In the Studio

Mary Dougherty

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ABOUT mary

I'm a fine art film photographer living in the mountains and traveling to tell beautiful stories

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I have a secret. For the past few weeks I’ve been shooting in a studio. I know, it’s so unlike me. It’s not often I shoot in a studio, actually to be honest it’s closer to never. I like to photograph on location, use natural light to my advantage and have my subjects at home in their environment. However when I was asked about shooting some studio portraits for Houghton College, I jumped at the chance. Yes, it’s not what I do every day, but it was a challenge I knew I could take.

Lighting can strike fear in the hearts of natural light photographers, and while not entirely fearful I knew I would have to work harder to successfully capture the images they wanted (okay I was a little afraid). I had to make a plan, and practice. Studio photography seems to be a lot more science than art, and yet the rules are just as valuable when used as when broken. Instead of continuous lighting I used speedlights (canon 600ex’s) to be exact, and I made a few mistakes for every success that I shot.

It was a learning experience for both of us as Houghton tried to create something different and I worked to capture the look they wanted. Overall it was a success and I can’t wait to see how the images are used. Above is a favorite of mine – for a few reasons. #1 I love Sarah. She is hilarious and she has made me laugh since before the time she gave me a seventeen magazine filled with personalized notes and drawings for my birthday. #2 That’s a great start, evidence that my husband knows how to coach – although the best triple extension image was slightly less interesting so I didn’t use it. #3. It makes me want to run, which is good because I’ll take anything that will get me motivated these days.

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