Light...we need light! It is a necessity! As photographers, artists, visual creatives, we see light. We may not know it, but it's what creates highlights and shadows, the airy dreamy feeling or the the intense drama. So, where am I going with this? Well, I had not really thought of myself as a people portrait photographer - dogs portraits - yes - they are SOOOOO much easier to work with. Society hasn't jaded them. They don't care about their hair or what they are wearing. They don't care about the latest trends or what their neighbor or BFF are doing...What I am getting at is, lately I have been asked to take more portraits - people portraits. I know! Super SCARY! I need to make people look good. Hmmmm....Realistically, I can only do so much, you have to feel good about you and the beauty of you will shine through. Honestly, I have a few tricks and I have been using myself as a "test subject". One - so I know just how it feels for a "middle-aged" woman to get her portrait done. I have never really liked how I looked in photos. Never really thought of myself as photogenic - but with lots of practice - and I mean A LOT...things are getting there. Two, to practice those little tips and tricks and make sure they work and figure out how to modify them a touch for others if need be. Three - practice!
Let me set you all straight...I wear jeans, a nice top or tank top and jacket or sweater, mostly boots (they are my favorites), no make-up, hair is either in a messy knot or down (and there is a lot of it) - usually down for pictures. I am working up to my 6th decade on this planet...I don't always look my age, but when I do, it really shows. And I am usually available when the need to figure something out hits me.
When I start to work on a lighting concept or I want to work the bugs out of a particular look, I use my self. In a nut shell, I do "Professional Selfies". LOL! By doing that, I have really been able to see what I like, what I need to do and how to do it. I have also figured out how to light me, how to make me look decent. Lighting makes a HUGE difference. It can either make or break a portrait...those of you with cameras...almost everyone (smartphones included) should know this.
Yesterday I rearranged my lights to see if I could gain a little more space here at Fog Dog Studios and by doing so I had to rearranged a couple of modifiers too. Here are a few results.
Before lights and modifiers were changed around...
After lights and modifiers were moved around. Of course there have been a few background changes too.
I was also working on connecting my camera via Wi-Fi to my ipad so that I can shoot and others can see just what I am getting. That took a bit of doing but I finally did get it to work!
Do you want to know what it took to get this right? Stay tuned - In my next blog post I will cover the details and a few behind the scenes shots so you all can laugh with me! I may have only gained a foot or so of studio space, but it is a huge difference when it comes to not feeling crowded. Space here in the San Francisco Bay Area is at a premium, so you have to work with what you have!