Thursday, December 18, 2008

Trash the Dress Photo Shoot Part 2

Well, the trash the dress shoot went great! We didn't get to do all of the places/ideas that we had lined up, but it still turned out wonderfully. It was a very long/tiring day, we met up at 9:30 and didn't finish shooting until 5:30pm. The shoot spanned consisted of 3 locations all around Atlanta.

We started the day off at a local body shop that specializes in restoration of old cars. There we took pictures of the bride with her mom's Stingray Corvette. They pulled the car off in to a gravel parking area, which was a great setting for the pictures. There were mounds of broken pieces of asphalt, gravel, and clay. Then right behind the mounds were some woods that weren't too dense. We basically got 3 settings in one there.

The next stop on our list was a bowling alley located in the heart of midtown. This bowling alley had a great retro motif that lended itself nicely to the look we were going for. There the bride wore bowling shoes and took a shot at bowling in her dress. She got comfy by trading the bowling shoes for a pair of brown and pink "Chuck Ts," sipped a beer and ate a chili dog!

We ended the day at Sope Creek, where we really got down and dirty! There was a really cool rock structure that had water coming through it then flowing into the creek. There were all sorts of cool spots to shimmy in to for great pictures. At the end of it all, she put on her red and white polka dot rain boots and hopped in the creek. We placed her just right so that the train of her dress was flowing down a fall in the creek. That's probably one of my favorite shots of the day!

You can view more shots here:

Monday, December 8, 2008

Newborn Photography Tips & Tricks

Newborn photography is such a wonderful experience. You are getting to document the most special moment in someone's life. I remember the first newborn shoot I did, I was so nervous. I kept thinking, this has to be perfect. These parents will never get this time back with their little one, so I felt that there was a huge responsibility on my shoulders to capture as many beautiful shots as possible.

Here are some tips and tricks that help me when doing newborn photo shoots:

1. 2 week rule. Schedule the shoot to take place before the baby is 2 weeks.

2. Setup beforehand. When you first arrive, prepare all of your props and go from room to room of the location to decide what you will need to use and where you'll use it. You can also take test shots, so you know what settings each room will require.

3. Be patient. The baby will need to take many breaks to eat and possibly be fussy, so be ready for that.

4. Heat the home or use a space heater. Since the baby will be nude in most of the shots, you want to make sure that he/she is plenty warm and comfy.

5. Have diapers and puppy pads on hand. The baby will have some accidents (both kinds), so in between shots, be sure to protect furniture and yourself with these.

6. Photograph in natural light. Flashes can sometimes startle a baby, so if you do use a flash turn other lights on so the flash isn't so harsh and angle the flash so that the light bounces off of the ceiling.

7. Get close. Newborns have wrinkles and lanugo, these are wonderful things that a mom will look back on fondly, so be sure to get close and capture that. Also, if the baby has birth marks, photograph those too.

8. Use all angles. Take pictures from every angle. Even if it seems like a strange angle, sometimes those are the ones that turn out the best.

9. Don't take a break. Sometimes the pictures that we all ooh an ahh over are the ones that chronicle real life. If mom is changing a diaper or feeding the baby, keep taking pictures (ask her permission on shooting her while feeding though).

10. Make use of every part. Be sure to photograph the baby's hands, feet, ears, etc. You can get really creative with these kinds of shots.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Trash the Dress Photo Shoot

I have a trash the dress (TTD) photo shoot coming up (next Monday) that I am really excited about. This will be my first trash the dress session, and I have a lot of really cool ideas. We are planning on shooting at a few locations. Right now the plan is to go to Piedmont Park (Atlanta, Ga.) so we can do some shots of the former bride with her dog. Then we plan on going to a bowling alley that has a really retro look and feel to it. After that, we are going to go to an auto shop that repairs old cars. I'm hoping to get a shot of the bride holding a blowtorch and wearing the worker's mask. We will probably end the day at the Paper Mill/Sope Creek. Even though temperatures have been chilly, my former bride is a total trooper. She is ready and willing to get in the creek for some great water pics.

We plan on accenting the dress with red accessories. She'll be wearing red hair pieces, a red beaded necklace, red peep-toe pumps, and we are going to pin 3" wide satin ribbon just under the bust of her dress. She also got a cute pair of brown and pink chucks to wear in some shots. Be sure to check back soon, and I will definitely have some pics posted within the next week or two.

I would love to hear some of your ideas if you have any.

Pet Photography

The culture of America has become loyal pet lovers. In fact some of us don't even refer to them as pets; they are now our "babies." Clients are now including the furry family members in the family portraits; Christmas card photos are no longer complete without them.

As a HUGE animal lover, I truly enjoy photographing pets of all shapes and sizes. Animals are such sweet creatures that know the true meaning of unconditional love. One thing I have noticed is that to capture the animal’s personality, you must be patient. Just keep snapping pictures and you’ll definitely get some great shots that are sure to please.

It’s best to photograph animals in their natural environments, where they are most comfortable. If shooting inside, I prefer to be near a window. I find that natural lighting is the most complementary. If it is dark and I need to use a flash, I aim the flash up towards the ceiling. This method allows the light to bounce off the ceiling and that provides a more natural lighting effect.

Outdoor shoots can be much more interesting and fun . . . for both you and the animal. You can get shots of the animal playing, investigating, bonding with their human, or just relaxing under a big tree.

No matter how you do it, just have fun and enjoy working with the sweetest clients ever!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Beautiful Handmade Journals

Like many people I love the Etsy community. You can find anything your heart desires on that site. I love that when I buy something from one of the Etsy sellers, I don't have to worry about seeing other people with the same thing. Not only are you getting unique items when you shop on Etsy, but you are helping out entrepreneurs that love their craft. I know that when I buy something on Etsy, the item that I purchased was carefully thought out and made with love. It wasn't made in some other country in a sweatshop, and some big machine that churns out 30 pieces per minute didn’t make it.

My latest find on Etsy was a cute handmade journal that had sheet music on the front and back covers. Being a profound music lover, I was immediately drawn to it. I decided to get one to use as my inspirational journal. I always keep a journal on my bedside table . . . you never know when you'll have a creative idea that's worth jotting down. There have been many a night when I've woken up with an idea and quickly scribbled it (half asleep) in my journal. Now not all of them are great, but some have turned into really wonderful things.

Visit JournalisticTendency to see more journals like this on Etsy.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Finally I Have Arrived

After years of hearing about how the Internet world had shifted to blogging, I have finally decided to take the plunge. I'm going to use this first posting as an introduction. A couple of years ago, I opened up a marketing boutique with two other creative women. We refer to ourselves as the three creative chikadeez. Although the business is geared towards marketing, hence the name Chikadeez Marketing, photography is a BIG part of the advertising industry. After all, imagery can make or break an entire ad campaign. Yes, concept and copy are a HUGE part too, but you must have all three components to have a successful piece.

Photography has always intrigued me. Out of all the components of a picture, I'm most interested in the lighting and composition. By making a slight change in where a shadow lands and a slight change in how some one is positioned, you can turn a "Plain Jane" picture in to an absolutely stunning shot.

I have recently branched out to the other areas of photography offering more than just product shots. I now offer head shots, portraits, family portraits, newborn photography, bridal portraits, and engagement photography.

This blog will have posts that touch on the subjects of photography, marketing, and anything else that is creative and catches my eye.