Thursday, June 28, 2012

Mamatographer to Admire, Leslie of May Faith Photography :: Mamatography Photo Workshops

Recently, I've been paying great notice to my current and past students in their dynamic growth as photographers. This post is no self pat on the back but a shout out to one particular Mamatographer that has knocking my socks off with every shoot she posts via Facebook.

She is Leslie Carpenter of May Faith Photography.

Last year, Leslie and I met when she took one of my webinars just as I was getting Mamatography off the ground, when Safi was just 2 months old. 

I thought I had my hands full but Leslie not only had an infant herself at the time but 2 more little ones AND she was striving to start a photography business. 

Over a year later, this mom of 3 is kicking ass and taking names! 

She's shooting every chance she gets, building her portfolio and fan base to a pro level that is awe inspiring. I seriously don't know how she does it, my brain is mush most days from toddler tantrums!

Located in Vancouver, Washington, Leslie has no shortage of lush, Pacific landscapes where she coordinates test shoots with make up artists, florists, H&M-TEAMS OF PEOPLE! 

These "productions" result in stunning imagery that is turning heads within the photography community and beyond.

I especially love her composition and retouching techniques. She always seems to be paying attention to detail! But most of all, her work is FRESH and original! 

May Faith Photography is: Natural light Photographic Artistry, specializing in making your dream portraits a reality.

Hear how Leslie describes her business and her FAV piece of equipment:
"I do a wide range of types of photography...everything from family portraits, outdoor,pets, events, boudior, location shoots and enjoys doing new things! I love capturing moments to tell a story. My main goal is bringing a professional, fun atmosphere with quality photos that you will rave about for years to come."
This Lens is Available in the Mamatography Store
"My favorite piece of equip right now is the 28-75 Tamron Canon mount. It's amazing because of the range for portraits, and also fast with it's 2.8 aperture. I haven't taken it off my camera since I purchased it. I would recommend this lens or the Canon lens which is the 24-70 2.8. It's perfect for the work that I specialize in. My next lens I will be getting is the 85mm 1.8."

Thank you Leslie for sharing your artistry with fellow Mamatographers!

Happy Shooting, Vicky

Thursday, June 14, 2012

"Retro Safi Takes Panama" Photoshoot and Lightroom Tutorial:: Mamatography Photography Lessons for Moms

 For a while now I've been holding onto a vintage toddler
dress that my mom gave me. Safi's Daddy and I thought that sunny Panama was the best spot to finally shoot some photos of her wearing it before she outgrew it...any day now. So on a HOT morning in Rio Mar we suited her up, I grabbed my gear and off we went to the beach side pool at our home away from home.

This day I chose to shoot with my long zoom lens, a 70-200mm. I like the background blur, a.k.a. bokeh, the longer lens gives my images compared to lenses with shorter focal lengths. These days I almost always have to shoot with a zoom to take shots of Safi. She's just too damn fast for a prime/fixed focal length lens (i.e. a 50mm-very popular for portraits).

Luckily, Daddy was around this day to spot Safi while I was shooting. Considering we were on the pool deck, this was a must! He also was able to put her hat back on EVERY TIME she threw it to the ground...grrrr.

If I were to improve upon my images I would've had a third person hold a reflector to fill shadows, but I was short a person and reflector which I left home in Florida...we make do!

I've said it before and I'll say it again, when shooting young children you MUST keep snapping! Make sure that your camera is set for continuous and not single shot mode. Hold down the shutter release button and don't let go as long as your little subject is in your frame. Same goes for all portraiture. If you want to catch moments as they happen, keep snapping and you'll find that you'll turn out natural "candids" rather that traditional poses...posed has it's place in photography too however.

For this series of shots, I knew that I wanted not only the clothing to be vintage but the style of the photos to be so as well. THINK 1960'S KODAK PRINTS.

To Post Shoot Process my images I always start with using Adobe Lightroom 4.

I don't often use actions and presets that I haven't my self created but the new version of Lightroom offers a few default presets that I find very helpful including their General Auto Tone.
For this retro series, I knew I wanted to simulate an old color photo or Polaroid. For this effect, I started with the Old Polar default preset and then made fine tune adjustments using the Develop panel (see screenshot 2). A few qualities that make Polaroids recognizable are 1. Color Warmth-each photo has a yellowish tint 2. Color desaturation-see the lack of green on the leaves and 3. Over exposure..BRIGHTNESS!
Note: If you DON'T have Lightroom, you can use any photo editing software such as iPhote or Picassa to creat a similar effect. Just use the steps above in your software's tool panel. 
Lastly, I added rounded white borders as a Polaroid would have but with a modern touch.

{Notice how flat the image is on the left. This is from shooting in RAW format. If you don't want to have to make color and exposure corrections, I don't recommend shooting in RAW-stick to JPG}

Check out this video clip and see how I'm constantly AND literally always on my toes when shooting my 18 month old! If you've perfected the art of "posing" a toddler will you let PLEEEEASE let me know?!

I hope you enjoyed another Summer photo tutorial. More to come!
Happy Shooting, Vicky