What Should I Wear to my Photoshoot?

 

Best Family photography Cypress TexasMartin Family (12 of 34)WernerEngagement (31 of 37)

 

 

Besides asking about pricing and whether or not I’ll edit out their double chin,  this is the most common question families ask about their upcoming photo shoots.  And it’s a very valid question too because these photos will (hopefully) be appreciated for a lifetime!   So, here is a little list of tips on how to dress for your photoshoot.

First, think about comfort!

This is especially true if you have little ones.  They will be much more cooperative if their comfortable.  I shoot a lot of outdoor portraits, so you can think of things like, the weather, (think sweaty pit stains)  sitting on the ground, (grass stains) playing with your kids (something you can move in) and what your surroundings look like.   That leads me to the next tip…

Next, Color!  

If you are outside in a mostly green space, you’ll want to wear something that stands out and makes sense.   For example, green is probably not the most ideal color, as you would blend in to the surroundings.  I would stay away from black also, as it can be too formal.   Think about what looks good on you and colors that are complimentary to your surroundings.   On the color wheel, colors that are across from each other are complimentary.  So, if your surroundings are very green, then you could consider reds, oranges, pinks, etc.   But that is not a rule, just a suggestion!

 

Complementary Color Wheel.jpg

Try to avoid too many patterns!

If everyone in your group shot is wearing a different pattern, it could be very distracting to the overall image.  So, as a general rule, try to minimize patterns.   This also goes for words, or characters on clothing.   They too can take away from the image (and cause it to be very dated!) because your eye goes directly to them.

 

Lastly, think Coordinate, not Match!

It is best to choose a color scheme for your family and try to work with that.  Pinterest has a plethora of great color schemes for you to look at and get inspiration from!  Gone are the days of everyone wearing the same white shirt and blue jeans.  Mix it up, have fun, and you’ll love the results!

 

As a final note, enjoy your photoshoot!  The more comfortable you are, the better your photos will be!  So, don’t stress about looking too perfect, just soak in the time with your loved ones and make some beautiful memories!

If you have any ideas that I may have overlooked, please let me know in the comments! ūüôā

Working with underwater photos in Lightroom

Now that summer is here, we are spending a lot of time in the pool or in some kind of water. ¬† The kids can spend hours swimming, but frankly, I get a little bored after about 20 minutes. ¬† So, I decided to purchase an underwater housing bag for my DSLR to keep myself entertained. ¬†I wasn’t ready to invest in legit housing so I opted for the Zonman DSLR Waterproof Pouch on Amazon. ¬†It was a little complicated to work with, but it got the job done! ¬†I was able to take lots of pictures of my kids in the pool and even swimming in the ocean, all while keeping my camera safe and dry. ¬† This takes lots of shooting, so be prepared for a bunch of crazy throw away images and a few decent ones!

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Now comes the issue of editing underwater images. ¬†When you photograph underwater everything tends to be very blue/green and a little hazy (depending on where you’re shooting) ¬†There are lots of great options and methods of how to fix underwater images in Photoshop and in Lightroom, but I’m going to share how I edited these simply and ¬†completely in Lightroom.

Here are a couple of before and afters. ¬† You can see that the skin tones on the “before” are off and overall they need work!

UnderwaterB&E (2 of 2)UnderwaterB&E (1 of 2)

UnderwaterB&A (2 of 2)UnderwaterB&A (1 of 2)

 

Below is a screen shot of the Lightroom Settings that I used. ¬†First, I began by using the Color Temperature eye dropper tool on a neutral part of the image (both times I used parts of their clothes) to get a more accurate white balance reading, then I adjusted it based on my liking. ¬†As you can see from the panel on the left, I worked a lot with the Color (HSL) Panel to correct the colors of the skin and the water. ¬†Something that you cannot see from the panel is that I used the local adjustments brush on the “Color” setting and I painted a bit on the skin to add more orange and warmth. ¬†Underwater images usually need more contrast to make the subjects pop and I always add extra clarity. ¬†Any other adjustments beyond that are purely aesthetic. I removed the extra set of feet on the first and adjusted the crop, etc.

 

I am by no means and master of underwater editing, but I enjoy learning new tips and I thought I’d share the methods that I have learned. ¬† I hope you enjoy and I’d love to see some of your underwater images as well!

 

How to use your garage to make a classic portrait

When it comes to photography gear, I consider myself a minimalist. ¬†I love the idea of having a full studio setup, but I don’t have the storage space or the motivation to pull out tons of equiptment when I want to do a shoot. I actually used a dark grey backdrop (purchased from Amazon) for this shoot, but the same effect can be achieved without it. ¬†That’s why I like using my garage to make a clean and classic portrait.

Have your subject stand just outside the garage (or any doorway, tunnel, etc) and watch how the light is hitting their face and eyes. ¬†Ideally, you want some nice catchlights (the reflection of light) in the eyes and soft light on the face. ¬† Then, you can under expose your image just a little and watch the light behind your subject fall off quickly, creating a dark backdrop. ¬† Finally, in post processing (Lightroom, Photoshop or a mobile editor like Snapseed) bring up the contrast a little until you’re satisfied!

The first image is a pullback of my setup.  As you can see, I only added the backdrop.  The following two images are a couple of the results from this setup.

 

 

 

 

Garage Portraits (1 of 3)Garage Portraits (2 of 3)Garage Portraits (3 of 3)