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"Little Miss Sass"

Here we go, Blog number 2! Rather than keeping this messy work of words a wedding only blog, I decided to expand on the idea some more and talk about everything I work on. This week is all about Emma! If you didn’t know, Emma is my adorable little sister who knows it and shows it. Each and every time I get Emma, aka “Little Miss Sass”, in front of the camera we have a blast, and create something better & better each and every shoot. These images were taken at Orr’s Farm Market for Emma’s entry in the Little Miss Appleseed Pageant during the Apple Harvest Festival here in Martinsburg, WV. This location is amazing because it changes with the seasons, but fall is absolutely my favorite. With full apple trees and a cool, cloudy afternoon; I knew we were going to work some magic.

People ask me all the time, how do you get such a young subject to cooperate? Well it’s not easy, I’ll tell ya that. Emma has had a camera in her face since birth, so she’s acclimated pretty well to being photographed. But as I tell everyone, patience is key. I had a lot of practice catching a child's attention while working for Lifetouch Portrait Studios. I learned that kids don’t wanna be spoken too like a kid, most of them want to feel included and important. So little things like showing the them the back of a camera, or even making a game of it really have a visible effect on your imagery. And if they’re having fun, the expressions and emotions you catch will look even more natural. For example, we told Emma to reach for the tallest apple and she would win a prize (candy, its always candy). It’s little tricks and hacks like these that really separate your images from others, and the only way you can learn them is by getting out there and shooting.

Fellow Photogs, Let’s talk about exposure! The first half of this shoot we were fortunate enough to have nice even light due to the clouds, but about 30 minutes in the clouds broke and the sun started beating down on us. This make everything super bright, which makes it difficult to get those dreamy even tones. There are a few things I did to make sure I still got images that I know I could work with, and I'd love to share them with you!

  • First of all, shoot in RAW. If you’re not, you wont have total control of your final product unless your lighting is PERFECT. Which happens less than 10% of the time.

  • Secondly, keep the sun behind your subject. This keeps the tones even on your subjects face. The background of your images may still be bright, so I suggest shooting SLIGHTLY darker than what you normally would, like between -1 and 0 on your camera’s light meter. (Don’t worry, if you’re shooting in raw you’ll be able to brighten them up and even them out)

  • And lastly, find the shade. This seems counter productive, I know. But lots of sunlight isn’t always great for photos unless you know what you’re doing. So if you’re in a pinch.. always find the shade. This will allow you to get those nice even tones without worrying about over exposing the rest of the image. Now be careful when using trees or anything that can let light through, this can cast super ugly shadows on your subject and while you think it’s creative, your client is likely to disagree.

So I may have rambled on this one, but hey! I love what I do and I love to talk about it. If anyone has any questions about what I’ve discussed, I’d be more than happy to start a discussion!

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