Meet Alex who will be a Verona High School senior next year.
This shot was taken outside of Macys in the Hilldale Mall and with permission from the management. It was one of the first shots taken for the whole shoot.
Alex has a beautiful expression as the natural sunlight shines through the huge windows, on her face and in her eyes. I love the soft background and even her shoulders are soft which I think is pretty cool in this shot.
The following shot was taken at the Sundance Cinema in Hilldale Mall.
I love their collection of leather furniture the cinema provides for its customers. In the background is a variety of objects which provide wonderful color to the images shot there.
Back at James Studio the following is an image designed to mimic The Hunger Games profile images of the cast. It was fun to try to get a similar look.
The following was shot against a gray background. I super imposed this other image in Photoshop.
The following image was also shot on that same gray background. This time I superimposed a leather look to the background and an artistic frame.
The following is one of my favorite shots of the day. I love how Alex is lightly holding her hair. This is with the James Studio real barn wood background. I think this shot makes her look like Julia Roberts.
The following photo was taken outside the Sundance Cinemas. I love how the Hilldale and Sundance pictures turned out. The backgrounds are very colorful.
I like to point out periodically that I shoot with a studio strobe. This allows me to have off-camera lighting from a light source that is very large. There are several advantages to this. First, is the large catch light in the eyes. Notice the white dot in Alex’s eyes. The large light source provides a large catch light that helps to make the eyes sparkle and make the over all picture look much more interesting. Secondly, a large light source provides for softer shadows. This area where the photo was taken was quite dark but you cannot tell that at all from this picture.
Though the use of the studio strobe is not unique to James Studio, it is definitely something that sets me apart from the crowd. I have yet to see another local photographer use a studio strobe in an on-location shoot like this.
We also went to Hoyt Park and took lots of beautiful pictures there like the ones below.
In these shots, in addition to using the studio strobe I am also using contraption called a scrim to prevent the direct sunlight from causing harsh shadows, blowing out some parts and making Alex’s eyes to go squinty. With the scrim and the strobe I was able to capture all the beautiful colors you see with a subject that is comfortable.
Again, Alex is in a bright place but is fully comfortable because of the scrim. The strobe is once again producing those catch lights which make her eyes stand out and sparkle.
Earlier in this post, I mentioned the phrase “off camera lighting”. Why is this important for professional photography? Off camera light provides shadows that look more natural. As we look at Alex in the picture below there is a bit more shadow on the left side of the image (as we see it) than the right side. The shadow is much more dramatic in the image above. Another factor for off camera lights is it puts the catch light (the dot of light in the eyes) off to the side where it is much more attractive. Regular point and shoot cameras, with the flash built in, tend to produce a catch light in the center of the pupil which is not very flattering. The final factor and a very significant one, is the off camera light does not produce red eye but rather brings out the natural colors of the eyes.
James Studio is currently taking reservations for HS Senior portraits. With a $100 deposit you can schedule your session now. Call Jim at 608.233.5556
Ken attends West High School and is an ace vocalist. He told me that he will be attending a university that is known for training professional vocalists. I am certain he will do very well.
The first three pictures were taken across from James Studio, on the tracks on the other side of University Ave. Though it was an overcast day the clouds still look interesting.
Ken has some very photogenic features. This is the more serious look of Ken.
Next we went to Vilas Park. I love this drive over bridge in the background.
For the grunge look I had Ken on this tank. Nothing says grunge quite like a rusty old fuel tank.
The walk over bridge was a great back drop for this close up.
I love the angle on the following photo and all the great colors in the background. This is my favorite picture from the session.
Possibly you or someone you know is looking for a professional senior portrait photographer. James Studio offers flat fees for 1 or 2 hour sessions and they include the pictures on a DVD. Go HERE to learn more of the details.
Saturday, October 3, 2010 I had a photography session with Katie Thompto. Katie is currently a student at UW Stout, but her family lives here in Madison.
The following are some of my favorite shots from the day. In fact, this first image is a great shot of her face, eyes, and her peaceful countenance.
Doesn’t she have a beautiful smile? I think it really shines in this pose.
She is a sweet young lady who enjoys being photographed. She had taken some modeling classes, so she knew just what to do with her arms by keeping them away from her body. Keeping the arms away from the body reveals more of a woman’s shape and is generally a more pleasing look.
I like the subject in the prone position. I think it is flattering. It provides an interesting shallow-depth-of-field look. In this picture the face is in focus while the legs and feet are out of focus.
Katie is leaning against the barn-wood wall that is in the studio. The barn wood is all natural and provides a variety of interesting looks for my subjects.
Next we went to the UW-Madison Arboretum. There are many beautiful spots in the Arboretum; this one is extra special and is complete with several ducks that have temporarily made it their home.
In this photo you can see that the ducks were really cooperating quite nicely–they decided to visit us on our side of the pond.
I thought Katie would look great among the weeds, so we journeyed to another part of the Arboretum for some shots just after sundown. Notice the rosy sky in the background. Now if you are wondering if Katie really had to walk out into the the weeds, she did not. There is a path for people to walk on so no damage is done to the foliage. But the natural look is still very good.
Here is another look. I really like this image a lot except for one thing. It looks like Katie’s hips are shifted toward the camera, which is to her best advantage. The subject’s weight should be on the back leg and the hips shifted away from the camera to help show her slender shape.
Katie was a great sport, as she was willing to do lots of jumps for me. She really enjoyed this part, but I think part of her enjoyment came from the fact that it helped to warm her up when it was getting quite chilly. In another picture I could clearly see goosebumps on her arms!
On July 22, 2010 Matthew came into the studio with his dad for some basic senior photos. Taking pictures was not Matthew’s favorite thing to do during his summer vacation. But with dad’s help in getting him here, we did get it done.
After a few shots, Matthew warmed up.
I also got some shots of Matthew with his dad against the high key wall. The white wall provides an uncluttered look that is often seen in magazines and websites.
Senior pictures are due at the beginning of October, so Matthew and his mom set up a time for a second shoot. This time they went shopping first, so Matthew was prepared. Here is Matthew sporting his favorite shifrt with the barn-wood background.
I also took some pictures of Matthew with his mom.
Matthew was kind of touchy about pictures of his mom kissing him. So in the following she just gets close.
Across the street from the studio is a very nice set of railroad tracks. So we all took a short drive to the other side of the tracks. We found a good place to park and got some terrific pictures with Matthew on the curved tracks.
These tracks are still in use. As we were parking, a train was going by. I regret to say I did not get a shot of Matthew with the train in the background. Maybe with the next senior.
I have been at the studio doing some late-night editing. Though the traffic noise is hardly noticable, when the freight train goes by it makes a great amount of racket. The students in the nearby appartments must be very good sleepers or they get greatly annoyed. The wheels make a high-pitched screech as the train goes by.
Matthew has this hot car. It’s a BMW and I have been told that it was a race car. As you could imagine, Matt enjoys his car. He was pretty shy about showing it off in pictures, but with his mother’s encouragement, he was willing to do it. This spot is close to Hoyt Park. I think it worked out very well. Here are a couple of the angles I got on Matthew and his red BMW race car.
The following is my favorite shot of the day.
This is a cool shot of Matthew’s mother fading away.
Here are a few with just Matthew.
I asked Matthew to give me the tough-guy look. He was not into it. But we did get a nice photo.