits that they brought. Rachel and I had discussed a few different places over the phone, and also brainstormed over the different outfits that would go best with the locations in the park, and I'm really glad that everything came together so well.

They were wonderful models, and I'm also going to take a moment to congratulate myself because I think I managed to create some great and natural photos with my knowledge and suggestions for how they should interact :] I've been spending a fair amount of time doing research looking at engagement photos to see which ones I like and which ones I don't. There are so many different options and styles and some are (obviously) more appealing than others.

Under the boardwalk.

While editing a small selection for today's post I began to wonder how long it will take for me to develop a style all my own. Some photographers really have it down, and I know that I haven't been shooting consistently enough to figure out something that's "mine". It's difficult because I enjoy a wide variety of types. Sometimes I am really into hyper processed images, and sometimes the colors are so perfect that I don't want to touch the photo at all. Occasionally I feel that black and white adds the perfect touch and brings out an emotion that simply wasn't present in the color version.

Original in color.

I'm all over the place! I guess it may boil down to whatever my client wants and then I'll go from there. Curious. Can't wait to see what I end up doing.

 Good edits? Bad? Better in black and white or color? Does 
the yellowish/sepia/high contrast on the left even work?

For the fireworks last night I made a conscious decision not to bring my camera. I knew that it would be busy and crowded downtown and I didn't want to have a bag banging around behind me. I wanted an easy night of focusing on enjoying the company of my friends. Fortunately I don't regret the decision, but as the fireworks were going off I found myself wondering which camera settings I'd be using if I had brought my camera and what I'd have to do to get a great picture of the explosions. I really need to get a functioning tripod.

As soon as Cass, Rachel and Zach have picked out which photos they want I'll be posting more, but for now the images posted today were ones that I particularly enjoyed and wanted to share on my blog. I'm not sure what next week's entry will bring. As far as I know I don't have anything big planned for this week. Maybe I'll take some nice photos of Slinky, a new dog that I've come to know. That could be fun. I enjoy animal photography.

-MJ

3 comments:

nadiajoyce said...

Miranda, these are great! I actually was hoping to ask you about something...that wonderful vintage color you get in the "under the boardwalk" photo for example...how are you achieving that? I've been experimenting with some different filters myself, but haven't quit found the exact look I'm trying for. I feel like what you got here is very very close to what I've wanted. Willing to share??

MJ said...

Absolutely! I got my tutorial from this lady https://www.facebook.com/JFotography she has great work and is always sharing her techniques. I love her! I followed the steps for an "antique" type action that she posted and I tweak it to suit my needs.

http://www.myspace.com/roseonthegrey/blog/523751019

That's the tutorial that I used. Depending on what I'm feeling I'll change the opacity of the two colors, but I also add a contrast/brightness adjustment. I hope that helps! :D Thanks for the comment, I'm glad that you like my photos!

Jacki T. said...

I left commentary meant for this blog post on the next post... Forgive me. Haha

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