Sometimes concept shoots have a theme, or they are things I want to do to explore some technique or idea. And sometimes they are borne out of a cooperative effort between multiple people. This particular shoot was just that.
I had worked with Cindy Alderton a few times, on weddings, shoots, and collaborations of various ideas we had. The graveyard shoot was one such concept shoot. Her approach in that shoot was more intense than mine, but we achieved mutual results that were quite usable.
This time was considerably different. Cindy designed and created the Amazing Black Dress, and we collaborated on the design of the hair, although Cindy ended up doing the updo work. The design concept for the shoot was mostly mine, although the shooting angle and developmental approaches differed after the shoot.
I welcome collaborations with other artists. We only grow through diversity. Cooperation outweighs solitude by at least a hundred-fold.
This first image comes from the idea that something is attempting to take the young woman away, a “something” that is scary and has her wrapped up in its way with the red sheer fabric. It’s all quite open to interpretation, really. I was going for the lighting concept more than anything else.
Now trapped, the young woman must plead for her safety. What is at stake is not quite known, but it could get dire.
As punishment for her pleas, she is banished to the cold and to a less beautiful surrounding. The model here, Veronica, made it look easier than it actually was. With temps in the upper 30s, we spent brief periods of planned shots and lighting while she remained wrapped in a coat, and then unwrapped her, took the photos and wrapped her back up.
Sometimes you just have to make the best of a bad situation, and accept that the cold is not your worst enemy. Perhaps your mind is. The outside portion of this shoot took less than 30 minutes. Cindy also did the model’s makeup… she’s sort of universally talented like that.
Finally, there is hope. The potential of a rescue, a hero… perhaps a knight in shining armor? Whatever it may be, at this point she’s hoping that it happens soon.
Blissful in rescue, our heroine rests knowing that soon there will be warmth and peace.
Finally back in the comforts, she wraps up and rests. No more monsters for her.
Thanks for indulging the commentary. The Amazing Black Dress shoot was a collaborative effort that had many facets of wardrobe, makeup, lighting, and image-making.
We like collaborating with other photographers, designers, makeup artists and more. Please contact us to begin creating a new concept!
So, Kayla got married to the love of her life. But not before we had a conversation about trashing her dress.
A few weeks prior to her beautiful wedding, Kayla asked about doing a Trash The Dress session between her ceremony and her reception. And me being me, I told her I was totally up for it. But there were some shortcomings to consider. One was the amount of time it would take to get to a proper location for a good shoot, as well as setting up lighting and hoping for good weather. With that, and the consideration that she would be going through her entire ceremony in a sopping wet dress, she chose to have a separate session on a later date. This is what we achieved. Captions are below each image.
Enjoying the location and Kayla’s wonderful camera presence.
The perfect moment of lighting & posing.
Perfect lighting is seen & used.
From a different perspective, Kayla was a beauty.
The best part about the work we did with Kayla was that we have known her for awhile, and expected no less than a bride who was ready for an adventure. We had a lot of fun, and the planning process made a huge difference in how the shoot went.
See our website for more information about our weddings or portraits.
We’ve been working in photography in this area for almost 20 years, and have moved our studio twice. We’re moving it again… and we’re convinced that we’re doing it for all the right reasons. But we wanted to make sure that you, our valued followers and clients, understood our reasons and what led to this very big decision. So, we’re sharing our reasoning with you!
9. Our market, clients, and the photography industry have all changed. The shooting space that we have now is no longer suitable for our needs, and we would rather have a more focused space in which we can concentrate on the things that we do best. The new space will be plenty big, and we can still photograph large family groups (up to 35) with ease, as well as babies, seniors and boudoir.
8. We want to feel “at home” in our studio. Since the building we are in was originally designed in a different era of the industry, and with differing goals in mind, adapting to a new and ever evolving landscape in photography would not be as easy as starting with a blank slate. In our new space, we are starting fresh. No fixed sets or fixed backdrops, but a few things we like and use most, along with our own creativity.
7. We realized that we don’t need a “park” in our backyard, as we have partnered with a few local (and very generous) farmers and other land owners to use their property for sessions. The best part of this is that you will almost surely have exclusive imagery for your on-location sessions. Plus, we have been working on many new technological approaches to putting you where we need you to be for the perfect shot.
6. Our new location does not have any “neighbor” issues, such as barking dogs, skunks, and cats that use our backyard as a litter box. Let’s just leave it at that.
5. The building we are in now, and the property it is on, have a host of issues that we cannot easily overcome. So, changing our location so that we do not and cannot have those issues is a best option. That doesn’t mean we won’t have issues at our new studio… but at least there we have more control over them.
4. We want to make a bigger impression. We have tried several ways to get people to see our work. Facebook and other social media outlets help some. But seeing our work is most of what draws people in. Route 11 (Winchester Ave) is a 40-45MPH road, and even just seeing our sign is not easy. Trying to put pictures out for people to see, even large ones on the deck, would be met with maybe a second’s worth of exposure. In our new facility, we have five huge 5×7′ windows… and we have a lot planned for those big beautiful sunshine gatherers! Plus, in a building with no windows, we get NO sun exposure… now, we will. Every day.
3. Cooper Captures (the wildlife and scenic photography started by Diana early last year) needs to shine… the work is exquisite, and it needs a place to really be seen by many. There are NO windowsin our current studio, and like you saw in #4 above, you can’t make an impression by showing it to a few people online. Diana will be setting up a wonderful display of her work in the corner windows, and we will be offering retail sales of matted prints, gallery canvases, greeting cards and much more. Plus, it will be much easier to see other wildlife photos on our large, color-corrected monitors!
2. We need to create… for awhile now, we have wanted total control of our sessions. While we take every measure to ensure that we provide each of our clients with a unique experience, we are surrounded by the sameness of a studio that was designed to churn out session after session with everyone getting the same treatment. We want more than that for our clients, and plan to offer very unique photography you can only get from the creative genius that gets its inspiration from other artists, both performing and from those who create works of art all the time. We’re looking forward to some very new and original work!
1. We crave interaction. In the last year or so, we have gotten much more involved in our community and with fundraising and “people” events. We’ve found that doing that from a building that is located nowhere near any of that, we can’t help as many people as we wish. Being in a downtown location will give us the ability to not only support our merchant neighbors, but to hopefully give them a reason to do the same. We know that is something we will have to earn, but it is also something we are more than prepared to do.
Between now and November 1, we will give you lots more information. This will include a big Open House we are planning, and lots of fun specials you can look forward to for the holiday season! But mostly, we’re looking forward to setting up our first BIG window display in town. It’s going to start small, and grow. Keep an eye out… you won’t be able to miss it!
If you ever wanted to meet the ultimate football player physique, you’d just need to meet Adam. Of course, it goes way beyond that. He plays passionately at the game, but is also smart, knows what he wants in life, and has big plans.
Shooting on-location with Adam was a lot of fun, too. Some weeks we spend more time on-location than we do in the studio. Adam was accommodating, even when a large number of his teammates showed up to begin practice.
You can learn more about our senior portraits on our Seniors page.
Another of the home-schooled students we’ve had the pleasure of photographing this year, Jasmine was the one (of her two other siblings) who wanted pictures the most. She was fun, enjoyed posing, and wanted plenty of variety. We have that!
So, when your photographer advertises that big special offer, which might include a CD of images from the session, you’re ready to jump on it because you love getting the CD, right? What’s not relevant here is how many images you get, or the circumstances. What’s important is that if you only got a CD, you’re not only cheating yourself, but you’re getting cheated. Read on.
Notwithstanding that a CD might cost less than a buck, and that your photographer with a certain style might spend less than a hour on your images, what are you really getting? Yes, you get the experience and professional photography. You get good customer service, a fun time with a genuinely nice person, and even some good pictures. But are you getting something that will last forever?
Do you remember the 8-track tape? Cassette tape? Most people don’t use CDs anymore (they only hold about 700MB), and most use DVDs (which hold over 4GB). But with the advent of Blu-Ray, how long will it be before that DVD is out of date? Or that file format? What will you do in ten years when DVDs are no longer supported by computers (most computers today no longer support floppy drives)?
Here’s something else to consider… where will you store your disk? What will you do with the images on it? Post them on Facebook? How long will they stay there? They may remain on your photo gallery for a long time, but they will get pushed to the bottom like all the others have over time. And forgotten. The disk may get lost or damaged (do you know how to take care of a DVD properly?)
It’s time for you to take control. If your photographer offers only a disk, ask for more. Demand prints. Tell them you want your images to be on the wall, in full view, for all to see. Be proud of your portraits, your wedding, your children and your family! Don’t hide them away on a disk anymore. Put them out for the world to see!
Here’s more to consider. Did you know that children who see pictures of themselves on the walls have a greater sense of well-being and self-confidence as they grow up? They can’t see those pictures of they’re on a disk. And couples who put their wedding pictures on the walls and in an album are more likely to stay together than those who don’t. We have clients who regularly share their pictures on the walls with us – and they have fabulous relationships, wonderful families and beautiful children!
Listen… this is not hard to understand. And yes, we DO sell the image files for most of our sessions and weddings. But we always offer you prints at the same time. And we always will, because they mean you will always see the pictures that you have tucked safely away in a dark storage place (after you made a backup, right?)
So, what are you going to do next time your photographer offers a disk-only portrait session? That’s right, demand prints!
A photographer prepares for a wedding just as they would for any other shoot, ensuring that the equipment is ready, the personnel are ready, and that there’s a working plan. The difference with a wedding is that these events have a special kind of emotional attachment, as well as a sense of urgency… you can’t do it over, in other words.
My preparation is fairly simple. But here it is…
- I review the schedule to make sure what time I’m suppose to be there and when, making sure I have plenty of gas in the car to get there. I review some names of the accompanying party so I can make people a bit more at ease by using their name and not just a general reference.
- All of the equipment gets cleaned, even if it isn’t dirty.
- All of the batteries get charged; camera, flash, remote, extension, and portable hard drive.
- I review the camera settings to make certain that everything is where I want it, and if it isn’t I set it that way.
- I familiarize myself with the assistant/second shooter for the day and write reminders for myself on things I need to tell them about procedures that we should follow for this wedding.
- I pack all my equipment the morning of or the night before. Everything should be ready to go when I get to the wedding.
The actual pre-coverage preparation is a bit more complex, but this gives you an idea of what goes into the before the wedding agenda.
You can view our wedding coverage, including photos at tlcphotography.com/weddings.
In the past several months, we’ve been using the term “concept shoot” on Facebook from time to time. So, you might be curious as to what a concept shoot means or entails.
Frequently, us creative types get visions of imagery that we want to create. While many of the best concept shoots require lots of advance planning, some do not. One type of concept shoot is that which involves a specific scenario, location or setup. Another type is usually more grandiose, including several people, increased lighting and setup, and plenty of time to create a one-of-a-kind image.
The reason we do concept shoots is to test certain ideas. For example, we recently did a concept shoot involving people with tattoos. The objective was to photograph tattooed skin with as much dramatic light as possible, enhancing the overall appearance of the tattoo. To do that, we recruited models who had tattoos. The concept was to create this dramatic lighting in the studio.
This is just one example. Some are considerably more elaborate. We are working on two now (in the planning stages) that involve a much bigger canvas and some cooperation from the weather and other circumstances.
If you want to be part of any of our future concept shoots, please let us know. We welcome onlookers and those who want to learn… but don’t be surprised if we ask you to haul equipment or handle the lighting or something.
Emily was a late season senior, visiting us a mere two months before graduation. She was fairly adamant about having on-location pictures, and we were happy to accommodate. We also photographed her in our studio and our portrait park. She’s a big quirky, but a lot of fun and has a stunning smile. We enjoyed her senior portrait session!
They say that a wedding can be planned overnight, with the right people and the right circumstances. While I’ve yet to see that happen, at least with any detail and glitz, this one came pretty close. With only about 30 days of planning, this wedding went off with nary a hitch (well, except the happy couple GETTING hitched). We enjoyed every minute.