Tuesday, August 26, 2014

CEO Power Portraits

One of my favorite things to do is make corporate style portraits. Usually that involves head shots, but it can also include body poses too. These can be great for magazine covers, articles or web pages. You never know where the images could end up including company sites, social media, email or print. In the samples below, I composited the client into 2 different backgrounds.

In this case, they will be used for several different types of articles on the company web site. With just a few modifications in the studio, I was able to provide a wide range of photos from formal to more informal. Providing different looks during a shoot gives the client's graphic designer much more material to work with. Variations on a theme? Check, check and check...

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Burlesque Dancer at Rosé Wine Party

Sometimes my job can be so fun that I forget I am working. This was the case when I was hired to take photos at a burlesque-themed rosé wine party.

A burlesque dancer named Amy was hired to entertain the surprised guests who were also dressed in various shades of rosé pink or sterotypical "French" attire. That includes berets and feather boas for us Americans. Check out the characters below... Magnifque!

Coincidentally, these two got engaged that day...

Entertainment included singing in French, comedy gags and Moulin Rouge style dancing. Plus, there was an elaborate strip tease with a "memorable" finale... If you want to see that, you are going to have to hire Amy. She is wonderful so you won't regret it.  Contact her at amyewachtel@gmail.com

 Afterwards, Amy took photos with the guests... never dropping out of character. This lady has tons of charisma which made my job much easier. She is also a master costume maker and seamstress. Look at the details in the outfit she made. Imagine putting that on by yourself.

Below is my favorite photo of the entire evening which I snapped in front of my light box.

Guess who had the better legs below?

Many of the partygoers were very old friends so it was a perfect time for group portraits! 

Here are some of my favorite photos of the night.

The last photo reminded me of Linda Carter... yes, the 1970s era Wonder Woman.

She thought I was crazy to think this, but I know that I am right.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

It Would Have Been 54 Years Ago...

Wedding anniversaries in my family are not usually celebrated as big events outside of the married couple. Years ago, when my parents had their 50th anniversary, it came and went quietly. They did not want the attention or the hullabaloo.

Today would have been my parent's 54th wedding anniversary. 

My Dad missed it by less than half a year having passed away in April. My Mom is bravely facing this day "alone" so we are all thinking about her right now.

Over the years my parents rode the peaks and valleys of any marriage, learning to communicate as two totally different types of people and somehow made it work.

A big component of their lives was their children and grandchildren, but this is just about them.

My Mom shared a personal story of how my Dad would hide Snickers bars under her pillow or present her with flowers gathered from everywhere except the florist. The example below looks like it did come from a  florist, but he probably borrowed it from somewhere. Don't ask...

This is one of the last photos that I took when my Dad still had a sparkle in his eye. He had the same sparkle when he would sing songs or expertly whistle tunes for my Mom.

This was the photo we used for my Dad's funeral, and now it hangs in their bedroom next to the sparkly butterflies my Dad made for my Mom aeons ago.

Almost 54 years together is quite an accomplishment. I really don't have the words to describe what their partnership together must have been like so I'll leave it to the expert. Alan Jackson... take it away. This song is dedicated to Carol and Charlie Hughes on their 54th anniversary. It is their life and I would have sworn he wrote it for them.

See video here: http://youtu.be/TTA2buWlNyM

Thursday, August 7, 2014

A New Breed of Bearded Terrier Discovered

What you are looking at here is the first known photo of the fabled bearded terrier of south eastern United States. These creatures are incredibly shy, living in the backwoods of the Georgia mountains. 

It is said that a regular old hound dog fell into a vat of 100 proof moonshine and swam a few laps. Then miraculously his beard began to grow like those Duck Dynasty guys. I have no idea if that is true, but these are amazing looking animals.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Welcome to Earth Little Michael

Just a quick post to welcome Michael to this fine planet of ours. Say hello...

New baby parts below...

He joins his parents Amber and Jason plus sister Alessandra.

Big sis has already broken in her parents so Michael might be able to get away with more as a second child. Or perhaps, they will know how to spot his rascally tricks. Only time will tell.

I love this pose as Mom cradles baby.

Michael calls this "the claw" pose... I think I heard him meow as he did this.

One thing is for sure... he looks like a cool kid. 

Already Michael has made his parents very happy, and all he has done so far is mess up a bunch of diapers. Just wait until he does something really great!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Do Blondes Really Have More Fun?

A client of mine brought her company's new CFO to our studio for a quick headshot and I just could not let her leave without me recording her new hair color. She used to be a brunette. She told me that she would let me know if blondes have more fun in a few months. This got me thinking about the origin of that common saying.

The question was perhaps first posed when some poor woman accidentally splashed bleach on her hair while washing clothes in a bucket. You know, before automated machines and woman's suffrage (a.k.a. the dark ages). Miraculously her hair changed color from brown to blonde... and so the bleach blonde was invented. I am making up that scenario since nobody really knows.

What IS known is that an astute woman named Shirley Polykoff solidified that concept into the collective of modern pop culture. Working for the ad agency responsible for the Clairol hair product accounts, she came up with these golden slogans for the company:

  • "Does she or doesn't she? Only her hairdresser knows for sure." This was the 8th top advertising slogan of the 20th century.
  • "If I only have one life... let me live it as a blonde." This one is clever because it sounds like a another famous slogan that reads "Give me liberty or give me death". It also hides a popular soap opera's name in the slogan which might have connected with housewives in that era.
  • And the last slogan "Is it true that blondes have more fun?" landed this creative lady into the Advertising Hall of Fame... one of only 5 women admitted. This is quite an achievement before the Women's Rights era.
Most of this info comes from an article by a Dr. Rosenthal which explores psychological studies on the subject. If you are curious, read more here: http://www.hairboutique.com/tips/tip8018.htm

Monday, August 4, 2014

Photos of My Little Sister and Her Twins

This is a confession... I shot my sister and her two kids with a Canon. Before you call the cops, you should know that nobody got hurt and generally everyone had a good time.

My sis, Gena, had been promising me for years to come and visit me in my new Atlanta home... well, it was new 8 years ago anyway. It seems that she has been busy raising a family so traveling 10 hours by car was not an easy thing to do.

Now that her twin kids are 8 years old, it is much easier to toss them in the car and make the grueling drive.  Our plan was to keep the kids as busy as possible by purchasing an Atlanta City Pass. This allows people to see the top attractions in Atlanta for a highly reduced price.

The first morning, we made monster waffles in honor of Waffle House, which originated in Avondale Estates, Georgia... only 8 miles from my home.

Then it was off to the Fernbank Museum for some natural history and dinosaurs.

They have a great whale museum, which I accidentally found out does not allow photo taking. Oops. The hands-on science section has great things to occupy kids of all ages.

The next day was spent at Stone Mountain, which is not on the City Pass, but well worth the $10 admission to get in. The kids loved hiking around the old mill.

They sat still long enough for me to snap a few family photos. I mean just long enough... some of these poses were mere seconds before they were off and running again.

Notice the hug disguised as the "stay here" clutch.

Twins born 4 minutes apart...

Drawing in the sand like a cave girl.

Look at that fiery red hair!

We watched a Dock Dogs event, which had a bunch of lovable pooches jumping in a long jump pool. 

Then, we explored the top of Stone Mountain by riding the tram. I think we could have really tired them out by making them run up the other side of the mountain, but I am not sure the adults were up to it. They climbed trees to get higher!

Later we watched the laser show with thousands of other people. That lawn can really hold a crowd!

The next day was going to be spent at the Atlanta Aquarium. This place is as large as a shopping mall, and designed as such. I think I felt the dollar bills being sucked out of my sister's wallet as we exited through the gift shop.

 Yes it is good for business... but it causes a lot of headaches for parents with tired children who do not know what money is. Just saying...  Regardless of that, the venue is top notch with amazing sights and sounds. 

 How many fish are in this place?!

Life takes some strange and wondrous shapes.

This might be the only time little Andy sat down. I took the photo as proof.

I did not know the aquarium had amazing acrobats!

After we had seen all the fish there were to see, we jogged over to the new Coke museum for a quick walkthrough. Two highlights for the kids were taking a photo with the excellent polar bear and a 4-D movie with whiplash moving chairs and spraying water.

It seems that the pinnacle of the whole Atlanta trip for them was all the "FREE" Coke products from around the world in the museum's sampling room. It is kinda cool to try different flavors that are not available here in the states. My favorite was Inca Cola from Peru that has a unique flavor derived from lemon verbena...an exotic flower.

The kids made friends with Zack the Boston Terrier who seemed to love hanging out with them. Little Andy even broke through to Zoey who is incredibly shy around strangers.

If they did not sleep in the car going back to Virginia, then I am not sure what else we could have stuffed into the 3 day weekend. I was personally bushed for the rest of the week.