Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Lessons I've Learned...

I've decided that after every shoot I wanted to post one new thing I've learned. It's a way for me to take note on what I'm still learning and a way to give you guys a little insight on how I'm continuously growing and evolving. I want to grow and become a photographer and the only way I can do that is to take something new away from each session that I do.

Here are a few of my ever growing list of lessons:
  • First Birthday Jax Session: Always plan for the unexpected. Always expect things to not work out, if the wind is blowing while in the yard when you go out to the pasture it will be blowing worse. Be able to react and change up your plan at the drop of a hat, it'll make getting a one year old whose over due on her nap time smashing into her cake a little sooner.
  • One Month Jaxson SessionI've learned that you MUST have good lighting in order to get good shots. Notice how the one picture on the left is much more evenly lit than the one of the right? The lights were fading quickly at 5ish on a winter day and if you don't position the baby just perfectly you'll get major shadows as shown. Neither shot turned out worse than the other it was just the tiny details you pick up on and learn from after each session.
  • Tyler & Faith Session: I've learned it's crucial to make sure you watch what your aperture is set when shooting. I had mine bumped waaay down to around 2.4 and that's just too low for getting good non-blurry photos for the whole family. I should have bumped it up a bit more but according to my tiny screen on my camera it looked fine. Once I uploaded them onto my computer I could instantly tell that it wasn't. I learned that you always should trust your bring and not your screen.
  • Maci Six Month Session: I've learned to always bring a distraction for little ones. Maci did an amazing job but anytime mommy or auntie would move she'd glance over to see what they're up to! Perhaps a "new" toy would distract her long enough to be interested in what I'm up to?! Also, I've noticed that you need super strong tape to hold up backdrops if you don't bring your backdrop stand. I had a little issue with them not sticking but I didn't want to pull out the heavy duty tape because taking off paint didn't seem necessary. 
  • Brothers - Parker & Carson Session:  I've learned to always bring extra candy for those "bargain with the littles" moments. While we never had major issues with Carson sometimes Parker needed an extra little boost of bribing. If mommy made a silly face it normally worked but sometimes he needed a reminder of why he wins if he smiles. I think it's time to stock up on the Easter candy once it goes on sale after Easter!!
  • Family - The Olson's Session: This session I learned to always promise candy to get awesome smiles! Although the kids did great, I did get a few "super" smiles after I promised a sucker or two for them. Also, make sure to carry around an extra blankie or two for hanging out in the grassy areas on the farm. Sometimes the mud and muck can look yucky on someone's bottom in pictures!
  • Family - The Brown's Session: This session I learned that 30+ mph wind just isn't fun. I realize that some wind can be fun but fighting the wind just isn't the thing to do with a baby who isn't fond of it. The poor lil lady just hated it the entire session and there wasn't much we could do. Luckily mom and dad were extremely understanding and we got what we could out of them. Everyone did great and the two older ones LOVED digging on the dirt road making piles and getting dirty!
  • Family - The Andelt Boys' Session: What I learned this session is that the most important thing I learned from this session is not anything related to posing or the session in general. But more so related to post process editing. I totally feel as if I had all of the images over exposed or blown out while shooting. Luckily I shoot in RAW so I could recover the entire session but next time I need to pay more attention to that detail. Saves a lot of post processing time on my end ;)
  • Family - Makayla Three Month Session: I learned that sometimes kiddos don't necessarily understand posing lingo and sometimes you have to just grab a limb and roll them to where you want. Although the big brothers were excited for some candy they lost sight of the fact that they needed to smile and sit a certain way. With a little bribing and promises of candy and video games we got the boys set up to help sister smile.
  • Maternity - Stephanie Boal Session: I think the lesson in this session was really just focus on posing. I was excited to have someone willing to go outside their comfort zone to try out some fun shots and she was a slam dunk when it came to facial expressions.
  • Boudoir - Jodi Morton Session: Lesson's learned in this shoot is that angles matter the most! You don't have to be 95 lbs. to be gorgeous, you just need a photographer that knows how to look at you and realize that you are beautiful. That photog needs to be willing to try all sorts of poses to perfect the shot and make the client feel stunning.
  • Newborn - Brock Thomas Session: This session was one of my first newborn sessions all on my own and I was overly nervous about it. I knew I've helped with several newborn sessions but it was all me in charge and taking the shots. I'd say we did great with them though. I've learned to get your goodies prepped before the session, another thing I learned was a lot about lighting. Always make sure you have his head facing towards your light source. Saves a lot of time post processing if you do it right to begin with ;)
  • Senior - Alyssa Blaha Session: I guess learning is all about trying new things. I loved trying some new techniques on sunsets but I hated how they turned up. That's exactly why I offered all of my seniors a second shoot, to give me time to really practice and to give them an opportunity to find other poses or ideas that they like. Lesson learned, always shoot what you're comfortable with and then try shooting something new. It gives you some things to work with if you botch your experiments!
  • Family - Makayla Six Month Session: The lesson learned was to make sure to bring your best friend as your secret weapon to help the little's smile! We could not for the life of us get Makayla to have fun and laugh about all the crazy fun we were having but the minute Maureen got there she was all about the smiles and charm! Also, funny faces are 110% proved to get smiles. You may look crazy but you can be guaranteed a few smiles :)
  • Senior - Danielle Erickson Session: Be ready to just go! Stop focusing on specific poses and just roll with it. If something looks unnatural just scrap it and move on. Sometimes the best photos are the unplanned and unposed ones! 
  • Senior - Quentin Slama Session: Expect the unexpected and just roll with it! At one point we had his cat jump up into the tree and lay down and practically pose himself! I laughed incredibly hard and I was there to capture it. Of course you have to throw those pictures into the final edits because they're so candid and funny!   
  • Wilber Czech Queen - Julia Ourecky: Take the weather with a grain of salt and just show up. All day I worried about the weather ruining our plans and even tried rescheduling. Luckily we stuck with our plan (and in reality we just couldn't reschedule) and it all turned out just fine. We froze a little but we still got some beautiful pictures!
  • Maternity - The Caldwell's: Even if daddy isn't quite into pictures just ask for his trust that they'll look beautiful! He hated the flowers and scenery but the minute we showed up to the fire station his eyes lit up and suddenly picture taking was a fun process ;) 

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