Studio C Photography Culpeper, Virginia: Blog en-us (C) Timothy Carlson, CPP (Studio C Photography Culpeper, Virginia) Thu, 18 Jan 2018 00:00:00 GMT Thu, 18 Jan 2018 00:00:00 GMT Studio C Photography Culpeper, Virginia: Blog 90 120 Snow photos too dark? DSCF5103DSCF5103DSCF5103 It's that time of the year for some fun in the snow!  It may be on the slopes, in the back yard, or the traditional Hallmark snow-ball fight.  Now your camera wants to make everything look properly exposed. It thinks the best way to do that is to pick the middle brightness and make that grey.  The problem is you want the snow to be bright white, not dirty grey.  The solution...use your exposure compensation to open the lens up 1-1.5 stops.  DSCF5242DSCF5242DSCF5242

Okay, I lost a few of you--don't worry.  The camera sees all the light bouncing off the snow and wants to make the photo quickly--thus the grey snow.  If you see that and your camera has an exposure compensation adjustment, use that to manually add in +1 stop of time.  This gives the camera a little more time, and thus light, to make the photo and the snow becomes whiter.  

Also, don't be afraid to use your flash outside on those bright snow days.  If your subject is near the snow's bright service their face may look perfect.  If you have them in a shadow, turned away from the bright snow, or the day is cloudy, use the flash to "fill-in" the face for a printable image! DSCF5239DSCF5239DSCF5239


(Studio C Photography Culpeper, Virginia) snow Wed, 17 Jan 2018 23:59:39 GMT
Brides and Wedding Dates HawkinsChernay-7210HawkinsChernay-7210 RHHF-148RHHF-148

Happy New year !  IT seems like a lot of couples got engaged this past Christmas.  We are booking into 2019!!  Make sure you call or stop by the Studio to lock in your date.  This is one day you don't want to worry about. 

We have been photographing couples for over 20 years.  We bring the best expertise, crew, and of course a PPA registered CPP to handle the photography.  The consultation only takes a few moments and we are always here for you! StudioCPhotography_©2016QandA-66856685StudioCPhotography_©2016QandA-66856685 QandA-6424-EditQandA-6424-EditStudio C Photography StudioCPhotography_©2016QandA-65686568StudioCPhotography_©2016QandA-65686568Studio C Photography

(Studio C Photography Culpeper, Virginia) Thu, 04 Jan 2018 23:26:01 GMT
Do we need beauty? VPPA-7855VPPA-7855©studiocphotography 2014

Do we need beauty?  Before I answer that, what is beauty?  I have gotten myself in more trouble with a sincere compliment of "that is beautiful!", only to have a fight on my hands.  Was there an implied insinuation that I meant the opposite and was poking fun?  Was there an ulterior motive? Was I just crazy to think of my subject as beautiful--anchovy pizza? Do we think beauty or feel it?  Do we need make up, the perfect hair, teeth, and clothing?

Science has a literal definition-- but I go more with the feeling idea.  I experience beauty when I am drawn to something that makes me feel.  It produces a feeling in me that was not there a moment before.  The experience demands the compliment.  It can be symmetry in a face, photo, or room design.  It can be an arrangement of musical notes that draws my soul into another place.  It can be lights and shadows in an image that leads the viewer to the subject.  It can be the tenacity of a person learning a task as they try and try again.  It can be the spouse, smiling as they look at the person they married all those years ago.  But I am moved by beauty and yes, I think we need beauty. Grannie's Santa01620171226-Grannie's Santa01620171226-Grannie's Santa01620171226-

At least for me, being moved by beauty can be small things--the dawn of a new day, the smile I get when I walk by someone, or the moment of quiet when you relax into your thoughts.  As a photographer, it can be the unique image I can only get from you, at that perfect moment, with that perfect expression, with your face.  Now, if we are casting a commercial or stage production, we might need the perfect (_______), to fill the role of beautiful.  But, we do need beauty in our lives to make them rich.  And the beauty you provide may be in the work you do to power your family or the way you make someone feel with your perfect, beautiful, quirky, smiling you. 

(Studio C Photography Culpeper, Virginia) beauty Wed, 03 Jan 2018 17:43:28 GMT
Happy Printed New Year 2018 Snow-P11408961140896Snow-P11408961140896 We made it into another New Year! 

Take some time to go through your camera/phone, choose a few memories, and have them printed.  You really need to have those memories printed  and out where you can see and touch them.  This will also help your photography get better as you choose between all your shots to get the best one.  You will notice the settings on your camera/phone that can be adjusted to change the final photo.  Lastly, you will notice the difference in printers, labs, and paper choices that make a difference too.  Sound complicated, not really--but they are important.  If you have questions, come by the Studio and let us help.  

Have a great 2018!!

(Studio C Photography Culpeper, Virginia) Tue, 02 Jan 2018 21:34:50 GMT
Can everyone see my images? Good morning Culpeper, StudioCPhotography-DSCF5541PP-StudioCPhotography-DSCF5541PP-


I was just reminded of why friends may "be there for you in a pinch" but may not be the best to handle a professional job.  It seems a wife had her girlfriend take some boudoir photos for her as a gift to her husband.  The wife liked the images as did her husband.  However, the amateur photographer's husband got to see the photos as well and then he shared them with his buddies online.  I dare say, the photographer's husband may not know he broke any laws.   Lots of legal, moral, and trust issues broken here.   I wish these things could be wiped away, but they often are a permanent stain.


A part of my Certified Training was the legal and ethics of my business.  We quite often handle sensitive issues including new products, children, business, and even boudoir sessions.  Most likely, you will not see my latest session on social media and they may not be visible our website either.  The point is to work with professionals, ask questions, and use contracts.  The price you pay may be a little higher, but you are buying the expertise and the assurance you are dealing with a "Professional." yesiamppalogo_redyesiamppalogo_redPPA Logo, Logo for PPA, Professional Photographers of America Logo, Photography Association, Photographers Association, See The Difference, See The Difference Campaign

(Studio C Photography Culpeper, Virginia) Wed, 29 Nov 2017 15:48:54 GMT
It's Friday! Good day and welcome to your weekend!

We all look towards the weekend for that wonderful break in the stress and moments to recharge.  On that note, let's keep a watchful eye out for all the people who work the weekends.  For them, your pleasure may be their daily bread.  Their stress may be high when you are trying to relax.  If you can, keep them in mind and let them do their job.   RHHF-134_peRHHF-134_pe

Now I ask, why wait for the weekend to have fun?  Try to find the pleasure in your daily tasks.  The quiet on the drive to work can help you focus.  The time we have with our spouses--doing the run of the mill tasks--are not to be wasted.  And the "healthy" food and trips to the gym are there to give us long life.  Sure, we know all these things but let us take a minute and think...not everyone has a job, a spouse, a gym, or even food to take for granted. Don't wait for the perfect time to dance.  Look for the music, fill your spirit, and enjoy this moment you have.  The upcoming moment is all there is.  Take time to build a dream and reach for it.   trout-P11409691140969-EditStudioCPhotography©2017trout-P11409691140969-EditStudioCPhotography©2017

For all my photographer buddies, you want inspiration?  Attend PPA Imaging USA in January.  Guaranteed to lift you up! yesiamppalogo_redyesiamppalogo_redPPA Logo, Logo for PPA, Professional Photographers of America Logo, Photography Association, Photographers Association, See The Difference, See The Difference Campaign

(Studio C Photography Culpeper, Virginia) Fri, 08 Sep 2017 14:37:49 GMT
Beauty is... Unless you have been sleeping for 70 years or just born, you know of Dame Helen Mirren--decorated and talented actor who was recently interviewed by Allure Magazine.  The article was a pleasure to read but what struck me was her answer to being a sex-symbol at 72.  Her response to a woman's 'sexiness' is, "a theory that it's rooted in confidence." "It's an interior power that comes from her intelligence.  When intelligence is combined with beauty, it's extraordinary..."  Ladies, and gentlemen, your beauty comes from within.  The confidence...the glint in your eye is the beauty we all enjoy.   The rest is just window dressing.  Value yourself and the smile will be beautiful.


(Studio C Photography Culpeper, Virginia) Mon, 21 Aug 2017 15:23:08 GMT
Culpeper's Downtown Artists Have you seen Downtown Culpeper?  Last night we had a new artist enjoy a festive crowd at their ribbon cutting.  The Sweets were there, the Chamber was there, the spirit was there, and the people came.  We had bottled water, brownie samples, microphones, and traffic control.  So what does this have to do with photography?  Well I was there with a few photographers as well but the artistic planning was there before we came to wish them well.

When you plan an event--party, wedding, appointment, whatever--you need to ask, "what do we wish to accomplish?"  I look for a skilled attorney to handle my legal needs and a different skilled Pro to take care of my car.  So please ask questions before you dive into something you may not fully understand.  Did you know a cupcake will cook different than a thicker cake?  Did you know the accent lighting needed for someone with dark hair is different for someone who is fair?  The folks from Seriously Sweet took a lot of time to plan their ribbon cutting last night.  The planning of a street event or the baking of 1200 cupcakes for a Bride's wedding takes some Seriously Sweet artistic talent as well as serious business planning.  

I don't know what expertise you have, but I pray you will enjoy the skills of the small business people who are eager to work for you.  And if you enjoy you favorite...stylist, deli-lady, cheese expert, photographer, them and tell others. Some people have not had the pleasure to work with an artist or to visit Culpeper's famous Downtown.

(Studio C Photography Culpeper, Virginia) artist culpeper photo Sat, 05 Aug 2017 16:01:44 GMT
I like to take pictures, I have a camera, am I a Pro ?!? Hi Guys,


Today this may sound like your Dad talking to you--so in honor of Father's Day, here goes!


I was reminded this morning of a conversation I had after I got my first real 35 mm SLR back in the late 70's.  Back then, I was feeling so cool--knocking out color and B/W images of family, friends, and beautiful landscapes.  I had shot weddings--for free--for a variety of friends and they were more impressed with my work than their paid photographer!  I asked a photographer friend for advice on getting started in the business.  He started talking about contracts, business licensing, federal id numbers, accountants, lawyers, and dangers to avoid.  I wanted the tricks, the cool lenses, best camera body, and what toys I needed to have in the camera bag.  He told me stories of equipment failures at the church, batteries that were suddenly dead, drunk guests that damage your camera, clients that split up after the wedding and refuse to pay their bill, and wedding venues that change at the last minute and you are not told, and on an on.  


The story was--film is art and photography is a business.  We all want to see the best and prettiest outcome; but as business owners, we need to be ready for any event.  There are many legal requirements that artists are not imagining.  As I moved from county to town, I needed a town business license.  If I use my car, I may not be able to take the personal property discount for my now "business" car.   Then we must be ready for the "I don't like these so I am going to sue you" conversation.  Or the "you have 15 minutes to take the 120 poses on the list and we can't find the Bride."  (That is 1 poses every 7.5 seconds.)  And when you come to Tax time, you will find out about taxes you did not know existed.  


Now I am not here to bring you down.  But as my father told me, do a job you love but ask questions.  Don't get penalized on a rookie mistake if you can help it.  If you are taking money for a job--you are responsible for the work.  The reason you build a doghouse or swing set is because you enjoy the work.  But your house is built by those with training and the right equipment.   So if you want to be a Doctor or a Professional Photographer, get the right advice so you can get the training and enjoy the work you do.

yesiamppalogo_redyesiamppalogo_redPPA Logo, Logo for PPA, Professional Photographers of America Logo, Photography Association, Photographers Association, See The Difference, See The Difference Campaign

(Studio C Photography Culpeper, Virginia) PPA Fri, 16 Jun 2017 22:47:38 GMT
Hobby or business? WeddingBookWeddingBook Pros--they seem to be different.  When I am at the gym, they stand out by their abilities and their dedication.  When at the garage, they have tools and training that make the job look so easy.  And a trained builder can construct a beautiful house that is straight, true, level, and lasts for years to come.  And of course, we want our pilots, doctors, and military to be the best because their job is important.  They have to be able to do the job, no matter what, and then do it again.

So, on special occasions--births, wedding, graduations, reunions...don't rely on your cell phone or the new skills of someone with a cool camera that wants to help.  Hire a professional.  Someone who can anticipate and adapt to changes and surprises.  They will be there to deliver your work, answer questions, and help you in the future.  For them, it more than a hobby.  

Go to and search for what you need and where you need them.  And remember, during your search you can specify Certified Professional Photographers only.  They have been through extensive training and testing so you can be sure to get a professional! 

(Studio C Photography Culpeper, Virginia) Wed, 24 May 2017 21:57:29 GMT
Don't forget to ask! Good day friends.

A wife asks her husband to hang a new mirror on the bedroom wall.  Being the good husband, he grabs his tools, and hangs the mirror before going to work.  The wife calls her hubby and asks him to rehang the mirror when he gets home.   You see, the husband was over 6' tall and the wife was closer to 5'2".  Did the husband do what was asked of him?  Yes.  Was his wife happy?  No.  The husband put the mirror at his eye-level.   Opps!


Funny stories like this are told every day.  When it is a big party, wedding, special celebration, business event--make sure things go as planned.  Ask your photographer if they are board certified and trained in the style of work you are requesting.  Ask if they have insurance.   Do they have a contract with the correct times, locations, and dates?  Do they have backup equipment with them in case a lens, flash, or camera, stops working during the event? 


If you are the photographer, your client should be asking these questions.  But just like my story, the wife didn't know she needed to ask if he would put the mirror at her level.  No one wants a sad story after the event. Ask the questions--even the silly ones--and be assured you will only have good memories.

(Studio C Photography Culpeper, Virginia) Mon, 15 May 2017 23:26:14 GMT
Professional Photographer As artists and business people, we should strive for excellence and ethical practices in our work. Not everyone wants to go the distance and that, unfortunately, reflects on the rest of us.


Case in point, a recent client asked me to print another photographer's work. It seems she hired someone to do a boudoir session that was a "great price." The $400 session included a rented room, 2 bottles of wine, and printing rights to the images. The photographer did not even offer prints or albums of the work. Since the room was rented, room clean up and furniture resetting would be left to housekeeping staff. The images were on a disc but my client could not open the images from the RAW format the photographer supplied. When the images were copied to JPEG my client still could not get them printed at the drug store. Hence she came to me. Her photographer had never given her a usage license for printing or receipt. Once everything was resolved, the images sorted, cropped and retouched, and a few printed for the intended gift, I have a new satisfied client.


My point, however, is how many people would just give up--pointing to the questionable photographer? Or be too embarrassed to do anything? How many innkeepers would see the cameras and lights and remember the trashy expense of the last photographer's session? To fellow professionals, keep up your good work, act professionally, and demand others treat you accordingly. PPA and VPPA offer wonderful training and support to all types of Photographic Artists. The proper portfolio and business approach is a great introduction to potential partners and clients.

I am sure there are those who will still see our craft as meaningless; but, just remember the lives we touch when we do our job well.

(Studio C Photography Culpeper, Virginia) Fri, 24 Mar 2017 15:32:08 GMT
Manual for snow A friend of mine was complaining her snow photos were dark and dreary.  She bought a "nice" camera and even in the Auto Program mode she is retouching and brightening all the images.  Well, we had some snow today and she reached out again so we had a practical experiment. Snow-P11408881140888Snow-P11408881140888 Snow-P11408951140895Snow-P11408951140895CAMERA Manual 1 stop over


First off, when you are using the camera's internal meter, you are registering the light coming off your subject.  When I use a hand held meter, I am reading the light falling on the subject.  The camera meter wants to make the reflective light value equal a nice 18% grey color.  So, anything white will come out grey--if the camera has its way.  You could invest in a nice meter or as a quick trick--use the camera meter and then over expose.


The first image is a straight camera Program shot.  We recorded the values the camera chose-- F3.2 1/4000, switched the camera to Manual mode, put the camera's values back in--F3.2 1/4000 and then changed the Shutter speed to 1/2000 and took the second shot.  We did it again at F3.2 1/1000 of a second for the third shot.  By doing this, we told the camera to keep the shutter open longer which will make the image whiter. Snow-P11408961140896Snow-P11408961140896


So, if you want to control the white's of the snow, bride's dress, cake, beach sand,...take your reading, record it, copy it, and then adjust to your liking.

(Studio C Photography Culpeper, Virginia) #white snow Tue, 14 Mar 2017 19:41:22 GMT
Smiling eyes I just saw a Facebook friend celebrating the engagement of her best friend.  My first thought should have been to rush a wedding brochure out to them.  Surely my FB friend will be the maid of honor and would put in a good word for me.  Or perhaps, a big shout from my website...a call to action....  That's what I should have done; but, the artist in me just saw their smiles and their eyes.   And you know, that's what it is all about.  Not the rush to a business deal but the emotion in the heart.  

When we are moved by a moment--and lucky enough to have it captured on canvas or in a small frame--it brings us joy each time we see those eyes or that smile.   Those memories take us back in time.  To that moment or one like it.  

Do you remember the smell of your father or grandfather's aftershave?  Or the smell of fresh laundry dried outside on a summer's day.? I can't reproduce the smells but I hope to bring you back in time with an image.  All I need is your smiling eyes. RHHF-148RHHF-148

(Studio C Photography Culpeper, Virginia) Culpeper wedding Tue, 03 Jan 2017 21:57:44 GMT
Christmas 2016 StudioCPhotography-DSCF5541PP-StudioCPhotography-DSCF5541PP- Just a quick not to say Thank you and Merry Christmas to all our clients, family, and friends!  We have enjoyed all the prints, frames, gifts, and last minute restorations we have been delivering this week.  Remember the reason we are here is help you capture, and share those special memories.  Enjoy your holiday and celebrate the moments you have!

(Studio C Photography Culpeper, Virginia) Sat, 17 Dec 2016 19:47:09 GMT
Lighting option 401  We had a little fun demonstrating lighting ideas at the Studio tonight.  We started with a single light, added bounce cards to fill in the shadows.  Moved them around for effect....  Then we added an accent strip light...then a hair light, adjusted angles, and finally removed the bounce card to add shadow and interest.  

The last two are one with built in camera flash and one with bounce light only.   

Your lights are your tools--even if it is only sunlight!  Play with them to get the effect you want.

Studio C Photography-9901Studio C Photography-99011 light-softbox/Broad lighting Studio C Photography-9902Studio C Photography-99021 light-softbox/Broad lighting+
Bounce Card @ 2'
Studio C Photography-9903Studio C Photography-99031 light-softbox/Broad lighting +
Bounce card @ 1'
Studio C Photography-9904Studio C Photography-99041 light-softbox/Broad lighting +
Bounce card @ 1', brought to front
Studio C Photography-9905Studio C Photography-99051 light-softbox/Broad lighting +
Bounce card @ 1', front +
Accent light
Studio C Photography-9906Studio C Photography-99061 light-softbox/Broad lighting +
Bounce card @ 1', front +
Accent light + Hair light in front
Studio C Photography-9908Studio C Photography-99081 light-softbox/Broad lighting +
Bounce card @ 1', front +
Accent light + Hair light in rear
Studio C Photography-9909Studio C Photography-99091 light-softbox/Broad lighting +
Bounce card @ 1', front +
Accent light + Hair light in Rear +
REMOVE Bounce card
Studio C Photography-9910Studio C Photography-9910Built in camera flash only Studio C Photography-9912Studio C Photography-9912Bounce light from left only

(Studio C Photography Culpeper, Virginia) Wed, 12 Oct 2016 00:01:36 GMT
Hiring the right person for your Wedding How do you have a successful wedding?  Ask or say yes to the "right" person.

Then ask the "right" questions to each other about your ceremony.  Then hire the "right" people to fulfill your dreams.  Easy...Right?  


How do you find the "right" vendors?  Social media, yellow pages, ask a friend,, local chamber of commerce, your minister, wedding planner, Bridal magazine, local newspaper, local Photography Studio, Professional Photographers of America--Find a photographer search engine, Google....    All of the above can work.  And they each have their Pros and Cons.  Please...Please take some time, ask questions about the questions you need to ask!  And don't grab the first guy because you are overwhelmed, tired, or because they are the cheapest.   That can be a costly mistake in hidden costs or things you want but are not included in the cheapest package.  

(Studio C Photography Culpeper, Virginia) Culpeper planning wedding Mon, 03 Oct 2016 17:51:01 GMT
Ask+Listen=Happy I want to share a tip I use with my Wedding Clients.  First, I ask the Bride what are the 5 most important things about her wedding.


  I explain this will help me to safe-guard those memories for her.  Then I ask the Groom the same thing.  I know this feels like the Newlywed Game; but often, I find Men and Women have different ways of experiencing the same event.  So when we are done, I have a clearer idea of what they both want, they understand what is important to each other, and we are able to work together.   Communication is a wonderful thing!

(Studio C Photography Culpeper, Virginia) Mon, 29 Aug 2016 15:34:19 GMT
Did you consider.... StudioCPhotography_©2016QandA-66856685StudioCPhotography_©2016QandA-66856685 Kennebec Boundary PackYour wedding may be super simple or an extravaganza!  Don't rely on the basic snap shots. Talk to a Certified Pro Photographer.  They can capture the memories around you while you are living your dream.   (Have you thought about wedding during the week?  You may save $$.)


Tim Carlson, CPP

Studio C Photography


(Studio C Photography Culpeper, Virginia) fun wedding Sat, 20 Aug 2016 15:10:16 GMT
FREE Senior photo session? The summer is here, the vacations, summer jobs, and soon...your senior year.  At Studio C Photography this summer, we are offering a bonus on your senior session.   

  1. Buy any photo session--studio, downtown, on the farm, at the lake,...  
  2.  Star in your session and book your preview  Canavan_Stephanie-9218-EditCanavan_Stephanie-9218-Edit
  3. After your preview, for the next 30 days, you can use 100% of your session payment to buy any of our senior collections or prints! 

Don't wait.  Book your session now at Studio C Photography, downtown Culpeper.


(Studio C Photography Culpeper, Virginia) Culpeper fun seniors Wed, 01 Jun 2016 20:42:26 GMT