Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Baby photographer needs babies in Tampa and St. Pete

Booray's Baby Club is up and running!

For one low price you get four sessions in your baby's first year (3 months, 6 months, 9 months, 12 months) and a custom designed wall collage with a picture from each session. The Baby Club has three levels to fit your budget but the value is great regardless of which level you choose. One of the things that sets us apart from many other photographers here in Tampa is that we have a complete custom framing operation so that your finished product matches your home perfectly.

One of the specials that we are running right now is a desk art collage. We use a deluxe frame with no mat and the print is border colored to match the frame. Here's the one that Aidan's mom put together:

Check out BoorayPerry.com for more info on Booray's Baby Club!

Booray Perry is a baby photographer in Tampa Bay

Monday, July 28, 2008

Tampa Baby photography take 2

I had another chance to shoot Aidan this week. She had been in such a bad mood the first time around that we scheduled another visit and tried again. Although her mom was happy with some of the shots from the first session, she really wanted some specific things that we just couldn't get when Aidan was awake.

Luckily, this time she decided to take a nap after about an hour and we were able to get everything that Mom wanted. I like to have at least an hour and a half with a newborn but sometimes you still have to schedule more time. It's usually best to try and get those pictures in the first 10 days because that's when newborns sleep the most and also, they haven't developed their muscles much.... which makes it easy to pose them and less likely they'll move once you do.

Booray Perry is a baby photographer in Tampa

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Reason #1 for locking the scrapbook room

Let me just preface this story by pointing out that my children don't have access to my studio. However, my wife has a scrapbook room and she doesn't bother to lock the door and we have a 2-year-old so....

It probably took Bobbi about three hours to complete this page and it took Mac all of five minutes to add her finishing touches. It all turned out good though because Bobbi just recreated the page from scratch and put them in the book right next to one another. What started out as a disaster has now become even more personal.

Booray Perry is a children's photographer in Tampa Bay

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

When is black and white not black and white?

One of the tricks that you see being used more often now with studio portraiture is "isolated color." I am a fan of this technique but only if the picture merits it. I've definitely seen some photographers go crazy with the idea and start using it on every shoot, which only serves to make it less special.

Yesterday I had a special request for isolated color on a newborn shoot. Unlike some photographers, I have no problem with special requests. If you've seen a picture that you like, tell me about it or (even better) bring me a copy and I will do my best to re-create it. You get two kinds of clients in this business: People who know exactly what they want and people who place themselves in your hands. I love them both!

As it turned out, our baby wasn't being very cooperative for the shoot. This is just part of the territory with a newborn shoot. I try to have at least an hour and a half of studio time free for newborns so that Mom doesn't feel rushed.
One of the reasons that I spent the extra money to set up a full studio is because of pictures like these. A lot of children's photographers shoot location only and that can be great with toddlers but the heat here in Hillsborough County and Pinellas County can make it hard to keep the little ones happy. With newborns you have to shoot in a studio (although I have brought lights to someone's house to shoot in a specific room that they really love).

Monday, July 21, 2008

Two styles of wedding photography

Let's talk a little bit about weddings.

Most people think that a wedding photographer just shows up and takes pictures. Nothing could be further from the truth (we also eat your food, drink your wine and hit on the bridesmaids). First of all, a good wedding photographer has to be able to shoot under different conditions, quickly changing between indoor and outdoor, small room and big room, and if they live here in Tampa or St. Petersburg they better be prepared to shoot on the beach. Any good photographer will tell you that the skills necessary to shoot a couple on the beach at sunset are quite a bit different than the skills necessary to shoot a bridal kiss in a cathedral. If a photographer ever says that it's the same, he's not trying very hard to get you a perfect image...

What I want to talk about in this post is the two distinct styles of wedding photography: traditional and photo journalist.

Most people don't realize that there are two different types of wedding photography. Much like KFC with crispy and original recipe, both styles are good but most people tend to favor one over the other (great... now I'm hungry for chicken..) The truth is that there really weren't two different types of wedding photography until 1996. Up until then most wedding photography would be considered traditional in nature. That means that your photographer would carefully arrange everyone into traditional poses for your vital shots. Bride and groom together, bride and groom with parents, wedding party,... you get the general idea. Most shooters had the poses down to an assembly line and could do it in there sleep.

However, in 1996 John F. Kennedy Jr. got married. The photographer who shot his wedding used a "photojournalistic" style of shooting. Simply put, he acted like paparazzi. He moved around a lot and tried to "capture the moment" and the resulting pictures that were beamed to newspaper outlets around the world reflected this style. Instead of the world seeing John F. Kennedy Jr. and his wife standing stiffly on an altar with their wedding party, they saw the happy couple coming out of the church or, in probably the most published photograph, they saw John F. Kennedy lightly kissing his new bride's hand. And to make matters even worse, it was in black and white! That wasn't the way that wedding portraits were supposed to look! Please stand still while I take this picture in living color!

Well, where the Kennedy's go the world will follow. Soon, photographers who had been shooting the same way for years began to run into customers who wanted their wedding pictures to look like the ones from John F. Kennedy Jr.'s wedding (well, actually they wanted to be the girl in the wedding but would settle for similar pictures). And so was born the photojournalistic style of wedding photography. To be fair, most photographers shot this sort of stuff at a wedding anyway but it was just considered "filler" for the most part. Now, the filler has become the meat of the shoot. (and now I'm hungry again...)

Where the traditional style of wedding photography is intent on showing everyone posed perfectly in their beautiful (or sometimes not so beautiful) bridesmaids dresses, the point of photojournalistic wedding photography is to tell a story. The idea is to capture the event as it transpires so that later, when a person looks at the photographs, they are transported back to that day and the emotions that went with it. This style of photography lends itself beautifully to flush-mount wedding books. Unlike the "old school" books that were really just pages with built-in frames for you to slide the formal portraits (pull out your mom's wedding album to see what I mean)... flush-mount books are more like scrapbooks, using multiple pictures per page, color, graphics and other tools to tell the story of the wedding. A photojournalist wedding photographer will also take many pictures that a traditional photographer would never think to take because he knows that they can be used later in the wedding book. Now, it's not considered odd at all for your photographer to be taking pictures of your shoes or the makeup on your dressing table because he is attempting to record the things around you so that you can relive this moment for years to come.

Just before shooting the picture below, the groom said, "I suppose we all need to set down our beers..."
"No," I said, "I want them in the shot."

Now, this certainly doesn't look like a traditional shot of a groom and his groomsman before the wedding (my parents don't have a picture like this from their wedding) but this is what they were doing, this is who they are, and this is what the groom sees in his mind's eye when he thinks of his buddies.

Now don't get me wrong, there is certainly a place for the traditional wedding portrait. I do my best to get all of the classic shots when I'm at a wedding but I don't place as much importance on them as I do on the others. I know that years later when you go back to look at pictures from your wedding you will not linger for very long over the perfectly posed formal portrait of your wedding party. It's the pictures of you kissing on the dance floor for the first time or the shots of all of your girlfriends trying to help you squeeze into your dress that will make you smile and make you remember that wonderful day.

Children's photography sometimes needs a little color

I thought I might start off this blog with an example of a Photoshop technique that is very popular with scrapbookers. There are many advantages to having a professional photographer take pictures of your children, and one of the biggest is Photoshop. My wife's considerable skills as a scrabooker have only been pushed to new heights with the help of her Photoshop obsessed husband. There are so many great effects you can apply after-the-fact and one of my wife's favorites is something I call "Colorblast."

Simply put, you adjust the saturation and contrast on a photo until the colors leap off the page. An annoying side effect of this process is that once you have done it, the original picture (that you thought looked fine) now looks like it was shot in a fog.
Below is a picture of Sam on the swing, before and after with colorblast ( I also did a few other things to the original image but I'll save that for another discussion..)