It’s hard to believe, but this past Saturday was Charlie’s first birthday. We had a big blowout at the house in celebration of one of the best/most challenging years ever. We approached the first birthday not only as a celebration for Charlie but a celebration of the fact that we were able to raise this tiny human through her first year of life - something we really could have only done with the help of all of our family and close friends who were there to help when we had no idea what we were doing (which, honestly, was most of the time for the first few months). So while the party really was for Charlie, it was also a thank you to all those who’ve been there with us throughout this past year (which explains the amount of alcohol we had available).
Without getting too sentimental, I have to say that having Charlie around has been a real game changer. It’s been an amazing (yet exhausting) experience watching her change so much over such a short period of time. She’s gone from a tiny, mushy cuddle-puddle who relied on us for everything to a slightly less tiny, much more mobile diva with a giant personality and a lot to say. Her one year likes include a new bike, which she likes to ride or just push in circles. The sweep-sweep, which she loves to run with mom or grandma. Her two favorite books - Pout Pout Fish and Hop on Pop. And of course giving hugs - sometimes to mom and dad, but always to any other kid she can get her hands on.
To close out the first year of Charlie Bear photos, I’ve decided to repost her monthly glamour shots so you can fully take in her development of sass over time. Enjoy.
As the cold weather settles back in over Northeast Ohio I begrudgingly find myself accepting the fact that I will almost exclusively be shooting in studio again for the next few months. It’s not that I don’t like working in the studio, but given the choice I think working outside or on location is always better… at least for my style of photography. That being said, I try to use the winter months in the studio as a way of testing new light and pushing outside of my norms. Here I’m going to cover a few images from this past weekend with Leanne Fabian of Heyman Talent.
Like many of my studio images these were taken on a two sided white cyc wall with a corner cove. I wanted to find a way to mix up my lighting a bit and add some interest to the plain white background that often bores me in studio work. Inspired by a few different photographers on Behance lately, I ended up testing out a new lighting set up using a window-like gobo built out of an empty flag frame that has pieces of gaff tape stretched across in the patter of a 9 pane window - a nifty trick I recently learned from a lightning grip on one of my video shoots that allows you much more control over shadow placement than if you were to use a real window frame - simply moving the tape around gives you the ultimate flexibility. Below you can see a diagram of the set up - basically one Einstein 640 with a reflector through the gobo as the key and a second Einstein 640 in an octabox above right for fill. A simple two light set up, but relatively effective. As my model stated when she saw the images on the back of the camera, “it kind of looks like 90’s fashion.” I’ll take that.
Finally, I figured I would toss some before and after Gif’s onto the bottom of this post to demonstrate a little of what goes into my post production workflow - something I’ve never really shared too much of before. I try to keep things very realistic when I’m retouching and stay true to the model. Here you can see some things that are consistent across most of my images - highly detailed skin retouching, adding contour and shaping light with some burning and dodging techniques and finally color grading the overall image. I work in very small increments and build my style slowly layer by layer, the aim being an improved image that looks high end but not like a completely different person. My process on retouching changes a lot and is pretty fluid as I learn different techniques, but this is a good look at a relatively simple retouch for me.
Thanks for taking the time to read, and hopefully you find this information useful and/or interesting. If you have thoughts, comments or feedback on these images or my processes please feel free to shoot me an email. Thanks, and enjoy.
I apparently fell way behind on my monthly Charlie posts. I did take and finish photos from each month though, so now I will treat you to one big Charlie super-post covering months 5, 6 and 7. Since my last update, Charlie a whole new person - sitting up, chatting away, army crawling like a boss (real crawling a few steps at a time) and even eating some solid foods (so far sweet potato’s seem to be a favorite).
Now enjoy our seasonably themed photoshoots - “Back to School” - “Go Browns” (sorry kid, you can pick a real team when you grow up) - and of course -“Halloween - the Char-lion”.
And as a bonus, I figured I’d throw in a family photo or two as well what we took the day of our halloween Char-lion shoot. Enjoy.