My New Website

I had built my website on WordPress.com and was pretty happy with it except the layout just didn’t work efficiently enough so i decided to start again….again. I love it now, there is the Home page which i would like to customise with my logo but apart from that i am pleased with how it looks – clean/simple and easy to navigate.

My favourite page is the blog:

https://perfectmoments-photography.com/blog-2/

 

Our New Venture!

Ok so my big STUDIO DREAM may just come true…. myself and Kamila have applied for a premises in wrexham, it is a central location, has 4 rooms and 2 of those have amazing window light.

There is no other Photography Studio within Wrexham town centre so we think this will put us in a great position.

I have drawn us up a Business Plan to the estate agents and will find out next week after their board meeting whether we get it or not and we have opened a joint bank account, designed our logo, pricing, made a 3D design of the studio ready but we don’t want to give any details away yet in case we jinx it all……but OMG EXCITED ISN’T THE WORD!!

 

Photography Show

Kamila and i were so excited for this day, she had been before and i was meant to go the year previously but couldn’t because of my children being poorly…so i was super hyped!! And it didn’t disappoint, it was like an Aladdin’s cave!

We walked (occasionally ran) around trying to get to see everything on our list but didn’t manage it in the slightest because we got drawn into stalls with luxurious albums and baby prop stands and equipments stands so we missed some of the talks we intended to see.

When we arrived we just caught the end of Helen Sloan on The Nikon Stage and i was DEVASTATED to have missed this one..not only does she shoot with all the best Nikon cameras – Two DF’s for her on set landscapes, D3’s, D4 and a D800 for her Studio Photography and her main lenses are the 24-70, 50 and 85 1.4 is her favourite. She is the Game Of Thrones photographer and that is my ultimate favourite Tv series so she is a bit of a hero to me….and a lucky woman 😀

We caught some of the other talks but the main one for us was Lara Jade on the Canon Stage, she is amazing i love her fashion work. They had a model on stage in front of a texture patterned pop up background and she demonstrated how she photographed her, using a large octabox and in front of that another light with a beauty dish on it. her photos were tethered to the projector screen for us all to see and her results were amazing straight from the camera….so much so that i went out and bought the same lighting set up…..yes i am easily persuaded! ha

The day was awesome and we nearly got a hotel so we could stay the next day but managed to pull ourselves from there and can’t wait to go next year!

Adding Fog

To create a fog effect i followed one of Phlearns videos –

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=042qmY5lxgs

I made a new layer and then using his fog brush which is available on his website i painted fog in different sizes and colours picking from the lighter colours that were in the image, i did this on a couple of different layers so that i could play with the opacity. I then used a gaussian blur on the fog layers because it looked fake so with a bit of blur it softened the edges and made it look more realistic.

To change the overall colour i added a curves layer and played round with the red, blue & green channels until i was happy with it, i wanted something that was a bit moody and cinematic.

And to finish it off i downloaded a photo of a crow off google images and threw that in for added eeriness! 🙂

Below is the before and after –

Adding Contour Foundation

Using an image of myself from our studio session last week i then followed one of Phlearns videos on youtube –

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q_Nu21j2hk0

Where he shows how you can add contour makeup….genius! This will definitely come in handy for making portraits pop. I went a bit over-kill on my example but i just did it so it would stand out for this.

You use the colour pick tool and choose a shadow area then add a new layer and paint where the low lights are, for example under the cheek bone, at the temple. Then you do the same for the highlighted areas, pick a colour from there (make it lighter if needed) then paint in all the highlights, for example on top of the cheekbone, along the jawline.

Screen Shot 2016-03-09 at 19.44.10

Then individually, set each layer to Hard Light in the blending mode then add a gaussian blur quite a lot so there is no definition at the edges of where you have painted.

If the colours are too strong you need to go into IMAGE>ADJUSTMENTS>HUE/SATURATION and lower the saturation to what looks best.

Also if you need to remove some of the contoured areas you can add a layer mask to each of the layers and then using black just paint out those bits using a soft brush.

 

Creating Light Rays

For this i followed one of Phlearns videos on Youtube, he has brilliant tutorials and really easy to understand.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CG-3_bvX2DY

I needed an image that had the sun in the background, i probably could of found a better one if i had of looked longer but i didn’t want to spend ages getting lost in my archives!

The sun ray effect was achieved by using the brush tool, changing the shape dynamics,  scattering and the size of the brush tip shape. It changed the shape of the brush to different size dots which i then painted over the image on a new layer and then repeated again on another new layer using larger dots and concentrating them where the sun is.

A radial blur was then applied, making sure the centre of the radial was in the same place as the sun and then this was applied to both of those layers and it turned the dots into rays.

I then played with the blending modes of those layers until it looked realistic, i used screen, i wanted it to be quite subtle. It didn’t take very long to do and it was really interesting to see what effects can be created just by changing the brush and using the radial blur.

Dark Fairy

I entered the ‘Fairytale’ February Child Photo Competition

http://www.childphotocompetion.com

I found this competition only a couple of days before the last submission day so i didn’t have time to take another image specifically for it so i used one that i had taken the week prior of my daughter in the studio. I wanted to turn her into a fairy so i looked on youtube and found this video which gave me an idea what to do –

http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=fairy+wingsin+photoshop

I downloaded some fairy wings brushes and added them in photoshop. I did this in lots of layers and kept building it up to try and make it look as real as i could (to my current photoshop abilities). Once i was happy with it i flattened all the layers and then used the dodge and burn tool to enhance the highlights and shadows on the dress and wings.

I didn’t win but it was exciting taking part and i am planning on entering the Black & White competition next…and this time i will be able to spend more time doing it.

Fabrics & Textures

Fabrics and textures can add so much depth and feeling to an image, a photographer that i have always admired Sue Bryce is the queen of this department. She really experiments with the movement of fabric and textures backgrounds which give her photos such a timeless feel.

Kamila and i have very similar tastes and are now working on some projects involving handmade outfits and backdrops, we would like to see what we can create without spending a fortune.

Today we used some strips of tulle, an inside out dress, a crochet piece of material, some mottled effect fabric, a fan….and an awkward model

DSC_9648

Me!

Today was just a practice but once we have made some outfits we plan to get some models in.

I feel so uncomfortable in front of the camera so Kamila did really well instructing me how to position myself… this is an area that we are going to study more because as we found out the positioning of hands and body are so important.

My favourite image from the shoot, i edited this in Lightroom & Photoshop giving myself a skin tidy up, lowering the temp, added some softness by reducing the clarity and adjusting the tone curve.

DSC_9633-Edit-9

My New Website

I set myself a challenge to build myself a new website and after 24 hours of no sleep and sheer determination to do it, using what i learnt when creating my blog for uni and no-ones help (except youtube 🙂 ) i now have a new website for my newborn/child/family photography.

It still needs some work but it is almost there and i am really pleased how far i managed to get.

http://www.perfectmoments-photography.com

 

 

Buy it or make it?

One area of photography that i would really like to push is newborns…i really enjoy spending time creating props and scenes and really build up an image. Most of the props i have – miniature beds, raft, nest i have made myself because to buy them they range from £40 to over £100. So with the gift of an old jigsaw and some other tools and some foraged wood and materials i have made them myself.

The other thing that’s very popular is newborn outfits – rompers, trouser sets, bonnets and you can buy these from different sellers on Esty and facebook all ranging from £20 to around £40 per outfit! So me being me and my attitude of ‘well if someone else has made it so can i’ (this attitude is going to be the death of me :-/) i decided to purchase a couple of outfits to use as templates so i can make my own versions. This makes much more sense because then i can really customise the outfit to match the setting i create.

So after purchasing a singer sewing machine and a trip to Abakhan to buy whatever semi stretchy material that i could as well as many other accessories i have made a template as close as i could to the outfits that i have bought.

And after several youtube sewing tutorials and many mistakes i have made several little outfits which i am pretty chuffed to bits with…..i had to reign in my excitement when i then decided i was going to make new curtains for the house and cushions for the sofa Whoooooah steady…just focus on the original plan Suze for goodness sake!