Thursday, February 25, 2010

photo of the day: the bunneh

Argh. I know. I've missed two days in a row. Sorry, people.

Last summer, just for fun, I wrote a story with pictures. This is one of the outtakes from that shoot; I love the gesture she's making, and I love the hoppy bunny (who has since departed this moral coil).

This is an excellent example of the joys of shooting RAW: there is no way I could get this exposure with JPG.


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Monday, February 22, 2010

photo of the day: starting young

One of my favorite things to do at weddings is take pictures of people taking pictures. I love those memories. So when I saw this little flower girl point the camera at herself while we were getting ready, well, I had to laugh. They learn quickly how to do that these days, it seems! The rest of that wedding is here.

give a girl a camera

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Thursday, February 18, 2010

photo of the day: first look

At this wedding we did most of the formals prior to the ceremony, so the bride and groom had a first look before we started. The groom was really reluctant; he kept finding excuses not to see the bride! But when we finally convinced him to come into the sanctuary, it was worth it, because we were able to capture this look. I love.

first look

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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

photo of the day: the aisle

This was taken at my January 2 wedding, moments before the bride walked down the aisle. I love her expression as she focuses ahead, ignoring me, looking toward her future.

right before she walks down the aisle

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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

photo of the day: this is why you practice

Because that's how you get good. Two years ago I had some weddings booked and a few under my belt, but not too many, and I wanted to practice on this whole "posing the bride" thing, as well as add to the old portfolio. So I asked for a model via craigslist, and that's how I met V. I had a wedding dress (picked up for $10), so she had to be a certain size. It really wasn't big enough, though. So I added a skirt made of tulle, picked lilacs out of the backyard, and we had ourselves a bridal shoot.

The first thing I notice on reviewing this stack of photos is the time of day in which I shot. It. Was. Bright. Correctly exposing both her skin and the pale dress was nearly impossible. And since I wasn't yet shooting RAW, there's not much to be done. Sign number one of an inexperienced shooter.

The second thing I noticed was just how awkward I was at posing. It's interesting looking at the images. I'm attempting the detail shots that I'd seen on blogs, practicing with shallow focus, and really failing quite a lot. It's funny, because now those details shots are my favorite, and have become second nature. I'd forgotten that there was a time when I just couldn't do them. Posing my model is awkward, too. It's obvious in the shots that I didn't know what to ask for, didn't know how to show her how to move. If you've ever done a photoshoot with me, I'm very physical. I have to wear pants when I shoot because much of my posing is done through example. In these images I hadn't a clue what to ask for.

The last thing I noticed is how I ask for much different images now. In the first round of culling, two years ago, the images I picked were more formal and posed. This time, I like the candid ones, the ones that are drenched with light. Consequently, out of the 419 images I took that day, there are about 6 that I actually like now and would even consider keeping in my portfolio. If you don't believe me, check out the rest of the set. First seven are from the original cut, second seven are from today.

And that, children, is why we practice. Because that is how you get good.

the lashes

tiptoe through the tulip

retro glam

jeep girl

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Monday, February 15, 2010

photo of the day: president's day

Fact: I looooove shooting in Washington DC. Especially at night. I just think it's such a gorgeous city that I'm always game for a photo shoot there. When M got married, I couldn't shoot her wedding; I was already double-booked that day. So I promised that we'd do a bridal shoot at some point. Well, a couple of months ago I had a free evening, so of course I had to occupy it by driving to DC and taking pictures!

We had a blast with this shoot, stomping through the monument area, M wearing her dress and a flannel jacket, myself with a mask on my head, and my assistant/makeup artist wearing a tiny top hat. Passersby either thought we were Halloween rejects or asked to have their photos taken with us. Both ends of the spectrum there.

For this image I used one off-camera flash held to the right, triggered by on-camera flash. I have no idea what the rest of the settings were, but I was working hard to get Lincoln in the background. Note: shooting at monuments and memorials can be tricky, because you want some of that iconic imagery but its easy to make things look like bad travel photography. This was one of my absolute favorite images of the night, despite the fact that friends have informed me that Abe looks like a creeper in the background. You know, he kind of does. ah, well. Happy Presidents Day!

honest abe looks like a creeper

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Friday, February 12, 2010

photo of the day: old school

For today's photo I went waaaay back to my very first "trash the dress" shoot. For this one I put my sister in law in my own wedding dress (she's the only one it would fit) and we went down to the house my dad had recently purchased. I pulled this image out and re-edited it a tiny bit, and it's mind-blowing: what I once considered one of my better images is now just "meh." I wasn't shooting RAW, so the detail isn't nearly as sharp as it should be, I was still working on mastering shooting into the sun, and my model looks so young. Compare the rest of the set to her senior photos. Yeah. Those were taken two years later.

But I still love this image, despite all its flaws.

bride at sunset

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Thursday, February 11, 2010

photo of the day: snackable

This wedding took place on Kent Island, and was a rip-roaring good time. It included one of the best candy tables I've ever seen, and as we were waiting for the cue to walk down the aisle, none of us could resist a swedish fish. Or two. The bridesmaids were no exception. The rest of this wedding is here.

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Wednesday, February 10, 2010


Hey, dear followers. Just wanted to update you on a few things currently new and/or exciting things over here on the Dye Photography side of things. First off, as of today I'll be speaking at Ignite Sussex next month. Currently tickets are all gone, but you can join the waitlist, and I think that if there's enough interest they're going to try to expand the venue. I'm going to be talking about what it takes to live a life that you're passionate about, and I'm going to be in the company of some pretty impressive speakers. Good times, I think.
Also: I assume that everyone knows this, but there's really no reason for them to. You can become a fan of our work over on Facebook. I update there a little more frequently than I do here, just because it's easier.
And if you really need a fix of my rather odd personality, there's always twitter. It's not all photography-related, and I'm warning you: during the Oscars I update A LOT. So there's that.
I feel like there's more I wanted to say, but I don't know what it was. So until I remember: stay warm, stay dry, stay safe, stay happy.

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photo of the day: birdseye view

This is another photo from a shoot that you've already seen, but I finished processing this week. (I'm delaying working on other stuff.) I know I do a lot of photos with focus on the eyelashes, but that's because eyelashes are AWESOME. There are several photos in this second round of uploads that I kind of liked on my first flip through, but didn't love. It's taken editing to make them really pop. Now, though, I can't stop staring at them.
This particular image I love because it makes me think of Moulin Rouge, which is one of my absolute favorite movies of all time. Visually it is such a cacophony, I can't watch it without finding inspiration. So the hat, the eyes, the hair: it's all so lovely to me. Anyway, the rest of the batch is here.

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Tuesday, February 09, 2010

photo of the day: the yellow umbrella

A couple of trips to Ohio ago I was really working hard on the whole "mastery of the off-camera flash" thing, so when I had a little free time we dressed up one of my sisters-in-law and staged an impromptu photo shoot. (What? It's what I do!) Because of where their house is located, there really aren't any good outdoor shooting locations aside from the road in front of their house, so the road it was.
I set up two flashes, one on either side, triggered with on camera flash, and we posed until we saw the headlights of a car coming over the hill. Then we would grab the flashes, scramble to the side, wait until it passed, and repeat the process.
This photo ended up being one of my favorites: I love the look on her face, like she's about to step into a fairy tale.
the yellow umbrella

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Monday, February 08, 2010

photo of the day: waiting for the festivities

This was snapped off this weekend during a pause between rushing around preparing for a family birthday party. I love the sense of waiting, of being suspended in an in-between time. I also love the curly yellow tails.

waiting for festivities to begin

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Thursday, February 04, 2010

photo of the day: sweet thing

portrait of a cupcake

I am not by nature a good still-life photographer: most of the time I find inanimate objects boring. Details at weddings are different, though, because I use those details to tell the story. But give me just an object and ask me to make a portrait? Not my thing.
However, when that object is food, it all changes. My local Starbucks is the reigning champion in cupcake sales, and part of the reason for that is the fact that they put together their own marketing for cupcakes in the drivethrough, and I get to shoot it. Um, yummy! I really enjoy a chance to work on food photography.
For this shot I used a pale pink piece of fabric as my background, draping it over boxes to create a mini-cupcake studio. I think bounced flash off the white ceiling, and voila! Delicious cupcake yumminess.

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Wednesday, February 03, 2010

photo of the day: self-portrait with camera

This was taken when I was down in Atlanta to shoot this wedding; the hotel in which I stayed was so lovely I couldn't help having a little mini photoshoot with the only available model: myself.
self-portrait with camera

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Tuesday, February 02, 2010

pic(s) of the day: old school

Since yesterday I was busy having a very awful day, I didn't manage to post a picture of the day. So I'm making up for it by posting two today. These images are both taken from the same shoot, one I did nearly three years ago. (!!!) I ran across them while looking for something else, and while I still love the pictures, I wouldn't shoot the whole series at all the same way now. Or process them like this. It's a good thing, I think, to grow as a photographer.

I do remember that while doing this shoot the sun was much, much stronger than I was hoping for, and I had almost no experience shooting in those conditions. Consequently most of the pictures have really hard shadows. But I think it was this shoot that started me learning the joy of backlighting. You can see the rest of the shoot (and prehistoric editing) here. Lots of learning, no?
jump for joy
I used to edit everything in photoshop, the early version is here. This one was done with Lightroom. Regardless, I love the sense of life in this.

sparkles on the water

I actually hate the framing on this picture. But I love the light and I adore the sparkles on the water.

The moral of the story is: practice makes perfect! Or at least much, much better.

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