Eight reasons why you should have a boudoir session. (article reprint)

Putting your model at ease ...

As there are people who love being in front of camera, there are just as many who don’t. Getting your client comfortable in front of the camera takes a little finesse, humor and understanding. If you know your subject that’s the first battle in making them feel comfortable in front of a camera and help them forget that you’re there.

My recent client loves selfies and has an Instagram wall to prove it! However, in the beginning of a recent shoot, she was uncomfortable. But with a little customer focus, she started to relax. Knowing her personality helped a great deal.

Our camaraderie was easy and we were able to laugh and joke, which put her at ease and made the shoot a good one. With this session and all my shoots, there are three things I try and do to make each session go well:

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  1. Communicate - Tell them what to expect from the shoot. More importantly, ask them what their expectations are and look for their feedback. If there’s anything they’re not comfortable doing, it should be discussed.

  2. Establish trust - People usually have a hard time in front of the camera because they don’t have control. Selfies give people control over the content and it can be easily deleted when they don’t like what they see. With a photographer, they can’t take the camera and start deleting, which is why it’s important to let your client know what you’re looking for, what you will and won’t do and what won’t happen without their say so. It’s also important to let them see a few photos, not enough to slow the shoot down, but enough to let them see that they’re doing a great job.

  3. Establish expectations - Although the client will choose the photos they like, the professionalism of the work as to be intact. If it’s not flattering or the exposure isn’t right or the pose is stilted, it shouldn’t be used. After all, your name is on your work.

My recent shoot was great and after a few pictures, the client chose pictures that both of us could live with! My favorite is shown here.

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Catching the rays of winter

Fall is my favorite time of year. The changing colors always make for fantastic photos. I’m not a hot weather person, but summer is a close second regarding colors. I love capturing the blooming of the colorful flowers and contrasting greenery. Surprisingly, winter seems to be a decent time of year to catch shades of varying colors. Beige, muted browns and whites tend to dominate this season. However, you can always find a hint of greenery or reds if you look around. I took advantage of the near 60 degree weather today and couldn’t resist walking through our local park and taking a few shoots.

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Lens on basketball: Prepping for the game

I can’t say emphatically that I'm a sports nut. However, I can say I love photographing sports events and I do have a favorite sport. Basketball. Does that make sense? I spent the early part of my teenage years watching the New York Knicks hold court—Walt “Clyde" Fraizer, Dave DeBusschere , Willis Reed, Earl “The Pearl” Monroe and Bill Bradley to name a few. As I grew into adulthood, The Portland Trailblazers and The Houston Rockets, featuring with my hero, Clyde “The Glide” Drexler, were my teams of choice and I continued to follow the sport. Little did I know that I would one day be photographing any sport--on any level. But I am.

When I do a shoot, I like to get there early. It’s important for me to choose my corner of the gym and set up. As you know, most school gyms don’t have the best lighting situation, I always like to take practice shots, adjust my camera settings and get a feel for the room.

I always carry my monopod with me. It’s compact and works much better than the tripod that tends to take up too much space.. When I’m not using it, I can keep it attached to my camera and unfold it at a moments notice. I’m shooting with a Rebel T7i, which is a nice little crop-sensor DSLR for this type of event.

The lens I use is my baby: Canon EF 135mm f2. Love, love, love this lens for sports and action photography. The shots are clean, crisp and the bokeh (background blur) is serious. I get so enthralled in my shooting, I almost forget to watch the game. However, these kids are hard to forget.

I’ve often heard sports enthusiasts say with gusto, “it’s the college teams you have to watch, because they play with heart.” It appears to be so. Yet, I have to say the middle school and high school kids I’ve photographed over the past few weeks, play with a heck of a lot of heart. The boys play with dedication, the girls with fierceness.

They’ll fit right into the college teams when they get there. And who knows, I may be in the stands catching their moves.

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Chicago, it's truly a helluva town

Have you ever traveled somewhere, but never got the opportunity to see the sights and what the city offered? During my recent trip (my sixth, actually) to Chicago, I was able to finally SEE the city. It's full of life, good food, and beautiful architecture. I spent the day walking the city with friends and was able to catch a few pictures of Chi Town in the fall.

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The Orchard and the Bees