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About Salina J Photography

Hi, I am Salina, a senior portrait photographer working in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area of Minnesota (based in Lakeville, but my sessions are not limited to that city). My availability for 2015 is limited, so 2016 high school graduates, contact me soon to set up your session! I look forward to hearing about your ideas and helping you turn them into amazing senior pictures.

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Class of 2015 Senior Portraits – Minneapolis – The Importance of Light

Sunday, August 17th, 2014

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.

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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.

 

Go Big or Go Home – Choosing the Right Print Size for Your Walls

Thursday, September 5th, 2013

I love offering printed products to my clients. Digital negatives are convenient, and my clients do purchase them, but they and I know that a digital negative is more likely to rest on a hard drive or in a tablet’s photo album than be seen in the home. We are so accustomed to having photos available to us in pixels we forget to print those photos and display them in our homes, either as prints or in albums.

My clients know the value in seeing their portraits professionally printed – they hire me because they know that I, as a print-focused photographer, know how to prepare my digital negatives for the print process. Colors will be rich, skin tones will be natural and there will not be distracting areas that are too bright or too dark. To help my clients with their selections, one benefit I offer is in-person ordering. After the session is complete, my clients can schedule an ordering session at my studio or in their home, where they can see and touch samples of different albums, canvases or large prints.

One of my favorite parts about this is bringing multiple sizes of prints to a client’s home. In some cases, my clients have never ordered a print larger than an 8×10. They think of that as the “large” size, when in reality an 8×10 is considered a desk print, or is meant to be clustered in a grouping of other photos or art work. So during our ordering session, when I recommend a 16×20 for a particular wall where they’d like to display the smiling faces of their kids, at first they are skeptical… until I compare how the wall looks adorned with an 8×10 and then with a 16×20.

Prints seen from a distance, like those displayed on a wall, should be large enough that the faces are clear without someone having to walk up to inspect. Clients should also take into consideration the scale of the walls and the furniture. A print meant for a shelf in an office can be smaller, but so many newer homes now have soaring ceilings and rooms with oversized furniture.

A client sent me a photo yesterday of her bedroom with a print of her children newly hung above the bed. At her ordering session, I first held up some 16×20 prints, as they initially thought about ordering one 16×20 of each child. Then I held up my 20×30, the largest sample I have. The clients loved the idea of having one bigger print for the wall, but my client said “I don’t think that’s big enough.” So we ordered the portrait as a 24×36 Elevated mount (this is a modern option that comes ready to hang, and the edges can be finished in black, white, silver or wood-tone).

Here you can see the finished product! I am so happy she shared this photo, I love seeing the results.

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Just for fun, I edited the image to show what the print would look like had she ordered it in an 8×12 size. The difference is amazing! So the next time you order a print of your favorite portrait, whether through a photographer or on your own, think about sizing up. Use a piece of newspaper or cardboard cut to a larger print size and tape it to the wall where you’d like to hang your photograph and see which size works best for your space. Big isn’t always the answer, but in many cases it will help fill your space and showcase the smiling faces all the better.

Salina J Photography Blog Image

Julia – St. Paul, MN Senior Pictures

Tuesday, June 11th, 2013

Julia attends a small private high school in St. Paul. We lucked out for her session held in late April – our beautiful, warm day was tucked in between some cold and less-than-gorgeous evenings. Here are some of the favorites from Julia’s session. Are you searching for a photographer for your senior pics, class of 2014? Contact me today to talk about details, then we’ll get you on the calendar! I have some exciting specials and offers for this summer and fall.

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Graduating Class of 2013 – Not Too Late for Senior Pictures!

Monday, April 8th, 2013

Hello, Class of 2013!

You’re winding down your senior year, counting the days until high school is over, getting ready for your graduation party and warmer summer months.

If you still need senior portraits, it’s not too late! I’ve been doing sessions for other seniors in your graduating class all spring, with more coming up. Maybe you didn’t have time to get them done last fall, maybe you didn’t like how the first ones turned out, maybe you were waiting for your braces to come off. No worries – give me a call at 612-567-3129 or write at salina@salinajphotography.com and I will get you scheduled. It’s ideal to have the session at least 4-6 weeks before you need to send your grad announcements, but if it’s sooner than that, we can make something work.

I look forward to hearing from you! Enjoy these last few months of your high school career.

{Are you a member of the Class of 2014? If you book before the end of your junior year, you will get a discount on your session fee, so contact me today!}

Boys and Their Dog – Lakeville, MN Family and Pet Photographer

Monday, December 10th, 2012

This family came to me wanting photos of the two young boys and also the family pet dog, Newman. Ryder and Brady are busy, active kids and used to running around and refusing to sit still, but for our session they rewarded their mom’s efforts at wardrobe organization by giving me some beautiful, natural looks.

The black and white image was recently ordered as a 30×30 canvas to go over the family’s mantel in their two-story living room. It’s an amazing piece that the boys’ parents will treasure forever (and probably look to in moments of yelling and shouting in years to come, to recall the serene moment we captured).


Are you thinking about family portraits? I’m happy to accommodate requests for pets – I’ve done sessions with dogs and horses so far. And no temperature is too cold as long as my clients are comfortable – there is no rule that family portraits must be done outside between June and October. In a few weeks I’m photographing a family of five outdoors, and it will be fun to include a Minnesota feel to the portraits with the weather. I am now taking reservations for all photo sessions through May of 2013, so contact me today to get on the calendar!

 

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