Welcome to the Tusia Photography Blog. Here you will find tips and tricks I use as well as ways to make your photographic experience a memorable one.
W.C. Fields once said "Never work with animals or children." I disagree. I enjoy working with both and my best results have always been achieved by adhering to one rule. Expect the unexpected. Every child's portrait session is going to be different and that is part of the challenge.
After working with hundreds of children over the years I have developed a workflow that gives me consistent results. One change I made along the way was to stop doing children's portraits in the studio. I shoot on location. Either at the families home or preferably an outdoor location. Children respond better when they are in environments they are comfortable with. Another key to remember is that time is your friend. Many of my favorite portraits are shot in the last 5 minutes of the session.
I do not shoot fast. I would rather give the child the ability to relax and adapt to the environment. It is a large part of getting a natural look. Forcing a child into a portrait position usually ends up with a frustrate child and parent. Many parents become anxious during a session if their child is not cooperating. It is normal for children to bounce around and not sit in one spot. Letting them have fun is part of bringing out their individual personality. Assuring the parent that this is normal makes them more comfortable.
Good results are achieved by working in locations with three or four prime spots and shooting brief sessions at each one. By giving the child time to explore each spot I can read the child's body language and make changes of the type of shots I take. Sometimes working in close with wide wider lens will bring out a child's personality. Other times I will need to hold back and shoot with a longer lens if the child is a bit shy. Portrait photography is about fun! Children are looking for constant feedback from mom and dad. Encouraging parents to have fun with the child during the session leads to much more natural expressions and a relaxed experience for all.
Even though we live in a three-dimensional world, I work in a two-dimensional one. My goal is to try and pull a two-dimensional image off the screen and make it look as if you can walk right into it. The key is the lighting. By manipulating color, angle, intensity, and focus, an illusion of depth and richness can be achieved.
These images are from a commercial photo session at The Atrium Lounge inside Foxwoods Resort Casino.
The Atrium sits in the center of Foxwoods Rainmaker Casino and has a relaxed open feeling to it. I opted to light it with a hard crisp light to create harder edges and a larger illusion of depth. These harder edges also help to define the modern design of the lounge.
Though it is very popular today to use a wide angle lens to create a distorted edgy fish eye look, I selected a normal lens to create an image that would represent what the room would look like as you walked into it. This style is more in line with the part of the casino the lounge is located in.
There are rules in photography and every one is designed to be broken. The endless variety of composition, lighting, and angle enables a photographer to go as far as his creativity will take him. Once I understood lighting, I never looked at the world the same way again.
A great deal of my career has been spent photographing musicians. I worked as a musician in my misspent youth and spent a lot of time around the music scene. When the photo bug bit it was natural that these worlds would collide. Musicians always bring an intensity to the table and it's the photographers job to try and translate that to the viewer in a two-dimensional image.
The photos shown here are from a session I did with musician Ben Parent. A multi-instrumentalist, singer/songwriter, Ben is as at home ripping a Gibson SG to pieces in a punk band as he is channeling Bob Dylan through his old Martin and a harmonica.
The goal here was to pull together both of Ben's musical passions into one photo session. For the first part, I wanted to capture the absolute fun and abandon that you see when Ben plays with his punk band, Superbald. Basically, I wanted to make him fly.
And Ben did just that. There is no Photoshop work here. Ben is in the studio and happily jumping off of his Fender Twin Reverb attacking his Telecaster. The results are pure rock and roll.
For the second part of the session, I wanted to capture something with a dark bite and smokier feel. These images would represent Ben's Americana style of writing and performance. I directed him to do a impromptu live performance and then finished the day off with a classic single light portrait.
By understanding the complexities of my clients, I am better able to maximize the session and deliver a wide range of images suitable for a diverse audience.
Social media has become a driving force for business. Being out front and staying there is key to survival in an age of increased competition and slimming margins. Branding your social media is only part of the equation. Having your customers sharing that branding through their social media networks has the cumulative effect and can permit rapid exposure with a minimal amount of expense. One way to achieve this is by incorporating a green screen photo booth into your advertising.
Open air green screen booths can provide an immersive experience when added to trade show display, drawing customers to your booth. We work with companies in designing elements that enhance their booths theme. Green screen booths allow for items to be placed in front of the screen creating a 3 dimensional effect and can be used as the centerpiece of your booth. A good example of this would be a tropical themed background with a Tiki Bar as the 3 dimensional prop. This type of trade show booth creates excitement and always draws a crowd. Booths can be fit into a typical 10'x10' booth space or designed to fill areas as large as 30 feet. Providing a social media kiosk allows customers Instant photo uploads, keeping their colleagues and business associates engaged in your trade show presence. Generating a constant flow social media and photo takeaways reinforces your branding. These images are displayed in homes and offices keeping your brand top of mind.
Because of the endless variety of ways our booths can be configured
they are excellent for the design of a product rollout. Multiple backgrounds can be changed with the push of a button. Because booths are open air product and product set pieces can easily be incorporated into the design. Booths can be made to almost any width allowing items as large as a car to be the centerpiece. Booths can be used indoors or out allowing operation at concerts and fairgrounds.
Charitable / Sponsorship
Branding your business and logo on photographs at charitable and sponsored events shows your companies continued commitment to the community. By anchoring your logo into the image you create a powerful connection between your business and the organization you are supporting. Instead of just writing a check each year, approach your favorite organization with the concept of a sponsored green screen booth. This allows your business to tailor the booth and photos and control the direction and presentation of the content. This strategy gives you the largest return on your sponsorship dollars. Organizers of events are always looking for new and exciting ways to attract people to an event. Approaching them with a concept to add value to the event experience instead of just writing a check is always welcome.
In today's economy, business is becoming hyper-competitive. With access to the internet, potential customers can compare your business to others in just a few keystrokes. A key to keeping your business out front is showcasing the services you offer that separate you from the competition.
Kleemans Service Center is a rapidly growing auto service and towing company known for specialty repair and large truck service. The key to this shoot was to create imagery that would showcase a few things that set them apart from the competition. We decided that a photo of a pickup truck cab removal and imagery of a TIG welding rig would be excellent photographs to reinforce Kleemans reputation for performing specialty work.
The first image we shot was the cab removal. It is actually a fairly challenging image to create as the inside of the cab needed to be lit as well as the wheel wells, engine compartment, and transmission part of the frame. The image is a good representation of the more in depth repair work that Kleemans performs.
TIG welding is another service that is offered and we wanted to represent that as well. The TIG welding unit is set back but prominent and well lit in the image. The transmission was placed in the foreground to protect the camera image sensor from direct light from the actual spot being welded. The Skull imaged welding mask added a bit of aggressiveness to the shot.
Not all photographs were of specialty items. Standard equipment including this wheel alignment machine were photographed for use in focused tire and front end service advertising.
Using a strategy of focused marketing, images on key specialties sets you apart from the competition drawing in customers with a specific service requirement, which can then be turned into standard sales for years to come.