We have now moved on to the next level of our contest Your Best Shot of 2012. We have asked some amazing, award winning photography judges to lend their expertise in helping us narrow down the top 100 images to the top 25. With years of experience behind them, they offer some great insight and skill into choosing the best of the top 100 gallery.
Meet Joy Vertz.
Joy Vertz, has grown in just a few short years from a one-woman show in her basement to now running 2, thriving high end, boutique style studios with a team of 7 employees and having sustained this growth for 10 years! She is a self-proclaimed numbers girl with a firm grasp on the business aspect of running a photography studio at all levels. Joy’s studio, Shoot the Moon Photography has maintained a steady profitability despite the decline in the economy and continues to flourish. It is incredible to hear the organization system that Joy has implemented to ensure that thousands of clients think they are her one and only!
She has judged prints for several PPA State Conventions as well as the NAPCP quarterly image competition and has a degree in Studio Art from Lawrence University. She also runs an educational website for photographers. You can view it HERE. She has also been kind enough to give our members access to her free Pricing for Profit Guide. You can find the free download HERE.
You can see more of her fabulous work HERE.
Meet Dan Frievalt
Dan Frievalt of Frievalt Photography is a photographer that enjoys blending creative light with graphic design to create artistic images that evoke drama and tell a story. Dan’s formal education includes an Associate degree in Marketing Communications and has worked as a Graphic Artist for 12 years before changing his career path to photography in 2005. “I always enjoyed photography but ever since digital capture I have found a new voice in creating images by combining my design background with my eye for photography.” He has a list of awards behind his name, the most recent being the 2013 Wisconsin Photographer of the Year and 2013 Wisconsin Outstanding Achievement Aware.
You can check out his amazing work HERE.
Since opening Beautiful Portraits by Michael in 2001, Michael Mowbray has gone on to win many awards for his portraiture and was named International PPA Photographer of the Year in 2011 and 2012. He has had the highest scoring wedding portrait in Wisconsin five out of the past six years, including Wisconsin Best of Show-Wedding 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011 and 2012. He has won the prestigious Kodak Gallery Award five times, and the Fuji Masterpiece Award for Outstanding Wedding Portraiture three times. Michael has also been named one of the Top 10 photographers in Wisconsin multiple times and “Best of Madison” by the readers of Madison Magazine.
You can check out his amazing work HERE.
Pierre Stephenson, Cr. CPP is the owner of the multi-photographer studio Pierre’s Portrait Art Company which, over the past 18 years has come to be recognized for its
innovative style. His training started out in the commercial large format studio arena, miles away from the Urbanist Portrait Journalism that has become his passion.
Pierre’s unique approach has led to international awards, media attention, and his work has been published nationally in magazines including Professional Photographer, Modern Bride, PDN, Rangefinder, and more. In 2006, he founded The Wisconsin Pro Photographers Forum and has taught seminars and workshops to professional photographers from around the world. He is a regularspeaker at WPPI (Wedding and Portrait Photographers International) holding Masterclasses and “Night on the Strip” shoot outs at the MGM Las Vegas for the past four years, and lectures around the country. Pierre teaches advanced location lighting classes at Madison College and is a founding mentor of the LIGHTn Tour. He is a PPA Certified Professional Photographer and was awarded PPA Silver Photographer of the Year 2010, Best of Show Weddings at WPPA 2009, received his Craftsmen at Imaging USA 2010, and will be receiving his Master Photographer at ImagingUSA in 2014.
Newborn photography takes a lot of patience. This is no surprise to the photographers who specialize in newborn photography. Sessions can last anywhere from a half an hour up to four hours. This is one photography specialty where the client is in complete control. For those of you just starting in this category, there are a few things to keep in mind when capturing those tiny clients. Here is our 5 tips on photographing newborns
Newborns are not able to regulate their body temperature. Keeping babies warm helps them stay healthy and comfortable. So with this in mind, you’ll be able to have a successful baby photo shoot. Typically, start with them all bundled up. You might also want to think about warming up your studio or bringing in a space heater to warm up the area. When doing photos of the baby without clothes, start by undressing them and laying them with their diaper on (but unhinged) and resting skin on skin on their mom or dad with a blanket over them. This way when you transfer them from their parent to the set up, you are also transferring that heat with the blanket over them. Let the baby get settled in before taking off the diaper or transferred blanket.
2. Know their Happy Times
Babies have happy times. Typically it’s usually right after they feed or they wake up. Identifying these times will typically lead to a better photo shoot. Newborns rarely have control over their muscles including smiles, so if you or the parent are waiting for the baby to smile, know that it’s rare to get these and in fact a lot of those smiles come in their sleep. The main objective is to make the baby comfortable.
3. Get a Close Up
Those eyelashes, those cheeks and those tiny fingers and toes are so important at this stage. Change your lens out from a portrait to a macro. Focus on all those little details, which will never be this small again. I personally, like the photos that show the scale of their tininess. These detail shots also make for a great addition when you are putting together a photo book for your client. Fill those pages with portraits and details and you’ll have an ecstatic client.
4. Lights, Sound and Action
Babies are very sensitive to noises and light. So with this in mind, you’ll want to be prepared. Try diffused light when photographing babies. In other words, try window light. If you must use strobe, then I would find the biggest softbox you can find to diffuse the light as much as possible. The main thing is to not keep flashing a strobe in a baby’s face. Choose your shots carefully. As far as noise, they love constant soothing noise. There are free apps out there that can provide you with white noise. Remember, it was very noisy in the womb for babies and they tend to like muffled white noise to comfort them.
5. Get the Siblings and Parents Involved
This is such a special time for the whole family. Now is the time to get them involved. Have a sibling kiss the baby’s forehead. Have the parents kiss the toes or fingers. It’s fun to see how proportional the baby is to the rest of the family. Remember, from this day on, this is the tiniest the baby will ever be again.
There is one other tip that was not included but it’s probably the most important, patience. Newborn photographers have the patience to wait for the baby. Babies have a way of not doing what you want them to do, so relax and be patient. This is the baby’s shoot and he or she is running it. You just need to know what the baby needs and make sure they are comforted at all times. This will ensure a happy baby, happy parents and a happy photographer.
Special thank you to Milwaukee newborn photographer, Christine Plamann of Christine Plamann Photography for supplying us with the adorable photos. You can check out more of her work on her website or blog.
Father’s Day is just around the corner and now is the time to think about photo sessions. If you’re stuck on ideas on how to photograph dads, here’s a hint : Let them play with their kids! Adoramapix Member, Natascha Lee of Natascha Lee Studios (Baby and Family Photography in Broomfield, Colorado), creates vibrant, natural images of families having fun, especially her photos of Fathers playing with their children. So in honor of Father’s Day (June 16th), Natascha shares her top 5 tips for photographing Dads.
Recognize that Dad may being coming along at Mommy’s request and might not be all that enthused about having photos taken. So it’s important to honor his starting frame of mind, which might be, “Let’s get this over with.” By the end of the session, my Dads are amazed at how much fun they had!
Things may have been stressful at home, getting both parents and all kids ready for the photo shoot. So be friendly and upbeat but relaxed; make sure you don’t “bark out orders” or give too many directions, instructions or requirements.
Approach family sessions with the intention to include Dad + Kid photos. If your mission in similar to mine (to provide priceless family memories in a highly artistic fashion), then capturing the relationship between Daddy + Kids is a crucial part of providing that service. I also always photograph just Mommy + Daddy (or Mommy + Mommy, or Daddy + Daddy), for the same reason: to honor and celebrate their relationship as adults, as well as parents.
4) Set it Up
I now offer headshots to parents during my family sessions. It provides a great looking photo to use on LinkedIn and enables me to set up my Daddy + Kids opportunity. First I photograph Daddy alone. Then, when it’s Mommy’s turn, I ask Daddy to please take the kids “over there” (someplace with a great background) and “just play with them.” When I’m done shooting Mommy’s headshot, Daddy is inevitably playing adorably with the kids.
5) Shoot It!
First I’ll observe and take candid photos of them playing together. Then I’ll start to ask for some/all to look in my direction. I don’t want to interfere too much, just to capture the natural love and energy they have together.
When I edit for the final gallery, having photos of Daddy with the kids makes for a much fuller (and harder to resist) gallery to present to your clients. It also creates two parents who are jointly AND individually thrilled with the experience and the images.
While you might not be able to teach an old dog new tricks you can certainly learn a few tips and tricks to capture memorable photos of your pet. Pets play a huge part in many households. Capturing the personality and charm of your furry friend (or feathered or scaly) can be a cherished keepsake.
What started out for me as a few furry photos has become a big part of what I love to take photos of. Here are 7 of my best tips and tricks for taking fantastic photos of pets:
Take a shot at capturing some of your favorite pet photos with these tips and tricks.
What are some of your favorite tips and tricks for capturing picture perfect pet photos?
Tina Case is a writer and photographer out of the San Francisco Bay area. She writes for a number of sites and co-writes for the photography blog Moms Who Click where she shares photographer tips, tricks and interviews. Tina shares her parenting stories and more on Yahoo! where she is a featured “Parenting Guru.” Check more of her photos at Tina Case Photography, on Facebook and Instagram.