Illustrative Depictions Photography: Blog en-us (C) Illustrative Depictions Photography [email protected] (Illustrative Depictions Photography) Tue, 06 Sep 2022 15:23:00 GMT Tue, 06 Sep 2022 15:23:00 GMT Illustrative Depictions Photography: Blog 120 86 Parent's Prespective Our TEAM ID program has been around for several years now, and I've been blessed to have an awesome group of people come through the program so far. From time to time, we’ll sit down and discuss their experiences; their thoughts about the program in general, what it’s like to be a part of TEAM ID, what they like best, and how things could be improved or adjusted. 

This video is a little different.  I had the opportunity to sit down with one of our parents, Michelle (mother of Moriah), and get her take on what we do here.  As with my other videos, this is an unscripted conversation. I ask a question and they answer—simple as that.  There’s no prompting or retakes, and I have no idea what will be said.

It makes me happy and proud to hear what parents think about our program: how they’ve enjoyed watching their child do something different from their usual activities/sports, how they’ve seen them grow and gain confidence in front of the camera, and how it’s helped raise their self-esteem and have a more positive self-image.  I love taking these photos, but I love seeing the reactions when we view the final products even more. I often challenge our team members as models – and they’ll turn right around and challenge me back as a photographer.  We’re always looking for fresh, sometimes unconventional locations—and while they’re thinking about their poses, facial expressions, and getting their nerves under control in front of the camera, I’m thinking about the background, camera settings, angles, and lighting that will get the best result for all of us.   We truly are a TEAM; we push each other to grow and be better – and most importantly, we have FUN along the way.

I invite you to watch the following video to hear Michelle's perspective on our ID TEAM. 

The Parent's Perspective

Michelle & moriahThe Parent's Perspective


[email protected] (Illustrative Depictions Photography) headshot lighting modeling photographer photography Wed, 31 Aug 2022 23:00:25 GMT
What goes into a shoot - Model's Insight Edition We’ve been working on a small project that gives a little insight into how our models prepare for a shoot, and how we get the most out of our time together. The big focus here was on allowing and encouraging creativity during the shoot. 

Over the past few weeks, I invited 3 of our ID TEAM alumni to a shoot at the same location.  Kenzie and Josi did the shoot at the same time, while Emily did the photoshoot alone. The only information I gave them was that it would be a “Texas summer country vibe”. I didn’t tell them where the location was, or what settings we would be shooting at—to be honest, I hadn’t been there before either. I didn’t do any more preparation or give any other direction about the shoot itself, or the look. I wanted to see what they would do without me “directing” them. I asked them where they wanted to position themselves, and then I set up my lighting and let them do their thing.

I was so impressed that they all came up with totally different, unique photos from the same set. I did give Kenzie & Josi one challenge, since they were there together: each of them had to come up with a way to be different from the other. Meanwhile, Emily had a built-in challenge—she was shooting solo, so there were no examples or ideas from anyone else to draw from. I didn’t even tell her that Kenzie & Josi had shot there already, nor did I show her their pictures beforehand. The whole point of the exercise was to see what each one of them would do at the same location, using their own minds and the location to showcase their creativity, energy and style, I encouraged them to just run with it.

This is what the ID TEAM is all about. We have FUN doing shoots, but we want you to bring your style and personality into your pictures. Learn and trade ideas with each other. It was amazing to witness Kenzie and Josi cheering each other on as they shot. They feed energy and positivity off each other. They push each other, discuss ideas, and give each other feedback.

I purposely did not "sort through" these pictures, so you can see how many awesome pictures we came up with in a short period of time. It was around 100-degrees F…pure Texas summer heat.  If you've ever been in Texas in August, you know what I’m talking about.  These girls are troopers, and fight through any less-than-ideal conditions.  We had a lot of fun.  There was music going, lots of laughing, and a lot of cheering each other on.  I even left the goofy ones in, and some that are less-than-perfect, to give you an insight on what goes into a photoshoot to achieve those few winning images we showcase at the end.


I invite you to watch this video on how Kenzie & Josi approach the shoot

and what they see & do during the shoot

Insight of a Model


The Results



[email protected] (Illustrative Depictions Photography) lighting modeling photographer photography Tue, 17 Aug 2021 21:21:42 GMT
Creating a Professional Headshot Lighting 2021 January 4  023 idp2021 January 4 023 idp Photography lighting could be as simple as using natural light, or as complicated as staging a multiple light set up.  Either way, you get beautiful results when the conditions are ideal and the shot is properly executed.  But for those less-than ideal conditions, it takes a lot of behind the scenes work to get the result that you want.

People often ask me to do a "quick" headshot, and they are surprised by the amount of gear I show up with.  I guess it is a bit more than what they use at the DMV, but I do what it takes to get you a high-quality, professional headshot.

Today, I want to share the process I did to set up my lights at a recent headshot session.  

Side note: different sessions can require a different set up based on a variety of factors.

Josi was assisting me, and was kind enough to be my model before the clients were ready.  Can you see the difference? 


First, I want to make sure that there are not any ambient lights in the picture so that I can control the intensity and direction of light myself. 

I set my camera settings so that those less-than-ideal office lights are not visible. 

Once the camera is set, then it's time to add lights back into the picture.

no lightno light


Positioning the key light is important to get a good result.  I like to get the brightness and direction of the key light first before anything else.

1 key light1 key light


Next, I noticed that the background is a little dark.  Most of the time I like the look of a bright subject and a dark background, but in this case I will be shooting my client in a black/dark suit, so I want to create separation between him and the background.

1 background light1 background light


This shot is taken once I like the way the background looks compared to the subject.  Notice how the background is now more visible.

2 lights2 lights


Finally, I added rim/hair lighting to create depth and more separation between the subject and the background.

Notice the lights on both sides of her hair and down to her shoulders and arms.

4 lights4 lights


Once everything is set, it's time to have fun! 

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[email protected] (Illustrative Depictions Photography) headshot lighting modeling photographer photography Thu, 07 Jan 2021 21:45:08 GMT