I do quite a few senior portrait sessions during the summer months and run into quite a few other photographers also doing sessions. We have so many great photographers in the Fox Valley and clients are lucky to have so many to choose from. I do see many photographers with nothing more than a camera. I always wonder how they get their clients face to be lit properly without blowing out the background. How do they get catchlights in the eyes, so they look alive and not dead?
When I'm doing a portrait session, I have always used either a reflector or off camera flash, to get the proper exposure. I've also learned how to use editing software like lightroom and photoshop. During my last session, I decided to take a few before and after shots just to show people what it looks like. Many times, people don't see the difference when only shown one photo.
This is a shot I took of a baseball player. He was pulled away from the brick wall, so the wall would be out of focus and not detract from the player. The picture on the left was taken with just available sunlight, and you can see that he has deep shadows under the brim of his cap and his hair is barely visible. He's got dark shadows on his eyes giving him, what I call, raccoon eyes. He looks nice though with his expression.
The shot on the right was taken with a flash, inside a 40" softbox about 2 feet from him. Just that little pop of light takes away the shadows under his cap, takes away the raccoon eyes, and puts those tiny catchlights in his eyes, making them "pop." Seen side by side, the right one looks much more pleasing.
Then there's the use of editing software. Seniors want images that are different and show their personality and what their interests are. I LOVE being able to offer sportraits to my senior clients! It gets them excited about their session, and gives them images that will last a lifetime. The shot on the left is the one that came out of my camera. The shot on the right is his final image. Which image would you choose? I know my seniors will pick the one on the right!!
When choosing a photographer look at their portfolio, look for light in their clients eyes, and look for how they edit their final portraits. It's not always about price, rather who can give you what you're looking for. Check out the various photographers in the Fox Valley and choose the one that's right for YOU!