Prints That Win: Prepare There’s Trouble

Award-winning master photographer Terry Blain was not always telling her story from behind the camera. She spent the past two decades traveling all over the country looking for interesting people to capture; however, in her early days as a model, she was the one who was captured on film. One day, after a particularly uninspired photo shoot, she realized that she would have set up the shots differently, had she been the one taking the pictures.

Utilizing her experiences on both sides of the camera, she has a self-awareness that helps her envision the best way to optimize the lighting, the setting and the model to strike the right tone and properly tell her story. “Putting the models at ease and making them comfortable is the best way for me to get the most flattering shot,” Blain says. “Often, I want to accentuate and flatter the highlights of the scene while downplaying the low-lights. I’m lucky enough to have experiences on both sides of the lens to help me clearly communicate this to my clients.”

Prints that Win: Village Smithy


Award winning photography

Perfect natural lighting for photography can be like a box of chocolates: you never know what you’re going to get. If you see it coming, however, you better wait for it. At least that’s the way Terry Blain of Terry Blain Master Photography, Carlisle, Pa., approached this award-winning shot.

Entitled Village Smithy, Blain says she saw opportunity with this scene she found in Eckley Miners’ Village and decided to wait around for that picture-perfect moment. And when it arrived it was perfect indeed.

“I was watching and waiting for the lighting to change as the sun went down and had my strobe light set up to fill in a little bit. I just knew in my gut by the way the sun was going down that I had something there and that I had better stick around and photograph it,” says Blain. “I came home and looked at the image and loved it because it was unique and different.”

Judges at the annual Professional Photographers Association of Pennsylvania thought so too, awarding the print with the LexJet Sunset Award, Best Portrait of a Man, Kodak Gallery Award and Best of Show. Blain was also named Image Maker of the Year.

This print and a number of others were also sent to the Professional Photographers of America (PPA) where Blain received enough merits to earn her Master of Photography, which will she’ll receive in January in Atlanta. “I kept this image under wrap and key because I didn’t want anyone to do anything like it,” she adds.

Though Village Smithy has an HDR-like look to it, Blain did not use HDR. The scene is seen basically as it is, with the setting sun lighting the room from the left and a strobe fill from the right.

Blain knows something about lighting since her studio, tucked away in a natural setting, specializes in outdoor portraiture. The setting, says Blain, allows people to be more relaxed and better capture their personalities and relationships.