Learning How To Make Photo Studio Magic, Well, Almost. . .


The following is a guest blog post from my cousin Ty Kaprelian.  He is a hobby photographer from San Jose, CA and one of my favorite people!  We have a lot in common and always have so much fun when we get together!  The stories I could tell...  



When you think about getting your picture taken, it may bring up memories of those tense moments on school photo day, when you were expected to smile on cue. . . Your mom probably has albums filled with at least a few goofy pictures. Of course, she loves all of them. It may have captured that really bad haircut you got, or those clunky glasses you wore until you got cool frames or contacts or that wonderful missing-front-tooth smile. Well today was different. I got a crash course in professional studio portrait taking from my cousin Stacy Kaat – and she was the subject. 


Our session started out with Stacy showing me all of her cool equipment. Then we moved on to how they all work, well, I understood some of it. Then came the lighting. . . Wow! I think that’s where the magic is. We set up back lighting, side lighting, top light, bounce lighting – all of it can be endlessly moved around and modified to create different effects and looks. I was amazed. 


After I played photographer, she turned the tables and we started a photo session for me. The session was nothing like I remember from my school days. She took some test shots, we looked at them together, she made some minor adjustments and I started to look better. A few more modifications and bam, we hit our stride. I guess what I like the best is how relaxed she made me feel. She took her time, included me in the process and the outcome: some pretty great pictures. A few were of course cringe-worthy, but with the miracle of digital photography, those disappear into the electronic ethers, never to be seen again. 


From playing pseudo pro-photographer, to sitting for my own professional photo session, I had a great time and learned a few things in the process. I have a new respect for professional photographers – and what they do. 



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