All of our teenagers are probably the single most photographed generation ever. Most of them don't go through 1 day without taking a selfie or having a cell phone image taken by someone else.
It's fabulous really. All these moments are taken and shared and digitally stored (we hope) to be looked at for years to come.
From my perspective, the only thing that is missing in this photo crazed world is the more personal framed print. The heirloom type of wall piece that our teen's children and grandchildren can enjoy. We will value that print even more 25 years from now when social platforms change, cell phone data has long been lost or deleted, and the popular filters are waaaay out of style.
A framed print is more like an art piece featuring just to your senior or teen. It is for them, about them, and of them. Let's take these moments and make them something that is tangible for many years.
Your future family will thank you. :)
This project is not about me or my photography. I'm using my blog as a vehicle to let my long time friend tell his story of survival day by day.
He is the photographer. He will tell his story and I will post it in blog posts as I receive it.
From his November 17th 2017 GoFundMe:
I was born with Cystic Fibrosis, a chronic lung condition that slowly strips the lungs ability to take oxygen out of the air. I have struggled with it my entire life.
Cystic Fibrosis has damaged his lungs so much that he is in need of a double lung transplant. Even if you have insurance, aftercare money plays a huge part in the patient selection process of transplant programs.
Here is Bob with more on his experience so far.
Here is his GoFundMe. As he explained in the video, this crowdfunding campaign is essential to help him get the life saving procedure he needs.
He's done all he can to care for and manage his disease himself. Now it's our turn to help.
Please donate what you can, share it with who you know, and pray to whomever you pray to.
Follow this collaborative project in my Photo Essay page.
I haven't been shooting a lot lately. Sometimes life gets in the way of art and business.
This is just a quick snap I did on a trip this week. It's not wonderful photography, but, it's a place and time that speaks volumes about life and friendship.
It represents where he and I are, right now, this week, at this point in our lives.
Photography is a great communicator and while I could do a whole photo essay project on this issue ....right now life is in the way. If I'd had more time there, the following narrative is what I'd try to say in photos......
This is my friend Bob who I stopped to see on Wednesday when I was in NC. He has Cystic Fibrosis.
He is giving me a sassy face (by my request) because, for the last 32 years, that is what Bob does when we chat. He gets sassy with me. 😂😂
Bob cannot get on a transplant list if he cannot show enough funds to cover the after care.
He will die without the transplant.
A $20 donation to his gofundme will give him a shot at life and will not cause you to live in poverty for eternity.
Please donate what you can, share his gofundme link with everyone you know, and pray to whomever you pray to.
The wild beauty of the upper Delaware River is something that I've admired and photographed for many years. This river has been one of my favorite places all of my life.
One of my regular summer activities has been tubing on the river. Floating along the top of the water has given me a broader understanding of the landscapes under the water.
I've never been a diver, or even a snorkeler, but what I've seen down there is such an incredible site that I am going to learn how to explore it much more.
This is a short collection of images I shot this month with the equipment that I have at the moment.
We need to ban fracking in the Delaware River Basin to protect this pristine and wondrous place.
If you'd like to see more of this evolving personal project, the full gallery is on this page Underwater Landscape Photography
Creative portrait photography gives you an opportunity to express something. It gives you a moment to freeze time and show, in depth, the beauty of who you are.
Who are you? Where are you in life? What, or who, do you love? What do you hate? Where do you want to go?
Answering any of that in a creative photo is like a 1,000 word essay done in a fraction of a second.
It’s a fabulous form of communication, even if you never show anyone and you only communicate it to yourself.
Maybe you are unhappy about your weight and you’d like to do something that motivates you to change. Maybe you just had a baby and you’d like to capture something that expresses your life right at this moment. Maybe you are recently divorced or in a new relationship and you want to capture exactly what that is like right at this moment in time. Maybe you are like me and you just like to explore images of who you are over time.
It can all be done and it is sooooo worth doing.
Be real, be raw, be gritty, be brave, be beautiful, and show me who you are.
All my photos are delivered fully edited and with basic or full retouching. They are ready to print at the time of delivery. However, I am always happy to assist my customers with input for post portrait session services.
Maybe you need a different crop, maybe you need an expert opinion, and maybe you just want some design help. No problem. I’ve been in photography since I printed all my own photos in a dark room and I give my opinion freely. So, here are some opinions…..
So now that you have your beautiful new portraits, now what? Well, photo printing online is a fabulous thing. You can get everything from fast one hour services to high quality photo prints all by clicking a few buttons.
I like to leave the photo printing to the photo printing professionals the same way I leave lens manufacturing to Canon. I am an expert in my part of the process and they are the experts for their parts of the photography process.
For high quality photo prints, I like to use Adorama. Their Adoramapix site is easy to use, their customer service has always been great, and they print pictures with great care. Their quality to price position is very reasonable as well and, if you are patient, they tend to run coupons and sales specials frequently.
Bayphoto is also a contender in the high quality photo prints arena. If I find a great need, I’ll rearrange my website to include online ordering right through them since they provide that type of print services access. I don’t use them as much as Adorama, but, their services and pricing has always been great.
If you simply need things fast, we are all aware of Walmart’s photo center. I don’t like the quality as much, but, if you don’t need high end processing then they are a convenient choice.
Once you get your printed image, you may need to take a look at picture framing services. Some of the photo printing businesses include picture framing options and some do not.
I’ve always had mixed results with those services. Sometimes it’s decent work and sometimes the image slips around in the frame because they didn’t adhere it correctly. I really hate that type of oversight.
In general, there is a level of perfection that tends to be overlooked with bulk framing services. After some frustration results I had been doing all my own framing, UNTIL, I met an artisan framer whose work is worth every single penny.
So, if you want my opinion, Picture Perfect Framing in Hawley PA is the place to go with anything and everything that needs to be framed. He is an amazing framing expert. I don’t even give him much input unless the piece is for a show. I just let him work his magic and I’ve never been disappointed!
If there is a better framer in the tristate area, I haven’t met them yet.
And there you have it all in a nutshell. Post portrait session services if you need them.
Do you have any questions? Have you had any experiences with these services? Leave me a comment below!
Celebrate a beautiful mom in your life with a personalized private portrait session just for her!
The gift certificate will be good for one session booked within one year of purchase.
If you have any questions, comments, or concerns feel free to contact me! Happy Mother's Day everyone!
Outdoor portraits are bit of a crap shoot if you don't have a plan. Even with a plan, you often don't know exactly what you will get with the environmental variables. With a little patience though, this type of photography is often spectacular!
Here are my thoughts of making great outdoor portraits:
Sunrise and early mornings: Usually this is great light with interesting skies. The dew in warmer months is a nice touch and the frost/snow in cooler months shimmers nicely. The downside is that you have to get up wicked early and the time is short.
Midday: Two scenarios which include: 1. Harsh sun that requires some artificial or natural shade, or 2. Overcast diffused light.
More people are more active at this time too so car and pedestrian traffic can make it a little tricky. We can use harsh light to make a mood for the portraits, but, that is often not the intent of the subject so diffusers and fill lights can be used to provide more even areas. An overcast sky diffuses the light for us, but, often makes the sky areas boring. I consider that when composing an image.
Sunset is generally going to be the best time to make an interesting and dramatic image, especially when the sky is going to be included. Don’t count out nighttime for great portraits either though. Really amazing things can happen after dark (especially in the winter) and it sets us up to makes very unique photos! This is one reason that I like to schedule these shoots later in the day. That way you get the benefit of strong light, sunset light, and a dark sky. Everything is there, and, we don’t have to get up at 5am!
At any time of day, a landmark that is itself interesting, or, holds significance to the subject(s) gives the portrait a positive boost. Sometimes these places require some permission and sometimes not. Reflectors and lights are generally must haves, at least for backup, so it’s tough to be stealthy in public places and permission (when needed) is essential for a successful shoot.
Have you had a headshot done before? Show it to me so we can improve on it. If not, show me some headshot samples that you like.
Then we look at you. Are you a business type? A creative type? Is there a theme to what you need?
Headshots for professionals:
Generally speaking, most professionals will do well to wear clothes that they feel great in and would generally wear in their professional environment. Try for solid neutral colors with no logos or busy patterns. Hair, make-up and jewelry should be clean and simple, but, also reflect your day to day style.
Since this is a head shot, we will be photographing you from just below the shoulders and up. Keep that in mind when deciding on an outfit. Necklines, collars, ties: will be much more important than belts unless you have a longer style preference, or, we need to match an existing style that is waist up. The ultimate goal is for people to recognize you when they seek out your services.
My general inclination will be to go with a clean bright white background with even flattering light. This lends itself well to social media profile images, print advertising, websites, etc., etc. It’s classic and easy to reproduce if you add staff or need to change your images in a few years.
Headshots for creatives, athletes and any non-corporate needs:
Grab your instrument, tiara, paint brushes, football, or latest book and come on down! Headshots for creative types need to add a little zing. What that is depends on the usage and what you are trying to portray with your creative endeavors.
If you are into: pageants, acting, make-up and hair styling, you will likely want to punch up the image with hair, clothing, make-up and lighting. Musicians, performers, and artists can take a peek at Rolling Stone cover images to get some great ideas for both traditional and non-traditional headshots of creative people.
Modeling is a little different. The wise people over at Model Mayhem have a great article (or two, or three) on the subject so I defer to them on this one: http://www.modelmayhem.com/education/modeling/1882-building-your-portfolio
All the same ideas for professionals apply to creative people, but, you may want to add an edge.
So, send me your old headshots, let me know what you will be using the new ones for, and we’ll put together some ideas!!
Studies have shown it only takes one-tenth of a second for someone to draw conclusions about you based on your photo, and, on dating sites the text is less than 10% of what people think of you.
Wow! Now THAT is some harsh stuff.
So, how do we win someone over in less than one second online? Well, here are some photographic tips from my online research.
Dating Sites: Online Dating Profile Photos
LinkedIn Profile Photos
Social Media Profile Photos in General
Should you use smart phone photos? Absolutely.
Should you use group photos? It depends on the context.
Should you throw professional photos into the mix? Without a doubt!
Here is a little social media profile photo test I (very unscientifically) conducted.
With no tricks or crazy props, the studio shot had a 400% gain in likes IN TWO DAYS! It’s not all that different from the others. They are all black and white portraits. They are all simple and clean shots. There are no filters or wild expensive accessories.
It was simply a clean, clear, sharp, flattering version of him……and it worked!
So let’s put your best face forward! Call me to book your mini session.
Photographing the world around us.