August is typically a busy month for photographers with weddings, seniors, and all the other portrait work that client’s love to do outdoors during Michigan summers. Nevertheless, we had a great turnout for the all day workshop featuring Ana Brandt from outside LA. Ana is a maternity and newborn photographer who’s work has featured celebrity clients such as Ian Ziering of 90210. Ana openly shared with us about her photographic journey and how it has led her to a very specific market for which she is passionate. Too many photographers try to do it all, but Ana explained how she found her niche and stuck with it to be successful. During the afternoon, we participated in a mini shoot with a pregnant model and learned several tips and techniques for making a woman feel beautiful at the most sensitive time of her life!
“As Greg mentioned during his presentation last night – It is not always wise (if ever) to practice a new technique during an actual session or wedding. Get out there and practice, practice, practice. That is exactly what I was doing when I created this image.
Me and my flash (Canon 580EXII) have yet to come to some sort of ‘happily ever after’ working relationship. It is pretty much just along for the ride, tucked into my bag, going wherever I go with my camera. Doesn’t see much action at all because of our lack of communication.
“Just set it on TTL” is an answer I’ve heard often when I’ve asked about how to master that piece of equipment. I’m old school. Couldn’t EVEN tell you what the heck TTL is or how to use it.
Hand me a flash meter and I’ll work at it from that angel.
On this day, I was hanging out with my model waiting to get into the studio that I share with two other photographers. We wandered to the unfinished side of the building and thought we’d shoot around with whatever was available until the studio became available. We had window light from the left and the ‘just along for the ride EXII’ from the right.
Add the flash, take a reading, drag the shutter, adjust settings, try again. Looks too ‘flashy’, change the settings, drop the power, change the angel, try again and again and again until we got what we wanted/liked. Practice, practice, practice.
Post production included a little NIK NIK here and a NIK NIK there and a couple of la-de-da’s.
I’m certainly not going to brag about my ‘working relationship’ with my off camera flash yet. I still have a long way to go before I think I’ll feel fairly confident with that gizmo.
I’m thrilled that my image was “The Chosen One” last night and I am thankful that my niece is a very patient model when she gets those calls asking, “Hey, want to come hang out and pose for me while I try out something new?” Thank you Leah!
Thank you PPWM & speaker/judge Greg Schrader”
A big huge “Congrats!” goes out to Jayne Wirebaugh and Kari Douma for winning the amateur judge print competition this year. Their photos received top honors for Best of Show chosen by a group of non-photographer judges.
How often have you heard from a judge at a normal print competition, “It’s a nice photo, and I’m sure the client loved it, but it needs more for competition.” The judges used in this competition were some of our clients instead of the usual critical PPA type judges. So what these judges (clients) were looking for was somewhat different. Hint: they love big smiles and cute babies!
I heard a couple of times from our client judges, “I’m not sure what it is, but I just don’t really like this photo.” My guess is that there might have been technical issues with the images, meaning that they were breaking too many of the “rules.” To me, it’s just a reminder that although rules are made to be broken, the rules play an important part in our images.
Our clients really are our ultimate judges. They’re the ones that pay our bills and keep us in business. This event was a great way to hear what our clients are saying about our images when they look at them with a critical eye.
This month’s winner for the monthly competition was Jodi Jarka. The theme for May was “Perspective.” We’re used to seeing the world at eye-level, so this theme was a reminder that as photographers we can show things from a different angle, or perspective. It’s important for us to see more creatively.
Jodi’s winning image, which she could’ve probably used for next month’s competition, features an interesting angle of her client. The rounded mirror gives a fish eye look to the image. Images like this are all around us; we just have to see them!
Next month: Reflections