ABOUT

20180714_163313I’m Susan Arnold and I’m a twenty-something Michigan based photographer.

I started doing photography seriously in 2013 but began taking photos in 2006 when I got my first camera as a birthday present. I graduated from Northern Michigan University with a bachelor’s in science in photography in May 2019.

I focus on multiple types of photography, primarily portraiture and landscape. If you book with me, I offer competitive prices for on-location shoots (I will travel if you need me to).

I hope you enjoy scrolling through my views of the world.

 

You can find me on social media here:

http://instagram.com/susanarnold_

https://www.facebook.com/sarnoldphotography/

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BOOKINGS

Senior Sessions – $125

  • 2 hours
  • 3 outfit changes
  • photos edited without manipulation
  • all rights go to you

Engagement Sessions – $250*

  • 3 hours
  • 3 outfit changes
  • photos edited without manipulation
  • all rights go to you

*depending on how long of a commute, travel fees will be added on to the price

Elopement/Courthouse Weddings – $300

  • 3 hours
  • shooting on location
  • 3 outfit changes
  • photos edited without manipulation
  • all rights go to you

Weddings – $1500*

  • all day
  • shooting on location
  • a meeting beforehand to discuss what you want for your special day
  • photos edited without manipulation
  • all rights go to you

*depending on how long of a commute, travel fees will be added on to the price

 

 

Photobooks are available upon request. There will be extra fees.

 

Turnaround for editing is typically a 7-10 business days. Longer if including a photobook.

After College Portfolio Tips

So you’ve graduated college and you don’t know what to do. I’m sure I’ll be there in a couple years, but HEY! congratulations you made it.

A few months ago, I had a little seminar/chat thingy with a professor who gave me some tips and tricks on what to do afterward and I thought I’d share with you.

  • Step One: A real career
    • Is it right for you? Do you have roots anywhere? Travel first. Once you get a career, you’re locked in.
      • But a gap in a resume can be killer and draws attention
    • Location: it’s all about your personality, you have to like where you live.
    • Experience with Reservations: don’t get a soul-sucking job
  • Step Two: Welcome to the Jungle
    • What type of gig is it? Don’t appear too desperate when hiring, then you’re easy. Different jobs are connecting points to each other and the latter up.
    • Opportunity: you can have a day job that will support you until you can get to your dream job
    • Culture: Does the company care about their employees? Beware of gimmicks that get you to stay, lack of dental insurance in exchange for free coffee.
    • Are they connected? Big names à working with each other à it’s who you know
  • Step Three: Finding a Job
    • Indeed.com
      • Taylor the portfolio for the company
      • Make it as personal for the hirer as possible
      • Try to drop it off in person; physical rather than digital
    • Shutterfly? Other printing sources
    • Glassdoor.com
    • “Headhunters”… like Creative Circle
      • Pretty much sells you to companies
      • It sucks that the system is rigged, but it happens
    • Network!!!!!
    • Go to visiting artists
      • Don’t be a rude.
      • People want to work with people that they get along with
  • Step Four: Common Creative Gigs
    • Freelance
      • Pro: Your hours, your money, you choose, build your name
      • Con: Client is the boss, TAXES, inconsistency
    • In-house Industry
      • Pro: Doing something you love, clocking in and out (most places don’t pay overtime), moving up
      • Cons: Consistency, politics, glass ceiling, company pace
    • Creative Agency
      • Pro: Creative living, variety, good pay, great opportunities
      • Cons: Small fish big pond, design culture can suck, trust in leadership
  • Step Five: Present Your Work
    • Know the market: be prepared, double check, present your work, don’t be vague
    • Fake it ‘til you make it
    • Student work: have you peaked? Continue to work, work outside of class
    • Portfolio site, is it updated? It should be about the work that you want to do.
    • A little mystery is okay, but don’t go crazy
    • 10-16 pages of work…20 maximum; make it efficient
    • Reels: 2:30 or less. Make it good enough that they want to see more
  • Step Six: Resume
    • Keep it clean, HR doesn’t care about your icons; it’s a resume not a poster
    • It’s not fun
    • Make it easy for them to see the information
    • It doesn’t need to be cute or creative
    • Copy and paste will make your life easy
  • Step Seven: Showcasing
    • Know the role you want; assess your clients’ needs
    • Don’t include every piece of work
      • That lucky shot isn’t enough; you have to be able to nail it
    • Photo and video are mashed together now, am I skilled for that?
    • Understand your client
      • Your reel should reflect the clients
    • Music selection can make or break you; play it safe
      • Audiojungle.com
    • Viewer fatigue is real
    • Show work that benefits the employer and the customer
    • Explain your role
      • Context to show how you work
    • A wide range of work is okay
      • Unless you’re going for specific companies
    • Make your portfolio easy to update
      • Make it presentable in every way
      • It’s okay to have different versions of the portfolio
  • Step Eight: Show That You Care
    • Hard work is obvious
      • So is laziness
    • Half of design is marketing and presentation
    • Where?
      • GraphicBurger, Pixeden, Dribbble, PSDCovers, Behance
      • Not all are free, but they’ll be worth the investment and a tax write-off
    • Showcase your work, but don’t distract
    • Don’t put it on a loaf of bread just because you can
  • Step Nine-ish: Process and Details
    • Employers hire people for talent…and to make it easier
    • Be a jack of all trades on styles, learn how to replicate and understand
    • Show off your ability to conceptualize and execute in short and long term
    • Have 10 ideas and pick the best one
  • Step Nine-ish: Webheads and Tech Nerds
    • UX/UI people
    • Show that you are a great communicator
    • Employers need to see that you can handle structure and a lot of information
  • Step Nine-ish: Photography isn’t Magic
    • Be prepared to achieve the results you promise
    • Show variety
    • Adapt with new technology
    • Do you know your equipment, lighting, and studios?
  • Step Ten: Interviews
    • Congrats!!! You’re qualified!
    • This is NOT show and tell!
      • They’ve already seen your work and they like it.
      • Bring another portfolio with different stuff unique to the employer/company, if you want to
    • Communication is as a creative is employable
      • Communicate with employers, coworkers, clients
  • Step Eleven: Checklist
    • Printed portfolio (or iPad) ready to go
    • An extra copy of your resume
    • Business card, makes you stand out
    • Dress to impress
    • HANDSHAKE
    • Don’t overtalk
    • Be cool, be respectful, be yourself
  • Step Twelve: Interviewing Basics
    • So, why do you want to work here?
      • Research the company
      • Kiss booty
      • Be prepared
    • What can you bring to the table?
      • Note some of the campaigns, expand on ideas, show your own creative thinking
    • What about your process? And your struggles?
      • Stick to the basics
      • Collaborate, learn, adapt
      • Don’t say that you’re a perfectionist.
    • Any questions for us?
      • NEVER SAY NOPE!
      • Ask about their favorite project, challenges
      • Learn
    • Should you follow up?
      • YES
      • Only after an interview
  • Backwards Step One: Didn’t get the Gig
    • Don’t get discouraged
    • Occupy your time
    • Find your stoke
    • Persistence pays off

 

  • Closing Checklist for the Real World
    • You’re outward facing in many ways
      • Control your social media
    • Is your work readily available, how is your brand?
      • Site, reel, business card, resume, portfolio, do they all have the same theme, are they consistent, is it great?
      • Update often
    • Are you evolving?
      • Work will evolve; design and visuals change.
      • Make sure you know the trends
      • Does it look current for what people are paying for?
      • Know what people want
    • Double check the contact
      • Have it simple yourname @gmail.com
      • Make your brand consistent
    • Earn it!!!!
      • Do whatever you can to progressively make yourself better every day.

 

 

If any of this is confusing, comment below so I can clarify for you.

Notes: ISO, Shutter Speed & Aperture!

Exposure

-exposure controls how light and/or dark an image is
-it’s the mixture of all three pillars of photography: ISO, shutter speed and aperture

ISO
-iso is the level of sensitivity of camera to available light
-the lower the level, the less sensitive, the higher= more sensitive
-base iso is the lowest iso number of the sensor, that can produce the highest image quality, without adding noise to the image. Ranges:100-200 (base iso), 400, 800, 1600, 3200, 6400. Each step in between doubles sensitivity
-With increased sensitivity, there can be more graining

Shutter Speed

-shutter speed is the amount of time the shutter is open
-it’s measured in seconds and fractions of seconds
-slow shutter speeds require tripods and cause blurriness to moving objects
-want a fast shutter speed for taking pictures of sports or flying birds etc.
-want a slow shutter speed if you want to capture paint drying, or a snail moving, stuff like that

Aperture
-aperture is the hole in the lens that lets light into the camera body (the pupil of your eye is the aperture of photography)
-adds dimension by blurring background and bringing subject into focus or makes everything in focus
-diaphragm: stops or blocks light, with the exception of the light that goes through the aperture
-expressed in f-numbers, which are described as f-stops
-f-stops describe the size of the aperture; the bigger the number, the smaller the hole
-if you want the subject in better focus, use a larger f-number. The smaller the hole, the more in focus the subject and the blurrier the background

Composition| Photography Tips For Beginners

If you’re new to photography, and don’t know where to start, I’ve got your back!

Jumping into the world of photography can be a struggle, so I’m going to share my notes from my various photography classes with you, hoping that they help! This first lesson (can we call it that? let’s go with it.) is all about composition, so you can make your photographs as pleasing to the eye as possible!

(Keep in mind that you can’t possibly follow all of these “guidelines” in one picture! Feel free to experiment; the most important ones (to me at least) are the Rule of Thirds and putting the horizon line on one of the Rule of Thirds lines.)

 

  • Rule of Thirds
    • 3×3 frame, don’t put the subject in middle, put it on one of the lines or where they intersect!
    • imagine a number sign, or as our generation says, a hashtag (#)
    • basically, don’t put anything in the centre of your photograph
  • Balance Elements
    • have something on each side
    • imagine the picture as a scale
  • Leading Lines
    • use elements of the scene to create a lined pattern that will draw the viewers eye and allow the eye to follow the lines
    • horizontal lines= static and calm, vertical= permanence and stability, diagonal= drama movement and uncertainty
  • Symmetry and Patterns
    • makes it eye catching
    • creates tension
  • Viewpoint
    • i.e. an upwards angle creates a more powerful feel
    • angle down on the subject (wimpy, sympathetic), angle sideways
    • IDEA! take a picture from lying on your back to get different view
  • Background
    • don’t make it too busy
    • don’t keep it too much in focus, blur it a bit
  • Depth
    • here is where the idea of “you can’t use all of these in one picture” comes in, above I said not to have the background in focus, where below it’ll say to have it in focus. it all depends how you want YOUR picture to be
    • objects in fore, middle and background; layer
  • Framing
    • have stuff around the edge to isolate main subject
    • if you’re taking a picture of a vacant street, use the buildings on both sides to frame it
  • Cropping
    • crop around [small] subject to get rid of noise in background
  • Simplify the Scene
      • basically get rid of clutter, make the background bare or as less busy as possible
    • Use silhouettes by putting the light behind the subject
    • Fill the frame
      • don’t leave empty space
      • zoom in as close as possible to a subject

 

  • Space to Move
    • humans look ahead; if you’re taking a picture of car headed to the left, then leave some empty space to the left of it
  • Colours
    • contrast, not same shade: blue and orange, purple and yellow, red and green, black and white!
  • Use odd numbers
    • more appealing to the eye
    • take a picture of three under water basket weavers instead of two
  • Texture
    • creates dimension (brick, cement, velvet, etc.)
  • Horizontal Line
    • do not put in middle of frame
    • above or below, depending on the image
  • Lean into Frame
    • when photographing animals and people, have them looking into camera

 

 

 

Good luck! Tweet me your pictures @susanarnold_ or tag me in them on Instagram with @susanarnold_