Posts Tagged ‘personality’

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GRANDEUR

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MOMENTS

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BEAUTY

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(Woops no one in the family picture was looking… I failed… or did I? haha)

Art for my models vs models for my art

I think it was a couple posts ago that I was discussing how a photoshoot is a collaborative effort… or at least should be.

There are many things that impact the way people view your pictures… when you go to a beautiful spot, or have beautiful subjects people will be more attracted to your pictures … or if you put it to a theme everyone will go crazy for.

But that’s not my whole job in fact a lot of my job is… GASP… taking good pictures.

Dealing with whatever lighting I have been given that day, whatever subjects, whatever spots… and always bringing out the best possible for those situations.

So what about mid day lighting… where the group was so large I couldn’t just put a big diffuser over their heads and add in my own beautiful lighting by flash or reflector.

I went au natural and found spots that worked well.

And the day and the people and their personalities and the lighting and my lenses and my brain all worked together to come up with something that worked for them.

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Bright shiny day… but we found a somewhat shady area and got a spot with the least amount of shine through and had people facing directions so it wouldn’t hit them quite as much.

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I relish that I took what might have been a cheesy idea… and turned it into perfectly normal and good.

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I threw in whatever they were doing… or pushed them to do stuff I could see them doing that would make the shoot a bit more funny and memorable.

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I took several opportunities to run through the whole family doing individual portraits during the time… extra attention to Mom as well.

And for one of the run-throughs at the end I broke out the lights, to kind of play around.

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OK so I did a post on this photogenic couple back the day after I took their pictures. I finished up about 35 pictures real quick and released them… but… I had another 100-200 in mind to edit up and give the happy couple.

So I edited them and then I was saying to myself I should post some more. Then I uploaded them wrong and had to change the order of the gallery to chronological (which I usually do as a secondary gallery viewing) and so I thought why not post theese pictures in chronological.

The point of these posts are for future clients to know what I’m about and what to expect for their photoshoots… AND for photographers to see how another photographer operates.

So you’ll see the progression of places and how I use the places and how light changes and how we interact. I might have put in a couple dozen pics into this post but there are still over 100 I didn’t put in. So check them out if you really want to see it all.

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K I tried to put more of the newer pics into the mix this time for those who still remember the last post. (Which I doubt people will remember them all)

I really love the one on the bottom right… but it matches the other one so we put it more into a sequence for this post.

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Above and below should show you how big a difference the choice of lens can have on a location.

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I think these two (below and above) really tell a lot about these two whom I know very well… they are fashionable minded and they met eachother dancing.

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This has got to be one of my favorite writeups ever by a client! Heck it’s probably one of the best posts on my blog now.

It captures totally what I want to always accomplish with my photography.
I feel very validated right now and encouraged that what I’m doing is really being caught by those that are getting pictures.

Perhaps that I’m just taking pictures of the right people that love photography and love their families and the personalities and embrace the crazy and even the imperfections and want to remember even that from year to year.

In The Words of the Mother


Been There?:

Runny nosed kids, mom’s nausea kicking in due to her first trimester of pregnancy, Dad’s in school studying for the day,  mom has to set up and clean up a large woman’s function, kids need naps and a bath, not to mention all the hair that has to be fixed…and mom scheduled a photo shoot?

What was she thinking?!  I’ll tell you what she was thinking.  She couldn’t pass up the opportunity to get phenomenal, out.of.this.world photos of her dysfunctional family that she loves so much, by her friend (she considers him that) Scott Jarvie.  Somehow, she was going to make it happen!

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I love this photo, because it sums up our family.  Dad’s intense personality, big sister lost in another thought, brother giving it all he’s got, lil’ sis showing off, and mom is shocked that things are going so well!  And all Scott said was “everyone open  your mouth!”  See what happens?

Lets talk about Scott:

To get a pretty good picture of what you’ll be dealing with, I’ll start with our arrival at the Aspen Grove.
I was sweating, Dad was driving like a mad man, we were slightly late, the kids hair was staticky, and I was trying to figure out how to smile again, when out of nowhere Scott’s great big grinning face jumped at me from my passenger window.  I nearly hit my head on the sealing.  Suddenly we were all laughing.

When I told him that he scared me to death, he smiled and said something like, “That was the point!  Come on up and we’ll take a few pictures!”

That’s Scott for you.  No shame whatsoever and totally happy to be himself…and himself can be a crack up.  He’ll ask you to do things you think are completely ridiculous (He knows they are. But, they help you relax and feel okay with acting out of your comfort zone…especially after you watch him mimic your actions.  You couldn’t possibly look as bad.  So, why not give it a go?  HaHa)

Then there are the tender moments.  He can bring out your sweetness too, believe it or not.  Scott has a romantic/sensitive side to him, and he’s even better than most at showing it.  So, you’re in good hands when it comes to getting those moments you’ve always wanted captured on camera.  In fact, he’ll get more of the “real” you than you expect, because he’s snapping away even when you don’t think he is.

Family photos don’t have to be a stress:

Scott Jarvie taught me that.  We had 30-40 minutes with Scott, I didn’t have a plan…somehow between all that had to be done that day, I forgot to re-think the poses I wanted taken.
We saw a log, suggested it, Scott jumped at the idea, and we gave it a go!  He had us laughing and goofing off in no time.

I completely threw out the whole “lets look really nice idea” when moments before our photo shoot began, one of our girls tore her tights in the stickers, our boy fell in the dirt, and our other little girl ate some dirt.

We were having fun as a family, Scott was getting it all on camera, and we were going to look superb regardless, thanks to Scott’s genius.  It’s amazing how many memorable moments occur in a family, in a matter of minutes.

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Our girls. They couldn’t be more different.  Scott suggested we get out of the way and set the girls apart on the log, then gave them the go to “smile!”.  They did whatever came naturally, and I wasn’t stressing over getting them to smile just so, or placing them in the right pose.  What a relief!  And look at how perfectly “them” it turned out.

What we did not want & what we got:

We didn’t want the studio family perfect photos.  Sure, we needed at least one to send to all the Grandmas, but that isn’t hard to do when everyone’s laughing.  In fact, I found that I was the one looking the wrong direction, making a goofy face, or not paying attention, when all three kids and dad were grinning at Scott.

We definitely didn’t get the studio photo.  We got a real, personality filled photo of our family, and we love that!

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See what I mean?  I look like I swallowed a bug, while everyone else looks fabulous.  But, this is still one of my favorite photos, because it’s easy to see the love that’s felt between us.


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These two are my favorite of our little man.  The close friendship he shares with his dad shines through this photo.

I’m glad Scott took the time to listen to what dad likes to do with the kids, and then suggest we try it!  And the second picture has got to be the BEST picture taken of him in a loooong time.  He usually looks angry, preoccupied, or like he’s cringing over something.  Scott actually captured his genuine, happy smile!

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These girls are 18 months apart and pretty much inseparable.  How could someone actually give you a glimpse into their world as sisters without seeing it daily for yourself?   In just a few moments, Scott captured it all just by encouraging a hug.  Enough said.

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I don’t know what Scott said to her, but she seems quite taken with him…wouldn’t you say?  She lives in a world of make-believe, usually caught daydreaming.  This picture looks like it was taken from The Secret Garden or something.  In her world, it probably was!

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The security that she feels with her daddy screams through this picture.   She knows he’ll always keep her safe, even from Scott. 😉

Scott will tell you that I’m one of those moms that’s always saying, “Girls, put your dress down.  Sit like a lady!”  And look what he does…suggests she shows off her dress and takes a picture!
Now it’s one of my favorites.  I love, love, LOVE how her baby legs and sweet, chipper personality are portrayed.  This ones going up on the wall.

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Good Golly!  I married up.  What a stud.

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This is my screen saver.  I like it because I was actually caught smiling at the right time!  And because I love seeing the individual.  I understand why Scott spends so much time on the ground.  The color, the detail, and the character just sucks me right in.  If that takes getting down and dirty, I’m glad he’s willing!


Time friendly:

I actually like the 20-40 minute shoots.  It’s just enough time to get what you’re looking for and get out.  For a mom with kids, that’s all I want.  Why do you think Wal-Mart and Target do so well?

Yes, of course there are those times when the baby just won’t cooperate, someone gets hurt, or you have a stubborn child with attitude (I’ve had all three), and it’s nice to have another go at it maybe later on in the day.  But, if that’s just not an option, I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised to find that Scott will somehow find a way to coax out a smile, or just make everyone look good anyway.

These pictures have become some of my most treasured.

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This picture was taken last year at the (2009) Charity shoot, on a day when our baby girl was more interested in playing with the grass then smiling for the camera.  Scott captured the grin we couldn’t get enough of.  Now that she’s going on two years, I can’t bring myself to take it off our wall.  This picture brings a smile to my face even on the worst days.

In my book, that’s what family photography is all about.

Try Something New:

Our oldest is five, and I’m just now getting the photos of our family that I’ve always wanted.

Photos that portray who we really are.

I think pictures like these on our walls and in our memory albums give our homes and family character.

Scott introduced us to a new kind of photography experience.  Plan some poses in advance if you like, but most importantly, just be yourself, try something new, let your kids pick up rocks and play in the dirt, don’t be afraid to act crazy, or portray raw emotion (easier said then done).  It’s okay.
He will somehow make you look awesome.

Scott’s easy to like, and although I’ve only met him twice, I feel like he’s a close friend.  Once I learned about his Charity shoots, I haven’t been able to pass up the opportunity, and couldn’t be more grateful to be a part of them.  Just when I think I’ve got Scott figured out, he does something else, either through his art, words, or actions, to AMAZE me.

When it comes to photography, He has a style all his own, but that style will always include yours too.  So, between the two of you, you’ll be blown away with the outcome.

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Score!

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Today we’re bringing you the words from a recent bride, who I’ve become good friends with after she interned for a summer, she’s like my little sister now. She’ll share her two cents about picking wedding photographers and interacting with them.

I’ve done posts previously on her wedding picturesBridals Engagements

Then she’ll share a couple of her favorite pictures and why. In a style I like to call: “Pictures with Meaning”. Which is really neat because I typically wouldn’t put any of these pictures up on the blog (Besides that last one)… they all seem to have special meaning to her (which is why I took them… but usually they wouldn’t translate to a large crowd online unless we were to explain why… which is what we’re doing)

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Hello future brides.

So, I’m going to be honest. When Scott first asked me to write this post, I had absolutely no idea what to say. I interned with Scott the summer before my own wedding, and when it came time to pick my photographer, the decision was easy for me.

I knew Scott very well, I knew his style and I knew how he did weddings. And that was that. What more could I say?

But that would be a pretty lame blog post. So I figured I’d go a little farther, dig a little deeper than that. You know, take one for the team. This is what I’ve come up with.

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I have re-written this post now about 5 times. Because I wanted to cover some topics I considered important.

It’s important because I want to explain to present and future clients what I do and why I do it.

On this attempt I will do it in question and answer style

TOPICS: My Style, Posing, Good Clients, Soap Box

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(Above) In this picture can you see the personalities of some of the subjects? If so it was successful.

QUESTIONS

What is my style of photography? – “Documentive”

What do you document? People, places and events and the feelings and personalities associated with them.

Are you passive or an active participant in the moment? Yes

How would you describe your approach? The subject and feeling first… done in the Jarvie style. NOT the art of Jarvie with happenstance visitors and models.

What’s the best compliment? A friend or family member telling a client that the picture is “SO YOU (Them)”

What the client doesn’t get? Directed poses from your favorite modeling magazine. (If your purpose is to look past the person at a product then perhaps those are proper.)

How much do you pose? In the comparative world I apparently pose almost none (so I’m told)… But I feel like I take control of the pose a lot more than people perceive. (Create the situation)

Why do you think you pose people a lot? Because I put them into the proper locations, and facing the right directions and having put them into the right situations the scenes usually just create themselves.

What are 5 important things in the interaction between the shooter and the person being shot?

  1. That they like my work. (and therefore have trust.)
  2. That they know I have their back and will tell them when they’re doing something that will look like crap. (Again… Trust)
  3. That they don’t feel confined or limited in their personality or creativity.
  4. That I don’t feel limited in what I am able to do.
  5. They are able to act naturally around me.

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Best way of posing? Take what someone does and enhance it. For example (above right) take how they sit and take it to the next level. Or make adjustments so nothing looks bad.

(Above Left) This was how they posed themselves. You can tell the little girl has a lot of character by the way she chose to stand. The best part is she did this herself with no coaxing from anyone.

One person’s fun and fancy pose is another person’s nightmare and stupidest thing ever.

Idea of a perfect client? Someone with lots of personality that feels ownership in being part of creating the perfect pictures.

Idea of a client you would rather not have? No passion for the result… but high expectations.

What you’d like to say to a client? This is a team process for us. I want you to want the best and work with me to create the best.

What you want to say to clients but won’t usually say? I want to tell them to be themselves… but I don’t, because there’s no need… they are already themselves and will act that way. I just need to put them in situations where they are comfortable and motivated to do so.

Would you rather (For a photoshoot) … Beautiful Appearance or Sparkling Personality? Sparkling Personality.

What you hate to hear during a shoot? Competent people being needy. (We both need to work together to strike doubt and worries from the photoshoot. So I claim part ownership in that problem)

What would help your clients prior to a photoshoot? To love my work and trust my abilities. That every shoot i do works out just fine so what is there to worry about?? When they can understand that they’ll just have fun and enjoy the moments and start focusing that energy with me towards the creative process.

Most common comment by grandmothers at weddings? You must really enjoy doing what you do… because you’re always smiling?

Funnest comment at weddings? You did such a great job (They haven’t seen a picture) I ask how do they know? “Because you handled yourself so well and made it enjoyable”

Do you like the very posed type of photography? Yes, I appreciate what those photographers and models do… but don’t feel the industry needs yet another photographer like that. I’ll try to stick with my strengths.

Who wouldn’t be the best candidates to shoot with me? Though I joke, it’s only a partial joke to say that: if you’re not comfortable with who you are then my style of bringing out who you are might not be your favorite. But on second glance we are often hard on ourselves and my objective is to bring out the BEST in others.

When does it call to break from this form? In some cases companies are trying to sell a product so they actually might want very little personality to show from models. This is understood.

See or create? I’m much more of a see the potential kind of dude. I don’t often go out with an specific idea in mind. (Although I appreciate that style) But based on lighting and the emotions and feelings I’ll look around and come up with the best scenario. I can bring out the best in any scenario I’ve learned to not wait for the most fortunate circumstances to take pictures.

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(Above) I knew I was going to get on top of my car at some point in the shoot… when I saw the clouds and the lighting and understood the need for a couple more group shot options. When I saw how they interacted and the feeling of the group. This is when I decided to do a shoot like this. I didn’t have this shot in mind until about 1 minute before I pressed the button. (BTW I wouldn’t have minded if that cloud were a few dozen miles closer and bigger.)

A Motto? Don’t wait for the best situation make whatever situation you’re in the best you can.

What you want people to know about the photography industry?

  • Anyone can take the best lighting, the best models, tons of time, great equipment and turn them into great pictures. But in our not-made up world with lower budgets and limited time. Learning to make the very best of any situation is true skill.
  • Sometimes photographers can become well known for taking pictures at fancy, perfectly planned weddings or for taking portraits of beautiful superstars. This should neither be a reason for or against them. But be careful they rest on these things alone. (See what’s inside)
  • Look for consistency. Just because there are 25 great pictures in their portfolio doesn’t mean your pictures are automatically going to look awesome.
  • The experience is on par with the product. A misanthrope will tarnish your pictures forever with ugly memories.
  • You don’t always get what you pay for… but you usually do. You need to be smart and informed.  Look for a good return on the investment. Most expensive is not the best, neither is least.

Most encouraging comment from a potential client when on the phone (or email)? We loved your work, but it was the personality we see in your work and in your writing that really sealed the deal.

What do you preach from your soap box?

  • Deception in Marketing = Bad and Sad!
  • Photographers who show their work in chronological galleries ONLY
  • Symbolism. This deserves a post unto itself. If it were a couple I would encourage and work with them to internalize their feelings for eachother and things that are special to eachother. To include into the theme of the pictures. Nothing so big that it takes away from them or takes away from good solid photography.

There is a point an attraction becomes so overwhelming it turns into a distraction.

What is your stance on editing? While I can make any picture many times better with a few quick edits. My editing is about bringing attention to what is most important. I stick with bright, clean and simple… If someone views a picture and fixates on a series of edits I have made the picture about my editing and forgotten that it is about “People, places and events and the feelings and personalities associated with them.” I can edit as much or as little as needed as long as it has an end and an objective.

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Will you pose? Well yeah of course, I’m not opposed to it. I posed this one (Above)… but it’s not my favorite shot because it doesn’t really match the personality I got from this girl. But then again I didn’t tell her the facial expression to have, so there’s plenty of her in it. But mainly I’ll do things that will put them in the way of the best lighting.

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