busy bee

Shoot. Edit. Post. Shoot. Edit. Post. (Repeat several more times)

Ah, the life of a photographer. Lately it seems like shooting pictures has been the only option on my menu for breakfast, lunch and dinner and I am loving every minute of it.

First thing I have to mention is the new lens I bought! It’s a 50mm f/1.8 II, commonly referred to as the “Nifty Fifty” and I know I’d mentioned it a couple months ago. I finally broke down and splurged for once, and couldn’t be happier I did. This tiny lens is genius and makes beautiful pictures. I would totally recommend a splurge of the $140 yourself if you’re looking for an awesome portrait lens.

In thanks to the newest member of my camera collection, last weekend’s maternity shoot with my cousin went awesome! We shot at Woodward Park in Tulsa, where the azaleas were in a beautiful full bloom and the weather was perfect. I’d love some feedback on how you think the pictures turned out, and am totally open to constructive criticism since I am new to the maternity trend.  (the password is kykomains)

This weekend I shot Lacrosse Team and Portrait photos for my brother’s team, as well as a father/daughter sprint car racing team for a photo essay I’m working on. Both went well and again, I was very pleased with shots taken by the Nifty Fifty.I have more racing pictures scheduled for the future and will definitely provide a preview to those when they’re available.

On a slightly different subject, a friend of mine and I have started our own business and we’re calling ourselves “Two Girls and a Camera.” The website is still in the developing stage, however take a look for all the things we’ll be shooting now and in the future. Hopefully this will be a nice little side job for me to do while I’m interning and even once school starts back up in the fall.

Can’t wait to hear everyone’s responses and hopefully all of you are staying as busy am I am!

Happy Shooting!

when i grow up

The last few weeks in class we have been working on making and editing a video project. I chose to use the theme of “when I grow up.” After finding several kids with huge dreams and ambitions, I was able to put together this video. Hope you and enjoy watching!

Update on Life

It’s been a while since I’ve posted about my personal life, and goodness has a lot happened!

The most exciting thing by far was landing an insane internship for the summer with a smaller newspaper in Tulsa called, GTR (Greater Tulsa Reporter). I got the job on the spot, and was told I’ll have opportunities to shoot The Tulsa Drillers, The Tulsa Shock, and The Tulsa Talons! Those words alone, were music to my ears. What more could an aspiring Sports Photographer, who’s not even out of college, as for? If you were thinking “nothing,” then we’re on the same page.

I know I’ve talked about resumes on here before, but after finding this site that challenged my creativity on what a resume “should look like,” I decided to take the challenge. I was complimented several times on my resume for being different and standing out, and I honestly believe that worked in my favor. So, here’s a copy of my resume, and if you’re looking for internships too, I strongly recommend NOT taking the safe route!

While we’re on the topic of accepting challenges, I’m the one who’s looking for advice now. My cousin asked me to take her maternity pictures next weekend, and I can honestly tell you, I’m super nervous. I’m sure they’ll turn out fine, but the closest thing I’ve shot to that are family portraits. So I’ve been doing some research and found the perfect 7 tips for taking great maternity pictures. Hopefully if you find yourself in this same boat these tips will ease your nerves like it has mine.

I’ll let you know how the shoot goes next week and maybe even give you a short preview! Until then, Happy Shooting!

 

Does your wagon have swag?

If you haven’t seen this video, please take the 2 minutes and 36 seconds to do so. I promise you won’t regret it.

We are in the process of working on making our own video for my electronic communication class. In searching around for ideas, I remembered this particular video that I’d seen several months ago. After watching it again, I remember why I thought Toyota so genius! It’s catchy, creative, and has clean humor.

The shooting and editing is perfect for this “music video” feel. It has several jump cuts, close-ups, pans, and is perfect at connecting it’s audio to the video. It’s obvious that the talent in this video were very comfortable and weren’t afraid to look dumb in front of the camera. For this very reason, this is a video I could watch over, and over again.

The lyrics and beat are catchy and you’ll undoubtedly be humming them in your head the rest of the day after watching. This video takes an everyday, not-so-cool mini-van, and gives it swagger. Again, its creative and has clean humor most importantly.

Toyota nailed it with this video and took car commercials to another level.

Hope you enjoy!

Kikos Hookah Lounge

This is a SoundSlide project a classmate and I worked on. It covers one of the employees from Kiko’s Hookah Lounge in Stillwater, and was a lot of fun to work on and put together. Hope you enjoy!!

how to shoot the best photo essay

We all know what an essay is, but you may not be crystal clear on what a photo essay is. Much like an essay you write in school, a photo essay tells the progression of emotions, events and concepts through the use of images. With photo essays becoming more and more popular as a means to telling a story today, I will let you in on a few tips I believe help create the perfect photo essay.

The first step:
Find an interesting topic! Photo essays are most dynamic when there is a definite connection between your subject and yourself. Whether you choose to shoot the life of a tattoo artist, your son or brothers first hockey game, or even your cousin’s birthday party, you want your topic to be something that will keep your interest over an extended period of time, and is interesting. Your level of interest will show in your photographs.

The second step:
Do some research! If you’re interested in something edgy like tattoo artists, make sure you spend as much time with them as possible and find out when their busiest hours are. If your family is obsessed with sports, attend as many games as possible by getting the schedule ahead of time, so you can plan around other events. Even if you’re just shooting a 5-year-olds birthday party, find the theme of the party and use the decorations to your advantage. Remember, details are just as important as your subject!

The third step:
Find the deeper story! After you’ve done some research, it’s time to think about what angle you want to take in your essay. Does the tattoo artist travel worldwide? Maybe your brother is trying to get a college scholarship to play hockey. Is this your cousins first birthday out of the hospital? These are all deeper meanings within your story that will give it that defining edge. You can never ask enough questions.

The fourth step:
Look for emotions! Excitement. Pain. Fear. Joy. Disbelief. These are all ways you can connect your essay to your audience. A photograph with emotion in it is very eye catching and people are drawn to them. Make sure you’re always paying attention though, because most of these emotions are expressed when you least expect them.

The fifth step:
Plan your shots! Sit down and think about the place you’ll be shooting at. Think about the type of shots that you feel will work best to tell your story and how you’re going to capture them. Make sure each shot is taken at a different angle and shows something different. Most photo essays are around 10-12 photos, so this shouldn’t be too difficult. If you need help editing, ask a friend!

Remember that all these steps take practice! Put a lot of time, some creativity and heart into your project and you’ll be amazed in the difference your photos take.

Happy Shooting!!

time

“Time is what prevents everything from happening at once..”
– John Wheeler

 

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Photo Credit: Kylie McMains

Photo Credit: Kylie McMains

Photo Credit: Kylie McMains

tips for great portraits

Portrait photography is one of the most common types of photography, and something everyone has a need for. Whether it’s senior pictures, newborn baby portraits or even family portraits, the rules for making a great picture are pretty constant throughout.

My first piece of advice when shooting portraits, especially studio portraits, is to set up a practice portrait session with yourself, or a friend. Set up a chair, a backdrop (start with a solid, then experiment with a crazy pattern or bright color), and a light or two. Experiment with angles, poses and shadows. Don’t be afraid to let loose and have your subject give you feedback. It is key to be as comfortable in front of the camera, as you are behind the camera. In doing so, you’ll be able to have a better understanding of the requests you would make to your subjects.

The next important factor in shooting an awesome portrait is the lighting. This is just as important, if not more important, then finding a good subject to shoot. Being a college student has taught me many inexpensive ways to create a professional looking light. Something as simple as holding a white or back foam board from Walmart against or next to your light source can make a world of difference in the softness or harshness in your photograph. A simple clamp-on, workshop light, is perfect with you’re on a budget. Buy several different wattages in light bulbs, and you’ve just made yourself a cheap, extremely successful, lighting kit.

The last tip I have for you when taking portraits, is to HAVE FUN! My favorite thing about photography is that it’s not a job for me. This is something to keep in mind especially when you’re shooting a group photograph. Posed formal portraits are necessary, but there’s no reason you can’t break loose once you’ve shot the standards. Ask your subjects to make a funny face, pick each other up, or even jump as high as they can. The best photos are taken when your subjects are being themselves. Sean McGrath does an excellent job of this in his portraits.

Hope these tips make your next portrait session more successful! Let me know what works and doesn’t work for you, and if your learn any new tricks of your own.

Happy shooting!

Two Girls and a Microphone Podcast

This is a podcast a classmate, Alexa Ivins and I have put together for our Electronic Communications Class. We’ve used the topic of interesting students around campus, and allowed them to share their stories. Have a look, and let us know what you think!

capture the moment

Most people fall in love with photography because it is one of the few ways to freeze time. Pictures allow us to go back in time and remember moments that were “once in a life time” opportunities and relive those instances that are so dear to our hearts. Capturing the moment is by far my favorite part of photography. Whether it’s snapping the shot right as the basketball player is dunking the ball, or when the perfect family portrait is used as a Christmas card, capturing the moment is what photography is about.

I was shown this video recently, about “moments” and how they are truly in the eye of the beholder. A moment is what you make of it and how you chose to interpret the shot. Capturing that moment on film is like backing it up on a hard drive that can never break.

One of the most important events in someone’s life is arguably their wedding day. This is the event that girls dream of their whole lives, and capturing EVERY moment of that day is critical. This site shares the best tips to make your wedding pictures come out fabulous. How people survived before cameras, I will never understand because looking back on memories like these are priceless.

A local photographer I have grown fond of does a remarkable job at capturing the perfect moments on film. She is so creative in the way she finds just the right angle and perspective to make the image perfect. I strongly encourage you to browse through her website and see what I am talking about.

As for some moments I’ve captured, here are a few of my favorite.

Photo Credit: Kylie McMains

Photo Credit: Kylie McMains

Photo Credit: Kylie McMains

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