Sunday, May 30, 2010

Spring Sweetness

I longed to shoot in these flowers that grew amongst the farmer's crops this past spring. But I guess my clients could not see the final vision I saw when they drove by these fields of weeds. Luckily, I always have (un)willing participants close at hand... amazing what magic the promise of ice cream will bring...

Oslo and Indigo were such troopers - the field was full of nettles amongst the flowers and they were barefoot as always. I had to carry them in, place them and they were such angels while I got my flowers fix.

Thank you Oslo and Indigo for always allowing me to dress you in what I want and to capture your childhood - you are delicious and if I cannot eat you, at least I can freeze you!!!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Kat and Dominic

Kat and her hubby, Robin, were keen to get some shots of sweet little Dominic before his fleeting baby-ness disappeared into toddler-hood. One of his parents' favourite images was seeing him naked at the beach this spring so they were keen to capture that memory in photos before they moved to the UK.

I was so thrilled when I pulled up to the parking area of Warwick Long bay and saw Kat holding the bunch of balloons. Such a simple prop, but I think they really made the shoot fun and special. It gave her something to do rather than feel self concious and they were also a great vehicle for me to play around with sun bursts!!

Sadly, Dominic's daddy had already left for London before Kat planned the shoot, since the ideal would have been to have the whole family together, but Kat was still so happy that she was able to make some lasting memories of her own with her baby boy in Bermuda before they left.

Look at this child - I was smitten!

Torn between these two - love love love both!

Last summer, when Dominic was only a couple of months old, they used to swim with him every day and as a result, he is a true water baby. Now that he has moved to England, apparently that love for the water is translating into his trying to jump into the duck ponds at the park which is never as good an idea as wading along Bermuda's pristine shores.

These two are actually the same image but I could not decide which crop or which manipulation I preferred so I have included both!

Now that they family is in London, although they are missing their beloved St George's, they are enjoying the big city. Dominic is loving riding on the back of his mummy's new bicycle in his baby seat and enjoying the view of the Thames. He may miss driving the Bermuda car though I imagine!

Thank you Kat for bringing the balloons and making the shoot so special. I know you will enjoy your time in London but hope to be able to capture the whole family next time you are in Bermuda. Happy settling in - I hope you have unpacked more boxes than I have!!! xx

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Horan Family Reunion

The Horans had me photograph their family last year at Stonehole Bay. I always try to shoot in a different location from previous sessions, but since the children's grandmother, plus their two great aunts were visiting from all over the globe, the family was keen for another beach shoot and wanted to shoot at the same place. I was nervous about it being too similar, but we went to totally different spots this time and I think we were successful both in making new memories and using varied backdrops.

Carol was over last year from South Africa visiting her daughter and grandchildren, but she and her two sisters had not all been together since 1999 since Di lives in Toronto and Les lives near Cape Town. This shoot was a 60th birthday gift for Carol, but of course the best gift of all was the visit from her sisters and being able to spend so much time with her family all in once place.

Carol was also in Bermuda to help with the children while the Horan's nanny was away since both Nicki and Dave work full time. The kids were spoiled rotten, as were Dave and Nicki!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Snappy Happy Workshop photoshoot in Dockyard

The half day workshop last month was such fun and we chose the ideal location to discuss lighting and composition. The Snappy Happy had a great group of enthusiasts and Dockyard was just perfect, as were our incredible models, Will and Genie. After the theory part of the afternoon, we headed out to Dockyard to do a mock engagement shoot, even though our models were already married.

I  made a point of using my point and shoot camera half the time, and the other half, I used my SLR with some of my favourite lenses just to see the comparisons. It was interesting to learn myself how one can capture some beatiful imagery without a high end lens, and forcing me to use my compact camera in a way I do not usually use it.

I shot on full auto mode on my point and shoot camera for all these images. The only think I changed manually was the exposure to bracket the lighting situations. We learned that everyone in the group had an exposure bracketing button on their cameras which allowed all the participants to shoot into the light while still having their subjects well exposed.

Here, the shot above was taken with my compact camera, and the below one is with my SLR. The top one is more about composition and story telling and the lower close up uses depth of field to make its impact.

The image of the couple below is zoomed in with the compact camera. I over exposed it a bit too much as I was only using the LCD to gauge exposure rather than a light meter, but if I had bracketed properly, shooting one that looked under exposed, one that looked right, and one that looked over exposed, there certainly would have been one that was perfectly lit. Having said that, I actually like the blasted out look - it gives it a mood it would not have were all the mid tones there.

The next series were with my SLR which gives more opportunity for controlling depth of field, though many of the participants did have cameras that allowed them to shoot with wider apertures. I chose not to with my compact camera so that I could show the difference of what the point and shoot would do on auto.

Genie had her make up done by Natalia at Bermuda Makeup Studio. Natalia did a great job of giving our model the Hollywood glamour look I was hoping for and I was thrilled with the results. The workshop attendees did not even recognise the fresh faced girl who went in for her make up and emerged the fashionista in a ball gown with scarlet lips.

We talked about how to interact with the subject to get different moods in the image...

...and shooting from different heights to give  new perspective on the same subject.

This whole series was done along one wall in Dockyard because the light was beautiful. Of course we loved the textures in the walls and doors too, but it was the light that made the portraits beautiful.

We also talked about focusing on specific details and how they tell as much of a story as the whole picture.

Next we moved to an area where the light was not as flattering so decided not to do the close up face shots, but tried to incorporate more of the story telling one can do with photography, and how to use composition.

This image above is with my point and shoot, where as the one below of the same set up was shot with my SLR. I actually like the above one better than this bw one below. It just looks sharper!

But I do love the depth of field in the three below which I am not sure one could achieve to quite the same extent with a compact.

One of the subjects we covered in the workshop was how to make shoots special. Since this was a mock engagement session, I wanted it to be relevant to the subjects. Will Black is a musician and so having his guitar in some of the photos only made sense as that is a big part of his life. And his wife, Genie, is probably his biggest fan so we had fun allowing the couple to do their own thing a bit.

These ones below were shot with my compact Canon.

The one below on the left was shot with the compact camera. The one on the right was shot with my SLR. I can barely see any difference - in fact, the only difference I see is actually the proportions since for some reason, my point and shoot camera does not produce the typical 2x3 ratio images, but something a little closer to a square - I am sure it is in my settings and I can change it, though not sure how.

And here the main difference seems to be the colour - the point and shoot produces much warmer more saturated colours like the above compared to the muted tones in the SLR produced images below - and here I spend hours in the post processing to try to attain punchy colours!!

The below is interesting - the first image is actually the double windows with the couple in them shot with my compact camera.

And below is an image Genie in one window and Will in the other photographed separately with my SLR and I placed the two images side by side in a diptych, hence the white space down the centre of the wooden join. Again, it is a good example of how the SLR either pics up more mid tones, or perhaps it is simply that exposing only using the LCD panel on the back of the camera is not as effective.

As you can see by the proportions of all of these next images, they were shot with my compact Canon. I am just thrilled with them, from the low light ability to the exposure. In fact, this one below, and the other similar one of Genie are two of my favourites from the day.

I just can't get over how well this one turned out coming from a point and shoot camera. Everything about it just works for me and I am thrilled as I was a bit worried that I would not be able to make captures with my compact that would compare with the results from the SLR. This to me proves otherwise and that in itself makes the Snappy Happy workshop a big success in my mind - I cannot wait to see what the others came up with.

These next few are from my SLR - really similar and in some cases, rather weird things happening with the light being too much for my lens.

And in my opinion, saving the best for last, that really is what happened on this workshop. We had been about to leave Dockyard when we were invited up into this beautiful space. And then when we were over time and only had a couple of minutes left, Will and Genie danced for us. I thought I would die of excitement for how beautiful the image was. I was sure the camera would not capture it, and certainly not the point and shoot, but below, these first three are with my compact Canon. I am so thrilled - I love these photos and of course I have done some photoshop magic on them, but the original captures were so romantic already.

And these ones were with my SLR... more dreaminess.

And my favourite two images of the day to finish with...

So thank you to the incredible models for all their hard work, and thank you to Natalia for the great make up, and of course thank you thank you to the fabulous participants of the workshop for making the day possible. It was a great experience for me to shoot in such a way with my compact camera and I came away having learned things I did not know so in a way, it was a workshop for me too. Hope you all enjoyed it as much as I did and can't wait to see your results.