Casual

Casual

I strongly believe in continuing education for any field you choose to be involved in.  My field happens to be photography so I am constantly going to workshops, watching videos, reading photography blogs and learning how to improve my craft.

Posing is one of those things that I am continually working on.  It’s not something that is easy to advertise.

Please Hire Me because I can pose you up really well!

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I doubt that form of advertisement would get me many new clients.  However, learning good posing techniques makes people look good…look pretty…look strong…look their best.

Should look like she

Should look like she’s not posing…but she is

So a couple of weeks ago, I attended a posing workshop.  I consider myself “decent” at posing, but by no means an expert.  I must say that I learned a lot at this workshop…mostly how much there is still is to learn.

Long lines

Long lines

We were very lucky that we had some gorgeous and long-suffering models to work with.  Some of them were experienced models and some had never modeled before.

I always like to work with people who do not know how to pose themselves because I gives me an opportunity to pose them without any preconceived notions on their part.

If it

If it’s bendable, bend it.

One of the things I try to tell my female clients is, “If it’s bendable, bend it.”  Curves and bends always make women look better.

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Again, I try never to pose my women straight-on to the camera.  I usually don’t pose men straight on either, but sometimes you can get away with it.  People have a tendency to look like boxes when they stand straight to the camera with hands by their sides. Nobody wants to look like a box.

But there is so much more to posing then turning to the side and crossing one leg over the other.  You have to consider hands, feet, head positioning and expression.

Great Expression

Great Expression

You also have to consider background to make sure the pose fits.

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But I truly believe that you can be the best poser in the world, but if you do not develop that relationship with your client, she will always look stiff and “posed”.  I work hard at developing that relationship with my clients so that I can get them to pose in an attractive way and generate a great expression.

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And sometimes, all you have to do is say, “Give each other a hug”.

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It was a fun workshop and I hope to continue in my education in posing.

If you want to practice your posing with me…shoot me an email at sierraspringsphotography@comcast.net

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I got a chance to photograph an upcoming fashion line from Perfect Pear Designs.  The designs are fresh, colorful and fun.

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The designer also had another line of fashion that were a bit more dramatic but equally beautiful. They had a religious theme and we were able to use a beautiful Greek Orthodox Church as a backdrop.

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Thank you Perfect Pear Designs for the opportunity to photograph these beautiful outfits.

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Shrimp Rolls

Shrimp Rolls

I haven’t done a food blog in a while.  I usually blog about our food on our food blog, We Call Him Yes!Chef!.  However, I do love to photograph food and I have had some chances to photograph restaurant food.

Grilled Cheese Sandwich with Salmon prepared by Chef John Evans of Zacjack

Grilled Cheese Sandwich with Salmon prepared by Chef John Evans of Zacjack’s Bistro in Cameron Park (Yummy food!)

And I do love to photograph my food when we go out to eat…assuming the light is good.

Shrimp Appetizer at the Chart House in South Lake Tahoe

Shrimp Appetizer at the Chart House in South Lake Tahoe

Lobster at the Chart House in South Lake Tahoe

Lobster at the Chart House in South Lake Tahoe

There happened to be great light at this restaurant and my husband and I were celebrating 30 years of wedding bliss.  So, it just seemed natural to photograph the food.  It was beautiful and tasty. However, most of my work is for blogging and cookbooks.

Cucumber Cup with Blue Cheese Dip and Sun Dried Tomatoes Appetizer

Cucumber Cup with Blue Cheese Dip and Sun Dried Tomatoes Appetizer

Shrimp Scampi with green beans (gluten free)

Shrimp Scampi with green beans (gluten free)

Marinated grilled skirt steak salad with cilantro-lime dressing

Marinated grilled skirt steak salad with cilantro-lime dressing

And, of course, I love to photograph food at events such as weddings, birthdays, catering events and other celebrations.

Birthday Celebration

Birthday Celebration

Just a Mojito

Just a Mojito

Simple food and drink are my favorites.

Asian Shrimp and Slaw Soup

Asian Shrimp and Slaw Soup

Wine in silhouette

Wine in silhouette

Glass of wine

Glass of wine

If you are interested in having your food photographed whether you are a caterer, restaurant, writing a cookbook or blogging, you can contact me at sierraspringsphotography@comcast.net.

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Portrait Lighting.001

Earlier in the year I was asked by my camera club to give a presentation on Portrait Lighting. To be honest, I was hugely flattered and I tried everything I could think of to get out of it.

“Oh yes!” I said.  “I would love to do that but I’m in the middle of a remodel, so…”

Well, she said there were many months that were available, how about April?  No, I thought that would be pushing the time line.  Then she suggested June and it was far enough away that I thought I might be able to work up my courage by then.

The months zoomed by and soon it was the end of May and I was moved in to my new house so there was no reason to put it off any longer.  I spent several weeks poring over my photos, choosing ones that I thought would demonstrate not only different ways to light a portrait, but would also clearly show my style.

I came across this photo, which was taken several years ago and was responsible for me pursuing people photography over other types of photography.

Portrait Lighting.002-webI took this shot without much thought.  Again, I saw something pretty and shiny and I put the camera to my eye, which I had done many times before and many times I was unhappy with the result.  This time I wasn’t.  I was actually amazed.  It was a pretty pose, graceful almost, the light was good on her hair and shoulders, the wedding dress reflected back up onto her face making it well lit and I could see the background.  There is even a little movement with the water dropping off her dress.  I fell in love with people and people photography.

I thought about this photo for a while and how it played into my style of photography now. What was it about this photo that captured my attention and passion?

I hadn’t had much to do with making this photo…I hadn’t posed her or told her where to stand or set up the background.  But to me, it told a story.  It was better than a posing bride in the water.  It spoke a story of light, delicacy, elegance and simplicity.

I had always enjoyed being a story-teller and now I could gear my photography towards telling stories.  So, although my presentation was supposed to be about lighting portraits, I went a slightly different route, while speaking about lighting portraits.

My thought pattern always starts with the person I am photographing, her/his personality and the story that I am trying to portray.  What are their desires or what is the story I am trying to tell when I hire models for a photo shoot?

Next I think about a pose that will be genuine and help to tell the story.  I can usually tell right away if my subject is uncomfortable in the pose.  Sometimes I continue with the pose trying to help the subject feel more comfortable, but most often I change up the pose until she feels more comfortable and I can achieve a more genuine look.

And at some point I think about the light.  Sometimes the light catches my attention right away and I try to place my subject in that light in the most flattering way.  Sometimes I add light to make my photo.  Sometimes I combine the light that I see and some additional light.  It all just depends on the story I am trying to tell.

So, here are some of the examples I presented to my camera club and the thought process that went along with them.

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And last I used my favorite model, my youngest son (oldest son is pictured above).

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The rest of my presentation involved setting up a quickie studio with a backdrop one light and a model (my youngest son) and going over some of the equipment I use when I’m only using artificial light.  It was a fun time and I’m hoping that my camera club enjoyed it, also.

My strong conviction is that as a photographer you are always looking for the best light for your subject, but if you do not have a beautiful pose with a relaxed subject, then the light just doesn’t matter.  Develop a relationship with the subject because a photograph is a two-way mirror…the subject and the photographer.  If the subject is uncomfortable and ill at ease with the photographer, it will show in the photo.

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2014 Hamma Wedding-567-webI always enjoy photographing weddings. There’s so much love in the air and the bride and groom spent so much time carefully planning all the details. Erin and Cory’s wedding however, was not only beautiful, fun and charming, it was one of the most unusual weddings I have ever photographed. I asked Erin, the bride,  how she met Cory and she said: “Online—Plenty of Fish website. I was a busy vet student who had just rescued a horse from slaughter, so many of our first “dates” were spent at the barn taming Ashwin and breaking him to ride. Cory fell in love with horses after meeting Ashwin.”2014 Hamma Wedding-575-2-webThe wedding and reception were held outside, under gorgeous giant oak trees at Double Oak Ranch in Shingle Springs, CA.2014 Hamma Wedding-391-webWhen I asked Erin what her favorite part of the wedding was, she said: “Riding in on my rescued horse who did an AMAZING job, standing in front of our homemade alter with welded “HAMMA” horseshoe sign, seeing everyone laughing at our silly entrances, dancing down the aisle, dancing crazy in the barn with all the lights on, “just married” sign and cans on Ashwin’s tail—perfect! We just love that everyone (including ourselves) had fun the whole evening. It definitely wasn’t a boring wedding.”2014 Hamma Wedding-269-Edit-web  It definitely was not a boring wedding. The bridesmaids wore decorated jeans (and so did the bride until she donned her dress)2014 Hamma Wedding-69-Edit-webThe groom and groomsmen wore jeans and plaid shirts and cowboy hats.2014 Hamma Wedding-124-Edit-webThe entire wedding party danced down the aisle one at a time, but it was the groom who outdid everyone else.

Groom dancing down aisle

Groom dancing down aisle

The bride, on her beautiful horse Ashwin, galloped down the road and onto the site of the wedding.2014 Hamma Wedding-348-Edit-webShe then, rode her horse down the aisle to her handsome groom while all her friends cheered, smiled and took lots of pictures.2014 Hamma Wedding-356-Edit-Edit-webThe officiant brought a shotgun and laid it against the tree before the wedding2014 Hamma Wedding-368-Edit-weband then he took a selfie with the bride and groom after they were pronounced man and wife.2014 Hamma Wedding-452-Edit-webThe first dance was to “I Won’t Give Up” by Jason Mrazhamma 4webYou could tell they were really loving every minute of their special day, surrounded by friends and family that love them.2014 Hamma Wedding-768-Edit-webAs for me, one of my personal favorite moments of the wedding was when the bride got on her horse after we had taken some pictures of her and her groom and galloped away…hair and horse tail streamers flying out behind her. Her husband watched her beaming.2014 Hamma Wedding-981-Edit-webCheck out some of my favorite shots of this wonderful wedding.

 

A few more people that helped their wedding go off without a hitch was:

Cake Maker: Sandy Crabb-Lynch

Where Dress was Purchased: Goodwill $10; self-installed corset

Caterer: Dickey’s BBQ

Florist: from the flower market and bride made all arrangements herself.

DJ: DJ Alazzawi Congratulations Mr. and Mrs. Hamma.

And the details

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The venue was beautiful by sunlight and after the sun set.

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This was a most memorable wedding for everyone that attended.  Thank you for letting me “see” it for you.2014 Hamma Wedding-833bw-web

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  • June 11, 2014 - 9:02 pm

    Lisa Van Dyke - What beautiful photos of my friends, Erin and Cory! You did an amazing job at capturing the moments, Karen!!

  • June 12, 2014 - 8:25 pm

    Virginia Forgatsch - Thanks for sharing the wedding pictures. We enjoyed being there.

  • June 13, 2014 - 2:42 pm

    Karen Schmautz - Thank you so much for this referral, Lisa. They were a delight! The wedding was a blast.

  • June 13, 2014 - 2:42 pm

    Karen Schmautz - It was my absolute pleasure to photograph this wedding. It was truly a fun time.

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