The Abyss

When I started this company one of the things I said I wanted to explore was underwater photographer and finding a way to integrate it into my family sessions.  Living in Florida, the beach is a very common place to have family pictures taken, and so the prospect of having family photos that incorporate underwater images only seems like a natural place to go. 

I’m not going to lie, underwater equipment is PRICEY and so when it came down to it I wound up getting myself an Olympus Stylus, which is a great camera for learning the art of underwater photography on a budget.  No, it doesn’t take pictures nearly as sharp or as detailed as my Canon, but it does take nice pictures and has some pretty cool features.

That being said, I never use it.  I was extremely excited to play with it, but after a few weeks the excitement wore off, especially since I never use it on shoots and so I tend to use my Canon as much as possibly as I’m learning to use it better and better.  It also doesn’t help that I don’t have a pool and so I don’t have the constant opportunity to pull it out and use it.  This past week though, my parents (who do own a pool) were out of town and gave my family full access of their pool and so I decided that it was time to get some practice in.

We were in that pool nearly every day for a week, and I used this camera a lot.  What was even more fun than using it was exploring ways to edit underwater photos.  I learned a lot about the way I look at images just by playing with textures, light and color.  I challenged myself to edit these photos two ways; in color and in black & white, in order to try and tell two stories with the same image.  The results were all over the place but so much fun because I truly found multiple stories in these images; and that’s what I love most about photography…the stories.  As a whole, I vastly prefer the way black & white tones embellish the underwater photos to create something that truly feels otherworldly:

But there were some moments when the experiment of duel edits paid off in created two vastly different tones, telling two vastly different stories:

I am newly invigorated to try this some more, but the downside is that now I really want to better underwater camera.  Going from working with raw images off of a DSLR to working on jpegs off of a point-and-shoot is a big difference, and the clarity of portraits is somewhat bothersome to me, when I’m so used to a much sharper image.  Still, I love using this little thing and I’m in love with many of the images it produces, even as I nitpick them.

Fathers and Daughters

Whenever I schedule a job, I try and re-scout the location to get a fresh perspective.  Sometimes I am scouting an area for the first time, because it was a special request from the client, but many times it’s a location I’ve been to many times before and even held sessions at, but I still feel a need to go and test shoot.  For me, every session has a different and unique feel and so my approach is always different; catered to the client themselves. 

This past week I found myself getting a request for a session at Stump Pass, a beach that I love shooting at because of the seemingly endless possibilities, and so I jumped at the chance to re-scout it.

Normally I take my eldest, simply because she’s my assistant and so it’s nice to walk off a location with her and get her perspective on the session in question, but my youngest daughter has been expressing a certain jealousy in the fact that her sister gets to accompany me on my sessions and so I thought it would be nice for the two of us to go together, letting her feel like a part of it all.

We spent the better part of a Monday afternoon hiking beach and finding fun places to take pictures.  I’m blessed (and cursed) to have two beautiful daughters who aren’t just beautiful but also born models, and so while we went to the beach with not plan other than to take a few test shots, what we wound up with was portfolio worthy.

And you can see those pictures here.

With these pictures I was influenced by the requests/preferences of my client, especially in the editing, using their love with the washed out whites to create a portfolio that would give them an idea of how their session would go.  Still, I couldn’t help but filter in my love of the dramatic into a few of the shots, pulling those beautiful Florida sky colors out to bring a different life to these pictures.  Their are a few more in the portfolio, but here is a taste:

Speaking of drama, don’t forget to check out this week’s playlist!

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