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Perez Family

28 December 2009

The weekend before Christmas I had the opportunity to shoot a lovely lady and her three children. It was an adventure just getting the shoot to come off. We originally planned the shoot weeks earlier but with the weather it kept getting rescheduled. Finally we went to plan B. Plan B was the Utah State Capitol in SLC, UT. The building has been recently renovated and offers some stunning restored architecture for a shoot. Plus it is a great deal for any photographer who needs to rent a location.

Below are a few of the photo’s from this shoot.

Grand Staircase Family

We kicked things off at one of the two grand staircases.

While occupying the two boys with “finding locations” I saw Susana’s daughter playing at the landing. Quickly taking my assistant and lights up to her level we managed to capture this shot.

Sometimes light can create wonder.

Her oldest really wanted this shot, luckily we had a few minutes to capture it before we finished.

Finally her middle boy was a great helper the whole time, he even wanted to help carry the light-stands as we moved locations. But having just lost one to a far more experienced assistant I was a little hesitant. Needless he helped with those things I asked him to do. He is a great young man!

And this is Susana. I met her when my company recently dropped our paid company phones. I went into the local AT&T store to purchase an iPhone. Susana was my sales rep. While it wasn’t the easiest of switches due to a number port from the company plan to my personal plan we managed to get it accomplished and Susana put up with the difficulty I had deciding on a stupid cover.

The best AT&T rep locally.

I love getting candid photos, it seems with candids you can see true emotion and stories more often than with the posed shots. Her daughter had just lost both shoes and wanted them back on, a great mother – daughter moment.

Getting the boots back on.

Finally we had one last parting shot.

In an effort to expand my repertoire of skills I used two speedlights to light this family. Both were set on manual, with one acting as a key light and the other as a fill light. I wouldn’t have been able to do this shoot, or do it with the lights if it hadn’t been for some fantastic photographer friends. Big thanks go to David Terry who let me tag along on a bridal shoot at this location with the same sort of lighting. I pestered him with questions both before, during, and after the shoot. A great friend Nathan Marx supplied me with the radio triggers used to trigger the speedlights. And another photographer Rob Snow helped me with the lightstands and umbrellas. ONe of the speedlights used to belong to a fellow photographer Scott O. Smith, not sure why the Canonite had a Nikon speedlight. I am blessed to have so many good friends and photographers to be around. It is great to know that you can lean on so many people to help.


Bekah and Joe

10 November 2009

Last week I had the opportunity to shoot with three great people. The first is one of the great local photographers I have developed a friendship with David Terry. You can see his work here.

The second was one of my favorite models to work with, Bekah Ostler. She is one of my favorite because she very easy to work with, open to try new ideas, and a genuine person. And I would consider her a good friend.

The last person was the reason for the shoot. Joe Jones is Bekah’s fiance’, the shoot was the engagement photo’s for Bekah and Joe. It was great to meet Joe and get to know him a little better. He did great while we dragged him all over the place. While I was primarily along to assist on the shoot I did get the opportunity to take a few shots while we had available light. Once it got dark however I became solely a V.A.L.S (Voice Activated Light Stand) – read that as Daves lighting grunt. Overall it was a fun experience and I really enjoyed working with Dave. Next time I’ll just ask a few more questions. Thanks go out to Dave, Bekah and Joe.

Below are a few of the pictures I captured while the light was still somewhat good.

Bekah and Joe sitting on the park bench

Hanging out on the park bench

Lovin Life!

Her hair must smell good!

A quick shot taken while we walked to the next location

Probably the only time these two didn't have major grins on their faces.

I couldn't resist capturing this shot, we were setting up for the next series of photo's when I saw Bekah standing against the column like this and I just had to have the shot!

Things I learned:
– I love the 50mm 1.8 but need to use it more!
– It has been way to long since I shot this type of a shoot – I need to do more, more often.
– If you have an idea run with it, see this shot that Dave took here.

Black ROCK!

30 October 2009

Last Friday a few of us got together out at Black Rock out on the south shore of the Great Salt Lake to do a Rock Band photoshoot.   The event was spearheaded by Nathan Marx and included Scott O. Smith, Rob Snow (and wife Julie) as well as models Bekah and Shane.     Kudo’s go to everyone but especially Rob and Julie who had to drive separate cars because of all the drum, and photography equipment.    Julie has written a great behind the scenes post over on their blog.   Scott has a post here, and more pictures here.

A guitar and . . .

. . . a dream!

Bekah (pictured above) is a great model to work with.   She is always willing to put up with our photographer quirks.

High key guitar silhouette

Walking with a guitar

One thing I learned …  I need a LOT more practice with strobist style photography.   While the other photographers where getting out and setting up their light stands, strobes, umbrellas, radio triggers, etc.   I just stood there and watched with a “deer in the strobelight” look on my face.

Drums on the Great Salt Lake

Rob was a trooper hauling all this gear out to the lake!

A man and his guitar

The man who organized it all

A band on a run

It was getting pretty cold by this point

Worldwide Photo Walk

28 July 2009

July 18th was the day of Scott Kelby’s Second Annual Worldwide Photo Walk.   Over 900 photowalks occurred on that day.   If you are unfamiliar with Photowalks they are a great way to meet other photographers, share knowledge, explore new locations, and learn new things.    My first photowalk was at Antelope Island on the Great Salt Lake.   The biggest thing I learned during that walk was that all photographers are not territorial jerks.  There is a core group that understands that by sharing their knowledge both parties improve their skills and knowledge.

This photo walk had and “official” registration of 50 individuals, but a count of the group photo shows around 80 total participants.   While proceeding in our walk, I ran into one of the photographers I have come to admire for his skill and genuine good nature, David Terry.   He had brought along a model and was gracious enough to allow MANY other photographers the opportunity to take shots.   While I’m sure it spoiled his plans a little, the graciousness of both he and his daughter Cassie where amazing to watch.    What follows is a small selection of photo’s with the model and elsewhere during the walk.

While not actually pole dancing we all lost our concentration when a photographer yelled out Pretend you love the pole

While not actually pole dancing we all lost our concentration when a photographer yelled out "Pretend you love the pole"

Yep that’s right, after that comment I must say I was laughing so hard that I couldn’t shoot for a few minutes.

Our model was up at 5:30 AM and didn’t finish until close to 2:00 PM in some high heat.  The fact that she looks this good and still had energy at the end of the shoot was a testiment to her fortitude and professionalism.  WOW!

A little different treatment of a photo I loved from this photo walk.

A little different treatment of a photo I loved from this photo walk.

Finally a little fun with some friends at the photowalk.   Many of you who are familiar with the Utah Photography scene will recognize Scott Jarvie a fantastic wedding photographer.

See ya ’til next time, I promise to post a little sooner than once a quarter.

Miss J in O Town

20 May 2009

So I had the great opportunity a couple of weeks ago to take a break from the hectic soccer schedule and shoot some senior photo’s for a great young lady.   There are some GREAT locations along 25st in Ogden.   Of course if you are local to the Ogden area you must be aware of that.   In my scouting trip and the actual photo shoot we ran into at least 6 photographers.    Below is my absolute favorite photo from the shoot.

It is hard to go wrong with any location along 25th st.

It is hard to go wrong with any location along 25th st.

Of course some of my fellow photographers now tease me that I must now be a true photographer, because we had a policeman chase us out of a location.  It happened to be the first location, and made for a great story and a few laughs later in the night.   Best of all Miss J loosened up afterwards and we moved to several great new locations.    This second location we shot at, had a door that I am determined to photograph again just to have as a texture overlay.   Tell me what you think of the door!

No added texture just some color to the door.

No added texture just some color to the door.

This wall was right near both the door and a grungy rusted iron staircase.   I am definitely going back to this location for more shooting.   I was very pleased with how this series of photos turned out.

Love those eyes!

Love those eyes!

At the second location we ended up with her mom, dad, and Aunt all watching and participating in the shoot.   I must admit I was a little nervous at first having that many people looking over my shoulder.    However, after the shutter started clicking I settled into a rythm and the rest of the night proceeded without issue.   This next shot was one we used as the background for her announcement cards. 

This one actually was picked for her announcements.

This one actually was picked for her announcements.

This last shot was at a location recommended by my friend, fellow photographer, and blogger Scott O. Smith.    After searching around a little in the area he had mentioned to me, we found this great old caboose.   We were afraid the wooden floor might fail, but the lighting and highlights in her hair made this location a favorite!

I want to give massive thanks to the Photowalking Utah crew and other photographer friends.  I was able to use a loaner speedlight for a few shots, received great feedback from many, received several great location suggestions, and had confirmed that they are a great bunch of people.   Sometimes it seems some photographers can get real territorial.  With this group I have experienced nothing but sharing of knowledge and great friendships!

Just let them play!

1 April 2009

Ah spring, tulips poking through the ground, crocuses breaking their way through, all signaling the end to life as I knew it during the break that is winter.    Soccer has arrived!   What little free time I had is now consumed in training sessions and weekends on the pitch.   Although it is a huge drain on my life I must admit to receiving satisfaction in viewing the exuberant glee of a U5 child bouncing up and down, barely controlling their excitement at playing soccer again.   A match with these little ones resembles chaos with boundaries.  But the smiles on their faces or the fractional advancement in the development of a young player makes the time worth it.  

Hmm needs a little more coaching

Hmm needs a little more coaching

Now if only we could do more to relieve parents of the mistaken notion that their whole existence in life is contingent on the success of their son or daughter on the soccer pitch . . .  I guess it is nice to have dreams!

Please help me fight Cancer

2 March 2009

The following is not a photoblog, it is my entry into a photography contest.   My dream assignment combine my passion for photography with my desire to fight a disease that ravages many and touches all.

CANCER!  The prickling sensation on the back of your scalp, fear, dread, confusion, depression and more felt by a victim and their loved ones.   It is hard to escape this corruption of a life.  My first experience with this disease was the loss of a very dear grandmother at the age of eight.  If I thought that was all I was a FOOL!  There are more, so many more. . .

. . .  a friend with five young children, one born just days before his diagnosis, lost in six-months.   I watched him carved open, leaving long glaring scars to remove an esophageal tumor.     I see the anger of a young boy dealing left without his father.

. . . fear in the eyes of both a stepmother and mother who both found lumps in their breasts.  One received a diagnosis it was non-malignant the other diagnosis not so happy.  A symbol of womanhood mutilated to save a life.   Still there but changed.

. . . the fire and zest for life fade when I never thought it would, in the eyes of a dear friend who left to be with her family.

. . . an uncle who fought a ten year battle against odds which predicted much less.  He spent many extra years with the love of his life, his wife.  Who was that man in the coffin, he looked so old!

. . . a client, tough old cowboy that kicked that disease back where it came from.

. . . another uncle with a zest for life, always a smile on his face, and a love for photography.   He helped a confused boy at a crossroads, and set my life on the better path.   That boy many years older attended a funeral reignited a passion, a passion to capture life in frames and seconds and inspire the world. 

The heroes of this ravaging disease are many but often unknown: the doctors, researchers, nurses.  The survivors are lost in the shuffle as life goes on, the losses quickly pushed away as if by ignoring them the wolf at our door will leave us in peace. 

MY DREAM – I want to mourn the losses, celebrate the successes, put the heroes on a pedestal, and tell their stories.  I want to capture the battlegrounds, the eyes of the warriors, the souls of the survivors look into the depths of those affected, and capture compelling images of their dire and strenuous struggles.  I want to create a photobook illustrating the highs and lows of a disease that affects so many people.   And, if I sell only a few so be it,  but if I sell many all the better, for all profits will go to the battle, so that I and many can say they did their part to STAMP OUT THIS DISEASE!!

Please vote for my idea at the “Name  Your Dream Assignment” contest page.   Spread the word, recruit your friends.  

Have them pic my entry.                             Thank you!