month: January 2013




Seniors Before and After: Variety of Backgrounds

With all the different clothing styles and colors, we feel it’s important to offer a wide variety of background choices.  We love those clean and modern solid colors as well as the modern patterned backgrounds.  And…when the moment is right, we throw in those special props to make the scene complete and unique.  You will see before and after shots below to give you an idea of what we do in post-production.  You will also see a few ideas on what we mean by variety of backgrounds.  These are just a few – we have so many more and many new options for this year’s senior sessions!  We look forward to the creative fun we’re going to have once again!





Nehring Family! (sneak peek)

So many more to show soon!  Had a great time with this awesome family.  Here’s one for now….





Seniors Before and After: Hair and Kicker Lights in Studio

Our approach to studio photography is summed up like this: get it GREAT straight out of the camera! (SOOC). Then, take that great shot and beautify it in post production using various methods. Our goal is to create an image that is digitally enhanced, but not over done.  We want people to look natural with an element of artistic uniqueness.  When shooting in studio, we use a combination of different lighting methods depending on the subject, the background, and the overall look we’re wanting to achieve.  In this round of  senior before and after shoots, we’re going to show you a few examples of how we use hair lights and kicker lights to bring out that natural shine and make the image pop!  We also have an example of how we lit a subject with a back light as well (the bow and arrow shot).  When post-producing these images (the “after” shots) we use a variety of methods including contrast boosts, removing blemishes, removing those “hot spots” that can appear commonly on the cheeks and foreheads, skin softening, slight vignetting (the darker blended area around the border of the image), cropping the image and overall increased saturation of color where needed.  Of course, depending on the image, we may use other tools to achieve the final and print ready shot.  Here’s a few examples of our 2013 seniors where we used a hair light and/or kicker light(s) in combination with a main light.  As you can see, we take every shot very seriously and do our absolute best to create a photo that is beautifully lit and carefully post-processed! Every single final proof that the client sees goes through an individual processing method like these shown below.

Love the kicker light illuminating her hair on this shot.  The after shot includes a bit of skin softening and contrast bump.

Our focus on this subject with the guitar was to remove blemishes, lift up the contrast and color saturation and skin soften.  This photograph also looked amazing in black and white (an upcoming post).  Notice the kicker light illuminating his hair?!

This next shot needed a few blemishes removed, a “hot spot” on the forehead blended, color and contrast saturation and some nice overall softening.

We used a hair and two kickers to light this shot.  Love the dimension it gives to the face.  In post, we removed that forehead hot spot, a few blemishes and boosted the color and saturation a bit.  As always, a nice subtle dose of skin softening finished the picture.

The hair light made this image sparkle!

We back lit this subject to create a nice light on the bow and arrow.  We also used a kicker to light his face.

You can actually see part of the kicker in this shot!  We cropped it out in post.  Love the rim of light it cast on her arm.  We also used a hair light combined with a main light to light this subject.

Classic portrait.  Had we not lit his hair, he would’ve disappeared into the background (which can be just fine if you’re going for that look).  We like a little separation from subject to background.

Again, this shot would’ve worked without the hair light, but adding it made the image pop and created excellent shine and separation from the dark background!  We removed a few distractions from the background in the after picture.  Also, the hot spots on her cheek and forehead were removed.  These hot spots are simply the reflection of lighting off a subjects skin.

This was a die hard hunter!  We used a kicker on each side to create a hunting mood.

Again, the kicker was used for the hair.

Be sure to watch for another before and after segment later this week on Seniors Before and After: Variety of Backgrounds!





The Jespersen Family!

We actually had some fairly mild temperatures for this shoot so we grabbed a few outdoor and then did studio (outdoor shown last). We really enjoyed working with this family. They were open to all kinds of snow hiking even if it meant a bit of snow inside the shoes! Thank you guys – it was a great time. Here’s a few that caught our eye…





The Quam Family!

What an awesome family!  We were so glad that everything worked out with their busy schedule to grab some awesome family portraits.  The laughs, smiles and all sorts of other emotions made for some timeless memories. Thank you Quam family – here’s a look at a few of our favorites….





Seniors Before and After: Color Pop!

So many people have had questions about our process for shooting and post production of images.  Although we could bore you with our step by step process, we’re going to show you before and after images showing various images from the graduating class of 2013.  We take great care in making sure that each senior client has a blast during their shoot and that the professional final result is something that they will cherish forever!  Our goal is to get the best “straight out of camera” image possible and then beautify it for the final proof.  We’re proud to use Canon’s top-of-the-line products and believe in providing a professional experience.  Clients only see the final, retouched proof!  (except today!) If you like what you see, call us and reserve your senior appointment for this summer right away. We look forward to working with you! 701.838.7085. Be sure to keep watching for additional before and after posts showing other shooting styles and techniques that we’re excited to incorporate with our senior sessions this year!

Most of the images below were processed in a similar way:   In post-production, we added contrast, bumped the color, removed a few minor skin blemishes, slight eye-retouching, cropping and gave them a slight mid-tone boost to spark them up.  As with all images, we add a slight softening effect with the skin.  Only the “after” images are shown to clients in their galleries and are considered print ready.





The Traxinger Family!

We couldn’t believe how calm this little girl was during the entire shoot – that is…until mom and dad tickled and wrestled with her near the end!  Yes, this was one of those shoots that you can sit in awe of perfect cooperation.  We loved our time with this amazing family.  Here’s a few favorites…





Just Hanging Out!

Our kids often get used as test subjects when we’re trying out a new lens or something new in our studio.  Ellia’s Jenna doll often gets used for practice, but this time a real-life subject just seemed better!  So, we made a quick stop in the studio before bedtime last night and the kiddos helped me shoot wide open (really wide open) on a white background – something we want to incorporate into our client studio time as we can.  Notice more shots of our daughter?  Yep, she stood still longer for the focus! Until the next round of test shots…..!!

Awe yes….those purple and pink socks?!!





The Barnard Family!

We love getting to know a family during a session.  You get to learn so much about the kids (and parents, too!) – their personalities show off so much life and emotion!  These guys rocked their session with lots of great moments.  The pictures below should certainly tell the story, and we loved every bit of it!  Here’s a look at a few favorites….





The Podruchny Boys!

It was one of those shoots you just knew would work out right – no surprises, just perfection. That is….perfection from the subjects.  No holding back.  Just plain A.W.E.S.O.M.E!  How? Naturals! And…maybe because dad happens to be a great friend! So, we’ll just let the pictures speak a thousand words.  Here’s a look at a few favorites….