Up the Spiral

Busy week! I’ve got some cool blog posts in the works, but for now enjoy this twirling wonder of Parisian Architecture. This spiral staircase is located at Panthéon and leads down to the crypt that is the final resting place of many French artists, politicians, scientists, and military heros. It’s a pretty amazing place. That spiral goes up about 8 stories and is only about 6 inches in diameter.

Twist’s Look Book

Here’s another shoot that I’ve been holding on to for a while now. Last summer, Portland based jewelry and craft store, Twist, hired me to shoot a lifestyle inspired look book for the landing pages of their new website redesign. Twist was drawn to my clean, natural, technical style of photography and felt I was a good fit for what they were looking for. Since the shots were to be focused on the jewelry, I shot a majority of them with a macro lens. I was shooting pretty shallow and nailing the focus was super critical. It’s tricky to do with live models, but that’s why you shoot a lot (over 2000 RAW files in a day).

To make a shoot like this come off fun and easy looking, it takes more than technique, models, stylists, and props. You actually have to put a lot of your own positive energy into it. As the photographer, you’re leading the vibe and if you’re in a great mode, then everyone else is. You have to be mentally in it all day long and treat it almost like it’s a performance. End of the day, it simply makes the job easier to be positive and I think that gets you better shots. It also helped that I had super talented people to work with and great clients who really contributed in the creative process.

I’m really happy how they shots came out and think they look awesome on their new website which went live this month. Here are some screen shots.

And here are some outtakes that I really liked and wanted to share. Looking forward to refreshing my lifestyle portfolio with some of these shots.

Credits:

Models – Tanisha Payne, Kelsey Dunn, & Brandi HicksOption Model and Media
Hair & Makeup – Katherine Ross
Wardrobe – Peggi Jeung

Flight (Diptych)

I’ve been looking at these two photos for a while now and thought I would post them separately. They are some of my favorite shots from our trip to London last fall. I  was trying to decide which one I liked better and kept flipping back and forth between the two. Then I put them side by side and that’s when it hit me that they worked great together as a diptych. I’m not a master at diptychs, but I really like them. I don’t usually put black & white shots side by side with color, but I like the context of the two. Reminds me of our time traveling through Europe.

If you click on the image, it will enlarge to fill your screen.

Lady in Blue Walking Through

One thing that is nice about shooting film, (Kodak Portra 400 in this instance) is that it is what it is. With digital, especially RAW files, you have to always tweak something. Add a little contrast, desaturate the reds, add clarity, etc. etc. True, you can tweak film scans, but the basic color and tonal range is more there than a RAW file is right out the camera. Plus, shooting with that little Lomo, it just does magical things with the focus.

I shot this a week or so at the Portland Japanese Garden. Amazing place… highly recommend it if you’re visiting or haven’t gone before. Spring time is coming up and the blooms are quite beautiful here.

A Tiny House in Martha Stewart Living

I had a hard time coming up with the right anecdote about this shoot featured in Martha Stewart Living. There are so many ways to describe it. It was the smallest house I’ve ever shot featured in the biggest magazine I’ve ever been in. It’s funny how the simplest shots take the longest time. Jessica Helgerson is an amazing interior designer! The house was so small, that for one shot I had to shoot from a window outside. I used strobes, daylight, hot lights, and incandescent lights. I retouched the shots to make them look more natural. I shot this almost a year ago and had to wait till now to show them off. It just goes on and on.

I say this a lot, but I’m very proud of this project, how the photos turned out, and that it was published in a great magazine that really highlights photography. But, I certainly can’t take all the credit.  Without Jessica Helgerson’s design talent and eye for styling, these shots would just be okay. Collaborating with her brings the work to a whole new level and I am thrilled we’re both receiving recognition on a national level. She definitely deserves it and I feel very grateful that I get to photograph her projects. Here are the rest of the pages and the shots on their own. Enjoy.

 

 

Understanding Photo Insurance

Insurance – Liability, Shoot Insurance, and Riders/Binders

“Liability refers to your basic insurance package you must have to cover loss or damage to your equipment, and to protect your personnel.

Shoot insurance is a more costly type of insurance that will cover you in the event you need to reshoot a job.

Riders/Binders cover the additional insurance costs involved when you rent a very expensive piece of equipment, or want to shoot on a location where the owner wants to be named as additionally insured on your policy in case anything happens to their property.”

That and a lot more great advice on Estimating Expenses – photo.net.

If you need insurance and you’re an ASMP member, try out Taylor & Taylor Insurance for Photographers.

X Marks the Spot

Click Here to Buy a Print

Big images are back! I’m very excited about this latest tweak to the photoblog portion of my blog. I like the 2 column sidebar layout for my normal blog posts, but for my fine art work, I really wanted to have bigger images. It took a little fancy PHP “if this {”  and “else {”  of the template, but it worked. Now I just have to go back through 400 some odd posts and replace the small images for large ones. Oh joy.

About this photograph: I’ve only shot aerials once, but it was a lot of fun. I can see why photographers like Cameron Davidson specialize in it. It’s incredible way to see our world and the patterns that emerge naturally or man made. Since I didn’t have access to a helicopter in Paris, I had to settle for the Eiffel Tower. I think we’re pretty close to the top looking down on the Champs de Mars. I like how the road and the park form an X.

Hey, if you like this shot, head over to my archive and buy a high quality fine art print. It’ll look great on your wall. All my fine art prints are now hand printed in Portland, Oregon on high quality Hahnemühle paper.