Saturday, September 30, 2017

Getty Images Bans Photoshopped Images of Thin Models

7:02:00 AM

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The debate about the models employed by fashion photographers and their weight (or lack thereof) is now not just limited to runway fashion photography and the larger fashion industry but also a concern for Getty Images which has issued a ban on all photographs featuring models with their body weight modified through photoshopping. The new guidelines, taking effect October 1, 2017, are in response to developments in the French fashion photography world beginning with a 2015 law regulating the health and employment of fashion models.

photo by Spencer Selover

Ephotozine reports on the ban issued by Getty Images, describing it as a prohibition against the use of photoshopping to heavily modify the body image and type of the models depicted in the photographs submitted to the site with a particular emphasis on those photos that feature models that are “thinner” through photoshop.

In a push for a more natural depiction of the human form, Getty Images also clarifies that the ban, which will come into effect beginning October 1, 2017, will also apply to images in which the model’s body is modified to appear larger, likely in a nod to the body dysmorphia that tends to impact males more frequently than females in which the ideal male physique is depicted as tall and muscular.

The prohibition is in line with recent French legislation that requires photos featuring models modified with photoshop to carry a label identifying it as such. These new guidelines will also apply to photos submitted to sister website iStockPhotos.com. DPReview notes that a 2015 French law comes into effect on October 1, 2017, the same day as the new guidelines from Getty Images take effect.

In an email to DPReview, Getty clarified its new policy with regard to altering model’s body types, specifically in the context of commercial stock photography: “It’s important to be clear that altering a model’s body shape as described by the new French law is quite rare in commercial stock photography (it is time consuming and is also against the increasing trend towards more authentic imagery) so is likely to affect only a small number of images in our collection. Regardless, we will be working with our customers to ensure that they can adhere to Article L2133-2 of the Public Health Code in France.”

The Verge reports that the new law in France will also require models to provide a doctor’s note indicating that the model is of a healthy body weight in order for that model to pursue work with her agency without being reprimanded. Agencies that employ models without a doctor’s note could face heavy fines. A similar law is in effect in the US state of California.


The guidelines only apply to the enlargement or slimming of the body and do not cover alterations such as removal of blemishes or tattoos, altering hair or eye color, or even modification of overall skin tone.

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Kehl Bayern is a freelance writer and editor of Demagaga.

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How to Effectively Transform Yourself and Take Great Self-Portraits

5:02:00 AM

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Self-portraiture isn't always about the photographer. It doesn't have to compliment the artist or even reveal their identity. Sometimes, photos of oneself focus on different emotions, themes, and people. This can be done with the help of transformations both subtle and significant. Even a small change in makeup, hair colour, or expression can change your entire face.

You could say that such fictitious images are lies. In doing so, you'd be overlooking the cathartic experience this technique offers. Time and time again, self-portrait photographers (like Cristina Otero and Bailey Elizabeth, for example) prove that self-portraiture can be an exceedingly creative and selfless genre. Transformation gives people a chance to express themselves without revealing their real appearance. In addition to that, it greatly enhances creativity, allowing individuals of all ages to find a valuable part of themselves in a genre that welcomes everyone.

Many people who consider themselves shy find immense comfort in self-portraiture. Many photographers prefer to keep their backs to the camera, photograph facial details, or simply take an abstract photo of themselves in a reflection. The possibilities are endless, yet all of them revolve around the same idea of self-portraiture. For this and many other reasons, I'd like to share ways you can effectively transform yourself for the sake of self-portraiture. Once you find a method you're comfortable with, you'll feel compelled to return to this genre and find the peace and creativity it so generously offers.

By Matthew Henry

What Do You Want to Express?

Before you start taking photographs or even planning a transformation, it's important to be familiar with the story you want to tell. What emotions or themes spark your interest? Is there a story you'd like to keep in mind as you photograph? While being spontaneous is great for experimentation, it's useful to have at least one idea you could lean on. With a concept in mind, you'll be able to make solid decisions during your shoot and get the results you want.

If you're not sure what you want to express, observe your surroundings and research topics that truly interest you. Here are a few things you can do to understand the emotions you want to express:

  • Watch a film: movies, especially emotional ones, are great at encouraging an overflow of feelings. Though these feelings may seem unnecessary and useless, they are immensely powerful when used during shoots. Intense emotions, both uplifting and heartbreaking, allow creativity to freely wander. These same emotions can help you take self-portraits that are compelling, outstanding, and unique in every possible way.
  • Read a book: similar to films, books have a graceful way of opening up hearts and filling minds with groundbreaking ideas. Though it takes longer to read a long book than it does to watch a film, immersing yourself in a good book will make you feel refreshed.
  • Think of someone you admire: the people we admire often have many interesting stories to tell. Many of them experienced inexplicably difficult hardships, went on exciting adventures, or simply changed our lives in a way no one else could. The influence someone has had on your life can open up a plethora of creative ideas.
  • Think of how you want people to react to your work: sometimes, the simplest question can spark a tremendous idea. How do you want people to react to your work? What do you want them to feel? Using your newfound answers, you can create photos that will have the influence you desire.

By Aziz Acharki

Embrace Makeup

Even if you don't use makeup at all, you can conceal your real features with the help of face paint. This can help you recreate an iconic look or simply create your own masterpiece. If you enjoy painting, think of meaningful designs you could draw on your face. If you like experimenting with makeup, spend some time working with a variety of looks. For days when you're completely out of inspiration, communities like Pinterest, Tumblr, and Youtube will help you come up with the best concepts for your theme.

By Luke Braswell

Be an Actor

You don't need acting experience to transform yourself into someone else. All you need is empathy. Put yourself into someone else's shoes and imagine how they would feel in a particular situation. If you're inspired by a fictional character, this process will be much easier to experience. You don't have to look like anyone in particular – the most important thing is to feel, and to express whatever it is that you wish to tell. Once the emotions are clear to you, you can create a fitting concept.

By Peter Forster

Costumes, Locations, and Lighting

Looking for outfits will inevitably give you more ideas. You don't need to be a cosplayer to find a great costume for your desired look. All you need to do is open your eyes to the clothes you already have, and combine those in a way that appeals to your theme. However, if you really want to look different, then invest in a wig. Even affordable ones look great on camera.

Locations, combined with lighting, make a world of difference to a photograph. Artists who wish to conceal their faces prefer to cleverly hide themselves in shadows surrounded by beautiful locations, while others choose lighting that gracefully enhances their transformation. You don't need to have expensive lighting equipment to take incredible self-portraits; all you need is a little imagination and an openness to working with what you already have.

By Alex Iby

Self-portraiture, which so often does reveal the photographer's real appearance, doesn't have to be something you avoid. If you want to express yourself, be it thanks to simple inspiration or a desire to be heard, don't stop. Embrace the many faces of self-portraiture, transform yourself, and inspire others to take portraits that are as great as yours.


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30. September 2017

4:08:00 AM

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Friday, September 29, 2017

7:53:00 AM

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5 Incredible Photography Collectives Every Photography Enthusiast Should Follow

5:01:00 AM

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Photography can be more enjoyable when the common social dynamic of “Groups” takes place. The night before he died, the 19th-century French mathematician Évariste Galois postulated a very interesting definition of “groups” – and even though he was certainly referring to math, his definition also applies to photography collectives. “A group is composed of members, all of whom are equal in common feature; contains a member of identity such as its combination with any other member of that other member, which means that it maintains the identity of the member.”

Thanks to the new communication networks and technology, photography collectives can be formed and grow as a group without the need for being fixed at a specific geolocation, as with traditional social groups. The passion for photography requires discipline, and if it develops in an individualized way, it ends up demanding harrowing amounts of energy. That’s why collectives are so functional. As a one-man army, one’s energy will be quickly drawn, but in a collective environment, the energy demand ends up being not just tolerable, but also enjoyable.

Image by Chancema at Unsplash

Photography collectives are not only a truly effective strategy in terms of visibility and diffusion, but also an effective way to develop projects in a sustainable – or at least in an economically viable – way. There is no universal manual for the constitution of an effective collective, but in our opinion, these 7 photography collectives are worth keeping an eye on to keep abreast of the good things happening in photography nowadays.

BLANKPAPER

This collective seems more like a fraternity than a collective. Julián Barón, Ricardo Cases, Alejandro Marote, Óscar Monzón, Mario Rey,  Fosi Vegue and Antonio M. Xoubanova formed Blank Paper in 2003. This collective has been recognized for its contribution to the world of contemporary fine art photography. Each collective finds its own way to make photography a sustainable business, and the intention of this collective – to create a space for common sharing of new and fresh projects and ideas – led to the constitution of this school, which offers a space for meetings, discussions and, above all, a platform of knowledge that guides the students in their personal and professional growth.

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

The most accessible way to get close to Blank Paper's work is by attending exhibitions and by buying prints, but they have a very press-oriented Instagram account that sprouts some goodies from time to time.

LA CALLE ES NUESTRA

La Calle es Nuestra (The Street is Ours) is a young collective, recently formed in 2017 with the purpose of showcasing its photographers’ own worlds and to share knowledge among their members. Unfortunately, they are not admitting any more photographers right now, which to me is pretty sad.

These guys have an amazing manifesto, which I'm very pleased to translate: “The Street Smells. It needs to be felt and touched. We feel the street and we drown ourselves in its singular nature, its people, its buildings, its suburbs, its wet walls, its rough bricks and reflections. We took the street.” You can follow their work here.

Photo by Ryan Tauss on Unsplash

NOPHOTO

This is a collective of contemporary photography born in 2005 with the purpose of making NO conventional individual and collective projects viable. It is characterized by an open attitude towards content, an interdisciplinary tendency in forms, the use of multiple media for diffusion of projects, web and digital projection and the personal implication in the process of conceptualization and production.

You can follow them around here.

NOOR

This is a collective uniting a select group of highly accomplished photojournalists and documentary storytellers focusing on contemporary global issues. They started out as an agency (pretty much like the good old Magnum). NOOR members have photographed and documented serious topics like civil and political unrest, environmental issues, war, famine, and natural disasters around the globe. Besides individual photographic projects, collective projects are at the core of NOOR. Its headquarters are in Amsterdam and formed by thirteen photographers from eleven different countries.

Follow their work here and here.

STROMA

Stroma is formed by a diverse group of photographers brought together by a common desire to create and share their view of contemporary photography, which transcends several genres. Their varying backgrounds (cultural and geographical), are the basis of Stroma’s broad photographic perspective. You can see more of the work of Arthur, Julian, Nina, Pat, Sarah, Steve and Trevor here and here.

Photo by W A T A R I on Unsplash

Easter Egg

FOTOKIDS

This is a collective formed by some of the youngest photographers out there. Fotokids started in a dumpster with six members, and is now in several marginal areas of the Guatemalan capital. Today the group has more than 100 members, all young people between 7 and 26 years old, showing us from their position the reality that surrounds them. A must-see indeed. Watch their steps here.

About Fractal, my failing collective

Some time ago, I ended up in a collective. The dynamic was pretty good, and we all met our deadlines with small delays. Don't know exactly how I ended up being in charge. Here I'm listing the main reasons for the failure of the collective:

  • Head members were disenchanted with each other
  • Big egos
  • Lack of a manifesto or statement
  • It wasn't sustainable
  • Poor communication among members
  • No social media presence
  • Awful website
  • Members had other stronger passions (like music, video, and archeology).

Image by Federico Alegría

In the end, we had a leak of members, and the shortage of committed photographers was the reason the collective finally ended. It was a very nurturing experience though, and I would love to be part of some other collectives now that I have more solid criteria for business development and my own aesthetic.

Here you can see the 50 works we did together.


Keeping a collective alive is hard work, so if you guys know of any other collectives that deserve more attention, please share them with us.

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29. September 2017

4:03:00 AM

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Thursday, September 28, 2017

Lighting 103: Becoming More Intuitive with Color

9:34:00 AM

As your understanding of light and color grows, how does it affect your daily shooting? Like most things that seem complex at first, color pretty quickly becomes a secondary thought process, just like tying your shoes.

I just had the above archive photo picked up by a nonprofit, to promote children's books. Looking at it, I'm reminded that creating a natural looking color need not be complicated at all.

This was a little more than a snapshot, done with on-camera flash, and no gels. And the thought process behind the light is a good example of how you'll start to see and control color, even if you're just grabbing a snapshot.
__________

I wrote about this photo earlier, from a framework of light quantity: balancing flash and ambient. In this case, the ambient is the key and the flash is the fill. So, the reverse of normal.

In Lighting 103, now we can talk about this shot from from a perspective of understanding what color that fill needed to be, and how to create it almost subconsciously without any fancy gear.

Light Color is a Continuum

Remember when Greg Heisler said give him a sheet of 1/2 CTO and a white balance control, and he could do pretty much anything he needed? That was a fantastic distillation of his understanding of color.

You have control of your ambient color across a wide scale via your camera's white balance. The same goes for your white flash, via gels. And you can work those variables against each other, not unlike we can independently alter the exposure relationship of our flash and ambient by merely tweaking our aperture and shutter speeds.

In both cases you pick one variable, adjust your camera to get the desired result, and then make a second adjustment to establish the relationship with the second variable. In balancing flash with ambient, you might adjust your aperture to get the desired result from your manual flash, then adjust your shutter speed to bring the ambient light to the level that you want.

You can think about the relationship of the color temperature of both your ambient and flash in the same way. Let's walk through this photo and look at this process with respect to adjusting the color balance of our ambient and flash.

Warm and Dark

I see my wife and daughter (a tween in this photo, a college sophomore now) are out reading on the front porch. The scene is dark, lit by splashes of light of different colors. There are color shifts in both the highlights and the shadows that inform your brain about the visual environment. We process all of this across an incredible contrast range, instantaneously and subconsciously.

Seeing this, I went back into my house and grabbed a (then) Nikon D3 and a speedlight. I'm not going to bring light stands and multiple flashes out here, because it will ruin the moment. Which would mean that even a nice photo would have no sentimental value. So why even make it?

Without flash to fill the shadows, the camera sees only some highlights and a lot of black. My eye can see the whole scene, but my camera can't.

The most important highlights are all warm. And fortunately, they are all super warm: a warm flashlight reflected off of cream-colored pages, a candle burning right in the middle of the frame, the CFL porch light out of frame in the background is warm/greenish and the computer screen is cool white.

Seeing an excess of warmth, I shift my camera's white balance to tungsten. That injects some blue into the mix. Fortunately, my main key sources are overly warm. So not only can they handle this shift, they actually look more natural in the tungsten white balance. And that is what you see in the (available light only) shot above.

So now I have tamed my super-warm sources. The porch light and the computer are also more blue, but I don't really care about them. And now I need to put some legibility into my shadows.

By bouncing a daylight-balanced, on-camera flash off of the (white) porch ceiling, my fill light will shift to blue because of the camera's tungsten white balance setting. Because it is fill, I'll underexpose light from this flash by a couple stops or so. So not only am I getting legibility (but not full exposure) in the shadows, but the light is also a deep, cool color. Which is camera-ready, ambient nighttime light. It lets my camera see the scene the way my eye sees it.

I didn't need a gel on my flash, because I shifted anything that is daylight-colored to blue by adjusting to tungsten white balance. But the effect of the flash illumination is as if I used daylight white balance and had CTB-gelled the flash.
__________

Here is the blue-filled version again. (Click to see bigger.)

Look at everything that is going on throughout the depth of the frame as the blue fill flash both supports and mixes with the warm key lights.

1. The shadows on Em and the chair are now both legible and cool. It just looks natural.

2. The chair is also catching some spill from that warm flashlight. You see it on the inside of the right side, and a hint of transluscence on the left. I love this. It's very three-dimensional and integrates Em into the scene.

3. The candle light radiating into the floor now mixes with detailed blue shadows rather than backness. I love this, too.

4. The blue fill creates detail on the shadow sides of the chair and porch rails. Then it falls away as it is taken over by the just out-of-frame green CFL porch light in the background. As an unintended bonus, this falloff creates a natural-looking color separation between Em and the background. I'll take it.

5. Lastly, Susan is picking up some in-frame illumination from the laptop.

So that's three internal light sources—and one more just out of frame—in addition to blue-shifted fill flash. This is a snapshot of a wonderfully lit (to my eye) scene that we just had to fix a little bit so our camera could record it. But the tungsten color shift both tames the excessive warmth and makes the shadow-filling flash blue.

Understanding this process is very important. Why? Because if you understand how and why this package of multi-colored ambient light works, you also understand how to create it from whole-cloth blackness.

You could easily duplicate this feel anywhere, just with flashes, if you understood you would need to create all of those independent light source colors. For instance, you could shoot it on ISO 200 and daylight white balance on a dark porch.

The fake flashlight would need a CTO (on daylight balance). The fake candle (now, probably a bare-bulbed Morris Mini flash) would also be CTO'd. The porch light flash gets a window green gel, maybe with some CTB thrown in. And the soft fill flash gets a CTB. The computer screen could stay daylight, and actually look better than the color-shifted real-light version.

Would you think to add this much color to all of those sources? You should, because that's is what they would need to look real. And if you were to light this with white flashes, it would not look right no matter what you did.

Light and Color in a Nutshell

To understand light and color is first to consciously see and appreciate it, then to be able to tweak it, and finally, to be able to create it convincingly from scratch. This progression is why some photographers' color flash photos feel lit and sterile, while other photographers' lit photos feel natural and organic.

This is the most recent post in Strobist's Lighting 103 module. New installments are published twice per month. If you would like to be notified as they become available, please sign up here.

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Bite Size Tips: Three Core Composition Rules That Will Help Your Landscapes

7:02:00 AM

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As a photographer, you probably cannot drive through a scenic location without stopping to get some amazing shots along the way. Those who love the stillness and serenity of a beautiful landscape can spend hours at a location or even days, trying to look for compositions from various vantage points and under different lighting conditions to get a striking photograph.

More often, when you quickly take a photograph, you end up coming home only to see some flat images with no life or feeling that you witnessed in reality. In order to make beautiful landscapes, there are many factors that need to be taken into account, but in today’s post, we will focus on three very important composition rules that will help you get a perfect shot.

Note: As with any “rule” in photography, it's often best to know them and then use them as a guideline more than a rule. 😉

1. Rule of thirds: The most important rule for landscape photography is the rule of thirds. In this composition, divide your frame into 9 equal parts using 2 vertical and two horizontal lines. Position the important elements of the scene along these lines or the intersection of these lines to create a visual balance in your image and to make for interesting compositions.

Place the horizon on the lower one-third or upper one-third of the image, unless you are trying to capture symmetry and/or reflection.

Image from Pexels by Ales Krivec

If you compare these two images, you can see that the image on the left hand side has been composed using the rule of thirds to get the image on the right hand side to create a more visually appealing composition.

Image by Tadrart01.JPG: Pir6mon derivative work: Teeks99, [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Leading lines: Our eyes are naturally drawn to lines, patterns, and textures. Lines lead a viewer’s eyes naturally through the image to the main focal point. Lines could include paths, trails, roads, rivers or even lines in fields. Try to creatively include these lines in your landscapes to create a powerful composition.

Image on Pexels by Stories of Kabeera

Depth: We photograph images in two dimensions and sometimes, not composing the image with enough depth can create flat mages. To bring the sense of depth in your images, include objects in the foreground, middle ground, and background.

Image from Pexels by Kordi Vahle

You can also capture images that have overlapping elements that partially obscure each other creating a sense of depth. For example, when photographing mountains, capturing the overlapping layers of mountains can help the human eye look at these different layers and visualise the depth in the image.

Image from Pexels by Creative Vix

Important tip: Do not include too much. In order to compose a strong landscape image, focus on the main element and then add one or more supporting elements that will complement the main element but not take away the focus from it. Exclude the rest.

Watch out for more powerful compositional tips from us!


If you wish to take your landscape photography composition to the next level, then these tips are only the beginning so be sure to check out this Landscape photography guide from Kent Dufault.

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Dahlia Ambrose

Dahlia is a physicist and self taught photographer with a passion for travel, photography and technology. She can sometimes get obsessed trying new photography techniques and post processing styles using Lightroom or Plugins in Photoshop. She occasionally writes articles on topics that interest or provoke her. You can check out her photography on Instagram, 500px and Flickr

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Jem Cresswell’s Photographs of Humpback Whales are Haunting and Incredible

5:01:00 AM

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Underwater photography is a fascinating genre and there wouldn’t be anyone not amazed by the life found in those depths. Jem Cresswell is an Australian photographer who has a great fascination for the underwater world and the wonderful creatures found there.

Giants 1 – Image by Jem Cresswell

Here is a little about Jem Cresswell:

Jem was born in 1984 and was raised in Southern Australia. He spent his early days exploring the coastlines of Yorke and Eyre Peninsula, where he did surfing, diving and camping with friends and this led him to fall in love with the ocean.

Jem is a self taught photographer and always carried a camera with him. But things changed when he bought his first underwater film camera because it got him intrigued and addicted to the new world he saw through that. It’s been 15 years since then and Jem has not stopped photographing the underwater world.

Jem says, “I aim to transport the viewer to a familiar yet extraordinary world. I want them to feel like they are immersed in the elements, not just observing them from afar.

Although Jem has been capturing the life underwater for many years, he says that he has “always been fascinated with humpback whales, due to their gentle nature, sheer size, and the feeling of insignificance in their presence.

Jem started photographing them in 2014 and has documented their beauty in a series called “Giants” that have some intimate black and white portraits. It took him three years to complete and these gentle giants are from the Southern Pacific Ocean around Tonga.

Giants 2 – Image by Jem Cresswell

Giants 3 – Image by Jem Cresswell

Giants 4 – Image by Jem Cresswell

When Jem talks about this project, he says,

“In 2014, I set out to spend time with humpback whales during their annual migration to the breeding grounds of Tonga. I was initially drawn to the whales’ gentle nature, sheer size and the feeling of insignificance in their presence. Over the past 3 years returning to Tonga, I have sought to capture intimate portraits of these complex and conscious animals, bringing the viewer into the world of these mystical giants.


People may not be aware – but in 2006, the discovery of spindle cells, previously known only to be in humans and great apes; were found to exist in the brains of humpback whales. These cells, linked to social organisation, empathy, intuition and rapid gut reactions were found to the amount of almost three times than which is present in humans.

These works raise questions of anthropomorphism, awe, humaneness, and the importance of other life on this planet.”

Journal reference: The Anatomical Record (DOI: 10.1002/ar.a.20407)

Giants 5 – Image by Jem Cresswell

Giants 6 – Image by Jem Cresswell

Giants - Bonus Work - Titled: “Form”

Giants – Bonus Work – Titled: “Form” – Image by Jem Cresswell

In order to shoot these gentle  giants in high quality, Jem uses a 50mp Canon 5DSR camera with the Canon 24-70mm 2.8 L and Canon 16-35mm f4 L lenses. He puts the camera in an Aquatech underwater camera housing. 

If you want to know more about how Jem shot this series, read his in-depth interview here.

Here is a behind the scenes video on Jem Creswell's work


More of Jem’s work can be found on his website and social media networks below.

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Dahlia Ambrose

Dahlia is a physicist and self taught photographer with a passion for travel, photography and technology. She can sometimes get obsessed trying new photography techniques and post processing styles using Lightroom or Plugins in Photoshop. She occasionally writes articles on topics that interest or provoke her. You can check out her photography on Instagram, 500px and Flickr

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About Us

Time Trap Photography is dedicated to freezing those special moments in life that can be revisited and admired for generations to come. - Shannon Bourque

The lens in focus

“Life is like a camera. Just focus on what’s important and capture the good times, develop from the negatives and if things don’t work out, just take another shot.” — Unknown

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