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:

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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.