Please email me at info@tracydodsonphotography.com for our pricing information.

Seniors start at $250 and we have a variety of wedding options to meet your budget.

I respond quickly to email - if you have emailed me and you have not received a reply, please check your junk mail.

ALSO - IF YOU ARE INQUIRING FOR WEDDING PRICING, PLEASE STATE THE NAME OF THE BRIDE AND GROOM BOTH, THE DATE, THE WEDDING VENUE, A LITTLE ABOUT YOURSELVES AND WHO CAN I THANK FOR THE INQUIRY? THANK YOU!

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Monday, November 8, 2010

F.A.Q.

I have been getting a lot of questions via email lately from other photographers - thought I would answer some of them on my blog...I do NOT claim to be a pro at this or a photog genius - I just want to be helpful ... This is all just my humble opinion :)))

Photography is interesting because I think we have all learned really technical things that seem to follow us our whole life. Because I was trained as an accountant and NOT a photographer, I tend to break all the rules ... I just take the pictures I love...I guess it really is a matter of opinion and art. I actually got started because I just love taking pictures - I have since I was a little girl.

Because I am a natural light photographer - I do not use flash on shoots. If I used a flash, then I would answer this differently - so keep in mind, no flash.

The latest question today was:


how do you expose for the blue sky without your subject being completely dark???


If you know me, then you know I like BRIGHT and COLORFUL photos....I personally expose for the subject ...I don't care if the sky is blown out. I also like to shoot with a pretty wide open aperature so I lose a lot of detail in the background. Here is an example from a recent shoot - the sun was still pretty high in the sky:

Murrieta Valley Senior Portrait

settings: F2.2, SS 1/1250 ISO 200.

The sky was filled with grayish white clouds and a patch of blue (not much).

Hayley was the subject of my photo - not the sky...I also think that background looks great - the hills are green color right now and we do have some fall trees in California as well. Jessy did boost the color in this photo if you are wondering. Anyway... I loved the bridge and the street....It was a bit overcast so the sky came out white. This is actually one of my favorite pictures from her shoot.

I guess for me it's a matter of preference. I was focusing on Hayley...and doesn't she look beautiful? I knew I wanted my aperature wide - so I put it at 2.2 using AV and let the shutter speed decide for itself. I knew this would end up being a good picture and that I would process it in RAW and blow outt he sky....

And here is Bo....since Jessy wasn't around, he was my test shot for this location....

The sky was really blue behind Bo - the problem was that it was noon - the sun was high - we had to shoot in the shade of the tree and I didn't want Bo to be dark (because I LOVE bright!)....So I bumped up my exposure so Bo would look bright and lovely in my chair....

ISLA9months_119 r

I shoot in RAW and usually I bump my exposure and contrast even more in these situations. You could expose for the sky and use a reflector but I usually do not, I really like just using whatever light there is...and again I would rather blow out the sky and have the subject look good.

There is a trick - you can expose for both if you shoot in raw - if the sky was amazingly beautiful with fluffy clouds, I could combine the two exposures and "paint" the sky back in.....There is an instruction video on the Totally Rad blog to learn how to do this. It is actually quite easy.

I have had other questions such as how did I get started, how do I start charging, how do I price my work, How do I deal with discounts etc. If you have any questions please ask...I never mind questions via email either. I learned from emailing photographers whose work I loved - they were always helpful - every single time....

I think next time I will cover pricing and why I charge what I do....maybe...


8 comments:

Anonymous November 8, 2010 at 9:21 PM  

Totally off subject, but... I LOVE the chair that Bo is sitting in! Where did you get it???

Hannah Sivilay November 8, 2010 at 9:26 PM  

Ha! Tracy...the chair...you may need to keep it :-)

Dodson Family November 8, 2010 at 9:35 PM  

Home Goods - should I keep it? I was going to take it back but decided to try it out!!!! hahahaha

you guys were supposed to ask photography questions!

Carri November 8, 2010 at 10:16 PM  

I am so glad for this post cuz my mind has been reeling since I shot the Ross family. I had so much fun even though some of the photos are stiff. I love AV and let the shutter speed do what it is going to do, my favorite way.

My favorite new information from you is that the 50mm works brilantly on a full frame camera. Imagine that? No wonder I hate it on our old 20 D. Thanks for the tip. My husband no longer owns his camera. :)

Tracy November 9, 2010 at 7:07 AM  

Carri full frame is amazing!!! Ask Eddie his opinion on exposing for subject or sky? I am curious what he would say. Tell him he can have the 20d!!! Is it the 5 d that u now get?

Sara Ancich November 9, 2010 at 3:45 PM  

My pictures have been grainy lately and I can't figure out why. ANy tips or suggestions? I read the manual cover to cover trying to trouble shoot. Also do you ever do an entire family shoot using your 50 mm f1.4?

Tracy November 10, 2010 at 2:21 PM  

Sara - that's a great question...I get grain on my camera - seems to struggle in low light. I will do a post on that. Are you noticing that all the time or in low light?

Nichol March 27, 2011 at 11:08 AM  

I was wanting to get started on shooting pro pics. how did you get started? how much did you start charging? I have a t2i canon camera and I am serious about photography, its just natural to me. thanks for all the grat info and beautiful pics

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