I love newborns. I shoot them everyday and have done so almost everyday for nearly 20 years. They are the epitome to me of hope and inspiration and they represent new beginnings as well as the next generation to carry on family genes and names and traditions.

One of the most important things that we will leave behind is the Signature Wall of Life  heirloom portraits that we have captured of our babies smiles and personalities. When they are also gone these images will still be on earth defianlty showcasing our families…our legacy. I often explain to my new families that as they are starting their families there are lots of things that they will have to purchase …. car seats and bottles and sips cups and toys but all of those things will not be around 100 years from now. Their investment in fine art portraits for their families will. The collections are basically on loan to us today to be viewed by the future generations as a representation of who we were. Who’s capturing your legacy? #alisamurray

10 WAYS TO BOOST YOUR PHOTOGRAPHY (EVEN IF YOU’RE A BEGINNER)
BY CEE DHINJAN

Are you just starting out in photography? If you are, then here’s a helpful list of pointers pertaining to digital photography basics. These pointers will give your images a massive kick start in terms of quality, and it doesn’t matter what camera you have. You can take good photographs with any DSLR camera.
So here’s my advice:

1. DON’T BE CONCERNED WITH MEGAPIXELS.

The number of pixels determines how big you’ll be able to print your photographs. Yes, it’s true that the more pixels you have, the more refined detail your images will have, but at this stage, you want to start shooting as many photographs as you possibly can. You’ll learn so much through every photograph.

2. SET YOUR ISO TO THE LOWEST POSSIBLE SETTING.

This will give a smooth transition to your photographs and make them less grainy than at higher ISO settings.

3. USE WIDE-OPEN APERTURES FOR PORTRAITS.

This means that the f-number should be as small as possible. The smaller the f-number, the larger the aperture. Why is it a good idea to use large apertures when photographing human subjects? Large apertures blur out the background and bring the subject into sharp focus, bringing the viewer’s attention right where you want it.

4. PAY ATTENTION TO THE BACKGROUND.

Try to eliminate clutter that doesn’t need to be there. In digital photography, a lot can be done to remove unwanted clutter using software like Photoshop, but there is no harm in doing a little preparation. Perhaps you’ll want your subject to stand in front of a bright plain wall or colorful patterned curtains. Make your background work with your subject.
5. IF YOU ARE HAND-HOLDING YOUR CAMERA, DON’T USE A SHUTTER SPEED SLOWER THAN 1/60.

For example, don’t hand-hold the camera at 1/30. Nice photographs are sharp and in-focus. If you need to use a shutter speed slower than 1/60, use a tripod to ensure sharpness.

6. USE SLOW SHUTTER SPEEDS TO IMPLY MOTION.

Take your camera out to an urban environment where there are cars, bicycles, and public transport. Set it to shutter priority mode using speeds of 1/30, 1/15, 1/8 and 1/4. Follow a moving car or bicycle using the AI Servo focusing drive. Once the moving object is in focus, take the shot. This should blur out the background leaving trails of the subject and imply motion. This technique can take a bit of practice.
7. INCREASE THE SHARPNESS AND CONTRAST OF YOUR “PICTURE STYLE.”

This applies to JPEGs and can be found in your camera’s menu. Some photographers like to increase the saturation as well, but if you are going to post-process in RGB mode, I wouldn’t increase saturation in-camera.

8. TAKE YOUR LANDSCAPE IMAGES AT SMALL APERTURES.

Try apertures like f/16 or even f/22, using a tripod. This will ensure sharp focusing from front-to-back, telling a story about your landscape.
9. PAY ATTENTION TO YOUR CAMERA ANGLE.

Be prepared to move around. You may have to get down on your knees or even lie down to get down to your subject’s level. Don’t photograph a crawling baby while standing; get down to the baby’s level. That perspective will evoke more emotions when the photograph is printed and viewed. Get down when shooting landscapes to use your foreground to convey a sense of depth.
10. DON’T FORGET THE RULE OF THIRDS.

Imagine that your viewfinder is split into thirds both vertically and horizontally. Never place your subject in the center square or on a horizon in the middle. Frame your portraits so that they appear to the right if you are shooting in the landscape orientation, otherwise in the middle if you are using the portrait orientation.
For landscape photographs, make sure the horizon line sits on the first or the third horizontal line that divides your viewfinder into three thirds. A horizon line in the middle produces boring landscapes that will do nothing for your viewers.

About the Author:
By Cee Dhinjan (dhinjan dot com). The author is a photography enthusiast and enjoys educating others.

Family Photography can be stressful however we aim for a fun easy and creative session at Alisa Murray Photography. For many families the usual once a year session is a mandatory event and the anticipation ranges from worry to sheer terror! LOL

Each year families come to see me with their children in the hope to capture their perfect family portrait. We sometimes have posed pieces and others are just in the moment. Each type of image is equally great and reflect who they are in that moment in their lives. When my clients first come to see me we discuss their vision and I show them mine. I am their portrait artist and not just a photographer they see once in awhile. Creating galleries of beautiful art is an ongoing job that each year brings new challenges.

This year I have created custom painted backdrops and kept the best of what has become the Signature pieces. Each family should have a thorough documentation of generations, babyhood and childhood, family pets and their relationships with one another. It is so important to find an artist that knows you and strives to continuously create fresh images annually for you. That is what we do with our Family sessions at Alisa Murray Photography.

#alisamurray #alisamurrayphotography

Houston’s Newborn Photographer Alisa Murray’s Signature 6 month sessions. This little cutie pie posed so sweetly on her African flag with accompanying headdress. Her daddy tried for about ten minutes to get the head drape perfect all the while she was patient with him and allowed him to keep fiddling until he was satisfied. Our clients that choose the First Year of Life do so with the confidence of having amazing images of development through all the milestones of a first year and beyond. Who’s capturing your legacy? #alisamurray #alisamurrayphotography

 

Although taking impromptu with your cell phone can be a fan and can result in awesome photos that you can post on your Facebook page or post online, it might not be reliable for a family portrait or other formal shot. When it comes to formal portraits, customers require high-quality photos that stand the test of the time. Photos taken by professional photographers in a studio setting features timeless, classical look that the customer can treasure for generations. Here the benefits of studio session photography:

i. Full control of the environment:

When you are outside, you are not able to control various elements of the environment such as light, rain, wind, etc. The outdoor elements can easily affect the portrait in different ways. The studio setting allows the photographer to control different environmental settings such as light, the wind, rain and many others, resulting in a high-quality portrait.

ii. Convenience

With photo studio, you don’t have to hike to a remote location with more beautiful sceneries. This is very important for the elderly and children who find it challenging to move from one place to another.

iii. Easy to obtain a formal and professional look

If you are looking for a formal and more professional look, photo studio setting is the way to go. You can easily manage the different elements to attain the professional look that that will impress those who see it.

iv. Easier to achieve timeless and classic look in a studio session

Photos taken in a studio have most formal and timeless tested and classical look than those taken at a location on a more casual basis. The classical look in the portrait will be cherished by the family for a generation to come.

v. Wide variety of photo background to choose from

Professional studio includes a variety of photo backdrop to choose from such as beautiful hand painted muslin or bright seamless paper. With various color settings and photo backdrop sceneries of different textures, you can easily find the look you want.

Cons:

On the other side, Studio Portraits have its shortcomings that include:

– One of the main shortcomings of the studio session portraits is the customized lighting. If you need more natural lighting to give some extra natural effect, the studio will not be able to give it.

– The studio also has quite small space, and you may need to extra space to be able to deliver your shots instead of having to deliver everything in a congested space.

– It should also be noted that studio offers fewer dynamics as most features are stand still. If you may need a more dynamic and flawless outside look, the studio photography is not the best for you.

Conclusion:

Location photography is more spontaneous and achieves natural look, which makes it more appropriate for the certain type of photos. However, for more professional look studio portrait can be the best way to go. The studio is complete with superb lighting and beautiful photo background to choose from and is likely to offer more advantages to portrait photographer.