Rachel Rocked Her Spokesmodel Session!

Yes Rachel rocked her spokesmodel session and we loved it!  Rachel and our own daughter are friends which made this extra special for us, and we must say our Lacey has good taste in friends.  We love Rachel’s red hair and green eyes and could not wait to get outside on location with her in some rural and natural settings.  The red hair against a barn for example?  Yes!  Ally was brimming with ideas for this one and Rachel delivered for sure.

Rachel Rocked Her Spokesmodel Session

We started out with our black and blowy set up and a green shirt to bring out Rachel’s green eyes.  Just stunning really!  We love this.  That was all we did in the studio.  As we mentioned in a previous post our remaining spokesmodel sessions for the class of 2015 will mostly be outside now that the weather is (mostly) warming up.

Next we went to a barn as we mentioned earlier and we got this awesome result.  So pretty!

Rachel Rocked Her Spokesmodel Session

Here is our behind the scenes vine of the session starting with the barn and then moving on to a trail where we focused on some more natural settings of trees and water.

Ally is in love with this next photo – she has always had a thing for the pensive look and the eyelashes.  Beautiful and peaceful…

Rachel Rocked Her Spokesmodel SessionThis last photo is definitely another winner.  It has become a very popular pose for our seniors and Rachel looks comfortable, at ease and so pretty!  The water is a great backdrop and this has been a great spot for us in the past.

Rachel Rocked Her Spokesmodel Session

We hope you enjoyed these!  We are proud to have such a great girl representing our studio and we think you will have to agree that Rachel rocked her spokesmodel session!

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A Pro At Two Months Old!

We had the total pleasure of photographing a family new to our studio with an awesome little smushy two month old baby boy with a thick head of hair and a totally easy disposition.  When babies get beyond two weeks old they start to sleep a little less and it is anybody’s guess how the session will go because sometimes their napping, eating, and pooping schedules start to shift around.  Well this little guy was so easy to work with!  He was really a pro at two months old!

Two Months Old

We did block off plenty of time for this session – sometimes for the little ones you need more time if you are waiting for eating, diaper changing and the like, but we did not need the extra time.  We started with some shots of just the baby since that was priority number one and he was fast asleep and ready to go.

Two Months Old

Next we brought the rest of the family into the act, and when I say the rest of the family I really mean the rest of the family – including the kitty!  We love when families bring the pets along, and Ally loves cats (we have two of our own).  What a nice family – and the dad loves football so that automatically makes him cool.

Here is a fun behind the scenes vine of the action!

…and the family portrait!

Two Months Old

As for the mom – what a sweetheart!  Ally captured this wonderful shot of her and her little man on the grey backdrop after we finished photographing on the white.  So sweet!

Two Months Old

We were so glad to meet these folks and we really enjoyed our time together with them.  Especially the baby – as I mentioned before anytime we get such a pro at two months old in our studio it makes for a fantastic day and fantastic photos!  We hope you enjoyed them!

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Marquian Is The Man!

The Saginaw Valley Cardinals are getting a great addition to their football team this fall.  A good football team is not just made of talent, but of good people.  It is the piece that might be least understood and toughest to measure, but it is critical.  You have to have guys with character who want to be a part of something bigger than themselves and will pick each other up and play for each other – for the team!  We are certain Marquian is that type of guy.  His mom is a fantastic lady and we think Marquian is just a really nice kid.  We had a great session with him as you are about to see.  Indeed, Marquian is the man!!!

Marquian is the man

If you follow our blog you know we like to set things on fire so we started with Marquian in his jersey and a football.  And yes, that is a real flame!  Next we went with some style (and Marquian has plenty) against the grey background…

Marquian is the man

From there we went on location to get some city shots and we had some pretty good weather – maybe a tad chilly but it was fine.  Love the texture and color of the brick wall we found here.

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Next we have a little behind the scenes vine of the session!  You can see that we were indeed dealing with real fire in the studio!

In this last shot here you can see Marquian was clearly having fun during his photo session.  We certainly enjoyed our time with him and we can’t wait to follow his career at the next level in all he chooses to do!  We hope you enjoyed these photos – as we said before Marquian is the man!

Marquian is the man

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Kloe Melted Our Hearts!

We met a beautiful and amazing little girl named Kloe and yes, Kloe melted our hearts!  Kloe’s parents saw the wonderful piece done on our studio by Kam Carman on Fox 2 Detroit about photographing children with special needs and called our studio.  If you have not seen that feature you can watch it here.  Kloe has physical challenges that most people do not have, but you would never know it by her sunny outlook and her pretty smile.

Kloe Melted Our Hearts

We knew Kloe was special from the moment she came in with her parents for the consultation ahead of the photo shoot, and Kloe actually prepared for this session by practicing her poses in the weeks leading up to her photo session!  We had a great time – we put on music from the movie Frozen (very popular lately in our studio as you can imagine) and she was singing along.  She knew all the words to her favorite songs – so cute!  We started out on the white background as you can see above with some shots of Kloe by herself.  Kloe’s parents both got into the act as well.  We loved watching Kloe give her parents hugs and kisses over and over and over and we love these next two photos:

Kloe Melted Our HeartsKloe Melted Our Hearts

As is our usual habit here we captured a nice little behind-the-scenes vine of the action to share some of the fun:

Now we will share with you a photo of where we bumped it up a notch – not sure we have words for this one… well maybe one word – LOVE!!!

Kloe Melted Our Hearts

What a little rockstar!  We are so happy to know Kloe.  We look forward to more times together and watching her grow up!  Kloe melted our hearts without a doubt!

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Spokesmodeling in the City with Ethan!

We went spokesmodeling in the city with Ethan since the weather is finally starting to get warmer, and it was so nice to be able to get outside again without trekking through snow and freezing our tails off!  We will have a few more of these outdoor outings to come before we wrap it all up and move into the senior photos for the class of 2015!

We will “get out to the city” in just a minute.  With Ethan we started in the studio on the grey backdrop.Spokesmodeling in the city

We always talk about how dramatic the photos are on the black backdrop, but we think the photos on the grey have a dramatic look to them as well.  We think Ethan shows a relaxed confidence here.

Next it was time to go outside and in this case just like Jubilee’s spokesmodel session we stuck to an urban locale.  We will get back out into nature more as things start to bloom a little.

Spokesmodeling in the city

We like the grit and the grunge – sometimes it makes things a little more interesting.  We had a great time with Ethan and his mom came along for the shoot as well!

Here is a fun behind-the-scenes Vine of the action while we got the studio shot against the grey above as well as the next photo below against the brick wall.

Spokesmodeling in the city

The textures look great in black and white!  Be on the lookout for our remaining four spokesmodels for the class of 2015 over the next month!  For now we will leave you now with one more photo from the day we went spokesmodeling in the city with Ethan!  We hope you enjoyed these!

Spokesmodeling in the city

 

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The Best Photography Blogs On The Web – Part 2

I could sit at my computer and look at photos all day especially when it comes to great photo blogs.  I love all sorts from big journalistic blogs with multiple contributors to blogs of independent studios like ours.  I wrote a post in 2012 about the 6 best photography blogs on the Internet and since then I have discovered some others that are fantastic, so now I bring you the best photography blogs on the web – part two!  Do your eyes and your soul a favor by clicking on these and bookmarking them!

Best Photography blogs

Steve McCurry’s Blog

Steve McCurry is simply put one of the most important photographers of all time.  His photo “Afghan Girl” taken in a refugee camp in Pakistan in 1985 is the most recognized photo in National Geographic’s history.  You have seen it.  Meanwhile his work continues around the world and the photo essays he posts on his blog are amazing.  Take this one for example entitled “Children of the Omo” which takes place in the Omo River Valley in Southwest Ethiopia.

 

The Photo Argus

The Photo Argus has something for everyone.  Photos to enjoy of just about every category are here.  You can also find plenty of photography resources and tips for beginners and pros alike on this site.  Here is a really neat tutorial on night sky timelapse photography.  This one gets pretty technical but the timelapse photography in the first few minutes of the video is really cool.

 

Sullivan J Photography

Here is another blog with plenty of emphasis on education and training for photographers which I like and recommend, but Janice also posts plenty of her photos which are largely macro, travel and landscape.  Her macro photos of flowers are really nice and I also enjoyed this little photo essay of a trip to Oatman, AZ which is an old mining town.

 

Proof

This is the new photo blog launched by National Geographic.  Who didn’t love looking at the photos in National Geographic growing up?  This site is everything you would expect from them like this article about the Chernobyl disaster with truly haunting photos – some of them inside the plant.

 

Twisted Sifter

Twisted Sifter is a unique site I came across recently which states as its objective “to educate, entertain, and inspire each and every day” with three new posts daily as well as a picture of the day.  This “close encounter with a curious cheetah” is unbelievable!

I hope these sites entertain and inspire you, and if you have any to add please comment and let us know!

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A Senior Spokesmodel Jubilee…Literally!

A Jubilee is a type of celebration and we want to share a few peeks from a senior spokesmodel Jubilee…literally!  Jubilee is her name and being around her makes you want to celebrate!  She is smart, funny, pretty and the type of person who lights up a room when she walks in.  We were looking forward to this day for sure.

Senior Spokesmodel Jubilee

As we have done with every spokesmodel for the class of 2015 we spent a little time with the black background.  It seems like a good “warmup” for us to get a session going and it always looks fantastic.  Meanwhile our game plan for this session was to get outside and get some photos in an urban setting.  We have been itching to get some since the only outdoor photos we were able to get so far were snowy.  We love the snow scenes but with the temperatures warming a little we thought we could walk around outside comfortably and get some shots on pavement without snow around.  It turned out we were half right…

Senior Spokesmodel Jubilee

The part we were right about was that we were able to get great shots in an urban setting without any snow around.  The part we were wrong about was that we would be able to comfortably walk around outside.  It was still really cold – windy and frigid!  Jubilee however was a total pro and did not let the cold affect her!

Senior Spokesmodel Jubilee

While it may have been cold we still had some sunlight and the backlight looks nice in the photo above.  The last thing we did was an experiment that we had not tried before and we think it yielded an interesting result.  There was a glass-enclosed stairwell in a parking structure and I suggested that Ally photograph Jubilee through the glass just to see how it would look…  here is a little behind-the-scenes vine:

And here is a resulting photo which we think is unique in that you might not know Jubilee is behind glass except for the reflection on the right side of the photo and some on the left as well if you look closely.

Senior Spokesmodel Jubilee

All in all we enjoyed our “Senior Spokesmodel Jubilee” with Jubilee!  We cannot wait to photograph her again!

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How To Make Cool Instagram Collages

If you follow us on Instagram you have noticed that we don’t post a lot of final images there.  For now we prefer to show what is happening at the studio closer to real time so I usually snap photos of Ally doing her thing with my iPhone.  I am not the pro photographer here – Ally is.  So while the photos we post on Instagram aren’t of professional quality, that’s not quite the point of Instagram in the first place.  That is not to say you can’t post professional and artistic photos on Instagram, it’s just that a professional photo might look better as a fine art piece on a wall.  Meanwhile I am going to show you how to make cool Instagram collages so you can have some fun!  We had a recent session with the men from Tapper’s Jewelry which is down the hall from us here in the Orchard Mall for their upcoming in-house magazine, Accent.  Here is the Instagram collage I made from the photo shoot.

How to make cool instagram collages

Get Your App

First download an app from your app store.  I use the free version of Snap Collage which I find to be pretty user friendly and effective.  There is a paid version but so far I haven’t felt like I’ve needed it.  For this little tutorial we will be using Snap Collage.  Some of the other apps are similar and the steps will be similar as well.

Think Ahead

Keep in mind the type of collage you want to make when taking your photos or at least give yourself some options by taking some vertically and horizontally so that when you’re trying to fit your photos into your collage you’ll have more flexibility.  You’ll get better at this as you go.  You may even want to clean up your photos with another app before you start – I just started using VSCO and I think it is a great app.  Here is an iPhone screenshot showing the sharpening tool within VSCO.  The process of taking photos and editing them on a smartphone is a whole other topic that I won’t go into in detail here.

How to make cool instagram collages

1.  Launch the app

You’ve got your photos now let’s go to our Snap Collage home page.  You will see the different galleries available there – just click on one and it will bring up thumbnails of the photos there as you can see below:

How to make cool instagram collages

2.  Select the photos you want to use.  The nice thing is that Snap Collage automatically slots them into a few different templates which you can choose from along the top of the screen.  You can add or remove photos by tapping the thumbnails.

How to make cool instagram collages

3.  Pick the collage template you want to work with.  I have picked 4 photos I want to use and Snap Collage has automatically slotted them into several 4 photo templates for me.  You can scroll along the top to look at the choices and if there is a template you like but don’t like the way the photos are arranged then just deselect one of the photos and re-add it and the photos will rotate within the template.  Tap the one you like to see it in full screen.  Note the options at the bottom – we’ll be using the “borders” option shortly.

How to make cool instagram collages

4.  Edit each photo if necessary.  Tap on a photo in the template and Snap Collage will bring it to the forefront where you can play with it.  Pinch and expand to zoom and/or rotate the photo to reposition it to your liking, and you can see there are a number of tools you can use to make more changes to that photo.

How to make cool instagram collages

5.  Add color, drop shadows, rounded edges, and/or themes to your collage frame.  There are several tools in the app to do this.  First tap again on the zoomed in photo to get back to the whole collage and then tap on the “borders” button at the bottom.  This will bring up the dashboard for editing the frames of the collage.

How to make cool instagram collagesThe ratio choices at the far left determine the aspect ratio of the whole collage – ideally I go for the 1:1 or square ratio which is the Instagram standard.  The icons directly under the highlighted word “Frame” indicate which aspects of the frame you are adjusting as you slide the white circles next to each to the left or right.  In this case I’ve already adjusted a couple of them including giving my frames some drop shadow to give them a little dimension (this is 5th and last icon at the bottom that I’ve slid almost half way across).  The 4th one down allows you to round the edges as such:

How to make cool instagram collages

As you can see I’ve adjusted it more than 50% to the right and the edges are quite rounded.  That’s a little more than I want so let’s slide it back a little:

How to make cool instagram collages

There that’s a little better.  Next let’s click on “Color” and start adding a little color to the frame.

How to make cool instagram collages

You can now simply slide the vertical scale with all the colors of the rainbow to the right and then within each palate range hone in on the exact color you like in the square.  You can see I’ve selected black and grey for the border and inner frame.  There are also pre-loaded patterns you can select instead of colors if you click on the “Pattern” button.

6.  Share your collage!  When you have it just the way you want it you can either save it to your device or open it directly in Instagram right from the app.

How to make cool instagram collages

As you can see in the last screen shot you can use this app and save these collages for use anywhere – not just Instagram.  I’ve used it for posting elsewhere often.  This is not the final word on Instagramming or making collages so please share your own techniques!  I learn something new every day as I use these tools and play with all the different options.  What tips do you have to add?

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Alexa In The Senior Spokesmodel Spotlight!

As we put Alexa in the senior spokesmodel spotlight for the class of 2015 she continues the trend as the third straight one whose older sibling was a Frameable Faces senior!  Alexa’s sister Jordyn was featured in this post from the class of 2013 – she is the fifth one from the top lying down with her face towards Ally’s camera in a close crop.  We are big fans of these girls and we have been looking forward to photographing Alexa for a long time!  We can say without any doubt that it was worth the wait and we are so happy to have her representing our studio!

Alexa in the senior spokesmodel spotlight

We started out on the black background and we love the way the above photo turned out.  The shirt, the leather, the shoes – great combo.  Often the approach to a photo is a collaboration and the fashion is such a key part of a senior shoot.  The seniors bring a couple of suitcases of style.  Both Alexa and Sierra in this class said the exact same thing when they showed up for their sessions – “Okay I’m movin’ in!”  Then they go through the clothes with Ally who can help match the clothing with the photo set up.  Keep in mind for senior pictures we always meet with our senior ahead of time to go over strategy as well.  With our spokesmodels we can experiment a little more, but Alexa nailed that first look right out of the gate.

Alexa in the senior spokesmodel spotlight

Next we moved to our spotlight set above which we built last year and it has proven to be a popular one.  It is versatile too since we can make the spotlights different colors but for this session we went with standard white.  Love it!  After we finished with the spotlight we broke out some colors.  We started out with Alexa in a green dress against the pink background:

Alexa in the senior spokesmodel spotlight

We were having fun and laughing a lot as you can see in this vine…  :-)

Then we went with a set up that is a little more elaborate and really cool.  A rustic wooden floor with a classic purple settee and a patterned fabric backdrop.  Oh – and love the shoes once again!

Alexa in the senior spokesmodel spotlight

Another great outing and another outstanding senior in this upcoming class!  Great job Alexa!

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Milian, Milton, and a Million Smiles!

Milian, Milton, and a million smiles seemed like the perfect title for this post, since 6 year old Milian had us cracking up in amazement the whole time he was here.  I don’t think we have ever met a kid like this at his age.  He is like a little prodigy!  He has a sense of humor and an ability to carry on a conversation that plenty of adults are incapable of.  Such a cool kid!

Milian, Milton, and a Million Smiles

We focused mainly on the little man for most of the session before dad Milton jumped in for a few pictures together.  We started out on the white background and we actually posted two vines from this session – like I said, we were having fun!  Ally did not really need to give Milian a lot of direction.  Really we just needed to put on some music and away he went.  Milian was in charge of the music – heck, he was in charge of the whole session!  This vine is the behind the scenes clip from the photo above!

Next we brought out the black background and kept rolling along.  Milian’s personality is popping off the screen here with the serious pose:

Milian, Milton, and a Million Smiles

And here with the smiling pose…

Milian, Milton, and a Million Smiles

One more vine for you here…  As you will see he had several different cool outfits going – we did not include all of them here but you will get the idea.  Smiling yet?

Then it was time for Milton to get in a few with his son, and here is where Ally captured this great moment between the two of them.  We love it in black and white for the classic feel.

Milian, Milton and a million smiles

We hope you enjoyed these photos and we hope they gave you a few more smiles to go with the million they gave us!

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