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Friday, November 5, 2010

Random act of Kindness & Generosity (Utah Family Photography)

Sometimes I'm completely blown away by the generosity of others. This evening I got to help my long-time friend, fellow U of U art department graduate, and photographer with her family portraits. We went to a local urban street, and I was setting up in front of what appeared to be an abandoned building. Imagine my surprise when two charming men popped out of the doorway, and asked what we were doing. I asked if we could have permission to shoot in front of their building, and they kindly said, "Sure!" After we were done there, one of the gentlemen asked if I would like to see a really cool brick wall to use. We followed him through an alley-way and finished up our little portrait session. I was kind of in "photo" mode, so I didn't really look around until after we were done. The place was amazing! Graffiti walls, old peeling paint, brick and plaster everywhere... and I could tell it was all done to accommodate portraits. Come to find out, the gentleman is Al Thelin, another local photographer who has been teaching photography for over 20 years, and has at least double that experience behind the camera. He basically let me have access to his private outdoor studio free of charge for about an hour. What an amazing individual, and what an awesome experience.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Pure Genius

I've been following Joe McNally's blog, and I tell you it is as good for me as church. This is a man who has been doing this blessed and accursed profession for over 30 years, and is pretty much a photography God. His post today is about common photographic mistakes, and I just about stood up out of my chair shouting "AMEN, Brother, I believe!" Check it out - you'll be a believer too.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Not Always Perfect (Utah Family Photography)

After a very fun session with six crazy kids, I was talking to their dad about photography, and some of the concerns I have about the current direction professional photography seems to be heading. We were discussing the recent phenomenon that has hundreds of people becoming hired photographers without any professional training, and very little experience. I related how I've spent the last 12 years getting every educational experience I could, and what a perfectionist I am with my own images - striving eternally for the perfect light, the perfect composition, the perfect expressions, etc. He seemed a little surprised and said, "Yeah, but I've always thought you were a pretty laid-back photographer. You always seem to capture my kids exactly as they are."

I've thought a lot about what he said. I don't consider myself a "life-style" or "photojournalistic" photographer. Most of the images I create are fairly planned and molded. I like to be able to control the variables and end with something timeless and beautiful. His comment made me remember that sometimes the unplanned portrait can be the best one after all. That being said, I will say that I think the image below has some awesome lighting, decent composition, and you can't beat those expressions! Pretty near perfection if you ask me. Thanks B&J. Good luck in your coming adventure.