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People and Composition in Photography

Every time you pick up your camera to take a photo you are capturing a moment in time.  If the subject is something you care about take a few seconds to really see what your camera sees .  Look  to see if your subject  is standing or sitting attractively.  People want to look  there best in a  photograph  and they are usually pleased to adjust their bodies accordingly.  

Take more than one picture and  make sure each picture is a little different.  Such as closer  to the person or further away.  Suggesst  different  hand positions, head tilts and don’t forget the feet.  No smile is ALWAYS better than a fake smile. Try to get your subject to relax by asking questions or saying something funny.  Notice what is beautiful about the person and comment on it because there is always something remarkable  and unique about everyone in front of your camera and they know you care when you pay attention. 

This brings me  to mindful awareness  in your compositions. If you pay attention to every detail that presents itself  threw your camera you are on your way to taking better photographs.

How to take a great profile picture


It is important to have a great profile picture if you are  using social networking to help improve your business.  One way to make sure your photo is fabulous and shows your personality is to hire a professional.  You have to make sure the professional has retouching skills and will give you the image on a DVD.  The image should be in at least two sizes, a web and email friendly size and a print size that works for the newspaper,  magazines and brochures. I will also give my clients a thumbnail in addition.

It is important to  feel comfortable and like your photographer because that is how to get your personality to show up in the photo.  Know what you want from your photo.  Actors need a photo where their energy  jumps out to a tired agent who has been looking at about a 1000 different photos just this morning.  Actors also have to be concerned about what market they are hoping to get work in because commercial work is photographed different than stage work.  Business people  need their head shot to look dynamic and  above all trust worthy.  For  groups such as  linked-in you need a shot similar as business people with a little more personality because it is so small.

Always discuss what you are wearing with your photographer. You should have your hair  nicely done and a little make up.  I always suggest bringing different ties. a couple of jackets and even shirts for the gentlemen.  For women I suggest bringing different jewelry, a few different blouses with different necklines, and if for business a few choices of jackets also.  It is very important to like what you bring because when you feel attractive you look more attractive.  Also get a good night sleep the night before.

I have photographed hundreds of different types of  head shots for every kind of need.  They are retouched and wonderful and it is always fun.  I  get to meet really interesting people.  But guess who doesn’t have a decent profile picture or head shot?  Me!  I really need to set up my tripod put on some makeup and work my magic on myself.  I’m using a picture from a vacation my husband took probably 4 years ago and it would be an example of what not to use as a profile picture.  Oh well maybe I’ll get to it this weekend.

Below are some examples of great head shots which could also be used for profile pictures.

Spirituality creats art in a photo session

Photography is a spiritual path.  I am at my best behind my camera.  I lose all my judgments, all my concepts of what should be and I simply accept what is.  I fall in love with my subjects.  I see their inner beauty, their humanity and their vulnerability.   This experience is always available to me but I do not always look or pay attention unless I have my camera in front of my face.  However, in a photo session, I forget all my problems and there is nothing but the present moment and the person in front of me.  Feeling this love and undivided attention, they let down their defenses and light up.  It is a trust thing, a mutual respect that happens.  It’s like a first date that is going really well.  It is exciting. People just start to shine and that is when the best photographs are taken. I photograph inner beauty, and it translates into outer beauty, and then becomes art.  I am passionate about creating this experience.  It is part of the creative process and just as important as composition.

Why and when is black and white your best choice

I love black and white images. They are so powereful and bring you right into what the artist is capturing at the moment.  In the old days we used black and white film but now with the birth of digital

any image can be changed to black and white.  How do you decide? Well here are some tips to help you with that descision.

You know when you have a family gathering and you want to get a portrait of everyone? Aunt Sara of course is waring hot pink and Uncle Ernie is waring plaid, the wall color isn’t helping and the baby stained his white shirt.  When you see your photos all the different colors and patterns are distracting. By turning your portrait to BW you immediately see more of the family and less of the clothes.  Here is a few examples of  color or black and white. You are the artist so take a second look at your work and decide for yourself which you like better. You can’t make a mistake you can only improve.


The Joy of Cropping your Pictures


I am a professional Photographer.  Many of my clients have asked for photo tips so I thought I would add a blog to my website and give a few.  So here goes tip # 1. 

Cropping is a very important tool and can make a huge difference in the look of your photo.  I have taken what looked like  ordinary snapshots and turned them into artistic portriats simply by cropping them.  Although there are many ways and sizes to crop your snapshot,  only one crop will turn it into a work of art. 

Make a copy of your snapshot  so you always have your original and with the copy just experiment with your cropping tool and have some fun. You have nothing to lose and you may end up with a better photo. Don’t be afraid to play around and try something new. Below are some examples of before and after cropping photographs to see what I am talking about.  Next blog I will disscuss why turning a photograph  black and white  can make a big difference.

See you then,