Wednesday, March 22, 2017

What Not to Wear...For Your Next Photo Shoot

If you’re scrambling to find an outfit just before your next photo shoot, I’m here to help. So often individuals overlook their outfits, but unlike a flyaway hair or some spinach in your teeth, clothing is harder to change in Photoshop. If you need some tips for your next school portrait, professional headshot or group shot, here you are:


Stay neutral
You can never go wrong with neutral colors like white, brown, navy or black. That’s because clothing with funky colors and bright patterns distracts from the main visual: you! Plus, if you plan on keeping the image for the next several years (or beyond), you won’t want to look back and cringe at that too-modern outfit you wore. Remember: timeless and minimalist is always best.


Layer Up
Wearing layers can help add more depth and personality into your portrait image. They’ll also allow a lot more variety and poses in your images, like hanging a suit jacket behind your shoulder. Add a jacket, sweater or hat to showcase your own unique style.


Coordinate
If you plan on taking a family photo, coordinating your outfits helps subtly create a link between each individual in the portrait. Choose a color scheme that works for you, like all white shirts, or have everyone wear their favorite hats. It’s all about showing off your family’s personality.







Comfort is Key
This is important, especially if you’re taking pictures with children. Make sure that you are happy with and comfortable in whatever you’re wearing. If that means choosing loafers instead of high heels, go for it. Portrait shoots can take time to complete, so you don’t want to be unhappy for the majority of it.

If you’re looking to get some professional photos done, I’m happy to help. Plus, if you mention this blog post I’ll give you 10% of your purchase. Call me at 713.723.5535 or email me at mark@markkatz.net.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

The Basics of iPhone Photography: How to Make your Snapshots Look Tasteful

With more and more individuals using smartphones as their camera nowadays, I thought it’d be a good idea to give a few tips on how to make each one look really great. While many folks just point and shoot, there are several functions that can be strategically used to make your camera phone seem more professional. I’ve listed some of the ways I take my images from mediocre to magical.
Lighting is Everything
Landscape Images
Before Sunrise
After Sunrise 
The ideal time to take a landscape image is in the early morning just after sunrise or just before sunset, where you'll get natural, steady light. You can see the difference just a half hour can make in the landscape photos above. Additionally, when you're taking horizon images, take advantage of the gridlines that appear on your camera phone to make your horizon straight. Horizons that are off-balance are distracting and obvious to viewers, taking away from the beauty of the image.

This image is an example of what not to do: notice the imbalance?
Portrait Images
Without proper lighting in a photo, chances are you could get lots of dark spots or bizarre shadows. If you're taking a portrait image, the ideal place to take it is outdoors in the early morning or late afternoon. If the sun is too high, your subject will be squinting because it's too bright, so it's best to take it when the sun just barely over the horizon. And if you think you only need to use flash in low light, think again: flash is helpful in making sure that subjects are evenly lit, just as long as they're only a few feet away. Any farther and you can skip it.
No flash, indirect sun
Direct sun and flash - not totally necessary for both, but can help enhance the photo
Focus, Focus, Focus
One thing that always makes a picture worse is blurring. When your main subject is even the slightest bit blurry, your eyes automatically take notice. Next time you’re taking a smartphone photo, simply tap on your subject and wait for it to come fully into focus, so you won’t have to worry about missing a once-in-a-lifetime shot.
Exposure
When taking smartphone pictures, you want to make sure your subjects are neither too bright or too dark. Normally, auto-exposure works fine, but when your subject is backlit or if there's a dark background, you'll want to expose it properly. To adjust it, just tap on your subject and slide the little sun up or down to change the exposure of your subject. Once the light looks well-balanced, you’re ready to take the picture!

If you’re looking to get real professional photos done, I’m happy to help. Plus, if you mention this blog post I’ll give you 10% of your purchase. Call me at 713.723.5535 or email me at mark@markkatz.net.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Favorite Spots for Portraits in Houston

At some point in everyone’s life, they’re going to need a portrait. Whether it’s a family portrait, a senior portrait, or one with your fiancé, finding the perfect backdrop is the one thing that can make it or break it. If you need a portrait soon, I’ve got the perfect place to take it. Here are my top spots:
Helen’s Park
This little known park is located on Stella Link by the YMCA, and is one of my favorites for family and Bar/Bat Mitzvah photos. There’s a beautiful bridge, small river, and lots of benches to sit on and snap a photo. Plus the grass is always green, making it perfect for year-round photographs.  
The Museum District
The museum district is loaded with spots for portraits. With so many beautiful tree-lined streets and lots of interesting architecture, this area makes a great backdrop for couples and family photos. Plus all the modern, hip spaces makes it a great fun and funky background.
North Boulevard
If you haven’t been to North Boulevard, it’s about time. This stunning street, just west of Montrose near Bissonnet, is completely lined with trees and is perfect for senior portraits and more. The trees are beautifully aged, their leaves are bright green and the overhanging branches will remind you of an old Southern plantation.

Buffalo Bayou
In the last few years, Buffalo Bayou and Eleanor Tinsley Park have been completely revamped. With beautiful walking paths and artistic structures, there’s plenty to see - including a stunning view of downtown as your backdrop. Head over to this spot if you’re taking professional photos.

If you’re interested in getting some portraits done, mention this blog post to me and you'll get 10% off. And if you know of some other great spots, let me know in the comments.

For appointments, please email me at mark@markkatz.net or call 713.723.5535

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

3 Reasons Everyone Should Get Professional Headshots

As a photographer who’s owned his own small business for 30 years, I know how important it is to pay attention to details. With each camera adjustment and Photoshop edit, I need to be sure that everything will turn out exactly as planned. Attention to detail is important not just in my career, but in everyone’s. No matter where you are in life, you should always make sure to check everything twice and present yourself in the best light possible, which is why everyone should get professional headshots. Here are three big reasons why:
First impressions are everything
You take hours to prepare your professional website, your LinkedIn page and your Facebook, but if the only image of you on the page is a selfie, you can’t be expected to be taken seriously. You would never show up unprepared to an interview wearing a casual outfit, so why should your personal pages be any different? Remember, the goal is to get your foot in the door, and you’re much more likely to get an offer if you made a great first impression.
Small investment = big results
A small investment into your professional life can have an immense turnout. Think about all the professional selfies you have seen on LinkedIn - if none come to mind, there’s your answer. With some good lighting, a great suit jacket and a clean haircut, your headshot will be noticed positively by anyone who checks you out online.
Get ahead and stay ahead
Maybe you’re not on the hunt for a new job so you don’t feel the need to impress anyone. Think again - you represent the company you work for, which means you should always put your best self forward. Whether you’re networking or meeting up with new business partners, your online presence should always show people who you truly are: a smart, professional individual who cares about how you present yourself.


If you or your office is looking to get some headshots, don’t wait any longer; you’ll be glad you didn’t.
Click here to go to my website: markkatz.net