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Modern Vintage Photo Backdrop at Fort Point

Published by in Portraits ·
Tags: engagementportraitportraitweddingfortpointgoldengatebridge

Engagement portraits are usually taken months prior to the wedding. It's a perfect opportunity to wear the favorite clothing and have romantic portraits taken professionally. San Francisco provides so many beautiful backdrops for portraits of all kinds - the beach, downtown skyscrapers, lakes, gardens,  etc. Yet the iconic Golden Gate Bridge remains the top popular location for locals and tourists.

The couple loved the architectural elements of Golden Gate Bridge and bricks at Fort Point. It's a distinguished spot that has both modern structures and vintage textures. Built in  1853, the fort was completed just before the American Civil War. Canons were mounted on the rooftop aiming toward possible enemies that might pass through the strait, where Golden Gate Bridge was built many years later. Although no battle occurred at the fort, it remains an interesting site to visit as a historic landmark. The best thing about it is that one can see Golden Gate Bridge up close directly from below. This location is one of the most unique spots for photographers.

Portrait Collage for kids

Published by in Portraits ·
Tags: kidchildrenportraitcollage

I just love photographing kids (as long as they don't come in the studio in an already bad mood). Their innocent express is priceless and would be quickly lost as they grow up fast. Photographing kids require lots of energy but rewarding when capturing shots of them smiling.

Shooting kids is a different world than shooting grown-ups. I feel like a clown when I photograph kids. Kids have short concentration timespan. The photo session needs to be done quickly before they lose interest. I find the use of props is highly effective in getting their attention. I often use a plastic hammer that emits a loud sound as I bang it on my head. That should get their laugh for a least 10 shots before they get bored. Then I reach to my next prop - a soft orange ball made of styrofoam attached to a long string. I would throw the ball at them and it would retract back just before they could grab it. The ball is a highly effective trick, especially for the boys. If I still need to take more shots, I would use a toy snake that makes noise when squeezed and wrap it around my camera lens. It probably won't make kids laugh but they would stare at my lens with curiosity.

A framed photo collage (featured above) showing kids' various expression makes an awesome wall display at home and make the parents proud.

From Russia with Love

Published by in Portraits ·
Tags: familyportraitrussiancrissyfield

This lovely Russian family lives in Alaska. They were traveling to San Francisco and wanted to take family portraits by Golden Gate Bridge. We started with some traditional portraits then ended with some unexpectedly fun shots. For this featured portrait, I arranged the family members apart from each other and asked them to strike a different pose for each count of three. The result is a natural yet lively shot portraying the personality of each family member.

How to Get a Picture Perfect Headshot

Published by in Headshots ·
Tags: headshotheadshotbusinessportraitpicture.datingactingprofile

How to Get a Picture Perfect Headshot
Life is all about first impressions. Take your best friend or significant other for example; everything about that first meeting is embedded in your mind—like a story that plays over and over again. But the story of “first meetings” has greatly changed. Now we have social media, and everyone is obsessed with taking the perfect “selfie” or, in professional terms, a tell-tale headshot of themselves. You could tell a lot about the person from the picture they put up!
And just like that, a professional website would also require a professional picture! Remember the good old days where you would attach a printed picture on your CV? Well, it’s much like the same way except everything’s all digitalized now!
Getting an effective headshot
You want your headshot to mean something, it’s supposed to have an element of depth to it but how can you achieve that? If you’re new to this then don’t worry, here are a few ways you can get an excellent headshot:

Know why you need it
Here’s a thing about headshots, it can vary greatly according to its purpose. So how can your headshot vary according to the purpose?
    • If you’re getting one for a job or hiring managers then you’ll have to make sure it’s one that’s easily identifiable through profiles like LinkedIn. This will greatly increase your chance of landing a good job and gaining an interview.  
    • If you’re getting one for your business then make sure it defines you as approachable as possible. After all, you want your clients to be able to contact you without any hesitation.
    • It you’re opting for online dating then it should both be attractive and approachable. Enough to make the other person proceed with your profile.

Nailing the look
Now that you know why you’re getting a headshot, it’s time to nail the look. Don’t worry if you’re not photogenic, not everyone is! You do, however, need to know the tricks to getting the right picture. For example, smiling is beautiful but a light smile will give you a more confident yet approachable look. This is often best with business profiles! Similarly, you should find your good side and make sure it’s always directed towards the camera. Remember, headshots rarely ever have room for head tilts so keep it subtle!
It’s the selfie generation…or is it?
Selfies are great and so are candids but they can never be used for a professional account. Save your selfies for Instagram because if not, your clients will wonder if you’re even professional enough for the job. Remember your attire, background, facial expression, everything will play a role here.
Does your attire matter?
Headshots are focused on the head and shoulders but your attire does play a role here. Wear a color that brings out your eyes and it’ll greatly affect the way your picture turns out! The more solid colors you wear, the better the picture will turn out. Remember; try to wear something that contrasts your skin tone for better affects!
Retouching is a must
Retouching allows you to look fresh and removes all the blemishes and wrinkles from your face. It allows you to look more approachable to the clients. It’s definitely a must, especially if you’re looking at a professional picture.
To cut it short, the better your headshot is, the better job you’ll be getting. That’s why you should contact Kurty Photography because they’ve excelled in the area since 1992. With the benefit of retouching being included in every shoot, we leave customers satisfied with both professional and personal headshots.

Row. row, row your love - engagement portrait at Stow Lake

Published by in Portraits ·
Tags: boatlakeloveportraitengagementstowlakegoldengatepark
Jordan is an avid boat rower and wanted something different for engagement portraits. I suggested that we go to Stow Lake in Golden Gate Parks where they could rent the boat for an hour.

It was a beautiful sunny morning on the date of the photo shoot. I arrived a bit earlier to scout out the best lighting and noticed the glare from the rising sun over the lake. I knew it would be the perfect back-lit light for dramatic effect but would have to careful with the low contrast and light spills.

Leanel, Jordan and I met at the boat rental, and I followed them around the scenic lake on foot. At first, I was a bit worried that I might not catch up with the speed of the boat. It turned out that our pace was about the same. That allowed me to take my time to compose and capture the photos. Communication wasn't an issue as I used my body language to tell them to stop or spin the boat around for the perfect angles. I used a long lens (Nikon 70mm to 200mm f2.8) to zoom in closely from the far distant on the shore, and this narrowed the perspective and highlighted the depth of the couple on the boat.

The bride and groom to be now have some awesome portraits for their Save-the-Date cards.

A birthday present for herself

Published by in Portraits ·
Tags: birthdayportraitmotheranddaughter
Gricelia called and said, "It's my birthday today. I want a nice photo taken with my daughter as a birthday present to myself".  She said she never had a good photo taken with her daughter, and she'd be happy if I could take just one good photo. I said to her, "No worries. You will have lots of beautiful portraits to choose from." Later Gricelia came to the studio with her daughter, and we took a variety of shots. After seeing the proofs, she was so happy and thanked me for the nicest birthday present in her life. It always moved me when I hear someone feel great about themselves with their portraits, and the portraits will bring her a lifetime of joy whenever she looks at them.

Portrait of a cute dog

Published by in SometiPortraits ·
Tags: dogportrait
Sometimes people ask me, "What is the hardest subject to photograph?" Well. the answer would be babies and dogs. Darlene came prepared when she took her dog Jackie in for studio portraits. She was publishing her book and needed an eye-catching shot for the book cover. Besides several cute attires and head pieces that were a perfect fit for Jackie, she also brings in several seamless paper backdrops for the photo shoot.

Jackie was well trained. When Darlene placed her on the paper backdrop, she just quietly sat there. I adjusted the studio lighting to the proper height to define details on her hair and snapped several shots while Jackie was still paying attention to my tone. Soon enough, as I expected, Jackie was bored and just rested her head on the floor. Darlene lifted her up and gave her some treat. I had to imitate barking sound as an effective method to "communicate" with Jackie. It worked.

In an hour of the photo shoot, we took plenty of good shots in various outfits and backdrops. I look forward to reading Darlene's book when it's published.

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