Friday, December 14, 2007

Holiday Q&A

Holiday Q&A

blair said...
1. whats your favorite lens? Gee, that is hard. I love my 50mm 1.4, but since I broke down and got a 28-70mm 2.8, it basically stays on my camera All. The. Time. So probably my zoom.

2. whats the most valuable lesson you've learned when it's come to your work? Push through the bad days. I notice that if I feel a session didn’t go well, I never come home and process/critique my work. If I take a few days to go back to it, I always find something worthwhile and surprise myself. We are, in fact, our own worst critics. The other thing is PUSH yourself. Even when you feel you are in a slump, work through it. These are the times I will take out my film camera and just shoot, see what I come up with. It’s good therapy.

3. what lens is in this picture.- now i can't find the picture, but it's you and mooshinindy... Oh I know which photo you are talking about. That would be the monster of the 28-70mm 2.8. Can’t live without it, seriously THE best lens ever.

P.S. I totally stole your laundry tips and my laundry smells like amazing 24/7 now! THANK YOU! So glad you loved the laundry post. I made the mistake of trying something ‘new’ and can’t wait until it is gone, my laundry is giving me a headache. Definitely knew better than to do that! BTW Blair did baby boy make his appearance yet?

Christal said...
Hey kim I love Q & A's so here goes-What camera do you use? I shoot a Nikon D200. I started with the Nikon D80 and “upgraded” if you will, but miss my D80. The D200 is a fantastic camera but the noise on it at ISO 800 is incredible (in a bad sense) so I miss my D80.

- What is the best lens for family portraits inside & out? Well, if all I had to use for the rest of my life (before I bought my moster lenses) it would have to be, hands down, the 50mm 1.4. I worked with the 1.8 for the longest time and it too is wonderful, but if I had the choice, the 1.4 is by far sharper and can work in a bit of a stickier situation (If the light is low). Also it is a good lens to learn on because it is fixed and you can manage camera shake a bit better. One of these lenses is definitely worth the investment.

-what is the best photoshop for the basic skin tone and eye pop w/o paying big photoshop professional price? Photoshop, Photoshop, that is a good question. The first eight months I was photographing I used only Picasa (free download…google it…) and that got me where I needed to be. Then I upgraded to Adobe Photoshop Elements. You can do almost everything PSE that you can with the full version of Photoshop with the exception of “actions”. If you haven’t heard of actions, it is all the rage. Basically an action is a bunch of Photoshop processes put into one little tool or button that you push and it runs the things for you, i.e. levels, contrast, desaturation, glow, etc, etc…there are hundreds of them out there. So, if you are wanting to get on the action boat, then the full version of Photoshop is the answer. For me though, I don’t love actions…so for what I do PSE works just great! And you can get it for under $100! (Just FYI I do use Photoshop CS3 and I still don’t know how to use it! ;)

-You are awesome and your pictures are amazing!! Thanks Christal, you are awesome and I can’t wait to see what you do with that new camera of yours!

Natalie said...
Where are some fun places that you like to shoot? Where would you say you go the most?? Hmm, some of my favorite places are my client’s favorite places. I am trying to move people more towards a favorite activity or ice cream shop, something like that, but until that becomes more “in” I love to shoot in urban areas. I love colorful walls, grimy alleyways, architecture. If I could put a person and a building in one shot, I am in heaven.

Thanks so much :) You are welcome so much! Thank you for leaving a question.

Sam, Sam & Hollie said...
You never cease to amaze me! Do you ever stop giving of yourself? I do have a couple of burning questions.

First, I'm having a hard time not blowing out the snow. So, I've been shooting around f8 or so. The only problem is, then the shutter speed isn't fast enough to get a crisp image. I'm worried about bumping up my ISO because I don't want to blow out the flippin' snow! Grrr.
The snow? I love the snow! The key to the snow is knowing what you have in front of you is nature’s “grey card”. Let’s say you are going to shoot in the SAME light for the entire session, and there is snow ALL over the ground, point your camera to the snow, so only the snow is showing in the viewfinder. Now, your camera is reading the light coming from the snow. Then, because you want the snow to be white, you will have to overexpose the snow by about two stops (depending on your meter). Yes, I said overexpose. Then voila! As long as you stay in that area, and the light doesn’t change you can keep shooting on that rendering. Shiver was a great example of this. I metered off the snow in each new area, overexposed, and the photos came out amazing (plus, a little light reflecting off the snow didn’t hurt either.)

Last, I have an indoor (ward house) family reunion session coming up. What settings would you recommend using for my flash, aperture, etc, etc, etc? Also, any ideas on back drop? The church doesn't exactly offer a stunning scenery selection.
This is a toughy, it is hard to say without knowing what kind of lighting you are going to have in there. If all the lights are on, we have shot an entire event sans flash at ISO 800. If the lighting is low, and I have to resort to flash, then I generally keep my ISO to 800, my aperture to no wider than 3.2 and then I point my flash, and diffuser up, and shoot on the manual flash setting, and try to memorize the output strength to the distance your subject is. You could also shoot TTL and bump it up, but the flash output will vary greatly from photo to photo. Hope this helps and good luck!

Thanks, Kim! You are the whoa-man! Thanks Sam, I think you are pretty whoa-manly yo’self! ;)

mama c said...
ok.i want to know your photoshop routine. Ug, the entire routine? I can’t tell you or else I would lose all my business! Teasing…I don’t do a ton of work in Photoshop. I spend probably 20 seconds on each image. Basically the dealio is that I shoot in RAW, then I process about 10 images at a time. I will brighten the photographs, add a little contrast, correct white balance if needed and sharpen. All of this is done in the Camera Raw dialog box of CS3. I hear you can indeed process RAW files with PSE, but my D80 was not compatible, but I am pretty sure my D200 is…I have never tried or I could tell you. I do have a secret formula for each photo, but I can’t tell you or else it wouldn’t be a secret…but it is one step more…that is it. No fancy actions (usually…been playing though) no extremes. Just those basic steps.

i struggle between too little and too much... Well, if you are asking me, I prefer the look of film. I prefer to keep people looking pretty much the way they look in real life. I don’t do heavy retouching (zits, imperfections, yes) but won’t do wrinkles, tummy tucks unless they pay me! (Teasing but true…I really don’t like to do it and I won’t unless asked.) Also, I sound like I am an action downer, I am not, I just haven’t found where it would work with my photography. I keep trying them, but realize I just like the way my photos look as MY photos. Anyway, to answer your question, I say bar on the side of too little than too much, at least on your clients. You could try taking your favorite five from each session and do some funky stuff to them and then see if they like that…just a! Hopefully you’ve been helped.

you are my hero. You are mine you sassy natural born photographer. I’m still quite jealous.

caleb.w.cannon said...
kim.i lost your number. i want to shoot soon (over the break) send me an e.mail or call. Caleb. I called you…and I e-mailed you. Tag.

Lace said...
Hey I would like to hear where you like to do your shoots. You've found some fun places, I would like to hear where they are and how you find out about them. Ooo this is a fun one, and one of my favorite pastimes. I love shooting downtown, sometimes when I have a free afternoon I will drive around and look for spots I would like to shoot at. Pierpont Avenue in Salt Lake is really fun, so is the Salt Lake Library. There is also good old Exchange Place (a client favorite). I like anything new, fresh, and full of architecture (although if you look over my stuff I am a mug shot kinda gal and tend to forget I should incorporate my surroundings a bit more into the photo…maybe one day I’ll remember.)

Thanks! Merry Christmas! Merry Christmas to you too! Have fun with hubby home finally!

Anonymous said...
Hi there, I happened upon your site from Moosh in Indy, and I love your work! Two of questions have kind of been touched on by others, I'm just a little more feel free to lump in my answer with someone else's!1. i would love to hear more about your camera gear - what you use the most, and what pieces are your favourite. Do you use any fixed focal length lenses? My gear includes: Nikon D200, Nikon 50mm 1.4 fixed focal, Nikon 28-70mm 2.8 zoom, Nikon 70-200mm 2.8 zoom, and Nikon 24mm 2.8 fixed focal. I also have two flashes, Nikon SB600 and SB800. My favorites are, well all of them. I use the different lenses for different reasons, but like I said before if I could only have one it would have to be the 28-70mm 2.8. My next favorite is the 50mm 1.4, although I don’t use it as often as I should.

2. What version of photoshop/photo processing software do you use? What program would you recommed from someone who is a little short on the budget side, but really, really wants to get into the next step of digital photography? (ie. post processing) Like I said above, hands down, it would be PSE. They came out with a rawkin’ new version, and everything I do in CS3 I can do in elements. And it is SO cheap. Go, run, get it NOW!

3. I am inspired to see someone build a business around doing somethig they obviously love, and still take time with family. How do you balance the needs of both? Balance? If you asked my husband he would tell you there is no balance to my life. Okay, some. Between school, work, kids, and being a “SAHM” (stay at home mom, that is what I consider myself even with all the craziness) it is hard to keep it all straight sometimes. I generally throw a toddler fit a few times a month, my laundry never gets folded or put away, and pretty much we eat out a lot. When I am working my husband has the kids, they are rarely, if ever at a sitter. And I try to only work when my kids are in bed, so I process at night and reply to e-mails, and (clean, rarely) after they have gone to bed. A lot of support from a loving husband, and a lot of faith in the man upstairs gets me through, and I have indeed been blessed.

Thanks! -loving your shots all the way over here in Canada, Jordan Thanks Jordan, come back to visit anytime!

Amanda asks:

Ok - so here would be my photo questions.

How do you get your colors to look so vibrant? Knowing your camera and knowing that digital is flat. So, you’re gonna need to add a little contrast, and mess with that a little to make your photo what you want it to be.

How do you get your pictures to look aged? Aged? Do you mean the dark edges? I think that is what you mean, if not let me know I will try to answer better. There is a tool in PSE, CS3 called a “burn” tool. I run it around the edges of most of my photos to put emphasis on the subject, leading the eye to the brighter part of the photo (the person).

Black backgrounds with the infants? This is one of my secrets…dang it, well it is Christmas so this one I’ll answer. I use a $7.00 blanket I bought at Walmart, then in post processing I ‘clip’ off the darker portions of the photograph in levels (just basically make no detail in the blacks of the photograph) then whatever is left I burn to oblivion.

Erin asked:

A secret question, I can’t answer here, you’ll have to check your inbox.

Lou said...
These are lovely- might I ask- do you work solely w/ natural light or do you have an external flash? Tell us about your tools :-) If I can (and generally I don’t work unless I can) I use 100% natural light. I will use a flash at wedding receptions/ceremonies indoors, but unless it is noon, I will use natural light.

Melissa said...
The color combination is great. All right-where's the orange wall? Do tell! The orange wall is on Pierpont Avenue in Salt Lake City.

1. Jen says:
Can Kim teach me how to do my hair like hers, I have tried a million times to get my hair to do that and it just doesn’t. The hair? Right after blow drying, brush it straight back, get one had ready with the hairspray, then with the other, you lightly ‘rat’ it with your fingers while misting the hair slightly. Then, the key is to let the hair set for a few minutes. Don’t mess with it too much or else it won’t work. When it is dry, I gather the little section, put a bobbie pin on each side and voila. My husband and son HATE that hairstyle. My son draws me with it I wear it so much. Oh well, it keeps my hair out of my face, that’s all I can ask for.

Well, that was fun guys. Thanks for all the good questions. Hopefully you made it through the novel of all novels! Merry Christmas, and Happy Holidays!



mama c said...

you got off easy, my pretty lady;)

i have so many questions i'd love to pick your brain with so maybe it's a good thing we live far, far away;)

thanks kim. i really do appreciate all of your help.

all of it.

merry christmas!

moosh in indy. said...

Hi, um, I didn't ask you a question, and you asked me to.
How awesome am I?
Take it as a compliment that I already know EVERYTHING ABOUT YOU. And that I'm humble.
I hope you can come eat some Barbie today.

Rebecca Tyler said...

That was so helpful (and sweet) of you! I learned new things today and I thank you for that.

I'm with you on the whole Actions thing. I haven't found a place in my work for Actions either. I love seeing other works that have used them, just not for me really. :o)And your answer regarding family/business juggling made me sounds like us so much. Hubby watching the kids, me not cleaning or doing laundry..trying to get sessions edited at eating out a lot. Good times. Kinda crazy most days, but God gave us this very special gift and as long as we keep our faith in Him I truly believe it will bring glory to His name. :o) Keep up your amazing photography!

Ashlee said...

I ALWAYS love you hair. I struggle with mine all the time.

I'm sure your camera/photograph tips are awsome too, but it's all German to me. hehe