Remember back in high school how they would always do morning announcements? And how we all secretly wished that a xylophone was involved like they had at Rydell High in Grease? No? That was just me? Oh well, nevermind then!
Well today we have so much to cover, that I decided to do my own version of Friday morning announcement. And just know that I am totally sitting here with a xylophone in my office right now. And wearing a bee hive. And doing the hand jive. (Grease is the) Word!
First up, is that we are so excited to announce TWO NEW STOPS for our J&M Lighting Intensive: Chapel Hill, NC on June 5th & Minneapolis, MN on June 19th!! We opened these up yesterday to our J&M Facebook page first, and the seats are already starting to fill up. So be sure to grab your spot soon if you want to come! For anyone who signs up TODAY, we will also be including a copy of The Guide ($150 value). To grab your seat, just head over HERE.
Second, is that we were super honored to see that Rangefinder Magazine picked up the story of our deserving solider Disney giveaway at our WPPI Platform & the shoot we did with Sonya, Steven & Grace earlier this year before the What's Next Tour!! I LOVE seeing these guys in there!
Next up, our good friends Ashley & Graham (the Scobeys!!) have just seen one of their bHag's (big, hairy, audacious goals for those of you who are new here!) come to life with the start of their "Art to Aid" project which is pretty much rocking my world! From Graham:
"Art to Aid is an online marketplace that enables people to do good through the act of creating and through the act of buying creative goods. We exist to cultivate a community around the idea that consumerism is not an individualistic endeavor; that it has the potential to not only be mutually beneficial between the buyer and the seller, but beneficial to society and to the world. It is an open, social platform that is free to join. Creatives can elect a cause to champion and to whom they will give a selected portion of their profits. They can then create their personalized storefront, list and sell their products, track their impact, set goals, and collaborate with other creatives who are championing the same cause. Consumers can browse by traditional categories of items, or they can choose to browse by causes that are important to them and seek out creatives that are supporting those causes. Consumers will also be able to track their impact, create wish lists, subscribe to their favorite creatives, and participate in community discussions. You can find out more about what we are doing and why we are doing it at www.arttoaid.com."
These guys have set an amazing goal of having 1,000 creatives signed up by September, so if this speaks to you....head on over & join the cause!
And finally, we were so sooo SO excited to have our work featured as the both the back & front cover for Style Me Pretty's new Little Black Book Guide!! These guys are pretty much the authority on all things pretty, so this was such a HUGE honor for us!
Happy Friday y'all!
**And oh wait, almost forgot the most exciting announcement of all! Congratulations to our Starbucks winner....Miss BrandiLynn Aines!!! Congrats!!
Pancake Session: How to Deal With Bad Light (Part II)
Happy Thursday & welcome back for another installment of the Pancake Sessions!
As promised, today we have for you Part II of dealing with bad light. In Part I we talked about using our camera settings to cut out bad (tungsten, fluorescent, mixed) ambient light until we had the "black box." Now, in Part II, we'll show you how to add light back in using our "one light" set up, so that we have directional, dimensional and one clean color temperature light.
First let's take a look at a set up in our meeting space, featuring the Vogue Living book that our ahhh-mazing clients Shannon & Luke just sent us (seriously, we have the best clients EVER!) As you can see we have a cool set up to work with, but the overhead tungsten light in the room is killing the shot.
So following the steps from Part I, the first thing we did was dial in our settings until we had a virtual "black box" on the back of the camera. I wanted to keep my aperture wide open at 1.4, so after I raised my shutter speed to the max of 1/250th the only thing left to do was lower my ISO. I brought my ISO all the way down to Low ISO and that got me close enough to blacked out. As you can see, there is still just a little bit of ambient light hitting the Vogue book, but I'm ok with that because I know that when I add the flash in it's going to overpower most of that.
This is the shot where I added in our "one light set up" (you can find everything that goes into making our one light set up by clicking HERE to see What's In Our Bag). I set the one light set up off to the right just outside of frame, and fired it using our Pocket Wizards. By placing the one light close to the subject (just outside of frame) and off to the right, I create both soft and directional light respectively. (In other words, closer/larger light source= softer light & off to the side=directional light that gives me more dimension from the highlights & shadows it creates). Note that the awful overhead tungsten light is still on in the room....it's just no longer affecting the shot!
For my taste, I felt like there was a little too much going on visually in that above shot and I don't like seeing some of the light spill on to the wall, so I went in closer. Another option for the light spill on the wall is to just feather/shift the one light set up away from the wall a bit. So this became my shot.
As one final note, let's take a look at why we have that 1/250th shutter speed max in action. The reason why we can't sync our flash at faster than a 1/250th has to do with the "focal plane shutter" that most of all of our cameras have. In the dSLR's, the focal plane shutter goes top to bottom, and what that basically means is that there are two "curtains" to the shutter: the first starts moving to open the shutter and then the second starts moving to close it. 1/250th of a second is the last time that the front curtain is fully open before the rear curtain starts closing Anything faster than that, and as soon as the front curtain has started moving, the rear curtain starts closing behind it. When the flash goes off, it can only illuminate the part of the shutter that is still open and the rest is not exposed, resulting in a black bar (not to be confused with the black box!). So if you've ever gotten the black bar when you were shooting, the first thing to check is that your pocket wizards haven't just gone to sleep and the second is to make sure that your shutter speed isn't too fast. This is the black bar you get at 1/500th:
This is the black bar from 1/640th.
And this is 1/800th. You can see that the faster the shutter speed, the faster that rear curtain is moving and the less of the image is exposed when the flash fires.
As always, we hope that helps! And if you have any questions at all feel free to leave them in the comment box. Or just say hi! We love hearing from you!
Happy Pancake Day!
**If you want to read more of the Pancake Sessions, you can find them by clicking HERE
Today is a day full of good things! First up, we were incredibly honored to find out that Brides Magazine picked up Kristin & Chad's Greenwich wedding as one of their featured real weddings. Kristin & Chad had an incredible day filled with centerpieces of peaches, mint & the prettiest flowers you ever did see. They also made sure to give lots of honor to Chad's Kentucky heritage, so there was sweet tea, biscuits, and drink stirrers with Kentucky Derby references. It's still one of our all-time favorites! You can see the full feature by going HERE.
Also, like I mentioned last week, I love May because it's my birthday month and also just because everything really starts to come alive in May. The flowers are blooming, the trees are (finally!) green...and it's just an awesome time to be alive. And to sit on front porches. And soak in fresh starts. So leading up to my birthday, we thought it would be fun to give one of my favorite things away each week until the big day! This week we're going to kick it off with a no-brainer: Starbucks of course! You don't have to have been around the blog long to know my love of the green mermaid! :) But this time it's for something a little different than my usual grande non-fat latte. You see, Starbucks just came out with these lemon cake pops. And I had one (ok, ok...TWO!) the other day...and they pretty much rocked my world!
So here's the deal! Just leave us a note in the comment box below & we're going to pick one lucky winner on Friday to win a $25 gift card to Starbucks....or approximately 12 and a half lemon cake pops! I'm just sayin. And...GO!!
This morning when I opened my eyes, no joke, the first thing I thought was that today is the day I get to share Ashley & Chris's engagement shoot with you! I am absolutely giddy to share this one! We got together with these guys to hang out in their backyard and do a quick engagement shoot before their wedding later this month. We drank some wine, had some bruschetta....and THEN we started shooting. When we walked outside, we saw this little set up with flowers in cool pots and the most amazing purple velvet chair you ever did see. Ashley actually used to be a merchandising stylist for Anthropologie, and she put everything together flawlessly.
Then, the light. Ohhh the glorious LIGHT that absolutely pours through the trees on their property. Which is covered in this incredible green clovery stuff that is the stuff that photography dreams are made of! And then, these two?? Perfection. Ashley also used to be a real legit model (like the fly to Paris, in major ad campaigns kind) so to say that she can work it in front of the camera would be the understatement of the millennium. But what I loved most is that this shoot was truly just about the two of them, and how they love on one another. It wasn't posey or contrived, just a real, natural beautiful love together. And the two of them doing what they love most: hanging out in their backyard, sipping wine, and sitting in the garden they planted together.
Ashley & Chris, we adore you guys! We can't wait to see you again in just a few weeks, where we will celebrate the BIG day together!
Yesterday was one of those perfect days. The kind of days you could relive over and over again because they are just that good for the soul. It's like in Groundhog Day where he has to keep trying again until he gets every part of the day just as it should be. Yesterday, was like the end of our own Groundhog Day movie. Y'know with less polka music.
We snuggled, we ate a great breakfast, we hiked to the top of Sleeping Giant with Cooper, and as soon as we got home I went and got a pedicure with a great friend. When we got back we made Cinco de Mayo guacamole with more friends, walked on the sea wall and talked about life, and then grilled out & sat listening to country music on our patio as golden light gave in to darkness. It was the perfect start to the week. And this summer, I hope to relive it over and over again. Even if I have to get a pet groundhog to make it happen!
Speaking of amazing starts to the week, I've been excited all weekend to share Shannon & Luke's NYC engagement shoot! We met up with these guys in their Upper East Side neighborhood, and walked all around getting to know these two incredible people. These guys are getting married next month on the water, and I LOVED hearing about all the details as they are coming together....let me tell you, this one is going to be a STUNNER! Shannon & Luke are two of the nicest people you could ever meet, and when they ended our session by surprising us with frozen yogurt I already knew....we're going to be friends for life! :) The whole night was capped off perfectly when we got to meet Shannon's family as the whole crew was getting ready to go check out the wedding band. And spending just five minutes with them, it's already clear why Shannon is the kind, thoughtful, and good-hearted person that she is! We can't WAIT to celebrate with you all in less than a month!