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Holiday Mini Sessions 2017

With Fall coming to a close, HP Studios asks you and yours to join us for the holidays!

2017 Holiday Mini Sessions.

Schedule a time to bring your kids, spouse, or even some good friends for a mini photo session full of cheer! Both a festive holiday-themed area and a less decorated set will be available to give you a choice of what look you want. The sessions are 20 minutes long with a whole lot packed into them.

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Limited Spots

We’ll have pre-priced packages, as well as an A La Carte menu at mini-session pricing. Because this is a one-day event, we have room for 12 sessions only, so try and book early!

  • The event will be held on November 19th from 9am to 6pm.
  • Sessions are 20 minutes long including time for selecting images and orders.
  • We’re teaming up with Inspire Dance Centre and will be holding the mini sessions at their studio, located at 485 NE Burnside Rd. in Gresham.
  • You pick what you want! We’re offering packaged deals as well as a more A La Carte-style selection to guarantee you take home what you're looking for.
  • Captions or quotes for holiday cards will also be available.
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With the last year's natural disasters affecting many areas around the world, we've decided that for this event we'll be donating half of the session fee to UNICEF to help those in need this winter. The session fee is $60.00, not including any prints or product.

Please keep in mind, we do have a limited number of spaces, so make sure to book a spot early to get the time that works best for you and your family.

When you sign up, you'll automatically receive an image of the holiday background for this year as soon as it's developed. We're going with a fairly simple, all-inclusive yet charming direction for the set, so stay tuned with our Facebook page to catch a glimpse of the final product.

We hope to see you there!

The Necessity of Connection

At HP Studios, we believe that in life, and especially photography, it's all about connecting.

     With summer coming to a close and Halloween right around the corner, its safe to say that fall is here. It's the time of year for warm sweaters, chilly gusts of wind, and bundling up with your closest loved ones.

The Kirby family

The Kirby family

     So if you're a parent or spouse seeking a photographer, or a photographer yourself looking for tips on how to capture that authentic affectionate look with family or couples, there should be a little something for everyone.

     Having been in the photography business for over ten years, it's always nice to reminisce on humble beginnings, even before I picked up a camera myself. Looking through photos my mom had of us when we were kids (I'm sure lots of you have photos just like this), they tell you to sit near each other, look right into camera, and smile. I distinctly remember this look as very traditional, and taking them was an absolute bore for most kids. Although mom, of course, loves them because she can see our faces all at once. But now that I'm taking photos of younger families and their kids, I love it when we get away from the more harsh posed look and get to have more fun with the shoot. The kids definitely enjoy a more interactive environment which can make for a more natural vibe and provide variety in your photos. Here are a few tips I've gathered to hopefully help out any potential family photographers out there.

Let kids be kids.

It makes for fantastic photos and a great day out!

 

  1.      If the kids are in a good mood, talk with them and have them help you out! Show them your camera up close and that it's not scary. Even help them take photos of their parents or siblings.
  2.      Let them explore. You can get some amazing shots of kids climbing around and discovering new things. Plan to move a lot yourself, and photographers, have a lens like a 24-70mm handy. A must-have for fast kiddos, and getting your composition just right. 
  3.      Throw out some suggestions of games to play, like: Telephone, EyeSpy, and even a simple staring contest at times can be gold. 

 

     As for shooting more romantic photos with just couples, the direction of the shoot changes a bit from the previous setup. Since, as a photographer, you'll be photographing two people instead of a family, you might want to bring a tighter lens, such as a 70-200mm, to really capture the small details like handholding, kisses on the cheek, in-the-moment laughs or looks. Also, you do want to stay interactive with your subjects, however, try different talking points. Ask them about when they met, how long they've been together, and from there try and pick up on any other positive conversational topics to keep the focus on them. Remember, the memory of the fun they had matters just as much as the quality of your work.

     All in all, when taking family or couples portraits, the key is to capture their connection and let your pictures tell the story. And as long as you keep a sharp mind, finger on the shutter release, and the right equipment for the job, all there is to do is enjoy the shoot!

Filming Large Events for New Videographers

From the Perspective of a Still-Learning Film Assistant

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     I've been working with the studio for a few years now, and if I've taken away anything from all my experiences with Hayes, it's that there is always something new to learn. From assisting with lighting and equipment setup to taking your first solo position behind the video camera, you never want to lose track of what's most important for filling any role when shooting film or photos. Undeniably, the first and biggest rule of filming any event, and especially the larger they get, is that communication is key.

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     With so many details that go into the planning, setup, and running a ceremony that plays such a big part for so many people, it never hurts to double check start and end times on your schedule, keep updating with any planners or hosts, and express any concerns or questions you may have as soon as possible. 

     Especially regarding planning, it's imperative for photographers and videographers to acknowledge that everything might not happen according to schedule, and to stay on your toes for when they don't. You never want to miss a sentimental moment, so always stay prepared to shoot ahead of time.

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     When solo filming bigger events (like I happened to be for this one), bringing a little backup can go a long way. In the form of a wide angle lens such as a 24-70mm, a shoe mount LED on-camera light to help with low-light situations, and a sound recorder to help sync the audio for speeches, I encourage anyone shooting alone to pack those as well.

     Last but not least, when there's lots of people enjoying the event, keep it rolling! It's always better to cut down footage you won't use than to miss something key to the event. Make sure to take advantage of your space, wide angle, and vantage points to get a solid variety of perspectives. And I can't say it enough, keep mobile!

     Below is a video I put together from footage I filmed on my own at the same event shown in the pictures above. My goal is to demonstrate contrasting scenes based on lighting, space, focus and framing to convey all the opportunities available for videographers while shooting solo. Thanks for watching and I hope you enjoy!

Tips from the Studio

Portraits for Young Families

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     When shooting portraits for families with smaller children, the first and definitely most important rule for organically capturing that youthful glow, is also a simple one: have fun! The best way to get that genuine, goofy laugh or toothy grin from kids is to let them enjoy the shoot! Child-friendly environments like parks and beaches, which are generally open, scenic areas with plenty space to bounce around, along with a high-energy and interactive photographer, can make all the difference between a pouty portrait and a smiling snapshot.

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     Try a more relaxed style shoot! Accepting a more candid, or casual and natural, outlook on family shoots and really taking a secondary role with directing the session allows not only the kids, but the parents as well, to get in their comfort zone, which makes for a more authentic look and enjoyable experience.

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     Although location, time of day, and the length of the session are all variables that factor into every shoot and how often you’ll have to adjust, when taking pictures with little ones, a high shutter speed is essential for catching those in-the-moment smiles and giggles that truly bring out the look parents want. Setting a relatively higher speed to your camera’s shutter allows it to capture the light information faster, but will also result in a darker photo, so you’ll want to keep an eye on your ISO and and aperture.

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     Timing is key when working with a high shutter speed and rambunctious subjects, so make an effort to highlight any sentimental interactions, unique details, and all the laughs and goofiness. Also, be sure to consider all your light sources and take advantage of softer light for a less sharp contrast.

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     As for any specific gear that we recommend for a family shoot, a 24-70mm or 24-105mm lens will definitely be the first choice. Since they both give such a wide range, letting you zoom in and out from a further distance, they help save time switching lenses since the session will be much more active.

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     Get the parents involved! Especially when you need a more cooperative shot, including mom or dad to help direct can not only result in that perfect picture you wanted, but improves the overall experience, allowing everyone to contribute in a fun way.

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     Last but not least, and this goes for any photo session, try and get some behind the scenes! If you have the equipment, a little video of the shoot can make the experience all the more memorable.