February 13, 2013
This is my first behind the scenes blog. I am not an expert in studio photography and I still have so much to learn, but I would like to share how I did my Valentine in studio sessions. I have been doing on location photography since last year. My clients appreciate my story telling style of photography. Bokeh Story Photos was semi-closed during the holidays because I was busy setting up my studio. This year’s Valentine special is a celebration for the grand opening of Bokeh Story Photos studio!
Studio photography is a total different world to me. Like the strobist said,
For someone who doesn't shoot in one all the time a studio seems like a magic, sexy, exotic place to shoot. But in reality a studio is a big, empty, expensive box that you have to fill with your imagination.Strobist
As some of you may know, I am an interaction designer by day. I turn ideas and concepts into clean and intuitive user interface, design user interactions, and solve complex usability problems. At the beginning of every design project, I work with my team interview stakeholders and we do lots of brainstorming and whiteboarding. I use the same strategy for my studio sessions. Studio sessions are much harder to tell a story than on location sessions because the space is very limited and I can only use props and different poses to compose my images. This is how I prepare for my in studio sessions…
In this Valentine special, I have two major setups. One setup for the babies and another for toddlers.
I brainstorm and use a storyboard to show the setups for the studio session, and then design a variation of poses for my objects. Same age group could have similar setups. For example a 3 months baby boy and a 3 months baby girl could have very similar setups, but designing different poses and using various props on them.
The poses could be a huge challenge for different age groups. 3 months babies do not sleep as much as newborns, so I can get a lot more interactions of them with the camera. I do not usually pose my clients even during an on location session because I love to capture the candid moments of kids and interaction between siblings and family members. This 3 months old baby girl rocked my Valentine baby session last Saturday! She is such a natural born baby model!
For toddlers, I used my new backdrop and floor drops.
Props are important for studio portraits and they are can be quite pricy, but you can save money by making your own unique props! I was going to make a Valentine rag tie garland for my scene, but my wonderful husband is ahead of me! He made me this Valentine rag tie garland without being asked! It probably will cost me $25 + shipping to order one from etsy, which I was afraid I wouldn’t get it on time.
I also made two cloth garlands for the babies. One for 3 months boy and one for 3 months girl. I have a 28 months old girl and a 16 months boy and I just used the baby clothes that they outgrown of to hang on the rope. Maybe it’s a mommy thing. It’s just too sad for me to see these cute little clothes gone. I usually donate or pass along most of their outgrown clothes, but I always keep some of their cutest outfits. So glad to see them again in use!
After the baby hanging out with clothes idea, I was inspired by my babies’ play kitchen, so I came up with another idea – the Baby Iron Chef America! This baby will cook a Valentine’s dinner for you!
I just got more props came in last week and I was able to use some of them in last weekend’s session. This little boy really knows how to pose!
One of my Valentine banners was too big for my studio, so I hung it on a tree in my backyard and it worked out perfect!
Here comes my little helper Audrey! She is 2 year old. She always helps me to test out the scenes before my actual sessions. Every time Audrey walks in my studio, she says, “mama, it’s so pretty!”
Then she says to her little brother, “Wesley, sit down! Take pictures!” Wesley is 12 months younger than Audrey and he WILL NOT sit still in my studio. I have my studio locked from outside preventing him coming in because he WILL pull off my backdrop and kick my stand! This is how he looks like in my studio even with my mom trying to hold him in place.
In conclusion, doing homework before every session is very important – for both on location and in studio. Design your scene and poses for different age groups and have someone test it out before your sessions. Stay tuned for my next Behind the Scenes blog post.
Tagged with: 3 months • Audrey • baby • behind the scene • Child Photographer • design • Family Photos • ideas • Kansas City • Kansas City Life Style Photographer • Liberty • Liberty MO • Photographer • Portraits • Portraits Photographer • prop • scene • session • setup • story • story telling • storyboard • studio • toddler • valentine's day • Wedding Photographer • Wesley