Blog Archives

Family Photography at Dusk

Dusk is a time of day often neglected by photographers.  The poor light tends to cause folk of our ilk to shy away in favour of brighter times, especially considering dusk is shortly after the “golden hour” with it’s beautiful warming rays.  However, dusk can be a lovely time to shoot.

The low light of dusk creates images reminiscent of yesteryear, with it’s last filtered rays of sunshine…  It is exceptionally moody, creating romance and intrigue.  Especially during the late Autumn or early Winter when rosy cheeks and noses only add to the feeling of crispness.  Here are a few photos from a recent shoot to inspire you to get out there and create during this mostly ignored time of day:

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My thanks to the St. Onge family for braving the chilly air in search of these shots.  It was a pleasure working with you!

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Portrait photography can be so much more!

As I was waiting for this evening’s clients to arrive at our location, I had the chance to observe another photographer.  I always arrive early for any shoot by fifteen or twenty minutes which gives me time to mentally prepare, and to scout the area for light – because even if you shoot at the same location three days in a row at the same time, the light will be different each time.  I’m always surprised at just how different my approach is…  For me, what I do is normal, it’s natural, it’s just how I am.  And I can, and do, forget just how different the experience I provide is.

An iPhone snapshot of the photography team and family I observed today while waiting for my clients.

 

When I first arrived on the scene, I knew the family gathered there weren’t my clients.  The ages and number of people were wrong…  but it was clear they were nervous.  So I laughed with them a little about how popular this particular spot is with photographers, and how it’s unusual to find less than two or three there at any given time.  They invited me to photograph them if my clients failed to show.  LOL  It was casual, easy going, and fun.  We all shared some smiles and laughs – which made everyone feel better.  That’s when the patriarch of the family pointed out their photographers, saying “They’re supposed to be taking care of us.”  The two photographers, or photographer and assistant (their relationship wasn’t clear), were off on their own standing and talking secretively with their backs to the family.

From the moment my clients arrive, it’s my job to help them relax, to put them at ease.  It’s an odd situation – trying to look and act natural in circumstances that are anything but.  If I can help make my clients feel better about things, especially if I can get them to trust me enough to laugh and let go of their fears a little, it makes a world of difference.  Not just when it comes to their experience, but for their photos as well.  Not every photographer does this…  and sometimes I can forget that.

After a while I watched the photographers call the family over and begin setting up their posed shot.  Now, I don’t do posed photography, but many many photographers still do.  It’s a personal preference, and there are clients who feel more at ease being posed.  It certainly requires less effort from your subjects.  Working with me is about give and take, you have to be willing to put yourself out there a little.  Share a little with me, and I’ll give it back to you in a beautiful and amazing way…  it’s exhausting though.  Most of my clients end up pretty tired by the end of a shoot, we’re busy and engaged, a shoot goes fast and by the end you’ll be tired.  Posed shots are easier, they don’t require anything of you.  Just hold a pose and paste on a grin.  But when you don’t give of yourself, the finished product won’t be personal either.  Take a look at the snapshot above, it took the photographers fifteen or so minutes to set it up – and while it will likely be a nice keepsake, it doesn’t tell you anything about the family or their personalities.  There isn’t anything wrong with it, but it’s not a style I can understand or would ever emulate.

When my family arrived, and I say “MY” family quite purposefully, we got the necessary paperwork out of the way but then it was all fun.  We were laughing and sharing.  I get to know their quirks, and how they relate to one another.  I watch the dynamics present, and do my best to capture those quiet moments of knowing.  Sure, we get the portraits where everyone is looking at the camera – the ones for the holiday cards…  but even those share a whole lot more about who each person is.  Their individuality shines through in a big way.

I love my clients, I love working with them.  I love that a photo shoot is about sharing, and supporting one another, creating together.  That is what portrait photography should be, at least in my eyes.

If you ever walk past a family I’m working with, you’ll hear laughter, see people being silly with one another, people being honest and having fun.  The couple of times we walked past the group above it was quiet, I sensed a lot of apprehension and nervousness.  My clients may feel those things at the very onset of a shoot, but in the end?  They are MY families.  I do my very best to take care of them and make them feel great.  It’s not just about creating photographs, it’s about creating memories, it’s about photography as legacy…  and that just means so much more.

Sarah & Shaun; Saskatoon Sweethearts!

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of working with Sarah and Shaun, and thanks to this Eustachian Tube Disorder (which isn’t an ear infection at all, though I still definitely consider it an ear troll) it has taken me far longer to work through the enhancements than I’d like.  Working on the computer is slow going when it feels like someone is auditioning for Stomp inside your head.  😉  But I’m powering through as best I can.  And Sarah and Shaun have been so very patient.  I’ve said it before, and I know I’ll say it again:  I really do have the best clients.

I absolutely adored working with Sarah and Shaun.  The fact that she loves him and that he adores her is so clear.  They are totally adorable, and were so easy to work with.  I found myself focusing a lot on Shaun (which is out of the ordinary for me, generally I focus on my female clients) but he is so head over heals, goofy in love, for and with Sarah that I couldn’t help myself.  Of course, I made sure Sarah got a lot of focus too – she’s extremely easy to photograph.  They really were a delight to work with.

So, here’s a bit of a preview, while I do my best to get through the rest of the shoot:

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Win a Free Photo Session!

enter to win a free photo shoot

Sooo…  who wants to win a FREE PHOTOSHOOT???

Well, you could very well win yourself one.  I’m giving away a session of choice (limited to my “a family affair”, “sweethearts”, “it’s all you”, “pawtraits”, and “headshots” sessions) to one lucky Facebook fan.  All you have to do to enter is pop on over to FB, like my page if you haven’t already, and then share both my page and this note:  https://www.facebook.com/notes/td-photography/win-a-photoshoot-with-td-photography-saskatoons-photosmith/422511161133793  Make sure you pop back over to the note afterwards to let me know you shared and to claim your entry.  You can get yourself as many as FIVE entries by simply sharing in a variety of places in a variety of ways.

The give-away is open to both new fans and past clients.  So hop on over to my FB fan page at http://www.facebook.com/tdfoto and start sharing your way to a free session!

 

Lindsay & Daniel’s Engagement Shoot

Not too long ago I had the privilege of getting to know Lindsay and Daniel, a charming couple who (I’ll admit) remind me quite a bit of Damon and myself…  And not just due to their physicality (us gurlz are both 5’0″, the boyz are both six foot or taller.  us gurlz are blondes, the boyz have dark hair).  LOL  I enjoyed watching them interact with one another, and seeing the same dynamics I find in my own relationship.  I have a very strong feeling that this couple will still be making time for one another, and making each other laugh in forty years.

Lindsay and Daniel, thank you for choosing me to do your engagement shoot.  I really did enjoy our time together, and hope it was memorable for you as well.  I wish you nothing but the best.  May your love continue, strong and steadfast, for a lifetime together.  I hope you enjoy the preview!

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My thoughts have been focused…

My thoughts, of late, have been focused on the upcoming Mosaics art and fashion show.  Today I finally made my decision on which pieces to debut.  And they will be:

  • Fólkvangr
  • Valkyrie
  • Persephone & Demeter
  • Venus
  • Mass Consumption
  • Packaged4Consumption

So there you have it!  But no, I will not post previews of them here.  LOL  They are DEBUTING at the art show, so if you’d like to witness their debut, you’ll have to go to the show.  😉

However, I will share the self portrait that may also make a showing there.  It, unlike the other six, is not officially a part of my Power of SHe project (which is now posted at my photography website at http://photography.tobi-dawne.com/Power_of_SHe.html).  And you may have seen it before, it’s me.  Yep, a self portrait.  Me at the Pink Prom.

Tobi-Dawne Smith is TD Photography; Saskatoon's Photosmith - at the pink prom

Find out more about the Mosaic art show at these links:

https://www.facebook.com/events/415945375095621/

http://www.saskatoonpride.ca/#!June%2013th/csx5

Advance tickets are only $10, or purchase them at the door for $15.  See you there!

The Kaminski Family – a photography preview

As I was working through some of my enhancements, I realized that it’s been a while since I’d posted a preview here.  I’m terrible for that.  LOL  I go in streaks where I’ll share photos on a regular basis, and then nothing for a good long while.  I’ll try to be more regular about it, but feel free to remind me if you haven’t seen anything for a while.  I am shooting, I just don’t always think to share on the blog.

I enjoyed working with the Kaminski’s.  Any chance to work with a family that includes four leggers as well as two leggers is always a good time.  No, working with animals isn’t easy, but it’s a challenge I really enjoy.  I know dogs, I love dogs…  and I’m perfectly content to wait for them to give me exactly what I need.  Hmmm…  clearly I’m too tired to be writing this blog post as I’ve completely lost my train of thought.  It’s just one of those days – and I have a feeling it will be one of those weeks.  Gotta love getting ready (physically and mentally) for an out of town dog show.

Ah!  Speaking of which!

I’ll be in Regina this weekend.  And I may have time to fit in ONE more photo shoot.  So if you’d like to grab that slot, drop me a line by filling out the booking form at TD Photography (http://photography.tobi-dawne.com/) as soon as possible, and I’ll do my best to work it out.  As I’ll be in Regina already, there will be no additional travel expenses to cover.  Just the regular session fee.  But better be quick!  Like I said, I’ll only have time for ONE additional shoot.

Okay, onto the preview:

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Diane & Katie – a mother daughter photo shoot preview

I met up with Diane and Katie in one of my favourite “go to” spots.  It’s unusual for a client to beat me there, but these two did…  and got to watch a wedding shoot that just happened to be scheduled prior to ours.  I had a lot of fun working with this adorable mother, daughter team so when Diane asked that I not hand off these edits to another photographer, I was only too happy to oblige.  So, here we are.  🙂  Say hello to Katie and Diane:

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Sorry for being so brief…  just kinda tired today.  😉

Jen & Martin – Sweethearts at the University Bridge

I believe this is the third time I’ve blogged about Jen and Martin’s Sweetheart Session.  To bring up one particular photo shoot three times is unheard of for me, so I believe it speaks to the impact this couple had on me.  I really did love working with them.  Their feelings for one another were so evident in every interaction, they made my heart glow.  I truly believe theirs is a love that will last through any difficulties they may encounter – and in today’s temporary society, that’s saying a lot.

I took Jen and Martin to the East side of the University Bridge here in Saskatoon.  It’s not a spot I hit very often, so it remains an adventure every time I go.  We shot on the lookout platform on the South of the pedestrian walkway, under the bridge itself, and along the path that extends under the bridge and through the University Campus on the North side of the bridge.  In spite of relatively grey skies, we had a lovely time and created some beautiful images in celebration of this gorgeous couple.

 

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The Sullivan Family – photography preview

It’s been a little while since I did a full out preview here at TD 365… and after spending the last day working through one particular shoot I did back in June (yes, I know, that was a LONG time ago.  I’m working through my backlog, surely and steadily.  I promise) I figure it’s the perfect one to break that drought.  I’m sure you’ll all agree.

I so enjoyed working with the Sullivan’s.  They’re boys were absolutely irrepressible and all around just way too much fun.  And they were the smoochingest kids ever.  Seriously, way too sweet…  if I asked mom and dad to share a smooch they’d get right in on the action too.  It was adorable.  Now, I can’t speak for the Sullivan family, but I know I had a ton of fun during our shoot.  Their boys were a blast, and they were so cute with them.  If I ever had a family shoot that screamed “SHARE ME” this was it.

Aside from all the fun we had, what made this shoot so memorable for me was the openness of the family.  I truly strive to capture moments of truth.  Pure honesty.  And this family let me in, were completely relaxed, and were themselves from moment one.  That, to a photographer, is a rare gift.

The ability to capture emotion, the true spirit of an individual or place, is what it’s all about for me.  To hold still, for eternity, without the loss of memory or the confines of recollection, a truly honest moment is an incredibly profound thing.  It makes my work worthwhile.  It feeds my soul.  I am honestly very blessed to make my way through life as a photographer – capturing these precious, fleeting moments.

Hmmm….  okay…  I know.  I’m getting all sappy and sentimental.  I’ll suck it up and behave myself.

So that brings us to now.

I had a difficult time narrowing down my “to be blogged” pics.  It started at 26, then got to 21.  I worked it down to 19.  And then I just purged the heck out of it, bringing it to a much more reasonable nine.  LMAO  So, without further ado, I’d like to introduce you to the Sullivan family:

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