Last month was the annual PPOC National Salon competition, where photographers from all over Canada submit their work to be inspected, scrutinized, magnified, critiqued, you name it, by a panel of qualified judges. Each of these judges must have a minimum of Craftsman of Photographic Arts (my next goal within the PPOC) and have been trained as jurors, to be able to review the submissions. To be accepted into the Salon exhibition is no easy task, and often makes me sick to my stomach to even think of entering. . . but it’s the critique from the judges that we’re hungry for. . .
So onto the judging, we are lucky to be able to stream it live over the weekend as they are judging. I entered the maximum four images. This was the only one that made it in, scoring an “Accepted”. I was fine with that, and stopped watching once all of my images had been judged. It is also possible for an image to be re scored, and it wasn’t until I received my email a week later that I found out it had indeed been re-scored, to a Merit!! I was shocked and elated. Phew!! This takes away the disappointment of the other three not hanging in the show.
Fast forward a month. .National Convention (this year being held in Calgary) was just this past week. I was excited and nervous, having never attended I wasn’t sure what to expect. Well, (I’m STILL excited as I type this) my image received a Best In Class at the award ceremonies!! I think I was still in shock from winning a prize of $500 towards anything PPOC related, just moments before. . . at this point I am looking forward to attending the 2017 National Convention in Ottawa. 🙂
As for the story of “Take Good Care of my Baby”. . . this bride and groom were my first wedding clients of 2016. . the love, tenderness, and warmth of the ceremony is all I can remember, January’s bitter cold is well overshadowed by the moments I witnessed on this day. As the bride was escorted down the aisle, I got into position to capture the usual kiss a bride gives her daddy, but before the groom takes her hand, her father pulls him in close, and BAM! Perfection captured!! I knew exactly what to title this image as soon as I saw the moment unfolding in front of me. I am also a little surprised it was not blurry. . . I get very teary eyed at most every wedding I shoot at this particular moment!! To be honest, there were quite a few PJ moments I considered entering, but I could only enter one, so glad I chose this one. 🙂
These days you can’t afford to NOT have a good profile photo for your social media sites, websites, and business cards. . . first impressions are everything! Book your headshots package for $129 and receive two social media files to replace that fishlip selfie. 🙂
This family was such a hoot to work with. The kids were awesome and really made my job easy. The purpose of the session was a new family wall print and some sports themed portraits of the kids, one of whom was graduating. Having professional images done of your grad is a great way to remember them before their new world takes over. . . and it may be the last time you get any photographs done before they are married, so it really is a good idea! 🙂
One beautiful, sunny morning last May, I met THE lovely Tammy at Aspen Beach to do a shoot. It was a fantastic experience working with someone who is so creative herself. Please head over to her blog http://www.volerra.com for a peek at what this amazing gal is up to!
Posed or not posed? This image was the first one I chose to share with the family after their session, because it quite perfectly shows the family dynamics. I do call it an outtake, but I also love it for that very reason. But read on. . .
This family is as real as it gets. They are doing their own thing, half of them not really paying attention to the photographer, however, they are still posed. In my studio, I pose people. I ask them to sit a certain way, in a certain place, in order to make a perfectly (or near perfect) composed portrait. And then I let them do what they naturally do while keeping that pose. This is part of my job as a portrait artist, to pose my subject. Portrait photography has been this way since the 19th century. People sat still and posed for long exposures. Posing is, in my opinion, and will always be, a necessity when composing a portrait, without it you have scattered or boring, snapshot images. Posing is necessary to achieve balance. Interest. Think triangles. Think about the last picture you saw with everyone in a straight line. Your eye goes from the left of the image, to the right, and keeps on going. There is nothing there to hold your interest. But WAIT! You say you don’t want a posed picture because it looks too fake? Do you want to look like you just rolled out of bed and your kid snapped your photo, or do you want to look your best, with your best features captured, sitting/standing at the right angle, hopefully photographed at the right angle to hide that double chin, etc. . . an experienced photographer WILL work with you to help make that portrait beautiful, because you’re worth it.
I don’t often get the chance to photograph teenagers, I mean ones that aren’t in a grad gown or tuxedo, or part of a big family grouping . . this one was super fun because she was super fun to work with! Kids of this age are generally pretty cool about being photographed, heck, the selfie revolution is here!! While I’m not very “hip” about the selfie taking, I do believe Miss H and I hit the ball outta the park during her session with me. We had fun, and we made some great images. This is one very sweet, very awesome girl. A girl who is extremely lucky to have a mom that wants to have professional portraits of all of her kids at this age. You don’t have to do it every year, but please, do it at least ONCE. xoxo
I can’t think of a better way to celebrate Christmas and New Years. . .Introducing 7 days new. . . Gracie ~
“It may be that the satisfaction I need depends on my going away, so that when I’ve gone and come back, I’ll find it at home.”
Before I left for the Dominican, all I could see, bigger than ever in my mind, was my need for a new kitchen. I joked to my husband, “a week should be plenty of time for you to put in a new kitchen right?” It’s been the bane of my existence for years. . . how important is a new kitchen to me now? The images in this post are from the feeding program. The kitchen is bare, but look at what they can do with it!!!
If you missed part one, read here first part 1
“a photograph is shaped more by the person behind the camera, than by what is in front of it” ~ I think many people will take away something different from this message. . .
I just watched this video, that really made me think about my experience in the Dominican. I look at my collection of images, and I realize that they are primarily of people. Faces. As much as I wanted to photograph more of the environment, I found myself more drawn to the people. I knew very little about their personal stories, but I started out assuming that they were unhappy because of their circumstances. What I found in many was a happiness, and it almost caught me off guard. We are a culture that is obsessed with THINGS. The need to have more, finds its way into our lives, no matter how many possessions we own. When a bare home, sometimes not much more than some tin sheets thrown together, is all you have, the ability to smile still exists. . . Did I come to this place with a preconceived notion of how things should be? I couldn’t put my camera down, it was almost like I thought I could learn more about them by photographing them and studying the images. It’s like an obsession. I want so much to visit these villages again. . .learn more, about them, and about myself. A little observation. . . In just one week I have gotten to know a different me. . . I like who she is, but she needs to expand her horizons a LOT more. . . there is so much out there for her to experience with her camera. . . 🙂
My takeaway ~ I believe, knowing yourself as an artist, who you are, your beliefs, how you connect with your subject, your level of compassion, is ALL a huge part of the photograph. I have to add, and this is a big one for me, your life losses. Losing my mother has definitely shaped my work in a beautiful way. . .
This year I’m doing something a little different . . . I want to help you help others in need. It’s all about the giving. Paying it forward.
To do this, all you need to do is purchase a photography session. ($110+gst) (good for one to 6 people). You will also GET a gift certificate (e-gift or printed) to GIVE to someone who would love a professional portrait but honestly cannot afford one. (limited to family or child portrait) They will also receive an 8×10 print from their session. It is up to you if you want to add extra prints to their gift. This offer is only valid for the next two weeks. It would be nice to have these gifts done for Christmas, so in order to make that happen, you need to purchase your session before November 19th.
Go on, help a family get that portrait they so desperately need. Thank you for making someone’s Christmas. xoxo ~ Marlene