CJ Wilkes

About CJ Wilkes Photography

Capturing Your Dance In The Rain is such a thrill and joy to me. Being able to look back on those special times through beautiful artistic imagery makes it a worthwhile challenge.
Learning to Dance in the Rain has been very easy for me. I am drawn to Water & Life! The exciting part for me is to teach you to enjoy your moment in the dance as I capture it from behind my camera.
Looking forward to Capturing Your Dance In The Rain
CJ Wilkes

Tag: ‘colors’



Concept Generation

Sunday, September 28th, 2014

There are many parts to a concept From A to Z. I am going to cover the first few steps, which I find to be the most vital, and that is making the concept a reality. Of coarse the first step is to have an idea. Second step for me

is to go and shoot some images that can possible work. Of coarse, getting it in the first shot would be awesome, unless I change my mind – so I shoot several ideas and then some closer details. Once I get home, I cull

through the images until I have found the ones that would work nicely. In this case we are starting with the following 3 images of my daughter just taken yesterday:

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These images won the lottery for the project. They will become the third image in the “Cross My Heart” series. So now that I have the images I need to put them together so that they seamlessly fit together. I started with

Images A & C c being the image on bottom and A on top. Before I did that though, I had to extend the walls from image A (This is going to be a vertical layout.)
To extend A I made duplicates of A. 4 to be exact. Sure I could have free transformed, but I did not want much distortion. Instead, I duplicated and masked back. Once I did that, I merged the copies and placed c on top

with a mask.

 

Once C was on top of a I lowered the opacity so I could see the image below and still see C. Next used Free Trasform (locking it so the dimensions would not warp) and altered the size of the image so it lined up almost

perfectly. I then put the opacity back to 100% on layer c. By inverting the mask I had less to paint, so that is the option I chose. I painted the legs in. For any areas that did not mesh perfectly, I cut and pasted new layers of

the back wall and masked where I needed so it blended well enough.
Here it is with the legs extended:

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I knew this image would be a darker image so I did not stress about it being too perfect. The legs would not be the highlight of the image.

 

Nathanya’s face is lovely here, but the series as a whole is a bit quirky. The first image of my son crossing his heart – his lips were puckered. The second image with my daughter Miriam, her lips were semi puckered and her

eyes were opened wide. When deciding on this particular image, I wanted it to match in flow – not only by color. By tying actions I felt that I could achieve this particular goal. So with this image I had taken some images

where her eyes were open very wide.

 

I had made a copy of all the below work. Next I placed image B on top with a mask again. (When shooting for a concept I try to shoot several images in a row that are similar. Little details really matter. Same with the close

ups. I try to have those done in the same spot, angle, lighting.) The image with her eyes open were a close up, this helped me not only to get the look I wanted, but the clarity as well. I did the same as I had done with the

other 2 layers. I added a mask to B. Lowered the opacity so I could view the image below. Free transformed the image, locked it so that it does not warp when transforming. I then proceeded to use the eyes as my guide. I

matched the inside of the eye near the nose. Once I matched those fairly well I then set the transform and put the layer back up to 100%. This time, I was using more of the image so I did not invert my mask. (Again, less

painting for me.) Using the black I masked until I was satisfied that it blended well enough.

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Now many of you may think that the changes are too subtle, well they are quite subtle, but attention to detail will make and or break an image.

 

Can you see that mark on my baby girl’s hand? Well that would be one of those stick on tattoo’s. Kids love them. My children are no different. Only problem is, they are a pain to get rid of and fade into an ugly mess. I could

have taken a picture of her other hand and covered it – but instead, I thought – This is another chance for me to learn a new skill! So I decided to make a new rub on tattoo for her hand. Hopefully one that would match the

scenery nicely.

 

Talk about control freak! Hahahaha I guess I am when it comes to my art. I simply used my brushes to create this little piece:

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Sticking it on her hand did not go so great. I had to duplicate the image, add noise and lens blur. Then I added it. I played with a few mode options to see what I liked. I had a normal layer and I believe a linear burn layer.

Lowered the burn layer to the opacity where it blended best. The end results were perfect!

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Once I have my piece ready then I can go crazy with color, lighting and overall feel. This is exactly what I wanted to start with. Turned out great! Because of the patience of my girl, I had the shots I needed and was able to

add on to the collection. Introducing the newest image “Lost-N-Found”

 

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If you have questions feel free to ask. Would love your feedback. Thank you!

~ Cindy

Blast Back through 2013 (The beginning)

Monday, March 24th, 2014

Blasting back through 2013 because I have neglected my blog for so long. Why? Same old excuses, I suppose – LIFE. Family, Work, Sessions. Only issue is that I was not able to juggle it all on my own. So I guess it is not really the same old same old. Either way, I have missed my time sharing – writing and sharing some outstanding images with all of you. So I am going to try to get back into the swing of posting more regularly.  At first, please be patient with me as I am going to be catching up on a Year worth of images and session. There has been quite a mix of things happening, such as my branching out into designing book covers and editing as well as being the Mom of 5, doing it with my husband working away from home for long periods of time, being a parapro at the kids school, and doing what I love PHOTOGRAPHY.  But don’t worry, I will try to break it all down step by step. So let’s rehash 2013, step by step, as I throw in the current as well.

Goodbye 2013, Hello 2014. Myself, I am excited for the new. Grateful to be looking back on 2013 as a memory.  Let’s take our first walk back into 2013.

January 2013

January 2013

Do you all remember this image I brought to all of you? Can you believe it was over a year ago? I think it is a great start. Let’s move forward to the present from here. This session thrilled me because not only did it look great with colors, setting – but it worked perfectly with colors in my home. I will come back to this session one more time once we get to April’s posts for 2013. For now I want to talk about color.  If you notice we have a few colors going on in this image. My girls are wearing sweater dresses. Both are the same style but different colors. My oldest is in gray, white design, and a red ribbon trim that matches her sister’s red sweater dress. I don’t always go for the matchy matchy, but this went well because they were different in color, but one dress had only 2 colors while the other had 3 colors, drawing on the younger sisters colored dress with that ribbon color. They both have matching winter boots. White and black.

Fun thing with gray’s and blacks is that they work well if they are in the same tone. So I have my boys in Red, Drk. Gray, and Black White and Red sweaters. For pants, I would have liked them to wear jeans, but my boys have different personalities. My youngest and oldest like to dress up so they chose dress pants. LOL obviously the oldest child was not too concerned about it matching perfectly. My middle son likes jeans so he went with that. Sometimes it is worth not even worrying about “the exact look” I want, but on the session being a success & remembering that this is them! They dress like this. I don’t want a fake of what they like to look like – but to capture them and what they do look like now. So we made it work.

Why sweaters? Well, it is cold out here at winter time. I figured that if the girls were in sweater dresses then why not sweaters for the boys. I love the texture and look of sweaters. It dresses it up without having to throw a tie in. The kids are comfy and happy. That is what you want when planning on your next family session. Happy, and comfy – while keeping their personalities in tack :)

As a group they looked fantabulous. As Individuals they looked just as spectacular!

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With girls – I like clothing that allows motion. Motion in movement, motion in wind.  The setting makes a difference for sure. If you look here you can see her movement, the dress’s movement, with the waves splashing in the background. Together it makes a very fun and moving image.

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I am a girl to the very core. I love twirl! So if someone comes to me with ruffles and skirts… well, we must twirl! It helps having motion and texture in the outfit.

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I really thought his pants would not work – but you know, they match the sand. Who would have thought. Nature taught me a lesson. I relaxed and that is when magic happened. My son became a knight fighting battles with his stick sword on the beach. His phantom enemy retreated in defeat, back into the ocean. My son the victor was one happy boy!

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A moment that would not have been as beautiful had I flipped out on the choice of his britches.

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Where one boys stick becomes a sword – the other’s becomes a shovel of sorts. The possibilities are endless when you have more that one boy or stick or both!  At sessions I try to tell people to not be so worried about dirt either. Dirt washes, while moments last forever, especially when you take a moment to allow myself or a photographer capture it for you!

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Had I been upset about the dirt I would have never captured the pure joy in his face. In fact, I am pretty sure the stick and the dirt both had a part in his delight. Hahaha

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When I see this I see not just what he is wearing and the setting – but his entire personality. The clothes do help create that atmosphere alone with everything around him. As you can tell, he does not have movement, but a look of satisfaction.

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If you are a fan of black and whites and you can’t find anything that matches – I suppose you can have it all converted to a black and white session. Those are just as beautiful. However, if you want it in color – try to find colors within the same tones. Blues within the same tones, Reds, Pinks, and so forth.

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In the end – just try to enjoy the moment. The more you enjoy it – the better the images will turn out. If you are a parent then relax. If you are tense it will be a miserable experience for all. You might even get some blackmail images for your child in the future. Hahahaha But it will turn out ok. You would be surprised at the magic us photographers can capture and produce when you do not see it in the moment. For instance – this particular image above. Just moments before they were bickering (not uncommon between close sisters or siblings.) The very next moment they were best friends! Wa – la!  One f my favorite images and moments captured forever!

This may seem like an endless post on clothing, colors, and hints – but I hope you will have also learned that the best thing to do once you have researched and found the photographer for you is to then enjoy the session & relax!

Please feel free to post comments or thoughts. I will have some newer sessions on here shortly for you to enjoy!

 

 

 

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