Thursday, May 29, 2008


Our lovely friends, Jonathon and Carrie of Blue Castle Photography, invited us to join them for a photo shoot with their long time friend, Lani. We happily agreed in the interest of spending more time with some of our favorite Corvallis friends and doing our favorite thing in the world - photography.

Needless to say, it was a blast. Lani, after five years of marriage and two children, looked as lovely as ever in her wedding dress. I can only hope and pray that I have a figure like hers after two children! The flowers were provided by Thistle Dew Farms and they were the most amazing thing I've ever seen in the wedding industry. These flowers were around 3 years old and still looked as fresh as they would have looked on the wedding day. I couldn't believe it!

Thanks to all involved! It was such fun shooting and enjoying the day with everyone!

Jim & Michelle

Jim and Michelle are great! Jim is leaving (actually, at this moment, has left) for Kuwait for a one year military stint. Before he left though, they wanted photos of themselves together. It is adorable how much they love each other. I'm confident that even though many miles of sea and land keep them apart, their hearts are very much together.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Chelsea & Jeremy

We met up with Chelsea and Jeremy recently and scampered off to Oregon State University, of which we are all alumni! It was great roaming around our old haunts and getting to take fabulous photos of Chelsea & Jeremy in a location that means a lot to them. Jeremy is such a beaver fan that he actually tried (and is trying) to convince Chelsea that their wedding colors should be orange and black. ::grins::

Needless to say, it was incredibly enjoyable spending time with this couple and capturing their love for each other. They were both full of laughter and we had so much fun with them that it felt like we were just spending time with old friends just goofing off!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Fashionistic Awesomeness

Honestly, I'm not really sure what the school schedules are for getting senior photos done, but I'm super excited to start doing them now that the weather is a little bit nicer! I think they are awesome because they are like mini fashion shoots and I love experimenting with that "fashion photography" feel.

So - if you are interested in having awesome, fun, and fashionistic (yes - I made that word up) senior photos done, let us know! We are currently offering to do two free senior portrait sessions (one for a guy & one for a gal), so email us and let us know if you are interested!

I think we'll start calling our Senior Portrait Packages - Fashionistic Awesomeness - because they are so awesome!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Finding the Light

When I was starting out in photography, I hated taking photos around the house. It was the same boring walls, decor, and scenery; I always wanted to go somewhere new.

Over time I've come to realize that you can take beautiful portraits inside your own home. Want to know how? Here's where to start -

First off, don't put your subject (sister, child, husband, friend, dog, or alien) in a dark corner of the room. Look for natural lighting by a window or a door. The best way to get a nice image is to look for your light first and your background second.

Once you've found nice light, position your subject so that the light falls across their face.

In this photo, I positioned my sister about 4 feet from my parent's large floor to ceiling windows. As you can see, the light is soft and falls on multiple parts of her face. Since the windows are floor to ceiling windows, the light is hitting underneath her eyes, directly on her face, and lightly gracing the top of her head.

Then I put her in an exciting place - their couch! Really folks - get nice light, a simple background, and then pose your subject in a flattering way. And that's pretty much it. In terms of backgrounds in this image, you can see my parent's wall decor there behind the couch. I think the image may be better without the wall decor in the back of the picture, but I don't think it ruins the image entirely.

Okay - here's a list of Elisha's "what-not-to-dos" and some "to-dos" (note: some photographers may disagree with the following statements; these statements should be guidelines and not hard-and-fast rules):

1. Avoid fireplaces like the plague. Unless you are using the fire to light your subject, don't put them in front of it. It looks old fashioned and amateurish. The technical reasons why I don't think you should use the fireplace is that it cuts your subjects' heads off. Have you ever noticed that the lines of the fireplace are usually about neck level with your subject? I prefer to let my subjects keep their heads - thank you very much.

2. Stairs - they're your friend. Use them. The lines the stairs create often make for a cool simple background. Only be careful - make sure that your stairs are tall enough to encompass the whole photo.

For example - what to do:

Note how you can't see the top of the stairs? That's what you should go for. You don't want the top of the stairs to do that head-chopping thing like the fireplaces.

Here's what not to do:

Do you see where the edge of the stairs goes right through his head? This image could have been improved ten-fold if I had made the couple move down about 2 steps and had cropped in a little tighter.

There are always exceptions to Elisha's rules however. For example, the shot below is of the same couple, same pose, and same location, but I moved so that they were framed within the green heart shaped foliage. Would it have been better if I moved them down two steps? I don't know. It may have been better to move them down, but it may have ruined the feel of them being surrounded by the foliage and the way all the lines point directly at them. So what do you think?

Okay, I'm going to leave you with one last rule today:

3. If your background is distracting and your light is nice - get closer!

In the below image, the light was awesome! We were at a restaurant with my sister (about a year or two ago) and the background was just ruining the photo for me. So I got as close as my dear camera could focus and took this shot of just her eyes.

This is without all the crazy photoshop colors:

I don't like how the second image has a bit of her ear in it and how it crops right underneath her nose, but I think I like the coloring better than my first edit.

Okay - so go try these things at home! I'd love to see what people come up with!