Behind the Image: NAU Guest Blogger – Carissa Schattke » You Can Sleep When You're Dead: Blog by Colleen Miniuk

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May 112016

“Lauren” || Photo copyright Carissa Schattke


Over the course of this semester there has been endless photo assignments that I am supposed to complete, and with that comes the rushed photos done right before the deadline because with being a student with a job and five other classes definitely gets hard. Although at the same time there are the photographs that you have been thinking about for a while and you know just exactly how you want to go about them and execute them well. With this photograph, I really wanted to do something simple, but at the same time create a photograph that speaks. What really pushed me to create this image was my desire to photograph a subject in natural light.

When it came time to actually doing the shoot, it was quite the feat. The room I chose to work in had shutters on the window, which in a way really helped control the light; this made things a lot easier because the lighting was all round even. The tough part was making sure that if I opened the shutters a little too much, it ended up placing sun lines all over her face, which were not ideal in this situation. On top of that, the walls were not in the sun so I ended up having to hang the sheet in front of the windows with poles.

On the odd chance that I choose portraiture; I like to make my subject feel as comfortable as possible, whether that is playing music or watching funny videos.  With this case, I chose to show Lauren a video of me being caked in the face for my 19th birthday and then a video of her being caked in the face with our friend Haley for their birthdays last year. Needless to say, the videos worked because she started laughing and smiling, all while remembering the good times that we had when we lived not even ten steps away from each other.

For this photograph, I used my Canon Rebel T5i and a Canon18-55mm lens set to f/6.3, an ISO of 200 and a shutter speed set to 1/25 of a second shot at 32mm focal length. Once I went into to post processing there was very little I did to the photograph. I changed the white balance to daylight and upped the exposure a little and lowered the contrast and upped the shadows and highlights just a smidge. After I edited the whole photo, I went in with a brush and I darkened and smoothed the background some just to have her stand out from the background.

About the Photographer:

My name is Carissa Schattke and I am a second year student at Northern Arizona University currently studying Strategic Communications with a Public Relations emphasis and also Photography. I have grown up around photography and come to appreciate it at a young age, especially with my grandfather being a professional photographer. He was the one who inspired me to become a photographer in the first place. I was the photo editor for my high school’s yearbook, which has offered me valuable insight. I prefer to shoot landscapes and nature more often than not, so shooting portraits is definitely new to me.

To read more about the Northern Arizona University “Behind the Image: Guest Blogger” project on our blog, please read the introduction at take a minute to leave your thoughts and constructive comments in the Comment section below – Carissa would love to hear from you!

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