Category Archives: Photography

God Created Woman

God created man in His own image and His beauty He reserved to give to women.

The beauty of women intrigues me to want to photograph women more and more. It’s not just the skin-deep kind of beauty, but the sincerity in the eyes, the  gentle motions of the frame, a formidable spirit and tender heart. 

A woman’s energy is ignited when encountering other women that share similar enthusiasm for life. Iron surely does sharpen iron, a fact proven to me again and again when I am in the company of other women, especial women with entrepreneurial goals who are driven by their enthusiasm to reach them.

My blog post today began a few of months ago in LaConner. I met with some friends that are hair stylists and beauty consultants

Business women don’t only know business, they understand the hearts of young women.

The #LaConnerModelCall started out as a simple idea. One of a fun day of hair, makeup, clothing and photographs. But the transformation wasn’t just of those getting the makeovers, it also tipped the axis a little for those of us offering our services.

On the day of the model call, with the hair salon owner’s permission, I worked with my husband to transform the parking lot of the LaConner Hair Design studio into an outdoor photography party. But then, what I got was not what I expected.

directing and fixing hair
Me in the photography stance

The mother daughter team who own Thavin & Marcob, Rachel & India were originally planning to provide a rack of clothing for trying on but another transformation was happening for them at this time also. Their business would soon be moving to Oak Harbor. Instead of a sample rack, they brought over what they called Brand Awareness Swag-Bags that included outfits for the girls to not only try on, but to keep! That was a huge and generous surprise to everyone. 

Swag Bags from Thavin&Marcob

Every young lady we served that afternoon showed a sense of confidence and radiance once each of them individually received so much personal attention from the hearts and hands that were serving them. 

Many caring for the one. Is that not beauty right there?

What I saw was a renewal of the spirit in not just the girls but in the women offering the services. We all felt the transformations, it was magical.

Beauty holds out a loving hand to serve others, beauty promotes others ahead of itself and beauty creates relationships. I could not have been more impressed at how these budding beauties carried themselves with grace and gratitude.  I could not have been more proud to be involved with all the businesses that came together to create such a fun day full of warmth and care.

Thank you everyone who participated. I hope we get to do this again soon!

Taryn, is confident, cordial and effervescent. Her enthusiasm and happiness were positively contagious! I loved photographing her, she was a natural!
Rachel, another natural in front of the camera. She is a sweet young woman with such an easy going attitude, she’ll be a senior next year and I look forward to getting to photograph her again sometime before she graduates.
Amberly. 2018 high school senior! Contrats! Amberly was smokin’ hot and she totally knew it. In fact, she told us. LOL. She’s wise beyond her years.
Caroline, another 2018 graduate, smart as a whip. Demure and confident track star and future physicist or something smart like that. Congratulations, Caroline!
Ashley, this woman has a heart of gold and gives everyone she meets a warm and wonderful smile. Ebony hair and eyes to match, she has a photographic allure that drew us in, another 2018 graduate. Congratulations, Ashley! You have alot to look forward to!
Eileen, a talented musician and gorgeous young woman yet seemingly unaware of her radiance. Once she felt the energy from the women around her, she was a rockstar! Eileen is also a 2018 graduate.
My ultimate goal in portraiture is to achieve expression and connection with my subject while capturing their images utilizing soft lighting and posing techniques. My inspiration is from the masterworks I used to view as a teenager. I would frequent the Detroit Institute of arts and stare at the works by French artists like William Bouguereau or Jacques-Louis David,  19th Century neo-classic painters. The way their subjects were lit and posed, they look like photographs. 

In Camera Camera Tricks

Photography is my job and sometimes I just gotta have a little fun with my work. Having fun is a necessary component to inspire creativity and the interactive playing with these ideas with other creatives inspires new ideas.

Having watched a youtube video about prisms, I bought a few inexpensive items at the local Hobby Lobby and tried a few refracting in-camera tricks. There were several prism suggestions, I thought I’d just try working on two of them. First I tried a home made prism technique using three mirrors. The mirrors I bought were square, so I didn’t get the depth I needed for the lenses I used (but inexpensive rectangle mirrors were not readily available). Amazingly the square mirrors seemed to work even better with the iphone cameras because the lens on the iphone camera is flush on the camera body and angled for wide shots.

My models were having a field day with the contraption and their iphones and thus I got to be in a few shots, too.


BTS, behind the scene

With the benefit of my studio strobes, Angela angled the shot of me with her iphone to present me in a flattering light. This is a great representation of me because I could use an extra hand and if I could I would probably shoot two handed.


refracting light like a kaleidoscope
refracting light like a kaleidoscope

For my second trick, I used some little sticky “gems” at $2.99 for a strip of them, I wanted to sample how those would refract light. This one is a little trickier because I needed to trigger a strobe at the right distance and angle from behind me while I have the gems at the correct distance to be out of focus and blurry bubbles enveloping my subject. The light needs only skip across the beads to hit a facet or two on the gems, it seemed to work best if the light were pointed away and out. It was just off to the side and behind me. It would have been better if I used live view to see where the gems looked best in the image, but I pretty much always forget that I even have live view on my camera.

Angling light to add boka in camera

Experiment with how close the beads should be to the lens.

in camera boka,
Voila! In Camera Boka!


Pretty fun, huh?  Try it yourself. It’s easy, it’s fun and it’s under $10!




Real Estate and Interior Shots

There are many situations that call for interior photography. Real estate sales, remodeling examples, room organization, kitchen demonstrations,  interior design work.  One of the most frequently seen styles of interior photography is the before and after remodel example.  The biggest key to selling a remodel is to make sure you get the “before” shot. That’s the shot that most people forget but that’s the shot that makes the “after” so much more incredible.

Over this past weekend, I did a very basic interior shoot to display a makeover of a boat’s salon area. The area of the salon is 9′ wide x 12′ long. It’s tight quarters that requires a little “flexibility” in my positioning the camera. Since the vessel was “under wraps” for the winter, the windows are covered so shooting into the window of the bow into the salon was not an option and there were only a few openings for natural light to filter into the salon. Using a flash can be prohibitive in such a confined area because there would inevitably be a hot spot somewhere from an on camera flash and there was no room for a soft box stand.

Remembering my motto for this year — “use what you have” I encourage myself to work more creatively.  Reaching for my toolbox of skills, I sometimes forget I have the ability to create an HDR images. Being mainly a portrait photographer, HDR isn’t a flattering technique for faces unless it’s gritty football player or boxer.  HDR photography for rugged landscapes and interior details is one of the most visually striking ways to showcase a balance of highlights and shadows and capture all the details of a scene, this technique works particularly well for real estate sales shots. It takes time to capture the images as well as to process them later. You need a good tripod, a wide angle lens (but not a fisheye) and a shutter release (I use the timer) keeping the image at the same F stop and ISO for each exposure, take the shutter from faster to slower by 3 stops in between. I collected 5 exposures for the two remodeled examples below and stacked them to create one brilliant image from each angle of the boat’s remodeled salon interior.  I love the look.


(Top) A typical phone image showing before shot. (Lower) an image using an onboard flash to show work in progress.

This is the only shot I could find that shows a glimpse of the shabby plywood floor.
Interior Design Before and After – Boat Salon Remodel

Below are the two HDR images, click on the images to zoom in for richer detail.

The top images is taken from the aft stairs and the other taken from the bow ledge. This technique shows striking details pulled from shadows and keeping highlights balanced.

Interior HDR photography
GlimmerGlass Interior Photography to show room details. Interior HDR photography


To see more “naughty” images, keep scrolling….click on them to see them full size.




Thanks for visiting!


A rare photo of your photographer.
A rare photo of your photographer. Hit the contact button to reach me for some HDR images of your interior design and remodel projects. Be sure to get some good ‘before’ shots before you start!

A World Away (but not far at all)

This past weekend, last weekend in January, it wasn’t too cold, mid 40’s and after the epic, “First Week”  we were really looking forward to getting out of the city for a couple nights. Mike and I went up to visit Boaty up in LaConner and even though it’s winter and we’re not going to leave the dock, it’s a great little place to go for a two night stay. We brought the terrible twins (the dogs), thankfully the rain held off until Sunday afternoon because wet dogs all weekend would stink. Literally.

I washed them Friday morning before going to the shop knowing they’d be dry by afternoon when we left. I used a teaspoon of the lavender oil in the shampoo and conditioner and scrubbed it in and let it sit on them for a few minutes. As I write this, I can tell that they still smell nice!  

We drove up Friday and spent the night to get up bright and early to catch a sunrise on Saturday morning. The dogs have not been dragged out of bed so early ever. That alone was a challenge and very funny because they are very lazy dogs. 

We went to a place called “The Talking Fields” Field 3 – Goose Reserve on Fir Island. It’s a wildlife area, there were hundreds of ducks (it was also the last weekend for duck hunting season, so there were echoes of shotgun blasts bouncing off the hills and the water)

After the beautiful sunrise, we went back to the boat and had coffee and then headed over to the Taylor Shellfish farm on Chuckanut Drive, if you want to see some beautiful coastal views, check out Chuckanut drive (State Route 11). It’s a two lane road that hugs the bluffs along the coast from Edison to Bellingham. There are plenty of nice oyster places along the drive. We weren’t headed for oysters though, we were after mussels to go in the sauce I had made in the slow cooker left warming back on the boat. We brought along some steelhead to grill at beach at the shellfish farm so we wouldn’t have to stop again for food.

Once we got there, the sun started to really shine and the dogs were happy sniff around at all the discarded oyster shells on the beach.

After we ate our lunch, cleaned out the coals and purchased our mussels (they packed them in ice for us), we headed up to Bellingham so I could finally visit Otion, the soap store that Bramble Berry opened there.

I wanted to be able to sniff all the fragrances they had to display and see molds and colors and ideas. 

Mike said to the clerk there that I have a soap addiction but said that he felt it was better than, say, a drug addiction. “either way though” I said, “It’s still going up my nose.”

In Bellingham, across from Otion, there is a really great coffee shop, Woods Coffee, incredibly good coffee. If your addiction is coffee, try that place.

On the way back to Laconner from Bellingham, we took i-5 to the Bow-Edison exit and meandered back the way we came. On the way back we saw people on the sides of the roads staring into the the fields and up into trees, we noticed that there were dozens of eagles feeding and playing all over the valley. There were hawks and eagles, eagles seemed to be guarding their nests against the hawks or other eagles.

There were huge flocks of hundreds of trumpeter swans and literally thousands of snow geese flying miles overhead (notice the streaks of dots in that clouded sky photo above) if I wouldn’t have looked up, I wouldn’t have seen them. I didn’t pack my telephoto lens to get good shots of the birds, I had set my mind on sight seeing and thinking of getting landscape shots for next year’s calendar. (notice most of these shots are wide, except for a couple of the eagle shots in these last four, I used my lens baby edge 80, the most “telephoto” I had with me.)

I didn’t realize that it was bird season.

The snow geese fly a few miles over head and if they weren’t all honking like a clown parade you’d probably never know they were there.

The geese and the swans fly through the night hours, honking the entire time. At night their white bodies glow in the dark sky. It’s really something to see.

Hope you enjoyed hearing about this peaceful getaway.

Step Up your Game with a Professional Headshot

Want that polished professional looking headshot? If the self image you’ve been looking to achieve for your first impression on your cards and website needs a more professional, updated look, I’ve got you covered this month.  Start the new year fresh and save $101 on your headshot.

Visit my studio this month and take advantage of this special headshot price, $49 going on through January 27. (Mention that you saw this on my blog to get a special bonus) You get a 10-15 minute session and generally about 8-10 images, genuine super model treatment under the lights and choose your favorite headshot to use to promote your business.

Whether it’s your first headshot, updating an old one or you just hope to step up your look to be more professional, headshots are the necessary first impression in visual, self-promotion marketing.

Great lighting is key for the most flattering and true-to-life images that give those seeing them the feeling that you are right there, and these are the images that you will love to use everywhere to make your communications coordinated and uniquely you!

$49 this month for approx a 15 min studio session and one fabulous full resolution digital image that you can reproduce on cards or even for a portrait for mom.

ATTENTION CORPORATE GROUPS – If you are rebranding your image for the new year and have a group (min 10) of new individuals, contract employees, agents or new management – let me come to your office and setup my gear there to make it super convenient. These group style sessions are fast, easy and fun. (I’ll need a location at least 10 feet long and 8 feet wide to setup the lighting and background)

But wait, there’s more. A lot of people are on track to drop a few pounds for their new year’s resolution and many people think they don’t want to do a photograph until they lose the weight. I have an offer to help you be more determined to make that goal. If you come in for a headshot and lose 10 pounds within 30 days of our session, you can come back in for a new headshot FREE OF CHARGE!* How does that sound? Motivating?

So put your best face forward and make this new year a time of new beginnings by refreshing, rebranding, reinventing and recharging your business image!


*the free session must be booked within one week of hitting your 30 day goal.

professional headshot
Polished Professional headshot with glamour filter added for a softer look.

10 Photography Suggestions for your Wedding

Wedding season is fast approaching. Here are some really good tips for you to make sure your wedding day is going to produce the images you want to keep and show off forever.

  • Stick to your schedule.

It’s a good idea to respect the schedule that you’ve discussed with your photographer prior to your wedding. Stay on time. Don’t assume it only takes “10 minutes” and be certain to have anyone you need in the photograph to be there on time as well.

  • Please, no unofficial Wedding Photogs.

Uncle Joe or Aunt Jane also toting along their SLR to tag along with the photog disguising themselves as the “unofficial family photog” hoping to get some tips but really just getting in the way and holding things up.

  • Explain how you prefer to look in Photographs.

I ask my clients to send me a link to their Pinterest page to show what they’re looking for overall, but also, how will they look in those situations? Look at photos of yourself and show me what you like about how you look and what you don’t like.

  • SMILE! – All the Time.

Tell your party to SMILE, head up, while walking down the aisle. Have fun, don’t pose for every photo, act natural, but keep smiling.

  • Get help organizing your guests.

This is crucial. Designate someone who has the ability to take charge and that knows your family and friends in order to be able to round them up for the portraits. Give them the list ahead of time for who needs to be where and when.

  • The Details.

Again, Pinterest is great for showing these ideas but also, spend some time listing what elements are important to photograph. Did your mom make special decorations? What are the important items you will be integrating into your wedding wardrobe? A special piece of jewelry from a grandmother or aunt? Be sure to have your invitation and special pieces ready to photograph.

  • Keeping it Timeless.

Many brides fall for “trendy” styles. Keep in mind that these images are forever and are to be valued as your history for following generations. A classic shooting style and not too much digital manipulation is key.

  • Hire a professional.

I have heard so many times, “wow, you have a good camera”  Knowing the gear though is key.  Ask about the gear. Will there be lighting or will the photographer only use “available” light? Knowing the lighting style of your photographer is also important, especially if you want indoor or evening images. Overly processed or too many black and white images are usually the result of trying to repair images taken in low lighting situations. Look at the portfolio carefully, what do you like about the style? What do you dislike?

  • Don’t skip the engagement session.

Meeting with a photographer for an engagement session helps build confidence in front of the camera together. It also determines if you connect well with the photographer. Practice having the photos in a fun, low-stress atmosphere. This leads to comfort and trust for wedding day photography.

  • Don’t look at the camera all the time.

If you’re stopping what you’re doing to look up at the camera and posing a smile, that is what loses the moment the photographer was trying to capture. If you want candids documenting the day, let it happen. Be hopelessly in love with each other because that is what you will want to be looking at when you go through your album in 15 years.

Farm Wedding June 2014 at Pomeroy Farm in Yacolt, WA


Give Thanks for the Best Memories

Thanksgiving can be a difficult day for people without family to visit but sometimes the difficulty is especially for people WITH family to visit. Family that we love dearly but want to keep at arms length, or maybe the people who are the anchors in our lives but anchors that we feel might hold us back. But what is really holding us back?

Mothers and Fathers know us much more intimately than anyone else in our lives and maybe what is holding us back isn’t their over bearing love for us, maybe it’s that we know what they know about us.

We think we know so much of what others are thinking of us. The truth is, we don’t know. And, not only that, if what we think we know and we think it’s negative, we will suspect those that are closest to us of seeing us for only our faults because maybe that’s all we listen for when we talk with them. We listen for them to hurt us, and we listen intently, sometimes completely missing anything positive.

Stop assuming the negative. Listen, this is not the time to concentrate on GMO’s and fat and calories. Eat the friggin pie, gorge on the potatoes, scarf up the saline injected, genetically modified turkey. Food is the side topic this year, you know it has always been the FOOD that lets you down, like the boyfriend that doesn’t call you back the next day, you are left regretful. Ouch. Don’t take it out on your family this time! This Thanksgiving, the challenge is going Negative Free.

I once heard that it takes 7 positive expressions to offset ONE SINGLE negative. Why is it so hard to erase the negative? Any reprove can and will be hung around a person’s neck like a millstone, be aware of this before speaking because any hint of a reprove is for some reason the only words that will come to mind when those people think of you.  7 times 700 is sometimes not enough to clear it up. Murder is more easily forgiven.

And if you think the parent child relationship is difficult, dare we move on to the spousal relationship that may have gone sideways during the preparation of the meal? Electric knives may have been invented to cut the tension not the turkey.  Husbands listen up, remind your wife that she is fantastic. Tell her the food was terrific, – and this part is important — tell her loudly in front of the family – even as they pour on more gravy to camouflage the overcooked white meat. Assure her that you are proud that she made such a wonderful event for you all. “Here-Here!”

Wives, (moms, cooks, dishwashers) – don’t fret over the food, don’t worry if it’s not the best. DO compliment your family, don’t point out — ANYTHING — just don’t, just tip that wine glass and let it go.

Kids, help your parents in the kitchen, the less mom has to say to you the more likely you won’t hear any words you find “negative” or heaven forbid, “offensive” – so without prompting, be ready to give service.  TIP: Christmas is close at hand and there are tremendous bonus points to be made here. Play your cards right and the redeemable points will be better than Macy’s Star Rewards.

At the table, focus on the blessings of the year. Between chewing, have great conversation, ask positive questions, “what made you laugh hardest this year?” – “What was your favorite story this year that someone shared with you about their life?”  –  “What was the best thing you remember happening this year?” – avoid talking about the negative people in your life. Who lifted you up the most this year? How?

Listen with your heart. Pay attention in an honest way. If you can, record an interview with grandma or grandpa or Aunt Mary or Uncle Joe – discuss one of their favorite memories or how they spent a childhood Thanksgiving – maybe you have heard that story a million times – or maybe you really haven’t because you’d stopped listening? But your children’s children haven’t, they’ll appreciate in 30 years to have a recorded touchstone to their past.  Tangible photographs, written words, author the moment and cherish it in a scrap book. Don’t just prop it up on Facebook for it to dissolve into vapor with 22 likes.

But most importantly, live life right then and there with the people that are in front of you.  Leave your social media undisturbed for a while, treat your family like you would treat an old friend, be in the moment and truly be with whomever you are with this Thanksgiving. We all want to be “liked” because we all want to be listened to and we all want our turn to talk. Talk nice, don’t be guarded but don’t be bitter – laugh alot and listen well with purpose and enthusiasm.

Be REAL and be HONEST, just don’t be REAL HONEST. There does need to be limits. Remember, the Best Memories are THE BEST MEMORIES!

Enjoy the wonderfully confusing bounty of blessings that come of this, America’s First Holiday.


2013December_Tree Farm_142-Edit-Edit
From December 2013 – a family tree farm trip. I love this pic because I am pretty sure there was a minor disagreement when I popped out from behind a tree with camera at the ready. It has that momentary truce for mom look.
2013December_Tree Farm_157-Edit
Discussing the options vs. features of each possible tree. Congratulations to all the first runners up.
2013December_Tree Farm_135-Edit
The best memories are the best memories.

Show Stoppers

I really love the drama that the Capitol Theatre offered for this wedding.  Although the theatre is in rough shape, it is very old and everything is mismatched, the walls were peeling, the lighting was a huge task but although finding lighting for a bride was challenging here, I was in love with the contrasting shadows, the stage lighting, the soft filtered light from the old dirty windows with worn out curtains, it was really much more interesting than flat room light. Upstairs of the theatre was a labyrinth of rooms that I had no idea were there, a green room and a couple of dressing rooms now turned storage areas. I had to draw upon memories of old movies and feel what magical history these old rooms hold and try to visualize what sort of things may have gone on inside those walls during the theatre’s heydays of the 30’s and 40’s.

After the wedding, the reception was just a few blocks away at the Heritage Room. Catered by Occasions Catering.

© Just out of the dressing room.
© Just out of the dressing room.
© Opening Night Jitters
Opening Night Jitters
Back stage light controls ©
Back stage light controls

liz jon noir

© The lounge area over looking the street, above the marquee, provided interesting noir lighting.
© The lounge area over looking the street, above the marquee, provided interesting noir lighting.

liz oil

Heritage Hall, Wedding, Olympia, Washington
Woods Wedding at the Heritage Room in Olympia Washington


Glamour Photographer
Glamour Photographer
Remember when computers first became a new household appliance? You’d have to be in your upper forties at the least (I assume) to be clear on what I’m talking about.
I was in my early twenties, a parent of two young (most beautiful in the world) children, when we got our first computer. I wasn’t big on decorating the house back then, we had a split level at the time, the downstairs floor was concrete and we didn’t have much by way of furnishings but the computer was considered an “investment.”  Since desktop computers were so new, we had no idea it would be something that had to be regularly updated, upgraded or maintained.
We bought a 386 PC from Cascade Computer. Cascade Computer was a local company out of Everett, Washington. The guys there built them and gave excellent customer support. I could call them anytime, there were no phone menus, no charge for support, they spoke perfect English. They would walk me through using DOS and the syntaxes for defragmenting, clearing temp files, setting up and reinstalling windows. I was even brave enough to F-Disk once or twice because back then my whole life wasn’t on the machine. It was still somewhat of a toy, a novelty.
I was a budding real estate agent at the time, the computer I would use to link into the MLS system and be able to work from home, with my two little lovelies. I think we spent close to $1000 on it which was a real big expenditure, way more than what a washer and dryer cost then. Looking up listings didn’t come with photographs, floor diagrams or maps, we communicated with others only by white courier font on a black background, printed on a daisy wheel printer with track paper. Chat rooms were like speak easys, all words not images. Not at all like social media today.
Soon after getting my real estate license and purchasing the mighty 386, the looming S&L crisis was headed quickly to an unknown tipping point and by 1992 the hot real estate market bubble that I had so anticipated making my millions in, had burst.
But honestly, that didn’t really phase me much, I was so young I really didn’t understand much of it anyway.  I was very distracted trying to create the perfect flyer using a new program called Aldus Pagemaker for my one and only listing on Eagle Ridge in Arlington.
Mike, my husband, worked for Craftsman Press, a big commercial printing outfit. Their bread and butter jobs were Microsoft manuals. The thick, dictionary type books that came with every computer, every box of Office software they made.  But rumors were big that soon the printing industry would suffer a great blow once the desktop publishing took over. Mike insisted we get the top of the line software so he wouldn’t fall behind the times.
That top of the line software suite, included Aldus Pagemaker, Freehand and a program known as Photostyler.  It was very complicated to learn but luckily they all included printed manuals. I miss printed manuals, much easier to find answers but I digress.  Needless to say, I didn’t sell many houses nor any bare land (which there was much of up in the County). Well, the market had cooled off quickly and it took me the better part of 3 months figuring out Pagemaker on that mighty 386 to make a descent flyer because everyone knows THAT’S how you sell a $300K house, right? The computer was fascinating, much more fascinating than real estate to my curious mind, and creating anything I could imagine inspired me greatly.  I was hooked.  I spent hours at a brick and mortar store called “Egghead” and any program that looked like it would make me better at desktop publishing, I was on it.
Photostyler provided hours of the simplest fun while I suffered through a bout of infectious mononucleosis. And when I started Photography in 1996, I was so eager for the day that I could “upload” (even though that wasn’t a word yet) my own photographs into the machine to be able to create the styles that were shown in the examples on the “How To” books,  I even bought a Sapphire (Linotype-Hell) scanner,  get prints of my photos from a color print film place down near the Magnolia Bridge, scan them into the computer and play for hours manipulating them in Photoshop – (the rendering took forever).
Fast forward… just for nostalgic fun, I recently purchased a program from Topaz Labs that puts a painterly style to photographs and it brought back these fond memories (isn’t it funny how nostalgia overlooks frustration, like the past was a cake walk?). I thought it would be fun to share with you these styled memories and maybe bring back some of your own from your early 386 days.
Someone once told me that they had a photographic memory but that the camera is always out of film.
Glamour Photographer's Key Grip
Mike, school photo style, oil painted
Canon Beach Watercolor
A photograph turned oil painting of a sand sculpture on Canon Beach.
Seaside Beach OR
Through an arch of a sandcastle at Seaside Beach
Canon Beach Painted Sunset
Canon Beach Painted Sunset

Glamming up the Glam

I’ve been laid up a week or so with the worst sinusitis I’ve ever had, one interruption after the next while trying to complete my glamour courses with the incomparable Ms. Sue Bryce. The 28 Days with Sue might just end up 28 weeks.

Sue’s teaching is terrific but all of the images she shoots that I’ve been in awe of, it’s all shot using reflectors and big window light. I’ve been many years a strobe junkie because, well, my windows are little, I’m in Seattle and in the past the outpouring of sunshine has not typically ever been this generous. I think 2015 is a year we’ll be talking about for decades to come. So in my experience, strobes offer more flexibility, more control and I’ve learned how to use them early on. Some never learn strobe techniques, they’re either not interested or just don’t want the extra hassle of the learning curve.

Window light is nice but not reliable because it’s not always available, even if you have great windows, the weather may not cooperate, the days get shorter and your clients can’t always show up at 10am.

But what if you MAKE a window with a source of sun that you can …plug into the wall? A box of sunshine.

Only a strobe junkie would come up with a cheat like that, and I did.

Artificial Window
A natural light alternative. 5 led tube lights, 4ft wide and a 40% opaque milky white sheet of plastic on the front of the box.

I still use the strobe for a side, hair or fill light. Since the bulbs are 4000K on these LED tube lights, I had to put two sheets of warming gels on the flash so I could avoid a mix light problem. The images I get with this setup I think are very representative of true glamour photography. I still love the classic painterly look of the strobe setup using  simple one or two lights, I love the drama of a beauty dish with a grid directly overhead at 90º angle.

Here’s a good example of the strobe setup, a very classic, timeless look.


Rotalux octobox 39"
With one light in a deep 39″ octobox setup

and here’s a great example using my artificial window the “sunshine in a box” setup.


Glamour Photography using a box of artificial sunshine made by me.
This is using the “Sunlight Box” and a side light fill for light that surrounds the subject with shadowless, true glamour photography results…well, except for that white gaffers tape back there.

When the subject is enveloped in this kind of lighting, the edits are endless (so set a timer when you get into photoshop).  I like to call this edit, comic book chic.

Going beyond a glamour look and approaching a comic book super hero look that's fanciful, fun and rather attractive maybe a Glam-Con GLAM-CON
Going beyond a glamour look and approaching a comic book super hero look that’s fanciful, fun and rather attractive in a “comic book chic” kind of way. Ready to attend your first Glam-r-Con?

I hope I can repeat the process. Skin retouch, Alienskin cross process Kodak 100 then back to lightroom for the gritty factor preset and then move some sliders around to smooth it out. Okay, got it! I introduce to you, Comic-Book Chic!  Who wants to attend a session of “Glam-r-Con” with me? Hit my contact page and send me an inquiry and I’ll send you a gift voucher to try it out!

Comic book chic
Glamour-Con for the glamorous comic book chic look