Up at 5:00am on a frigid February morning, packing photography gear to drive an hour away, to photograph outside for 10 hours, and all for free.
Why would we do that? I’m glad you asked. We do that because it’s an honor and the least we can do to give back a little and be able to serve the veterans who serve and sacrifice so much for us.
We had an absolute blast photographing with a team of amature & professional photographers, for our 3rd year in a row photographing for Enduring Gratitude. You can learn more about them & what they do by clicking on the link, but I do want to share a few take aways from my perspective. My dad served full time and reserves in some capacity for 42 years so I’ve always had an appreciation for military service, but it’s so great to be able to give back to the vets a little and be able to do something for them. Two common themes I noticed throughout the day were humility and sevice. The combat wounded Green Beret key note speaker, who’s rousing speach was about how we should never stop serving, whether you are military or not, retired or not, was worth the pice of admission alone.
We enjoy being able to give back, especially to those who have given so much for us.
The volunteer dog handlers for the pheasant hunt.
Time to eat!
Mr. Louis, A WW2 Vet still knocking down clays at 92.
Mr. Louis, A 92 yr old WW2 vet that comes out every year. Such a treasure and I count myself lucky to have gotten the chance to chat with him, this year and last.
I love summer time because there are just more opportunities to get toether and do things with the people we love! And we all love taking group photos when we’re together with family & friends, whether it’s with our phone cameras and other type cameras. Well, here’s a few tips on how to get the most out of those group and family snap shot photos you take this summer.
Lighting. Yes, in photography it’s all about lighting, in case you haven’t heard. This comes before backgrounds or anything else.
For outdoor photos, the absolute best natural lighting will come from indirect sunlight, or open sky. This creates the best large natural light source and beautiful catchlights in the eyes. It really opens up the iris for better color in the eyes also without having to squint like you do from direct sun.
If you can position the subjects so that the indirect light is coming from above at roughly 45 degrees and in front of the subject, it will look the best. You can do this by having buildings, trees or something blocking the open sky on all but the front side of the subject. A great example of this is using a building overhang and put your subjects just a few feet behind the edge of the roof line. This will force the light from the sky to be more directional and hit the subjects at an angle vs straight down from overhead.
In general the larger the light source, the better the quality of light will be.
Inside, you can use a large window with indirect light coming through it for your light source.
Also, as a general place to start, if your light source is 45 degrees above and to the side of the subject, you will get nice directional lighting that will create some shadows for depth & dimension. Of course there’s a lot more to good lighting, but these are a few tips that should get you on the path to a well lit photo.
Background. Most phone cameras have a fixed wide angle lens and because of the camera design and sensor proximity to the lens, you can’t get blurry or out of focus backgrounds like you can with DSLR cameras. This makes it even more critical to find a pleasing background since it will be in focus and any distracting elements will show up.
Finding solid color backgrounds or with as little pattern as possible will help minimize background distraction
Background lighting – If you can find a background that has less light on it than your foreground subjects, this will also help minimize background distraction. This is tricky though, because you don’t want the background more than 1-2 stops (times) darker than the subjects.
If you want to take it even one step further, find a background with a color or tone that works with the subjects’ clothing tones or is at least complimentary (remember the color wheel?
Posing. Yep, this is the tricky part. Group posing is the hardest because the goal is to get every individual posed so that they can stand alone and still look good without the group.
Body types – The subjects closer to the camera will appear larger, so have larger people in the back and smaller thinner people in the front. This will minimize apparent body size.
Geometry – In groups, it’s all about head positioning. In general you don’t want all the heads on the same horizontal plane. Try to create diamonds or triangles with head positions. If you have a really large group, you should have multiple geometric patterns within the larger group.
Females – Have females stand with their weight on their back foot and front leg bent slightly. This creates nice subtle curves in the posing lines. Also, have females turn at an angle to the camera to appear thinner.
Males – For males, posing should incorporate strong geometric shapes with right angles, hard lines etc. You typically want males straight on to the camera as well, so they look more broad shouldered (in most cases).
I guess we can consider expressions part of posing. Have an idea of what expressions should be so that they’re all consistent at the very least. There’s a lot to expressions as well, but this is where you can get creative and have some fun too.
Alright, so now your equipped with a little more info for creating some great group and family portraits this summer. Have fun, get creative and create some great images to preserve those important moments, but most importantly make sure you enjoy the time with your friends or family this summer!
Love creating nice looking professional images for real estate agents! Real estate agents in Raleigh have lots of competition in this market and a great professional head shot image, for their business cards and online presence, is one important way to set yourself apart from the pack. We’ve been creating lots of head shot for real estate agents in the Raleigh area, so if you or anyone you know needs a professional head shot, feel free to check out our head shot page here for lots of info and examples of our work.
Raleigh Real Estate Head shot
headshots raleigh, raleigh headshots, headshots cary, headshots durham, professional headshots raleigh, headshot photographer raleigh, headshots raleigh nc, headshots durham nc, raleigh headshot photographer, professional headshots raleigh, Real Estate Photography, Real Estate Photography Raleigh, Real Estate Photography Wake Forest, Real Estate Photography Cary, Real Estate Photography NC, Real Estate Raleigh,
I recently was asked to create a couple of portraits for Dr. William Porter’s new book “Miracles in the Life of Ordinary People”. Dr. Porter is a Raleigh based retired professor and charming gentleman that I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know over the past year or so. He writes inspirational books about how God intervenes in peoples lives everyday. It’s a breath of fresh air when contrasted with all the negative news & information we’re bombarded with daily. I would highly encourage checking out his website here to find out more about him and his books.
I love a challenge when it comes to photography, and shooting interior architecture, well, never lets you down. From the mixed lighting (color temperatures), to the wide dynamic range of light, and even the editing required, they all present their share of challenges.
I had the opportunity to photograph a new retirement community center for a prominent national builder recently and they needed interior and exterior images of the community center for entry in a national competition (no pressure, right). So I knew I had to pull out all the “technical big guns” for this shoot, from carefully planned composition to multiple exposure HDR techniques to custom editing in Light Room and Photoshop. Fun stuff for photographers! The bottom line for me is that I was able to deliver some really unique images for my client that can be used to showcase their new facility to potential clients and help grow their business! That’s a win-win.
One of the most enjoyable things I get to do as a professional photographer, is deliver the final portrait products to our clients. We love delivering our signature wall portraits to our clients in their homes and even hanging for them if they choose. Today we delivered a 40″ custom sized canvas print to the Stallings family and did a fun reveal with the entire family present. Everyone loved it!
For custom wall portraits, the clients home is usually where it all starts with a personal design consulation, so it’s great to wrap up the experience with a personal delivery and get to see the final portrait in place, with the client. I’m convinced this is the best way to not only meet but exceed the clients expectation. We help them plan every detail of the portrait from the clothing tones, location setting and even the right portrait products that will fit with their style and decor. This way, when we photograph we already know where the portrait will be going, how it needs to be oriented, the look we’re going for and so on. When you start builing a house, you should already know what the end result will be. The process is the same for creating a great custom family portrait, and that’s what we love doing for our clients!
A little behind the scenes action from a recent commercial shoot at a vet clinic. This guy (or gal, not really sure) wasn’t up for being photographed this particular day, and was striking at the veterenarian, however we did finally manage to get in a few good shots. Oh, and yes, I photographed with my long lens, but not for technical reasons.
A few selections from a recent business head shot session with a client. I love being able to provide my clients with great looking professional images for Linkedin, websites, business cards, or wherever they have a need for professional images. Professional business head shots has become one of top specialty areas over the last few years. Call us if you need professional images! (919) 850-0492
I recently had a former student from one of my photography classes contact me about creating a professional business head shot for her. She was finalizing her real estate agent training and needed a professional image to use for social media, real estate web sites, and for her business cards. We looked at the colors on the company card, talked about the look she wanted, and designed a head shot image with a modern hi key background that would work perfectly on her business card. I love working with clients to design just the right look to help them present a nice polished professional image to their target audience.
I had the opportunity to work with a great couple recently that run a foundation that helps provide scholarships for under privileged kids. They’re in the process of designing their website and needed professional head shots so we helped them dial in on just the right professional look and feel for the site & type of work they do. I love getting to know my clients and hearing their stories and being able to help them get the look they need to achieve their goals. A great couple doing good things for people!