Another year and no time to post. Here is a simple yet vibrant Christmas card idea that anyone can create and it is easily customizable.
What I did was cut a square piece of burlap, frayed the edges just right and placed it on a white flat background. Then I took pictures of it. This became the mat for the portrait in the center of this 5.x7 card.
I also did 3 little mats for the inside of the card for 3 little images and then did one on the back for a picture of the person walking away.
Finally a new Christmas card design! I don't know where the time goes but I thought I'd throw this up, after all its been a year.
This card works great for portraits in a park setting. The warm brown color complements the scenery well. The sample picture here was a scouting portrait so the clothes were not given any consideration.
Note the image actually prints lighter than you see here.
By request, I've added the Expressions Christmas portrait card to the download area.
The expressions card allows you to add ten or more small images to the front of the card. Great if you have many expressions and just can't choose one or you have many kids to 'show off'.
Also, works great as a kissables card. Add images of feet, hands, eye, etc.
Some people have requested the designs of my greeting cards. While I have a website in development to allow for download of designs, it isn't completely tested yet. In the mean time, I have setup a temporary location for downloading a few designs.
Right now the only designs there are the Elegant gold foil cards. These are based on a black background with gold accents. Great for sibling or family Christmas photo card designs.
One of the biggest problems with photographing large groups is getting a picture where no one is blinking. Even with only four or five people, you can run into the problem. Generally what people do when taking family or large group portraits is take a lot of photos of the same pose. I think that is still advisable, however I've developed another method to help achieve as many photos as possible where no one is blinking.
An idea I use to help limit the photos where someone has their eyes closed is a method I use on outdoor photo sessions, especially the beach, to help control squinting. All I do is ask everyone to close their eyes. Then tell them when I say "open", ...
I know it's been a long time, but I do have a lot of things planned and new stuff is coming very soon. In the meantime, I thought I'd share a very sad but in uplifting story from youtube about an artist.
Nautical Family Christmas Photo Card Design Ideas and tips
I like this card because it has a nice clean design, looks very professional on the outside and then flips open to some fun.
The client wanted the familly portrait on the boat at mid-afternoon. Not a great time, but we worked with it. I got one really good shot of everyone smiling at the camera and that was the 'centerpiece' shot. The one for the front. We also decided we wanted to show off the whole boat on the back. Though I did not have my wide angle ...
So with that in mind, here's some quick tips on taking better family photos:
1) Keep the heads on different planes. To do that, it helps if you don't sit people the same size on the same chair, rock, etc. or at least one that is sloped. In the picture below, you see that no one's eyes are at ...
Ok once again I've received a birth announcement from a loving family very proud of their kids. But, once again, it's not a very becoming photograph. So I'd like to focus this blog on "what not to do" with birth announcement photographs '.
To protect the innocent, I've turned the photograph into a black and white outline. Take a look at the photo below:
First off, you see I drew a line halfway through the photo. What you'll notice is that the kids faces are all predominantly below the red line except for one - which is very borderline. ...
It seems everyone has an opinion about this. Traditionally I believe it has been about how well the artist captures the 'likeness' of the person being portrayed. Other traditionalists would say to make an exceptional portrait, you have to not only capture the likeness, but the personality. Today with contemporary photojournalists, you hear a lot about capturing the 'essence' of the subject.
I don't know that there is a right or wrong answer. I believe art is subjective so it's unnecessary to come to an agreement. However, if you're learning to create photographic portraits, you probably want a little more direction than that.
Ok this is the number one, uber secret, best tip for taking newborn pictures. Ok, maybe it's not a secret, but you would think so, since so few people do it.
To get a great newborn picture, turn your back to the camera and position your newborn to look over your shoulder towards the camera. Newborns can't hold their heads up very well. But, when you hold them like this and support their heads from the back, and also use your shoulder as a support, you can get a great face shot of your newborn. Most importantly, you can get their eyes wide open.
I'm always asked when is the best time to have baby portraits taken. Well the answer of course is, "it depends". It depends on your child as all children are different. However, there are ages that are better than others for most babies.
For newborn photography, I highly recommend the first few days after birth if possible. Generally, within the first week, you have a much better chance of your new baby remaining calm throughout the process.
It's also important to be fast no matter what day you take them. ...
Orange County Beach Photography is best done at sunset. Let's face it, it's very hard to get the kids up and to the beach at sunrise and most of the best places with rocks are in the shadow of cliffs in the early morning.
If you do have a family of early risers, you can get great images without a lot of people in the background. Sunset images which can give you some great background color, come with the problem of lot's of people on the beach. So you need to choose your spots wisely. Also, it never hurts to ask people to move out of the picture temporarily.
Remember to go out by the lake early in the morning or near sunset. You'll have some nice directional sun. Position your kids so they have the sun hitting on one side of the face and just slightly on the opposite side. Stand back enough to get their whole bodies but not too far. Make sure you have focused on their faces and not the background.
March Of Dimes WalkAmerica - For The Love Of Newborn Babies
Just a quick note to remind everyone about the March Of Dimes WalkAmerica event. It's being held at Fashion Island, Newport Beach on April 30th 2006 for those of us in Orange County California.
I plan to be there taking photographs.
Since I am a newborn photographer specialist, this event and charity is very important to me. I have photographed many babies who were born premature and each one is special. I know that the March of Dimes charity is important to ensuring they not only survive but become the beautiful healthy babies I took photos of.
Let's face it, usually when you want to get a shot of the family at some scenic location, it's high noon and sunny skies. What's wrong with that? Well the ligting is very harsh and creates very sharp transitions between shadow and light areas.
Anyone with a little bit of knowledge about light will try to position their subject's faces in the sun. This is great, now you have your subject with the same lighting as the scene.
But, it also makes you squint. Babies and kids have a really hard time with squinting. It usually makes them cranky. Squinting will ruin a portrait because a portrait is all about the eyes. So what do you do about that? Well, ...
Unless you're trying to show how tiny your baby is, you don't usually want to take a picture of them from your normal standing position.
Instead, get down to their level!
If they're standing or sitting, the camera lens should be at about the top of their head. Now you'll get a portrait of their face in the proper perspective.
Go ahead and try it. Take some pictures standing above them. Then take some pictures where the camera is way below their head (you may have to lay on the floor ). Then try taking some at their level. Now review your images and see which ones you like better ...
This is my first Blog entry. Today I'd like to talk about RedEye. We've all seen it. I get pictures from people all the time with RedEye in them. I have a friend who sent out birth announcements with one of the worst case of RedEyes I've ever seen. My brother sent out Christmas card/pictures where everyone had it.
Now I realize, as a parent, it's hard to see any flaws in the pictures of your kids. I remember when I went to the Pediatrician for my child's 2 week checkup. The Dr. said, "don't worry about that red blotchy skin, it'll go away soon". I remember sitting there smiling, thinking "what red blotchy skin?" ...