Black and White Wedding

I love black and white. No, let me clarify – I love high contrast black and white! Something about black and white brings a new dimension to photos, at least for me. While there is usually gorgeous colors at weddings, sometimes I like to go a little black and white, like I did at this recent wedding.

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This little ring bearer and flower girl were walking down the aisle at the grassy outdoor wedding and unfortunately behind them were some pretty unattractive vehicles. Now there was absolutely NO way I was going to stop the ceremony to ask if they could move the cars for one photo! And while I could have taken an hour to get the vehicles out of the photo I knew that the little tufts of hair from the little girl would make the photo look a little off, so I decided to try black and white first to see if it helped and, it does! In color you immediately look at the vehicles because the little girl and boy and in black and white. When I equalize the black and white throughout the whole photo your eye goes where it should, to the adorable munchkins!

Black and white can also add age to a photo as well.

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We actually found this dresser in the barn – seriously! We spotted it a few days before when we were scouting locations and since it was a Vermont wedding we knew that we just had to use a barn – imagine our surprise when we found this gorgeous dresser! Both the bride and I had the same time, to do a reflection shot, and it came out gorgeous! I found, though, that it looked a little more “aged” when I turned it black and white, and while I kept a color version for the client as well, I had to show you this one!

Black and white, of course, works great for silhouette shots as well!

IMG_5823bwI’ve been having a lot of fun learning how to do better and better silhouette shots and I’m in love with this one, mainly because of the fact that while they’re silhouetted, you can still see glimpses of their faces and little details in the flounce of the dress.

Black and white is definitely fun for me, but I always keep the color version of every photo as well, as you never know if a Vermont wedding client will want to have the photo in black and white or in color!

Steel Wool Wedding Photography

Okay so I’ve shown some “sparky” photos before and had a lot of people asking how we did it – the secret is steel wool! Steel wool photography has been around for awhile, and there are a lot of fun things you can do with it, but I’ve been having fun using it during weddings!

This particular wedding wasn’t too far from home so I set it up so that my husband would arrive at the end of the reception in order to do these shots. I have done this before with complete strangers, teaching them how to spin the wool, but it was nice to be able to have him there to do it as he’s done it many times before, even in the middle of Willoughby Lake freezing is legs off! (He puts up with a LOT LOL)

Anyway, my fabulous assistant Erica did me a huge favor by getting a quick little video of what it looks like behind the scenes when we do a shot like this! You’ll hear me yelling, “go go go go go!” and that’s because Scott tends to slow down when he’s spinning, when I often need him to go faster!

Hope you enjoy!

Finished Photo!

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Sibling Love

One of my favorite things about being a photograph in a small area is that I get to see families as they grow and change. Being called back for a repeat client is seriously one of the most amazing things for me and I always feel like having a Sally Field moment…”They like me! They really like me!” and trust me, I NEVER take for granted that I’ll be called back by previous clients. What if they didn’t like the work I did? What if they didn’t like my turn-around time or my personality? That’s why when I got the call to head back to this amazing family I was stoked!

I originally photographed their son’s senior portraits and, at the time, they said I was the first photographer to get him to smile. It wasn’t hard – I’m a big goofball and apparently he responded! Then, a year later, I was back to photograph their daughter’s senior photos and some family photos for them as well! A short time ago I got a call to head up to their house to photograph some sibling pics, as the oldest sibling was visiting from Texas in honor of the younger daughter graduating, and, of course, I said yes!

This family reminds me what I love about photography. I love capturing little moments like these:
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Now the funny thing about this for me is that I know exactly what they’re laughing about, but the casual observer, or their family and friends, has no idea what they’re laughing about and, honestly, likely don’t care! They just love seeing three siblings connecting and laughing together!

And, of course, we had to get some more “classical” portraiture as well!

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What I adore is that both of these were taken only a few minutes apart, but even though one is more journalistic, and the other is a little more classic, you can still see the love and connection between all three of them.

Sometimes I get bogged down in the daily grind of owning this type of business. Sometimes tricky clients or difficult situations get me frustrated and leaves me wondering why I’m doing what I’m doing. Then I get clients like these and suddenly the magic come back.

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I am forever grateful for clients like this because they help me to remember that it’s okay to have fun during a shoot – that fun photos and things that are a little “different” is the main reason why I still have my business!

And, of course, it helps to have so many clients that are gorgeous inside and out!

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How I Use Photoshop

There has been a lot of discussion online lately about how photoshop shouldn’t be used to edit photos. While I completely agree with the sentiment behind this, as it’s common knowledge now that not even supermodels look like supermodels, I do disagree with the thought that photoshop should never be used.

I try to use photoshop  to correct issues, not perfect them. Therein, I believe, lies the difference. Perfection is not only a myth, it’s unrealistic and it gives people false expectations that can be seriously damaging to the psyche. There are, however, always things that can be corrected in a photo, from small little lighting tweaks to larger distractions that just need to be eliminated from the photo.

Take, for instance, this picture:

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This was from a recent wedding. What I saw was how the bride and groom’s hands were entwined and how I thought it was really sweet. I loved that you could see her wedding and engagement rings, I loved the contrast between the dress and the black tux pants with the grass there as well. I don’t love, however, the people walking behind them.

When you’re photographing a wedding about 90% of the day things are completely not staged and you have to do your best to capture the day as beautifully as you can. There was no way I was going to walk to the bride and groom and say, “so hey, um, can you walk back down the aisle again, the same way you did, this time without the best man and maid of honor behind you just so I can get this one shot?” Nope – especially since they went straight into a receiving line where they greeted their family and friends.

So I took the photo and vowed I wouldn’t obsess over a missed opportunity and would see what I could do in photoshop. So the task, when I started editing it, was to edit it in such a way that it captured what *I* saw when I took the photo. I had to get rid of the tux pants and the dress and the bride’s face, while very lovely, I found to be another distraction from the photo. About 30 minutes of photoshop later and I got this:

IMG_5447The tux is gone, the dress is gone, and the focus is on the entwined hands, exactly where I wanted it to be. My daughter saw me working on this and remarked that I’d been editing this specific photo for quite awhile. I explained to her that while some photos are quick edits, others take quite a bit longer to edit because I know that they’re photos that are worth taking the time to edit.

I will never use photoshop to make someone look like someone they’re not, but instead take a vow here and now:

I, Randi, vow to use Photoshop to correct, not perfect.

If only more photographers would take this same vow!

2015 Summer Boudoir Special Ramping UP!

Okay, you guys have no idea how excited I am to finally do a summer Boudoir special!! The January special is always a blast, but I’ve had tons of people asking me to do a special in the summer, with a lot of requests for it being a barn Boudoir special. Thanks to my fabulous hair and makeup magician Ann, this is now a reality! Ann is the manager of the Creek Hill Barn in Irasburg, a brand new wedding barn that they’re currently renovating (don’t worry, it will be done in time!!) Ann put up a few photos of how the barn is looking with the renovations and I’m in love with it! They’re keeping a rustic feel to it and, quite honestly, I seriously can’t wait to shoot here! Check it out…

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Don’t get too dismayed by the floor – they’re currently redoing the whole floor – but don’t you just adore the light creeping in through the top of the wall? The rustic look of the wall and window? The old posts? Throw in a rustic bed and a few other props and can you imagine how freaking amazing this is going to be?

Sorry! I just get really excited about this shoot! It’s going to be amazing, and there are still a few slots left!

Check out this post to see the prices and to discover what’s included in each package!

Just this morning I had a client drop off her contract and deposit and, during the drop off, she confessed that she was extremely nervous.

“But,” she said, “this is completely out of my comfort zone and I need to do it for myself.”

I get that a lot! Some women do it for their significant others, some do it for themselves, and some do it for both! What’s important to me is that women who come not only have a fun time but also get photos that make them feel beautiful. Nothing makes me happier than when a Boudoir client is sad that the shoot is over and they walk out with their head held high saying that they feel absolutely gorgeous – that makes me smile so hard and tears come to my eyes every time!

If you’re interested in booking the special, contact me at randileephotography@gmail.com, at 802-334-8567, or through Facebook private message and we’ll get you booked! But hurry because half the spots are already taken and I only have so many slots available!

2015 Summer Boudoir Special

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This January’s Boudoir Special was so popular that we’re doing it again!! This time we’re not doing it at a hotel or at a house – we’re doing it at a barn!! The plan is to have a bed set up in one area and hopefully some other fun staging in another!! So here’s what you need to know:

THE WHERE

The Creek Hill Barn in Irasburg, Vt

THE WHEN

July 11th and July 12 from 9 AM – 5 PM

THE HAIR AND MAKEUP

Once again hair will be done by the fabulous Ann Dufresne! She does an amazing job at giving those sexy curls that make every woman look amazing, and just enough makeup to be sexy without having it be overdone.

THE WHY

Why not? Honestly this is one of the most amazing types of shoots that I do. I have photographed dozens of women and have been surprised by how many of them come back for multiple boudoir sessions. What I’ve found is that the shoot makes women feel amazing. It brings out the sexy that all women have and the fun that we all have during the shoot? Simply a bonus, of course!

THE COST

As with last session we’ll have 3 different cost options. All prices include hair and makeup done by the amazing Ann.

BRONZE PACKAGE

$175

1 Hour Hair/Makeup

1 Hour Photoshoot

60-80 Edited Photos

Online Private Gallery

SILVER PACKAGE

$200

1 Hour Hair/Makeup

1 Hour Photoshoot

60-80 Edited Photos

Online Private Gallery

Flash Drive of Edited Photos

GOLD PACKAGE

$250

1 Hour Hair/Makeup

1 Hour Photo Shoot

60-80 Edited Photos

Online Private Gallery

Flash Drive of Edited Photos

Custom-made Hardcover Book

If you are interested in booking this special please know that it’s first come/first serve. Please contact me either at randileephotography@gmail.com, through the Randi Lee Photography Facebook Page via private message, or at 802.334.8567. A deposit of $50 will be required to hold your spot for the date. I’ll have more information, more tips and tricks, coming up within the next few months, but if you’re interested in booking, contact me as soon as you can 😀

Boudoir Q&A

As I get ready for our annual Boudoir Special I know that there are a lot of questions that people have about Boudoir – hopefully this Q&A helps!

Q: This is my first time doing something like this! What happens when I get there?

A: Don’t worry about being nervous! Want to know a secret? EVERYONE is nervous when they do a Boudoir session! The good news is that every single woman who has come into a Boudoir session nervous leaves laughing and having had a fun time!

When you arrive you’ll check in with our fabulous Makeup and Hair person and she will immediately put you at ease. When it’s your turn in the chair she’ll make your hair look fabulous (usually in a ‘just climbed out of bed but in a sexy way’ style) and will apply makeup that highlights all of your wonderful things and that hides anything that you’re a little self-conscious about. Then, after an hour of hair and makeup, you’ll be sent to me! I always have so much fun with my Boudoir clients and love seeing women feel sexy and having a blast! The shoot will go by far quicker than you’ll believe – it’s amazing how fast an hour goes! – and before you know it you’ll be putting your street clothes back on and heading home!

Q: That brings me to another question – what the heck do I wear?! I have no sexy clothes!!

A: Actually you probably do! Most women have at least one or two pairs of sexy underwear and bra sets, and many have lingerie! And a Boudoir session is a great excuse to go shopping :D. Places like JC Penney have beautiful bra and underwear sets, and even some sexy lingerie, but if you’re looking to shop online, here are a few sites that are great to order from!

Bare Necessities

Victoria’s Secret (of course)

Hips & Curves (for those of us with more curves to love!)

Frederick’s of Hollywood (a little more daring!)

But surprisingly you don’t necessarily need a lot of lingerie to pull off a Boudoir session! Check out this photo with simply some hot heels, fishnet stockings, a man’s dress shirt and a tie!

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Q: Okay so I have some clothing ideas, but do I HAVE to go naked?

A: Absolutely not! Some people chose to go fully naked, others choose not to! Some women come in saying that they’re only comfortable getting down to a bra and underwear but then, before the end of the session, decide to bare their girls to the camera. There are absolutely no rules about how naked you have to get!

Q: I really want to do this but I’m going to wait until I lose a few pounds – that makes sense, right?

A: Actually, no! Firstly, most of us think we look far worse and far fatter than we truly do! Secondly, the man you’re showing these photos to likely already knows what you look like in your glorious skin and loves it! These photos simply show the most flattering side of you! And, remember, flattering lighting, flattering positions, and flattering Photoshop definitely makes you look as fabulous in photos as you are in true life (even if you don’t see it!).

Q: But wait – how much photoshopping do you do? I still want to look like me!

A: I try to make you look the way we all think we look before we look in the mirror. We always think we look better than we do when we look in a mirror – this is because mirrors are liars! But seriously, I only do light touch ups – if you didn’t know it was touched up, you’d never know 😀

Q: I’m getting interested but I’m still nervous! Can I bring a friend?

A: Absolutely!! People bring friends, or even siblings, all the time!

Q: Will my photos show up online?

A: Without your specific permission, absolutely not!! I take my client’s security very seriously and only clients who have given permission for their photos to be used are ever seen on any of my sites. All photos that go onto the private gallery are secure and can only be seen by the person who has the specific link.

Boudoir is meant to be a fun, exciting experience and it is my honor to be allowed to photograph so many gorgeous women and to make them feel as gorgeous as they truly are! If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me at randileephotography@gmail.com or to ask questions through the Facebook page!

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