Adrienne Brand Photography: Blog en-us (C) 2017 Adrienne Brand Photography. All rights reserved. (Adrienne Brand Photography) Sat, 01 Oct 2016 20:19:00 GMT Sat, 01 Oct 2016 20:19:00 GMT Adrienne Brand Photography: Blog 120 120 Voodoo Jungle Band Voodoo Jungle Band is a premier cover band that plays across Long Island throughout the year. If you were lucky enough to catch them on September 30 in Williston Park, New York, I'm sure you enjoyed a great show. Check out their calendar online at and meet me at the next gig!

]]> (Adrienne Brand Photography) LIRR band cover island jungle lindenhurst long photo promo station train voodoo Sat, 01 Oct 2016 20:18:31 GMT
Cullen's Crusaders at the 2012 Walk to Defeat ALS®Event
Starting Line for Cullen's Crusaders by PhotoGraphicGirl
Starting Line for Cullen's Crusaders, a photo by PhotoGraphicGirl on Flickr.
Donating time is usually a grumbling situation for photographers, but not when it comes to a worthy cause like the Walk to Defeat ALS® events.

When Karen Wood's boss, Vinnie Cullen, was diagnosed with Bulbar ALS, Karen rallied together Vinnie's co-workers, friends and family to form "Cullen's Crusaders," whose main goal was to raise money in an effort to find a cure for ALS.

ALS, also known as "Lou Gehrig's disease, is a is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord.*

In July 2012, Cullen's Crusader's, along with Vinnie Cullen, his friends and family, enjoyed a night on The Moon Chaser, a sunset cruise off Captree Boat Basin, Long Island. They later gathered again at Eisenhower Park on September 29 for the Walk to Defeat ALS. Because of the tireless efforts of Karen Wood and Cullen's Crusaders, they were able to raise over $111k.

The photo here is Karen Wood and her sister, Deanna Wood, as they start their walk in East Meadow during the Walk to Defeat ALS®.

(*Source: ALS Association)
]]> (Adrienne Brand Photography) Thu, 11 Oct 2012 11:01:00 GMT
The Generators (Band Photo) The Generators (Band Photo) by PhotoGraphicGirl
The Generators (Band Photo), a photo by PhotoGraphicGirl on Flickr.

It's not every day you get chosen to photograph a special event in someone's life. This particular event was an ALS Benefit Cruise off Captree Boat Basin. The Generators, a cover band from Long Island, New York, was the choice of enteratinment.

]]> (Adrienne Brand Photography) Thu, 12 Jul 2012 14:12:00 GMT
Looking for Mama Looking for Mama by PhotoGraphicGirl
Looking for Mama, a photo by PhotoGraphicGirl on Flickr.

It's funny how natural light can work with an image. We sometimes take for granted the light that spills into a home through the window. Now, add to it a white bedspread that the baby leans on, and you've got the makings of a festive image. This little boy was looking for his Mama when I got this shot. It received many "FlickrAwards" on

]]> (Adrienne Brand Photography) Thu, 05 Apr 2012 13:26:00 GMT
First Communion Photos First Communion by PhotoGraphicGirl
First Communion, a photo by PhotoGraphicGirl on Flickr.

A friend of mine had a great idea – photograph her son earlier than his first communion day in order to have prints made for the "Thank you" cards. So I came to their home where he was very dapperly dressed his his Sunday finest.

Yet I've come to the conclusion that Mother Nature is an old bitty who refuses to cooperate. We tried shooting in the mist, but the drops became too heavy and we were forced to come inside. Being a more experienced photographer, I know what my camera can handle, so we propped him near the nearest window and took a few shots before heading off to a nearby park that sported a picnic area with covered pergola.

This boy is a charmer. He's got the greatest personality and is so willing to help. As a photographer, it's what you want your clients to be; cheerful and cooperative. We snapped a few shots inside her apartment then headed to the park. This is just one of the images from that day.

]]> (Adrienne Brand Photography) Mon, 02 Apr 2012 08:03:00 GMT
Florabella's Free Diptych Hi folks!
Florabella Collection offers an action for the Facebook Timeline. The owner of Florabella seems to be generous, I'm pretty sure she'll allow you to create diptychs for your clients as well as yourself, provided you flatten the layers before you hand over the JPG. Here's a link to the diptych. (You may have to "Like" the page.)

> Here's a link to the free Diptcych action

> Florabella Collection on Facebook. < click="" there="" for="" more="" info="" on="" florabella="" as="" well="" as="" free="" actions="" via="" florabella's="" facebook="" page.="" i="" plan="" to="" use="" the="" diptych="" for="" my="" photo="" fan="" page="" as="" well="" as="" my="" graphic="" design="" fan="" page="" (because="" i="" think="" i="" have="" all="" the="" time="" in="" the="" world=""/>

(Click here for more info on what an old style "diptych" is.)

(Click here for more info and examples of contemporary diptychs.)

My results / sample:
This is the diptych that I made for my Facebook Timeline, using Florabella's action. (Sorry if it shows up a tad bit large):

]]> (Adrienne Brand Photography) "two photos in one" Florabella "free diptych" "facebook timeline photo" diptych actions Thu, 01 Mar 2012 12:24:00 GMT
What is Retouching?
I've been getting more involved with freelancing portrait photography, and so have been studying about retouching more in order to enhance the images that I give to clients.
What is retouching?
Retouching includes photo manipulations including: fixing the white balance on your image so the color is more lifelike, replacing arms or eyes, removing items from the background, inserting updated product shots, changing model positions, removing light poles... Whether you realize it or not, most of us already do some level of retouching.
During the last few months I've come across some Photoshop Actions that have improved the quick skin retouching that I do on portraits, as well as the color and enhancement of the photos themselves. An Action is somewhat like an enhanced filter – instead of hitting one button you hit "Play," and it runs through an entire series of gyrations that you may later manipulate mainly through your layers palette.
The following two images are of a friend's daughter. I arrived at my friend's house to photograph her family, but was surprised to find a significant amount of skin damage to my friend's daughter's face. My friend – being a photographer as well – wasn't phased by the scabs because she also knew how to retouch and said that she would work the photos afterward.

What I did... 

1.) The first thing I did was remove the scabs on her face: My choice was
- The Clone tool, set to a low capacity
- A small fuzzy brush
- Repeatedly "sourcing" new areas while painting over the damaged areas
2.) I then ran a few actions, such as those that would:
- Add realistic brightening and contrast to her face
- Eye and teeth whitening and enhancement
- Sharpening
With many minutes of tweaking, I settled on the image on the right. It may also be seen at my gallery on
]]> (Adrienne Brand Photography) retouching "what is retouching" "fixing faces" "fixing scabs" "fixing skin" "how to fix skin" Thu, 01 Mar 2012 10:17:00 GMT
Children's Portraits Children's Portraits by Adrienne Brand Photography
I'm a child photographer in Long Island, New York whose photographed children in their natural environment, called "lifestyle photography."

Lifestyle photography means that we meet at an agreed-upon location where I'll photograph your child. Many times this creates a more realistic expression on the faces of children because they're in their own environment, versus having formal portraits done in an unfamiliar studio.

After seeing the video you'll have a better understanding of the difference between studio photos and lifestyle photography.

Adrienne Brand
]]> (Adrienne Brand Photography) "lifestyle photography" studio children child "long island" "new york" "long island photographer" "children's portrait photographer" "portrait photographer on Long Island" Tue, 07 Feb 2012 14:42:00 GMT
Keep Up, Jones! Profile of a Cousin by PhotoGraphicGirl
Profile of a Cousin, a photo by PhotoGraphicGirl on Flickr.

For five years I ran a large photography Meetup group in New York. One of the lessons that I took from the group still resonates with me today: Don't bother to try to keep up with the Joneses.
If you haven't heard the phrase, "Keeping up with the Joneses," it basically means that you're trying to advance yourself at the same rate as others in your life. Which, for most of us, is a pointless endeavor because everyone's life is different, with different challenges and needs.

I recall countless members purchasing new equipment when they hadn't learned how to use the previous piece. Not being a professional photographer, I often said nothing, but tried to absorb the information they'd happily give, and I'd be grateful for that.

Most recently I realized that I too was trying to keep up with the Joneses, but not with equipment... with the end result. I'd peruse galleries on various sites, find another photographer to idolize and try to replicate the look of their images when shooting my own. All in the name of education and advancement. Well... keeping up with the Joneses.

What a frustrating endeavor.

The result of trying to keep up with the Joneses was usually an awkward result that never past the line of amateur into professional. You know what I mean by "professional," the feeling you get when you see a professional image? It makes you feel almost celestial. You realize you're thinking more about the subject or circumstance of the photo than the technicalities of the image.

So I took some time to examine my photos over the years. Turns out my ninth-grade photos from 1986 were better than some that I shot during my years with the photo group. Why? Because I was paying attention in high school. I had a thought process. I concentrated. And the photos were mine. I wasn't trying to make images that were similar to others'. But while shooting with the photo group, I was gunning for quantity. There. I said it. Quantity was what the Photo Joneses were worried about, and I fell into that trap.

While I miss most of the members of that photography Meetup group, I don't miss the feeling that if I didn't shoot and upload over 150 images, then I failed. I don't miss the equipment comparisons or uneducated, over-arrogant photo critiques.

If you find yourself with that anxious feeling that technology is getting away from you, I urge you to stick to your guns and take your own path. When I left the photo Meetup, most of the members weren't very happy; we knew the group would never be the same. But I saw the amount of time that I was putting into the group, and I knew that it was time I should have spent not on quantity, but the quality of my images.

The entire scenario reminds me of the famous Robert Frost poem:

TWo roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

When you find yourself saying, "... but THIS is what everyone else is doing..." go the other way. Take the path less traveled. It'll make all the difference.

]]> (Adrienne Brand Photography) Thu, 19 Jan 2012 10:31:00 GMT
Eyes on You
Eyes on You by PhotoGraphicGirl
Funny things can happen when you attempt to go pro. I've started shooting more on the weekends, whether paid or not paid, I'm trying to be as professional as possible.

Upon arriving at a client's home, I toured the residence to survey the lighting, then revisited my car to get equipment. I brought everything into their house and began shooting. Fairly soon into the shoot I decided it would be best to set up my lights... Now if only I BROUGHT them. I had my umbrellas, my stands, reflector, boom arm, dimmer, light meter... You'd think I'd actually remember to bring the lights. And the beauty of it is that the clients were stellar.

"We're so sorry our house is so dark!"

I wanted to hug them. Where else could you find clients who apologize for the low lighting in their house when in actuality it was my fault that I forgot one of the most necessary items to photograph portraits? And so taking it as a lesson, I continued the shoot by incorporating everything I knew to compensate for my blondness.

Ok... not so bad. But I'm pretty certain I'll remember those lights next time!

Eyes on You, a photo by PhotoGraphicGirl on Flickr.
]]> (Adrienne Brand Photography) Wed, 18 Jan 2012 14:17:00 GMT
See A Little Every Day
Enter the iPhone.

I pondered the iPhone for a long time while I had other phones, thinking that supporting the underdog was my thing. As time went on and syncing became problematic, I came to the conclusion that supporting the underdog was ... well, it was my father's thing. I just happened to be supporting my father by supporting his 1950's beliefs.

And so with newly shed guilt I switched to iPhone when my previous phone died an unsavory death by accidental crushing. And as far as phones are concerned, I haven't looked back.

I don't think the point of shooting with an iPhone is to make award quality shots, I simply think it's a great way to keep shooting. Think of it as your mini rig, always there with you to keep shooting.
]]> (Adrienne Brand Photography) commuting traveling iPhone cameras Fri, 23 Dec 2011 11:18:00 GMT
Monday Morning ]]> (Adrienne Brand Photography) Mon, 21 Nov 2011 05:04:00 GMT Sophia, Mama Mia!

I think I've stumbled upon a variation in the soft photography look. I've seen a lot of great, seasoned child and newborn photographers use the soft lighting, pastel technique on their portraits, and it lends a sense of innocence to the portrait. Perfect for children.

This coming weekend I'm going to photograph a pregnancy on the beach. I'll let you know how it goes using my newfound technique. If it works well I'll try to get a tutorial up soon.

Happy Shooting!

]]> (Adrienne Brand Photography) Mon, 26 Sep 2011 15:23:00 GMT
Should you make a to-do list, or just DO the to-do list?

Remember the old slogan, "Just do it!" from Nike? According to Greek mythology, "Nike" is actually the goddess of victory, so I'm guessing their subliminal message is that if you wear Nike sneakers, you'll be victorious.

Well what about, "Just find the time!" What product will make me victorious in finding time? My friends would all agree that the most whining I do is over my lack of time. They've got a million great ideas that would help with my freelance graphic design and photography, but my response is usually, "Awesome. Now if I can only find the time."

A project manager friend of mine told me to just prioritize whats on my list. Awesome. Now if I can find the time to do that ... and does "prioritize my to-do list" go on the top of my to-do list?

So far I've done an outstanding job rewriting those to-do lists. I've read several hundred times that creating lists only gets you so far — at some point you've got to stop the list-writing and start the to-do-ing. But still I can't seem to get myself to do that.
Or am I just hard on myself?

I've had numerous people tell me I'm incredibly organized; that they're impressed. But in my eyes, unless I fall into bed every night in complete exhaustion, then I didn't accomplish anything. 

It's been weeks since my project manager friend told me to prioritize. So far the most I've done is consolidate and rewrite the list so that I can prioritize what's remaining.

Maybe what I need to do is make a list of what I already accomplished. This way I'll stop flogging myself over the things that I haven't done, and start congratulating myself over the things I actually have done. Yes. That sounds fabulous. I'll call it the To-Done-List.

Awesome! I'll put that on my list of things to do.

]]> (Adrienne Brand Photography) Sun, 31 Jul 2011 19:10:00 GMT
When should I book a photographer for my holiday photos?
Huggin's on ChaCha by PhotoGraphicGirl
Huggin's on ChaCha, a photo by PhotoGraphicGirl on Flickr.
Ah, it's the most wonderful time of the year! The summer is in full swing, your kids are outside in the sprinkler and you're contemplating your calendar for the start of a new school year.

So why would you be thinking, "When is the best time to hire a photographer for our holiday cards?"

Because most photographers start booking their fall calendars in the summer.

Is it too early to photograph my holiday photos in the fall?

Absolutely not! Fall foliage is an awesome backdrop for photos! The only other time that would be better for holiday photos is in the winter, but you'd have to hire the photographer AFTER the holidays are over, and that's obviously too late if you want to mail holiday photo cards to family and friends.

So when should I hire the photographer? When should I book the photographer?

One of the biggest issues that folks have when hiring photographers is actually the initial contact. It's difficult to ask a photographer what you want when you have no idea what you want! So ask yourself a few questions:

- When do you want to mail your holiday cards? Choose an actual date on the calendar.


- How much time do you need to write and address those holiday cards? Consider the timing - a week or two? Then, using the date you chose above, back it up two weeks.


- How much time would it take you to form your holiday email and address it? Consider the timing - a week or two? Then, using the date you chose above, back it up two weeks.


- Take that date, back it up another two weeks: That's the very latest date that you need to schedule the actual session with a photographer.

So call now for your holiday photos, and book the date for the fall. Approximately a week to two weeks before the session, contact your photographer again to confirm your appointment.

Good luck!

]]> (Adrienne Brand Photography) Thu, 28 Jul 2011 11:28:00 GMT
Rollin In The Heep Rollin In The Heep by PhotoGraphicGirl
Rollin In The Heep, a photo by PhotoGraphicGirl on Flickr.

Out east on Long Island is the Harbes Family Farm, where each year they hold a Sweet Corn Festival. This year my son and I went, mainly because he loves the grounds and all the children-friendly items.

This is a great spot for children's portraits because its not typical, yet not really distracting. If you have a client who is more toward the country side, I would suggest finding a farm similar to Harbes - if not Harbes itself - and photograph the portraits there. Just remember to ask the owners if you're allowed to photograph on the grounds... and bring business cards!

Happy Shooting!

]]> (Adrienne Brand Photography) Tue, 26 Jul 2011 10:01:00 GMT
Adrienne Brand Photography is now on!
]]> (Adrienne Brand Photography) Sun, 17 Jul 2011 06:57:00 GMT
Winged King Tut - 2011 Coney Island Mermaid Parade Winged King Tut - 2011 Coney Island Mermaid Parade by PhotoGraphicGirl
Winged King Tut - 2011 Coney Island Mermaid Parade, a photo by PhotoGraphicGirl on Flickr.

I received the best compliment this morning! Art by Davey, the maker of this fabulous Winged King Tut costume, which appeared in the 2011 Coney Island Mermaid Parade, wrote this via Flickr:

"what amazing shot!!! King tut Gold
thank you again ...great composition...!!!!!!"

Considering how difficult it is to shoot people in parades, and how many photographers end-up getting the same stale images chock-full of background noise, I consider this a huge compliment!

Davey is going to post it on his website,

Thanks so much, Davey - all the best to you and your fab costume!

Happy Shooting!

]]> (Adrienne Brand Photography) Thu, 23 Jun 2011 08:01:00 GMT
Perfect Photos Aren't Perfect. Or Necessary! 2011 Coney Island Mermaid Parade by PhotoGraphicGirl
2011 Coney Island Mermaid Parade, a photo by PhotoGraphicGirl on Flickr.

At the far end of the throngs of mermaids at the 2011 Coney Island Mermaid Parade was a group of friends dressed in red ensembles. What I loved about this group of young folks is that they seemed to be having an awesome time, and they didn't give a rat's butt about the fact that they weren't really mermaids at all.

What I love about these images is that they're not perfect. Blown out, very contrasty... I threw a filter on them and I love it. Why? Because it shows their emotion more than the costume or the background or the perfection of rest of the half-naked people at the parade.

I love this group of mermaids and this photo. It's one of my favs from the Mermaid Parade.

Thanks for the real emotion girls! Rock on!


]]> (Adrienne Brand Photography) Wed, 22 Jun 2011 14:35:00 GMT
Should I bring a zoom lens or prime lens to a parade?
2011 Coney Island Mermaid Parade, originally uploaded by PhotoGraphicGirl.

I have to say that so far, this is one of my favorite photographs of the 2011 Coney Island Mermaid Parade. And this image was caught with Nikon's 18-55mm f4-5.6 zoom lens.

It's a kit lens.

This year the parade was chock-full-of-photographers. In fact, there were so many photographers that the costumed parade-goers often looked confused and slightly overwhelmed.

One thing I would suggest if you're in this situation as a photographer is to definitely bring a zoom lens. While the prime lens will produce wicked sharp images, the chances of you actually getting the composition that you want is slim.


Take the 2011 Coney Island Mermaid Parade for example: there were so many photographers in the way that when I moved, I bumped into other photographers who were right on top of me. Within an hour I switched back to my D80 with the zoom. The zoom - as a matter of fact - that is a KIT lens. Folks may scoff at kit lenses but I was able to get a few royal shots that are already awarded on Flickr.

Small yaye! More tips to come...

Happy Shooting!


Via Flickr:
2011 Coney Island Mermaid Parade
Coney Island, New York

For the full set of high resolution, printable images of the 2011 Coney Island Mermaid Parade, please go to

]]> (Adrienne Brand Photography) Wed, 22 Jun 2011 14:27:00 GMT