A personal project where I take a photo of my children, myself and what I’ve been up to on a daily basis. This is my third January project and I’m hoping to extend it this year to cover 365 days.
Wish me luck!
If you're anything like me you probably have literally thousands of phone pics of your children and I'm sure, like me, you love every single one of them. I keep all these phone pics because they're electronic memories of moments I might not have captured otherwise. Nevertheless, I love the images I've taken with my 'big' camera so much more and a major reason for this is that I've been able to edit them exactly the way I want to.
Without going into too much technical detail, professional photographers shoot RAW images. These are huge files, rich with very detailed information about the colours and textures across every part of the image. RAW files are designed to be edited and require professional editing software to even open them. I could shoot JPEG files, which are smaller and would actually look better than the RAW image straight from the camera, but they'd lack the detail necessary to apply my own creativity and style through the editing process. A RAW image is like a chef having all the fresh ingredients they need to produce a delicious dish, exactly how they want it to taste, whereas a JPEG is like buying the same dish as a ready meal - you either like it or you don't. Aside from adding a bit of seasoning there's not much you can do to make it better!
Below is a photograph I took of my daughter looking out our dining room window, late afternoon on a rather dull winter's day. The first is the RAW image straight from the camera with no adjustments other than the crop. Although the image is exposed correctly and the focus in nice and sharp on her eyes, it's rather dull and there are a couple of distractions, such as the cord from the blind. The second is the edited version which I hope you'll agree is much more pleasing. The colours are warmer and brighter and I've been able to add contrast and clarity exactly where I want it. Using professional editing software means I was able to be selective in my adjustments - I could remove certain objects from the frame that weren't really adding to the story, or worse still, distracting from her face and reflection.
The way I edit is a fundamental to my photography and the value I offer to my clients. It's where the magic happens. Editing takes time and expertise, and in many cases I'll spend far longer editing a set of photos than I'll actually spend taking them! I'll look at every photo individually and edit depending on the light, the emotion, the mood and the story I want to tell. I'll also aim for consistency across a series of images. This is especially important when you go to display your photographs together. And finally, I'll remove things like left over biscuit crumbs, or scrapes that wouldn't usually be there!
My style and skill encompasses many other things such as understanding light, composition, timing, and technical skills - all the reasons for choosing a professional photographer to capture beautiful images of your family. But as I've hopefully revealed, editing is a where the photos come alive for me and become the finished product that I can proudly deliver.
This time last year I took on the challenge of taking a photo-a-day of my girls throughout the month of January. It was such a rewarding project that I've decided to try and make this an annual event.
Getting the camera out every day - even when I'm not really feeling it or the weather forces us inside for yet another day - really pushes me to think outside the box, take some risks and test my creativity. Most importantly, it's an opportunity for me to document the lives of my children as they grow and change - their routines, the things they love, their happy moments and maybe even their not so happy moments. Enjoy!
They say that when you find your passion you'll never work another day in your life and I've found this to be amazingly true since starting my business just over a year ago. I've met so many lovely people - both new clients and fellow photographers - attended some inspiring workshops, won four Bronze Awards in the The Guild of Photographers Image of the Month competition, as well as having my work featured several times on The Teabreak Tog community pages.
I'm really proud of my achievements this year and I thank each and every person who has liked or commented on my work or referred me to a friend. Your support means so much to me. I'm especially grateful to all the wonderful families I've had the joy of photographing throughout the year - it's been a huge honour to capture so many memories for you. It's impossible to share something from absolutely every session but here are just a few of my favourites from the year...
Video produced by Ben Strivens