Summer Sunflowers | Quick Photography & Editing Tips

sunflower photo shoot san antonio texas

Even though bluebonnet season was a bust this year, it's been made up to us by the most rainy Spring that Texas has had in a very long time, and that rainy Springs= a rainbow of wildflower bursting into full blooms.

In my nine years of living in San Antonio, TX I have never seen so many wildflowers, nor wildflowers this tall! We spotted this breathtaking field on the side of the highway, growing in mud and muck that was littered with debris, on just a small untouched strip of land in front of office buildings. I love how mother nature doesn’t  wait for anyones permission to grow and shine, don’t you?

I keep waiting for the days that Mia is sick of me taking her photos, but I am so grateful that she still happily frolics in the flowers for an impromptu photo shoot!

These are some simple ways I help her feel comfortable, and have more fun taking photos:

1) Her and I both wore tall, close toed, shoes, we don't want to be surprised by anything stuck in the ground or lurking in the tall grasses

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2) I always scope out where I want her to be, and go there first so she is reassured that there are not thorns or bugs. If she's going to sit somewhere , I will check the ground and do a test sit before I ask her to get cozy. 

3) Turn up a playlist that gets you grooving! Use your phone or a bluetooth speaker to jam out during your session.

4) It's always easiest, especially if you're not a pro and if you're photographing kids, to wait until the natural lighting is right in that sweet spot. In these photos, it was about an hour and a half until sunset, giving us a warm glow to bask in without blinding bright light or harsh shadows. When I am photographing older humans, there is fun to be had with dramatic lighting in broad daylight, but it's much easier to give kids the freedom of frolicking about without worrying too much about your lighting AND you won't have to adjust your camera setting much if you’re in consistent lighting. 

5) I used this atmosphere spray from Amazon to add a fog to my photos. Turns out I didn’t have enough hands to spray it and photograph it before it got carried away in the wind, so I will experiment with this again for a studio session or with my camera on a tripod. 

6) Let's talk about framing your images really quick. This can make or break them. I have a short list in my mind of different composures I want to grab from each session. 

  • details - these are you macro shots like wedding rings, or for portraits it's often wrinkly baby feet, hand dimples, long lashes, or freckles.
  • classic portrait- I like to get at least one classic portrait, with the subject framed in the center or to the right using the rule of thirds, and capturing from a out mid chest to top of head. 
  • wide angle - think of a spectrum and gradually  work form up close to zoomed back. I want to make sure included mages in every session that show the setting and tell the story of the location, use the rule of third again to frame your subject in these wide angle shots. 

  • move your body or hold your camera and different angles to experiment telling a story with perspective. Try having some objects in the foreground, but with the focus on your subject. 
  • with each of these in mind, I also rotate between vertical and horizontal frames of each shot-this way, you will have plenty of variety and images that tell a whole story from A-Z! 

If you want to know more about the rule of thirds and everything else photography related, I will be going over all of it in my photography course. You can sign up for my newsletter here to make sure you're the first to know when it launches, and get it on sale! 

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For my Lightroom users, here are some quick notes on editing. 

I created a preset for this session with a focus on warm skin tones and hues that felt like Summer.  I worked on the color tones to enhance the deep blues, rich greens, and golden yellows. Even after I create a custom preset, my editing certainly isn't one click and done! I like to add more moodiness and drama to my photos. One of the ways I do this is by brushing different  areas of the image. I typically  add a very subtle vignetting around the edges of the images. On the subject, I will create a brush that adds highlights (this brings out those details in the hair, freckles on the skin, etc.) and I will sharpen around the focal point of the images to first draw the viewers eyes there. Then I will brush all around the subject to give the image a dreamy look.  To create this look, I turn my texture all the way down, my sharpening all the way up, and adjust the clarity to my liking. Give this a try on your next edit and let me know what you think!

I hope you learned something new, thanks for taking the time to read! What do you want to know next? I love hearing from you in the comments, or shoot me a message. We will chat soon ❤️

kids portrait photographer satx

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