Balloons and Portraits and Shoes, Oh My!

Part of photography training always includes studios. I had the privilege to use the studio on campus for one of my latest photography assignments.

The studio is a totally different feel from my usual outdoor photography. It is all under your control. I could use various backgrounds, papers, gels, lights and reflectors to get the vibe I wanted.

The two hardest parts about studio photo shoots are knowing exactly what you want your photo to look like and knowing how to use the equipment.

Luckily, my class got to demo the equipment with our instructor and with David E. Jackson. David is an award winning advertising photographer and multimedia guru that changed his career to follow his addiction to photography.

In the studio, he demonstrated several different lighting techniques and showed instantaneous digital versions of the photos he took with his iPad. The best part of meeting Mr. Jackson was that he never pushed for fancy equipment.

In fact the opposite was true. He advised to buy the middle priced to cheaper lights that do what you need but won’t get you upset if they were ruined.

Through his informal training of “learn as you go,” he made a career he loved. So, in honor of the photography and life advice he gave, I decided to try studio portraits.

I asked my dear friend Brenna to model for me because she too loves photography and knows what lighting and poses look best. She came well prepared with a wide array of clothes and props to use.

I decided to try two different scenes. The first scene was “shoe addict.” I wanted her to act like a crazy shoe lady, surrounded in shoes. We then changed scenes to warm colors and happy balloons. Surprisingly enough, the best photo is of Brenna with a sad expression and balloons…quite the contradiction.

Of course, I ended up with way more photos than I needed. So, I posted my favorite unedited photos here.


Clearly, Brenna has found THE perfect shoe.


The perfect pose for a bunch of floating balloons.


Like any kid with a popped balloon, Brenna is devastated.

I had so much fun snapping photos and being silly with this girl. I absolutely loved how these photos ended up. What about you? If you could use a studio, what dream photo would you want to create?


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