School Break Photo Special

I’ve been neglecting my camera while in school this summer, and since my photography is how I communicate with the world, I’ve been feeling like something has died.

So, I decided to have a special during the break before fall semester starts. The details are in the photo below.  Please call or email me if you have any questions.  I try to make everything really simple, but simple in my head doesn’t necessarily mean simple to others…isn’t that weird?

Here’s a link to some location ideas that I’ve put together, but there are lots more possibilities and I’m willing to go anywhere in the Valley or the nearby Ogden/Morgan/North Ogden area. 🙂

http://www.illuminephotography.com/speciallocations

Page03_webHere’s a link to more of my Headshot work, just in case you’d like it.

http://www.illuminephotography.com/headshots_presskit

Sundance 2013: Shoot, Edit, Eat, Sleep, Repeat.

I have been dragging my feet a bit writing this post just because there is SO much to say and I’m not really sure how much of it people want to hear.  However it’s time to take the plunge so here goes.  First of all yes, I have seen celebrities at least one of which I recognized all by myself and didn’t have to be told who they were…moving on.  For Sundance 2013 I am working for the Creative Services Department of the Sundance Institute as a full-time Park City photographer.  So what that means is that I have a daily schedule of events that I cover, average of 3 or so a day and then I have an extensive shot list that I need to capture between events as well as, of course, being on the look out for anything interesting.  Our shot list includes pretty much everything you can think of.  Images of venues, signage, people having fun, volunteer/staff doing their jobs, etc. etc.  When I have breaks between events I rush back to edit and turn in my images as fast as I can and then head back out.  I haven’t yet seen any films as it’s really hard to find a three-hour block of time free but I am hoping to go see Austenland on Thursday.  The other film I wanted to see is Twenty Feet from Stardom but I’ve missed it.  Fortunately the director was at a shindig I photographed and he announced that the film has been picked up so I will hopefully see it in the future.  For the sake of a storyline I think I will just go through the festival as I’ve experienced it.

01_15_2013 Sundance30I arrived in Park City on Tuesday Jan. 15th and checked in.  I was trying to shoot check-in while I actually checked in and that didn’t go over too well as I didn’t yet have my credentials.  So I grabbed the credential, shot as I went, and then finished checking in.  It was a challenge to manage all my gear and all the stuff they were handing me but I prevailed AND got the shots.

CredsThese are my credentials and I love them so!  I can get into pretty much anything I want, it’s fun!  As you walk around the festival people look at you and then you notice their eyes migrating down.  No, they aren’t being pigs, they want to see who you are.  It makes me giggle in my head every time.

Wednesday the 16th found me on a tour of Park City with the other photographers and our drivers.  Yes, that’s right, I have a driver.  Though to be honest I mostly get myself to where I need to go by either using the shuttles or walking.  You miss the whole festival ambiance {in my humble opinion} if you get driven everywhere.  I love festival ambiance.  Here’s a cell phone pic of the Creative Services champagne toast to kick off the festival.

toastWe had an opening night Volunteer/Staff party at the Legacy Lodge.  Sundance knows how to treat you here.  It was crazy packed and yes I minorly panicked with my claustrophobia but all in all it was a lovely night.

volpartyMy best friend Josh {who is the one who got me involved with Sundance in the first place} and I got to redeem our photo booth experience from two years ago.  I love us!

volparty201_17_2013 Artist_Table76My first official event was the An Artist at the Table Reception.  It is the biggest fundraiser of the year for Sundance.  Here you see festival director John Cooper kicking off the festival with a champagne toast.

01_17_2013 DayOne33After that was the Day One Party, again at the Legacy Lodge for all the importants.  Another mad crush which led me to traversing {and getting lost in} the back stairwells and kitchens and who knows where else.  The kind staff helped me get out.

One of my events on the 18th was the The Gatekeepers Q&A at the Temple theatre.  I only got to see the last few minutes of the film but it looked very intense and the Q&A made me want to see it.  I understand that Direcor Dror Moreh has been nominated for an Oscar.  He’s very nice in person.

01_18_2013 GatekeepersQA25On the 19th I was able to photograph the Q&A for Inequality for All and once again the questions made me want to see this very much.  Many members in the audience said that they were moved to tears.  Here’s the official Sundance blurb.

“In this timely and entertaining documentary, noted economic policy expert Robert Reich distills the topic of widening income inequality and addresses the question of what effects this increasing gap has on our economy and our democracy.

In this image Robert Reich is holding the microphone and director Jacob Kornbluth is on the right.

01_19_2013 Inequality20I also took time Saturday night to wander up and down main street enjoying the insanity and taking atmosphere shots.  I had a blast!  People are nuts and I got to be nuts right along.  Drag queens, people filming, people jumping in front of people filming, jay walking every second, celebrity chasers, running into my brother who’s up here working for Deseret News and a really really really nice gentleman who saw that my hands where freezing and gave me the nicest ever pair of convertible fingerless gloves.  Whoever you are I’d love you to know that there is nothing in the entire world that I wanted/needed more at that moment than those gloves and I am determined to pay your kindness forward.

01_19_2013 MainStreet20On the 20th I photographed the Patron Circle reception.  Morgan Neville, the director of Twenty Feet from Stardom {which I really, really want to see}  announced that it has been picked up.  Yay!

01_20_2013 PCircle57This brings us to yesterday {the 21st, and thank heavens we’re getting close to being caught up}.  This was my busiest day so far with four events.  My last one was the Q&A for Narco Cultura, a documentary by director Shaul Schwarz about the rising influence of Mexican drug cartels in popular culture on both sides of the border.  The Q&A made me want to see this one too, I really like documentaries.

01_21_2013 NCultura10So that brings me to today, the 22nd and of course I’ve glossed over a lot but hopefully this all gives you a glimpse of what I’ve been up to.  I’ve met some amazing, talented, and interesting people and had many an adventure.  Today I got to hang out in the Music Cafe and then tonight I’m shooting the Shorts Program Awards and Party presented by YouTube but more on that later.  For now, it’s a bite to eat and some more mad editing.  Happy Festival!

Extravaganza with a BYU theme!

My friend’s parents have birthdays within a week of each other.  They were both celebrating their 60th birthdays and are huge BYU fans so what better way to party than with a BYU themed extravaganza?!  My friend organized the whole shebang (along with a lot of help) and it was a fantastic evening.  I was so proud of him and you’d better believe I told him so.  When I got there to set up I couldn’t believe the decorations.  Everything was BYU!  There were BYU shirts and hats all over the walls (such a great idea).  Tents were set up for the food to look like a tailgate party and that was the food theme.  Hot dogs, nachos, home made root beer, oh my!  I loved the glowing Y on the wall and the Cosmo cut out that Jonathon had had express shipped to have all the guests take their pictures with.

There were family and friends there from all over and boy were his parents surprised!  After dinner the “candles”  were blown out (no open flames in the church) and the yummiest cake and ice cream were served while a few family members shared funny memories of the guests of honor.  The evening ended with my friend singing For Good for his parents.  He told me that he knew his Mom would want him to and so my favorite image of the night is the one of him singing while his Mom watches in the background.  I’ve heard him sing a lot and I tell you truly that that was the best I’ve ever heard him.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!

Headshot Mini-Session Event

Many of my performing {and business minded} friends have asked me about doing quick headshots so this event is a gift for all of you wonderful people in my life to let you know how much I appreciate you.  Call, text, or email me for a time.  I aim to be as flexible as possible.  Thank you so much for all of your support!

Mini-Session in the Snow! {Utah Family Photography}

After many many requests I have finally decided to do a mini-session special. My plan/goal is to do four a year. I am tentatively planning to do snow, headshots, spring and fall sessions. So starting with snow I am offering a half hour session in Ogden Valley at your choice of three locations starting at 5 p.m. {promptly ’cause the sun it does go down}. There is no session fee just a required $100.00 minimum purchase {tax is not included}. I offered a few pricing samples on the session photo but of course I have more sizes etc. available. Also the Christmas Card design and $500 all inclusive package are special prices connected to this offer.

Give me a call/email if you are interested and please pass this along to anyone who may enjoy it.

Thanks so much!!

Sundance 2012 Recap. Yes, I did have fun. Thank you for asking. {Utah Photography}

Fair Warning: This post will probably end up long and personal…it’s just that kind of a mood today.

Whenever people hear that I was at Sundance their first question is always “Did you have fun?” I always hesitate for a second because usually they want to know about the parties and celebrities and to be honest I’m not into any of that. Also, this year I didn’t have time to play. Oh, I meant to, but I worked 44 hours at the festival on top of my “real” life and the few days I set aside to “play” the weather hit and I may be a big baby but I am NOT a fan of putting my life at risk driving in the snow if I don’t have to.

As far as celebrities, I like to meet and talk to the directors and production teams of the various films because that is where my heart lies and my idea of fun is honestly to work myself into the ground doing the best possible job that I can do. Plus, I love adventures and crazy things that happen to add to my treasury of memories and stories. Did I have fun?

HECK YES!!!
{new years resolution to not swear anymore, not even for creative emphasis}

Tuesday, January 24, 2012 brought on a mad dash between two different venues. I was to cover the VIP Reception at New Frontier art gallery from 6-8 only to find out when I got there that the reception was from 8-10. I took photographs of the exhibits by themselves, ran over to the Tower Theatre to cover it, then back to New Frontier. It was a zoo and so crazy fun. I was very much entertained by the goings on.

It’s probably the photographer in me that is always fascinated by pictures made out of pictures.

This was a really cool Bear exhibit that I wished my Mom was there to see. She would have loved it. Ahhhh the days of going with my Mom to art exhibits…but that’s another story.

I was supposed to get shots of people interacting with the exhibits, the difficulty lying in the fact that the place was crazy packed and very dimly lit except for the bright screens of the exhibits. I prevailed!!!…and probably wacked 3/4ths of the people there with my tripod. Really sorry everyone.

I’m at an art exhibit so of course I’m going to get into one of my “artistic” moods. Here’s playing with 3D glasses in front of the 3D screen. Another photographer who was there was watching me and asked if that worked. I told him I was just playing and he told me it was a good idea…made me feel good. I love the shot below. It took me quite awhile to get just what I wanted but I love when I see a picture in my head and then am able to make it happen.


Another of my “artistic” photos. I was up in the VIP lounge and fascinated by the world within a world up there and thought the reflections illustrated that multiple-dimensionality…plus it was fun.

I’ve never been to the Tower Theatre before but I have to go again soon, the atmosphere is delightful. I love venues with a quaint, quirky, hole-in-the-way feel. I mean that in an absolutely good way.

Most of the volunteers in the Salt Lake venues are the same year after year. They know each other, know what they are doing and have a blast doing it. You guys were awesome, thank you for all of your help!

See? Having a blast! I needed shots of wait-list ticket sales but was afraid I would miss it so they were helping out by staging the shot but then they started laughing…it’s my favorite.

This lovely lady was the first there for the next showing, the previous film hadn’t even let out yet. Die hard festival fan!

The Tower is the only venue I’ve been too where you aren’t inside or in a tent. It was COLD but everyone was so happy and nice. It was a joy just to be around so many positive people. We talked, and laughed, and had a blast!

My brother Ben has been in NYC for the past six months doing an internship at Entertainment Weekly. He actually got back the day after I took this. Most of his writing appeared in EW’s online site but here is an article of his. It was in the issue that was all over the Sundance Film Festival because EW is a Sundance sponsor. I had to take a picture. People were probably thinking I was crazy but I’m used to that so it’s all good.

I have been interested in getting into film, film photography, and DP work for a long time. I’ve worked on a few independent films and loved every minute of it but kind of shut the door on that dream because I just couldn’t see how it would work with my life being the way it is right now, family etc. But because of some opportunities that have come my way through Sundance it looks very possible that the door to that dream is being re-opened for me. I don’t want to get too excited but to be honest I really am.

It’s interesting that sometimes when things in one area of your life are going really well things hit you in other areas. Maybe equalizing karma, a test to see how badly you want things, or a chance for you to really appreciate the good through contrast. Perhaps a test of faith. Anyway, Wednesday January 25th was a hard day. I had to say good-bye to a difficult situation that has been going on for over three years. It sounds like a good thing I know, but it’s heart-breaking to finally give up on something that you once believed in so strongly. My grandmother also had a heart-attack but she is home now from the hospital and doing well.

That night I was able to go to Peery’s Egyptian Theatre which is my very most favoritest theatre in the whole world. The volunteers were so nice and patient with me, I was bouncing up and down I was so happy to be there. I used to go to the Egyptian Theatre when I was a child before they remodeled it. I remember loving all the Egyptian decor especially the twinkling stars on the “sky” and being so fascinated that it would be day outside after seeing a matinee inside under the stars.

Peery’s Egyptian Theatre is Sundance’s second largest theatre after the Eccles in Park City, a fact which I was not aware of until that night. It holds eight hundred people. The lines were long but everyone made it in.

Stampede! {Tremors reference}

I am so in love with this theatre!

AND they have an organist. He’s spectacular and he plays a mean showtune!

Thanks Egyptian Theatre Volunteers you made a hard day wonderful!

Saturday the 28th marked my third attempt to make it to the actual Sundance resort. Third time proved to be a charm, it is beautiful up there. I’m so grateful to have gone to all of these places I’ve never been before.

I have so much fun taking atmosphere shots. The ski slopes are just a hop, skip, and a jump from the screening room.

Isn’t this a beautiful location?

People were so fun and great about me taking their picture!

This is a Q&A session held after a special private screening event. The film was about dyslexia and listening to the audience response I was sad to have missed it. It brought many audience members to tears as they told about their own experiences with dyslexia and thanked the director for making the film. Stories to change the world…it’s what film is about.


The wonderful volunteers of the Sundance resort. I couldn’t do my job without them and special thanks for making sure I knew what was going on and for showing me the best shots!

I liked how her upturned face echoed the faces of the women in the two signs around her.

This audience member and her friend were the absolute cutest. I loved being around people who were so positive and excited to be there.

Lol, for once I’m not making someone take a picture of me and my friends/family. This shot makes me smile, especially hearing them say “One more, one more” and one of the guys saying “that’s what email is for”. Hahaha, story of my life.

Sundance projection room and projectionist and check it out…

Old School!! This is the actual film on 35mm about to be threaded into the projector. Fantastic!

Patiently waiting in line and…

Voila!
It’s SHOWTIME!

Last but not least I headed to the airport where for the very first time Sundance has an info booth, two actually. When I got there I found that there was no one there. Apparently it was too late in the festival. I stood there perplexed and these two travelers started talking to me and then volunteered to be in the shot. So fun guy on the left is wearing my credentials and jacket and talking to his friend (also a fun guy). How nice was that? My whole festival experience was person after person doing kind deeds. I love seeing such proof that people in general are wonderful and good and kind. These two are from Florida and Iowa and ironically were headed up to Powder Mountain, my neck of the woods. Thank you kind friends!

I spent the rest of the day editing and uploading and yesterday in bed recovering. I’m totally exhausted and burnt out but in a very good way. It’s been an amazing ten days full of adventures, opportunities, possibilities, heartache, laughter, tears, and hope. I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

Did I have fun?

I most certainly did!

Sundance 2012 Opening Weekend {Utah Photography}

*Fair Warning* This post is going to be a trifle long…now that you’ve been warned…

Let’s get going!

This is my second year being involved with the Sundance Film Festival. Last year I was a floater which means I did a bit of everything and never the same job twice. This year I am the One and Only and very first EVER outside Park City Photographer! I am in charge of covering everything regarding Sundance that occurs outside of Park City…yes there is a lot of driving and yes it is totally awesome!

Here I am in full regalia, well my official gloves are in my pocket, even including my Festival Insider button which sadly I found I had to take off thirty minutes into my first shoot because I can’t stop and answer questions if there is action that I have to be covering…sad face!

My first festival day was Friday the 20th at the Broadway Theatre in downtown Salt Lake City.

For my job I have a shot list for every venue and special thanks to all the volunteers, staff, AND festival goers who were kind (and patient) enough to not only mug for the camera but help me create and “re-create” all the shots I needed.

The couple above was awesome! I talk to myself when I shoot and I got the exterior sign shot and then decided that it was boring and I needed movement. They were eating but overheard me, said that they would walk in for me, jumped up and proceeded to do so. People are fantastic! I was happy to see that they made it into their film okay a little later. Yay for waitlist!

I’m supposed to get shots of volunteers having fun doing their jobs (easiest shots ever ’cause they are all having a blast) and all exterior and interior signage. These volunteers were giggling over this sign and when I saw it I had to laugh too. If you can’t read it, it says…

WARNING:
The following film contains strobe light effects.
Those who may be affected should take
appropriate action.

We weren’t sure what “appropriate action” might be but thinking up outlandish scenarios was fun.

Here we have the valiantly hard working box office volunteers. There is so much more going on behind the scenes than you realize. Everyone works so hard. A few of their duties (I’m sure there are more that I do not know anything about) include taking care of the waitlist ticket sales, post ticket counting and scanning (every. single. ticket.) and entering everything into the system. It makes me tired just thinking of it.

I’m always yelling (well not YELLING), “Wait, go slower, I need that shot”. This kind volunteer was very deliberately taking this ticket so I could get the shot and special thanks to patient festival goer for going along. Loves to you both!


Number one in the waitlist line, huzzah!

Broadway crew introducing the very first Sundance screening of this theatre…AND…

Broadway Crew!!

They are awesome and nice and so much fun!

Next it was off to the Beehive Tea Room which, for the duration of the festival, has been re-named the Beehive Festival Café. It is open to the public and has live music every night.

p.s. for locals, note that the tea room is open later than usual during the festival. The live bands start at 7:30 p.m.

Friday’s band was The Hot Club of Zion and they were fantastic. I am totally in love with their music and I must have a CD.

They play Gypsy Jazz and I found them on facebook.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Hot-Club-Of-Zion/158421557548825?sk=app_2405167945#!/pages/The-Hot-Club-Of-Zion/158421557548825?sk=wall

Getting artistic with the Sundance banners on Broadway.

And now for my Saturday adventures, the highlight of which was not getting into an accident. I decided to cover the Sundance Resort because it’s a two-and-a-half-hour drive for me. It started out torrential rain and I figured I was okay as long as it stayed rain but WOW, the mayhem that I saw on my journey, including two hydroplaning cars in my immediate vicinity. Seriously? Slow down people! I got within five miles of the resort when the rain turned to furious snow in the blink of an eye. I thought I’ve only got five miles and I drove home from Park City in crazy snow on Wednsday, I can do this. I got to the turn off where the signs were flashing that four wheel drive or chains were required of which I had neither. “But I only have three miles” I said as emergency vehicle after emergency vehicle rushed past me. Thirty more feet on a narrow, twisty, windy road another emergency vehicle rushing by, memories surfacing of my botched attempt to traverse Trappers Loop a few nights before and I was out of there. Drove to Salt Lake and the venues that awaited me. Scary, scary, scary!

To The Library!

The Library Theatre is a new venue this year and it it gorgeous, what a setting!

Here we have the historic first ever Library Theatre team!

Just like the Broadway team they are super nice, fun, and extremely helpful!

They also know how to play. 🙂


Here are some of my very very most favorite people. Pictures of signs are a lot more interesting when people are looking at said signs. I saw some people looking and I bolted over but missed the shot. I must have been talking to myself again because these nice festivalgoers (passholders too) said they would look at the sign, jumped in, and even added the intent pointing all on their own.

People are so nice!

See, getting your ticket taken is fun!

We take not disturbing the audiences very seriously! All the happy group shots? Artistically faked. Joyful celebration in silence if you will. 😉

Last stop of the day the Rose Wagner Theatre, another beautiful venue. By now the rain had turned to snow and even though I wanted to visit another venue that night I was a little shell-shocked from my morning drive.


Loved this volunteers speech to the crowd! Wish you could have heard it, especially you Moms out there. Basically she is letting everyone know that they are about to start seating and once you are seated you can’t leave or you risk losing your seat because the volunteers will fill Every. Single. Place. So…if you need to go potty, do it now!!! Those weren’t her words but that was the jist. I giggled in my head, it was awesome!

Sidenote-the film they were waiting for was Queen of Versailles which has already been picked up for distribution.

Quiet moment watching the rain which has now turned to snow before the ticket holder seating chaos begins.

Ticket holders are in the foreground, waitlist in the background. See the girl looking directly at me and smiling? Thanks cutie! See how she is placed artistically at a power third point? Wish I could say I did that on purpose…sigh…I’ll take it! 🙂

Here is the theatre partway through seating. It ended up completely packed but I think all the waitlist got in. And for my theatre friends, I stood dead center stage and it was awesome.

Happy Festival from the Rose Wagner Theatre team!

There is still a week left. Come out and play! Catch a film, visit the Festival Cafe and New Frontier venues, or head to Park City where more adventures await!

More to come….. 🙂