Posts Tagged ‘Casual Elegance Photography Blog’

I’ll be shooting a maternity session today – the second time for this couple. A few years back I did the photo session for their first child and they are coming back now for their second child. Maternity shoots are fun. I love the way the couples are about the pregnancy and how the love always shines through.

When shooting maternity shots I believe it’s important that the couple just be themselves. Sure, we will pose them and suggest ideas, but in the end, if they remain themselves, we can get some exceptional images for them to cherish forever.

Well, off to the studio to prepare everything for the shoot.

Visit Casual Elegance Photography® and plan your photo session today.

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Well here we go again. Someone loves the name Casual Elegance Photography so much that they decided to name their business it. Now, I’ve heard the saying that “imitation is the sincerest form of flattery”, but what they don’t realize is that the name Casual Elegance Photography® is protected by a US Federal Trademark ® and that the penalties can be severe when someone violates the Trademark laws.

What I don’t understand is why people just don’t follow good practices when they decide what they want to name a business. There are a lot of things to consider when purchasing a URL, developing a name for a business, investing into a website, and purchasing advertising materials. There’s cost, time, knowledge of the marketplace, etc. Why spend all that money just to have to do it all over again if you don’t have the right to use the name? A quick google search, a quick check of the USPTO website, a quick review of the laws associated with infringing on a trademark, and seeing if the name has a website… chances are that if casualelegancephotography.com is taken, the name is in use, so do a little more research before naming a business. Casual Elegance Photography® has been a registered trademark since 2008 and has been in business since 2000. Our website is http://www.casualelegancephotography.com. I’ve worked hard to brand my business and it’s cost a bunch of money and time to do so. So tomorrow starts the process of resolving this issue. Phone calls, contacting ISPs, and basic “first attempt” stuff… But it’s all necessary to protect then name, brand, and good will of Casual Elegance Photography® so I gladly do it.

Visit us at Casual Elegance Photography® – the finest in Boudoir, Intimate, Maternity, and Fine Art Photography.

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Last week was a full week.   Had to do a product shoot, 2 couples artistic nude sessions, 2 head shot sessions, and update the computer.   To add to the excitement the A/C at the studio wasn’t working very well.  After getting a minute to look up in the ceiling I noticed that two of my 10″ ducts had been removed and were now going to another business at the studio’s location.   Hmmmmm…   a call to the landlord.  He said that the AC company had not done what he asked.  They were supposed to move two different ducts, so I had to disconnect the ducts and reconnect my ducts.   The only good that came out of it was that the landlord is going to fix the original system that supplied my studio and give me a much better system for HVAC.   Can’t wait!!!!

Business is picking up again – it’s so cyclic…   we have a few more couples nudes shoots planned and one of them will be an Erotic Couples Shoot.   We are in discussions on poses and what they want to get out of the shoot.  We also have several headshot sessions and a couple of boudoir sessions planned.  I’m in the planning stage for an On Location shoot at a client’s business to get shots for them for their website.  In addition we will be shooting several more products for another client over the next few weeks.

It’s nice to be busy again!!!   http://www.casualelegancephotograpy.com

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A few posts back I mentioned that while I was painting a wall an idea came to me about how to light a nude.  The whole concept came about because the light I was using was on the floor and, as I stood, I could see a shadow on the wall that looked interesting.  So I came up with a little different twist on it.  Below is the result of the idea.

My main light was placed to camera left almost 2 feet behind the model about waist high and aimed a slight bit forward.  A large reflector (silver) was placed to camera right and positioned close enough to light the back evenly with a slight hot spot at the hip area.  I shot the image from a lower angle to add the “stretch” that would normally occur in a shadow (like the one I saw on the wall).

I’m pleased with the final image.  It was shot in Black & White (m0n0chrome) using a Nikon D700 with a Nikkor 24 – 120MM VR Zoom Lens.  Since it was shot in the studio and the camera was set to 1/125 and f/14 at ISO 200.  I use ISO 200 most of the time since all my cameras are capable of that setting.  The Photoshop post processing was just a slight adjustment to Levels and the removal of a bruise on the hip.  I have to say, I love the D700’s monochrome setting.  It’s like shooting B&W film.   🙂



The Finest in Boudoir, Glamour, Maternity, Intimate, and Nude Photography.

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There are many people who feel that artistic nudes need to be in black & white while there are others who say color is best. My opinion is that this is a personal choice and it’s totally subjective. But the guidelines that I go by when making my decision to make a photo black & white instead of color are:

1. What does the images say?  Is it more of a beauty style image or a purely artistic figure study?   If it has the elements of beauty then I typically like color better.  If it’s a true artistic nude then I go to my second criteria.

2.  Is there texture in the image?   My feeling is that texture lends itself to black & white where it’s not as important in color.  I like the look of the texture when there is contrast and shadows to highlight it.

3.  Is the image strong enough to stand on its own without the “eye candy” that color brings?  This is the final test in my mind.  If the image is strong / powerful enough, then black and white makes it richer and can give it more of an impact.  I guess in my mind, color softens an image where black & white makes it crisper.

Well that’s the way I evaluate an image for black & white vs. color.  It may not be correct for everyone, but I’ve used it for several years and I like the results.  🙂


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Casual Elegance Photography® – The Boudoir Photoshoot Process – Answers to the most FAQ’s

Can I meet with you prior to my photoshoot? Definitely!! At Casual Elegance Photography® your comfort level is my highest priority! I am always happy to set up a time for my clients to come in and chat – look at my portfolios – discuss the types of photographs they would like for themselves… besides making them more comfortable with their experience, it also allows us to set up a “game plan” for what types of shots we will be taking well in advance of the day of the shoot!

Do I need to come in for a consultation ahead of time? No. Because many of our clients come to us from across the United States, and even from other countries, for their boudoir photo sessions, we have gotten very good at doing complete consultations by email and phone. So if your schedule is too crazy to allow time for an in person consultation, we can always do a consultation for you over the phone or via email. Lots of my clients send me several emails ahead of time discussing what types of photos they want, what outfits they plan to wear, etc. Whatever works for you, works for us!

Do I have to be nude for Boudoir Photographs? Absolutely not!! In fact, most of the time boudoir photographs are not nudes. One of the reasons boudoir photography is so popular is that it allows you to create the illusion of nudity without actually having to be nude. Of course many of my clients elect to do at least one or two shots where they are completely nude, and that is totally up to you! Even in the completely nude shots it is possible to leave everything to the imagination through posing and lighting/shadowing.

Can I bring someone with me to the photoshoot? Of course! We have a very comfortable area set up in our studio for friends or companions of our clients to wait during the shoot. It is right off our shooting rooms, so they are able to be part of the process without interfering with the shoot.

What type of outfits should I wear for boudoir photographs? The answer to this is simple – articles of clothing that you are comfortable in (if you buy new lingerie or clothing for your shoot that is not comfortable, your discomfort will show in your photographs), and items that have special meaning to both you and the person you are taking the photographs for. Don’t forget the accessories such as heels and jewelry that would go with your outfit. One important note regarding outfits – PLEASE arrive for your shoot wearing loose clothing or undergarments – many clients choose to wear a loose sundress with nothing under it. Why? Clothing lines take hours to disappear, and although many can be removed in post processing, excessive or deep indentations in the skin cannot always be completely eliminated. If you are doing a combination of boudoir and art nude photographs, your session will start with the art nudes so that the articles of clothing you choose for your boudior session do not leave marks on your skin.

Do I need a makeup artist or can I do my own makeup? Unless you are familiar with how to do makeup for a photoshoot, we highly recommend using a makeup artist. The makeup artists we use are not only great makeup artists, but also help with ideas for the photoshoot. If you are on a budget, our makeup artists also can provide a “paint and go” service, which runs a little less than full service. Some clients prefer to have their makeup done at one of the larger department store makeup counters prior to the shoot. If you decide this is what you want to do, be sure that they understand that the makeup is for a photoshoot – not everyday makeup. There is a significant difference in the type of makeup as well as the application of makup for photography. Also make sure that they blend your neck so there is not a drastic transition from your face to your body. Remember you will be shooting under powerful strobes, which wash out normal, “everyday” makeup.

What is “paint and go” makeup? With a paint and go service the makeup artist will arrive when you do, apply one look of makeup, wait while we do a test shot to make sure it is perfect, and then they leave. With full makeup service they stay for almost the entire shoot (until the last makeup look is applied) and continually adjust/touch up your makeup during the photoshoot. They can even change your look entirely during the shoot if you are going for multiple looks in your photographs.

My husband likes to read “men’s magazines” and loves the more explicit pictures in some of them. Can I get that type of photograph taken during my shoot? Yes! Our goal is to capture the type of images that you want taken. At Casual Elegance Photography® we have only the highest respect for our clients and understand that they are coming to us for the most private and intimate of photographs. It is important to us that you feel safe, secure and confident in our studio. Your privacy is our utmost concern, and aside from you and me, the only people allowed at the shoot are the ones you allow! This is one of the reasons we offer the makeup artist paint and go service – if you don’t want her to stay for your session, she doesn’t have to (however if you read our testimonials – our clients love our makeup artists and their input into the process!)

I’m not a model, and I don’t know how to pose. Do you offer assistance with posing etc? We will guide you with suggestions for posing based on what has worked well for other clients. At any time, if you are not comfortable with a particular pose, you can simply let me know and we will choose something else. During your shoot you will be able to see your images coming up on the computer screen, and if you or I feel that a certain pose does not work for you, we will make the necessary adjustments. You will be surprised at how much fun you are going to have during your shoot! Once the pictures start coming up on the screen, any jitters you might have are sure to disappear!

Is there an age limit for doing boudoir or nude photographs? Yes, you must be over 18, and less than 145! Seriously, at our boudoir or nude photoshoots you must present at least one form of photo ID (preferably two if there would be any question as to whether you are of legal age) before we will even begin the process. Each client must sign an agreement that they are of legal age and that they are doing the shoot of their own free will and desire. We’ve also have had clients come in who were well into their 60’s and many of our clients are in their 40’s and 50’s. Remember, beauty is not age dependant, and the boudoir experience is for woman of all ages.

What if someone calls you and asks for copies of my pictures? Your photographs are never made available to anyone without your signed, written permission. This means that even if your boyfriend or husband paid for your shoot, and they called me later for reprints, they would not be able to get them without your specific written and signed permission. We are known for our integrity and the value we place on our clients’ privacy.

What if I want to do both Art Nudes and Boudoir in the same session?  Does it cost more? No.  It’s all a matter of time.  We recommend a package with at least 2 hours to combine the different venues.  Also, we need to know ahead of time to prepare the studio and be able to do them most in the time allotted.

What if one of your packages isn’t quite what I want? All our packages are able to be customized to your specific requirements. Just give me a call or send me an email and let me know what you are looking for and I will create a package just for you!

Where are you located? Is your studio located in a shopping mall? No, my studio is a completely private and comfortable studio located in Sandy Springs GA – and not located in a shopping mall.  The property where our studio is located is a very quiet business park with just 2 buildings.  The studio has been described by others as “like coming into someone’s home.

How far in advance should I book my boudoir session? The earlier the better. We are available for weekdays, evenings and weekend shoots. The closer it is to a holiday like Valentine’s Day, Christmas, etc, the more booked up we get. If you have a specific date that you need your images by (for instance if you are booking a Bridal Boudoir session) PLEASE talk to us well in advance so that we can do your shoot with plenty of time to get your prints back. Our lab takes 10-15 business days to turn around orders.  Our normal recommendation is to plan at least 20 days ahead of when you would like the images in your hands.

Can I pay with a credit card? Absolutely. We accept most major credit cards, checks and cash.

What if I have to cancel my appointment? A deposit may be required to book your session. Please visit our website http://www.casualelgancephotography.com under Services and Pricing to read our deposit and cancellation policy. Can I get images on a CD instead of prints? Yes. There may be a slight difference in pricing, but we can provide your images on a CD. Call or email me for more specific details.

I have stretch marks and a few scars. Do you edit the images and airbrush them? Images that you select for printing are completely edited. We have many techniques that we can use to make your pictures gorgeous!

I’ve been shopping around and have found a wide price range for boudoir photographs. Why should I come to Casual Elegance Photography® for my photographs? Casual Elegance Photography® is competetively priced. We hope to earn your business based on the work you see on our website, our client testimonials, and the integrity that Casual Elegance is known for. In choosing a photographer for boudoir photography, please be sure that you feel comfortable with the photographer, the processes, and the work that they have done in the past. We pride ourselves on being able to capture the images you want and providing you with a professional, comfortable, relaxed and private atmosphere for your photo session.

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Today I was looking through a magazine we got in Paris on our last visit. The ads for the different museums kept catching my eye. I kept thinking of all the art we saw while we were in Paris and how different it was back when the “Masters” were painting and sculpting. Men and women alike posed nude – recording our beauty through the ages. Today we use digital cameras to record our “art”. We use lighting in ways that the old masters didn’t have, but guess what, we do almost the exact same lighting that they did then – it’s just that we use “lights” and they used “light”. The single light technique imitates the way window light lit the subject. Reflectors do the same job as mirrors and similar materials helped fill the shadows, etc. It’s all basically the same.

At our studio we light to flatter, conceal, and provoke emotion. Nothing, in my opinion, is more beautiful than the human form (both men and women) lit correctly to produce a work of art.

Contact us today to set up an appointment for your Artistic Nudes. You will be very glad you did!

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