Thursday, December 31, 2015

2015 In Review | A Little Fun & A Little Laughter

At the end of each year, I try to blog about the year that has past and some of its special memories - and I always try to stick to some sort of theme.  This year I picked some of the behind-the-scenes and images that made me laugh as I remembered what sparked the moment.
I often do a test shot and tell the model to have some fun and make a funny face. Sometimes they do it on their the middle of a session.
Some models like to do their best horse impersonation... or is it a horse doing their best human imitation?

We try to make pretty images; sometimes horses have other ideas.
I promise we got some beautiful images of Dom & Snowball

Photo bombs came all in  shapes: my favorite "ear-getter-upper" pompom, a goat and a horse's tongue

Texas can throw every challenge out there when getting photos: wind, bull-nettle, bugs...

I have said it a million times: whoever is getting ears up, works harder than me. They do whatever it takes: dance, crawl on the ground...  And my ear-getter-upper tools are always fun to play with!

My husband helped me with one our son's sessions and thought it was fun to flash Jake. Being Stars Wars fans, I guess it was as close to a light saber as possible.

North Texas Photographer | Equine Photographer | Equestrian Photographer | Senior Photographer | Denton Photographer | Horse Photographer | Western Fine Art |

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Planning Ahead For Your Photography Session: North Texas Seasons

Through my years as a photographer, I have taken notes on our Texas weather patterns and the effect they have on our landscape. What I have realized is that you cannot truly predict or forecast the weather, as it change unexpectedly - such as going from sunny and 75 to a winter storm warning in 24 hours. I cannot guarantee what each month will actually do in terms of weather, but here are some of my month-to-month observations and how I handle each one to fit my photography style. Since I specialize in equine photography, this is for any outdoor shoots in more of a rustic style, not as much for outdoor in an urban setting, although many conditions still apply to any location or style of photo sessions.

January/February: These months a usually cold, but have some warmer days that are bearable. If booking in advance, I recommend two dates so that, in case the first scheduled day has inclement weather, we have a back-up date. Most trees are missing leaves and the grass is a light brown.  If you want a green background, mountain cedar stays green year-round and you can find patches of green winter grass. The tall brown grass can have some wonder backlight effects during the golden hours.

I try not to schedule sessions in the morning hours, as it can be cold and sometimes very damp.  We always have the opportunity to have a rare snowfall that is heavy enough for photos, but the key word is 'rare.' Therefore, North Texas is not equipped to clear the roads to make them safe enough to travel to your destination.

March: The beginning of the month is similar to Jan/Feb and we can still have some snowfall or ice. Mid-month, we can have more winter grass and some of the bulb flowers; tulips/ daffodils start to bloom. Trees start showing a small amount of leaf growth near the end of the month. It is still cool in the morning near the end of the month, but bearable.

April: This is one of my favorite months for sessions. Usually the first part of the month, leaves are starting to emerge on most trees and they produce a very bright, light green hue. By mid-month, most species of trees are full of leaves.

Although rain and storms can be a factor, the temperatures make it ideal for being outdoors and time of day. During mid to late April, many of the more popular wildflowers - such as bluebonnets and Indian paintbrushes - start to bloom.  The only setback is that it is hard to find these in a location safe to bring a horse.

May: Much of May is like late April - very green and the weather is nice, until near the end of May when temperatures start to rise. Many of the April flowers are gone, but now several more types of wildflowers start to bloom. We can still have a heavy rain or storm. With all the spring rain, stock tanks and creeks are a little fuller and can be used for some great backdrops.  The calm morning helps make some beautiful reflections in the water.

June: With temperatures rising, the landscape starts to change. Trees are still green, but the native grasses have gotten taller and start to turn yellow/brown. I love photos during the golden hours during June. The long day makes it easy for those who work during the week, to schedule a session on a weekday.

July/August: One word - HOT!  There is a big difference in the color of the trees and natural grasses. I try to start sessions as early as possible or as late as possible to avoid the heat.

September: Early in the month, it is still hot, but it does cool some later in the month. Unlike many parts of the country that see some true fall weather, we still a in the full of swing summer. Mornings in the later part of the month are somewhat cooler and very pleasant.

October: Although many parts of the country are seeing fall colors, North Texas is still green and if we get enough rainfall, it can sometimes be a little spring-like and some natural grasses will have a some new growth. October is another one of my favorite months. Beautiful weather with crisp mornings make it a very popular month for photos. Some of the Sumac trees start to turn red either late in the month, or early November.

November: Many think that we have leaf change in October, but it actually happens in November in North Texas. Although the leaf change is rather dull in Texas, I have noticed it is actually better following a very dry year. The heaviest leaf change is from mid-November to late November. Thanksgiving day always seems to have good color. Of course there is no guarantee of when or if we will have color change. Weather can be unpredictable, with the first frost of the year usually occurring mid-month, so mornings can be cold.

December: Early in the month, leaves are starting to fall, which can make for some pretty background effects. We start to have more consistent cold weather, and some winter storms are always a possibility. Although we may have some very cold days, there are still plenty of days that are very pleasant and sessions are still possible.

Update: 2015 proved me wrong in many ways.  With record breaking rainfall and an unusually warm December, proofed by drought theory wrong.  The fall colors were the best I have ever seen and did not start until after Thanksgiving and went into early to mid December.

Although I didn't mention wind as a factor, we do have wind much of the year except during the hot summer months when we would actually like a breeze to help cool off.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Terri Cage Photography | Facebook: Best of 2014 | Equine Photographer

I try to post daily to Facebook  and the following images where some of the most popular in 2014.  They where determined from some of the Facebook statistics, likes, comments and shares.  Many of the ones that did well were shared on the Equine Photographers Network's  Facebook page and with close to quarter million followers, that is a lot of exposure.  Facebook is a constant challenge for business page's post to show up on followers feeds and I did notice a large decrease in the statistics from the beginning of 2014 to the end.  Even though I doubles the number of followers in 2014, many post where hidden within everyone's newsfeed.   

Some of the popular images where actually photos taken in earlier year, but I either thought it deserved re-posteding or discover a photo I never have posted or it was for someone's Happy Birthday post.

If you ask me to pick a favorite, I obviously have to pick one of my family, 4 and 2 legged. Usually when someone ask what is my favorite photo, my answer is from my most used quote by Imogen Cunningham; "Which of my photographs is my favorite? The one I am going to take tomorrow  

A Chip of Sudden won High Point Western Horse at the 2014 Appaloosa World SHow

On of my daughter's horses; Colby.  I just came home from doing 7 photo sessions and Colby was standing under the overhang in his turnout pen.  I was tired, but couldn't miss this opportunity of the great light

Spyder was the High Point English Horse at the APHA World Show in 2014.

Cashin Doubles, a sucessful barrel racing stallion in Texas.  I an glad his owner let me use artificial lighting and we got some very dramatic images.
Another great expression.  
Another image taken in 2013, but I used it to practice some Photoshop techniques 
My daughter's horse Sterling Invitation.   I surprised her with portrait for Christmas 
Headshots seem to be one of the more popular images, especially those with great expressions
A horse as handsome as John Simon is going to be popular
Wise Dan, taken in 2013

Did a series of images of yearlings in this pose. The trainer/graphic designer had a vision for a great ad design that turned out awesome. 

This is actually a photo from 2013, but was re-posted in 2014. Taken at our workshop and when they where done with their session and walked backed to the barn they did this! Cute and great light.

After doing some family portraits, I did some candids of the family riding.  I think he really enjoyed have his photo taken.

Another image from 2013 that I re-posted.  Yes they are all mine and love them.

From Harmony's senior session.  Her back yard made a fantasic location.  More and more college seniors are getting portraits done and I think it is a great idea

While doing a photoshoot, they also had a drone doing video.  I loved the results and plan on getting one someday!

Love the emotion from Olivia when she was announced the winner of Battle of the X's

Sid has the best smile!  He went on to win the APHA Chrome model search and was featured in their fashion article.

Although taken in 2013, it was not posted until 2014.  Taken at the Scott Trees workshop hosted by Equine Professional Network

One of my minis;  Storm has very blue eye and the snow just intensified them.

Always have fun doing photoshoots for Lisa, this photo says it all

Borrowed Katy to do a fun shoot.  It was very cold and Katy was toughed it out and I think she had fun also.

Taken in 2013, but never posted until 2014.  One of my favorite photos, love the connection these 3 had.

Image with a horse-human bond are always popular 

Taken in 2012 turning a fun session.  I bought a fog machine and invited several models to come help me try it out.  I re-posted this again in 2014 and it was very popular

2014 had plenty of chances to take photos of ice.
Lazy Luvah a flashy & talented APHA bay roan

A horse lover is born.  This was somewhat controversial image as someone was concerned that the baby would get bite.  The baby was not as close as appeared and was perfectly safe for this adorable moment

A cute Paint horse and 3 adorable kids = lots of likes
Piper, Abbey & Taco.  These 3 appear a few more times in this blog.  Was a very fun session.

I realized how much I liked photographing kids & horses this year

Venture Database was rescued from a sale know to kill buyers.  Soon after she was rescued it was discovered that she was pregnant.  There where several of her photos that were popular taken of her and her baby. 

I love a series of photos that tells a story

Between this foal's coloring and athletic ability, made it very popular.
Love long legged foals

Lights on Broadway & Yammi from Rember Me Rescue.  Sadly we lost Lights this year.

Yammi from Remember Me Rescue is always popular

Matto Mondo from Remember Me Rescue, was somewhat of a show off

Love this photo of 2 long time friends

As a proud mom, many of my daughter's Senior portrait were very well liked
I had 2 big milestones this year, one with my oldest daughter getting married, this was the most popular non horse related image

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