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Portrait Photography

Portrait Photography

There is no photography more intriguing than a portrait of a person, because despite the number of daily encounters we have with each other, we maintain an immutable attraction to the human face. Portraits will always demand our attention for this reason, but at the edge of our initial reaction we are either persuaded to think about the human condition, or dismiss the image as something familiar. This is the moment that defines good portraiture, choose a photographer that can command it.

Portraits Defined

The term “portrait photography” can be a bit confusing at times because it is commonly used to refer to different types of subjects, and at times, more than one of them. Here are a few definitions of portrait photography, and how I distinguish my services.

A photograph of a singular subject is usually considered a portrait, no matter what that subject might be. An example of this would be an “animal portrait”.

Portrait photography is also commonly used to refer to pictures of people, but not necessarily just one person. An example of this would be “sibling portraits”.

In any case, the portrait distinction is usually an indication of how the subject is photographed. The composition of a portrait is one that places the emphasis on the subject being photographed.

No matter what type of portraits you are interested in, I more than likely provide a service that can accommodate your needs. However, in order to distinguish my services, I typically reserve the portrait distinction for pictures of individuals, and offer other services under different more descriptive genres.

Why Portraits?

There are lots of reasons to consider portrait photography, here are just a few:

  • Starting a business
  • Building a professional online presence
  • Celebrating an achievement or a major milestone
  • Birthdays and anniversaries
  • Current picture of yourself or a loved one

Engagement Photography

Engagement Photography

I approach engagement photography as an individual experience with all the creativity and consideration that you pour into your big day, not as an afterthought included in a wedding package. I want your engagement pictures to be something special, just like you are to one another. Like your relationship, great engagement pictures are only possible when you choose someone willing to make a greater personal investment in you.

Why Engagements?

There are lots of reasons to consider engagement photography, here are just a few:

  • Your engagement pictures may be the last pictures you will have of yourselves before you are married.
  • For the most part, your wedding photos must be captured within a set amount of time, at a designated location, under available lighting conditions. By comparison, the environment of an engagement session allows for much more creative control, and thus, completely different picture possibilities.
  • Planning a wedding can be an exhaustive endeavor, and sometimes it can be a while before things seem to come together. However, an engagement session can come together very early in your planning process, with very little planning of your own! The anticipation of an exciting new experience can offset the stress of wedding planning, and the more you take on yourself, the more enjoyable it is to benefit from the hard work of someone else!

Wedding and engagements?

Using the same photographer to shoot your wedding and engagements is a very attractive option to a lot of people, and if you are interested in that route there is something you need to consider. A wedding is an event. Weddings and engagement sessions lend to two completely different setups, skill sets and shooting styles. During an engagement session, you need a photographer who knows how to create a photograph, not just document what is in front of them. Photographers who primarily shoot weddings typically fall into the latter category, and their images in large part are the result of all the preparation that goes into your big day. Events, attire, and the venue are all decided upon months in advance, and everyone in attendance is looking their best for the camera. How well would you expect this type of photographer to fare without the benefit of these circumstances?

While some wedding photographers can manage, many only promote their wedding portfolio hoping that you make this assumption about them, and are far from being specialists in the production of images that must be made. This is again because of their predominant skill set and shooting style. If anything, it is the photographer who can coordinate a successful engagement session that you should consider to capture your wedding day, not the other way around. Someone who can create the environment in which a photograph is made, has half as much to worry about when the environment is provided for them. On the other hand, someone who only has to manage camera settings to capture what is in front of them, has twice as much to consider in the same role reversal; without any experience handling this added responsibility.

When should we schedule?

Are you engaged? If the answer is yes, then anytime. There is no deadline to schedule an engagement session. The only timeline to be mindful of is when you plan on sending out save the dates and invitations. If either will use an image or images from the session, you will need to make sure that you allow enough time after the session for the images to be proofed, edited, and delivered/downloaded. If you are considering using an image from the session for either of these purposes, please let me know during the consultation so that I can give you an accurate timeline to expect the image(s).

Here are some helpful guidelines courtesy of the Knot,

https://www.theknot.com/content/save-the-date-advice

Can I use the images on my invitations?

Yes, but you will need to purchase a digital download of the image(s) you would like to use.

Wedding Photography

Wedding Photography

I don’t have to tell you how important your wedding day is, and I probably don’t have to tell you that not all wedding photographers are equally capable of capturing it, but I am going to tell you why. You see, wedding photography is all about planning, adapting, and being able to manage everything under pressure. As your wedding photographer, I will work with you to develop a day-of itinerary that accounts for every single minute of photography coverage to make the most of our time together. This itinerary is created in consideration of your specific venue variables and personal preferences, in addition to my unique knowledge and capabilities uncommon among wedding photographers. However, even with the proper planning one person cannot be everywhere at one time, or be expected to do the work of two in certain situations, which is why I photograph all weddings with the help of a second shooter to give you every assurance on your biggest day.

What do I need to do leading up to the day?

My workflow for weddings is slightly different from the rest of my projects, but still just as simple. When you first contact me I will ask for some basic wedding and contact information so that I can:

  1. Begin thinking about your big day.
  2. Send you a no-obligation copy of my contract for your personal reference. I send this so that you can become familiar with the document and know what you would be agreeing to before signing it.
  3. Setup an in-person consultation to further discuss the details of your wedding after addressing any and all of your initial questions and concerns that I can over the phone.

During the consultation is when I really get to know you and your fiance, and talk about your ideas and expectations for your big day. The best way I have found to do this is to give you the opportunity to bring up anything you would like to talk about first, and then keep you comfortable by asking a set of simple questions to guide casual conversation about your wedding. For example, I will ask you about your bridal party, wedding themes and colors, and venues. Your answers to these questions will allow you to have as much input as you would like in the direction of your wedding photography, and leave the rest up to my professional discretion. Whether you have a strong opinion about something, or are totally indifferent, your answers will help me to apply my skill set in thoughtful consideration of your preferences, and produce beautiful images as a result of our creative collaboration!

After our conversation you will have an opportunity to sign a contract with me if you would like (under the same terms and conditions sent to you as a reference before the meeting), or you can take your time and think over the decision, no rush! If you do decide to work with me, half of the payment will be due upon signing the contract, and a date will be set for a pre-wedding consultation (usually 2 weeks prior) to confirm all the details of your day. After confirming the details, I will begin putting together an itinerary that accounts for every minute of your photo coverage in consideration of the what has been discussed up to that point!

What Can Expect I the Day-Of?

This is where the process pays off. I know that you will have a million things on your mind on your wedding day, but as far as photos, you can count on me to take care of everything. Relax and enjoy your day, I’ll make sure you can enjoy it for the rest of your life.

How Many Photographers?

Always two. Two photographers means photos can be captured in different places at the same time (think separate preparation locations for the bride and groom) as well as from different angles and perspectives at the same place (think important events like the entrance of the bride and the cutting of the cake). Two cameras also means added insurance against accidents that would prevent your wedding from being photographed should one camera fail or be damaged.

Do You Offer Wedding Albums?

Only the best. Do yourself a favor, click here

Group and Family Photography

Group and Family Photography

No matter what your most pressing priorities are, most people place family at the top of the list of things that are most important to them. Why is it then that family pictures are so often neglected? The reality is that each of the things that demand your time during your daily grind will be easier and give you a sense of purpose when you are reminded of family. There is of course no substitute for being in the presence of the people you love, but even in these cases a photograph can remind us of what we have in front of us. Whether it be your brothers and sisters, coworkers, best friends, or band mates, find the time to capture your relationship with one another.

How large can the group be?

Ideal size for my shooting style is a family of five or less, however I have managed more. Large groups and families over fifteen would need to be posed and possibly composited.

Can some of the shots during the session be portraits of the individual members of the group?

Yes, I have no problem with this, I only ask that this preference is brought up during our consultation so that I can plan accordingly.

Child Photography

Child Photography

There’s more to photographing children than just holding on to a moment in time, it’s about being reminded of something we all lose along the way. The spirited disposition of children shows us an innocence, carelessness, compassion and imagination that is unaffected by the trivial things that we allow to burden us in our maturity. Photographs of children keep our perspectives in check, and challenge us to change our attitudes and outlook on life.

What ages?

1 year to 12 years (13 and up are considered normal portraits)

Architecture Photography

Architecture Photography

They are the places we live, work, and do business, each space with a character as identifiable as the people who dwell in it. We spend time using and moving through them, creating memories and attaching feelings. To some they are only floors and walls, but to others they are intimately tied to stations in life.

How are the images made?

Using a lighting and layering technique that I learned from the best in the industry. The finished images are actually composites of a number of frames captured on location.

Can I be present during the shoot?

Yes, but since it is a very involved process with much to consider, it is preferable that the session can be conducted with as little distraction as possible.

What about staging?

At a minimum, I require interiors to be clean and orderly and exteriors not to be obstructed (i.e. by parked vehicles). You can choose to stage your space, but I may need to move things around to make sure that objects are not distracting to the composition. A lot of times objects do not seem distracting until you are viewing the space two dimensionally through the lens of a camera. Then a trained eye will notice objects that overlap each other, colors that stand out, and other miscellaneous things that demand too much attention or clutter the composition. The elements of an architecture photograph should complement the composition in a way that showcases the place/space, not the items in or around it.

Automotive Photography

Automotive Photography

We rely on various modes of transportation to move us physically from one place to another, but some move us emotionally, from one time, mood, or state of mind to another. Whatever it is, and wherever it moves you, take pride in your ride.

What kind of vehicles?

If it rolls, floats, or flies, it can be captured. This includes:

Hot Rods/Rat Rods

Muscle Cars

Exotic Cars

Trucks

Motorcycles

Boats

Planes

How are the images made?

This depends on your preferences.

When the vehicle remains stationary for the shots, a tripod is used to capture a number of images which are then composited together to produce a single image using a lighting a layering technique. This approach is ideal to showcase all of the unique characteristics of the vehicle accurately and dramatically. This is the typical approach.

Vehicles in motion can also be captured, but not using the lighting and layering technique mentioned above, lending to a different aesthetic. This approach is only recommended for very specific situations.

How many images are produced?

This depends on your preferences.

Compared to other types of photography, an automotive photography session will typically result in more captured images, but fewer final images. This is because of the techniques used to photograph a vehicle, and the amount of retouching required to produce a final image.

Typically, a shoot is structured around a specific shot, and a series of “detail shots” if desired. For a muscle car shoot this would include an exterior shot in a complementary environment, as well as close-ups of the engine, interior, and any other details specific to the car.

Can you capture the vehicle in motion?

Yes I can, but there are fewer options for how the vehicle can be captured aesthetically.

Can I be in the picture?

Yes, I only ask that you indicate this preference during the consultation.

Animal Photography

Animal Photography

Pets are a large part of our lives, and although their antics may fill up our phones, there are better ways to capture our closest companions. My methods accentuate every detail and defining characteristic of an animal’s unique personality and features that make them who they are, and can be used with any kind of animal you may have in mind, not just the kinds with collars. Large or small, fur, feathers or scales, there is only one way to capture animal photography that’s worthy of the wall.

What kind of animals?

Any and all, large and small. I invite any challenge, but there are methods I use to produce a certain aesthetic which I will not deviate from (see below).

How are the pictures made?

All animal photography is captured using studio lighting (flash) against portable paper backdrops in a range of colors. This lighting accentuates the features of the animal in incredible detail which stand out against a simple yet elegant background. Using a background eliminates a compositional variable which means more successful split-second captures.

I do not conduct casual or natural light sessions outside.

Composite Photography

Composite Photography

A photograph can only ever be a representation of something that our minds make sense of. Compositing is an approach to photography that embraces alteration as a way to change this representation in a realistic or unrealistic way; specifically by adding, removing, or combining parts of an image. With composite photography, your most imaginative ideas are possible, and the opportunity for creativity is endless!

What exactly are you capable of?

I would like to think the results of my more intensive efforts measure up to movie posters.

What can I expect?

The preparatory phase of these kinds of projects is much longer than typical timelines because of the extensive amount of research and planning that I do to make your idea a reality. This includes location scouting, lighting scenarios, stock imagery, clothing and costumes, and posing among other things; all to ensure an incredibly unique image based on your preferences. After everything is arranged, you will be in for a very unique experience!

General FAQ

What do I need to know about copyright and licensing?

ALL works produced by Dylan Mumaw Photography are the intellectual property of Mumaw Media LLC. In effect, clients do not own the images made during a session, but instead are granted a license to use them for specific purposes.

A “Retail” license allows you to use the works for personal purposes.

An “Editorial” license allows you to use the works for educational or journalistic purposes.

A “Commercial” license allows you to use the works to sell or promote a brand, business, product, service, or idea.

Unless otherwise agreed upon in writing, none of these licenses allow the work of Dylan Mumaw Photography to be printed, copied, or reproduced in any manner.

What should I wear?

Solid colors and subtle patterns are always in style. If you are being photographed with someone, avoid wearing the same color. This prevents your clothing selections from blending into each other when you are photographed close together.

Clothing with any logos and/or graphics will distract the viewer’s attention in a photograph and should be avoided when possible.

Layers are also a good choice when the weather permits because you can get different looks without changing an entire outfit.

How long is the session?

The amount of time you reserve with me is considered “scheduled time”. It is a fixed amount of time that includes the time required travel to and from the location, setup for the shoot, conduct the shoot, and cleanup after the shoot. The length of the shoot itself is the amount of time remaining after appropriating time for all of these processes.

A typical reservation block for a session or event is four hours. If 30 minutes of that time is reserved for setup and 30 minutes for cleanup, three hours are left for travel and the shoot itself. This means we could travel to a further location for a shorter shoot, several nearby locations spending some time at each, or travel to a single nearby location for a longer shoot.

The amount of scheduled time that is reserved represents as much time as we have to use, but not necessarily as much time as we need. This is typically the case when shooting in the evening when the right lighting is only available for a short amount of time. On the other hand, I may decide that your project requires more time than what is available in a single reservation block to be successful, which I will express during the consultation.

How do you handle posing?

My level of involvement and instruction will depend on the preferences you express in the consultation.

I will not physically touch you to move you into a position, rather I will try to describe the position, or enact it myself.

Oftentimes my wife will accompany me when I am shooting female subjects to help with posing.

My direction and comments will remain professional and in good taste at all times. I will not make any of my clients uncomfortable with perverse or inappropriate flattery.

How do you handle retouching?

Unethical and dishonest alterations have no place in my editing workflow.

I personally retouch each and every image you order to ensure a consistent artistic influence on your project from concept to creation.

My editing style requires time, attention, discretion and technique for which there is no substitute. I use many subtle edits to make obvious overall improvements, rather than rely on one-click filters or effects.

My approach allows me to edit specific areas/aspects of the image without affecting other parts of the image. I use this technique to selectively draw attention to certain aspects of the image and remove emphasis from others. The balance, enhancement, and emphasis that can be achieved by these means cannot be achieved by simply applying a filter or effect.

When working with people, my goal is to address the distractions and unflattering aspects of the image created by the shooting conditions to enhance an honest representation of those who are photographed.

All images uploaded to your online gallery will exhibit basic editing and color correction and should be evaluated with this in mind. Advanced retouching is applied to all images that are ordered.

Ask a Question

dylan @ dylanmumaw .com
785.806.7640

 (Text is best) 

Availability

Sunday: All day

Mon-Friday: After 1pm

Unavailable: Friday evening to Saturday evening

dylan@dylanmumaw.com
785.806.7640

 (Text is best) 

Availability

Sunday: All day

Mon-Friday: After 1pm

Unavailable: Friday evening to Saturday evening

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