Light Me Up

As everyone knows, Arizona is literally the gates of hell during the summer. :0 Since the summers are so hot, photo sessions typically slow down, because absolutely no one wants to go out in the blazing heat for photos, let alone smile for the camera. So, it got me thinking, what should I do next with my photography?

One of my favorite photographers is Brandon Woelfel. I like his work specifically because he thinks outside the box and makes the ordinary, magical. One of his favorite forums is his night photography. His use of random sources of light, such as a neon sign, glow sticks, Christmas lights, etc, creates a whole different scene than what was originally planned. His final product is always stellar.

So, after all my "trolling" of his amazing work, I wanted to try this method of manipulating lighting in photography. It's so very different from my style of natural light and warm tones. Also, I tend to keep my photos as true to the original as possible, without too much editing. So doing these amazing night sessions, I stepped out of my "photographer comfort zone", and had lots of fun experimenting both in the taking of the photos, as well as in post editing. We did a total of five sessions, and shout out to my amazing models for making my vision come to life! ;)

This Must Be My Dream

The very first session was of my sister Daniella at our house. We used two glow bracelets and a night light as our additional sources of light. With this session, I wanted to capture the aspect of a kid's struggle with bad dreams. My sister actually struggled with nightmares for a while, when all the school shootings had happened. I really wanted to capture the emotional struggle, bringing it to life with my camera. I used the objects of light in the photo to resemble hope; bringing her back from the darkness of the nightmare into the light of what's good and real.

In editing, I played with the warm tones and contrasted them with purple or blue hues, to create a conflict of emotions when one looks at the photos. However, I did choose to maintain the pink, since that represents my sister's energetic personality pretty accurately!


With the second session, I wanted to create the illusion of a girl trapped in a dream, but it's unclear if it's a good or bad dream. I used my other sister, Casey, for these photos, and even though she's pretty serious looking in the photos, we had a great time!! I really leaned into the cooler tones editing this session, to create the illusion of time travel. A super fun effect I came up with was using my cellphone light to bounce off a sequined pillow. This helped create the cool specks of light you see on the wall.

(I love when a crazy idea leads to an amazing outcome! Again, it's all about being creative and experimenting; sometimes your idea will work, sometimes it won't work. Don't be afraid to stretch your talents!)

All the Stars

For the third session, I knew I wanted to get outside. I wanted to tell a story of a girl that wasn't afraid of the dark, and showcase her fascination for the lights. I used my sister's best friend Lena to help me portray this story. I used orange, red, and blue tones in these photos to create a complimentary array of conflict. Now what do you see in the above photo? Hmmm....the real question is, is she actually holding the moon? ;)

Don't Look Down

GARRET!!!! I was honestly so happy that Garret said he'd be a model for me, because, seriously, guys that are natural in front of the camera and who model well too, are hard to come by. Garret though, absolutely knocked it out of the park! I wanted to capture a few shots, where the night, and the lights in it, worked together to bring out different sides to him that were retro and cool. I used blue, purple, and pink lights to create the retro vibe that I was shooting for. I wasn't sure if I would like this style or color palette with a guy as my model, but I was way wrong! This was epic!

Born In The USA

My last session.....Happy Fourth of July! You're cute if you thought I didn't take any sparkler photos!! ;) I honestly just wanted to capture the crazy enjoyment that this holiday brings. Sparklers always bring out the "sparkle" in a person's heart and eyes. I used Daniella, Casey, and Isaac in these photos and am extremely excited with how they turned out. These are the type of photos that should put a smile on your face!

(And yes....we all got burned a couple of times. lol)

For all these sessions, I used a tripod, since they were all shot in an extremely dark room or outside at night. Of course, they were all shot on my baby, aka, the Canon Eos 6d. :) I'd probably say the hardest challenge I met in shooting these photos was making sure they were in focus. I had to have a "helper" shine a flashlight on the subject, while I focused in on the subject manually, then the "helper" removed the flashlight in order for me to take the photo.

I really enjoyed these little story sessions, expanding my photo taking abilities! And I hope you enjoyed looking through these photos and maybe even learned a little something about photography!

Remember, fall is just around the corner, so make sure to book your family session before it's to late!

Have an amazing day you incredible humans!

© orellana creative 2020