Photography has opened me up to an AMAZING network of people. I first explored photography so that I could learn to use my camera to take better photos of my kids. Little did I know it would open up an entire new world. Not only have I been able to see life differently through my camera, but I’ve been able to build new relationships with the clients that I meet as well as other photographers. I can’t imagine trying to learn photography a decade ago. First of all, I don’t think I would have had the patience to learn how to shoot on film. I need instant gratification. I need to know if I completely trashed an image or if I accidentally did something remarkable when I was first starting out. Without my handy little LCD screen complete with the RGB histogram, I would have no idea what I was doing. Second, if I had tried to learn photography a decade ago, I wouldn’t have the online resources that are available today. I’ve learned nearly everything from the online community. I became part of a large and very active photography board and went from learning the basics of shooting to advancing my business skills, and along the way I was influenced by so many amazing photographers. From there, I was fortunate enough to become part of another very private invite online community – much smaller with some of the most amazing women I have ever met (I can say now that I’ve actually met them). We share an incredible tie – a love and passion for everything photography. They see the world through their cameras as I do. They thrive on capturing connection and emotion in one single moment. They are constantly looking at the light and surroundings of wherever they are envisioning what they could create. They share the same drive to constantly get better and to help others along the way. Photography has opened up an entirely new chapter in my life and I am so grateful to have found it.
A few weeks ago, I was finally able to meet some of my online friends in person. We’re scattered all over the world, but those of us in the Pacific Northwest (and a bit farther) picked a weekend to get together. One of my favorite photography friends, Laura, was the catalyst in our get together when she found a flight voucher that had to be used. I’m so glad she chose Portland as her destination. The girls got together for the entire weekend, but sadly I was only able to spend Saturday with them. From the time I met and hugged each one of them to the time I went to bed that night, it was one of the best days I’ve had since I can remember, for more reasons than I can even begin to explain.
Without further gushing, let’s get on to the photos…
One of our models took this shot with Leya’s fisheye lens. Yup, my never ending wish list just got longer.
From left to right:
Leya – Little Monkey Photography (Renton, WA)
Jenica – Lemondrops Photography (Longview, WA)
Laura Morita Photography (San Francisco Bay Area)
Cari Berry Photo (Western WA)
Terry (no website, but this awesome lady flew out all the way from NC)
Azure Marie Photography (Portland, OR)
Dawn – Fly a Kite Photography (Yelm/Olympia/Tacoma area, soon to be Portland)
Rebecca Rodriguez Photography (Salem, OR)
Fabiana Beatriz Photography (Eagle, ID)
Jerusha Chong Photography (BC, Canada)
Images by Kristin Custom Photography (Bellingham, WA)
Amber Anderson Photography (Vancouver, WA)
We started the day up at Washington Park with a gorgeous couple. They modeled as if it were an engagement session. I can barely relax in front of the camera when there’s one photographer. Can you imagine trying to look all lovey dovey with one another with more than a dozen crazy chicks pointing their cameras at you? The first shot cracks me up. I told him to go in and give her neck a little nibble…
First shot of Laura. I was breaking in my brand spanking new 70-200mm 2.8 VR II lens. Drool.
This shot cracks me up. Fabiana (who I’ll explain why I love her later on in the post) was directing the couple. We were getting shots of them moving in for a kiss. She told them there were going to move in for the kiss in super slow motion. Imagine moving in at the slowest rate possible, trying to get a passionate kiss with all these woman watching, cameras clicking away, all the while hearing this: “Slower. Slower. Slower. That’s it. Now pull out.” They were such good sports.
Here’s Laura rocking the boots. I need those boots. Why do I love Laura so much you ask? There’s too many reasons to explain here. I will tell you how we first “met” online though. I had posted some photos to be critiqued. I thought they were really good but I intentionally wanted people to just shred them apart so I could learn what to do better, both with my shooting for the next time as well as my post processing. Did I get ripped apart? You betcha. Did it hurt? Yup. Did I learn from the critique? You have no idea. But just as I was full of self doubt from the sting of it all, I get this private message from this chick named Laura. She gushed about my photos. She didn’t disagree with any of the critique but she pointed out incredible things about my photos and just made me feel like a million bucks. I’ve gotten a lot of emails and private messages from people I don’t know over the past couple of years, and hers stood out to me more than any other.
After the engagement session, we had a nice lunch at Henry’s and then set up in this little spot behind the restaurant. We had two senior models but I only shot one of them. I was so excited about using my off camera flash set up for the first time that I didn’t realize how much I was completely hogging one of the models. I’ve done an unbelievable amount of research on a one light off camera flash set up. I’ve watched videos, read tutorials, studied countless photos. I spent hours and hours researching what kind of equipment I should invest in and believe that I got the best of the best. Everything was sitting in my office until this get together when I was finally able to put it all together and try it out. Fabiana was so incredibly helpful to me. She walked me through how to set everything up and how to adjust my settings for different effects. She is one awesome lady, I tell you. Anyway, this shot isn’t anything fantastic (people in background, not super interesting, etc.) but it was my first one and I was squealing like a pig when I saw it on my LCD because I was so excited that it actually worked. I love how dark the flash makes everything look. These shots were taken in the late afternoon and it was pretty well lit all around. For an extra challenge, I shot all of these with my 24mm 1.4 lens. It’s a beast of a lens. Tack sharp with no distortion. It’s a challenge for me, though, because the angle at which I shoot completely changes the perspective and I really have to pay attention to all of my surroundings because it compresses so much of the background into the shot.
Slowly starting to get the hang of it. Struggling with composition…
This is what that same shot looked like from a different perspective.
Starting to feel more comfortable with the set up…
Quickly falling in love with my off camera flash set up…
Changed locations and outfit…
Saw a room full of dumpsters, recycle bins and a lift. Asked someone who works there if we could set up inside to shoot. After he picked his jaw up off the ground after looking at our model, he said “no problem”. I was so excited when I saw the grungy dumpsters with the old brick walls.
And the best part about using off camera flash was that I barely touched them in post. They needed little to nothing and that was sooooo stinking cool.
This set up was thanks to the fabulous Jenica and Amber. I would have had no idea how to set the flash up for a shot like this and it was so awesome to see them show all of us how to do it.
I can’t wait for the next get together. I love my girls so much!!!
Tags: Beaverton Oregon Family Photographer, Beaverton Oregon High School Senior Photographer, Krissy Allori Photography, Portland Oregon Baby Photography, Portland Oregon Child Photography, Portland Oregon Engagement Photographer, Portland Oregon Family Photographer, Portland Oregon High School Senior Photographer, Portland Oregon Maternity Photographer, Portland Oregon Wedding Photographer