O.K, so what do you do when you don’t have ideal lighting situations and its raining outside?  You improvise of course!  When I take pictures of newborn babies, I almost always shoot the session in the comfort of the client’s home.  As long as they have windows and adequate light, then no problem getting the necessary natural lit shots that I like to get before moving on to the studio lighting set I like to do.  Recently, I was on location shooting for a wonderful family, but I had very little light to work with.  First, it was raining out and very overcast (in a dark nasty way).  Second, the windows I did have to work with were facing away from the daylight and direction of the sun (even if behind the clouds).  The result of this?  Very little light in the room making it a real challenge to pull off the shots that I like and my clients hire me to get!  There just was not enough ambient light – unless…..

But not to worry!  Here is where your professional instincts kick in and you start to pull out all the stops.  For starters, one can easily mimic natural light if you have the right equipment.  My solution?  Using a large 28-inch softbox and off-camera lighting to mimic the size and softness of window light.  In the first series of shots of Mr. Cole in his blanket, I did not have enough window light to pull off the shot, so I copied the look of natural light using my flash and softbox.  With the second series of shots, I had the parents hold Cole in their arms in a rocking chair.  The problem again was that the overall room was too dark.  I could set my camera to get a fairly good exposure by the window on their right side, but there was too much detail lost in the shadows on the left side.  Solution?  I had one of the parents point a small video light into a translucent reflector providing just a little fill light to the left side of the face.  This was just enough light to provide detail, but not disturb sleeping Cole.  And in the final shots, I had mom hold Cole right up to the window to squeeze as much light as I could onto their faces, while dad held a reflector right behind them.  It was a challenge, but the end result was the images looked the same as if it were sunny outside.  I just had to raise the ambient levels in the room, and/or mimic window lighting

These measures are unusual, but happen with location photography.  The biggest challenge is the fact that you never really know what set of circumstances you will be presented with, but you must be prepared for anything!  There is never an excuse for not getting the shot, even when its raining!

So here is goes.  I loved this shoot and these images really pop!  Mother-Baby shots are always so much fun and these are some of my favorite of all time.  Enjoy!

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Time to get caught up on my blog, so today I am featuring the Harriss Family.  The Harriss’ are a super cool family that loves candid, natural photography with no backdrops or props.  Perfectly up my ally, since I am usually not asked to bring a backdrop or props of any kind to most of my sessions. 

At any rate, with indoor sessions with no backdrops, the biggest challenge is always working with the interior of the home and making use of what available light you have.  Sometimes, I may have very few windows, or it may be rainy outside, so there is very little light coming into the house.  On days like that, I often have to supplement the light with large softboxes w/flash to give the illusion of window light.  I also almost always have to move some furniture around and sometimes remove a few pictures from the wall when I go on family shoots.  This sort of preparation is what is necessary to create properly lit imagary and clean backgrounds.  The idea is always to create very classic, natural images that utilize the beauty of ambient light, or if you don’t have light, create the illusion of natural window light.

Now when I arrived at the Harriss’, I did not have to worry about available light.  It was a nice sunny day and they have large windows that allow plently of ambient light to come into their home.  A big plus is they had some really cool furniture to work with and I utilized it to the max.  Their two boys are fun to work with, so I had them sit on the furniture and hardwood floors and I waited for the action!  Here is a sampling from their session.

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I have been meaning to post the pictures from Bryan and Danielle Carter’s wedding for some time now, but have been a little busy of late.  You can check out their engagement photos by clicking on the link at the top of the blog titled “Categories” and under “engagement” you will see some really cool images from downtown Charlotte.  Anyway, Bryan and Dani had their wedding at Grace Covenant Church in Charlotte www.gracecovenantchurch.com and they had their reception at the very cool Byron’s Southend http://designcentercarolinas.com/events/events.cfm afterwards.

Grace Covenant Church of Charlotte is a wonderful church for a wedding, as it has charm and warmth.  The church also possesses really nice architecture that lends itself well to wedding photography.  I really enjoyed photographing Bryan and Dani there, as the church gave me those classic shots that I love to get.  Another cool thing about the wedding was that Bryan and Dani decided to have all the “formal” photography done before the ceremony.  That’s right, I said before the ceremony!  I can’t tell you how cool it is when couples make that decision.  It means that they can see each other for the first time in near seclusion (other than me of course!), and they take care of most of the photography ahead of time.  It takes the pressure off of them in many ways and it means more high quality images. 

Also, a special thanks goes to The Michael Catlow Group www.michaelcatlowgroup.com with whom I was shooting with on this wedding.  If you don’t know about The Michael Catlow Group you should check them out sometime if you are planning your wedding.  MCG does full service event planning for weddings, including photography, DJ, videograhy, and coordinating needs.  Check out their website and give Stephanie a call there if you need more info.

Here are a bunch of images from the wedding from Grace Covenant Church of Charlotte and Byron’s of Southend.  Enjoy!

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I don’t think there is anything more precious than a new born baby.  Baby photography is the fastest growing part of my business and I could not be happier about that.  Being asked to photography a new born baby is the highest honor a photographer can receive in my opinion.  You are being bestowed the honor of taking the first images that are going to adorn the infant’s baby book, albums, parents wallets, home walls, etc.  These first images will prehaps be the most important images that are ever taken, simply because they are the first professional images.  For that reason alone, I make it my mission to capture the best possible images I can of each and every baby.  Parents will want to remember exactly what their baby looked like when they came home from the hospital, right down to the details of the hands and feet.  With every baby session I do, I make sure to get up close and personal with each and evey baby and capture the innocence and beauty that they possess.

Here are a few images from a recent session with baby Caitlin.  Baby Caitlin was extra cool to work with since she was so well behaved (she slept most of the time!)  and even looked at the camera!  I was able to get the shots I came for, right down to the hands and feet.  I placed Caitlin down in a colorful pink blanket her parents had on hand and used it as a backdrop for the first few pictures.  I then was able to take some pictures of her with mom and dad before doing some shots in front of a black backdrop for use in the baby announcements.  So here they are…

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