Lets bring joy to Christmas Day with an Excitations portrait.
There is nothing more sure of bringing tears of joy to mum’s and grandmum’s eyes, than a gift of a portrait of the ones they love most.
We’re in the last week to have Christmas portraits created and ready for xmas… Or save the rush and give the gift of a voucher. That way you can have the portraits taken during a less hectic time.
Give Robyn a call to discuss your Christmas portraits. The number is 5025 3368
Photographing children on location, always a lot of fun.
A couple of weeks ago we had the opporunity of working with young Ricky on a location shoot. As always we let the subject choose locations, we just tagged along for the ride. After starting in a vineyard, which by the way, was the preferred location, it was decided…. By Ricky, that the exterior of Chateu Mildura was a far more interesting spot to be photographing children on location.
I’m still not convinced though. One of the vineyard images can be viewed here and another two winery photographs here.
Today we look at creating portraits of kids on a white seamless studio background.
This technique isn’t new…. Quite the opposite in fact. However, with the current trend for photographers to only shoot on location, mostly outdoors. It amazes me just how beautiful, stylish and clean portraits of kids on a white seamless background can be. Seriously, a single portrait of a child, photographed against a white background makes for wonderful enlargement on most any wall. Little pieces of personal art, with the added bonus of being great images of your child at the same time… Win, win I think they call that.
The portrait of Joseph, above is a case in point. We could have used a number of backgrounds, even headed out into our studio garden. But Mum already had a number of portraits of her children on the wall and each had been created against a white seamless background…. So it was a no brainer to go with white. It was also fun for us as we hadn’t shot white for a few months. And looking at these images… Well let’s just say I have a few more ideas floating around.
This is one of those situation where having a large studio helps… A big shooting stage and heaps of quality light from high speed strobes makes for a much more successful portrait session.
As promised last week another location from excitations garden studio.
The ever delightful Macy photographed in excitations garden studio. This location is perfect for younger children as it has a number of different height steps for them to sit on and lots of interesting stuff around to make it an adventure. Kind of a win win for us as this location works all year round. Not all locations do that. Some rely on Autumn foliage, others Spring flowers or lush green grass. Good old Buxus sempervirens or more commonly know as English Box frames this corner of excitations garden studio really well.
What does your outdoor studio look like?
I’d love a dollar for each time we’re asked that question. And sadly there is no answer. Each day, each week is different. And it is big enough to keep changing locations within excitations studio gardens to suit the season, the type of photography we’re doing and what our client is looking for. So today and for the next couple of weeks I’ll post a few pictures… All taken in our outdoor studio. Different places and different moods, but all shot around our studio garden.
These two adventurous youg spirits were photographed searching for bugs in an old log. This part of the studio garden is more often used as a background. However, on this occasion, we positioned our explorers behind the log and waited for stuff to happen. Next week, if I remember, I’ll post some additional locations that you may not have seen before.
For us, one of the big advantages of working within the bounds of our very own outdoor studio, is knowing that the locations are unique to excitations. And our clients won’t see our locations or portrait styles hanging on friends walls. Unless of course their friends had family or individual portraits created by excitations. Even then there are so many variables that it is still unlikely.
Playtime for both our models and our photographer.
We’ve been shooting so much stuff recently that we are not able to share with you. Then this morning while frantically trying to catch up after a day in Swan Hill yesterday for a couple of meetings and a family Funeral. This image finds its way onto my desktop. Photographed a fair while ago at an amazing and quite remote location. Klancy and Evie, two bubbly and fun to be around young ladies took some playtime during a photo session. We created this lovely image of the girls during that time out.
Turns out it was playtime for Ian as well. Mixing a very old and often used black and white filter with some natural colour goodness and BINGO…. Lovely semi old fashioned look which works well with the old stone building.
Creating selective focus images for child portraits
I often say there are no hard an fixed rules for photographing young children. No matter how much we might want them to play by our rules. At days end it will be the child who has allowed us to create portraits that his or her parents are going to love. Sure it mightn’t be exactly what mum and dad had in mind. But it will be a set of portraits of their child. Mostly a true record of that period of time in that child’s development. Every time we go out to create a set of child portraits, we do so with eager anticipation.
I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve seen a mum get all frustrated with her child not performing. When in fact the images we’re capturing are beautiful. Maybe not just as mummy had wanted or visualised but beautiful memories that will forever record those special times during a little person growth to an adult.
The young man above is Pietro, from a photography session in Excitations outdoor studio a while back. As it turned out, Pietro wasn’t much of a problem for this shoot. We got lots of pictures of him doing all sorts of things that little boys like to do. This image worked well in colour, but I thought it felt better with a slight blue toned monochrome finish. A young man deep in thought. The only part of this image that is truly sharply focussed is Pietro’s left eye. Everything else in the photograph is soft and blurry. Lovely effect, but as a photographer you have to nail the focus point…. otherwise you have another trashcan candidate.
Creating baby photos with white backgrounds in a studio setting.
I’m not going to turn this into a tutorial on how to create baby photos with white backgrounds. Because in a fully functional studio like excitations barn style studio, any colour and shade of background is possible. Clean pure white backgrounds are one of the more difficult to consistently create. We’re lucky in that excitations have available a medium format digital camera system, which not only allows us to more easily create baby photos with white backgrounds.
The medium format system consistently out preforms normal DSLR cameras in creating clean whites which don’t bleed into the subjects. I know this because another photographer raved about the clarity and definition possible with medium format digital cameras when photographing against a pure white background. I still remember thinking what a lot of BS. My DSLR would be just as good…. Then we invested in a medium format digital camera system and as fate would have it. The first job we shot was a near white object against a pure white background. Wow! The difference was amazing. Now I see what he was talking about.
Our cool little man for this example of baby photos with white backgrounds is Michele. Gotta say he took all this photography stuff in his stride. This image I believe is enhanced by the pure white background, which lends a feeling of innocence to the image. While keeping all the attention on the main man.
I’m not suggesting that you can’t achieve beautiful white backgrounds in baby photos anywhere other than a fully equipped photography studio. You can. However, adding a medium format digital camera to the equation is a game changer. As they say on all those TV cooking shows. Taking it to the next level.
Keeping it simple during kids photography sessions often pays big dividends in results.
I sit and write this post on kids photography and keeping it simple, while waiting to shoot a photo session that is going to be anything but simple. That however, is another story which I hope to be able to bring you in the very near future. We here at excitations try to mix it up a bit during our daily working routine. We try not to keep doing the same stuff. Which is often a hard call, because often our clients are trying to match an image we created for them with another child a number of years ago. So by the very nature of our business and the huge number of repeat clients we have, doing different stuff is harder than it sounds.
Just this week, and today is only day two of the week. We have already shot one concept image like no other excitations have created before. Later today, another location portrait that will be different to anything I can remember doing in the past.
Sometimes however, just doing the simplest things results in really good images. Chucking away all the tricks and just concentrating on kids photography in its simplest form. Plain background, a camera and some interaction with our child models.
The beautiful and just a little bit cheeky Klancy, props against a stool in the studio and flashes us a great big smile. I know mum spent a lot of time on choosing colours and costuming for this portrait. But this story is about keeping it simple so I’ve dropped the colour out of these two images to retain that theme. I know the look won’t be everyones cup of tea. But that’s fine. World would be a totally boring place if we all liked the same photographc styles.
Same technique as above but a new model. This young lady is Evie. Really fun kid. I thinking about suggesting to the weather bureau that they name our next tropical cyclone in honour of this young human dynamo. Cyclone Evie, does have a ring to it doesn’t it?
Remember I told you we had the use of a big pumpkin.
First photo of said monster. Weighs in at over 50kg and is currently in residence at excitations studio. Pictured here with the good looking young Angus, who was happy to don his best overalls and help us out with this portrait. I thought, seeing as Angus was all dressed up to do some work I might have been able to convince him to pitch in and do some gardening around the studio. Alas, it seems he had better things to spend his time on.
Anyway pumpkin will remain in residence for another month before being returned to its rightful owner. Anyone know any good pumpkin recipes for pumpkin? While the pumpkin is currently sitting in our garden shed, there is no reason while it can’t be moved into the studio for some cute baby pictures.