First things first – Minnesota high school seniors, I am now booking into September and October for senior portrait sessions. Contact me today to get on my schedule as open slots are dwindling! If you’re looking for a family photographer this fall, I am booking past clients and referrals from past clients only, but I’m happy to refer you to some great family photographers in the area if you are new to Salina J Photography as I am no longer accepting new family/child clients at this time (focusing instead on senior portraits and head shots – anyone can book with me for those!).
Now… anyone who has heard me talk about photography knows I’m a bit of a geek when it comes to the technical side. My vision as an artist is first and foremost, but photography is nothing without the right light. When shooting outdoors, the light doesn’t always cooperate. My clients and I might be outside and there’s too much sun in a spot with a great view, or if we’re in a wooded area, there might not be enough light to take advantage of the pretty background and still get light in the eyes and a proper balance between the illumination of the face and the background.
I don’t always need it, but I bring supplemental lighting to every session. Not only can I help boost the ambient (natural) light wherever I am, I can also do some creative shots that simply aren’t possible without additional lighting. For example, if you’ve seen my photographs of seniors with beautiful sunsets behind them, I had to use a light in an umbrella to create those. Otherwise the face would be totally dark in order to see the sunset.
Here’s a great example from a recent session showing why I bring my lighting gear to a session. I was photographing this class of 2015 Lakeville senior in Northfield and wanted to use a path in the outdoor area we were in. The sun was behind Rachel which highlighted her hair perfectly, I loved the trees and the light filtering through them, but it was too dark to get catchlights in Rachel’s eyes. In order to keep the background looking the way I wanted, without a flash Rachel’s face would be underexposed. I could increase my exposure so that her face would be bright enough, but that meant sacrificing the background (also, a too-bright or “blown” background draws the eye away from the subject). So I quickly set up my flash on a light stand and was able to get the gorgeous shot of Rachel on the right, with both her face and the background in perfect balance, lighting-wise.
Head over to my Instagram feed to see the portrait I took of Rachel at the end of her session with the amazing sunset behind her – also made possible by my trusty flash and lighting skills.