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Natural Beauty

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An important step in my process as a photographer is to build a solid rapport with my subject, before they step in front of my lens. Being photographed can be an intimidating concept for many, if I have the trust of the person I am photographing, truly magic can be created in that collaboration. Sometimes from these exchanges, clients who begin as strangers become people I consider dear friends.

Erin is one of those incredible client-friends, who I am immeasurably grateful for. She humbly role models the power of gratitude and acceptance with such grace and intent, I feel so lucky to have her in my life.

When she reached out to me again this year to arrange a new photo shoot, I was beyond excited to bring her concepts to life. We had lengthy conversations about what the ideas represented to her, and how different locations could serve as symbols in the imagery.

We set out on a full day of shooting, with makeup beginning at a very uncomfortable 4:30am so we could make it out to Squamish BC by sunrise. Our small but amazing team made this day a huge success. Leigh Dickson Artistry on makeup, and Victoria Canning photo assisting and shooting some behind the scenes video.

Below you can watch the video of our photo shoot. Hope you enjoy!

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Posing To Reduce The Double Chin

Here’s a video tutorial for a really quick and easy trick to reducing and dare I say, eliminating the double chin when posing for photographs. Every client will hear me remind them ad nauseam throughout their photo shoot. It’s a great idea to practice in the mirror until you get the hang of what it feels like when it looks right, then you can use it every time you’re in front of the camera.

Location Scouting

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Location scouting is a really important step in photo shoot planning. The environment you are photographed in plays a huge role in the aesthetic direction of your images. Deciding on indoor vs outdoor is a good starting point and below are some considerations as you’re looking for a backdrop for your shoot.

Locations can change unexpectedly and can look different depending on the time of day and weather. To get the most accurate evaluation of a potential location, try to check it out at around the same time of day your photo shoot is scheduled. The season, day of the week and public access are also things to consider. For example, if you choose a place that tourists often visit, keep in mind ideal dates and times to book around potential issues.

When scouting interiors, note where the windows are and how much available/natural light there is. Look for outlets to power lighting equipment.

ask yourself

-What environment will suit your project/vision best. Take a look at locations that are more likely to be a good fit aesthetically.

-Are you willing to pay to use a unique location where the property owner or city may require compensation to grant access?

-Do you have access to unique spaces or places that others wouldn’t?

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Things to Look For

-Multiple backgrounds in a single area or within a close radius (preferably walkable)

-Open unobstructed spaces such as big open warehouse, epic viewpoint of mountains/city, a field, by the water.

-Interesting textures, colours and patterns.

-Shade- This is important especially for a midday session when the sun is high and the light is harsh.

-posing aids such as stairs, chairs, walls, interesting objects you can interact with.

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This may be an obvious note, but be sure to take photos from many angles to give the best sense of the area.
Take a 360 spin from the centre, get closer up shots of details like wall textures or objects that may be of interest during the shoot.

Have fun! You get to explore and find a space that will help tell your story, further your brands image, or at the very least, take a tour of your city.

Megan Bourne

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I’ve been lucky enough to know the very lovely, Megan Bourne, for many many years now. She is a rad photographer in her own right, but I stole her for a few hours in front of the camera. We had such a fun time and I had the opportunity to play around with some ideas I’d been dreaming up for some time, while testing out a new backdrop. I also took a little footage and put together a teaser video you can watch below. There were so many gorgeous shots, it was hard to choose a few to share. Enjoy!

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5 Tips To Look Great In Photos

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The holiday season usually means the cameras come out as we document our festivities with friends and family. Inevitably someone with minimal photography skills will be in charge of capturing you. To avoid disappointment, I’ve put together a few tips to help before you jump in front of the lens.

1) Look for soft diffused light whenever possible.
If you have the option, it’s worth it to take a few steps over to a window for natural light rather then using flash or standing under bright artificial light, this can cast unflattering shadows. Whatever light source you have available, turn your face toward it.

2) Know your angles.
It will only take a quick look in the mirror to get the idea of what angles are most flattering for you. General rule of thumb, turn on a 45 degree angle from the camera and put your weight on your back foot.

3) Define your jawline – Reduce a double chin.
When you’re facing the camera push your chin forward and tip your forehead down slightly.

4) Flatter your arms.
Hold your arms away from your body so they don’t flatten against your body.

5) Group Shots – Keep heads level.
The person closest to the camera will appear bigger. You’ve probably noticed it in a selfie when there’s two or more people, one person’s head looks much larger and you have a good laugh. Try to keep your faces equal distance from the camera.

Credits:

Featured Portrait
Model- Alyssa Baker
Makeup/Hair- Atefeh Shojaie
Photo- Leigh Righton Photography
Hand drawn arrows- Think Design

Thank you!

To all my amazing clients and friends alike who have graced my camera lens this past year, I thank you sincerely.

Not everyone is pictured here, but I’m grateful to each and everyone all the same. I’m so looking forward to what we’ll create together in 2015 and beyond.

Happy holidays and big love.

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Your Holiday Makeup Tutorial

With the holidays fast approaching and parties to get fancied up for, we reached out to one of our favourite local makeup artists, Leigh Dickson, for a how-to on her latest holiday look. She breaks down this glamorous style in 8 easy steps.

Leigh Dickson Makeup Tutorial

 

  1. Start by applying a base to the eyelid, preferably using a primer shade close to your skin tone.
  2. Using a creamy black eye pencil roughly map out where you would normally draw a cat eye. Extend the product from the lower lash line towards the eyebrow. Be careful not to apply too much at this point and don’t worry about making it perfect, we’re going to smudge it out!  3) Next using a fluffy blending brush gently smoke out that liner. Use small motions and blend it towards the crease and onto the eyelid.
  3. Next using a fluffy blending brush gently smoke out that liner. Use small motions and blend it towards the crease and onto the eyelid.
  4.  Using a light skin toned shimmery shadow highlight the brow bone and inner corner of the eye, above the tear duct.
  5. Now apply a warm dark brown shadow on top of the black base you previously applied. Make sure to blend out the edges to keep the look soft.
  6. To add a metallic pop take a clean shadow brush and wet it. Then dip the brush in a loose pigment, tap off the excess on the brush then apply by patting the product onto the lid and under the lower lash line. Wetting the brush gives the pigment a foiled more metallic look!
  7. Line the waterline using a black eye pencil.
  8. Apply mascara to upper and lower lashes and false lashes if desired. And you’re done!

Products:
– MAC Paint Pot “Painterly” (eyelid primer)
– NYX Jumbo Pencil “Black Bean”
– Saucebox Cosmetics “Rain” eyeshadow (brow and inner corner highlight)
– MAC eyeshadow “Embark” (dark brown)
– MAC pigment “Melon” (metallic rose gold)
– MAC eye pencil “Defiantly Black”
– Geisha Ink black mascara
– MAC lashes #48
– Lime Crime Cosmetics velveteen lipstick “Red Velvet”

Follow her for more awesome tutorials on instagram @leighdicksonsartistry

The Thousand Words

I’ve started a new personal project “The Thousand Words” Each episode an individual is featured sharing the meaning and story behind their most valued/treasured printed photograph. In this first video, Brock talks about owning a Yousuf Karsh original, but that it’s sentimental value is equally as significant as the famous photographer who took it.

Transformations

We love watching our clients excited reactions after they’ve received their custom makeup and hair styling. They look and feel wonderful and we get to photograph them styled top to bottom with their most coveted looks.The purpose of sharing these transformations is simply to show the process. All women, not just models, can enjoy the experience of a fully designed photo shoot and have beautiful images to treasure for years to come.

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Colour Droplet Portraits

Sometimes I get requests from clients to do something special for their shoot and I’m asked to get extra creative in some way.  Along with the freedom to explore and experiment is also the possibility of a disappointing outcome. But as all creatives know (if you’ve prepared your client) it’s worth the risk for those magical moments when everything just clicks.I had this concept rolling around for some time, but couldn’t think of the right image to test on.  So it sat collecting dust in the back of my mind.  When Erin (from last week’s post) approached me and was looking to do something artsy and different, it actually didn’t occur to me immediately that this idea and Erin were an obvious match.  A few days before our session I finally made the connection, and it just made so much sense! It seemed like the idea was just waiting for her.

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The Process:

To create these images I printed out a few portraits of Erin, I placed a casserole dish filled with water on top of the print, and used food colouring droplets to create these beautiful swirls of colour around her.  I photographed the combination of the two from above and could barely keep my finger firing the trigger fast enough. The movement of the droplets in the water was so rapid it made for so many incredible compositions.  Deciding on which colour combination and composition was a whole other ballgame.  This was so much fun to do I could hardly convince myself to stop after hundreds of images.  I am so happy with the results and am excited to finally share them.

Photography: Leigh Righton

Makeup: Christine Jairamsingh