Welcome Back to my blog. Its been a while since my last post. But just like in photography, quality is better than quantity.
On my last post I left off having to make a choice between creating a body of work with landscapes or with still life for the "level Up " program I'm on this year. I have decided to go with Landscapes.
I really enjoy photographing Landscapes and find them the most rewarding to photograph. I get to watch more sunrises and sunsets than I normally would, even if I don't always get " The Shot". The peacefulness and stillness when I'm out there is invigorating and there's nothing like seeing the dawn of a new day.
Below is one of the photos I took at sunrise from Blouberg beach. My plan was to do a long exposure which makes the water look milky and softer. My exposure wasn't quite long enough so I didn't quite get the desired effect. The water was also not actually moving fast enough. None the less the I was reasonably happy with this photo.
I met another photographer, Alan Baxter, that morning on the beach. We introduced ourselves and he remembered my name from something I posted on a Facebook group once and. We chatted a bit and it was great to meet him. He photographs a lot from Blouberg beach and I learnt that he has an exhibition coming up soon. I'm hoping for him that its a great success.
Not only does landscape photography allow you to enjoy some awesome views you sometimes get to meet some cool people too.
Here is another photo from that morning looking back from the beach. The colours in the sky were really lovely that morning.
Since then I have been out again to try get a photo overlooking Table Bay and Cape Town City. While it was an improvement on a previous shoot , I'm still looking for the right shot. I'll share that with you on my next post.
Till next time, happy snapping
Last night we had our third Level up Meeting. Our homework was to try to replicate an image or a technique from one of the Masters. We each had a turn to show our work and briefly say what we tried to replicate.
I decided to try still life photography and wanted to create a renaissance look to the image. We had to pick an image and then try to replicate it. Although I was creating a still like image I wanted to replicate the look and feel of the Mona Lisa by Leonardo Da Vinci.
The main things I tried to replicate were the muted tones while also incorporating a background into my image in a similar style to the Mona Lisa. I have a course I did which teaches you how to blend a background with the still life subject. I at least had a process to follow, that gave me some hope..
As the title of this blog says it wasn't as easy as it looked. I struggled to get the background the way I wanted it. There is an ideal way to light the subject which I didn't quite get right either. The final image didn't quite have the look and feel I was after either.
However I was happy with my first attempt. The main thing was that I was able to string the components together. Now I just have to refine the process and eventually be able to start creating the images I'm after. The more you do in photography the more you learn.
Although the collection I have in my mind for this concept does not include food I decided on grapes and baby tomatoes for this image as the colours create a good contrast. The image represents a pirate's treasure. Their treasurers were often stored in treasurer chests similar to the one in my photo. They were also at sea for long periods of time and weren't always able to get hold of fresh food. I thought there must have been many a time when in desperation they wish the treasures they had were food and water instead of gold.
For March we have to start refining our concept and decide which direction we want to go in. At the moment Im torn between still life and Seascapes / Landscapes from the western Cape .
My heart is leaning towards landscapes but I'm worried I might not have a full body of work worthy of exhibition by the end of the year. You sometimes have to go back several times to a particular location to get a great shot. I'm still giving it thought and will have to make a decision soon.
Till next time , happy snapping
As promised in this week's blog I will outline what homework we have for the month and some things I Learnt from our Level Up meeting in January .
We have been encouraged to keep a journal during this process. I have never really journelled before but I find the process really helpful in keeping ideas I have for shots and as well as developing your creative process. It's also handy to write down anything new that I learn. ( Thanks Lynne)
So far we have had to make a list of three to five areas or types of photography we enjoy and have a passion for. The three I like most are Landscape, Macro ( close up) and Still Life photography. The two I will most likely pursue at this stage are Landscapes ,with a bias towards seascapes and still life images with a renaissance look to them.
The idea at the moment is we still develop our creative process before we commit to one and create a collection around that concept. We learnt that a concept or idea is not a product yet. Through the Level Up process we will develop this “ product “ around our concept
A collection of photos should draw a viewers attention and tell a story. Therefore a lot of thought has to go into what shots you plan to do so you have enough unique ideas to make a compelling collection.
The biggest take away I got from our last meeting was that I have to identify the elements of a successful photo and in repeating that I will create a consistent body of work. elements are things like lighting, composition, props , editing process to name a few.
Our homework for this month is to study the old or new masters of our chosen concept and then replicate one iconic image of this master, considering the layered aspects (elements) as discussed
We have to show the original image as well as our final image. I have decided to use the Mona Lisa as my image I would like to replicate.
While my subject is not going to be a person but still life I want to capture the “ Renaissance “ look of this image. I particular want to replicate the muted tones as well as include a background Like the Mona Lisa has that will help tell the story of my image
I have the idea of my image and I have created the background part of it already. You will have to wait for the final image to see what it is. This week I will be working on photographing the main subject. Hopefully Ill manage to get that right and I will then work on putting the image together in post processing. Next week I hope to give you some feedback on my progress.
Till Next week, hope you a good one.
s you may know I started with photography about 7 years ago. Over this time I have come to really love it and the passion I have for it spurs me on to keep improving my images all the time.
It's almost like a drug, I'm addicted to finding “THE SHOT”. Just when I think you have found “THE SHOT” I always find another photo to chase or I simply find a way to improve one I have done before. It's hard for photographers to please themselves.
Photography is both fulfilling and challenging. Besides the technical side that you have to master and the basic rules of composition that you have to understand, it can also be very disappointing and deflating when you don't get your desired outcome.
I often have an image in mind for a shoot and lots of times I just don't get what I intended or hoped for. Then it's back to the drawing board to see what I did wrong and why it didn't work. YouTube is my best friend here. Other times the opposite happens and you get a great photo that you didn't expect.
There are lots of losses but it's finding those wins that spurs me on. If I don't get the shot I want I always come away from it having learnt something new. Each failure makes me a better photographer. Not that failures are fun at the time, but they do have their purpose. Wish I could get it perfect every time, then I'd be a superstar.
One of my dreams and goals is to have my work exhibited in an art gallery one day soon. In line with this goal and my quest to continually improve my photographs I have joined a programme called “Level Up” Its a program aimed mainly at photographers that runs for this year and its aimed at you creating a body of work that is good enough to be exhibited in an art gallery.
In my future blogs I will share some of the things I am learning and share with you the projects we are tasked with. We meet once a month and we always have “ homework” to do for that month. I have already learnt so much and I'm excited about my photography year ahead.
Next week I will share what our homework is for February and after every task is completed I will show you what I managed to create from the homework assignment and it will be fun to see how it turns out.
Writing these blogs helps me stay accountable and maybe you might find going on this journey with me fun and interesting as well.
Till next time.
PS. Feel free to leave any comments you may have. I would love to hear them.
How much a photo shoot costs is a very open ended question. The rates range from very cheap to very expensive. This article is not going to focus on the actual costs but rather help you to make sure you choose the right photographer for you.
Price vs Value
Normally there is less “value” when buying something that is cheap. Products that are more expensive offer more value which is either tangible or perceived.
Tangible value is something you can feel or see, like when you upsize a McDonalds’ meal. Perceived value is how paying more for something makes you feel, such as status, loyalty to the product etc.
Photography is a visual art form, so it definitely appeals to our emotions and how it makes us feel. There are both tangible benefits and perceived benefits in the price you pay for a photographer. In this article however I will just focus mainly on the tangible benefits.
Quantity vs Quality
This may not be an overriding factor in choosing a photographer, but it might be something that you could take into consideration.
Some photography packages state that you will receive at least “X” amount of images. While this is an indicator of how many photos you will get, it’s also very important to make sure the photographer is delivering images you like and that are of a good quality.
A more expensive photographer will normally have a certain style. Make sure the one you pick is going to create images you want.
A more expensive photographer normally has more experience and is well versed in the technical side of photography. They will also know how to pose their subjects to bring out the best of you in the images. They will also have a better understanding of light and how that affects an image.
Often photographers that are charging less are just starting out and are trying to build up a portfolio. This is a great way for a photographer to gain experience and often a way to get some decent photos at a good price. Just try to make sure you know who you will be getting so that you don't set the wrong expectations.
Client Experience and Service
The more expensive photographer should create a good experience for their client. From the first enquiry to the final delivery of the images all contact with them will be professional and informative. They will consult with you through the whole process and be focused on your needs.
The cheaper photographer may not have the time to offer this service due to them having to service more clients to stay profitable. While there is a place for both types of photography it's important to set your expectations accordingly.
Offering Other Products
A more expensive photographer will normally offer add-on products like photo books, canvas prints or normal prints. They will have the expertise to help you pick the best products for you. They also handle the whole process from printing and delivery for you.
The cheap photographer will most likely just offer the digital images in their packages. If you are looking for extra prints or photo books, just make sure your photographer offers this .
Make the Photographer a Good Fit for You
While you might not have much opportunity to get to know your photographer beforehand, try to choose a photographer that you feel is a good fit for you. Select one that makes you feel comfortable and is concerned about your needs during the process.
My belief is that the photographer should create a fun and pleasant experience that people will enjoy and remember.
You will be creating lasting memories and unique art of yourself that will become a family legacy.
Look for a photographer that you resonate with, that offers the images you want and manages your expectations accordingly.
I hope this article has shown you what else to look for in a photographer other than merely looking at the price.
I have heard people say that professional photographers are not worth the rates they ask.
You may have possibly thought the same thing. Below are reasons I believe a professional photographer adds value.
Posing and composition
A professional photographer will guide you into the best poses. Posing is important in creating a good photograph that flows and is appealing to the eye. Knowing the sequence of poses to follow during the shoot also allows for more efficient and productive use of the time
The photographer will also be able to compose photos that get the best results. Knowing where and how to place people add to the artistic value of your photographs.
Using the best light
A professional photographer knows the best time to take photographs. The best light for photos is around sunrise or sunset. This is when the light is softer and most flattering
Knowing how to pose people according to the type and direction of the light also adds to the artistic charm of your photos. A professional photographer will know how to get the best out of the available light - whether it’s an on location shoot or in the studio.
Locations and backgrounds
A professional photographer will know the best locations for your shoot. Whether it's a beach, forest, urban or studio shoot, your photographer will be able to suggest suitable locations.
In photography the background of a photograph is just as important as the subject in the picture. A good background will add a lot of artistic flair to your photos.
I believe a photo shoot should be a good experience that the couple, group or family remember. It’s a great bonding experience for everyone. As a photographer, I enjoy the intimate time I have with my clients and getting to know them a bit better.
Knowledge of the photographer
A professional photographer has spent years mastering their craft. They have the technical expertise and the correct equipment to create the best photos possible.
Besides the initial taking of the photos, they have to be edited afterwards. Editing is where the photographer's artistic touch can really enhance the artistic value of your photos, which will set them apart.
Printing your photos
A professional photographer will deliver high resolution images which offer the best quality for the printing of them.They can offer advice on the best images to print if you are note sure. A photographer will also be able to offer advice on what medium to print on, such as canvas, metal prints, normal prints etc. or even help you create a photo book.
I hope this blog post has convinced you of the great value that a professional photographer can offer you. I believe hiring a professional photographer is important if you want to create unique artistic photos of you and your loved ones that create lasting memories.
If you would like to know more you can contact me at email@example.com
You’ve found your ideal photographer to capture your beautiful family - but how do you actually prepare for the shoot?
Below are some tips and ideas to help you with that.
Book Your session well in advance
It’s important to give yourself enough time to prepare. You will need time to get your hair and appearance done so you look just the way you want to on the day. It also allows for time to get everyone excited about the shoot.
Choose your location
In conjunction with your photographer decide on the best location of your photoshoot. This could be in a lovely garden, forest, beach or even at your home if it is suited for photography.
The best time of day for photos
For outdoor photo shoots the best time for photography is an hour after sunrise or an hour before sunset. The time you pick will depend on if your family are the morning type or not. Sunset is perhaps better if you have young children. It will allow more time to get everyone ready.
If the location is well shaded like a forest then almost any time of the day should be suitable
If you choose a studio photoshoot then anytime during the day is fine and it’s not weather dependent.
Props, accessories and pets
Feel free to bring any props that showcase your interests and that you want to include in your pictures such as sports equipment, toys etc. If the location allows for pets then definitely bring them along. They are part of the family too.
If it’s a windy day, ladies please remember hair accessories to keep your hair in place. Keep Jewelry simple and to the minimum but at the same time express your individual personality.
What to wear
Create visual cohesiveness with colours that work well together. Also avoid oversized print or very bright colours that detract from your photos.
Everyone should have the same level of “dressiness “ for example you all either dress casual or formal. Remember to dress for your surroundings.
Avoid colourful sweets and drinks before the session that could stain the children's mouths. Make sure everybody has had a bite to eat before so that nobody gets hungry and grumpy during the shoot. It will help to bring some liquid refreshments along in case anyone gets thirsty.
Just let the kids be themselves and let them express themselves how they want to for the photos.
Don't worry about posing, I will guide you with that and make sure that everyone is always posing correctly. Making crazy poses of your own are also very welcome. It’s your photoshoot and you must have fun.
A photo shoot should be fun and a bonding experience for everyone. You will be creating lifelong memories, so have fun, be yourself and this will show in your photos.
If you would like to book a photoshoot or to get in touch, you can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 082 0630 769.
In 2013 the photography bug bit me hard and I have been passionate about it since. In 2017 I was photographer of the year at my club. This was a real coming of age for me and it displayed the growth I had made in my photography.
Since 2017 I started to take my photography more seriously. I started to do family photo shoots and I did my first wedding in 2018. This expanded to matric ball shoots and I did a second wedding last year in 2019.
I also enjoy macro ( close up) , Landscape photography and photographing toy cars. You can view my other work at snapaddictionfineart.weebly.com
I have recently been retrenched from my day job due to Covid 19. The good thing is I'm now able to focus all my energies on growing my photography business.
Why I love photography
Photography is challenging and I learn something new everyday. I enjoy the whole creative process, from taking the photo to editing to when my clients eventually see the images.
I love the feedback from people and the pleasure the photographs bring them. Plus, it never actually feels like work to me.
These are captured moments that last forever and no one can take away from you. I keep striving keep trying to improve and always hoping for the perfect photo.
I hope you enjoyed my little back story. If you would like to continue with me on my photographic journey you can sign up to my newsletter.
Thanks for reading so far and I hope we will be able to create art together soon.
Welcome to my first blog post and Thank you for joining me on my photography journey.
I was a given a trip to Paris by my company in 2013. I decided that I wanted to take as much photos as possible to remember the trip. Paris has always been a place I have wanted to visit.
On the morning of the my departure I went off and bought what they call a Bridge camera. Which is something between a compact camera and bigger DSLR. I had no idea how to use it properly but I at least able to take photos to remember the trip. Paris was amazing and I loved every minute.
After I returned the photography bug bit me and and I decided I had to learn how to take better photos. The learning curve was very steep. Taking good photos is not as easy at it seems.
Soon after that I joined a local photography club. It has been a great way to improve my photography. We have monthly themes and we get judges in to judge our photos and from which we have monthly winners.
I remember the first year or so when my photos came up to be judged my heart started to pound and I sometimes felt I could just run out the room. Then you had to listen to the judge crit your photo that you thought was so awesome. Only to learn how much you could have improved it. That is all part of the learning curve and I'm great full all the judges input.
That year one of my photos was voted club photograph of the year. I was totally stunned and I couldn't believe it. From then I never looked back and I have grown from strength to strength.
In part two I will cover the rest of my journey. Thanks for reading this far.