#888 Tips for Better Holiday Photos

Ok, I know I said the blog was taking some time off but we wanted to give you a link to our latest Exposed! photo newsletter:

Better Holiday Photos
or it could be called:
Avoiding Photo Disasters at family celebrations
or
Learn from Harry’s Mistakes!

The newsletter:

At our little boy’s first birthday party I took some of the worst photos I’ve ever taken.

You see, my wife had asked if I could “just take a few photos as the birthday cake came out” while extended family sang Happy Birthday.

No problem!

It was a disaster! (photo below is from another shoot…)

better holiday pictures

Photographing better family photos!

This month’s edition of the Exposed! photo newsletter offers photo tips to help you manage your festive duties, take better photos and avoid common pitfalls…

Read the rest of the newsletter!

#887 Many thanks to our photo clients and workshop students!

2012 will soon hand off to 2013.

We are working on a slower schedule for the next couple of weeks aand the photo blog is taking some time off. Ahhhh!

Christmas photo

Christmas photo - HoHoHo

So, I’d like to say a few thank-yous and shout outs for the year.

Family
First, I’d like to thank family. At times I work whacky hours – evenings, weekends and sometimes late into the night to prepare files for clients. Thanks for the support.

Photo Students
Second, I’d like to send a shout-out to students of our photo workshops. It can be scary to pick up a camera and test yourself. I’ve seen many of you flourish and succeed in photography and life. You make me smile!

ProProgram and Online
Third, I’d like to thank our ProProgram students on Online Photo Class students – they have put a lot on the line to accelerate their photography. They’ve worked hard to pull together photo, people and business skills. I am cheering for you!

Photo Clients
Fourthly, I’d like to thank all of our clients – photo assignment clients, workshop clients, editorial clients and people that purchase our art work, photo cards, studio rentals, etc.

Every dollar you spend helps support our business and family.

Thank-YOU!

Santa photo

SPCA Santa and pet shoot 2012

This photo blog will be taking a break over the second half of December. Come back in January for three posts a week of photo news fun and tips.

If you need us over the holiday break we will be open for:
Workshop registrations (you can also register online for many of our offerings on the specific workshop pages.)
Last minute gifts – prints, gift certificates, workshops, greeting cards
• Work requests.
• Information.

Please contact us as you need. Between Christmas and New Year we will be on a slower response schedule.

HoHoHo!!

#886 Review – Photo Workshop in Victoria

Night Light Photo Workshop - Victoria © Jonathan Adams

Night Light Photo Workshop - Victoria © Jonathan Adams

It’s been almost a mont since I went to Victoria’s Luz Gallery to present our Night Light Photography Workshop – time to show off some of the work from the photo course.

I spent almost a week in Victoria to bring the Night Light Photography Class to people on the west coast.

Night Light Photo Workshop - Victoria © Andrew F

Night Light Photo Workshop - Victoria © Andrew F

My hosts were wonderful supporting the workshop. Many thanks to Quinton, Diana, Molly and Brian for making the class run so smoothly.

Students discovered the magic light available to patient photographers at twilight. We saw ghosts, speeding lights, magnificent skies and urban artworks painted with light.

Night Light Photo Workshop - Victoria © Herb L

Night Light Photo Workshop - Victoria © Herb L

I met new friends and discovered an old one from many years ago.

Students work glowed with the magic of the lights – they should be proud! What do you think?

Anybody have any Christmas light photos they’d like to see on our blog? If you send them to us, we’ll put some up.

Night Light Photo Workshop - Victoria © Eveline B

Night Light Photo Workshop - Victoria © Eveline B

#885 Online Photo Class update

We’ve launched into December’s online photo course. It’s a tough challenge this month because the parameters are so wide.

It’s a creative rather than technical challenge built around the festivities happening in December.

Online members are asked to interpret their festive fun…

… which is hard. Technical challenges are often easier because I can give recipes for silhouettes, motion, etc. Creative challenges tax a different part of the brain!

The online photo students are up to it, though. They’re good at testing new ideas and trying new things. And their photos show it!

online photo workshop - sIlhouette challenge - © Willa Mason

online photo workshop - sIlhouette challenge - © Willa Mason

Other upcoming photo workshops to help you get better pictures are coming up if you like to learn in a live group setting in central Ottawa.

In January we offer the Glass Blowing Photo Safari – it’s a hot assignment in a cold month with enough to challenge beginner and pro!

Ottawa photo safari

Ottawa glass blowing photo safari!

Want to figure out the fundamentals? (Ahem… many, many people could use a refresher or intro to the building blocks of photography.) Creative Fundamentals is your ticket to advanced shooting.

Natural Light Portraits comes up in in January, also, with creative and technical tips for better people pictures and an intro to flash.

Are you missing hockey this season? Want an opportunity to shoot pro hockey on the ice the Senators use? Experience shooting a live pro event with our Shooting Pro Hockey Photo Course. Gets you close to the ice and sharpens your skills. A classic workshop.

March Break Photo Camp and Workshop

March Break Photo Camp and Workshop

And we now have a March Break photo camp and program for 8-12 year olds. The week long day camp introduces pre-teens to the world of photography. They get to learn to shoot, admire art in a gallery and see the magic of a photo developing before their eyes in a darkroom!

This spring and summer we’re lucky to have Louise Tanguay back to teach Macro and other courses. Stay tuned for the fun!

#884 Dogs

I spent Sunday at the West Quebec SPCA.

SPCA pet photo with Santa

SPCA pet photo with Santa

Dogs and cats woofed and purred for the camera and their humans donated over $1200 to support the ‘no-kill’ shelter. We raised more money through our Open House.

Thanks to one of our ProProgram students, Morina, who did some shooting as part of her program. She learned lots from the portrait session. Her photo workshops have started paying off!

And all the dogs and cats thank all of those who helped.

Thank-you!!

SPCA Pet photos with Santa

SPCA Pet photos with Santa

#883 Friday Loose Ends on the Photo Blog

There are some loose ends to address on the blog today. 

1. OPEN HOUSE EXTENSION!
We are open on December 9th from 1-4pm

We had a great turnout at the Open House last weekend but some people were disappointed to miss it. It’s not too late – we are opening the studio over the next few weeks to:
• present our work – editorial, commercial and artwork
• show off our photo students work – They have worked hard on our photo classes. It’s time to show off some of their work!
• offer cards, artwork and posters for sale.
We are open on December 9th from 1-4pm 

Open House at the Photo Studio - Ottawa art, gifts

Open House at the Photo Studio - Ottawa art, gifts

2. Pet Photos with Santa!
We are photographing YOUR pets with Santa at the West Quebec SPCA to support their work to help dogs and cats. The SPCA is selling our photos of your pets for a crazy price of $15 (many people pay more – it’s a good cause!)

Come with your pet. Have your photo taken. Donate. Pick up your print as you leave. Easy!!

Pet Photo Details

3. Cube Gallery – Great Big Smalls 
Visit the Cube Gallery’s fun Great Big smalls show – there’s something for everyone and all art budgets! Many artist’s work (including mine!) grace the walls – waiting for you to take it home!

4. DIY Portraits 
Guaranteed Fun!
We have some spots left on Saturday, December 15, 2012. Bring your camera and plug it into our studio. You direct and photograph your family photos in a working Ottawa photo studio! Very fun and a good deal!!

DIY Portrait Details

DIY portraits - Ottawa

DIY portraits - Ottawa - © Lucy, Richard, Catherine!

5. Photo Classes, Safaris and Workshops
Better photos. Our workshops help people make sense of their complicated cameras. Students get better photos and smile more!!

Coming up:
Online Photo Program – Join us for a new photo challenge every month!
• Creative Fundamentals – the building blocks of photography
Natural Light Portraits – better people pictures!
Glass Blowing Photo Safari – a hot photo adventure
Photographing Pro Hockey –  Fast paced Ottawa 67s hockey on Senator’s home ice – realize a dream shooting at ScotiaBank Place!

6. Check Friday’s Photographer Round-up
Be nosy and get the scoop on who’s shooting what in the Ottawa area. Comes out each Friday in the afternoon (or morning!)

#882 Successes! Online Photo Program

Our Online Photo Program offered another technical challenge to the group last month. Building on the backlighting challenge we urged Online Members to go to the dark side to investigate the world of silhouettes.

People were gently challenged by the weekly lessons, support and forum comments through the program. There were many excellent photos and some very good growth this month.

One photo that caught my eye was from Allan C, online member and workshop grad, who caught the chair sculpture, below.

What caught my eye was he captured most of the sculpture as a silhouette but noticed that a couple of the elements were oriented perfectly to be exposed well – this photo plays with silhouettes and normally exposed parts in a fun play on exposure.

Allan says:
I have enjoyed this month’s challenge. 

All month I have been trying to capture a silhouette of Tim des Cloud’s chair statues. But something was always off, clutter … buildings, traffic lights, wires or the lighting wasn’t right. I got this shot walking back from the library on my point & shot. One should always carry a camera; sometimes the shot is just found instead of stalked.

Well said!

And well done, Allan.

This month we are challenging members to a more creative challenge involving the festive season.

Join us for the online program in December!

Online photo class

Online photo class - silhouette - © Allan C

#881 Open House at the Photo Studio

On Saturday we opened the doors to our Ottawa photo studio for our 3rd annual open house. It was fun.

Yes it was.
We tested a new format – opening the doors for the afternoon AND evening at the suggestion of people who couldn’t make the evening.

Two things happened:
• We had a great turnout – bigger numbers than before
• It was less packed than past years as people were spread out over more time.

Ottawa photo studio open house

© Kevin Foisy - Ottawa photo studio open house

Thanks everyone for last night’s fun:
• Our students thank-you for admiring their successes
• SPCA dogs (and cats) thank-you for the gift of your donations
• And we thank-you for your support.

Without your purchases of art/cards, enrolment in our workshops and hiring of our services the fun that was last night could not keep happening.

Each one of your purchases is very important to us and helps keep us in business!

Thank-you, thank-you, thank-you!

Ottawa photo studio open house

© Morina Reece - Ottawa photo studio open house

Thanks to Morina Reece and Kevin Foisy for the photos.

We will be open some evenings and weekend afternoons as Christmas approaches – dates coming soon. Please let us know if you missed the show or want to see Watershed – we want you to see the fun.

Ottawa photo studio open house

© Kevin Foisy - Ottawa photo studio open house