Retouching: Before & After

We have all seen beautiful photos of men and women with amazing bodies in magazines, advertisements and photos. They are meant to sell things, to make us want what they have and very often, especially for females, they make us self conscious about how we look. There is a fairly new “movement” going on encouraging you to accept yourself as you are, but I know 1st hand how hard that can be.

We at DLPS totally support people in accepting their beautiful selves and we encourage you to be comfortable in their own skin. But, as photographers, we can definitely “enhance” your natural beauty, without changing what you look like. Our motto for retouching is that we don’t touch it if its permanent. (The only exception to this rule is if you specifically ask us to) If it is temporary, for example, eye bags, pimples, a bruise, a scratch, etc, then we typically reduce or remove it.

People always ask us if we can “photoshop it”. The bottom line is, yes, yes we can. However, its going to cost you. We do basic retouching on all of our photos, but if you want to look 50 lbs lighter, or you want us to take people out of the photos or add someone in, that’s a lot of work and will cost you more money. We do our very best to get things in the original photo the way they should be, but we can always make them a little better. Check out the samples below and see what you think!

As you can see from the above photos, Courtney still looks like herself, but her beauty has been brought out just a bit.

Again, Victoria looks amazing before, but we just brought out her natural beauty and make it more of the focus of the photo.

For these wedding photos, you can see that we took out some distracting poles in the background as well as changed the portrait to black and white.

Our goal with retouching is to make sure you look amazing and still look like you. If you have questions about retouching or want to schedule a consultation, please contact us through the form below.

That’s (almost) a wrap…..

Well, Sunday will be the end of 2017 and Monday will see the world waking up to a brand new year, with new goals, plans and resolutions. 2017 has been a big year for DLPS, and we thought we would share a few of our exploits with you.

We started the year off right, by attending Imaging USA in San Antonio, TX. We attended lectures, went to parties and barely slept! Then we drove straight to Southern LA to attend a 5 day, intensive CPP prep class. By the end of those 2 events, we were both fried and needed a vacation.

In March, we took the Certified Professional Photographer exam and both passed. This is the 1st step to becoming certified. We also took a trip to FL to find a place to live and check out Tampa & the surrounding area. We stayed with some friends whom Jess hadn’t seen in close to 20 years. Luckily, Vermonters are friendly and always willing to welcome old friends.

In April, we moved to Tampa, FL from Monroe LA. We decided to come to Tampa for a change of scenery, city size and new opportunities. In doing so, we left behind a lot of fantastic people who were really supportive of our plan to build a photography business.

In June, Jess earned her Certified Professional Photographer certification through PPA and can now write CPP after her name. To earn this distinction, a photographer must demonstrate that they are knowledgeable and skilled in various aspects of photography, and must pass a written test, then submit 15 images through a panel of 5 professional photographers.

In July we went back to LA to attend the annual convention for LA Professional Photographers in New Orleans. We spent 4 days expanding our education, in addition to hanging out with some of our favorite LA photographers. We brought 2 of our LA models back to FL for 3 days of photography in the sun!

August was a hot, humid month, but we did get to go to Universal Studios with some family visiting from Hawaii. Jess learned that she is going to be an Aunt and we got to hang out in the land of Harry Potter! Plus we watched the eclipse through homemade pinhole cameras.

In Sept, we once again made the trek to LA, this time to Monroe & Shreveport for the annual Barksdale AF Ball. We also did senior portraits for Cam, a soon-to-be graduate in Bastrop, LA. We were able to visit some of our favorite restaurants and hang out with some of our favorite people. We also attended LightPro in St. Petersburg, which is one of our all time favorite conferences. Plus we survived Irma, our first Hurricane!!

November saw us heading North to Vermont, where we spent Thanksgiving with the Wakefield family. Of course we got out and took pictures, got some much needed rest and hung out in the snow. Tony also learned the basics of being a blacksmith.

In December, we donated 2 photo booths. One was for photos with Santa at Inspired Living in Tampa with many of their residents. The other was at the Christmas Charity Ball in Tampa, to raise money towards sponsoring families for Christmas. This was a great success and the charity was able to sponsor 60 families in the Tampa area.

Those are some of the highlights of 2017. We are still learning about everything Tampa has to offer and of course still working on getting to know people here. There are many places to see and things to do that we have yet to experience, but its all part of the fun. We will continue to build and grow our business here and are looking forward to a successful and fun 2018. We wish everyone a Happy New Year and will see you all in 2018!

So many choices and so little time…..

Choosing a photographer for your special event or portraits can be a daunting task. There are a lot of us out there, and we range from “just bought a camera last week” to “20+ years of experience”. We know that it can be super confusing and frustrating trying to narrow down your choices. Some people even get so frustrated they just give up and either don’t ever get portraits or they pick some random name. So, we decided to give you some pointers to help you make an informed decision.

Here are some things you should look for when checking out a website or social media page:

  1. Consistency. Do the photos look good throughout, or are only the 1st few nice while the rest are just OK?
  2. Do they look like real sessions or do they look like they were staged? (More on this in a later post)
  3. Is the site/page regularly updated or is everything on it old?
  4. Do the photos look like they have a ton of filters/photo shop work done on them? This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but can sometimes mean that the original photos aren’t that good, and the photographer has to rely on digital technology to make them passable. This can be a sign of someone who doesn’t really know a lot about the important aspects of photography.
  5. Do they have good reviews/comments from past clients?

Here are some things you should pay attention to when you are trying to get information:

  1. Is it easy to get a hold of the photographer? They may not answer the phone when you call, but do they call you back if you leave a message? Or answer in a timely manner if you email?
  2. What is their demeanor on the phone/email? Do they sound like they are rushing you or not listening to what you have to say?
  3. When you ask questions, are they truly answering them or are they moving past them without giving you a real answer?
  4. Are they giving you information about costs and charges that will be associated with your session or event?
  5. Do they have a contract for you to sign? (contracts, while sometimes a pain to go through are vital. They protect you and the photographer)

And lastly, here are a few questions to ask to get a feel for the photographer and their personality/style. It is important that you mesh well, especially in a wedding or quinceañera situation, as you will be together an extended period of time.

  1. Ask about pricing. It should never be a deciding factor, but you have to know if they are in your budget. If they are not,  you may need to re-evaluate your choices or your budget.
  2. Ask how long they have been doing photography. Everyone doesn’t need years and years of experience to be good, but if you are going to pay for it, you should get what you are looking for.
  3. Ask if you can do an in-person consultation. This is super important, so that you can make sure you are on the same page in relation to what you are looking for and how much you will spend.
  4. For portrait sessions, ask for clothing tips, location suggestions and time of day options. Trust me when I say that these are all important and will effect the overall look of your portraits.
  5. Ask about anything you are unsure of. The photographer should have no problem answering your questions, clarifying information or solving your objections.

If you have any questions or need more information about what to look for, please feel free to contact us. We are happy to help, even if you aren’t our client. You can always contact us at the form below:

Light Pro 2017

Recently we attended Light Pro 2017 in St. Petersburg, FL. Last year was our first time and it was held in New Orleans. We decided then and there that we would be yearly attendees. If you are a photographer and have never been, you should definitely consider it.

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We had a blast! There are a ton of super educational classes, as well as a chance to meet lots of new photographer & model friends. Speaking of models, Light Pro is an excellent way to shoot lots of photos of some very talented and fantastic people, sometimes in some crazy get-ups.

We are always looking to enhance our education and this year was no exception. We attended classes by Suzette Allen, Paul & Melissa Pruitt, Melanie Anderson, Makayla Harris, Brian DeMint and many other super talented professionals. We are really glad that we went and we can’t wait for next year!

If you have any questions or want more information about working with us or about the convention, please email us through the form below or through our website!

Southern Pro Exposure New Orleans

Well it was a great weekend in New Orleans for the annual PPLA Southern Pro Exposure (SPX) photography convention. We met old friends, made new ones and learned TONS!!!

 

We learned from so many great photographers who have tons of knowledge and experience to share with us. We can’t wait to incorporate the new tips and tricks into what we do. We always walk away with new ideas to give you a great experience and a product you deserve.

Mothers Restaurant

While there we got to take a break at one of the many great restaurants there, Mothers, and it was phenomenal. If you are ever in New Orleans check it out you won’t be disappointed.

Jessica got to receive her new bling, CPP Medal (certified professional photographer), during the awards ceremony and we couldn’t be more proud! Photographed with her is this year’s PPA president Rob Behm. By the way don’t mind the outfits. The evening had a theme and it was transportation, Jess is dressed as a road.

Derrick & Victoria

While there we got to bring back two of our favorite models who wanted to come to Tampa. These two have been a part of the Dark Light family since we were in Louisiana. Stay tuned for some awesome photos of Derek and Victoria.

Learn Photography!

If you or someone you know wants to learn about photography, we encourage you to contact us for information on our private lessons. We offer lessons for anyone age 8 y/o and up. You must have a camera with settings that can be changed. Cell phones will not be sufficient.

At Dark Light Portrait Studios, we love to share what we know about photography. We will spend part of the time indoors discussing composition, lighting patterns and other important rules of photography, and the rest of the time out taking pictures.

So, contact us today to learn more about what we have available!

 

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