Sunday, November 25, 2012

Dog Portraits in the Studio

Animals and children are notoriously some of the hardest subjects to photograph. In other words, they do not care about my vision,  timetable, my lighting setup or where to stand.

My wife and I have been talking about some puppy photos for our 2 sibling adoptees, Zack and Zoey. We also have become keenly aware of our aging Buddy Luv who has suffered some pretty serious medical setbacks this year. We thought we had lost him at least twice so every minute with him is a gift.

Meet Zack. He is your typical alpha male troublemaker. He has bitten ears, dragged his sister down the stairs, nipped my behind when my back was turned, barked at the howling beagles down the street, and presented us with a collection of dead things. He is also very sweet when he wants to be.

I am not sure that he knows his name yet. He suffers from selective hearing loss (ha ha).

This is Buddy Luv. He was adopted about 10 years ago which makes him probably around 13-14. He picked his own name because the one the adoption agency gave him was not working. To make a long story short, I was calling my other dog my "little buddy" noticed that every time I said the word "Buddy",  this this guy would dance in one place and get excited. So, the name stuck. 

Children like to point out his blue eye which is totally blind. I tell them it is a camera eye. He also lost all his hearing which has miraculously cured his "thunder-phobia".

This is Zoey and she is a Daddy's girl. She is so precious and wonderful.

I never thought that I would like having a girl dog, but she has won me over.

Pink is her favorite color... an obvious choice for a princess.

Some may think this is a picture of beauty and the beast... but they would be wrong. There are 2 beautiful dogs here. Who would not love that face.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

A Zombie, Vampire and Devil Walk into a Studio...

It sounds like the opening line to a bad Halloween joke, but I met a zombie, vampire and a devil (among other characters) on Halloween day. I was asked to be a judge for the annual costume contest for the law firm down the hall. Some were funny, creative or off the wall.

After the prizes were handed out, I invited anyone who wanted a portrait to come down to the studio. Just a few people took me up on it, and here are their photos.

The Hungry Zombie...

The Stylish Vampire...

The Devil (who evidently wears Prada)...

A Naughty Kitty

and a Football Hero...

Who said lawyers are not fun?

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Halloween Photos of a Corporate Cat in a Hat

One of my favorite clients, Andrea, came to our studio on Halloween day dressed like the Cat in the Hat. She barely fit in the front door since her bonnet was so big. She was dropping off an executive for a headshot. 

Of course, I could not let this just pass, so while my "official" subject was getting dressed in the other room, I snapped a few quickies. I just kept all the light stands in the same locations, but turned them toward the closest wall. This way I would not mess up any of the settings I made for the other portrait.

Struve Family Photos in a Beautiful Fall Garden

I tell people that I love gardens, but hate gardening. To me it is like making a salad.... It always tastes better when someone else does it for you. What does have to do with photography? Read below...

When my friends, David and Julia, suggested that we spend an afternoon with the kids in a place called Gibbs Gardens, I grabbed my camera.

I reckoned that this would be an incredible place to make some photos of the whole family. It is a bit of a drive from Atlanta, but makes for a nice adventure.

A photographer dreams of such a setting. If you are ever in Ball Ground, Georgia, it is worth a visit. Pay the $20 to get in or buy a season pass. Check out the Gibbs Gardens web site.

The photos were taken in the time that is not yet Fall in all its glory, but well past Indian Summer. There were patches of green and gold mixed together like a forrest in transition.

The last ime I took photos of the kids, we were confined to mostly indoors. Elijah was as that age where I was doing more chasing than shooting. I had to invent games to trick him into staying in one spot for longer than 2.5 seconds. 

The kids had grown since then and so they were larger targets and reasoning with them was a possibility... not just a theory. 

When we got to the location, it started to drizzle so we grabbed a quick lunch and crossed our fingers that it would blow over. It never really did, but we started our walk through the incredible vistas and designs of the gardens anyway. My favorite area was the Japanese Gardens. Wow!

The children's great grandparents were with us that day which is incredible. I never met mine so this is a foreign concept to me.

I like to take mix of formal and informal portraits. I think it is important to capture the interactions between parents and children when their guard is down. One day the children may look back on the photos and see that their folks were once young too.

The other thing I like to emphasize is size differences. David is almost double the size of Elijah.

Which means he could act like he was going to dunk the poor boy. That would have been hard to explain to Mom.

I also like to shoot generations, whether they are blood related or not.  Here are the ladies of the Struve family.

For a few moments, the light would appear turning the leaves to photo gold, but it was rare that day!

Overall, it was a wonderful day in country. I guarantee we all slept soundly that night.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Art Directors on My Back...

I have 3 art directors that constantly watch my every move and bark orders at me. Talk about the pressure! I can't even mumble under my breath because they will hear me. Just look at those ears!

 Luckily, I have found that keeping a few biscuits in my pocket usually makes them happy.