Saturday, December 29, 2007
"Sisters, sisters, there were never such devoted sisters..." *
It's the end of the year and I'm busy with archiving image files, deciding what to keep and how to file it...and I always find a few surprises along the way, which makes an otherwise tedious task a whole lot more fun! The oldest sister in these images is a senior at South Wasco County HS (I mentioned I was out there this fall for a fantastic weekend of shooting - which I PROMISE to post a few of the best location images as it was a spectacular setting!) and I asked her to be my guinea pig, I mean, model while I set up and tested my lights...well, along comes the little sister to watch and she wants in on the action...then Mom comes looking for her with the youngest sister in her arms - you just KNOW I had to put all three sisters in one portrait, now, don't you?! since the portraits weren't planned, I've applied a chocolate mocha tone to the images (yummy, don't you think?!) to keep your attention on their lovely faces...these portraits are destined to be thank you gifts for the Mom - I got a feeling she's gonna like 'em!
* thank you, Mr. Irving Berlin!
Thursday, December 27, 2007
Pretty, pretty lights!
One of my favorite parts of the holidays is decorating with lights - what can I say, I got a "thing" for light! Probably 'cuz it was awhile before my parents figured out I needed glasses (I'm near-sighted), and the out-of-focus lights on the Christmas tree thoroughly enchanted me - I thought they were suppose to look that way! (Street lights at night were also pretty cool...) So I just can't resist playing around a little - here's my take on our Christmas tree this year, taken with my latest toy, a little p&s Fuji F10, a pretty neat camera with a tack sharp 10mm lens - to create your own light show, just set your ISO as low as it will go, turn off the flash, then move your camera (up & down, spin it, swirl it, go wild!) as you depress the shutter button...it will take a few tries before you develop a little control, but it's the unpredicability of the final image that is the most fun! Merry merry Everyone!
Tuesday, December 25, 2007
Just dinking around on the computer, waiting to take the turkey out of the oven - thought I'd post some of my favorite grab shots taken with my little point & shoot camera over the last month. A few are taken just walking around town, some spot of color or texture that caught my eye (the close ups of leaves and ornamental kale)...while out at Rasmussen Farms picking up a Christmas wreath right after Thanksgiving (snow-covered lawn chairs)...a colorful, breath-taking autumnal sunset, viewed from the backyard of my neighbor across the street....a snowy hillside, taken while my husband cut down our Christmas tree (yes, that's my handsome lumberjack!)...time to go - 'cuz it's turkey time!
Thursday, December 20, 2007
"for unto you a Child is given..."
The holidays always feel more like a celebration to me when children are involved! This beautiful, 5 week old little boy was in my studio recently for a Christmas card session and after I knew I had those "in the can" as we old film-users used to say, his gracious parents allowed me to try a little more dramatic lighting than I have ever done before with infants. The parents were into it, the baby cooperated fully by falling asleep and I am more than pleased with the results! Fine art black and white prints were the reason I got into photography in the first place, and these images bring me full circle - I'm looking forward to having these printed on high quality fiber paper and giving them pride of place in my studio.
Monday, December 17, 2007
Where has the time gone?!!
It's been so long since I posted to this blog, it's just downright embarassing - I am going to make a New Year's Resolution (yep, it's just about time for those!) to get back in the swing of things and update this blog in a timely fashion! So much has happened since my last posting: October was a whirlwind of senior portraits - I think I photographed some of the loveliest young women at Hood River Valley High! Then there was my adventure at the D-G Ranch in Maupin, where I spent the weekend photographing seniors from South Wasco High School (there must be something in the water in Maupin, because all the girls were gorgeous!)... November was filled with family portraits (just in time for the holidays) and on a less cheery note, a hard drive malfunction that gave me a good scare (remember, alwaysalwaysalways BACK UP YOUR DATA FILES! thank goodness I had backups, that's all I'm going to say about that!)...there's just so much to share, I hardly know where to start!
I guess I'll start with TODAY, as good a place as any: my good friend, Tammy, a fabulous portrait photographer in Camas, WA (Studio K Portraits, check her out!), came to visit me today accompanied by her charming grandmother, Helen. Tammy has created wonderful portraits of her grandmother, but wanted a portrait of the two of them together, to celebrate their close relationship - I was pleased and proud to help her out!
I could hear the voice of my mentor, Monte Zucker, whispering to me as I directed Tammy and Helen into place: "get close, hug each other, love each other!" What you see posted here is Tammy's (and mine!) favorite image from today's session - the loving bond these two women share really comes across...it's destined to be a big canvas in both Tammy's and Helen's homes and for sure will soon be gracing my studio walls as well!
Short and sweet this time - I'll collect my memories of the last couple months and do my best to tell you a bit more about my adventures before we ring in a new year...
Friday, September 28, 2007
Tag, I'm it!
Received an email lately from a friend (and amazingly talented photographer!), Amy Steipech - seems I've been "tagged"?! Okay, I admit to being unhip and had to ask someone what this meant - it means I have to write 8 things people don't know about me on my blog...well, here goes:
1. I met my husband (that's him standing next to his best friend, Jim, in the portrait above) by answering an ad for crew members in Latitude 38, a San Francisco sailing magazine - "Sailing to Tahiti in June. One more female crew wanted. No experience necessary - enthusiasm a must!" So I called this guy Steve, interviewed for the position and 3 months later Steve, Larry, Grania and myself sailed out the Golden Gate, turned left and spent the next 9 months cruising the South Pacific! Steve and I were married a year and a half after we returned to the States. (Ladies, want to get to know a man? Spend weeks at sea with them in a small sailboat!) Steve and I just celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary and can honestly say we're happier than ever...
2. I've had thyroid cancer - 25 years, two surgeries to remove my thyroid and a golf ball-sized tumor later, I'm free and clear...
3. I was a street actor for 5 summers in a row at the Northern Californian Renaissance Faire - yep, I played a peasant gal (Gloriana Beatrice - but you can call me Glory B!) and had a rollicking good time doing it! I modeled myself after my favorites comediennes, both queens of slapstick, Carol Burnett and Imogen Coco (dating myself, fer sure)...
4. I knit - well, sorta...I've made ALOT of scarves and even a stocking cap or two (a skill learned at class at Knot Another Hat), but that sweater I started for my husband 3 years ago still needs sleeves (and doesn't have a chance in hell of fitting him, I knit it soooooo tightly!) - but I really do enjoy it! It's like meditation for me, I just zone out and concentrate on the task at hand...
5. I LOVE to watch cooking shows - the Food Network is my most-watched tv channel! I must say, I really really miss watching "The Iron Chef" in the original Japanese...
6. Years ago in San Francisco, I met Diana Ross (of The Supremes) while rushing to my aerobics class - I ran right into her and knocked her into the arms of her security escort! When I looked up into her face, I knew right away who she was (hey, I grew up in Detroit at the height of Motown's best years) and blurted out, "I'm so very sorry! Hey, you're Diana Ross! I'm from Detroit, too!" She smiled weakly in my direction and was whisked away by security...
7. I collect photography books (no big surprise there, huh?), but with a definite emphasis on women in photography - it's all about getting inspiration from the way these women integrated their love of photography into their lives, how they combined family, lovers and everyday living with their pursuit of excellence in their art...
8. I am a coffee snob. While I am no longer able to drink several cups a day as I did in years past (cutting back has helped my insomnia tremendously, who'da thought, huh?!), I make a point to thoroughly enjoy the one cup I allow myself in the morning - only the very best will do and for me, that means Peet's and please, make it French Roast, cone-dripped or french pressed, dark and delicious...anything else is just settling and I just won't settle for second-best when it comes to my coffee!
The other part of this "tagging" business is that I'm supposed to "tag" other photographers to participate in this list-making...so here are the talented, amazing and wonderful people I've chosen to introduce you all to!
Jodi, Debbie, Michelle, Andy, Andrea, Jackie, Maria and Rebecca...enjoy!
Friday, August 31, 2007
The time is NOW!
I recently told my husband that one of the best parts of my "job" (how can anything one enjoys as much as I do photography be defined simply as a "job"?!!) was when people opened up in front of my lens, when they put their true selves on display, when they simple were the very best of who they are and I am lucky enough to be the observer who captures that moment. And the BEST part of my job? That's when I can hand the resulting portraits back to them, saying thank you for letting me in, thank you for trusting me to get it right.
If you know me, you know one of my favorite "themes" is adult child and parent portraits - I so enjoy capturing that spark, that glow that defines a loving relationship. I love these three images of father and daughter; I would pay almost any price to have such portraits of me with my Dad. Is your mother or father still a big part of your life? When was the last time you included them in family portraits? Don't hesitate, don't wait - make plans NOW for portraits you're going to treasure for a very long time.
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
I can't believe it's been over 2 months since I posted here last - the summer has just whizzed by - I've got such a back-log of images and experiences to share with you all! Where to start?...
Well, for starters, I have had the pleasure of working with quite a few seniors this summer - it was a good time to get a jump on those senior photos! Fantastic weather meant exploring the great outdoors for some great location shooting - I've been on a number of "urban photo safaris" with the last couple of seniors I've worked with and I'll be sure to post some of those real soon! In the meantime, let me share a few images of the lovely young women I've created senior portraits for over the summer...and remind you that there's still plenty of time for unique and different outdoor portraits, IF you call and book soon! Call me at (541) 436-2755 - I can't wait to talk with you!
Friday, June 15, 2007
Wow, what a day! Drove all the way out to Newberg, to Five Star Farms out on Old Parrett Mountain Road - and of course the "geographically challenged one"" (that would be ME) got good and lost on the trip out! So nearly three hours after setting out from Hood River I arrived to find my new photographer buddy, Andy Ladick (of Perfectly Lit Photography in Camas, WA) busy with our lovely model, Angela, and Magic Surprise, one of her two horses...any distress I might have been feeling over getting lost and arriving late was immediately dissipated upon meeting Angela - I was taken with her warm smile and sparkling eyes - suddenly, all I could think of was getting my camera out of my bag as quickly as possible!
(Allow me to backtrack just a little: I met Andy online at www.NWPhotoForum.com when I posted there looking for advice on photographing horses; Andy provided a wealth of information and thus began an email correspondence that led to him putting today's session together in order to show me a thing or two about working with horses.)
We had a great time - the weather was perfect, the horses cooperated, and our lovely model displayed amazing stamina for several hours - she never lost that exuberant smile! Here are two of my favorite (so far) from the many images created today - I can't wait to really dig into the files and see what other treasures are there to be polished and brought to light!
Many thanks, again, to Andy and the charming Angela (and her mom, Wendy!) for making today an adventure that I will remember for a very long time...
(oh, and in case you were wondering, the other horse's name is Hot Cocoa!)
Sunday, May 27, 2007
Why I do what I do...
I love working with families - capturing their time together, a particular moment in their personal histories preserved so that they might look upon it and remember how it was, how they were. It's hard for me to describe just how much that means to me, to participate in this process, to play a part - I feel that it is such a privilege to be asked to create these "documents" of memory, to be allowed a glimpse into what makes each family unique and special.
I don't have alot of photos of my own family growing up (meaning my immediate family, my Mom and Dad, brothers and sisters). My Mom died when I was in my 20s and Dad passed several years ago - so the snapshots I've inherited mean the world to me. The photo at the very beginning of this entry is one of my most precious images. It was taken with my Dad's first digital camera (remember cameras with mini-floppy discs? Dad had one of the earliest Sonys and was very proud of it!) and was the last time I was with him; we were sitting in the Alpena, MI airport waiting for my flight to Detroit and then back to California. Dad passed away a few months after this image was taken. Even though it's just a snapshot - horrible overhead lighting, funky background, odd perspective - I love it and cherish it regardless of its faults. Because it reminds me just how much my Dad and I loved each other - the image is so much more than the sum of its parts.
Every time I photograph a father and child, I think of my Dad. I am so proud to be able to create an image that someone else will cherish, that someone else will hold dear - I am happy to hold my Dad's memory in this way. I was definitely thinking of my Dad when I created the second set of images of a father and son. There is so much great chemistry between those two! It was such a pleasure to work with them; it reminded me fully of why I do what I do.
Father's Day is coming up - be sure to give your Dad a big hug and make sure he knows how much you love him!
Thursday, May 24, 2007
Tuesday, May 08, 2007
Monday morning blues...
but not in the sense of "I don't wanta get outta bed" blues - a glorious river of blue, composed of thousands of small blue bell-shaped flowers, winding their way through the sun and shade!
My husband and I went for a hike at Catherine Creek Trail in Washington on Monday morning. The balmy weather enticed us out of our usual morning routine and we just HAD to get out in it! I knew I had missed the early spring wildflowers at Catherine Creek, but brought my camera "just in case."
The balmy weather made for pleasant hiking and great views of the Gorge in both directions; we found small patches of lupine, cluster lilies, bitter root and poppies along the trail as well as the grand vistas of the Gorge. I couldn't keep the smile off my face - I was intoxicated by the combination of beautiful weather and incredible scenery!
I've turned this image into a painting using a new software I've recently acquired (Corel Painter). I just know Painter will allow me to create wonderful paintings from my portraits as well as rendering out-of-this-world landscapes - I look forward to experimenting with it and promise to post my best efforts!
Sunday, April 22, 2007
A Celebration of a Man
That's me there, arm in arm with my mentor and teacher, Monte Zucker, at a seminar in Seattle last November - I can't adequately describe just how happy this photo makes me - or how grateful I am to friend & photographer James McFarland for taking it for me.
Monte passed away on March 15th, succumbing to cancer diagnosed only 9 months earlier. In his remaining months, he continued to travel the country doing what he loved most, teaching and spreading the gospel of evocative, classical, beautiful portraiture. (You can read more about Monte in this Washington Post article.)
Today, in lieu of a funeral or memorial service per Monte's wishes, friends and colleagues gathered together and shared thoughts and memories of his life. During the event, the Metropolitan Center for the Visual Arts in Maryland dedicated their entire photographic program in Monte's name, a wonderful tribute to an amazing talent and generous teacher.
Monte's work in the last few months of life was to put cameras in the hands of children at risk. Monte felt that by teaching underprivileged children a vocation such as photography it might give each one of them a way out of their situation in their community and inspire them with a means for a better life. Thus he established The Zucker Institue of Photographic Inspiration - ZIPI. For more information about ZIPI, please visit www.montezucker.com.
Since I couldn't be in Maryland today, I just wanted to share my feelings here - I learned so much from Monte - I am not only a better photographer, but a better person for knowing him. Thanks, Coach - I will keep your spirit in my heart and strive to do you proud.
Saturday, April 21, 2007
Ain't Love Grand?!
I admit it, I just love Love! I met the lovely Ruthanne when I signed up for water aerobics last summer - I was so struck by both her outward and inner beauty, that I persuaded her to come in to the studio and model for me. Which she did, and as an added bonus, her equally good-looking fiance accompanied her - well, I was in photographer's hog heaven! I've posted a few of the Hollywood-style portraits created that day, but waited until today to show you these couple portraits we also did. Once I put the two of them together, they seemed to forget about me and melted into one another - it warmed my heart to see the way they touched and talked. Ahhhh, romance! Why did I wait until today to post these images? Because today Ruthanne and Jim will be married - today I celebrate their loving relationship and wish them many many years of happiness together! May they enjoy a future filled to the brim with love and laughter!
Friday, April 20, 2007
I so thoroughly enjoyed having this little guy in my studio the other afternoon - from the moment he came in the door, he was curious, engaged, playful and relaxed, all at the same time! I looking forward to another session with him soon, because next time Daddy comes in for portraits with his son and I've got a few special images already in mind that should melt a parent's (or grandparents!) heart. Did I mention it's never too early to start thinking about Father's Day gifts?!
Sunday, April 15, 2007
Sugar and Spice
and everything nice, that's what THIS little girl is made of! finally, I got a little girl in the studio to wear one of my tutus! (wait, not MY tutu as in "I wear tutus" - I mean my tutu as in "I've been making tutus in different colors and waiting for a little girl to wear them"...)
This sweet little charmer was one easy-going baby - she must get it from her mom, who was Very Patient with a photographer who has not had alot of experience working with babies! I learned alot from these two that day: how to baby-proof a studio, what makes babies smile, postcards are tasty (this last bit of info I surmised from all the little teethmarks found on one of my promo postcards!)...and I had a wonderful time in the bargain!
Here are my four favorites from the session; the last was actually created once we had called it quits - Mom lay on her back and reached out for her little girl and I couldn't resist "just one more!"
Saturday, March 31, 2007
Spring White Sale!
Oh man, I am just LOVING the nice weather we've been having! I discover new flowers coming up every day - my side yard is full of gem-like grape hyacinth, petite and perfect narcissus, and jazzy purple & white striped crocus. An added bonus is the deep blue violets sprouting all over the grass - I've forbidden my husband to mow until they've disappeared and well, he's not fighting me too hard about that...
Naturally, in Spring a girl's thoughts turn to...shopping! What else comes with Spring but a good White Sale! So I'm offering a mini-session on a fresh white background plus a 3-image collage print of your session favorites for only $95 (a $135 value!) until the end of April. This is a very popular look, contemporary, fresh and fun! So get in on the giggles and call me at 541-400-0939 to reserve time for your child - please note these mini-sessions are limited to 1 or 2 children.
Just take a look at my favorite photos from this afternoon's White Sale Session with my favorite guy, Cole! While some fellas try to dazzle you with a swagger and a big grin, Cole steals your heart with his shy ways, sweet smile and goofy antics - it's always a pleasure to have him in the studio.