I love portraiture. I love it more than candids, more than events, more than landscapes... Don't get me wrong, I LOVE capturing the images around me. I love sharing what I see through the viewfinder. I love a nice, tight macro image of a blossom. But I truly enjoy the expressive nature of people. And that is found in portraiture.
While I am perfectly capable of creating a stunning formal image, I really love something that feels natural and looks relaxed. So when I find a subject who is happy to play along, well... the possibilities are endless!
And this takes me to decisionland. How far do I take an edit?
It doesn't matter what I'm editing - I always have to ask myself how far I want to take it. And of course, what is my purpose? If I'm creating an image to print and hang on a wall, that background is definitely getting replaced. If I'm at an event and take some beautiful images, then I might want to leave the background as it is, in order to convey the story. And if I'm sharing the image with the subject and have no idea how they might want to use the image, then somewhere in between.
This is Maribel Rubio. I met her at the Rockport Festival of Wine and Food and heard her sing. AMAZING voice! She is the front woman for several bands and has a voice like silk. If you haven't heard her music before, I suggest going to some of her pages to find out what you've been missing!
Click HERE to read more about Maribel!
Why is this image so profoundly beautiful to me?
This image was taken with a Lensbaby Sweet 35 lens with a macro converter. I have been LOVING my lensbaby for art images and had the rare opportunity to take a friend's macro for a test drive a couple weeks ago. I LOVED the challenge it presented! Not only do you have the challenge of manually focusing a tilt shift lens, but now you are doing it in macro. But the images... Oh, the images! I LOVE the detail you can get when you get super close to a subject.
A while back I took a close-up (macro) of a dying flower, face down on the sidewalk. Nothing unusual, right? But the detail in the underside of the petals is beautiful! If you follow me on Facebook, then you've likely already seen the image. Notice the lines on the underside of the petals, sweeping out to the edges, like veins under the softest skin. Notice the color variations and the way the smallest part of each petal is tinged with green from the stalk from whence it sprung. Notice the detail. And that's what I love... the detail.
In my tight knit circle of photographer friends, I had been discussing my desire to purchase a macro converter for my Lensbaby. I decided it was definitely something I just had to have! One thing about me that I will share is that I have a hard time buying things for myself. I could go into all the reasons, but I shall refrain. But this was something I was GOING to purchase.
Wrong. My beautiful friend, Pauline Putt of Oak Tree Shutterbug, beat me to the finish. She decided that I did, indeed, need on of my own and that sweetheart bought one for me! It came in the mail today!!! And that image at the beginning of this post? That, too, is from today. You see, with a macro, you get REALLY close to your subject. This is a two-year-old's reaction to that kind of proximity to the lens.
And since I brought her up, if you are not already following Pauline's work, you should! She's amazing and her work is finally being recognized! If you haven't seen the latest, check out this image that Lensbaby shared (or even keep an eye on ads on Amazon and in magazines). She's definitely one to watch!
You know the fun thing about hanging out with photographers? They shoot images like the one below. This is the image of me taking the image of the flower above (did you follow all that?). Photograph by Beth Moses.
I recently had the opportunity to travel to Houma, LA to shoot a wedding. But this was no ordinary opportunity. If you've been following my blog, you know that I have a circle of friends who are fellow photographers - all of whom I only know online, but have "talked to" every day for about a year and a half. Well, the mother of the groom is one of those photographers. And two more of these ladies were my fellow wedding photographers. It was a chance for the four of us to FINALLY meet each other in real life (yes, there are others and I will meet them all eventually). These women are each extraordinary in their own right and I am honored to call them friends. The journey began with a road trip from Texas to Louisiana. I drove to Beth, in Houston, and she drove us to Houma. Pauline flew in from Georgia and we all met at the hotel in Houma. Let the fun begin... (Cell Phone Images courtesy of Beth Moses).
We spent the early part of the day Saturday just enjoying each other's company, laughing, and doing our own photo walk in downtown Houma. We found a lot of interesting places to shoot and only wished we had more time.
There was an incredible Coca-Cola wall mural that I wish were local to me. I had Beth be my model so I could get a cool image of her tall, leggy self looking hip in the sunshine.
Wait, seriously? She's not actually a model??? Yeah, she's got great features (I know it's hard to tell from here) and she's 5'9" - a cool 9" taller than me! Turns out, we're an eclectic little group. But then, that's what make the world go 'round, right?
Late afternoon and it was time to get ready to shoot the wedding. It was a lighthearted and joyous event. Everyone was relaxed and truly just enjoying being together. The vibe was mellow and the music was perfect (they hired a singer who was talented with many instruments - I LOVE some live music!). And the couple was just lovely!
The return home was bittersweet. I missed my kids and my husband, but I was reluctant to say goodbye to these amazing women. The laughter, the hugs, the sharing - the joy!
I am grateful for an era that embraces technology. I am grateful for friendship. And I am grateful that God placed such loving people in my life.
My sweet crazy ladies... my photographer friends. For those of you following my blog, you already know about these ladies. Well, we've decided to do a monthly collage and this month's theme is "bonded."
I think we are easily defined by "joined securely." And this morning I am leaving on a road trip to meet, in real life, three of these amazing women! There are so many things I want to say... but instead I will share when I return.
To follow the photography journey of any of these incredible photographers, click the names below:
Chantal van den Dool
"Lori is an exceptional photographer, and was my first choice for capturing images of my son for his senior pictures!! She made him feel at ease immediately, traveled to the locations he was interested in, and captured who he is perfectly!" ~ Tonia R.
Lori Stead is a fine art portrait photographer in Corpus Christi, TX. She enjoys creating maternity, newborn, seniors, couples, family, children, and boudoir portraits. She is also a wife, mother of four, and adventurer.