Tuesday, July 21, 2015

BEHIND THE LENS: Daisy Beatty Photography, NYC and East Hampton, NY

We were delighted to receive the following interview from a wonderful follower of our blog.  Daisy hails from New York but her experience in West Hollywood working for Comedy Central and Intuitive Entertainment gave her insight on telling a story through her lens. Daisy also worked as a Special Assistant District Attorney in NYC. Her experience, training with established mentors and working on new projects keep this talented photographer up-to-speed with the latest.  Please welcome as we introduce Daisy and her amazing work!

Your Name: Daisy Beatty
Your studio/business name: Daisy Beatty Photography
Location: New York City & East Hampton NY
Other: Instagram: daisybeatty

In 50 words or less, how would your clients describe your photography?

My clients have described the shoots as fun, lighthearted and, in many cases, empowering. My photographs have been described as ethereal, soulful, and humorous. I try to create images that have a combination of beauty and meaning. 

Are you self-taught or classroom trained?    A combination of both.
How many years have you been a professional photographer? Part time for 9 years, full time for one year. 

Where do you want to take your photography business in 5 years? 
I would love to work in more locations. Right now I work primarily in NYC, theHamptons, Greenwich CT, and Boston MA. I’m doing my first shoot on Martha’s Vineyard this summer; I’d love to work there and Nantucket every year. I’d also love to do more work in Los Angeles, where I used to live, and to photograph clients in the Caribbean. 

Is there a photographer who inspires your style?  Who would that be? 
Oh gosh, there are so many wonderful photographers. The first photographers who really moved and inspired me were Sally Mann and Diane Arbus.  

Favorite location to take photos?  
Anywhere with beautiful light. Manhattan is fantastic because you can take photographs with a city feel and an outdoorsy park feel in one shoot. 

Favorite vacation spot? 
South Africa, Turks & Caicos, Croatia, East Hampton

Your Business:

What was the pivotal moment when you decided to become a photographer? 
I’ve adored photography since I was young and have taken classes since high school. My love of photography was always there, so about a year ago I decided to go for it full time. I love it! Part of me wishes I’d gone full time earlier, but I feel lucky to have had a wonderful career before this too. 

What’s the best marketing tip that has worked for you? SEO is huge. 

What’s the most surprising thing a customer has asked you? I’ve heard it all, and love working with clients to ensure they have an experience they love. I’m always touched by how willing clients are to include me in intimate and special moments in their lives. 

Favorite print lab? Miller’s 

Your Gear

Are you Canon or Nikon: Nikon

If you could only have one lens on a photo shoot, what would it be? For an outdoor shoot, my 70 – 200 mm 2.8; for studio my 24 – 70 mm 2.8

What brand bag do you carry your camera in? Backpacker. It’s an odd bag I found on Amazon that has served me well.

What gear would we find in your camera bag? Nikon D800, Nikon D200, 50mm 1.8, 24 – 70mm 2.8; 70mm-200mm 2.8

Are you a natural light fan or strobe fan? In general natural light, but I love using the strobe in my studio for maternity and newborn photography

Are you PC or Mac? Mac!

Your Tips and Tricks

What post processing tools do you use? Photoshop, and occasionally Lightroom

Do you shoot in Raw or Jpeg? both

Best advice you would give your 20-year old self? See the world. Keep working hard, keep pursuing your passions, keep creating opportunities for yourself.  

Best advice you would give a new photographer? Take classes, practice, practice, practice. Work hard, and you will start to see results. 

What site do you use for your photography and why? I use bludomain, and wordpress. Bludomain has been great: it was my first website, I started it in 2008. Since then I’ve grown into liking Wordpress a lot too, for it’s simplicity and flexibility. 

What Else Should We Know?

What was your worst photography experience? My own second grade class photos – my mother wanted me to wear a dress and I REALLY didn’t want to. 

What would surprise people most about you, whether it is photography related or not? I can spin a basketball on my finger.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Sponsored: AT&T LG G4 Smartphone Sweepstakes & Photography Tips

Disclosure:  I received an LG G4 from AT&T and was compensated by AT&T for this post, however the opinions are entirely my own.    

I was so excited to be contacted to try out the LG G4 smartphone because I had heard about the amazing photo capabilities on this phone.  It really is fantastic, just wait until you see the photos captured with this phone below.  To celebrate the capture capability and 2TB storage on the LG G4, AT&T is giving away one LG G4 every 4,000 seconds (or every 66 minutes).  The 4,000 Seconds Sweepstakes started on May 29th and runs through June 20th, so you still have a chance to win (check out all the details on how to enter at the bottom of this post).

I take A LOT of photos with my smartphone, so having the opportunity to try out this phone with its advanced camera features was definitely something I was eager to do.  And I have to tell you I was blown away by all of its' features!

First off, let me say that I was most impressed by it's manual capabilities.  The LG G4 allows you to adjust your ISO, Aperture, and Shutter Speed and has an impressive 1.8 aperture.  As a photographer, having these features in a smartphone is beyond exciting! I was amazed by the images I could take with this phone.  Just check out these photos, with a few tips on settings, taken in my backyard.

For this snail shot, I used the manual mode and and set the aperture to 1.8 because I wanted the background blurred out and the focus on the snail.   Pretty awesome!

In the photo below, I kept the aperture at 1.8 in order to get the bokeh in the background.

Here is another image where I kept the aperture at 1.8 (can you tell that I love this feature?) and did a top down photo.  I love images where you change the perspective to add interest.

In this next image, I was drawn to how the light was shining through all the vases of flowers. I increased my aperture just a bit (to make sure all the vases were in focus).     :)

For action shots, having the ability to manually set the shutter speed is a great feature.  In this photo, I increased the shutter speed in order to freeze the motion.

Some of the other camera features on this phone are the ability to shoot RAW photos (for those of you who like to do some post-processing), a voice command feature to activate the shutter (i.e. "say cheese" and click), the ability to get the perfect selfie with an 8 MP front facing camera and convenient gesture interface (activate the shutter by opening and closing your fist).  Oh and let's not forget about the skin softening tool (bye, bye wrinkles).

Here's a selfie I captured with my mom (notice my dog Lulu photobombed us in the background).

The LG G4 has an auto mode (your average phone camera mode) and simple mode (a more pared down auto mode) for those of you who do not want to mess around with camera configurations.  All and all if you are looking for a new smartphone with an awesome camera, the LG G4 is definitely one to consider.  It is a great device for capturing hi-res images and video with plenty of storage space and it supports up to a 2 TB MicroSD card (MicroSD cards sold separately).

Additional features of the LG G4 include:
Dimensions: 5.86 x 3.0 x 0.38” (min 0.25”)
Operating System: Android Lollipop 5.1
Processor: 1.8 GHz 64 bit hexa-core processor
Battery: removable 3,000 mAh that provides up to 21 hours of talk time7

Ready to enter the Sweepstakes? For a chance to win, participants need to: 

1. Register at http://4kseconds.att.com/ 
2. Upload a picture they took from their phone. This can be done from a mobile device, tablet or computer. Images need to be .jpg or .png and less than 1 MB.

There is also a contest component to this program. All submitted photos (deemed eligible by the Official Rules) will also be housed on a gallery on the sweepstakes website. These will be open to public voting in order to determine a public appeal score. The photos will also be judged by a panel of judges. 

The photo with the highest combination score from the judges and public appeal will be deemed the Grand Prize Winner and will receive a 55” Class Smart Curved 4K OLED 3D TV with webOS 2.0 and a 3D-Blu-Ray Disc Home Theatre System with Smart TV and Wireless Speakers. The second and third highest ranked photos will be deemed the First and Second Prize Winner. These winners will receive a 65” Class IPS 4K UHD Smart LED TV with webOS 2.0 and 3D-Capable Blu-ray Disc Home Theatre System with Smart TV and Wireless Speakers. The winners will be announced upon completion of the Judging Period, which ends July 9th. 

Learn more at this AT&T Consumer Blog post and Mobile Minute video.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

A Few Reasons Why You Need a Professional Head Shot.....

by: Kristina Rust Photography

I understand that the thought of getting in front of the camera all by yourself can make you cringe but having a professional photo is extremely important and here’s why:
1. A professional headshot conveys a look of professionalism and credibility for you and your company. Your image is your first impression, be sure to make it a strong one.
2. People like to do business with others they know. Having a headshot helps people feel like they already know you.
3. You’ll use it all over the Internet. A polished headshot is necessary for social media. A consistent professional headshot should be used on all your social media channels…LinkedIn, Twitter, Website, etc.
4. You might need a headshot for a speaking engagement, book jacket, or event and you’ll be ready.
5. A professional headshot will show you at your best. Rather than using that selfie or photo where you cropped out your friends, a professional headshot will demonstrate that you made an investment in yourself and that you take yourself seriously.
As you can see from the sample images above, a headshot does not have to be stuffy or in front of a blue backdrop.  Your headshot can reflect your style and personality and still look professional.  If you’d like to learn more about my headshot services, please contact me at kristina.rust@gmail.com or call 408.207.5010.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

How to Prepare for Your Head Shot Session | By Kristina Rust Photography

Trying to figure out what to wear for your head shot session?  No need to stress, here are a few tips to help you pull together the perfect look……
  • Be timeless…. Try to pick outfits that are not too trendy and that will not look dated in a year.
  • No logos or large graphics…these tend to distract from your lovely face and we don’t want you to be walking advertisements.
  • Layer…bring a sweater or scarf to add a bit of “texture” to your images as well as variety.
  • Accessorize…. add color and interest with accessories but don’t let them overwhelm the outfit.  We don’t want that HUGE chunky necklace to be the center of attention.  Again, think complement.  Headbands, scarves, and cardigans are all great ways to add a little extra pop.
  • Patterns are great.  Patterns and prints are terrific but make sure they are not too fine of a print or the pattern will look pixelated.
  • Make-up….a little extra make-up is good for the camera but don’t go too heavy handed.  If you feel like you could use a little extra assistance, consider hiring a professional make-up artist (it is more affordable than you think).
  • Glasses...f you wear glasses-please note there might be a bit of glare.  Non-glare glasses are ideal.
  • The Right Fit….do not wear clothes that are too baggy as they add unwanted pounds and clothes that are too tight never look right.
  • Hair…if you highlight your hair do so before the shoot so you don’t have roots.   If you are in need of a haircut do that a week or two before the shoot so you can feel comfortable with your new do.  And one tip that I love and used myself was to go to blow-dry bar and have your hair professionally styled.
And if you are interested in updating your profile picture for your website, LinkedIn, blog or Facebook page, please visit my website to see more examples of my work or email me at kristina.rust@gmail.com.  I'd love to work with you.