Avia Photography

My photo
Columbia, Missouri, United States
Warning, the following ramblings are those of a sometimes sidetracked photographer avoiding accomplishing tasks on her list. All we ask is that if you use one of our photos from here or elsewise, you kindly give us credit. = )

Monday, December 21, 2009

Brian's first HDR attempt

Brian here, had a quiet moment so I thought I'd sneak in a post of my own. Two weekends ago Mallory and I were staying at the Westin in Crown Center, KC with my parents for a little Christmas trip. Directly out our balcony window was the Liberty Memorial, the only memorial dedicated to soldiers who fought in World War I. I must have glanced at it 20 times throughout the day saying to myself "I've got to take a picture of that". It wasn't until we got back to the room that night that it hit me, I'll do an HDR shot!

Now I'll be the first to admit that HDR photography is a bit of a fad (for those of you who don't know, HDR is where you take 3 or more pictures of the same thing, some much brighter so there are less shadows, and some much darker so bright lights can be seen with detail, and then a computer program combines them) but I figured it might be fun to try. I opened the door to the balcony, dragged a small table out with me (the tripod was in the car) and went to work. 30 minutes and many frozen fingers/toes later, here is what I got. The results are pretty cool, I have to admit.

P.S. You may notice there is a horizontal line of lights, just below the smoke, behind the tower. I have NO idea what that is. It was there in some pictures, and gone in others. UFO? If anyone has a guess or an answer, I'd love to hear it.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

.:more out-takes:.

This is why I love photographing children. They can still make these faces and totally get away with it. It's no wonder I'm addicted to photographing the flower girls at weddings. Look at this little one!

.:i love headshots:.

There's something I absolutely adore about taking headshots. Maybe it was because the first time I took over the stage was when I demanded my own solo spot in our preschool Christmas concert when I was three. I've been a recovering addict of the stage ever sense. A dear friend of mine and I discussed our love for theatre a few nights ago and came to the conclusion that our addiction is in large part a combination of the adrenaline rush from connecting with the audience and the incredible feeling of being part of a group creative process with fellow actors & creatives.

Speaking of headshots, you may recognize this fellow from when we first did his headshots in May. (You can find that post here.) He said at that time that he was mourning the loss of his hair he had always had. For the play he had just come out of his hair had to be relaxed (for you white folk reading this, that's a chemical they put on hair to permanently straighten it whereby if the person wants to go back natural he has to shave it all off and start all over). His hair has returned after many months of letting it go back to it's original state so we needed to take photos of him with his gorgeous natural locks.

You may have seen Chris recently in a production called Holding Up the Sky, written by Mizzou's very own Professor Clyde Ruffin. The show was so good it was invited to compete in the regional KCACTF festival in January. If it does well enough, it will go on to nationals. The University is holding a free performance for all of you folks that live in Columbia on Friday, January 15th if you're game to attend. This young man stars in the show and it'd be a shame to miss it. Brian and I saw it a few weeks ago and it was absolutely incredible. And it takes a lot for us to say that. But remember, you saw him here first. (If you're signed in to facebook or reading this post from there, click here to get more info on the show.)

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


One of my favorite parts of posed group photos are the out-takes. I always need to test the lighting before we do any sort of studio-type shoots to make sure the lighting is working. Brian is almost always my guinea pig but on this occasion we were doing family portraits and Spencer, the family's 8-year-old, was hanging close by and joined in on the light-testing magic. As I was going back through the family photos, I found this one. I'm sure Brian was probably the ring-leader on this one.

I've also pasted our new logo! Thanks to those of you that helped us in that decision-making process. I'm hoping I won't be kicking myself soon for having designed an unusually-shaped logo. I guess we'll see...

We're almost caught up on photos which means we are on to the next phase: album designing!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


Ah... headshots. For all of my life I can remember looking up at billboards as we passed them in car trips and noticing headshots of a myriad of folks: insurance salesmen, doctors, real estate agents, reporters, funeral home directors, you name it, these men and women all had their heads plastered eight feet high. The disparity that I continued to notice was the quality of their headshots. To put it bluntly, they were pitiful photographs. Even as someone who didn't take photos at the time I could tell you that the people looked disingenuous, stuffy, and uncomfortable. Not to mention it appeared that most photographers had no idea what they were doing with lighting when they took these shots. It broke my heart that the persons being shot probably paid someone to take such an awful photo of them. I still see these unacceptable headshots plastered EVERYWHERE and, as corny as it sounds, it makes me weep inside.

When we finally started taking photos for real one thing Brian and I promised was that we'd work to try to get a shot that was not only lit absolutely beautifully (and in a flattering manner) but one in which the subject didn't look like they were in dire pain. The latter objective is much more difficult to achieve than the former when you're doing a simple headshot, but we still try. Headshots are a portion of what we've been up to lately, with our major batches being the theatre faculty and staff at MU and the dental staff at Accent Dental these last few weeks. Because I really truly do like doing headshots, I wanted to display them. So I borrowed a simple design I did for Second Baptist's Women's Day CD Promotional Poster back in September (for kicks, I added that below the headshot photos) and just stuck them all together. Much better than those stuffy mile high billboards you see along I-70 & I-63 if I do say so myself.

For safety purposes, I took off the latter half of Reverend Myra's phone number so she doesn't have everyone and their mother calling her at 4:00 a.m. wanting a CD. But I guess if anyone actually wanted to purchase one let me know and I'll give her the info. = ) Happy week after Thanksgiving! (Oh, and for kickers, which of the following faces looks familiar...?)

So if you know of anyone who needs their company's headshots updated...