Thursday, October 29, 2009

The Money Shot


Occasionally there are times when I feel absent from my own blog, and this has been one of them--sorry! It's such a relief, in light of this post, that now you know why I am so busy. In addition to launching my first line of outsourced shoes, I have been working on shooting images for the website. I've been through various venues, several different models, multiple wardrobe changes, and have yet to get the "money" shot. I've gotten lots of chewing {from the candy bribes}, crying, wardrobe malfunctioning, prop breaking, panty showing, and nose picking shots, but no money shot.

What's a money shot? It has nothing to do with dollars and cents. One of my friends told me that her husband had a cat named Money in college. "You know," she said, "It's slang for awesome, rad, cool, etc." Actually, I did not know, but found it funny he named his cat that. While I never integrated that slang into my own vocabulary, there is one exception: the money shot.

When I am taking photos, I'll be snapping away when suddenly I'll get that one perfect shot where everything--expression, lighting, color, angle, bokeh--is all perfectly aligned. As soon as I see it on the little LCD screen on my camera, I know: that's the money shot. Despite two photo shoots now, I have yet to get that winning image. I'm curious if any photographers reading have tips on how to secure that extraordinary shot. To me, it is just a combination of a good eye, correct exposure, and luck. I guess, with two little kiddos and needing to get the shot angled to see the shoes, the odds are stacked against me.

In the interim, the first photo and the ones below are some out takes.









Hoodie by Grace of Finley and Oliver.









I have to say, that while a money shot is something I usually know right when I take it, there are still times where I am able to finesse out a great image through editing, and I have one such example for you of my lovely and willing little model.

Here is the straight out of the camera shot:



I thought this image had potential because I am sort of a sucker for pensive child portraiture. However, there are a couple problems with it in my mind like the colors, the shadows on her face, and... um... boogies.

First thing, I ran Nicole Van's Color Pop Action and lighten it up.



Next, let's clear up the boogies and the shadows....



I didn't care for this color combo, plus, as much as there is a Twilight craze and all that, red in the catch lights of her eyes is not too becoming, so let's try it in black and white.


I think black and white photos look hazy without a lot of extra sharpening and adjusting the contrast, so fix that....



Add in a very muted sepia tone to soften everything...


Before.... After....



Once more.... She's adorable! You can view more posts on photo editing here.



Thanks, Katy, for lending your little miss to me! Also, my apologies for not listing much right now. I have about 2 dozen shoes that Jennifer has prepped for me, I am just behind in the sewing. Also, I'll have another $2 Giveaway in the not too distant future. One last thought, I will go in and update the comments, like tips for keeping my studio organized under this post. Thanks for your patience!

19 comments:

Mrs.LifeAccounts said...

you sound busy busy! It was fun to watch the progression of the photo, total cutie!

Whimsical Creations said...

Just beautiful photos!!

Alisha said...

Love these photos! The colors just pop on the first photo, so pretty. Mia is absolutely adorable in the 3rd picture and I love the barrette she is wearing. They all look so cute :)

Anonymous said...

I love the black and white picture of the little girl and her eyes. She's so cute!

Stephanie

Amy said...

I agree with Alisha, I love Mia's clip third pic down...when will we see that one in the shop? :)

As always, job well done. I have complete confidence in you that you will get "The Money Shot"! :)

Jessica Haley said...

Ha, Ha! Thanks, Amy, for your vote of confidence! I already have mind mind turning with a third shoot with a completely different wardrobe. It's worth it, though. In our old house, Robert and I painted our bedroom three times. The first time looked like honey dijon. The second time, called Starlight, ended up looking aquarium blue. The last color, a silver sage, was perfect. I go back and forth about whether fastidiousness is a virtue or a vice....

Jessica Haley said...

Oh, forgot to add, yes, you will see the clips in my shop. Actually, a customer {hi, Megan ;) } was the creator of the color combo of the blue clip. Actually, when I am finally done taking pics, I will probably do a blog special on some of the styles. We'll see... :)

Oh, this is way down the road, but I'm researching going into shoes with firm soles, too, as the product line grows.

Penelope Anne said...

You are TOTALLY awesome!

Jenni said...

I too am a fan of photo #3 especially! If that isn't a money shot...

It is amazing what a little editing will do. I am seriously considering starting my own photography business, and editing is key! Great pictures, as always!

Jessica Haley said...

Wow, Jenni! That's exciting! It you ever want more detailed editing steps I will add them... I go back and forth b/c "curves" and "unsharp layer masks" sound pretty boring if you're not in PS. Keep me posted on you business idea! Although, I have to say, taking pics of little kiddos is really hard work.

Oh, and image #3 is a good shot, I think, just from an image stand point, but... no shoes! :)

Amy said...

Jenni, yes!! I think you should do it! :)

I for one would love more info on PS...for example, what is Nicole Vans and how do I get that action?

And Jessica, I faux painted my entire house BY HAND {yes, I am crazy} and I did two walls in my living room 4 times before I found the color I loved, and it looks FANTASTIC, thanks very much. Fastidiousness, in my opinion, is the key to success. Good for you that you don't give up!:)

seg said...

Super cute pics as always, especially featuring two of my favorite girls!

I agree with Jenni, editing is key! Sure wish I had more experience with editing!

Sometimes when I am taking pictures, I feel like I get that "money shot" when I look at it on the LCD screen, I get all excited and am really pumped about it. Then when I upload it to my laptop, it didn't turn out near as good as it looked in the smaller version. *sigh*

Jessica Haley said...

Hi, Seg. Yeah, I was talking to Katy and didn't realize that Lizzy use to be in Mia's class. Isn't she a doll?! Btw, yes, I can relate to thinking it's a great shot, then opening it up and finding it's blurry... esp. with little ones that never seem to hold still!

Amy, way to go w/your house! You should blog pics. Btw, I have faux finished my walls myself, too! I will give detailed Photoshop instructions next time. Nicole Van has actions you can buy that are pretty reasonable; you can find her website here: http://shop.nicholev.com/subpage.aspx?type=0 {Use Ctrl+C to copy and paste.} :)

Mande said...

Beautiful pics Jessica. Looking forward to seeing your website up and running. :)

Ariana said...

Beautiful! I love the pictures and the hair clips. Please let me know if you ever need a little girl model. My daughter takes great shots running away:)

Jen R. said...

What great pics! I love the colors!

Anonymous said...

Cute pics!

Rebecca

Paula Prass said...

You are amazing! xoxo

Kasey said...

your photo's are just gorgeous.
xo

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