Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Dental Clinic Portraits

I had the pleasure of working with Winston Churchill Dental clinic in November and December. We made portraits of the 13 staff members there, both singly and in groups.

Careful scheduling of this project was required, as the portraits were made at their clinic during a regular workday. The dental clinic has an adjoining physiotherapy clinic, and we set up our portable photography studio in its space.

Each staff member at the dental clinic had her portrait schedule coordinated with her work schedule. Each was assigned a time to sit down for makeup and hair styling with Marie or Virginia from Beauty on the Go, and then various times to appear on the set to have their portraits made.

Everyone was good spirited and cooperative, which made the day a lot of fun. Here are a few of the portraits.

_MG_9872-421x520Dr. Kate Bazydlo co-owns the clinic.

_MG_8755-421x520Mark is Kate's husband, her business partner, a physiotherapist, and manages both clinics.

_MG_9995-421x520Kate and Mark's daughter Caroline found her way into one of the pictures, naturally!

_MG_9307-421x520Thomas, like his brother Mark, is a physiotherapist.

_mg_0210-421x520 Monica is a dental hygienist.

_mg_9468-421x520 Andrea is an office administrator.

COMP_TWO_final-800px The whole team - click the pic for a closer view!

You can see more of these portraits at Winston Churchill Dental's web site. Go the the "Smile Squad" section, and click on the names.

Picture vs. 1000 Words ?

I have been working on some new product ideas for 2009.

Here is an example of one: artfully integrating your portrait with a personal choice of text. The composite could be made into a poster, or included as an element in an album.

The striking face here belongs to gorgeous Caroline. The photo is from a model portfolio photo shoot back in May 2006. Makeup was by Marie of Beauty on the Go.

This needs to be seen big, so please click on the thumbnail.

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Saturday, September 27, 2008

It's Christmas Boudoir Season

This week I completed photography for two clients, both of whom will be surprising their beaus with gifts of boudoir albums at Christmastime.  It is tricky to post photos from these sessions, since I don't want to spoil anyone's surprise!

The photographs that I made for E were carefully lit fine art style portraits, including figure studies which imply more than they show.  There are several takes from E's session that are sufficiently anonymous to post.  The printing style will that we will use for her album will be desaturated and tinted similar to these:

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Compared with E's album, C's album will include images that are much looser and more informal, with some fashion oriented portraits, and some nudes that are more revealing while still being artful, tasteful, and beautiful.  Whereas E's session was all about studio lighting, C wanted to use daylight only, occasionally supplemented with portable flash.  Finding takes which showed neither C's face nor any recognizable clothing was, well, nearly impossible.  But with some blurring, I can show you these:

Lumacraft-3656 Lumacraft-3801  Lumacraft-4131

I look forward to sharing more images from the portrait sessions of these lovely clients after Christmas, when the veils of secrecy can be lifted.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

In the News

As I mentioned in a July posting, one of my sidelines is freelance press photography. Here are some pics from last week's assignments.

Dr. Alan Wolfelt is a noted author and grief counsellor. He has appeared on the Orpah Winfrey Show and the Larry King Show. On Thursday evening, he signed his books and gave a lecture at the Royal Botanical Gardens.

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Thirty minutes after making the above image, I was at JMichaels' newly renovated store at Mapleview Mall. There the company was running a fashion show (or in their words, a "wardrobing event") to present its fall collection to local clients.

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Press photography is in some ways more challenging than wedding photography. You go into an environment that is usually unfamiliar, uncontrolled, and photographically difficult, carrying minimal equipment. You are given a very brief time window in which you must fulfill your assignment, trying in a few frames to tell whatever the story is. Then you pick up your gear and dash to the location of your next assignment. Within hours of completing photography, you must deliver the images to the assigning editor. With it being press, no major post-production corrections are allowed, so it has to be good straight out of the camera.

I love these assignments for how they keep my fundamental photography skills sharp.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Contemplation, Recognition

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The Professional Photographers of Ontario (PPO) held its annual provincial image competition this month. I entered four images, including the above. This is essentially page 12 of a 20-page boudoir album that I was commissioned to produce, with little changed other than the addition of a border. I titled this entry “Contemplation.”

This past weekend, the PPO held its annual convention. The awards banquet was last night. There we learned the results of the competition.

The judges gave “Contemplation” the highest rating possible, earning me an Award of Excellence. Only about 1% of the images entered in the competition scored this highly. Two of my other entries received Awards of Achievement.

One of the five judges singled out “Contemplation” for her Judge’s Choice Award. That judge was Storey Wilkins, one of Toronto's top wedding and family portrait photographers. Thank you Storey.

“Contemplation” was next recognized as the top image in its category, and I received the Figure Study Class Award, as I did in 2007.

Finally, “Contemplation” was honoured as the top image within all seven Portrait and Wedding classes of competition, earning the Portrait / Wedding Category award. This award was accompanied by a striking trophy and a generous gift certificate, made possible by the sponsorship of Artistic Album Designer.

Altogether, “Contemplation” received four major awards. If I am not mistaken, it received more awards than any other image in the competition. I walked up to the podium an embarrassing number of times last night!

I owe a great deal of thanks to the anonymous subject of this image. Thank you J for commissioning me to produce your boudoir album, and for being such a beautiful and inspiring subject. Whatever recognition that I receive for “Contemplation,” I owe to you.

“Contemplation” will move on the national image competition of the Professional Photographers of Canada, to be held in the spring of 2009 in Regina.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

NSI Pics, Part 4

This last set of pictures resulted from a brief walkabout taken with Terry on the last day of the workshop. He was demonstrating digital infrared photography technique, a passion of his which he succeeded in infecting several of us with. While Terry made his IR images, I made these visible light ones of some of his subjects and of other objects in the vicinity.

I see some lens distortion in the above - the line of the building is slightly curved. If I decide to do something serious with the image I will fix that, but for now it just gets my not-so-glamorous blog posting treatment.

NSI Pics, Part 3

One of the exercises that Terry Robertson assigned during his workshop last week was a simple one in creative observation. Calling it "ten by ten," he marked off a space of roughly that many feet ... Terry and I both being old enough to remember well that outmoded unit of measurement. Students were given an hour each to photograph whatever they wanted within that space. Each of us then had to put together a presentation using the photos that we yielded, to tell some kind of story. Below are the photos that I came up with.

There is meant to be a vaguely unifying idea among them, but if it eludes you, bear in mind that I took these between 6:15AM and 7:15AM after a late night out, and so my thematic vision may have been a little blurry and wobbly.

I enjoyed the exercise a lot. I look forward to repeating it now and then, to help keep the creative muscle in tone.

NSI Pics, Part 2

Continuing my series of photos that came back with me from last week's Niagara School of Imaging workshop, these are three extracurricular portraits that I particularly liked.

One of our models for the executive portrait exercise brought her two young grandchildren along, which resulted in the first two portraits.

The third is of fellow student and photographer Angie Humphrey, who put up with modeling for me while I fiddled with a lighting technique that I was trying out.


NSI Pics, Part 1

I am busy! busy! busy! catching up on everything since investing all of last week in learning.

Nevertheless I am taking a brief time out to share some of the pictures that I made while at the Niagara School of Imaging. I'm going to post these in four parts.

Part one contains some pictures from the core subject matter, which was commercial photography. Some are of my instructor Terry Robertson at work, while others are from workshop exercises in executive portraiture and architectural photography.

I learned a lot. Terry's food and and beverage photography demonstrations were particularly enlightening.