New Year, New Goals, New Structure – Tutorial Tuesday

Hello and Happy New Year!  We are starting the new year with a *BANG* (not quite the bang we heard last night, and my husband, Dean, claimed it was a cannon….  while we all looked at him like what?  A cannon?  Here?…  oh well, that’s beside the point).  Here’s our The Walking Dead inspired photo shoot!  More on that below…..  2013 is going to be filled with all new techniques, subjects, styles, and more….  very excited to share!



So to start out, we are going to get this blog moving once again, sort of like it was years and years ago…. and then Facebook became popular, so I kinda resorted to posting on my personal FB page…. we’re going to bring it back HERE….

Here’s our structure:

MONDAYS and THURSDAYS:    Client share days…. images from client sessions (remember, the portfolio is at )

TUESDAYS:  Tutorial Tuesdays – This is for the photographers.  I will be sharing some insider stuff – whether it be pullbacks, camera settings, how-tos, tutorials, or behind the scenes, Tuesdays will be saved for this…. and boy do we have a good one today! 😀

WEDNESDAYS:  Whatever Wednesdays – this will be anything… or nothing 😉

FRIDAYS:  Fifty-Two Fridays – this is the 52 challenge – one photo per weeks of something, anything, but something specifically planned.  Something random I have to think about and create.

SATURDAYS:  Takin’ the day off….

SUNDAYS:  Personal share Sundays – this could be anything personally related from a story to a video to a photograph… it will involve myself or my family or heck, even my pets…. 🙂

So let’s get this started on Tuesday!


My kids are no longer kids.  They are teens… and my teens are overachievers and nonconformists…  I love that about them.  My son, Barrett, is very much into weightlifting and plays high school football, but you wouldn’t call him a typical “jock” type….  My daughter, Erynn, is an equestrian and has strange hobbies…. and you can see a bit of both of my kids in this picture…

I wanted to create a holiday photo.  I am too busy at Christmastime to actually  get a Christmas card together, so instead, I felt a We Survived 2012 photo was in order.  Barrett got our family into the Walking Dead, so I decided on that “flavor”.  This is something that took an entire day to accomplish, although it took less than 10 minutes to shoot.

Here’s how Barrett readied himself for the shoot.  Yeah, video games… he had the easy part…. although, he has spent the last three months weightlifting, so that helped us out quite a bit.


Erynn, on the other hand, had a lot to do.  She started around 10 a.m. on her styling and makeup.  She does this all on her own.  She taught herself this year how to work with liquid latex and other objects, paint, and makeup to create different effects.  I left her to her own ideas….


closeup of her arm…..



I already had our location picked out.  This is private property that I was granted permission to use for this shoot.  This is a one-room schoolhouse, and you may recognize the inside from another shoot I have done.  It was FREEZING outside… snow on the ground, and in the building (since there is no glass in the windows and holes in the roof – which you know just makes it even more spectacular!)


We parked close and left the kids in the car… as I said, it was COLD!

When we entered the building, Dean immediately declared “If there are any spirits in here who would like to show themselves, speak to HER” and he pointed at me.  😉

Here’s a pull-back.  When deciding how I wanted to light, while I tend to love a one-light setup, I decided to use two lights.  I wanted a pretty close to even amount of light bouncing around in that small room.  If I would have used only one light but kept it even, I would have had to put the light behind me which would have created too “pretty” of a light on our subjects, and this was not a situation where I wanted the lighting to be pretty.  So I had a softbox and a beauty dish in the back of my vehicle, so that is what I used, one on each side, keeping it metered approximately the same.

Next I took a few test shots on Dean who is always willing to oblige….. (why do I picture him as a little kid looking in a mirror making faces just to amuse himself?)

Dean wanted to produce the shot, so started posing the kids….. *sigh*

No, I knew what I wanted from them…. so here’s the result…….

and I must share a closeup of the work Erynn did on her own face….. she’s pretty incredible!!!

About Jodie Otte

Maryland Newborn Photographer and Child Portrait Artist, Jodie Holstein-Otte, specializes in unique photography of newborn babies, kids, and families. She works on location in Harford, Howard, Cecil, Anne Arundel, Baltimore and other areas throughout Maryland. She uses both both natural lighting and soft studio lighting techniques.

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