A few articles

  • Maternity photos

    Maternity photos – first experience

    Is maternity photos part of your future?  Read along about my first experience doing Maternity photos.  This is an interesting story. I am not used to studio photos.  Maternity photos were the last thing on my list.  I am a little bit shy and directing peoples is a challenge to me.  More so when they are in front of my camera.

    Maternity photos or intimacy photos?

    Privacy is something important to me.  I usually avoid getting into other’s privacy.  I would find a way out to avoid being embarrassed by the privacy of others.  A young couple waiting for a new baby is something very intimate.  As such, I don’t feel at ease depicting their personal emotion in pictures.  At the same time, I understand how important this could be for a young couple waiting for their first baby to cherish these souvenirs. When I was asked to take maternity photos of my godson and his wife, I had to say yes.  They were coming home for the week-end so we would have plenty of time to do this right.  And I wanted to do it.  I wanted to do it right. Moreover she is lovely and he is such a great being.  We shared so much over the recent years.  I was committed to do the best I possibly can. Here is my usual photo shoot.  A waterfall or a mountain range is in front of me.  I am alone in the wild.  I can fiddle around with the settings of my camera, make mistakes, wait for the light to be perfect and the waterfall is patiently and indifferently waiting for me to be ready.  Moreover, the waterfall does not ask to see my pictures afterward.  Should I fail, nobody would know.  I carefully chose the pictures that see the light of day. When my subject is looking at me expecting me to translate their emotions in something worth hanging on a wall, I do not feel at ease.  This is another story. I am writing these line hence I survived!  I am so happy with the pictures taken on that Sunday morning.  As we moved through the photo shoot they were more at ease with the process and me to!  I don’t envy those that make the studio their office.  However, I might repeat this experience in the future should the opportunity cross my path.  Thanks so much to my godson and his wife for their time and patience.  These 90 minutes or so initiated me to something so different and challenging.

    Maternity Photos – some learning.

    Here are some key things I have learned through the process:
    • Get the man in the picture. This really help making this a team effort;
    • As time goes, stress goes away too. Take your time;
    • Look at the background! A mess in the background is so distracting.  Paying attention to it before the shoot help saves hours after;
    • Try converting your color pictures to sepia and from there to black and white. This does miracles with the skin;
    • Black and white pictures are so gorgeous. You can see the soul without being distracted by colors;
    • Know your gear. This is not a time to get the manual out!
    • Understanding artificial light is also key to success;
    • A soft box and/or diffuser will bring you a long way;
    This was a heck of an experience for me.  I understand the challenge associated with working in a studio now.  If this is your job, you can count on my admiration.  You are doing a very important work!  Do you have a similar experience to share?  Am I alone feeling that way about maternity photos?
  • Looking back in the mirror

    Should we look back in the mirror?

    In this early 2015, I took the time to look back in the mirror at my photography work of 2014.  I used Chris Marquardt method « 1 Hour – 1000 pics » to do so.  This was a dreadful experience.  I came to the conclusion that the whole 2014 was just garbage. For a few weeks, my DSLR body did not meet any lenses.  It stayed sadly on its back victim of my lack of motivation.  Just before this period of time, I had multiple pictures scheduled for publishing on my website.  Every few days I would take these newly published articles and post them to my Facebook and Google+ pages. One of these was worth the following: « This picture is so nice Denis.  Wow! You just gain a new fan! » Just a few words and such an impact!

    Why should we look back in the mirror?

    The more I look at great pictures, taken by renowned photographers, the more my criteria’s for great pictures sharpen.  As such, yesterdays’ great pictures might be just ok today.  This is also true for my own pictures.  The frustration associated with looking back at my pictures is then healthy!  When I am happy with my work, I don’t feel the urge to improve. I take too many pictures.  I am trigger happy.  My library is full of souvenirs with very few great pictures.  When I take a picture and I look back at it on my LCD screen there is this instant gratification associated with the emotion of being in a new place, in front of a new scene.  A year later, looking at my work I am frustrated.  A great picture needs to stand on its own merit, alone on a wall without a title or a legend.

    Looking back in the mirror is a necessity!

    In order to move forward I need to appreciate both, where I come from and where I am heading.  Looking back in the mirror create this compelling needs to improve.  It also helps define a vision, a destination.  What did I like the most.  Why did I like these pictures?  Was it luck, planning, composition or a particular technique? From this moment on, it become possible to build a new vision associated with my future work.  Moving into action is then the only missing step.  I have the rest of my life to make this new vision a reality.  How lucky I am!