Darr Family Portraits

Darr Family Portrait

Two postings in two days, but that’s how it goes sometimes. As I said in my last posting, I’ve been shooting more portraits lately and that’s perfect for me. I love doing portrait work. And it was especially fun working with this family.

I’ve been photographing their son since before he made his entrance into the world. And I hope that continues long into the future. He’s such a cute kid and you can see the ornery coming out of his eyes at times. In the image with the park bench, he climbed up on it and went through a series of poses without any inhibitions (of course at his age, he hasn’t learned any).

These images were also taken at the same park where I shot Ian’s Senior Portraits. As I said earlier, this is such a beautiful park. I had to laugh to myself though. It’s senior portrait time and there must have been 10 photographers and their subjects at the park that day. At one point several of us were grouped around the entrance to the park waiting for our clients. It reminded me of a press conference with all that photographic gear. I gotta say though, photographers are a fun bunch to hang around. We’ll strike up a conversation with anyone and if you are carrying a camera we end up talking gear and images.

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Jeffrey Mansion

Jeffrey Mansion Collage

I spent the afternoon yesterday taking photographs of a couple of models at the Jeffrey Mansion in Bexley, Ohio. This is a beautiful building and grounds. It’s part of the City of Bexley Parks department now. We weren’t able to shoot inside the building, but around the mansion there are lots of great spots for getting a great image. At some point, I’d love to do something inside the building. It has beautiful woodwork and great lighting. The front windows remind me of St. Paul’s Cathedral in London, with lots of squares of clear white glass. The patterns inside should be outstanding.

We spent most of our time along the rock wall on the back of the house. I loved how there was an archway and stairwell leading up to the lawn. At the top of the stairwell is a small building made from the same rocks looking out onto a large greenspace (today that greenspace is used for playing little league soccer and football.

Layla and Michael, my subjects, are actually a couple so it made capturing these images extra special. I’ve worked with Layla before. She’s a natural. She knows how to move and pose to get great images. This was Michael’s first time in front of the camera and, though he seemed a little shy, he did a great job. I wanted a playful, romantic feel to the images and I think I got some great results. Feel free to comment below with thoughts and suggestions.

Ashley’s Senior Portrait

Ashley's Senior Portrait

Last week I took Ashley’s senior portraits. And this week, I spent most of the week selecting and editing the images in preparation for posting them to the gallery I created for she and her family. We had a great time and you could tell that she was so excited to be getting her portrait made. I think they turned out quite well and I have a lot of good ones to work with. I also got to work with my daughter, Fiona, who did Ashley’s hair for the session. Who knows, maybe that can turn into a full time thing–her doing hair and makeup and me doing the photos. Instead of King and Son, it will be King and Daughter!

We went to a local city park that has a farm on the property. The farm was one of the original farms in the area and at one point, the family donated the land and buildings to the city. The city has done a marvelous job maintaining the buildings and grounds.

The farm house has been turned into office space and the barn has been turned into a venue that you can rent. There’s also a small pond on the property with a large weeping willow tree near it. Perfect for a great image. I noticed that I wasn’t the only photographer there that day. Someone else was getting their photos done and we seemed to be swapping spots as we worked.

I really enjoyed working with Ashley on her photos. She’s grown up so much lately, but she still has that innocence of a younger person. She has gone through a lot in her 19 years. It’s good to see her finally turning into an adult.

The image I included with this entry is one of my favorite images from her set. And you know me, I love black and white.

My Photography Workflow

In my last posting, I wrote about the tools I use to manage my blog. I figure I should also share the tools I use for my photography. For the bulk of my work I use Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop. In addition, I also use a couple of add-on tools, like OnOne software’s Perfect Photo Suite. I also use a Wacom Bamboo tablet and stylus for finer control when I’m working on the image.

I use an expo disc when I shoot to set a custom white balance. This has to be the best $99 dollars I’ve ever spent. Once you set your white balance in the camera, the images come out perfectly color corrected. I’ve almost never had to adjust white balance in the computer after I started using this tool.

Adobe Lightroom is my main workhorse in my photo workflow. I start out by creating new catalog for each client and maintain all of the images from that client in his or her specific catalog. I used to use just one big catalog for all my images, but when you get a lot of images in it, the application slows down. During import I add keywords and set up the metadata for the images.

I’ll jump out the Photoshop when I need to make additional corrections and if I’m going to be using Perfect Photo Suite. I like to take this extra step to send the image through photoshop so that I can easily compare before and after views of the image before I pull it back into Lightroom.

Once I have everything to my liking, I output the images into the gallery I’ve created for the client. I use SmugMug.com for fulfillment of my images for the client. I love what they just did to the user interface and the site designs they created. I hope that keep updating the user experience. You can check out my portfolio at Michael King Photography

Well, that’s pretty much covers it.