It’s Been A While

I’d hoped to make blogging a regular thing on my site, but the last three and a half months have been crazy busy.

We had family vacation in Oak Island, NC for a week:

Then, I spent two weeks with my Dad in Vietnam:

When I came home, baseball season was in full swing.  I coach both of my sons’ teams, so it’s baseball six days a week.  That doesn’t leave much time for blogging.  Now that my younger son’s season has wrapped up, and my older son will be done after next weekend, I should have more time to add some more posts.  Hopefully, over the next couple of months, and in between working on client photos, I hope to share some more photos from my trips this summer and blog about my experience meeting my family in Vietnam for the first time.  My next post will be about my most recent family session and I’ll share some of my favorite shots from that evening.

Tag Team, Back Again… The Value of a Second Shooter

Last week, I had the opportunity to shoot another family session over in Brambleton.  Now that I have two DSLR’s, on a whim, I asked my wife, Irum, if she wanted to use my D5300 to catch some of the action and get some more candid shots while I used my D610 to capture the primary images.  I’m so glad that I did.

It was great having a second shooter in a photo session where young children were a key component.  If you have kids, then you know that getting them to smile and look at the camera at the same time often feels (and looks) like a hostage negotiation.  Here’s a great shot of my own kids letting me know that they share my passion for photography.

Raghav and Shivz were absolutely adorable, but there was probably a whole list of things that they’d rather be doing on a sunny, Summer afternoon instead of sitting still and smiling for some stranger.  Sometimes outtakes like this one are  too cute not to share.

However, as a second shooter, the children, and the rest of the family, weren’t focused on Irum, which gave her the freedom to capture moments more organically.  Even better, the angles from which she was able to capture her images resulted in some really cool compositions, with great shadows and lighting.

The one drawback, I guess you could say, was that we both shoot lots of images.  By the end of the session, which lasted about an hour, I had over 600 images to sort through and edit.  It was definitely worth it, though, as we were able to capture some great shots.  From the original 600+ files, I delivered 100 fully edited photos to our client, Deepa. 

It was great to be able to capture a family session involving three generations.  I’m so glad that we were able to work out a time slot that allowed Deepa’s parents to be involved before they head back to India later this month.  Here are some of my favorites from our session.

If you, or someone you know in the Washington DC metropolitan area, is interested in having a family photo session, please let them know about us!  If you book with us by the end of the year, your family photo session is only $125.00.  You get all of the fully edited, high resolution images to keep and use as you please.  There are lots of beautiful and interesting places across the DMV where I would love to shoot a session. Contact me and we talk about the kind of session and location that you are interested in. We can come to you, or you can meet us in Ashburn at some of the locations that I’ve already scouted out.  I hope to hear from you soon!

**In the coming weeks, I’ll be shooting a couple of High School senior portrait sessions and a family session here in Ashburn.   I’ll be posting my experiences and some of my favorite captures from those sessions on the blog. Also, this time next month, I’ll be traveling with my dad across southern Vietnam and meeting my dad’s side of the family for the first time.  It’s going to be an awesome trip!  My plan is to share images and insights on the blog during our travels, internet access permitting.  Stay tuned!!

Aizah: Newborn/Family Session

Hey Everyone!

This will be my first blog post featured on my new Facebook page. Be sure to drop by and “like” it:

I want to thank Sana and Aamir for trusting me to take their newborn photos with precious, little Aizah.  It was the requests to  “hire” me from friends like Sana that helped encourage me to get this photo business up and running.  Sana has always been special to Irum and I, as we trusted her to watch over Cooper and Ezra for the first years of their lives. 

I’m not going to lie, newborn photography is hard!  And, it requires lots of stuff: softboxes, Alien Bee lights, backdrop frames, beanbags, flash remotes, blankets, wraps, bonnets and all sorts of props.  Here’s a really bad pic of some of that stuff from the first time I tried setting it all up in my living room.

Most importantly, newborn photography requires patience!  These types of shoots can last several hours, especially for a newbie like me.  There are lots of variables like setup time, feedings, diapers, wardrobe changes, and the time that it takes to pose the baby, which has to be done, preferably, without waking the baby; it’s always easiest to pose a newborn when they are fast asleep.  Aizah was super cute and very well behaved, but she wasn’t very sleepy (until right after we wrapped up, of course).  We were able to get her to sleep eventually and take some shots but I wasn’t really sure that we were getting the shots we needed.  Honestly, when I left Sana’s I was thinking that newborn photography might not be for me.

When we got home, I had to download the photos immediately to see what I had.  Once I saw the images on my desktop, I felt much better and got excited to get into the editing phase.  The editing for these shots was very involved as well.  The shoot itself took about three hours, counting setup and packing up afterward.  The editing was probably nine to twelve hours.  Typically, most of my editing involves adjusting tone, brightness and cropping the images, which I do in Abobe Lightroom.  I rarely need to wade into Adobe Photoshop.  This wasn’t the case for Aizah’s photos as the fine details are so important in newborn photography.  The healing brush in Photoshop became my new best friend and I think it made a huge difference in these photos.  Here are some of my favorites:

And here are some of my favorite family shots:

Thanks again to Sana and Aamir for giving me this opportunity!  It was a great learning experience for me and I was really happy with the shots that I got.  I hope that they love them too!  If you, or someone that you know is looking for a newborn photographer in Loudoun, Fairfax or anywhere in the Northern Virginia area, please share this page with them and have them contact me.  From now through the end of the year, I’ll be offering newborn photography for $250, which is a steal.  You get all of your fully edited, high resolution images to keep and print/share as you like.

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