New Photography Website

Helo!!

I miss all of you who have kindly followed my photography blog, and I would love it if you would navigate over to my new, professional photography webite http://www.cathywagner.co.za and follow me there.

I will be posting all new blog and portfolio updates there, because, yes, I have quit my Financial Management position and taken the leap into full-time, professional photography!

I would greatly appreciate hearimg from you again, as I always enjoyed your comments and compliments on this blog (who wouldn’t?) and I can use all the encouragement I can get right now 🙂

Yours creatively
Cathy Wagner
Cathy Wagner Photography

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Studio Portraits

I was very excited last weekend – I finally bought my first studio lighting kit. Two 300 watt lights with stands, a soft-box, some reflective umbrellas and a backdrop kit.

All pretty basic. I didn’t want to spend too much because I haven’t built my studio yet and I don’t have anywhere to KEEP all this stuff! (We have a pretty big house, considering there’s just two of us living here, yet there never seems to be enough space.)

Angela & Mike and their baby were visiting so I asked if they would sit for me so I could try out the set-up. Well, we were really just messing around – 90% of the photos are not for public consumption! – but the other 10% came out pretty well, I think 🙂

The soft-box, set at a 45-degree angle to the model, and slightly higher than their head, plus a black backdrop – and there you have it. Beautifully modeled shots, so different to the effect you get with available light.

Angela for Web

Mike for Web

Daddy's Little Boy copy for Web

Angie & Carl for Web

I even managed to get Hubby to pose with Mike, wrapped in a bright pink feather boa 🙂

Glenn & Mike for Web

I have a feeling studio photography is going to be FUN!!

Photographing older couples

 

I enjoy photographing older people because their faces are not perfect – the lines of smiles and frowns are permanently engraved on their faces and, far from being ugly, those lines give them character.

Older couples are often not that comfortable in front of a camera (especially older men!) so you have to work at helping them to be less self-conscious, to just be themselves.

That’s where the wife comes in…. I find it easier to get the wife to do something specific – like kiss Hubby gently on the cheek – and wait for Hubby to melt a little.

THAT’s when the delightful expression comes out 🙂

Some ladies are so beautiful and full of love for their husbands – even when they’ve been married for a lifetime – they make the photographer’s life so much easier!

 

(A little tip – ask the lady to just touch her lips to her husband’s cheek, she should not purse her lips.)

Portraits Revealed!

Here is a fantastic e-book, published by Michael Kryzer at Camera Career

Portraits Revealed will give you the knowledge and techniques you need to become an accomplished Portrait Photographer.

Michael covers everything from the types of portrait photography, the equipment, posing, lighting, backgrounds – and especially the business side of being a portrait photographer – how to price yourself correctly is essential in the competitive market we work in.

He even includes (for free!) a photography contract, a model release and a minor model release form, to cover the legal side of things.

I bought the book myself this week and I am impressed 🙂

The book is very reasonably priced at UD$29, and once your payment has been verified (which takes only a few seconds), you will receive the link for the download immediately.

Quick, efficient, and very useful for photographers like me who are always interested in improving their skills.

Canon EOS 60D – F/3.2 – 1/640 second – ISO 800 – 50mm lens

Brothers in Arms……

I took this photo of Owen and his baby brother, Carl, yesterday before Owen’s Primary School Mini-Cricket tournament.

Carl was sleepy, but Owen just HAD to show his baby brother to his friends and their Mums 🙂

The original shot had a very boring background of dark cement stairs, so I altered it in Photoshop CS6.

I selected the boys, inverted the selection, then applied a radial blur to the entire background, I played with the settings until I found the right effect.

Canon EOS 60D – f/11 – 1/200 second – ISO 400 – 180mm focal length

Photography: Family Portraits

This morning, I took the latest addition to our family to meet my Mom-in-law.

Carl is two months old today, and Granny – well, let’s just say she’s a little older – but just as beautiful as ever.

I was very lucky to get these lovely photos of their first meeting. I used my Canon 60D with my 50mm f/1.4 prime lens, hand-held and only natural indoor lighting.

Post-processing was in Lightroom 4 – I adjusted the exposure slightly and applied a sepia-toned filter but left in a bit of de-saturated colour. I think this effect really brings out the beautiful skin tones of both Gran and Baby.

Can there be anything more wonderful than holding a bonny baby boy in your arms for the first time 🙂

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Tips for photographing babies:

  • Pick a time when his tummy is full, his face is clean and he’s happy
  • If he’s VERY wriggly, use a faster shutter-speed – about 1/125th second, and a wider aperture setting
  • Try to capture his expressions, and those of the person holding him. You can see the tenderness in a mother’s/gran’s eyes – catch those moments if you can
  • Use natural light – a flash is likely to make the baby jumpy
  • Babies look good in pale colours – it brings out their delicate skin-tones
  • It looks great when both the adult and the baby are wearing similar toned clothing.