One Minute Tip #3: Hire a Makeup Artist

Hiring a makeup artist (MUA) is a critical part of your portrait session. Makeup for photography is entirely different from everyday use. Because of the powerful lights, you need more makeup for photography and just adding more won't work. A MUA will have the right products to do the job. No one can do their own makeup as well as a professional makeup artist, if you want to look your best. It's also an opportunity  to learn a few tricks of the trade. Every time a client has hired a makeup artist, they always tell me about something they learned. As a Tampa based photographer, MUA make my job easier as I spend less time retouching.

If you have never worked with a makeup artist, I highly suggest that you hire one for your next photo shoot or portrait session. It will take your images to the next level. 

Stennett - Sloly Wedding

I had the pleasure of photographing a wedding in the Houston, TX area. The wedding was held at the Enchanted Cypress Ballroom. This venue had some fantastic backgrounds. The wedding guest travelled from both the east and west cost to witness this union. It was a lovely wedding, and the Caribbean roots of the bride and groom made for a festive reception. 

Deep Ellum Pop Up Photography Studio

Last weekend, I photographed a High School Senior portrait session in Deep Ellum, which is east of downtown Dallas. In preparation for this outdoor shoot, I added a speed light to my kit, a Yongnu YN-568EX for Nikon. I selected this flash as it supports TTL and High Speed Sync and much cheaper than the Nikon flashes. I added this flash because I wanted four units that supported TTL and High Speed Sync. My plan was to use all four simultaneously. In addition, I added a Cowboy Studio 4 way flash shoe bracket, so that I can mount all 4 speed lights on to one bracket. 

It was an overcast day, so there was no harsh sunlight. My plan was to balance the ambient light, which was diffused by the clouds and off camera flash. I used this setup for the senior portraits and they turned out great. The portrait session lasted about an hour, so I decided to find a location and take some stranger portraits while I was down there. 

I end up shooting in mostly in one locations, the first spot didn't have much foot traffic, so I only ended up getting one stranger portrait, but it was probably the most interesting. After about 20 minutes, I moved around the corner, found something with a cool background and waited for strangers to pass.

I'd heard of other photographers do this, finding a location on the street and basically setting up a pop up studio, it was a cool experience and I look forward to do this again. 

Flight Status

Last week (April 2, 2016) I was flying from Dallas, TX to Tampa, FL. After boarding the plan, the captain announced there were storms in the Tampa area and there would be a possible 2 hour flight delay. 30 minutes later, we de-boarded the plan and went back into the DFW airport terminal. After finding a seat, I decided to take some photographs of the travelers passing by to kill the time. I was sitting near a flight status monitor and I noticed a steady stream of travelers stopping to check their flight status. I decided to take images of people looking up at the monitor.

I was seated on the end so I had an unobstructed view. I didn't want to be obvious, so i put my camera in Live View mode and balanced it on my knee. As people stopped, I would frame the shot via Live View and take the photograph. Most didn't notice what I was doing, and the ones who did, didn't say anything, they just kept walking. 

The flight delay ended up being only an hour. But during that time I took some interesting images. Here are some of the photographs. 

2016 DFW Golf Show

For the third consecutive year, I was the photographer for the fourth annual DFW Golf Show at the Irving Convention Center, which is just west of Dallas, TX. The three day event brings out the vibrant Dallas - Fort Worth golf community and it's a really fun event packed with products, services and giveaways. 

Although the event is three days, I've only been required to shoot on that Saturday for about 4 hours. Saturday this year was Kid's day, and there were definitely more junior golfers than in years past.  

Every year I receive a shot list, which has been the same all three years. I know precisely what shots are required, therefore, it made this event a breeze to shoot. That precision has decreased my shot count and I have fewer wasted images, which helps speed up the post processing as I have few images to work with. The layout at the Irving Convention Center was almost identical to last year, the only change was they moved the main stage to the opposite end of the hall. 

It was nice seeing some familiar and new faces at the show and I look forward to next year. Below are some of my shots from this years DFW Golf Show or you can check out the DFW Golf Show Facebook fan page for more images. 

Game 9: Cowboys v. Jets

Hard to believe it's week 15 already. The Dallas Cowboys lost to the New York Jets by 3 after a gaming winning drive by the Jets. This officially eliminated the Cowboys from playoff contention. One thing I've enjoyed this season, is seeing former Cowboy greats. This game it was Super Bowl MVP XXX Larry Brown. Here are my game day photographs, one more home game to go.

Game 8: Cowboys v. Panthers

Here are my photographs from my first Thanksgiving Day game at AT&T Stadium, Dallas Cowboys vs. the undefeated Carolina Panthers and the Panthers are still undefeated.

It was another overcast game day with a chance of rain. When we got up to the Miller Plaza, it started to sprinkle, then eventually, it started to rain. Due to the rain, the Dallas Cowboys Rhythm and Blue only performed once outdoors. For the first time this season, the remaining performance was done inside the stadium on the upper concourse. With the fans so close to the dancers and drumline, I didn't have enough room or a wide enough lens to properly photograph the performances. So went up the stairs to get a higher vantage point, then there was a column in the way. Next home game is on a Saturday night against the NY Jets.

Game 7: Cowboys v. Eagles

Change Is Gonna Come

This was the first Cowboy home game after the Daylight Savings Time (DST) change. Why do we continue to observe DST? Anyway, now that the sunset's at 5:25 PM, I was concerned about the lighting on the stage. In this blog I'm going to write about how I  handled the changing lighting situation. Be warned, I'll get a little technical in this blog. 

The first set of performances on the Miller Lite stage, which is on the west end of AT&T Stadium, started at 4:50 PM, no issues here as the stage was lit by the sun. It's actually my favorite time to shoot as the low horizon of the sun creates beautiful light. In photography circles is called the Golden Hour, and it's a great time to take photos outdoors because the intensity of the sunlight is reduced and it's more indirect sunlight. 

Shot at 4:50 PM on the Miller Lite Plaza Stage

The second set of performances began at 5:21 PM on the AT&T Plaza stage, on the east side of AT&T Stadium, although we were in the shadow of the stadium, there was still plenty of light. By this time the stage lights were on causing some uneven lighting, but not enough to cause a big problem. But you can see that the middle of the stage is where the lights are directed. I like shooting on this side of the stadium because the shade creates soft even lighting.  But most of the time the sky is blown out because I have to expose for the shade and using flash doesn't make sense for a variety of reasons. So far so good.

Shot at 5:21 PM on the AT&T Plaza Stage

The next performance on the AT&T Plaza stage was at 5:45 PM, now the sun has set and we are on the shaded side of the stadium. To my chagrin, the stage was not evenly lit. The spot lights were focused on the middle of the stage, so the dancers would be in the spot light and the shaded areas of the stage at that the same time. Now, what do I set my exposure to? 

Shot at 5:45. You can see how uneven the stage lighting is configured

I know I want to shoot at 1/500th of second. So I set my camera to Manual mode. I set my shutter speed to 1/500 and took a series of shots, adjusting my Aperture and ISO, until I got to an acceptable exposure. I ended up at f/5.6 at ISO 6400. ISO 6400 is to high for my liking, but it's something I had to live with. Freezing the action is top priority. I chose f/5.6 because I like a little wiggle room to get the shot in focus. There were a ton of images that were under exposed, I had to up the shadow slider in Adobe Lightroom quite a bit. I didn't do any noise adjustment because the D750 does really well at high ISO's. 

That's my tale on how I dealt with the changing lighting patterns due the DST change. Veteran's and those who are serving in our military, where also being honored on this day. I'm a military brat and my father served 30 years in the Army, including two tours to Vietnam, I can certainly appreciate Veteran's Day.  Here are a few more shots and some video of my day AT&T Stadium.