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Saturday, April 22, 2017

First Communion Photo Session and Tips


Just as a few weeks ago we plunged Ace into the world of skiing, this week I plunged into the world of photography with lighting.  I knew nothing about such matters as I prefer to shoot in natural light, but you see Bear has his First Communion coming up and I am a sucker for those dramatic, strongly lit photos when it comes to religious poses.

My friend MM bequeathed me with a lighting set that I've stared at for a good 3 months; knowing it would be awesome and overwhelmed by taking on such an endeavor.  Well, this week I jumped.  Outcome?  MM thank you thank you thank you!!  Wait 'til you see the results.  Hey now I am no pro, but I am walking away with a nice portfolio of First Communion photos ready to print and that was the end game.

 After hauling our family to church for some photos, we returned home where I proceeded to torture everyone while adjusting this and posing that.  I determined that a seated Bear would not work with that sock situation.  Those outtakes give you a timeline of how events unfolded.  If you had been visiting I would have thrown you in front of the camera too.  Besides Bear, Trot did the best posing... until he got tired and slinked away to the couch. 

Things I learned:
- When positioned correctly that lighting is amazing!  Especially in the dogs' eyes (I have a lot of not positioned correctly photos that need be deleted. Ahem.)

- to learn about lighting I studied the 4 major types.

- I purchased an Expodisc 2.0 and it is a game changer.  No longer do I have to muddle through light exposure issues (do you know how awesome that is in terms of church lighting??!!).  And post processing is waaaay shorter.  I highly recommend this.

- I purchased a Limostudio adjustable stand and a black roll of Savage seamless background paper.  The black because- again- I like dramatic in these kind of photos.  The stand was perfect and not wobbly and the paper suited my needs just fine.  Now that I have the stand I can hang anything up there from bed sheets to random butcher paper rolls, but for these photos I needed a true, nonreflective photography paper.

- For portrait work I use my wireless remote trigger.  I got it a few years ago for $20.00 and it has been the easiest improvement on my photography.  Why?  Well when I set my ISO to 200 or lower to capture a detailed image, sometimes when I push the button on my camera it causes it to shake and cause blurriness when I touch it.  With this little gem I just push the button remotely and the camera snaps the shot.  You can see it in my hand in that picture of Champ and I- which is blurry (sorry) because I was totally wiggling my hand :).

- Not much editing needed to happen thanks to that Expodisc, but what little I did was done in my favorite program Picmonkey.  However that third photo down of Bear in front of the church?  Totally edited with clouds and brightening tools!  It was pouring when I shot that pic.