January 21, 2009

The answers to your burning questions.....

{A}nnie said...
OHHH YAY! Im going to be your first.ok---questions1. Will you give me your 5d? :)2. Whats your favorite action? I know you are leaning towards not useing them as much.3.If my skin is orange-y looks like I got back from cancun---how do I change that?Luv U! Luv Your work and passion!

Annie! Thanks for your questions :D
1. No, but I have to say I do love it and im so glad that I got it. Although its not the new Mark II It still is very amazing!
2. Hmm….my favorite action, well lets see I like Nichole Vans Texture actions, and I love MCP’s sharpening actions. I try not to use actions as much because I don’t feel that they are consistant sometimes
3. Usually its something to do with your lighting or settings, or even post processing. Its hard to pinpoint sometimes but I highly recommend knowing how to shoot in manual and all of your settings.

Jessica Kettle said...
how fun! I think everyone should do an anniversary giveaway. =)here's my question. What is your indoor lighting set up and how do you have it set up? What do you usually have your camera settings on when you do indoor?

Yay! Star struck am I! The infamous Jessica Kettle lol. I love your stuff so how cool to have you come to my 1 year yay!
1. As far as my indoor setup. I have an alien bees 400 on a heavy duty light stand with a giant octobox softbox. I must say I love it. When I do newborns, or young babies that aren’t as mobile or fast I have the softbox almost dead center and peak around the sides, I have found my lighting is most even when I do this. As far as older subjects and families, I like to have my light at a 45 degree angle to the left and then my camera center, and a reflector on the right, as far as a reflector goes, you can use a reflector or even white foamboard.
2. As far as camera settings I usually am at 100 ISO and ss 125 and then my aperature is around 5.6. Hopefully this helps! I cant wait to see more of what you do

Greg.Bre said...
Congrats on your anniversary! That's exciting. You've done a great job!QUestions from me! :)1. What's in your bag?2. What lens would you recommend to a semi-beginner? (One who's not been doing this a long time, but isn't a real beginner...if that makes sense! :)3. Do you use flash ever?4. How do you shoot at night?! :S (had a shoot when the lighting was getting pretty bad tonight....)

Hi Bre! Thanks for your questions, I liked that you asked whats in my bag! I love to hear what others have in their bags.
1. I have a canon 5d Mark I, 85mm 1.8 and a 50mm 1.8. I used to have a tamron with my old camera and I must say I loved it! It just wouldn’t fit on the new one L I also have a 430 ex speedlight, gary fong lightsphere (clear), lens cloth, memory cards, chapstick, gum, note cards, business cards, squeaky toys, and treats.
2. As far as the lens goes, its really hard to answer, it all depends on what kind of photography you are into doing. I love the 50mm 1.8 and highly recommend it for newborns, portraits things like that. Its very sharp and I think that is what primes are known for, is the sharpness. If you were doing weddings or sports action photography, I would recommend a zoom of some sort, as you know I haven’t done a wedding (doesn’t mean I wouldn’t lol) but I have heard wonderful things about the 70-200L (hopefully I got that right lol).
3. Yes I do. I try to stay away from using my speedlight if I don’t have too, but I have also found great results while using it indoors and bouncing it off ceilings or windows, it produces great catchlights off windows (thanks Heather! Lol)
4. Hmmm Night shooting are we talking dark? Or getting dark lol. I have seen some amazing photography done at night with just speedlights or video lights. If I were to be doing it often I would love to learn more about video light, it is neat what they can do! I try to stay within natural light outdoors just a preference that’s all, no right or wrong either way.

Heidi said...
Congrats! Okay, so my blogspot is just not professional.....I've tried a collage and it just ain't happening! How do you make a collage header like YOURS?And would you mind telling me the header settings?ThanksHeidijwalker@comcast.netutah peas

Hi Heidi! Thanks for the questions.
1. As far as my blog header I just do it by hand in photoshop, or
www.mcpactions.com has some great storyboards for blogs and websites.
2. As far as the header length, I have a template for my blog that tells me exactly what size to do. If you go through blogger there is an area that is under html that says header size that should tell you exactly to size it at. I hope this helps! If you are looking for “generally speaking” I would size mine 12x5 and then click the button on blogger that says size to fit. It always worked J

Tina said...
Happy Photoversary! I have loved watching you grow and change over the past year. You have gotten SO good. Thanks for all your help. I am ALWAYS emailing you for questions....but one for here...How do you prop your newborns up to their are on their tummy and their head is resting on their hands? That's so hard!

Thanks Tina, I appreciate you following my journey.
1. I use a beanbag and a boppee. Its definitely taken some experimentation to see what works, but what I do is set my boppee on the beanbag then cover it with the fabric Im going to be using. I then fold the newborn in half basically and cross there arms under their head and lift them to where I want them to be, some newborns absolutely hate this and no matter what I do they will roll to the side or do other things but it still ends up cute. I have to make sure its nice and warm and they are very sleepy.

~Ali~ said...
Ooooh...Well, first off, my congrats to you on your first year...you need to post a pic of yourself smothered in chocolate cake! hee heeUmm...there are too many questions! Is there locations that you would consider to be versital to almost any style? What location have you found to be your favorite? And if I were to do pics of babies that have passed would you have a recommendation on an action to use to make the skin more natural? Sorry...that one might be harder.

Hi Ali! Mmm now all I can think about is chocolate cake! Yummy!!! My neighbor use to make the best chocolate cake and then they moved Gosh see totally off topic lol.
1. Locations…..well versatile there are some, I like structures so any type of buildings, stairs, neat structures, I think they can be very versatile because you can do urban funky, or you can do really traditional.
2. I honestly don’t have a “favorite” location. It seems like with photography you almost have to stay “ahead of the game” so to speak so Im always on the hunt for locations….but with that being said, Ive found that I absolutely love North light. I never thought anything about it until another photographer told me to search for north light and see if I found a difference, well I did and now Im sold!
3. As far as this question, I think it’s a very neat thing you are wondering about, and I think you would be really great at this, you know, Annie and I have talked about this, so Ill get down to your question J As far as processing….I don’t know that I would really use an action per se I might even try to do it more by hand because I think it would definitely be a case by case, with that being said an action might make one pic look wonderful and the next very ucky. I would do a lot depending again on the case in black and white, but if you decide to go this route, email me Id be more than happy to give you more in depth information.

Alvord Photography said...
Congrats Marrissa!!! Now for my questionsWhat is your favorite location? Whose work inspires you?How did you build your portfolio?

1. I kind of answered this above, but Ill switch it a bit and tell you kind of my favorite style. I love lifestyle photographs, I love when a family can be relaxed and just act naturally I love to capture interaction, laughing etc. I think its so much more natural, I also love urban because I love the contrasty colors and textures, and I love newborns. I think this is a very important time in life and it lasts only about 2 weeks! I just cant believe how fast they change in the beginning and I love remembering things like that, so pure!
2. wow! Now that’s a great question!!!! There are a lot of people that inspire me and some you would never guess! I love Anne Geddes stuff! I love to look through her old work, and im not talking about her flowers, or staged shots, I love the old black and whites, and hanging from fabrics its amazing! She truly invented an art form. I also love Jodie Ottes work for newborns, something about it, her lighting ugh its amazing Id love to go to her workshop. I try to look through articles old books things like that so that I can “reinvent” things. I love to be inspired but try to put my spin on it. Sometimes I see other photographers do things that I have wanted to do before I am able to and I get bummed sometimes, but then I just try to think of a way to do it different. I also love Patti Schmidt, her black and whites are amazing. I seriously could go on and on
3. Building my portfolio was a little tricky for me. I don’t have a lot of family and with Utah being so saturated I had a hard time “selling” my art and my talent. I started out offering free sessions. Then people could try me out so to speak. Then if they loved there pictures they could then buy prints from me or a copyright cd. This was at full price, the only thing free was the session but my prices aren’t unreasonable either. I highly recommend setting up all your prices to where you want them to be after portfolio building if that means $75 a session fee then set it there. Then offer discounts! Offer them for free and then maybe a discount on prints. But make sure you have your prices available to see that way people aren’t shocked when your not doing free anymore, again we are saturated and some photographers just give their time and talent away for free.

Anonymous said...
First of all, would you mind sharing answers to everyones questions? I know I already put in a request but I thought of a few more, what props do you use for newborns, what is your pricing structure, and when I do newborn pictures, I try to burn the black sheet so it is darker and I end up getting a halo effect around the baby, what is the correct way to do that? And I've seen pictures where it is all white around the newborn, but I can't burn my white background....You are awesome for being so willing to give back! ThanksHeidiUtah Peas

1. I try to stay away from a lot of props, so I use really simple things. I always have a bean bag, boppee and a heater. Then I like to tell parents to wear dark shirts so I can use there hands as props and I also like bracelets for girls and hats, beanies, special blankets, heirlooms, things that have meaning. I love cocoons (which leads me to the one I used, I actually made that I didn’t buy it) and I love baskets as well. I actually have props I haven’t even been able to use yet, but Im so excited when I get the opportunity to! I have some babies in April and May that Im going to use some neat things on!
2. My pricing structure can be seen on my blog under pricing, I have always gone into photography knowing I wanted to make it worth my time while I was away from my family and help provide for my family, but I wanted to keep it affordable as well. Its hard to get people to understand that they can afford me as well, but instead they are going to studios like Kiddie Kandid where they don’t edit L and are not custom photographers. If you have additional questions on mypricing structure please feel free to email me.
3. As far as the the backgrounds, when I use black I burn the black and when I get close to the newborn I zoom really far in, this takes time, but it ensures a great outcome so that Im not getting on the baby and burning there skin, but im insuring that Im getting all the black as well this will eliminate the “halo” around the baby. As for white, most “true” whites I have seen are lit with a high key set up. In other words where there are more than one light, one lights the backdrop, and one lights the subject. You can try to achieve this other ways such as using a screen layer, or dodging the area.

Chris said...
Happy anniversary, very inspiring to someone wanting to start the same!What is the best place to get studio back drops (ie or the one in the infant pic from 'gorgeous girls'?)

Hi! Thanks!
1. as far as the backdrops I get mine from numerous places. If you are speaking of the beadboard on the gorgeous girls that is actually a wall in their home. Others I use are fabric and seamless paper. I love seamless actually I am also in the process of making a canvas backdrop, I would buy one, but I just cant see spending $300 so im going to try to make one first

Okay! If you made it this far thanks so much for reading and for following my blog. I am so inspired by everyone that follows and appreciate all my readers! If you have questions email me! And I must add that Ann (anniemations Photography) and I are doing some beginner classes, photoshop classes, and advance classes. I highly recommend them. This will give you a greater insight to our daily processes.


Ann January 21, 2009 at 2:50 PM  

Fun reads! Thanks for sharing!

Tina January 21, 2009 at 3:43 PM  

Learned a lot! THANKS!

Anonymous January 21, 2009 at 4:39 PM  

Great Job Marissa---:) You inspire MANY im sure!!

Thanks for taking the time to share

Greg.Bre January 21, 2009 at 11:12 PM  

Thanks for sharing. I love getting advice from photographers I admire! Thanks so much!!!

Heidi January 21, 2009 at 11:44 PM  

Thank you SO much! I love your work and appreciate you being so willing to share!

~Ali~ January 22, 2009 at 9:40 AM  

Thanks Marissa!! I think I will email you about some things about doing shoots for grieving families. You're awesome to answer all these burning questions! And I am still waiting to see you with the cake! hee hee Thanks again!

Alvord Photography January 22, 2009 at 10:47 PM  

Thanks!!! It is nice hearing advice and opinions from other photogs. Oh, and Jodie is great. I am going to have to look at the others work.

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