Sisters through the Years

I’ve been privileged to establish long-term professional relationships with some of my clients, capturing important moments for their families over several years. Many of them have also become personal friends with whom I’ve enjoyed watching their families grow.

I began taking portraits of the Jones sisters back in 2008, when I shot Stephanie’s senior portrait.

 

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Stephanie

 

When it came time to shoot her sister Natalie’s portrait in 2010, their mom Shelly thought it would be great to get a portrait of all three girls, including the youngest, Katharine.

 

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Natalie

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So we continued the tradition when it came time to do Katharine’s senior portrait in 2012, taking shots of each sister as well as a group portrait.

 

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Katharine

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Stephanie

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Natalie

 

 

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I loved the opportunity to get to know this family and watch the daughters grow into young women. They’re all polite and were terrific fun during our portrait sessions. As Stephanie graduates from college, Katharine prepares for her freshman year. And over the years, Shelly and I have developed a good friendship. It would be thrilling to capture future milestones, such as weddings and family gatherings. Who knows—maybe I’ll be able to help them start gathering memories of their own children. A real “circle of life”.

 

 

 

Avery’s First Shoot

From the moment I met Avery, I knew this was going to be a fun shoot. She was happy, willing, and very confident in her very first professional portrait session. Her parents were eager to capture Avery’s early months. We played a bit together, along with her parents, to make sure she was comfortable. But soon she took it all in stride—the studio, the lights, the camera. Not a big deal to the budding “diva”.

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“Patience” is the key to getting just the right shot of an infant or toddler. They set the pace. You often have to be on your toes and be aware of their movements and moods.  One of Avery’s favorite toys at the session was some Christmas bells. So, we just let her play with them and were rewarded with some great images.

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In a previous session with a baby whose father was in the military, I used a patriotic theme that sent a supportive message. I decided to try one here because it just looked cute. She seemed to take it in with an all-American bear!

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Babies often contemplate the wonders of their own beings as they discover fingers, toes, noses and ears. Avery was no different, as she seems to study her own fingers. It almost looks like she is counting.

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I can imagine years from now her sitting for a professional business portrait. If I shoot it, I’d love to match it against this one for focus and thought:

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I hope to be able to chronicle Avery’s growth as I have followed other families’ children. It’s one of the joys of professional photography, and why I do it.

Horse Picturer

Camryn and Dillon

Camryn and Dillon

I’ve always admired horses and their riders and trainers. That’s why equine photography is one of my specialties.

Horses are at once noble and playful, shy and show-off. Each has its own personality. I see them as living beings with feelings, talents, likes and dislikes (kind of like us humans) along with their own unique equine inclinations. When you look a horse in the eye, you see a kind of nobility, a presence that few other animals possess.

My first “formal” shots of horse and rider came at the Olympic Games in Los Angeles in 1984. Ever since, I’ve been shooting them in a variety of settings, from competitive jumping events to just rollicking in the pasture. Although I love snapping them just being horses, there’s a special attraction to seeing horse and rider in sync, either performing in a show arena or taking care of business on a cattle drive. I sense the excitement of the jumping ring, the serenity of the prairie, or the concentration on the job at hand through the horse’s demeanor.

There is a special bond between horse and rider. They feel each other’s emotions. They share joy, fun, intensity. But as with many animals, you have to be alert and ready to take a shot without any posing. The photo here was taken after a training ride by Camryn and her horse “Dillon”. I literally just turned around and shot this moment, with the light filtering in perfectly from the high windows of the arena. This moment seemed to capture the connection perfectly, and it’s one you either get, or you don’t.

Choosing the Right Wedding Photographer

TorresKing01026027MAOAPWEBI always consider it an honor to be chosen to take wedding pictures.  That’s because I know that a couple trusts me to capture a truly once-in-a-lifetime happening in their lives.  It’s quite a responsibility, so I am a big supporter of choosing carefully.

The first thing I recommend is to choose someone who “feels” right You’ll have to depend on them to know their business and get the right shots, with the right lighting…all the technical stuff to be sure.  But you’ll also have to work with this person openly, sometimes under stressful circumstances.  If you don’t feel comfortable talking to and being with that person, it might not be the right fit.

The best photographers are client-focused:  that is, they take the time to really listen and understand the look and feel you want and create a shooting plan that will get it.  It also means adjusting to your budget constraints.

The best photographers are flexible and creative.  They make plans for the locations, people and lighting.  But if they see different opportunities present themselves, they can take advantage of them or adapt to unexpected events.  I once took an entire wedding party in their ceremony attire up the side of a mountain to shoot what promised to be a truly unusual group portrait.  It began to rain, but everyone took it in stride and we ended up with some stunning images and had fun doing it.

Finally, the best photographers work with you after the wedding to make sure what you get what you want. I don’t like to rush the after party, so to speak, because I know that the couples and their families are to a great extent reliving the event as they view the images.  All the fun and meaning comes back. I’ve also found that when couples and their families see the proofs, they can often change their minds or get new ideas of what they like.  I think that’s important, too, because you want to make sure they get the best memories of their special time.

In short, there is more to choosing a photographer than just getting a good picture-taker.  This is someone with whom you’ll have a trusting and somewhat lasting relationship, so think carefully.