took a break this morning from packing for our upcoming trip to Texas and I've been thinking quite a bit lately about posing. Having respite from intensive weeks of shooting allows me to think of poses and creating situations for my clients to be comfortable and have fun. Most of the time I'm not thinking of poses, necessarily, but actions that will lead to a picture that was, yes, posed, but natural in its formation. My clients aren't models, so in our short time together on an engagement session, I have to--essentially--teach them how to move into poses without the Stand-in-front-of-this-brick-wall-and-kiss directive. Because, really, the posed kissing shot is just never fun.
If I see an advertisement or photo I like, I ask myself how the photographer might have directed the models into such a position. No, like, really I make the conversation in my head...so I can later use it if I'm put in a similar scenario. It's not enough to simply like a picture and then assume I'll be able to do the same thing. It's called practice because I'm practicing.
Often times, if I think of a pose I want to create, I try it with JD. At home. Yes, it's totally weird...but I'd rather be weird in the confines of my home than make my clients feel awkward at a shoot in the future. I previsualize because I want to move confidently at a photoshoot and explain with precision the vision in my mind and it comes easier if I've done it before. Now, that's not to say all my idea are awesome. In fact, it's quite the opposite. Just last month--when our friends visited and we ventured to the beach--I asked Amy to snap a photo of me and JD while I did a pose I've been working on for a while in my mind. I explained to her what I wanted, but she stood with a big question mark above her head. I shrugged my shoulders and just told her to shoot away.
Well, the pose didn't really work. At all. In fact, nobody understood what I wanted to do and it ended up being a communication disaster. Clearly, this was NOT the photo I had in my mind:
Oh well. It didn't work. I'm still trying to refine my directives to see if I can bring my idea to life at a engagement session in the near future, but until then, I'll keep thinking of ideas and having conversations in my head.
I might sound crazy, but I promise I'm totally normal. Seriously.
Australian Flood Relief Auction
couple weeks ago, I received an email from my good Aussie friend, Katie. She informed me her hometown of Toowoomba made international headlines when it was hit with flash floods, what the media was referring to as an "inland tsunami" leaving thousands without homes and a growing death count. My heart broke and I immediately recalled the feeling of seeing fellow Americans struggle during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
A photo from Ipswich (courtesy of Dave Hunt of AAP)
Grantham (courtesy of News Limited photographer John Grainger)
A photo from Grantham since the waters have subsided (courtesy of News Limited photographer John Grainger)
I'm leaving for Brisbane in a few weeks and I received word the city was hit extraordinarily hard when the Brisbane river breached its banks. The Hair of the Dog Conference is hosting a silent print auction and proceeds will go directly to Premiers Disaster Relief Appeal, so if you're in the area on Saturday night at the HOTD please consider bidding.
If you're a non-Australian reader and would like to donate to relief efforts, you can do so directly HERE.
My thoughts and prayers are with those dealing with the aftereffects...
henever I have the honor of hosting The Workshop, I wake up extra early the morning of the event then pace my bedroom. I set the alarm for 5 a.m. but my eyes are usually open before the buzzard rings. I'm extraordinarily nervous because 20 photographers from around the world will spend an entire day with me, in my neighborhood, sharing openly about The Eight Components of Branding. For as open as I am on the web, I'm also a very private person, so the idea of exposing new levels of myself sometimes worries me. What if I let them down? What if trip during the shoot? What if I'm the only person laughing at my jokes?!
Thankfully, the group was more than a girl could ever ask for. Supportive, outgoing, funny, encouraging, ready to learn. But I knew this in advance because they created a Facebook group weeks before the workshop and created a network of fabulousness in advance. When everyone arrived in the morning, it was a mere extension of an online conversation...I loved it! I counted myself extraordinarily lucky to be surrounded by such amazing people.
I host the photography workshops in Orange County and while I enjoy where I live, Jaclyne of Heavenly Blooms designed these beautiful centerpieces to create just the perfect environment to learn!
We start the day early and it's quite possible that at the end of the workshop, people are silently begging me to shut up after hearing me talk all.day.long.
Lucky for us, we worked with an amazing couple, Dylan and Chrisoula as models. They're so in love and have a beautiful chemistry...
Chrisoula is a beautiful girl and it looked like this Quail wedding gown was made just for her. Many thanks to Michelle from Quail for working with me on this workshop by providing an amazing dress...such an honor!
Like always, a HUMUNGOUS thank you must go to my good friend and hair/makeup stylist, Vivian Tran of All Made Up Team for working her amazing skills with the models...
The class was shooting in the bright sun, which could be difficult, but everyone rocked it out...
...and in case anyone doubted just how HOT and BRIGHT it really was, please note the really high-budget and classy technique I taught everyone. I'm way fancy.
The main reason I pulled the class into the full sun was to demonstrate that if you can shoot in this type of light and produce an image you're proud of, you can shoot anywhere.
Here's the resulting image I took from the photo above...85mm f/1.2 1/4000 100 ISO
Because of heat, we moved to the shade for a more enjoyable experience...
Dylan and Chrisoula met at a Salsa club (they're both professional dancers), so I asked them to show off a few of their moves...I'm gonna come out and admit I was jealous.
Is this girl GORGE or what?!
I'm always so happy to work with Heavenly Blooms...I said I wanted hints of gold, so Jaclyne created a truly unique bouquet!
The wedding veil were created by Kristin at Petal and Thorn...her hairpieces are so fab and a perfect touch to a wedding day!
My favorite photo of the day...
To my new friends and peers...
Thank you for making me fall more in love with what I do. At the start of the day, I encountered a group of timid photographers, but by the end of the night we hugged and departed as friends. Yes, it could have been the carbs and wine that made everyone so happy, but I can't help but think the network you created with each other goes much deeper than that. I have no doubt you'll grow as a photographer and develop your brand in the process. I appreciate y'all more than I can really express. Air-kisses.... j*
p.s. A huuuuuuuge thank you must go to my mom and JD for being the backbone to the entire day...I couldn't do it without them!
To attend a future workshop, be sure to sign up for the newsletter as I announce registration for The Workshop exclusively through it!
Shooting Star : Flash, Lights + Pocket Wizards
fter a few days of running around like mad and working at my desk (none of which require me to, oh, say, look even remotely presentable), I took a shower and got dressed. Oh, Internet, the way JD looked at me when I reappeared downstairs was like he saw an old friend for the first time in years. Oh, THERE you are! Geesh, I really need to, like, wear lipgloss or something so these transformations aren't so intense. This, of course, led me to think we should do another installment of Shooting Star because I doubted I'd be out of sweatpants the rest of the week.
In this video, I'll be discussing Lighting...
*Two handheld lights we use: 1. Sunpack Readylite 20 and 2. DotLine Video LED Light *If I use flash outdoors and if I use standard flash settings when shooting a reception.
*Working with videographers and dealing with their light set-ups during a reception
*How I attach my Pocket Wizard to my camera and still have the ability to mount an on-camera flash.
*I won't be discussing my off-camera light set up since I blogged about it HERE.
Also, please note...
*I spoke WAY too much in this video. I annoyed myself.
*I wore my wedding ring in this video. So now those inquiring minds won't wonder anymore! ;)
Like always, you can submit questions for future FAQs on Facebook!
he was 19 years old and he was in the Armed Forces when they married. Young, full of life, and fully unprepared for what life would toss their way, Karen and Isaac married ten years ago only to later realize Happily Ever After does exist. The trick is to find the right person. Lucky for them, they wake up to their right persons every morning. So special is their love, Isaac planned a trip to Maui for Karen for their anniversary. Little did she realize everything he had in store.
When they married, they had a simple wedding, but even after all their years together there were still a few things Karen longed for. Namely, a dress she loved and wedding photos. Isaac took matters into his hands and ordered a new wedding dress for Karen and surprised her last month with the news they were going get the chance to redo their wedding pictures in Maui.
Perhaps that's what true love is all about. Listening to what's said in between the lines, thoughtfulness, and giving. Whatever the equation might be, Isaac and Karen are getting things right. Together. And it was a true honor documenting their love in Hawaii.
The photo shoot began at Hotel Wailea, where Karen prepared to see Isaac for a First Look, a moment she'd be able to see her groom in a dress she loved...and looked beautiful in I might add...
JD's angle of the First Look...
My angle of the First Look...
Before arriving to Hotel Wailea, JD and I scoped the nearby area to look for locations off the beaten path. Lucky for us, Karen was willing to climb through a fence in her Allure wedding dress, so we could use the lush, green Maui backdrop...
Isaac is one of the most caring, sweetest, and kind guys I've ever met. Ever. The way he looks at Karen...holds her...and makes her feel special is a beautiful thing to document...
Yes, Karen can be summed up as a Pink Shoe girl. Definitely. This pair of Badgley Mischka shoes represent her personality to a T.
Here's a surprise...Karen made the bouquet herself. I joked with her that if her photography didn't work out, she totally has a career as a florist! ;)
Karen is a huge Elvis fan, so had to snag photos in front of the Hotel Wailea jeep to pay homage to her crush...
We then headed to Makena Cove, a local Maui beach for more photos...
Isaac and Karen...stop with all the fierceness...I can't even handle it!
Just as we ended the session, Isaac surprised Karen...yet again. He emailed me before the session and let me know he was going to give Karen a new wedding ring and he'd love to get her reaction. After ten years of marriage, I think he's still got it going on!
To see more of Karen and Isaac's Maui Day After wedding photos, feel free to CLICK HERE for a slideshow! The music was licensed by With Etiquette, which is where I'll be getting my music from now on, but more on that good news in a bit!