Working as a professional photographer or any creative profession for that matter is complex. Bringing people together whether for a photo session or creative collaboration is an opportunity that can get challenging. Not all people work together well. During a photo session I think a photographer has to relinquish control at some point. They should also be as concerned about the comfort of their clients as they are about the creating an appealing portrait. If a certain pose is going to hurt a client and is asked to hold that pose for awhile the photographer probably isn't going to fare well with the client. When photographing portraits, it is essential to keep clients happy and moving to ensure the spark of the eye remains. As well the smile wanes. Emotions are mercurial and must be captured in split seconds. A photographer has to listen and intuit was is happening within those precious seconds in terms of what a client wants and needs versus getting the shot. It is a delicate balance but taking the time to check in with the client to see if they are comfortable and content creates staying power which might add up to more sessions in the future.
Don't let life get you down. Celebrate it! And if you are not sure why, check this out...
We forget how fleeting life can be. We take it all so seriously marching about like little ants trying to keep it all together. Then something happens and it wakes us up. It could be watching a video like the story of Claire and getting the message, a friends death, loss of a parent, pet or any loss for that matter. And we finally get it. All the stuff means so little and time seems to stop. We are shook to the core and truly depressed. God willing the grieving helps restore us and we are different people from that moment on. Hopefully better people.
Becoming more whole means letting the light sine within us again. We have to constantly begin anew. Sometimes at the darkest moment comes great light and wisdom. As the rain washes away the clouds the sun shines bright. We are wiser than once ever thought. We worry not about petty people or having one more thing. We celebrate what we have. Our heart opens and we laugh a hearty belly laugh...the real kind.
Think now about how to make light in your life. Use that precious energy while you have it. Be honest about what you really want. Got family? Love family? Show them some ideas of how we can celebrate one or all of you and...make light of life....
Have a beautiful day.
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In April I was honored to be able to photograph the MS Walk in Tacoma at Chambers Bay. The weather was stupendous and for that I felt gratitude. More gratitude emerged from my soul as I had the privilege and honor to photograph those with MS.
All of us tend to forget from time to time just how lucky we are, myself included. I am not proud to admit this. But getting out of our comfort zone and watching and listening to others we open our minds. Watching others forge on through the walk with cane or without, in wheel chair or walking reminded me that challenges will always exist and it is for us, all of us to make the most of our lives and each and every day. Moments and events like these remind me that as a photographer all does not have to be pretty and perfect. And yes there are times when we strive for such, but at the end of the day what really matters is a day one feels good about participating in, thus creating the desire to forge on.
One small success leads to another. The desire to persevere under our circumstances becomes easier and hopefully creates joy within our hearts, minds and souls. To those bravely taking the time....I salute you and thank you for the honor to provide photos.
Years ago when I was in college getting my bachelors's degree in Apparel Design, I learned of the dark side of that industry. Many of you probably know that the clothing industry has alot of problems, the main one being child labor and work conditions. The learning about life and its dark side unfortunately does not go away. I have since learned and relearned this lesson over and over. In all situations there are good and bad points and in all industries, issues that are hard to grasp.
Being a photographer or embarking on any small business where dealing with people directly and money, one has to be aware of alot of things. I also have to be aware of my equipment and the value it holds. Sometimes when working with people we don't quite know what we are dealing with truth be told. At some point in our business dealing we forge on, all the while learning about out clients as we go. Sometimes we get subtle messages and they are to be listened to. These messages come from a different place within us and are hard to decipher at first. We feel a bit hesitant but are not sure why. As a business woman, I seek to stay safe and enjoy my work as a photographer. But when that feeling arose, I decided to seek understanding of the message within. Google to the rescue! I learned a variety of things about a client and while I wish this person well, I may not be able to do all of the work as planned. And while there is more to the story that I may not know, I, at some point have to cut the ties with the client and keep my feet moving.
Another lesson in listening to the small voice within!
Thanks for taking the time!
To retouch or not to retouch that is the question. Honestly, it's a tough question in my opinion. To me, wrinkles are beautiful and well earned. I think it okay to show the world who you really are. On the other hand, why not look a little younger if possible. Either way, it's what you want. Being the diplomatic person that I am, I try to see all perspectives. My goal is to serve you. And when I retouch, I preserve the inner beauty and soften the lines of life. You still see them, but they are softer. You might as well put your best foot forward for the professional business portraits. Here's a retouched photo of a client:
Above is her photo without retouching. Either way, she looks great and takes her professional image seriously.
It is said that when others see you for the first time, in15 seconds that have created an impression of you already. I wonder if it is the same when reviewing a photo? My guess? Probably and in fewer than 15 seconds.
How important is your image?
There's no doubt that the fine art of photography has technical challenges. Through the years I have learned that just about everything does no mater what your passion. The best way to learn it is through trial and error. Although be mindful of what your preferred learning styles are and incorporate those. If you like to study with people, you might take a class. When I think about it, I used alot of learning techniques and taking classes was one of them. At times I felt lost but now I realize, alot more sank in than I thought. For me, learning involves writing things down or perhaps drawing pictures. Instagram has lots of info to assist too.
As you begin to see the results of working in the manual mode you will like what you see as the photos are much richer in tones. Working in the manual mode is like being in the kitchen whipping up a recipe. Being that you will have 4 main ingredients with which to work, I'd suggest playing with each of those ingredients to understand what it does. The 4 ingredients are: aperture (f-stop), ISO, shutter speed, and white balance. The toughest of these ingredients is the aperture mainly because is counter intuitive. Normally when people work with numbers the higher the number the more. Such is not the case with the almighty f-stop. As you increase your f-stop, your aperature gets smaller, thus letting in less light. Pick one of the ingredients at a time and take the same photo using variations to see the impact it has.
ISO has profound importance here in the Pacific Northwest since we have little light at times. Cloudy days do make for lovely photos though. But you still want some light so that's where the ISO comes in. On a sunny day you won't need it so it should be set to 100. However on a cloudy consider at least 400 if you are outside and it's cloudy.
Working with your shutter speed which is how much light hits the sensor depending on your setting, keep the number low if you want the motion blurring if not, crank that number up to stop motion!
And last but not least is the white balance. With the advent of professional DSLR, I have found this part of the learning to be easy as the icons for each pretty much says it all. I have found with my Canon 6D however, that keeping it on AWB (automatic white balance) has served me well. Remember that all cameras are different though and make sure you have an understanding of white balance.
Many of these basic points discussed are features that all DSLR's have, but might behave differently. But the truth remains that there are alot of different elements that come into play when photographing so believe it or not, the manual mode is not always the answer!!
Whether you are a professional photographer or an amateur, as you work with your craft, by nature you will want to explore various things. Such is the life of a creator. The ease with which one can do things nowadays is something to be celebrated. Years ago, working in the darkroom with toxic chemicals was the only way to print a photograph. Now we have a variety of digital ways to do this. As we explore these various options we must be mindful about the choices we make.
That choice can be difficult but there are a few reasons I might choose black and white over color. A black and white photo carries much more emotional impact than a color one. Sometimes the emotional aspect of a photo is the most important thing. Color can distract us from actually feeling the emotion. It is timeless and classic and can help present a vintage vibe. A mystery is developed within the soul of those viewing the photo and if done correctly with the proper hat for instance might make one re-think the value and story of the photo. Using black and white lets you truly focus on the story being told. If you love share, form and pattern you will love black and white. The composition is strengthened as well, in fact try shooting in black and white only for awhile to see the impact it can have on your composition. You will see light differently and really slight more after exploring.
One other thing about out digital world is this, you will see trends as you look around you world since photos are everywhere and those trends are funny in a way in my opinion. Recently I've noticed the trend to convert the photo to a gradient and it seems to me I see this everywhere now. It is as if somebody learned how to do it and now the knowledge has become the norm. But for me, it is strange to see it everywhere.
Months have passed since I last posted a blog. Summer flew the coop. It was brief! Frost is on the pumpkin for many now, but in my case RAIN! Be forward thinking about the passing of time because every minute is important. Especially with the holiday season around the corner. Start thinking of those you love and how you want to celebrate them through gift giving. The earlier you get started, the more fun it is. Trying to find the perfect gift at the last minute is no fun and for me never seems to work out. I have been expanding my product line to include your precious photos and memories as a way to create gifts for loved ones .
Check it out:
Having worked as a photographer for a couple of large companies prior to having my own business, I had a few realizations about how many things I was grateful for. You may not realize the importance of your body and all the miracles that are going on within you daily. The first time you see somebody with a serious disability, you really do pause. I have seen men with one ear and photographed people with spina bifida. The spirit of these people was beautiful and the love and care they put forth into being prepared for their photo session was amazing.
There are many who are not here today. Many. They gave their lives for your freedoms. As you celebrate this 4th of July, remember to take pause and remember what the holiday really is about.
Everybody has one. A story to tell. I have learned alot in my life and one of the most important lessons I've learned is that pre-judging people is not a good thing. Unless you are in the inner circle of someones life, you probably know very little about them. We look at one another all the time in day to day living. Looking at someone, you could state a few facts about them such as the color of their hair, skin and possibly eyes. You could tell the color of their clothing. However, you might think you know things about them based on the type of clothing or shoes worn. But that would be an assumption and you know what that means.
As a photographer and one who works with the public, I can honestly say that I am grateful for this lesson in my life. It keeps my heart and mind open and fuels the fire within. Even though part of the job of a photographer is to make ones subject as appealing as possible, I truly love looking at faces and capturing emotion or signs of ones true inner spirit and I mean that. Any age, any face, I love it all! I love the deep wrinkles of those who have been around for awhile. Everybody has a DNA unique to themselves and it should be celebrated. All walks of life are important. ALL! And you can't judge a book by its cover.
You can come to me anytime. I will tell your story for you and together we will share it with the world!
UNCOVER YOUR INNER SPIRIT.....
Parman Photography offers photography for small business owners.