A photograph is worth a hell of a lot more than a thousand words…

Portrait

Kristen

I had the distinct pleasure of photographing Kristen about a month(ish) ago. I say pleasure because it really is an absolute joy to photograph someone who really enjoys being photographed. As a portrait photographer it is not uncommon to have a family come in at the insistence of one party (usually mom) or another and have the rest of the family come along begrudgingly. It doesn’t automatically mean that the photographs will be piss poor, but it does present its own set of challenges.

There was nothing begrudging about my set with Kristen. She was excited and happy to do it, and that is nearly a guarantee of non piss poor photographs. She is a photographer herself, and I am sure that lent itself to the success of the shoot at least in some measure. Her charming personality and striking good looks were also considerable factors..

She told me she isn’t fond of her profile, but personally, I love it. She has strong features and emotive expressions. The photos I have of her in profile are among my favorites of the set.

I love the multiple ear piercings. In general, I like piercings on women, so long as it doesn’t look as though they fell face first into a tackle box.
I also love the colors in her necklace and they way it draws attention to her neckline.

I have no Earthly idea what this tattoo is supposed to be…kinda looks like the side view of a butterfly, but I like the lines of it, and, at least for me, adds to her sex appeal. It is a bold and courageous location for a woman to be ink’d.

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Tattoo’d girls…

I do have a pretty serious weakness for girls with tattoos. Cheri’s back is very nearly entirely covered, and it is lovely. She is well toned and quite fit too, and that lends an additional charm to her ink.

The second photo of this series (the selective color shot) presented a bit of a problem for me as the tag of her jean was sticking out and I did not catch it during the shoot. The tag covered the turtle’s left foot and a portion of the tribal design to it’s left. The artist that created her tattoo is just that; an artist. The work is nearly perfectly symmetrical. I was able to simply copy the right foot and tribal, invert it, and paste it over the portion covered by the tag, and then made very few minor adjustments. The ease with which I was able to cover the pants tag is a testament to the tattoo artist’s skill.


I’m not a sellout, dammit.

No photograph with this post, just me running my soup cooler. I was thinking about my post a few days ago when I was lamenting not being able to photograph my own vision, and the more I think about it, the more I think that simply isn’t true. My vision goes into every photograph I create. It doesn’t matter is someone else asked me to create the photograph for them. People come to me to create their photographs because of my vision.

I remember my college professor once saying that professional photographers, those who create photographs as a means of putting food on the table have to be willing to compromise from time to time and be willing to “sell their soul just a little.” I suppose there is some truth in that, but as in everything, black and white are not critical absolutes in life. A certainty in one situation is not a guarantee of a direct translation or application to another situation no matter how similar.

My studio has been open for six months now, and if I honestly believed I was a sell out, I would close shop, get a job at a gas station and take pictures on the weekends for free. But, I just spent the last four hours sorting through the photographs that I have taken since I opened up in January (because my website is in dire need of an update), and I am finding myself having a good measure of trouble picking which photographs to include in the update.

Between January 4th and June 6th, I have taken over thirteen thousand photographs with my digital camera alone.  Granted, not all of them are winners, and about half of them are culled from the herd before I even show them to the client. But, after my sort this afternoon, I still have close to 300 of what I would call “winners,” photographs that I am happy to show to anyone. Perhaps 100 or more of them I would cheerfully enter into an exhibition…5 of them I already have plans to do exactly that.

So, I may very well be a portrait photographer for hire, squeezing friends and strangers for their hard earned dollars, but I am still quite satisfied that I am just as much an artist as when I was in college. My vision is in every photograph I create because it takes my vision to create it. My subject matter may have changed between then and now, but I still treat every subject with the same eye.

I still like photographing women sans clothes, but weddings, children, and puppies present the same opportunities for the exploration of light, line, and beauty.



Nobody likes being kissed by his sister…

…much less two of ’em.

I loved this set. I have dozens of top shelf portraits of these two young ladies and their little brother. This was towards the end of the shoot and they were just about “pictured out.”

It only took two tries for this one.

(click on the image for a larger version)


Sonya

This is Sonya. I’ve been begging her to let me photograph her for the last 6 months. My persistence paid off a couple weeks ago, and she caved. You can see why I wanted to photograph her so badly. She is angelic, she has the most beautifully exotic eyes I’ve ever had the pleasure to ponder.

There are a dozen photographs of Sonya still in my head, I hope to shoot them all soon. I know that on a personal level, each one will be the most important photograph I’ve ever created. I already know precisely how I want to light her, what lens I want to use, and exactly what I want the final image to look like.


Expressions

I admit it, I’m a sucker for pretty faces and wet hair. This was the last photograph from the set, and ended up being my favorite. There were others that are “sexier,” but this one is sensual without giving anything away. It has “that look.” I think that expression alone can make or break a portrait…this one certainly is not broken.


Lost & Found

I like this image mostly because of the heavy shadow on her face conceals her identity. She could be any woman…or all of them. I enjoy the mystery of the image, even though I know full well who it is (I was there, after all).

I was deleting old files this afternoon when I came across this one. I can’t say that I forgot I had shot it, If I see a photograph of mine, I immediately recall most of the particulars of the set, but I had not given much though to these images in more than a year and a half. I didn’t do much with them at the time I created them as I had become distracted with other projects and classwork.