Posts Tagged ‘photographer’

Tips for Taking Great Halloween Photographs

October 29, 2009

halloweenHalloween is a great time for photography! Halloween parties, carved pumpkins, costumes and trick-or-treaters are just part of the fun that you will want to capture for posterity. So here are few tips to make sure that you get great Halloween photographs.

1.   Fall leaves make great backgrounds for Halloween photographs. If the weather is cooperative, make sure to capture the full array of colors in those photographs;

2.   Make sure to vary your shooting angles. Something unique may give your photo that extra something to make it fantastic;

3.   Get down to their level. If you are trying to take photos of small children, take the photograph at their eye-level;

4.   Taking photographs of people in costumes? Make sure you take them early when makeup is still fresh;

5.   Take a variety of photographs: some posed, some candids, some groups, and some individual. Make sure the background is appropriate for the subject (i.e., not putting the pretty princess in the “graveyard”);

6.   Play around with the “night mode” on your camera. Many pictures are ruined by harsh flash, try to turn off the flash (if area is appropriately lit), raise your ISO to 400 or 800, turn down your shutter speed, and put your camera on a tripod.

And above all else stay safe!!!

Happy Halloween.



About Chris McKenna Photography – Puyallup Photographer

May 13, 2009

I started this blog over a month ago, moving it over from that of my other business, McKenna Video Services. In my haste to get this blog up-and-going and add some content, I failed to do one important thing: to tell you something about myself. So here it goes.

I have always been fascinated by photography; it was my first love. I remember when I was very young picking up my father’s 35mm SLR when I should have been napping, and trying to figure out how it worked. I played with the shutter, the lenses, the winding mechanism, etc. and in my process of examining it, I broke it. At least that is what my father tells me. Soon after, he thought it wise to get me my own camera and let me play with that instead. So, my parents bought me a Kodak 110 Instamatic Camera and I was off and running.

I purchased my first SLR when I was 16 years old and took my first photography class soon after. I was so excited to learn about aperature, shutter speeds, ASA (now called ISO), composition and all the basics of good photography.

Since then, I have studied professional photography at the New York Institute of Photography and under the tuteleage of a few of this country’s greatest photographers including Bambi Cantrell and David Ziser. I have attended a number of seminars offered by Robert Lino, Frank Salas, Catherine Hall, Michael O’Neill, Doug Gordon, Bruce Dorn and Peter Eastway.

I am currently a member of the Wedding and Portrait Photographers International (, the Pierce County Professional Photographers Association (, and the Puyallup/Sumner Chamber of Commerce.

If I have the good fortunate to have you as my subject, you will notice that I try to use some humor in my sessions to put you at ease. Your photograph should not be stiff and lifeless, unless that is your goal, but rather  to show you as you are: a beautiful creation.

Professionally speaking, I am an event,  portrait and wedding photographer. I am now branching into sports photography in a joint venture with a company called Sportog. And if you are planning a trip, call on me to be your official trip photographer. I would be happy to entertain any travel offers you might bring me. 🙂

You can see some of my photographs on this blog and even more on my website, If you wish to see even more, please give me a call (253-539-3438) and I’ll have you over to the studio to view some sample albums and more photographs.

God’s blessings,  


Jessica and Shyenne: The Preview

May 7, 2009

The following video is something that I put together from some of the photographs I took for Jessica and Shyenne’s engagement session a few weeks back. We had been trying to get for a couple of months to get these shots, but the weather kept getting in the way. Finally, on a cold and windy Sunday afternoon, we got the break we were looking for and took these great pictures. 

We hope that you enjoy the video and the photos from their engagement photo session. 



5 Camera Terms You Need to Know Before Buying a New Camera

May 2, 2009

olympus-stylus-750-7-1mp-digital-camera-2Most digital cameras available on the market allow you to simply point your camera and quickly snap a picture with the touch of a button, there is often a lot more going on behind the scenes than you may have realized.

All sorts of things happen in the camera once the shutter button is pressed. And understanding the most important terms about digital cameras will allow you to make an informed purchase of a new digital camera, let you have more control over your digital camera’s features, and help you to take the best quality photos possible.

 1. Megapixel

The term megapixel refers to the maximum resolution at which a digital camera can take photos. Simply put a megapixel is a million pixels. This means that a camera with a range of 4 megapixels can take photos which each contain a maximum of 4 million pixels.

But what does this mean to you? One word: quality. A higher megapixel count means better quality photos, and considering the price of digital cameras getting lower all the time; you should try to stick with a digital camera that has at least 5 megapixels, especially if you intend of making large prints of your photos.

2. Digital Zoom

Digital zoom is a term that seems to be given a lot more attention than it deserves. Unlike optical zoom, which uses the physical lenses inside the camera to enlarge a scene, digital zoom electronically enlarges the pixels in the center area of a photo, meaning that any time you use the digital zoom function on your camera you are sacrificing the quality of your photos. My recommendation is to disable the digital zoom function all together to stop this from happening.

3. Focal Length

Unlike zoom, focal length is a term overlooked far too often in amateur photography. Focal length refers to how much the lens of a camera can magnify a shot. Focal lengths are generally split into two categories, these being wide-angle and telephoto, which are better for spacious and narrow fields of view respectively.

Digital camera manufacturers seem to provide wide-angle lenses in a lot less cameras, even though these lenses are better suited towards the type of photos that most people commonly take.

4. ISO

The term ISO, formerly called ASA in old film cameras, stands for the International Standards Organization, but what does this have to do with your digital camera? The organization sets standards for photography, and the ISO range of a camera refers to how sensitive the camera is to light.

A low ISO number (100 or under) is not very sensitive to light, and is best for shots in good lighting conditions. A higher ISO range means that the camera will be suitable for photography in darker conditions, so it is best to look for a camera that has an adjustable range; ISO 100 to 400 should be adequate for most people’s needs. Just remember that high ISO’s can introduce “digital noise” into a photograph.

5. Shutter Lag

Shutter lag refers to the time between pressing the button to take a photograph and the time when the picture actually gets taken. This may not seem a very important factor when buying a camera, but think of it this way: if you have to wait a second or longer for a photo to be taken, like with many older and inexpensive digital cameras, then chances are that you won’t end up with the photo you desired. Many camera manufacturers do not list the shutter lag time for their cameras, so the best way to find this out is by testing a camera before you buy.


I hope that this post has helped you to better understand some of the most important terms used when talking about digital cameras, and in turn will help you to choose the digital camera that best suits your needs. I think that testing a digital camera before you make a purchase can help greatly when it comes to making a final decision, and it makes sense to do so; you may be using the camera you choose to capture your memories for years to come. 


Customer Testimonial

April 24, 2009

We were at the 2010 Buckley Jr. Miss Pageant last weekend photographing the event for the contestants and their families (pictures to follow soon). While we were working to get the photos processed and online for the girls, I received a very kind note from one of the girls mothers. In it, she included the following:

“The girls were all so impressed with your professionalism and how comfortable you made them feel while taking the photos. Thanks so much! ~ Shelley Siewert ”

Thank you, Shelley, for your kind comments and thank you, 2010 Buckley Jr. Miss contestants (and 2009 ones too), for being such great photo subjects.

God’s blessings,


Amber – Class of 2009

April 23, 2009

We have known Amber and her family for a number of years and have watched her grow into a very nice young lady. She will graduate from Emerald Ridge High School this coming June. 

We were honored to be asked to take Amber’s Senior Portraits, some of which can be viewed below. We shot these photographs in and around Tacoma a few weeks back, luckily dodging the rain showers! 

Thank you, Amber, for the opportunity to take your senior photographs and all our best for a wonderful future! 



Alyssa and Brandon: The Movie

April 22, 2009

Ok, well maybe not a feature length movie. But certainly a small montage of their wedding photos (you can see more pictures earlier in this blog). 

We were blessed to have photographed their wedding late last year and we thought it might be nice to create this short montage of some of their photographs to help tell the story of their special day.

Alyssa and Brandon

April 22, 2009
It was a great priveledge for us to be asked to photograph Alyssa & Brandon on their wedding day. They were married just after Thanksgiving at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church in Tacoma. It was a beautiful and blessed ceremony followed by a great reception.     

We want to thank Alyssa and Brandon for the honor and wish them all our best for many happy years together. (BTW-your daughter is adorable!)

Christ’s blessing,

Chris & Lynette.





2008 Baby and Children Photographs

April 16, 2009

Ok, in my first blog I said that I was going to repost all that I had posted in 2008, but I am now finding that it may be too much. So I decided to condense my 2008 baby and children photographs into 1 or 2 posts of my favorites from last year and post them that way. It will be easier for me and it may be easier for you to view.


Whitney – A Professional Model Photography Session

April 16, 2009

I had the priveledge of photographing Whitney, a professional model. She needed some simple shot for a portfolio that she was putting together and I was happy to help. Below are a couple of the photographs that I took of her.

It was an absolute pleasure to work with her and I look forward to doing so again.