Posts Tagged ‘utah portrait photographer’

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Headshots

This was the first paid photoshoot with the new Nikon D800 and it was a fun one.
I like doing individual portraits though I don’t advertize them half enough… probably because I’m more used to weddings paying the bills and sending me to fun locations.

NIKON D800

For those interested in my thoughts about my first paid photoshoot with the D800 go to the end of the blog post

ABOUT Jennie

Jennie Litster is an Opera Singer

I met her at a wedding about 1.5yrs ago and we’ve been great friends ever since. The last time she had headshots was about 4yrs ago so she decided it was time to get new ones.

She uses the headshots heavily and says she’ll probably send out several hundred and I’m not sure what amount of time. But every year she travels around auditioning for different parts usually New York and California and sometimes Europe. This year she had a full time job working with the Utah Opera so she was here for a while.

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The light in the house was so nice that we just did most of the headshots there… specially helpful because there was no wind… except for when we stood next to the door.

There are a bunch of looks for her to choose from as I know she’ll be very selective about which one she uses. I have about 90 pictures in the full gallery

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GOWNS

Doing the pictures of the gowns though more fun was a secondary need for her. But we were able to get three different gowns

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NIKON D800 Early Review

I new I’d be getting a very high MegaPixel count and that now my pictures could be blown up to cover the side of a large building.

Sharpness. What I didn’t realize was that because of this (and probably other factors) is that my pictures would be much much sharper.
In fact I’m still blown away at how much sharper my images are and I hope that this was not just the circumstances of this one photoshoot and a few other pictures I’ve taken.

Blown out highlights (bright spots) … well simply put: There are fewer. The camera really does have a much higher range. I guess it makes sense that it was rated the highest camera in this department by DxOMark.

Auto Focus – I still need more interaction specially in adverse situations like backlight or low light. But so far so good. The best compliment I can give is that I have yet to stress or work hard to focus on anything.

Battery Life – So far so good. I think I shot about 1400 pictures on the last battery. But I’ll keep double checking to make sure i was correct. The real test will come when I plug in my GPS and see how fast that depletes the battery. I don’t think I’ll be getting the grip very soon because it’s crazy expensive for a battery grip. But it’ll be wierd to re-adjust to not having one and not being able to use AA batteries to power the camera

File Size – Yep they’re big. 40-50MBs … and this has changed my workflow a bit. Meaning I am now starting to delete pictures from my computer that are blurry and out of focus. In fact I’m starting to chimp straight from the camera as well. The center button zoom is a life saver and I couldn’t live without it. But more than that when you are zoomed in you can scroll around in the picture much faster than any previous camera i’ve had and that does make a difference for me. I used to say storage is so cheap I don’t need to delete… but when your pictures are 3 times the size and you’re bringing home 15GB for a small shoot and 60+GB sometimes for a wedding then you start calculating numbers and realizing you could have about 4-5TBs of pictures a year when you’re used to 1-1.5 … Yeah so I’m changing my mind on the deleting thing. Good thing for me that I’ve already selected tens of thousands of blurry pictures over the years that I could easily, with one click of the button, delete.

ISO – I know people are more interested in High ISO performance but I think I’m most excited about having a lower ISO setting of ISO50 that will be awesome for night shots or even shooting at f/1.4 in the middle of the day. There is indeed noise at higher ISOs and since there are a lot more megapixels you can really zoom in and see it. But when you zoom out and just see the picture online and stuff I don’t think it’s a big issue. What I’m trying to say is that I just assume it’s better than the D700 but will try shooting some more HighISO stuff and get back to you on that.

COLOR – I’m still getting used to turning the pictures I take into the bright colorful images i’m used to. Using the Vivid profile in LR4 is good but not quite as punchy as I’m used to. Also I’ve found myself tweaking the WB in post a bit more than I was ever used to and I’m hoping it was just for this shoot. I think my picture color will be different than in the past… but I’m sure I’ll find a good method and be happy about it. With a short amount of experience one thing I could say is that the colors look more real.

BUTTONS – My muscle memory says that the AF-L button, the Mode button and the Front scroll wheel are all just slightly in the wrong place. It’s been awkward for me to adjust to.

Happy surprise – Changing Image size on the fly. Yep I’ve programmed the Fn button to change between full frame, 1.2x, 1.5x and 5:4 image sizes… it’s been pretty fun actually and only time will tell if I’ll continue to do that when the newness wears off… but something tells me I will if only because it saves so much space on the hard drive. Well to be fair it does help me previsualize the correct cropping when I can’t get any closer to my subject.

ONE TEST – You can’t really take anything I write to seriously because I’ve only shot 1400 pictures with the camera. But in this next week I’ll have done 2 weddings and this time next week I’ll be in Japan to do an engagement shoot and taking lots of travel pictures. So that’s when I’ll get a really good idea.

I thought I’d be happier with a D4 than a D800 but I really am warming up to the idea of a D800 the image quality is spectacular and that’s a pretty big deal. I think I’ll just stay away from a D4 so that I don’t know any better and my wallet is happier that way.

ZOOM IN
To get a better feel for the images why don’t you go to the gallery on SmugMug where you can view the images pretty large

A Fun Experience

I’m happy that we did this.
What did we do? I did a presentation about photography to the hair school one week and came back the next week and did a photoshoot for them.

It just thrills me that everyone was so darn excited for the pictures.

It worked out well doing it as part of my Bootcamp experience because I had 4 photographers able to come along and take pictures.
There were often dozens of girls waiting for their pictures to be taken… I had to work fast and efficiently to get everybody in. It would have been fun to have a little more time to set up really great scenes… but I actually loved the challenge of the way it went down.
Those other photographers will share some of what they did on this day in a few days in a post about what they learned.

Other Schools/Groups/Etc

If you have a similar situation like this I’d be more than happy to consider how to make it happen… best month for it is July.

I’m inclined because of exposure and it’s really nice when they’re fun cute girls too. Cuz they’re fun to be around and one day they’ll get married and so will their friends. haha

While a lot of what i did was just getting through the mass of models, I did have some moments to pose some more fun stuff.

SEE MORE

These are just some of my pictures to see the rest of mine and pictures from the other 4 photographers go here… there are over 1200 pictures.

To see them in chronological order go here

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I’m pretty happy with all the headshots I did. The lighting was just perfect for it. It was way overcast (even rainy) and yet it seemed to work really well. I think the key was being in a darker portion of the orchards and then catching what rays were coming down through and lighting the people up. Reflector right below the frame of the pictures.

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For them I’m pretty sure it was about doing hair (and makeup) prior to the shoot.

This is what it’s all about. And it wasn’t even my idea… they came up with it! And I went along… I didn’t mind at all. haha

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I had a feeling it would be an enjoyable Saturday and it was. Good times were had by all, it was Fun.

And we also got some OK pictures out of it. haha

We took a little adventure to Antelope Island (in middle of the great salt lake) with the Cooper sisters.

I knew them because for years Kristina has been commenting on my blog and her sister Stephanie has been getting into photography. Years ago I even offered to re-edit some of Kristina’s bridal pictures.

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I love shooting for fun… aka… being around good people and shooting  just for the joy of it.

Often I’d have a lot more fun taking pictures than not… at any activity or party I’d probably be having more fun with a camera in my hand. I interact better, I still socialize. On one hand I know what I’m doing so much that it doesn’t stress me out at all and on the other I do enjoy figuring things out, so even if it is dificult lighting I prefer a good challenge.

However lest we misunderstand what shooting-for-fun involves

When is photographing “for fun”?

  • When it’s more about the social interaction than the pictures.
  • When at any time I can put the camera away and no one would complain.
  • When there are no high expectations to complete.
  • When we’re smiling, laughing and having a good time.
  • When people are happy I’m taking pictures of them.
  • When they’re grateful.
  • When it doesn’t cost me money.
  • When I can edit as few or as many as I want.

When is it work?

  • When I have to put aside part of my schedule in advance.
  • When the pictures are going toward an expressed purpose.
  • When someone requests a photoshoot.
  • When there is a higher level of expectation.
  • When I have to work hard in the way they believe I should.
  • When I start getting lots of instructions.
  • When people are not grateful but still expectant.
  • When I’m not only the shooter but the creative director.
  • When they start saying “You’re the photographer, you tell us what’s best”
  • They want me to give them free prints or print rights (and digital files)

A possible third option

  • There seems to exist another option “Shooting Work… For Fun”
  • It’s when I offer a gift or do a special like my yearly “charitable shoot” and say people can come get pictures for no cost or donate to charity.
  • It seems to hit many of the “for fun” areas and some of the “work” areas.
  • Expectations do exist but while money is not being exchanged the level of gratefulness is higher.
  • In these cases I am the one that offers the shoot. (requests on their end are limited)
  • OR they come up with the ideas, cutting down my work
  • more complicated than that… but you get the point.

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And just so you know… this shoot qualified perfectly for a “For Fun” shoot.

I mentioned I’d be willing to do such a thing upon hearing all 3 sisters would be in town. I set up my own level of expectation which did include they’d pay for gas and stuff.

Notice I didn’t say much about how much time something takes me. Nor money.

  • Both of those things might change levels of expectation and how fun something is, but it isn’t a determining factor for me about work.
  • A “for fun” event usually isn’t paid for in advance but the expenses might be paid for, or a voluntary gift given after.
  • Also it might take up a lot of time. Our outing lasted most of the day on Saturday and I spent many many hours editing. It was still fun… and I got some good portfolio pictures out of it.

They were perfect “customers” for a “for fun” event. We weren’t in a rush, they offered to buy my food even, they were enjoyable to be around.

I didn’t feel like doing OCF (off camera flash) so I didn’t, I went back to my roots and just dealt with the mid day, sometimes cloudy, bright day.

Going Through Pictures

I had them come pick through pictures knocking down the original 750 pictures down to 250… then I went through them and selected ones I wanted to show off.

Having them come go through the pictures was part of the fun for me… one of the things I enjoy most about photography is seeing what people think and how they react. Having people go through the originals isn’t something I do a lot, but when I feel they have a strong positive opinion of my photography I don’t mind them seeing behind the curtain so-to-speak. And when I’d enjoy them being at the office for a little while. It does help limit my work… though often it takes up more of my time… but it’s more enjoyable.

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(more…)

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I’ve been enjoying doing mini-shoots here at the house.

I’d love to continue with them… either Inside (studio) or outside.
Just know that while studio can be fun I’m more enjoyable to work with outside because I’m not consumed with lighting setups.

They’re fast, easy, painless and correspondingly because of these things very inexpensive.
But they are usually on my terms… and if you want more of a real shoot these won’t take the place.

Often they’ll be used to teach my students (which happens to mean you’ll probably get more pictures)

What’s good to do?

  • Senior Pictures
  • Headshots
  • Individual Portraits
  • Pet Photography
  • Roommate pictures
  • Married Couples
  • Children
  • Short Model session (test session)
  • Pics for mother’s day
  • Actor headshots

Want in?

So if you want a mini-shoot let me know, I’ll try to schedule one day a month to do them, or get on a list and I’ll email people when I have a free afternoon.

I will charge pennies on the dollars for these, since they don’t require me to go anywhere, since they’re much much shorter, and since they’re a whole lot less stress. When I say less time, I mean there should be no expectations of time, you’d be surprised how many good pictures I can take in a very short period of time. Then after I’ll get them online and you can order prints or save them for use on facebook for free.

Who knows get on the list maybe some day I’ll offer a shoot to the first person to bring me a nice dinner.

I’d love to stack the portfolio with all sorts of pretty models and expand beyond wedding photography.

If you’re interested get yourself on a list.

jarvie at jarviedigital-com

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More Pics Here

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