Student Government Campaign Shoot: Michelle Chen

02-21-2017

I did a shoot for my dear friend who lived on the same floor with me in residence. She was running for multiple student leadership positions and needed photos for her campaign.

Here are the official poster media.

Here are some of my favourites that didn’t make the final cut.

You may want to know the results of the elections. Michelle won all of the positions she ran for after a week of long nights, hard work, dedication, genuine care, stress, deep chats, and ice cream bars. This included VP of the upper year tower (head of all programming and tower events) and Student Council Arts Representative. I wish her the best of luck in her roles this coming year! …but anyways I know she will be great!

Nightlife Photography: Flow in the Dark

A couple nights ago I attended an event called “Flow in the Dark” hosted by a well known student group that I am a part of here on campus. Basically, the concept was to hold a blacklight (flow) yoga class that combined yoga with a nightclub-like atmosphere. It was a year kickoff event that the group had been planning since the end of last school year.We had a great turnout (as you will see).

In terms of photographic styles, I had never done anything quite like this before. The low lighting conditions combined with the movement of the “yogis” were the main difficulties. I did some research before the big day and made some notes:

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I did borrow a tripod from my friend, but through most of the night, I ended up just sticking to using a really high ISO and a very large aperture (“quick handheld shots”) because I needed to be on my feet. Because of these restricted settings, much of the depth and quality was lost in the photos. To remedy some of the graininess in the photos, noise reduction had to be applied in Lightroom during post-processing. I took advantage of the time during sound/light check to play around with camera settings with the tripod. I tried a deeper depth of field and a lower ISO, but I couldn’t get it how I wanted it (there was always too much light resulting from the shutter being open for too long). Perhaps adjusting shutter speed in M mode or investing in an external flash would have been a good bet, but either way I had to move around so a tripod was not a practical option. Overall, I have to say this event was quite a challenge for me and I did learn a lot just from going out there and trying. Shout-out to Health and Wellness Movement for hosting this great event! I had so much fun!

Here are some of the highlights from the night. Enjoy!

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These shots captured the nightclub atmosphere.

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The party begins…

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Face Painting!!!

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Zen.

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Our amazing crowd 🙂

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Creative shots.

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And lastly, it wouldn’t be Bonnie Chow Photography without some bokeh ❤

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~Bonnie

Life in Black and White: Wedding Edition

Over the long weekend, I did a wedding photoshoot for a client. It was a very hectic day and I was on my feet for 12 hours straight. I have learned a lot over the course of my experience as a intern wedding photographer. Here are some main things I picked up:
• Be bold, but never obstructive (This is during the ceremony mainly…I never know where to stand.)
• Create a ‘Shot List’ for formals (This helped me to stay organized and on track of things. It also puts pressure off you knowing you haven’t missed a single shot.)
• Wedding Photography Family Photo Coordinator (This part of the day is chaotic. Having someone who knows the family well will be very helpful.)
• Shoot the small details (Don’t lose track of the small things.)
• Consider Your Backgrounds
• Change Your Perspective
• Fill flash is your friend (I have become more comfortable with using flashes in low lighting conditions.)
• Continuous Shooting Mode (This allows me to never miss a moment.)

Here are some black and white conversions of some of my favourite photos from the wedding.

Wedding Cake Decor: I wanted to incorporate the streak of light in the background to create depth and interest in the black and white conversion.

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Portrait: I am happy with how this simple subject turned out.

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Some things I kept in mind while shooting with black and white in mind included, contrast, texture, and defined shadows and highlights. I was shooting in RAW for most flexible post-manipulation and a fairly low ISO to reduce noise, in the blacks especially. I like how black and white is suitable for almost any occassion.

Food Photography

What’s another thing I love to photograph? …well, as you probably figured out from the title, FOOD! Being around my parents’ business has allowed me to experiment in this field a little bit. Seeing my final photographs printed and displayed in a menu layout make me feel a bit more accomplished. Having the finished product in “real” form is very pleasing. I really enjoy the marketing aspect of this, as was mentioned in my previous post on product photography. 

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This is one of my favourites. I was fairly successful in capturing the milk streaking down in the glass. It adds subtle detail. The reflections on the glass, though, are a little distracting.

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I like the glossy and accurate detail captured here.

Green Tea Ice Cream

I did not show the entire glass because I wanted to create a different close up perspective to highlight the detail of the product itself.

Product Photography

A few months ago, I did a shoot for a salon for their Black Friday promotion. These photos are up on their company website. I had a lot of fun at this shoot. The lighting conditions were not optimal, but took advantage of the lights in the background and the lights that were reflecting off some surfaces. Product photography and marketing is something I would like to get into.

phtgr11-2-2     Here, I tried using the bokeh effect in the foreground instead of the background.

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I tried to soften the background with bokeh to add an elegant feel.

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Reflections on the table top and the ornament add interest. I focused on keeping the simplicity of the repetition as the main element in the photo.

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I noticed these products were quite uniform and wanted to take advantage of that, so I arranged them in a row next to each other. The fact that they included all the primary colours add a separating element as each of the products claims to do different things. I could have tried more angles and eliminate some of the tilt.

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I like this perspective. Maybe a slight temperature adjustment would have been better. Depth of field should have also been considered to have more of the print visible.

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Similar to the second photo, I wanted to stick with the greens and soft bokeh theme.

I had tons of fun at this shoot, but I would like to learn more about how studio lights and how they can make a difference in product photography.