Saturday, May 11, 2013

Luke's Senior Pictures - by Cedar Falls Senior Photographer

When my brother asked me to do his senior pictures, I was happy to oblige :) 
In this post, I'll share several photo "recipes" on how I got some of these shots. Enjoy!

Equipment needed for these two shots:
- an off-camera flash capable camera
- 2 flashes and 2 radio triggers to fire them wirelessly from camera (I used a Canon 600EX-RT  and a Impact LiteTrek 4.0 with Radio Poppers to fire them.)

1. Take a picture of the scene with your camera set at about 1/125 of a second in Tv mode (shutter speed mode) without using your flash. [To get those beautiful light beams, your camera’s aperture needs to be really high. (I used f/22.) The lens flare is also most obvious when using a wide angle lens.] If the photo you just took looks good to you and is a properly exposed image of the scene, take note of the settings the camera used to get the photo, turn your camera dial to Manual (M) mode and set the shutter speedaperture and ISO the camera had set automatically for the landscape image you just took. This way, you make sure the scene behind the subject isn't too dark - you don't want another run-of-the-mill, ugly flash photo with a blown out red-eyed subject and a black, un-detailed background, do you? If you don’t understand some of the terms I used, click on the linked terms to read simple lessons in camera basics. Still having trouble understanding something? Drop me a line! I’d be happy to help.

2. Turn on your flashes and radio triggers. I used the Canon600EX-RT (in slave mode with the flash firing disabled and with it attached to one Radio Popper) on my camera to fire the Impact LiteTrek 4.0
 which was my main subject light and was attached to the other Radio Popper. uhh...Got that? I'll take a photo of the set-up next time! That'll make it easier for you.

3. Take the shot! If needed, dial the flash power up or down to control the brightness of the subject.

4. You’re done! It wasn't that hard after all, was it?! Now you have a special image that will help set your photos apart from the hoard of snapshots out there.

Which photo is your favorite?
 Later, I'll let you know in the comments on this post which one Luke chose.

Was it ever cold or what! I believe it was 8 degrees Fahrenheit outside when we took this shot!!! Quickness becomes an absolute necessity in circumstances like these. Get out when there’s gorgeous scenery, even if it’s frigid! What are you willing to do to get the pictures your client wants? (Luke said beforehand that he wanted unique senior photos and that he wanted some of them to be winter shots.) Be different. Impressive images take work (and often aren't made at 75 degrees in the middle of the day!) By the way, this photo was taken very early in the morning before the wind blew the snow off the trees. Most people wouldn't have been out of bed yet. J

Candid moments are important to capture also. We had fun even though Luke must have been frozen. I got to wear a coat (lucky me!) - there's advantages to being the photographer!

Catch-lights in the subject's eyes are SO important! They add life to the image. If you ever wonder why a certain photo lacks sparkle and life, check the eyes and see if they have catch-lights in them.

Did you notice anything about this picture? What about the absence of the horrible glasses glare that would normally come from side-lighting a glasses-wearing subject? I deal with a lot of subjects who wear glasses, and it certainly adds a challenge to the photo shoot. The good news for you is that I'll tell you one sure way to conquer this problem! 

1. Take the shot, no matter how awful the glare is on the glasses.
2. Have the subject stay in the same position and just remove his glasses.
3. Combine the two photos in Photoshop. 

 Sorry, no quick fix! It just takes more work. It'll be amazing when those of us that are saved get to Heaven and all our physical problems are gone! Praise the LORD for sending Jesus to die and take the punishment for our sins!

Instead of being black “holes” in this picture, the red glowing windows add something out of the ordinary – an element of interest that helps to hold the audience’s gaze. To get the effect, I put a red gel on one of my off-camera flashes and positioned it several feet behind the windows.

That's all for today!
Keep clickin'! Let me know how you're doing, what challenges your facing, and what you'd like to learn more about in photography!

~Laura Christine

"The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, And the knowledge 
of the Holy One is understanding."
Proverbs 9:10


  1. Hey, Laura, how are you? This is Janie =)

    ......Wow, these pictures areALL great! ....But the one with the trees covered in snow is prob my favorite! =D It's amazing! =D

    ....I've started a new blog about my experiences in this country so far ( =) ) - hope you enjoy it!

    [like the name? =D]

    - Janie

  2. Thanks for the comment, Janie.
    You certainly picked an interesting name for your blog!
    By the way, Luke's favorite image is the first one on the page.
    Great to hear from you and I'll be checking out your blog!
    ~Laura Christine