Just a tini-tiny sneak peak for what’s coming up next week! Had such a hard time to choose from so many images that I’ve decided to choose a lot of them to tell the story of Yohanna & Sebastian…so for now, I hope you enjoy the sneak peak!!
“If I could give you one thing in all the world, it would be the ability to see yourself through my eyes. Only then would you realize how special you are and just how much the world needs your amazing, gorgeous, beautiful self.”
This New Yorker couple flew down with all their friends and family members to celebrate their special day in the heart of Texas-I mean literally! For Angie, this is where home was, no matter what their personal lives were like in the busy cities of Manhattan.
They didn’t hesitate one minute to announce to everyone that: the day was finally here! With anxious anticipation, Angie did everything she could to remember to breath, while Dan was so nervous getting ready upstairs, that his brother finally sat him down to help him get his cuff links and tie on. Yet everything seemed to click into place as the two of them glided from room to room getting everything ready.
And then, that beautiful moment they both anticipated finally arrived. All the amazing stories that had made them who they are, and how they had found each other were revealed in their vows. Through tears they read some of the most heart-warming love notes about how they had waited years for that one perfect person to appear in their lives, years for the right time to make it official with each other, and then many more years past all the working hours in a busy city life… Yet there they were-they had made it. As they looked at each other and smiled, I knew that this was that one moment they would remember forever.
Here is their story:
And a happy week to everyone!
Today, I decided to try out something a little different. I always post some of my favorite images and talk about the person, their story, or how things went during a shoot.
Yet today, I would like to dedicate this article to my fellow photographers who are still brand new in this field and want to learn. After receiving another email with a question on how to light something, I decided to write this blog post to address some important things that I think should be considered to creating a great image, whether it’s for a portrait session, a pet shoot, or a wedding.
Here are some headshots I did for Jessica in Katy, TX for her acting career before she heads out to Los Angeles, California. Headshots are truly a whole different field in photography, so I’ve decided to talk about the various techniques we use to light our scenes.
There are several important factors to creating a great image-the weather, the location, the lenses, the clothes, the strobes, etc. Yet any great photographer can create a beautiful image in any situation with almost any background. Did I say “any” too much? 🙂 If you spend too much time on the technical aspects, like the newest camera and the absolute best, most amazing lens you could afford to buy this year, you will lose focus! During a wedding, we are often faced with various lighting scenarios where we have to think quick and take what we can and all that in as little time as possible too! We usually do not get the kind of time to set up our studio lights because a beautiful couple is about to get married in less than 30 minutes! But one thing is for sure: no matter what, posing a person is key, even if it’s supposed to be a natural “non-posed” shot. Why you ask? The answer is below, so you have read on 😉
In these images, you will find that I used my favorite type of lighting: natural. You have to find the light or as one of my favorite teachers put it: “let the rivers of light form the person.” I think she said it much better, but at this point I don’t remember how exactly 🙂 I’m also a huge fan of strobes and the kind of images they can create! Below you can view some more examples of each!
I say that posing in an image is key and here is why…if a person looks awkward, whether it’s their expression, or how they’re sitting, for example, and things just don’t look right, there is no way to fix that in post-production. You may be able to fix underexposures or not having removed a chair from the background, but once a person looks funny in the image, there’s no way to take care of something like that very efficiently. Besides, you don’t want to spend hours behind the computer fixing things that you could have taken care of during the actual shoot, right? I believe that retouching should be used to enhance an image, not fix things 🙂
Posing Jessica in image 1 is the most common form of having someone look at the camera. The body never faces the camera completely, and by angling her face towards the light, the shadows fall perfectly on her face and not into her eyes. Because her body is not facing directly towards the camera, her figure forms angles all over the image, or as most photographers like to call “leading Z’s” back towards her. In image 2, Jessica is not facing the camera and is looking back at me. Again, finding the light is absolutely important. Because the house is behind her and I’m shooting in front of it, it allows the light to fall upon her face acting like a reflector (there’s a roof above her), which is why I positioned her looking back at me. See the lighting diagram below for a better feel of what I meant here:
Here you can see how the ambient light is coming right onto her face because of the roof above (which is blocking direct sunlight). This pose also places focus on her face, because it is in the center and also the lightest object in the entire image.
In image 1, Jessica is looking at the camera straight on. Notice that her body is still facing away from the camera, and it’s only her face that is looking directly at me. I am also shooting down on her, which is a great way to create a different angle on her face.
In image 2, I asked her to look away from me and then brought her eyes back to the camera, producing a more angled look. You can see the features to her face where it is outlined much more than the first image. Also, all of us have a “good side,” meaning that one side of our face, usually the eye, is always a little bit bigger than the other. Please don’t freak out, this is actually very normal for most of us! 🙂 When dealing with a case like this, always make sure the person is facing the camera with the smallest eye and you can take care of this little situation very quickly. By angling a person’s face just slightly differently in an image, you can turn any pose into 2 different poses to create variety.
Although I did an ambient light shoot for this entire session, I have included some images that use a flash. For this shoot, we started around 12PM and finished around 1PM, which is usually not considered the ideal lighting time for us, but when you take it into the shades and shoot under roofs or trees, it’s perfect for creating images with direction (see image 1 below). In these upcoming images, you will notice the vast difference in each and how using a flash at a specific angle with the sun can serve as a second light source as well!
a. Natural Lighting
I took the liberty to include the 2 images that are a little bit different than most. Image 1 shows Jessica facing away from the shadow and into the light. This causes the shadows to fall where her cheeks are, giving her a lighting ratio of about 1:3 on her face, providing for more dimension in the picture. Also, notice that the background is exposed for as well. In image 2, Jessica is backlit. The way to create this, is to overexpose for the background. Most people who take pictures with their phones, always wonder why the person comes out so dark with the sunset behind them, for example. The reason is because most automatic cameras expose for the background. Here, you can shoot into the light and although you overexpose it, it creates an entire different look if that is what you’re going for.
When you use strobes in a natural environment, you have 2 options: expose for the background or blow it out (See overexposed example above). In image 1, we are exposing for the background and using the sun as our 2nd light source. It’s giving her a beautiful hair light and I made sure to pose her directly away from it (the sun is 160 degrees behind her) so that none of the sunlight would spill onto her face (you can see it coming off of her shoulder to the right).
Also, note that the light is placed about 45 degrees to her left (we are using a regular flash, the SB 800 with an umbrella, bouncing).
Image 2 in this example, is also exposing for the background, but because there is no sunlight, it is definitely looking darker behind her and there is no hair light as in the first image. Everything is just about exactly the same in terms of light, although the background has completely changed here. You have the option of working with the sun or without it in your images, as shown in this example. With actual strobes like Normans that sync faster than 1/250th of a second, the background can go very dark and can produce an entire different kind of look if that’s what you’re going for!
3) Post Production:
Retouching can be quite a touchy subject for most photographers and clients. Yet in a profession like ours, it is our duty to make our clients look as best as possible, without them losing their identity by over-doing this process! I have had some older clients in the past request that all their wrinkles be retouched; and then, I have had some that have asked for minimal retouching because they were proud of these “lines of wisdom” 🙂 so all is fair and should really be communicated with the client before retouching something they may value. Usually in portraiture, whether they’re family images or single person headshots, a little bit of retouching is necessary to take care of the strands of hair or small objects that may have gone unnoticed during the shoot.
Personally, I don’t really like to retouch my client’s faces very much, with the exception of boudoir images, but that’s a subject I will touch on later. Here, you can see that the basics mostly include a little touch up on the hair strands in her face, a little lightening of the eye rings, and taking away a few blemishes that even the most perfect person has. I also brought a little more focus on her eyes by brightening the highlights in them. A fellow photographer gave me that tip and I absolutely love the results in some of my other images!
b. Cropping, Horizontal Vs. Vertical
When it comes to cropping an image, this little technique can truly set you apart from other photographers and create a style all of your own! If you view some of the images I posted above, they were all cropped a little bit differently than these original images posted here. In most of these images I have cropped vertically because they are all for headshot purposes. Depending on the kind of feel you’re trying to create, sometimes it’s important to show more of the ambient in a horizontal crop than in a vertical shot, where you’re trying to show more of a person as a whole (that is of course all subjective, since most shots all vary quite a bit from each other).
c. Different Sizes
Remember, cropping is also important to consider when you sell an image to a client. For example, most professional cameras at this time shoot an image that is approximately 12×18 inches (or 18×12, same thing). So when your client wants an 8×10 inch image or a 16×20, etc, make sure you account for the space that will be cropped out in the final print.
I hope these small tips have helped you gain some more techniques you may find useful in the future. As always, emails with questions or comments below are truly welcome! Jessica was an absolute pleasure to shoot by the way. Not only is she absolutely beautiful in every way, but she was also eager to have me try all kinds of things for this shoot. Much success to her future career!
And a happy weekend to all! 😀
Beauty, Brickhouse Bridals, Carolina Quesquen Photography, Cosmik Soul Handcrafted Jewelry, Fashion, Friends, Houston, Houston Leaders, International Destination Weddings, International Wedding Photographer, JN Co Company, Lydia Coronado, Original Wedding Gift Ideas, Something Special In Flowers, Texas, The Best Place for Wedding Pros, The Gallery, Vanessa Ruiz
Greetings on this wonderful Saturday! I have the day off as of right now and decided to post some marvelous images I was just editing, and wanted to share them today!
So with your bridal session coming up, you want to make sure you can get the most out of it, right? Well, here are a couple of pointers for the bride to be! Actually, this is the perfect opportunity to have a mini wedding rehearsal with your dress, makeup, and hair done, that can include just about anything else you want there for you on the day of the actual wedding! You will not only get some of the most fabulous images of yourself, but also get the chance to test out all your hired stylists and see what it’s like to work with them!
I’ve put together a few tips of certain things that you may want to check through before the day you have your bridal session and actual wedding as well:
How important is hair you ask? It can make all the difference! Do you want it up, do you want it down, how curly do you want, or are there any specific designs to the way it should look? And how long does it truly take to do everything you want for the style you’re seeking for? The stylist will most definitely give you the answer to all these questions if you seek help, and if they’re exceptionally great, they will most definitely keep within their time frame. But sometimes, just sometimes, you should deal in with some delays, especially if there are smaller children involved or it’s a huge bridal party. Most importantly though, you should get an idea of what your hair style will look like on the day of the wedding, and getting that hairstyle done before the wedding day, can work in great benefits for you.
Let me give you this quick real-life example of why it may be a good idea to get a quick sample done at your Bridal Session as well. During one of my past bride’s Bridal Sessions, she decided to test out her look exactly how she wanted it for the wedding. (This is a huge tip for future brides, by the way!) She wanted to go completely natural, therefore, wanted her hair down as well as have some simple waves in her hair that would add volume to the whole look. When she arrived for the shoot, she was really happy with how it looked. Yet as the shoot progressed, she began to realize, just like her stylist had told her, that her hair began to come down and had less “umpf” in it. She said that if this is what the hair does after a 2-hour shoot, imagine what it would look like after an entire ceremony! Needless to say, on the day of her wedding she chose a completely different hairstyle.
Another quick tip: bring pictures. Yes, we love pictures! Well, I’m not a hairstylist, but all the ones I’ve worked with just adore having a sample of what the bride is expecting, even if afterwards they give it their own touch to the entire look! 😉
Let’s talk about makeup for a minute. I think here, communication is key! Your makeup artist should be a professional, therefore completely know all aspects of what accentuates your features in every way. We all have different shapes, colors, and forms to our faces, and it’s important that you try out what shades you want on your face and on your eyes, so when the big day comes, you can rest assured that he/she knows exactly what they’re doing. They know what it takes to make your eyes look a bit bigger or smaller if needed, or how to make your lips more luscious and beautiful, or can even help you choose that shade of color that will go perfect with your face.
(Also, some makeup artists charge extra for eyelashes, so make sure you let them know what you want on the day of your wedding just in case!)
Ok, so you know how your dress fits you. But have you tried walking around in it for 3 hours? This is huge! Did you know, that the average weight of a wedding dress is 30 lbs? I was so bewildered by this information when I first found out. Again, going back to my past Bridal Session with Christina, she was extremely happy with everything—makeup-check. Hair-check. Nails-check. Dress…ummm, how do you get this thing on again? You will of course, have your bridesmaids, mom, or family members help you get it on if it’s one of the more complicated ones, but it’s always good to have this mini rehearsal so you know some things you may possibly stumble through. And let’s not forget accessories! You can take advantage of this time and make a check list: those special earrings, and that beautiful necklace that was gifted to you…or how about that something borrowed and something blue?
This checklist can be a huge stress-saver! (Is that even a word? 🙂 ) Once you know exactly what you want for your wedding, have worked with several of the vendors that will be with you on the day of, and have complete trust in their capabilities, you will feel more relaxed in knowing that things will look just as they should. Having that confidence in your vendors, makes a huge difference!
I hope this has helped you get an idea of how you can plan for that perfect Bridal Session. For your shoot, well, just have fun while you look fabulous and your photographer snaps some amazing photos of you! And make sure you bring your shoes so you know what it feels like to walk in them too!
Today’s images featured in this blog are of a Vintage Inspired Bridal Session we did of Vanessa at The Gallery-Houston Wedding and Event Venue. She was just fabulous, along with the team that made it all happen! Thank you everyone!
Hair: Lydia Coronado (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Makeup: JN Co Company (www.jncomakeupartistry.com)
Wardrobe: Brickhouse Bridal (www.brickhousebridal.com)
Accessories: Cosmik Souls Handcrafted Jewelry (www.etsy.com/shop/cosmiksouls)
Flowers: Something Special in Flowers (www.somethingspecialinflowers.com)
Location: The Gallery (www.thegallery-houston.com)
Happy Shopping Everyone! May the planning be as blissful as your wedding day!
Belle Rose Maison, Carolina Quesquen Photography, Conroe, Couple Portrait Photography, Houston, International Destination Weddings, International Travels, International Wedding Photographer, photojournalism, Texas, Texas Hair Team in Conroe, The Best Place for Wedding Pros, TX, Weddings in Houston
They say that the color purple means passion and devotion. That it holds the significance of creating union on a balanced and complete level. So let me start by saying, that there couldn’t have been a more perfect color to represent Heather and Richard’s Wedding! Their ceremony was one filled with many emotions as the entire event began to pan out. Richard wanted to value the most traditional aspects to a marriage, so the couple hadn’t talked or seen each other the entire day! And even though many beautiful surprises were waiting to unfold for Heather, she projected the most tranquil peace from within her that just made everyone smile while they watched her get ready.
Letting the pictures tell the rest!
Heather & Richard, March 24th, 2012
A wedding isn’t just a marriage. It’s a time where a couple comes together and through a very significant ceremony, they allow the people they value the most to witness an important event in their lives. It is a true privilege and honor when a couple chooses me to become a part of their wedding. To be the person that witnesses everything and puts it all together to tell their story. So Heather & Richard, please know that I wish the two of you many years of happiness, (many babies, and many grandchildren!) and most importantly, much love for the remainder of your years together.
The venue, Belle Rose Maison in Conroe.
Flower arrangements were made by Katie with The Charming Bouquet.
Hair creations by Texas Hair Team near the Woodlands.
To view more weddings photographed around the country, view my website at www.studio-cq.com.
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Carolina Quesquen Photography is now WeddingWire Rated for 2011
Houston, TX – March 26, 2012 – WeddingWire, the nation’s leading wedding technology company, is pleased to announce that Carolina Quesquen Photography is WeddingWire Rated 2011 for International Destination Wedding Photographer. WeddingWire Rated is an annual award program that distinguishes wedding vendors across the country for their excellence. Based on hundreds of thousands of recent wedding reviews, WeddingWire Rated is the most recognized and trusted brand among engaged couples looking to find the best local businesses for their wedding.
Carolina Quesquen Photography now has 3 reviews on WeddingWire. Reviews by our newlywed clients include detailed ratings and insightful descriptions about their experiences working with our business and staff. Our reviews provide transparency for potential clients, assisting them in making the most informed decisions for their big day.
“We are delighted to unveil the 5th annual WeddingWire Rated program,” said Timothy Chi, CEO, WeddingWire, Inc. ” Carolina Quesquen Photography has made a commitment to capturing their clients experiences on the nation’s leading wedding review site.”
As the largest site for wedding reviews, WeddingWire empowers engaged couples with the most comprehensive and trusted review system available. The WeddingWire Rated program provides Carolina Quesquen Photography with a simple platform to capture customer feedback from their wedding planning experience. Newly engaged couples can easily access all of the reviews for Carolina Quesquen Photography on WeddingWire.com. We would like to thank our newlyweds for our WeddingWire Rated 2011 recognition.
For more information, please visit Carolina Quesquen Photography on WeddingWire at http://www.weddingwire.com/biz/carolina-quesquen-photography-houston.
For more information on WeddingWire Rated 2011, please visit www.WeddingWire.com.
About WeddingWire, Inc.
WeddingWire, the nation’s leading technology company serving the $70 billion wedding industry, is the only online wedding planning resource designed to empower both engaged couples and wedding professionals. For engaged couples, WeddingWire offers the ability to search, compare and book over 200,000 local wedding vendors, from wedding venues to wedding photographers to wedding cakes. WeddingWire also offers an online community and a suite of cutting-edge planning tools for weddings, including wedding websites and wedding checklists, all at no charge. For wedding professionals, WeddingWire provides free online management tools creating the only market opportunity that gives local businesses control over their clients, reviews, leads and performance. Businesses that join the WeddingWire Network appear on WeddingWire.com and other leading sites, including ProjectWedding.com, MarthaStewartWeddings.com (NYSE: MSO), Weddingbee.com, and
To view more weddings photographed around the country, view my website at www.studio-cq.com.
Hurray it’s Friday! I’m feeling a bit country today, not sure what that is about 🙂 Today, I’m going to be shy with words and let the story be told through these couple of teasers from Brad and Marisa’s engagement session held at Herman Park in Houston, TX.
Blessings to all of you on this wonderful day!
To view more weddings photographed around the country, view my website at www.studio-cq.com.