Thursday, July 28, 2011

What to wear for a photo shoot

This is a question I get ALL the time- "Do you have any suggestions of what to wear for our engagment/family/senior photo shoot?"
I myself am DEFINITELY not a fashion diva. I live and work in the country, and most days I'm doing pretty good to get my makeup on and throw on jeans and a nice shirt with my "dress" crocs. (So if you're coming to visit me, you may want to call first if you're hoping that I look decent!). Even when I dress up, I often have just two or three outfits that I wear over and over, because I'm horrible at picking new ones. When I do need new outfits, I call my sister to come over and "style" me.

Luckily, I now have a new assistant who is in training now, Callie (who happens to be the sister of Emily N., my other assistant, not to be confused with Emily Folk, my album designer/lighting assistant/2nd photographer).  OK, if you have all the Emilys sorted out, let's continue with Callie. Callie will be taking her sister's place in August, and I've heard (and seen) that she is quite the fashion expert! She always wears the cutest shoes, and anytime Emily has a cute shirt on, she explains to me that it actually belongs to Callie. I'm hoping that in the future, Callie will be able to put together some sample outfits here on the blog for everyone to see, because you certainly don't want me to try! I just like to photograph pretty outfits.

But for starters, a small google search helped me find some links to other photographers' blogs who have done a great job of showing what to wear. Another source that I like to use is Pinterest.  There, you can actually see outfits that other people have picked out and "pin" them to your fashion board if you'd like.

Although I'm awful at picking out clothes, I CAN tell you from previous photo shoots the Good (what looks good and photographs well,) the Bad (what tends to look kinda bad and is more difficult to balance in a photo) and the Ugly (things that are just plain unflattering and should be avoided.)

The Good:
*Complementary colors.
*Accessories, like scarves, necklaces, cool shoes, umbrellas
*Ruffles, textures, and anything else that can make the outfit have a little more dimension (or is it dimention?) in the picture.
*Dresses! For some reason, dresses seem to make every girl look her best.
*Your favorite jeans. 

The Bad:
*Multiple neon or pastel colors. Please don't make me show you the family picture I did a few years back in which all the family members wore a different colored pastel shirt with jeans. Oh boy.
Once, in Texas, I did a group photo shoot for a local chamber of commerce of around 20 people, and they were all told to wear neutral colors. Well, one lady didn't get the memo, and she wore a bright pink shirt. Guess what was the first thing that caught your eye on that picture? 
*All white. This is just a preference of mine, because the "white shirt picture" is a traditional engagement and family picture, and I dislike tradition without purpose. Not to mention, it's quite difficult to properly expose white clothing in photos. I feel like the "all white" can make your photos look just like the next person's pictures.
*Loose, wrinkled t-shirts (or anything wrinkled, for that matter.) Wrinkles DO show in pictures, and loose t-shirts are generally unflattering. I do like, however, the fitted, cool t-shirts on seniors!

The Ugly: (things to avoid)
*If you feel like your arms are larger, cover them - avoid sleeveless shirts.
*If you are well-endowed on your top half, cover those girls up a little! Avoid strapless anything, because it can sort-of make you look like a push-pop.
*If it's a windy day, avoid flowing shorts skirts or dresses. I don't particularly want to see your underwear!
*Showing too much skin. I like to take some flattering pics, but I want to produce something you'd be proud to send your grandmother. 

As a rule, bring at least 2-3 different outfits, wear a little more makeup than you normally would, and fix your hair.

For the record, I've included a few pictures in this blog of some of my FAVORITE outfit choices that people have used in their shoots.

Here are some helpful links with pictures:


Hopefully this helps! If you have specific questions, give us a call on a day when Callie is here, and I'll bet she'll be happy to help you out.

Emily Folk, Trey, & Festus

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Beginner's Photography Workshop

The beginner's photography workshop has been scheduled! We will be meeting on September 11th, 2-7 PM. The workshop has been reorganized into a more extensive lesson to help attendants get the most use out of their digital SLR cameras (the kind with the exchangeable lenses). The deadline to apply is September 3rd, so reserve your spot now!
To see pictures taken at the last workshop, visit the Tara Marie Photography - Photography Class group.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Amanda & Jason Engagement- Jackson, LA. St Francisville, LA Wedding Photography

Amanda and Jason (and her droopy basset hound, Daisy) joined me in Jackson for an engagement shoot. They were all three hilarious! I was very happy with some of the pictures they helped create. Their props that they brought made a lot of good pics, too.
Funny story- a few days after we took these pictures, I met another photographer who was talking about passing through the tiny town of Jackson and seeing another photographer (Matt). It was me!


Thursday, July 14, 2011

Some of my favorite recent work that seems to be stuck in my mind...

To be honest, I've felt like I've been stuck in one big artistic brain fart for a few months. It's been all work and no play for the most part. I'm not complaining about work, because it pays the bills. But what keeps me going and inspired is anything NEW, interesting people, neat things. Monday night I went to our Baton Rouge Young Professional Photographers (an informal facebook group) meet-up at the Chimes East, and finally was able to beat the funk. Just rubbing noses and sharing meals with other people who are so humble about their awesome work is very inspiring to me. I'm not much of a group entertainer. When in a group situation, I much prefer to mingle, talk one (or two) on one with people, ask questions, and listen. It's how I've learned SOO much of what I know about really anything, but especially photography.

After I got home, I wrote down into my "brain dump" notebook about 3 pages of ideas for new things. Then, sometime the next day, I (for some reason) began thinking of some pictures that I think are worthy of displaying as something I'd be proud to do again, versus the plain old things I've been doing. So, here they are. Maybe one of these days I'll get brave enough to post some of my pages of ideas that I write down at midnight or when I've had too much coffee at 6:45 am.

There is a lot wrong with this image- The background is a little too dark for the dark-haired family, it would have looked cooler as a wedding party shot instead of a family photo, it could have used a bit more interesting lighting. But regardless of its imperfections, I just can't forget the concept of this shot in my head, and want to do more of it.

This one reminds me of something that would be in the back seat of a taxi. But, this was under a well shed at Rosedown Gardens. It makes me want to try this again in a car, with some shiny-ness around. 

And this one- I asked the girls to clap like they were in a gospel choir (thanks to Zack Arias for the idea) And, as white as they are, they all did it with no questions asked.  Truly, all of these girls had a great time at the wedding, and seemed to actually enjoy being in the wedding (which is a rarity these days.) I must admit, if anyone except my best friend or sister asked me to be in their wedding, I would say NO if at all possible!  This shot just captured the intimate fun that was had that day.

I will try to continue posting my own blog posts, and choosing MY favorite pictures from what was done.
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