Photography Q&A Part Two

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

photography, Q&A, Photography Questions, photography Anwsers, photos, camera,

Over the past few months, we've gotten the occasional question about cameras and photography on the blog. So, your questions are answered here in this mini-series, Photography Q&A.  (See Part One here and Part Three here). 

What does the process of taking photos for a blog post usually look like for NFD?

Kristian: On my end, I have an editorial calendar I make each month, and usually the outfit I plan is the one I stick to, weather permitting. We usually shoot on the weekends, since we live in different towns it is just easier. We’ll look up the sunset and/or sunrise times and aim to be out the door and to our location by then. Sometimes I have a location in mind. If it is further away, such as ones in Montana, we try to make a day or afternoon of it. We have about three locations that we go to if I don’t have a specific one in mind. We’ll get out, let our dog run about while we take shots (see the above list of what we always shoot). Sometimes it is freezing and all I want to do is get back in the car! It is usually fun though. As we’ve figured out what shots we want, we’ve gotten much faster.

Amos will download the photos to Lightroom. l pick the shots we'll consider using in the blog. It is generally between 12-30 shots out of a hundred or so. I'll also crop them, and Amos does any color correction he deems needed. We share the photos in Google Drive. I’ll make several collages on Picmonkey. I try to aim for two collages, and use them to showcase the detail and background shots. We use flickr to get the photos online. I almost always put the pictures online first and then write the post. After that it is scheduling the social media and on to the next post!

Amos: I follow Kristian’s instincts when it comes to the best locations to showcase her outfits, so she lets me know where we need to be and I try to guess a good time to be there in terms of light (“sunset” is a lot earlier when there are heavy clouds on the horizon).  There is a core set of equipment I bring to every shoot:

    • Camera (fully charged, with formatted memory cards)
    • Long lens (200mm, great for face and body shots)
    • Wide lens (24mm, great for location scenery and details)
    • External Flash (only for the most dire of lighting emergencies)
    • Grey Card (I always bring it but rarely remember to use it)

Once we’re at the location we scout it out and figure out the best place to shoot (partly based on the direction of the light).  Kristian then performs any last-minute hair/outfit tweaks and starts posing!  She’s a good subject, so at this point I take a reference shot to get my exposure right then just click away while she shows off her style.  When she feels like we have enough images I take some detail shots (close ups), we both shoot interesting scenery nearby, then we’re back on the road headed home while the images transfer into Lightroom.

How much time do you usually spend per post?

Kristian: Maybe an hour, if you don’t count driving time. 10-20 minutes on taking the photos, a half hour to make the collages and write the post. Some time to edit, and do social media. I can take a fair bit getting primped if I want to, but that’s called "getting dressed for the day."

Amos: The actual shoot is basically a little date with my gal, so it doesn’t really count as “time per post”.  We usually drive to a scenic local, shoot about 150 shots, then drive back to process the images.  Kristian has become adept at filtering the photos down to her favorite shots and cropping them to fit her vision.  This leaves me with 10-30 cropped images to process which can take about an hour (I like to experiment with a lot of things), then I export them as 916 pixel wide jpegs in a folder on our shared Google Drive folder.  A few times a month I export a copy of all our “published” shots then archive the originals to external drives to avoid filling up my laptop’s hard disk.

What are some tips for good outfit posts?

Kristian : I tend to like a photo session more if we do three things:
1) If I do a variety of poses. At minimum, we always do standing front, standing looking back, and a sitting or kneeling shot. Amos likes to have me try jumping and or spinning too.
  2)If we  take “detail” shots of an outfit. Though not all will make it to the post, we always shoot a headshot/portrait, a shot of any jewelry , a shot of the shoes and usually a midsection/torso shot because that is where we can get close-ups of all the fabrics and clothing details like belts usually. We also like to take shots of accessories by themselves sometimes.

3)If we take shots of the background, including full panorama style shots and close ups of rocks and plants etc.

These elements together can help in telling a visual story.

Amos:   Kristian covered pretty much everything so there’s only one thing I can add: attitude can’t be faked, so the best shoots happen when Kristian is seriously excited about her outfit and the shoot location.  If Kristian has realized that she’s missing an accessory or that a location isn’t going to work or weather has taken a turn for the worse, then I would rather reschedule the shoot than try to force it (even if we’ve already prepped and driven to the location.)


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  2. Aww i love that your shoots are little dates! And I had no idea so much time and effort went into them- I guess I just thought all that land was your backyard? haha! It's so fun that your blog is kind of a project with your hubby. Marc takes all my pictures and is really sweet about it, but your shoots sound waaay more fun than my "lets go to that wall by the garage" shoots, haha.

    and i'm glad you're enjoying ly layered like an onion series!! i'm so excited to get people trying out new ideas :D

    xo marlen
    Messages on a Napkin

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    1. Blogging has definitely been a surprisingly team-effort type of an undertaking. It is a fun thing to work on together.

      Lol at in my backyard. I wish, right? Some people's backyards are like that, but we live in town. Most of the places though are either in Cody or quite near Cody. But people in Wyoming and Montana seem to travel (as in drive to) places a lot more, partly because there isn't a lot in many of these small towns. So we don't think much of driving up to Billings (90 miles/2 hours), or Red Lodge (45 min.) and I just plan a shot around the other activities. But yeah, I love to find new photo places.

  3. oh my goodness Amos sounds like the ultimate sweety! "a little date w/ my gal" aww had me swooning there. and all the time he puts into bringing the right equipment and snapping away for you is so kind of him. and i'm like Marlen, I tot. thought you lived near the gorgeous scenery! I'd love to see a bit around your town someday too though (or new town maybe, are you moving to Amos' or is he moving to yours?). and i'm also in the same boat as Marlen like oh, let's walk down the street, hey this wall's not half bad or, my backyard's looking ok today haha. although i should blame part of it on not having a car. Your effort def shows in your gorgeous pics though! oh and do you guys ever use Drobox? I find that a lot easier to have pics/files w/ my hubs.
    My blog: Cuddly Cacti
    My E-Shop: Mitla Moda

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    1. Amos is the ultimate sweetie- in my eyes anyway! <3

      I moved to Amos' town (he owns a house and has a full time job there.), which is Cody, WY. It is the closest town to the East Gate of Yellowstone and is right by the Buffalo Bill reservoir and several National Forests.

      As for the scenery- we do live near most of it, and the rest are places we would go to/visit regularly. Most are five or ten minutes away at most. A few are further, but that site might be chosen because we are going to somewhere else along the way. Since all the towns around are quite small, people get used to travelling to other towns and such. We don't think much of driving up to Billings for a doctor's appointment or shopping (Billing is about 90 miles away). And there is a strong culture of going to the mountains and forests etc. for recreation. We are just really close to the Montana border, so maybe that made it sound like further? Ah, I just realized as a car-less family that probably sounds really bizarre.

  4. I love that you and your Mr. did a Q&A post together. I'm all for doing shoots as dates too :-)

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    1. Or little family outings, as we see on your blog! I love seeing your little guys in the posts too <3

  5. loved the photography posts, you guys are great inspiration. I'm shooting a wedding this weekend, will keep your posing technique in mind!

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