BLOG + VLOG of AUTUMN THEODORE PHOTOGRAPHY
I wrote a post about what I am "fixing"when I edit photos, but I thought it would be even more helpful to SHOW you! Today, I'm sharing a screen recording of me doing my work in Lightroom.
Whether its about location, hair & makeup, clothes, time of day, or backdrops - any one of these out of our control can diminish or greatly alter our typical style, which may cause issues if you hired us for a certain aesthetic from our portfolio...often times the inspiration images clients want to create and the lengths they are willing to go to get that look don't line up and here are some common examples. This is not meant to say anyone is "bad" for doing this, but the more we know, the better we can prepare.
If an event or location chosen by the client has a backlit window or light up projector screen directly behind a subject (this often happens at weddings and conferences with tables in front of windows but the room isn't bright), even with flash arrangements, this can look not so hot. Consider cleaning unwanted clutter from behind any scene you are having in an image. In general, consider what's behind the subject being photographed at your event, is it helping the story or taking away from it? Is it busy or clean?
If a church or arena or really any venue where the photographer is limited as to where to set up, this can alter your images greatly! There may be a good image in there if we were straight on, but not all things are possible with limited set up space. This can also be objects or people that stand in isles or columns blocking a certain view.
Consider that we cannot be two places at once and that to shift from one area to another or another part of a building or outdoor space means we have to change several settings as well as physically move around equipment and ourselves. Always allow for time to move from one scene to the next to ensure we can be there to capture what you need done. Time of day is also of great importance. Often times, clients will want to shoot at noon or 1 and if we are outside, without fill light or flash, or finding a shaded area, we can't always make this work...imagine those scary ghost stories around a campfire with the flash light under their face...see all the crazy shadows? That's what high noon light does but the other direction...not cool! Earlier in the morning or during golden hour in the evening are ideal for those soft golden-lit portraits.
This is a tricky one because this cannot always be helped, but consider this...the color your wearing will reflect onto your skin...red, green, yellow. Now consider the color of your backdrop: green trees, red brick, black auditorium, whatever it is, try wearing or decorating with a color that will stand out instead of clash or blend into a background. Contrast is key! I could have a whole post just on this topic, but we will cut it there.
As much as I try, if you are not comfortable in your skin or the outfit/hair/makeup you decided on, you are most likely going to not like your images. This is probably the most overlooked key to great images. I recommend before getting photographed: record yourself in the environment or at least a 360 of your attire. (We don't pay much attention to things till it is too late and seeing yourself on video often will give you clues as to how you want to present yourself.) I must say, having a good and trusting relationship with your photographer always helps you feel and look your best, but there's other work to be done as well. I take this very seriously in my portraits and it always pays off. :)
STRAIGHT UP CONFUSION
This is a very common issue in photography. I can't say this enough, "We are not mind readers." Yes, we can guess what you want, but dang is it better when you get specific in order to ensure this! Whether that's a shot list of people grouped together, a certain crop you'll need for a website image, or if you want to look demure or wild, WE NEED TO KNOW, PEOPLE!! I think I speak for most photographers when I say that we want to make clients happy. Happy clients fuel my businesses and fill my heart up with satisfying work, but we can't do it alone because WE NEED YOUR HELP! So before you just say, "I trust you, just do whatever," think about these things:
Knowledge is power, and even though photographers are quite magical, we can't do it all, ALL the time, so help us help you! Now let's make some gorgeous images together!!
An image is blurry. But you were trying to hold the camera so still. Why? WHYYYYYYY? Let me help!
Admittedly, it can be funny, but only about 1% of the time. The other 99% of the time, it's so frustrating.
Here's a perfect example. One of my largest clients is OSU. At an event recently - where they pay me good money for great photos - an older gentleman photobombed at least 5 of my images at a professional event. And RUINED them for my client.
So next time you're considering photobombing, think about the person whose money and time you're wasting, and consider what it would be like to have someone show up to your office and "accidentally" delete that presentation you've been working on for hours.
Yes, I wrote about this before, but I wanted to show you how to quickly get better hair for your headshot in a video!
Don't want to spend money on a reflector? Here's how to make one at home - for free!
Apologies for the video quality - I wanted to take a helpful clip from another video I recently made for a workshop! :) Also, I shared some additional reflector tips for portraits in another blog post.
Here are three reasons to consider whether to hire a professional or amateur:
The lesson: hiring an amateur costs you not only money, but time. Two very important commodities in life are time and money - which one do you want to save?
Way ahead of the event
Ask your photographer to do a walkthrough with you - they will be able to share insight into space setup and lighting - which directly affects their abilities to provide professional images. (Because you don't want photos to turn out like this.)
Days ahead of the event
Provide your photographer with a shot list - it can be as broad or as specific as you like. Plus, if you let the photographer know how the images will be used (website? social media? print materials?) it will help them capture what you need.
After the event
Like their photos? Is this an annual event? I bet if you ask them to hold the calendar date for the next year, they will. :) Easier to ask now than scramble trying to find a new photographer at the last minute.
Writing and vlogging to entertain, educate, expose, and encourage.
A few of my favorite shots, available for purchase for both personal and commercial use. SEE GALLERY
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