I had a great time meeting lots of folks at the Gymkhana Series at Faustman Ranch on May 19th. Here are a couple of the portraits that I took while I was there: (these are in the numbers around 3600 to 3700 image numbers under the pictures in the gallery, not the numbers above the images)
Do you love your horse?
Do you love the challenge of competing with your horse?
Gallery of photos from Faustman Ranch Gymkhana event May 19th:
Friendly folks and a great time can be had with your horse at Faustman Ranch
Ray Faustman welcomed me as did many riders who said there had not been a photographer at the events there in the past. Ray announced me several times as I would show him some of the images I was getting. I also handed out lots of postcards and business cards to participants as well as parents and at least one other barn owner that I had never visited. Hopefully after I cull out many images, there will be some great ones that everyone will enjoy from the event today (May 19th, 2012).
Now is a great time for horse and rider portraits at your farm or stable
Right now, while the weather is not too hot and when everything is green is a great time for farm call photo sessions with you and your horse. Seniors who want their horse to look as good as they do for their senior portrait session should consider hiring a photographer who has a specialty in equine photography. Fee free to call me with questions, ideas, or to schedule your photography session. Peter DeMott Photography 937-478-6222
Would LOVE to have you Like my photography business page. I post lots of horse stuff and would love to have you
I also hope that you will LIKE my page on Facebook and friend me so we can keep in touch: http://www.facebook.com/PeterDeMottPhotography
Two lovely families want portraits together
Amalie called me asking about family portraits for two families. They live in West Chester, but the other family was visiting from Georgia in about two weeks. I was hoping that the foliage would all be out and good for backgrounds for the family groups. We selected Sharon Woods in Cincinnati because it would be convenient for them. She explained that there were some smaller children which could be tricky.
The day before the session I scoped out Sharon Woods. I was able to find water falls that looked like it could be interesting. When everyone arrived, we took some pictures by the entrance to the park, but then I suggested that we head to this water falls that would make for several portrait opportunities. Getting the kids to relax and not smile too hard took some time. As they started to relax, several groupings just sort of came together. And that is they way I like it. I don’t want to say, stand just here and don’t move or something like that. Better to have the family interact and catch them being a family together.
Here are some of the images from the session:
I did some casual portraits for a family I know. They have two lovely girls and two young boys who were full of energy at the time of the session. I’d rather have high energy than tired and grumpy, but we had to come up with a way to focus their energy so that we could capture them in the portrait.
I asked Chris if he horsed around with the boys sometimes and after he said yes, I organized the family (without the boys) on the sofa. Then I told the boy, go climb on dad which the gleefully did do.
You can see more portraits from the session here: http://pdemott.smugmug.com/Portraits/Chris/15809800_umdxb#1185311621_CJQKu
• Peter DeMott Photography • Dayton, Ohio • firstname.lastname@example.org • 937-478-6222
Gray and dreary outdoors here in the Dayton area. I cannot wait for Spring and the blossoms and new green foliage.
Right now in the Dayton area, there is not much snow. However the first weeks of February can be unpredictable and we could have what West Virginia is digging out of any time in the next several weeks (first three weeks of February, that is). As it is now, we have nothing but gray and it does not make for beautiful outdoor portraits.
BUT, if the snow flies again consider professional on-location outdoor portraits
If we do get a big dose of snow in the coming weeks, I just want you to know that I am available to take Senior Portraits in Snow. I’ve recently posted some snow portraits with horses along with some tips on how to get great snow pictures and portraits. Lots of white snow is NOT a time when you can just trust you camera to make the right decisions. If you want to take your own pictures in the snow, review my previous posts to get some good ideas, but it you want professional on-location snow portraits of your high school senior or your children (special family time portraits of mom and dad with the kids), don’t hesitate to give me a call when the weather man starts talking heavy snow. If you have a wooly horse that you want portraits with in the snow, I can do those too. If it works out, you will have extra special portraits, completely unique and fun to share. Call me at 937-478-6222 (Peter DeMott). IF the snow comes and IF someone takes me up on this offer, I will share some extra special and completely unique family portraits, senior portraits, or horse and rider portraits here on my blog.
If you missed my earlier posts with tips on getting good snow pictures and portraits with your digital camera, here they are:
This post is on my web site and blog here: http://www.photosbypdemott.com . It will also appear on my personal facebook page where you are welcome to friend me: Peter DeMott . It will be on my Twitter account: pdemottphoto . And last it will show up on my facebook fan page: Peter DeMott Photography . You are welcome to share these posts and links with your friends in snowy areas, become a fan or friend or follow my web site by subscribing on the top right of my home page. Thanks, Peter DeMott
Snow is on its way to my area here near Dayton, Ohio. It seems from the news that there is lots of snow in lots of places all over the country. I thought I would put up a blog post to help people take better pictures in snow.
Here is the big problem with snow. Your camera light meter is tuned so that it will take an average scene that has some white, some gray, and some dark tones. It tries to find an average for the scene. Average gray is 18% gray and this is why photographers sometimes take meter readings from a “gray card”. But with a snowy scene, you don’t have grays and darker tones… everything is white. Therefore your camera will take all that white and try to average it down to a medium gray by underexposing the white snow. When your pictures come back you have gray snow. If the processor does a good job, they will try to make it white for you, but it is very under exposed and will be very grainy looking even if it is processed so that it looks white. In other words all your beautiful snowy pictures will be yucky and gross.
The solution is counter intuitive. Because everything is so white, you might think the way your camera does and think that you need to reduce the exposure. Actually what you need to do is add exposure. Most cameras have some sort of exposure compensation option. It shows as plus or minus exposure (+ or -). What you will do is to give the exposure a +1 or + 1 and a 1/2 compensation on the exposure. If you have an older camera you want your needle to be be plus one or one and a half stops.
Next you will want to check the histogram of some images. Most of the data needs to be toward the right (lightness area), but not completely to the right. The right side of your histogram is an illustration data showing the amount of white in the scene. It is where the white portions of the scene would normally show up in and AVERAGE image. In an average image you would see some data on the left (darker portions of the scene), some data in the middle (the average gray portions of the scene) and some on the right (the whiter or brighter portions of the scene). If all your data is in a big hump in the middle of the histogram, your snow is being metered as average gray and not as white (you need more exposure to move the data to the white portion of the histogram). If it is completely against the right wall of your histogram then you are over exposing the snow and it will not have any detail (you have over exposed and you need to bring it back some). It will be white, but it will not seem visually pleasing because of the lack of detail.
So what do you do in bright snow? You tell your camera you want it brighter so that the bright white snow comes out nice a white rather than middle gray.
We just watched the news and schools are already showing delays for Thursday, January 7th even though the snow is not supposed to show up until late morning. Here is Dayton we so seldom get PRETTY snow. What we get is freezing rain, dirty and salty snow, and all that nasty stuff. Even when it comes down nice a pretty and white, it is usually wet and dirty snow in no time. Your opportunities to take pictures and portraits in snow are limited. Take advantage when you have the chance.
I mentioned on my FACEBOOK business page that I am offering a special if someone wants to do their senior portraits, family portraits, animals or perhaps their horse in snow. If you are in the Dayton area and you enjoy my style and artistry in portraiture, I would encourage you to become a fan of my business page and also become a FACEBOOK friend. You can also sign up to receive this blog via your email in-box by visiting my website home page.
Hoping you have the opportunity to enjoy some pretty white snow.
I have to say that I have always liked taking pictures of people with a telephoto lens. It is particularly great for taking pictures of kids with completely natural expressions. In this particular portrait I was at a competitive trail ride near Dayton during the vet check portion of the ride. This young rider is the son of Shannon Loomis. All her children are quite cute and this young man was waiting his turn to show his horse to the vet at the finish of the ride. Natural smile come so easily to young children when they are unaware of the camera.
When I do a kids portrait session there is nothing that can frustrate me more than a parent telling their child to smile. Sometimes this results in a completely unnatural pasted on smile that is unappealing. It is not the smile that comes from delight or finding something funny. It ends up being a false representation of the person. There are two things that can help with this. First it is important to instruct the parents that they may not instruct there children during the session. No instructions like, “Not that smile…you know the smile we want.” There is nothing that will cause a child not to relax more than a parent making them feel selfconscious about how they look or what they are doing.
And second I have had good success doing a “candid” session where the parent and the child play together and I tell the parent to just pretend they are alone and to just forget about me. With the telephoto lens I can walk about looking for those natural moments without being right there close to the action. I can be 15 to 20 feet away like I was with this portrait. As I have posted before (this blog appears on my website and on my facebook accounts) sometimes my best images of children occur in the first few moments or the very last moments of a session either before the children figure out that I am photographing or after we announce that we are all finished. Of course all these things depend on the age of the child.
Here is the young boy I mentioned in the paragraphs above – just too cute. One thing that you will notice is that in all competitive trail rides and endurance rides junior riders are required to wear protective riding helmets. In addition Shannon has protective riding vests on each of her children when they participate in these events together.
I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Natural smiles.
This portrait was taken from 20 feet away using a 70-200 mm telephoto zoom lens using available light.
I am excited about the results of working with Zac Henne or Henne & Associates, LLC graphic designers. I met Zac through Rainmakers Networking group here in the Dayton area. It took us three design tries to come up with the new look. After the second group of ideas, I said I had to see something that made me say, “Ooooh, I like that” because I will have to live with this for a long time. Thanks, Zac, for your willingness to go to bat three times to come up with that “Ooooh, I like that” design for me.
I also changed the header of my web site to show my current work in senior portrait photography here in Dayton. I’d love to hear what you think about my new logo and the new header.
Here is the new header which shows some of my most current work. I will also include this as part of my signature file when sending emails.
I still do equine photography. That means if you are a senior high school student and you want portraits with your horse, I’m still here for you, but I am going back to my first love in photography which is people. Pet photography on location at your home or in a nearby park is something that I am also open to. All of my sessions are guaranteed so even though I don’t have samples of work with other pets right now, there is no risk to you if you like my style and want to give a pet session a try (Money back, no questions asked guarantee on the session fee if you are not happy for any reason or a reshoot of the session if you like).
It was fun to create portraits of Sarah with her horse for her senior portraits at Dancing Horse Farm near Lebanon, Ohio (only about a half hour from where I am based in Germantown, Ohio near Dayton, Ohio). Her mom and her little sister helped some with getting ears up. When shooting horses sometimes the most difficult thing is to get the horses attention. In this case, I think that Sarah’s arms were very tired from pulling his head up out of the beautiful green grass. I’ve done several sessions at Dancing Horse Farm including portraits like these as well as action photography of horses under saddle doing dressage. Here are some pictures of Sarah with her horse, but the last two portraits are her little sister who had been jumping around behind me to get the attention of the horse. I was able to sneak the shots before she could turn away. I think they are very cute. Sarah is in love with her horse and it shows in how she looks at him and leans into him for some of the portraits. I think everyone had a wonderful time and I think they are having a very difficult time not buying everything they see. Should I just show 20 images and make it easier for my clients to choose? I think not. I will just continue to make them work hard selecting their favorites.
Hey, are you taking pictures of ME? I was able to take several candid portraits before she turned away. How cute is this? To see more portraits from Sarah Wheeler’s senior portrait sessions go to Sarah Wheeler. As a senior portrait photographer and an equine photographer I truely enjoy bringing both of those areas into one portrait. For truely unique senior portraits, wouldn’t you love to have your senior portraits with your cherished riding companion?
Peter DeMott Photography 937-478-6222
I had a session with two families at Cox Arboritum here in Dayton.
Before we even started these two cousins came together in a nice shaded area where the light was just right. I had just set my camera adjustments and figured I would fire off a few shots. Now these were the first of several images that I took. The first of the entire session. What do you think?
With children, I think if I could say we haven’t started yet for about a half an hour before then spend about 15 minutes saying, “okay now we are officially taking pictures”, then spend another half hour taking pictures after we were had finished, I would have hundreds of great shots like these. It’s when you are officially “not shooting yet” or when you are officially “finished shooting” that the best portraits happen with children.
I like to take portraits of little kids, but I really like them to be natural environmental portraits. Sometimes it takes some time and experimentation before kids start to relax. One thing that I have to explain to parents it that they cannot participate in directing their children. Directions like, “Not that smile, I want to see teeth,” from a parent just makes kids more tense and nervous about what is about to happen. Kids like to play and that is when their most real and natural expressions come out.
Once they get used to me clicking off the shutter every couple of moments, then they stop with unnatural expressions and realize that nothing bad is going to happen to them. Sometimes I play with them by asking them to do something that may feel a little uncomfortable in order to elicit natural expressions. I asked this brother and sister to look into each other’s eyes. Of course when you are close to another person and looking into their eyes, you are going to start smiling. It’s uncomfortable in a good way.