Archive for December, 2011

Yes, I’m Mark and I’m a Lightaholic! I’m truly amazed at the variations and varieties of light that we see every day and that I try to create in the studio.

I actually see everyday things differently than I used to. The light that creates shadows on a bright sunny day, the light that’s diffused on an overcast day, and the different light colors throughout the day. They all fascinate me. I love the way the light plays with shadows as it drifts through the trees and the way it can be utilized to create a mood. I love the way light on a cloudy day softens everything adding a completely different mood. I’m equally amazed by the warmth of the light in the early morning and late afternoon. The way that it adds a brilliance to the shots and a glow to the heart.

In the studio I try to see light as it will fall on my subject, then balance that light to create the image we want to get. I’m sparing with my light in most cases – typically using no more that 4 lights for much of my work. But when I’m doing a boudoir shoot, I use several more to create the look. I also gel the lights with the colors to get the effect that’s needed. I just read that when doing a Playboy centerfold shoot, 40 or more lights are used to get every little detail perfect. I would love to have those kind of resources to light some shoots. 🙂 But with the lights I have, I’ve learned that balance is everything. Meter each light and then the entire scene. Shoot a test card so there’s a reference to the exact light that’s there. Then shoot – look – shoot and keep aware as you go. One other thing I have learned is that digital really doesn’t have the dynamic range of film. And using HDR processing doesn’t always work for glamour shoots. So I’ve found that metering your lights and really paying attention to what the overall scene looks like can have a dramatic impact on the time in post processing and using all the dynamic range that’s there.

I Love Light! I really do!

Visit Casual Elegance Photography ® to see samples of my work, read testimonials, and reserve your photo session today!


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Okay, so you just got a great idea for a present for that special person in your life. It’s now 15 days until Christmas. Oh No! Time has a way of flying by and now it’s getting down to the wire.

Normal turn around time from a Boudoir Photo Shoot until you have products in hand is about 15 days because there is time for selection, time for editing, time for approvals, and time for the lab to print them. BUT… if we can’t get everything done but at least get selections and edits done, there is a way to have something in hand as a teaser for the big day. In the past when this has happened I have built a slideshow CD as the “substitute” present. This gives that special someone a present to open and it acts like a prelude to the final present that will be coming.

I know it’s not the perfect situation, but it works very well when time has run out. The feedback that I have received is that it actually worked out better because it was like two presents.

So if you’re still thinking of the perfect gift for that special someone, call today to make an appointment for your boudoir photo shoot!

Casual Elegance Photography®

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Many clients ask how a photo shoot works. They typically want to know what they should bring, how they should prepare, what happens in the shoot, and how the whole process works. To help cut down on a large flow of emails I’ve developed a Boudoir FAQs page on my website and several different email templates to help answer these questions. You can view the FAQs on my website, but I also send notes with more information such as how to prepare, hints and tips, and directions to the studio. The notes serve two purposes. First, they have information that the client needs, and second, they serve as a reminder for the session. Together, all of these emails and links build a process that can repeated over and over with the same results. It not only keeps me sane, but it ensures that I’ve not missed anything that’s important to the client.

The process works so well that have built templates for Head Shots, Family Portraits, Fine Art, and even Body Painting. I’ve now got templates for each step of the overall process. From the first exchange to the final “Thank you for your business”, I have a template to be sure that I don’t forget anything. The bulk of the template can be added to the email, but I still put in my own touch to the notes. And beyond templates, from my preparation for the shoot to the whole editing flow is documented on a process control sheet and on the wall in my editing suite. All those years of working for a fortune 50 company has taught me that if there’s a way to keep on track, it should be used – and a process is exactly what is needed. The process flow control sheet has check boxes for every step in the overall process. It goes on top of the client information packet that I build for every client.

Please visit Casual Elegance Photography and book a shoot today! 🙂

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