2014 Best of Photography | Sudbury Photographer

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2014 best of photography | sudbury photographer 2014 was an amazing year at Paula Swift Photography. We moved into our beautiful new studio in Sudbury, Mass and opened in January. We met and photographed many new families, new babies and watched our little clients become big brothers and big sisters. We traveled to Arizona for … [ READ MORE ]

Sudbury Photographer | 2013 Year in Portraits

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Happy New Year! 2013 was such a fun and amazing year of capturing memories of families all over New England. It was so busy, I neglected featuring many photography sessions this past year on our photography blog. I thought it would be fun to do one big blog post showing all the portraits ( well … [ READ MORE ]

Kodak Gallery Award | Boston Photographer Awards

Posted on 12 CommentsPosted in Boston Child Photographer, Boston Children Photographer, Boston Photographer, Boston Photojournalist, Family Photography, Framingham Child and Family Photographer, One Year Old Photography Sessions MA, Outdoor Photographer Boston, Photography Awards and Features

I had an amazing 4 days last weekend at the Professional Photographers Association of Massachusetts annual convention in Plymouth, Mass. It was a packed weekend with lots of speakers in the photography industry, then watching my prints get judged during the convention and an awards banquet. I was thrilled that I received 3 blue and 2 red ribbons at the photography competition.

So how does this competition works I have been asked by clients and other photographers? Well for me its going through my favorites images over the past year ( sometimes even the year before) I pick what I think is the best of the best and then look to make sure they are competition worthy. There are 12 elements that the image would be judged on. Adding a title and presentation mat is very important in this type of photographic competition.

Impact is the sense one gets upon viewing an image for the first time. Compelling images evoke laughter, sadness, anger, pride, wonder or another intense emotion. There can be impact in any of these twelve elements.

Technical excellence is the print quality of the image itself as it is presented for viewing. Retouching, manipulation, sharpness, exposure, printing, mounting, and correct color are some items that speak to the qualities of the physical print.

Creativity is the original, fresh, and external expression of the imagination of the maker by using the medium to convey an idea, message or thought.

Style is defined in a number of ways as it applies to a creative image. It might be defined by a specific genre or simply be recognizable as the characteristics of how a specific artist applies light to a subject. It can impact an image in a positive manner when the subject matter and the style are appropriate for each other, or it can have a negative effect when they are at odds.

Composition is important to the design of an image, bringing all of the visual elements together in concert to express the purpose of the image. Proper composition holds the viewer in the image and prompts the viewer to look where the creator intends. Effective composition can be pleasing or disturbing, depending on the intent of the image maker.

Presentation affects an image by giving it a finished look. The mats and borders used, either physical or digital, should support and enhance the image, not distract from it.

Color Balance supplies harmony to an image. An image in which the tones work together, effectively supporting the image, can enhance its emotional appeal. Color balance is not always harmonious and can be used to evoke diverse feelings for effect.

Center of Interest is the point or points on the image where the maker wants the viewer to stop as they view the image. There can be primary and secondary centers of interest. Occasionally there will be no specific center of interest, when the entire scene collectively serves as the center of interest.

Lighting—the use and control of light—refers to how dimension, shape and roundness are defined in an image. Whether the light applied to an image is manmade or natural, proper use of it should enhance an image.

Subject Matter should always be appropriate to the story being told in an image.

Technique is the approach used to create the image. Printing, lighting, posing, capture, presentation media, and more are part of the technique applied to an image.

Story Telling refers to the image’s ability to evoke imagination. One beautiful thing about art is that each viewer might collect his own message or read her own story in an image.

When all these 12 elements come together an image is given a score from a panel of judges (6 with one rotating) and then it receives a ribbon. Then the judges meet privately to give out Judges Choice ribbons ( 6 in total) and other awards.

This year on top of the 3 blues and 2 reds, I also received 2 Judges Choice Ribbon awards and the Kodak Gallery Award for Photographic Excellence. I didn’t even know about the Kodak Gallery Award until the awards night…I was so surprised when my image was named, shown on the screen and then my name announced! I’m still a bit in shock just under a week later. Some of you may remember I received the Kodak Gallery Award for my image titled “Roots and Wings” in 2009. Never did I dream I would win it again.

Bear Turns One and Wins Gold | Medway Baby Photographer | Boston One Year Old Photography Session

Posted on 3 CommentsPosted in Baby Photography, Boston Children Photographer, Boston Newborn Photographer, Boston Photographer, Photography Awards and Features

I hope the title says its all. This famous Bear baby I photographed January 2010 and was featured the cover of baystateparent magazine turned one this past January and also won Gold at a national parenting publications competition for cover photography and design.

I was away in Chicago this past week to surprise and celebrate one my sister’s birthday when I got a message on my facebook business page from the Editor of baystateparent. I was so surprised and thrilled to have one of my images featured on the cover for their Gold winner at the Parenting Publications of America annual editorial and design competition. Bear was just about 2 weeks old when I photographed him in this adorable bear hat which was chosen to be on the cover for their Baby Gaga March 2010 baby issue. He was so snuggly and sweet during his session ; this is still one of my favorite newborn photographs. Those of you who have visited my studio will recognize this image that is hanging huge on my wall. 🙂

Fast forward to this January and Bear turned One! Boy has he changed…he is such a big boy and almost looks like his big sister twin. He is still as cute as can be. Here is the cover from last March 2010 and here are some recent photographs from his in home session with his big sister Alex who is now 2. A little birdie has told me that Bear and Alex will become big a brother and sister this summer. Stay tuned to meet their new baby later this summer.

A big thank you to Lauren and Craig for allowing baystateparent to feature their son on the cover last year and a thank you to baysateparent ( Carrie and Paula) for choosing this image for their cover. Also a big Congratulations to baystateparent magazine and their state for all 17 awards they won! Well deserved awards! You can read all about their awards HERE
I was away in Chicago this past week to surprise and celebrate one my sister’s birthday when I got a message on my facebook business page from the Editor of baystateparent. I was so surprised and thrilled to have one of my images feautured on the cover for their Gold winner at the Parenting Publications of America annual editorial and design competition. Bear was just about 2 weeks old when I photographed him in this adorable bear hat which was chosen to be on the cover for their Baby Gaga March 2010 baby issue. He was so snuggly and sweet during his session ; this is still one of my favorite newborn photographs. Those of you who have visited my studio will recognize this image that is hanging huge on my wall. 🙂

Fast forward to this January and Bear turned One! Boy has he changed…he is such a big boy and almost looks like his big sister twin. He is still as cute as can be. Here is the cover from last March 2010 and here are some recent photographs from his in home session with his big sister Alex who is now 2. A little birdie has told me that Bear and Alex will become big a brother and sister this summer. Stay tuned to meet their new baby later this summer.

A big thank you to Lauren and Craig for allowing baystateparent to feature their son on the cover last year and a thank you to baysateparent ( Carrie and Paula) for choosing this image for their cover. Also a big Congratulations to baystateparent magazine and their state for all 17 awards they won! Well deserved awards!

“See the Difference” | Why you should hire a Professional Photographer | Boston Professional Photographer

Posted on 14 CommentsPosted in Photography Awards and Features

With everyone owning a digital camera theses days I’m sure as a consumer its very easy to find photographer in your area. The market is so saturated with people who are calling themselves photographers. Everyone owns a camera in this day of age, whether its a point and shoot, an iPhone or a digital SLR…everyone is a photographer. However, not everyone should be calling themselves a Professional Photographer and charging as a business. Unfortunately there is no official licensing in this industry ( yet). So as a consumer you really need to do your homework.

PPA – Professional Photographers of America has started a campaign to educate people on why its important to hire a Professional Photographer, not just someone you found on the web with a nice website. Photography has really become the new “Tupperware” craze. It seems that every mom with a camera who took a few nice photos of their children, has started a business lately. I think its great if you can take nice photos of your own children but to charge as a professional and not pay taxes, not have insurance and not be registered a as a business in your state; they are running a business illegally. Though as a consumer you may not realize this as you do your initial research. Its easy to find if a business is registered by checking your state Department of Revenue’s website.

PPA recently started a campaigned called See the Difference. To educate consumers on why you should hire a professional photographer for your big day and portraits. I am honored to have one of my family portraits featured in the campaign video. CLICK HERE TO SEE THE DIFFERENCE VIDEO

The second image featured in the video is one of my award-winning family images titled Roots and Wings.

To bring this in perspective. I own lots of pots , pans and a nice two ovens, but I am no way a chef and would never think of charging someone for me to cook for them. Just ask my family. 🙂

Its so important when you are a hiring a professional photographer to really look closely at their credentials, their background, are they registered a business in the state and of course their images. If their pricing is really low well its probably too good to be true. I truly believe you get what you pay for. If you are hiring someone to capture those first moments of your new baby, don’t take the chance with a friend who just got a new camera. If you are getting married and have spent thousands on your dress, venue and flowers…don’t cheap out the photographer. One thing you will remember most from that day is those portraits and how you looked. You can’t go back and reshoot that big day. 🙁

I have had to reshoot baby portraits for a client who was heartbroken after the “photographer” she had hired didn’t know how to use the studio lights or the settings in the camera out of focus. The photographer called it “soft focus” . Another couple came to the studio and had me photograph portraits of them together after their friend came never through with their engagement portraits. He took them and they never saw them. Thankfully these were all cases where there was time to recreate special portraits for them.

So just do your research when you are looking for a Professional Photographer in your area . Its so easy these days to have get a new camera put up a website/blog up and be found on the web.. and voila a photography business.

Thanks for reading …

Here is the image that is featured in the See the Difference video
professioanl-photographer-boston

Paula Ferazzi Swift holds a Bachelors of Science in Communications Media – Photography and an Associates in Science in Visual Fine Arts – Photography. Paula worked as a staff photojournalist at the Worcester Telegram & Gazette 1995-2005. In 1999 Paula had three of her images as part as the staff’s Pulitzer Finalist entry in Feature Photography for their coverage of the Deadly Worcester Warehouse Fire in Worcester, MA. She is a member of Professional Photographers of America and Professional Photographers Association of Massachusetts. Paula Swift holds many awards under in her 16 years as a professional photographer, in photojournalism at the National Press Photographers Association, New England News Association, Professional Photographers of America’s International Print Competition, Professional Photographers Association of New England and Professional Photographers Association of Massachusetts. You can view her Portrait and Photojournalism work at Paula Swift Photography, Inc. Paula Swift Photography, Inc. is a registered corporation in the state of Massachusetts and an insured photography business in the state of Massachusetts and the United States of America. Paula Swift is the owner of Paula Swift Photography was established in 2004 and moved into a 1000 sq ft studio loft located in the historic Fountain Street Studios in 2006. The studio was recently expanded to add another 1000 sq ft in 2009.