Preparing To Make A Splash: My Personal Style Project
For my personal style project I saw an opportunity to begin working on my business to bring it to the next level. This project motivated me to organize several photo shoots, create promotional material and solidify my personal branding and style. I was able to accomplish most of what I set out to do!
I shot 2 family sessions, 5 couple sessions, 1 bridal session, and 1 company product shoot! Not only that but through my work I received messages from potential clients about session and pricing. More than I ever have before! I have booked several sessions for the next few weeks and I am continuing to grow!
I created four blog posts of images from a few of the photo shoots I shot. Check them out here on my portrait page: http://www.kaleymichellephotography.com/portrait/
Through this project I wanted to get to a point in my business where I was confident in my work, my style and where I wanted to go with my business and I believe that I have achieved that! I mainly wanted to create promotional material for a trip to Hawaii that I am taking later this summer. It honestly branched into so much more than that! I created not only promotional material for my trip but also was able to book sessions here in Idaho as well!
Here is a screenshot of my current Instagram feed: I worked hard to keep my feed looking cohesive to the eye and I am really proud of the way it has turned out!
Here are the three advertisements that I created and printed for this project:
The advertisements will be posted online on different pages in Hawaii to help me grow my business down there! I am excited to run these promotions.
As I was working on solidifying my style I found that some of the models I worked with needed help with their outfits. This brought me to make a 4 page what to wear guide that I now send out to models and clients to use to help them prepare for their sessions with me! It has been such a cool thing to make and is one of the things I never expected that I would need!
Here is everything printed:
I also worked with a local videographer to create a promotional video and I will post that here as soon as it is put together as well!
I have really been dedicated and worked hard on building and shaping my business. At first it was so discouraging but as I gained confidence in myself and my work I was able to direct potential clients to my social media pages to view my work without feeling embarrassed! I am proud of my work and I know that I have so much still to learn!
Kaley Michelle Photography Portfolio
Wow it is crazy to look back and see all of the work I have done in the past few months. I am very proud of how far I have come. I believe that through exploring all different types of photography I was able to solidify my portraits style as well as widen my range for potential employment. The Comm316 class at Brigham Young University is amazing and I would suggest all who can to take it. But know that it is not for the faint of heart! You will be tested and tried but in the end you will grow and learn more about photography than you ever thought before. I found a love for clean and bright product photography and grew in my love of portraits. Take a look at some of my favorite shots from the past few months:
Abby and Jordan: In Home Photo Session
This was my first in home styled session but it is something I will definitely do again! Abby and Jordan were so fun to work with and their love was undeniable! There is something special about photographing people in their home environment. A home is a place away from the world, it is a place where you get to breathe after a long day. Being able to capture Abby and Jordan’s love in this in home lifestyle session was truly a pleasure!
Here are some of my favorite of these two cuties!
Callie & Kip Sunset Family Session
This little family was a dream to work with. Their little man Wilder was a ball of energy and fun. He was so sweet to his momma and has the cutest little grin. His little personality and curiosity was contagious and pretty soon we were all laughing and smiling with him. Kelly’s Canyon is an amazing photo spot especially at sunset and I knew this would be the perfect place for this little family.
Here are some of my favorite photos from the session!
Lanae & David Family Session
This little family was so much fun to work with! Their little girl was a ray of sunshine. She smiled the whole session and was so great at looking at the camera. I know that a lot of natural light photographers believe that photographing in the evening is the only way to go but sunrise sessions are just as great! You get the warm light from the rising sun and you can capture a similar look!
Here are some of my favorite shots from the session!
Mikeala & Harold: Nature Park Engagements
One thing that I really enjoy is shooting engagements! It is such an exciting time in a persons life and those sessions are always filled with joy and love! These two were the cutest to work with! The forecast for the whole weekend was heavy rain but we saw that Friday morning the rain was suppose to clear for a few hours! This session was taken around 6-7 am in the morning and the overcast sky worked as a soft box and I am in love with the results!
Here are some of my favorites!
Restaurant Architecture and Environment Photography
I love going to restaurants. It is something that me and my husband enjoy together. Most date nights you will find us trying out the newest place in town or going back to our favorite spots. A lot goes into the look and feel or a restaurant. The interior and exterior of the restaurant place a big part in curb appeal and the customer environment. I often to research about places before I visit and it helps when they have pictures of not only their food but also the inside and outside of the restaurant. The Lift Restaurant was so kind to let me come in and take some pictures of their space!
All of these images were taken without a flash but I would suggest using a speed light when attempting architecture and environment photography because restaurants are often very dark! When taking pictures like these try and get shots that show us areas of the restaurant that customers would frequent. I took pictures of a booth and a small area with tables. It is always good to get a wide shot of the exterior as well. A great way to display food and the environment of the restaurant is to include people in your photos! It humanizes the company and shows potential customers that real people enjoy the food.
Want to try out architectural photography? Check out this website for some tips: https://www.archdaily.com/804685/10-tips-to-perfect-your-architectural-photography
Photographing Delicious Food at The Lift Restaurant
I love food photography! It is so awesome to be able to take photos of some amazing food at some of the best restaurants in the world. I have the pleasure of visiting The Lift Restaurant in Jackson Hole Wyoming. The staff there were so great and the food was even more amazing. One thing that I wanted to bring to my food images were different angles. By getting low, looking from above and using different perspectives you can showcase food in a whole new way!
I am an appetizer lover. They really are sometimes my favorite part of the meal. There are a few tips for photographing food photograph. 1.Go outside. Most of the time restaurants are very dark so getting bright images indoors can be difficult without off camera light. 2. Try using a continuous light, flash or simply a LED light. Even your phone has a light that could help your food photography! 3. Get creative! I love getting up close shots and cropped shots! Think outside the box. 90% of these images were taken with natural light. The other 10% were with an LED light!
Interested in food photography and want to try it out yourself? Take a look at this website for some more great food photography shots! https://www.thephotoargus.com/30-yummy-examples-food-photography-make-mouth-water/
Using Light To Your Advantage!
Lights are not the enemy. They are sometimes big and scary but they do not have to be. I used to be terrified of light set ups because I just did not understand them! But I am going to show you a few shots that I took that got me out of my natural light comfort zone.
Using a single speed light with a 1-3 second shutter speed and one speed light you can capture water balloons as they pop! These turned out so much cooler than I had originally thought. With some cloning and color editing these pictures just came alive!
Capturing Sugar: This one was so fun! Instead of sugar we actually used salt! We placed the spoon between a couple of books to keep it in place and then we put fruit on the spoon and then poured the sugar! With a fast shutter speed and some LED lights you can illuminate things even though it is dark!
Bonus Flash Light Drawing: This one was super fun to create! So basically in order to create this photo you need a long shutter speed like 20 second or longer. Then while the shutter is open you go behind a subject and draw with you flash light in the air making sure to point it in line of the camera. Then go and check out what you got! I was able to draw some pretty cool wings and a halo!
Want to try out some of the techniques above? Check out this website that teaches you how to capture a balloon mid pop! http://www.photocritic.org/articles/water-balloon-pop-high-speed-tutorial
A New Face To Kaley Michelle Photography!
Every few years I go through the process of re-branding! This is when I go through and redesign a logo, choose fonts, colors and design elements to solidify my brand and style! It is a really fun thing and it is something that I put a lot of time and thought into.
The style guide: I knew that I wanted a really clean logo. I did not want any frills because more than anything I wanted my clients to come to know my name. So that was the inspiration behind the logo that I designed. I wanted it to me minimalistic and timeless so that I would be okay to stick with this branding for a few years. In choosing a color I knew right off the bat that I wanted green. It is such an organic color and it really represented what I wanted as a brand. My Fonts are all san serifs because that is a style that I really like and I feel it plays into the minimalist style that I was going for.
It is always good to create a print layout. It makes you think “how will this look on a business card or book cover?” So that is what I did here!
Front the branding I went ahead and designed some pricing sheets that went along with the style and minimal feel that I wanted to achieve. All together I am very pleased with my new branding!
Working on re-branding your business? Check out this website for some tips https://99designs.com/blog/logo-branding/how-to-rebrand/
Don’t Let Normal Locations Dampen Your Creativity: Ugly Location Challenge
I know we have all felt like we were limited by a location. Wishing it was prettier or brighter or cooler looking. Well lets adjust our thinking for a moment. Yes some spots may seem ordinary but it takes a trained eye in order to take a great shot in a normal location. By moving around, getting low or even just taking pictures where no one has before you can create some amazing shots!
This way of technique is going around on social media and it is often called the ugly location challenge. But I like to call it Ordinary Spot, Extraordinary Shot!
These are my before location shots. I chose to shoot in a laundry room. Not super exciting but wait until you see the pictures I got!
These images are proof that no matter where you are you can get great shots! Want to know more about this challenge? Check out this one blogs interpretation of the challenge! https://www.thesorrygirls.com/all-lifestyle/the-ugly-location-challenge
Using A Speed Light To Mimic Studio Lighting
Lets face it studio lighting is expensive and hard to haul around everywhere! Its to much of a hassle to set up a back ground and then lights and have them all set up perfectly. But I can show you a little trick to eliminate the need for all of that equipment! All you need is a speed light and a modifier!
In order to achieve the look below you will need an f/stop of at least 10 or higher. From there you will take your flash and point it towards your subject. It make take a few tried but you will end up with a dark background and a highlighted subject. This technique is great for head-shots and is also called SQIBB which stands for Studio Quality Invisible Black Background!
Glyn Dewis teaches more on this technique on his website check it out! https://www.glyndewis.com/the-invisible-black-backdrop-photography-technique/?v=7516fd43adaa
Composite of Several Moons in Paris
Sometimes we just need to get a little creative and make some crazy cool things! This post is going to go over my creative processes for making a composite image as well as a show you a cool cinema-graph that I made!
This image was taken this spring on my trip to Paris France. I saw the original image and knew that I had to play with it a little and doctor it up! So what I did was edit the picture in lightroom and then I sent it to Photoshop to do the dirty work. Once I had the image in Photoshop I took three separate moon pictures that were taken in three different locations! One was taken in Idaho, another in Utah and the last one in Hawaii! I thought it was cool to combine three moons into one picture to show kind of where I have been. It was like my little secret. So I cut the moons out from their background and I also cute the Eiffel Tower out so that the moon could be placed behind it. I then blended the moons in by darkening the edges a bit with a black paint brush and tada! This is what you get!
This next part is actually a gif of a cinema graph I made. Basically the flame moves but the rest stays dark instead of illuminating like a candle normally would. This one took a lot of time and trial and error but in the end I figured it out and I got what you see below!
Wanna learn more about how to do a composite? Well check out this website with a step by step video to help you out! https://photoshopcafe.com/photo-composite-photoshop-full-walk-free-photoshop-tutorial/
Printing Your Work Is A Fulfilling Process
Okay guy’s we live in a digital age, everything these days is being instagramed or snapchatted. But something that has simply lost its magic is printed photos. I remember getting the little disposable cameras and taking as many pictures that I could only to go to Walgreen’s and wait and wait until I got to see what the pictures look like. I loved it, it was so rewarding to wait and see my pictures in a physical form. Now days people brush over that and forget the amazing feeling of printing pictures. Having something tangible to hold and look at.
One of my goals that I have had for the past year or so was to have my work framed in the Brigham Young University-Idaho’s Spori building. And this week I had the honor of having one of my fine art prints hung in the foyer of the Spori building. The printing process may be daunting but the reward of seeing and holding your work in your hands is so worth it!
Here is the image that I chose to print without any editing, this was straight out of the camera:
After some time editing in Lightroom I came up with the final product below:
For printing you want to make sure that your pictures are sharp and bright enough. When you print your pictures usually appear darker than they do on screen. Then you want to make sure that your resolution is as high as 300ppi to get that super clear photo. I printed a 16×24 and it turned out amazing!
Want some tips on printing your photos? Check out this link for more info https://www.bhphotovideo.com/explora/photography/tips-and-solutions/guide-printing-photographs
Color Lookup: The Photoshop Tool You Never Knew You Needed!
Editing is something that can completely turn around a photo! It is like giving a photo a makeover, it can turn a really drab shot into something super great with a little time and some love. Well that and some knowledge in editing! I have one secret that may change the game for you and I am pretty sure this secret is something that you have never heard of before! I am going to show you what I did with my little tool and the process of going from before to after.
So we can be honest, this picture is not the best. It is pretty dark and dull looking. But that is okay! So I took this photo directly into Photoshop and did a few cleaning up edits. i did an adjustment layer to add some light to make it less dark. Then came the fun stuff! The secret tip to making a super unique and cool effect on a photo lies in your adjustment panel. Find the option under the adjustment panel that says color lookup. That is your ticket to easier editing! You then will have a drop down bar with many filter like options to put over your photos! Do not be alarmed if it looks weird and way to much, just lower the opacity and play with the different color look up filters that are there! After that I added a texture that I took myself of a rusty piece of metal! I just put that over the top after a few edits and then removed the texture with a mask from the models face and upper body.
Doesn’t it look so much better! There is contrast and depth with some mystery added through the texture just poking through in the background! Never underestimate the power of learning something new with editing! It can really change the way you look at pictures.
Here is the texture that I used on this photo that I took myself!
Some More Before and Afters:
So for the before and after you see above I mostly just did adjustment brushes in Lightroom! I added a brush I like to call color pop! Its basically a combination of some saturation and luminescence. After that I added some more details by bumping up the clarity and lightly lifting some of the shadows! This brings out a lot of the integrity that was already in the picture. I love being able to capture what I see but when I go to edit the image it isn’t the same so I try and bring out the vibrant colors through editing!
Now I can hear what you are thinking “Kaley but I am a portrait photographer how can this apply to me?” Oh do not worry! I have that covered too! This is an image I took that I wanted to do some changes to. So I desaturated the green and the oranges. Then i turned down the luminescence of the orange as well to get the smooth copper tone in her skin. The thing that really pops in this image for me is the models eyes! I love seeing her brown eyes peek through her scarf. I achieve this by using an adjustment brush in light room and bumping up the exposure and the base tone of the persons eyes. My models eyes were brown so I added more yellow to her eyes to get a golden look!
Adjustment brushes in Lightroom and the color look up adjustment in Photoshop are amazing tools to use to turn your photos from drab to fantastic! What to learn some more about the Color Lookup adjustment then check out this article on the tool and how to use it! https://www.photoshopessentials.com/photo-editing/color-lookup-cs6/
Creating Out of the Box Themed Portraits
Portraits do not have to be stuffy photos taken in front of a background! You can get creative with different things to create some really cool and interesting portraits! I am going to show you a few portraits that I have done that made me think outside of the box!
Gels and Smoke: This was so fun to create! Basically the set up was two speed lights with gels on stands then we added some fog with a fog machine! These images were fun because we also wanted to freeze movement in the air with the flashes as you can see in the second one. Try this one out to get a look similar to these!
Smoke bombs are so cool to work with just make sure no one is wearing white! Smoke bombs happen in a short amount of time so you want to make sure that you position yourself so you can get your shot and that your settings are correct before the smoke starts to come out! Preparation is key when it comes to smoke bombs!
Having models dress up as characters can help to paint a story in your images that werent there before! This is an easy way to add a creative element to your image!
Want to try some creative portraits? Check out this website for some cool ideas! https://www.photoblog.com/learn/creative-self-portrait-ideas/
Techniques for Professional Head Shots
I have been able to learn from some really great photographers in the past few months and one of those amazing photographers is Billy Plank! He specializes in head shots and he is so amazing with turning a simple backdrop into a great professional head shot. He showed me that with three simple lights you can produce a quality professional head shot!
These images were all taken in a butterfly lighting pattern which means that the lights are arranged in a way so that the only shadow appears below the nose and chin which creates a very slimming and smooth look to your portraits. The proper way to take a head shot is not to over edit and take the images in landscape orientation where you almost crop out your subjects head. Simplicity is key with head shots. I kept my editing minimal but added a Kaley twist by really spending some time on the models eyes.
Want to learn more about how to take a great head shot? Head over to this website to learn more about the secrets to taking great head shots! https://digital-photography-school.com/how-to-take-the-perfect-headshot-six-tips/
Golden Hour Couple Session At The Saint Anthony Sand Dunes
I got to work with the cutest couple this last week! Ericka and Issac have been married for a about a year and a half and they were an absolute blast to photograph! I love being able to capture raw moments and the way they love and care for one another was so sweet to witness. In preparation for this shoot I researched the sunset times and locations to find what would be best for the look we were going for and the Sand Dunes in Saint Anthony turned out to be the perfect spot!
One of the most important parts of a couples session is making your clients feel comfortable! I love talking with my clients and getting to know them so I can capture the essence of who they are through the camera. Posing is such a key element to couple photography and I like to keep things natural, free moving and candid. I start by putting them in a pose and the giving them cues that are natural to them. Pretty soon they are laugh and smiling naturally and it makes for way better pictures.
The golden hour light from this shoot is something that I always try and plan for because it makes for some amazing pictures! When I asked Ericka what was the best thing about being married she said “its just being able to be completely yourself with someone else that accepts every part of you.”
If you’d like to try out shooting during golden hour head over to this website for 5 tips for golden hour photography! https://digital-photography-school.com/5-tips-golden-hour-photography/
Get Perfectly Lit Images With One Speed Light
I am sure that I am not the only one that has been in the frustrating moment when the sky is so beautiful and you have your gorgeous model and you take your picture and see that your sky is overexposed! Then you try to fix it and your model is under exposed! What is the best way to combat this problem? Well the secret isnt really a secret! It can be done by simply adding one little speed light with a flash blender.
In these three images you can see the first shows a nicely exposed model but a blown out sky. For the second I lowered the ISO and increased my shutter speed and my model is under exposed! The final result shows the result of using one speed light! It is amazing what you can do with one simple speed light! They are light and easy to take with you and wont take up a bunch of room in your camera bag!
Try your hand at your own Epic Three! Grab a speed light and jump outside and give it a go! Learn more about speed light exposure here: https://neilvn.com/tangents/photography-tutorial-balancing-flash-and-ambient-exposure/
Group Photos Styled in 1940’s Fashion
I love taking pictures of people! They are my favorite subjects to photograph! If you haven’t read my other posts about this 1940’s styled fashion shoot you can find them here http://www.kaleymichellephotography.com/portrait/.
I am so grateful that I was able to be apart for this amazing collaborative shoot at the Legacy Flight Museum! The models that I got to work with were so great and all of the other people that came together to make the shoot possible were fantastic!
I had a really fun time editing these images! Each couple has such a different feel and style to them it was cool to figure out how I wanted to edit each image and what direction I wanted to take them. For these images I went for one of three different looks. A green toned vintage edit that you can see in the first images that can be achieved by changing the highlight and shadow tones. The second edit was a more pink toned look with high blacks that you can see in the second image. The last two are done in a high contrast black and white and I love the emotion that is translated through a black and white with high contrast!
This last shot I wanted to include because it shows all of the amazing models that we got to work with. There were so many people that aren’t in this picture that I would like to thank as well for all the time that they dedicated to help this come together. If you are just loving this style then check out this website that shows some images of real couples from the 1940’s and 50’s! http://www.vintageinn.ca/2016/02/love-is-in-the-air-1940s-and-50s-real-life-couples-part-2/
WWII Airplanes and 1940’s Fashion Photography
I have always heard that it is all in the details! And in this case it sure is! You can guess by the title what pictures I have to share with you! This post is all about airplanes and fashion and some military fashion!
I was so amazed to see these accurate time period outfits! They were so well taken care of and the male models rocked these outfits so well! These first two pictures are of a plan that was in the Legacy Flight Museum in Rexburg Idaho! That blue color was so beautiful! It definitely was one of my favorite planes that they have at the museum. As far as editing these pictures I really wanted to stay true to the time period so I went with a very green toned editing style and I am pretty happy with how it came together. To achieve this look try changing the tones of your highlights and shadows! That is a quick way to change the tone of your images without compromising the tint or white balance of your image.
The uniforms that were provided for our models were stunning! i think you can agree that they are totally awesome!
These last two are some details shots of some more to the vehicles and airplanes that they have at the museum. The first image is of a gas can to a jeep that they had and I am pretty sure I want a jeep just like it because it was so cool! The second is the tail of a red plane that you can see in this post http://www.kaleymichellephotography.com/2018/06/12/wwii-styled-shoot-at-legacy-flight-museum/
Getting to take pictures of these airplanes and WWII memorabilia really humbled me and caused me to take a moment to thank those who served our country during that time in history. So much of the way they lived back then was influenced by the war and rations that we required at the time. Take a look at this website that explains how rationing effected the fashion and other aspects of daily life for those living in the 1940’s! https://www.iwm.org.uk/history/how-clothes-rationing-affected-fashion-in-the-second-world-war
WWII Styled Military and Civilian 1940’s Photo Shoot
I mentioned in my blog post before that I was apart of a collaborative photo shoot at the Legacy Flight Museum in Rexburg Idaho! It was such a blast to work with some really great photographers and models. I am not a personal that primarily shoots male subjects. So I was a little out of my comfort zone with posing and directing the models but I had such amazing models that they made my job easy! We had some handsome men to model for us and I am so grateful the they dedicated their time to come and pose for all of us photographers that day.
I had two edited styles that I was trying to go for with these images. One was a green toned vintage look and the other was more true to color clean edit. These two gentlemen below had the pleasure of modeling with airplanes! It was so cool! My little brothers love airplanes so it was great to be around these amazing planes that actually were flown in WWII. The first three images were taken indoors with off camera lighting setups.
These last five were taken outdoors and I love them! The first three are some of my favorites. I love how moody and cloudy the sky is and the color of he models clothing. I feel like it all played together with my editing and came together so well!
These last two images were fun because I felt like this model totally owned his look! He was dressed more casually and modern and I love how that meshed with the vintage vibe of the shoot.. The red plane that he posed by was incredible! The vibrant red was so perfect and I had a lot of fun editing these images!
Wanna visit the Legacy Flight Museum or get some more information about it? Check out this website for some more information! http://rexburg.org/pages/lfm-legacy-flight-museum
Women Styled 1940’s Photo Shoot
Wow I have been able to do some really exciting things with some amazing people in the past few months and I cannot wait to show you everything! I love being able to get creative and jump into things that are outside my comfort zone and this shoot fit all of those things! A group of local photographers and myself got together and had the opportunity to visit the Legacy Flight Museum in Rexburg Idaho! The wonderful people that the flight museum let us come in and take pictures with their authentic and time period planes and other vehicles. It was amazing to be apart of such a collaborative shoot.
The models that we had for the evening were so beautiful and I think you will agree!
For this shoot I took a really different approach to this shoot than I normally do. I did some research and tried to mimic the aged and vintage editing style of that time! I was really loving a deep contract black and white. WIth every model I edited a little differently to fit the style of the model as well as what their background was like. In these first two you can see the deep contrast in the first black and white and the second almost has a pink matte tone. I edit primarily in Lightroom so if you would like to try out the matte effect in your photos try playing with your tone curve!
One element that I often like to highlight in portraits are the clients eyes and their hair. I achieve this by using adjustment brushes. I start by examining the colors that are contained in their eyes. The two beauties below had beautiful deep brown eyes. Now you may be thinking “ugh brown eyes” but oh no! Brown eyes can get the most beautiful golden hue to it and I love enhancing that in the models eyes by bumping up the exposure and yellows through an adjustment brush!
Goodness! I am just looking through these pictures as I write this and I am so amazed on how beautiful these models are. These next four were super fun to play around with. The first picture below also has that matte effect that I talked about earlier! Don’t be afraid to try it out. The third image below is one that I love doing. As I mentioned before I love highlighting my clients or models eyes. I find every eye to be unique and beautiful in its own way. I have done photos like this before and thought it would be cool to recreate it. I found this article from Marie Claire UK that goes through some of the styles of the 1940’s so I would recommend taking a look at that here http://www.marieclaire.co.uk/fashion/1940s-fashion-the-decade-captured-in-40-incredible-pictures-108160.
I wish I could share all of the pictures from this shoot but stay tuned for some more 1940 styled photos!
Detail Nature and Macro Shots Taken In The Teton Valley
I love taking pictures of the little guys! What do I mean by that? Well I mean the little details of things that most people miss. The little individual flowers, the blades of grass or leaves on the trees. We stand back and appreciate the work of art that they create but when we take the time to see them up close! That is when the magic happens.
Its easy to get nice Macro or up close shots. All you need is a zoom lens and a wide aperture. Get low and get as close as you can. Zoom in to get that creamy background. I feel like every little flower or leaf has a personality and I get to capture who they are and the beauty they display to the world. Do not overlook the details because sometimes they are more interesting than the wide picture.
You do not need to be in a super amazing location to get some good shots. Jump into your background and get low and up close to see what you have been missing!
Want to see some more images from the Teton Valley area? Check out the website below for more images from amazing photographers! http://theholepicture.photoshelter.com/gallery/Teton-Valley/G0000w99QciImrIU
Mastering Beautiful Water Reflections Of The Tetons in Teton National Park
I love the mountains! They just call to my heart and I honestly am in awe of their majesty and beauty! I was able to take a trip to Teton National Park and take pictures of the Teton Mountains. Though the weather was frustrating at times I got some amazing shots of water reflections at String lake that lies within the park!
I really love hoe the reflection of the mountain onto the water is really the star of this next shot. Most of these images were taken with a tripod and an ND filter so I could get as much detail as possible without blowing out my image. So I had a long shutter speed and that called for me to have a tripod to keep my camera steady. The ND filter works almost like sunglasses for your camera so you can late long exposures during the day! The reflection of the water was crystal clear and you can see some amazing detail from the Teton Mountains just on the reflection alone!
One cool way to have your landscapes stand out is to have a person in it. It may sound counter productive but I promise it will add something special to your image. This is what Caryn Esplin from carynesplin.com likes to call humanizing a landscape!
Check out this website and plan a trip to Teton National park to get some amazing reflection landscape images!
Capturing Beautiful Landscapes At Sunset up Kelly’s Canyon
There are three things that photographers love that those are: new equipment, exciting ideas and Golden Hour! Golden Hour is not just some over used word to describe sunset, it truly is magical! If you are looking for a way to boost the look of your photos, start shooting during golden hour and I promise you will love the results! Golden Hour is the time during sunset when the light isnt as harsh and it almost blankets your subject (whether your subject is a person or a landscape!) with the most beautiful warm golden light.
Me and my dear friend Emilee (from http://www.emileewright.com) decided to go for a drive up Kelly’s Canyon to get some great Golden Hour shots. I know of a pretty amazing spot that I had photographed in the fall and thought how beautiful would it be to come back in the summer! So we went trailing through the woods to find this spot and the results are breathtaking.
Walking to our spot we saw these beautiful wild flowers and I knew that I wanted to incorporate them into some of my shots. I thought the photos were good in camera but once I started edited the colors really came alive. Even though there were a lot of clouds which resulted in the sunset not being as vibrant as I was hoping, the flowers made up for it! I edited these pictures in Lightroom and bumped up the exposure along with a little bit of saturation. I also increased the yellows because the pictures were a little on the blue side. Then I did some hand edits with an adjustment brush on the sky and that was it!
Kelly’s Canyon is such a beautiful place to explore and photograph. Especially at sunset and Golden Hour when you get that gorgeous warm light. Sometimes you have to get out and explore to find some really great spots. Use what you have around you to your advantage! Get low or try a different perspective. Landscapes don’t move but you can to get the best picture! If you’re ever in Idaho check out Kelly’s Canyon for some great hiking and Golden Hour photography spots!
Want to learn more? Check out this site that goes over some tips and trick for shooting in Golden Hour! https://photographyconcentrate.com/make-your-photos-magical/
Get Night Time Shots Without Compromising on Light.
I have some super awesome things to share with you! This post is all about shooting at night of in the dark and all of the amazing things you can do in the darkness. I am going to show you a few of my images and what I did to achieve them.
The Crazy Cool Stuff:
There are so many cool things that you can do with light in the dark. It really is amazing what a camera can do if you simply know how to use it!
These images were taken in a barn when it was night time. We had a bicycle wheel that was set up and we spun it and moved it around to get these cool shots! I combined several shots in Photoshop and changed the colors to make it look more vibrant. These were both taken with a slow shutter speed. The first with a 2-4 second shutter speed and the second had a 10 second shutter speed!
The next one here is a light painting done outside with an actual person! We had to have our model stay really still because our shutters were open for about 10 second. We went over his face and lit it with the light only once so that his face would not appear to be blurry! I am super happy with how it turned out!
This last one is of the stars! I was so excited to go out and get pictures of the stars. I find learning about light and how to get great pictures even in the dark is something that can help your work even if you do not specialize in any of these forms of photography. Understanding light is all that photography is! These images are some of my favorites that I have taken.
These next two were super fun to take! Me and Kade Atwood from http://www.kadeatwood.com/ had the idea to have a model stand and hold a flash light to show an illuminated beam in the sky! The results were amazing! Our shutters were open for about 20 seconds in order to get this shot. We were worried that the sky would be to light to get any stars but it was able to darken just enough that we could get some stars in our night sky.
Learning to understand light really opens doors as a photographer and the limit to the things you can do is never ending. Dont be afraid of the dark! You can still get some great pictures with a low shutter speed. Want to try photographing some night scapes yourself? Check out some great tips here http://www.mikesalway.com.au/np101-fundamentals-of-nightscape-photography/
Light Painting Can Be A Fun Way To Showcase Items!
Light painting is a cool term in the photography world that a most people haven’t tried out because they don’t know how! It is really simple and fun to figure it out. All you need is your camera, tripod, flash light and a dark room. I want to show you some photos that I have created with this technique and explain how I did it so you can too!
So all of the images below were created by setting my camera and locking its focus by auto focusing and then switching it to manual to lock the focus. After that you need to make sure your camera is mounted on your tripod. Arrange your items in the way that you want them to. Then turn off the lights and make sure that you have a long exposure so you have time to paint with your flashlight. One your setup is ready then turn off your light and push your button to trigger your shutter. This is the fun part! Jump into your set up and start lighting your objects! Make sure not to point your flashlight towards the camera or you will get light trails! Check your camera after your shutter closes and adjust your settings to find the right balance!
It may take you a few times and that is completely normal! For a more in depth instruction check out Caryn Esplin’s website here! http://www.carynesplin.com/table-top-light-painting-in-10-steps/
Nature Valley’s Granola Bar Self Made Advertisement:
Creating advertisements can be super fun and really easy! All you need is a product, a concept and Photoshop! The product I chose to turn into an ad was a granola bar by Nature Valley! I love these bars and take them with me hiking all the time. They are the perfect little tag along snack. Because the granola bar is often marketed with sports or the outdoors in mind I wanted to go along with that theme and play on the outdoor aspect of the brand!
Here is the original image unedited:
So I wanted to place the granola bar like a hiker was just holding it up in the amazing location that the person had labored hours to reach. The Teton Mountains were the perfect backdrop for this shot and I had to include the natural wonder in my shot.
This is the behind the scenes picture of how I got the shot. It was super simple. I simply held the bar out in line with the horizon and bam! The magic was started.
After the shot was taken I brought it into Lightroom to do some quick edits. I adjusted the colors and lightened up the label a bit due to a little bit of shadows that were created from the outdoor lighting. After that I straightened the image and cropped it so that it did not have as much white space to distract from the message of the ad. After I edited the image I opened it in Photoshop. I added the Nature Valley logo in the bottom and began to think of a phrase to put in the ad. I thought about how when I hike I always need snacks! So the idea of fuel came along and then the concept of going on an adventure came into my mind. I put them together and came up with the phrase “Fueling Life’s Adventures.”
I then had to find the perfect font. At first I wasn’t sure what I was looking for but then I knew that I wanted a font with some textures so I found a free textured font online and it was perfect! I placed it below the bar and it all came together perfectly!
Here is another super great resource onto making good commercial ads! https://www.backstage.com/advice-for-actors/backstage-experts/how-create-perfect-commercial-photo/
I am really proud on how it turned out! I hope that this post has inspired you to try and make a mock commercial ad for some of your favorite brands and products!
Shooting Products Outdoors and With Natural Light!
This post is all about natural light! Whether that is coming from a window, open door or simply from being outside. Product shots can be taken anywhere! You do not need a fancy studio with thousands of dollars in equipment!
Windows and open doors are great for product shots because you can get lighting naturally without moving and setting up lights. This first shot was taken indoors with a window! It is as simple as that!
I love this second photo! Styling can really elevate a picture. You can see that the product is the brownie mix but the eggs, whisk, chocolate chips and marshmallows paint a picture of baking the product itself. The lighting was from an open door and this shot was taken from above!
This picture is similar to the one before. Different styling objects can apply to so many products so do not think you have to change everything to get a great shot. This was also take with open door light and from above. The label was lit in post by a technique taught to me by Steve Hatch where you use radial filters to mimic placed light! You can see more of Steven’s amazing work here https://www.flickr.com/photos/shatch/
One key factor in taking pictures outdoors is to know where your shadows will be. Knowing where your shadows will fall will tell you how and where to place and shoot your product.
This first image was taken outdoors on a rock overlooking a pond. Because the shadow is placed in front of the product it means that the product is what is called back lit. Back lighting is a good way to expose the back ground correctly where as when you shoot with the shadow to the back you can get some blown out spots on your product. Here I simply brightened the face of the can of repellent and boom it was perfect!
This next picture just makes me laugh because of the concept. Me and my dear friend Emilee Wright from www.emileewright.com/ wanted to find a way to creatively style a package of wild berry Life Saver Gummies. We were thinking about berries and then the idea came to put the life savers on a bush like they were berries themselves! And this shot was born. Shot in direct sunlight you can see the shadows of the bush surrounding the hands, background and bowl of berries. Because the shadows were not to harsh, this shot works. Just watch your shadows during the day because they can make or break your outdoor lighting shot!
By Using Different Lighting Techniques You Can Create Great Product Shots!
Working with off camera light can be really scary! Trust me I know. But there is no better way to get over that fear than to jump in and start exploring with whatever lighting equipment you can! It is truly amazing the difference that a little lighting can do. There are several different kinds of artificial lighting that you can use and I will explain some of those sources as well as show you examples. Okay lets get into it!
Continuous lights are great because they are constant! So what you see is what you get! The light will stay where it is until you move it and it will light your subject as is. A cheap way to have continuous light is to use a LED light Like this one sold on Amazon! I really like using these because as I mentioned before, what you see is what you get, you don’t have to wait for a strobe or flash to go off to see how your lighting is.
Here are some examples of continuous light product photos:
This first shot was simply set up on a counter top! I added some fruit as if the blender was about to be used to make a morning smoothie! Use other objects to help style the product you want to highlight!
This shot was really simple as well! With the continuous light placed to the left of the Luna bars it created that shadow that adds to the image!
These two shots were done in two different ways! The herb shot was taken by separating the subject from its background. It gives the shot more depth. I added a few dried herb leaves to style the bottle and it came together nicely. It doesn’t take a million items to style a product, just a few leaves can do the trick! The second photo was taken from above. What you seen in the picture were all laid out on the floor with the continuous light placed to the left of the image. The product is the olive oil and the other items were added to create a story. When I see the photo it makes me think of a Sunday spaghetti dinner!
Flash on Black Background:
This type of lighting can add a different look to your shot. I find that this option doesn’t need as much dressing up but rather it makes products almost stand alone. I will show you what I mean below.
This picture has a styling element in it. The rose paints a picture of a beautifully laid out proposal just waiting to happen!
Where as this shot is just a product standing alone. They are both great techniques and you will have to use your best judgement to see which technique is best for whatever product you are shooting. Both of these shots were taken with a flash. The first with a flash to the left and the second with a flash to the right.
Other Lighting Options:
I touched on a very few lighting options but there are so many more! The first image below was originally taken with just kitchen light! But what made it look so great was what I did in editing it. Knowing different editing techniques can give the look of what they call in the industry “light painting” without the trouble of setting it all up. I lowered the exposure and then used a technique taught to me by famed photographer Steven Hatch, where you used radial filters to manually place your light! You can see more of Steven Hatch’s work here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/shatch/
The second photo was taken using a soft box. A soft box is just a white box with lights shining through to give it a covered in light look!
This final sot was taken on Plexiglas with a flash coming from underneath the bottle. This technique can create some really cool looking product shots!
Learning to manipulate light is our job as photographers! It takes time so do not be discouraged! I hope you try out some of these lighting options and I would love to see how they turned out!
Create From Nothing Fast and The Furious Movie Poster
Wow! What a project! It is so fun to be creative and pull together ideas to create something that didn’t exist before! For this project I needed to make a movie poster! I only had to use one picture that I had taken as well as I have to be a main subject of the “movie.” It certainly was a blast putting together this idea from the beginning to the end product! Every element was done in Photoshop. And here is how I did it:
So first off I had to gather my elements. I took an image of my husbands Camaro because I thought it would be perfect if the image of the car was one that I took myself!
After that I put it on a black back ground and used the quick selection tool to cut out the car and remove the background. After that I used a black and white adjustment layer with a mask to allow the car to be black and white but the stripe to be red.
After that I added the text which I found a free version of online (see bottom for source). I knew that I wanted the text to pop so I looked for a chrome texture to place inside the text. I found a great one on textures.com and it really made the text come live on the poster.
After that I gathered pictures of my main subjects! Two of them I took myself and two were found on unsplash (sourced at the end).
After choosing my images I took them all and used the quick selection tool to put out their heads and then used black to blend them into the background along with the car. Here is a great article stepping you through how to use a the quick selection tool just like I did!
Originally I had them oriented in a straight line but then I decided to to have them following the line of the text and bring them further down towards the text to make the poster more cohesive.
The final three things that really made this poster pop were the smoke in the background, the movie text and the speed lines you can see on the logo text. The smoke came from textures.com and I just placed that in a layer behind the car, text and subjects.
In order to give the logo text a sense of movement I took a blue color on my paint brush and softened it and lowered the opacity. I then did thin strokes along the lines of the text and it gave it the effect as if it were moving across the screen and stopped right there.
The movies text was courtesy of dafont.com.
Its important to include these final design elements because they really will make a difference! I hope you enjoyed my poster and learning about my process!
Check out my other blog posts here: www.kaleymichellephotography.com/blog