Monday, May 28, 2012

Photo Shoot 19: May 2012

About a month ago, my cousin asked me if I would take pictures of her for prom. I told her of course I would! She told me part of it would also involve shooting a group of her friends as they waited for a "party bus" to come pick them up -- and this is the result! It was a bit stressful getting the shot right but taking the extra 15 minutes to do so was totally worth it. I still need to finish the order and send it off to the printer -- so I will post more soon!

New: watermarking! I finally figured out how to do it. Yeah!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Photo Shoot 18: March 2012


            This shoot was about 2 weeks ago and took place from about 10 to noon. Katelyn was well-rested and fed--perfect conditions. I eventually want to put together an album with select photos of her nursery, some of her clothes and shoes, and a few of her other personal things--so that's where I began. I opened drawers, took out clothes, and photoed things that might not be remembered in another few years--the way the closet looked, the drawer of diapers, the changing table. Then we went to the floor by the sliding glass door in the living room again--beautiful outdoor light and the ability to control it by using the curtains.

            I learned during the course of the shoot that the baby's number of outfits can be changed only so many times. I also learned that 2 hours is pretty much the maximum amount of time when photographing a baby. Other than that, I just tried to do what I normally do: to make everyone feel as comfortable as possible. My favorite shots are usually those that are natural and un-posed.

           It's only been 3 months since I last shot her and already I'm amazed at how much she has grown. Again, I feel so lucky to be able to be a part of the documenting of her growing and coming into the world. Our next shoot will be in June at 6 months old, and again in November at her one-year mark. It is the coolest thing to be able to photograph new life in this way. It has reminded me how much I love to photograph people (even small people) and how much I love to photograph their relationships with one another (like Katelyn's joy at seeing her mother's face). Wonderful.

                                                                              (click once to enlarge)

Photo Shoot 17: December 2011


         I shot these photos of baby Katelyn in December; I think she is about two weeks old here. My thoughts on shooting a newborn: wow. Not only was I amazed at the beauty and wonder of a new life, but the love, peace, and contentment of new parents. I have been so privileged to be able to shoot this beautiful baby and family, twice now. Thank you Christina and John for this amazing opportunity.

         Like every shoot, I learn so much--about light, about space, about fabrics and backgrounds. This shoot took place over the course of about 4 hours. It was tough because the baby needed to eat, rest, and cry in between shots. I learned to be patient and actually enjoyed having the extra time to be able to plan. I also enjoyed photographing all her little baby parts--feet, hands, ears, nose, mouth. I did look through some photos on the internet before the shoot to get some ideas--hence, the wedding rings on her toes (which I thought turned out pretty neat!). I also played a little bit with different fabric textures, which turned out great in the b&w shots, especially the dress I brought (which I used for the background in shots 2, 3, & 5).

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Behind the Scenes 10: Photo Restoration

More photo restoration: removing creases and tears on an old family photograph. This is my dad's mother's mother, Estella Owenby. This restoration took several hours because of the detail work in her face and clothing. Once the restoration was finished, I cropped it and converted it to black and white, but I think I prefer the sepia. 

(Click once to enlarge)


Monday, February 13, 2012

Behind the Scenes 9: Photo Restoration


It's been some time since I've posted -- alas, a Master's degree in English will do that to a person. Since I'm not spending very much time behind the lens, I thought I would post some family pictures I've been restoring for a project my mom is working on. She is making a wall collage of old photos from when we were all between the ages of 3-8, which is going to include grandparents, children, and grandchildren. I think it's such a cool idea. Here are some of the pictures I've been working on. (Above: Lindsay, Maureen, Ruth (top), and Alma Pettigrew (my grandpa, far right), probably sometime around 1924.)

(Click once to enlarge.)

Grandma Sybil, probably around 1927.

Grandma Sybil (left) with younger brother Bob, probably around 1924.

My grandpa, Alma Pettigrew Sowby (1919-2009).

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Behind the Scenes 8: More Photo Packaging from Cypress Albums

Wow! Cypress Albums has done it again. This prints box arrived yesterday for my latest portrait shoot. It's a 5x5 box, made to hold 150 prints, in Vintage Linen with satin ribbon and gold imprinting. The box folds out beautifully, revealing a dvd pocket in the inside cover. The box is kept closed with a hidden magnetic closure. The prints inside are from Bay Photo, proof prints, size 4x6 on 5x5 paper. (To see photos of more Cypress products on this blog, click here. To see another fabulous proofs box from a wedding I did, click here.)

I almost cried when I saw the final product with all the photos inside -- it's beautiful, classy, and pleasing to handle. With this order, I have decided that all of my senior portrait shoots in the future will include this packaging. I love Cypress Albums for their standard of quality and especially for making my work look so amazing! Hooray for Cypress!


A ribbon tab helps lift the stack of prints out of the box (there are about 130 here)

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Photo Shoot 15: October 2011

          Over the summer, my aunt asked me to shoot my cousin's graduation pictures. They had actually already been done in August, but the studio who did them didn't do so hot. I actually saw the results in person -- the photos were bland (by that I mean low-contrast, not a lot of variation in color and light) and some were actually blurry. I couldn't believe it. I actually realized at that moment that yes, I'm actually pretty good at this . . . I just couldn't believe a professional studio would turn out such sub-standard work.

          So about two weeks ago, my aunt officially hired me to shoot Addie, my cousin, who is a senior this year. I'm still working on post-production, but here's just a glimpse of what I've been working on. This shoot made me not only appreciate and love my family to death, but it also taught me how different someone's face (especially a young person) can look when shot from different angles and in different light. I've also known this for some time, but what the subject is wearing as well as the background can also dramatically alter the tone of the pictures. I remember my own senior pictures years ago and how different outfits and different backgrounds would completely change the feel of a photo. When I finally got my prints (it was the "thing" then to exchange wallet-sized photos with a message on the back), different friends of mine chose different ones, based on what the photo brought out in my personality. I think these shots of Addie reflect all the various sides of her. In some of them I see the little girl I've known for so many years. But I also see a beautiful young woman who I'm proud to be related to! She is just gorgeous to me.

(Click once to enlarge)

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Thank you so much Ashley!!!  It’s exactly what I was hoping for.  Addie’s personality and spirit shine in your work.  You capture so much more than just a face on a piece of paper (or computer screen).  You are truly talented. I am so happy.  Thank you again.
Love, Annie