Samantha is a good friend of mine, so when I wanted to try out some new film in my Mamiya 645AF camera she was more than willing to be my model. She is attractive and knows how to pose so it makes my job so much easier. We picked the International Peace Garden in Salt Lake City, Utah as our backdrop. There are so many variations of backgrounds that it is very easy to get a number of different looks.
I love to shoot in late afternoon right as the sun is close to sunset. The light is more flattering and directional. We can get the golden light for a few minutes and that is perfect for backlighting and just amazing photographs in general.
The International Peace Garden hosts the Jordan River, trees, bridges, decorative walls, benches, pagodas, trellises, flowers, and more. In about an hour we can usually photograph a wide selection of backgrounds and get some unique portrait looks without having to travel too much.
We photographed with the available light and I brought a large reflector. That helps me shape and create beautiful light that will bring out the best in a person’s portrait—we want you looking your best!
For this photo shoot I shot exclusively in color film. That was a creative choice. The park and the model would just rock the world of color. If we really wanted black and white, we can do that in Photoshop.
Shooting film is also great for skin tones and textures. Samantha has great skin to begin with and the grain of film is very friendly. For half the photo shoot I was using Kodak Portra film with was designed with great skin tones in mind. The processing and scanning was done by Richard Photo Lab. I mail off the film to their service based in Hollywood, California and within a week I received notice that the images were ready for download. They scan and color correct the film so everything becomes digital.
Some people have been concerned that film means you can’t retouch or have digital files, so not true. Film is just the starting point medium. They become digital and hopefully the best photographs get printed. Often the lab will have a sale on 4×6″ proof prints and I can easily add those to a client’s order so you have digital and prints available to find your favorite photos.
A camera makes a great prop… and props can help a photograph or portrait. Most of the time people there are no props, if you have a favorite hobby or activity in your life, think about incorporating that into a photo shoot. If you mountain bike, get your photographs of you with the bike. We can create a photo shoot of getting ready for a bike ride, get photographs of the gear, action shots on the bike. Portraits can be more than just smiling and looking cool for the camera.
Ultimately, my goal is to make people look their best. Hopefully I can bring out your personality and capture that with a click of the shutter. Everyone deserves at least one great photo shoot.
Variety is the spice of life. With digital, all too often we will click the shutter 300 times and end up with 10 basic photographs. With film we can slow that down and think about each photograph we take. One reason I have started to shoot film on occasion is to force myself to slow down and think more. Thinking is a good thing.
Thank you for reading this blog post. I created these photographs months ago and I am finally adding them to my website! I am going to be working hard to keep my website updated and full of new content. Also, feel free to visit my Facebook Fan page and follow my updates online.