Birthday pictures are memories that you will always take you back in time to that special moment of fun and excitement. Creating happy birthday pictures can be a challenge, so here is an important list of successful tips to help you succeed.Plan your party place and set up ahead of time. Whether it is your dining room or a picnic table outdoors, to get your best shots, prepare the set up and be ready to shoot immediately upon arrival of the children.
Have pleasing lighting planned ahead of time, if outdoors, make sure there is no harsh light to cause harsh shadows and an unpleasing effect. Under a tree might be good as long as there is enough sunlight to create a nice smooth skin tone.
Have children dressed and ready to go before they are allowed to see the party area. It will keep their genuine enthusiasm for the picture and that is what you want to capture.
Have some props that are simple and will add amusement to your photo. I actually had tea cups for this shot that did not work out. The children were really too young to appreciate the concept of drinking from a teacup, and played with the cups and saucers and knocked them over several times before I canned that idea. With older children, it can be a fun idea – these two sisters are 1 and 2 years old.The balloons worked beautifully, as they were a compliment to the picture and the children were thrilled to play with them.
Some fun music in the background lends itself to a party atmosphere, encouraging the children to dance and clap.
Most of all, shoot quick and don’t get discouraged. I took these photos in just few minutes, the mother was sure we didn’t get anything because Savannah – age 2, was running in circles most of the time, and the baby – age 1, had a bad cold and was not smiling as much as we had hoped. However, once you edit down to the bare bones, there are a lot of cute pictures!
I have been remiss with my blog, but I am starting up again and hope you will join in with my words and insights in the photography world!
Today I’m discussing this beautiful college student , Michelle, that I photographed last week.
To begin planning a photo shoot, it’s important to create and build on an idea you have in mind. I search all sorts of magazines and sites to spurn new ideas. Michelle reminded me of a renaissance painting, a sort of goddess from greek mythology, and I began to plan accordingly.
I wanted a garden with a grand vista and we took off for Old Cutler Road and landed at Thalatta Estate. We walked down to the water just before sunset, which is a wonderful time to photograph people, as the light is low and will illuminate the eyes and highlight the face with just the right amount of shadow.
Here you can see that Michelle looks gorgeous with a simple summery dress which I added a swirl of gardenias plucked from my gardenia bushes in my front garden to set the stage for a goddess. Any flower will serve it’s purpose, but these smell divine and I wove them together with a thin piece of beaded wire I purchased from JoAnn Fabric.
This late in the day overcast sun softens the skin and brings out the beautiful blue in Michelle’s eyes. She naturally has smooth, creamy skin, which is emphasized with a soft glow of the late afternoon sun.
I asked Michelle to do a few twirls and we caught this wonderful feeling with the magnificence of the Thalatta gardens. Then for some close ups I had her lean over the railing with the sun bouncing back up into her eyes. You can see from this 30 minute photo shoot, that we captured the grandeur of the garden in the largest photographs, and the magnificence of Michelle’s facial features by moving in very close to show off her eyes, mouth, and glorious hair.
We returned to my studio for one last close up, I didn’t want to waste such great hair and makeup, and she changed to a lace dress which is mostly covered with long curls, for one last beautiful shot with a dark blue backdrop. You can see that a little shadow on one side of the face creates depth and makes the picture more interesting.
What makes a gorgeous mother and baby picture? There is no step by step combination, however, here are some brilliant ideas to make your next mom and baby picture stand out and be worth framing.
Step one is to research your photographer. There are many skillful photographers, each with their own individual style. Check out websites and actually call and talk to the photographer to find out if you click with their personality, then discuss what sort of picture you are looking for and how you can achieve your best ever pictures.
Take notice of pictures you like from magazines, internet, and tv ads. The clothing is always important, and usually a simple style and plain colors are the secret to making the people stand out.
Clothing does set the mood, so if you are looking for soft and innocent, choose light colors, pastels, creams or white. For a stronger statement, dark background and stronger lighting can accentuate your subjects. Bright colorful outfits can bring life and gaiety, hats and balloons can create a festive look as well.
I like to focus on smooth, soft skin tones, clear, defined eyes, and mother – baby eye contact. Think of what makes a mom and baby so special, the way you connect, smile and coo with your baby is what takes the viewer into your loving moment.
Don’t think you always need to look at the camera, the warmth and love of a mother and child is displayed in the eyes, hands, smiles and caress. Focus on your baby, a good photographer will direct you in a friendly manner to get the best pose and feel in your photograph.
Plan your photo shoot at a time and place that your baby will be comfortable. Whether in a studio or outdoors, all of the elements such as time of day, warmth and hunger will effect your baby’s mood. Make sure your photographer will have plenty of time to take delightful pictures with patience and no stress. Try to meet your photographer ahead of time and create a relationship that will make your picture day easy and fun.
The treasures of today’s expert photographs, will last throughout time. From the present when you adore your own baby, to the future generations, a breathtaking photograph will keep your tender memories alive for all to enjoy.
Sometimes young ladies can totally surprise you! Put them in jeans and a t-shirt and they look sweet, young and innocent. Change them into an evening dress, a little hair and makeup – and Whoa! the beautiful teen became an elegant mademoiselle!
Presenting Megan – in the palms with her jeans and then fresh and girlish face, also dressed in a 60’s flowery wreath.
She looks gorgeous with doe like eyes and smooth creamy skin. I captured these special qualities by placing her in partial sun, although the clouds were in and out, and using a silver reflector just about chin height to create the stunning catchlights in her eyes.
Then with a change of clothes and studio location, she playfully jumped and twirled in this cocktail dress, and later we had her lying on the floor to capture her in a captivating pose of allure and fetching magnificence. Studio lighting was done with one beauty light and reflector on the opposite side and a reflector underneath the chin, to create a dramatic appeal and smooth creamy skin.
Teens and senior portraits are one of my favorites to photograph, as there is so much diversity from charming innocence to exquisite sophistication!
It’s the end of another school year and the juniors are becoming the seniors of next year, and the seniors are moving onto college! Where does the time go?
This is a wonderful time to remember this momentous event with some fabulous professional pictures. The time in our lives when we shine so brightly and look so young and vibrant. A beautiful, fleeting instant that in a blink of an eye is soon the next stage in our lives.
Featured here is a delightful young teen, Jessica, also known as Jess to her friends. She is easy and confident in front of the camera, probably from the experience she has had in cheerleading and drama at school.
I wanted to take some natural summery shots of Jess, so I put her in the back of our jeep with a cool drink and cut offs. I directed her just to smile and enjoy herself, and here we have the first pictures of the day. I started out full length, and I always like to come in closer to eyes and face.In the shade of a large tree, I used a reflector and a bit of led, hand held light to brighten up her face and give a little punch to these images.
For her second outfit, I looked around the yard for natural light and found this soft morning sunlight in an eucalyptus tree. The lowest branch was rather high so I had her balance her super high heels on uneven ground by grasping the branch for balance. Then I asked her to climb the tree and lay on the branch, where I caught her amazing blue eyes with the sun shining softly through a hint of shade. To avoid a squint, it is important to make sure your subject has bounced light unless the sun in super low and can be directly in the eyes. I like to focus on clear, crisp images where the eyes are visible and unshadowed.
This last pictures here are in the studio. I used a large soft box on the bright side and a smaller soft box on the other side. With a reflector underneath to bounce light under her chin. Always use a flash close enough to soften the skin and make is appear smooth and creamy. This short dress is perfect for today’s proms, where almost any length is in style. With her long mane of hair and stronger eye makeup, we captured a beautiful day in the life of an upcoming senior girl.
If you have ever known a young girl coming into her 15th year of life, then you should understand that almost every girl at this age still wants to feel like a princess. The Quinceañera parties and photo shoots honor this tradition, which is largely Latin American, American society waits to celebrate the “Sweet 16”.
Quinceañera photo shoots generally have several outfit changes, a formal and a few more casual pictures.
This beautiful young girl was totally alive in every picture, she was a delight in front of the camera and was willing to jump in the water with her fabulous Quince dress. We went to Bayfront park at the end of the day, with the setting sun to capture this dance on the beach. The late afternoon light gives a glow to her face and dress. Since Nicole was also musically inclined, we brought her violin to offset her talent in a beach scene.
It is best to take beach photos during the week as over the weekend the beach is full of people! With summer around the corner – it would be best to beat the crowds by arriving early morning at sun up instead of sun down.
With Nicole’s other great love being horses, we took her to a stable near my house and studio, as I live in the Redlands, which has horses and stables everywhere. When we arrived at this horse farm, I looked around for pretty light and a pleasing background; when I saw this bougainvillea, I knew it would compliment this radiant teen. The lighting was soft and I had someone hold a white card to fill in the shade with an extra bit of white light on her face.
We gave Nicole a minute to cozy up to this magnificent stallion and he generously cooperated as we took these gorgeous shots. Working with horses is tentative, and we had to coax and cajole him a bit to take part int he excitement. I took these in less than 15 minutes as the horse was a little antsy and quickly ready to retire.
Taking this picture of a beautiful family having fun on their weekend vacation on the beach. The weather couldn’t have been better and I wanted to capture their smiles and fun without too much emphasis on looking to camera. Their 4 year old daughter was all smiles and silliness, with free abandon the the cool beach breezes can bring. Although the parents became a bit impatient with her behavior, I reminded them to just go ahead and smile and enjoy their walk, as it is usually best to ignore a recalcitrant child.
When their daughter had reached her limit I split them up to take some duos and individual pictures. This worked out a bit better as the 4 year old suddenly had all of her dad’s attention and he became playful along with her. It was then that I took this adorable interaction between father and daughter, which they later printed on canvas in their 4 picture collage for their living room wall.
The four year old loved the water and began to run and spin when the wind caught her curls and this sweet picture emerged.
Although the 2 year old was not so at ease with the wind, the sand and the roaring water, she preferred to stay close to mom and had no interest in being left on her own or for her feet to touch the beach. She was so in love with mommy though, that when I asked her to give mommy a hug, it was easy and fun to complete the family photos.
It was a gorgeous evening at the Thalatta Estate, warm and clear with the occasional breeze to keep it cool and mosquito free.
I always ask the bride to be ready with hair and makeup upon arrival for breathtaking photos pre-ceremony.
The bridal room had wonderful large windows, letting in the soft filtered light, making her skin glow. In the pictures below, I used the natural light plus my Ice Light in order to keep her skin looking smooth and tight. Fortunately for me, the bride has flawless skin complimented by a fabulous makeup artist, Roseli Inc., so there wasn’t much retouching.
It’s always nice to get a few detail shots, so I set up the Bride’s dress and rings by the window and used natural light to photograph the wedding day attire. I also photographed the ring and bouquet.
As the evening continued, I got this beautiful picture of them walking to the reception from where they had just taken their vows. The sunshine pouring through the trees overhead played nicely on her dress. This is natural light from all sides.
The final shot I’m posting is one of my favorites because it is full of emotion. The bride was Polish and some of her family did not speak any English. For this reason, the groom had memorized his speech in her native tongue, saying how she is the love of his life and each day he will love her more. As you can see, the bride was delighted and touched- a truly beautiful moment!
Beautiful newborn babies are a basket of treasure!
Imagine the happiness , beauty and endless love that is wrapped up in a newborn blanket!
Taking pictures of this bundle of joy is a project for those who love and adore children. Plan for several free hours and be prepared to wait as the mom will have to take her time to feed, change diapers and console a few tears shed by her newborn before and during your photo session.
The good news is that newborns sleep soundly and often, so be ready to jump up with your camera when the moment arrives.
These pictures were taken at 3 days old, of my daughter and my new grandson! It was cold outside in VA, but luckily there was sunshine so I used natural light streaming in from the windows to capture this sweet newborn photo.
We found a basket of magazines that I cleared out and added extra blankets for a soft, cushy bed. Baby J slept through thisphoto and I explored several angles deciding overhead was the best situation. I stood on the stairs and shot down adding and subtracting several props.
Portraying the emotion and love of a young mother is achieved by looking at baby instead of eyes to the camera- people are used to looking directly into the camera lens, which is fine for some pictures, but can lack the feeling of connection between mom and baby.
Here we have beautiful Kyla and her prom date, Jake. We met for our photo shoot before the big day for some pictures together and alone. Kyla and Jake were so relaxed in front of the camera, it made my job a breeze. I had my assistant hold a gold reflector about 6 feet away and walk with them to bounce light on their faces to make them glow in the sunlight and look spectacular!
Then I separated them to take Kyla alone, sprawled on a bench to capture her incredible, alluring gaze. I used a silver reflector to highlight her face and eyes. It is always important to see the catch lights in the eyes as it makes you feel connected to the girl in the picture.
All in all, a great day at Palmetto Bay Village Center – a beautiful location and a sunny day is a awesome combination for a winning photo shoot.