PS Tutorial: Stamping away the crowd

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The past couple weeks I have been post processing the images from my Fall Mini Sessions. Unlike all the amazing autumnal sessions I’m drooling over from back home, my sessions were seaside, and the Mediterranean did not disappoint! My seven families, all sporting a variety of blues, were perfect against the teals and turquoise tones of the sea, and the morning light was glorious. Each session even had it’s own special moments and poses unique to each family, which kept it fun and fresh. Overall, it was a dream day, with the exception of all the other beach goers.

Not only did we have several walkers, joggers, curious by standers, and sand castle builders to compete with, we also had the absolutely unnecessary older gentleman in a speedo…seriously?! This actually led to a few good smiles and laughs from my clients, but we do not want those in the shot, am I right?!

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This is a quick tutorial on how I utilize the clone stamp tool in Photoshop to get rid any background noise that takes away from my subjects, including people and litter.

I hope it comes in handy for you and that you don’t have to deal with an old Israeli in a electric blue speedo any time soon!

Cheers,

kdg

The Maraska Family in Jaffa

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A few months after I first met Keturah at a Diplomatic Spouses of Israel event I taught her photography, and we have been creative buddies ever since. Funnily enough, her younger son was taking photography class at school, so they were sharing one camera, and he almost took it to school that day! Side note: He has done some amazing work this year – it is really inspiring to see how our high schoolers capture the world around them!

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Keturah has been a great boy mom mentor to me as well as my creative adventurer friend. We have shared a few walkabouts and my favorite time was when she accompanied me on a recce to Jaffa Port, Tel Aviv, Israel before a client session. A recce is a term I learned from Lindy-Ann, as it is mostly used in the places where they speak the Queen’s English to describe a fact finding mission coming from the term reconnaissance.

 

We had so much fun finding the most picturesque nooks, crannies, graffiti, and doors in the old city and chatting over coffee. Jaffa is definitely one of my favorite locations to shoot and one of their family’s go to spots, so it was the perfect location choice when she decided to trust me with her family’s first photography session ever!

Location: Old City Jaffa Port, Tel Aviv, Israel

Date and time: May 9:00am

Weather: Bright & Sunny – cool in the shade of the buildings

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As this was their first professional family session, we talked about what she wanted from the session a bit beforehand and I was challenged by a comment she had made about not looking good in photos. It was my mission to prove her wrong!

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We had such a great time and we joked and laughed our way from graffiti wall to colored door. It was really fun for me to shoot “big boys” and get a glimpse of my future – a tall and skinny big brother and a cheeky little brother. When I say cheeky, I mean he was hiding his signature thumbs-up pose behind his parents backs in every photo! It was hilarious.

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The lesson learned for this session would be that a ladder would have been helpful to capture those tall boys and some overhead shots that I visualized – I couldn’t climb high enough. Short girl problems, right? As I mentioned earlier, there is such huge benefits to doing recces of new locations prior to the session. It can make all the difference to know where you want to lead your subjects and planning ahead will never fail to make you more confident.

 

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This session is special to me of course because of our friendship, but more than that, it was about trust. As a photographer, it is an honor when someone trusts you to let you into their lives, to capture their family, and to truly see them. We must never take that for granted, because trust is not freely given.

Here’s to trusting and to bringing out the best others!

Cheers,
kdg

PS –  Look for Keturah’s upcoming guest post on It’s a Colo{u}rful World, sharing her trip to Ein Hod Artist Village. She really is a fantastic and inspiring explorer, mom, wife, and friend!

Capturing the Cunhas

View More: http://dgdesignsphotography.pass.us/cunha-family

When I reflect on my experience photographing Lindy-Ann and her monkeys, I feel privileged to be their photographer and a part of their family. I was a bit intimidated going into our first session, but Lindy-Ann’s confidence in my skills calmed and encouraged me. To be honest, I still call her for a dose of encouragement and truth weekly! I am so thankful to have her in my life.

We had two very different photography sessions together before I left Kuwait and it is so fun to see how much can change in a year, especially with kids.

{Cunha Family Session 1}

Location: Al-Corniche Club, Kuwait City

Date and time: November, 2014. 8:30am

Weather: Bright & Sunny

Although this was one of my earlier sessions, I am still very proud of these images. Capturing the love in their interactions was a thrill. One of my most favorite shots of the whole session is when her three little monkeys are laughing at their dad behind me, they couldn’t help but glow with pure joy.

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Since I had the gift a knowledgeable client, I took advantage of it and debriefed with Lindy-Ann after our session. We shared our thoughts from the experience on both sides of the camera and it has helped me be a better photographer. It takes a lot to trust and be vulnerable with someone, but if you find the right client I suggest getting their feedback, it will help you grow.

One of the main things we both learned was that to capture bubbles you need a good deal of contrast in background. A bright beach morning with kids in white made our bubbles hard to see. The next time you are hoping to photograph a delightful little bubble scene, be sure there is enough contrast or color on location and your shutter speed is high enough to balance stopping motion and allowing in the right amount of light in.

{Cunha Family Session 1}

Location: Scientific Center Boardwalk, Kuwait City

Date and time: November, 2015. 8:30am

Weather: Sunny & Windy

For our second session we had a rocky start, because our location of choice, Al Shaheed Park in downtown Kuwait, was sadly closed on Friday mornings and we hadn’t checked before we met there. Standing outside the gate we came up with a Plan B and moved our shoot to the Marina Crescent. This threw ALL of us a off a bit. I was unable to use my plan for the shoot and a chunk of our time was lost. All that said, we had a fantastic time and it was a completely different feel from our first session.

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The lesson here was to always double check your location’s opening hours as well as restrictions, as some parks and monuments have photography restrictions, including Al Shaheed. Another important note is you should always do a recce, or reconnaissance, tour before meeting your client there, so you know what you are working with.

Each session brings it’s own unique circumstances and situations no matter how many times you have used a location, prop, or pose. The important thing to remember is to approach each one with an open heart, because you never know when a client will become a lifelong friend, or in our case partner.

Cheers,

kdg

Photographing Katie

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– written by Lindy-Ann

Periodically, on It’s A Colo{u}rful World we will feature our personal photography session recaps. Where we discuss our experiences and lessons learned.

To get stared we will be sharing the experience of shooting each other’s families. I had the absolute delight of photographing Katie, her husband and her two beautifully spirited boys back in December 2015. It is still one of my favourite family sessions to date.

Location: Al Shaheed Park, Kuwait City.

Date and time: December, 2015. 8:30am (1.5 hours)

Weather: Beautiful sunny winters morning. Slightly chilly but fresh and fun.

I dragged along a friend (thanks Sam!) to help carry bags and light reflectors for the morning. While hoping to teach her a few things along the way I made the rookie mistake of not emptying and reformatting my memory card before the session. We got to the last 10 minutes of the shoot and I found myself frantically deleting older photographs on the same card to make space for new ones. In my defence I really didn’t expect to shoot as much as I did, I just got totally caught up in the fun of it all and poor planning reared it’s ugly head. Thankfully my client was awesome and they were simply the most patient and wonderful family from which to learn this lesson! I have never made this mistake again.

Learn from me, reformat your cards, bring extras, and pick amazing clients!

 

Cheers,