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Dear all Photography By K and In Focus Properties clients, friends and family…This fantastic journey wouldn’t have been possible without you! However, after sincere thought and consideration, I’ve decided to set my sights on new goals and am closing my photography business.

As many of you know, Jason and I moved to Florida last year. At that time, I made the cognizant decision to focus solely on real estate photography and run this northwest Ohio ship remotely from Florida. My heart is heavy as I sadly announce that the time has come to once again refocus my efforts here in my new home…and wherever that journey may lead, I want to make sure I’m giving it 100% of my attention, care and love.

From the bottom of my heart – Thank you! Without you, I would have never been able to realize the dream of owning my own business, watching it grow and evolve, and turning that dream into a full-time job. Even though this chapter is ending, I plan to continue writing my story by doing what I love. Life’s too short to do it any other way!

Last week, I left a teaser at the end of the blog article I wrote about my senior prom. At the time that this blog posts, I’ll be on a plane! I’ll be in Europe for about the next two weeks. I’m exploring Germany, Poland, Slovakia, and Hungary with some friends. While I’m very excited and will have lots of fun on the trip, it won’t be a vacation! I’m going to Eastern Europe to study World War II and the Holocaust. Together, we’ve been reading, watching, and listening to information about the holocaust. I even spoke to a Holocaust survivor about his experiences throughout his five years in 4 different concentration camps in Germany at the Holocaust Memorial Center in Farmington Hills, Michigan.

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I’m so excited to be able to have the wonderful opportunity to travel and study overseas again! Maybe some of you remember that I did a three week internship with Kathy in January 2015 through a program at my school called Winterim. If not, I’ve linked to the website I made about it, but I will also explain it a bit more here.

“[Three times throughout the year], Maumee Valley suspends its regular course schedule for approximately three weeks so that Upper School students may engage in an intensive learning experience. Students study one topic in great depth throughout the entire [intensive] period. The intensive format encourages experiential education where students take advantage of community resources in focused classes, participate in educational trips, pursue their passions in independent studies, or study at sister schools in the Network of Complementary Schools.”

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There’s an excerpt from my blog in January about Maumee Valley’s unique intensive experience. So, this relates to my trip because I’m going with my school as an educational experience. Throughout my travels in Europe, I am going to keep a blog as a journal to keep my thoughts and experiences in. I plan to share some of these articles I write to the Photography By K Facebook Page so that you can check up on what I’m doing and seeing in these next two weeks! I hope you check it out! Do zobaczenia! That means see you later in Polish!

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Last week, I showed you around VSCO. However, I didn’t show you how I actually edit my photos! I didn’t want to bore you and show you too much in one session, but this week I am back and I hope you are ready to learn! So, first thing is first: import your photo. I’m going to use the photo I took while writing the blog about  how to take iPhone photos, shown below.

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Above is the original photo that I took with you in the blog called “How to Take Photos with Your iPhone”. Now, let me show you how I edit my photos with VSCO.

First, select the photo. It will be outlined in yellow when you do. then, at the bottom, press the “edit” button, the one with two sliders. Now you will see your photo and at the bottom will be different presets. Go through these and decide which you like the most. Personally, I like T1, but remember that you can buy other presets as well if you wish (although I’ve never felt the need to buy them). I like to choose a preset before editing. For me, it’s easier to choose and preset, then mess with the parts that I don’t like after. For this photo, I feel that both a color and black and white photo would look nice, so I’ll do both.

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Now that you’ve chosen a preset, you can adjust the photo more specifically, like I mentioned in the last paragraph. There are many symbols, so let me explain what them from left to right.

First, there’s exposure. This is represented by a little sun. Typically, I like to increase the exposure in my photos. This brightens them up and makes them a bit clearer to see anyway.

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Next, there’s contrast. The easiest way for me to explain contrast is that it makes the dark parts of the photo darker and the light parts of the photo lighter.

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The third is a straightening feature. This is really helpful when editing my photos because I frequently take photos in a hurry. Sometimes they are a bit crooked, so this feature has saved me multiple times.

Horizontal/Vertical Perspective are two features on VSCO, but they are very similar. This changes the angle or perspective on the photos. This is also similar to straightening. It can help fix your photo!

Cropping your photos is somewhat common. This happens most frequently for me when I decide to upload a photo to Instagram, since their photos must be square.

Clarity (not sure how to explain this)

I personally don’t like sharpening my photos.

Saturation is when you add more color to the photo.

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The setting highlights save is when it adjusts the highlights. It brings the highlights down so it’s closer to the rest of the photo.

Shadows save is similar. It brings up the lighting on the shadows.

The temperature is the coloring of the photo. It adjusts the amount of blue or yellow in the photo.

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The tint is similar, except it adjusts the green and purple colors in the photo.

While nobody is in the photo, I’ll explain skin tone. This is pretty self explanatory. It adjust the skin tone to make it more yellow or red. So, if you have a red face, this makes it more balanced.

Vignette mostly affects the outside of your photo. It makes the outer area of your photo darker. I like this because it helps focus on your center of the photo.

I don’t like grain. It makes your photo look less clear and pixilated.

Fade is the same as vignetter, but it makes the outer area of your photos lighter instead of darker.

The shadows and highlights tint puts the color of your choice into the highlights of shadows of your photo.

 

That’s it! I really like VSCO. Some of its features I don’t use frequently because they’re not what I’m looking for in a photo, but they’re fun to mess around and play with. I recommend that you check them out! Finally, here are the final photos. I hope you like them. I can’t wait until next week, when I show you another app I like, Snapseed by Google! See you then!

 

 

These past few weeks have really gone by quickly for me! It’s hard to believe that I’ve shown you all the versatility that the iPhone camera has. Now that you have this newfound knowledge under your belt, it’s time to show you the next step to iPhone photography: editing.

Many photographers would tell you today that upwards of half of being a photographer is editing. I can say with confidence that it takes me much longer to edit and prepare photos for a house or a portrait session than it does to take the photos! While the photo editing software available on iPhone can not rival the workload Photoshop, Bridge, and Lightroom take, these applications are fairly impressive. Let me tell you about one of my favorites: VSCO.

When you open VSCO, the first thing you notice are the symbols at the top and bottom of the screen. There are no words to tell you what these mean, but after a little exploring, I’ve found that I don’t even need them. So first thing’s first, the top left has two sliders. This is how you can change the kinds of photos you can view that you’ve imported to the app. The middle is a “+” which is pretty self-explanatory. This is how you add photos to VSCO. Finally, the third on the top is a way to view a “feed”. VSCO is also a social networking website. It’s kind of like Instagram, but it’s more about photos and editing. I don’t really use VSCO as a social media application, but if you’d like to, feel free to explore on your own!

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Let’s move on the the lower two buttons. The one on the left is for the menu. When you press this, you get your profile, explore, library, shop, and two other smaller icons. Your profile is how you view the photos you’ve published on VSCO. Like I said, I don’t really use this feature, so you’re on your own for that. Then there is explore. This shows you some photos that have been published that you may like on VSCO. Sometimes I like looking at other photos; they give me inspiration for my own! Then there’s library. This is another way to view the photos you’ve imported to VSCO. Next, there’s shop. This is how you can buy more filters. Some of them are pretty fun, so I recommend checking them out! Finally, there are two buttons at the bottom of this screen. The circle on the left is how you can take photos that automatically import into the app. There’s another way to do this too: you press the button on the lower right when on the page where you are looking at your library. The other on the right is how you look at settings within the app.

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Now I’ve shown you around the app. Next week, I’ll actually get into the thick of the app and editing on your iPhone. I don’t want to overload you in one day. See you next week with your unedited photo!

 

 

 

 

Slow motion is a pretty cool form of video. It’s essentially the opposite of a time lapse. Instead of speeding up a video, it slows it down. It does this by taking either 120 or 240 frames per second video. This way, when it slows down the video, it does not look as choppy. Slow motion works best when taking video of fast actions that need to be slowed down with the use of technology, or a something that needs to be emphasised. While there are endless creative ways to use slow motion video, here are some cool ideas to get you started: balloon popping, lighter lighting (kids, please don’t try this), slinkies slinking (?), and so forth.

 

So, here is how to make a slow motion video. Open the camera in the iPhone, which I explained the multiple ways of how to do it here. Swipe to the right twice to get to the slow motion video mode. Now press the red button at the bottom to begin filming. By the way, I wouldn’t recommend making a long slow motion video, as it can get pretty boring pretty quickly. Now, watch your slow motion video. Now press edit if it’s not slow motion as you wish. There are two different ways you can edit your video. You can edit it as a whole, as in cut out pieces of it in total, or you can change which parts are slow motion. The top bar that you can move adjusts the amount of slow motion in the video, the bottom bar affects the length of the entire video.

 

So, there you have it! Now go play with your phones, check out Gabi’s slow motion video, and make your own! Post the links here, we would love to see them!

Getting your senior photos taken is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and we want to make the best of it! We want you to look the best that you can and have the session be as free of stress as possible. We can do our best to make sure everything is prepared and working on our end, but here are some tips of what YOU can do to make your senior photos go as smoothly as possible guys!

 

First of all, we know you’re nervous. We know that a lot of guys don’t like posing for photos as much as girls, so we will try to hurry and make it painless for you. One of the main differences between photographing senior girls and senior guys is posing, and we understand this. We won’t make you uncomfortable and put you in any awkward, feminine positions, relax!

In the days prior to your photo session, here’s what you can to in order to make photo day go as smoothly as possible.

  1. Find a style
    1. Typically when we photograph guys, they care far less than girls about how they look. We know that some of you are only getting your photos taken for the sake of your mother, but please still come prepared. In order to make mom happy, we want you to look comfortable, and your best. Dress in a style that is comfortable and normal for you, but dress nicely. If your style is sloppy or you have no idea, ask your mom, a female friend, or a girlfriend to help you prepare.
  2. Clean your clothes
    1. Make sure the clothes you want to wear are clean and hung on a hanger, or folded. Please don’t quickly stuff all of your clothes into a gym bag, it will make your clothes wrinkled, and it won’t look good on camera. If you’re feeling especially prepared for your photo session, hang outfits together on a hook. This way, you won’t have to dig through clothes to find your matching shirt.
    2. Additionally, prepare any props you want to bring. Some good ideas for props are sports uniforms, equipment, musical instruments, and items that relate to any activities you do. For example, bring your dancing shoes if you love tap dancing!
  3. Shave
    1. Coming to your session cleanly shaven will make your photos look better. Sure, we can retouch your photos, but it won’t quite look the same. Do both of us a favor, if you have facial hair that mom hates, just do us a favor and shave it. It will grow back, don’t worry.
  4. Hair
    1. Don’t make any crazy hair changes in the coming days before a photo session. Shaving your head or dyeing your hair before a photo shoot doesn’t look good, we promise. If you do, you’ll look back at your photos and ask yourself “What was I thinking?”
    2. Also, guys with long hair, keep your hair out of your eyes! If necessary, get a trim a few days before a session.

Now that you are prepared in the days coming up to your photo session, here’s what you can do on the day of your photo session!

  1. Be well rested
    1. The night before you have your photos taken, we want you to look well rested. There is only so much photo shop can do, and we don’t want you to look half-asleep in all your photos. We also don’t want to deal with a grump either, which leads us to our next point…
  2. Have a positive attitude!
    1. On the day of your photos, we don’t want to feel awkward while you and mom are irritated with each other, giving the death eye to each other.
  3. Be Punctual!
    1. Being on time to your appointment is crucial! Prepare your clothes the day before, this way, you don’t have to rush to find your favorite shirt the moments before it’s time to leave, and you don’t have the disappoint of finding that it’s dirty. Plus, arriving early gives us time to plan the session a little better. We can decide what to where with which backdrops and so on.
  4. Be Yourself!
      1. These senior photos are meant to capture who you are in your final year of high school. Bring props that show what you’re into, like instruments, sports gear, and whatever else you want. One of my favorite examples of this is Milo. Milo got his typical senior photos done in a suit and tie here in the studio. While these two photos are nice, I like the photos where he’s doing what he loves. A few months ago, I took pictures of Milo and my friends while they played air soft. Kathy didn’t come along, as this wasn’t an official photo session, but I think the real reason is that she is a bit of a chicken! Anyway, these bottom two photos show much more of who he is than the top two. So don’t be afraid to show us what you enjoy. Kathy and I love trying new things and I promise that we will work with you in order to photograph what you want!

     

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Need help deciding what to do for your senior pictures? Here are some helpful tips.

 

Clothing

There isn’t a limit to a number of clothing changes you can bring at Photography By K, so bring lots of options to choose from. While you may not end up wearing all of your outfit changes, it’s a good idea to bring extras to help us match your clothing to different backgrounds and surroundings.

Place all of your outfits together on hangers. Make sure that your items are ironed and ready to go. Change quickly, because less time changing means more time for pictures. The more pictures we get the better, because you will have more photo choices later.

Make sure that you are comfortable in your clothes and that they flatter you. You’ll like how you look in photos much more when you’re relaxed and comfortable. Don’t wear clothes that will make you self-conscious. For example, if you aren’t comfortable with bare arms, avoid wearing sleeveless, cap-sleeve, and tank top shits, as they make arms look fuller.

Bring a variety of colors and styles. Bring some casual and dressy clothes, as well as some in between. If you feel comfortable in dresses, bring some! They photograph well and will give you more photo choices to choose from.

Watch out for large logos…when changing positions, the words rarely match up, and sometimes create interesting new words that you might not want in your portrait. Finally, avoid stripes and plaid. Busy patterns don’t photograph as well as solid ones.

 

Shoes

Ladies, bring heels! Whatever style, casual or dressy, they make you stand out. You’ll look fashionable in them and will love the way they make you look. Now, that’s not saying you can’t wear flats too. They can work really well when partnered with the right outfit.

 

Makeup

Well-done makeup is one of the best things you can do for your session. It can even out your skin and help you look even more like a model. Bring along powder, to help curb shine mid-session, and don’t forget your lipstick or lipgloss for touch-ups along the way. If you don’t typically wear makeup, call us and we can give you a great referral for a local makeup artist.

Also, bring hair ties, bobby pins, and hairspray. We want your hair to look it’s best during the shoot, and having some of these will give a quick fix if your hair isn’t cooperating.

 

Nails

We can’t say this enough, get your nails done! Your nails will be visible in your senior photos, and if they’re chipped it will distract from you. Try to stick with basic or natural tones, since not all colors will match all of your outfits.

Props

Bring props that show who you are! If you’re into sports, bring the equipment, like a soccer ball, basketball, or track shoes. Bring your uniform, the instrument you play, and some other activity related items.

Most importantly of all is don’t be afraid to be yourself! These photos capture who you are in your senior year. Bring what you feel shows who you are. Don’t be afraid to wear something that is a bit out of the ordinary. For example, check out Kashvi’s traditional Indian chaniya choli. Don’t be afraid to be unique!

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So, as you probably guessed by the title of this blog, real estate season is around the corner! One of my favorite parts of working at a photography studio is taking photos of houses. To me, it’s so much fun to come into a house and take photos that reveal the true beauty of a home. However, there is only so much beauty I can showcase in the photos without your help. In order to make your house look its best, here are some things you can do before my arrival to make your house look amazing in the listing photos:

  1. Less is more

Yes, I realize this one might sound a bit cliché, but it rings true. For example, clear countertops make the kitchen look so much more clean and clutter-free, not to mention bigger as well. Put your coats and shoes away too! Plus, it’s important to give the potential buyer a “blank slate”, or a generic room that they can easily imagine themselves living in. If you include too many personal touches, like photos, it makes it hard for them to imagine themselves and their belonging in the room. So, get rid of as much as you can in order to make the room as general as possible and get rid of clutter!

  1. Clean

Even just a quick speed-cleaning, you’d be surprised how much sweeping the floor and wiping the countertops can do! It helps get any filth off that may show in photos. One more important thing to do is clean windows, mirrors, and electronic screens! Children are especially dirty creatures, so they get smudge things very quickly. On a similar note, make sure to turn off any electronic screens when we are at your house.

  1. Lighting

As any photographer will tell you, lighting is important for any kind of photography. When we photograph your house, we bring flashes with us, but the natural light looks much better. So, if you have a decent view, open the curtains or blinds! Also, remember to turn on any lights in the room we are photographing too. It gives the photo a much more comfy look. Make sure to check the bulbs before we come to your house.

  1. Pets

If you have a pet, you know how messy they can be! We love pets too (both Kathy and I have dogs), but potential buyers may not. Before we come over, make sure to put their belongings, like bowls and toys, away. Don’t forget about outside as well! Also, take a lint roller over any furniture their hair may be on. Finally, please keep your dogs out of the photos! After all, Fido isn’t for sale! If possible, have them in a crate or kennel, or keep them in confined to a particular room.

  1. Yardwork

We all know the importance of curb appeal! We want potential buyers to get the best impression of your home possible, so it’s important to landscape! Remember to mow your lawn, trim the shrubs, clear the leaves and spider webs away from eaves and door frames. Remember to move any hoses and toys out of sight! Lastly, we will ask you to move your car from the drive and close your garage door while we take photos outside.

So there you have it! While we could go into detail about all the little nooks and crannies possible to clean, we think you get the idea. We hope that you take this guide and use it to your full advantage in order to have the most beautiful and spotless house possible in your photos so it will come off the market quickly!

– G

 

Today I photographed a client appreciation annual movie matinee at the Maumee Indoor Theater with Kathy. Bright and early this morning, I was really excited  to meet all the children and take photos of their fun, goofy poses (view first photo). However, about an hour later, my caffeine buzz wore off, and we were left with the second photo. Oh well, practice makes perfect I guess?

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Here’s the link to the rest of the photos:

 

Holiday Session Number Two! The Roberts Family came in recently to have some photos taken, and even brought their dog, Frank! It was fun to take these photos of John, Macy, and Lexi, I especially loved the pictures we took of their youngest, Liz. Happy Holidays to the Roberts Family! 2015-12-14_0002

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