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Friday, April 29, 2016

Aint It Romantic

Is there anything as romantic in this world as spring? I could photograph trees in bloom For.Ev.Er, but unfortunately, they are almost done for the year. Actually, on second thought, my gorgeous cousin and her sweet fiance are more romantic than blossoming trees. These guys make me want to break out in song a'la classical musicals. What song do you think fits them best? "Till there was you" "One Enchanted Evening" "You Were Meant For Me" "If I loved You"? Got another suggestion?  photo 160402kitchen_0109-Edit.jpg  photo 160402kitchen_0174-Edit.jpg  photo 160402kitchen_0380-Edit.jpg  photo 160402kitchen_0640B.jpg  photo 160402kitchen_0152-Edit.jpg  photo 160402kitchen_0025-Edit.jpg  photo 160402kitchen_0273-Edit.jpg  photo 160402kitchen_0258-Edit.jpg  photo 160402kitchen_0482-Edit.jpg

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Saturday in the City

Want to win Cash prizes and portrait discounts for your graduation photos? I'm hosting an event on Saturday, April 2nd for graduating seniors. The event is $375, which includes your pre-portrait design consultation, the city backdrop portrait session, a matted 8x10 portrait, 25 customized announcements, and four social media files for sharing. Also, available for that Saturday only, you can pick a cash prize out of my Darth Vader cookie jar and you will receive 20% off any additional prints and albums. This is a one-day only thing, peeps, and I only have a handful of sessions available that day. Call or text 801-556-1661 to grab your spot.


Monday, February 8, 2016

Competition Season is Here Again (Or, How I Drive Myself Insane Every Year)

I just realized I hadn't blogged last year's photographic competition results. This was the first year I entered two categories, so I entered eight images instead of four. Here are my images and the results:

These are the images for my Photographic Open case:  photo 3275-2.jpg  photo 3275-3.jpg  photo 3275-4.jpg  photo 3275-1.jpg
I had one image accepted into the prestigious Loan Collection, and the other three were accepted into the General Collection. I was honored as a Silver Medalist at IPC this year.

And, my images for my first-ever Artist case. The Artist category is judged by how well you put elements together to create an original piece of art. That is why the guide (or original) images are included in the presentation - so the judges can see how well they've been manipulated. It's a beast of a category, but I'm actually really enjoying the challenge. I am hoping after a few more years of competing in this category to receive my third and final degree from PPA: Master Artist.
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The results for my Artist case were the same as my Photographic Open case: Three general collection, one Loan collection: Silver Medalist.
I had so many people help me with modeling, ideas, construction, and refinement for these images. I feel very blessed to be a part of a group of incredibly supportive and talented people. I accompanied many of them in January to Atlanta for Imaging USA, where I was recognized for the two silver medals, but more impressively, was given the Imaging Excellence Award for my cumulative competition work. That was a huge deal for me - wrapping up my last 10 years of photographic competition with a big bow.
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Now that the sweet dust of recognition has fallen, however, it is now time to start putting together this year's cases, and pulling out eight more images to do it all over again. SIGH! It's all good, though, and I can't imagine not showing up every year: not stretching myself past my comfort zone and learning how to make things better in both my capture and post-production phases. It's a journey that has brought me great joys and great pains, but most importantly has given me the tools to be creative like I want to be. Nose to the grindstone, I guess. Wish me luck for this year!

Monday, October 5, 2015

Santa is Coming! And we are so excited!

It is time to book your Santa experience! I actually only have 5 spots left as of this morning. Don't be disappointed by missing this magical event - reserve your visit by calling 801-556-1661 or email Kris at krisdoman@me.com. Click here to see some of last year's Santa images.  photo Santa Promo.png

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Félicitations!

Dear Damien and Libania, It has been a delight getting to know you over the years, and an honor being your photographer. You are a marvelous couple, and so much fun to be around. I hope we have many visits in the future to your beautiful apartment and its view of cows! Come see us after your big South America tour. You'll always have a room in our house (but no views of cows, sorry.) Oh, and thank you so much for allowing Kitty to take part in your special day. She is still talking about being able to photograph her first wedding, and that it was in Switzerland! You gave her a very special experience, and I am indebted to you. Hugs and kisses, -Kris  photo grou001-002.jpg  photo grou003-004.jpg  photo grou005-006.jpg  photo grou007-008.jpg  photo grou009-010.jpg  photo grou011-012.jpg  photo grou013-014.jpg

Monday, September 14, 2015

Love and Horses

When Tyson and Severine invited me to Switzerland seven years ago to photograph their wedding, I had no idea how that event would effect my career or my life. Not only have I been given the gift of being able to photograph beautiful people in jaw-dropping scenery, but the friendships I have made there are truly precious to me. This summer marked the third time I've been able to visit with these people, whom I consider to be closer to family than friends. They are seriously some of the most hard-working, generous, and loving souls I know!
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I've known horses are a big part of Severine and Tyson's lifestyle, but it wasn't until this last visit that I actually got to bond with their magnificent equine babies. Severine is a therapist, and she allows her horses to take part in the healing process for others. I don't know why it surprised me, but I was blown away by their individuality and personalities. They are really just like people - intelligent souls occupying a physical body. I want to introduce you to these fantastic animals:

This is Didje. She had a sad history of abuse before Severine adopted her (in spite of the advise from many friends that she would never be able to live a docile life.) Well, don't tell Severine she can't do something unless you really want it done - she will out-stubborn anyone! Severine spent years re-training and loving Didje, and she saved her. Didje was the horse I got to groom and ride, and I'm telling you, I LOVE this Queen of Horses! She is truly a regal and magnificent soul, with a proud but gentle spirit.  photo 150818mercerat_0351.png
And that brings us to Didje's daughter, Dadjik. She is the baby of the family, and one gets the impression if she could wear diamonds, she totally would. She is young and energetic, and frankly a little moody - but that's all normal for any teen. Dadjik has the most beautiful poise and posture, which I'm sure she inherited from her mother. And she's a red-head, so… yeah.  photo 150818mercerat_0272.png
This is Garijo (Gary Jo in English). He can be shy, a bit anxious, and he definitely did not like being in front of the camera. I love this image of Severine soothing him (she truly is a horse-whisperer.) You can see so much emotion in his face - just like a child.  photo 150818mercerat_0314.png
And Diouc (Duke). Sweet, sweet Diouc was Severine's first love. He has been with her longer than Tyson has. He is getting pretty old, and lives life at a slower, wiser pace than the others. Diouc is fantastic with children, and he let my daughter learn to gallop bare-back on his shoulders (which may have been the highlight of her entire life so far.) We had to photograph him with the whole family because he's been with everyone from the beginning.  photo 150818mercerat_0412.png
And finally, Tyson's boy, Picasso. What a couple of jokers. These images made me laugh out loud when I was processing because they are pulling the exact same faces! The first impression Picasso gives is of his imposing size. He is a big horse! I'm already vertically challenged, but Picasso makes me feel like a dwarf. But he really loves the camera, and frankly hogs the attention at every opportunity.  photo 150818mercerat_0461.png
Caring for their horses is hard work - but working hard always has more benefits than costs, and I envy the connection T&S have with nature in their every-day lives. I love my home, but I miss these beautiful people and animals.  photo 001-002_2.jpg
PS How amazing is the loft S&T are working on in their beautiful home? We had rain for a couple days so we had to find an indoor alternative for the kids' portraits. This is the coziest place to hang out, and next time I visit, I'm really hoping the sauna is ready! :-)  photo 003-004_1.jpg

Friday, September 11, 2015

Santa is Coming!

I will have details about this year's limited-edition Encounters with Santa early October. Enroll in the email newsletter (see the sign-up in the sidebar to the right) and you will get the info first. I'm so excited to see the Jolly ole' Elf again!

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Grandma's Garden is cool and casual!

Grandma's Garden is pretty much my favorite (and exclusive!) place to shoot in the summer. We have an incredible pale-pink hollyhock this year, along with the white cone flowers and July lilies in flaming reds and oranges. I am waiving ALL session fees for the garden this year with minimum print purchase. Call me to schedule your back-to-school portraits or a small family session for free! 801-556-1661  photo 20150630 GG.png

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Class of 2015 - Let's get it started!

I'm so happy when I get to photograph high-school seniors. Gorgeous youth! So much optimism and excitement! This is my first senior of this season, and I can't think of a more lovely way to start things off. M, you have so much beauty and soulfulness to share. Thank you so much for letting me bask in your happiness for a few hours!

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Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Cute-"E"

I've been in the studio a lot this winter. Which is odd because I don't have a studio. I rent studios from my friends, which is a great deal, but each studio has its own nuances and quirks. This studio is located in Layton, and is an all-natural-light space. This makes color-balancing tricky because there is bluer light at the floor and yellow light at subject-height. It is also a very forgiving light, and when chasing an almost-three-year-old around, it's nice not to have to worry about them running out of the light. This is my good friend and photographer, Erin, who is absolutely radiantly expecting her second daughter in May. Go check out her new website she's been putting long hard hours into updating.  photo 001-002_1.jpg photo 003-004B.jpg

Friday, March 20, 2015

The Creative Process

I've had many people ask me how I get my ideas, or how I get creative. So, since I just posted about print competition, I thought it might be fun to discuss how I do my conceptual images. The origination of an idea starts in a different place for each image. Sometimes, I draw inspiration from film or literature. Many times I am drawn to art history, or there is just a technique I want to try. In today's case, the inspiration began with a haircut. One of my good friends left her daughter in the care of a close family member, and came home to find out something had gone horribly wrong, and hair was lost. If you have had a child in the toddler years, chances are you've gone through something similar. When she posted on Facebook about it, I thought it would be really fun to document an event that could be taken as a negative experience, and transform it into a great portrait.

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After arranging a shooting time, I was thinking about mood, and style, and what I wanted the image to say. I decided I wanted something dark, not really pretty, very moody, timeless, and possibly even a bit disturbing (since that is how I felt when my own daughter cut her hair.) So last night I had 30 minutes between running kids to dance and karate to browse our local thrift shop, and I found a dark, old little dress (which I had to cut off the obnoxious and huge pink gingham collar) and some trim that would easily cover my hack job. I wanted everything to be done in harmonious color, so I stuck with the brown palette. Then I found an old copper pot and I got thinking it would amp up the emotion if I had something dead in the pot to add to the disturbing feel. Since dead things are a bit hard to find, not to mention icky, I grabbed an old sunflower that I found on my walk later in the evening. Then I changed venues from Memory Grove (where everything is beautiful and blooming right now) to Wheeler Farm (where I knew I could find a dark brown wall that would match the colors in the dress.) This whole thought process and execution took place between about 4:00-8:00 pm yesterday night.

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Today on the shoot, it was just a matter of putting everything together. Our little model wasn't very happy, but since that was the emotion I was going for, it was actually perfect. She hated the dress, and it took much coaxing and painting of stories to get her to wear it. Then I set up my strobe and soft-box to add a direction of light, and I noticed that the sun was bouncing off the white front of the box onto her in a perfect lighting ratio, so I just used it as a reflector and kept the power off.

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After that, it was just a matter of finding an expression (which, as I said earlier, was lots easier than asking for smiles.) and choosing my favorite image. I liked the hands in the image on the right better, and the expression on the left, so I did some Photoshop magic to make the final composite.

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Then it was tweaking the mood and lighting to suit the emotion I had in mind at the start, and voila! A portrait that I'm really pleased with. I loved creating something a little off my normal track, and pushing myself a little.

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Thanks so much, K for giving me full artistic license and trusting me to do it right! :-)