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Archive for August, 2011

Silhouette Assignment series winner

August 22nd, 2011  |  by  |  published in Featured, Shoot

This months winner was a favorite with our judges (us). Greg Hinson won our grand prize, a $100 gift certificate from our sponsor ProDPI with his image of a paddler at sunset. Everything works in this photo. Excellent color, composition, motion, processing. We loved it!

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Creation of the Silhouette

August 10th, 2011  |  by  |  published in Featured, Shoot

In honor of the ShootStyle assignment series this month (and this is the last day to enter, so pull out your silhouette images!), I wanted to post about how I create silhouette images for my clients.  There are several different ways to go about it, but today I will be sharing my method.

Michelle Turner Photography Silhouette


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It’s Called a Wedding PARTY for a Reason!

August 3rd, 2011  |  by  |  published in Shoot

My primary goal during the time I have allotted for portraits at a wedding is to get a great variety for backgrounds and poses for the bride and groom. My secondary goal, is to get a great portrait or three of the bridal party together. And I don’t mean a photo of them all lined up together (though I take that shot every wedding), or the shot of the bridesmaids scrunched together, or the groomsmen holding the bride, or the wedding party jumping together…those have all been done before by many thousands of wedding photographers more qualified to shoot them than I. I’m talking about groups shots like you see on the cover of the fashion magazines, when all of the most popular young starlets of the day get together for a cover shoot. It is often THIS shot that gets me the most positive comments from the participants…and many of those participants are young women that are approaching the wedding planning process themselves!

This shot can be done with the bridesmaids, groomsmen, and both (time permitting).

The Bridesmaids:
I most often get a shot like this with the bridesmaids. In the planning stage with the bride, I typically suggest that everyone be dressed and ready 30 minutes prior to the time when they have to leave for the ceremony. That gives me time to take some bridal portraits, and some time to set up a bridesmaid “magazine” shot. When it comes to the ladies, posing is something that they are usually pretty good at naturally, whether they know it or not. They’ve been looking at fashion magazines from the time they were little girls, and all of those images leave an impression.

Since this is the first time I’m describing setting up the shot, let me step out of the bridal portion for a moment, and say that I follow this process whether I am setting up bridesmaids, groomsmen, or both. Fits off, I find the space that the shot should take place in. It could be a couch or a pair of chairs in the hotel suite, or the lobby of a hotel…or it could be the laundry room across the hall, or the cool car that they will be riding to the wedding in. Once I have the space, I begin to set up the participants. In my mind, I have visualized the entire scene, but I have to build the scene one piece at a time. So I start to grab the participants, and put them into place. I have found that the fastest way to get someone into a pose, is to demonstrate the pose myself. With the bridesmaids, I really play it up, assume the pose, and challenge the bridesmaid that will be filling the place “try to look this sexy”. As each participant is placed, I take a step back to see how the entire scene is coming together adjusting as needed. Once everyone is in place, I tell the bridesmaids, “Give me your best (rhymes with witchy), look” and take the shot. All in all, it takes about 5 minutes to set the shot up, and 15 seconds to actually capture it!


The Groomsmen:
Compared to the bridesmaids, the groomsmen shot usually comes together a bit easier. For one thing, I usually have less time to set up the groomsmen shot, since I typically have to set it up at the end of the family portrait time. Most often with groomsmen, I will do a “Reservoir Dogs” shot, where I tell them to line up staggered, about 75 feet from me, and walk towards me, interacting with one another. When I don’t have open space to set this up, I will arrange them similar to the ladies – minus the “try to look this sexy” comments. With guys, I tend to set up the shot at the bar – which is usually where they are hanging out in the first place!


The Wedding Party:
Arranging the entire wedding party is the most challenging of the shots, and the most time consuming, so I rarely get a chance to do it. When I do, however, I ask the members of the wedding party to pair up with the person that they escorted down the aisle. I then ask if any of them are actually “together”, to see if I can make their pose a little more romantic. From this point I build the shot, just as described in the bridesmaids section, but with each couple instead of each individual. Again, I place them in the pose then stand back to see how it affects the scene. I am looking for balance and to avoid duplicating poses as much as possible.

One last piece of advice for those wanting to venture into the “magazine style” pose. Study magazines! Especially the issues of Vanity Fair that feature the group photos that the magazine is famous for. Study the poses and the relationships between the poses to understand how and why each participant was placed in that spot in the frame. Then sit back and start adding some PARTY back into the bridal party!


Assignment Series: Silhouette

August 1st, 2011  |  by  |  published in Featured, Shoot

In this installment of our ever-popular assignment series, we bring you the phrase “Silhouette!”

Your assignment is to illustrate the phrase “Silhouette”. This might be a photojournalistic exercise or an artistic construction. We leave it up to you to define the phrase and how you will interpret it.

You are more than welcome to comb through your files for a photo that illustrates the term, but we would absolutely love it if you shot something for the assignment, special!!

Our assignment series is open to everyone. We’re hoping you’ll wanna play along.

The most creative entry wins! And WHAT, you may be asking, will you win?  A FABULOUS $150 gift certificate from ProDPI!

We will post all of the entries on our Facebook page, and post a few of our favorites on our blog, complete with a link back to your blog or website.

How to enter!

Images should be sized to 590 pixels on the long side. If you need help figuring that out, ask your favorite Shootstyler! And by all means, slap that logo on there if you have one! You can enter up to one photo a day for the duration of the assignment. Email your entry to:


We have an album on our Facebook fan page. When the entries start coming in, we’ll post them there first. Check in with us at Facebook if you are looking for some inspiration.


The deadline is August 10th!

Let’s have fun doing this together!! Assignment series: “Silhouette!”


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