Starting Friday, BlueFlair Photography will launch a season of giving! We’ll be offering DEEP discounts on canvas gallery wraps and metal prints. We are introducing new specialty products. Check back daily for special 2-for-1 deals, specially priced sessions, giveaways, and more! Many of these sales are only good for 1 day, so you’ll want to make sure you check in daily.
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Immortalize their own story in this one of a kind limited edition portrait package by BlueFlair photography.
Choose from several different props including:
Long Stem Roses
$149, child session in-studio,
includes an 8×10.
Top Ten Tips for Better Holiday Photos By BetterPhoto.com
The holidays make for fantastic photo opportunities. Even the least photographically-inclined reach for a camera to do the annual group portrait. Use these tips to make great photos of Christmas, Hanukkah, or the mid-winter holiday of your preference. This year, you’ll come away from the holidays with the absolute best photographs you have ever created.
# 1 Compose Creatively and Move in Close
Whether you are photographing the symbolic subjects of the holidays or your friends and family, getting creative with your composition certainly cannot hurt. This means paying special attention to how you organize the various elements in each photo.
There are two main concepts to keep in mind when composing the scene artistically:
1. Off-center your main subject. Instead of placing your main subject in the center of the scene – with a lot of dead space around it – move your camera until this subject is off to the side. This works especially well if you can balance your main subject with something in the background, on the other side of the picture. For example, if you are photographing a beautiful candle, try placing it on the right with the Christmas tree (or an equivalent supporting element) blurred softly in the background on the left. This will result in a photo that both records the candle in all its beauty and does so in an artistic, creative way.
2. Move in close. Especially when you center your subject but even when you off-center it, moving in close is the one thing that will make the biggest difference in the success of your picture-taking. The simple fact is the audiences are always more impressed when the subject is huge and impossible to miss. Therefore, you want your subject to fill the frame. Say you are photographing the candle mentioned above, but don’t have a Christmas tree (or its equivalent supporting element) in the background. In this case, you might want to instead move in as close as you can. Causing the entire frame to be filled with your subject will inevitably result in a photo that has true impact on your viewer.
# 2 For Better Family and Group Portraits
The most important thing to keep in mind when photographing groups and families is this: you absolutely must take a lot of photos.
There is often a great deal of pressure when photographing groups. People generally complain about having their picture taken and want the experience to be over quickly. They have been trained by bad portrait photographers in the past to hate both the process and the results.
So it is your job to overcome these hurdles. You need to work quickly in order to get the job done within their limits of patience. And you need to keep the experience as fun and friendly as possible, so they remember it in a positive light.
Above both of these tasks, though, you need to get the absolute best photos you can. And more than anything else this means taking a large number of photos. Since there is always someone blinking or looking off to the side or facing another member of the group, having a large number of photos will give you the best chances of catching everyone looking their best.
# 3 Shoot First, Ask Questions Later
Especially if your subject is a child opening a gift – or playing with a gift for the first time – you know that, within a split second, the scene can change. There is often just a few brief moments when that “magic spark” appears.
That’s why it is so important to be fully prepared to capture that moment when it happens. Of course this means having your camera on hand and the batteries fully charged… After all, you can’t capture the moment if you don’t have your camera on you and ready to go.
However, even more than having your camera on hand, this equates to being assertive with your picture-taking. Be ready to press that shutter button at a moment’s notice, anticipating when the magic spark will surface. If you have a digital camera that suffers from a bit of a delay when taking the picture, then you will have to become even more intuitive and skilled at anticipating the moment.
Either way, shoot quickly and shoot often. Don’t be shy – getting a great photo of the right moment is rewarding and well worth the extra effort.
# 4 Don’t Use Flash Indoors
The flip side to Tip #5 is to turn off your flash indoors, whenever you can possibly get away with it.
The flash can be a real lifesaver, no doubt about it. This burst of artificial light can mean the difference between a decent photo and a totally blurry, unusable image.
However, the light from flash units – especially from the tiny on-camera flash units found on most every camera – tend to produce harsh, flat, and cold light. This is rarely a complimentary way to illuminate your subject.
If you are shooting indoors during the day, make your portraits with your subjects standing near a window or door instead of relying on the flash. Get between your subject and the window – in other words, don’t include the window in your composition, as this will throw off your exposure meter.
If you are shooting indoors at night, try to flood the room where you are photographing with as much light as you can – turn on whatever lamps you have at hand. This will help reduce those harsh, flashed-out subjects, as well as other problems like red-eye.
# 5 Use Flash Outdoors
Most people think that using flash is synonymous with photographing indoors at night – at a Christmas party for example.
However, flash need not be relegated to indoor, night photography. Flash can be a big help when it comes to shooting outdoors during the day. Even in bright sunlight, forcing your flash to fire can often mean the difference between a so-so snapshot and an eye-grabbing masterpiece.
The reason is that this kind of bright day flash will fill in the shadows and even out harsh contrasts.
Try it out… next time you are photographing friends or children outdoors, turn your flash on and see if it works for you.
# 6 Look for Reflections
One the quickest and easiest ways to add an artistic touch to your holiday photos is to focus on capturing reflections rather than the object itself.
Simply keep an eye out for interesting splashes of color, reflected from Christmas lights and other holiday decorations.
This is one time when rainy days are your friends – puddles in the street can be a perfect source of abstract images – photos that suggest the essence of the holidays without being direct and explicit.
You can also look for interesting shadows and other graphic elements. Or you can include out of focus Christmas lights, to give your photo an evocative, unique background.
# 7 Blur, Swirl, and Zoom Those Christmas Lights
Tired of the same old Christmas tree photos? If you want to try something new, set your camera to a slower shutter speed – anywhere from 1/2 second to 2 or 4 full seconds. Then purposefully move the camera while taking the picture. The idea here is to intentionally blur the colorful Christmas lights… and in order to blur a stationary subject, you need a slow shutter speed and controlled camera movement.
If you use an SLR camera with a zoom lens, you will have a little more freedom and speed with your zoom. Thus, you will not need as slow of a shutter speed as those using compact zoom digicams. All the same, you can create this effect with either kind of camera.
For the zooming effect to look clean, you will want to mount your camera securely on a tripod to keep it from moving while you zoom in or out during the exposure.
If you want to get even more creative, you can simple move the camera around while the shutter is open. For this technique, you can leave your tripod at home. That’s right… I said it… this is one of the few times I advise you to not use a tripod.
# 8 Give the Gift of a Photograph
Whether you are a last minute shopper or not, we have the perfect gift idea for you: a family photo.
Parents and grandparents in particular love photos of the family and children as a holiday present.
This is such a cherished present, we will be offering a few of the most helpful pointers for getting great portraits in the upcoming tips. In the meantime, pick out a nice frame, get some good inkjet paper if you shoot digital, and get ready to give a gift that, if done properly, can bring tears of joy to their eyes.
# 9 Plan Ahead: Charge Batteries and Clear Cards or Buy Film
The last thing you want to have happen is to get all set up for the family portrait or holiday photo to realize you forgot to charge the battery!
In addition to making sure your batteries are charged (or you have replacements on hand), you will also want to make sure you have a place for your potential images to be recorded.
If you shoot digital, offload and archive your images so you can free up space on your flash memory card. If you use a conventional, film-based camera, be sure you have an extra roll or two of film on hand.
Here’s a bonus tip for you generous gift-givers out there: before wrapping up digital camera and film camera gifts, charge up the batteries and insert the memory card or film. This will make it all the more fun for the recipient to enjoy your nice gift – right out of the box!
Either way, being prepared will make those once-in-a-lifetime moments that much easier to capture.
# 10 Don’t Eat Yellow Snow; Don’t Photograph Blue Snow
If you go out photographing snowy outdoor scenes, most camera meters will be fooled into underexposing your picture. Instead of nice, bright white snow, a bluish cast will give your snow scene an extra cold feel (and an unnatural look).
To remedy this, use your camera’s exposure compensation feature or a manual exposure mode to force an addition 1 to 2 stops of light to reach your film or CCD. If you have a point and shoot camera or a compact digicam, your camera may not feature manual exposure but it will likely have the exposure compensation option. Look for a little +1 or +2 symbol.
If you have a film or digital SLR camera, you will likely have these +1 and +2 exposure compensation options as well as a manual exposure mode.
Good News Travels FAST! At Blueflair Photography, we are honored to have your business and we aim to exceed your expectations every time you visit us. Now, when you refer a friend you can receive a $50 studio credit. The sky is the limit—every friend who books a session will bring you another $50 credit!
*No cash value. For new sessions only. Minimum purchase applies. Expires 10/31/2011.
As one of San Diego’s most prestigious photography studios, we print our Holiday Cards using only state-of-the-art HP Indigo digital printing presses with real liquid ink, making the color quality and consistency of our press printed cards the best you will ever see.
In addition, our fully customized Press Printed Cards are available in 4×5.5, 5×5 and 5×7 sizes, both flat and folded styles. Non-traditional sizes and styles, including a 5×7 Wide Format, 5×5 Trifold, and a 4×5.5 Accordion, are also available.
Choose from 5 paper cover stocks –standard, art watercolor, art linen, art recycled, or pearl. Also add UV coating to the standard and pearl paper for added protection and a high gloss look.
Other Popular uses of these one of a kind cards include, baby announcements, high school senior graduation announcements, wedding invitations, thank you cards, stationery, and of course holiday greeting cards.
Shelly had this smile that just wouldn’t quit! She fell into her poses pretty naturally, and we had a lot of fun photographing her senior portraits in Balboa Park! One of the things we love about Balboa Park is how many backgrounds we can do for different looks. And we always encourage our seniors to bring a few outfit changes to mix it up even more! Enjoy the sneak peeks!
I love the look of fall in this first one!
Just look at those pretty eyes!
This family was just soo sweet. Even with 4 young boys, the parents were patient and kind, and we had a great time! They were here for their annual vacation – coming to us all the way from Nevada! All the boys enjoyed looking in and around the rocks finding LOTS of crabs – and while we were working on the portraits, we were graced by several dolphins frolicking nearby in the water. I ask you – how’s that for a day’s work?
Remember – it’s not too early to be thinking about your family photos for those holiday cards! And feel free to leave a kind word down below, it’s much appreciated!
BlueFlair Photography is pleased to announce we are now offering Play Date Cards! Hip moms are using these Play Date cards more than ever these days. Our Play Date cards feature adorable images from your child’s portrait session – along with mom’s contact information. Folded, they’re the size of a business card, to easily fit in your wallet. Unfolded, they act as a bookmark!
As a special introductory offer, we are now offering a set of 40 complimentary Play Date Cards from your child’s portrait session, with a minimum purchase. *
*Call for details and to schedule your child’s session. Check back often, as we’ll be adding new samples!
Do you use Play Date cards? We’d love to hear what you have to say about our new product – please leave your comment below. Thanks!
This is a great story of a legacy of love! Grandma-to-be is just so incredibly excited about the upcoming birth of her grandchild that she decided to spoil baby, mommy, and daddy by investing in our Chrysalis Collection. This collection focuses on telling that special story of each new belly to baby. Mom and Dad were absolutely awesome to work with and let’s face it mom’s belly is just so beautiful and tiny! Mom disagreed with the “tiny” part so of course we had to tell her to invest in glasses and a good mirror because…just look at her…she’s only sporting a basket ball when I was sporting an over-sized watermelon when I was in my eighth month!
Anyway…here are a few sneak peaks for grandma, mom and dad of a few of the “less revealing” images from the day. We’ll see you soon so you can check out the rest of the images from the session! Let us know what you think by leaving comments bellow!
Jessica and Lewis are such a fun-loving couple! They had a great time during their engagement session, and so did we. We headed down to our favorite spot at La Jolla Beach, and then did a little “up-town” shooting.
The clouds are water were just amazing that morning!
We love feedback – comments are welcome below!
So many of our expectant parents ask us when they should come in for their newborn portraits and we always reply the same way…”Meet us on your way home from the hospital.” There’s usually a long pause as they wait for us to say we’re kidding, but guess what?…for the most part we’re really not joking!
The absolute BEST time to photograph a newborn is within the first week of their precious lives, under two weeks is acceptable but is starting to push it. You see…newborn’s under one week of age still sleep like the dead (not mine unfortunately, she’s NEVER slept like the dead a day in her life…not even in the womb, but MOST do).
They also haven’t had time to realize that they’re not crammed into a tight little space anymore, so they still curl up in that adorable fetal pose. But after day ten (give or take a few days)?… you can just forget about getting that amazingly classic newborn pose without your little one putting up a fight. The secret is out and every time you try to curl them up they just can’t wait to pop those tiny limbs back out again.
Also two to three weeks is about the time a lovely case of baby acne can rears it’s ugly head…no pun intended. Of course we still photograph newborns that have passed the two week mark, and we still capture amazing images of these tiny new beings, it’s just that the longer you wait the harder it is on both the baby and the parents.
So to summarize the answer to the question “when should we schedule our newborn session?”…the sooner the better!!!
This tiny little guy was only 10 days old, and both he and big brother did a great job in front of the camera! Mom and Dad love sepia toned images, so we put the finishing touches on a few of our favorites and here they are as a little sneak peak. Hope you love them as much as we do!
Your input is REALLY IMPORTANT to us so let us know what you think of our images by posting your comments at the bottom of each posting.
Hello to all our beautiful brides!!! I know you all have been anxiously and patiently waiting to view the images we photographed of all of you at this years Brides Against Breast Cancer 2009 San Diego Event. Well they are all ready to be viewed, but to keep prying, soon to be husbands’ eyes, from sneaking any peaks of you before the big day, we have posted them to a username and passcode protected site. Obviously posting the login info here kinda defeats the purpose of this covert operation, so we ask that each of you email us at email@example.com to receive this top secret information. We’ll email you back a link and the login info for you to see yourselves in all your breathtaking glory. From the event site you’ll be able to email links to your pics to anyone and everyone you want to, just be sure they know not to let the cat out of the bag to you know who.
We want to make sure and thank the vendors that helped make you look like the beautiful brides-to-be that you are:
Our first BIG THANKS goes to Allison Stevens of Magnolia Flowers who’s generous donation of this unique bouquet, which turned out to be the brides’ favorite, was much appreciated. Allison is one of our preferred vendors and has become a really good friend. She was trained in France and thrives on creating unique and dynamic arrangements that stretch the imagination…kinda like our photography, so it’s a match made in heaven. Thanks Alli, you rock!!!
We’d also like to give a big THANK YOU to Willem-Aidan who provided not just one, but THREE different bouquets for our lovely brides to pose with for their portraits. This florist went out of his way to make sure each bouquet was elegant and perfect. Stefanie and I haven’t had the pleasure of working with him directly, but we can’t wait to get the chance! Here’s just one of the lovelies he provided…
And last but certainly NOT LEAST, we’d like to thank Teresa Skeen and Maggie Meredith from Mary Jane Salon for doing up all the fancy up-do’s that gave each of our brides that special wedding day look. You both were AMAZING, and fast too…something we photographers REALLY appreciate from stylists on the day of the wedding. It is a true sign of professionalism. Here’s a quick capture of the action reflected in a mirror…this bride (who was a personal favorite of mine) didn’t end up getting this particular dress so I feel o.k. showing this image as it’s not really giving anything away to you know who…
Headshots have always been associated with boring…I mean traditional, poses and processing. The need to look professional, composed, and appropriately removed from your potential client was the common mode of operation, especially in fields such as insurance, corporate business, finance, and law…but common is just how it made you look.
That’s not to say that looking professional and poised isn’t important, it’s just not enough anymore. There are plethoras of service professionals out there available to each and every consumer, and let’s face it, looking like each other isn’t going to get them to go with you rather than the other guy. So what will get them to go with you instead of him (or her, whatever the case may be)? I’ve got two words for you…approachability and relate-ability (which I’m pretty sure isn’t really a word to begin with, but for the sake of argument let’s go with it). This leads us to another question…how do you portray yourself to a potential client as approachable and relatable? Well with the advent of social media sites such as Blogs, Facebook, Twitter, Link’d In, and many others like them, professionals like ourselves are able to personalize not only our content, but our headshots as well. Posting images that show you as warm, caring, approachable and relatable are a critical step towards connecting with your potential clients. The things that set you apart from other providers or make your prospective clients emotionally connect with you will be what get’s them to stay a little longer on your site, so they get to know you a little more, trust you a little more and therefore consider working with you a little more. As examples we’re showing you some of our favorite non-traditional headshots from a few of our recent professional headshot clients.
Let us know what you think of our client’s contribution to the revolution of social media networking and marketing by leaving us some of your comments. What would you like to set you apart in your headshots?
La Jolla Cove is one of the most beautiful beaches to photograph at in San Diego. The incredible blues and greens of the water, mixed with the fascinating rock formations and cliffs makes for a dramatic scene. So it was an obvious choice for us when this gorgeous family requested their portraits be photographed at the beach.
Another wonderful feature of the Cove is that it borders the urban beauty of downtown La Jolla. This close proximity allows us to dramatically change the feel of our images by driving just a few blocks up from the beach to the beautiful brick buildings and chic sidewalks of La Jolla. The art and fashion district of La Jolla makes the perfect setting for a precious little girl to dance down the street in her purple tutu and jean jacket. These are a few of our favorites from the session. Hope you love them as much as we do mom and dad!
We are always looking for locations like this where we can get the best of both worlds without having to travel very far between the two. Do you have any favorite locations that you’d like to suggest we use for our portraits? Please let us know by leaving your comments here. Thanks! Nikkie of BlueFlair Photography
Alrighty – we’re going to change up the blog a little, so instead of just sneak peaks, we’re going to feature some contests, favorite picks, tips and tricks, and other things. We want to hear from you, too, so feel free to leave comments and weigh in on topics! We’re also working to blend the blog with our Facebook, Twitter, and MySpace pages.
Subscribe if you want ongoing updates, come back often, or from time to time – we’d love to have you!
To start things off – we putting one of our popular portraits of a little peanut in the pink tutu. She’s been popular on Facebook, and is just a cutie-patootie! Next month, we’ll be featuring various favorites, and the one with the most comments will be deemed the winner – with that family (or couple) winning a complimentary 5×7 of the winning photo!