Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Allix Ruby : Natural Posing

Can you guys believe we are in the last two weeks of Boho Blogtober?!
Man, this month is going fast!!

I hope you all have been enjoying this month's guest bloggers as much as I have..so good.
Today I am thrilled to have the fabulous Allix Ruby sharing some thoughts on posing.
I really love this girl (got to meet her in person a couple years back!) and she is super awesome,
and totally rocking her business.

Hey everyone! My name is Allix Ruby; I’m a nineteen-year-old wedding and portrait lifestyle photographer living in Northeast Texas with my beloved husband of almost six months! You can head here to learn a little bit more about me. :)
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Today I’m going to give several tips on something I think we all struggle with - posing our clients...naturally. The whole idea of posing seems to signify stiffness and lack of reality but there is a way that you can work with your clients to capture their truest and best selves. Here are five things I try to keep in mind to help me while posing –
  1. Stay Confident.
Let’s be honest, being a young photographer can be really intimidating. Sometimes we wonder why people even trust us to capture such monumental parts of their lives! But that’s just what you need them to do if you ever want natural looking pictures – trust you. And if you aren’t confident in what you are doing, that’s going to make it very hard on your client to do so. Confidence is an attitude and emotion that we can conjure up if we really try. Believe in your ability! Believe in your creativity! Believe in your own unique ideas! If you portray that you are clearly in charge, know what you’re doing, and are passionate about what you’re seeking to create you will often break down even the strongest wall of shyness on your clients’ part. But when you doubt yourself and act unsure you can make even the bubbliest, most natural and easy-going people clam up and feel uncomfortable.
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  1. Stay Assertive.
Once again, it can be very hard to take charge as a younger professional. But that’s what your clients want and need you to do! Be very clear with your instructions and directions, make sure you’re not keeping all your ideas in your head and just hoping they’ll magically do that naturally. Most likely, they won’t. Be prepared! Know what you want the end result to look like and then pose them accordingly. Give them actions to do to avoid stiffness and keep things full of true emotion. “Walk towards me!” “I want you to run toward each other and hug like you haven’t seen each other in ages!” If you notice something is out of place, don’t be afraid to tell them! “Move your chin down!” “Try putting your left hand in your pocket!” “Put your face closer to hers!” Keeping an open line of communication with your subject will ensure that they know exactly what you want them to do. Instead of, when you’re culling, wishing you would’ve been bold enough to ask them to reposition.
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  1. Stay Positive.
One of the best ways to get genuine expressions from your clients is to praise them! While I am shooting, I am almost constantly directing, joking about, encouraging, and egging on whatever my clients are doing. “Wow! You are stunning!” “This is great, guys! Perfect, keep going…perrrrfect!!” “Awesome! Now spin her around! Yessss! Love that! So good!” The last thing you need to say is, “I don’t really like that” or “Well, not quite…could you do something else?” Basically, if you want them to do something else, don’t tell them what they’re doing is wrong…just move into a different pose while still encouraging and praising them. They don’t need to know what they just did looks horrible…you can work around it, keep reposing them until they do something you love. Everyone likes to hear that they look good and so if you fervently tell them that, they will begin to believe it and feel it. That’s what you’re always looking for; your clients genuinely enjoying their time, feeling important, and being their own unique beautiful selves!
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  1. Stay Observant.
I used to be really jealous when I looked at other photographer’s work because I thought they must’ve hit the jackpot of photogenic clients. But when I started shooting weddings I realized how so many amazing, emotionally stirring, and memorable things can be happening around me. If I’m too busy stressing over the perfect pose and looking for the dreamiest location, I could easily miss the way the groom just gently kissed his new wife’s cheek. If I’m frustrated that the children at my family session aren’t all perfectly lined up smiling like on Pinterest, I might miss the beauty of them grasping onto their mother’s fingers or hiding behind their father’s legs. Life is made up of lots of real, raw, messy, and achingly beautiful moments…that means every life. My tagline or slogan, if you will, of my business is “I capture the life and love of weddings, couples, families, and people.” That’s something I can’t create alone. What my clients spontaneously bring to the table is something I’ve learned to appreciate and work with instead of against.
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  1. Stay Flexible.
If shooting weddings has taught me one thing, it is to stay flexible. I cannot stress this enough. Just like no two people are the same, you can’t treat all your sessions with a cookie cutter mentality. You will need varying degrees of each of these points depending on each person. Things will often go much differently than you anticipate before you begin shooting – either better or worse. But even the most difficult of clients can result in genuine heartfelt images when you do not let it defeat you. If a pose just really isn’t working, move on! If the lighting you’re in is bad, keep looking! If the clients are shy or disinterested or (let’s just say it) awkward, keep trying! The more I learn this, the more I am astonished to watch even the stiffest people slowly loosen up and help me create images I am proud of.
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Thanks so much, Allix!! Please leave her some love in the comments below!

love,
~H. Elise

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Ginny : mentoring!!

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A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of doing some photography mentoring with sweet Ginny!
I definitely do not have my business all together or consider myself 'a pro',
but if I can help someone else make their photography better by just sharing my heart
and what I've learned over the past few years, then it is so worth it!!

I met Ginny awhile back, but haven't seen her in years!
So it was such a pleasure to meet up with her, talk photography (fastest 2 hours of my life!!)
and do some headshots for her...thought these were too adorable not to share -- she's such a doll!! :)
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happy Tuesday, guys!

love,
~H. Elise

Monday, October 20, 2014

Jo Bekah : Still Life Photography

I know that for many photographers, you started out with doing still life photography!!
Oh man, the days of shooting pearls, flowers, old books, etc..good times. :)
That was how I started and eventually moved into the love of capturing people,
but practicing on objects teaches you a lot and isn't intimidating.

When I think of a photographer who is excels at capturing still life, 
I think of my awesome friend Jordan Eaks of Jo Bekah Photography!!
I met Jordan through a mutual friend, and something I have admired about her from the
beginning is how unique and consistent her editing style is.
I can look at a picture and instantly know she took it, because of how defined her photography is.
So happy to have her guest post today with amazing tips,
and if you enjoyed her post please leave her some love in the comments and then go check out her site! :)

Hey everyone! It's an honor to be able to write a post for you on Miss Hannah's blog. 
She's pretty rad. 
My name is Jordan. I'm a 22 year old, Pastor's kid, living in the Hoosier state. I am hysterically in love with coffee, 
a hippie at heart, and have 7 siblings which provide me with my fair share of adventures on a daily basis.  
I love Jesus and everything I do is for Him and because of Him. 
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Here are 5 things that I think are important to remember when shooting still life, in no particular order. :)

1. Lighting

Lighting is key in photography in general but when shooting stills it can make or break your shot.  If shooting indoors, I always try to use a reflector. You don't need fancy equipment, you can use a white piece of computer paper, simple as that! You want your still life shots to be sharp. Not blurry or out of focus.You need to make sure you have plenty of light and a tripod. If you are inside, shoot by open windows & avoid florescent light. Use a desk lamp to bend light over your subject. If you are used to using your flash, try turning it off and see what you come up with. If you are shooting outdoors, use the sun to your advantage to highlight the parts of your subject that speak the most to you.
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2. Storytelling

To stage or not to stage? This is a question I often ask myself. Not only that, but if I do stage, how do I do it? If I don't what will it look like? Still life photos don't have to be a bowl of fruit on a table, although those are fun to shoot too! Photography is all about storytelling and when shooting a still you have an incredible opportunity to take advantage of this. You can make the story whatever you want it to be by staging your shot, or by leaving things just as they lie. You have the camera, you are the artist, you are the controlling power. You can make a photograph speak. 
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3. Think outside

Mix it up with nature, Think outside. Literally! Take a setting that you would typically do indoors. For example, a vintage camera. You might think to shoot it indoors in moody lighting. You might put some old books underneath it, maybe lay a crochet doily under that. Most of us have probably done this a time or two. You can relate to my woe of wanting something a bit different, a bit more creative, better lighting, more colorful! Something that really shows what photography is all about. If this has been you, then just think, “outside”. We take people on photo shoots rightWell then why don't camera's go on photo shootsOr violinsOr those old books! 
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4. Elements

This goes hand in hand with 2 & 3. The term still life isn't limited to staging shots of your mugs or taking props out into the woods. There are subjects out experiencing the elements of nature every day that provide ample opportunity for all of the above mentioned things. Rusty nails, a child's tricycle, flowers- I could go on! Always look for things that have been changed by the elements around them. They will provide a unique take on stills, allowing a flow of creativity to spring up within you. 
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5. Have fun!

Most importantly, enjoy what you do! Don't compare yourself to others. You are your biggest competition. Only try to outdo yourself from the last time you shot a still life. Keep purpose in the forefront of your photography. Don't get frustrated with yourself if its not turning out how you imagined! Make the best of it, and try something different next time. A successful photograph, is one you walk away learning from. You learn something new every single time your finger presses down on that shutter button. So smile and be happy with what you shot. Be your own unique photographer, with your own take on the world. 
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ahh, now I'm feeling inspired -- thanks so much, Jordan!!

love,
~H. Elise

p.s. go check out more of her still life photography in her shop!!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Erich + Kari : wedding || nashville, tn wedding photographer

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I don't know where you start the blog post about your older brother's wedding.
It was an insanely beautiful day..yes, I cried.
And laughed.
And shot the wedding barefoot.
Photographing this day definitely gave me a deeper heart and appreciation for weddings,
because this was the first one I shot of someone really close to me.
My only older brother, Erich, and as a photographer you know that wedding pictures are significant,
but I realized that in a whole new way because of how much these mean to me.

Because I see my brother in them..the facial expressions he always makes, his heights of joy and depths of emotion.
And getting to document that was really amazing.
Kari is exactly the type of girl I've imagined he would marry..in fact, better.
Absolutely thrilled to have her as my sister!!

I want to give a huge shout out to my best friend, Amanda, for being the best second-shooter ever.
So grateful that she is always there when I need her, and for being a shoulder to cry on.
Could never have shot this wedding without her, and she was the biggest help to me.
Also, a heartfelt thank-you to all who knew I was shooting the wedding and prayed for me --
I definitely felt the prayers and was so grateful for how present God was and made things go smoothly the entire day!!

There is a lot I could say, but I'm going to just let the images share the story..
that morning I prayed that Jesus would help us "genuinely capture the day as You see it, and You make it,"
so hopefully these photos can depict that.
Love these two so much, and it was such an honor + joy to document the day they became one.
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Their first look was hands down, one of my top favorite moments of the day.
So precious.
And I'll never forget parking the car and stepping out to see this, below.
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Him standing there, waiting.
Talk about a movie moment.
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I'm sorry, but I really don't think they could look any happier!!
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Talk about a gorgeous couple..if you can't tell, I love photographing them. :)
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SO STUNNING!!
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Their wedding party was so awesome..talk about fabulous people!!
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and anyone else majorly obsessed with the bridesmaid outfits?!
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this image gets me every time.
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anyone recognize this family?!!
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these are Kari's beautiful nieces, and the one on the left, Karis,
had literally just come home from Haiti A WEEK before the wedding.
Such an answer to prayer!!!
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love,
~Hannah Elise


p.s. if you'd like to see their engagement photos + story, click here.