Sunday, September 27, 2015

Autumn Portrait Ideas

Even if you don't have fall color yet, you can
still create some spectacular autumn portraits
by styling the session with fall colors!
I shopped the thrift store specifically looking for a dress in
Ella's size with orange to go with the early September goldenrod.
In the photo above, she is sitting on a gold tablecloth, with fake fall
leaves around her plus flowers and a pillow...all from the thrift store!
I styled Ella with a hat I adorned with a
big orange flower I found at the thrift store.

Goldenrod blooms in late August around here and I always
try to fit in some photo shoots around the yellow glory!

I shot these an hour before sunset to get the "golden glow"
which really goes with yellow and ignites her blonde hair.

I also did this next shoot an hour before sunset.
I really wanted to show the immense goldenrod, so I had the idea
to shoot from up on a ladder.
I was INSANE hauling a ladder through this tall field of
scratchy goldenrod!  We were also getting eaten by mosquitos!
But it was worth it!

Try shooting from above on a ladder!

The "Golden Hour" before sunset is exquisite.
Then wait around until the sun is just ready to set
and the sky changes to some fabulous colors.

While walking back to the car, I saw this lone purple
wildflower.  LOVE this shot capturing the sun flare!
This next shoot with two adorable sisters is also
styled with thrift store finds.
EVERYTHING in the photo besides the girls
is from a thrift store!
Clip thrift store flowers onto hats or headbands...
also bought at the thrift store!

These precious faces really touched my heart!

Last New Year's I photographed baby Trinity as a newborn.
Can't believe she is already 9 months old!
Pumpkins, gourds and fall flowers are perfect for autumn

Look for fall colored clothing and props at thrift stores
and start shooting!

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Create a Simple Photo Studio in your Garage

High key photos taken in front of a white background
are the unique signature of my portrait business.
I have lots of thrift store hats, scarves, coats and other clothing.
Clients pick through and select what they like to wear for what
I call my WHITE BOARD shots.
I like to shoot a lot of winter looking White Board shots so
my clients have a winter look even if I shoot their session in the warm months.
Many use these on their Christmas cards!
These photos are quick and easy to take in front of my
VERY inexpensive and easy-to-make white board
at the edge of my garage!
The light here, (Make sure you are NOT in direct sunlight!) is
exquisite!  You don't get the harsh shadows on
the face. Eyes and skin glow!
I simply spread a white blanket on the ground.  I also have
a slice of white carpet I use sometimes.

To make my white boards,
I bought two sheets of foam insulation board at Home Depot for
about ten dollars each.
They're very lightweight and easy to handle and store.
I store mine leaned against the wall in the garage.
I cut one in half to make it easier to handle and transport.
The one shown above is the half board.
I kept the other one full length and use it for families or groups.
I bought a roll of white "Fadeless" brand bulletin board paper for about eight dollars
in the school supply section at Michael's Craft store.
You can also find it online at Walmart and Amazon and other outlets.
This paper is the perfect width for the foam board.  I simply used wide
packing tape to affix it to the board.
I keep a few extra rolls on hand.
If it gets dirty, it's easy and cheap to just replace the bulletin board paper.
A few of mine were splattered during birthday cake smashes.
Here, I am using the full-length board for three sisters. 
We even shoot in front of the white board at the edge of
my garage in the dead of winter!
It was snowing hard that day, so note the plastic bag over my camera.
So quick and easy and inexpensive!
The family bought an enlargement of this photo:
If I don't happen to have my white board with me on a location shoot,
I have an assistant hold up the white side of my reflector.
Later, I clone in the white to cover the background in Photoshop.
The photos of these adorable sisters were taken in front of the reflector
while on location.
Everyone loves wearing my colorful thrift store finds!

In March, it was too cold for a newborn outside, so we used the reflector
on the kitchen table with the baby facing a window.
This baby was photographed on the kitchen table also.
No expensive fancy lights.
Natural light from the window is perfection!

It's very easy to add backgrounds and bokeh
in Photoshop!


Or, you can just keep things white!
I also add wallpaper, baseboards and floors!
I show you how in this VIDEO TUTORIAL.

You can purchase my Barn Wood Floors and Walls in my
You don't need an expensive studio with lights
to create some fantastic high key portraits!