Posted on July 10, 2012
I remember once several years ago, I posted a photo on the Nikonians board of little Zara blowing a dandelion.
I mentioned in the comments about the shot that we had gone for a walk when she started picking the dandelions and blowing them. I then had to run back home to get my camera in order to capture the moment. I asked for feedback on the shot and one of the old timers there replied, “The only thing you did wrong was not having your camera with you in the first place.”
Since then I’ve taken that bit of wisdom to heart. Even though it is a big as a toaster, I try to make sure I have my camera with me as much as possible. (But not the time that one of my co-workers stopped me in the hallway at work and asked, “Oh Liana, do you have your camera with you?” To which I almost replied, “Yes, I happen to bring thousands of dollars in camera and lens to work with me every day just in case that perfect opportunity arises for an impromptu photo shoot! Especially when there’s a sign as you enter the building that reads, ‘NO CAMERAS ALLOWED!’) That episode notwithstanding, I do try to do my best to keep The Precious on hand for the opportunity shots that arise if you’re lucky.
I had my camera on me when my division was invited to brunch at a colleague’s home last November. The kids (including my own) went outside to play and I seized the opportunity to snap some kid pics.
Look at these great shots of little M:
And of course when your daughter insists on parading around wearing a car, you just have to capture that shot!
Then there’s the luck that comes when you’re hanging out at home for Memorial Day and see your kid out playing with the neighbors from across the street. You get your camera to have some fun and catch these great shots:
Even managed to coax the girls’ lovely mother to sit with them for this beautiful portrait:
Recent I attended a birthday party for a 2-year-old peanut and saw the 8-year-old boy who had been dragged to the celebration sitting forlornly as if he had entered one of the circles of hell. He was the only one above 5 and the only other male but for the birthday boy. So I decided to just ask him if I could take some photos for his dad (my colleague). He agreed more because it was something to do other than watching the little girls run back and forth giggling.
I posed him under a tree and got this amazing image:
I tried matte processing on it and loved it as well…
But I knew that though this image was evocative, we had to get some smiles on the face to make dad happy. I tried asking for a smile. This is what happened:
I moved to a new location:
But then I pulled out my secret weapon for kids of this age. My iFart app! The smile started to appear:
By the time I played “the brown mosquito” teeth were showing!
So the lesson for today is that you should always keep your camera handy!
Posted on May 21, 2012
On Saturday I attended one of my dear friend’s daughter’s bat mitzvah. I’ve known this young lady for years and have watched her grow from pre-tween to now official teendom. Her mom let me know that she wanted to include a photo I shot of her back in 2010, not long after I started in business, in her photo montage during her party. I was thrilled and proud because she said it was her favorite photo of herself. And that was awesome.
So when I arrived at the temple, I saw that they had the 8×10 print of the photo (on my signature metallic paper, no less!) sitting on the table where the programs were located. I think I visibly gasped when I looked at it! OMG, what the hell had I done in editing that picture?! The grass was a fluorescent green!!!
I don’t know whether I used an action or came up with some other means of creating an “urban” edit, but whatever I did, I should never, never do it again! I stood there like, OMFG!! The contrast was too high, the color pop was blinding, her arms were yellow, and the blades of grass had even lost detail on that metallic paper (since I hadn’t learned to soft proof at that point.) It was one of those moments that make you want to go back in time and smack yourself!
Of course everyone else thought the photo was beautiful, fluorescent green grass and all. Only I was flustered and self-flagellating. I was truly stunned. I hadn’t realized how much better my editing has become during the past 2 years but geez Louise…I guess I have learned a thing or two.
The day after the party, I immediately went to the computer and found the old RAW files from my archives and re-edited the picture so that it now looked like a sane person had done the work. Please have a look at the 2010 versus 2012 edits. (You might want to put on some sunglasses so that you don’t get blinded by the horrible 2010 version!)
Of course today I had to apologize tremendously to my friend for my DayGlo editing and told her that I will immediately reprint these offending images. She and her family are too classy to live with phosphorescent green grass! No way!
Posted on April 17, 2012
Just last weekend I got to shoot Easter pics of Zara’s friends A & J. The twins came over for a mini-shoot wearing their Easter dresses.
Initially A did well but she became a little grumptastic a little way into the shoot. Her sister, J was good to go from beginning to end.
Aren’t they just so adorable in their Easter finery?
I love J’s expression in the last one! But you can see that A was starting to be DONE. It was here that I stopped to have a brief little chat with A. It didn’t take long before we reached an agreement. Cooperation for these:
I could eat J up in these:
And then she and sis get rewarded with the great photographer bribe:
It’s always better with a lollipop!
Such fun to work with these cuties!
Posted on August 30, 2011
Most of you have seen thousands of pictures of my daughter Zara, but many of you didn’t know that I have another daughter, Jackie. Jackie is the daughter of my heart, if not my “legal” daughter.
I met Jackie way back when she was 17 years old and first saw me as a patient. She has since grown into a beautiful, smart, and successful woman: a finance guru, wife and mother of two phenomenal children. She’s the type of woman you hope your daughter will become.
When I heard that my dear daughter was planning to take her kids to Sears for updated pictures, I think my head exploded. She assured me that this was not meant as an insult to my “art,” but was rather being done just for the sake of convenience. But in true Mommy fashion, I then proceeded to sulk and sigh heavily with enough guilt that she and the two munchkins showed up for photos within the next week. (Yes, I do that mommy-guilt thing well!)
So instead of some photos (and I use the term loosely) from Sears Portrait Studio, she ended up with these lovely memories:
And then we have the many faces of CJ:
As a family, they are utterly gorgeous:
I even got to get a little creative with some shots:
Now isn’t this a lot better than Sears?