Portrait of the Month-September


Portraits of couples are always enjoyable to do. What makes it even more satisfying is having the opportunity of creating a portrait of someone who has been together for a few years. Once you pass certain milestones in adulthood, portraits are taken with less frequency. Which is unfortunate because though we don't change as rapidly as adults as we did as children we do still age and capturing a moment in time is great for a lasting legacy for relatives.

And why not enjoy a nice piece of art in the here and now? This couple wanted a nice portrait of themselves along with their aging dog. After photographing the three of them they wanted some images taken of just them as a couple. We did both formal as well as more casual portraits (such as the one pictured here). 

At Tara Patty Photography we like to say we specialize in Memory Insurance. What is that? Well it's helping families preserve the important memories for the future. We do this through creating fine art portraits of you and your loved ones. It's great to get holiday cards each year with a snapshot of a family member but why not share a nice portrait with your relatives from time to time? And hey--it's okay to have a nice portrait of your own to enjoy.

Cell phone snaps and quick digital images are great for immediate sharing with friends and relatives --but what happens if you want something more permanent? What happens if you have a fire or a loved one passes unexpectedly? Can you locate all those images and create prints with some longevity? That's why we believe so firmly in printed products. What's the first ting many people take with them during a natural disaster or fire? Their photo albums--only those are getting harder and harder to find as we no longer keep printed records of our photographs. Having an archival piece of art to pass down to the next generation is simply priceless.

Thinking of having a portrait made? Email us or call the studio @719.475.0160 and we'll set up a pre-session consultation for you.

Categorized In: photos of people | pictures of families in colorado springs | portraits of couples in colorado springs

What Makes A Great Black and White Portrait?

It used to be that if you wanted a black and white photograph you used black and white film. Now with digital much as changed. But has it really? Sure with Instagram and other photo Apps you can literally push a button and convert a photo to black and white. But is that always a good thing? What exactly makes a good black and white photograph?

In the film days a good photographer chose their film based on the subject. If they wanted photos taken in low lighting they would choose a higher ISO rated film (like 800, 1600 or even 3200). If the subject was fast moving such as sports then a "faster" film with a high ISO rating was also chosen. For a portrait with great lighting or even a landsacpe the photographer often went wiht a very low rated film like 50 or even 25. A photographer also chose film based on other attributes than the ISO rating--some films were higher in contrat and grittier in look (due mostly to the grain). Other films offered a "smoother" look.

Well with digital we all pretty much rely on the camera's sensor as our "film." You can custom set your ISO and a few things but that's pretty much it. The difference lies in great lighting and good post production or "processing" the digital negative.

A good black and white photographer should pay attention to light and shadow. A compelling black and white offers various shades of gray and often one pure white and one pure black area on the print. Good lighting helps greatly here--be it natural or artifical. If a scene is all about color it will not necessrily translate to a good black and white phoptograph. Many color tones convert to the same shade of gray in black and white --that's why few outdoor portraits with say a family near foilage look good in black and white. Why is this? The family might be wearing blue jeans and have blue, green, red, or orange shirts on--the foilage is green. The resiult is often a gray mess--everything is pretty much the same tone. Now an amateur photographer will just try to "fix" this in post production by dramatically increasing the contrast but "blowing" the highlights thus ending with something less than desirable. A true pro understands the need for light and shadow and good combination of color to translate into black and white and plans accordingly.

This is why black and white photography is not necessarily easier and often can be more difficult than color photography. Sure you can just push a button to convert from one to the other but the result may not be as compelling or dramatic as you envisioned. You must learn to think in terms of black and white from the beginning and plan from there.

This is why why most of our black and white portraits are done in studio -- we can control the lighting and the background. With good planning during the pre-session consultation we can choose the correct wardrobe to suit the portrait. Black and white photography is all about the subject, made more noticable through light and shadow. Thinking of having us create a black and white portrait for you? Email us or call 719.475.0160 and we'll work with you to create a wonderful portrait.

Categorized In: black and white photography | black and white pictures | black and white portraits in colorado springs

Outdoor Fall Family Portraits

Fall is a magical time—though we don’t get quite as much color here in the Rockies as in some states we do get some beautiful vistas. This year we are offering two weekend dates for our Fall Family Special. Saturday September 27 and Saturday October 11. We are offering a special session fee of only $79 and this includes an 8x10 print. Holiday cards and other products will be available at a special price for this event. Many of our families love outdoor portraits especially as holiday cards.

How Do You Plan An Outdoor Portrait?

Planning ahead for portraits whether inside or out is a great idea. Clothing particularly is important, it should match a natural environment. What does this mean? Well earth tones work well, as do darker greens and blues. Bright colors such as red or orange aren’t recommended as they compete with the colors of the fall backgrounds and distract the eye from your final portraits. Your clothing should be casual to fit with an outdoor environment. Wear clothing that won’t hurt if you should need to kneel or sit on the ground. We go to well established parks so we won’t be off the beaten path by far. We do recommend only one outfit as it gets time consuming and complicated to change either in a car or in park restrooms.

Even though we strive to keep these special outdoor sessions short (30 minutes or so) we recommend bringing water to keep hydrated. Also any special snacks for your child is always a good idea. Toys, however, aren’t recommended as it adds another layer of distraction to your child.

Let’s Plan Your Outdoor Portrait Today

Interested in taking advantage of this great special? Email us or call the studio @719.475.0160. We are offering only a limited number of these special sessions so book yours today!



Categorized In: fall family portraits | family outdoor portraits | outdoor portraits in colorado springs

Outdoor Portraits With Pets

Outdoor portraits here in Colorado are really a no brainer—so much cool scenery to choose from. We get a lot of requests for outdoor family portraits and sometimes the family wants to add in their dog, after all they’re part of the family. There is a reason why 99% of our pet portraits are in studio—pets, especially dogs can be easily distracted. Can you say squirrel?

That doesn’t mean it cannot be done, just that there need to be a little planning involved. Going to a place familiar to your dog is always a good idea—that way they don’t feel the need to spend a huge amount of time smelling all the new smells in the area. Sometimes though, this is just not possible. For example the couple pictured were from out of town visiting the Springs. Their dogs weren’t familiar with Garden of the God’s but they wanted them in the photograph anyway.

The couple arrived early at the park and checked out the area with their dogs. The dogs were a little more comfortable by the time the photography started but still the golden was distracted by squirrels. Since I knew in advance that we were photographing a couple with two dogs outdoors I brought an assistant with treats who used those to distract the dogs long enough for the portraits to be taken. 

When photographing pets outdoors it’s important to remember a few things. One, make sure your pet is on leash—even though they may be well behaved, an unknown area with distractions like wildlife can prove too much to resist. We will work to minimize the leash showing in the photographs so don’t overly stress about having them on leash.  Also we ask that you bring not only treats but water for your pets. Even if it’s not a hot day they will get stressed and over worked and need water. We need to also watch the time of day—if it’s overly hot for humans imagine having fur in heat! 

We love photographing people with their pets and don’t mind doing family portraits outdoors with pets if we can plan enough ahead to be prepared. For more on our Pet Portraits be sure to check out our new pet photo site Springs Pet Portraits.

Categorized In: outdoor portraits in colorado springs | pet portrait photographer in colorado springs | pet portraits outdoors

Portrait of the Month-August

Character studies are fascinating to me. I love doing sessions with a variety of people and working to pull out a piece of their character in the resulting portrait. Usually I lean towards photographing in black and white for these studies but sometimes I lean back on a color study. Much depends on the subject. Here I used a hybrid—what I call cross processing—a mix of black and white and color. It tends to lend a grittier overall presentation.

This young man is local rap artist 2 Tall—so named because he is 6' 5” tall. He came in not really having any idea what he wanted, just needed a series of good portraits to promote his music. We went through a series of outfits and poses until I found a nice contemplative image towards the end of the session.

Commissioning a photographic study is perfect for musicians but also works well for those wanting a nice character study of a family member. Sometimes it's a grandparent that you want to have a nice remembrance of before it's too late. Other times it's just an individual wanting something for their family. We've even done “character studies” of dogs. Pets often have so much personality that it's fun to take the time to try to capture that in a portrait. Sometimes pets are the only “children” people have so a nice Pet Portrait study is a way to capture a member of their family.

Whatever the reason Character Studies are a great way to preserve a slice of time for the next generation. In our pre-session consultation we can walk you through what exactly a study is and plan accordingly. We can break out part of a family to do a study but need to know in advance to prepare, thats why the pre-session consultation is so important.

Thinking of having a Character Study done, or maybe you'd like a little more information. Feel free to email us or call the studio @719.475.0160.


Categorized In: | musician portraits | portraits of people in colorado springs

Child Portraits-A Year Makes A Difference

What a difference a year can make in the life of your young child! From the ages of 1 through 5 your child makes the most dramatic changes. The absolute biggest changes of course occur during the child's first year of life. That's why we offer a Baby's First Year package allowing you to come three times between newborn until your child's first birthday. This is a very affordable way to document for yourself these considerable changes.

But once people document their child's first year the time flies and before you know it the child is in preschool then kindergarten. Where did the time go? That's where our Creative Kid's Club comes into play. This is an incredible deal allowing you to bring your child in to the studio to get annual portraits done. There is just a one time club price of $149. This covers 5 sessions over 5 years of your child's life with a 5x7 print included with each session. Each club member also receives exclusive pricing on additional prints and studio products.

Why do we call it Creative? Well where else are you going to go to get amazing portraits of your child, hassle free in a relaxed setting? Not a chain portrait studio that's for sure. Here's a comment from one of our clients:

"I went to Sears thinking I could save money and it turned out horribly. My husband reminded me you get what you pay for!”

Needless to say it didn't take much for this customer to return to us and the great experience of child portraiture.

So yes a year can make a big difference in the life of your child. Pictured here is a child at two (right) and on the left the same child at three. So what are you waiting for? Call us to get in on the club action for your child. It's an affordable option for you to preserve these treasured memories of the life of your child. For more info on the club email us or call the studio @719.475.0160.


Categorized In: child portrait photographer | children's pictures in colorado springs | childrens portriats in colorado springs | kids photos

Why Have A Professional Business Portrait?

Does a good business portrait really matter? Well it does if you want to be taken seriously in your chosen field of business. Perhaps you don't use your portrait on your business card but a business portrait is very useful on business networking sites like LinkedIn, your company website, for publications for your profession or if you've had a significant achievement that gets published in the paper.

And keeping your business portrait up to date is important as well. If you've aged more than 6-7 years from your last portrait or made a significant change (hair style, facial hair, weight loss etc) then you really should get an updated portrait taken. Or if you've started a new business or changed your career field it's a great time to get a business portrait taken

Are You A Team Player?

If you work as a team with others we can have the whole team photographed. This can be teams like realtors, mortgage or banking teams, financial planning teams, or even the whole staff. We offer special pricing for business teams so that you can get a team portrait as well as individual portraits at the same time. If you have a large staff we can even come to your business and do head shots of your whole staff at a special rate. Contact us for details.

Want Something Different? Or Outside?

Maybe a head and should portrait is not what you are looking for. We can design a creative portrait just for you. One that reflects your profession.

Sometimes a studio portrait is not a good fit either. We can take an Environmental Portrait of you in your place of business. Or we can go outdoors. Realtors, authors and others have asked to have their portrait taken outside.

What Should I Wear?

We get this questions a lot—for business portraits. So we've created a What to Wear Guide for business portraits below.

Why not put your best foot forward and get a professional business portrait taken today. For more info or to book your business portrait today email us or call the studio @719.475.0160.

Call today. We know you're busy so we will work you in our schedule to accommodate yours.  

Categorized In: business pictures | business portraits in colorado springs | corporate portraits | executive portraits in colorado springs