Thursday, February 23, 2012

Understanding the Color Wheel : Guest Post by Sarah Dawn Designs

I am super excited to have Sarah as a guest blogger today! She is a very talented designer and she is going to teach us all about understanding the color wheel so that we can pick amazing color schemes when planning a photo shoot!

First let me introduce myself.  My name is Sarah of Sarah Dawn Designs.  I graduated with my degree in Interior Design and have a love for color, fashion, and all things design.  Ashley has asked that I write about how we can use the color wheel when selecting "outfits" for family photos.  You must know that there are several variations of the color wheel out there and that they will have a different number of colors on their wheel.  We'll color the wheel above, "The Prang Theory."

Let's start with the basics:

The Prang theory is made up of primary, secondary, and tertiary hues.

Primary Hues: Red, Yellow, Blue
Secondary Hues: Orange, Green, Violet/Purple
Tertiary Hues: Red-Orange, Yellow-Orange, Yellow-Green, Blue-Green, Blue-Violet, Red-Violet

 Red, Red-Orange, Orange

When selecting your color scheme for family photos you may want to go with the most basic; The Analogous Scheme.  Like shown above it is suggested that you use 3-6 colors that are next to each other on the color wheel.

 Perhaps you like the look of contrast?  This wheel shows you how to find a color's direct compliment.  It is made up of two colors directly across from one another.  Want to know which color to contrast with your blues?  Look across and their you will find orange, it's direct compliment.  You know how most redheads look great in green?  Well there's a reason for that.

Next we have the split compliment.  You take the one color (red).  Find it's direct compliment (green).  Then look on either side of that compliment.  Thus for the wheel above the split compliment is made up of red, yellow-green, blue-green.

Violet, Yellow-Orange, Yellow-Green, 

 Blue-Green, Red, Orange

Now we aren't stuck only using the colors on the wheels above.  We can use different values of the same hue.  Both color strips are made up of a split compliment scheme but have different values, meaning lightness or darkness.

When you think you have your assembles figured out make sure and put them under the light in which the photo will be taken.  Color will change according to the light.

I think overall the biggest hurdle is learning not to fear color and trying new things.  After all there is always next year's photo.  There is so much to color, I could go on for blog post after blog post (oh wait I do that) but with the basics in hand, putting together a color scheme for family photos should go much easier.  If not, just ask someone to get a second opinion.  Usually your eyes will tell you when something is off (unless you're color blind) but that's where another set of eyes comes into play.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Printable : Think before you click : Get better pictures

There has been a nasty cold running through our house this past week so I'm kind of cheating today ... call a sick day if you will. But I promise an amazing post next week from a great guest blogger!!! {more details on that later this week}

So today I am sharing a great pintable checklist I found on pintrest that I try and keep in mind every photo shoot I do.
I pinned it HERE

Thursday, February 9, 2012

How to take great photos of your own kids : Lesson 1 Gaining Confidence in You

Raise your hand if you want to be able to take better pictures of your own kids Ok so I know I can’t actually see if you raised your hand or not but let’s pretend I’m in the room with you and we are talking about how to take better pictures of your own kids. Everyone on board? Good.

Now raise your hand if you take pictures of your kids. Keep your hands raised if you take lots of pictures of your kids. Still have your hand raised? Well then I have news for you, you are already well on your way to taking great pictures of your own children! Yep you heard me, you can take great pictures of your own children and you probably already do! For lesson 1 we are going to be taking a look at the pictures you already take of your own kids; chances are that there are real gems hidden in those pictures you have dismissed as simply not good enough or even downright bad. We are our own worst critics! I most certainly don’t think I hit it out of the park with every trip of the shutter. In fact 90% of the time when photographing my own daughter I have to remind myself to reserve judgment until I have looked at the images on the computer screen and played around with them a little bit.
So that is what we are going to focus on today. To emphasize my point I am going to share 6 images from a mock photo shoot I did with my daughter just the other day. Now this photo shoot with my daughter did not go the way I planned she wouldn’t sit still, the sheet I was using for a back drop (draped over the side of her crib and bunched up on the floor) looked too bunched and wrinkled and I just wasn’t happy with what I was getting. Yes disastrous photo shoots of my own kid even happens to me. But remember just because we feel that all is lost does not in fact mean all is lost. I loaded the pictures onto my computer and still wasn’t happy but then I started to play around with them and all of a sudden the pictures transformed before my eyes into beautiful pictures of my daughter that totally captured the spirit of her on an everyday basis.

Some simple edits that you can do at home to transform your pictures from blah to beautiful include:
 Adjusting the white balance (there is a great tutorial HERE)
 Creating a black and white version of the image (I used Picasa)

 For all your fellow Adobe  Photoshop and Photoshop Elements users running some free actions (I used the Coffee Shop Action Faded Daydreams)

Here are some examples:

So now your challenge is to go back and look at pictures you have already taken of your kids, or stage a photo shoot of your own and take a second look at images you have previously dismissed and have landed on the cutting room floor. Then take those images and try some new editing techniques and watch your photos transform from blah to beautiful right before your very eyes. Have confidence in yourself and your ability to take great pictures of your kids: that's lesson 1! We can only go up from here!!!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

LDS Wedding Photography (Newport Beach Temple Wedding)

C & S's wedding was so much fun to shoot. We had a beautiful December day in Newport Beach to deal with always a photographer's dream! You could just see the joy radiating from this adorable couple and their friends and family. And to top it all off the Newport Beach LDS Temple grounds are the perfect backdrop for amazing Wedding photos.

After taking pictures at the Newport Beach Temple it was off to Treasure Island Beach in Laguana Beach for a special photo shoot with the bride and groom.

The details at this wedding were so great, and perfectly in tune with the feel of the wedding and the beautiful couple. 

So glad Stephanie of Stephanie Rae Photography asked me to be the second shooter for this wedding.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Flattering Poses for Female Subjects

Well friends it's time for another tiptastic Thursday! I hope you are sensing a theme for Thursday's posts!

Have you ever wondered how some women look so amazing in their photos, so slim and flattering? Well I'm sure a lot goes into making these women look so amazing but as it turns out the way the photographer poses a female subject can go a long way toward making the subject look amazing. Who knew right? How did I figure out the magic of flattering poses well I'm a big enough person to admit that I didn't come up with these poses on my own I found them on Pinterest {pinned here}, and I thought the idea was so great that it needed to be shared with all of you.
Source: Ramblings and Photos by Ashley Sisk
I will definitely be using these flattering poses for a female subject in my next photo shoots. Wouldn't these flattering poses be perfect for engagements, senior portraits and headshots?

Now I'm on the hunt to find examples of manly poses for male subjects and cute/playful poses for children subjects. Wish me luck!