Besides God and my family, photography is my biggest passion. I picked up my first DSLR camera in 2011 — a Canon Rebel XTi that I bought, along with some lenses, from my extremely talented sister-in-law and wedding photographer, Stacey Pentland. Seriously, she’s amazing. I would know. She photographed my wedding in 2011, and if you’re getting married in the Bay Area in California, you should definitely consider hiring her to capture your wedding. You won’t be disappointed! I know I wasn’t!
Anyway, I’ve since upgraded to a Canon EOS 5D Mark III and have tried to learn as much as I can about photography and editing in the past 4+ years. I am mostly self-taught, and my only education has come from some online video tutorials.
My favorite part of photography is post production, or editing the photos. I love taking a mediocre, or even sometimes a horrible, seemingly unsalvageable photo, and turning it into something amazing. (Although I try my best to get it as close to perfect straight out of the camera as I can.) I always start my editing process in Lightroom, and then change over to Photoshop. I would say I do about 10% in LR and 90% in PS.
So, without further ado, I wanted to show you some of my favorite before and afters.
This photo was taken at a local pumpkin patch, and the sky was so beautiful that evening. It was getting pretty dark, and I knew that if I set my camera to expose for the subjects (Grayson and me) so that we’d be bright enough, it would blow out the sky and make it just a bright white, instead of showing any of the beautiful pink clouds. So I exposed for the sky and hoped that I could fix it later. Thankfully, I was able to.
Here’s another fun one. I had to expand the floor, delete the cable, make the floor a darker, warmer color, among other things. This photo turned into one of my favorite photos I have ever taken, and it was even featured on Greater Than Gatsby’s Facebook page!
This was a shot I took of our boys playing on the beach in St. Augustine during our vacation this past summer. The lighting was just perfect, and the sky was beautiful, but I underexposed just a bit to make sure I didn’t blow out any part of the sky or beach. I love how it turned out.
This one was quite a challenge. I don’t typically shoot families in my studio. Normally it’s just newborns and babies one year old and younger. The reason for that is because I don’t have any backdrops big enough for more than one person at a time. Trust me, I want to by ALL the backdrops! But at the moment, I can’t justify spending the money when I’m only doing about 8-10 sessions a year. (I’m taking this time to focus on raising my two crazy boys while they’re young and not in school). Normally when I take my parent shots, I have them standing in front of my tan wall, which acts as a backdrop. But for this photo, I had them sitting down so that they would all be on the same level. I must have a lot of confidence in myself to think that I could pull this off, when I looked at the back of the camera and thought, “Yah, I got the shot.”
And of course, a before and after post wouldn’t be complete without a composite of my two crazy, hilarious, lovable boys. Rarely do I ever get a good shot of them both at the same time. So more often than not, I have to swap out heads, bodies, you name it. Anyway, this was their official Christmas picture that I took for the calendar I make every year for their grandparents and us. This was “December.” As you can see, Grayson was not cooperating while sitting next to Oliver, so I had to take his photo separately and then swap his body into the photo with Oliver. These boys make me work, I tell ya!
Anyway, that’s my fun little before and after post for today. I wasn’t sure if this would be my last post of 2015 or my first post of 2016 since we’re nearing midnight, but it looks like 2015 it is! I wish you all a very Happy New Year! Stay safe and take lots of pictures!!!