Please welcome back Arden Prucha Photography, who this time shares a very detailed tutorial: Using Photoshop to achieve the illusion of a baby placed in an usual situation. Arden is known in the photography community for her generous knowledge sharing and we’re thrilled to have her back again. If you haven’t read her previous article featuring newborn pullbacks and tips, check it out and be sure to follow Arden on Facebook.
A few months ago a girl friend let me know she had this awesome scale that would be perfect for a newborn session. When she brought it over I was thrilled, but unsure exactly how to utilize it properly in a session.
One of the most important tips I can share for newborn sessions is SAFETY. When I first started out in photography and kept up with photographers, I rarely saw behind the scenes footage leaving all poses up for interpretation. Is that baby REALLY hanging from a branch? Look at the baby chillin’ in the hammock, awh it’s all an illusion with lovely Photoshop to cover up the assistant’s hands and true set up. I think it’s very important to share the tips and knowledge behind certain poses, allowing baby to be put in the safest scenario and to educate other photographers, who may be clueless – to no fault of their own.
I will preface this tutorial by saying this isn’t the ‘ideal’ set up I had in mind, but in the end it proved to work out just fine. If I had my own studio, I would tweak the way some of these things were set up. The cool thing is that it still worked for me, but Photoshop was definitely necessary to create the ‘look’ I was going for.
During this session my assistant and I were trying to figure out the best way to take this photo. Luckily my clients had a black headboard so I used this as a simple backdrop and snapped a photo of my assistant holding the scale. (I was fortunate enough to have some black fur, that I placed underneath to add some black all around the scale (proved to be very helpful in Post Processing). Then knowing that the baby weighed 8lbs 9oz at birth I had my assistant press down the scale until it matched baby’s weight and snapped another photo! We ran into a slight problem when we were trying to photograph baby boy in the scoop of the scale, with the assistance and help of my sweet assistant (Shareen Frater). Everytime we slid him in all bundled and protected, he fought it… so I ‘gave up.’ Once home and looking through the images, I decided to ‘try’ something I had never done before… so here we go – let me attempt to explain!
Unsure where to shoot, I tried different walls in the house. Fortunately my client had a black headboard. This provided me with a ‘safe’ background that would be great for post processing!
by Liz LaBianca
Please welcome Dallas area photographer, Angela Weedon. Angela and her husband Matt have been photographing the families of Dallas, TX since 2000. Angela provides amazing insight and advice in this Photographers Who Inspire interview. Be sure to check out her website and beautiful studio located right next door to their home!
Who was your original inspiration when you started your business? Who inspires you now?
Honestly when we started, there weren’t too many other people doing what we do. Matt and I had just returned back to the states after living overseas — we worked as scuba instructors and dive crew on a live-aboard dive boat in the Pacific, and we supplemented our income with underwater stock photography. We had tons of photo equipment that needed to be put to work! I began taking photos of my nephew and friends’ kids. After taking dark room classes at a community college, I knew I wanted to specialize in black and white fine art photography. In addition to our small client base at the time, I shot for Christine Meeker, a photographer out of Houston, as her Dallas base. She and her husband Mark have a wonderful business, and they priced their work very well. I learned so much from them (and was very inspired by them) in that year. I think right now who inspires me most are Bobbi and Mike, out of Indianapolis. We had our family photographed by them last year. With each blog post I see from them, I am amazed at the emotion and FUN they bring out of their subjects. I really think the rapport and ease a subject has with the photographer makes or breaks an image. Of course, I am also very inspired by Barb Uil….who isn’t? ;)
What was the hardest part of starting your own business? What do you wish you would have known?
The hardest part of starting our business was figuring out that I couldn’t do it all on my own! In the beginning, I was answering the phone, doing the shoots solo, doing the sales, printing everything in the dark room myself, etc. Well that lasted about 3 months. I think I had a total of 5 hours of sleep that whole time. Matt was still marketing his travel photography to magazines and books when I asked him if he could answer the phone and start assisting me at the shoots to change the film and hold the reflector. Well that quickly morphed into him running the entire business, being the most amazing photo assistant/ kid wrangler in history, and having such a great relationship with our clients that we joke he is the most popular therapist in Dallas. These moms tell him everything! ;) Matt had always had is own business. He went to his first tax preparation seminar at age 12 for his lawn business he owned for 10 years! I am a firm believer that if you want your business to actually be successful, it must be run with someone with a business mind. I really don’t have that, so we make a great team.
Cropping and presentation of the final composition is just as important as the other technical details of a photograph. When it’s done right, most people don’t really notice as much as they inherently get the sense that the composition “just works” Melissa of Simply Be Photo inspires us by her presentation of elegant collages. She also shares some smart advice on preparing parents for their newborn sessions.
Congratulations to Heather Witt, the #30 entrant for our giveaway from GradyBug Designs. Heather, send us an email and we will provide instructions for claiming your templates!! Thanks to everyone who entered and be sure to head over to GradyBug Designs for their HUGE 3rd birthday celebration giveaway.
More giveaways coming up soon on IMB, so be sure to subscribe!
Ciara Hammonds Photography shared this session inspired by her 4yr old’s imagination. The timing couldn’t be better. We often talk about how important styling is and the extra effort that was taken in creating this story makes this an inspiring session. You gotta love the bow tie and knitted aviator helmet! Read more about the details of this session below.