Author:Deb Smith

How to shoot a self-portrait

I’ve had a lot of fun this week finding dresses to wear for Frocktober – but because i don’t have 31 for each day in the month, I’ve had to beg and borrow from my sister who luckily has a few items in her wardrobe that fit me. Just. I’ve decided to take self-portraits of myself this week to show the dresses I am wearing each day. If you have the right gear, the easiest way to do this is to set up a tripod, and a mirror. My camera is a Canon DSLR with a timer function, but many point-and-shoot cameras have this functionality too. I’m sure you can probably do it with a smartphone – there’s an app for that!

Ideally you would use a mirror so you can see how you look before you take the shot. I don’t have one so I just guess – it’s more fun this way anyway! If you set up a timer, it allows a few seconds so you can run back to your spot and pose, and have the camera take say 10 shots at once. I have a remote control trigger so I press the button when I’m ready for the shot and I have it set up to wait 2 seconds so I can hide the trigger before the shot is taken.

This is a fantastic exercise: photographers often take self-portraits when they are experimenting with different looks and it’s a photography genre in itself. But it’s also a GREAT way of developing confidence. I’m sharing the nine shots from today’s shoot to show you how hit and miss it is, and how the right angle and lighting can make a fantastic photo! If you’re someone who’s very uneasy about being in front of the camera, this is a fantastic way to find out how to pose yourself.

Many clients who come to my studio for their photography sessions are very nervous and anxious about how they will look in their photos. Let’s face it, if you’ve hated how you look in just one photo, this can be enough to put anyone off for a lifetime! I pose my subjects very deliberately in diffused natural light from the studio window and create the most beautiful photographs this way. It’s a great way to develop confidence, with each beautiful image!




A day in the life at the Lindy Charm school for girls

Here’s what I got up to at the long weekend with my sister Manda. The Lindy Charm School for girls, hosted by headmistress Miss Chrissy and Miss Sammy, travelled to Adelaide to teach us how to style hair and makeup in the vintage era of the 1920s, 1930s, forties and fifties. I just love this vintage era – the style was so charming, feminine, elegant and beautiful. The clothes were well made, and suited to the hourglass figure. In this workshop we were taught all about deportment and grooming, etiquette, red liptstick! and hair care. I came away thinking I should have done this years ago. It’s never too late though is it? One of the main messages that I endorse here in the glamour studio, is that it doesn’t matter what size you are, it’s how you dress and present yourself. And wow! these girls looked so gorgeous. Here’s a few images of the day:


Check out the new vintage glamour vocabulary: pink styling lotion, pin curls, do-rag, gibson roll, mushroom plume, corset, red lipstick, pink blush, stockings, hot rollers, bobby pins, dolly pegs, snood, v-rolls, bullet bras. Wow! It makes you want to run to Etsy and find the first corset and bullet bra you can get your hands on. Which we may or may not have done….

If you were at the workshop and you are reading this, check your inbox – I’m sending out individual images of the glamour girls I snapped!

I did it – you can too!

When was the last time you had portraits taken of yourself?

For me, like most people, it was on my wedding day in 2005. Yes – that’s about 8 years ago. Why is it that we feel we will go ALL OUT for professional photos on the ‘best day of our lives’ but then continue on with our lives without repeating the experience?

Let me tell you, deciding to have my photos taken professionally was the BEST decision I’ve made – since marrying my lovely man Ian! Leading up to the photography session, I felt excited and (strangely) not at all nervous. I knew I was having my hair done by a stylist and my makeup done by a professional makeup artist, and there were a few items in my wardrobe I could bring along.  pretty clothes that hadn’t been worn for a long time. And having seen many beautiful portraits of curvy women shaped just like me I was confident that I would be very happy with the photos.

My lovely photographer friend Nadia Marlow did my photoshoot, and today I returned to her studio to see the images and when I saw the first one….I started to cry! I had to wave the tears away. I hadn’t expected to have such an emotional response. It was because when I looked at the first image, I saw a beautiful, very familiar face and saw that it was ME! When I look in the mirror, I often see myself in an idealised form, which is why there’s often a shock when I see myself in photos – like the ones my five year old has taken with my phone camera from rather unflattering angles.

On the day of the shoot, there were people fussing over me, and it felt wonderful. I’m so not used to be the centre of attention. And positive attention, at that. Afterwards I walked on air – for several days! That same week I walked into a clothes shop and bought a whole new wardrobe – not kidding. The first time I’ve bought new clothes in almost 6 years, when my first child was born. Astonishing, isn’t it!

And now I have these wonderful photos that I will have forever and the hardest part is going to limit myself to hanging just a select FEW on the wall. I think this is going to be a wonderful reminder when I see them everyday that I am 41, and instead of looking at the wedding portraits and thinking Well this is as good as it gets,  I’ll look at my recent portraits and think The best is yet to come! And how amazing that my children will always have these photos of me.


Deb Smith glamour portraits


201305300082 201305300136_Skin 201305300162 201305300168 201305300171 201305300179 201305300181 Before_After_Deb

Newborn photo session – Adelaide newborn baby photographer

photocrati gallery

This darling four day old newborn’s parents booked her baby session during the pregnancy. While she was in utero, they nicknamed her Dragon –  and a friend crocheted the dear little dragon outfit. It was tiny – and so was she – but it only just covered her! I couldn’t resist adding this photo of her cuddling with her Daddy Ben – it was clear they had a very close bond.

I will show some more images from this beautiful photo session soon, including her beautiful Mum Mel.

The best time to photograph babies is in the first 14 days after birth when they sleep well and curl quite naturally. Contact me to find out more about booking your newborn photo session – I’d love to hear from you.

Deb Smith Photography goes to market :: special Mothers Day promotion

Mothers Day photography promotion
Just for fun, and because I love markets and fairs so much, I decided to bring Deb Smith Photography to the Marion Celebrates Festival to show my wares! I shared a large stall with Charlottes Web Papercrafts, and put a huge 20″x30″ canvas on display, along with an album of prints. There were a few husbands and partners who came and enquired about booking sessions in time for Mothers Day! What a fantastic gift to give to Mum.

Which brings us to my special Mothers Day promotion. I know it’s a few weeks away yet BUT that leaves plenty of time to have your own family or newborn photography session AND receive beautiful prints or a canvas to give as a wonderful present. If you’re a Mum yourself, why not treat yourself and your family to a photo session!

We’re offering 50% off a premium 20″x30″ Hahnemeuhle canvas package which includes the photo session, prints and digital files. Read on for more information:

 half price canvas half price photos prints half price photo session

Brighton Beach family portrait session with a twist

At the end of 2012 lovely Adelaide Mum Fiona and her gorgeous looking son BJ won a free portrait session, following a survey I was conducting. We met at Brighton Beach early on in the day before it got too crowded – good thing too, as it was such a gorgeous beach day and there would be many more people arriving to enjoy the summer sun.

What made this session a little different is that BJ has some challenging behaviours, and his Mum explained that he didn’t úsually warm to people he hadn’t met before, and really hated the camera!

But I wasn’t phased – as an Autism mum I have plenty of experience with managing challenging behaviours in children. I wanted us to get to know each other first, so I was careful to keep the camera out of sight initially, so he could get used to me, the new person, and relax. This approach worked really well, and once he stopped kicking sand and shouting, he couldn’t stop smiling. In fact, I found him to be a really fun and affectionate kid and with his long blonde hair, he reminded me of a surfer dude!

I took photos in the background while he raced around in and out of the waves, made sandcastles, patted some dogs passing by with their owners, and jumped on Mum’s back for a horsey rise. It was a fun day, and I was so inspired by Fiona and the way she lovingly cared for her boy. photocrati gallery

Afterward she said

Thank you Deb! You were amazing! So many people would have judged and not given us the time needed to get such a happy shot! Your understanding and acceptance made this a fun experience for all of us!

Seeing your light

adelaide professional photographer
Hi! I have been thinking a lot lately about the reluctance of so many women to be photographed. I know we all, men and women. suffer from this at times. Think about the people closest to you – your spouse, your Mum or Dad, your best friend. What YOU see isn’t what THEY see. We just see Mum, or best friend Jane, but when they see their own image, it is filtered with childhood memories, their own values and expectations and body image. What’s amazing about this job as a photographer is when you look through the camera lens at someone, you are looking for beauty. Whether the subject is a beautiful sunset, a new rose bud or a person, as photographer Tamara Lackey says there’s a light in them. I love that! It’s so true.

Is this true of you – are you shy about being photographed?

Tell me what you think about professional photography – Adelaide and you could WIN


Now that I’ve managed to get the website up, I can start posting to the blog!

While I set up some information about myself and the business, I am interested in hearing about YOU. Click here to fill in a quick survey about professional photography in Adelaide and you will have the chance to win a mini photo session which includes 30 minute shoot in an Adelaide location of your choice (home, beach, park), DVD of five beautifully colour corrected images PLUS 8×10 enlargement.

One email address will be randomly selected to win the mini session.

Good luck!