portraits

MAEGAN

STREET STYLE + CAPTURING MOVEMENT

It's always fun to work with friends, especially ones as beautiful and amazing as Maegan. I usually experiment more and push myself out of my comfort zone when I'm with friends. The situation is relaxed and not stressful, so it's a great opportunity to try new things.

I've never shot a fitness shoot, so of course I told Maegan to bring her workout clothes and get ready to jump (she's a gymnast).

I also was working in a natural light studio for the first time, so this session was full of firsts. The studio was so much fun to work with, but it did take me awhile to figure out my exposure levels. The studio had a beautiful window, and I love the look of windows being slightly overexposed, but it's hard to find a balance. I ended up doing a little bit of both, which was great because when I was post-processing I found out what I liked betterslightly overexposed, because if it was too extreme the subject started to become fuzzy. 

Another thing I experimented with was showing movement. Capturing a jump crisply creates great photos, but sometimes the lack of motion makes the photo seem stale and lacking. By lowering my shutter speed I was able to capture crisp looking shots that also showed how the subject was moving. 

maegan.fitness

After I made Maegan jump, stretch and do handstands we went outside for some street style shots. It was an overcast day, which created a beautiful, moody look. Because there was no direct sunlight outside, I tried to position Maegan in a way that still highlighted her face. For example, there was a covered area, so I had Maegan stand just barely in front of where the edge of the roof was. This caused the background to be darker and made it more apparent that Maegan's face was highlighted.

maegan.streetstyle

The beautiful thing about overcast days is that you can take pictures anywhere. You don't have to strategically place your subjects as much, which I actually enjoy, but for street style photography it allows the subject to be more natural. I could have Maegan casually walk across the street and get some really great motion shots from any angle. 

The best thing about photography is that it's dynamic. There is no best or worst, you merely make the best out of every situation. Sure, overcast has been labeled as "ideal," and I love shooting on over cast days, but being able to adjust to any situation is the key to being successful. Something will always not go as planned. That is why I try to challenge myself by shooting at various times of the day, even the dreaded high noon, and at locations that will make me have to be creative. 

If you can let go of expectations of how you want a shoot to go or how your pictures should look, then you can look at issues as challenges. You will be able to create beautiful shots no matter what, and photography will be much more enjoyable. 

"WHEREVER THERE IS LIGHT, ONE CAN PHOTOGRAPH."

-ALFRED STIEGLITZ

 

SALLY

FINDING YOUR STYLE + COMPARISON

This shoot is a very memorable shoot for me because I felt like I was getting close to my true style! When I finished editing it I was so happy about how it turned out and was really proud to send these photos to my client. 

Finding a style is something I'm insecure about, and it can really ruin my experiences with clients because I get so worried about what they'll think and other people. It's hard not to compare yourself to other photographers who have established a style that they're known for. 

I look to a wide variety of photographers with very different styles. And I know that they have most likely been through what I'm going through right now, but it's hard finding a style that represents you and that's genuine.

What I've been doing so far to find my style is mimicking other photographers styles. I know, I know, I just talked about not comparing yourself to others, but I have a reason behind this madness. By mimicking other photographers I learn more about editing and what I can do with my photos. I also experiment more and it forces me to go out of my comfort zone. This has really helped me figure out what I love and what I don't like. There are a lot of styles I love, but sometimes when I try to mimic them it doesn't feel right for me. 

Another reason why it is important for me to find a style is because I want to represent myself in a genuine way that I'm proud of. I don't want to be consciously thinking, "Do this like so and so, and always do this, never use that color," rather than following my own intuition of what I like and what I think looks good. I think this is how other photographers with distinct styles discovered theirs, and it was probably just as hard and they might even still feel insecure about it. 

So, basically that's why I'm so happy with this shoot. The subject was so  much fun, she looked great, and I had FUN! (Even thought it was also the coldest shoot of my life.) If we always are comparing ourselves to others it's easy to forget how much fun photography is and why we are doing it in the first place. During this shoot I stopped trying to mimic other photographerswhich resulted in a lot of fun backlighting that I loved and I just followed my instincts. 

"Have fun, and be yourself." - Me (And another bajillion people...)

"Comparison is the thief of joy."

- Theodore Roosevelt

Don't try to be someone else. Be inspired, learn, and always go outside of your comfort zone. Which is sometimes posting a picture you know other people won't like, but you love it. 

Feel free to check out the rest of the shoot below! I was a little trigger happy with this shoot, so there are a lot... 

"What we choose to embrace, to be responsive to, is the purest reflection of who we are and what we love."

-Terryl L. Givens