It’s amazing how time flies, I feel like we were just here. The holiday season starting this week, but it was a year ago that I was writing a blog similar to this. Thanking the people in my life, that make my life possible. If you are a small business owner, you know the first few years can be a little rough as you are building from the ground up. I have been in business three years now, and WOW! I still feel like I’m that 21 year old that has no idea about the world; and yet I have built a successful photography and videography company.
There are no words that I can write other than thank you. My family has been a huge part of my success and will continue to be; Renae, inspires me to be more creative with every action collage and senior session I do. Tara, has come up with so many great marketing ideas that helped me grow a following on social media. My parents, what can I say, they have been amazing the past few years. I know it was not easy for them, but they let me live my dream anyway. Matt has been so supportive and willing to help when ever he can; I always seem to need help with my computer, haha.
This year I want to thank a few more people.
Tonya, has been amazing this year. She has been a client of mine for a few years now, and this year she has helped me grow within the sports photography world. I started off only doing a few action collages a year to this year doing 23 collages just in the fall season!
Suzanne, I meet earlier this year when her daughter stopped by for Renae’s prom portraits. She is now a client and amazing at helping me market to new groups.
Senior year is an exciting time in anyone’s high school career. What were the things you look forward to the most in high school? The Friday night football games, hanging out with your friends on the weekends, the senior trip, prom, and above all graduation day! That is exactly what Renae is doing this year; along with looking stunning in her senior portraits. Renae’s maroon sweater and cream lace skirt stood out against the orange, brown, and green leaves. Fall was a great time to take her pictures, the colors of the leaves made for a beautiful and colorful background.
The old Slim’s Ranch gave us the hiking trails with the wooded feel, while open field showed us the meadow and openness that Renae loves; all with the colorful leaves of fall.
Renae is an honor student, volunteer, and the captain of the soccer team.
This past Sunday, many of us were able to see the lunar eclipse, for the most part. If you are in the Philadelphia area like me, you probably saw a lot of clouds. Which was a little disappointing since a “Super Moon Lunar Eclipse” is not suppose to happen again until like 2033, or around that time. The couple hour event is amazing to see, I unfortunately did not get to see the whole thing, mostly because I started falling asleep on the sidewalk watching it; luckily it was nice out, I could have slept there.
Capturing the eclipse was no small task with the cloud cover, I spent about 15-20 minutes trying to find the best focus on the moon; shooting at night you will want to be in full manual mode. So what did I use? I had my Canon EOS 70D set up on a tripod and 70-300mm lens attached. A longer lens is always best for taking pictures of the moon. The longer the lens, the closer and more detail of the moon you are able to see. Because I was shooting at night, I also used my phone which acts as a remote for my camera. This way the camera did not shift a little when I would hit the shutter.
Once, I had my focus it was time to see what the best exposure would be. Sunday night I was about a half hour south of Philadelphia, and the best place to see the moon was standing on the sidewalk, next to a street light. I have photographed the moon before and I have found a 2-6 second exposure is the best, a longer exposure and everything moves (the earth and the moon). With the 2-6 second exposure I dropped my aperture to ƒ/5.6, I wanted a smaller opening. I played with ISO the most, I finally decided on 640 as the best for me.
Try playing around with your settings the next time you shoot at night. The moon is out most nights and a great way to practice shooting in low light. Let us know what settings you found to be best for you.
It’s time to meet little Gracie, an energetic 1 year old who loves mom, dad, her dog Abby, playing in water, Sesame Street, and yellow flowers. Gracie’s parents Adam and Denise brought her down to the Philadelphia area to visit her Uncle Matt and Sesame Place. During her time here, Gracie’s parents took a trip to Longwood Gardens and invited me to be apart of their experience. The yellow marigolds were Gracie’s favorite flowers by far, matching them perfectly with her yellow dress with little birds. Smelling the flowers and crawling and walking she never stopped moving for long and it was a true joy to watch her discover a new world.
Gracie also got to play in the Children’s Garden, which is sized to her nicely. Whether it was a fountain, a rain display, or a Chinese dragon painting water feature she loved splashing, painting and catching the water.
Seeing the world through Gracie’s eyes showed me again and again how magical the world truly is. I did a special picture just for her so that she will get to see the magic for years to come.
I look forward to seeing this cutie pie again along with her great parents.
We are all looking for someone or something, sometimes we know what it is and other times we don’t. People tell me all the time that they are looking to do video. That’s great everyone should be looking or already working on a video for their website and social media pages. In my experience the first thing I hear is, “I want video, but I don’t know what to do in the video or what I want to say.” All are important things to think about, but what about the videographer that is going to be working with you?
The production company, videographer, or camera operator might not seem like an important part of making your video, but they are vital to the success of your video. Here’s why, my guess (and I’m only guessing here):
You’re nervous about remembering your script or trying to read it.
You’re not comfortable in front of a camera, after all most of us are not seasoned actors or actresses.
Is this video going to show the “real” you and what your brand is?
These are all things that most people are concerned about when they start looking for a production company to shoot their video.
No matter, if the people that are talking to me about video choose to go with me, I tell them make sure you are comfortable with who ever you hire. Being comfortable with the person that is going to be working on the post side of your video is important. Have a few meetings with them, the first time is to get to know each other and most likely start getting your script and video ideas down on paper, after this initial meeting where you made sure the video has your vision in it, it is time to start shooting. If you are someone who does not like public speaking doing a video is going to be a little tougher. Let your videographer know, because they should be able to help you relax and calm your nerves, just like a duck on water.
Things to look for in your videographer:
Timely: arriving on time for meetings and early to set up if you are not going to their studio.
Energetic: you’re going to be nervous and scared when you first start. Having someone who is upbeat, making you laugh and smile will really help you feel better and more confident in what you are saying and the way you are acting.
Video Look: I know this one seems a little funny to be looking for, but it is important. Ask for samples of their work, chances are your video is going to look similar to the samples. This is because all editor’s have a style, if you don’t like the samples they send you probably won’t like the video they do for you.
Professional: this is a big one, because you want your video to look, feel, and BE professional, so it is important that your videographer is professional, but still making you feel comfortable.
Do you have a video up on your website yet? If not what is holding you back from getting one? Let me know what your thoughts are on video in the comments below.
Professional head shot by Tonya Moken.
Tonya Moken is the owner of TLM Productions, LLC, a business focusing on you in the South Jersey and Philadelphia area. Please call TLM Productions’ Tonya Moken at 609.440.6176 or email her at tonya.moken@TLMproductions.com for a project quote today!
Photographers hear all the time, “your pictures come out so well. What camera do you use?” Yes the equipment that photographers use is important, but only for the fact that they need it in order to be in their line of work. If a photographer did not have a camera, it would be pretty hard for him or her to be the picture taker. A photographer spends time with their camera when they first get it. Learning everything they can about it, like where the buttons are for the aperture, ISO, and shutter speed, a long with many other settings that they will need to know how to get to like the back of their hand.
The big thing that many people don’t realize is how important ISO, aperture, and shutter speed is for a picture. Each one affects the other two, just like if you change a side on a triangle, the other sides are adjusted as well. Thus giving you, the exposure triangle.
Here are the three elements to the Triangle of Exposure are:
ISO – the measure of sensitivity to light (graininess)
Shutter Speed – the amount of time that the shutter is open (motion)
Aperture – the size of the opening in the lens when taking a picture (depth of field)
A good way to think of each one is by creating a metaphor for yourself. I like to think of ISO as sunglasses, this is due to the fact that when you lower your camera’s ISO it makes your camera read a neutral or darker light. Just like when you put sunglasses on when your outside, your are taking away the brightness of the sun, ISO does the same thing for light in your picture.
I use a metaphor that includes shutter speed and aperture together. I read this metaphor on Digital Photography School’s website. (Yes I still need reminders sometimes on what everything is). Think of a window with shutters, the window represents the aperture. Depending on how big your window is, that’s the size of the opening in your lens. The larger the window, the larger the opening, and the more light gets in. The shutters are your shutter speed. If you open and close your shutters quickly less light is going to get through. When you have your shutter speed set to be open longer, you will get more light and a brighter picture.
Lighting will always affect all three elements in the triangle of exposure. Now you know what each one does and a metaphor to go along with it. Here is an example, you set your ISO to 12800 and the aperture to ƒ3.5, your shutter speed will need to be lower so that your picture is not blown out. The best part now is that you’re probably using a digital camera, which means that you can practice without worrying about the cost of developing pictures. Many cameras now give you an option to put one of the elements into auto while you adjust the other two, by doing this you will get a chance to slowly ease your self into shooting full manual versus full auto.
Another thing to note about ISO, aperture, and shutter speed is that they also affect other elements. ISO affects the graininess of your image, Shutter speed affects motion that is captured, and aperture affects depth of field. I will talk about each of these in another post.
I’d love to see what pictures you take with your new knowledge of shooting in manual mode. Share your pictures in the comments below or on Facebook or Google+.
Professional head shot by Tonya Moken.
Tonya Moken is the owner of TLM Productions, LLC, a business focusing on you in Somerdale, NJ. Please call TLM Productions’ Tonya Moken at 609.440.6176 or email her at tonya.moken@TLMproductions.com for a project quote today!