Friday, June 29, 2012

Serendipity Bridal Session

In March, I had the pleasure of working with Serendipity Bridal, in Springfield, Missouri. We created stories with some of her lovely products.

Serendipity bridal specializes in custom wedding flowers and fans, but also designs and creates veils, head pieces, and other accessories for the beautiful bride.

Are you a bride-to-be and in the market for one-of-a-kind, gorgeous accent pieces? Be sure to browse the lovely work at Suzanne's website as part of your quest:

Make up was artfully applied by Michelle Cron of Michelle Cron Artistry:

And, our lovely model is Melodie. I have had the good fortune of working with Melodie many times. She's just as beautiful and engaging on the inside as she is on the outside.

The trick to photographing these kinds of products is to make sure they receive the primary visual attention while also making sure the photo is flattering to our model. During this shoot, we also had quite a stiff wind engaging our problem-solving skills (keeping hair, clothing, products, and lights steady).

You can see lots of Serendipity Bridal's work featured in the Summer 2012 issue of Metropolitan Bride magazine, on newsstands, now. If you snoop around the issue, you will also see Melodie featured in their ad.

Here are a few shots from our session.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

6 Tips to Help You Look Better in Front of the Camera

I know you. You avoid the camera like the plague, because you think you are not photogenic. You untag yourself in every Facebook photo, because you don't really look like that. Yes, I know you.

There are lots of contributing factors to your camera-fright, but posing is the big culprit, here. Unless you spend lots of time modeling, you may not know much about posing. Posing is hard work, as many models can attest. Just about every woman wants to look taller, slimmer, younger, and more beautiful. Fortunately, there are six quick and simple tips I can share with you, the non-model, to help you look amazing next time you find yourself in front of the unexpected camera. If not amazing, then, at least a whole lot better.

1. Stand up straight. Good posture is slimming and flattering.

2. Turn at a slight angle from the camera. Facing the camera, straight on, makes the body look its widest. A slight angle is more slimming and forgiving.

3. Place your weight on your back leg and bend your front leg, slightly. The back leg is away from the camera, making it appear smaller, and the bent front leg has relaxed muscles, which makes it slimmer. The bend also adds a lovely S-shaped curve, which is more interesting than a straight line.

4. Relax your shoulders. People hold tension in their shoulders. Relaxing them not only relaxes the muscles but also elongates the neck, which is also slimming.

5. Bring a bit of space between your arms and body. Smashing arms against the body makes them wide. Adding space between arms and body reveals the silhouette of the waist, which is slimming. When arms are at the sides of the body, they become the width of the body. The natural hourglass is obscured. Bringing them away reveals the waist and showcases the hourglass, which is flattering.

6. Smile with your eyes. When you do so, it is a natural expression, and very engaging. You've seen those dead-eye "say cheese" smiles from unnamed family portraits; not too engaging.

Give these a try. Let me know how it goes!

Who Are You?

What do you do and who do you do it for? 

That's a question we all likely struggle with, myself, included. Photography has become a lovely way to not only express myself, but also to help me answer the question, "Who are you?". And, by "you," I mean you, the person reading this.

You see, as artists, we gravitate toward our inner core. We all have insatiable urges to touch our inner core, because most of us have lost contact with it, somewhere along the way.

Artists have to start the process, somewhere, so we begin with the question, "What looks pretty to us?". I like the subject of people, so depicting the human form in beautiful ways is my response.

From there, we often get the urge to look beyond the immediate, two-dimensional visual gratification and search for a third dimension -- message; particularly, what is meaningful to us. We can only do this by mining our vast life history to reverse-engineer that path to our inner core -- and your inner core.

For example, if one struggles with insecurity issues, he might find ways to honor and reflect those feelings or, conversely, find ways to snub their nose at insecurity and show personal empowerment within the image, and see the person they want to be. We put out there what we want to attract. If you struggle with insecurities, you will identify with the stories within those images.

Who is more qualified to reflect your personal story than someone who is empathetic to you?

Who am I? I'm a visual artist, telling intense personal stories through compassionate eyes. My work is thoughtfully bold.

Who do I do this for? I connect with anyone who needs an empathetic and beautiful voice to tell their unique story.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Make a Connection

Here is one of the secrets to life (I'm going to get deep on you):

People just want to make a connection with other people.

When you look at a photograph, like this one of Cindy, you may be asking: who is this girl, why is her hair pink, where is she, what is she looking at, what time of day is it, what is she thinking?

What life experiences have led her to this moment?

Here's how people make that connection: they recognize themselves in that other person.

You want to see aspects of yourself, because it validates our own experiences and our own existences. You may be thinking about a time when you had this daydream expression. What were you thinking about?

As human beings, we need this validation, whether it comes from friends, family, or peers. Otherwise, we open ourselves up to feelings of uncertainty about ourselves and our decisions in life (if no one else is doing it, are we doing it, correctly?). I think photography not only freezes time, but has the power to allow this validation. That's pretty powerful, in my opinion.