Welcome to my blog! This is where I'll share a little about my recent sessions, my family, thoughts on life and some ideas about portrait photography. Feel free to check back often or make comments. I love to hear from people! For more information e-mail me at info@maggiemalsonphotography.com.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Glimpses Week 16 ~ Flowers for Mama | Idaho Children Photographer

Children give us a gift we sometimes don't even know we need. The gift of innocence. The gift of seeing the world through fresh eyes. The gift of Dandelion flowers... 

I have to admit I'm not a big fan of Dandelions. In fact, they seem to have just exploded in our yard this spring. Boo! Hopefully the fertilizer application this weekend will help slow them down. :0)

However, I do love, love, love that my little guy got so excited the other day when we walked out in the yard and he saw all of them. "Flowers, mama! I pick you some flowers!," he exclaimed. Then he proceeded to run around the yard grabbing up fistfuls. I ran inside and grabbed the closest camera, my little P&S because his innocence and what he sees through his fresh eyes is exactly what I needed to remember, and capture...

To see more Glimpses, check out Chic Critique Forum.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Fields of Flowers | Idaho Children's Photographer

It's definitely spring here! Lovely warm days intertwined with cool, rainy ones. Everything is in bloom. And even though these little purple flowers are technically weeds, they can make a really pretty backdrop, especially with a lot of bokeh!

What is bokeh? 
"In photography, bokeh is the blur, or the aesthetic quality of the blur, in out-of-focus areas of an image," as defined by Wikipedia. It's the look when the image background looks all blurry and fuzzed out while the subject seems to pop out of the image.

Bokeh is achieved when you have a shallow depth of field. Without getting too technical, depth of field (DOF) is the distance between the nearest and farthest objects in a scene that appear acceptably sharp in an image. So for example, because I focused on her face (mainly the eyes) anything in front of that plane (in the foreground) and anything behind the plane of her face (background) will be out of focus. Some lens do this better than others, and the distance of the subject to the background also affects bokeh.

Bokeh is also affected by the aperture used. Aperture controls how much light is being let into the lens and hitting the film or in this case the digital sensor of the camera.

This was by no means an in-depth lesson, but hopefully you learned a little something. And if you have more questions about anything mentioned here or other basic camera questions, leave them in the comments and I'll answer them in another post.

Essence and "Your Story" sessions are both available now, so call today to book your appointment. I will have a limited fall schedule, so don't wait until the last minute to capture memories of your loved ones. Enjoy your weekend!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Glimpses ~ Week 15 | Idaho Lifestyle Photography

Pure joy...

I captured this moment of my girls while out location scouting the other night. It's funny how I struggle sometimes with photographing my own children-at least when trying to take one of all of them together. I love photographing kids, and can handle just about anything they throw at me. I can capture moments of them showing their true essence the parents don't even notice until they see the final images. But, I seem to put a lot more pressure on myself with my own because I go back and forth between wanting that "perfect" pose and then also capturing their true essence. I should know better by now because my style really is photojournalistic and storytelling in nature.

Well, this night there was no pressure. It was windier than all get out, and getting quite chilly. So, we hopped out of the car really fast, ran to a spot I wanted to try and I told them to get close. They were being silly and sweet all at the same time. I had no expectations except to see what kind of light I had. And because I was completely relaxed, I captured one of my girls that makes me smile and fills my heart with pure joy....

For more Glimpses, check out Chic Critique Forum

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Sunbrella ~ Five-year-old Session | Idaho Children's Photography

This was a super fun session with my spunky five-year-old. She's got lots of personality, which I'm sure you can tell by these images. I had picked up this umbrella quite awhile ago and was saving it for just the right session. She loved being able to twirl around play with it out in the sun. I love captured her just being herself. And the light that night was so lovely! Have to love yummy light!

I created a beautiful "Your Story" album for her to showcase the rest of the images, and I'll post some photos of it once it's finished.

Babies and children are my absolute favorite subjects. They are just so uninhibited, and my style of capturing them works perfectly with their personalities, whether they are outgoing and spunky, or quiet and reserved. Call me today to book a "Your Story" session of the special child in your life!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Happy Easter! | Idaho Lifestyle Photographer

"He is not here; he has been raised." Luke 24: 6.

Loving the first signs of spring!

Happy Easter from Maggie Malson Photography!
May the blessings of the Easter season continue with you all year long!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Are you ready? | Photography Business

During the last few years, I've had several people ask me about photography and business. Some just want to take better images; others want to turn their hobby into a business. I am humbled they would ask me for advice. I'm the first to admit I'm no expert, and am constantly trying to learn and improve as an artist and a businesswoman. But, I felt with so many inquiries, I would take some time to share my thoughts on the business side of photography. I've always been an artist and photography has always been a part of my creative nature. Turning what was a hobby into a business was a natural progression for me. I enjoy seeing other people find their niche and succeeding, whatever that niche may be.

First of all, running a profitable photography business is not easy. (And I say profitable because a business is established to make a profit. If that is not the goal, then it is not a business, but a hobby, which is okay too. Photography is a great hobby!) At least in my opinion it is not easy because I have a pretty high level of expectation of myself, the images I produce and the way I want to conduct a business. It's not to say I haven't made mistakes either, but how you handle, learn from and move on from them, makes a huge difference. It's not only about taking pictures for me. In fact, my photography business has nothing to do with "taking pictures." But, that's a whole other post for another day.

One place to start is by asking yourself some questions, and be honest.
• Are you comfortable with your camera, using manual settings and not shooting on Auto?
• Do you understand aperture (f-stop), ISO, and shutter speed, and how they work together to create the exposure of an image?
• Do you understand white balance and how it affects the color in your images?
• Do you know how lighting affects photographs, and how the presence or absence of light is what creates images?
• Are you consistently producing SOOC images that are well composed and correctly exposed images?
• Do you understand how to use editing software to enhance the great SOOC images you've already taken?
• Have you written down a business plan, explaining who your target market it, what kind of products you will offer, how you will model your business, your priorities, pricing, goals, etc.?
• Are you prepared to create an original business name and logo, not similar to anyone in your local, state or regional area?
• Are you prepared to file and obtain proper licenses with the state you do business in? (i.e. Tax ID number, sales permit, etc)?
• Do you know the costs of running your business (i.e. equipment, COGS, insurance, etc.)?
• Are you prepared to price yourself for profit?
• Are you willing to receive both solicited and unsolicited constructive critique of your work?
• Are you willing and able to work well with other people, whether they are clients, employees or other business professionals?

I believe one should always be willing to learn and grow as a photographer. Asking respected professionals for help is a great way to learn. I love receiving honest critique from photographers I respect. While it may sting at first, I've gained helpful knowledge in improving my images, and am challenged to always strive to do my best.

Now, it's not to say this is an exclusive list and it's not to say some successful photographers are not technically great or that excellent photographers are always successful at business. But, by being honest with yourself, you will be better prepared if and when you do decide to start a photography business.

Honestly, everyone is doing it. It's such a cliche' to buy a SLR camera and decide to be a photographer. Yes, taking pictures is fun. It can be addicting. But, there truly is much more to it then that. I was actually using my third SLR camera (I started with film, which I still love) and was on my second DSLR body before I launched my business.

But, if it's really your goal, then by all means make a plan, and work hard to accomplish your goals. You CAN succeed, but being prepared and not rushing into the business side of things before you're ready, will definitely help.

It's also okay if you decide the responsibility of running a profitable photography business is not right for you. Enjoy using your camera. Enjoy learning more about photography and what it takes to capture more than just a picture. Some very talented photographers never start businesses. And some mediocre photographers jump right in, realizing soon after that they just weren't ready.

There are times when I look back and think I wish I would have done things differently. I did some things right, but I also have learned hard lessons along the way. I am more focused as a professional now, and continue to keep raising my standards and expectations of myself. Photography as an art and a business is a constant journey. Good luck on yours!

Here's a great site and resource for all levels of photographers.

15 Tips About Turning Pro

And here's a little Before and After...



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