Manic Mondays

I wrote in a previous post, that perhaps I might try to condense my posts down to just 1 or so a day, maybe one main post and then a challenge or two? One of my readers quite liked the Manic Monday headline I suggested and quite frankly I do to. So I am going to try and condense my weekend ramblings down to an update on Monday, then possibly followed by individual posts (if warranted) such as the Trip I just posted from Easter (still trying to get the images edited).

Anyway things seem to be going from bad to worse time wise, don’t get me wrong I am not complaining, I am having a blast – the reason I am so busy has been my photography, every weekend I seem to have another shoot on. This weekend I did another Children’s Portrait Sitting, along with her Puppies and another Fantasy shoot. It’s the animals and fantasy shoots which is really getting everyone talking apparently.


With my creative flair and Photoshop, I can turn boring plain backgrounds into something a little more magical. Big deal right, many people can do this, so why don’t more people? I think the one thing I have going for me, is that I am an animal lover and can seem to (so far) get great animal shots (even from animals I have never met before) and I can engage the kids, spark their imagination. Once you have the animals trust and the child’s imagination (along with humor and patience) everything else just seems to fall into place. Anyway I know portraits are not for everyone, but I actually find them fun, and when you add three rambunctious puppies to a photo shoot (we were aiming for Goldilocks and the Three Bears) it is hilarious. I am still editing the images, but so far they are great, a complete disaster, dogs on tables, food flying (Mum decided biscuits would keep the dogs sitting at the table! Yeah right). I warned the parents that they will get some great shots, but not necessarily WHAT they are expecting – nothing runs to plan with children & animals! I engage the kids, talk about stuff that interests them, we sing, dance, have music…….it’s all quite loud and messy and I tend to completely take over a lounge room or whatever, but the kids feel like they have some control and that engages them, we have fun and laughter and silliness. The other thing, I put a post on Facebook if anyone had any old dress ups they no longer wanted, and I now suddenly have a garage full of fairy wings and princes dresses, hair accessories, cowboy hats and tiaras! I also have a Flamingo, Orangutan and Dragon costumes! That should make some future shoots interesting LOL.

Anyway after the last indoor shoot I did, I decided that I should invest some more of my photo money and get some lights, in addition to the mobile backdrop frame I have also got.  I wanted something inexpensive, yet light and mobile. I purchased a lighting kit from CowboyStudio, yes the items have been a little on the ‘cheap and nasty’ side,  but with a little work they are great! I should take a photo of my set up next shoot……….kind of a behind the scene shoot. Anyway it comes with 2 x White translucent umbrellas and lights (these are just studio lights, not speedlite flash lights), which were great against the white backdrop. Added a nice soft light, beautiful for portraits (see above), it meant a good natural light and no need for flash……..which means no blinking from the kids and of course no red eye to edit out later! Of course this means when you do a mobile shoot, you need power but I also bought an extension light and power board. However I found when I used a dark backdrop the translucent umbrellas just were not showing up enough details; perhaps the white backdrop also helped with illumination?  So I switched to the silver reflector umbrellas that came with the kit, same globes etc, just different umbrellas. This then gave me a lot more light to work with, without the need for a flash. This was all still in daylight and for most of it I used a tripod, however I found the light kit gave me enough to still shoot at a low ISO (100 on white, 200 on black). So I could go freestyle, on the floor, stand on a chair etc. makes for more interesting photos!


Anyway until next post, that is it from me, perhaps next time I will write up a bit more on setting up for a studio style portrait sitting.

– Julz