Photo: Wanderlust


Amour wants to wander the world instead of being stuck in boring college courses. :unsilly: I wasn’t planning on using this for anything, but I love her eyes and pose because she looks innocent and curious.

There’s some guy standing in the background with a backpack, facing away. We were at a busy (sidewalk) intersection. If I asked him to move, three people would have immediately replaced him. Oh well. I think he filled in a hole because there was bright sky or a building behind him.

I brightened Amour’s eyes and darkened her pupils, cleaned her up a bit, and shifted the white balance to cloudy, which is warmer and more yellowish.

Canon Rebel XTi, EF 50mm 1:1.4, 1/800, F4.5, 50mm, ISO200, 2009-11-02T10:05:40-05, 20091102-150540rxt

Location: Daytona State College, 1200 W. International Speedway Blvd., Daytona Beach, FL  32114

Photo: Searching for You

Searching for You

Amour is looking for you! This is at the clock tower at Daytona State College. You can see her books and coffee in the background at the bottom left. It was overcast, which is the best lighting for portraits.

From the camera this was too dark, but I brightened it with the exposure tool and highlight recover to 45 in Adobe Camera Raw 5.0. There wasn’t much to do otherwise because she knew how to pose.

Canon Rebel XTi, EF 50mm 1:1.4, 1/2000, F2.8, 50mm, ISO100, 2009-11-02T09:55:30-05, 20091102-145530rxt

Location: Daytona State College, 1200 W. International Speedway Blvd., Daytona Beach, FL  32114

Maternity Portraits of Jacquelyn and Shaughn

Jacquelyn and Shaughn

On 2009-09-30 I shot some studio portraits for my friend Anita Cohen at Daytona State College, of her pregnant daughter Jacquelyn and her daughter’s husband Shaughn. Even though I’ve been a photographer since I was 13 (5 years), this was my first time working formally. Thanks to Prof. Joe Vance for letting me use the photography studio at Daytona State College even though I’m not in the photography program (I’m a computer science student).

Jacquelyn is due to have Shaughn Brady Jr. at the beginning of Nov. 2009. Sadly, Shaughn has to return to Iraq for his second tour in Apr. 2010, so he’ll miss his son’s growth from the age of five months to over a year. Here, he is wearing his camouflaged U.S. Army uniform. He’s a driver rather than front-line infantry. I hope he stays safe and doesn’t have to kill anyone.

We had a white background. Anita helped me figure out how to set up the hot lights and deflectors. I used one incandescent light (warm a.k.a. yellowish) on the left and one fluorescent light (cool a.k.a. bluish) on the right, which worked well. While some maternity photographers exaggerate the size of the woman’s belly or emphasize deep, brooding poses, I did not do that here. I prefer realistic, upbeat portraits showing love and joy.

Jacquelyn and Shaughn

Shaughn kissing his wife’s belly. I wasn’t sure about Jacquelyn’s facial expression, but I think Shaughn’s outfit balances the discipline of the army with the love he has for his wife and first son.

Jacquelyn and Shaughn

The only portrait of Jacquelyn and Shaughn I used the flash on. This is a conventional rather than artistic portrait, but portraiture is about the people in the portraits, and not necessarily innovation of the medium.

Shaughn is covering a red birthmark above Jacquelyn’s belly button. On the first portrait I edited it out, but on the second it was easier to leave it. I like to remove most blemishes to make people look how they’re supposed to look. My goal is to discreetly present an idealized version of reality. I don’t want laymen to say “this is Photoshopped!” Photographers will always say it, but non-photographers should not notice. However, depending on the angle and lighting in can be hard to clone out blemishes, so I have to balance art vs. time. I don’t air-brush; I either remove blemishes well or I don’t remove them at all. In my portfolio I have done difficult edits requiring hours of work (i.e. removing twigs, power lines, and houses), but elsewhere I re-shoot or leave it.

Jacquelyn and Shaughn

Our couple standing together, with Jacquelyn showing her tattoo saying “Shaughn” in cursive with a Hibiscus flower. The tattoo is for her husband and her son. I like it.


Anita (Jacquelyn’s Mom) calls this the “Marilyn Monroe” shot, in the style of an actress from the 1940s and ’50s famous for poses like this. For all the portraits, Anita wrapped the green sheet around Jacquelyn. Underneath Jacquelyn had a blue bathing suit on. Unfortunately that came through here (on her hip), but we didn’t notice it at the time. It’s not a big deal.

I shot all these portraits using my Canon Rebel XTi with my EF 50mm F1.4 prime lens in RAW mode. I edited in Adobe Camera RAW 5.0 (vignetting and color) and Adobe Photoshop CS4 (spot-editing), which is industry standard. I brightened the photos and made the colors warmer by shifting to a white balance with a higher Kelvin temperature, because I used automatic white balance in camera which was too blue.

Incidentally, a Daytona State College photography student asked to shoot Shaughn while he was in the lobby, but Anita shouted out “he’s already taken!” :grin:

Big thanks to Anita for making a $100 donation to my photography fund. I opened a checking account recently and deposited it there. I will use it for whatever photography or non-photography purchases I need to make in the next months, or bills.

I give well wishes and lots of love to Anita, Jacquelyn, and Shaughn, and I want the United States to leave Iraq, Afghanistan, and every other country we occupy, as soon as possible, never to return. :smile:

Photo: Out of the Frame

Out of the Frame

Rachel, pointing out into space.

She has the same name as my seven-year-old sister, who doesn’t post much.

This was the only pose I could think of. I’m running out of ideas…

Anyway, I took color out of the background so the focus is just on Rachel. She’s pointing up at a squirrel or something.

I also darkened the background a lot.

Rachel is a photographer and has her own photographs here: She’s a great model too. I’m only good at photography, fortunately. :grin:

Canon Rebel XTi, EF 28-135mm, 1/200, F6.3, 38mm, ISO400, 2008-01-13T12:04:27-05, 20081113-170427rxt1

Location: Daytona State College, 1200 W. International Speedway Blvd., Daytona Beach, FL  32114

Photo: Beautiful Heart

Beautiful Heart

A girl named Lyric, holding up a print of Fiery Hearts, which represents her heart. Don’t hurt her! She’s fragile like the glass in that picture frame.

I always try to get my models to look down with eyes up toward the camera, or toward the side… it’s a much more interesting pose than a dead-on stare. That worked well here.

I took out her nose ring, part of a tattoo, and some of her clothes. The photo is much more appealing that way. :cool:

The framed picture didn’t turn out good to start, because it was mostly a blue reflection of the sky. I burned it in quite a bit and took out the blue, so it looks great now. The other big change on this was selective color; I took out all colors except in the red channel, which puts emphasis on her and the picture, makes the background black and white, and makes her skin a bit weird looking. But in a good way.

Canon Rebel XTi, EF 28-135mm, 1/500, F5.6, 75mm, ISO400, 2008-11-07T11:42:05-05, 20081107-164205rxt

Location: Daytona State College, 1200 W. International Speedway Blvd., Daytona Beach, FL  32114

Download the high-res JPEG or download the source image.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License. Please credit me as “Photo by Richard Thripp” or something similar.

You can use the model’s likeness for anything not defamatory. You are one of my “licencees.”

Photo: Hello


Jenna says hello. She was studying chemistry.

It’s hard to get my models to be serious. Most of them just start laughing when I tell them to look serious. This is as close as I got w/ Jenna.

For editing, I took out some lines under her eyes and made her brighter. Since the sunlight is behind her, she was a bit dark in the original image.

Canon Rebel XTi, EF 50mm 1:1.4, 1/100, F2.5, 50mm, ISO100, 2008-10-13T09:23:47-04, 20081013-132347rxt

Location: Daytona State College, Building 410, Schildecker Science Hall, Floor 2, Room 208, 1200 W. International Speedway Blvd., Daytona Beach, FL  32114

Photo: Finding the Answers

Finding the Answers

Shaun & Krystal, pretending to study calculus. All the numbers are making sense.

I did editing in the Lab color space, which separates luminance from color, to make them look yellow instead of blue. I could’ve done the same with a cloudy sky, but I can’t control the weather (yet…).

This was around noon at the college. I found Krystal smoking with a group of friends, and paired her up with this guy who was really studying. She’s still holding a cigarette in her hand, you can see on the right. Smoking is as popular as ever. :cool:

Canon Rebel XTi, EF 28-135mm, 1/160, F4, 41mm, ISO100, 2008-10-22T12:37:10-04, 20081022-163710rxt

Location: Daytona State College, 1200 W. International Speedway Blvd., Daytona Beach, FL  32114

Photo: Sunshine Girl

Sunshine Girl

It was cloudy out, but Michelle makes it seem sunny anyway. The highlights on her hair and eyes turned out well.

She also has a beautiful smile. A lot of people are afraid to smile. I’ve noticed most fashion models glower at the camera nowadays, but it’s all an act, and it’s getting tired.

I found Michelle studying for her history exam at a picnic table at the college. Not minutes before the test, but days in advance.

What do all her bracelets mean?

I brightened the highlights in her hair, and made her eyes a bit lighter. The blue table and green trees frame the image nicely, on three sides at least. Most portraits are best below eye level. Here, that had the added advantage of excluding the cars and buildings behind her; crouching down makes the background become a plain-white sky.

I get all my models to sign model release forms. I’m not releasing all images as free stock photos anymore; you can use Michelle’s likeness from Fotolia or SnapVillage, which I get a commission on.

Canon Rebel XTi, EF 50mm 1:1.4, 1/200, F3.5, 50mm, ISO100, 2008-10-10T12:32:02-04, 20081010-163202rxt

Location: Daytona State College, 1200 W. International Speedway Blvd., Daytona Beach, FL  32114

Photo: Isolation, Contemplation

Isolation, Contemplation

The last shot from my adventure with Sarah, and the most artsy. We went to the college theater, where they have a meshed window that makes patterns of light like this on the wall. I had her sit on the carpet so the light was right on her cheek, and told her to look down like she was thinking, and that’s how we got this.

I’m proud of her; she was quite shy and this was her first time modeling, but she let go of her shyness and let her spirit shine through. I think there’s a bit of shyness in this photo, but it works.

At first she thought she wasn’t “photogenic.” That’s a limiting belief. It’s like saying you’re not lingual or musical or logical. You are photogenic; you just have to start thinking of the camera as your friend rather than a deadly weapon.

Canon Rebel XTi, EF 50mm 1:1.4, 1/60, F2.5, 50mm, ISO400, 2008-10-01T13:31:17-04, 20081001-173117rxt

Location: Daytona State College, Building 210, Theater Center, Floor 1, stairwell, 1200 W. International Speedway Blvd., Daytona Beach, FL  32114

Photo: Reunion


I think Brice and Kayla were just meeting up after a long vacation. I didn’t ask, but either way they’re a nice couple.

This isn’t a candid shot, but their smiles are authentic because I said something funny… I can’t remember what.

I let the camera auto-expose, and it was too dark, so I upped the exposure afterward in Adobe Camera Raw. Though it was bright and sunny out, there were no harsh shadows so this is still a great portrait.

Kayla looks a bit like the actress Adrienne Shelly. I don’t know who Brice looks like.

This reminds me of one of those stock photos you see in the picture frames at Wal-Mart… except they always seem like fake people. I only take pictures of real people.

Canon Rebel XTi, EF 50mm 1:1.4, 1/2500, F3.5, 50mm, ISO100, 2008-09-26T12:13:32-04, 20080926-161332rxt

Location: Daytona State College, 1200 W. International Speedway Blvd., Daytona Beach, FL  32114