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Kaizlee – Shooting with a Friend

4 February 2011

HELLO WORLD.   I’m finally back in the saddle and shooting again.

I recently had the opportunity to shoot one of the cutest newborns yet with my good friend and excellent photographer Melissa Papaj. Best of all the shoot was for another good friend and her daughter.

Enjoy the photos!  To see the rest of the photos from the shoot you can view them in the gallery here.

Lovin the Pink!


We had a lot of fun with the flowers and headbands!


For some reason this one reminds me of a story about an Asian Princess /Goddess.


More flowered headbands.


Peacefully asleep.


A 1920’s diva ready to party!


And finally a couple of favorites from Melissa.



Musings on a Tailspin

11 May 2010

For those that know me you might be surprised to find that sometimes I am a very private introspective person.   Growing up as an only child I had many opportunity to be alone.  While not as available as they used to be I still love time spent in solitude to muse on the circumstances of life and renew myself.

Often I have turned to the opportunities available to those who live near to so many places of natural beauty and solitude.    The desire to be away from the mass hysteria of life amongst so many people is something I sometimes need.  Some days, howeve,r those opportunities fade from our grasp as quickly as early morning dew burning off in the warm glow of an early sun.  On those days when solitude is unavailable but needed I feel as though I am in a tailspin.  A spiral of confusion, frustration and despair.

Last week I hit such a tailspin.   How to reconcile the desire to be strong for my family, against a raging need to lash out against the news once again.  Cancer! My father!

Ziggy P Sr (my father) as a wee lad!

I needed solitude.  I needed composure.   I needed some time.   But there was none.

Then came my saving grace, a comment from a dear friend.     “You need to blog,” she said.  But about what?  I don’t feel inspired!  My photography feels stale right now …  And so the search of the past images began and an image gave me that composure I needed.   I slipped away to a high mountain meadow in late spring.   Thank you!

Wild Flowers

Sports Photography

3 April 2010

Today’s post is an experiment using primarily my iphone and my new SmugMug account.

As many of you know I struggle with my photography due to huge commitments to both my children and the soccer community.   I coach multiple teams and I am in essence the Director of Coaching for an organization of over 1,000 kids and 140 teams.  This means that most of 16 Saturdays plus various days during the week are full of nothing but soccer.  (Even more if teams decide to go to the indoor, or summer tournament seasons)  It puts a serious cramp in shooting time.

But on a good note it has also given me an appreciation for the difficult task faced by sports photographers. Sports photographers capture that perfect moment that tells a story like other photographers. But they do it in a situation where there is no control of the situation besides your shooting location.  They have little to no control over posing, no ideal lighting, and the action can be fast and furious.  The only factors that are fully controllable is the location from where you shoot.

With that in mind it is a glorious moment when a shot turns out. Sometimes it just feels right and the stars align..  Such was the situation with this photo. While maybe not technically brilliant, timing and providence helped me capture this image.

Cyclist going under a wrong way sign with the number 13 upside down.

Superstition and happenstance.

For those unfamiliar with the cycling world it is “tradition” or “superstition” to wear the number 13 pinned upside down on your jersey.   With an earlier shot I captured the Wrong Way sign by accident as they passed over the sidewalk.   I thought it had “some” humor to it, so I set up to capture the next rider right as they passed under the sign.   Little did I realize the next rider was number 13!

It seems the great photojournalists and sports photographers always seem to capture these moments.   Whether through instinct, experience, or luck,  some of these individuals continually amaze and inspire me.    One such would be Trent Nelsen of the Salt Lake Tribune.   Who has given great presentations at the last two Photo Camp Utah events.  Checking out his work makes me desire to strive and turn my obstacles into opportunities.

Twins with Melissa

4 March 2010

A good friend of mine and fellow photographer, Melissa Papaj asked me to accompany her on a photo shoot last weekend. A long time friend of hers had just had twins and wanted some newborn photo’s taken. This was a first for me, I hadn’t been given an opportunity to shoot newborn twins and jumped at the chance. Lexi and Kate were darling and put up with a lot. You can see some of Melissa’s photo’s on her blog. Below are a few photo’s which I had a chance to take.

The Twins

Newborn Smile

Twin Girls

Snack Time!

Tastes good

Peeking newborn baby

Studio Photowalk 2010

18 February 2010

Photowalking Utah is an extremely active photowalking community along the Wasatch Front of Utah. The community is built around a group of photographers who believe in giving back and sharing their knowledge of photography. Because everyone feels welcome it has almost grown to big. Last week was one of my favorite events with Photowalking UT, the studio lighting photowalk. For many photographers it is difficult to gain access to studio lighting, and equipment without a lot of cost. For others the thought of trying to set up the lights for a shot is daunting. But once a year when the weather is prohibitive of an outside photowalk, the Photwalking UT team takes it indoors and sets up some great lighting stations.

This year we had aroudn 200 photographers show up to shoot several models in 9 different planned lighting setups, and on impromptu setup (The Jarvie Window).

Below are two sample images I took while at the event. You can find many more on the Photowalking UT Flickr site here. If you are in Utah around the time of the Studio Photowalk and want to learn more about lighting use and setup you MUST get to the photowalk!

Kati Henshall rocking the dress at the Studio Lighting Photowalk

Kati Henshall rocking the dress at the Studio Lighting Photowalk

Don't hate me because I'm blonde

Model headshot taken at the studiolighting photowalk.

Joe & Bekah

8 January 2010

Last week I had a great opportunity. If you have followed me on flickr or facebook you have probably noticed one model in quite a few shoots lately. I met Bekah during the Worldwide Photowalk when David Terry brought her to the walk. Since then she has been wonderful in coming out and helping us on many shoots. I have developed a friendship I value with Bekah, and would recommend her to anyone looking for a model. She is fantastic to work with.

On the 29th she got married to Joe Jones. I had the great opportunity to repay her, by assisting in the wedding day photography. Here are a few of my shots from that day, make sure you see the last one if you skip through the details. The entire set I have posted can be found here. Or for everything visit Dave Terry’s site.

The happy couple:


A parting Shot:

New Year Resolutions

31 December 2009

Normally I don’t set New Year resolutions. I figure if I have a goal, I’ll set it when it finally materializes from the gray clouds of random or directed thought in my brain. However, I do believe in reviewing the past year. For if we do not know where we have been, then we have no indication of where we might be going. To that end I feel that I want to set some definitive goals in the level of my photographic skills.

This leads me to two “goals”. The first of these is to shoot more often and share that experience on my blog. I have already set a goal of at least one full shooting expedition a week. While this may be a stretch when combined with running a company and being in charge of 140 Soccer Team coaches, I am hoping to make a good run at this goal. I believe in setting stretch goals as I think you can accomplish more my stretching yourself than by setting goals that are easily attainable. The start of this goal occurred tonight. A few fellow photogs and I had set a date to go on a Photowalk to Antelope Island. Life got in the way and between illnesses, other commitments, etc we had to reschedule. Usually I would have stayed home nice and warm. However, in order to meet my goal I packed up the gear and headed out to the island. The photo below is a result of that trip.

Winter tundra at Antelope Island on the Great Salt Lake.

The second is to take action on a book I have been reading lately. I received for Christmas the Digital Photography Masterclass by Tom Ang. I had started reading this book from the Library and had been impressed with the way the book is organized, the basis of information provided, and particularly the actionable assignments provided in each chapter. After receiving my own personal copy of the book I have set another goal of completing each of the twenty assignments over the course of the next year. This means I will need to accomplish at least almost two assignments a month.

May your New Year be filled with joy, success, and an emphasis on the things that mean the most to you. And may you meet your New Year resolutions with success.