Whether I am working with a client, a student from my Senior Model program or just shooting for myself I always think about the end result. It's important to know how the image is going to be used as that can dictate how you compose the photo. If a client is interested in an album, it's important that I have a certain amount of images and a variety of poses to offer to them. If they are interested in wall art then I need to shoot a little wider so that I can print it larger and not lose any important part of the image when it is sized.
Whatever type of image I am trying to create, I always try to take it the the way I want it to look but that isn't always possible. If I am shooting outdoors, sometimes the weather doesn't cooperate, the time that the client can meet is not the most optimal or the location is not the most attractive. When that happens I have to have a vision on how I want the image to look and plan on how I am going to get it to look that way. On this particular Senior Model session, we were on the top level of a parking garage in St. Louis. The Arch and the building to the right of the photo were interesting but the office building on the left was a little distracting. My plan was to take the photo and then to create symmetry by placing a duplicate image of the building on the right and covering up the distracting building. The concrete floor was also not very attractive so I darkened the image a little which draws attention to my model.
So when you are taking a photo (either with a camera or cell phone), take a second before you push the button and look at everything in the frame. You don't necessarily have to know Photoshop or how to edit an image to create great photos, there are minor things you can do. If there is something distracting, try and move the item or move your position so it is not in the image or find some shade to shoot in so your subjects aren't squinting. Before you know it, it will become a habit and your photos can improve instantly. Attached are two images from the Arch session to show you the differences and the techniques I applied to create the end result.
For more information or to schedule a session, please contact Debbie DeClue @ 636-936-8202. Check out my work at www.photographybydeclue.com!
Last week I talked about using Klondike Park for your family or senior photos and this week I want to highlight Brommelsiek Park which is where we took Kelly's senior photos.
Brommelsiek Park has 494 acres of natural beauty, equipped with several large lakes for fishing and more than 7 miles of multiuse trails for hiking, biking and equestrian use. It also features a 4.7 acre off-leash dog area with a large pond for dogs to splash around and play. There is also a Visitor's Center that is available for parties and other special events. Broemmelsiek Park is located at 1795 Highway, DD, Defiance, MO 63341.
We selected the creek bed, the bridge and the area near one of the lakes as our locations. Everything is so lush and green so it made for a great backdrop with the clothes that Kelly brought for her session. I always suggest to my clients to include accessories like hats, jewelry, sports equipment, etc. and Kelly is always open to anything.
Kelly has been a member of my DeClue Crew Senior Model Program for 3 years and this session was one of our last ones. She chose this park since we had been there a couple times and it offers a lot for photos. It was warm for May and the mosquitos were already out in force and biting!
In addition to being a part of my model program, she participated in the A+ program at Ft. Zumwalt West and will be attending St. Charles Community College in the fall. It has been a lot of fun and a pleasure to work with Kelly and her mom, Colleen (who always came along and assisted, so thank you Colleen!) for the past 3 years and I wish her well in her future endeavors!
If you would like to schedule a family or senior session, please contact Debbie @ 636-936-8202 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
When I went to interview Josh Branch for my community profile blog the cover of my notebook said "If Your Dreams Don't Scare You, They're Not Big Enough." He said that was one of his favorite quotes and I believe he is dreaming big.
Josh grew up in the O'Fallon (or MoFallon) area, loves playing and watching basketball and originally wanted to teach school. He always led a healthy lifestyle because of participating in sports and soon found his interests drawing him towards training. He became certified and began working for a local gym. He said that during his time there 2 of his bosses told him he would never be successful and that he's actually grateful for that because it drove him even more to achieve what he has today.
About a year and a half ago, he opened his own gym called Team Branch. He started out with around 2500 sq. feet and several months ago expanded to approximately 7500 sq. feet. He offers bootcamp style classes with an emphasis on weights and every class is different so you are not bored and you look forward to going to the gym.
In addition to expanding the size of the gym, Josh has also added another trainer, Heather Carroll. She recently left her nursing position to work full-time with Team Branch. She has a health & science background, was a figure competitor for approximately 10 years and played soccer in college. Heather also is involved in operations, sales and marketing for the gym.
Josh is very passionate about helping others achieve their goals. He feels like he is touching their lives in different ways and along the way creating relationships and friendships It's not all about losing weight; it's about getting fit and living a healthy lifestyle. He loves it when someone comes up to him and says "I played soccer with my son and I can do it without losing my breath anymore" or "I was able to get a pair of jeans on that I haven't worn in years." Those are success stories to him. He also has a son who is 4, named Titus who is his pride and joy.
Team Branch is located at 1607 E. Terra Lane, O'Fallon, MO 63366 and their contact number is 314-496-7563. They offer several membership options and I'm sure there is one that suits your needs. They offer a great selection of class times and the members are very friendly.
I shoot in a lot of different areas and I though I would share some of the best ones with you. One that is probably my favorite is Klondike Park which is located at 4600 Highway 94 S. in Augusta, MO. It offers 250 acres of scenic property featuring more than 4 miles of natural and paved trails. It was originally the site of an old silica sand quarry which has been preserved and turned into a beautiful parkland. There is also a unique lookout bluff that provides picturesque views of the Missouri River Valley, as well as the Katy Trail.
One of the things I love about Klondike Park is that no mater what season it is, you can still capture beautiful images. In addition to the white sand near the lake, there are tons of evergreens that always give you a pop of color. In the spring the grass is green and there are beautiful flowers, summer is still beautiful but the heat and humidity are annoying (as well all know) so I tend to not shoot as much in the dead of summer unless it's a sports team. The leaves on the trees in the fall turn bright yellow, purple and red and even winter is still very scenic and can provide some color. You can see from the sample images I posted the different looks you can get from each season. The lake area looks different from all angles and offers gorgeous reflections to complete your photos.
The grounds also include camping (for those that like to camp!) a meeting facility, picnic shelters and playgrounds for children. I have to admit that I have not utilized it for any of these options; I just use the gorgeous scenery as a background for my clients images. I like to offer a unique and fun experience that they will remember, along with products that will give them a lifetime of joy. I know every time I look at the canvas I have of my family hanging on my wall it makes me smile.
If you have not had a family photo taken in awhile or you have an upcoming senior, I would love to speak with you and show you the beautiful products that you can use to showcase your loved ones.
For more information or to schedule a session, please contact me at www.photographybydeclue.com or 636-936-8202.
What do you do when your name is Autumn? You take your senior photos in the Spring!
Autumn is a beautiful, sweet and determined girl. Our session went very smoothly and I had fun working with her and her mother, Sandy. She will be graduating from St. Charles High in the very near future and wanted to capture some of her images on the school grounds. We also included Blanchette Park and the old Courthouse in St.Charles in our locations.
When Autumn was 3, her parents put her in swim lessons and pretty soon she was competing and earning medals. She went to State all four years of her high school career and was the State Champ in the 50 Free and 100 Fly her Junior and Senior year.
In addition to swimming, Autumn is a National Honor Society officer, likes to hike and hang out with her friends.
Autumn will be attending the University of Kansas in the fall with a full scholarship (half of it academic and the other half athletic). I think that is very impressive!
It was a pleasure working with you Autumn and I wish you luck in the next journey of your life!