Reimagined Portrait Art | Lakeland Grad Portraits

Reimagined Portrait Art – As a trained professional photographer, I wanted to share today what that training allows me to do.

Photography literally means “to write with light”. In order to write with light, I have to understand light. Without knowing how light works, I can’t balance exposures or use light to create dynamic range in a photograph.

This is Mac. A beautiful 2022 graduate. While photographing her session, I grabbed a few images to show what I can do with light. At every session, I bring “fire power” with me. These are flashes that I use to balance the light I find outdoors.

If I face my client to the sun, everything in the photograph is the same flat lighting and my client will be squinting. I don’t want this as my portraits would lack directional light which creates that feel of being 3D in a flat 2D object, a photograph.

I turn my clients away from the sun but this causes their face/body to be in shadow. You can see in Mac that her front is lit in a “normal exposure” from the sun. This means that her front and the background match in exposure. Her back is in shadow when facing toward the camera. If I wanted to expose the image for the background, Mac would be dark or underexposed.

If I expose the image for Mac, then the background and sky are overexposed. You can see this in photographs with a “white sky”.

It is now a thing for photographs to swap in normally exposed sky in photoshop because they cannot get away from overexposure of their sky. Look closely at the sky line in an image – is there a halo at the horizon line? Or does the color tone of the ground not match the color tone of the sunset?

As a certified photography judge, a white sky or a halo along a sky line is a tip off that the photographer did not control the lighting. As a photographer, this is my job!!!

So what do I do? I bring in supplemental lighting. This allows me to add additional light to Mac so she is as bright as the background/sky. She is no longer in shadow but has a directional light across her that adds dimension to the photograph. In order to do this, I have to know how my equipment works and exactly what the output of my flashes are so I can match the exposures. Too much firepower and Mac looks like a ghost, too little and she’s too dark or the sky has very little depth and detail.

I bring fire power to every session so that I can reimagine the Vermilion, Lloydminster, Vegreville, Mannville or Vermilion grad portrait to be something that shows the uniquely beautiful individual that you are! I would love to work with you, shoot me a text to start planning your session today!

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    Vermilion, AB