Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Twirling - Winner of the Kodak Gallery Award and First Place Child Portrait: IPPA 2007
Anyone who knows me well knows that October is competition time. For those of you who don't know, I am a member of the Professional Photographers of America (the PPA.) IPPA (Intermountain Professional Photographers Association) is an affiliate of the PPA and was established for the Intermountain Region which includes Utah, Idaho, Colorado, Arizona, and Wyoming. Every year the IPPA puts on a three-day intensive convention for the education and inspiration of its members. There are classes, social activities, a trade show, and the print competition. Each photographer who is brave enough enters four photographs that are given a score by a panel of judges. This process can be exhilarating, or downright painful for some. I have never had the personality of a competitor, so I fall into the "painful" category. It's always difficult for me to place a photograph, in which I have invested so much time and artistic attention, before complete strangers and wait for them to tell me how I rank according to national standards. This year wasn't so bad. I received the Kodak Gallery Award for Portrait Photography with my image, Twirling.
Kodak's website says this about the award:
"Kodak introduced the Gallery Awards in 1985 as a way to honor and promote the importance and value of excellence in professional photography. The Gallery Awards are judged on a state or regional basis, with winners going on to compete at the national level for a Gallery Elite Award."
*STUNNED SILENCE* Umm..... WOW! I can't even begin to explain how cool this award is to me. Twirling also won first place in the Child Portrait category, AND I made it into the Court of Honor, which is essentially eight photographers with the highest cumulative scores. I didn't even prepare an acceptance speech. Ok, well, I'd like to thank my adorable model first, who is the definition of beauty in the flesh; Allison who gave me Painter and gives me the confidence and encouragement to continue day after day; my girls from Soderberg: you are all my kindred spirits; my parents of course, and most especially my husband who, as I was accepting my award, yelled out, "KRIS IS HOT!" I think that was almost as good as the Kodak.
Seventeen in September - Print of Distinction
Blue-Eyed Bloom - Print of Distinction
Joy Train - Accepted for Exhibit
Friday, October 26, 2007
Back in the studio! It was really nice to get back in the studio this week after all the location portraits I've been doing. These are the children of one of my most loyal clients and friend. I love creating portraits of her children, because (contrary to her opinion, I'm sure!) they are really easy to photograph. They have amazing eyes, and are well-behaved as far as kids go. I also love seeing them grow through the years. You can't help creating a certain report and trust with kids when they see you frequently, and know what to expect when they come over to have their portraits taken. A, I have some really great Christmas card ideas for these images! Keep your mind open....
Saturday, October 20, 2007
I have come to realize over the years that I am not a fast photographer. What I mean by that is that I'm not what you might think of as a photojournalist. I don't record events as a completely impartial bystander, without any influence on what is going on. I like to mold a scene to create the feeling or vision I have in my mind. Not often am I willing to call it quits before I get what I want. This can be very difficult with an unwilling subject. The little girl below happens to be 18 months old. As I stated previously, this can be one of the most challenging ages to photograph. She started screaming from the first frame I captured. She was not comfortable in her strange surroundings, or being asked to sit still without her mom. We worked with her for almost 2 hours before we finally got her comfortable enough to actually look at the camera without crying. The result was one of my favorite series of images this year. M, I have some great images of your boys, too, I can't wait for you to see them all!
I love classic family portraiture. My parents had a professional family portrait created at a location similar to this one when I was about 12 months. It's one of my favorites of our family because it's the only one my parents ever did outside. My brother and sister were about 5 and 3, and I can totally imagine how difficult a session it must have been for the photographer. There is something very unique about a location family portrait experience. Mom trying to get the children and herself ready; Dad either threatening or bribing everyone to be good and smile; the crazy expressions and sometimes tears; kids getting their nice clothes all dirty; the weather! It's all part of the memory that is preserved in the final portrait. I hope this family will remember how soggy the day was; the way we kept jumping under trees during outbursts; and the amateur elephant calls. It will certainly be one I won't forget soon!
Monday, October 15, 2007
So this weekend turned out ANOTHER rainy Saturday. Doesn't mother nature know that we photographers need nice weather on October weekends? I don't mind the clouds, but if she could just hold off on the rain until after sunset, that would be really great. I'm starting to hum "the rain may never fall till after sundown..." Anyway, this cute family gets my good sport award for tossing out all preconceived notions of how a portrait session is supposed to go, and embracing the soggy reality. We had discussed going further west into the valley (where it was not raining), but I am so glad we didn't. I'm fairly certain the park would not have had the fabulous fall color that the canyons had. We seem to have been blessed with a unusually colorful fall this year. I wonder if it has anything to do with all the rain....
Saturday, October 13, 2007
This is one of my closest friends. We've know each other since we were six (which happens to be the age of her oldest.) I have very few memories growing up that don't involve her. It was a deep honor to be able to create portraits of her family. Her girls are the kind of beautiful that makes you inadvertently stare at them. Look at those eyelashes! K, I anticipate that you will be the "cool mom" like your mom was, and your girls and their friends will respect you the same way I love and respect your mom. You'd better keep a close eye on your youngest, though, just to be safe...
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
RESCHEDULE! We had this portrait session scheduled for Saturday. Mother Nature decided to drop a snow/cold bomb on the valley that day, so we had to reschedule for today. What fortuitous circumstances be these? It was 80 degrees and sunshine all the way today, so I don't feel gypped even a little bit.
Sunday, October 7, 2007
This is my baby...well, sort of. She might as well have been. It is her senior year, and I've done much reflecting on the past seventeen years of my life, and speculating on the next few of hers. I hope that all this outstanding beauty will not spoil her, and she will remain kind, modest, and humble (yeah, right: if you looked like this would you be humble?) One can only hope. My dear sassy girl, remember that there is only one thing that really matters: your family! LOVE ATTACKS! chin chin chin
Saturday, October 6, 2007
What a classy kid! This little guy has always reminded me of those good old days when men wore suspenders and hats, and stood when a woman walked into the room. He has been a "little man" since he was a few weeks old, and I photographed him in his first bow tie. I love the ageless look of these portraits, and I can envision him pulling these out for his grandchildren. He might recall those good old days when people used digital cameras and gas was only three dollars a gallon!
Eighteen months to two years old is definitely a challenging age to photograph. The biggest challenge is getting the child to just hold still. This little guy also had an ear infection, so he was not the happiest camper for his portrait session. I was struggling to create something - ANYTHING - that I felt showed his true personality. At the end of the shoot, his mom gave him this balloon to play with to calm him down. I feel REALLY lucky that I didn't give up before these fun action portraits. B, your son is so gorgeous!
I am so fortunate to have my profession! I feel like it allows me to take a peek into the very souls of people. This portrait session was an emotional experience for me, and left me more than a little touched by the sweet people involved. As I told you before, K and M, your son now has a tiny part of my heart. Thank you again for the great privilege.
I want to start my blog with these images from a long-time friend's bridal session. I've watched this girl grow up from the time she was about eight years old. Now that she is getting married, it thrills me to see what a beautiful woman she has grown to be. We had so much fun during the creation of these images: sometimes I'd direct her, sometimes she'd make suggestions and lead me. I feel like her sparkle and soul really shines through in what we achieved together. No one could resist being cheered by your smile, B!