Friday, March 24, 2017

Before and After

This is my first "before and after" post on my blog. It's a simple example of how soft lighting, posing, wardrobe and really great makeup can turn a simple portrait into an interesting image.

Shot with a D700 Nikon camera with a 24-70mm lens with two strobes, one outside a diffused window by a silk and the other behind my camera shooting into the ceiling for a little fill. Both strobes were powered way down to let the natural light coming through the window be the primary light.

Posing is about recognizing your subjects body shape and making them feel comfortable and confident. At first this young lady was a bit nervous but grew to trust me after seeing a few images, also her amazing eyes made it super easy to make that eyes-to-lens connection.

Working with whatever wardrobe your subject brings can be a challenge. I always try and pick out simple patterns and layer a few things to make it interesting. In my humble opinion, busy bright colors and patterns only take away the impact of the portrait.

My background is primarily in commercial (advertising/editorial/catalog) photography, and that is where I learned how important it is to have a skilled and talented hair & makeup artist work with you at a session. They are such an important element to the overall feel and look of an image. If you find a good makeup artist to work with, hold on to them!! They will make your job so much easier.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Working In Our Casita Camper

Last year Brian and I were able to combine the enjoyment of traveling in our Casita camper trailer with working on an editorial photography assignment. The shoot was for Better Homes and Gardens and it was located near Round Top, southeast of Austin. The little town of Round Top doesn't have many hotels so this was the perfect opportunity for us to see if we could make the combo of photo shoots and Casita traveling happen. We found a cute RV park in the town of Round Top called Orchid Tree RV Park owned by Mike Koenig and his wife Debbie. It was perfect. Small, private, perfectly maintained, and convenient. In addition to the RV park, they have a beautiful art gallery with a huge space dedicated for art workshops. It was a very cool setup and Mike & Debbie were very friendly and full of great location suggestions. We were there for work with no time to play but I would love to visit them someday and take a fun art class.

We did have a few hiccups along the way.... getting caught in a well known small town speed trap (really Rosebud, Texas?... we were pulling a trailer!!), blinding downpours of rain, the little refrigerator in our Casita died the first night, and an unexpected blowout on the trailer... but that didn't keep us from getting some awesome shots. We also had the chance to work with the talented and funny Lacey Howard, met some nice homeowners and their pups, had the famous photographer Laura Wilson visit our shoot, and enjoyed the beautiful Texas landscapes.

Check out Brian McWeeney's photography in the latest edition of Country Home out this month.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Only Wanna Be With You

Paige & Connor

I think, the BEST compliment EVER is when you are invited back to photograph another event with the same family. So, on my second visit to North Carolina, I photographed the daughter's wedding of a bride I photographed a few years ago. It was truly another actioned packed weekend with a great group of people. The backyard became the perfect setting for a beautiful ceremony & reception. Oh, and let's not forget to mention that it rained again (just like my first visit to NC) but that didn't stop the fun. The wet dance floor created a few serious slip and slides, but honestly those are the stories people will always remember the most.

Congratulations to Paige and Connor. I have titled this post in honor of your first dance. You two look so happy. Thank you for including me on your very special day. xxoCarolyn

More images on my Facebook page.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Love + Engagement = Wedding Weekend

This weekend my friend Melody and her high school sweetheart Matt are going to get married! I'm so happy for them. They are so in love and so cute together. Thank you for asking me to shoot your engagement pictures. It was a fun afternoon.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

New Cover

I created a new Facebook cover image. Couldn't decide on one image so I photoshopped a bunch together. Not sure if it works with the Facebook crop.... Come take a look.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

My Second Wedding

I have shot two weddings in my professional career. The first wedding was for one of my best friends and the second (this one) was for a friend of hers. So, in all honestly, I wouldn't call myself a wedding photographer. But, I have to admit, shooting weddings for people when it is their second (if not third) time down the aisle is a lot of FUN. I even made a joke about starting a photography business shooting the more mature, typically less stressful weddings, and calling it, "Second Time Down The Aisle."

Geri & Jeff

When Geri contacted me about shooting her small backyard wedding I was a bit apprehensive. But when she said she didn't want a traditional wedding photographer but one that would take a more fly-on-the-wall/journalistic approach, I was interested. She had remembered me from Lee's wedding and she thought I was cool. I'm not called cool very often so that was good. :)

Geri's attention to detail and casual approach to the wedding weekend was flawless. The ceremony was simple, emotional and honest. To me, the weekend became more of a blending of two families and Geri & Jeff made sure that everyone felt welcome. They also wanted everyone to have fun, serious fun, non-stop action fun and with the "kids" ranging from 10-27 that took a bit of creativity and they graciously pulled it off with the girls starting out with a trip to the spa and the boys blasting each other playing paintball.

Being a full weekend of shooting I asked my husband, who is also a photographer, to join me. I think our images blended nicely together in style.

Here is a glimpse of what we shot.

I forgot to add that it rained pretty much the whole weekend and the backyard wedding became an indoor wedding. But it didn't stop the fun. xxoCarolyn

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Photoshop Fun

When I first started shooting pictures in high school, (I'm dating myself) Kodachrome and Tri-X were my two favorite 35mm films. Shooting for commercial clients with a Hasselblad, EPR and PLUS-X became my favorite 120mm films. This was my style. Good color, clean and simple. Photographer's styles are so diverse these days with the help of Photoshop actions and Lightroom presets. The digital camera shoots a RAW image (a negative) and the laptop is your lab. One image can create a variety of looks with a few adjustments. Pretty nice!! Thanks Adobe, Apple, and Nikon, I love you all.

Here's a few images I created over the weekend with my new MacBook Pro and Photoshop CC. A big upgrade from my old G5 & CS3. I wasn't happy with the actions included with the software so I watched several You Tube videos and worked up a few of my own.

Slight pastel colors-gradient map pastel and desaturation.

E6 to C41 cross processing- curves and color overlay.

Crazy colors-gradient map spectrums/saturation. Warhol would have loved this.

Layers-textures/sepia tones.

I created a promo with the pastel image and posted it on my Facebook page this morning.

Come find me!! xxo Carolyn Mc