Premiere Bay Area Wedding Photography Blog by Trifon Anguelov Photography

1090 Clark Avenue, Mountain View, CA 94040 | (650) 930-0743 | http://www.trifonanguelov.com


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How to Prepare for Maternity Portrait Session – Top 10 Tips


Maternity Portrait in Trifon Anguelov Photography Studio, Mountain View, CAExpecting a new baby is an exciting moment in every woman’s life. It a time for love and passion about new unborn baby even before they have met. The feeling of growing new life although often followed by pains and aches, makes every new mother glow and shine. And what a better time and way to capture the joy and excitement than maternity portrait session.

I like a portrait photographer, love working with expecting mothers and her husband or partner to craft beautiful and artistic pregnancy portraits. I feel like each mother deserves to have these moments captured and recorded in framed prints to remind her of the day when she was so in love with her unborn baby.

It could be a daunting task however to find the right maternity portrait photographer who has the experience and skills to create these portraits. So many questions:

– When is the best time?

– What is the best place? Indoors or Outdoors? Could it be at out home?

– What to wear?

– How to prepare for the maternity portrait session?

To help expecting mothers prepare for their their pregnancy photography sessions, I have compiled the following list of 1o tips.

1. Pick the Best Time:

I recommend to schedule your session is between 31 and 36 weeks of your pregnancy. During that time, woman’s belly has a lovely round shape. The transformation of your body is both beautiful and in the same time interesting to capture on photos.  After the 36th week most women start to feel too bloated and uncomfortable during the session. Another advantage is that also gives you plenty of time to select and order your pregnancy photographs.

2. You Needs Are Unique:

It’s a good idea to discuss with your photographer any ideas about poses, look, location or props you might have in mind. Sure the maternity portrait photographer would have the experience and suggestions for you, but every client is unique. Your needs and expectations are unique. Discussing them would help the photographer to be in sync and prepare. If you have collected any maternity portrait examples, bring them to the consultation session.  There are so many great examples on the web: Pinterest or blogs. Even printed magazines or friend’s albums could be a source of inspiration. Visual examples are easy to understand and discuss.

3. Printed Portraits Are Beautiful:

If you consider to have the images from your session printed: baby book, large format prints or canvases, wallet-size photos, add to your Christmas cards is simply display them online on your Facebook page, make sure to let your photographer know in advance. It makes a difference if you going to keep these images private (in your bedroom, or share with only close family members) or display in public (in your living room or share online with all of your friends).

Also if you going to order large prints of your images, the image quality is usually higher than small wallet-size prints or for online. The photographer would be able to give you more information and show you samples of the final products, so you can make the right decision.

4. Your Body Will Be Photographed:

During pregnancy woman’s body goes through transformation and is not usual for stretch marks and birthmarks to appear. An experienced maternity photographer would know how to pose you so that these are less or not all visible. The same is true if any parts of your body have developed sensitivity during the pregnancy. Be sure to discuss this if you have anything about your body which you are not fully comfortable with. If you have any tattoos which you don’t want to show up in your final artistic images, the photographer can use your clothing or posing to hide this. The other option is to ask for retouching in post-processing to remove these completely from your final images.

5. Having Company Is Fun:

Don’t be afraid to bring your husband or older children to your session. If you plan to have them both, plan to have your children photographed first and arrange for someone to take them home after that. Having others be part of your session allows the photographer to create more family like images and it is a great time for your older children to show the love for your unborn baby. You would need the privacy and quiet time for more images with your husband or alone. More intimate maternity portraits require you to feel relaxed and undisturbed, so privacy is something to consider when planning your session.

 

Maternity Portrait in Mountain View, CA

6. Calm Down and Enjoy:

This is the most important and yet most neglected advise I can give to my clients. Sure you will be excited and would do anything in your power to look great in your images, but if you are not relaxed or uneasy, then this will show into your final photographs. So take a mental not to yourself and plan to relax before the session. Try not to schedule anything to close of too hectic before the session. Go to your favorite spa, pamper yourself with manicure and pedicure, have your hair and makeup done in a salon instead of you trying to do everything before the session. Taking a short nap is another way to feel relaxed and well rested.

Once in the studio and during the session, let the photographer take care of the details. Enjoying the moment and sinking into the excitement will make you look and feel great. This is all what the maternity portrait session is all about. You are beautiful and your maternal glow is amazing. It is great to be mother and you should enjoy every minute of it. You hired a qualified and skilled photographer. Let him take care of the photo shoot.

7. Clothing Does Matter: 

Stretching garments and clothing can leave marks on your beautiful round belly. Plan to remove any tight clothes and elastic bands from your body at least 2 hours before the start of your session to allow any marks to disappear. This includes socks, bras, snug underwear or maternity pants. Dressing in robe or lose dress will keep your skin smooth. Wearing slippers or slip on shoes would make it easy for you to take them off. Not having skin marks is especially important if you plan to have nude or semi-nude images taken. The beauty of your belly and body would be spoiled by any marks left by the clothing or undergarments and these could be easily avoided by simply planning ahead.

8. Posing Helps Create Great Photographs: 

Big part of having beautiful pregnancy portraits is the posing. Most likely your photographer would direct you and explain how you should pose, but if you have any specific pose or poses in mind, make sure to talk to him before the start of your session. This will allow the photographer to incorporate and prepare the studio background and lights.

Also discuss about what poses you are comfortable or willing to put a limit up to. Are you comfortable posing without any clothing? Are you looking for more intimate or more conservative poses? Are you looking for high key (bright and white background) images or low key (moody and black background) images instead? Are you looking for color or black and white images? More lifestyle or more artistic? These are all personal preferences and expectations which will help your photographer to pose and capture for you. So don’t assume. Talk to him and agree before the session.

9. Different Looks Are Interesting: 

Plan to bring different clothes and outfits to your session. You would spend at least one hours and you most likely wouldn’t want to appear in the same clothes on all of your images. Having different outfits in your pregnancy photos is a good idea. It will also give you a chance to catch your breath and try different styles. In general, fabrics which adhere to the body shape are best choice so your round belly can be well visible. Stretchy fabrics and clothes which you can slip into and unzip easily are the best. Another idea is to bring wraps, scarfs or fabric to wrap around your body for more artistic look.

10. Don’t Fret The Accessories: 

Finally, the accessories. Many women think this is not a good idea for maternity session, but when applied with moderation and with a good sense of taste, accessories add additional focal point and interest to your photos. And this is not just jewelry? You can bring bay shoes, ultrasound picture of your baby, banner you are your husband created, pictures, stuffed animals or simply your favorite flower. I have photographed a husband pretending to water his wife tummy with a cute little watering can, just to give you another idea. Possibilities are endless. Be creative and you would later enjoy the results.

 

Pregnancy Portrait Session at Trifon Anguelov Photography Studio in Mountain View, CA

Pregnancy Portrait Session at Trifon Anguelov Photography Studio in Mountain View, CAPregnancy Portrait Session at Trifon Anguelov  Photography, Mountain View, CA

 

Conclusion:


I hope his collection of tips on how to prepare for maternity portrait session would help expecting mothers to prepare for their sessions. This is just some of the information, so if you are interesting into additional information, be sure to check my Frequently Asked Questions for Maternity Portrait Session.

If you found this information useful  and think your friends could benefit from it, please share it by using the multiple sharing options on the bottom. Agree, disagree, have comments or feedback? Think I am missing a point or two or three? Drop me a line in the comments section and I will consider adding it (with full credit to you, of course).

About the Author:

Trifon Anguelov Photography is a premiere wedding and events photography business  based in Mountain View, CA 94040 and serving clients in San Francisco Bay Area, CA. You can review his current Maternity and Pregnancy Portraits Portfolio and Book an Online Appointment for one of his services.

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So You Bought a Brand New DSLR camera And Lenses … And Now What?


IMG_20140124_162544It happens to many new photographers around the world. After months and months of looking at amazing pictures posted by their friends, on social networks or simply online, many decide that missing on the opportunity to buy an expensive DSLR and start impressing their friends, the friends of their friends, relatives and family members cannot be postponed anymore.

After all, who doesn’t want to get whaos and “love it” , “stunning”, ” amazing” accolades for himself. Everyone of us deep inside has the self promoting and self loving drive, which is most likely the self-preservation instinct we all carry in our DNA. This instinct helped us every day to stay alert and survive during the years of human evolution.

But the inevitable happens: A brand new camera and lens (or lenses) arrive and then the struggle begins. Settings, camera controls, downloading and cataloging images, post editing the images, uploading and sharing. Suddenly there is so much to learn and despite all the money, time and energy spend, the final images still doesn’t look near to what we see online.

So most new photographers, do what is the easiest to do in this situation: Decide that others must have better gear and they are still lacking the latest and greatest lenses which will make their images better. So they go, do more research, spend endless hours reading forums and asking questions on which is the best camera body and lens. It must be the gear they are so convinced, that the obsession soon transforms into what is known as: GAS (Gear Acquisition Syndrome).

And there they “march” to the nearest online web store, buying and buying new gear until no lens they want is out of reach anymore. But as many soon get to realize, no gear in the word can make great images alone. It is the same as buying a new stove and expecting to become a better chef overnight by simply cooking the same way and the same recipe. The gear itself is never the solution.

So the doubts start to emerge:

  • What to do next after buying brand new DSLR or mirror-less camera?
  • Why after spending lots of money one still cannot make amazing images?
  • What is the holy grail of amazing photography?

Well, there is a no single answer to these questions, but in essence new digital camera is just a tool which by itself is not enough to make stunning images. One needs to have creative ideas on how to create images which capture the attention. It also needs to know how to create interesting composition which include elements arranged in an interesting way. It’s a just too big of a discussion, so I will focus on just one point to consider when deciding what digital camera to buy as your first camera.

There are two camps:

  • Get the best you can afford and plan to use it for a long time.
  • Get the cheapest you can get and learn how to use it before you are ready to commit more time and money.

I am in the second camp. If you wonder why, here are few reasons to consider.

A single, used 50 mm lens and used mid or low range camera is a much better choice to make all the errors and do all the learning on “the cheap”. One can free its mind from worrying too much about damaging brand new expensive camera and focus on the creative part of photography instead of on the technical side first. This would allow one to find its area of interest and type of photography which best fits one’s personality and likes.

I see so many photographers in the field missing wildlife shots by simply keeping the lens cap all the time on their new $4K shiny lenses because of fear not to get their lenses dusty. Or taking and putting their new looking $3K camera in their backpacks when outside, so it doesn’t get dirty. They worry more about protecting their gear that freeing their minds and letting the creativity flows.

So why not get cheap used lens for learning and making all the mistakes you need? Why not use cheap and used camera to make all the shutter clicks you need to learn and master the photography techniques? Doing the opposite (buying and learning on a more expensive camera) would be like taking driving lessons on a brand new Ferrari. The fear of failure and damaging the expensive tools is crippling the progress of so many freshly minted photographers.

Conclusion:

New photographers can learn much faster the foundations of photography and master the craft, if they focus on learning composition, learning to see light and expect moments, rather than wasting their energy and money on acquiring the latest and greatest camera bodies and lenses. GAS (Gear Acquisition Syndrome) is the biggest threat to new photographers and in my opinion should be avoided at any cost.

Or using the cooking analogy, I used before: A better stove (camera body and lenses) will not make one a better chef (photographer). Understanding the ingredients (light, composition, time, posing), learning different recipes (natural light, artificial light, AV, TV or manual modes, etc) and countless hours of practice is what can make a difference.

About the Author:

Trifon Anguelov Photography is a premiere wedding and events photography business  based in Mountain View, CA 94040 and serving clients in San Francisco Bay Area, CA. You can read more about the author and review his portfolio on his website. For complete list of services and to book your wedding, visit his Wedding Packages page.


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Ten Photography Portfolio Websites For You To Consider


IMG_0033Many photographers nowadays consider or have been thinking to create and display a photography portfolio to showcase their work. This is absolutely necessary and every photographer should have a professional portfolio. First it forces every photographer to organize their past and most recent work, have a critical review and sort out its best work for the portfolio. The sole process of review, sorting out and even asking fellow photographers for feedback is worth the time itself.

Gone are the days when one had to hire a professional web designer and spend lots of money to get a photography website and portfolio. But things have changed and one can  get setup and running for less than a day. Many companies offer such services for a small monthly fee. And still I am surprised to see how few photographers go through the trouble to set up a portfolio.

True it requires work to sort the portfolio images, research the websites offering portfolio solutions, pick a site theme and upload the images but this is one time investment and later updating the portfolio by taking “weak” images and adding new and more “solid” images is not that time-consuming. The benefit of presenting yourself as a professional photographer and building both awareness and also body of photography work is immensely important.

I went through the same when I first started to thinker with the idea. Did lots of research and reading before picking my portfolio and website provider. Here are some of the sites to consider (planning to update this blog with more in the future):

Photoshelter: http:/www.photoshelter.com

500px: http://www.500px.com

1px: http://www.1px.com

Smugmug: http://www.smugmug.com

Zenfolio: http://www.zenfolio.com

SquareSpace: http://www.squarespace.com

FolioHD: http://www.foliohd.com

Orosso: http://www.orosso.com

Folio Link: http://www.foliolink.com

Pixpa: http://www.pixpa.com

Each offering has its plus and minuses so make sure you answer yourself and know the answers to these questions:

  • how easy if to use the service? Does it require lots of time to learn and is the site intuitive to work with?
  • is it expandable? Can one not only host and post its portfolio but also setup store to sell prints, organize images in galleries, collections, etc
  • can the themes and web design be modified and tailored to one needs and likes?

These are just some of the questions but no matter what provider you pick, having your photography portfolio online will help to put you apart from the guy next door who offers their photography services but still doesn’t have a portfolio.

Think differently, agree or disagree? Drop me a line or comment below.

About the Author:

Trifon Anguelov Photography is a Premiere Bay Area Wedding and Events Photography business  based in Mountain View, CA 94040 and serving clients in San Francisco Bay Area. You can follow him on social media (links in the top right sideblock of this blog) or check his latest photography projects on his Wedding and Portrait Photography Site


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Pushing The Digital Image Editing to The Limit, or The Feature Is Already Here?


abstract photography by trifon anguelov photographerAmazing video showing how digital image editing might change in the future. Real time retouching is not the one we have already seen using Adobe Photoshop. New interface and controls are used to alter skin, facial, hair and overall image details and features. No more hard to remember keyboard shortcuts and complicated menus.

Simply point to the control and use intuitive presets. Is that the future if digital image editing? Only time will show us, I guess. If you though Adobe Photoshop was great, wait until you see this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=5qrGOi41iwE .

Most likely make up artists were used to video record different frames and then edit with overlapping of the controls. Quite amazing. Very intuitive controls and easy to do. I am sure Adobe is taking a notice.

Credit to the singer BOGGIE for performing Parfüm song.

Think differently, agree or disagree? Drop me a line or comment below.

About the Author:

Trifon Anguelov Photography is a Premiere Bay Area Wedding and Events Photography business  based in Mountain View, CA 94040 and serving clients in San Francisco Bay Area. You can follow him on social media (links in the top right sideblock of this blog) or check his latest photography projects on his Wedding and Portrait Photography Site

 


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The Launch Of My New Photography Website


IMG_20140121_224853 I have been working for sometime on putting some of my photography body of work online. So far Facebook and Instagram have been the way for my to showcase my work and share with other photographers to review and provide feedback.

On many occasions felt that there was more to share and have a discussion about than simply critiquing the camera settings or image quality. So decided that I will have my own photography website to post my most recent portfolio, galleries with by best images as well have a place for my clients to download their images and purchase prints.

Picking a website provider hasn’t been easy. First was the research: reading what fellow photographers which I admire and regard use or recommend, then signing for a trial version of the best choices. There are so many great services but ultimately I needed to have full control over the website design and plenty of customization options. Smugmug.com seem to be the perfect match for me.

So the site is live now (although I will most likely continue to tweak and change it in the upcoming months): http://www.trifonanguelov.com

To sign up for Smugmug account, you can use this link: https://secure.smugmug.com/signup.mg?Coupon=csIihXVPqgmhc or use the coupon code: csIihXVPqgmhc

Think differently, agree or disagree? Drop me a line or comment below.

About the Author:

Trifon Anguelov Photography is a Premiere Bay Area Wedding and Events Photography business  based in Mountain View, CA 94040 and serving clients in San Francisco Bay Area. You can follow him on social media (links in the top right side block of this blog) or check his latest photography projects on his Wedding and Portrait Photography Site