Archive for the ‘(A) Jarvie Charitable Shoots’ Category

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I love sharing what the people in front of the camera think about their photoshoots. When they share their thoughts and feelings and tips I think all people learn (future clients and other photographers reading the blog)

So this is what the mom from this phtooshoot thought about her short session from my Free Fall Photoshoot and some of her favorite pics.

IN HER WORDS

We were fortunate to get in on the charity shoot and I’ve chosen my favorites to share.
http://photos.jarviedigital.com/Jobs/2010-Charitable-Shoot/Day-5-Highlights-First/171J7S9456/1054138003_kGXEp-L.jpg

One of the first things Scott said when we started the shoot was to my two year old.  “Where should we go?”  That was indicative of how things went with the kids.  He worked with them and didn’t try to force them into an “ideal picture”.

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Why a picture of my son with a stick?!?!
This picture captures a big part of who my son is.  Like most 2 year old boys he’s WAY too busy to stop what he’s doing and look at the camera and smile, but he just found a HUGE stick and he’s all about showing it off.  Scott took advantage of that and this smile is more real that any “say cheese” smile we could possibly coax out of him.  I don’t mind the stick one bit, in fact it just shows what a little boy he really is and what he finds joy in.

We tried to get the baby to sit up for pictures but he wanted to be down on the ground, so Scott went with it and the picture of him turned out beautifully.

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You saw this picture before (In a previous post) but it’s a favorite of mine.  When I see it, it reminds me of a special part of motherhood- those extremely rare moments when my kids aren’t screaming and tearing the  house apart, when they are focused on something besides me and I have a moment , unnoticed, to look at them and ponder the true miracle they are.

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These are my boys and this picture captures a typical after-work game they play in the evenings.  It shows off their connection and the fun they have playing together.

My one regret (am I allowed to admit I have a regret Scott? :) is that I didn’t come with a vision.  My impression after the shoot is that Scott, unlike photographers I’ve used in the past isn’t a “set the perfect pose up” kinda guy. I felt like he was trying to capture what’s unique about our family and capture the interaction and feelings we have together.  We were caught off guard and stiff and there is only so much he could dig out of us in 20 min.  If I had prepared for that, I wouldn’t have been caught off guard and I think we could have accomplished even more.  I appreciate his approach because with two energetic little boys, getting into the perfect position and posing has never gone well for us.

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Surprisingly, this is my favorite family picture.  I chuckle to myself when I see it because it fits our life.  The perfect picture with everyone looking and smiling is nice to have to put on the walls.  Beyond that, this picture tells the story of the bigger part of our lives where things are crazy and nothing goes as planned.

My few tips of advice if you do a mini-session with your family…..

-Come loose and with a vision of what YOU want to get your moneys worth (HAHA!)
-Trust Scott.  If you stay relaxed and do what feels natural, it was my experience the he will make you look good doing whatever it is.

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A good photographer is a person who is observant of things and people.

I’m not talking about how they can tell if a hair is out of place or when something is different.

I’m talking about they take in what they’re about to photograph and process it in the mind and heart. They know how to interact and they know how to bring it out on the screen-print.
The kind of observant that understands a person’s personality and knows how to bring it out. Even the positions to put them in. Not just observant of the concepts you as a photographer have in mind… with plans for whatever mannequin that comes your way. The right picture for the right personality.

I always tell students-interns that when they look at a picture on the screen unedited and awaiting it’s destiny…. that we look at the picture not at how it is… but what it can become. (Then we pick our battles because some are more worth our limited time than others… I believe God does the same only he has infinite capacity for us all)

So why not when we’re taking the picture … the subject as who they can become.

Not that we’re gonna change them up and put a bunch of makeup there. But we interact and let them be who they’ll be when not burdened down by our own objectives. I mean we’ve got plenty on the plate already… we want them to be right here because this is our background, and to not move too much because I’m focused just right. And dont’ turn around because we’re fond of your face… So i guess it does sound like a lot of things. But go ahead and do whatever you want. haha

I’m thinking here… equal time, equal awesome place with each child. Me laying on the ground (as I’m prone to do) directing the children to sit just exactly where I want them.

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Maybe a bit crass for the audience but all I gave was a simple suggestion to show off the dress and hold it to the side… but I guess I’m not to adept at giving directions so this is what we get.

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A little coaxing from the peanut gallery… a little assurance from my part that he really can do the stuff he wants to do, or the random things we call out. It’s his call and I won’t be upset in the slightest and I’ll make sure his parents don’t talk back for a change.

Being observant is also about listening to their ideas… I find out the dad throws the kids in the air… that’s what we do next. Believe it! (If they’re not throwers and it makes them uncomfortable I wouldn’t even want to do pictures like that)

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They do their thing, they interact, they pose their way… certainly i’m in control of so very much. But it’s all the unspoken stuff that I keep to myself, they don’t need to know about it. They just know that their ideas are welcome and that this particular one i will make awesome and you’re free to be a part of the creative process.

And ready set …. GO!

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Last 3 posts have been about getting children and showing their personality… well in this case this little one is a bit small to be running or even sitting. With no random props to stuff her in we just went with showing off the personality of the WHOLE family. How this child is a part and their feelings for the child. The personality of the family, if you will.

A family picture doesn’t have to be of them looking into the camera.

This little one isn’t very good with directions yet… so let’s just roll with it.

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Then we did the baby on the blanket picture

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OK so we’re doing lots of group pictures, the other child is running around and since he’s a boy he’s obviously playing with rocks and sticks. The baby doesn’t have that luxury yet… the muscles in his body won’t allow that yet.

This was nott the first picture that I took… we had a different thought in mind at the beginning, but like so many of my pictures it morphed into this… one of my favorites from the day.

In fact it started with this.

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What shall we do? Ok let’s just lay him on the ground.

Just us getting the baby to do his cute little smiles and laughs.

I switched to get a straight on view

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Still laughing and smiling and happy. The clothes, the eyes and the smile. No balls, no buckets, no boots, no bears… just the child on the dead ol’ grass of cool fall day in the mountains.

Well this kids not gonna move around to much, we’ll get a bunch of his different faces… but it’s about time to switch it up… let’s get the closest parent. The one that probably decided it’s about time for a photoshoot for the family… tadah… there’s mom.

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It can still be about the child with mom as a kinda-sorta-in-there element. Baby still looking up and mom interacting.

OK mom go ahead and do whatever you want.

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Perfect!

Not sure what the facial expression is all about… but we’ll roll with it… I think it’s cute and perhaps I could ask “Ummm, excuse me sir but could you be so kind as to close your trap”

Now that we have that… just lay down next to him and look up mom

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OK mom now look at him. (She already knows she has the freedom to do so in whatever way, and she knows I will make sure it doesn’t look bad, and she knows that we’re rolling with the flow and she gets to be who she wants to be not who I want her to be)

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Beautiful… the interaction… the look in both their eyes.

Personality and emotion aren’t always about over the top. But about those moments I’m sure all parents have all the time. Wonderment. Those peaceful beautiful moments.

You don’t just say ok now have a wonderful, peaceful, beautiful moment…. we find them and create them together.

Vir prudens non contra ventum mingit

Like this picture? Well let’s take a step back to show how we got there.

The family mentioned very briefly “the log”… so i said well let’s run with YOUR idea (since I don’t have to sell you on it.) Well that’s what I was thinking at least… that they’d be involved in the creative process and we’d come up with pictures that they didn’t just feel they could have gotten at a studio… but something they were involved with.

Prior to the picture below we had done some full group(family) pictures on the log and then we started breaking it down a bit into groups and that’s where we pick it up below.

To get to the picture above we must understand what happened below.

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We did the full family, then just the boys and then we got just the girls sitting on the log.

I separated them for a shot because I wanted them to be all their own personality … 3 individuals in the picture. Then later have them interact to show the personality between all 3.

Then I see the one girl and how she chose to sit… a little bit further… enough that the way her dress was out and on the log caught my attention.

I told the other two to leave … probably my exact words something like “get out of her picture now” said with a big smile so they always know it’s said with love. haha

…and then I took this picture below

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Yes I took the way she chose to sit and the way her dress was and exaggerated them out a little bit and then her hands went down from off her knees and it was just perfect.

But then I thought well that’s a good one of her… but how about just the two little girls without the mom, opposite sides of the log.

They don’t need to match the way they sit nor have their arms in unison in my opinion (though I might throw one variation in there like that.)

Then as the two sisters sat far apart it was time to see what life would bring us.

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I’m sure it was just some simple random command or encouragement… “get close to your sister”, “hug your sister”… something like that they’d both understand.

Who went to who… it didn’t matter… I was ready for anything. Maybe it’s fun psychology to see that it was the little girl moved over and how she moved over and how the big sister reacted.

This is a family… this is personality… this is love.

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Obviously not a pose I could think of on any given day: with her leg practically straddling the log and the other sister awkwardly leaning over and giving a choke hold hug. But these are kids not yet reformed in poise and haven’t studied the delicateness of interaction of hundreds of movies. They just do.

It’s the fluidity of the events, yes there is plenty of direction being given, where we were wasn’t entirely a fluke, who we chose for the log wasn’t either, even getting them together wasn’t either.

But in the end it was their own photo shoot, entirely different than any other and reflecting of their personalities.

FALL FREE SHOOT – The 4th annual charitable shoot

In years past I would have worked on one big long post about my yearly Free week of photo shoots which have been known as my” Fall Free Photoshoot” or the “Charity Shoot” because I donated whatever they gave to a charity or this year the “Charitable shoot” because I made people pay nothing to do the shoot but it was about me giving back to all my past clients (specially past bride and grooms)

In part the big post was in order to get them done and out of the way and jump back into editing of lots of other stuff.

Lots of posts

This year I feel I owe you more posts and great information… I have been slacking in my blog posts department so I’ll work on queueing a bunch of posts interesting to both future client and photographer and of course friends who just love to see nice pictures.

BABIES

I’ve often wondered how I would approach the subject. I see lots of people putting babies and little kids in all sorts of crazy situations. Boots,boats, buckets, balls, bears and bellies.

I wondered if to be successful I would have to shop for a long list of items to keep the photography fresh and have people like my pictures of their kids.

I do a lot of weddings and a lot of travel, yes there are kids at these places and I take pictures of them… but for a shoot to be all about kids that would be different.

Do we change our style when it comes to another field? I’ve found my answer. NO

Focus on what you’re best at.

For me it’s about the personality, the person, making a connection for the viewer of the picture to the subject in the picture. It’s the same in weddings as it is in children photography (for me)

And according to my style a lack of clutter and props helps my viewers to focus more of their attention on what I think is most important… the child. We can call this my laziness for finding and buying creative things, but it does work with my style of photography and if freeing myself up helps, then so be it.

WHEN PROPS WORK (for my style)

Now hey if the parent brings something like a prop for an idea of theirs… so be it… the thing is it’s now a part of them. It’s a mixture of their child and their own creativity, this is a view of the interaction of child and parent.

And when they see their picture they’ll see a family picture with only the child in the picture, and I won’t recreate an exact vision of the parent but I’ll bring out the personality of their idea. I’ll personalize their idea to them in accordance to my way of seeing.

Pictures with meaning

If I come up with some neat idea my job is to make it ours, not mine, alone.  I want them to feel like we were all a part. Looking back at the picture they weren’t just a model or a pawn in my game. But the creative process we experienced together and came up with it as a team.

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Sure I just suddenly thought: “wouldn’t it be cool if we could focus on the daughter by having the mother in but not really”. Almost like a bride holds a bouquet (coming from the mind of a wedding photographer) like a detail shot. But in this case it’s a child. And that child might be called…”hey look here” but they can do what they want as long as it’s not “nothing”

I call for a child’s’ attention not because I want every picture to be of them looking at me, but because there are going to be tons of pictures naturally of them looking away and from time to time they’ll look at me and parents are happy to have a good mixture of those as well.

But if I can remember correctly about the picture above she was probably holding her in a position somewhat like this and probably just told her to exaggerate it more. To hold her lower and straight… like she’s sitting.

It really is one of my favorites… because it’s the personality of the girl, the mom is there, you know it’s her, there’s still connection and all the clothing the parent wanted to show off are all there.

No ball, boot or bucket needed. This is me.

THE TITLE

It never gets old the ambiguity in the meanings of “shoot”

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This is the 4th year that i’ve taken a week out of my schedule to do pictures without charging. In the last 2 years I’ve had people donate to a charity.

This year I wanted it to be about simply giving back and not having to deal with money and stuff.

So I have opened it to past bride and grooms, then when they grabbed some spots to other past clients and if people find an opening my philosophy is “Why Not” so they can book themself a spot as well.

For random friends (As In: Not-Past-Clients) I’d prefer to keep it to Individuals or groups of roommates because those are the more appealing and interesting photoshoots.

But here’s the link to see the calender

So I don’t mind taking the pictures at all it’s great fun… the shoots are all short like 20 minutes and it’s in fall color. It’s pretty low stress, specially when it’s fast and free.

However discs and stuff like that has not been an awesome experience in years past so this year it’s all going on SmugMug and they can deal with it from there. They can add galleries on FaceBook and use things on blogs but if they want to print they’ll order them online and if they want the file they can order them online as well.

I’m happy to be doing it this way as it makes doing these free shoots more sustainable. And well maybe I’ll make a dollar or two which when spending a week and doing 50 shoots I suppose I’m not opposed.

But I’m not going to push prints… in fact I don’t care if they buy any at all. Because to me this is my week to give back and just make people happy.

Specially this year where it’s about saying thanks to past clients for helping me to get here where I am now. Which is busy and happy in the best profession ever.

HIGHLIGHTS

OK so I did pictures for 5 families (small and large) and then 5 other individuals. They were all photographers. It was a workshop.

And since I spent so much time and effort there talking about where I place people and why and how to find and use locations and bits about lighting and assisting.

I think I’m going to take a break and just have you look at pictures and not talk to much about it.

If someone has a question about a particular picture or two I’ll gladly turn it into a post about how, why and where and things like that.

For now… enjoy an eclectic mix of 10 shoots taken on tuesday.

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Haha you thought it was going to be the city. Tricked you.
They call him Boston.

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He asked for some pictures and I saw that I did his shoot just a month or two before I started using smugmug… so I went back through his pictures and uploaded them to SmugMug.

FULL GALLERY

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I also re-edited his pictures some because I’ve certainly improved a bit in the last two years.

It is a good exercise for me and the student-interns to go over some older less essential pictures and play around on them.

Shall I Re-Edit your pictures too?

So I guess the offer is open to other people… if I took your pictures a while back and you’d like to see them re-edited let me know.

I’ll bump you up higher on the priority list if you’re interested in Buying prints of them as well… or at least if you’ll show them off to everyone, yeah but probably more so if you want to buy a couple prints 😉

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I don’t have everyone’s email and I’m not friends with everyone on facebook.
So i thought I’d put an update up on the blog and hope y’all see it.

Also so perhaps others can read and learn from how I did things. (Good and bad)

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In One Week

NOTE: Each title is a Link to the FULL gallery

I believe in stretching yourself to such a limit that all the rest of the time everything’s a cake walk.

See how far you can go. I found out I can do 48 shoots in one week.
All fine until I’ve almost went crazy sorting them all then editing 3000 pictures in the last 3-4 days.

This is a long and yet very fun post… like 48 mini-posts all wrapped up into one.

See 48 pics with 48 links after the jump

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Posted by scott at October 12, 2009

Category: (A) Jarvie Charitable Shoots

I thought it was fun to see what I accomplished in one week for the charity shoots… so I compiled some statistics which I’ll share.
Let me know if there would be another interesting stat to compile… I’m a geeky number kind of guy.
Basic numbers
  • 8089 – pictures (by me)
  • 48 – sessions
  • 132 – Separate people
  • 2 – dogs
  • 15 – sessions w/ Amateur or Pro photographers (and their families)
  • 19 – Cute Single Girls (most important stat of course)
  • 7 – assistants and other photographers helping
  • 6 – past bride and grooms taking advantage of free family pictures
  • 150 – Adjusted average of pics per session
  • 44 – Lowest number of shots (By me)
  • 309 – Most number of shots (By me)
  • 160 – typical number of shots
  • 10 – canceled sessions, including couldn’t find us, sickness and roommates failed them.
  • 1 – wedding, done during the same week
  • 1 – reception done during the same week
  • 6 – blog post recaps done during the same week
  • 13,176 – pictures I’ve taken so far in October as of the 12th

Break down of the shoots

  • 15 small families (3 or less)
  • 11 Larger families (4 or more)
  • 13 Individuals
  • 9 Groups of friends or Roommates
  • 7 Studio shoots
  • 41 outdoor shoots

Shoots per day

  • 9 monday
  • 8 tuesday
  • 7 wednesday
  • 12 thursday
  • 2 friday
  • 10 Saturday

By the $$

Hard to really judge since I don’t usually put time limits on my shoots, but if we didn’t take into account the time limits:

  • $18,000 – I figure I donated that much worth of photography to my friends in one weeks time.
  • $1000 is how much in turn was donated to the charity Family to Family Humanitarian Expeditions.
  • 20-25% was what we were able to cover on the costs of actually putting on the event.
  • But that can be considered either my really large donation from me to the charity or an investment in more stuff for my photo business, since I’ll probably have use for at least some of the equipment.
  • 1 week – is what I’ll now be donating to the charity in Mexico shooting for their next project to help promote future expeditions.
  • 20% is the discount on the print prices I’ll be doing for the galleries that will go up. (Which goes towards the expedition and costs)

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It was a busy busy day.

Day 4 of the charity shoot had me in the Studio for only one shoot and outside for 11.
It’s a really amazing experience to take 11 shoots in the same location. seeing 4 hours of changing lighting affect one area.

I was doing really short shoots so I couldn’t go far so that incoming groups could find me. Therefore I didn’t wander around as much as I usually do.
It really stretches the photographic ability to keep shooting in the changing lighting situations and keep shooting in a small radius and keep things fresh and now just go with what you did on the last one.

Of course I focused on the highlights of the area such as the mountain backdrop and the sections of trees that were still changing color.

The Location

This location is awesome because the mountains start blocking the sun about 3 hours before sunset (on average) which means it was perfect lighting starting around 4pm

The above picture was about half way through the shoot and already the mountain was providing a great backdrop with only a little bit of light compensation on the subject.
(More examples when fully edited)

Below is the last shoot of the night when it was pretty dark and sun had already been set for a bit… we were working on twilight light by then with a bunch of external lighting.

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STUDIO

But I did start experimenting even more with how to make studio interesting and new.
Since I’m not a studio photog and have never even read a book or watched a blog on studio setups I was just winging it.

I guess that’s how I did my whole photo existence just coming up with random ideas.

But I must admit I’ve heard of the idea of lighting the backgrounds and even seen a good friend David Terry setting up a studio setup at Suzanne’s house shooting through something colorful to get some background color.
So I had these filter strips perfect for my SB-900’s which I got from Pictureline for pennies (well worth a stop at the Draper pictureline to grab, even if you never use them… like me up until this point, at least you bought a photo thing for a couple dollars when everything else is too expensive)

So anyway I’m playing around and having people pick random pictures and shooting the backgrounds. I’ll continue to experiment of course.

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The Seasoned Charity Shoot PRO

Ashley is the only one to have been to all 3 of my charity shoots… at the first one I didn’t even know her.

She’s a way awesome model when she’s sure of herself and not worried she’s acting to vain in front of Angie who acts it up even more than Ashley.

So having been to all 3 Charity shoot either she’s super duper smart and/or cheap… haha.
But in any case it has always been a fun shoot with Ashley and Angie around!

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I was excited to do this shoot because I was offered to do baby shoots a while back but never could get the time or whatever, and I was happy to be doing pictures for a good friend, and even though this little girl is now a bit older I’m glad we could at least get some.

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Model Photographers

Many might think Angela looks familiar and that’s because she’s featured in several parts on my blog ever since I did her wedding in California.
We refer to her as the “Beach Bride”

But angela is also a photographer and so is Liz the girl in the blue, and for that matter so is adrienne and Monica who came for shoots as well.
In fact yesterday 2 of my interns came with their families to get pictures taken. (We missed you Heidi and family)

In fact many people that took advantage  of the charity shoot were photogs.

I think it’s an amazing learning experience for a photographer to have pictures taken of themselves, I think it helps to be in the shoes of the future clients.
Now you know the feedback you should be giving when you’re the photographer.

You can tell Liz and Angela know what a good expression looks like and are able to capture it in the pictures.

I’ve always enjoyed shooting angela because she’s so creative and I think that will make her a great photographer one day.

And Liz was a joy to take pictures of because she had so many looks and was so fun to be around. The Camera loves you all… (as the saying goes)

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I did the first few Studio shoots of the week.
I did a few other shoots later in the day, but I wanted to show the studio stuff off first.

It’s been a while since I’ve said this… but, studio isn’t my thing.

But because studio isn’t my thing I’m trying to do it a bunch more.

I believe that people should try to learn to do and enjoy those things they aren’t good at or don’t enjoy.
Thus I’m doing studio.

Last year the charity shoot was All studio… this year mostly outdoors… but I’m doing some studio stuff.

I have a nice basement and got a few more items for the studio… if desired i can do a video post about my setup and what I did.
Let me know if you’d like to see me do such a video.

I’ll add some info on what i did for the following pictures later… for now I need to drive to the location for day 4

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This is a quick recap of the pictures taken yesterday afternoon in Little Cottonwood Canyon

While the rest of the days of the Charity Shoot plan to be very sunny it was cloudy and had just finished snowing up at little cottonwood

All the colors were covered in white… but I was surprised that everyone seemed ok with it and many were very pleased… I guess it worked because they were going to be used for Christmas cards anyway.

There were several families and several groups of roommates and even a group of 3 sisters.

I had a lot of fun and was actually able to stay pretty warm considering.

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This little guy got scared for some reason (maybe it was my face) and had a hard time, but I was still able to catch a couple happy faces.

Today’s shoot will be up in American Fork Canyon … it’ll be a sunny day but I expect there might still be some white on the ground. (I hope)

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Jody was right at home in the snow being from Alaska

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Amalia was a beautiful model… easy to get good pictures.

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And she brought her roommate too

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This girl came for some glamour shots

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And she was even nice enough to bring her Mom and Dad

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I shot these in the studio on some seamless paper… haha … ok Snow

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Sisters

People bring their friends and family for moral support, we all know jessica just wanted pictures of herself. haha

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Nicole brought her roomates and hit the last bits of light in the canyon

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Apparently I like to see how far I can stretch myself.

Previous instances of going big.

  • Doing long wedding day shoots … up to 14hrs once.
  • Doing shoots I’ve never done before is always a fun challenge and stretch.
  • Going to a new location is a fun stretch I’ve done so many times it’s not that stretchy anymore.
  • Like when I shot 60,000 pictures in 3 months and drove 12,000 miles while I was in europe.
  • Or when I had like 8 weddings in a couple weeks in several different states and drove almost 5k miles with several plane flights all during the Christmas season equaling an insane amount of pictures.
  • Or when I did 2 weddings in one day at 2 different locations
  • Or when I did 3 weddings in one day (only one reception)
  • Or when i did 32 shoots for the 2nd annual charity shoot
  • And at the same time bought and used for the first time studio equipment the day before all these shoots.

 

Another fun challenge. 

This week I’ll be shooting 50+ photo shoots.

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