Archive for the ‘Maria Fonseca Photography’ Category

Why Photographers Do What We Do – guest blogger Maria Fonseca

What is the purpose of photography?  Is it to create timeless memories?

 

For me, it is capturing special moments of shared love, laughter, and joy.  It is capturing moments in time – be they of people, places or objects. Every image has the potential to carry its own unique feeling through time and return us to a place of happiness and wonder.

 

Every second we live becomes a second in the past.  Images capture those seconds and store them by creating a chart of memories and moments that can be revisited.  If an image has not been captured, precious memories may be lost forever.

 

Images come in many forms from natural in the moment captures to carefully staged and managed photo shoots.  Each capture is as unique as a fingerprint.  Natural moments can not be created. They can only be captured in their time.

 

Great images are not necessarily great works of art.  While the art of photography relies on creativity and preparation, the art of a great image often relies on the emotion captured in that instant.  Today images can be enhanced and transformed with the click of a mouse but the greatness of an image cannot be edited or created. An amateur can create as great an image as a trained photographer.  The difference between the two individuals is the consistency of capturing at each opportunity and seeing the possibility of a great image in a passing moment.  A great image can come in the simple form of a flower in a field or the innocence in a child’s eye.  Little moments often turn out to be the best.

 

I capture images that challenge me to feel.  I capture images that intrigue me and take me by surprise.  As a trained anthropologist, my imagery attempts to visually convey the common human experience. I photograph to see what the world looks like.

 

The still image lasts a lifetime taken in a split moment of time. Being able to communicate something in my head and create a tangible visual is my passion.  It is the passion of most photographers.

Maria Fonseca, Photographer             mfon52@aol.com

INTERNATIONAL YACHT RESTORATION SCHOOL (IYRS) – guest blogger Maria Fonseca

It is appropriate to have a blog post about a yacht restoration school given the time of year when we all spend so much time outside and get to enjoy the beauties around us.  For those wh have experienced a yacht race, it is an incredible sight.  Let’s learn more from our guest blogger Maria Fonseca, Photographer.  You can reach Maria by email at mfon52@aol.com

I am not a boatman or yachtsman by any means but a photographer constantly seeking beauty of any kind. I discovered beauty by chance on a recent visit to the IYRS in Newport.  An image in the Boston Globe drew me to this magical place located on Narragansett Bay.

Founded in 1992, the school powers careers in the marine industry and includes both the main campus in Newport (which I visited) and a satellite campus in Bristol.  Its boating and restoration programs play an important role in Rhode Island’s workforce development.

As an international school, the focus is on preparing students to excel in all aspects of modern wooden boatbuilding. Restoration Hall is its waterfront building serving as the school’s main teaching facility.  It has been refitted as an open space where students work on their projects.  The Coronet Building, next to Restoration Hall, is the site of the current reconstruction of the 1885 schooner of the same name.

Located along the coast where boating is a major part of the local culture and commerce, IYRS is a vibrant maritime center to be enjoyed by students and visitors alike.  An elevated catwalk allows visitors to observe craftsmen down below.  It is quite an experience to witness both the building of small boats and the restoration of classic large vessels to their former glory and usefulness.  Students demonstrate that honest work, integrity and mastery of a craft are among life’s greatest achievements and joys. Graduates of the programs use this specialized training as a launch pad for a wide range of career paths.

Why Hire a Professional Photographer When Everyone Owns a Digital Camera? – guest blogger Maria Fonseca

 Welcome to our guest blogger, Maria Fonseca with her take on why you should hire a professional photographer.

In hiring a professional photographer, you are not hiring someone to capture snapshots.  You are hiring a professional with years of experience and education. You are hiring a professional who brings creativity and passion to the process.  There is a post production process that few potential clients understand.

As professional photographers, we need to educate clients and potential clients in order for them to understand the difference in image quality and, therefore, value that we provide.  Many of us have spent decades learning to deliver high quality products to our clients.

Digital technology has made it possible for everyone to think they can be a ‘professional photographer.’  The marketplace is saturated with watered down versions of us.  It has given the potential client a distorted view of what image quality is and how to achieve it.

So we, as professional photographers, must demonstrate the difference our work makes to weddings and family photographs, for example.  We can demonstrate that we capture much better imagery than the amateurs and that we deliver a much higher quality product.  I recently heard a story about a client who only wanted the CD from a photo shoot and did not contract with the professional photographer to complete the process in post production and to deliver a high quality print on high quality paper.  So the professional photographer delivered the CD and the client apparently took it to Walgreens or CVS to have prints made.  The photographer later cringed when she saw her image hanging on this client’s wall having never gone through the post production process all professional photographers use. Try to understand the value you are purchasing when you hire a professional with the expertise to produce high quality images.

I recently heard of a bride-to-be who was unknowingly hiring a ‘photographer’ for her upcoming wedding. This photographer had never shot a wedding before but figured that since he owned a digital camera, he could shoot any event.  I gasped at the quality of imagery this bride was unknowingly purchasing for the capture her special day.  Wedding photography is a specialized area of photography that should be done only by skilled wedding photographers.

So in capturing life’s precious moments, decide whether you want snapshots or high quality images that will last a lifetime.  Understand that if you don’t hire the right person for the job, the quality of the images will suffer.

Maria Fonseca Photography

mfon52@aol.com    781-354-6096

Photoshop & Photography – by Maria Fonseca, Guest Blogger

PHOTOSHOP and PHOTOGRAPHY

What is a photograph? What is no longer photography?

Maria Fonseca, Photographer

Photoshop, the graphics editing program that allows for digital manipulation of a photo, has become so commonplace that the first question we might ask when viewing a photo is:  Has it been photoshopped?

 

Recently numerous images have been posted on the web of high fashion models before they had been photoshopped.  They were pretty girls in all their curves before technology took over and manipulated them into unnatural barbie dolls, the image of perfection rarely attainable in real life.

 

I have since viewed numerous before and after shots of people and places where imagery has been manipulated.  Sometimes the manipulation is subtle and in good taste.  Other times it is mean and totally distorts what is beautiful in its natural state.

 

With easy access to a variety of editing tools, images can be made to look the way we want them to look rather than how they actually look.  How much photoshopping is too much?

 

The greatest threat to the healthy female body may be the computer program. Photoshop can manipulate female beauty by reinforcing the aesthetic of skinny and skinnier. It can shrink the size of cheeks, hips, and upper arms. It can enlarge or reduce breast size. Wrinkles can be easily removed as can bags beneath the eyes.  Inches can be “liquified” above and below the midriff. Photoshop is frequently associated with exaggeration and reinforcement of unhealthy standards of beauty. Women are comparing themselves to an ideal fabricated by brushstrokes.

 

But what about news stories?

 

Photographs preserve information and speak in ways that words can not.  But news photographs can also lie and misrepresent.  Perhaps we have ascribed photos a power and finality they don’t deserve since they can be easily manipulated by professional and non-professional alike.  Photographers are aware that they often get only one shot so they are pushed to capture more perhaps than was actually there.

 

A distinction can be made between images we expect to be photoshopped – i.e., fashion, celebrity, etc. –  and those we don’t – i.e., news. But might there come a time where we can not trust any photos anymore?

 

I recently had the pleasure of meeting a very old lady in a nursing home.  How she viewed herself  informed my photography from this point forward.  I captured images of her as she began to dance with a joyful twinkle in her eyes.  When I got home and viewed the images on the large screen, I immediately began to think through which Photoshop tools I would use to soften her wrinkles, remove the pink coloration around her eyes, even out her teeth, etc. After I had significantly softened her very deep wrinkles, she became no longer recognizable as the delightful person who had charmed me with her spirit and zest for life. She was no longer the woman whom I had immediately gravitated to and who had so completely captivated me.  I had gravitated to an old lady whose red rimmed eyes sparkled and whose very deep wrinkles told the story of her life.  I had gravitated to a very old lady who effortlessly danced as we talked about her impending reluctant return home to an empty house.

 

In my photography, I strive to capture what I see, and that is the true essence of a person.  Slight softening is OK but major softening and sharpening creates a caricature that will never be my intent. I have recently discovered that even in images I have captured of myself, I had been heavy-handed with the brush strokes until I had created a caricature of myself.

 

Maria Fonseca

Maria Fonseca Photograph                mfon52@aol.com                    781-354-6096

Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/pages/Maria-Fonseca-Photography/146290242155753

 

From Passion to Profit – The Photographer’s Life

Welcome back to our guest blogger Maria Fonseca.  Maria is giving us a look into the mirror of what life can be like for a photographer making money from their passion

The industry of photography is in constant flux:  technologies, software, client expectations, etc. With the energy and money invested in becoming a professional photographer, photographers aspire to seeing a good return on their investment.

 

The changing global economy is witnessing major changes.  Workers are being required to relearn their jobs with new technical skills while at the same time reassessing business practices that may no longer be effective.  The profession of photography has changed as a technical craft. There no longer are darkrooms. Digital photography was born.

 

Today’s consumer perception of photography is simple.  Consumers don’t care about the photographer’s passion. If consumers can bargain, they will.  The client only cares about what is in it for him/her. It is the photographer’s job to show each client the value his services have for them.

 

Many photographers complete programs in trade schools, community colleges and universities.  But most of these institutions don’t prepare students to become good businessmen. The field is seeing that many photographers who succeed are those who come from other industries and are pursuing photography as a second or third career.  In former careers, business skills were mastered.  The concept of finding a niche market was understood.  These second/third career photographers  concentrate on developing a specific theme and making it their main field of activity.

 

Creating great images is not enough.  It is part of the recipe but only a small part. How do clients choose photographers with whom to do business?  Building lasting relationships, creating friendships, becoming clients’ expert, and having fun is what it is all about.  Sharing beautiful life moments is the best weapon against any type of competition.

 

Photography is going through a metamorphosis both technically and on the business front.  There are more photographers than ever before, yet the number of established studios decreases everyday.  Basic photography is easy for most to master with digital technology.

 

Passion for photography is not enough to turn passion into profit.  Most practicing photographers are self-employed, therefore wearing the hat of both photographer and entrepreneur. Professional and aspiring photographers need to understand the emotional value, business solution, and/or benefit they bring to to each client.

Maria Fonseca  mfon52@aol.com  781-354-6096

Selling Your Home? – Hire A Professional Photographer

STAGING YOUR HOUSE FOR SALE

Staging your house for sale is certainly an art with LOCATION and LIGHT being the most important qualities buyers seek. The battle to sell your house takes place on the Internet with curb appeal no longer driving initial buyer interest. After you have staged your house, a professional photographer can display its assets online.

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STAGING your house in its best light is critical with LIGHTING being everything. A brightly lit (whether artificially lit or using bright sunshine) and clutter-free house attracts buyer attention.  Houses look better in the spring when a professional photographer can capture images of the exterior and interior spaces and flood them with light.  Winter is the least appealing time to sell.  But if you must, a professional photographer can capture a night shot of your house’s exterior flooded with bright light from within.  The photographer is your best partner in creating that great first impression that makes your house appealing to buyers.

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The photographer does not stage your home for you.  After you have perfected the art of staging, often with the assistance of a professional stager in concert with your real estate agent’s expertise, the photographer captures what you choose to have posted on the Internet. Unnecessary items should be removed to assist buyers in mentally “moving in” with their own furniture and artifacts.  And after your house has attracted buyers on the Internet, all lights and lamps should be on during showings to set an inviting mood.

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Home staging is about illusion.  It is about perfecting the art of creating a mood.  It can make your home look bigger, brighter, cleaner, warmer, and, best of all, make home buyers want to buy it. So staging is about dressing your house for sale.

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Once you have perfected the fine art of staging that highlight your house’s assets, a professional photographer can create pleasing images for display on the Internet

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Some general staging tips in prepping your house for sale are:

–        Make the house shine from top to bottom.

–        Remove unnecessary items from areas that attract the most clutter.

–        Bring the outdoors inside through the use of greenery and plants. Examine       and remove any dead plants.

–        Make sure all lights and lamps are on for showings.  This sets an inviting          mood.

Proper staging will turn your house into a marketable home. The services of a professional photographer will showcase your staging online.

Maria Fonseca Photography

 

 

Photography & Real Estate

I am very excited to introduce guest blogger Maria Fonseca.  You will find Maria on the blog on the first Friday of the month with great information about photography.  Sometimes we forget how important taking good photographs is to the sale of our home! 

REAL ESTATE  & PHOTOGRAPHY

Have you ever thought about how important it is to take good photographs when selling your home and how they can affect the sale?  Advances in technology – laptops and smartphones – are making it easier for buyers and sellers to navigate the housing market.

The bulk of all home searches are starting online nowadays. Potential buyers are looking to view eye-catching interior photographs as they decide which properties to view and which Open Houses to attend. It has become increasingly important for brokers to instruct their sellers on how to prepare their homes in visually appealing ways.

To the photographer shooting interiors, it has become more than simply pointing and shooting. It now requires careful forethought and consideration. When viewing a home I look for shapes and angles that are complimentary. This can be anything from doorways, furniture, art, and even light fixtures. On occasion, I even move items to give the room a better flow. It is important to really look through the viewfinder and experiment with different angles and adjust the zoom as necessary.

Architectural interior photography is tricky business but clearly a significant factor in how long a property remains on the market.  Developing the photographic eye for proper composition certainly takes practice. To capture visually appealing images, it is important to  portray a room’s character and feel.

Brokers instruct their sellers to hide personal artifacts like family photos and to remove clutter and other obvious distractions. Overfurnished rooms do not photograph well. In interior photography, less really is more. Poor photographs make a property look less than appealing.

As a photographer, I tend to view the foreground and background as a whole and to locate my camera in such a way that foreground and background do not compete for attention. It is important to align shapes and angles to the common eye and not just the photographic eye.

A good photograph should be a great promotional tool.  It is important to post the best possible portion of the property’s rooms. In addition to paying careful attention to significant objects and details, I find it is best to  use a wide-angle lens to take in as much of each room as possible.

In addition to furniture and architectural details,  considerable thought should be given to lighting.  To make sure that the key elements in the room are given emphasis, my eyes are drawn to color and lighting.  When dealing with bright windows,  schedule your  shooting in the late afternoon or early morning hours when the sun is not as bright and there’s a better balance of light between outside light and inside light.  I even draw curtains, when necessary.

During this time when the bulk of all home searches start online, brokers are increasingly finding that it is best to hire out this very important work to a professional photographer.  It’s just too important to be done poorly.

Maria Fonseca Photography

mfon52@aol.com

781-354-6096

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