Archive for November, 2016
Nov 15, 2016
posted in Portraits with 0 Comments

For years I have wanted to create a fashionable background in the studio using magazine cutouts.  I’ve had a large stack of cutouts for the last few years just sitting in a box waiting for their time to come.  I finally have done it and still have probably 90% of my cutouts left over.  It was definitely an interesting challenge, but I wanted something fashionable and different for my high school senior portraits.

For those of you wanting to know how I created it, it was simple in concept, but a bit of a challenge in execution.  I had some left over background paper that I’d saved, and so I put that down on the floor and weighted it on the corners to keep it from rolling up.  Then I started kind of in the middle since it made the most sense to work my way out, and used a spray adhesive from Walmart to glue them down.  The problem I quickly discovered was that I couldn’t anticipate what image I want overlaying which till I had the next image in hand and figured out where I wanted it to go.  So then I figured I’d just lay them out generically and glue them down after.  Well that posed the problem of keeping everything in place while trying to glue them all down.  Plus you can’t get to all of them because some are under others.  So that was a challenge.

Another thing I figured out quickly was that I needed gloves on my hands due to the glue getting on everything in the process.  I probably changed them at least four times.  I also had to take my shoes off and just walk in my socks.  Yes, my socks got sticky too.  I eventually got it, and then moved on the the second background.  I was less strategic on that one and went back to working my way outward again, but gluing down as I went.  I think I put too much attention on the first one, not keeping in mind that the goal is to have a unique textured background, and not for the background itself to be a work of art.  The cutouts are of course all works of someone else’s art and are just supposed to be elements and not dominate factors.

Once I got my backgrounds, I reached out and got some test models to play with.  We tried a few different looks and light setups to see what kind of variety I can get.  I think in the end we got lots of cool stuff and that the magazine cutout background will be a great option for our high school seniors.

senior fashion portrait of girl in holy shirt

senior fashion portrait of wet girl

senior fashion portrait holding phone

senior portrait in brown sweater

senior girl dancing

senior masquerade portrait
girl in cowgirl outfit in studio





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Post by  at Brandon Malone Photography

Nov 01, 2016
posted in Portraits with 0 Comments

So we just wrapped up our 2016 Free Halloween Facebook Photo Event in the studio.  This was our second year and we plan on continuing it each year.  To make things simple, we have decided that it will routinely be the last Saturday of October every year from noon to 7 pm.  And in cases like this year where Halloween lands on a day other than Saturday, we’ll reopen the studio again for a few hours on Halloween night as well.  We really enjoy being able to do this each year.  For one, doing free professional halloween pictures for people, but also for being able to help support the Friends of White County Animals by encouraging people to bring things for them such as food, litter, or even cash.  And since they are the only local animal organization that takes care of cats, we also put the focus on donating items specifically for cats.  Everyone else does dogs, and not cats, but we’re cat lovers and so really love being able to participate with this.

This really has been a lot of fun for us to do.  We had decided a few months back that this year’s theme was going to be a creepy forest.  I wasn’t sure how we were going to pull it off, but we did.  Amanda and I gathered some half burned logs and branches from a burn pile from our hay guy.  Then Amanda cut pieces of plywood and mounted them to the bottom of the bigger tree portions to make them stand.  Then we layout out the smaller branches up against the bigger ones.  Then one day while I was out photographing some houses, Amanda found a pile of wood chips down on the gravel part of Coal Bank Rd and filled the truck bed twice with them.

For me the biggest concern I had was how to light it so that I wouldn’t accidentally wash out the entire set with my main light, while still letting me get the effects of my gelled lights in the back.  For the back lights I used two speed lights with blue gels on them and mounted them up high over each of the two back corners.  Then for the main light I used a 12×12 inch soft box on my Quantum flash unit and pointed it straight across the set instead of into the set, and used a reflector for fill.  Then like magic we had our lighting.

I’m extremely grateful to everyone that came and supported the FWCA with their donations.  We didn’t add it up this year, but I’m sure it was slightly more than last year.  I’m hoping that each year will continue to out-do the last.  Now we have to figure out what we’re doing next year.  We have a few ideas, but whatever it is it has to be something that allows for the variety of costumes that come in, plus is inexpensive.


dog aviator costume in woods

kid knight costume on pony in woods

dog in woods

alice in wonderland costumes

egyptian princes kid costume

kid pirate costume in woods



If you found this post helpfully in anyway, please let me.  Please Like and Share this post so others can enjoy it too.  Thanks for reading.

Post by  at Brandon Malone Photography