Sunday, February 21, 2016

Flour Power

I decided to jump in and get messy with one of the new photo trends - a flour shoot.  That's right - flour.  If you were expecting beautiful roses, carnations, daisies, and daffodils, you've come to the wrong place.  This is the messy, white stuff flying through the air kind of flour!

The setup - After watching tutorials and reading tips and advice online, we decided to go for it.  Before I attempted my first booked flour shoot, I realized a practice session was necessary.  A local dancer and friend of the family agreed to help me out.  I used my black fabric backdrop and placed 2 black sheets on the ground.  I knew I would be using black seamless for the real shoot but it hadn't come in yet.  Actually, the black fabric worked fine and wasn't too hard to clean up either.

Lighting - I used an Alien Bees strobe with a beauty dish on camera right.  I set up two speedlight flashes on light stands to backlight my model.  My settings on my camera stayed at about - ISO 400, Aperture 5.0, and shutter at 160-200.  I shot with my Canon 6d with a 50mm lens.

After that, we just started experimenting and having fun.  We tried throwing flour at her but some of the greatest images involved her getting the flour moving with clapping her hands or swinging her hair.  I believe you are only limited by your creativity in movement and posing for this fun shoot.  Warning - the flour does get in the air and into the eyes at times.  I wouldn't do this without a model release letting them know in case they have any breathing problems or allergies to wheat/flour. Some have asked about my equipment getting covered.  It really wasn't a problem.  My camera stayed clean and we didn't throw the flour like we were throwing a fast ball.  It was mostly gentle tosses and clapping of hands.

Well, enough words.  Let's take a look at a few of the shots, starting with my FAV-O-RITE!

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Wedding Day Photo Advice - Part 1 - "Getting Ready" pics

Shooting a wedding is more than getting the picture of the bride coming down the aisle or the obligatory family formals.  Sometimes it's the little details that are often overlooked that add that special personal touch to shooting a wedding and truly sharing the whole day with your bride.  I know that the main job of being a wedding photographer is chronicle the day for them but I personally believe that I have another important job to do.  I believe I need to be there for the bride to make the day fun and to help things run smoothly.  The bride should enjoy her day.  The photographer should help that happen.

As I arrive at the "getting ready" spot, I always try to have one camera out and ready to shoot.  You never know when a moment is going to happen or you may see a detail you can include.  Even something as simple as the room number at the hotel.

 A picture of the pizza delivery guy, really?  Yes, I think so.  As your bride looks through her photos later, she'll remember these little details and enjoy a smile remembering that was the only thing she actually got to eat that day.
Of course you need the makeup and hair pictures.  The bride, Stephanie, had special friends that helped with her hair and makeup.

 Everyone knows you need pics of the wedding dress hanging up.  Brides, remember to get a pretty hanger.  Even if you can't get one of these beautiful personalized hangers, try to at least get one that will photograph nice.  It's hard to make a wire hanger look pretty.  Good job Steph!
 Next, a photograph doesn't have to be perfect to be included in the album.  These next two shots are so far from perfect but I think they are perfect because they gave the bride and bridesmaids a chance to just have fun.  Jump on the bed, act silly, have fun!!

 In my world, we usually depend on friends to help with catering and serving.  Even if they aren't friends, I love to include a picture of the behind the scenes activity.  There are a lot of times a hardworking friend or relative isn't in any of the wedding pics because they were in the background making sure everything was running smoothly for everyone else.
 Mirrors, mirrors, mirrors - Make sure you get pictures with mirrors.  Try different angles because you will be surprised at what works and what doesn't.  My advice here though - always make sure you see what is reflected in the mirror.  Sometimes you will get yourself or even a shot of someone else that may not be flattering or even "G" rated.
After I shoot a wedding, I try to categorize the pictures into folders for my bride.  This is always my first category - Getting Ready.  I have shot many weddings and I think this time spent with my bride helps set the tone of the day.  Stephanie enjoyed her day and I hope I helped make it even better for her!

Where oh where have you been?

To my FIVE dedicated followers of this blog, I owe you an answer to the question - Where, oh where have you been?  When I made a new website for Media Frenzy Photo, I decided to utilize their built in blog.  After a few very sporadic posts, I realized that I wanted to stay with blogger because no matter where I host my website, my blog would remain independent.

If you want to see the posts you missed, you can do so here at

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Surprise! You're going to be a Grandma!! Happy Mother's Day!

I love a good surprise and I am very good at keeping secrets.  This week I got to do a shoot for Amberly and Chris who just found out they are expecting their first child.  We did a top secret photo shoot last weekend for the big Mother's Day reveal for the unknowing, expecting grandparents.  It was so, so much fun.  I can't express how special I feel to be a part of this big moment with them.  It truly touches my heart when people trust me with moments this big.  We got a few ideas from Pinterest and then tapped into our own creative brains to come up with ideas for this maternity announcement photo shoot.  Here are a few of my faves.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Shine Bright Like a Diamond

Oh how my bones and muscles ache today.  Sometimes I think I am just getting too old to keep on doing the prom thing but then I get rested up and I sign up for another year.  This year's prom was a tremendous success.  The prom committee outdid itself with the decorations.  I wanted to share a few of those pics with you.

We had a great deal of fun "blinging" out the cafeteria to turn it into a glitzy affair! 

After the walls were covered, the arches were ballooned, the signs received extra bling, it was time to work some magic on the tables.  Each table featured its own unique design that had a fairy berry light in the center.  If you haven't had the opportunity to see a fairy berry light, they are awesome.  They glow off and on at random and just seem magical in the decorations.
Of course, a highlight of prom is the crowning of the King and Queen. The prom committee decorated the voting boxes.  Each attendee received 2 crystals to use to cast their vote for king and queen.

One of our favorite parts of our prom is our fruit fountain.  Jayne Guthrie is so incredibly talented.  Each year she manages to pull of a stunning fruit fountain for us that fits our theme.  This year she even carved fruit to look like diamonds.  The fruit was yummy too.  I mean who can turn down chocolate covered fresh pineapple and strawberries.

Pictures alone just can't do justice to the beautiful decorations and the overall impression of Prom 2013.  It truly was a night to "Shine Bright Like A Diamond"

Friday, March 29, 2013

Pearl and Me.....A journey

Pearl.  My first newborn shoot.  I was so clueless on how to stage a newborn shoot but we forged ahead and we got some shots that I still love to this day.  I purchased a brand new bowl to use not even considering the base width or important things like that.  To pull off the picture, we had to hold on to the bowl from the back to keep it from tipping over.  From that session, I fell in love with "Pearl in the Bowl" and used it in my initial online advertising, website and on my business cards.  Here it is: 

Since that "beginning" shot, I have had the incredible pleasure of continued photo shoots with Pearl.  Today we did Pearl's 3-year-old session.  I couldn't resist a picture of Pearl and her iconic bowl.

Since Easter is this Sunday, we dould miss out on a bunny rabbit in the frame.  Rowdy has raised two rabbits and I have to admit I never go out to pet them or pay them any attention.  Today I decided to hold him for the first time.  It was surprisingly calm and only scratched me a time or two.  Thunder (yes, that's his name) did incredibly well.  I guess I'm going to have to spend more time with that rabbit.
Now, instead of all of the commentary, I just want to share the many faces of Pearl.  She is a dream with all of her expressions.  I can't wait to shoot her again and again and again......

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Family, Remember to Capture those Memories

I love, love, love my photography job.  I get to share in so many special moments.  There are weddings, births, holidays and more but there is another moment I love to get to share.  It's just a plain family shoot with the "whole" family.

In the beginning, it's not a big day.  No one (except the Mom or Grandma who scheduled) is excited about the shoot.  In fact a lot of family members come under protest.  They arrive and look at me like it's all my fault.  The shoot usually starts out a little slow and stilted.  As a photographer, you start out making sure you get the shots you MUST have before anyone bails.  As the shoot continues, it's fun to watch the transition.  People start loosening up and enjoying themselves.  After awhile, those that were unhappy at the beginning start coming up with ideas for poses.  We play, we joke, we have fun and we make memories.  I love it when a customer walks away and said, "We had so much fun."

This shoot was a large family shoot.  Becky contacted me and told me she was going to try to pull off a session with her parents, her children, and her children's families.  I don't know if she begged them or threatened them, but she got them all there.  The first person I realized that wasn't really excited was Grandpa.  He would let me take a picture and then ask if he was done.  After another, he would again ask if he was through.  The first picture we took was of the Grandparents.  We took the official posed pic and then I asked Grandpa if he wanted to give Grandma a kiss.  He grinned and then obliged.  I love it!  It has become one of my favorite pics.  See what you think:
Ok, so tell me that isn't the most adorable picture ever.  It makes me smile every time I look at it.

After this, we worked on getting the whole family in one shot.  We thought it was important for everyone to be with their own family but we wanted to show a creative post that would how they all fit together with grandma and grandpa as the center of it all.  This turned out beautiful as a large print.  After grandpa saw the first print, he ordered one for his house too.

I spent about an hour and a half shooting lots of poses including each family unit, the cousins, the brothers and sisters, some individuals and more.  I appreciate Becky and her family for letting me have a small part in making some family members in the trees on a beautiful Fall afternoon.