Alicyn Drew Photography: Blog https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog en-us (C) Alicyn Drew Photography ali@alicyndrew.com (Alicyn Drew Photography) Mon, 16 Mar 2020 07:05:00 GMT Mon, 16 Mar 2020 07:05:00 GMT https://www.alicyndrew.com/img/s/v-12/u238340024-o392426615-50.jpg Alicyn Drew Photography: Blog https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog 120 120 The Goddess Project Athena https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2017/2/the-goddess-project-athena A while ago I started a goddess project. The idea is to shoot women as goddesses of their choosing and bring out their inner strength through imagery. The project stalled for lack of models, however it is now in full swing again. Thanks, to cosplayers. I am full and starting to shoot the series again. Where will it take me, I don't know. I suspect it will morph into something else. For now it's about empowerment and beauty, strength and also a bit of fantasy. 

I am also now letting the model pick their goddess and make her their own. She can be modern or classic, I am open to all interpretations.

I really did want to shoot an Athena and Alexis jumped at the chance.  I asked her, "Why Athena?" and this was her reply

 

"Greek mythology has always been something I've enjoyed reading about since I was very young, with Athena being my favorite of all the gods and goddesses. So when Ali asked me which goddess I would like to portray for her photoshoot, naturally I selected the Goddess of Wisdom and War. While most of the other gods and goddesses had tales that centered around their numerous love affairs or bouts of petty jealousy, Athena has always seemed so level-headed by comparison. Unlike Ares, the God of War, Athena does not take pleasure in battle. She would rather settle disputes through mediation, only entering battle if her lands and people are threatened by outside forces. In times of peace, she does not bear any weapons, and is also the patron goddess of handicrafts, mathematics, literature, and innovation. Many versions of Athena depict her as a fierce warrior, but I wanted to incorporate the many sides of her personality into my portrayal of her as well as the costume I made for the photoshoot. For the costume, because she is one of several virgin goddesses, I decorated my corset "armor" with pearls, which are often regarded as symbols of purity and chastity. To represent her no-nonsense personality, I kept the rest of her costume simple and modest with a loose-fitting black gown and silver shawl. I saw her as a goddess who is stern but merciful, and so I wanted to include an air of softness and tranquility to her, with a touch of wildness to her, which Ali captured perfectly in the final photos."

We started the shoot in the woods near my house. It was shot in mid winter which made for an open forest. I find that even full winter sun can be worked with as it's softer and less harsh than summer sun. This image was taken in full sun. Please note the details of the bodice as they are intricate and beautiful. Alexis has a true talent.

 

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Alexis also has a very soft and gentle nature which came through in her images. The following images were all shot in my garage with a fog machine.  A73A5724A73A5724

The challenge of a fog machine is you just don't know what it's going to do. Sometimes you get a little fog, sometimes you can't find the model for all the fog. But the results are usually worth the effort.

The following image came out of my camera so perfectly that no Photoshop was needed. I feel like it shows Athena in the clouds watching over her people and lands. I love how  this image just came together.

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These next  two are composites. I wanted to show Athena with the symbol of wisdom so used a stock image of an owl to bring forth the warrior and the wisdom. 

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Working with Alexis on this project was a pure joy. 

I will be blogging about many more goddesses so stay tuned. Next up is Skadi, the Norse goddess of the winter

 

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ali@alicyndrew.com (Alicyn Drew Photography) Goddess Project cosplay https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2017/2/the-goddess-project-athena Sat, 25 Feb 2017 02:31:33 GMT
Pinup with a classic Mini https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2017/1/pinup-with-a-classic-mini I Love shooting Pinup!!! I love the expression and the fun attitude and I find with Pinup it's more about capturing an action and expression, where boudoir is more about the a sultry mood. Pinup can be sexy and it can be silly and fun. 

Last spring at MINIs on the Dragon I was hired to shoot a Pinup session of the lovely Teresa. She and her boyfriend each have classic Minis and she wanted to shoot with her car. Well classics are fickle and her Mini was in the shop so she shot with her boyfriend's Mini. She did her own hair, makeup and wardrobe and really brought it! She also brought the attitude.

So we picked a location that had a pretty background where I could also get her in the shade. The last thing I wanted her harsh shadows. I also brought along some speedlights, umbrella and a reflector and a great assistant. I like pinup to be bright as that reflects the fun attitude and this Mini was the perfect color. Here's a behind the scenes of us popping Teresa up onto the roof. It's important to use the manly muscles when needed. Roger did great with hoisting duty and as you can see Teresa is having a blast

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We worked through a variety of poses and the following are the ones we liked best. I converted some to black and white. The color ones are colorized in Photoshop to give a vintage look. When I shoot pinup I like to get the skin really smooth, clean up the image and add a fair amount of contrast. Then I take it into the color mixer and add a final filter which is toned down but brings a vintage look to the image. 

 

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ali@alicyndrew.com (Alicyn Drew Photography) MINIs on the Dragon pinup https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2017/1/pinup-with-a-classic-mini Sun, 15 Jan 2017 17:06:00 GMT
New Years Day 2017 https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2017/1/new-years-day-2017 Almost every New Years day since 2012 I have taken time to go out and shoot something. I really like it to be some me time or an adventure with Mark and the camera. This year it was inspired by my genius invention of the morning. I had been organizing my studio yesterday for my uber exciting New Years Eve and I came across my old Gorrillapod and thought once again how I wish I could use it to hold a light because the Canon 5D MIII was too heavy and valuable to risk to this thing. When this time I said to myself "This must be possible, it is really an ingenious lightstand." So I googled and found ways to turn a tripod into a light stand and before buying something I went down to the studio this morning and found this "Worthless adapter"  that I bought years ago and didn't know why. Uhhhh that baby fit perfectly on the Gorrillapod and I was able to snap one of my regular light stand adapters over it. Excitement is not enough to describe my joy as I ran upstairs to show my husband what I just figured out!!!

 

A thing of beauty

This means I can go shoot at odd locations without an assistant and have a chance of securing the flash somewhere without a cumbersome lightstand. Sure it won't work all the time, but there are times that this little thing will be gold to me. Sooooo with this in mind I grabbed my gear and headed out to the woods near the house. I also brought my tripod because I just like timed exposures of moving water. As I headed  to the main path and found the bridge I heard moving water and charged into the brush to get to the right location. Before leaving the house I had grabbed my warm fuzzy hoodie (Big mistake) as I was soon one with the thorns and my coat was grabbing everything. However I would not be deterred and much to the amusement of the people on the footbridge I was soon at my coveted spot on the river. I grabbed this lovely long exposure while down there, just used a neutral density filter and tripod. I think it was about a 20 second exposure.

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Back into the brush I went to the other side of the bridge where I knew there were some good root formations that would be awesome to test my new lighting set up. I was traveling light so didn't pack a modifier, I set the zoom on the flash to 28mm to get a spread of light. wrapped it around a branch and set the camera as I would for the studio ISO 100, 1/100th shutter f8 and took a test shot. Here' the first image with no edits, it was a bit too moody for me but was the start of the dramatic look I wanted. 

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Played around with the settings and the flash to bring in more light but I didn't want to lose the dark night feel and the shadows. I got an exposure I liked but wasn't happy with the big shadow caused by a branch between the light and the subject

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Soooo, I moved the light to remove that shadow and shot again. This image I liked and edited in Lightroom only to get a cooler mood and tone. 

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Next I found some area where there was water and looked around for textures. What caught my eye was a bit of green and I decided to shoot it. By now I was shooting once with no light to see a basic exposure and then adding light to add drama, depth and interest. Here it is no flash

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I set the flash up low to the ground and fired at the plant, I really liked the light fall off and the intensity that it added to kept that and edited it. Adding the light made the greenery appear brighter and more alive, it also added some depth to the water.

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The last few shots are no additional light just taken as I walked the trail out of the park.

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Today was a relaxing and inspirational way to start the new year. While I am not a fan of cold weather I have found winter light to be so beautiful. It seems softer and more forgiving than summer light. I was blessed with a warm day to enjoy the woods, the peace and the solitude. Used the time as a teaching moments and also to just immerse myself in something that I love.

Thank you for reading my blog. Wishing you a wonderful 2017 and much happiness and creativity

 

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ali@alicyndrew.com (Alicyn Drew Photography) inspirational https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2017/1/new-years-day-2017 Sun, 01 Jan 2017 21:05:00 GMT
Catching up with the blog and Milk Bath Portraits https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2016/12/catching-up-with-the-blog-and-milk-bath-potraits I can't believe it's been 10 months since my last blog. Here's a quick catch up, we bought a new house in Springfield, VA and moved, sold the townhouse and then I closed the photography business. Please don't think that I stopped shooting. I closed the business because I found the business aspects destroying the fun of my photography passions and I have a full-time job that pays the bills. I disliked shooting to keep the business open and wanted to pursue my creative ventures. Since closing the business I am having fun again. I've been shooting with a group of cosplayers and experimenting with new techniques. Our new house rocks for photography and I've had some awesome shoots here. Photography is a fun adventure again!!! I am way behind on my blogging. I am also shifting my focus to include more of the how to and the story around each shoot.

During this adventure I got a message from Elizabeth who said she wanted to do a milk bath shoot! I knew of them but had never done one, however, the idea intrigued me. Where to shoot this? How to light it? Do you really fill the tub with milk???? 

Elizabeth and I started to research and I saw a lot of the same types of shoots. They are beautiful but I wanted to add my own style to the images. I also knew I was not going to be successful on my own so I called Alexis a very talented friend of mine. Alexis can make a costume out of anything, she's a talented seamstress and a photographer to boot. So she understands what we're doing. I love pairing up with other photographers!

We read a lot about the process and finally figured out that it didn't seem to matter what you used (creamer, milk, cream, soy milk, dry milk, paint) and settled on a few gallons of whole milk. We also wanted an etherial look so Elizabeth acquired some water-safe LED tea lights and fairy lights. Alexis found some pretty silk flowers and I ordered a slew of peacock feathers from Amazon. I also have a lot of fabric so grabbed everything I could find that was soft and sheer.

The morning of the shoot we got organized. I remember thinking how can I do this in my bathtub, but I remembered one of my favorite photographers Frank Doorhof saying that you can make any location work. We were putting that to the test, right there in my bathroom. When we bought this house we gutted the upstairs bathroom and it had a nice white ceiling and gray walls. It was actually a pretty good set up. As we organized we carefully tested each tea light in a bowl of water making sure that they wouldn't shock Elizabeth in the tub. I'm not big on shocking my models so wanted to be sure we were safe, all tests were good. Finally it was time to start the shoot.

I filled the tub 3/4 full with warm water, then added a gallon and a half of milk. That water was opaque, at about an inch under my hand was gone. So we popped Elizabeth in and set up for the first shots with just the soft white fabric. 

Here's a behind the scenes of the set up, the bathroom was a bit crowded

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Here's one of the first resulting images. 

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In these images I was happy with the soft look we were getting and I liked that we could see the lights but I felt like they were being overpowered by the flash. I was just bouncing a flash off of the ceiling which gave a lovely even fill. We played around and decided to drop the flash and try the Ice Light on just Elizabeth's face. This would balance the light and allow the glow of the tea lights to show up better while keeping her face lit.

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This worked so much better to give the look we were going for. As you can see here we're now in the holiday mood with red and green fabric and Christmas ornaments. There was lots of giggling as we  tossed the ornaments in the tub. Up until this point we had found that the biggest struggle in a milk bath is that EVERYTHING sinks and you can't find it in the milk!!!! The balls floated!!! This was a joyous revelation. 

In order to keep the tea lights near the surface we had  to use fabric just under the surface of the milk and work the lights and the fabric into some magic that only Alexis understood. Did I mention she is an AMAZING Assistant?!

I like to have fun with these shoots so in the very beginning it's kind of weird. I have a friend in the tub, I'm standing over her with a camera. We're decorating her with fabric. Let's just say it can feel a bit awkward so I did what has always worked in the past. I had Elizabeth be the goof that she is and make funny faces. Later I photoshopped in a few goldfish to go with one of her expressions. I love working with this woman, she is pure fun and an incredible model.

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Our last idea was to work with peacock feathers in the tub. They floated!!!! This was exciting, however within a few minutes we also realized that they smelled weird. Poor Elizabeth has now been in the tub over an hour. The water was luke warm and she was getting pruned up. So we shot the feathers and finished up.

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So what did I learn???

 

  • Milkbath photography is fun and you can do a lot with it.
  • The biggest challenges were with things sinking
  • Peacock feathers smell when wet
  • My model was a bit tall for a standard sized tub
  • USE Fabrics! they really add a lovely quality to the images
  • Hair doesn't float!!! We're wondering maybe if we add salt to the water...
  • I might buy a kiddie pool and try this over the summer so there's more room

 

I want to do this again!!!

Thank you to Elizabeth and Alexis who made this whole thing possible.

 

 

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ali@alicyndrew.com (Alicyn Drew Photography) Milkbath Portrait photography boudoir https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2016/12/catching-up-with-the-blog-and-milk-bath-potraits Tue, 27 Dec 2016 01:41:01 GMT
Friends Pinup Casey and Dallas https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2016/3/friends-pinup-casey-and-dallas Casey and Dallas are friends and coworkers that wanted to do a modern pinup shoot. I consider modern pinup to be pinup influenced without the vintage clothing or hair, yet bringing in the fun, expression and posing. 

We booked Union 206 and chose to use the boudoir studio for this shoot. The day started with hair and makeup with the lovely Mary Hair and makeup artist. After primping and packing up the car we headed to the studio for the shoot. 

A few things to think about before you show up for a boudoir or pinup style shoot

1. Get a good nights sleep

2. Drink a lot of water to hydrate your skin

3. EAT before the shoot, don't go in hungry

4. Shave your legs and armpits

5. Think about the fun and get ready for an experience where you will love being in your own skin

The studio session was two hours and we worked each model back and forth. While I worked with one the other was right there shouting encouragement, having fun and prepping for her turn. 

We shot a lot of different scenes and found the Casey and Dallas are very different looks while both being major fun to work with. The giggling level was high and we had a hard time being serious. I don't even know what I did when they both declared that I was the best photographer ever! High praise indeed.

Here are a few of the images from our session. Bringing a friend along can really make the session more fun and relaxing

 

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ali@alicyndrew.com (Alicyn Drew Photography) Portrait photography pinup https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2016/3/friends-pinup-casey-and-dallas Sat, 05 Mar 2016 02:50:23 GMT
Visual Impact - Why hire a professional photographer https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2016/2/visual-impact---why-hire-a-professional-photographer My husband and I recently bought a house and are in the process of closing and preparing our townhouse for sale. As we looked at houses I remember seeing so much bad photography and being frustrated because I couldn't see past it to see what the house was like. As a buyer I found myself turned off if I thought the house was going to be dark and small. There were even a few houses where I fell in love with the pictures and the house itself wasn't right for us, but the pictures got us out to look.

Now that we're selling we hired a stager to come and look at our townhouse and help us sell it quicker. Carla spoke about how the first impression that a buyer will have is the online imagery and the visual impact of that. As we walked through the rooms she guided our eyes  to the various parts of our house and showed us what people would be drawn to and what to detract from. She kept saying that we needed that visual impact to draw in the buyers so that ours would be the house they remember from the 5 or 6 that they look at during a day of house hunting.

So what does this have to do with photography? We're all about visual impact and as a professional I'm trained to look for things you wouldn't even think about. I'm looking at the light and making decisions on how to light you to your best, I'm also considering the composition of the image and what should or shouldn't be in the shot. I'm studying your face to see if you have a better side. In post processing I make decisions on the crop of the image to draw the viewer in. I want them to know a that part of you that you want to portray. That's my job and I love doing it.

Headshots are the part of photography where you're selling your self image, you really need a strong visual impact in order to make that first impression and to make it strong and positive. In the online professional world visual impact can make or break your LinkedIn profile and get you that second look or passed over.

As a professional I'm going to ask you about the look that you want to portray. We'll work on outfits and colors and where to shoot and what kind of image to create. Each headshot is customized to your needs and my experience and eye is a big part of how we're going to collaborate and put together the image that will support you in success.

I recently had the pleasure to shoot Jenni. She's from Arizona and had admired the work I did for a friend of hers. When she was visiting she made arrangements for us to do headshots. She is in education and wanted environmental shots that would show her as intelligent, approachable and add a bit of fun. She punched up the colors a bit and really brought some style to her shoot. I searched out the perfect location to get the look that she wanted and we shot at the Mosaic District in Falls Church. I love this area because I can get an urban look easily, there are a lot of white buildings that throw around the light making for a big softbox of lighting. They also have easy free parking and some great restaurants.

Here's the images that Jenni received and is now using professionally.

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ali@alicyndrew.com (Alicyn Drew Photography) Head shots Portrait photography https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2016/2/visual-impact---why-hire-a-professional-photographer Mon, 29 Feb 2016 04:06:22 GMT
5 Reasons to book a Boudoir/ Pinup session https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2016/2/5-reasons-to-book-a-boudoir/-pinup-session I love shooting boudoir and pinup and it's a lot of fun. I like it because I enjoy working with each woman to find the best poses for them. I love watching someone relax and as the session goes on and to watch their confidence soar. I feel that these sessions are empowering and allow you to express your feminine beauty and strength.

A lot of women find the process intimidating and I can understand why. You will be wearing skimpy clothing while having your photos taken. If you're not a professional model this can be a daunting exercise and yet; it is totally worth it.

So, why would you want to do a boudoir or pinup session with me???

Because it's fun and you're going to come out of it feeling better about yourself!

You don't have to believe me, listen to Becky a recent client of mine. I am taking her quotes directly from the guestbook where she posted about our pinup session.

Reason # 1 It's a blast!

Reason #2 The hair and makeup is a ton of fun and so are the outfits

Becky - "I've been wanting to do a classic pinup shoot for years (before my body gives out on me). I've always thought "Well, maybe someday..." but never made actual plans. After helping with my friend Elena's boudoir shoot at Union 206 Studio, and after seeing the final product, I knew Ali was the person for my shoot. 
She created a Pinterest board, and we began pinning (with Elena's help), outfits and poses for the shoot. One of her pins included Santa-themed lingerie, and she asked if I'd be comfortable working that into the session. Since it is was only two weeks from Christmas, I figured I'd have a glass of liquid courage and go for it! I was very anxious in the days leading up to the shoot. I'm not a photogenic person - in fact, the night before my shoot, I spent most of the time photo-bombing group photos at a friend's party. 
The day of the shoot arrived, and I was extremely apprehensive. I love doing my hair and makeup, so that part was a lot of fun, but I was really scared about seeing my body in any sort of risqué lingerie. I am comfortable in my skin to an extent, but I have given birth to two boys, so I have my insecurities. Thankfully, I had some great friends in tow, and Ali had a fantastic and easygoing assistant, so I left my insecurities at the door and went for it. 
It.Was.A.BLAST!"

Reason #3

Bring your friends and make it a party

Becky - "We listened to Ali's 40's playlist for a while (inspiration), and we switched to dance music when the dress came off and the corset was laced. I had no clue what I was doing, but Ali knew what she wanted, so she guided me through the poses and made me feel confident and sexy. 2 hours felt like 2 minutes, and before we knew it, we had gone through 6 outfits - everything from a dress, to a bikini, to a bra and pleather hot pants! I loved every minute. I went home feeling proud and confident."

Reason #4

Face your fears and insecurities and come out on top, EMPOWER YOURSELF!

Becky - "Then I woke up and thought "Oh my god...what was I thinking...I hate my body..." 
I opened my messages and Ali had already loaded over 100 pictures from the shoot. I began scrolling through the photos anxiously, with my husband at my side. I was absolutely blown away! I looked like a friggin pinup! Even with my imperfections, I saw a side of myself I didn't know existed.
If you've ever thought about doing something like this for yourself, or your significant other, Ali is your girl - please, please go for it! (You wont regret it.)"

Reason #5

You will be really happy to have the experience, the memories and the images.

 

Without making you wait any longer I will show you some of the images from our session. A word about how I post process these images. I do not change the shape of a woman's body. I use Photoshop to apply vintage effects, to smooth skin and to present a professional image but what you  see is all Becky. I feel that if I was to start pushing, plumping, thinning and changing a woman's shape I am saying she isn't good enough as she is. That's not the point of these shoots, the point is to show the real beauty that you are.

 

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ali@alicyndrew.com (Alicyn Drew Photography) Portrait photography boudoir pinup https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2016/2/5-reasons-to-book-a-boudoir/-pinup-session Sat, 20 Feb 2016 02:51:26 GMT
Cosplay fun https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2015/11/cosplay-fun I did another cosplay shoot, this time in the studio with the lovely Jennifer. We collaborated on costumes and looks and I reserved the grunge studio at Union 206 for us to work in.

Jennifer brought enough for a full day shoot, but we had 2 hours and had to work fast and pare down the looks. I learned how to tie up a proper burlesque corset which was an interesting lesson. I grow so much at every shoot, never know what I'll be learning about. 

I find the cosplay really lends itself to compositing so we planned some ideas and I shot for that. For example with Riversong from Dr Who we used the fog machine and blue light to bring in that sci fi look, I composited in a Tardis and Jennifer had the look and the props

 

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I also used a similar set up for this one but no fog machine

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For Bellatrix LaStrange we went with Red to bring out the evil

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We also shot some burlesque which was fun and sassy

A73A5015-EditA73A5015-Edit There were a lot more looks in the session. I just wanted to share a few. Cosplay is fun since it brings your imagination to life. Coupling Cosplay with photoshop composites can create the impossible or just bend reality a bit. 

I really enjoy this kind of work but even more I enjoy collaborating with the subject to create something fun

 

 

 

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ali@alicyndrew.com (Alicyn Drew Photography) Portrait photography cosplay https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2015/11/cosplay-fun Fri, 13 Nov 2015 22:05:36 GMT
First Cosplay event https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2015/9/first-cosplay-event Portrait Photographers are always looking for models to work with and it seems that Cosplayers are always looking for photographers to work with them. Imagine my joy when I found a group working to bring Cosplayers and photographers together!!! A few weeks ago, I finally managed to get together with this wonderful and energetic group. We all met at the Kennedy Center in DC on a beautiful Saturday morning. I wanted to travel light so I brought along my new ice light and a friend Tyler that was curious.

There were about 50 people at the event and I admit, I was a bit intimidated. The costumes were amazing and everyone was friendly. I started chatting with people and found a cosplayer that was new. She had an original Wonder Woman costume on so I asked her if we could work together. We headed to the back patio where the lighting was soft and I snapped off some shots. This image here was fun and I converted it to a cartoon. I love her fierce gaze!

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As we wandered around Tyler suggested that I get some shots of Harley Quinn and the Joker, we decided to find a love seat to shoot them. These two were really popular but we finally got them and took some shots. I loved how Jennifer (Harley Quinn) had attitude and she really was comfortable in front of the camera. I created a composite from one of the shots and created this image.

A73A3808-EditA73A3808-Edit Next up was Michelle the evil Sith woman. Tyler suggested shooting her by the millenium  stage. The stage gave us a great background to work with. I was impressed with how fluidly Michelle worked through her poses when we decided to take shots to set up a fight scene. Tyler jumped in to give her a reference point. I created this image for the final scene

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Somewhere in there we met Lucius Malfoy and grabbed some shots of him. I had him throw up his coat to get it moving and then created another composite as the final result

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Tyler had some ideas and we headed over to  Bill as Batman. We used the single Ice Light and shot him by the millenium stage, later I composited him into this scene

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And last but not least is Brittney as Black Cat. We used one light and worked with her for some good poses. She really knew how to throw a look and here's a final composited image Meowwwwwww

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Working with Cosplayers was a ton of fun. For one thing they really know how to apply their makeup. They get into the personality of their look and they become it. They really do connect well with the camera which makes it a joy to work with them. I'm really looking forward to the next Meetup

 

 

 

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ali@alicyndrew.com (Alicyn Drew Photography) Cosplay Portrait photography Post processing https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2015/9/first-cosplay-event Fri, 11 Sep 2015 03:02:58 GMT
Pinup boudoir with Elena https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2015/9/pinup-boudoir-with-elena  Elena had a vision of doing a pinup style boudoir glam shoot. Well of course I was all over that. She's vavoom and she's got attitude. I knew our shoot would go well. We started a Pinterest board and started pinning, we pinned for weeks before the shoot and we knew what we were going for by the time we got to the studio. 

As usual I asked her to bring a friend because I find that having a friend along helps keep the models comfortable and they're really useful with assisting. About an hour before the session I get a text "Can we bring wine?" 

"Of course you can!"

Oh boy, this is going to be a fun one!!!

Elena arrives with her hair up and with victory rolls. Her makeup was flawless and she has Brad and Becky in tow, they are two of her best friends and they are all excited to be there. Becky walks into the studio and can't contain her joy at how amazing it all is. I would like to note now that most of the wine was actually drank by Brad and Becky since Elena was busy posing and changing outfits. 

Elena had some amazing outfits with her and we started shooting. On some coaxing from Brad we got this shot which I just love, plus that polka dot bustier was just adorable!!!! 

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Elena went to change and I needed to reset up the lights. I like to use the friend to help me with this. Well with two friends I got this for the light check. I love silly I think it makes the shoot better.

A73A4151A73A4151 I love this shot of Elena, she is just so pretty and was very relaxed for the session

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Here's another with a vintage processing

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And one more with the mirror with a classic pinup look

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I want to leave you with one more behind the scenes of Brad explaining a pose that he thought Elena should do.

A73A4352A73A4352 Silliness is a part of all of my shoots. If you can't be silly you won't be as creative. I encourage the silly and lots of laughing because it makes the whole experience fun. It's not just about the pictures it's also about the way you felt when the images were captured.

I'm also a big collaborator and love to work with someone to capture their vision. It's never my vision alone it's my interpretation of their vision. 

Boudoir has become one of my favorite styles of photography. If you're interested in a session please let me know and I can work with you to get the look that you want and have a fun silly time getting there.

 

 

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ali@alicyndrew.com (Alicyn Drew Photography) Boudoir Portrait photography https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2015/9/pinup-boudoir-with-elena Mon, 07 Sep 2015 03:09:29 GMT
Edgy Boudoir https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2015/7/edgy-boudoir Recently I took a workshop at work from Franklin Covey on the Seven habits of effective people. What does this have to do with Boudoir? Especially a topic like edgy boudoir, well I'll tell you. One of the concepts I took away from the class was their quote "Begin with the end in mind". 

I have found that I love boudoir, but I want to do my style. So first I think about what I like, what am I trying to achieve. I like edgy and contrast. I like that contrast of a beautiful model and a harsher background. I like contrasting light. I love retro glam and I like contrasting textures.

There are a few things I like to do when trying out a new look. Start a Pinterest board and find a model that I know and am comfortable with. I also want to find a model that I think will have fun with the vision and collaborate with me. So I created this board and called Sasha

 

https://www.pinterest.com/AlicynD/sasha-industrial/

I think it took two sentences to get Sasha onboard. We booked the studio at Union 206 and proceeded with the planning of our edgy, urban, industrial boudoir session. I got my friend Stephanie onboard to assist, packed up my fog machine and bought a spiked bra and torn hose on Amazon. I swear you can find anything on Amazon and that bra was dirt cheap.

Studio C at Union 206 has a full shipping container, some great gritty walls and a full white seamless wall. Sasha got her makeup on and we figured out an outfit to start with. I wanted Sasha to have fun so her music went into the sound system. sometimes we just let her dance and have fun. 

Here's a sultry shot that I love

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As usual I also got a headshot, why? Because I have to get a headshot, it's what I love

 

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We were rocking this shoot and really wanted to get some sexy shots of Sasha on the floor of the white background. I thought of sillouette shapes but decided to go with this look instead. I will tell you, this girl is working her core for these shots. We as in Sasha took a lot of breaks. My core didn't do nearly what her's was doing.

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I love the softness of her pose coupled with the edgy clothing. 

Finally we moved on to the shipping container. In between these sultry images there was plenty of time for silliness and giggling. Those just don't portray boudoir so they don't make the final cut. However, for you my blog reader I will share one (don't kill me Sasha, I love you) BTW - this image is unedited straight out of the camera. She's just that pretty even when being silly

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We set up the fan and let her hair blow while playing her music. I always give direction while letting the model have plenty of creative reign. This is one of my favorite shots of the session

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In the end we got some really beautiful shots that capture Sasha's natural beauty and brought out her edgy nature. This style is a lot of fun and I'm happy to work with you to create a similar look and feel to your photoshoot. 

If you're a photographer looking to hire a model, please consider Sasha. She's a total professional and really fun to work with. You  can find her here 

http://www.modelmayhem.com/3300084

 

If you're looking for a retro or edgy boudoir session, please contact me and we can talk. I'd be very happy to work with you to create your vision

 

 

 

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ali@alicyndrew.com (Alicyn Drew Photography) Boudoir Portrait photography https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2015/7/edgy-boudoir Thu, 23 Jul 2015 01:31:17 GMT
Retro Boudoir https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2015/7/retro-boudoir I love the contrast and mood of 1940's glam and film noir images. They have class, beauty and an element of drama that really draws me in. So I recently decided to do a boudoir shoot with a retro feel to the images. I worked with Morgana who is a beautiful model and really fun to collaborate with. I really feel that to get the best out of anyone you want to work with them to get images that will capture them authentically. 

Morgana and I met at Union 206 studio with Esmaralda who assisted during the session. I like to work with an all female creative team for boudoir style shoots, especially if that will make the model feel more relaxed.

We started off working on some retro dark and moody shots where I wanted to work with a mirror. This is one of the finished shots that I really liked

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After the mirror we worked on some more traditional boudoir poses while keeping with the vintage theme, she's using a vintage fur here that belonged to her grandmother.

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Anyone that has followed my work knows that I love headshots and I'm not happy if I don't get to do a few. We went all out glam on this one and went for that soft look of a 1940's Hollywood starlet, I composited the city skyline into the background in post processing.

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After this we fired up the fog machine because you can't do film noir without fog. The top image is a composite, while the bottom image is not. Both images of Morgana were shot in the boudoir studio of Union 206

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At this point we had a slew of shots and felt good but we also had time left in the studio. We looked around and set up a scene with the props and let Morgana play. We wound up with some really fun images and this one was by  far my favorite

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If you're looking to do a retro style boudoir please contact me with your ideas. I would be happy to work with you and collaborate to give you an experience and images that will be very special.

 

 

 

 

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ali@alicyndrew.com (Alicyn Drew Photography) Boudoir Portrait photography Post processing https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2015/7/retro-boudoir Mon, 13 Jul 2015 01:39:00 GMT
Instructional Designer Looking for work https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2015/6/instructional-designer-looking-for-work Bob is a very talented instructional designer who's looking for a new job. He came to me because he really truly needed a good professional headshot for his LinkedIn profile and his website. He gave me permission to show his current headshot which was a cell phone selfie. I am using this to show you a good before and after, it really tells a story.

Here is the headshot that Bob was using on his website, I saw this and knew I had to help him

This is not his fault, he's not a photographer he's an instructional designer and a really good one. He's not only technically good at his job but he's also one of those really fun people to be around. So if you're company likes to have engaging and talented people, consider Bob. However, I'm not sure this headshot would really make you want to hire him. So we did a quick headshot session.

Bob has a sense of humor which came out quickly as I did the lighting check. Yeah, don't think we'll be using this shot

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Not everyone is comfortable in front of the camera so I let them play, let em get it out of their system. We worked with him for awhile and in the end had these two headshots for him to use. They make him the star of the shot, they're in focus and the color tones are balanced. This is the Bob that you'll want to hire!!!

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Did I mention that he's a genius? Really he is, not joking.

If you're interested in hiring him here's his site with contact info http://www.bobsonant.com/

 

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ali@alicyndrew.com (Alicyn Drew Photography) https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2015/6/instructional-designer-looking-for-work Fri, 12 Jun 2015 02:11:01 GMT
MINIs on the Dragon 2015 https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2015/6/minis-on-the-dragon-2015 What a whirlwind adventure that turned into the biggest photography challenge I've ever attempted. For the last few years I've been a vendor doing Glamour Shots for MINIs at MINIs on the Dragon (MOTD). MOTD is a blast and a large gathering of MINI Coopers in the Smokey Mountains. The event is centered around driving the Tail of the Dragon on US 129 and most of the action happens at Fontana Village. For the last few years we would pick out a scenic location, and shoot MINI Coopers there. Rain or shine, cold or hot we were there for certain hours shooting MINIs and getting to know people. It was fun and it was draining. When the weather was bad people didn't show up, sometimes they didn't find us because they were new and didn't understand where we were. I enjoyed it but decided with my knowledge of Photoshop compositing I could give them  more. I could give them fine art of their MINI. 

 

First I had to figure out how do you shoot in a tent and I also went on a total training binge to understand every photoshop tool for cutting out an object. I taught myself how to remove unwanted reflections from the paint and how to leave in the gloss. I studied MINIs in the sun, the shade, the rain. I looked at how they cast shadows and I looked at their angles. I literally did this for a year in preparation for my big challenge. Then I pulled the trigger, rented a 20' x 30' tent with electricity on Vendor Row. I was terrified, it cost a fair amount to  rent that tent and what would I do if no one showed up??? I decided that I just had to try it and you do it right or you don't do it at all. The biggest challenge was two fold, I really wasn't sure how shooting in a tent would work AND I had to transport all of my gear in a MINI cabrio. My husband has a MINI too, but he was bringing his own motoring gear like a floor jack, detailing supplies and tools.

Ideally I wanted a huge piece of white foam core board for the ceiling but that wasn't going to work out. I opted for a big white tarp to string across the ceiling and bounce light off of. In the end that was a mistake, but it was a good thing that I had taught myself photoshop and how to remove reflections!!!! 

The smartest thing I brought was a big black mesh tarp that I hung as a wall to separate the studio from the gallery. It stopped reflections and made that side of the cars really look good. Note to self, next year all walls will be black mesh.

This was a working vacation so we got there on Sunday, caravanning with a bunch of fellow club members taking the 550 mile trek to NC. Mark and I enjoyed the area, drove the Dragon, explored and ate BBQ for a few days

Here we are at the scenic lookout of the Dragon

Enjoying vacation and having adventuresEnjoying vacation and having adventures. My MINI is the orange one, his is the one with the black roof By Tues my tent was up and ready, I went to check it out, here it is, empty and full of promise. What have I gotten myself into???

The empty tent, oh the promises it held With the help of my husband and friends we erected the wall and set up the gallery. I had pictures printed that were ready for display and a board to help people pick their backgrounds. I had literally about 4 appointments booked, was I scared I was about to lose my shirt? YES!!!

Tent set up and ready for business

Then the magic happened. One of my cabinmates offered to assist and I was happy to take him up on it. I had a different assistant each day. It seems they got into a bit of a competition over who was the best. Here's Craig, assistant number 1 helping a customer enter the tent

That car came out looking like this when it was finished

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Craig also made a time lapse of the day of shooting https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N87KvqUJPyo

Business was  good, I managed to cover half of my tent costs.

Second assistant was Sherri and while Craig proved to be a mind reader Sherri brought laughter, chapstick and snacks. She was another amazing assistant. On Friday I had Melissa, she was efficient, friendly and got the job done! She said  I could manage my own chapstick and snacks. The final day was Stephanie, she was cheerful and friendly, Calling in the customers and playing with every dog on vendor row.

Once I got home I had nearly 40 images to composite. I managed to finish them in 3 weeks in a marathon sprint of editing. When I was done I put all of the images in an album here

 

http://www.alicyndrew.com/motd2015

 

I'm going to highlight a few images from the event. Each and every image was a piece of my soul working to create something as special as the MINI that I was capturing. 

stormy weatherstormy weatherDark stormy clouds over road

 

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Campo con fiori gialli e con raggi di soleCampo con fiori gialli e con raggi di sole I could probably blog on each of these images. Every one of these MINIs was shot in the tent and composited later in Photoshop. They were all special to me and I learned so much. When I started this venture it was taking me 15 - 20 minutes to cut out a car, I can do it in about 3 minutes now. I can't wait  for next year, I plan to bring some new ideas for ways to show off your MINI as art​

 

 

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ali@alicyndrew.com (Alicyn Drew Photography) Car Photography MINIs on the Dragon Post processing https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2015/6/minis-on-the-dragon-2015 Sun, 07 Jun 2015 20:16:47 GMT
My race car photography adventure https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2015/5/my-race-car-photography-adventure I was recently contacted by my favorite female race car driver Christina. She needed a good shot of her with her car at the track for something with Turner Motorsports. I can never say no to a good idea or a photoshoot with Christina so I jumped at it. I then realized we needed to get to a track at the crack of dawn to get early light and we needed the track to be cold (no screaming cars racing past us) so that we could get near it to shoot. The closest track is Summit point which is just over an hour away. Sunrise is just after 6:00AM soooooo, that meant my ride came to get me at 5:00AM. 

I was up bright eyed and bushy tailed by 4:20, ate breakfast, drank coffee and heard the sound of a  rumbling race car exhaust out front, this was followed by the ding of a text "I'm out front". We loaded all of my gear into the car because you just never know what you're going to run into and I like to be prepared. I had lights, light stands, modifiers and of course camera and lenses. In the end, we needed the camera and one lens my trusty 24-70mm.

I was very excited because while I do autocross I had never actually had a ride in a race car and Christina's race car is super cool since she's super cool and she had done so much of the work herself. This girl knows her cars and she can drive. The car is an older BMW M3 with a cassette tape player! She said it's a '98. The seats were holding me nice and tight and she adjusted my 4 point harness to be comfortable since we weren't on the track. I felt very safe. please note the pink roll bars

We got there and had to sign waivers and get wrist bands. Race tracks are serious places

Once signed in she drove to her favorite spot where we parked the car as close to the track as we could without alerting any of the security. We sensed that they might care so we were very careful. I grabbed this interior shot because the car is so badass. 

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As you can see, she's in her happy place, this was by the old gokart track A73A2892A73A2892

 

Christina was also showing off the track and the various courses. The place was empty at 6:30 in the morning so we were having fun. Here she is on top of the bridge checking out the track. 

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A very official guy in a pickup truck came by and asked what we were doing. He was satisfied with her answer that she was showing me around and told us not to go past the bridge. We could see they were setting up a skid pad. We took a few more shots on the bridge and then she made a lovely 7 point turn to make sure we never actually crossed the bridge. This is the face you make while executing the 7-point turn on top of the bridge that you are not allowed to cross

We were breaking rules, we did indeed park on the bridge

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After a good exploration and about 150 images taken we headed out and were starving. You get hungry just being at a race track or maybe it's from getting up at the crack of dawn and it was now fully daylight. We went to Silver Diner in Reston to get some food!

Silver diner was amazing. We inhaled our food like we had never had food so delicious. She then took us home and I shot one last image of her driving her fabulous race car

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We did go out there to get some serious images and here's the one that she chose as her favorite. She's at her favorite part of the track. The lighting is really lovely when you get up early and get there for that soft morning light. She's framed by her race car and the curves of the track behind her.

 

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It was a wonderful adventure and I am so happy that she thought of me to get this image of her.

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ali@alicyndrew.com (Alicyn Drew Photography) Car Photography Portrait photography https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2015/5/my-race-car-photography-adventure Sat, 23 May 2015 18:52:27 GMT
How to shoot your MINI workshop at MINIs on the Dragon https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2015/5/how-to-shoot-your-mini-workshop-at-minis-on-the-dragon Last week while shooting at the event MINIs on the Dragon I offered a workshop on How to shoot your MINI. The workshop  was a great success and I think everyone had a lot of  fun. We hit two locations and we talked about the basics such as composition, angles, setting up your camera and overall shooting with intention.

I want to thank Craig Baron who volunteered to assist. He was one of our cabin mates and turned out to be a nearly psychic assistant. I never had to speak and he had the job done. 

We started off at the boat ramp and the first thing we did was meet at 7:30 in the morning because I wanted the soft lighting. We picked a lovely demo car and I walked over and stood there and took a few basic shots. The idea was to show how most people will take an image and then work on improving it.

 

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These shots show some common mistakes. The first one I just walked over and shot the car, it's pretty much in the middle of the frame and this lovely MINI is NOT the star of this shot. In the second one I pushed the MINI to the far right. We then worked on improving the images

I squatted and took a lower shot, I also put the MINI to the far left so that it's entering the scene. A simple adjustment that made the image much more balanced.

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In this image I came in closer, it still gives the context of the scenery but the MINI is even more of a star

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The we talked about getting some details

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After I gave some demos and talked their ears off everyone broke up and took their own images in the parking lot. I really liked how Deb had set up her MINI so took this shot of it

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The next part of the workshop was posing with your MINI. 

Little did I know that the model I grabbed was the son of a photographer. He was awesome to work with and we started with the typical tourist pose and then improved on it. This guy was a great model! Lots of people do this, they stand in front of the car, smile and take the picture

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Here's a few variations that give you much more interesting and engaging ideas for posing with your MINI.

Interact with your MINI

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Use space and put the subject in front and shoot up to play with angles

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Get closer and get silly

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Show your joy of loving your MINI with some action shots

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The next part of the workshop was group MINI posing

We placed the MINIs in the parking lot and made one the star, because it's just more interesting

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People got into shooting the angles

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And finally the class shot!!! They all look great!!!

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ali@alicyndrew.com (Alicyn Drew Photography) Car Photography MINIs on the Dragon https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2015/5/how-to-shoot-your-mini-workshop-at-minis-on-the-dragon Mon, 11 May 2015 01:59:02 GMT
Introducing Boudoir https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2015/4/introducing-boudoir I have always loved the look of retro boudoir glam images. When I see the film noir images or the 1940's movie star head shots they always stop me in my tracks. The one thing that has  stopped me from boudoir sessions has been the logistics. I really don't want to rent an expensive hotel room and try and shoot a bunch of sessions to make the cost work out. I also really like to take my time during a shoot and I wanted a setting that would enhance the look of boudoir yet give me the space to move and no distractions. Enter Union 206 the studio that I'm a member of. 

They recently moved to a new location and I was over the moon thrilled to read that one of their new studios had a boudoir set up. I booked that studio so fast because I HAD to shoot there and see what I could do. I contacted a beautiful model to work with and we started our vision board on Pinterest. We decided that a retro look with high contrast low key lighting was the way to go. In case you're curious, this is the link to our board

https://www.pinterest.com/AlicynD/low-key/

The Pinterest board helps us get on board with each other for the look and feel of the shoot. It's not meant to copy the work of other photographers. 

So Christina and I got to work at the studio. I brought a big white faux fur which was super useful and Christina brought some amazing outfits, the girl can shop!!!

Since I know you want to see the pictures, here's a favorite

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We had a little fun with this image

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This one is the result of me asking her for FIERCE!!! 

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Finally I have to do headshots, it's like torture to not let me take a headshot. So I took some of Christina and composited this final image. It's one of the few that I felt was best left in color.

 

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If you're interested in a boudoir session with me please email or call (703) 201-6899 Ali@AlicynDrew.com

We can work out a session and give you an experience that will be as amazing as the resulting images

 

 

 

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ali@alicyndrew.com (Alicyn Drew Photography) Portrait photography boudoir https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2015/4/introducing-boudoir Tue, 14 Apr 2015 02:14:04 GMT
Zumba dancing https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2015/3/zumba-dancing I recently was contacted by Kareemah who wanted to do some images to promote her Zumba business. She chose to do my studio experience package which is a 2 hour studio shoot. We really needed the studio as it gives us the space that we needed for her to move. I've shot dancers before but I was always the one calling the shots to get the look that I wanted, this time we were going for what Kareemah wanted so we collaborated. We started before the shoot with a shared Pinterest board. With both of us pinning we were soon on the same page understanding the look and feel. Kareemah was totally awesome in communicating and listening to my tips.

We met for the first time right before the shoot and got to work. I  am capable of quickly adapting to people and found that she and I were very similar. We just got to work and had fun with it. She had a few outfits so we started shooting with some music  while she danced. After I had some shots we stopped and I showed her what we were getting. We looked at the way she was coming across in the images and tweaked her dance moves to give more of the look that she wanted. She worked her butt off dancing for most of the two hours and I will tell you she is a smooth dancer.

Here's one of the simple dance shots, we both loved this belt/ skirt it really moved with her.

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Later I got inspired and created a few images for her that I felt conveyed the feeling of Zumba. In this image I used the design of her T-shirt and replicated it to fill her silhouette with the pattern. Later the musical notes were aded to weave through the image and give it more movement.  

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I also wanted to create a composite of Kareemah's all dancing together. These were all composited in Photoshop and the background was purposely kept simple to keep the focus on Kareemah.

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This shoot was so much fun and it was tiring. Kareemah and I worked together to create the images and the final results gave her the mood and energy that she was looking for. I love these kinds of shoots they're full of laughter and hard work, it's a good kind of hard work

 

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ali@alicyndrew.com (Alicyn Drew Photography) Composites Mood Portraiture Portrait photography Post processing https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2015/3/zumba-dancing Sat, 28 Mar 2015 00:12:24 GMT
Project 52 weeks 5, 6, 7 and 8 https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2015/3/project-52-weeks-5-6-7-and-8 I'm almost caught up blogging with where I am in my weekly project. So this week we're up to showing weeks 5, 6, 7 and 8. I did just complete week 10 and will get that up with 9 in another blog. It seems like too many images at once is just  too many images. 

Week 5 isn't new to those of you that follow my blog because it's Sherri and her adorable MINI Precious. While it would have been fun to sit in the backseat while  she whipped around the twisties with a big old permagrin, this is a Photoshop drive. I sat in the backseat on a cold winter day in the parking lot of her condo. Later I added the road and motion to make it much more interesting but I will tell you the trickiest part was moving that needle on the speedo. It just wouldn't look real if she was going 0mph, so I moved it and tried to catch the details to give the illusion of motion.

 

Week 6 is my Winter Goddess composite of Sara. Sara was shot in the studio where it was toasty and warm. The background is the golf course behind our house, which conveniently had a nice little storm right when I needed it. Lately the storms are not as convenient and I have my pictures so mother nature, you can stop now please. This one was a lot of fun because I composited the fabric to swirl around her and give that etherial feel. 

Week 7 Brings us back to MINI Coopers. One of my fans asked for me to create a background that included a Dragon. This was a real challenge since I didn't think I had any pictures of Dragons and I really looked through the stock sites and nothing appealed to me. Then I realized that I had a picture of the Dragon statue that is near the end of the Dragon and I used that. I added some nice smoke and fire and a MINI Cooper that was sitting on the lot at the dealership waiting to be adopted. 

I had a lot of fun with this one because it's so different than the work I normally do

 

Week 8 brings another MINI challenge with another MINI that I shot in the lot at the dealership. The problem here was when I pulled the car into Photoshop I suddenly realized that the entire world including me was reflecting in the paint. Arrrrrrrgh!!!! I did not want to get another car, as it is I just have a shortage of straight on bootie shots. Instead I spent about 3 hours in Photoshop removing nasty reflections. I learned a lot about that AND the importance of shooting the car with a few reflections as possible. Bring the polarizing filter next time!!!!

Concrete underground roadConcrete underground roadParking garage, underground interior with zebra crossing

 

I hope your'e enjoying my project of challenges as much as I am in creating them.

 

 

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ali@alicyndrew.com (Alicyn Drew Photography) Car Photography MINIs on the Dragon Project 52 https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2015/3/project-52-weeks-5-6-7-and-8 Fri, 06 Mar 2015 04:46:06 GMT
Project 52 - a piece of art a week https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2015/2/project-52---a-piece-of-art-a-week Last year I completed Project 365 and took a picture a day. While I learned a lot and I enjoyed finding new ways to see and capture I also found that many days my heart wasn't in it. I found days that I would just shoot something because I had to not because I was inspired. 

So this year I decided to do my own project. This project is one image a week, but that image will be intentional, something that I work on and challenge myself. So I started in January, I am now 8 weeks in and I think I would like to share the images here on my blog. For the first few blogs I'm going to play catch up and then will post weekly. 

Week one

I shot my first Boudoir session and found it to be a lot of fun. I took an image from the session and decided to challenge myself by adding some tattoos and also to change the tones and lighting a bit, added the curtains and changed the colors to bring out the purple tones. 

Week two

We took a trip to Rincon, Puerto Rico and stayed at the most beautiful inn. The inn had a pool that fascinated us in its design and the colors of the lights. At night my husband and I enjoyed just sitting and watching the lights change color. One night I set up my camera and tripod and shot all of the various colors and I thought to myself that it would be really pretty to have most of the colors in the same image. When we got home I processed several of the images together in Photoshop to create this peaceful image.

Week three

This week I wanted to work with a composited image adding a MINI Cooper to a background that I had created. I incorporated a Union Jack flag to honor the MINIs British roots. This MINI was shot in the studio, the background is created by several images to give the gritty look that I wanted to bring to it. 

 

Week 4 

This week I really pushed myself. I had seen a blog where another photographer showed how to make a dress out of flowers and I thought it would be fun to do something similar with feathers. I worked with Sasha in the studio and shot various parts of the feathers and created the dress that Sasha is wearing. This background is from Longwood Gardens in PA

 

 

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ali@alicyndrew.com (Alicyn Drew Photography) Portrait photography Post processing Project 52 https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2015/2/project-52---a-piece-of-art-a-week Mon, 23 Feb 2015 01:42:59 GMT
Don't listen to me, listen to Sherri https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2015/2/dont-listen-to-me-listen-to-sherri  

I recently had a photo session with Sherri and blogged about my favorite images. Here's a reminder of one of the shots from the session.

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Sherri is a blogger and a really interesting and fun one at that. She blogs about her travels, her adventures and her experiences. It seems that her photo session with me made an impression on her and was a real experience for her. She wrote a blog about it and I found it highly amusing. It also captures the photo experience that I offer. I tell people all the time that the thing that makes me different is how I interact with you. Good images come from a relaxed and happy subject. Having fun makes it all better. 

But don't listen to me, listen to Sherri tell the story. I would highly advise subscribing to her blog as she has a fascinating life and she's funny too.

 

https://isherri.wordpress.com/2015/02/21/making-photo-magic-with-my-friend-alicyn-drew/

 

 

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ali@alicyndrew.com (Alicyn Drew Photography) Head shots Portrait photography https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2015/2/dont-listen-to-me-listen-to-sherri Sat, 21 Feb 2015 21:00:59 GMT
Shameless plug for a photo contest https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2015/2/shameless-plug-for-a-photo-contest I have entered the KelbyOne photo contest and need votes. If you have time and can vote for me I would greatly appreciate it

 

https://www.facebook.com/KelbyOneOnline?sk=app_359014544128821&app_data=%7B%22media%22%3A%2262866489-1b98-4010-bb07-f241776dfb1c%22%7D
 
 
The image that I submitted is this one of the lovely Sasha
 
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ali@alicyndrew.com (Alicyn Drew Photography) https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2015/2/shameless-plug-for-a-photo-contest Wed, 18 Feb 2015 11:56:26 GMT
Headshots Plus Fun Shots https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2015/2/headshots-plus-fun-shots I've recently had a few sessions where a client wanted wanted some headshots but also needed a few images for online dating or a more  casual form of social media. Since I offer 3 images in a headshot session I'm fine with allowing a quick clothing change and taking some fun shots too. There is a difference between a professional headshot and something that you would use for online dating.

I was recently hired to do just this kind of shoot and we had a lot of fun with it.

Headshots need to project confidence, approachability and present a business appeal. Headshots will also vary depending on the type of career that a person has and the level of casual or corporate look needed. Sherri works in the education business and needed headshots but wanted them to be less formal. We chose a strong color to go with her personality and she looks  really good in jewel tones. For her purposes she only needed one headshot and this is the one that I gave her.

 

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For online dating you want to show a lot more personality and you can use different camera angles. Sherri has a MINI Cooper named Precious that she loves. Given her love for the car and how it's such a part of her personality I got her to take the top down and start posing in the car. It was a freezing cold day but we kept the heat going and it all worked out. You always need a really good headshot for online dating and this is the one that we came up with. I put her in her happy place and her personality shone through. As a matter of fact after this image hit Tinder she quickly got a hit that has shown potential with a few successful dates. She has a happy and engaged expression that screams FUN!!!

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Since she's a MINI Cooper person I decided to do some really fun shots that included some Photoshopping. Sherri loves the beach and loves her MINI so these two images were created to reflect that.

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We turned a simple headshot session into Headshots PLUS. It's headshots plus some fun shots! I had a blast working with Sherri and really enjoyed getting to know her better while working with her. She said over and over "This is the most fun I've ever had being photographed." That to me is a sign of success, it's not just the images it's the experience. 

 

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ali@alicyndrew.com (Alicyn Drew Photography) Car Photography Composites Head shots Mood Portraiture Portrait photography Post processing online dating https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2015/2/headshots-plus-fun-shots Sun, 15 Feb 2015 04:35:23 GMT
The Northern Goddess Studio shoot https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2015/2/the-northern-goddess-studio-shoot I have not stopped shooting my goddesses but I have stopped trying to find what they're named. They depict goddesses of the elements or aspects of nature. They are strong women that are also beautiful and each has a different quality or strength in their portrait. 

I decided that Sara would be the perfect model for my winter goddess, I love her soft complexion, piercing blue eyes and how it's offset by her amazing red hair. So we got together to shoot in the studio. My final vision was one of her in the snow wearing a flowing white dress that had wisps that whipped around her. Luckily I have learned compositing as I don't think she would have wanted to stand out in the snow in a little dress to model and honestly the final result would not have worked out as well. I live on a golf course and I frequently will telework so one day we had a snowstorm and I was home teleworking. At lunch I grabbed my camera and ran out to the golf course to get some snow scenes. I used one of those images at the start to the compositing work with Sara. 

This image is a simple headshot where we wrapped her in faux fur and I used the golf course as a background. I really liked the intensity of her stare coupled with the softness surrounding her.

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Next came the Northern Goddess piece. We took several images with fabric whipping around her to give me something to work with. By shooting these at the same time I can incorporate them into the scene better. They have the same lighting and contrast as she does.

 

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This is the final result, which I finished by creating a bit of a watercolor drawing effect.

 

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I really enjoy these artistic representations of women with the elements and energetic forces. Sara depicts a strong icy detachment and yet she's staring right at the viewer in an engaging way. She has a gentle easy control of her hostile surroundings and is comfortable with it all. Her red hair adds some warmth and fire to the image giving her life amongst the ice cold winds.

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ali@alicyndrew.com (Alicyn Drew Photography) Mood Portraiture Portrait photography Post processing https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2015/2/the-northern-goddess-studio-shoot Fri, 13 Feb 2015 20:06:51 GMT
Friends getting headshots https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2015/2/friends-getting-headshots I was recently contacted by Cecile to create some headshots  for her. She wanted to mix it up a bit and have some for LinkedIn and a few that were more casual portraits. My headshot package gives each person 3 images (with an option to pay for processing for more). So we set up the shoot and started planning. Then her friend Jennifer decided that she needed headshots for her new website. I give a discounted price if two people book together so they did and I shot both at Cecile's house.

I brought my lighting and first thing I  did was look for a good location in the house to shoot. It was too cold outside so I set up my lights and shot in the house. I used an area where she had a fairly large window and a hallway that allowed me to get the amount of space that I needed. I like to position people in front of a window but not directly near it, they need some distance from it so that it blurs into the background and puts the focus on my subject.

Here is Cecile's professional headshot. the lighting is natural and she is portraying confidence and approachability.  I'm a big believer that in a professional headshot the subject should be looking directly into the camera, it helps the viewer to feel a connection.

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Here's one of her more casual images. She changed up her outfit and put on more fun earrings. The angle I used to shoot is from slightly above and is very flattering. I also processed it to bring out a different feeling.

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Next came Jennifer who was a lot of fun to work with. She said she was nervous in front of the camera but I never saw it. She relaxed and really showed some confidence.

She's a psychologist who's doing over her site and planning to move offices soon. She needed an updated headshot for professional reasons. The favorite headshot of the shoot was this one. 

She looks confident, relaxed and approachable. The colors are soft and they also coordinate nicely with her website colors. 

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Besides giving them some images that they love we had a lot of fun. I helped them pick out outfits that would work. We discussed the intent of the session and how they were going to use the images. I listened to create their vision and we had fun doing it.

 

If you need headshots please don't hesitate to call me and let me know what you're thinking of. Every headshot session is a little different and I tune them to your needs.

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ali@alicyndrew.com (Alicyn Drew Photography) Head shots Portrait photography https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2015/2/friends-getting-headshots Tue, 03 Feb 2015 04:06:05 GMT
The Peacock feather dress https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2015/1/the-peacock-feather-dress Not long ago a friend of mine sent me a link to a blog that inspired me. She had a quick little note stating that she thought I might like this guys work.

http://www.robertcorneliusphotography.com/blog/tips-and-tricks-for-creating-a-gown

Like it???? I LOVED it!!! I watched the video and read it over and over  thinking of how creative it was. Well of course I wanted to try this as I love compositing in Photoshop and I love pretty and unusual dresses. Clearly I didn't want to try and copy his design but I wanted to do my own take on it. I thought about it and decided I wanted to do a feather dress. In retrospect, I don't know what I  was thinking because selecting feathers is NOT fun but I wanted to do feathers. First problem, I didn't have any feathers and really didn't want to spend a slew of money on something that I would use once. I really wanted peacock but a quick search on Amazon told me that they would be expensive. So I decided to reach out to my neighbors and see if anyone had some I could borrow. Our neighborhood has a forum and I posted that I was looking for feathers for a shoot. Next thing I knew one neighbor wrote that she had some peacock feathers that I could use and another had a peacock fan. I was in shock!!! Exactly what I needed and within a few blocks of the house. Now I needed a model. I had a studio shoot coming up in a few days and knew that my model probably didn't want to shoot the whole two hours (more on that shoot later) so I texted Sasha. Sasha is the ultimate professional and she's always up for something fun. She was in!!! Next I got Catalina and Esmarelda to come and assist and the shoot was ready to go.

Step one, figure out a good pose  for the model. My original idea was to put her in the woods with a tribal look. Sara did the makeup and gave her a beautiful look. Here's a closeup of her face

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We found a pose that I thought would look cool and came up with this one

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Next, start working the feathers. We took about 50 shots with the feathers in various configurations because I just wasn't sure what I would need later. It would be near impossible to reshoot feathers and match up the lighting so I just shot as many as I could.

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Next step is 4 hours in Photoshop while I copy, paste, mask, adjust, transform, stamp and tone to make a dress out of this.

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The first version I put her in the woods but I didn't feel like there was enough contrast. So I decided instead that I would put her someplace elegant and dramatic. I had some images of the National Portrait Gallery and decided that the museum would be perfect. I even changed a painting to reflect a peacock. I like this version because it's elegant and Sasha really stands out. Here is the finished image after about 6 hours in Photoshop

 

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I really enjoy compositing because it allows me to create images that I could not create otherwise. This type of digital art is useful for a lot of portraiture because of it's flexibility. For example if you want to shoot in a specific location that is hard to get to, or it's the middle of winter and you want greenery, or you need to shoot on a certain day and can't cancel for weather. With compositing, none of that is an issue. I do have to plan some elements of the image, the lighting has to match. 

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ali@alicyndrew.com (Alicyn Drew Photography) Composites Portrait photography Post processing https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2015/1/the-peacock-feather-dress Sat, 31 Jan 2015 04:14:46 GMT
Fairfax County Parks photographer fee https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2015/1/fairfax-county-parks-photographer-fee For those that aren't aware Fairfax county has a professional photography fee to shoot in their parks. The fee is $100 for 2 hours or $500 for the year and requires a permit 5 days in advance. Last year they made $3,100 from the fee. I only recently heard about this but as soon as I did I I felt it was important to go to the county meeting to show my support of a proposal to eliminate the fee for groups of 11 or less. While I didn't speak at the meeting, the room was packed and there were a lot of speakers. There were probably 50 of us in the room and about half spoke. The speakers weren't just photographers, there were clients and also one parks department employee who had some great ideas.

Their points were valid and really supported the reasoning behind the petition to remove the fees. The average photographer in this area charges around $300 for a family portrait session, to add $100 to that fee is a huge burden and expense. To pass the fee on to the customer means that the Fairfax county residents are paying to have their pictures taken in the park that they already pay taxes to support. The photographer can't afford to absorb this kind of fee. Photographers are already paying state sales tax on their shoots and we pay county fees just to be in business. We aren't using the parks for free, we are paying our fair share.

Another point is that we aren't the only business that uses the park, yet we're the ones being hit with the highest fees. Professional dog walkers are the number one business using the parks and they are free. There are for profit play groups, exercise groups and tour groups that all come through for free. While at the meeting I was handed a document of proposed fee adjustments. On page 22 there was a proposal to start charging a fee For profit/ commercial groups. The proposed fee for them is $3 per person for groups of 12 or more. Is it fair that they pay such a nominal fee, but I would be charged $100 for myself and 2 or 3 other people?

What really came out of the meeting was that the ruling is driving photographers away from the parks or forcing some to use the park anyway and not pay. In almost all cases when a client is told that to shoot at a park will  add $100 to the fee, they're going to ask to find another option. Meadowlark Gardens which is a privately funded park charges $25 for portrait sessions. Fairfax county has beautiful parks that are meant to be enjoyed, yet they are driving the very people that want to enjoy them away with a fee that causes an extreme burden on a small set of very small businesses. In addition it's unclear if a professional photographer can even feel comfortable going to a park to shoot personally knowing that park staff may be asking for the permit. Professional landscape and fine art photographers are shooting there at all kinds of impromptu times and can't afford the fee or permit time when they're chasing the weather or a type of bird shows up.

The last point made was that Fairfax county staff is unable to handle the permit process. Many photographers spoke of not being able to get their permits quickly enough and that 5 days is entirely too long for something that is usually spontaneous  and dependent on the weather.

I live very near Green Springs Gardens and I love the park, but I can't afford to shoot their professionally with this fee. The images below are a few of the images I have shot in the park. They show my love, appreciation and enjoyment of the park. I think the beauty of the park allowed me to create lovely memories and images. I really hope that the board will listen and consider the statements made by the residents and photographers of Fairfax county and decide on a more reasonable solution that allows all residents to continue to enjoy the park.

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ali@alicyndrew.com (Alicyn Drew Photography) https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2015/1/fairfax-county-parks-photographer-fee Thu, 22 Jan 2015 03:07:37 GMT
Vacation in Rincon Puerto Rico https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2015/1/vacation-in-rincon-puerto-rico My husband and I just returned from a wonderful trip to Rincon, Puerto Rico. It was our first visit to this part of the island and our 4th visit to Puerto Rico. Rincon is known for it's waves in the winter and is a surfers beach. People bring their dogs to the beach and I have never seen such happy dogs enjoying the beach. The area is also known for it's sunsets and it did not disappoint. 

First, some happy dogs

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The surfing was fun and I enjoyed shooting some of the surfers enjoying the waves

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I saw this sign on the side of the road and it captured the quirky nature of the area

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and last, a sunset at Steps Beach. If you like to shoot sunsets you want to shoot them on a tripod with a small aperture and a longer exposure. The small aperture helps to create the starring of the sun and the longer exposures allow you to capture some movement in the clouds. The tripod is needed to keep the camera stable for longer exposures, this one is a 1 second exposure which is too long to hand hold.

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We loved Rincon and will be going back next year. It's a small town and easy to get around. It's beautiful and the people are really friendly. This is a place that is worth the travel.

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ali@alicyndrew.com (Alicyn Drew Photography) vacation https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2015/1/vacation-in-rincon-puerto-rico Thu, 15 Jan 2015 02:35:23 GMT
It's CompoSITing not CompoSTing https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2015/1/its-compositing-and-not-composting Lately I've been doing a lot of compositing. I post the images on my Facebook page and I hear one of two things. 

"What's Compositing?" Or "I thought you said Composting."

For the gardeners out there composting is awesome but our HOA doesn't allow it. 

So I will instead address the question about compositing. A composite is an image that is created from multiple images. In it's simplest form many portrait photographers use it in group shots to "Swap Heads". Basically you have a few group shots and there's one that's the best one, but Uncle Fred blinked. However, Uncle Fred looks really good in one of the other shots so you copy his head from that image and paste him onto the good image and VOILA, you have a group shot with everyone looking great.

The kind of compositing that I'm doing is more complex. I am creating a new work of art from multiple images. I like to call it digital art. The resulting image is an entirely new image. I love composites because they allow me to create what I feel. It's an artistic process to work with the images and create something new. I can choose to go for a realistic look or something surreal. 

I recently challenged my friends to challenge me to create something. I got lots of suggestions, some better than others but I decided to choose the one from my friend Sherri.

"I'd like to see a MINI in an alpine meadow, full of wildflowers, with snow capped mountains in the distance. And the sun rising. Maybe a convertible Mini. Maybe a beautiful blue one. Maybe with the top off. But I'm sure whatever you come up with will be amazing..."

I had to figure this out. The only mountains that I had were from Yellowstone National Park so I found an image with some good mountains. I also found another image with a grassy field, found some pretty wild flowers and finally the blue convertible MINI. While I have an extensive collection of MINIs the only one that would work was a pepper white, not a problem I can change the color.

I worked to blend the elements. Something that is a challenge in bringing all of these elements together is getting the lighting, tone and colors to work together. The resulting image was this

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I also wanted to create something more surreal. As part of my goddess series I wanted to create a storm goddess. I knew it had to be a composite because none of my friends would pose in a storm and I didn't want to shoot my camera under stormy wet conditions either. I started with a stock photo of a storm and added the elements of my friend and her MINI. We shot her in the studio using a fan to get her hair whipping around. For this image I was not going for a realistic look and the resulting image was this.

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The first image could be mistaken for a photo taken like it is but the second image is clearly not. For me as a digital artist both images are artistic renderings that I enjoyed creating. Those of you that follow my blog will be seeing more composites. I hope you enjoy them and if you have an image in your mind let me know. You can hire me to create your vision and have a unique work of custom art.

 

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ali@alicyndrew.com (Alicyn Drew Photography) Car Photography Composites Portrait photography https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2015/1/its-compositing-and-not-composting Wed, 07 Jan 2015 00:51:25 GMT
Compositing fun https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2015/1/compositing-fun I am loving compositing. I love it because it allows me to create true art in the sense that I am using my images and my creativity to make something that never existed. Bits and pieces will inspire me and then I put it all together. The process of creating a composite is relaxing and fun as I think and process and then create.

Tonight I was looking at car ads, I noticed that many had this one thing in common. The car is the star, the car is surrounded by a pool of light and the grungy background is dark. I set about tonight to go for that look and present the finished result. 

But first I want you to see where I started

I created this background from a few images that I had laying around, even the light was composited in

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Once I had the background ready I went looking for a MINI that would work with it. Not all images will work together, the key is that you have to get the lighting to match and that can be tricky. I chose this image because of the angle and the fairly flat light which was mostly from above. It's creating a shadow that makes sense for the background.

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Once I put them together there was still a fair amount of work in tweaking the image to get me the look I wanted, but I'm happy with it. I hope you like it too

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If you're interested in seeing your MINI captured like this then let me know and we can work out an appointment. I'll be at MINIs on the Dragon but I can also do local shoots before the event if you're local to Alexandria, VA

 

 

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ali@alicyndrew.com (Alicyn Drew Photography) Car Photography MINIs on the Dragon Post processing https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2015/1/compositing-fun Sat, 03 Jan 2015 04:55:44 GMT
MotorWerks Magazine has published my images https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2014/12/motorwerks-magazine-has-published-my-images I recently had the pleasure of working with Ian from MotorWerks Magazine. They are out of Canada and are a digital magazine focusing on BMW and MINI. The ultimate reading experience. http://issuu.com/motorwerksmagazine

Ian asked if he could publish my work from MINIs Take the States. I wrote the article and submitted my images. He also used some of my images from MINIs on the Dragon for a feature on Kelli Creighton who is sponsored by M7. Kelli and I had a really fun time shooting a night shoot with the fog machine and colored lights to match her crazy MINI

http://issuu.com/motorwerksmagazine/docs/motorwerks_magazine_v4_issue_2_publ/1

 

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The images from MINIs Take the States were my nighttime portraits of a few strangers that became friends. I found them in the parking lot after the event and we had an impromptu photo session. 

http://issuu.com/motorwerksmagazine/docs/motorwerks_magazine_v4_issue_2_publ/c/sljd6rn

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I get so excited seeing my work being recognized and the process of making each of these images was a really great experience. 

The whole experience of working with Ian to provide content for his magazine was fun, professional and he made it very easy. I know I have a lot of MINI Cooper and BMW fans so please check it out, you won't be sorry.

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ali@alicyndrew.com (Alicyn Drew Photography) Car Photography MINIs Take the States MINIs on the Dragon https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2014/12/motorwerks-magazine-has-published-my-images Fri, 26 Dec 2014 22:46:46 GMT
I'm coming to MINIs on the Dragon 2015 https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2014/12/im-coming-to-minis-on-the-dragon-2015 I've been working hard to understand compositing for one very simple reason, I want to be able to deliver a unique and custom product to my fellow MINIacs at MINIs on the Dragon 2015. The last 3 years I've worked there in parking lots and created images against the lovely views that the mountains have to offer but I heard people asking for more. I was asked to do other locations. As I scoped out other locations I found limitations in parking or distance from Fontana. Then there's weather and time of day. People frequently wanted that early morning fog shot but there were only so many appointments that could offer that. High noon doesn't provide the best light as the shadows are harsh.

Then it came to me, if I had a studio I could create the lighting conditions that I need and composite the MINI into any background that I wanted. I started collecting backgrounds and was even lucky enough to get to Fontana in October when I shot lots more backgrounds. I've learned a lot. I learned that you can't just composite onto any pretty image and that you really do need to shoot the background with compositing in mind. I have now built up an extensive library of backgrounds to use in my compositing.

I rented a 20' x 20' tent on vendor row so that I could work in any kind of light or weather. I have studio lights and modifiers to make it all work together. I am ready for this and looking forward to the challenges that you bring with your MINI and your imagination.

I also learned how to work with a plug in that allows me to create some really fun effects. In my typical Ali way I couldn't just turn on the plugin and be done with it. Instead I used it to get me most of the way there and then blend and enhance the effect achieved in Photoshop for a more customized look. For example images like this beautiful coupe which was originally shot sitting still. I added the motion, converted to an inverted line drawing and tweaked the overall look.

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I have and still am obsessing and working on creating composites. Why composites?

Because compositing allows me to create the image that may have been difficult or impossible to create onsite. For example last year I had so many requests for different areas, but I can't be at all places and traveling around would mean I would have to charge a lot more. This image of Hilary is a composite. She was shot in the studio with her two cars, I then composited them into this scene from a viewpoint off of route 28 not far from Fontana dam.

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Here's another fun one made up of three images.

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I have obsessed over techniques and how to present a MINI in a way that is new and fresh and I'm ready for the Dragon. I want to create unique works of art for people that love their MINIs. I love the excitement of someone that loves their car and their image. I want to give you something that you are proud to hang in your home. 

So this is how it works. You make an appointment with me at the Dragon; book early to guarantee your spot! I'll have you check out the available backgrounds and pick out what you want, then we decide on the best angle to shoot the MINI to look best in the scene. Bring the MINI into the tent and I will composite them together later and deliver the image within a few weeks of the Dragon. You will see the raw proof of your MINI before you leave, but the compositing takes time.

OR

You may not want to do a composite but you want an artistic creation. In that case, pick your angle and tell me the look that your'e going for.

 

If you contact me early enough we can start working on the details of your piece before you even arrive. AND if you have two MINIs, I can make it work to put both in the same scene, it will just take an additional image and increase the cost a little bit.

For more details on booking a session at the Dragon look here

http://www.alicyndrew.com/minis-on-the-dragon-photography

I really look forward to working with you and your MINI

 

 

 

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ali@alicyndrew.com (Alicyn Drew Photography) Car Photography MINIs on the Dragon https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2014/12/im-coming-to-minis-on-the-dragon-2015 Wed, 24 Dec 2014 03:12:44 GMT
Happy Holidays 2014 https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2014/12/happy-holidays-2014 Here's wishing you a happy holiday season. I like to dress up the girls in a festive manner and then create an image to celebrate the season. I really like adding a tacky twist like a costume or something silly to amuse me. Daisy and Peanut are getting better at this because it brings A LOT of cookies. Still, as they saw me setting up Peanut ran and hid in the closet and Daisy was no where to be found. Once I had the backdrop, lighting and camera set up a simple shake of the cookie jar brought them running.

 

Here they are, just as dogs in front of the tree. Cute, but not tacky, Mommy needs to amuse herself sooooo

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I added some costuming, Peanut is not amused and gives me her look. Daisy is intense, she wants that cookie, she knows that if she behaves it will be worth it. She also likes wearing clothing.

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Finally I get a shot that brings it all together. Added some post processing magic and Happy Holidays!!!!

 

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ali@alicyndrew.com (Alicyn Drew Photography) Pet photography https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2014/12/happy-holidays-2014 Sat, 20 Dec 2014 04:12:09 GMT
Photography inspiration - following my interests https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2014/12/photography-inspiration---following-my-interests I used to say to my husband that I loved Thai food, he would reply with "You don't love Thai food, you love Pad Thai." He was right, that's all I ordered. While I have other favorites now Pad Thai is always a favorite. So what does Thai food have to do with photography? NOTHING! 

Actually, when I say I love photography it's true, but what I really mean is I love portrait photography. I enjoy landscape and macro and just plain playing with the camera but truly my passion and inspiration comes from working with people and making that connection through the camera. My personality changes when I am behind the camera. I find myself more confident and I as a connection develops I find myself becoming more in tune with the person that I'm working with.

I also love a challenge, especially with different types of personalities. I love watching someone relax and give me their personality to capture. So what really inspires me?

Teenagers, yes teenagers! I love their attitude, I love the glimpse of who they're growing into. I love to capture them at this challenging stage of life where they are finding themselves and learning to express themselves. I also love working in urban environments, which offer interesting backdrops and fun challenges. One of the biggest challenges with teens is keeping them age appropriate. They can look like the kid they are and then suddenly throw you a grown up sizzling look that shows you the adult that is emerging. I want to capture all of that and I want to keep them looking like the teen that they are. There's no sense in rushing them to grow up. Teens are amazing to work with, especially as they open up and share their thoughts and ideas.

I recently had an opportunity to work with a beautiful 14 year old in an urban environment. I've known Ayla since she was a baby but haven't spent much time with her. She's a sweet kid that once charmed a pendant off of my neck at a pool party. When her Mom and I started talking about doing the shoot I got excited and inspired. I didn't give them much input on clothing because I didn't want to stifle her style. Teens can be self-conscious and it's important to honor that. They also need the space to say no to a pose, background or idea. 

We chose Georgetown and I chose an area near the water where I knew there was a lot of graffiti. I had researched the area on Google maps and knew exactly where to go. We packed the car and headed out, as soon as we hit Georgetown we hit snarling traffic. Undeterred we found our way around and got parking fairly near the location.

We headed down to the water and started shooting. Ayla was goofy and acting like the 14 year old that she is. I let her be silly, I took some shots and quietly evaluated her to find her better side. I also brought along a small cream colored parasol. I actually brought two but let Ayla pick the one she wanted. Props are really helpful if someone is a bit nervous. Find a prop, any prop and people will usually use it to relax. If you don't have a prop, find a tree, a bench, a wall just find something that they can interact with.

This shot was taken along the path with the river in the background. I love her natural smile and the lighting is pretty. She has a nice big smile that doesn't look cheesy. You have to shoot the cheesy expressions but the goal is to get her relaxed enough to give the real expressions.

 

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As we explored we found the location that I was looking for. I evaluated the lighting and the glass on the ground and the whole scene and asked her to jump into the pit and use the wall like a table to rest on. By now she was starting to relax, so we worked on her poses and finally hit on this shot. I love her expression and it's clear she's relaxing. You also get a sense of the environment without it taking over and competing with her.

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Then we decided to have some fun. There is nothing like movement to get someone relaxed so I had her jumping off of the opposite wall. We gave her the parasol which made her very happy. I love the pure joy here. Even the graffiti is playing along with it's phrase "Make a Memory"

 

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At this point she is totally relaxed and having a blast; she's coming up with her own ideas and adding to the shoot. She starts to play and work some different expressions. I wanted a nice neutral expression image when I got this one. I processed it a bit differently to capture the mood and chill of the day. 

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Last I just wanted a cute shot of her with the environment. By now she was so relaxed, practically posing herself. Cheesy smiles were long gone and we were getting naturally happy expressions.

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The session with Ayla was a blast for me. I found myself inspired by her energetic personality and totally enjoyed playing with her and her Mom. I love the images that we got and I think that a lot of it was because I was playing to my photographic strengths and allowed Ayla to show off her strengths, joy and smiles. To me a successful shoot plays to our strengths and through that allows the true personalities to come through. 

 

 

 

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ali@alicyndrew.com (Alicyn Drew Photography) Mood Portraiture Portrait photography teens https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2014/12/photography-inspiration---following-my-interests Wed, 03 Dec 2014 02:46:22 GMT
I'm excited, my image won a spot in the coveted Motoring Alliance Calendar https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2014/11/im-excited-my-image-won-a-spot-in-the-coveted-motoring-alliance-calendar Every year there is a call for images to be submitted for the Motoring Alliance calendar of MINI Coopers. In the last few years I've had images that I took of other people's MINIs make the calendar but never an image of my precious Tigger. This year I submitted one image that I loved of Tigger. I loved this image so much that I also made it my wallpaper on my work computer. I see it every day and I always remember when I took it.

It was early morning and we were by the lake near Fontana Village, the fog was rolling in and I was waiting on some clients to come get their MINI Glamour shots. I popped an orange gelled flash under Tigger's front tire and took some shots. Here's the image and it won the month of May! A portrait of my MINI that I love, I'm excited that he will grace a page in the Motoring Alliance!!!! 

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If interested you can buy the calendar here

 

http://www.motoringalliance.com/index.php?page=2015_Calendar#axzz3JkyoLBgA

 

 

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ali@alicyndrew.com (Alicyn Drew Photography) Car Photography https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2014/11/im-excited-my-image-won-a-spot-in-the-coveted-motoring-alliance-calendar Sat, 22 Nov 2014 01:37:03 GMT
Photo session with a teenager https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2014/11/photo-session-with-a-teenager I love working with teens. I like their energy, creative ideas and hearing what they have to say. I recently had the opportunity to work with Carolyn who's 14. We met at a local park after she got out of school. With the late fall sun we hit perfect lighting around 4:00 but it was windy, I mean the wind was whipping at times. Carolyn has long pretty blond hair so we decided to play with the wind. I like that teens are open to fun ideas. So we played with using the wind and tossing her hair around. I LOVE this shot of her

 

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There were some periods when the wind died down and we got this really pretty shot. I like her relaxed yet serious kind of look. She has a very old soul kind of feel to her. 

 

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As the light was going down fast we headed over to the pond to get a few last shots. The lighting here changed dramatically and this was one of the last images that I got. She looks so pretty in this lighting with the fall colors behind her. 

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I had a lot of fun working with Carolyn. She shared an interest in photography and we chatted about cameras a lot. I explained to her a lot of what I was doing and why so that it might help her to pick up some ideas for her own work. I think when working with teens it's important to let them participate with ideas. They need that space to express themselves. 

 

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ali@alicyndrew.com (Alicyn Drew Photography) Mood Portraiture Portrait photography Teen photography https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2014/11/photo-session-with-a-teenager Sun, 09 Nov 2014 01:39:03 GMT
Capturing experiences and creating memories https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2014/11/capturing-experiences-and-creating-memories Some very good friends of mine Sara and Tyler just got married. They had a destination wedding down in the area of Tail of the Dragon which is in NC on the TN border. The area is known for the sports cars it attracts and it's just plain beautiful with mountain views and twisty roads to enjoy.

The groomsmen were getting ready at a resort that was about 15 miles from where the bride and her attendants were getting ready so the photographer was going to be with the brides. Tyler asked if I could shoot the groomsmen getting ready and I was happy to do it. I love hanging out with car guys and these guys have some amazing vehicles. They also share a trait where they really don't like posing for pictures. I had to keep them relaxed and work without disturbing their day. 

It was a rainy day and all of the guys were staying in the same cabin. I used natural lighting and did my best to stay out of the way. So I was happily shooting while Duane the best man assisted Tyler

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A funny joke was cracked and I got the reaction

 

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It was a small bathroom and Duane the best man grabbed a shot of me getting shots of Tyler. As you can see, I really do work to get that shot!

The guys had real bow ties but they hadn't actually learned how to tie them in advance. They did think to download a few Youtube videos but as you can see, this was not really helping.

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In the end one guy got his bow tie tied and the rest had to get Sara the bride to help. This was really comical and just added to the fun of the day.  By the way, these bow ties had race track patterns on them, like I said car guys. The guys did like their shirts and socks though!

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This shot is taken at the reception, they're relaxed and happy and a great day was had by all

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And in case you're wondering, here's the groom's car. A Lotus Exige named Lattrice, love that car!

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ali@alicyndrew.com (Alicyn Drew Photography) Mood Portraiture Portrait photography events https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2014/11/capturing-experiences-and-creating-memories Sun, 02 Nov 2014 23:08:14 GMT
Head shots Jesse https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2014/10/head-shots-jesse Jesse recently contacted me to create some head shots for him. He's in a masters program and will be sent overseas as part of the school's international studies program. He needed some professional head shots for the student catalog. We met in DC and walked around looking for good lighting and backgrounds. He wanted an environmental portrait and the streets of DC did not disappoint

We chatted while we looked for locations. It was relaxing and fun to work together. I was using all natural light but I find to get proper portraits you need to look for very specific elements. I like to put the subject in the shade but at the edge of a shadow so that the ambient light from the sidewalk will provide a soft lighting. Below are the images from our session. 

 

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ali@alicyndrew.com (Alicyn Drew Photography) Head shots Portrait photography https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2014/10/head-shots-jesse Sat, 01 Nov 2014 01:02:51 GMT
A fun Maternity Shoot with props and a painterly effect https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2014/10/a-fun-maternity-shoot-with-props-and-a-painterly-effect I recently met with my neighbors to capture their joy in her pregnancy. We met at a local park and I brought along a prop. I have some paper parasols in various colors and after a quick chat with Dia chose the white one to work with. We shot by a pond and in the woods and had a lot of fun. Once I processed some of the images I thought that they would good with a painterly processing and went to work.

Here are two of the images with the before and after.

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I used different techniques based on the images and how I felt they would look best. These images were really fun to take and gave Dia and Greg some wonderful memories

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ali@alicyndrew.com (Alicyn Drew Photography) Maternity Mood Portraiture Portrait photography Post processing https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2014/10/a-fun-maternity-shoot-with-props-and-a-painterly-effect Tue, 21 Oct 2014 22:01:05 GMT
Shawna The Fashionista https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2014/9/shawna-the-fashionista My friend and co-worker Shawna is a blogger for fashion. 

http://soworkweekchic.blogspot.com/

I love her sense of style and her fun personality. She's one of those people that makes you comfortable and want to just share your life story. She also has a killer sense of fashion. So one day I asked her to let me do a quick urban shoot at lunch. Well the weather was perfect that day and Shawna had an adorable outfit on that really popped against the city chaos. We walked around the area near my office and had some fun. Here are some of the shots

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She's DC chic! Don't forget to check out her blog

 

http://soworkweekchic.blogspot.com/

 

 

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ali@alicyndrew.com (Alicyn Drew Photography) Head shots Mood Portraiture Portrait photography https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2014/9/shawna-the-fashionista Wed, 01 Oct 2014 01:33:26 GMT
Headshots Tiffany https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2014/9/headshots-tiffany I really do love working with someone to create a headshot. They're fun and engaging and people are motivated to get the best look that they can from them. So I was thrilled to hear from Tiffany that she had been advised by her career coach to update her headshot to something professional. Specifically an image with no background distractions.

Since the point of a good headshot is to make the subject the star I was totally onboard with this. I did make one suggestion though was that I would bring my white background and to also try some with a soft out of focus background (shallow depth of field). As  Tiffany shared she needed an executive headshot I thought that an urban look would lend itself nicely.

So I brought my gear to her condo and we got to work. She had the perfect outfit and her hair and makeup was nicely done. I brought lighting and set up in the living room which had a lot of lovely window lighting. We started with the white backdrop and then moved to the dining room where I could catch some of the city feel of her neighborhood. Below are the images from our session:

 

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I delivered 3 images processed and included black and whites. I also created a copy that is set to LinkedIn photo specifications so that she could easily upload her favorite image without need to crop or resize.

Good luck on your job search Tiffany! I hope the headshots help your future employer to see how fabulous you are

 

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ali@alicyndrew.com (Alicyn Drew Photography) Head shots Portrait photography https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2014/9/headshots-tiffany Mon, 22 Sep 2014 02:54:36 GMT
Headshots in Georgetown DC https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2014/9/headshots-in-georgetown-dc I was recently hired by John to capture some professional headshots. He wanted an urban look to the images and chose Georgetown to shoot in. I call these my walkabout shoots because we walk around and look for a good spot to shoot images. All of the images were shot with natural light but in order to do that I looked for natural light sources such as light concrete which helps to provide naturally soft lighting. His wife came along and assisted when needed with the diffuser but the images that I like the best were shot on the edge of the shade with some really nice backgrounds.

In most cases a headshot needs to capture the qualities of friendly and approachable. John wore a very nice suit in a neutral tone which was perfect. The idea of a headshot is to make the person the star, not their outfit or the surroundings. Those things are there to enhance and support the image but should not compete with the subject.

Here are a few of my favorite images from the session. This one was shot in the shade, we used the reflector to fill in just a little and add light to his eyes. 

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This one was shot in the shade with pure natural lighting, stone background lends a nice background without being distracting.

 

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I like the bright fresh look of this image which was shot in full sun with a diffuser providing some softening of the light.

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This last image is a bit more serious and gives a different feel.

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John was very happy with his images and a blast to work with. He prepared for the shoot and picked a great location which is the best way to be successful. The more someone prepares for a photo session the better chance they have of getting the images that they envisioned. I had a lot of fun on this one and would love to shoot more of these types of headshots. They're modern and look professional.

 

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ali@alicyndrew.com (Alicyn Drew Photography) Head shots Portrait photography https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2014/9/headshots-in-georgetown-dc Tue, 16 Sep 2014 01:03:38 GMT
The Goddess Aphrodite Part 1 https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2014/9/the-goddess-aphrodite-part-1 I recently shot my second goddess image of the series. The model was Sasha and she and I chose the goddess Aphrodite for her session. Aphrodite is the Greek goddess of love and sensuality and I think Sasha really embodied it. I made the costume and worked with my friend Sara for hair and makeup. These shoots are so much fun and the prep takes longer than the actual photography session. I think Sara and I spent close to 2 hours prepping her; it was like dressing up a live doll.

Once we had Sasha all ready we went to a local park. You get some interesting looks when you walk through a park with a slew of photography equipment and a living goddess.

There were too many good pictures for me to use in one blog so I will be doing a part two once I finish editing the images. In the meantime, here are the first ones.

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ali@alicyndrew.com (Alicyn Drew Photography) Mood Portraiture Portrait photography https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2014/9/the-goddess-aphrodite-part-1 Tue, 09 Sep 2014 02:49:09 GMT
I want the studio photography experience - Angie https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2014/9/i-want-the-studio-photography-experience---angie In the Spring Angie contacted me to do a studio photography session. I asked her what she wanted out of the shoot and she replied that she wanted the experience. We discussed various looks and she was open to a lot but she was leaning to a glam look. I had lots of time since she is from out of state and wouldn't be here in Virginia until Labor Day weekend.

I was able to secure an amazing hair and makeup artist and I booked the studio. I also created some backgrounds to use in composites with the final images. Since she is from out of state I picked her up at her hotel and brought her to get her hair and makeup done. We shared our Pinterest board that had many ideas for the shoot. Kris Clark the stylist keyed right in on what we were looking for and she got to work. She was fast and decisive. Angie was pretty excited to see the final result and it was stunning. Her makeup was flawless and her hair was glamorous. Angie had a new attitude too, her confidence soared as we headed to the studio.

We got to the studio and started off with some shots in an amazing blue gown that she brought along. This shot really captures the fun that she was having

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I love head shots and captured a few which really were pretty

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Finally we shot for a composite that I surprised her with. I took her MINI Cooper and put it into a warehouse and added her to it for this fun final image

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During the shoot and after we were giggling like school girls. We had fun the whole time and when it was done Angie was relaxed and happy that she had booked the experience. I love these kinds of shots, I think a big part of photography is the experience. When you you enjoy yourself and stay in the moment the final images will show that and the results will be better. I work hard to relax people and always give them the best possible experience.

 

 

 

 

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ali@alicyndrew.com (Alicyn Drew Photography) Car Photography Head shots Mood Portraiture Portrait photography Post processing https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2014/9/i-want-the-studio-photography-experience---angie Sat, 06 Sep 2014 00:29:41 GMT
Traci Lynn Fashion Show https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2014/8/traci-lynn-fashion-show I was recently invited to cover a fashion show for the jewelry company Traci Lynn 

www.TraciLynnJewelry.net/16473

My friend Bekka sells this beautiful jewelry and wanted me to shoot for them. Since I have several pieces of the jewelry and I not only love them but find them very affordable I was happy to take on this job. First thing, I needed a Voice Activated Lightstand (VAL). You can't bring in light stands to something like this and I really hate the look of on camera lighting. I asked my friend Shawna to help. Shawna writes a fashion blog and I knew she would love it. Here's her blog

 http://soworkweekchic.blogspot.com/

This was exciting and it presented some challenges. Event photography is always a challenge because things happen fast and you need to be able to adapt quickly to changing lighting, movement, activities and work in less than ideal situations. The lighting is frequently fairly low and coming from many sources. Bringing in the off camera light helped because I know now that my models will have good lighting which will also help the jewelry to pop. I've also found that in order to cover an event you need to shoot A LOT of images and just keep shooting. Capture the before, during, after and the ambiance. This first shot was taken while the models prepped for the show

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I positioned myself at the end of the runway to capture the models coming in my direction. Shawna was positioned along the aisle with the light, we coordinated the spot and it worked out very well. Here are some shots from the show itself

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After the show the models were all enjoying themselves and I ran back to get some shots of them with some of the jewelry. With Shawna by my side we got some nice images of the models with some of the jewelry on, look at this necklace. It's stunning!

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Finally the models were done and they started playing, I was happy to capture these fun images of them being themselves. They worked hard and deserved a little fun time

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ali@alicyndrew.com (Alicyn Drew Photography) Event photography https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2014/8/traci-lynn-fashion-show Mon, 25 Aug 2014 00:08:49 GMT
Portrait Photography at MINIs Take the States 2014 https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2014/8/portrait-photography-at-minis-take-the-states-2014 My husband and I just returned from an amazing trip hosted by MINI USA. It's called MINIs Take the States (MTTS) and it happens every other year. The full trip was from San Francisco to Boston but we just picked it up for a few legs traveling from Cleveland to Buffalo to Bethlehem. Before we left I announced on one of the forums that I wanted to do some portraits of people with their MINIs. I was contacted by Tracy through Facebook asking if she could assist. We exchanged cell phone numbers and I promptly forgot about it. The event was amazing and with over 400 MINIs and 1,000 people; it was easy to get overwhelmed. While in Buffalo MINI set up an evening event to party in an old urban building that was open and next to a lot of cool old urban ruins. As we left and were in the parking lot I was totally entranced by the ruins and decided I really wanted to shoot my MINI against the buildings. I got out my lights and started to set up the tripod. While I was setting up I saw a friend Mike and asked him if I could shoot him with his MINI. The first shot I did was this HDR of my own MINI named Tigger.

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While I was shooting this very blond and chipper woman came over and asked if I was Ali. I said I was and it turned out she was Tracy. She had her husband Ben with her and suddenly I had two very capable assistants. So they helped me as I set up for the shot with Mike. The lighting was really tricky to include a person for several reasons. We were in an active parking lot and people kept leaving with their lights on. HDR was essential for the car and background so that I could get several exposures to combine in post. However, it's hard to have a person stand still for that so I realized that this was going to need to be a composite too.

We shot Mike's car first in the same way as I had shot mine (3 images at different exposures). Then I changed the camera settings, set up the lights for Mike and shot him. The camera stayed on the tripod the whole time. Tracy's husband Ben was my Voice Activated Light stand (VAL) and he held one of the lights with the umbrella. I have learned that VALs don't really like when I do test fires of the strobes without warning them but I always forget and they always whine about it :-)

With their help we got this awesome shot of Mike and his MINI

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Next I decided to shoot Tracy with her MINI. We picked a slightly different background and used the same technique with her. This is the result

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While we were shooting Tracy this really polite and sweet guy named Jason came by and asked so nicely if I would mind shooting him with his MINI. I could not turn him down, especially after seeing his lime green pllasti-dipped Coupe. But first, there was some horsing around as I set up the lights for Tracy. MINI people are a bit odd and yes, Jason was traveling with his horse head mask. I loved this little dramatic shot from our photography adventure.

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So Chive on we did and we shot Jason and his awesome MINI with this result and no horse head

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These portraits were so much fun to shoot and they really stretched me technically. I learned a lot and want to do more of them. There is a connection that some people will get with their cars and when it happens it's magical. It's very common for MINI owners to fall in love with their MINI and it's clear in these images that these are true MINIacs.

 

 

 

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ali@alicyndrew.com (Alicyn Drew Photography) Car Photography MTTS Mood Portraiture Portrait photography Post processing https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2014/8/portrait-photography-at-minis-take-the-states-2014 Fri, 15 Aug 2014 02:41:45 GMT
Jane's headshots https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2014/7/janes-headshots I recently donated a headshot session to a charity and Jane won the bid for my services. She wanted updated headshots  for LinkedIn and professional reasons. We went over the look that she was going for and clothing choices. She chose two outfits that worked really well. The colors are complimentary for her skin tones. The fabrics are nice and there are no strong overpowering patterns. Her outfit compliments her and doesn't compete with her for attention. This is really important for a headshot since the person is the star of the image and not their outfit.

On the day of the shoot I came out to her house and set up in the back yard. Jane has the sweetest kitty ever and asked if I would mind getting a shot of her with Tess. I love animals so of course was happy to oblige. We did shoot the pics with the kitty last to make sure there was no hair on her in the non-kitty images.

Below are the images from our session including one with the Tess. 

 

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ali@alicyndrew.com (Alicyn Drew Photography) Head shots Portrait photography https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2014/7/janes-headshots Wed, 30 Jul 2014 02:59:23 GMT
The Huntress Goddess https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2014/7/the-huntress-goddess It's been quiet out here lately. I had knee surgery in early June and haven't been able to do a lot of photography. However while I was recovering I watched videos, studied photography and continued training and inspiring myself. While I was out during the first week after surgery I didn't have a lot that I could do so I logged in to Creative Live to watch the free training. There was a series broadcasting from Amanda Diaz. I had never heard of her but soon became a fan as she showed Do It Yourself fashion photography. I was so excited after seeing what she was doing that I lost sleep with visions of my own inspiration. 

Stephanie is my muse, she's one of my favorite models to work with and always up for a shoot. I kept seeing her in green and costumes and themes flitted through my mind until I decided on doing a goddess shoot and having her represent the huntress. Artemis is the classic huntress and I know she's pictured with hounds and arrows; what she represents in not only hunting but a connection with nature and the animals that includes protecting the wildlife. While I couldn't access bows and hounds I did try to capture her connection with nature through these images.

I worked with Stephanie to come up with an outfit that would be suitable. We wanted her to have a mystical look while also blending in with the forest. We chose greens and browns and added a touch of bling. My friend Sara came over and did the makeup, it was a professional job. We literally built this costume utilizing fabric, ripping an old skirt, glue, feathers and some rhinestones. The crown is an older necklace of mine and the top was literally made on her body along with the skirt and feather decorations.

We then went to a friend's house which is very near mine and hit the woods behind her condo. The woods have a little creek, they're dark and green and the area is actually very urban. I brought minimal lighting and we got to work. Below are some of my favorite images from our shoot. I intend to do a series of these and am excited about each and every one of them. With luck there will be Athena the goddess of War, Selene the goddess of the Moon, Aphrodite the goddess of love, the northern goddess and hopefully a few more. Each session will embody the spirit and strength of her chosen goddess, I can't wait to see how they come out.

 

 

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ali@alicyndrew.com (Alicyn Drew Photography) Mood Portraiture Portrait photography goddess photography https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2014/7/the-huntress-goddess Wed, 16 Jul 2014 03:41:43 GMT
Is your LinkedIn headshot helping you? https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2014/7/is-your-linkedin-headshot-helping-you I’ve blogged many times about headshots. Why do I do this? Because there is a huge need for people to understand why a good headshot is important.

I have spoken to people and many think that they just don’t photograph well. A lot of people get  stressed out at the thought of their picture being taken and so they just go with something fast and painless. However, you’re living with this image as your professional online representation to potential clients and employees.

I recently went through my contacts on LinkedIn and identified several common issues with many of the images that people were using for professional representation.

1.     The standard silhouette – Nothing says I’m too lazy to be bothered than this one and yet, it’s better than many of the pictures posted.

2.     The blurry cell phone picture full of distractions – No one actually sees you when you’re out of focus and surrounded by all of the stuff in your living room or the hallway

3.     The fill the frame with my face floating head – I see lots of these and they are kind of scary, you really need to include part of your neck and shoulders.

4.     The glamour shot – I see a ton of these and while it may be a great image of you, it’s not a professional one unless you’re in the entertainment business

5.     The party girl/ guy – What does this tell a prospective employer about your priorities?

6.     The grumpy serious face – You want to look approachable

7.     The something is growing out of your head – Again, this is a distraction from who you are and looks amateurish.

8.     I see a lot that I refer to as the Oompah Loompah pictures; these are the ones that are poorly taken with bad white balance and look orange or bright yellow. These colors are not natural and don’t look healthy.

9.     Looking away from the camera - While it might be a nice angle for an artsy image it’s not what you want for business. You want to be looking at the camera so that the person viewing your image feels that you are engaged.

10.  Just general poor image quality in exposure, focus and tone – This is your face to the social media business world, do you really want to represent yourself like this?

Does your headshot sound like any of the above? If so, consider having a professional image taken. You will stand out above others as a professional. When you work with a professional photographer they will work with you to bring out the character and personality that you want to show. You’ll be prepared for LinkedIn and if your new company asks for a headshot for the website you will have it ready and they won’t have to take you out into the hallway with the fie year old point and shoot that they use for the ID badges and take the obligatory picture. You will instead be ready with a shiny professional image that makes you and the company look better.

My headshot package is $200 and includes 3 fully processed digital images. You can also purchase additional images processed from the shoot for $25 each. Once you have your professional headshots your biggest problem will be deciding which one to put use.

I am also available for staff headshots for groups.

I understand that people can be nervous and I also understand how to get a good look and deliver the image that you want. I take my time and work with you to relax you, we actually have fun. I bring professional gear and lighting and will work with various conditions. I know what looks good in a professional headshot because I love taking them.

The following headshots are examples of different approaches. They’re all in focus, well lit with the subject engaged with the camera. The difference is the purpose of each image and what the client wanted to portray.

Diane is a massage therapist, she wanted a very casual and approachable look to her images. She chose outdoors and neat casual clothing.

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Jun is an accountant; she wanted a little more professional look but not too corporate. We used a solid background and she dressed more business casual.

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Steve needed a full corporate image for the website of the company he was about to start at. He is a consultant and needed an image that would look good to their client base.

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ali@alicyndrew.com (Alicyn Drew Photography) Head shots Portrait photography https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2014/7/is-your-linkedin-headshot-helping-you Thu, 03 Jul 2014 04:24:24 GMT
My Head shots Package https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2014/6/my-head-shots-package I frequently meet people that just want good head shots for Facebook and LinkedIn. They need their images delivered digitally as it's for social media and not for printing. They also don't need a lot of different images.

To meet that need I have a head shot package that is $200 and includes 3 digital images with an online license. The online license means that you can freely use the images on your website or on social media pages, however you are not authorized to print unless you print through my site. I always provide printing options at a reasonable price through a professional lab. The head shot images will not be watermarked and are in a high resolution so that you can use them as you need to online. All images that I deliver are post processed to bring out your best features.

Recently I worked with Cindy who wanted some updated head shots. I met her at her house and we worked in her backyard. There are different kinds of looks for head shots and I like to discuss them in advance. If someone is doing something very corporate they may want a basic studio look with a white background. I can easily do that by placing a white panel behind them to create a basic background. This method is also very useful when the weather is bad and the house is small and crowded. Sometimes I like to use it to remove all possible distractions, after all a headshot is about the person and the last thing you want are a lot of distractions competing for attention.

Some people will choose environmental portraits where we do incorporate the environment however the focus is still on the person.

Cindy chose a natural look and feel for her images. We shot in her backyard and I brought in additional lighting to add dimension to the images and to help her eyes to fill with light. She chose two outfits one more casual so that she would have two looks in the final delivery. Her hair and makeup was perfect and we had a lot of fun creating these images while her son played happily in the yard and her husband watched from the deck.

Here are the 3 final images that she chose

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When I create a headshot package I will also create copies that are formatted for LinkedIn at no additional charge. LinkedIn has very specific sizing guidelines and I want your image to go up without any loss of quality.

The time spent is about 30 minutes to capture the images and I deliver the finished product within 2 weeks but usually less than a week. If interested in head shots please email or call and I am happy to accommodate. I work within the Northern VA/ DC area.

 

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ali@alicyndrew.com (Alicyn Drew Photography) Head shots Portrait photography https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2014/6/my-head-shots-package Sun, 08 Jun 2014 19:41:56 GMT
Staff head shots https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2014/6/staff-head-shots A few months ago I got an email asking about taking some staff headshots for a publication called Reason. I found the email amusing as she asked for something that was different than the typical beige DC, something between cats eye tattoo woman and the smiling brick guy. I quickly shot over to my site and identified which images she was referring to. I love hearing from people that are fun and engaging. I worked with them to find a date when they would have most of the staff in the office. I then grabbed my trusty assistant and all of our gear. We had lighting, modifiers the works because I wanted to be prepared for whatever lighting we needed. A quick note about Chris who assisted me, he has an uncanny way of knowing what I need and adjusting on the fly. I can show him the images that we're getting and he'll get it right away and make the adjustments. He's also strong and carries the gear well. He is also just a lot of fun to work with. Here's Chris at the door to the business in Dupont Circle, look at the fiece look of determination!

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One of the challenges was to give each person a slightly different look while keeping the overall look of the images cohesive. We found various spots within the office to shoot. The first person ready was Meridith who works with the audio visual equipment. He was getting ready to do an interview and had his lighting all set up. We chose to shoot him with his own lighting which was fun. I really like the way this shot of him came out, the continuous lighting is nice to work with. 

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This is Peter who we worked with in the kitchen area. Friendly confidence came through nicely.

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Liz was fun to work with and really very photogenic. She has a great smile, but I just loved her serious portrait. We used the conference room to take her images. The copper wall was so full of texture and provided a nice backdrop.

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Katherine is the editor who contacted me. What fun she was with her bright purple curls and happy relaxed smile. While we also used the conference room for Katherine we changed up the lighting a bit to alter the look and feel a bit.

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We did seven head shots in all and each one was a unique and fun. After delivering the images I got an email from Katherine with a link showing that within minutes of downloading she had replaced her prior head shot

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To me, that's a sign of a happy customer and a successful job well done. 

Chris and I had a great time working with the whole crew. 

 

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ali@alicyndrew.com (Alicyn Drew Photography) Head shots Portrait photography https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2014/6/staff-head-shots Tue, 03 Jun 2014 03:45:26 GMT
Fun with images- the making of an internet meme https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2014/5/fun-with-images--the-making-of-an-internet-meme I love the talent and creativity of some of my friends and Josh and Amy might just take that to levels that are beyond measure. I had a great time at MINIs on the Dragon doing a fun and crazy steam punk goth style shoot with them. Amy is a real professional to work with as a model and Josh is just fun. At the end of the session Amy asked me if I could grab a quick shot of her riding her blow up pool toy Dragon next to her MINI. Of course I said yes without a second thought and took this image. By professional standards it's more of a snapshot.  Still I gave them the image and popped it up to Facebook.

 

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It wasn't long before someone had cut Amy out and added her to another scene. I don't have a copy of that image but it got Amy's husband Josh going and he went on to create a series of images that captured our imaginations and amused us to no end. What follows are the images that Josh created. 

I would say they are fun and creative and totally amusing. We watched with great delight to see each and every variation that Josh created. He took a basic snapshot and saw something more in it. He created some amazing images that are fun and engaging. I wanted to showcase the memes that he created because I think they're just awesome fun!!! Great Work Josh! Amy, you're an amazing model to work with!

 

 

 

 

 

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ali@alicyndrew.com (Alicyn Drew Photography) https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2014/5/fun-with-images--the-making-of-an-internet-meme Sat, 31 May 2014 14:43:42 GMT
Fulfilling my artistic vision https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2014/5/fulfilling-my-artistic-vision Recently we went on a trip to MINIs on the Dragon. The organizer is Barry and last year I created an image of his new MINI that he loved. That picture wound up on a calendar, the MINI USA site and all over the place. Yet this year I wanted to do something special again. I also wanted to include Barry's awesome wife Robin. I had a vision of doing the image at sunrise at the boat ramp and creating a golden rim light. I lost sleep over this but I had the image in my mind. When I create something special and from the heart like this I will really think it out. I plan the way they'll be posed and lit and how to light the car. 

When doing a shot like this you need to think about the steps involved. First I worked on getting the car lit, then I added the back light to see what it would do without them in the image. This is one of the first images. I really like using lighting with low ambient light. It adds so much drama

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Next I added Robin and Barry to the image. When shooting at this time of the morning the lighting can change quickly. 

Here is the final image with the dramatic sky and the golden rim lighting on Barry and Robin. I love how they look at each other. It genuinely shows their connection to each other.

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Then just for fun I flipped it to black and white

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I really enjoyed the process and creativity that went into this image. I loved working with Barry and Robin and they were fun. I wonder where inspiration will take me next year

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ali@alicyndrew.com (Alicyn Drew Photography) MINIs on the Dragon Mood Portraiture Portrait photography https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2014/5/fulfilling-my-artistic-vision Fri, 23 May 2014 02:09:48 GMT
Event Photography - Executive Women in Government Leadership Conference https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2014/5/event-photography---executive-women-in-government-leadership-conference I was recently hired to cover the Executive Women in Government Leadership conference. It was an amazing conference with captivating speakers. I really enjoyed being there and did my best to capture the spirit of the event. When capturing a conference it's important to hit all of the highlights of the day. It's also important to capture the environment and of course the speakers.

 

Get the room and show how full of people it is, capture the crowd. It sets the scene for the story that this is a large event.

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Get the greetings and the interactions throughout the day, it captures the emotions and energy.

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Get the enthusiasm!!

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And of course the speakers. Here's Washington DC Chief of Police Cathy Lanier receiving a thank you gift for speaking. She was an amazing speaker that really impressed me.

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Don't forget the key note speaker who in this case was Elizabeth Dole. She held the room entranced as she told her stories.

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When I shoot an event I get in there to capture the feeling, the moments, the hugs, the laughter. I want to show the engagement of the participants and the full energy of the event. 

I really enjoyed this event, it was a great day

 

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ali@alicyndrew.com (Alicyn Drew Photography) Event Photography https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2014/5/event-photography---executive-women-in-government-leadership-conference Sun, 18 May 2014 03:58:08 GMT
Crazy fun photoshoot with Kelli and her MINI Cooper Blaze https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2014/5/crazy-fun-photoshoot-with-kelli-and-her-mini-cooper-blaze I recently went to MINIs on the Dragon (MOTD) for the 5th year. This event is a big event for those of us that own MINI Coopers and we come down in big groups. This year there were over 1,000 people registered with over 700 MINI Coopers. While I'm there I will do lots of photo sessions and this year was no exception. I had some really fun shoots and got to work my colored gels and the fog machine too. When I heard Kelli and Blaze would be at MOTD I contacted her right away to do a shoot. Kelli is fun and full of life, her car is a work of art and I knew we would have a great time with the session. She decided to dress as an 80's rocker chick.

I scoped out a location and found a ball field within the resort that had a light post with an electrical outlet. In order to use the fog machine I knew I was going to need power so I tested it earlier in the afternoon and found that the outlet was live!!! Kelli and I met just before dark and I had set up the fog machine and the lighting. I chose two gelled lights, one with a magenta gel and the other with a turquoise gel. The idea was to tint the fog and also add some interesting colors to the image. I set up two daylight balanced lights to capture Kelli properly and we got to work. As it got dark I suddenly realized that I couldn't get a focus on her face. Luckily a friend and fellow photographer was there to help. Adam lit her face with his iPhone allowing me to get a focus. I also set my camera to use the aperture of f8 so that I would get a lot of focus.

Here is one of the images of Kelli from the shoot. She has so much life and screams fun!!!

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This next image is a close up of Blaze and her shoes with the fog, I love the way this came out

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This last shot is a crazy full body shot, no fog but fun lighting and posing.

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These images are telling the story of Kelli and Blaze her MINI. She's a free spirit and highly expressive. By using the lights, fog and putting these two together the story is told. I had fun shooting this session and Kelli had a blast playing.

 

 

 

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ali@alicyndrew.com (Alicyn Drew Photography) Car Photography MINI Cooper Portraits" MINIs on the Dragon Mood Portraiture Portrait photography https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2014/5/crazy-fun-photoshoot-with-kelli-and-her-mini-cooper-blaze Sun, 11 May 2014 23:17:08 GMT
Glamour Shots for MINIs on the Dragon https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2014/5/glamour-shots-for-minis-on-the-dragon I just got back from my annual trek to the Smokey Mountains where I meet up with about 1,000 other people and around 750ish MINI Coopers for a week of fun and playing. We base in Fontana Village which is near the Tail of the Dragon. The Tail of the Dragon is a legendary road for motorcycle and motoring enthusiasts. 11 miles long, 318 turns and no side streets, houses, or interruptions. The whole week is an amazing experience of community and fun and joy. 

My friend Craig and I have gone as the Glamour Shots photographers doing Glamour Shots of the MINIs for three years now. This last week we shot A LOT of MINI Coopers, and no two looked the same. You-ification is big in the MINI Cooper crowd and many like to express their personalities through their MINI. This blog is about some of the people with their respective MINIs. Whenever possible I try to capture the owner with the MINI. Many turn me down, but some let me shoot them together. When they do, I love getting the opportunity to capture their connection.

This is Ginger, she loves pugs and her MINI Cooper. She is always smiling and a breath of fresh air. I'm sure her MINI has a name, but I just plain can't remember it. She really is as happy as she looks here.

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Here is Hilary and her JCW MINI named Johnny. Hilary loves purple so we lit her car with some purple accents. Her session was really early in the morning so I also lit her so that she would stand out without washing out the interesting cloudy sky. BTW - don't let her sweet face fool you, Johnny is a beast of a MINI!

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I wish I could remember this man's name but I loved working with him. He was kind of quiet and has that cool personality. I coaxed him a bit and got him to pose with his MINI. After the shoot he zipped past us a few times and we could see he was definitely in motoring heaven.

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This couple was so much fun and all smiles. When we see a couple with two MINIs we call them a PolygaMINI household. After all there's no need to fight over the MINI if everyone has one. My husband and I each have our own, it's a great way to travel. These two were just plain full of fun

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Speaking of fun, I saved Josh and Amy for last. These two brought their goth, steampunk outfits with them and well I had to do another shoot just with them. I mean who can resist working with such creative souls. Here's just one quick shot of them and their MINIs. They'll be getting their own blog posting

 

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I have covered 5 images with 7 MINIs and 7 people. Each and every one is unique and shows their personalities. Everyone one of the people that we worked with and photographed was fun and engaging and a joy to work with. I have a slew of images to post and this blog will be covering the MINIs on the Dragon for the next several issues.

To give you an idea there's the steampunk goth session with Josh and Amy, an 80's rocker session that included colored lights and the fog machine with Kelli and her MINI Blaze, a romantic sunrise image with Barry and his wife Robin and their MINI Spyder and more, so much more.

 

 

 

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ali@alicyndrew.com (Alicyn Drew Photography) Car Photography Character Photography MINI Coopers MINIs on the Dragon Mood Portraiture Portrait photography https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2014/5/glamour-shots-for-minis-on-the-dragon Wed, 07 May 2014 03:21:39 GMT
Femme Fatale photo session https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2014/4/femme-fatale-photo-session I recently worked with Suni to do a portrait session to reveal her inner femme fatale. Prior to the shoot Suni and I discussed what we wanted to do with the shoot. The next step was to create a Pinterest board for inspiration, we each pinned images that had the feel that we were looking for. It creates a mood board for the session and helps both the photographer and the subject to create the character and feel of the session.

When Suni pinned a Jessica Rabbit image I knew we were going to be having some fun. In preparation for the session we went over her wardrobe and she had her makeup professionally applied. She showed up at the studio with perfect hair and makeup and a full wardrobe of beautiful clothing. I set up the iPod with a playlist of vintage lounge and blues music.

I decided that I wanted to do a low key lighting and eventually work in some colored gels. I used a single light with a gridded beauty dish to create a lighting with a vintage look. Suni portrays nothing short of Vavoom, she's an amazing model to work with.

Here's one of the shots with the red gel highlighting her arm and hat.

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Here's a real femme fatale look

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This one below I added a touch of smoke to add to the mood of her expression

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Here's another version of the image above in color

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This shoot was a lot of fun, we went for a mood and got it. We had a lot of fun and the images reflect that.

If you are interested in doing a shoot like this let me know. We can work to create the mood and look that you want to portray.

 

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ali@alicyndrew.com (Alicyn Drew Photography) Mood Portraiture Portrait photography Post processing https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2014/4/femme-fatale-photo-session Tue, 22 Apr 2014 00:49:34 GMT
My recent adventure to Photoshop World https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2014/4/my-recent-adventure-to-photoshop-world One thing I feel is important is to keep my skills up. I am a member of Kelbyone training because they have world class instructors and hundreds of videos online by some of the best photographers out there. Earlier this year I went to one of their trainings in Richmond VA. At the end of the session I was shocked to learn that I was the grand prize winner of entrance to Photoshop World. They had two locations one in the Spring in Atlanta, GA and one in the Fall in Las Vegas. I chose Atlanta and went last week. 

Before I went I had 3 instructors in mind that I was bound and determined to see. Frank Doorhof is from the Netherlands, he is a highly creative fashion photographer and I have been reading his book for the last year. He's very Dutch and really funny. On all of our reviews he asked us to write "If it ain't Dutch, it ain't much". I'm half Dutch so of course I did it. I also had a front row seat to all  3 workshops that I attended. Here's a really bad image from one of Frank's workshops. I really enjoyed watching how he works with a model, he has a lot of respect and is very kind. He also declared me his number one fan!!!! 

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Dave Black is doing some amazing work with Light painting so I wanted to see his workshop. When I saw what he's doing with this  technique he blew my mind. He is creating images that you would think are impossible to get in camera, in one shot without Photoshop. I was totally entranced by the images and the technique that I plan to start learning light painting techniques for portraits. Light painting is a long exposure and the image is lit by flashlights. It allows you to select what will be lit, where the light will come from and how intense it will be. For a control freak like me this is amazing!!!! Here's a cell phone shot of Dave doing a workshop

 

Last was Peter Hurley, I mean what kind of portrait photographer would I be if I didn't go see the star of the head shot. He is full of life and really funny. He taught us about the squinch, how to create a jawline, how he makes people relax and laugh "Why do you look so miserable?" 

He also spoke about the importance of including head shots in any photography business. I agree with him, I love doing head shots and I learned a lot from his workshop. Here he is during the closing ceremonies.

 

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I still can't believe I won admission to Photoshop World and I'm really glad that I did. I spent 3 full days immersed in photography, taking workshops and chatting with other photographers. I feel it's important to maintain a passion for the work and doing things like this feeds my passions. 

This blog isn't about nice images, I know these images are crap :-) 

This blog is about the experience, and the images just help hold up that experience. When I approach a job I do so with passion. When I went to Photoshop World I did it with excitement and enthusiasm. Don't let the name mislead you, it's all  about photography, I barely touched Photoshop workshops. I hope to make this a yearly experience and with this experience I will bring more to my photo sessions and keep growing and learning and giving it all that I've got.

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ali@alicyndrew.com (Alicyn Drew Photography) Photoshop World Portrait photography https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2014/4/my-recent-adventure-to-photoshop-world Mon, 14 Apr 2014 02:05:42 GMT
10 ways to improve your vacation pictures https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2014/3/improving-your-vacation-pictures Anyone can have better vacation pics if you just think about a few things. I see so many pictures where people go somewhere cool and bring back mundane images. I will admit my big pet peeve is the picture with a person standing in front of whatever with hands by their side feet flat just staring at the camera. There are some simple things that you can do to make your pictures more interesting where they will stand out and make you want to frame them.

There are a lot of tips I could give you but this post is mostly about posing. I recently went to the Library of Congress with a coworker. He was helping me scope out the scene for a potential shoot. I wanted to check the natural light so I asked Ty to stand on the steps and let me grab a quick shot. What we got looks like a lot of vacation pictures. I see a lot wrong with this shot. Ty is just standing there feet flat hands by his side, the sign is running right behind his head and there are a bunch of tourists going by. I personally like to try and get the shot without the tourists if possible. When you remove distractions it becomes more clear about the subject.

 

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So how can this image be improved and still show the that he's at someplace cool?

I shifted the angle to keep the architecture but cropped out some of the tourists

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This is better, you still see the columns and the architecture, his head isn't framed by an ugly sign and there are less tourists. I decided to do one more tweak to get a better image of Ty and the surroundings. I had him shift his angle so that one foot could be higher than the other on the steps. He's not dead centered in the frame and he's interacting a little with his surroundings by leaning a little on the railing. Overall a more interesting image than what we started with and you still get the impressive qualities of the location.

 

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So think about a few things when you are on vacation and want to take a picture of someone on vacation.

1. Have them do something with their feet instead of flat feet. If the ground is flat have women bed a knee to create some curves, for men create more of a natural stance. If you have stairs, use them! Sit on them or put a foot up a level.

3. Have them do something with their hands instead of holding them by their side. For women try a hand on the hip, or put a hand up to touch something as if leaning. For men try crossing your arms or putting a hand in a pocket. If you have a prop, try using it.

4. Interact with the area. Lean on something or maybe don't look at the camera but look at the subject.

5. Don't put the person in the center, it's usually best to have them off to the side and maybe looking into the scene.

6. Try placing the person much closer to the camera so that they take up more of the foreground. 

7. Try not to always face their whole body flat to the camera. Try to angle their body a bit and turn their head to the camera.

8. Try different angles, have the person walk away from you and look back over their shoulder, or sit on the ground and shoot down at them.

9. Try to show action if appropriate. Get people walking into the frame towards the object of interest. Have them throw their hands out in a gesture of fun and excitement.

10. Shoot the picture safe and then try something more fun. This way you always have your safe shot. As you get better you'll be able to stop shooting that safe boring shot and find your vacation pictures are a lot more fun and interesting.

 

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ali@alicyndrew.com (Alicyn Drew Photography) Photography tips vacation photography https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2014/3/improving-your-vacation-pictures Sun, 30 Mar 2014 21:09:23 GMT
Corporate Headshot Steve https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2014/3/corporate-headshot-steve I was recently contacted by Steve who needed head shots for a new job. He had recently retired and was starting out in consulting. He chose my head shot package which includes 3 high resolution digital head shots. I also will make black and white versions of the color images and crop one or  two to the specific dimensions needed for easy uploading to LinkedIn.

We worked at his home and his son assisted with the backdrop. We shot the images on his back porch. I bring lighting and a very small backdrop that requires the helpful hand of anyone that's available. This set up provides a quick portable studio that provides professional results. We chose to do a few with his suit and a few in a more relaxed casual look. Here are the final images.

 

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ali@alicyndrew.com (Alicyn Drew Photography) Head shots Portrait photography https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2014/3/corporate-headshot-steve Fri, 28 Mar 2014 23:56:11 GMT
Corporate Board Portrait https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2014/3/corporate-board-portrait I was recently hired by the Executive Women in Government to take a picture of their board of trustees for their website. Of course I was honored to be able to work with these accomplished women and really enjoyed the session with them. We worked in a conference room and carefully arranged the US flag as a background. I placed the President and Vice President in the middle and the Treasurer and Secretary on the sides. They are busy women so we worked quickly so that they could get back to their meetings and important work.

 

This was the chosen image.

 

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I liked the shot, but I didn't like the distractions of the doors. During the shoot I had to use that corner and couldn't avoid the doors, however in post processing I was able to remove the distractions so that the emphasis is on the subjects. Here is the final image that was chosen to go on to their website.

 

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ali@alicyndrew.com (Alicyn Drew Photography) Corporate Photography Head shots Portrait photography https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2014/3/corporate-board-portrait Fri, 21 Mar 2014 01:28:23 GMT
Christie and her MINI Cooper Photo Session https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2014/3/christie-and-her-mini-cooper-photo-session Christy has a custom painted black metallic '06 MINI Cooper Cabrio S which I have always loved. I partly love it because it's the same year and model as mine and I love it because of the care that has gone into customizing the MINI. It totally suits her personality and is unique like her. We decided to do this photo shoot after we had finished some family shots in the park. We took them at sunset on the roof of a parking garage in Hampton, VA. I used two speedlights to light up Christy and the MINI. By bringing in lighting I was able to set the camera to catch the sunset and still put attention on Christy and the car. I used an umbrella to diffuse the lighting that was hitting Christy but let the bare bulb of the second light hit the car.

 

Here are the three best images

 

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For this last one I did some post processing to desaturate the image a bit and bring out the textures. This is one of the earlier images and the sunset hadn't hit it's full color yet. By processing like this I was able to bring out details that were washed out in the original capture.

 

A73A3868-Edit-2-EditA73A3868-Edit-2-Edit I really love shooting these types of character shots of people and their cars. I enjoy capturing their personalities and these images are all about that connection of the driver and the car from a purely aesthetic perspective. The shoots are a lot of fun for the model too. They get to play and show off their baby!

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ali@alicyndrew.com (Alicyn Drew Photography) Mood Portraiture Portrait photography Post processing car photography https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2014/3/christie-and-her-mini-cooper-photo-session Wed, 05 Mar 2014 03:09:34 GMT
Badass Car Shoot with Erin and her MINI Cooper Countryman https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2014/2/badass-car-shoot-with-erin-and-her-mini-cooper-countryman I love, love, love to shoot a person with the car that they love and capture their personality. This shoot was about Erin and her Countryman. Erin is another photographer friend of mine and we like to shoot together. Tonight she had a vision and I had my own vision so we headed out with our friend Chris in tow and went into DC. I helped Erin with her shots of Tycoon her Countryman and then she posed for me to get my shots. Erin is sweet and pretty and she's tough too. She and her MINI are a great pair and she can drive it like she stole it. So we set up the lights and used my MINI as part of the lighting by side lighting with the headlights. We took this shot at a parking lot in front of the Capital. It's such a great location to get the iconic DC shot.

This one is my favorite from the shoot, I love the context with the Capital in the background

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I'm a big believer that cars look best when shot at a low angle so I laid down on the pavement  to get the following shot. We lost the Capital at this point but it captured the look I was going for.

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Last is a shot from the lighting check of just the car. I like to get the car lit properly and then bring in the model. In this case the headlights were causing a flare, but I like the drama that it added to the image. 

 

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These images were all shot using off camera Speedlites and the headlights of my MINI. The camera was set to not capture most of the ambient light but it was also late at night. It was a really fun shoot but I think I'll wait till it's warmer to lay on the DC pavement again.

 

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ali@alicyndrew.com (Alicyn Drew Photography) Car Photography Mood Portraiture Portrait photography https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2014/2/badass-car-shoot-with-erin-and-her-mini-cooper-countryman Mon, 24 Feb 2014 04:26:54 GMT
MINI Cooper Car Photography with Chris https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2014/2/mini-cooper-car-photography-with-chris Chris loves his MINI Rocko and wanted some shots together. We collaborated with an awesome shop called PTuning to do the shoot at their location http://www.ptuning.com/. 

They set us up in the dyno box which had some interesting lighting on the ceiling. Normally I will try to get rid of ambient light, which I did, but I liked what these lights were doing so didn't work to totally eliminate them. I also added additional light and we got to work getting creative.

I started off using a trick with the cameras' white balance and gels. I set the camera to a low kelvin setting which makes it turn everything blue and put a yellow/orange gel on the light that would hit Chris. This created a bright blue light on the car while Chris maintained his regular skin tone. I also processed the image to have a gritty feel to it.

 

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Then we worked with more color balanced lighting. I shot from low to give this image impact. I also processed it with texture and desaturated it. We were going for a very gritty look in this shoot.

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This image screamed to be flipped to black and white, so here it is

A73A3281-Edit-Edit-EditA73A3281-Edit-Edit-Edit In this next image I wanted some Photoshop fun so I shot Chris in his car as if he was driving. Later I created the blurred background. I also played with the color tones to really bring out the red of his racing harnesses. He loves those things so I wanted to highlight them, while giving the appearance that the car was screaming fast.

A73A3263-EditA73A3263-Edit This last image is just Rocko the MINI. When setting up the lighting I took a few shots of the ambient light and the white balance set to a low kelvin value. I really liked how the lights reflected on the car and decided to process this one to enhance it

 

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Chris has a strong connection with his MINI Cooper. He really loves the car and he wanted these images to not be about just him or the car but about them as a pair. We also wanted to get creative and have some fun with this shoot. We had a lot of fun and while none of these images capture his friendly smile there was a lot of laughing during this shoot. 

It was awesome that PTuning not only let us shoot there but gave us such an amazing area of the shop to use. They are an awesome shop and they have been very supportive of the MINI community. 

As a photographer I love getting to do creative sessions like this. I especially enjoy shooting people with their car or with a representation of something that they love. 

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ali@alicyndrew.com (Alicyn Drew Photography) Car Photography Mood Portraiture Portrait photography Post processing https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2014/2/mini-cooper-car-photography-with-chris Sun, 16 Feb 2014 04:54:52 GMT
Sasha Modeling Portfolio- Beauty head shots https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2014/2/sasha-modeling-portfolio--beauty-head-shots I recently worked with Sasha for her portfolio. She needed head shots and I wanted to work on beauty poses. Beauty poses are elegant and shot in a way that elongates the neck giving the model a graceful appearance. I used fairly classic beauty lighting. A beauty dish in front of her, a hair light behind her, two standing reflectors on her side and a reflector below to fill in the shadows. 

This blog I'm just showing some of the head shots but we also did full body and 3/4 body. We created images for 4 looks in her 2 hour session. Here I'm showing the monotone images, however for Sasha's portfolio she received the full color images in addition to the monotone. This gives her a variety to choose from when she presents.

I love the confidence that she portrays in this image

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This one is much softer

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This last image is more introspective and uses her arm to frame her face

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Sasha is available for modeling jobs and can be found through model mayhem at the following link.

http://www.modelmayhem.com/3300084

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ali@alicyndrew.com (Alicyn Drew Photography) 100 Strangers Head shots Model portfolio Portrait photography https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2014/2/sasha-modeling-portfolio--beauty-head-shots Thu, 13 Feb 2014 02:04:24 GMT
Stephanie Beauty Session https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2014/2/stephanie-beauty-session Stephanie wanted to work on her modeling portfolio so we decided to work in the studio and bring in a makeup artist. We brought in Monique from Makeup and Glam Inc from Fredericksburg VA. She can be found through her Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/MakeupandGlamInc

Monique was a joy to work with and she did a great job. Before Monique got started with the glamming up I got a few quick shots of her with her every day look.

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Stephanie brought a lot of outfits as I always ask her to do. It's important to bring a variety of things to work with and it really helps if your clothing is more form fitting. When she pulled out this polka dot dress; she loved it, I loved it so we decided to shoot it. She needed a good full body shot. I liked this one because it really shows off her height and graceful form.

 

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This one is another favorite that sets a soft and introspective mood.  A73A2388-EditA73A2388-Edit

 

 

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Finally we had some fun with feathers. This also gives a great closeup of the eye makeup work by Monique

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You don't have to be working on your modeling portfolio to pamper yourself like this. Beauty sessions are fun. You get pampered, you get to play dress up and you get to have fun!

 

Stephanie is available for modeling sessions. She can be reached through her Facebook page herehttps://www.facebook.com/pages/Stephanie-Primov-model/615322508520741

She's naturally pretty, great in front of the camera and awesome to work with. 

 

 

 

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ali@alicyndrew.com (Alicyn Drew Photography) Beauty Photography Head shots Mood Portraiture Portrait photography modeling https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2014/2/stephanie-beauty-session Fri, 07 Feb 2014 01:44:35 GMT
Car Chick photography with Christina https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2014/1/car-chick-photography-with-christina Today I met with Christina to do some shots of her and Carl, her BMW. She was a breath of fresh air and a total joy to work with. She dressed the part perfectly and brought along her racing helmet. Don't let her fool you either, this woman kicks total butt on the track and at autocross. She's fast, she knows how to drive and she's got a lot of confidence. I wanted to portray that in this shoot.

As a photographer I really don't like a lot of the common women and car shots that I see. There is no reason to objectify the woman, the car is the object, not the woman. So this shoot was not going to do that. 

We met up and she had scoped out a location. I followed her to an office park and we decided to do a few shots at this amazing location that she had found. We worked quickly with natural light. It was really, really cold and the wind was whipping. I really like this image because she looks focused and strong and Carl has an awesome repeating pattern on his windshield.

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We had a vision and that vision required a garage or darker area, so we went into the garage. We found a spot and it was pretty quiet in there. We figured it's a Saturday, no one will be coming  through so we start setting up. I barely had the first light set up when we met the security guard. She was firm and there was no way we would be charming her into letting us stay and shoot. So we packed up and I was booted from my first photography location. It's a badge of honor!

So we went to her apartment and down to the bowels of the parking garage. Christina knew about a double spot with two walls that was perfect. No one bothered us and we were so nice and warm too. We set up the lights and started working. The following two images were two of my favorites from the garage. One with a smile and one where she looks more serious. She smiles a lot so getting a tough one was the challenge. 

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We had a lot of fun and got some great shots. If you see Christina out on the track, don't be fooled by her sweet smiling face and Carl. She just might teach you a lesson you won't soon forget!

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ali@alicyndrew.com (Alicyn Drew Photography) Car Photography Mood Portraiture Portrait photography https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2014/1/car-chick-photography-with-christina Sun, 26 Jan 2014 04:02:52 GMT
Time to look at your headshots https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2014/1/time-to-look-at-your-headshots It's January when we look at our lives and make declarations and revisions. While you're at it you may be making a review of your career and considering your social presence. Take a look at your LinkedIn profile image, does it project the image that you want to portray? Think about your career and what attributes are important to project. Does your image show that? Most head shots should project a sense of confidence and approachability. Some need to be more serious formal, others are better with a more inviting and casual appeal.

A cell phone image will rarely give a high quality headshot. Cellphones have a wide angle lens which will not flatter the facial structure in the same way that a professional camera will. A professional photographer also knows which lens to use, how to pose you and how to get the right expression from you. I also understand how to minimize flaws (which we know you don't have). For example the angle to shoot someone that has a higher hairline is different then the angle I would shoot someone that wants to minimize their chin. I use slightly different poses for men then women, and I work with my subject to tweak the pose and lighting to get the best possible result.

For example, when I did headshots for Candi who is a psychologist she wanted professional images but she also didn't want to appear too formal. She wanted people to feel like she is someone that they would want to sit down and chat with. We did her headshots in a park, I brought a stool for her to sit on. I shot her from slightly above to flatter her features. When I created headshots for Andre the realtor I shot him from a lower angle because he wanted a more imposing feel to the images.

Last year I did headshots for Becky, who is an HR executive. Becky needs her headshots to be professional, not super formal but she did want a business feel to them. She asked me to update her headshots from last year and give more of a studio look to them. Last year we worked in a park, and this year we updated them with a studio look without actually going into the studio. 

These images were taken on a covered porch with an additional speedlight and an assistant holding a white diffuser behind her as a background. In this case, my assistant was her husband who was really good at getting the expressions that we needed from her. Bring a friend or loved one if you're nervous about a shoot, they can really help you relax.

The lighting was natural and gave a natural look. Her eyes are popping with vibrance and life, her hair is full of light and texture and her skin is smooth and soft. A headshot should fill the frame and should always include the shoulders. You never want a head floating in the air, the shoulders are critical to giving a nice foundation to the shot. Becky wore blue which goes well with her coloring and she chose a solid shirt which would not compete with her face and give a flattering base. 

 

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Becky's headshot session included 3 high resolution digital images along with images cropped and ready for uploading to LinkedIN. 

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ali@alicyndrew.com (Alicyn Drew Photography) Head shots Portrait photography https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2014/1/time-to-look-at-your-headshots Mon, 20 Jan 2014 16:55:12 GMT
Vintage Glam with Sasha https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2014/1/vintage-glam-with-sasha I had the pleasure of working with the lovely Sasha again at the National Building Museum. She and I had discussed doing a vintage inspired glam type of shoot and when I saw pictures of this location I knew we had out place. Sasha did her hair and makeup flawlessly and showed up with a beautiful gown. We scoped out locations while she changed and then got to work. I also had my assistant Chris with me, he's awesome at seeing light and we tend to see the same things but sometimes in a different way. I love working with him because he has such a good eye and is a great photographer in his own right.

Chris found the stairwell and we started off there. This is one of my favorite shots from that setting

A73A1064A73A1064 We did add a touch of light using a speedlight that was bounced onto a diffuser we found that the light coming through the windows was so soft and beautiful that it enabled some lovely portraits.

A73A1063-2A73A1063-2 The museum allows people to go up the balconies on 3 levels so we moved up to the second level where I wanted to take advantage of some of the architecture.

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A73A1114A73A1114 And you just can't do a vintage shoot without the fur coat

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A73A1174A73A1174 I decided to get a little artsy with the low light and shot this partial silhouette. 

A73A1290A73A1290 Finally she went down to the ground floor and I shot down from the second floor 

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And one last shot taken on the ground floor because I loved the repeating patterns of the arches and columns.

 

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Sasha, Chris and I had a really fun time working on this shoot. Many of these images were taken for her modeling portfolio and she is available as a professional model. She's the ultimate professional who shows up for the shoot ready to go and has a great attitude. I look forward to working with her again.

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ali@alicyndrew.com (Alicyn Drew Photography) Mood Portraiture Portrait photography Vintage Glam https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2014/1/vintage-glam-with-sasha Tue, 07 Jan 2014 03:59:56 GMT
Embracing the whimsical https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2013/12/embracing-the-whimsical There are times when I just want to have some fun and a trip to the Dollar Store inspired me to have fun with my little dogs Daisy and Peanut. I was just killing some time when I saw tiny little tutus for a dollar, then noticed the matching wings and tiaras. At $3 per costume I just found instant inspiration and decided that I was going to do a fairy princess shoot with the girls.

You should understand that Daisy and Peanut love this kind of thing. Daisy loves clothing, I mean she loves it. I will let her sniff something and then she sits sweetly while I put it on her. Daisy is also a sad faced Dachshund cross that always looks serious. So while she may have an expression that is interpreted by many as unhappy, she's actually not, this is just how she always looks. Peanut is scruffy and silly and happy for the attention and the cookies. Yes there were copious amounts of cookies flying during our little photo session.

I started off in the front yard and created a set. We have a stone wall where I placed house plants, gnomes, ceramic mushrooms and some decorative sparkly balls. We took a few shots out front but the lighting was harsh and I wasn't happy with the results. I do like this shot with the crown falling off of Peanut's head. It also allows you to see the set up. To me, taking the time to set a scene just added to the fun.

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Then we moved to the backyard where we the lighting was nicer. Using cookies the girls posed like little angels.

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As with any shoot I had to get one of each and add some fun photoshopping to bring out the magic

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This last shot was after we were done and the costumes were off. I include this to show you that Daisy still looks the same. Plus, it's a very cute shot of these two sweeites

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You might wonder why I would take the time to create these silly images. I do this because it stretches my imagination and gives me play time with my equipment. I wasn't out to make art or do something that no one had ever seen before. I just wanted to get quality pictures of my dogs that were fun and entertaining. I also enjoy the challenges of this because I don't have an assistant so I am problem solving the whole time. Setting up the camera on the tripod, using my remote to fire the camera, controlling the dogs and trying to fire at the right time is really challenging and I learn something new every time I do something like this.

As an artist and technically as a photographer I think it's important to stretch and play. I'm just happy to have such well behaved little models that are up to the challenge with me.

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ali@alicyndrew.com (Alicyn Drew Photography) Mood Portraiture Pet Photography Photography" Whimsical https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2013/12/embracing-the-whimsical Tue, 31 Dec 2013 04:14:54 GMT
Michele's fitness Session https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2013/12/micheles-fitness-session Michele recently took advantage my creative deluxe in studio package. She is a health and wellness coach for Herbalife products and needed some images for her social media marketing. She wanted to show her fitness and she wanted a fun and funky look. She worked hard for the body she has and she's done this without using weights or machines, she uses her body. We wanted her to look feminine and strong and we wanted to portray her personality. I did not edit these images to make her look any more muscular or to change her body image. The post processing was minimal, I adjusted the tones and smoothed her skin, brightened her eyes and adjusted the vibrancy of the overall images. I didn't sculpt or enhance her muscles at all, this is all real fitness.

We wanted her to look feminine so did some shots of her legs with a really pretty flowing dress. I love this shot of her legs, they are tone, strong and sexy.

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Then we went pure fitness

A73A0443-EditA73A0443-Edit In this image I replaced the background to look like a distressed concrete wall

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We also did a few classic head shots, I love her relaxed serene expression in this image. 

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And the last few shots we had some fun and let her play, I played in post processing with this one too. 

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We did a lot of looks within the two hours session. Michele left with a lot of good images to use for her business and her online presence. These images are just a small sample of the looks we got within the session. By booking the studio time I am able to fully control the lighting which makes it easy to get a specific look and feel. Every studio has a dressing room which makes it easy to change outfits.

 

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ali@alicyndrew.com (Alicyn Drew Photography) Fitness Head shots Mood Portraiture Portrait photography Post processing https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2013/12/micheles-fitness-session Wed, 18 Dec 2013 01:42:22 GMT
Steve Head Shots https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2013/12/steve-head-shots I recently did some head shots for Steve. I always ask what people do and what they want to portray. It is typical that people that I work with want to look approachable. Steve works in sales and he wanted to look professional and approachable. He wanted good clean head shots that would portray him as the professional he is. Steve was awesome to work with. He dressed very appropriately and was totally ready for the kind of shoot that he wanted. We were shooting at his house so we went outside and looked for the right light and non distracting backgrounds. 

The brick wall of his home exterior worked well but I had him step far enough forward so that it was out of focus which put the emphasis on Steve. We also shot some with the hard in the background which gave a brighter and more natural look to the images. I generally crop my head shots to include the shoulders and sometimes will crop from the waist up. He looked directly into the camera which gave the look of confidence and his smile made him extremely approachable. We shot with and without his glasses to give him different looks.

 

Below are a few of my favorites from the session

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ali@alicyndrew.com (Alicyn Drew Photography) Head shots Portrait photography https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2013/12/steve-head-shots Sun, 15 Dec 2013 04:23:07 GMT
Holiday greeting card https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2013/12/holiday-greeting-card So I decided this year I would do a cute holiday greeting card with my kids, Daisy and Peanut. As with any shoot I chose my equipment, set up some lighting, created an appropriate and inviting background that would peak the dogs interest. Thought of the many ways I could make this festive and got to work. First I set the scene with extra pillows on the couch and some red and green blankets. This worked immediately to call the dogs to the scene.

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Next I got them in position and showed them that cookies were involved

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I took a lot of shots and not one where they both looked at the camera. BUT!!! I had thought ahead and was shooting from the tripod which makes compositing easy. I found the two best images and blended them to get both dogs looking at the camera and VOILA!!! Doggie art was created.

 

Happy Holidays everyone!

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ali@alicyndrew.com (Alicyn Drew Photography) Pet Photography https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2013/12/holiday-greeting-card Mon, 09 Dec 2013 03:10:13 GMT
Headshots https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2013/12/headshots I love doing head shots and I tend to get a fair amount of sessions for them. There are a few things that I've found are important about head shots and there are a few reasons why people need them. 

First, why do you need a professional head shot? The simple answer is, that it looks more professional for your online presence. We live in a digital age where your online presence may be the first impression that a prospective client or future employer will see. I have looked on LinkedIn and have been surprised at what people put up for head shots in their profile. Many employers and recruiters are looking for prospective employees on LinkedIn and if they see a cell phone selfie you may be overlooked. No profile picture is probably better then a bad one. If you have a website and are offering a service then your website is the first place where your future clients will meet you. An engaging image that projects the look and feel that you want is going to give the client confidence that you may be someone that they want to do business with.

What are you looking for in a head shot? Head shots are not a one size fits all solution. Before I do a head shot session I work with the client  to find out what they are working to portray. Most people want to look approachable and confident. Some people need a very corporate look and others want a more friendly and casual look. I work with my clients to find the right balance using their clothing, the setting and the poses that will bring out what they want to portray.

One of my fun head shots sessions was with Andre, a  realtor that specializes in short sales. Andre didn't want the typical friendly realtor images for his site. He wanted to show that he would fight for his client. It was important to him that his portraits showed that he is a different type of realtor and he is working to appeal to a very specific customer. We shot this outside and intentionally used the stone wall as the background to enhance the look. Here is an example of one of his head shots.

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I recently worked with Monica who is a professional librarian and an artist. She wanted to strike that balance between professional and still allow her artistic nature to show through. We used an outdoor natural setting to bring out the warmth. The chunky jewelry brings out her artistic nature without losing the professional look. The dark jacket pulls together a professional look and leaving her hair down shows her artistic nature. 

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Chris is a young adult just starting out in his career. He is still in school and wanted something more professional for his LinkedIn profile. He wore a collared shirt and no tie for this image. We shot in a park and used natural lighting with a touch of fill light to bring out his eyes. The point here is to show a young and intelligent adult ready to start out his career. We will redo his head shot after he graduates as his needs will change.

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Cory has an inspirational talk radio show and needed promotional head shots. He needs to look very approachable and professional. Cory's shoot was done in the studio where there was full control of the lighting and backgrounds. The pose on the floor is intentionally casual to show his friendly and casual nature. It's as if he is asking someone to sit a bit and stop for a chat.

 

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All of these head shots have a different look and feel. It's as different as the people that are portrayed. There is no such thing as a standard head shot. If you are interested in a head shot session please think about what you are looking to get out of the session. I will work with you to get the look that you need. I will discuss wardrobe options that will bring out the appropriate personality. One other thing to note is that each of the above images are post processed very differently. Some are intentionally sharp, others more processed and some less processed. Throughout the process decisions are made to bring out what it is that you need from the final images. My head shot sessions start at $150

 

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ali@alicyndrew.com (Alicyn Drew Photography) Head shots Portrait photography https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2013/12/headshots Sun, 01 Dec 2013 17:19:52 GMT
Capturing moments https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2013/11/capturing-moments  

I recently had a photo session with Melissa, Jon and their daughter Julliette (Jules). We got some really cute shots of them together

 

 

Then we moved over to a tree and took a few more shots. Melissa wanted some pics with santa hats so Jon went to get them. While he was gone Melissa was cuddling, playing and talking to Jules and I was still there with my camera. I watch for moments like these. There was no posing just a simple and genuine moment between mother and daughter captured with the beautiful colors of Fall. It's images like this that make me so happy to be a photographer.

 

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ali@alicyndrew.com (Alicyn Drew Photography) Head shots Portrait photography family https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2013/11/capturing-moments Mon, 25 Nov 2013 00:21:09 GMT
Dance Portraiture https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2013/11/dance-portraiture As a photographer I like to indulge myself in artistic images and I really love the human form and movement. This month I had a photo shoot with Rania a wonderful dancer, instructor and owner of Jordin's Paradise http://www.jordinsparadise.com/

We worked in studio, played loud music and had a total blast as we worked on these images. I hope you enjoy them. As an artist I enjoyed fulfilling the chance to create the images from my imagination. Rania was amazing to work with, tireless and full of light. Head shots will be coming but for today I leave you with joy and motion...

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ali@alicyndrew.com (Alicyn Drew Photography) Dance Mood Portraiture Portrait photography https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2013/11/dance-portraiture Wed, 20 Nov 2013 01:11:20 GMT
Telling a story https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2013/11/telling-a-story Today I covered a little girls birthday party, she's now 3! It's amazing how much energy they have at this age. What struck me too was her determination. While she was on the playground I got these shots of her that show the story of her determination and success with the help of daddy. 

What a cutie pie

 

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and finally.... Thanks Daddy

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ali@alicyndrew.com (Alicyn Drew Photography) Mood Portraiture https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2013/11/telling-a-story Mon, 04 Nov 2013 02:14:00 GMT
Portrait with a horse https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2013/10/portrait-with-a-horse I recently did a wonderful session with Emily at the stables. The connection that she has with her horses is beautiful. I love them, but admit them make me a little nervous. Of course horses have always picked up on this and treated me accordingly. Emily has no fear, only love for these beautiful animals and it shows. This is one of my favorites because I love the connection that they share.

 

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Here's another one that I really liked 

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She also wanted some images of her riding. The movements and grace of horse and  rider were so beautiful I would sometimes forget to shoot. What a wonderful pairing. 

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One cute story was that we used a baggie with carrots to get the horses attention. At one point I looked behind me and these two cuties were begging for carrots. They cracked me up! OK, I gave them each one, who can resist those faces??? Not me

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It was such a fun session. I learned a lot about horses and truly enjoyed meeting all of these beautiful animals

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ali@alicyndrew.com (Alicyn Drew Photography) Mood Portraiture Portrait photography horses https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2013/10/portrait-with-a-horse Sun, 27 Oct 2013 01:04:09 GMT
Headshots for Candi https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2013/10/headshots-for-candi I was recently contacted by Candi to create some headshots for her to use on her website. We discussed what she was trying to portray, outfits and how formal. Candi decided that an outdoor setting would be nice and inviting; she also wanted to look friendly as she is a psychologist. We met at a park near my house for the shoot. She followed my instructions perfectly and wore a complimentary outfit in a fabric that wouldn't wrinkle. The sweater was a flattering color and didn't overwhelm her. 

Candi was a lot of fun to work with and at ease for the whole shoot. We had fun, we joked and we played. The more relaxed someone is during a photo session the better the images will come out. I work to bring out the playful nature in people as it will help create the most natural expressions.

Here are a few of the shots that she chose from the session

We decided to do some with her hair down

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and hair up

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She was happy with the results and will be using them on her website. Something I really enjoy doing is creating web profile headshots. Our social media presence is very important and in many cases this is the first place your client will "meet" you. Having a well done portrait that not only presents you in a flattering light but also brings out the attributes you are trying to portray is critical. In this case we were looking for approachable, professional but not corporate.

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ali@alicyndrew.com (Alicyn Drew Photography) Head shots Portrait photography https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2013/10/headshots-for-candi Fri, 25 Oct 2013 01:33:49 GMT
Engagement session - Washington DC https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2013/10/engagement-session---washington-dc I recently had a wonderful time with an engagement session for Sara and Tyler. They wanted to work at the monuments so we shot at the tidal basin and the Jefferson Memorial. We couldn't have asked for better weather and we had a great time.

I love how the light was sending stripes down the stairs which allowed us to capture this beautiful shot. Shooting into the light created the star and the afternoon sun was warm and golden.

 

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The monuments offer amazing scale and are a beautiful and dramatic setting for an engagement shoot

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These two are so easy and fun to be around, it really shows in their pictures

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And, you have to have at least one silly one that tells a story.....

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Overall it was a fun afternoon and we had a great  time. I wish them both the very best in their future together.

 

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ali@alicyndrew.com (Alicyn Drew Photography) Portrait photography couples engagement https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2013/10/engagement-session---washington-dc Wed, 23 Oct 2013 01:31:12 GMT
Mad men style portrait session https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2013/10/mad-men-style-portrait-session Erin and Sara wanted to do a mad men style portrait session. They met me at the studio with an entire wardrobe and perfect hair and make up. They made my job so easy. We had so much fun playing with the outfits, props and poses. 

Here are two of my favorites from the session; I love their elegance and sophistication.

Erin 

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and Sara

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We had some fun playing with props and when you give Erin a pair of sunglasses she become a real diva :-)

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Here's Sara with a coffee cup going for that perfect housewife of the era look

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Erin and her pearl bracelet 

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Sara looking totally elegant

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And both of them together

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All of these images were shot in the studio during a two hour session. They had access to a private dressing room. In studio I can control the lighting to really bring out the best in them. 

The fee for a shoot like this is $400, split with a friend it's just $200 each and you feel like a total rock star!!!

 

 

 

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ali@alicyndrew.com (Alicyn Drew Photography) Mood Portraiture Pin Up Portrait photography retro photography https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2013/10/mad-men-style-portrait-session Sun, 13 Oct 2013 19:15:54 GMT
Dramatic lighting portraits https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2013/10/dramatic-lighting-portraits I'm a member at Union 206 studio which is where I rent space for my studio photo shoots. I love working there because the lighting is amazing and the whole set up makes the client and myself feel like rock stars. Recently the owner Charles offered a dramatic lighting workshop. I missed the last one and I wasn't going to miss this one, so I signed up right away. I love any opportunity to learn and improve my skills. He brought in some models and showed us some basic lighting set ups that he uses. He also explained how he works with light and let me just say it was eye opening for me.

One of my favorite set ups was when he showed us how he backlights a subject. This was done with two lights and it really did lend a sense of drama to the portrait. This model was really fun to work with, I love her expression and her look. 

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He also set up a single light set up that I really liked. I worked with the other model for this set up and we got some interesting and dramatic looks. These two images are heavily processed as I wanted to bring out a feeling of mystery and thought. 

 

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The workshop was great and I have found an immediate improvement in how I light up a subject. The day after the workshop I had a headshot session in a park. While I wasn't in a studio, I was using additional lighting. Using the theories I learned in class gave me more options in how to use the lights to bring out my subject to her best. I also got back into the studio yesterday to reaffirm what I had learned and use some of the techniques. I love going to a class like this because I feel inspired and I know it will allow me to grow more as an artist.

 

 

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ali@alicyndrew.com (Alicyn Drew Photography) Head shots Mood Portraiture Portrait photography Post processing https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2013/10/dramatic-lighting-portraits Thu, 10 Oct 2013 20:23:48 GMT
Dance portraits - Pole dancing https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2013/10/dance-portraits---pole-dancing My friend invited me to shoot a class of pole dancers. I love the human form and was intrigued as I had never seen one of these classes. I shot the intro class and then a more advanced class. I was met by friendly enthusiastic (mostly women) who were charged with energy. The images I'm including are from the advanced class and show some amazing feats of strength coupled with beauty. I post processed these images to put the focus on the human form and highlight their strength.

We are planning to do a more formal shoot and I can't wait. No more words from me, here are the images:

 

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ali@alicyndrew.com (Alicyn Drew Photography) Mood Portraiture Portrait photography Post processing dance https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2013/10/dance-portraits---pole-dancing Wed, 09 Oct 2013 16:47:18 GMT
Why Backlit portraits work https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2013/10/why-backlit-portraits-work I love shooting backlit portraits, especially of women. I remember when I first picked up a camera and learned that backlighting a subject was bad, that the person will go too dark and you need to face them to the sun. Put the sun to your back I was told. The problem with that is you get people squinting and it's not very attractive; it's also harsh and sometimes you get your own shadow on the subject. YIKES!!! this doesn't work! 

Now that I understand backlighting I look for it, I love it. I love that I can use it even in mid afternoon and get great results. This shot of Amanda was taken in mid afternoon in the bright sunlight. The reason it works though is because of a few things. First, I adjusted my camera settings by telling the camera meter to over expose her. The reason for this is the camera is looking for the overall exposure and will underexpose the face with all that ambient light hitting it. By telling the camera to basically ignore all of the light and over expose even more it will get the details of Amanda's face. However, I have learned that if I just backlight and set the camera to over expose, I risk a muddy washed out image with a lack of detail. The solution for that is to add more light. Yes, more light, but you need to add it to the face of the subject. So I used a reflector to fill in her face and even out the exposure. This also lit up her eyes and allowed her cute freckles to pop. The other thing I love about backlighting is the warm ring of light that will gather around the hair. It's a magical beautiful light and really does lend itself to a great portrait.

 

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One of my very favorite times to use this technique is in the late afternoon when the sun is low. In this image of Stephanie I used an LED light source which gave some soft directional front lighting. At this time of day the sun isn't as harsh so there isn't as much light to balance out. The other nice thing about late afternoon sun is how warm it is. Here we shot Stephanie in the park with a low afternoon sun. The addition of the front lighting gave her eyes a sparkle and life, while the warm sun backlighting her created a soft golden halo.

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If you would like to book a portrait session and are interested in this technique please let me know and I would be happy to work with you on a special portrait.

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ali@alicyndrew.com (Alicyn Drew Photography) Portrait photography https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2013/10/why-backlit-portraits-work Mon, 07 Oct 2013 03:20:47 GMT
Jun, Sean and baby Sabrina https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2013/9/jun-sean-and-baby-sabrina A few months ago I took maternity shots of Jun, she is now in full mommy mode and looks fabulous.

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The baby Sabrina is absolutely adorable and has crazy hair and a sunny personality at four months of age

 

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While we took a lot of baby shots, we took some time to shoot Jun and Sean together 

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And of course the happy family

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ali@alicyndrew.com (Alicyn Drew Photography) Portrait photography https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2013/9/jun-sean-and-baby-sabrina Tue, 24 Sep 2013 02:34:44 GMT
Alex shoot at Lorton Prison - Character photography https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2013/9/alex-shoot-at-lorton-prison Today I had a really fun shoot with Alex. We met at the closed Lorton Prison parking lot. I've always wanted to do a portrait shoot at the prison because it's a unique kind of environment. We started out and got to know each other. This shot was the result of going for the look of Intensity

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As we got into the feel of the prison we shot this one as a contemplative portrait

 

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I had to do one image with some split toning

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We had a lot of fun and I totally enjoyed working with Alex. He is very easy to shoot and work with. Loved this shoot!

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ali@alicyndrew.com (Alicyn Drew Photography) Head shots Mood Portraiture Portrait photography Post processing https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2013/9/alex-shoot-at-lorton-prison Mon, 23 Sep 2013 02:22:52 GMT
Scenery from Yellowstone National Park https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2013/9/scenery-from-yellowstone-national-park This is part two from the blog on animal portraits in Yellowstone. I will say that as a photographer you can get totally lost in Yellowstone. There is so much beauty, and so much of interest. There are parts of the park where it feels absolutely primordial and you can easily imagine that you must have stepped back to the beginning of time. The colors, the textures are enthralling. There are geothermal features, mountains, landscapes, waterfalls and canyons. In one short week, we captured what we could. I am only sharing a few images here, a snapshot of the highlights. I am starting with the classic shot from Artists Point in the canyon. We got up early to get this shot with the mists. It was an amazing site and so peaceful. I have heard if you get here at 10:00 AM that you can see rainbows; it's also extremely crowded so we chose to be here at 8:30. 

 

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On the way to the canyon to get the above shot we drove through the plains and the mists and fog were captivating. I love how golden the light is and how the mists weave like a ribbon in this image.

 

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Then there are the geothermal features in all of their colorful, mysterious glory. There is beauty everywhere here; overall awe and details that will captivate and take you to another world. I found myself really drawn into the textures and colors. This image was taken on the top of Mammoth Springs with a telephoto lens. I had no idea there were waterfalls up there until I aimed my lens and looked. The water is very hot as you can see from the steam; there are pools that can reach 180 degrees. A73A8924A73A8924

 

Here's another detail shot from a feature at Mammoth Springs. It was like natures' water feature where small falls would cascade and change direction. The play of the waters and colors was nothing short of enchanting.

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Last is this image from Norris Geyser basin. This is the place that time forgot. We went twice because there was so much to see and so much beauty. There is so much thermal activity here and no two features are ever the same. There is also the smell of sulphur and the sounds of the hissing, boiling, popping earth.  A73A9061A73A9061

Our trip was nothing short of magical and I would recommend this to anyone that wants a totally wild experience with nature.

 

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ali@alicyndrew.com (Alicyn Drew Photography) Travel https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2013/9/scenery-from-yellowstone-national-park Thu, 19 Sep 2013 22:40:51 GMT
Animal Portraits from Yellowstone National Park https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2013/9/animal-portraits-from-yellowstone-national-park I know this isn't about portrait photography, but I wanted to share some shots from a recent vacation. Before leaving I had visions of the Bison looking right into the camera and giving me the perfect shot on the first day. This was not going to happen for me, but I did get the shots I wanted with a lot of patience and learning. A friend let me borrow a telephoto zoom lens which was amazing. Because of this lens I was able to shoot some great animal shots, but first I had to learn how to use a telephoto. We rented a Mustang convertible for our week in the park, I would highly recommend this if you're into photography. Remember, this park has truly wild animals and sometimes it's really a good idea to just stay in the car to shoot.

In the beginning of the week I had big problems with camera shake and focus with the telephoto. At one point I even declared that maybe it wasn't all that sharp out to 400mm. Then I realized that with telephoto you need a much faster shutter speed. Once I started shooting with a faster shutter, life got better. For example the Bison are very dark and many of my shots did not show their eyes. As a portrait photographer I want sharp eyes. I finally got this shot

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While we were out exploring we met this adorable begging ground squirrel. He had an enchanting personality that made me want to run to the car and throw him all of our nuts; but I obeyed the rules and took some adorable shots of him. He is just adorable!!! 

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I was also determined to get a good shot of an elk, and I wanted it looking at the camera. I didn't want some random elk standing around. I even described it to my husband that I wanted an elk in the river looking right at me, he laughed. I got the shot late in the week; isn't she beautiful!

A73A0661A73A0661 The week wouldn't have been complete without some Pronghorn which are the fastest mammal in North America, they are so graceful and beautiful. 

 

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Last I leave you with a shot of some early morning Bison taking a dust bath. They looked so happy

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ali@alicyndrew.com (Alicyn Drew Photography) Yellowstone travel https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2013/9/animal-portraits-from-yellowstone-national-park Thu, 19 Sep 2013 03:26:43 GMT
Finding nice light on the fly https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2013/8/finding-nice-light-on-the-fly Today we went to lunch with my Mom for her birthday. Her sister, my Aunt Cynthia was visiting so it was an extra special occasion. They asked me to bring my camera. In my usual obsessive way I started to worry about finding nice light, I knew I wouldn't have time for setting up lighting and using reflector. We had lunch at the Mount Vernon Inn. As we walked out of the restaurant I looked around and realized that the perfect light was on the plantation style front porch.

Here's what I was looking for;

1. Shade, I don't want harsh lighting and it was 1:00 in the afternoon

2. White walls, they provide a nice bounce for light so if I can find them I use them.

3. A bench, they're seniors and Mom can't walk too far so I needed something comfortable.

 

The front porch was in the shade and had two walls of white. We went to the corner where there was a bench and I shot this of Mom and Aunt Cynthia. I have lightly retouched the image but the light made it easy. The lighting was even and bright at the same time. They have great catch lights in their eyes because they're facing towards a nice sunny area but there are no harsh shadows on their faces.

 

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Then I decided to do a glamour shot of Aunt Cynthia. Being a ham in front of the camera is pretty natural in my family. So I posed her like a movie star and took this shot, she loves it! The lighting here is more directional, I made sure she was not too close to the edge because I didn't want any harsh direct sunlight hitting her face. 

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Once Aunt Cynthia had her glamour shot, Mom wanted hers. Here's my Mom

 

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By being able to identify decent lighting quickly I was able to get some nice shots. We were done in about 10 minutes and everyone is happy with their new portraits.

 

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ali@alicyndrew.com (Alicyn Drew Photography) Portrait photography https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2013/8/finding-nice-light-on-the-fly Mon, 26 Aug 2013 00:31:56 GMT
Something new Facebook Timeline headers https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2013/8/something-new-facebook-timeline-headers I like to offer my clients something fun and recently started working with these templates that allow me to create a Facebook Timeline header using a collection of images from a shoot. I've also started a Facebook page, which you are welcome to join and Like

https://www.facebook.com/PortraitsbyAlicyn?ref=hl

The first thing I did was create a template for my page. I used some images from various shoots that had a similar attitude.

What's nice is that these are perfectly sized for your Timeline header. I also have a variety of styles so I can pick something that fits the feel of the shoot.

I also created the following two from recent shoots

I'm offering these for free to any clients that hire me for a shoot. The free ones  will have my business website and name on  them. I can do unbadged ones for a fee of $25.

 

 

 

 

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ali@alicyndrew.com (Alicyn Drew Photography) Head shots Mood Portraiture Portrait photography https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2013/8/something-new-facebook-timeline-headers Tue, 20 Aug 2013 22:40:25 GMT
Teen Portraits https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2013/8/teens I love to work with teenagers, I truly mean it, love them. I love their fresh attitudes and how they negotiate with you during the shoot. I like their idealistic natures and their conquer the world attitudes. Teens are just plain fun and these three didn't disappoint. Introducing Jason, Cory and Amanda; aged 19, 15 and 13 respectively. The boys were not into the shoot, getting a smile out of them was like trying to get them to hug you in front of their friends. Here's a shot of the three of them together, love the attitude and I much prefer this kind of expression to perfect smiles (however smiles would have been nice too). Teens, you take what you get and hope to catch them when they aren't ready for you.

 

A73A7435 I also worked with them individually. I love this shot of Amanda, the girl has some personality. I backlit her with the sun and had my friend hold the reflector to fill in the light on her face. 

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Cory cooperated for a few single shots, this one is one of my favorites, I added some grain and desaturated a bit to match the mood of his expression and that T-shirt.

A73A7397 Finally Jason decided he would indulge me for a few shots, see Jason, it didn't hurt.

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In this shot they are joined with Robin, their friend who brought them in for shots. I just keep trying to figure out what I would name this band A73A7505
 

I'm finishing this blog with one last shot of Amanda. I love this girls freckles and she has amazing eyes. The camera loves her too. A73A7493

 

I really enjoyed working with this group. There's something about teenagers that makes them my favorite to work with. 

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ali@alicyndrew.com (Alicyn Drew Photography) Mood Portraiture Portrait photography teens https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2013/8/teens Tue, 13 Aug 2013 01:58:12 GMT
Molly and Abby - Sisters https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2013/7/molly-and-abby---sisters I was recently on an assignment to work with two sisters Molly and Abby. Molly is 12 and Abby is 6; they were a pure joy to work with. I really enjoyed watching the interaction between these two. The caring for each other was easy to see and they are each really fun kids. Abby was a little awkward in front of the camera, while Molly was a total natural. Molly worked hard to help her little sister to relax and it paid off with some really fun shots. Here's one I really like of the two of them.

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Molly is into acting so I wanted to get some nice head shots of her. Here's one I really liked. She has such beautiful blue eyes that sparkled with life for the camera.

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Since Abby wasn't the kind of kid that wanted to pose for the camera we let her loose in the park  to play. I then did my best to keep up with her as she expertly eluded the camera. No one escapes me forever and I did get some fun shots of her. She's adorable and was worth the challenge.

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Last was this shot of the two of them together. I like it because it's a moment between sisters and it shows their affection for each other.

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ali@alicyndrew.com (Alicyn Drew Photography) Portrait photography Portraits https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2013/7/molly-and-abby---sisters Tue, 30 Jul 2013 03:17:36 GMT
Vacation time with Mark https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2013/7/vacation-time-with-mark Someone I rarely photograph is my husband Mark. Funny how you don't make time to get images of the person that you live with and yet manage to shoot people that you have to schedule time with. 

We're on vacation in upstate NY and went to explore Beacon NY. Beacon has a cool feel to it, kind of artsy and hippy with an industrial urban appeal. As we were walking down the street I saw this black steel door with some graffiti and asked Mark if I could shoot a few attitude shots of him. My husband Mark is a quiet, laid back kind of guy. He's easy going and not really a tough guy, but he does have this inner strength that many don't see. I see it, and I wanted to capture it. Here are two of my favorites shots from this scene. I like his direct look right into the camera for this shot, it lends the image a sense of intensity and goes with the gritty surroundings.

 

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I've studied his face for years and always liked this angle where it's not a full on straight and it's not a profile. I cropped it to a square because that shape just seemed to lend itself to the composition.

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Mark is a real sweetheart too, and this posting wouldn't be complete if I didn't include a shot that shows that. He has the most beautiful light eyes and a really friendly smile. This shot was taken at a coffee shop while we were waiting for our food. Different lighting and expression bring forth his friendly and relaxed nature.

 

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People are complex; no one is the same way all the time. I like capturing that complexity and that's what these images are about. Same day, same general location and two very different moods describing the same person.

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ali@alicyndrew.com (Alicyn Drew Photography) Mood Portraiture Portrait photography https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2013/7/vacation-time-with-mark Mon, 01 Jul 2013 16:54:03 GMT
Black and white and mono portraits https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2013/6/black-and-white-and-mono-portraits I love to play with color saturation, however it's not as simple as many might think. In this post I'm going to walk you through a few ways that color can be desaturated to enhance a portrait and also show what doesn't work. One thing I like about converting to black and white is that with digital photography there are ways to remove texture, play with contrast and enhance the image. Back in the days of film photographers used colored filters to change the contrast of an image. However, with digital the color information is always in the background. For example red, yellow and orange can carry a lot of texture, those colors can be removed in the background creating a soft porcelain skin tone. Here's some examples using a portrait of Katleyn. To start, here's the color image, I like it but it's kind of harsh and I think that reducing color saturation will improve it overall.

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Many photographers will just convert to black and  white, but that just creates a grayscale image that lacks depth and contrast. This is the first step, but should not be the final result.

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I like to play with the contrast and for portraits I frequently add a tint of a creamy tone which adds some warmth to the image, such as here below. Notice how her skin looks softer and her eyes are sharper, with more contrast in her cheekbones and lips.

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Last is an artsier rendition where I added some color back into her eyes and lips, and change the tone of the tint. Katelyn is young and has the most amazing blue eyes. This is a method where I can move towards monotone while still hinting at the blue. 

 

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There are a lot of ways a photographer can go with color. I strive to bring in contrast and to play with textures. I like the artistic qualities of playing with color and I find that it gives me different opportunities to show off someone's features. Thank you Katelyn for allowing me to use your image like this, I hope you like the results.

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ali@alicyndrew.com (Alicyn Drew Photography) Head shots Mood Portraiture Portrait photography Post processing https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2013/6/black-and-white-and-mono-portraits Thu, 20 Jun 2013 00:38:16 GMT
Quitta portrait session https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2013/6/quitta-portrait-session I recently did a session with Quitta (pronounced KWEE-Ta) in the studio. We had A LOT of fun and she really ripped through some fun outfits. I love the studio because it provides privacy, a dressing room and total control of the lighting. She had some great outfits to work with too. This shot was pretty early and I decided to process it to a creamatype coloring. I like the drama that came with the coloring and the pose.

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Of course we got some great images of her face, she's so expressive and fun to play with

 

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We had a great time with her bright yellow sassy top and funky heals

 

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This session was full of sass

 

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Along with all this sassiness she had this soft beautiful dress that we had a lot of fun with

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I really enjoyed my session with Quitta. We had a lot of fun and I worked to bring that to the resulting images

 

 

 

 

 

 

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ali@alicyndrew.com (Alicyn Drew Photography) Mood Portraiture Portrait photography https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2013/6/quitta-portrait-session Tue, 18 Jun 2013 01:41:48 GMT
High School Senior Portrait - Kayla https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2013/6/high-school-senior-portrait---kayla I recently had the pleasure to work with Kayla, she's a very sweet and pretty girl. We worked in Old Town Alexandria late in the day. We wanted to capture her in a variety of poses and scenes. She was really unhappy with her official senior portraits so I wanted to give her something that was special and would make her happier. We were fortunate to have perfect weather and Old Town has so many amazing textures and walls to work with.

Here's a few of the shots, I like this one because of her expression. When I took it I remember being annoyed that the wind had blown her hair into her face, but once I took it off the camera I knew I had a keeper.

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I really wanted to work with backlighting her to get a soft portrait, this shot has a beautiful golden hair light.

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Then there's the bubbles, we were excited to find a bubble machine in Old Town and took advantage of it

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I wish Kayla all the best in her life as she enters adulthood. She's a really special kid and will do good things with that wonderful heart of hers leading the way.

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ali@alicyndrew.com (Alicyn Drew Photography) Head shots Portrait photography Senior Portraits portrai https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2013/6/high-school-senior-portrait---kayla Fri, 14 Jun 2013 01:25:12 GMT
Post processing a portrait- Stephanie https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2013/6/post-processing-a-portrait--stephanie Stephanie is a really good friend of mine that's always willing to dive in for a photo shoot to let me try a new technique or piece of equipment. She's really pretty and very sweet, plus we get a great connection when we work together. Sometimes I barely speak and she's making the expression I want just the way I want it. I admit, she can spoil me when I find that most people would prefer I speak clearly. With Stephanie I can make a small hand gesture and she just gets it. The image I'm going to rework is from a photo shoot a few months ago. It was taken with my old camera which had some sensor dust and it's shot in studio which always has an advantage with lighting. Here's the starting image. The lighting is fine, but I can see a lot to improve on, I also want to crop it in more closely.

IMG_8487-2 A zoomed in look shows the sensor dust on her face (gray smudges) and a few little bumps to her skin.

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I took the image into Photoshop and used the healing tool to remove the sensor dust and some of the blemishes, but I left her natural freckles. I also worked on her eyes by adding some sharpening, and dodging and burning them to bring out some definition. Last I thought the blush was a bit too harsh so I lightly painted her face with a very translucent brush to even out her skin tone. I did not do any skin smoothing actions. The result was a nice clean shot. Her eyes are more vibrant and her skin is softer.

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I could stop here, it's a nice portrait, but I was in the mood to do something artsy. So, back to Photoshop we went. I converted the image to black and white and added a tint. Using a layer mask I brought back her eyes and hair color and just a bit of the lip color. Then I added a texture layer which was removed from her face. Last, I cropped it to bring attention to her eyes. Something I've found is that if I flip a color to black and white and bring back the blue in someone's eyes it will not show, yet if I tint it just a bit with a warmer tone, the blue pops like crazy. I think it just needs the contrast. The above image is more natural and much less processed, the artistic image is much more processed and not meant to look natural. When I do images like this I will normally deliver both results of the same image.IMG_8487-Edit-Edit1

 

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ali@alicyndrew.com (Alicyn Drew Photography) Portrait photography Post processing https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2013/6/post-processing-a-portrait--stephanie Sat, 08 Jun 2013 02:07:02 GMT
High School Senior Libby https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2013/6/high-school-senior-libby I recently did a session with Libby. She is just graduating high school, a smart and quirky young lady with a boatload of creativity and a joy for life. I truly believe this young woman will be doing great things with her combination of intelligence, caring and joy. She is also highly expressive and playful. Before the session I asked her to pick a location and I picked her up at her house. She directed me to a park, we grabbed the gear and started hiking through the woods. We hiked a while, then we crossed a few streams, I was glad I had not over packed the gear. She was hopping around like a little gazelle ahead of me while my curiosity  grew. About a mile in we stopped at a really cool spot deep in the woods. The stream was meandering through and there were the ruins of an old dam. There was some cool patina on the concrete from years in nature and some graffiti, plus it was shaded with soft lighting. I decided to add some additional light since I didn't want the lighting to be too flat, so I set up the portable light with umbrella on the stand and we got to work.

Libby was on debate team and she is not only a good communicator, but when she has something to say she's going to say it. This picture, really captured the personality that I experienced that day.

We kept playing and I kept shooting and we got more expressions

and she can smile too

She was a lot of fun and we got a lot of really good images. She was engaging and easy to work with. After the shoot, we walked up the never ending hill out of the wood and motored over to the closest 7/11 for the biggest slurpies that we could find. That was refreshing.

 

I wish Libby the very best in her bright future. I'm sure she's going to make the world a better place where ever she lands. Good luck with your adventure in Brazil Libby!

 

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ali@alicyndrew.com (Alicyn Drew Photography) Mood Portraiture Portrait photography Senior Portraits https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2013/6/high-school-senior-libby Fri, 07 Jun 2013 16:07:02 GMT
Newborn Sabrina https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2013/6/newborn-sabrina This is Sabrina and she's 11 days old. These images were taken when she was well fed and sleepy, the house was turned up to about 80 degrees to keep her warm and comfortable. She slept through most of the shoot. We used all natural light and best of all, I worked with a fellow photographer and baby wrangler named Rachel who can wrangle a newborn like no other. She even had an app on her phone that made soothing sounds, she was so good with Sabrina that I started to get sleepy. Rachel gently folded Sabrina into various positions, I was amazed!

I love the peaceful expression and pose in this pose

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Here she is with Dad gently supporting her head

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I love little baby feet

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Finally there's this shot which is post processed to remove Rachel's hand from the shot. While Sabrina is strong she wasn't able to hold her head up that high on her own yet.

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ali@alicyndrew.com (Alicyn Drew Photography) Portrait photography infant https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2013/6/newborn-sabrina Tue, 04 Jun 2013 22:24:37 GMT
Post processing a portrait of a male - Haemish https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2013/5/post-processing-a-portrait-of-a-male When you choose a portrait photographer you are hiring more then someone to take your picture. What happens during the shoot is only a part of the process. What someone does with that image in post processing can make or break an image. There are some styles of fashion photography that are highly processed where the resulting image has no concern over making sure the result is an accurate representation of the original subject. There are photographers that over process images, a common mistake is over smoothing skin to the point that it no longer looks real, also over whitening of teeth or eye whites. 

When I post process I spend a lot of time but I'm working for a natural representation of the original subject. I want to make the person look like themselves in the best possible light. I look to maximize their best qualities and I really like to bring out the eyes. I want the eyes to sparkle with life. I also look to remove any distractions as I want the focus to be very clear.

This posting will walk you through the processing of a portrait from straight out of the camera to the finished product. I was recently at a winery with friends and snapped this shot of my friend Haemish. I pulled it from the camera and saw how much light was caught in his eyes, his expression was natural and looked like him and the lighting was even. I decided to start to work on the image. Here it is out of the camera, it's a bit over exposed and there are background and foreground distractions. But his hair is tack sharp, his eyes have a lot of light and color and those teeth are really white, no post processing needed there.

A73A3837 I start all of my processing in Lightroom where I do adjustments to improve the overall quality of the image. I tweaked this image in Lightroom and improved the image a lot. The exposure is better, his eyes are popping a bit more. There is still more work to do. I need to remove the distractions like the reflection in the glass behind him and address the blurry knee in the foreground. I also want to even out his skin tone without making it look fake. 

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Here is the final image. I have not touched his teeth as they're just naturally white. I increased the color saturation of his eyes, added a little warmth to his skin tone and color balanced a few areas that were a bit red which evens out his skin tone overall. I also increased sharpness in the sunglasses reflection, MINI Logo and his eyes. Finally removed the reflections in the glass behind him and the top strip that was distracting. Cloned out a lot of the foreground distractions and cropped a bit to remove the rest of it. Could I do more? Probably, but this result is what I go for. A73A3837-Edit

The final image has made Haemish the main focus of the image. He looks natural, you wouldn't even realize that this is a fairly heavily edited image simply because I edit with a light hand and always keep my subject in mind. His skin still has plenty of texture, he's a guy, and guys should have texture to their skin. The final result captures his natural expression and none of the post processing takes away from who he is.

A lot of people balk at the idea of having their images processed. They tell me that they don't want to look fake and I agree with that. However, the camera will catch aspects of your face that you don't notice in real life. Temporary skin imperfections should be removed, eyes really need to be brought out to bring life to an image, sometimes there are dark circles under the eyes that should be removed because they really aren't detectible in real life. Most importantly distractions should always be removed in order to create an image with a clear subject.

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ali@alicyndrew.com (Alicyn Drew Photography) Portrait photography Post processing https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2013/5/post-processing-a-portrait-of-a-male Mon, 27 May 2013 17:50:02 GMT
Baby Savanah https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2013/5/baby-savanah I am not by any means an infant photographer, but I love a challenge. I recently shot a beautiful 5 week old baby named Savanah. She's got these big beautiful blue eyes and the sweetest face you've ever seen. We used all natural lighting from a window to keep a soft and natural look. I love her little expression in this shot.

Mom and Dad enjoy a peaceful moment with Savanah

I can't resist her adorable baby feet with those adorable pink toes

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ali@alicyndrew.com (Alicyn Drew Photography) Infant Portrait photography https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2013/5/baby-savanah Sun, 26 May 2013 22:03:24 GMT
Bekka Maternity https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2013/5/bekka-maternity I just finished a very exciting maternity session with Bekka. She's due in about 6 weeks and is doing great. She wanted to work with me for more artistic maternity images. I wanted to do some work with fabric to bring out her femininity. We shot in the studio where we could control the lighting and conditions and we had privacy.

We wound up with a lot of really lovely images but I think this one is my favorite, she looks like a goddess.

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I also love the shape of a pregnant woman and wanted to capture it in a different kind of silhouette. This image was also enhanced with textures in post processing to add some interest

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In this last shot I switched to green fabric to represent fertility and we used a fan to create some motion in the fabric. She looks so pretty and feminine and her belly is just beautiful. I love how the green contrasts with her hair and skin tone.

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Working with Bekka was so much fun. She brought along a friend Cassie who was the best assistant ever. There was a lot of giggling going on and we just stayed relaxed and enjoyed ourselves.

 

 

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ali@alicyndrew.com (Alicyn Drew Photography) Maternity Portrait photography Post processing https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2013/5/bekka-maternity Mon, 20 May 2013 23:01:22 GMT
June Maternity https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2013/5/june-maternity I recently did a session with June who's due in a few weeks. She looks amazing and had incredible energy. We shot the images in her backyard and had a lot of fun. 

Here's one of my favorites, she looks beautiful and relaxed

 

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She had some great clothing for showing her lines and this dress was a favorite of mine

 

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Another dress that was not a maternity dress really worked out well. Love the lines on this

 

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I wish June and her husband Sean the very best with their little girl. I was happy to be able to capture these memories for them

 

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ali@alicyndrew.com (Alicyn Drew Photography) Maternity Portrait photography https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2013/5/june-maternity Fri, 17 May 2013 01:16:06 GMT
MINIs on the Dragon Glamour Shots https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2013/5/minis-on-the-dragon-glamour-shots I was recently at a very fun MINI Cooper event in the Smokie Mountains. My friend Craig and I shot some sessions of "Glamour Shots for your MINI". Several of the sessions turned into mini portrait sessions. I really enjoyed them because these are special and very well loved MINI Coopers, the owners identify with these mighty little cars and I love the opportunity for a quick character shot. But first, here's my favorite car shot of the group. The cars name is Spider and it was shot very early in the morning. I did extensive post processing on this image to create a more interesting background and really make the car pop.

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Angie was fun and she loves her MINI. I took these shots in mid morning and the light was just starting to get harsh. In order to work with it, I had her turn her face to get the best light possible and it worked pretty well. Her MINI stands proudly behind her creating a meaningful background.

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While we were at another location we met Emily, who was a real joy to work with. She was excited and she gave some attitude!

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One more is of Chad, who wasn't even an official Glamour shot. He was just stopping by to say hi. I posed him with his MINI and grabbed this shot. I like it because it truly captures Chad's fun spirit and his MINI well.

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There were so many good portraits that I may have to do another blog to show them off. It was a great vacation and people were so relaxed and having fun. This helped to capture portraits that showed them at their best.

 

 

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ali@alicyndrew.com (Alicyn Drew Photography) Car Photography MINIs on the Dragon Mood Portraiture Portrait photography Post processing https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2013/5/minis-on-the-dragon-glamour-shots Thu, 16 May 2013 00:54:00 GMT
Will and Angela https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2013/5/will-and-angela I consider myself a portrait photographer, but not really a wedding photographer. I recently took a job to work with Will and Angela the day after their wedding to capture memories and portraits of them together. They were a pure joy to work with and I enjoyed meeting all of the family. The pictures that follow are some of my favorites of them. I wanted to capture interesting and artistic images that express their connection to each other.

They were relaxed and happy and so easy to work with.

I brought along a parasol in case we had a need to help create instant shade, it also helped to remove distracting backgrounds as we were shooting in downtown Silver Spring and there were times I really wanted to get rid of the background and put all of the focus on them. I like how it framed them.

 

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I also wanted to do something a bit artsy so created this composit for them.

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Here's one more shot of the two of them

 

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and of course a shot of just Angela

 

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ali@alicyndrew.com (Alicyn Drew Photography) Portrait photography wedding https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2013/5/will-and-angela Thu, 09 May 2013 12:14:12 GMT
Portraits of Andre, not your average realtor https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2013/4/portraits-of-andre-not-your-average-realtor  

I recently did a session with Andre. He needed head shots and full body shots for his website and business. He is not your typical friendly "let me find you the perfect house" kind of realtor. He represents buyers in short sales and he fights with banks for his clients. His clients are under water financially and they need someone that won't give up. Andre is an ex-cop who has taken that strength and brought it into his career as a realtor. 

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He wanted his images to project that fighter in him, he wanted a character session. He didn't want his images to be polished and friendly. On the other hand, he is very friendly and comforting with his clients. I thought hard about how to approach this session. I was really looking forward to meeting Andre as his personality would drive the session. I will say, he is a total character and I had a lot of fun in our session. He calls his business Big Cigar Real Estate so he likes to pose with a cigar. One thing I thought would really work would be to shoot from a lower angle, that kind of shot can give an impression of power and strength, it's imposing. 

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I also wanted some closer shots

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In contrast we needed something friendly and managed to get some smiles, where he comes across as more approachable.

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Finally, I had to get my art on and flip some images to a monotone and play around a bit

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I had so much fun with this session. Andre was clear in what he was looking for and worked with me to make the images a success. He even let me boss him around which was fun. I really enjoyed this portrait session

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ali@alicyndrew.com (Alicyn Drew Photography) Head shots Mood Portraiture Portrait photography https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2013/4/portraits-of-andre-not-your-average-realtor Fri, 19 Apr 2013 20:21:57 GMT
Stephanie Urban Glam Session https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2013/4/stephanie-glam-session I recently did a session with Stephanie to do more of a glam pin up type of shoot. We had a lot of fun and I have the proof right here in some of the images. I introduced a prop that I thought would be really fun and purchased a hot pink Parasol. We were working in a gritty fun area with fun graffiti walls. I liked the contrast of working with a soft and pretty model against the urban walls of this area.  Here's a shot that I thought was really pretty

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and we had more fun with it

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As is usual with my sessions things descended to silliness. I love catching these genuine moments of joy.

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IMG_0005 Personally I feel like a big measure of the success of a shoot is how relaxed the model is and the fun they're having. If they're enjoying themselves they will get more genuine images. You can't fake true joy and I love to capture it when it presents itself.

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ali@alicyndrew.com (Alicyn Drew Photography) Mood Portraiture Pin Up Portrait photography https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2013/4/stephanie-glam-session Thu, 11 Apr 2013 02:41:55 GMT
Rockabilly Pin up with Leah https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2013/4/rockabilly-pin-up-with-leah Yesterday we had a blast at a shoot. We had an awesome location with graffiti walls and an enthusiastic rockabilly model with her glam friend Stephanie. Leah had never had a professional shot and showed up ready to go. Perfect makeup, great hair a collection of accessories and a cute outfit. She had a big smile and some of the prettiest eyes I have ever seen. I knew we were going to get some good shots. I could also see she was a little nervous. I'm one of those dive right into it kind of people. I had to back off a bit, let her get used to the shoot. We started off putting her in a chair and getting some cute shots. I showed her the shots I was getting, this tends to help people relax. I love this smile and when we were getting the giggles I was pretty sure she was starting to relax.

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I'm all about getting people to enjoy their shoot and getting the best possible shots. Actually one of the early shots was one of the best. She loved these shoes but they hurt. When people are in pain it will show, we had to figure something out. I had her hold them and we got our sassy shot. 

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She really has amazing eyes so I had to get some good head shots. She's downright Vavoom with this look.

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Eventually as always we started to play and I wanted shots of Leah with Stephanie her glam pin up friend. I love this shot, it's almost like you interrupted them during a moment of something secret 

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Eventually, we were just plain downright silly

 

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Yes, I do love pin up, and I love to get the pretty shots but nothing tops getting real expressions, emotions and actions.

 

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ali@alicyndrew.com (Alicyn Drew Photography) Head shots Mood Portraiture Pin up Portrait photography https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2013/4/rockabilly-pin-up-with-leah Tue, 09 Apr 2013 01:22:47 GMT
Distracting backgrounds https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2013/3/distracting-backgrounds When I do a shoot I want the subject to be the star and I hate distracting backgrounds. Sometimes I can find a way to blur the background out using depth of field, but to do that you need a fair amount of space. Sometimes conditions are just not ideal. 

Over the winter I did a maternity session on a freezing cold day. The house had nice light but was smaller and had a lot of background distractions. I could not get the subjects away from the walls far enough to create a good blur. Here's an example of one of the shots 

I like the interaction between the two of them but there are just too many distractions in the background. This was a job for Photoshop. I isolated my subjects and placed them on a new layer. Refined the layer and then created a new background which I tweaked for a soft textured effect. Finally I changed the image to a sepia tone. Now the focus is on the couple and their interaction with each other.

 

 

 

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ali@alicyndrew.com (Alicyn Drew Photography) Maternity Post processing https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2013/3/distracting-backgrounds Sun, 31 Mar 2013 02:59:21 GMT
100 strangers #5 Jenny https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2013/3/100-strangers-5-jenny Today we went to the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum. While were there I decided I'd like to get a shot of someone for my 100 strangers project. As we explored I spied Jenny working the green screen photography. She had a kid jumping and smiling and she looked like she enjoyed what she was doing. I chatted with her for a bit and she was friendly so asked if I could take a picture for my project. She was excited and we took the picture away from the green screen. If you look carefully on the right side of her face, you'll see some green spill reflecting onto her.

I love doing this project because it gets me chatting with people that I wouldn't have spoken to before. Here's Jenny's shot

 

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ali@alicyndrew.com (Alicyn Drew Photography) 100 Strangers https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2013/3/100-strangers-5-jenny Sat, 16 Mar 2013 23:02:57 GMT
Head shots June https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2013/3/head-shots-june I recently did some professional head shots for June. She needed them for LinkedIn and wanted something natural and professional. We shot at her house and used mostly natural lighting with a little fill from an led bank that I brought along. 

She was awesome to work with and really liked the results.

 

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ali@alicyndrew.com (Alicyn Drew Photography) Head shots https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2013/3/head-shots-june Sat, 16 Mar 2013 00:49:33 GMT
100 Strangers #4 https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2013/3/100-strangers-4 This weekend we had a photo shoot with DC Metro MINIs car club. Our first stop was the abandoned Lorton Prison. We were shooting by one of the old guard towers. When you have 20 MINIs all lined up taking pictures you can draw a crowd. The guard came out to chat with us out of curiosity. He was really nice and friendly. So I asked if I could take his picture. I took two shots and both times he got this surly expression. So I told him he would be my "Surly Guard Portrait". 

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In case you want to see some of the images that we took on the shoot here's one of my MINI

IMG_8605 and here's one of the whole group with George the Bulldog, our mascot.

 

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ali@alicyndrew.com (Alicyn Drew Photography) 100 Strangers https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2013/3/100-strangers-4 Sun, 10 Mar 2013 22:57:52 GMT
Get a buddy and shoot in the studio https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2013/3/get-a-buddy-and-shoot-in-the-studio I charge $400 for a 2 hours studio shoot. When we shoot in the studio the weather is always nice and we have full control of the lighting. The studio has a dressing room, with props! You feel like a rock star! I mean it, you really do. There's a huge seamless white background, there are other backgrounds to choose from and there's some cool minimalist furniture. I have access to one studio that is large enough to bring in your car.

You can't afford $400 but you really do want to feel like a rock star and get some amazing shots done. Then find a buddy and split the price. Two of you can come and pay $200 each, 3 for $133 each, once we get to 4 people you are stretching it, but it can be done. If you want more people I'd suggest discussing paying for more time.

The studio that I rent space in is conveniently located in Alexandria VA, just north of Old Town off of Route One. 

I brought a fellow photographer along to a shoot recently who took this image of me hard at work with Stephanie.

The resulting images are flattering and allow for some creative fun. I recently did a buddy shoot of Stephanie and Sasha. They took turns behind the camera and I would shoot one while the other got ready. It worked out very well. Here's Sasha lounging on the chaise lounge.

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Stephanie is a regular model that I use and she's now really used to the studio. So I recently took one of her studio images and replaced the background for some fun. The all white seamless background makes it very simple to transform an image into something different.IMG_5269

 

I love shooting on location but during this time of year it can get limiting. With the studio the weather is always nice and the lighting is always great.

 

 

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ali@alicyndrew.com (Alicyn Drew Photography) Head shots Portrait photography Post processing https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2013/3/get-a-buddy-and-shoot-in-the-studio Thu, 07 Mar 2013 02:33:43 GMT
Fun Studio Shoot Today https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2013/3/fun-studio-shoot-today This afternoon I shot two friends in the studio and we had a lot of fun. I also brought along my friend Craig as a second shooter, he helped with the lights so I felt like a total rock star with an assistant. The girls had a lot of  fun and took full advantage of the dressing room for their make up and changing outfits. We used the studio room well. What I love about shooting in the studio is that you have lots of options. There is some furniture and various backdrops available.

Here's a shot of Stephanie that I really liked, she has a real intensity in her eyes that I love.

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We also had some fun with the fan

IMG_8014-Edit Sasha is a total natural and we really had a lot of time working with her. This was my first session with Sasha and she's great to work with. She has a real elegance in front of the camera.

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IMG_7623 Last, while we were shooting Stephanie looked over at Greg, Sasha's boyfriend and noted that he was in a good spot to shoot also. So we flipped the lights around and got a few images. Stephanie was right!

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Later I plan to post more shots from the individual sessions, this is just a quick posting to put up a few of my favorites from the afternoon.

 

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ali@alicyndrew.com (Alicyn Drew Photography) Head shots Portrait photography https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2013/3/fun-studio-shoot-today Mon, 04 Mar 2013 03:18:44 GMT
Landscape Prints Available https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2013/2/landscape-prints-available I love portrait photography, but I also enjoy shooting nature and landscapes. I have created a small album of prints that can be ordered for decorating your home or office. If you choose to purchase a print they are options to purchase mounted prints or a print and frame. Please note the frames will be offered after you add the prints to your cart.

These prints were taken in our neighborhood and in our travels. This one is a big favorite of mine and it was shot less then a mile from our house.

Green Springs Park Stream

This one also came from the same park

I shot this one last Fall at a park in Vienna VA

Meadowlark Gardens in Fall

However this last one was shot in the Bahamas at a charming island called Long Island, it's a shot of Dean's Blue Hole and it's 660' deep.

Dean's Blue Hole - Long Island, Bahamas

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ali@alicyndrew.com (Alicyn Drew Photography) Landscapes https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2013/2/landscape-prints-available Thu, 28 Feb 2013 04:16:05 GMT
Cory Portrait https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2013/2/cory-portrait I recently did a portrait session with Cory at the studio. I love working in the studio because I'm a control freak and I get total control over the lighting. Plus we get a dressing room, seamless background and some interesting helpful props. Cory was a really fun model and we enjoyed our shoot. He had some creative ideas too which made it more fun. I really like when the client gets involved in the process and prepares me for what they are looking for, here's a really nice shot from the session

 

 

Cory also wanted something creative with him chatting with himself, we managed that with some photoshop magic

 

I also like this one which I processed with a desaturation technique

 

For some reason though, this is my favorite shot, I think I like how introspective he looks.

 

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ali@alicyndrew.com (Alicyn Drew Photography) Portrait photography https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2013/2/cory-portrait Sun, 17 Feb 2013 04:00:06 GMT
Rebekah Maternity session https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2013/2/rebekah-maternity-session Today I had a maternity session with Rebekah, Nate and their adorable dog Benny. We had a lot of fun and I really love the expression of Benny in this one, those big eyes of his rolling up like that just crack me up.

 

 

I also wanted to capture some images of just Rebekah and her personality. She's full of light and laughter and has a great sense of confidence. She's going to make an awesome Mom. Here's a shot of just her.

 

I really like this one with her reflection in the glass

 

 

Of course I had to get a little artsy too and play with textures and vignettes. I love their soft expressions in this one. ...

 

 

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ali@alicyndrew.com (Alicyn Drew Photography) Maternity https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2013/2/rebekah-maternity-session Sun, 10 Feb 2013 03:56:56 GMT
Shawnee's headshots https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2013/2/shawnees-headshots Have you looked at your Linkedin Profile picture lately? Do you have the ghost image? There are a lot of good reasons to have a good head shot of yourself, especially for social media. It's fine to have fun personality shots for Facebook, but for professional sites like LinkedIn you need to consider a more professional look. It's not uncommon for recruiters to look on sites like LinkedIn to find people to fill a job opening. Your online head shot is their first glimpse of you. The ghost image makes a statement that you don't care enough, which is fine if you truly don't care. However, if you DO care, then you need a good shot. Head shots need to include the shoulders and sometimes part of the torso. The lighting should be even and soft and the image must look like the person and should project an air of confidence.

Shawnee has a new job and needed a good head shot for the office. She asked me to do something natural that showed her personality. Here are a few of the images from the shoot.

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Halfway through the shoot her adorable little girl Annika wanted in on the fun. So we took a little break

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When we were done, I let Shawnee relax a bit and shot a few more relaxed shots which to which I applied an artsy treatment. We had a lot of fun and she has a few nice images to choose from now.

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ali@alicyndrew.com (Alicyn Drew Photography) Head shots Portrait photography https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2013/2/shawnees-headshots Fri, 08 Feb 2013 23:09:46 GMT
Maternity shoot with Lauren https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2013/2/maternity-shoot-with-lauren Today I had a fun maternity shoot with Lauren. Lauren is due in about a month and at a great stage in her pregnancy to have pictures taken. It was a bitter cold day so going outside was just not an option. Something about a blue belly covered in goosebumps is just not attractive. I brought over my lighting and we worked at her parents house. Here's a nice shot of just Lauren. I posed her in a way that would show off her belly and give her some shape and an S curve.

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I really love showing the shape and getting a figurative look. We used the back doors to and natural lighting to capture the kind of artsy look I was trying to achieve. I really like how the light plays off of her belly, and the contemplative expression as she looks at her belly

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Lauren's father is a doctor so we borrowed his stethesccope for some fun pictures with Jackie. We're pretty sure she was listening to something because she was very interested in this whole thing and seemed lost in the sounds and wonder of it all. I love how she's looking up at her Mom here.

 

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ali@alicyndrew.com (Alicyn Drew Photography) Maternity https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2013/2/maternity-shoot-with-lauren Sun, 03 Feb 2013 02:26:44 GMT
Photoshop Fun- the progression https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2013/1/photoshop-fun--the-progression I came across a really interesting tutorial using Photoshop PS6 to take an image and create water like reflection. The first thing I needed to do was pick an image to work with. I chose this one which lends itself to the look I was going for.

 

IMG_5391  I wanted to give it a more interesting background to start with. I chose On One to do this. Once done I had a nice background, but it looked harsh and a bit fake. 

 

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the next step was back into Photoshop to get my reflection started and follow the tutorial.  First I did some minor adjustments and removed the distracting pink bra strap. Below is the end results of the tutorial instructions. It's interesting and I liked the ripples in the water, but it's also really kind of fakey weird. The top doesn't really flow with the bottom. It's not there yet. Sooooo, back into On One for some final touches in the Perfect Effects studio

 

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Within On One I applied another background and a glow filter, here is the finished image. I like it, there's an etherial quality to it. I know this doesn't look natural, but it does look artsy and I feel that the disconnect from the top and the bottom is gone. The girls, Love it!!

 

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ali@alicyndrew.com (Alicyn Drew Photography) Post processing https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2013/1/photoshop-fun--the-progression Fri, 01 Feb 2013 04:05:19 GMT
Headshot for Becky https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2013/1/headshot-for-becky Becky needed a good headshot, her LinkedIn profile was bare. She wanted her image to look like her, capture her natural personality and project confidence. We shot outside in a park and picked a few of the ones she liked best.

One thing that's important in headshots is to show some of the shoulder area, and sometimes the torso. Women do well with the crossed arms simply because it frames the image while giving them a look of confidence. Here's an image of Becky with her arms crossed

She also wanted a closer cropped image so we took the same image and cropped a bit closer.

 

The last image is closely cropped but taken at an angle. Becky does look good shot straight on. A lot of women look best at an angle so it's always good to get shots from various angles to be sure to get the right approach for the person.

 

In post processing I took a very subtle approach but accentuated her best features. She has beautiful hair and eyes which I enhanced lightly to help them stand out. These images work well for her and give her that confidant natural look she needed.

 

 

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ali@alicyndrew.com (Alicyn Drew Photography) Head shots https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2013/1/headshot-for-becky Mon, 21 Jan 2013 05:12:18 GMT
Buddies shoot https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2013/1/buddies-shoot I recently did an in studio shoot of three very good friends. We shot group and individual shots and had a ton of fun. Stephanie, Neva and Katelyn were a joy to work with and eager to have fun. We decided in advance to go with a grunge kind of look and they came up with some fun outfits. Here's one of my favorites

 

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I wanted to do an image that was a commentary on modern communication. So I put the girls on the couch and told em to check their cell phones. I liked the idea of the three of them sitting there together and communicating through their phones. Stephanie threw some major attitude on this one.

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There were a ton of fun shots, but I really liked when they indulged me for an eyes shot. I love capturing eyes and expressions and with these three it was a favorite. I like how they each have different color hair and eyes.

 

This was a super fun shoot for me and the girls. We really enjoyed playing in the studio and I'm sure we'll be doing it again.

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ali@alicyndrew.com (Alicyn Drew Photography) group shoot https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2013/1/buddies-shoot Sat, 19 Jan 2013 05:05:59 GMT
Binh the musician https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2013/1/bin-the-musician Tonight I went to a Meet Up group that was going over studio lighting. There was a model named Binh who was very patient with a studio full of people firing their cameras at him. We worked with several types of lighting and all bossed Bin around at the same time. I really enjoy learning about techniques and especially the basics. I truly believe that the more you understand the basics the better it is for releasing your mind to create. The thing I missed doing a group shoot like this was the personal interaction with the model. I always enjoy chatting and getting to know someone new.

Here's a few of my favorite images from tonight. All shot with a single studio light, and a very basic set up. Since Binh is a musician I did a lot of post processing to play around with the mood of the images. I used contrast and reduced color to increase the dramatic appeal of the images. I also purposely shot under exposed enough to give the darkness that I felt the images needed.

 

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ali@alicyndrew.com (Alicyn Drew Photography) Mood Portraiture https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2013/1/bin-the-musician Wed, 16 Jan 2013 03:35:25 GMT
Portraits of strangers and new friends https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2013/1/portraits-of-strangers-and-new-friends Every photographer has their mentors. Some are famous and others are local teachers. One of my local mentors is Lyn from Photo Tours DC http://www.phototourdc.com/

Lyn will take groups on walk about classes, offers webinars and challenges his students to get out of their comfort zone. He has been doing a project called 100 Strangers, and encouraged me to give it a try. Lyn also got me to start shooting my camera on manual and really got me thinking much more about composition. Even if you're a beginner and have a point and shoot or a cell phone for a camera, I would encourage you to go on one of his tours. He teaches to all levels and the group size is not too large. 

Today I decided to take on Lyn's challenge to go shoot images of some strangers. I had a new 85mm lens that I really wanted to try out so I put it on the camera and walked around Old Town Alexandria with my husband Mark. I told Mark that I was going to do this and asked if he was OK with it. He replied "It's really no different then when you go around petting everyones dogs." I pondered that a moment and decided that he was right and that maybe strangers weren't so scary. 

I walked to the end of the block and saw a very interesting guy. He was sitting on his bike sideways, leaning against the stone wall of the Starbucks. I approached and asked if I could take his picture. He was thrilled and I got this shot.

IMG_4779  I wish I had asked his name. I really like the shot and I'm liking my new lens too. I see why they say it's so nice for portraits.

Mark wanted to walk over to the Torpedo factory so off we went. I saw this adorable little boy feeding popcorn to the Seagulls and pigeons. He was having so much fun and the birds were flocking to him. I asked his Mom if I could take a shot and got this little image of glee.

IMG_4836 And of course there were some pretty nice Seagulls posing for me while circling for some food

IMG_4813 Since it was damp and cold Mark and I decided to go into the Torpedo factory. One of the studios has the most colorful paintings and drew me right in. I LOVE color and Jennifer was a friendly artist happy to talk about her work. We chatted a while and found an instant connection. As I was walking out I stopped and asked if I could snap a few shots of her. She was working on a really colorful piece and I had her just work while I shot and then had her look at the camera.

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So we decide to walk back to the car and I hear someone yelling at us. I look up and it's the first guy I shot riding by on his bike. He's in the middle of the street yelling, "Do you want my picture now, look no hands." He cracked me up, and I got this

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So now I must say, Lyn was right. Taking pictures of total strangers is fun. I also think it will make me a better portrait photographer. I don't have all that control of the light and the situation. I am capturing a moment and a person in that moment. I will be trying this experiment again.

 

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ali@alicyndrew.com (Alicyn Drew Photography) 100 Strangers Mood Portraiture https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2013/1/portraits-of-strangers-and-new-friends Sun, 13 Jan 2013 21:21:53 GMT
Stephanie's pin up shoot https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2013/1/stephanies-pin-up-shoot I recently did a really fun shoot at the studio where we brought in cars and shot the owners with their cars. Stephanie loves her MINI Cooper and wanted to do pin up. What resulted was a modern pin up with a retro flare. We had a lot of fun with this shoot. She did have someone do her makeup which helped a lot, her skin was flawless and her eyes looked amazing. Here are a few of the resulting shots

 

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ali@alicyndrew.com (Alicyn Drew Photography) Car Photography Pin Up Portrait photography https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2013/1/stephanies-pin-up-shoot Sat, 12 Jan 2013 14:20:29 GMT
Cars and their people https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2013/1/cars-and-their-people I recently did a shoot in the studio, it's a lot of fun shooting indoors with controlled lighting in a space large enough to bring in a car. Here's my own MINI all by himself in the studio

 

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A shot of a friend with his 2008 BMW M5

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and one more of Sean

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This car's name is Charlotte and I have some creative plans for some of her images

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I will be showing more pics soon. This was a really fun shoot and everyone was thrilled to have such creative images of their vehicles.

 

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ali@alicyndrew.com (Alicyn Drew Photography) Car Photography cars https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2013/1/cars-and-their-people Thu, 10 Jan 2013 04:14:17 GMT
Headshots of Lacy https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2013/1/headshots-of-lacy Today's client was Lacy and she needed some professional headshots. She does speaking engagements and wanted something professional but not stuffy. We shot in a park near her house and I chose a lens that would totally blur out the background to put all of the attention on Lacy.

 

Headshots are important for many professional reasons even if you are not doing speaking engagements. For example, many of us are on LinkedIn and will post a profile picture. Recruiters and potential employers are going to LinkedIn to find new talent. If you slap up a picture that you took with your cell phone you are not making a professional first impression. However, if there is a good image then it gives you that professional edge. 

Professional headshots should be closely cropped, generally cropped from the shoulders up. For women makeup should be light and hair needs to be neat. Clothing should be simple and not distracting. Here's one of my favorite headshots from the shoot;

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We also got a few images that were a bit more casual of her. Such as this one:

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And I personally love this one:

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ali@alicyndrew.com (Alicyn Drew Photography) Head shots Portrait photography https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2013/1/headshots-of-lacy Wed, 02 Jan 2013 00:56:32 GMT
Using post processing to bring out someone's character https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2012/12/using-post-processing-to-bring-out-someones-character I love taking portraits, I love interacting with someone during a photo shoot. I learn all kinds of little things about them and as we shoot I try to bring those things out in the images. Sometimes if I really want to bring out someone's character I will use post processing techniques that enhance the feelings of an image. I recently shot Gavin and Christy, who are a really fun couple. I was doing couple's images and individual portraits.

Gavin has a history in wrestling and training in various mixed martial arts. I really wanted to bring out this aspect of him so asked him to bring some grungier clothing to the shoot. We shot this in the winter at night, we needed an indoor location with some space. Christy's Dad owns a MAACO that used to be a car dealership so we shot there. I brought my lighting along and after some nice portraits in the showroom we headed into the shop. I took this image of Gavin against the garage doors. The image really did show his character, but I didn't feel it captured that gritty kind of feel I was going for. It needed some work to really bring out his character.

IMG_3532 I took the image into OnOne which is a post processing program with some really good effects. I grunged it up a bit, and added a rust effect to the garage doors, then I added a filter to desaturate the image a bit and add some texture. It was looking pretty good, but his shirt was just plain too clean for the look. I found another texture and applied it to the shirt and this was the final result. It still looks like Gavin, only grittier and it captures his fighting spirit.

IMG_3532 During our adventure of the MAACO shop we ventured into the upstairs loft. This area has not been used in over 20 years and was full of amazing urban grit. The stairwell was very narrow and I was only able to bring along one light which created distinct shadows against the wall of graffiti. Gavin wanted some images of him shadow boxing and asked me to try and capture some motion. I took several images, which all came out something like this.

IMG_3742 I liked it, but didn't feel a lot of motion from any of the individual images. I took three of the images into the OnOne program and did a composite image. He was thrilled with the results.

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We had a really fun time with this shoot and all laughed a lot. These two are so much fun to work with. I'll be posting other pictures of Christy later. This blog is about how I used post processing combined with specific lighting when capturing the image to give Gavin the character that he was looking for. I love having a happy client.

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ali@alicyndrew.com (Alicyn Drew Photography) Mood Portraiture Post processing https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2012/12/using-post-processing-to-bring-out-someones-character Tue, 01 Jan 2013 02:20:00 GMT
Getting over the pre-portrait anxieties https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2012/12/getting-over-the-pre-portrait-anxieties A lot of people get nervous about having their picture taken. Who can blame them, there are a lot of bad images out there and most of us have seen pictures of us that scared us. We don't want that, we want to look good and still look like ourselves.

Before the portrait think about your clothing, hair, make up and look that you want to portray. Is this casual, fun, for the parents mantle? What is the point of the portrait. If you come to me with ideas I will try to work with  them. If you don't I'm going to ask a lot of questions to get what you want.

When the shoot starts, there will be test shots. I'm getting the lighting right, setting up the camera. If my expression says YIKES, it's NOT YOU, it's because I really got the settings wrong and know I have to adjust. I will take several of these shots just to get the right exposure. I like to get as much right in camera as possible.

Now it's time to shoot, you stare at me, I stare at you. I'm thinking about how to start posing you, you have the deer in the headlights look. This is a perfect time to get a little silly. Because if I tell you to relax, you're not going to. You can't relax on command, but you can get a little silly. Make some faces, get it out. I have one friend who must be allowed his monkey face before any shoot can start. Give him that monkey face and he can relax and start to look like a handsome guy. So have some fun and don't worry. Like Andrea here, a nice forced smile and bugged out eyes are silly, and yes she gave me permission to use this image.

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We went from that to this nice relaxed pose.

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This shoot was a couples shot with portraits. Scott needed the silly time too. We were at the studio and I grabbed a hat that was entirely too small for him to use as a prop. Why? Because he had fun with it and relaxed, here he is with Andrea who is totally enthralled with his new look.

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Later we got some much nicer images as he was relaxed

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When you get in front of the camera, don't forget to play. Relax and enjoy yourself. It will make for better images and you'll be happier with the results. Of course we can do the serious thing if you want, but I'm a lot better at silly :-)

 

 

 

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ali@alicyndrew.com (Alicyn Drew Photography) Portrait photography photography anxiety https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2012/12/getting-over-the-pre-portrait-anxieties Fri, 28 Dec 2012 02:01:02 GMT
Why use a professional portrait for an online dating site? https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2012/12/why-use-a-professional-portrait-for-an-online-dating-site I  recently did some images for a client to use on her online dating profile. We did some head shots and full body shots. We kept them fun and casual. She wore very minimal make up and a simple outfit that she would wear on a casual first date.

I made sure that the lighting was nice and that her best features were the star of the shots. The images came out showing her in her best light and gave some indication to her character.

She has had more responses to her profile since uploading these pictures then ever before. The professional pictures give her an edge and they showcase her best features. They showcase her without visual distractions, she looks attractive and approachable which mirrors her personality..

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What a lot of people don't realize with most amateur snapshots is that most people taking the picture are not making the subject the star of the image. When you post a picture of yourself at a party, with people standing around and bad lighting it does not portray the real you because the viewer doesn't see the real you; there are too many distractions. Another issue with amateur snapshots is that the shooter doesn't usually understand how to evaluate light. Images taken in bright light cause harsh shadows that are not flattering to your features. Images taken with an on camera flash cause red eye and the cardboard cut out look. 

A professional photographer is working to make you the star of the image. Distractions are eliminated and you shine through. Technically the image  will be in sharp focus, the lighting will be adjusted to be attractive to your features. Post processing will smooth out your skin and help your eyes to sparkle.

A good image will look like you, will capture your personality and will make the viewer want to know you better.  When it comes to online first impressions you're only going to look as good as your worst image, so make all of them the best you can. What ever you do, don't post some nice professional shots with some amateur snapshots that are not as flattering. The viewer will then dismiss the professional images  and focus on the snapshots.

I would be happy to discuss a session for digital profile images that will help portray the best possible you.

 

 

 

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ali@alicyndrew.com (Alicyn Drew Photography) online dating profile photography https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2012/12/why-use-a-professional-portrait-for-an-online-dating-site Sun, 23 Dec 2012 04:33:56 GMT
Eyes https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2012/12/eyes Today I felt inspired to work with eyes. I went through past photos, cropped and processed and created some images that spoke to me artistically. Eyes are expressive, unique, colorful and full of wonder. Whenever I post process a portrait for delivery I will always spend time on the eyes. They should have a brightness and appeal, they need to sparkle and show life. 

I really love this image of Stephanie's eyes. She has amazing eyes and is a beautiful woman, the stormy sky and hair gives an air of mystery to this image. The use of selective color puts all of the focus on her eyes.

These images are a work in progress, to follow along check out my gallery of eyes 

http://www.alicyndrew.com/p16491135#h4fe49e4e

 

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ali@alicyndrew.com (Alicyn Drew Photography) Eyes https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2012/12/eyes Wed, 19 Dec 2012 01:12:07 GMT
Maternity shots https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2012/12/maternity-shots I love, love, love to shoot maternity shots. I love the shapes of the woman's body and I love capturing that special time for her. I want these shots to be special and nice and I have found that the right clothing makes a big difference. So what do you wear for a photography maternity session?

 

These days, the bump is in, and you do want to show it. There is nothing wrong with wearing tight clothing, and sometimes prints can work really well. There are also a few things that I have found that just don't work. For example; a snug shirt has to come fully below the belly, ideally long enough to be tucked in. The reason why is if the shirt is a tad too short, it hangs down from the belly and you get this odd little bit of fabric that throws off the lines of your beautiful bump. The part of fabric hanging below her hand, that is not what we want in a the shot. If her shirt was longer we would have been able to tuck it in or pull it down enough so that it didn't disturb the line of her body.

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Another thing to think about is baring that beautiful belly, and when doing so contrasting colors and prints will really help it to pop. When wearing a two piece outfit think snug for the top. Contrasting colors will help to show your pregnancy. A pregnant woman in a long tight black top with black leggings may not even look pregnant because the dark stretch of clothing can disguise you shape. However, if you pull that shirt up and show the belly, you get a whole new shape. As you can see in this shot a sports bra and patterned skirt really help to accentuate her shape.

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With dresses you have a few ways to go. If you choose a snug dress, feel free to break the usual rules and choose a geometric print that will accentuate that belly. This can be a tricky choice though because you don't want the focus to be on the dress. For example a snug dress with polka dots could be fun and the dots would play off of the shape of your curves nicely. A wild floral print may just be distracting.

Another look with a dress is a long to the ground sundress that is snug on the bust and flows straight down in a full flowing skirt. These dresses are great for feminine artsy poses. For this kind of look, choose a color that is in contrast to your skin tone. 

When I shoot maternity shots I want to have fun and make you feel beautiful. This is a time to show off your curves! Your curves are beautiful and if you booked a photography shoot to capture those curves, then you want to wear something that will really accentuate your look. I hope these tips help you in getting the look you're interested in. As usual you can discuss options with me and I will be happy to collaborate and of course we can try different options during the shoot. Sometimes you can break all of the rules and come back with perfection. Every woman is different and it's my job to help you find the look that works for you.

 

 

 

 

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ali@alicyndrew.com (Alicyn Drew Photography) Maternity https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2012/12/maternity-shots Mon, 17 Dec 2012 02:30:26 GMT
Self Portrait https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2012/12/self-portrait I was thinking about my post from yesterday regarding makeup and clothing and decided to try a self portrait and follow my own advice. I actually blow dried my hair and put on make up. I made sure it was matte and I used a lot of mascara. Then I put on one of my favorite dark orange jackets and set up the camera and lighting. First snafu was my wireless shutter control decided that today would be a good day to break, so after trying and failing I had to use the remote release on the wire. This meant my shots would all be close in. 

I have to say I had fun and I'm happy with the results. It's hard composing from the other side of the camera and there were a lot of pretty silly shots. Like this one where I pretty much missed most of my face, but my eye is in focus, so it saves the shot.

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I kept on working at it and finally got some shots that were not only nice, but I felt they were a good representation of my personality. This one is one of my favorites.

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But I do like to tell stories and this one looks like I'm ready to tell one.

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This was a fun little experiment and I learned a lot. I adapted when I had a small equipment failure, I had fun and I figured out how to get what I wanted from the shoot. I also think that the soft make up worked. This is the first time I've tried this and I think I'm going to try it again, after I get that wireless remote working again :-)

 

 

 

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ali@alicyndrew.com (Alicyn Drew Photography) self portrait https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2012/12/self-portrait Sat, 15 Dec 2012 21:10:35 GMT
Looking your best for a portrait https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2012/12/looking-your-best-for-a-portrait  

A lot of people will ask me what to wear or how to do their makeup for a photo shoot. It would be great to have your hair and make up professionally done, but many can't afford that.

 

Here's some basics to consider:

Make up, keep it matte; cream make ups can melt and go shiny. Matte makeup (powders) will be more flattering and give a nice even tone to your skin. Bring some powder to the shoot just in case you need to touch up

Wear your blush a bit brighter then you normally would, and wear lip gloss. It will help your smile to pop.

Wear black mascara to really pop your lashes and look carefully for any spots on your skin.

tweeze any hairs on your upper lip and do your eyebrows. If you wax, it should be a good week before the shoot so that your skin isn't red.

Keep your eye shadow natural if you wear it at all (unless you're going for a fun, high drama fashion type shoot.

 

Clothing:

It should fit properly, it shouldn't bee too tight (which can cause bulges) or too loose

Avoid big prints because the portrait is about you

Stick to colors that you feel flatter your skin tones

Wear something that you feel good in and that you love

Bring a few changes of outfits.

Avoid overbearing jewelry

If you're being shot with another person don't wear the exact same colors and try to coordinate. Not matchy matchy, but don't clash with each other either.

I hope these tips help you with a flattering and successful shoot.

Of course if you're going  for something whacky and crazy you might want to break a few of these rules!! 

 

This picture of Christy has nice subtle makeup, simple jewelry and a top that compliments her coloring and makes her feel fun.

 

 

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ali@alicyndrew.com (Alicyn Drew Photography) photography clothing photography makeup https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2012/12/looking-your-best-for-a-portrait Sat, 15 Dec 2012 02:24:53 GMT
Fun Family shoot https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2012/12/fun-family-shoot Today I shot a really fun and active family of 8, that would be two adults, one baby, three dogs and two cats. They really wanted a family shot and they wanted it natural. Which was good because wrangling that crew was a fun challenge. I'm happy with the feel of the final image, it looks like them and you can feel the fun and love radiating from them.

IMG_1945 Drea also wanted some breastfeeding shots and I was happy to do it. I enjoyed seeing the connection between Daphne and her mother. Drea was loving and Daphne was a bit playful and very engaged. I got a lot of  really nice images, but I really like this one a lot.

 

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And I loved the interaction on this one

IMG_2150 It was a really beautiful day and I truly enjoyed shooting this loving family. Of course my post wouldn't be complete without one shot of Rumor the lab begging dad to puleeeease just throw the ball.

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ali@alicyndrew.com (Alicyn Drew Photography) Family breastfeeding https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2012/12/fun-family-shoot Mon, 03 Dec 2012 01:06:33 GMT
Other loves https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2012/11/other-loves I love photography and I love my car, a 2006 MINI Cooper S Cabrio. The two loves frequently colide into fun moments of joy. I recently repainted my car and gave it a total makeover. Then did a portrait session of Tigger (that's his name). Here's one of my favorites from the shoot.

 

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ali@alicyndrew.com (Alicyn Drew Photography) Car Photography https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2012/11/other-loves Sun, 25 Nov 2012 15:17:27 GMT
Eliza https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2012/11/eliza This weekend I shot my friends little girl Eliza who is just over a year old. What an absolute adorable little girl. She has the biggest blue eyes and dimples that are just so cute. She also did not want her picture taken. 

Young kids are different then adults, they can be much more independent. Eliza loved the park and we let her run and enjoy herself. I've found that with children, a shoot should never be over an hour. I also found that with a little girl like Eliza a telephoto lens works best because I can be far enough away that she doesn't realize that I'm taking pictures. In the end, we got some really nice shots of her and she had fun playing in the park. here's one of my favorites

 

I also love this one with the Fall leaves and colors

 

Such a happy little girl

 

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ali@alicyndrew.com (Alicyn Drew Photography) children https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2012/11/eliza Mon, 19 Nov 2012 01:38:55 GMT
Rejuvination through photography https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2012/11/rejuvination-through-photography Today I decided to shoot some images for myself. I gave myself a challenge to go to a local park called Green Springs. I know this park very well and have shot in it many times. My challenge was to shoot this familiar park in a fresh and new way. I went to the park with new eyes and enjoyed my new challenge. I started off by approaching the lower pond, found a rock by it's edge and just admired the pond until I saw something. These plants on the surface of the water really drew me in. I liked the texture and contrast of the plants against the water.

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Then I started to experiment with my Blue/ Gold Polarizing filter, it works with reflections to bring out blues and gold tones. I shot an image that was dialed for all gold. I love the reflections and the gold tones.

 

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By now it was late afternoon and the golden hour was lighting up the park. This one is a timed exposure of the fountain with gazebo.

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This one was taken with the polarizer dialed to bring out strong blues

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One the way out of the park, I shot one more image of this ruin. I've always admired it, but never really got a shot that I liked. This one I like.

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Photography is such a relaxing and meditative experience. I find that when I spend time with my camera I relax and feel the stresses of life just melt away. 

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ali@alicyndrew.com (Alicyn Drew Photography) landscapes https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2012/11/rejuvination-through-photography Sun, 11 Nov 2012 02:24:52 GMT
Meadowlark Park https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2012/10/meadowlark-park Today I met a friend at Meadowlark Park in Vienna, VA. The park was almost at peak of Fall colors and I had some time to kill before she arrived so amused myself shooting the park. One of my favorites is this one by one of their ponds

 

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I also really liked these flowers and had to shoot them. 

 

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Next came the water reflection of the trees, it's pretty much a must have shot for Fall

 

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Last, I shot this picture of my friend's little boy running through the fields. I like how his bright red coat pop and also go with the colors of the trees.

 

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Overall it was a really pretty day to spend in a park. It was my first time at Meadowlark and it won't be the last. 

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ali@alicyndrew.com (Alicyn Drew Photography) Landscapes https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2012/10/meadowlark-park Mon, 22 Oct 2012 03:07:17 GMT
Fun Shoot https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2012/10/fun-shoot I recently had a shoot with a beautiful friend of mine Stephanie. She's a wonderful model and we had a lot of fun. I've been having a great time processing her images. Stephanie wanted some shots for her Facebook profile and because she and I have fun with the camera. The day turned out to be really cold and  rainy, so we used my friends house to shoot. 

These images were shot in his garage using a speedlite shot through an umbrella. Simple lighting and backdrop puts the focus on Stephanie where it belongs.

 

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ali@alicyndrew.com (Alicyn Drew Photography) Portrait photography https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2012/10/fun-shoot Sat, 13 Oct 2012 01:44:01 GMT
First blog https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2012/10/first-blog Welcome to my website, I hope you enjoy my images. This is my first venture into blogging and I will be sharing my adventures in photography here. While I really love photographing people, I also love landscape photography. This weekend we head out to the mountains with a slew of friends from the MINI Cooper club. I hope to come back with some nice images. I'll be sharing them here.

 

 

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ali@alicyndrew.com (Alicyn Drew Photography) https://www.alicyndrew.com/blog/2012/10/first-blog Wed, 03 Oct 2012 02:59:41 GMT