Jill and Michael had their 6th anniversary a couple of days ago… she posted this photo to Facebook and I was reminded how much fun they were in front of my camera. Wonderful people, crazy in love!
Spontaneity is the word during portraits. My job is to put people in a good looking space with the best light possible… what they do from there is what makes or breaks the work. I never try to pose much beyond that… I want them as real as they can be, recognizable to themselves and their friends. Having gotten to know Jill a little better over the years, I’d say this would give you a very true sense of the relationship. ;0)
The year was 1965… the summer I was 14. Walkabout wasn’t the term we used then but it best describes the type of wandering with cameras that we did. On this sunny day, Mom and I were exploring downtown Roanoke, Virginia… a bigger place than our own town of Salem about 20 minutes away. We were near the train station and I remember she took a great shot of a man walking on the tracks… we were almost above him on an overpass and the light was snapping off of the black rails. Down on the platform I found this luggage cart… it was shot on Tri-X in a Yashica Twin Lens Reflex…. I loved that camera and used it until my last year in high school when my Nikon life began.
Fast forward to 2011… one of my goals is to archive my portfolio. This project involves culling the strongest pieces in my files so that I can create a body of work that might survive into the future. This particular negative had gotten so beaten up that I couldn’t have printed it straight… lots of scratches and holes from traveling all over the country in my many moves. I have learned to take better care of my film since but all of it will need a certain amount of coddling. The final outcome should be everything in one place, scanned, reworked and archived to last.
What I love about photographs is sharing someone else’s viewpoint… sitting behind their eyepiece. I don’t know what will happen to my work when I am gone but part of me wants to think that others will enjoy it somewhere down the road.
I think we have had four sunny days this month… I know we played hooky for two and did much needed yard work for two. Today might be one more. Our weather is a real tease this time of year but I am always grateful to live here. A few days ago, Opera Boy and I went to Woodburn to see the Tulip fields. Of course it wasn’t one of the sunny days, but tulips aren’t around all the time. I have tried twice before to be there when the fields were full of color without too many people… this time we got it right.
I took my Nikon with my 60mm but I also took my Kodak Duaflex, circa 1950, for a very different treatment. The next four images are from a merging of old camera and new camera… I hope you like the look.
The sky was as much a part of the show as the flowers… we only got a little rain but we sure were a muddy mess when we got back to the car!
Whenever possible, I go out to a venue about a week before the wedding date to check out the light. Granted, our lovely Oregon weather can be a real game changer but soft cloudy days are fine… it’s the really hard bright days that you need to be ready for.
Large and rowdy group shots at 2:00 on a sunny afternoon? You bet… let’s go over where we can get the best light. Jac and Drew came with me to approve this location… the original plan would have been pretty awful. ;0)
Work with your professional photographer… good things will happen!
April and Tim got married a very long time ago… it was the end of August in 1993. Long enough ago that Oregon vineyards were just getting to be popular. I love that this is a fairly timeless photograph… yes, her dress has sleeves but it is absolutely gorgeous and would certainly work today. Tim looks as smitten as anyone could hope for… she is stunning in the late light.
November has been quite dark… made darker for me by the face-in-computer-time, I’m sure. More than half of my brides this year were after August and before November. That makes for a lot of work all at once. Sometimes all of that work backs up in my brain and wakes me at 4:00 AM… I worry it like a manic terrier of some sort and then whoever is in charge up there wanders off to look at other things. Last night, my brain took me back to California… Laguna Seca in 2007 to be more specific. It wanted to look at this old taxi cab again… the old De Soto reminds me of so many crayons in the sunlight.
… at least that’s what they tell me. Well, I have to say that this month has been completely outta control so the blog has been wishful thinking at best.
I made the mistake of cleaning my windows on one of the early sunny days… everything was fine until I stuck my head out of the skylight and got a good look at my south roof. After a minor panic attack, we started the process of getting bids to replace the roof. This one has been on since 1981 so, yes, it was time but I thought we might be able to wait until this summer. Not so much. Now we have to wait for the lovely spring weather to clear so the guy we hired can come do the work.
Of course, in anything like house repair, one project always leads to another. ;0)
Last Saturday Opera Boy smiled as he handed me an electric drill and a flat bar… I spent the next few hours prying the first part of the old front porch off of my house. Apparently, we have decided to replace it. And then comes the paint. Sigh.
Meanwhile, March 13th was the 10 year mark for my Mom’s death. I had planned to run a beautiful little photo essay about her but the further I got into the process of scanning old photos, I realized I have a lot to say. Dad’s 20 year mark comes in May so I am thinking I might wait until I can do them both some justice.
This one is from their wedding in July, 1950… Grace H. Benson married Allan B. Bosworth… he was just out of the Navy and she was still in. They look happy to me and so very young.
Well, I’m not sure if this a a loose ends thing or just separation anxiety but I had to do it.
Yesterday was the full launch of my new website. It meant saying goodbye to my very old but much loved site… an unnerving process. It’s a little like that really soft, corduroy shirt I can’t seem to give up… it’s hanging in the back of my closet, elbows pretty thin and it certainly doesn’t fit me anymore but it’s that corduroy shirt.
The new site works well and looks pretty snazzy. Most importantly, I have the skeleton key so if I need to add or change images, I can do so and that is a real luxury. I wrote to my original designer to tell her about the switch and I could read the smiles in her reply… we had a good run. The old site was 7 years old which is like dog years in the tech world… you can look at the images and see a huge shift in quality alone. The old images were mostly film, of course, and scanned from prints which means all sorts of losses compared to today’s shoot and upload directness.
The new site will be a little sparse for a bit…I have just a few wedding galleries on there for now. I had hoped to come out of the gate in full stride but it will take some time to do it right and that makes a difference to me. The plan is to add more weddings and rework my portrait and personal archives with new galleries for those as well. The end result should tell you that I am capable of a range of good work.
Today, I pulled all of the old site jpgs out of their dusty folder and put them up into 3 small web galleries in case you want to see them. There is one for weddings, one for portraits and one for my personal work….the stuff I do for me. The shot above was an infrared day in Seattle with some good friends.I really miss infrared film but it’s nice to revisit it from a good scan like this one.
I hope you can see past the low resolution issue in the old site and just enjoy the content. As soon as I can get my taxes done and my other clients caught up, there will be new galleries to explore. And maybe my lawn will get mowed.
…there lived a little girl with an old camera. Her parents had cameras, too. Her sister had a big box of paints. Off of the worn blue kitchen there was a tiny bathroom. Her father converted it into a tiny darkroom and there was magic learned.
She named the darkroom Oz.
The years pass quickly…she finds herself in the next century still working in a darkroom named Oz only this one has a big blue monitor instead of an enlarger. It seems to be chock full of images and every one can take her back in time to the day the button was pushed… a slice of life kept for later.
My camera life has been just that — a chance to bring home parts of my experiences. I can share them with others, sometimes I can make people smile. This approach seems to work well for weddings and portrait work and certainly for my personal work. I have been a free lance professional for 22 years but photography has been my craft and my joy for about 43 years.
In this blog, I hope to share what I do and give you a good sense of who I am.
The Morning Call was a revered cafe in the French Quarter of New Orleans…I was lucky to spend some time there before they uprooted it to the suburbs. The city lost something in that move.