Pin-Up Session Step-by-Step Process

If you are considering booking a pin-up shoot with me, you are probably curious about the process!

Firstly, a pin-up shoot is available for any and every lady! There is no wrong shape, wrong size, wrong color, weight, etc! in fact, pin-up was made to showcase a lady’s natural beauty! So don’t be shy, reach out to me to chat about your shoot!

Step 1: Book with me! Contact me through this form https://www.emeraldfoxproductions.com/pinup-contact and we can find a date that works for both of us and my favorite HMUA! We can also chat about outfit ideas, prop ideas, etc.

Step 2: Look for inspiration on Pinterest/Google (Optional) Some ladies come with a specific idea on hair style/make-up style, poses, etc. Others show up and let me work my magic!

Step 3: Gather any wardrobe pieces/props you want and show up with a clean face and hair undone on the day of your shoot! My professional make-up artists and hair stylist will pamper you. Coffee and/or wine available!

Pin-Up hair can either be all down, all up or somewhere in between. Victory rolls are optional, but they certainly bring the era to life!

A typical pin-up face is red lips, rosy cheeks and eyeliner wings. Beyond that, there is wiggle room on your shades, eyebrows, etc!

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Step 4: Posing assistance with me! Each and every pose you see if my portfolio was carefully crafted with instruction from myself. We may try a pose a couple times before I am satisfied that you look your absolute best. I have little tips and tricks for showcasing an hour glass figure, making strong chin lines and making arms and legs look perky!

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Step 5: 60 - 90 minute photo session! You can change into 4 - 5 different outfits during your shoot!

Step 6: Reveal and Ordering Session two to three weeks after you shoot! You and I can either meet in your home, my studio or a coffee shop in between us both. You will be able to see your images and choose which ones you’d like! See my packages here: https://www.emeraldfoxproductions.com/pinup-investment

Step 7: Receive your products! Hang your wall art and save your prints! With any purchase, you receive the same image as a digital download to share on social media. Don’t forget to tag me : )

Pin-Up Photography and Female Confidence

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Pin up photography is a kind of art that dates back to early nineteenth century as it was first documented in the 1890s. In the twentieth century, this art of taking vibrant pictures of female and sometimes male models gained wide reception by everyone as it involved photographs of individuals expressing and embracing their sexuality through their style of dressing which could have been idealized from an admired character and many times, some show of skin.

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In the nineteenth, twentieth and early twenty-first centuries, pin up photographs were published in magazines, newspapers and then cut out and “pinned up” against the wall by targeted audience. It was a trend to walk into the room of a youth and on the wall, see a pinned up image of a half-clothed famous individual. Appealing to the sexual fantasy of men, pin up images of women were predominant among soldiers during the First and Second World War and among the several models whose photographs we published, there was Fernande Barrey whose photographs were highly cherished for her display of ample cleavage and full-frontal nudity.

The wide acceptance and influence of female pin up photographs have overtime, enunciated the self-esteem of many women, allowing them to freely and publicly embrace and find pleasure in their sexuality. This art gave voice to women politically, boosting their confidence as they aired their photographs as well as opinions of other pin up models at several gatherings. There were the promoters and the protesters. Pin up promoters of course supported the art of expression as they believed it to be a course against body shaming but towards enhancement of female beauty, whereas the protesters flagged pin up modelling and photography as enhancing sexual profanity.


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Beyond the periods of the world wars, the idea of pin up photography is being used by recent day artists in song writing, script writing and music videos. Also, in these modern age, most women in various parts of the world at one point or the other in their lives, carry out pin up photoshoots where they’re peculiarly styled and made up to look as desired. Often times, this is to see one’s self objectively, to play or even to conquer one’s fears. These photos are often posted to social media pages where friends and followers approve, fantasize and applaud the model. As everyone desires some approval and appreciation to boost their confidence, posting of pin up shoots on social media by women and receiving positive reactions has served as a way of advancing self-esteem in its own way.

More so, with the advancement of feminism and self-love, many women have learnt to express love to themselves in ways they would do to others. Hence, since how we identify with our visual character plays a job in our general joy and psychological wellness, rather than spending time and resources in engaging in pin up shoots for the sake of a male partner, many women get into character and make pin up portraits for the fantasy of themselves.

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All About Photography

Photography iѕ раinting with light! Most рhоtоgrарhѕ аrе сrеаtеd uѕing a саmеrа , whiсh uѕеѕ a lens tо focus the scene's visible wаvеlеngthѕ of light intо a rерrоduсtiоn оf what the humаn eye wоuld ѕее. Thе рrосеѕѕ of creating photographs is саllеd рhоtоgrарhу .

Copyright Annette Hullender - Taken in the Guiness Factory in Dublin, Ireland

Copyright Annette Hullender - Taken in the Guiness Factory in Dublin, Ireland

Thе grеаt thing аbоut photography is itѕ outward fосuѕ (рunѕ аnd ѕеmi-рunѕ аrе ѕо hаrd tо аvоid) оn thе wоrld around uѕ, not the аrt itself. Mоving frоm hоbbу рhоtоgrарhу tо рrоfеѕѕiоnаl photography is a big jumр. It'ѕ a jump nоt juѕt bесаuѕе your аbilitу tо рау уоur mortgage аnd fееd уоur fаmilу will nоw dереnd еntirеlу оn уоur tаlеnt with a саmеrа аnd уоur ѕkillѕ at marketing thоѕе talents.

 

Fоr mе, рhоtоgrарhу is about "соllесting" experiences and аllоwing myself tо bе mоrе thаn a flу on thе wаll in mу ѕubjесtѕ' livеѕ. I don't think рhоtоgrарhу iѕ dead, I think рhоtоgrарhу iѕ an еxtrеmеlу уоung аrt fоrm. I аlѕо lооk аt thе hiѕtоrу оf рhоtоgrарhу and see that many of its milеѕtоnеѕ hаvе bееn bаѕеd оn thе tесhnоlоgу оf the timе.

 

Photography iѕ gоing through аn exciting trаnѕitiоn реriоd аѕ mаnу film photographers are beginning tо еxрlоrе thе nеw сараbilitiеѕ made роѕѕiblе with digital саmеrаѕ. Traditional аѕресtѕ ѕuсh as thе fundаmеntаl tесhniԛuеѕ аnd lеnѕ еԛuiрmеnt hаvе remained thе ѕаmе, hоwеvеr others are mаrkеdlу diffеrеnt. Phоtоgrарhу iѕ acquired whеn wеаthеr соnditiоnѕ, ѕun angle, аnd, whеn аррliсаblе, wаtеr levels аrе optimal tо еnѕurе thаt рhоtоgrарhѕ will be ѕuitаblе fоr a vаriеtу of purposes using ѕtаndаrd рhоtоgrаmmеtriс tесhniԛuеѕ.

Copyright Annette Hullender - Cherry Creek State Park

Copyright Annette Hullender - Cherry Creek State Park

Nаturаl light in рhоtоgrарhу iѕ сruсiаl if уоu want tо tаkе great portraits. Many assume thiѕ means thе timе of day in which ѕhе саn ѕhооt hеr роrtrаitѕ iѕ limited. Phоtоgrарhу iѕ used tо preserve mеmоriеѕ оf favorite times, tо capture special mоmеntѕ, tо tеll stories, tо ѕеnd messages, and аѕ a ѕоurсе оf еntеrtаinmеnt. Photography iѕ an аrt оf particularity, but thiѕ doesn't mеаn thаt photography must bе frоm "outside in. If рhоtоgrарhу hаѕ too muсh nаturаl ассidеnt, it will hаrdlу саrrу viѕuаl dуnаmiс. But if it hаѕ too much рhоtоgrарhеr intеrvеntiоn аnd mаniрulаtiоn оf thе subject, it will paralyze thе еxрrеѕѕiоn оf thе subject's essence.

 

Once уоu'vе gоttеn уоur hеаd аrоund this аnd ѕtаrtеd ѕhооting a fеw рiсturеѕ, уоu might find that photography iѕ ԛuitе fun аnd interesting. At firѕt glance it wоuld ѕееm that unlеѕѕ уоu аrе a full-time adventure аthlеtе, аdvеnturе рhоtоgrарhу iѕ something thаt уоu will have littlе орроrtunitу tо apply уоurѕеlf tо? Hоwеvеr, nоthing соuld bе further frоm thе truth. When lеаrning hоw tо ѕhооt асtiоn рhоtоѕ, thеrе are mаnу wауѕ you саn bеgin рrасtiсing аnd honing уоur ѕkillѕ whеn you are fаr frоm thе mountains оr wild rivеrѕ.

 

Sоmе are аblе tо select a wоndеrful location tо ѕhооt аlоng with having the "artistic еуе" tо use the natural bасkdrор tо оbtаin thе bеѕt photographs роѕѕiblе. Pinhole рhоtоgrарhу iѕ grеаt fun аnd it can bе the mоѕt serious kind оf рhоtоgrарhу. There is thе frееdоm frоm vуing for the lаtеѕt аnd thе greatest thе induѕtrу has to оffеr, and thе freedom from the dеluѕiоn that tесhniсаllу ever mоrе perfect equipment iѕ rеԛuirеd for great photography.

 

FOUR MАIN TУРЕЅ ОF PHOTOGRAPHY

There аrе many vаriоuѕ kinds оf рhоtоgrарhу in оur lives. Gеnеrаllу ѕреаking, fоur mаin tуреѕ hаvе some rеlаtiоnѕhiр with оur lives. Thеу аrе роrtrаit photography, fаmilу рhоtоgrарhу, fine аrt рhоtоgrарhу, аnd wildlife photography. Eасh оnе hаѕ their оwn characteristics.

 

1. Pоrtrаit photography is thе fоrm of rесоrding реорlе'ѕ fасеѕ in many diffеrеnt ѕituаtiоnѕ аnd сарturing vаriоuѕ еmоtiоnѕ undеr different соnditiоn. Thiѕ kind of photography dоеѕn't hаvе to bе limitеd tо thе ѕtudiо. In fасt, mаnу реорlе hope thеir оwn portraits tо be shot оn livе or in thеir hоmеѕ. So thе key point liеѕ in thе ѕubjесt thеmѕеlvеѕ rаthеr than the bасkgrоund. But that definitely nоt mean that wе саn totally ignore the innovation of thе соmроѕitiоn of each shot. Thе сrеаtivе роrtrаit рhоtоgrарhу can саtсh mаnу оf a реrѕоn'ѕ реrѕоnаlitiеѕ. Of соurѕе, must undеr ѕоmе important elements. Thе lighting iѕ a good оnе case. Whiсh iѕ сruсiаl to thе quality of рhоtоgrарhу, ѕо you nеvеr ѕhоuld mеаn аt this рrоblеm, ѕhоuld уоu?

Copyright Annette Hullender - A self portrait

Copyright Annette Hullender - A self portrait

 2. Family рhоtоgrарhу, as the name imрliеѕ, iѕ рhоtоgrарhу whiсh рау attention tо thе fаmilу mеmbеrѕ whо livеѕ together with love аnd care. Many diffеrеnt tесhniԛuеѕ аrе uѕеd by fаmilу рhоtоgrарhу tо рrеѕеnt thе bеѕt рiсturе whiсh iѕ showing a fаmilу in ѕinglе frame. Thе grеаt раrt оf thе fаmilу рhоtоgrарhу is thаt he саn solve many problems, such аѕ tеnѕiоn аtmоѕрhеrе, the ѕhу реорlе tо rеасh thе bеѕt condition. Fаmilу photography саn hеlр реорlе tо rесаll their miѕѕing rеlаtiоnѕhiрѕ duе to thе far diѕtаnсе, or ѕоmе реrѕоnаl biаѕеѕ.

Copyright Annette Hullender - Family Session at City Park in Denver, Colorado

Copyright Annette Hullender - Family Session at City Park in Denver, Colorado

3. Wildlife рhоtоgrарhу iѕ tо rесоrd thе viеwѕ оf thе whоlе nаturе world inсluding the аnimаl, plant, even thе mountains аnd rivеrѕ. Unlike thе traditional рhоtоgrарhу whiсh саn bе uѕеd fоr mаnу рurроѕе, wildlifе рhоtоgrарhу nееd ѕоmе ѕресiаl cameras. Evеrуthing hаѕ lifе. Thе wildlifе photographer's jоb is tо diѕсоvеr аnd rесоrd these livеѕ аrоund uѕ. Yes, thе рlаnt, thе аnimаl аnd the mоuntаin, thе rivеr аrе оur friends in thiѕ рlаnеt. They аlѕо are thе masters оf the wоrld. Sо wе ѕhоuld knоw the changes аnd dеvеlорmеntѕ оf thеm. Tоdау, thе wildlifе рhоtоgrарhу iѕ becoming mоrе аnd mоrе popular for mаnу реорlе.

Copyright Annette Hullender - Ostrich at Global Wildlife Center in Folsom, Louisiana

Copyright Annette Hullender - Ostrich at Global Wildlife Center in Folsom, Louisiana

 4. Finе art photography originates from Europe. Thе finе art photographer find that thrоugh thе different оf аnglеѕ, light, еxрrеѕѕiоn, сlоthеѕ, соѕmеtiсѕ, bасkgrоund аnd ѕо оn techniques, hе саn fullу show thе соnnоtаtiоn аnd сhаrасtеriѕtiсѕ. At thе same time conceal thе ѕhоrtсоmingѕ, to achieve a certain еffесt of bеаutifiсаtiоn. Everyone hаѕ thе same hеаrt to рurѕuе thе beauty. Wе саn unfold our good ѕidе by mеаnѕ of thе finе аrt рhоtоgrарhу.

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Meet Your Photographer!

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Hi Everyone! This blog post is admittantly self-indulgent, since it is about, well, me. But I figure if you are interested in getting pin-up portraits taken with me, you’ll want to know at least a little bit about who I am!

I started photography in 2016, but it wasn’t until September 9, 2018 that Emerald Fox Pin-Up was born. I had always known about pin-up portraiture and love looking at images on the web and I was so excited to jump into it! I seriously painted a wall blue, bought a couple outfits and props and hosted my first shoot!

I have three loves: pin-up, theatre and cheerleading! (Well, and my husband, and my dogs, and my friends…. but let’s keep it to just activities… ha ha!)

When I am not shooting or editing or doing one of the ga-zillion things you need to do to run a business, you can find me hanging out with kids either in a theatre or cheer practice. Did you know Bring it On was made into a musical? Like for the stage?!? It really was! Is it my dream to one day direct it? Definitely!!!!

When I shoot your pin-up session, I focus on posing and have a set number of poses that I try with each and every lady. But it is sooo important to me that you are portrayed as you! I can make ANY women look beautiful in a portrait! (Yes, even you!)

What else do you want to know about me? Comment below!

What is Pin-Up?

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What is Pin-Up

The term pin-up refers to the casual way that pin-up photographs are often displayed - taken out of a magazine and pinned-up to the wall, no frame or anything.

Today, pin-up is a 50’s stylized photograph, showcasing a women’s beauty and confidence! Pin-Up is somewhat hard to define because there are so many different styles of pin-up, but there are several key ingredients that work together to make a photo pin-up: curled hair, eyeliner wings, red lips, rosy cheeks, classy, yet subtly sexy poses, bright colors and vintage-inspired clothing.

Fun Fact: Brightly colored (red) lipstick is an essential part of pin-up because during World War 2, while everything else was being rationed, women were encourage to continue buying and wearing lipstick. This was so that they could send notes to soldiers with lipstick kisses! This was thought to increase soldiers’ morale.

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Pin-Up is very body positive! While most traditions regarding women during the 1950’s belong in the past, women alive during that time were not striving to have the perfect, skinny female form like women today. Pin-up is for every women, any size!

Pin-Up is about empowering women to feel more beautiful, confident and even sexy! How often do you hear a lady say they hate having their picture taken? A lot of women can’t imagine looking great in just one photo, pin-up changes that! It focuses on posing women in flattering positions, while shooting from the best angles and with controlled lighting.

Many of my clients have stated, right off the bat, “I’m awkward,” or, “I have a bad smile,” or “I’m not thin enough for that!” They are always surprised and amazed when they get to see their pin-up images and get to see themselves as beautiful in tens of images. Talk about a confidence boost!

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Don't Book That Cheap Photographer!

A killer deal is a killer deal, right? WRONG! Ever heard ‘you get what you pay for?’ It applies to photographer’s as well. (Anyone selling you a service, really….)

Let me break it down.

1) A great photographer has years of experience and understands what she must charge to make a decent living. Great photographers charge what they are worth and stay in the industry for years. Cheap photographers get burnt out after their 10th measly $300 session, realize they aren’t making enough to sustain themselves and either raise their prices or drop out of the industry altogether.

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2. Everyone has a smart phone. A smart phone with a fancy camera. If you want pictures for cheap, get your friend to take pictures for you with their phone. Seriously. I see photographers working for less than it would cost to rent a fraction of their equipment. The pictures won’t be as nice and prints will definitely not turn out well, but you’ve got your cheap photographer!

3. You get what you pay for. Really. Many photographers won’t admit it, but they are not going to put themselves into a project 100% for a $250 family session. Prep time, location scouting, editing time, retouching time, renting a nice lens, replacing their flash, etc. A ton of work should be put into each and every session. Photography is a luxury service and each client should be treated as a luxury client, but when the client is a ‘discount’ client, the photographer (subconsciously or not) simply can’t provide the same level fo service.

4. It’s not fair to yourself! If you go to the trouble to hire a photographer, choose a location, get yourself photo-ready and set aside the time, you deserve an awesome experience. You deserve something better than quick edits and quick turnover.

Why to hire a full-service production company for your wedding

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Full-Service Production Company or Separate Vendors?

When deciding on who and what you want to capture your special day, there are a myriad of considerations. You will have the option of hiring a full-service production company, offering photography and videography or separate vendors for each.

On the video side of things, whenever I first talk with a bride, I make sure to ask if they are in need of videography and photography. Much more often than not, she says that she has already secured her photographer, so is just looking for a videographer, since it is not something that is offered from her photographer.

I am here to tell you that she has made a huge mistake! Any modern bride should find a full-service production company to do both her photography and videography. Keep reading to see my top 5 reasons you need a photographer/videographer team.

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Top 5 Reasons you Need a Photographer/Videographer team on your wedding Day

1. Discounts

We all know a huge part of your photographer/videographer considerations is budget! There is no way around it. Although you want world class for both, many times it is simply not doable. And even if it is doable, wouldn't you rather save a bit to put somewhere else? Most photographer/videographer companies offer discounts to customers that bundle! Here at Emerald Fox, we offer as much as $1000 off for both services, when purchased for the same event.

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2. Chemistry between your photographer and videographer

This is super important! I once read a craigslist post stating that the bride wanted a videographer, but the videographer needed to STAY OUT of the photographer's way.  No no no! A good photographer can work around a videographer and/or any other vendor and vice versa. When your videographer and photographer have worked together in the past, both mediums will turn out better. They can also help each other out in a pinch. The photographer can help mic or run sound tests, etc. 

3. Positioning and Communication

It is important to get wide shots at certain moments. For example, during the first dance, a wide shot is a classic angle expected from wedding photographers. A media team can work together to ensure that the photographer gets a nice wide shot before moving in closer.

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The photographer can then use a telephoto lens to capture close-ups without the videographer in the shot.

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4. Fewer contracts, vendor meetings, vendor confirmations, paperwork, etc.

With one company, you have less to sign, less to stress about, less to plan! 

5. Mixed-Media

This is probably the most important reason to hire a videography/photography team, rather than separate companies: A videographer can incorporate your professional wedding photographs into their videos. Check out this engagement video using photography and video from Emerald Fox Productions - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qAMo6OxqsTw&t=51s

Have you booked your photographer/videographer team for your wedding? Contact us today for a quote and booking information!

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One Photo, 6 Ways

The title says it all! One photo, edited 6 ways using photoshop. Comment below whichever is your favorite!

1. High Contrast, with colors that pop!

This is my signature style of photography. I love the eyes in this photo - like you can right into her soul.

This is my signature style of photography. I love the eyes in this photo - like you can right into her soul.

2. Hazy and Dream-like

The brightness of this is beautiful in this setting!

The brightness of this is beautiful in this setting!

3. Black and White

I don't usually use black and white in my pictures. Check out my blog about it here: https://www.emeraldfoxproductions.com/blog/2018/1/24/black-and-white-photography

I don't usually use black and white in my pictures. Check out my blog about it here: https://www.emeraldfoxproductions.com/blog/2018/1/24/black-and-white-photography

4. Antique

This has that old-timey feel to it. 

This has that old-timey feel to it. 

4. Desaturated

The colors are still there, but not the focus of the photograph.

The colors are still there, but not the focus of the photograph.

6. Tinted with warmth

Oranges and yellow are subtly added to create an overall warmness.

Oranges and yellow are subtly added to create an overall warmness.

Engagement Photography Session Jitters

Ah... Engagement sessions! Some photographers love them, some photographers hate them, but when it comes down to it, most MOB's want them for their daughter's Save the Dates. And 90% of brides and grooms will state that "they don't photograph well," or "We don't like to get our pictures taken," or "he/she/we look awkward in front of the camera..." or some variation.

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Whether you are an award-winning model or average joe, your photography WILL capture bad pictures of you. Whether it's a bad angle, in the middle of a sneeze or saying something or a momentary nose wrinkle, bad photos will happen. EVERYONE has a double chin from the right angle! 

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If you have hired a good photography, she will take loads of photos and toss aside the bad ones without a second thought. (We've seen enough bad photos to judge yours!) Here are some quick tips to getting out engagement photo jitters!

1. RELAX. RELAX. RELAX. 

I know, easier said then done! Wedding planning is stressful and your engagement shoot doesn't have to be! Try to think of your photographer as a new friend, celebrating your engagement with you and your fiancé! 

2. Choose a comfortable location.

No matter how skilled a photographer is, he can't change your facial expression in photoshop. Don't choose the top of a mountain in the middle of winter, unless you are used to standing in the cold and planning on wearing your coats for the whole thing! If you don't feel comfortable in a bikini, don't bring your photography to a beach. If you aren't comfortable, the camera will pick up on that. 

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3. Wear clothing that makes you feel hot! 

The best thing to wear to any photo shoot is based entirely on what you feel the most confident it! Don't worry too much about color or the current trends. If you feel confident, it will show in your engagement shoot!

4. Professional Hair and Make-up matters!

Really. I know it is expensive to add this on top of the engagement shoot price, but it really does make a huge difference. A professional stylist knows what looks good on camera, versus what looks goods in real life. 

5. Try out a couple different outfit styles. 

It's always fun to mix it up. Start with something casual, like what you would normally wear. Then dress it up a bit - maybe a suit and tie for him and a long, formal dress for her! Then maybe something fun! If you love the Broncos, but she loves the Chiefs, rock your team's jersey and be a little silly!

6. Don't worry too much about looking good in every photo. 

Like I said earlier, there will be some bad pictures, and that is okay! You most likely will never know or see them. A good photographer can give you little movement tips to bring out the best composition and make you look the most flattering!

 

My Editing Process

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I adore editing. It is my favorite part of the entire photography process. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE the production aspect - attending weddings, directing subjects, capturing a beautiful candid moment... But editing is where I get to be an artist. 

I know that many photographers would disagree with me. They feel enslaved by their computer, they just want to get out there and shoot! But for me, editing is where the magic happens. 

This is an image I shot, straight from my camera. 

Subject: Mike Mayes 

Subject: Mike Mayes 

This is how a raw image comes out. The colors are drab, the contrast isn't quite where it needs to be and it is simply missing something. But it is extremely versatile and contains an extraordinary amount of data. 

I really like this photo because of the way he eyes are looking at the camera. It is as if I can see straight into his soul and he is looking right back at the viewer. 

My first step in my editing process is to open the image in Adobe Camera Raw and do some quick, full image corrections: brightness, contrast, color saturation, etc. This is my result:

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Next, I open the image in photoshop and do some quick fixes to the overall image, using the more advanced tools that photoshop offers. 

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Then, I brighten the eyes and teeth and do some more intricate fixes, using masks and special brushes.

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After I focus on specific parts of the images with masks, comes the most time-consuming step. I use photoshops advance features to do a frequency separation. This puts the colors and textures on two different layers, so that I can manipulate either of the two without affecting the other.  I clean up any blemishes, take up large wrinkles and even out skin tone. I like to leave a few natural blemishes. I don't want to give my subjects magazine-cover skin, just clean it up a bit.

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Then, comes the final step. If you notice, my frequency separation made his face flat, without any changes in light. I used the curves feature to add in some light changes across his face. 

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From there, the image is finished!

 

 

 

 

 

The importance of 5.1 surround Mixing

Emerald Fox Productions 5.1 Studio

Emerald Fox Productions 5.1 Studio

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I've been obsessed with realistic sounding audio since my time as a Music Tech major at UCM. Here I discovered 5.1 audio for myself and started to comprehend what realistic recorded audio could sound like.

With 5.1 surround, the soundscape opens up immensely and adds a tremendous amount of dynamic range (4 extra speakers will do that) and clarity to dialogue and quiet delicate sounds. Not only are fun sound effects entertaining to listen to when being output from the surround speakers, but the small details of the setting's reverb and overall room tone in a film or TV production is what adds verisimilitude and more accurately places the audience in the moment. 

It is true that most media is played back in stereo via speakers or headphones but it can be beneficial to present a 5.1 mix. I often watch internet videos in front of a home theater setup and using an audio decoder like Dolby Pro Logic II, the original mix is mostly faithfully recreated.

Official Dolby Pro Logic II Logo

Official Dolby Pro Logic II Logo

5.1 or even 7.1 gaming headphones take the surround track and encodes to a binaural audio signal. Here, algorithms involving audio phase cancellation, filtering, and shifting simulate a surround sound experience.

5.1 audio does not only have to be associated with film. It can have a place in music recordings and even radio/live theater. In music, a mixing style called "in the band" places individual instruments in dedicated speakers around the room. Hence the name, this creates an environment that places the audience on the stage.

Normally, 5.1 audio tends to be mixed from an "in the auditorium" where the direct sounds from the performers are mainly outputted from the front, and reverb and audience sounds from the rear. Just like in film or TV, radio and theater can utilize 5.1 to help tell a story and keep the audience interested. 

~Ross Hullender

Black and White Photography

Meghan and Spencer Engagement Shoot

Meghan and Spencer Engagement Shoot

Some people think it looks artsy. Others use black and white to save images that may be slightly out of focus or shot in bad lighting. Some believe that color can distract from an image's subject, so they take the color out to control the viewer's focus. For me, I very rarely use black and white photography. 

Look through my online portfolio here and you will see mostly color. My usual style is high-contrast images with colors that pop! 

I use black and white to invoke emotion:

Black and White Image with a pink tint - Invokes emotions such as love, bliss and hope.

Black and White Image with a pink tint - Invokes emotions such as love, bliss and hope.

Black and White Wedding Photography - This photo is not about anything else, except this couple's love for each other. 

Black and White Wedding Photography - This photo is not about anything else, except this couple's love for each other. 

This black and white photograph invokes feelings of hope for the future and optimism.

This black and white photograph invokes feelings of hope for the future and optimism.

It is my opinion that black and white photographs should be used sparingly and only when there is a clear reason and purpose for converting the photograph to black and white. However, many photographers disagree with me. In fact, some photographers shoot ONLY in black and white. Check out this incredible landscape photographer here. 

I have found that the subject of black and white photography is actually quite controversial in the world of photography. What do you think: Do you like black and white photography? When do you find it appropriate or inappropriate?

Comment below!

Finding Blue Skies

Koryn and Dan's Engagement Shoot at Garden of the Gods

Koryn and Dan's Engagement Shoot at Garden of the Gods

It feels strange to be a wedding photographer looking for a wedding photographer to photograph my wedding. I want to be a good client. I want to be easy-going and care-free and no trouble at all. But I also want to find a photographer who knows what they are doing. I want to find a photographer who has a similar style to mine. I want to find a photographer who has similar rates to me (I'm not paying a photographer more than I charge for something I could do myself). I want to find a photographer who exposes the sky "correctly".

By blue sky, I don't necessarily mean blue sky. Obviously, if there if the sky is not blue on my wedding date (July 13, 2018!!!!), I am out-of-luck. (Although, in Colorado, I assume there will be blue sky for at least part of the day.) I am really talking about detail in the sky. Clouds, nuances in color - pinks, greens, yellows, oranges, grays, etc. 

Wedding photography with no detail in the sky - I found this photo through a quick google image search.

Wedding photography with no detail in the sky - I found this photo through a quick google image search.

Now, I am not saying there is anything wrong with this photo. Really, I am not. If this is what the photographer wanted their photo to be, who am I to say they are wrong? Perhaps this is a popular style that simply goes over my head. I simply don't care for it and photography is, of course, subjective.

Anyway, I won't go into the technical aspects of HOW to achieve "proper" exposure on both subject and sky, because that would be boring. But, my journey to find a photographer up to my standards has been quite difficult. 

First, I looked at The Knot and Wedding Wire. This was difficult, because it takes forever to actually find a nice portfolio of the photographer. The Knot has made this especially difficult because they took away the website button for any free photographer sites. Anyway, no luck there. 

Then, I found a photographer on Thumbtack. I had tried out the platform for awhile and ultimately decided against it (that's another story). So, I found a photographer - I'll call her Mary. I was excited about this photographer - her depth of field was shallow, her colors popped and she had a good amount of candid photographs displayed on her site! The only thing was the sky - lacking in any detail whatsoever! 

I figured I could just tell her that I preferred blue skies to blown out. We set up a meeting at Starbucks and I met with her for about 30 minutes. I really liked her and thought she would be perfect. I didn't want to appear like a know-it-all, so I didn't mention that I, myself, was a wedding photographer. Anyway, near the end of the meetings, when she asked if I had any questions, I said, "Well, I noticed in your portfolio, there wasn't a lot of detail in your skies, but I really prefer blue skies." 

She then went into a lot of jargon about why blue skies couldn't be acheived. Ever. 

Amanda and Ryan's Winter Wedding in January... 60 degrees!

Amanda and Ryan's Winter Wedding in January... 60 degrees!

So, I decided not to go with her. Back to square one.

I have been trying out craigslist advertising, which has produced mixed results (another story). I decided to post an ad for a photographer who can pull off blue skies. 

I received about 20 responses. Many of them were mean. Some were very sarcastic. "I can guarantee blue skies if we can set up your ceremony perpendicular to the sun." I had also posted my budget and one photographer broke down all of the costs associated with wedding photography (believe me, I know the costs!) and rudely chastised me for requesting something underneath her rates.  "What did you expect, $150?" 

"No. I did not expect $150"

Anyway, a new wedding photographer, with a large event portfolio eventually responded to my ad. His skies were blue! I am currently waiting for him to confirm that he is available on July 13. Fingers crossed!