Tuesday, February 15, 2011

A Shoot Close to my Heart

A few weeks ago I had the distinct honour of capturing one of the most beautiful times in a woman's life, for a beautiful friend.

She divined the plan of a 'secret' shoot that would render images of her pregnancy for her and her partner to enjoy in the many years to come.  These images would be a Valentine's Day gift for him, and would also serve as the visual reminder of this very special time in their lives as they prepare for the birth of their first child.

Now, baring all in front of the camera is no small feat!  It takes personal trust between the client and photographer, it takes respect of the photographer's ability, it takes rapport (which I wrote about in my last post) - you just gotta be able to have a laugh together! - , and, certainly not least of all, it takes the foresight of the parents-to-be to say 'we want this piece of our history together recorded for us to treasure always.'  In this instance I was lucky to have a client who has been a consistently loving and 'be-there-when-it-counts' friend for many years - trust and rapport weren't going to be an issue!  I was also lucky that this stunning mom-to-be wanted to have their history, with this new baby, photographed.

The end result of our shoot included 3 8x12's for the baby's room and a special book for her partner showcasing 20 images on metallic paper...BEAUTIFUL!  I am happy to report that the gifts were given and the parents-to-be now have an additional visual (beyond her growing baby-bump and the accumulating baby gear in the house!) to add to their enjoyment in anticipation!

Below are a few favourites: 

I can't wait to meet this little guy or gal!  Wishing my lovely friends the very best in the coming months and years...parenthood is about the best and most exhilarating ride a person can take and I wish them only enough struggle to fully savour the great times!

Life is good!


PS There were actually MANY favourites and so I will likely be posting another entry on the lighting for this shoot in the future, featuring more images.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Shutter Speed, Flash Ratios and RAPPORT!

I have always felt that photography allowed me a certain freedom at social gatherings...it kind of forces you to get around the room, it's an easy conversation starter, and, of course, I love recording the occasion (yes, my family has practiced patience with me!).  However, it is only since opening shop that I have come to truly understand how critical rapport (defined as "harmonious or sympathetic relation") is in capturing a great shot.

Over the course of the last year + I have been diligently studying the technical side of photography.  Learning to understand the power of lens choice, aperture settings, lighting positioning, etc.  At times it is easy to lose yourself in the technical and forget the here and now, but I venture to say that there aren't very many beautiful portraits of people that came from a session where there was no sincere interaction between photog and subject.

Last weekend I was honoured to photograph a close friend who wanted maternity shots a la Demi Moore (you remember that incredible Annie Leibovitz cover for Vanity Fair, right?)  We have been friends since college, (which we both delusionally consider to have been only a few years ago!), and we manage to get together for laughs and drinks a few times each year.  My friend is a classy lady who seems to always have a clean car and perfect hair and so, whilst she was excited, she did say that baring all in front of a camera was a little intimidating - and who wouldn't feel that way.  This was yet another occasion where rapport between us made all the difference in the world.  Yes the lighting, the backdrops, and the camera settings all made an impact on the final images, but the final image wouldn't have been possible without her trust in me both as a person and as a photographer. 

I guess my point in today's entry is that if you're looking for a photographer, make sure it's someone you like, someone you could have a laugh with.  Yes - style, equipment, and education should all be part of your Q&A with your potential photographer, but no less important is if you like them.  Life is short - pick a photographer that you can share rapport with...it'll show!

Image: an environmental portrait of my dad...I think we have pretty good rapport!

Stay tuned for shots from the maternity shoot...as it the images will be a gift I won't be posting any until after the recipient has seen them!

Life is good!