Photowalk 2012 {Utah Photography}

A few weeks ago I went to the annual Photowalk event where some wonderful volunteers put together different lighting stations complete with models and you could practice these different set-ups to your heart’s content. I have been invited in years past but this is the first year that I’ve gone (it’s a rather long drive for me). When I got there the event was already in full swing and I made a note to self to arrive at the start next year instead of awhile into the event because it was PACKED!! There were about ten different stations and for the set-ups involving strobes you had to wait your turn to use the triggers so I knew I wasn’t going to be able to hit every set-up. I wandered for a bit to get my bearings then headed for the continuous light set-up showcasing a gorgeous gent and a piano. Yeah, I would, I know.

I would go to a station and think to myself “What do I want to say here” and go from there. In this case I wanted a much more moody look. I know, I love drama, mood, theatre. It’s just who I am. I felt there was a lot more light here than I wanted so I turned him around on the bench for more of a split light effect. I saw this set-up as very dark with maybe a beam of light from a snooted-off camera speedlight edging across his face, but that’s just my interpretation.

Next I heard an announcement that there was a set-up next door with really dramatic theatrical make-up so yes, I made a beeline for that and though the wait was long it was definitely worth it. This set up was my favorite.

It was fun to find out that the model on the left is one that I have worked with before and really like. I didn’t recognize her at first with all the make-up. Shocker, right?

When I walked back in to the main room there was no one at this station and I was tired of lines so I jumped in. It was also natural light so several photographers could shoot at a time so that was nice. It was challenging to get the shots that you wanted that day when you knew people were waiting behind you and you needed to be quick. You really had to visualize your concept while in line and work fast. I shoot with a tripod and that was tricky and slowed me down but I do NOT care what people think. I am very picky and I want my images tack sharp, especially the eyes. I tried to not use my tripod sometimes, like on the image above which was a grab test shot that of course ended up being my favorite and it’s too soft which makes me mad at myself. The background on the above shot was a sort of teal blue which is perfectly fine but I personally loathe as a color so I knew I would be going to black and white which for some reason reminded me of a CK underwear ad so that’s sort of the direction I went.

Next up I HAD to do the rock-star style set up. Too much fun! Again I went a lot darker that the settings that they had posted and then even darker in post production. It’s just what I saw in my head.

*laughing* The above image was taken by Jeremy Nicoll, a fellow shooter, while another photographer was up. I was a “groupie” for several different people. It was fun being a prop and I’m always up for stuff like that. 🙂

I loved the tribal make-up and her outfit and props were killer. Once again I wanted to go a LOT darker so that’s what I did. I guess it was just the mood that I was in that day. Maybe I just always see thing in terms of being on stage with a single spotlight. I don’t know, I’m going to have to give it some thought.

Last, but most definitely not least, I had to hit the high key all white background set-up by David Terry if only just to say hi to him. There was only about five minutes of the event left so I barely made it and had to be super quick but it was fun and hey, this one isn’t dark so I feel better. 🙂

All in all it was a wonderful, pure chocolate, sort of a day. I got to stretch the creative muscles and see a lot of my fellow photographers which is always nice. I also got to meet a lot of “friends” in person and that was fun. Will I go next year? ABSOLUTELY!!!

Here is a link to more of my model work on my website.

http://www.illuminephotography.com/models

Miss Jillian in the Snow {Utah Photography}

I love concept shoots and I love pictures in the snow!Just fyi, a concept shoot for me is where I have a picture rolling around in my head and am finally able to put the pieces together and shoot it.It’s kinda like saying “Shave and a haircut….”and then when you do the shoot and see the final photos you get to sing at the top of your lungs “TWOOOOOOOOOO BIIIIIIIIITS!!!!!”

It feels good.

This beautiful girl is the lovely and talented Miss Jillian Tirado.She doesn’t have her last name on her fbook profile for me to double check so I sincerely hope that I am spelling it correctly.We first talked about this shoot ages upon ages ago.Originally we were going to do it in the fall.I had some idea of it being the last fairy of fall about to go to sleep before the winter but now that I see everything put together it works much better as a snow fairy, don’t you think?We wanted to start a little earlier in the day to get day and night looks but due to a small driving mishap we got started a little late.Jillian valiantly offered to postpone but she had done so much work on hair and makeup (did you notice the forehead jewels)that there was no way I wasn’t going to see what I could get.I am actually delighted with how they turned out.

I forgot to mention that this shoot doubled as my lightplay monthly photo project for February. I was playing with off camera flash and the sky. The sky part is hard to explain but see the lovely blue in the shot below? That’s what I was trying to get on that shot. Just a little backstory: at this point in the evening it is so dark that I can’t see Jillian’s face through my camera viewfinder.

Luckily Jillian has agreed to play again so you will see more of her to come. I love being surrounded by artistic, creative people. Thank you Jillian!

p.s. Here is the link to the rest.

http://www.illuminephotography.com/jillian

It all started with a picture I had in my head. {Utah Photography}

This picture, to be precise. Please welcome to the blog stage Anna, who not only is an amazingly talented individual but happens to be my counterpart in the show I am currently involved in. I’ve known Anna for a little while now and that she was involved in Guard. Last October {2010} I was doing my creative fog thing and suddenly a picture came into my head of Anna flipping a flag and having multiple flags around her head. I mentioned it to her and we set up a shoot only to have the weather completely ruin it. Remember how crazy the weather was last fall, and this winter, and this spring? Anyway, during auditions for the aforementioned show we decided to try again and this time the weather was perfect, even to the point of threatening us with rain which just meant that we had cool clouds in the background. This was perfect as I had decided to bring out my lighting equipment for this shoot. The point being to be able to use the sun as a rimlight/backlight and have enough light using my flash as key that I didn’t have to blow out the sky and clouds behind her. It’s a different look than what I prefer for regular portraiture in that it’s a little, not sure what the term would be…harder?…more commercial? Well, I did want a less soft look and that’s why I picked this location. A few of the shots are done with natural light because I always want to experiment with everything I can. That’s how you learn. My brother Ben came and shot with us, here’s the link to his thoughts on the day.

http://bwoodstock.blogspot.com/2011/07/shoot.html

This was obviously done with no flash. I wanted a silhouette look.

This is against the portraiture “rules” of having your subjects face turned towards the light.
I have no problem with the rules or with breaking them. The point is, you need to know the rules so that when you break them you do it on purpose, not by accident. I was going for a dramatic feel and loved the shadows having her turned away cast on her face. Did I shoot one with her turned the other way? Of course I did…but I like this one better for what I was going for. Would grandma like this one better? Probably not, and that’s why I did both.

Ben had a shot he wanted where her face was in focus but everything else was movement blurred. I tried it too but ended up liking the blur better. His turned out well. How we did that was lower our ISO as low as it could go so we could use a slower shutter speed, mount our cameras on a tripod and take two exposures. One with her holding still for her face and one with the flag moving. Then in Photoshop you move the in focus face onto the blurred one and voila!

Sometimes I can’t decide whether I like color or black and white better.

Natural light, didn’t want to try to haul my flash into the floor-less and dilapidated old rail car.

She also brought a saber and a rifle. The girl has mad skills. I love her lines in this shot.

These two were taken within minutes of each other. Isn’t it amazing how you can change looks completely just by changing camera settings? Here’s my mini-lecture. LEARN HOW TO SHOOT IN MANUAL!!!!! They are both with natural light (I love how the sun is back-lighting her hair in the above shot) but the above was for what I would call regular portrait and below an almost silhouette.

This was the “oh, let’s just take one more” shot. It may be my very most favorite. I love the rim light on her body. I love her lines. Love the clouds moving in. See the rain in the middle right side? Love the sun flare!

It was a fun day but we were to tired to stick around for light painting. That will have to wait for next time. Instead we ended the night with a McDonald’s pineapple-mango smoothie. If you haven’t tried one yet, do so. You will thank me! I also got the shot I saw in my head so successful day? Yes!

Superheroes and a Whole Lot o’ Color

Festival of ColorsI started out this past weekend totally bummed because the weather messed up a shoot on Friday that I was over the moon excited for and it looked like Saturday was going to be iffy as well. I woke up Saturday and headed for Spanish Fork hoping for the best and was rewarded for my optimism by a smiling universe that proceeded to grant me a truly spectacular day.

First stop the Utah Festival of Colors. I have been wanting to go to this for ages but have never made it before. It is absolutely delightful. My friend Josh and I made it for the 1 p.m. color throwing. I decided to stay up on the balcony because I wanted a shot from above of the colors being thrown in the air. I only took my little point and shoot camera. This year was for scouting, I’ll probably take my back-up DSLR next year. If you haven’t been you need to go. It is so much fun!
p.s. wear old clothes 🙂

Josh’s head was a total chalk magnet. People loved throwing color at him, it was hysterical.
As we were walking back to the car we kept getting the funniest looks, it took a bit to realize everyone was staring at his head.

Next up was the ProvoCreative Superhero shoot. It was cloudy and cold but oh so fun. Here are just a couple of my favorite shots from the day.

I love hangin’ out with fellow photogs. It’s so fun to have days like this where you just shoot to play and get the creative juices flowing.

By the time I got home I was so exhausted I could barely move but it was that fantastic good kind of tired. Such a great day!! 🙂

Yes I’m editing pictures on a Saturday night…

It’s that time of year again, the leaves are changing color, the air is getting crisper, and I spend many a late night/early morning with my best friend the computer. In all fairness I have had a great weekend. My DH took me to the Zermatt Resort in Midway for a little overnight get-a-way. Fall is both of our favorite times of year and we had a wonderful time rambling through the mountains and strolling the bustling metropolis of Park City, Utah. BUT, I have SO much work to do. So here goes.

September’s photo project was a Trash-The-Dress shoot. I’ve been wanting to do one for ages but it’s hard to mess with someone’s dress so when I found one for $20 at Ross I was super-jazzed. I got help from the beautiful Kenzi Andersen who has been kind enough to let me photograph her for her Senior pictures. She is great to work with so I knew she would be perfect for this shoot. I think this is the fourth time we’ve worked together. Thanks Kenzi!!

I knew I needed help with hair and make-up and was delighted to get the chance to work with the brilliantly talented Aspen McKenna of Aspen McKenna Make Up Artistry. She is AMAZING!!

I can’t forget to mention my Mom. I had an idea for a shot with a really long veil and though I was stalwart enough to brave the horrifying environs of the local fabric store *theatrical shudder*, she was kind enough to assist me in making my vision come true by helping to make the veil. By help I mean she actually made it while I watched and marveled, my Mom is the best!!

Ironically enough the dress sisn’t end up trashed. In fact, it’s cleaner now then when I bought it. I rinsed it out when we finished thinking the lake water would leave gross residue but I could probably dye it and use it again. Nope, perfectly clean, go figure. Quick dash of Febreeze to get it to stop smelling like dead fish and we’re good! I’m not sure what to do with it now. Perhaps I will use it repeatedly and it can be a joke. Where in the world is the bionic non-trashed dress now? Good times!! =)

A funny thing happened on the way to the Salt Flats, and at the Salt Falts, and on the way home from the Salt Flats.

As all of you who are kind enough to read my blog know, I love adventures, the more random the better. Saturday September 18th found me leaving my house at 1:30 p.m. to meet up with the ProvoCreative Models/Photographers group for a shoot out on the Salt Flats. I have never shot or even been out there so I was extremely excited. We met at the Valley Fair Mall, hopped into each others cars for carpooling and headed out. A good ways out one of our vehicles started billowing smoke so we all came to a stop on the side of the freeway and we were shortly joined by a Sherriff who informed us that we needed to get off the road a.s.a.p. I should add that we had RV’s pulling trailers, models in costumes, all sorts of fun stuff. I’m sure we made an interesting sight.

Someone was kind enough to stay with Pete while he waited for a tow truck and he instructed us to keep going for safety and the fact that we had other people waiting for us at the gas station by the Salt Flats exit. Yes, ironically the man in charge who knew what was going on and had everyone’s numbers was the one in vehicular distress.

We met up with the group and headed out to the actual flats but were told we couldn’t shoot there as there was racing going on the next day and apparently we would be in their way…okay. We settled for a fun spot and proceeded to have a blast shooting. There were photographers and models everywhere as well as about every prop in the whole world that you could imagine. Chairs, couches, balloons, motorcycle, family dressed as circus performers, a mini gas station set, you name it. Unfortunately where we were the ground wasn’t as hard packed as the regular flats and a car got stuck. Another car (the one I rode in) went to the rescue and it got stuck. Finally to get them out we had to deflate the tires but no problem, there’s a gas station with air at the exit, right?? Nope. No air.

So that’s how I ended up in Wendover and home at 1 a.m.

It was a great night, I got some fun shots, and had the opportunity to meet more amazingly talented people. =)

Sidenote: I also got to be a Vegas Showgirl this week, but that’s another story… 😀

ProvoCreative Trash The Dress Shoot or My Legs Are Still On Fire From The Idiot Mosquitos From That Night

I recently joined the ProvoCreative Models/Photographers Group. They hold monthly get-togethers where they hold different themed shoots each month. This month’s theme was Trash the Dress and as I’m doing one of my own in a couple of weeks I was especially interested in attending this one. So this past Tuesday evening found me diving two hours South to Lindon (thank you Scottie for your oh-so-handy GPS navigation feature). I had a wonderful night and met lots of brilliantly talented people who I truly hope will become great friends.

This is the lovely Kari Gillen. I absolutely love her eyes. Shoots like this I get to just PLAY with the images and I had fun!! =)

These two are Sean Hunter and Lora Lee. They were a blast to work with. They just played and played while we shot away, made our jobs easy!

It was hard to pick which individual of Sean to post so I resorted to the extremely sophisticated, the last one was black and white so choose the color one, method. Here I’m breaking rules ON PURPOSE. I feel so liberated, lol! Usually it’s a bit of a no-no to shoot full into the sun but I wanted to. Have you ever noticed what that does to people’s eyes?? I think it’s cool, plus I wanted the shadows from his hair on his face.

Hi Heather, this is Zac, now that you’ve met will you please get VERY close and personal in the water while dozens of photographers take pictures of you?? Yes? Great! Good Times!!!

Zac Thomas and Heather Morley. Zac is actually a photographer who knew we needed more men and so was kind enough to lend his stunning visage for the shoot. Such a great guy!! What I’ve seen of his work is stellar, I hope he makes it to the September workshop.

Last shots of the night. I know they’re basically the same but I’m struggling to choose between them, any thoughst would be most welcome!! Sidenote: I was curious, so I timed how long it took to photoshop out all of the bugs in the last shot…six minutes!