Some of the latest and greatest…

Here are some examples of what I’ve been up to lately…

I’m still here…

It’s amazing how time flies when you’re busy!  It’s been quite a while since I’ve posted here.  The good news is that I’ve been pretty busy shooting new images.  I’m going to share several of my recent favorites with you and commit to posting here more often than I have in the recent past.  Thank you very much for visiting here.

Remember the important things

Written Wednesday, March 2, 2011

I’ve been deep in thought over the last couple of days, remembering my childhood and being grateful for parents that gave me a good foundation to start down the path we call life. I’ve been focusing mostly on my mom. She has always been such an amazing example of service. My whole life, she has shown me how to look for opportunities to help others make their burdens lighter. Most of the time, it’s not that hard or time consuming to smile or open a door or help lift things into the car for them. The act itself may seem small to us, but to the one being helped that may be a huge thing. It might be the thing that they have been praying for. It may be the one thing that helps them turn a corner by just feeling loved or appreciated for the first time in a long time. You may never know what a difference you make by taking the time to lend a helping hand. There are opportunities for small acts of kindness every single day…just look for them, and then act on them. The beauty of service is that it isn’t a one-way street. By helping, you get big rewards too.

That’s the type of example I received growing up from both of my parents. I’m so thankful for that.

Another thing I learned from my mom is compassion. I think compassion and service go hand in hand, though you can have compassion without necessarily serving anyone. My mother, a nurse, has a lot of compassion for everyone. She loves and cares for everyone, and anyone who knows her loves her too. You can’t help it.

As I am typing this, I have a very heavy heart. I received word today that my dear, sweet mother will not be with us much longer. Her hospice nurse anticipates no more than 48 hours. Losing my father was one of the hardest things I had ever gone through up to that point in my life. It’s been over 25 years, and I am not looking forward to going through that again.

You don’t know how much someone means to you until you want to talk to them on a simple phone call, but can’t. Until you want to give them a warm hug, but can’t. Until you long to hear them tell you how much they love you and tell them how much you love them, but can’t.

Don’t let tonight pass without telling those people in your life how much they mean to you, and how grateful you are for their example and all of the support they have offered you.  You never know when it will be too late.

Mom, I will miss you more than words can express. Thank you for teaching me so much. Thank you for loving me and allowing me to love you. Your smile has always lightened my day and the memory of that smile will continue to do so forever. I love you.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

I mentioned above that you never know when it will be too late.  Please trust me on that point.  My deadline arrived this morning at 8:48 am.  I no longer have the ability to tell my mother, face to face what my feelings are for her and how important she is to me.  Thankfully, I took the chance to say goodbye before it was too late.  Today she graduated.  I will miss her so much.

Please give those you love a big hug and tell them that you love them. Don’t put so much importance on the small things, the frustrations of everyday life, the misunderstandings that seem to crop up from time to time in relationships.  None of that matters when they’re no longer with us.

The Setting Was Perfect!

Saturday evening, I had the chance to shoot another bridal session out on the Salt Flats.  The day started out with no clouds in the sky, but by the time we arrived, there were some great clouds out!  Knowing how much more interesting clouds can make an image, I got excited about the potential results.

Julia is getting married soon, but she gave me permission to post these images now.  I am very pleased with what we got!  I love shooting bridal portraits and feel very privileged to have that opportunity, especially with Julia!  We’ve shot together one other time and it was a lot of fun.  This time was even better!  We had a great time and laughed a lot.

I thought it might be a fun addition to use a few play balls to add a little texture to the pictures.  Julia liked the idea and so did the wind!  Her poor niece ended up chasing across the Salt Flats for one of the balls twice!  She was a trooper.  Speaking of Troopers…I got to know one of our brave Highway Patrolmen a little more than I wanted to on our drive out.  He pulled me over for staying in the left lane too long.  If you’re driving in Utah, learn from my lesson…don’t hang out in the left lane.  Luckily, I escaped without a ticket.  He was very nice to me.  I think it helped that Julia pulled in behind him (we were in separate cars) and told him we were going to shoot her bridals that evening.  Thanks Julia!

Anyway, I’m excited to share some of my favorites from this session with you.

Here are a few images from our first shoot together…

The Goal of Lighting Mastery Continues…

Every time I pick up a camera, I try and learn something new.  I want to become more confident in the final result of each image I shoot.

The most important ingredient for a great image is lighting.  You can have a beautiful subject and the greatest camera ever, but if you can’t see that subject because it’s too dark or if your lighting is too flat or adds no drama, you have an image that could be much better by changing one thing…the light.  I’m not only talking about artificial lights either.  Natural light is absolutely amazing!  Seeing the light in any given situation is an important part of photography.  Harnessing that light is sometimes even more important.  Chances are good that you will get into situations where the ambient surroundings look great, but because of the time of day or the specific location, there is not enough natural light to get what you want.  It’s a situation like that where having a good working knowledge of artificial lighting techniques can make the difference between an amazing, dramatic image and no image at all.

I love being able to go pretty much anywhere and still have access to near-studio quality light available whenever I need it.  Obviously working with studio lights versus Speedlights (the external flash units you put on top of your camera) can be quite different.  However, there are many times that I would prefer using Speedlights over studio lights.  There are also times where using the smaller lights renders such a great picture that you cannot tell which type of light was used.  Most of the time, I only use (or need) one Speedlight.

Here are some recent examples of all three types of lighting (natural, studio and Speedlights).  I hope you enjoy them.

Another Photo Update…

Keeping up on this blogging thing is kind of a challenge sometimes.   I want to update you on what I’ve been up to over the past while.  Things have been very busy and I’m grateful for that.  I love photography and the joy it can bring into people’s lives.  It’s always exciting to see what you end up with after a photo session.  It’s always like opening a present…you never know what you’ve really got until you see it on the computer monitor and start editing.

I’ve had some really fun shoots recently with really great people!  Here are some examples…

Hadyn the Cutie! (Mom and Dad too…)

I had the fun chance to do a family shoot with Ricki, Tyler and cute little Hadyn.  What an amazing family!  They were all very cheerful, even Hadyn, who hadn’t had a nap that day.

We had a great time and ended up with some pictures that were intended for Christmas presents (though I hear Ricki just had to share some of them with her Mom already).

Here are a few of my favorites.

Windy Salt Flats Bridal Session

A while ago, I had the opportunity to go out to the Salt Flats for a bridal shoot with Erika.  I was really looking forward to working with Erika.  We had only met on the phone and I could tell from talking to her that she had a great personality!

As the day arrived for the shoot, I got a little concerned.  The weather was not cooperating.  On top of that, the freeway out to the site was closed, due to a police shooting.  As we made our way past that incident, we had to contend with 3 separate fires and 50+ mph winds.  Needless to say, it was a hectic evening!

I didn’t know what to expect once we got to our destination.  I was hoping that there would be some sort of clearing from the blowing salt, smoke and dust clouds…we got lucky!  The location I had planned on was clear of those things, but the wind was terrible!  I asked Erika if she wanted to give it a try and she said “we’re already here, let’s go for it!”  That’s exactly what we did.  I went out on the salt to scout for an acceptable location and I found a small bit of water coming out of the salt.  I thought that could be pretty cool looking in a shot, so thats where we got started on the “official” shoot.

I had a great assistant with me, Denise Kerby Harkey and Erika had her trusted friend and roommate with her.  I could not have done this without them!  Literally!  The winds were way too strong.

We ended up having a great time and got some fun and unique shots (I think).  I’ll let you be the judge.

This is the one she chose for her main Bridal Portrait

This is the one she chose for her main Bridal Portrait

What’s been happening lately…

It’s been so busy lately (thankfully) that I haven’t put anything up in a while!

So here’s a photo recap of some of the people and places I’ve had the opportunity to photograph recently.

Bridals at the Dunes

Kelsey is not only a beautiful bride, she is also the hair stylist of another bride I had the chance to work with, Brittnie.  I met her as she was doing Brittnie’s hair for her wedding.  After looking at a few of  Brit’s bridals at the Salt Flats, Kelsey asked if I would do her bridals too.   I was excited and told her ABSOLUTELY!  She mentioned that she wanted to go to the Sand Dunes here in Utah.  I had never been there before, but it sounded like a great place for bridals!

As we were traveling out to the dunes, we accidentally missed a turn.  While we were driving on the “wrong road,” I looked to over and saw a float-like rocket ship on a trailer.  Then I saw a bunch of old cars and the front of an older gas station, then more old trucks and cars.  I pulled over and asked if that would be a location of interest to Kelsey.  She agreed to give it a shot (no pun intended…well maybe a little one).

I think we accidentally found the mecca of photo backdrops!  It was amazing!  Everywhere you turned, there were more interesting things!

We ended up staying there for about 90 minutes and could have stayed a lot longer, but I think it was worth every minute.

We decided we should head to the dunes as we had initially intended.  When we finally arrived at the dunes (it was a little further than we had thought), the sun was starting to set and the wind was blowing pretty hard.  Fine sand and everything electronic do not mix well, but that’s another story!

We started shooting right away and we were really pleased with how things started looking.

Here are some samples of that evening’s images.

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