Jody Leonard Images | My Blog

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March 11, 2013  •  3 Comments

Hello there and welcome to my first ever blog post! I figure I will make it short and sweet and see how this goes. I will concentrate on the photography side of things for now but who knows? I may dive into whatever comes to my mind as a way to spew my thoughts and vent once in a while. I'm not even sure how this will display when I'm finished so I will be careful and to-the-point for now.

I have been taking my photography to the next level. Slow but sure. I meant to say "try to " but damnit, I'm going to do this! And yes, of course there are various levels of photography as in any other field. There are beginners, novices, hobbyists, semi-pros, and pros, with variables in between. I have been a passionate hobbyist for several years and I have made a little money shooting an occasional wedding here and there, and even sold a couple prints, but I would not call myself a semi-pro. Not yet. What I am trying to find is a particular niche for me to go semi-pro, or pro, with an emphasis on creating my own style. There is nothing more I would rather do than quit my aircraft career right now and persue my photography full time. All in good time. That's where "Pro" comes in. I need to figure a way to make money at this gig. One way is doing portraits. I have recently ventured into this foray and I rather like it. I have been shooting for free but it is honing my skills with free models which, to me, is a great trade-off.

I recently did a couple of portrait sessions and really enjoyed it! I also think the photos came out rather well for first attempts. This is what I wish to talk about. For those of you into photography, I will throw in a little bit of my techniques along the way. So without any further ordo, let's get this thing started!


Last fall, I was enlisted to shoot my Redheaded Stepchild, Arieauna, for her graduation photos. Of course, being family, I have taken many photos of her over her lifetime so she was my perfect first model. Not only is she comfortable with me, she is photogenic, knows modeling expressions, and she just so happens to be downright pretty.

We hooked up at Laurelhurst Park, in between her academics at Cleveland High and her dance projects at Jefferson High. Busy girl. I had an hour to knock this thing out so I prepped by studying other photographer's portrait websites for ideas. The weather was dry and I had good natural light, however, it was a tad chilly. I did add some fill light via flash for a few shots but most were all natural light.

All photos were shot with the Nikon D800 with a Nikkor 70-200VRII attached. This lens gives a nice blurry background (and foreground), which some photogs refer to as "bokeh". It refers to the quality of blur in a photo. Most try to get that creamy look. When it is acheived correctly, with a right amount of depth-of-field, it makes the subject really stand out and pop like 3D. That is the look I want.

Here are a few from the shoot. Please check out the entire gallery within this site and don't hesitate to leave a comment about anything if you wish. Here's the link...

Happy trails for now!



Above: 1/500 @ f5.6  ISO 1000 FL155mm

1/160 @ f/5 ISO 1000 FL200mm

I went with a tomboy look for this one and think it works in B & W.


Dana (Houghton) Graner(non-registered)
Jody, Loved seeing your photography. I think you, as we all do, minimize your skills! I think portraiture could be a lucrative venture and I have thought for a while that some of us who are older and are lucky enough to still have our parents, might really like a parent portrait. It could be a niche for you to exploit. I love the photos of the elderly woman you have here. Is she a relative? She's beautiful ~
Good luck with this venture! Seems like you are on the right track :)
ann divelbiss(non-registered)
welcome to blogland!!!
your photography is great!!
Amy davis(non-registered)
I really like the new bigger pictures up front. The slideshow seemed to go about the right speed per picture, but would get hung up on loading at times. Double check that. I like the blog. You will have to make entries regularly, like once a week. It would be fun to kinda talk about certain pictures that have stories. Sometimes I think you skip over some of your best work. I must be in your life to point those pictures out to you!
In performances, you should have some Alabama Shakes, surprised you didn't. You nailed several of them and honestly it is hard to just post 5. Also I think it is important that you have the variety, it encompasses more people to have interest in your work. If you focus too narrowly on finding your niche, you will lose chunks of people that, although appreciate good photography, don't want "that" on their wall. I love your passion for photography, love the new portraiture venture- there are lots of open doors for you.
Love, your biggest fan. Always there to keep you cool.
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