Tuesday, March 01, 2011

All my secrets, REVEALED. Not really.


Winter photo sessions can be fun! However, here in the Ozarks, the colors in Jan, Feb, and March can be quite drab. Beautiful, snowy days are a bit rare (unfortunately), so what we usually have is cold, wind, and sometimes... dare I say it... ICE.
But I have found, that sometimes those gorgeous Fall colors, or even the Spring gardens can actually take away from your main subject. I have taken family portraits, seen them above a mantel, and heard people say, "what a beautiful place!" Thank you, but that's not what I was going for...
So you want to take a great picture, but it is the dead of winter. What, really, can we do with all those drab colors? In the spirit of simplicity, here are a few bullet points on how to take amazing winter pictures!

A) Window light is KING. Turn off your in-camera flash!! There is nothing better than natural light. It's absolutely wonderful, and by far the most flattering on people's skin tones.

B) CLOUDS are your FRIENDS. Pray for warm days with mostly cloudy skies. Don't think that because it's overcast, forget going outside! Clouds are like a huge studio soft box that filters light evenly and makes for amazing details!
C) BLACK and WHITE covers a multitude of sins... most people think this is a no brainer, but I'm finding that there is a little more to it, to get it just right. Look for good contrast in brights and darks. Use a simple editing program (FREE ones are even pretty good), and take out the color. Don't just hit "change to black and white," though. Try desaturating the color, throw in a little warmth, brighten it up, and increase the contrast. There. Done. You can have that edgy, studio look almost instantly.

D) TEXTURE, TEXTURE, TEXTURE! Look for rocks, wood, rust, knubby fabrics, anything that can offer a bit of texture where otherwise there is little color. This is especially important if you want to use the black and white approach.

Don't wait around for the Spring blooms, thaw yourself out and try something new. Play with your camera and experiment with its settings. You may just find out that you love the results, and (oh no, what have I done?!?) you may not need to hire me to do this for you.

Of course, if you need me... my contact information is all over this website!

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