Tuesday, April 29, 2008

It has to be cool –

Erin 08Today, HS Senior Portraits need to be something more than the “studio shot” – The photos need to look exciting, cool, expressive and natural. While this look can be accomplished in-studio, we have found that working “outside” offers a freedom to be expressive, yet still reserved. Use of a wide angle lens that exaggerates, or long lens that softens the background –adds to the “look” that many Texas Seniors want. Colorful bold clothing and backgrounds help add to the overall appearance of the artful image. Yet we still have to create a few images for mom and dad. We photograph most of our young adults outside at a local park or urban location. This allows our clients to feel comfortable without having the pressure of the camera “in their space” – Often after just a few minutes “warm-up” parents tell us that they see a confidant, relaxed side of their teen that is welcome and refreshing.

Word of mouth is our primary source for new students. So we make sure that our students leave the photo session feeling like a star, having had a great time. They tell their friends that working with us was really fun!

Monday, April 28, 2008

Camera RAW or JPEG?

Example of Final ImageDoes your wedding photographer shoot in Camera RAW?

One very important question to ask your wedding photographer is “What format would you shoot my wedding photographs, RAW or JPEG?” If they answer JPEG, you might consider another photographer. While a skilled professional wedding photojournalist can deliver top quality images shooting in JPEG
, RAW provides the most control and flexibility over the final wedding image.

Lets look at the some of the differences between RAW and JPEG. Parameters for a JPEG exposure are set “in camera, before the shot” – allowing the cameras computer to process exposure, color balance, color temperature, sharpness etc. after the shutter clicks. The photographer would then have to manipulate the JPEG image in a program like Photoshop to achieve optimal end results. A RAW exposure records the same data as the JPEG file, but hold’s the processing of those same items until after the file is downloaded to a computer – then the photographer can take full advantage of the digital photo file. This adds time to the photographer’s work flow but is well worth the results. Think of it this way: a RAW file allows the photographer to control process after the exposure. The JPEG shifts the processing work to the automation of the cameras computer based on parameters set by the photographer prior to exposure.

Let’s look at a Real World example. In this
Austin Texas wedding photo taken at Angel Springs Event Center, we have a “toast” – inside exposure w/flash and an exposure outside the window with natural light. The JPEG file provides a “best guess” for exposure both inside and outside with a single process done by the camera…. But the same RAW file can be processed 4 times or more! Once for inside, once for outside, once for the dress/highlights and then a final BASE image. (Note, on the final image, we also opened the eyes of the best man and removed the wall plug near the bottom left of dress).

While this technique could be accomplished by duplicating the JPEG several times – and using other Photoshop blending tools. We feel the finest results come from RAW files processed after exposure, then blended for a natural look. At EverafterImages, our we look at each file and adjust as needed for the most pleasing wedding images.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Texas Wildflowers

Texas WildflowersJust a nice photo of some Texas wildflowers

Monday, April 14, 2008

Nature's Point Wedding

I need to get the photo

You never know when a fun photo will pop up at a wedding. This weekend we had the privilege of photographing Mike and Stephanie’s wedding at Natures Point off the shores of Lake Travis, Austin Texas. As we were taking the formal images, our brides Aunt jumped in front of the camera to catch her own photo for the family album. As soon as I saw the bright green flash enter the frame – I knew we had a journalistic image. I snapped a few images and then went back to the formal photos. Later, I approached the Aunt and told her I thought I had a great image. We are always on the look out for images that tell a story all by themselves. As photojournalist wedding photographers, we use our years of experience from prior photographic jobs at magazines, newspapers and events to catch the moments that the editors love and brides and grooms do too.

Babies, Bellies, & the IPhone

I have long been looking for a way to combine a baby’s sonogram image with a maternity photo. My first thought was a “blended” image from the sonogram overlaid onto the pregnant belly. However, my lovely wife Debra convinced me that while it might be a cool “sci-fi looking” image – the ladies most likely would not want to see their unborn child like that. Guys might think its cool – but it’s not for all of the ladies.

Sunday, we were nearly finished with our maternity photo session of our former wedding clients Jessica and Damian from Cedar Park, Texas, when Damian started talking about all the cool features of his IPhone. While the ladies worked on some of the maternity portraits Damian showed me the baby’s sonogram. We decided to try incorporating it into a photo. The sonogram photo stored on the IPhone was high enough quality to be re-photographed and incorporated into this unique “pre-family photo” of baby Isaiah, mom and dad. An IPhone is clearly in our future.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Photographing Reflections

BrennaEarly in our photographic endeavors– both of us found it fascinating to photograph reflections. We would take pictures of ponds, glass orbes, the mirror, etc. As our styles developed – we started to incorporate people in the reflections. One of our most popular photos at weddings is the groomsmen relecting in the best man’s or groom’s sunglasses. Often we use selective focus and a long lens (70 -200 mm) to accomplish this effect. Also, adjusting the exposure to about ½ stop OVER exposed often provides the desired results. In the brides room – the bride and her bridesmaids applying make up frequently lead to fun reflection photos.

BrennaToday we photographed Brenna a Pflugerville High School senior. She arrived with crystal edged shades that sparked an idea and we spoke up… Hold on a second, lets put Brenna’s sister and mom in the reflection of Brenna’s glasses! Brenna’s bright smile was the perfect added sparkle to this unique impromptu family photo. Later near the end of the senior photo session we noticed a very still creek reflection with a rock outcropping– we asked Brenna to change out of the dark outfit she had just changed into and back into the cheery bright orange top she wore earlier. Bright colors, whites and pastels work best for dark reflections… Patterns and prints, as with dark colors get lost in the reflection.

So the next time you have your camera and catch sight of something reflected take a longer look and maybe there is a photo there.

Austin Symphony Wedding

Patrick & KellyPatrick and Kelly had a wonderful eclectic downtown Austin wedding with a bit of an Irish theme. Kelly’s stunningly elegant wedding dress was accented by a radiant green sash. The bridesmaids were in the same kelly green but unique dresses were chosen by each! It was a casual and comfortable wedding – with humor provided by the officiant Griffin who started the ceremony with the marriage voice inflection from the movie “A princess bride”. His "maiwidge" generated laughter from guests and wedding party alike.

The Austin Symphony as a Wedding venue supports an outdoor amplitheater and old stone bridge between it and Serrano’s for an easy access reception which doubles as a grand entrance to the stage below. With perfect Austin Spring weather to compliment the day – Patrick and Kelly partied with family and friend at Serrano’s and ended the night with karaoke. Congratulations Patrick and Kelly on a wonderful wedding.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Jenny's Maternity

Jenny and CharlesIt is so nice that we continue to see our former clients. When we first meet, we tell them we want to be their photographer for life and love when they take us up on it. Just a week ago we met with Jenny & Charles to do some maternity portraits. They are a sweet couple who got married back in July 2006 and are expecting their first child. I think they were excited about maternity portraits and having someone they know and are comfortable with made all the difference. We set up our internal studio and went from soft daytime window light to multiple backgrounds. We joked and laughed and talked about the baby and all around had a good time and got some wonderful images. We know that even after their little one is here we will continue to see them and be part of their lives.