Monday, April 27, 2009

5th Annual WMPG fashion show

Photos from backstage at the 5th Annual WMPG Fashion Show held this past Saturday April 25th

Jackie Newell and Savannah Daras wearing dresses from Diana Duane's Golden Apple line

Emily Carrington wearing a black dress from Diana Duane's Golden Apple line

Show coordinator Paul Drinan talks to the models backstage before the show begins

Debbie holds a rose before she walks the runway wearing a dress by Maria Antoinetta Couture

From the front: Emily Carrington, Savannah Daras, Jackie Newell and Samantha Anaman

Jennifer Mills fixes Emily Carrington's hair before walking the runway

Tara, wearing an ensemble by Fidel

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Saturday, April 18, 2009

google questions

I've been using google analytics to track my blogs stats - see how many hits it gets, how long people stay, what they view, things like that. One of my favorite features is that I can see what searches on google lead people to my blog. One thing I've noticed is that people often type a question into google trying to learn something about photography, but some of those questions aren't fully answered on my blog so I wanted to take a little time to answer them!

First search: "bland colors on photography websites upload" (related searches that have come up are "making photos look good for web" and "uploaded facebook photos look pixelated")

When uploading to the general web - your personal website, photobucket, deviantART, flickr or other websites that are specifically for showing photos or art, make sure you are saving in sRGB color space and high quality jpg before uploading. You can locate the color profile options in Photoshop by going to Edit > Choose Color Profile and selecting sRGB from the drop down menu. What will help as well is being sure to properly resize your photos before uploading them, that way the web service doesn't have to do it for you.
For facebook be sure to follow those steps, however no matter what you do facebook and myspace both tend to chew up photos.

Second query: "is talent6 a safe website?"

I discussed briefly in this post. After my brief experience with them and reading other anecdotal evidence against them I would say to stay away from their website.

Third: "myspace modeling scams that request pictures"

I'm going to start by saying that not a lot of places use myspace to find models. There are enough agencies and other networking sites devoted to photography and modeling that myspace is very far down on the list of places to use. I was once contacted by an "ad agency" saying that wanted to offer me a job modeling bikinis for a client who was putting together a catalog, but the catch was that I had to send them two nude photos so they could see my physique. SCAM.
If you are looking into a career in modeling, don't bother looking for jobs on myspace. Use One Model Place, Model Mayhem, or go see a local agency.

#4: "portfolio sizes"

Covered here in this entry :)

Hopefully the next person who is googling for answers will find these helpful! And if you've got questions, please feel free to email me at stephanie.elizabeth.m AT gmail DOT com and I'll try my best to answer them or send you to someplace that can :)

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Wednesday, April 15, 2009

keep your equipment safe!

It is heartbreaking to hear stories of people's equipment getting lost, stolen, or broken. A lot of times people don't give thought to what precautions to take till after it's too late and something bad has happened. So what can you do to help prevent mishaps to your gear?

1) Write down serial numbers in a safe place as soon as you get a piece of equipment. In the event that your gear gets stolen, the police will most likely need a serial number. If you get your gear insured they will also need your serial numbers and possibly a picture of the item.

2) Insurance! I'm guilty of not doing this one simply because it's daunting in complexity and expense. But there is a chance that home owners insurance might cover you. Call your insurance agency to check.

3) Be quiet, be discreet. My camera bag is plain and black, no big logos. If my camera is not around my neck and in my hands it is in my bag which is always on my shoulder if I'm out. I don't make a big show about the camera and I'll soon be replacing the neck strap with something plain that does not have the Canon logo, and considering covering the other logos with black gaffers tape. NEVER set your camera or bag down anywhere, it only takes one moment for someone to grab them and run off.

Be aware of your surroundings, take some steps for caution, and best of luck! =)

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Friday, April 3, 2009

big cows and big blogs

My blog is now wider and more image friendly! :) Thanks to Brian Khang over at his blog - - for sharing that trick with everyone.

And now some cute little hamburgers-to-be!

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Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Keeping Technologically Sane: After the Shoot

When I first started taking photographs, I would just dump the photos onto my computer (an old dell desktop at the time), delete any that I didn't like, and edit the other using ms paint. no joke. I could actually take out blemishes using copy/paste in ms paint.

Years later I've finally come up with a work flow that keeps me sane and a saving/backing up system that keeps my work safe. Right now I'm going to go over how I keep my photos organized so I can easily find them.

First step - open up Lightroom and download my photos to my computer using their "import" function. I have it set up so that when I download my memory card to my laptop, it's saving not just on my laptops hard drive but also backing up simultaneously on my external hard drive (a Free Agent 250gb drive). I used to just dump everything into folders and not really organize... BIG mistake. Now I have it set up into trees. For example, if I'm looking for a photo that I shot a guy named ben back in January to email to someone, I open:

Photography > Fashion > 2009 1.8 Ben > watermarked and webready

and there they are! My photos are organized by type (Nature, Art Portraits, Commercial, Events, Fashion, Glamour and Nudes, and Headshots) then further broken down by the date along with the subject name or a brief descriptor. Inside each of those is a folder for RAW files, a folder for photoshop files, another for high resolution jpegs and a final one for webready images. I keep the original numbers attached to all the files so that they are easily referenced. So if for instance I upload the photo of Ben to dA, and someone makes a suggestion on ways to improve the retouching, I can easily consult the webready folder to figure out the file number. Then, knowing that it's file xyz2 I can go to my photoshop folder and look for file xyz2 to edit. This has saved me SO many headaches you can't even imagine!

What's great about Adobe Lightroom though is that it gives me even more power over how I file my images. When I import from my memory card to Lightroom I have the option to assign every photo a set of keywords. I have roughly 3000 photos cataloged on Lightroom, and a good chunk of those have keywords tagging them.
This means that if I decide I want to show someone all the concerts I've ever shot, I can type in "concerts" into the search field and every photo tagged with that word will appear.

I generally tag my photos with the date, name of the model, place it was shot (inside/outside, studio, location, a town or city name and sometimes the state if I feel like it, though that's not really necessary), and descriptors (female, blonde, blue eyes, tall, fair skin, black dress, high heels) and some words to pinpoint what kind of shoot it was - fashion, event, headshot, etc.

I also make sure to back up my work as I go. Every time I'm done with a project I back up the photos and other files onto my external drive.

Overall I've found that taking a few extra minutes to organize your photos and back them up in multiple places as you bring them onto your computer can save a lot of time and hassle later on, and I highly recommend everyone to come up with some system to keep track of their own - feel free to borrow mine :)

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