Monday, June 25

A Few Indoor Photography Tips

Good Monday morning, I'm back!! Work + life + editing an indoor party shoot = not much time to blog! 

I wanted to post a few more of the party photos (not too many new ones since my clients don't have them all yet and I think they should be the first to see them!) and I also thought I'd share a few things I've learnt that might help you out next time you want to photograph your own family indoors or get asked to photograph an indoor event! 

For starters, indoor photography is pretty tough, because unless you have a lovely, bright and light filled home or venue you are going to need to be very careful with your camera settings. In my own home the only room I'd ever photograph people in is my living room, it's bright and north facing, although there is a lot of background 'noise' or clutter to deal with which isn't so lovely! So that brings me to lesson number one from this session: 

1. Choose your indoor shooting space carefully (where possible!) - with the party I had no choice in the matter, I just turned up and everything was in place already, but luckily for me, if I had chosen the space, it would have been the one the clients picked... 

..the children's table was set up in the living room and there was some natural light coming through a north facing window (though not a lot as it was a long, narrow room) so luckily I also came to the shoot prepared with my external flash gun (the 430 EXII Speedlight) to add some additional light.

Do any of my photog girl's have one of these flash guns too? What do you think of them??  Already mine is proving invaluable for indoor shoots and doesn't give the obvious 'flash' look that your on-camera 'pop up' flash does, which was my main concern buying one! For me it's quickly becoming a camera bag essential :) 

2. Don't be afraid to 'clean up' your shooting space - when I arrived at the party I had a quick look around to see where I'd be shooting and decided on a few key spots for the family portraits the clients had asked for before the party guests arrived. I noticed that behind part of their sofa was a clear wall with a large window slightly off to the side allowing natural light in and a tidy backdrop, so I moved a nearby chair and a few  sofa cushions and these are some of the shots I was able to get on the sofa...

3. Set a custom white balance - unless you're shooting in RAW not jpeg set the white balance on your camera depending on the light source you're working with. There are settings in the 'Menu' area of your camera, especially for artificial indoor light from tungsten to fluorescent that help balance out the colour cast these lights give off. 

At the party I had mixed light sources to deal with - the clients had a single tungsten light on overhead as well as the natural light coming through the window so I used my Expodisk (you could also use an 18% grey card) to set a custom white balance. Custom white balance (CWB) is a so important for natural looking indoor photography with mixed light sources so I'd say save time in editing by doing your best to get it right in camera! 

4. Active children + Low Light = blurry photos! - when you have reasonably dark indoor shooting conditions and fast moving little children you have a bit of a problem. You need a fast shutter speed (a minimum of 1/250 of a second) to prevent motion blur but then of course you are sacrificing getting as much light into your camera's sensor as you can. That means you will need to bump up your ISO to get proper exposure.

My husband reminded me before this shoot that it's better to have 'noise' caused by high ISO's in your image (which can be greatly reduced in editing) than to have motion blur due to slow shutter speed, because there's nothing you can do to fix that! So crank up that ISO, open up your aperture and keep your shutter speed high to capture those priceless moments! 

Here the Birthday boy's Aunt pulled him in for a quick kiss and as you can see he wasn't impressed! LOL I wouldn't have been able to capture this moment clearly without a reasonable shutter speed...

5. If all else fails don't be afraid to use your flash - if you have a powerful external flash gun like a Canon Speedlight (I have the 430EXII) you have so much less to worry about when it comes to indoor photography! Basically your external flash is powerful enough to illuminate your entire foreground while indoors meaning the exposure meter readings on your camera don't really matter because your flash is going to light your subjects for you, which is pretty awesome :) 

I like to set my Speedlight to 'ETTL' mode so my flash is able to 'see' through my camera's lens and compensate (without me having to do anything manually) to correctly light the image - I believe this feature is only available on Canon flashes currently but it's crazy-amazing so if you have a Canon camera and flash definitely give it a try! 

6. Bounce that flash sister! (external flash guns only) - from what I've discovered you don't really want to be pointing your flash at your subjects and firing it straight at their faces when indoors, because you seem to get that obvious 'flashy' look where everyone looks a bit shiny! So instead point your adjustable flash head up at the ceiling - yep, the ceiling! The powerful light from the flash will hit the white ceiling surface and 'bounce' pretty diffused light all around the room for a more flattering and natural look. 

I used this method in the two very different images below, so it works for most indoor lighting conditions from very dark to very bright...

Phew, I'm sure there's a lot more that I got from this shoot and there's definitely a bunch of editing stuff I had to look out for as I went through all the images but that's all my brain can conjure up for now! It was definitely a challenging shoot with such low light for most of the day but I'm glad I did it because I learnt so much that I can use next time similar conditions present themselves. 

Anyway, I hope you all have a lovely weekend, I was actually out shooting again on Saturday (as if I needed more editing hours this week!) but a work colleague kindly asked if I would take the listing photo's of his recently renovated house that he's putting on the market so I went and did that and will share a little peek of that soon too! 

I've had so many hours of editing lately I'm really finding my way around the new Mac, it's pretty neat...and oh my gosh, I am so behind on blogging, I have so much to share including my big office reveal which is almost done! I'm completely smitten with it and can't wait to show you!

I hope you have a wonderful start to your week, be back soon... 

xo K 

Monday, June 18

Birthday Party Sneak Peek

Hi girls, happy Monday! It's after 10pm here so I'm just popping in quickly to say hello and thanks so much for the support last week for my birthday party photo shoot!

The shoot went well, it was all shot indoors so it was a real learning curve which I'll tell you more about very soon, but for now I just wanted to share a quick peek at some favourite images from the party! 

It was all incredibly cute and there was a Spiderman theme since the little birthday boy is obsessed with him...there was a great surprise for him on the day too, have a look... ;) 

Getting a three year old to sit still and look at the camera
is no mean feat! 

How cute is he?! 

All the children I photograph have such amazing eyelashes!!

Waiting for his party to begin...

How many boys can say that Spiderman came to their
third birthday!! Adorable :)

So I promise I will tell you all about it soon and show more of the images, it's been such a busy day at work and a long night of editing and I'm only about half way through all the photos! 

Luckily it's already proven more than worth it, with the little sneak peek I posted for the clients on my own Facebook page being so well received! 

Honestly the sweet words I get from clients bring tears to my eyes, it just makes my heart  happy that I can give something so personal to lovely families like this and that they really appreciate all the time that's gone into their images. It's beautiful! Okay now I'm going to cry again, ahh..I better stop there!! 

It's another busy day tomorrow so sleep time for me, I'll be back with more sweet party stuff soon...

xo K

Linking up to:
And then she snapped

Friday, June 15

Birthdays and Butterflies

Happy Friday girls! It's going to be a bit of an interesting one for me this weekend, I have booked a job photographing a really cute third birthday party on Saturday, eek!! I'm really excited and a little bit nervous, although the nerves always seem to wear off once I start getting into the shoot and feel like I'm getting some good shots! It's always those first 10-15 mins that are the worst and then you're right into the swing of things and it's all happening and it's crazy and silly and the most fun thing ever! 

Ever since I was little I remember getting those pesky butterflies in my stomach before doing anything I thought was important - I really liked to do well at whatever I set my mind to and generally speaking I did, so I tended to put a lot of pressure on myself to perform every.single.time. To me those  little butterflies signify that little adrenaline rush that ensures you're on top of your game and they tell me that whatever is making me feel this way is important to me and that I want to do a good job at it - the very best job that I possibly can! 

Shooting this fun event tomorrow also means that I will have some new images to edit on the iMac in my new office, which is so exciting!! I've been waiting for something to test it out on so we'll see how I go! 

I'll leave you with some images I haven't shown you yet from my niece's first birthday session last month. The invitations for her birthday party have gone out and look super cute so I'm allowed to show these other images, yippee...

I adore that dress, so sweet!

Sweet little birthday girl...

She was very interested in opening her 'present's...

...and she loves bubbles, so we had to have some of those! :)
I hope you have a wonderful weekend, I'm bound to be back with an update on the party and how I went wrangling a room full of little tykes! Wish me luck, I may need it, I have no clue what to expect from three year olds, I may come home in need of a lie down and a glass or two of wine! Ahh, it's all such a learning experience!! ;)

Chat soon lovelies... 

xo K

Tuesday, June 12

Mid Week Inspiration

Happy Wednesday, this week is just flying by so I thought I should stop in for a quick update! 

The weekend here was great, I had so much fun shopping for the office and it's looking pretty cute!! My new iMac even arrived earlier than expected and now has pride of place on my desk and the canvases I ordered last week have been shipped, woohoo! I'm hoping they arrive before Friday so I can do some office reveal shots soon, I'm dying to show you!

This week I have also been obsessed with the latest issue of gorgeous online mag Magnolia Rouge, it's a great wedding and event styling resource put together right here in New Zealand by a team of amazing designers, stylists and photographers with incredibly talented contributors from all over the globe!

Here are some favourite images from the latest issue, isn't it dreamy? You can check it out here, you will fall in love, I know it...

There's even a Tuscan wedding - divine!!


This dessert table is out of this world! 

I adore the hues in this bouquet!

So many cute styling ideas you could use for 
any occasion!

Oh my, I think I need to go and stare at it some more, every page is just beautiful and so incredibly inspiring!

Have a wonderful week and chat soon...

xo K

Images via Magnolia Rouge

Wednesday, June 6

I Have An Office!!

I'm blogging from it right now and I couldn't be more thrilled! And no, I didn't go crazy and rent an office space somewhere for my fledgling photography business but I am making use of the spare room we have in our house and turning into my little photography HQ!

Up until now my husband was the only one that made use of the small 'office'/single bedroom we have right at the end of the hallway but he was quite happy (and by happy I mean it was his idea!) to move his own desk and PC into our larger guest bedroom (which is rarely used) so I could have the end office to do with as I please!

Here are some photos of the old office layout with hubby's PC and workstation...

It's been all mine since Saturday and it's looking a little different already! I have big plans for this space! This is the room in the house that really needs to inspire me - it's where I will plan shoots, edit images, chat with clients and where I'll run my blog and future website from. It's not just an office, it's the start of having my own business and the beginning of a dream!

My first priority last weekend was to get some cute office furniture, so we made good use of the holiday sales and I picked up an industrial style white desk and stylish chrome and white leather office chair, so along with the little bookcase, pinboard and chrome desk lamp we already had in there it's slowly taking shape as a girl's office...but I think what it really needs is a pop of colour!

The walls are painted Resene Sea Glass which I really love but I'm thinking of adding a touch of pink or another bright colour with my stationary and accessories to add some fun, here are a few office spaces that I'm loving now...

White, blue and raspberry pink?

Similar wall colours to my office and cute little iMac's...

Cute pinboard inspiration and that lamp is a little like mine...

White, blue and bold pops of colour? Oh and I need cute lighting!

Pink and iMac love!

So many decisions to be made and I've just ordered a few prints and canvases from my recent photo sessions to put up on the walls so they're not so bare! Hubby has also given me his blessing to get myself an amazing desktop computer for business use. Most pro photographers seem to swear by the colour and clarity of Apple computers so I'm going to get a gorgeous 27" iMac and I'm so excited!

I've been editing photo's on the little 17" Sony Vaio laptop that my husband got me for Christmas (which I still love!) and it was fantastic for blogging but now it's getting pretty full and slow with all the photo files I keep and it's not ideal for photo editing as the colour balance on laptops is not great so I'm going to have to sell it to make way for my new desktop, but I'm not complaining! An iMac is definitely my dream computer for editing, it's going to speed up the whole process and the end result will be that much more professional.  

As excited as I am about seeing the canvases and the new computer, they won't arrive for another two or three weeks (boo!) so I'll be putting together the rest of the office in the meantime. I'm planning a visit to Kikki.K and a few other  cute office supply stores at the weekend to kit out my new space! Yay!

Do any of you ladies have your own home office or study? Or even a little nook where  you can escape from the rest of the household and get your inspiration on?? Are there any handy office must haves I should know about? I'm all ears, this office business is so exciting!!

Chat soon... 

xo K 

Monday, June 4

Adore Does Beach Chic

What a lovely long weekend we've had! The weather wasn't too bad at all and we even saw some sunshine! It was so nice to have a few sleep ins and spend a bit of time catching up on some reading, I'm feeling so relaxed and ready to start the new week!

I was so happy to discover over the weekend, one of my favourite online magazines Adore Home had just brought out their June/July issue and it's gorgeous as always. Here's a little peek at my favourite home from the latest edition. Fresh and fun beach chic!

To get your hands on your own free copy, check out their website...

You really couldn't be in a bad mood living in a home this gorgeous, the fun pops of colour and that white on white bedroom are just dreamy!!

Enjoy your Tuesday lovelies and I hope you have a great start to your week. Chat soon...

xo K

Friday, June 1

Mediterranean Style

Oh Friday, how I love you! It's a long weekend for us here in NZ and I'm looking forward to putting my feet up and keeping warm inside! Some home baking and warming Winter cooking is on the agenda along with lots of reading, snuggling and movie watching with the hubby and pups, my favourite kind of weekend!

I came across this cosy and romantic Mediterranean home the other day and it really appealed to me this chilly Autumn week! I could definitely settle in and get comfy in this lovely home...

Isn't it romantic? I can just picture snuggling up under a blanket at that outdoor table with a glass of wine. Lovely! 

Enjoy your Friday and have a wonderful weekend whatever you have planned!

xo K

Images via Martha Stewart


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