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: ‘practice’



By candlelight

Friday, April 4th, 2014

Every photographer starts somewhere. As you are seeing, I practice. I actually practice quite a lot. On March 23, I was doing just that, practicing on candlelight.

_DSC3916fweb

I look at images and am wowed by the perfect lighting I see. It is not as easy as people think – to make it all look good with different kinds of light. The flame, to me, is not easy at all. But it is oh, so beautiful!

_DSC3928fweb

The affects on the skin in different lighting situations. Such as – near a window, mid day or turned away from the window mid day. How exposed will she be at the different distances. All of it has to be taken into consideration.

_DSC3918fweb

If the focus is on the light – how in focus do I want the subject photo’d with the candle? How exposed or unexposed to I want the background subject? What am I trying to portray? Then there is texture, feel, clothing. Tying it all together to bring a certain feel is part of the entire shoot.

And of coarse, in editing I then am practicing different techniques to editing. Creating a soft feel vs creating a crisp feel is one I tackle in my mind all the time. I personally love a more matted look to the images, but do not want to loose contrast – if that makes sense. It does in my mind :) I also struggle with the love of Black and Whites vs Color. I have an appreciation for both ways of editing.

_DSC4014fweb

With a candle – the glow of the light on the subject’s skin adds a gorgeous golden shine. But sometimes – black and white still wins – even with candles:

_DSC4014bfweb

This actually throws me back to my black and white movie days. They mystery, the feel, the moment.

Thank you for taking your time to look into my practice files as well as the year 2013. It has been a great learning and growing experience for me as I look back on what has brought me to this point in my life now. It would never have been possible without my children or husband. Their support and willingness to be models at my every crazy adventure. As a kid I was told to work on your talents and to let my light shine. Well – I could not let that light or talent shine so bright without them coupled with lots and lots of practice.

Such a fun vault for me to be peaking into. Thanks again!

Practice Starts with Me March of 2013

Saturday, March 29th, 2014

I am the first to admit that I cannot stand being in front of a camera. I am not comfortable with the skin I am in and am not good at posing myself. I cannot tell you if I look good or not cause I don’t see it. But when I am behind the camera I see what I like or don’t like. Not sure how many can relate to this, but my self image is not the best.

As  a photographer I believe in always challenging myself with new or different things, from editing to ways of shooting. Afterall, the more you shoot, understand, and practice – the better you can get. Does that mean all my images are great? NOPE Not at all. I take my fair share of FLOPS. The thing is I cull through the images before bringing them to you. Heeeheeeheeee. So this particular blog is not going to be my most comfortable blog. I am going to share my personal challenges from Feb. 2013 and a few images from it too.

Always remember that practice is just that – practice. Here I had challenged myself to shoot some self portraits. If I am not comfortable and feel what others feel, I may become more empathetic to how those in front of my camera may feel. Here – you all can see my own discomfort too. :/ Can  you sense my nervousness?

_DSC3843bfweb

So – I admit one thing here. I did not push the shutter and I had a tad of guidance from my dear friend Stacey. I will go into that later. Some things I did to feel better about the session was make sure I did my hair. I have natural curl, but I still curled it. I made sure to wear a little makeup, and I bought a new shirt. I felt beautiful. Because I felt beautiful – I was much more relaxed than I would have been otherwise.

_DSC3844fweb

I loved the look and texture of the gray rug on the floor. Not too distracting but not too plain – hopefully adding without taking away from the image. I think it did well. I also put myself down lower on the ground so you could not all look at my double chin. That meant a lot to me.

As I mentioned, Stacey assisted me some with this, but it help me to think a bit outside the box. When I got home from Wisconsin I decided to try another self portrait session in my own yard, outside, on my own. I did get my daughter to help keep the camera from being blown over – but then I also ran back and forth attempting to get a good shot. (If that was possible.)

The day was a bit rainy so I went with wet hair. (Something, I realize, would have looked better had I done my hair or dried it some.) The feel was intended to be the raw me though, so I feel that it turned out as it should. I feel like a princess living out in the woods. It is hard to feel like a princess in the brush as I hope you can see in the next few shots.

_DSC3858fweb

It is hard not to be in tears while posting this. I find that this shot is a small look into my soul so bear with me. I am not comfortable, I am nervous to look at the camera, I am ok with the viewer seeing simply a profile of me. I am a mom of five and my body shows that. Unfortunately, my metabolism does not make it easy to keep my once under appreciated body. It is hard not to look past my own shell.

_DSC3861fweb

My first attempt to look at the camera when the shutter released was not easy at all. I had to coax myself into it. Not fully accepting of the moment, the task, or myself – I just did it.

_DSC3879fweb

I then told myself to be pleased with the fact that I tried and that is what counts. Honestly, I am very proud of myself and often draw back on this experience when shooting others. I try to stop and remember how I felt so I could better help others feel more comfortable in their own skin.

Of coarse, I had to turn to my children to brush off the experience,  because thinking too hard about it is never good. I had time enough to edit and dwell on it – then becoming more pleased with the overall outcome.

_DSC3887fweb

My girl is my constant companion! She loves to assist me on shoots – even those of just myself. She was also my comforter this day saying “Mom – You are beautiful!” I love that they are there to help me reflect through their eyes. This is my angel. Grateful I can practice on all of my babies.

_DSC3894fweb

 

My son was hanging out watching what was happening. I thought – I want to practice in Full sun. Where would I go in a huge meadow with only one tree. He was in reg. school or play clothes – nothing thought out at all. So we worked it and he of coarse nailed it for me :)

This is not an uncommon day at all for me. I will keep some and get rid of other images – learning from it all. I then will go to plants and work on macro images. They are so fun and help me to become better at focusing. Understanding Depth of Field (DOF).

 

_DSC3904bfweb

I have discovered that although tilted images may be popular and fun – I don’t like how I do them LOL I tend to want to tweak it upright after all is said and done.

_DSC3908fweb

Here are some shots of our huckleberry bushes. I love the contrast of reds and greens.  shooting in full sun gave me a bunch of options to work on – from dealing with shadows to over exposure. I also work on colors and b&w options.

_DSC3909bfweb

_DSC3909fweb

Both of these shots were played with in color and b&w. In the end I liked both options Hahaha.

_DSC3910bfweb

_DSC3910fweb

Many think that being a photographer is quite glamorous. I am here to testify that it is work, practice, work, with some success inserted – but never without work and practice.

Thanks for letting me pull some pieces out of my vault. Thanks for letting me share a bit of me.

 

All Images Copyright CJ Wilkes Photography | Blog Theme Created by LJP & SLR Lounge