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The first inside page for this rodeo Queen. The book consisted of 50 pages. The first ten were images of her in various layouts and one page, her twin sister dedicated to her. The other 40 pages were of the other ten contestants, practices, parades, events, horsemanship and talent. A beautiful memory book of this very special moment in her life!
The back, inside page. When designing the book, my thoughts kept thinking back to a high school year book. Using the photo of the crowned queens and princesses from the previous year, their names and all the awards given to all the participants helps years later, as they look back and reflect.
I spent many hours in the arena with these girls. They got very comfortable with me always hanging around, having a camera; even the extremely shy ones. I will always have a special place in my heart for these memories.
The back cover. Images are grouped with the division of the girls. The top 5 are the princess contestants, the next 3 are junior queen contestants and bottom 3 are queen contestants. (In this year, there were no junior princess contestants.) All of these images were taken by me, pro bono for the rodeo association, used for the "photogenic" contest. One contest I'm glad I didn't have to be a judge because I got too close to these girls and they are all so beautiful I would never have been able to pick one over the other.
The very last page. This image was taken of all the girls on pageant night, including some visiting royalty and past queens that were in attendance. It's a pretty small rodeo world, and all the girls become a part of each other's lives.
I choose a warm, chocolate brown background and used a warmer appearance on the images throughout the album to fit the western, rustic look that harmonizes anything and everything to do with RODEO!
One of the queens ten pages, where a grid of images were used for interest. Over 30 images were spread over 10 pages. Some only 1-3 images on a page, and other pages four to six images grouped on a 10" x 10" page.
The text was intentionally blurred. It was a personal letter written to her twin sister. Even though permission was granted to use pages in my portfolio, I felt some things aren't meant to be shared.
The style used for each of the other contestants throughout the book. Her name in big, bold script across the middle. Always the same font for continuity, just different colors to match. Each girl three images were used. One from horsemanship, pageant and awards.
Another sample of an album from her 10 pages. As you look through my portfolio, you may have noticed this sweet little face. Even at her young age, she loved being photographed and my camera loved her.
The only time I posed any of the girls, was for their photogenic photo. All the rest were completely candid and the girls were just being themselves. Some parents told me how much they appreciated my capturing their true-inner personalities; even though I feel that's my job, it still brings a smile to my heart.
"Thanks Makenzy, for being you!"
With no prompting, she just threw herself over her saddle as the sun was setting. A gorgeous warm light washed over her face and the sun caught in her eyes. A second later, the director called her name, and she went back to practicing. This image received numerous awards on ViewBug.
Adding in personal letters, scripture, and/or quotes that fit the image and expresses a message adds to the overall charm of any photo album. A bunch of pictures is nice, but personalized creates a much deeper meaning
When the talent is story telling, a photographer can only try to capture the expressions. Thankfully this princess contestant was a photographers dream. Her facial expressions help tell a very cute story of "My Parents are Driving Me Crazy!"
The cover of a photo album for a youth rodeo series. At the awards ceremony, to keep everything going quickly and smoothly, taking the time to pose three dozen kids was just not going to happen and we didn't have the space to group them together 3-4 rows deep. Getting this shot was rather a feat in itself. So, when it came time to put together a cover image, I had to work with what I had. Overall, I was happy with the cover page and felt it represented the entire series.
Over 4000 images were taken at this youth rodeo series, and occasionally I captured some great expressions. These kids gave everything they had in their events; from toddlers to young adults. What really impressed me was, even though they competed against each other, they would also work together helping each other, pitching in wherever needed. Helping the rodeo crew, doing whatever was necessary for a successful day. Always with courtesy, and respect. I spend many hours in and around the arena. Never once did I see any animosity between any of the kids. Their only concern was doing their personal best and occasionally I captured some great faces!
Aw, the "Goat Ribbon" event. From as young as 2 years old, the shutter on my camera hardly stopped. So cute, it melted your heart. One or two were afraid the first time and others were "I can do this daddy!"
Pony Bronc Riding. One of many pages filled with images like this taken on five different days of the entire series. For the album, I mixed the images of the age groups, but kept the events separate. 16 images on a page is a lot. I wanted the kids to remember each other, the thrill of victory and also the agony of defeat. (cliche I know)
No injuries, amazing right?! Each and every one of these boys walked out of the arena on their own. Tough as nails!
This is one of the personal pages. The first page of his album started with this picture of the two awards he won. 1st and 2nd place in two different divisions and the quote was by him to his dad. "it was a great year!"
This image captured her grandma's heart and sold the album! I think it was shot on the first day that I was there. Horse and rider looking as one with the mane and "pony" tail being as one! It's one of those images that will be cherished forever.
I had very few images of this little guy competing in the Mutton Bustin' events.
Not one without a helmet, but as shown here, strutting with his chaps, buckle and rough-stock vest on after a tough ride.
The only wedding I agreed to photograph. Immediately upon meeting them, I felt like I had known them forever! There was no posing, everything was candid and if I didn't get the shot right, no big deal just move on!
As you can see, it was not a traditional wedding. Just a few family members and close friends in attendance. The cover of their album was a shot with just them and the Justice of the Peace outside and in their garden where the ceremony was held. I added the text of their names and wedding date in a gorgeous script.
A page was added with a near dozen images towards the beginning of the album that have great sentimental memories for the bride and groom.
Immediately after the "I Do's" everyone hugged. Everyone was jumping around, cheering and laughing. Just enjoying the moment. Again, all candid shots.
TELLING THE STORY.
When the bride told me what was said when she saw these pictures, we joked and said, "Oh, yes! That has to go in the album." A lot of time was spent, we didn't rush to get the album finished. We communicated back and forth, finding the right words for the right pages. It was worth it!
While sitting on the bench, they asked each other, "Feel any different?" "No." "Me either." He reflects as he looks down and she laughs. Without the words, anyone else wouldn't know why he's looking down and away. Those three short quotes tell the story.
A PICTURE MAY BE WORTH A THOUSAND WORDS, but add in some extra special effects, such as text, scripture, stories, letters, etc., to help tell even more!
Creating photo albums takes ingenuity, know-how and an experienced skill of laying out pages as it tells a story. Choosing the fonts that match the personality of the images and the mood of the album is essential to it being a success. The clients input to what was happening when the photos were taken and finding the right words is a great mix. Some clients I spent a lot of time with to match up photos with text. As in some of the samples, favorite bible passages were used and others, actual words spoken at the time or a phrase that the client relates to were used. Not all pages need text, but when I can help find the words that fit the image, it just makes the entire album that much more special.
Next, picking which photos are to be more prominent than others. Smaller thumbnails versus those that fill the page. How many to a page? Choosing images that may be insignificant to others, but have special meaning to just a few. Which ones are nearest to the client's heart and help tell the story. There are so many choices and decisions to be made. It's like being an editor of a movie, trying to figure out just what the director (photographer) was going for at the time.
One time, unknowingly, I cropped out someone in the background of an image because I thought that person was distracting to what was happening in the image. Thankfully, my client told me there was a very personal connection to that person that I cropped out. Now my client will have that memory every time that photo is seen. Communication is vital!
You want the recipient to be able to pick up that photo album years later, and remember the small details of what happened that day and also allow others into those special moments.
With my typesetting background, over 30+ years in graphic design, and 20+ years doing photo retouching; let me help you put together a photo album that will be cherished forever!
Yes, I can use your photos as long as you have permission from the original photographer.
All photography by Char Doonan.
Professional Photographers: if you have been wanting to offer your clients photo albums as part of your package, but don't feel comfortable in your skills, I totally understand.
I understand wanting to do it all, but think of it this way: why spend the countless hours learning all that it entails to create an extraordinary album, when you can continue doing what you do best and outsourcing to me what I do best?! It's a "win-win" for all involved. Confidentiality is not a problem. Over the years, I have worked with advertising agencies and marketing firms with the same agreement.
©2017 CanDew Digital. All Rights Reserved.. No image may be reproduced without written permission from Char Doonan.