Archive for the ‘Portrait’ Category

Hello there!

It is Novemeber, and the days are getting shorter. Daylight savings time is now in effect as well and as photographers we all know the optimum time for shooting ends much earlier than we would like for outdoor portrait sessions! Because of this, I have decided to move our PUG Meeting to Saturday, November 26th at 11:00 a.m.

Because this meeting will be held at a private residence, PLEASE message me for directions and an address. It is in East Layton, Utah.

Topics we will be covering:

New Pictage Products and Services (There are a BUNCH! YAY!)
How to obtain a correct white balance in the snow
How to coreectly espose subjects properly with snow
and How to photograph moving subjects.

We have the FABULOUS opportunity to photograph two hourses, a model in a red cape with white fur trim and hopefully we will have oodles of snow as well!

If you are in town after Turkey Day and need some inspiration, please join us and bring a friend!

Andrea

To see the article online click here.

 Lily Bride Designs

PURE . SIMPLE . ELEGANT . Follow my adventures in taking the Utah Bridal market by surprise with my unique wedding gowns and accessories.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Updates! on photos that is!!


I need and want to take some time to credit all the awesome photographers who helped me create these beautiful images for my portfolio this last year. I have worked with some truly gifted artist, I’m so grateful for the time they put into making my gowns look their best. So each week, I will post a new post featuring work from each of these photographers and why I think they totally rock! So above are some the wonderful work I have received in using my first featured photographer…….

Andrea Hanks Photography:
Andrea has quickly become a well know wedding and fashion photographer, a great friend as well as someone who I completely trust in my vision for each project I work with her on. She is so much fun to work with and really makes an effort to take on my angles, (even when they don’t work!) I would highly recommend her to trust with your one special day. She has been flown out to many destination weddings and is a house photographer for LookBookLA.com and attends both fall and spring fashion week to snap shots of LA’s fashion elite and its’ up and coming star designers.
You can view more on Andrea’s work on her website, by clicking here.

To see this article online go here.

Lily Bride Designs

PURE . SIMPLE . ELEGANT . Follow my adventures in taking the Utah Bridal market by surprise with my unique wedding gowns and accessories.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The fabulous Andrea Hanks, helped me create these beautiful images last month; so I could have some amazing images for my portfolio for the fantasy tutu I created for Ballet West’s fundraiser. I was chosen to create the tutu earlier this year and after a sleep-less night or two to figure out how to sew up that amazing skirt, this is the end result.


The model who wore it at the fashion show asked me what inspired me to make the tutu. I was inspired by many things, using what I had on hand, a friends wedding dress I recently altered, Film Noir and I wanted to use feathers, as I was entranced by all the beautiful tutus the costume designer made for the Oscar nominated film The Black Swan. Here is the blurb I attached to the sketch I turned in.


This asymmetrical designed two-piece corset and skirt in iridescent red taffeta, and black tulle skirt in descending layers and feather accents is inspired by old Hollywood, and features a playful twist on the classic tutu. The bodice is ruched with bias strips folded to add dimension, an off the shoulder fan of tulle and feathers nicely frames the décolletage bringing the eye to the mini full circle skirt with it’s descending and angled layers of black tulle.

Have you heard of Jonny Lang? If you haven’t you are going to be blown away by his talent. I was able to photograph him at The House of Blues in January of this year. At only 30 years he has accomplished more than most do in a lifetime. I was stoked when I was contacted by his manager two weeks ago who said that Jonny loved one of the photos I took of him and that they wanted to purchase the photo. It is great to have people of this caliper appreciate and pay for my work and it was just last year I sold some images to RCA/Sony music label for a different group.

Jonny came to town last week where he performed at Red Butte Gardens. I was asked to shoot the concert and guess what everyone was wearing? A lanyard with my photo of Jonny on it for his official tour image! They told me as soon as I signed the contract they made the tags and are getting ready to use the image for Jonny’s official glossy as well! CHEERS!

Jonny Lang’s Bio

Jonny Lang started playing the guitar at the age of twelve, after his father took him to see the Bad Medicine Blues Band, one of the few blues bands in Fargo, North Dakota. Lang soon started taking guitar lessons from Ted Larsen, the Bad Medicine Blues Band’s guitar player. Several months after Lang began, he joined the Bad Medicine Blues Band, which was then renamed Kid Jonny Lang & The Big Bang.

The band moved to Minneapolis, Minnesota and independently released the album Smokin’ when Lang was fourteen. Lang was signed to A&M Records in 1996. He released the critically acclaimed multi-platinum Lie to Me on January 28, 1997. The next album, Wander this World was released on October 20, 1998 and earned a Grammy nomination. This was followed by the more soulful Long Time Coming on October 14, 2003. Lang also made a cover of Edgar Winter’s “Dying to Live”. Lang’s newest album, the gospel-influenced Turn Around, was released in 2006, and most recently won Lang his first Grammy Award.

In more than ten years on the road, Lang has toured with the Rolling Stones, Buddy Guy, Aerosmith, B.B. King, Blues Traveler, Jeff Beck and Sting. In 1999, he was invited to play for a White House audience including President and Mrs. Clinton. Lang also makes a cameo appearance in the film Blues Brothers 2000 as a janitor. In 2004, Eric Clapton asked Lang to play a the Crossroads Guitar Festival to raise money for the Crossroads Centre Antigua.

This is a great article!  LOVE it!

May 24, 2011 – The Challenging Subject by John Mireles

If you’re like me, most of your clients are just normal, everyday people. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes and aren’t used to being in front of the business end of a camera lens. I’ll admit that it can be frustrating because my subjects rarely seem to match up with the fashion model like clients that make it into the magazines.The reality is that most of our clients aren’t models; they’re normal people who look and feel awkward in front of the camera. But everyone – clients and photographers alike – wants those energetic shots where the subject looks relaxed and happy. If you can consistently make your clients feel like they belong in a magazine, not only will you have a lot of happy clients, your business will thrive too!

So what’s the secret to getting the best out of each subject? Well, there’s no magic wand; the key is to be patient and play to each person’s strengths. While funny one-liners help break the ice, crafting a consistently great body of work is really about creating a deliberate process for bringing out the best in people. Here are some tips to help you make all of your clients look like magazine stars.

Take Your Time and Be Patient
Granted, this may not be an option when you’ve got 30 minutes between ceremony and reception to get your shots. But during engagement and portrait shoots, time limitations are rarely a factor for me. First, I plan on a couple of hours – sometimes even all afternoon – for my shoots.

There’s no substitute for time. Often it take until the very end of the shoot for the client to put away their photo-face, relax a little and let the spontaneity come out. I remember hearing Richard Avedon (the greatest photographer of the 20th century) talk about how he’d just let the subject sit in front of the camera until he or she got bored; it was only then that their true self would emerge. Although boring the subject is rarely my objective, the idea of waiting the client out is a powerful one.

Being patient goes hand-in-hand with taking your time. The key is that you can’t force things. You may have grandiose ideas for the shoot, but it’s often important to take baby steps to get there. Though your goal may be intimate and playful family shots, you’ll probably have to start simply and then build up to that. Once the subjects feel relaxed and feel more confident with the process, they are going to be much more likely to open up.

Get to Know Your Client
Don’t just jump into the shoot, instead try sitting down your clients and chatting a little before you get started. Often, I’ll meet up with my engagement shoot clients at a local pub so that they can unwind after what’s usually been a long week at work. We’re able to talk and get comfortable with one another without the intimidating camera coming between us.

Beside, people tend to work best with people they know. It’s easier for subjects to relax when they’re comfortable and familiar with the person behind the lens. The beauty of getting to know your client is that it takes the pressure off you, the photographer, from trying to be witty and funny. When the client gets to know you better and vice-versa, it’s easier to be yourself.

Invest in a Good Posing Guide
The Toolkit Lookbooks can go a long way to helping you come up with great poses and helping the client understand what you’re asking them to do. Not only do the Lookbooks have hundreds of poses for you to use with your family or bride and groom clients, you can also show them the photos so that they know what you’re shooting for.

When a subject knows what he or she is supposed to do, (and that they’re not going to look dumb in the process) it also helps them relax. Some people question whether it’s okay to show clients the book, but I’ve only heard positive feedback from both clients and other photographers alike. When clients see the pose, they get it. Once they get it, you can push thing farther to capture the real magic.

 

Think Sideways
Not every shot needs to be pretty people looking pretty, bride and groom kissing or little kids smiling perfectly into the camera. Think about other possibilities that don’t fall within the typical box of what is traditionally expected from a portrait, engagement or wedding day session. Let go of your preconceived notions of what your shoot is supposed to look like.

In my portfolio, I have a wide shot of two clients drawing “I love you” in the sand. It’s a great moment that clients often comment on. I like to point out that the couple was very shy and wouldn’t have made “most likely to make the portfolio” votes. But it worked because I tried something different that played to their strengths.

Go With the Flow
Listen to what your clients are telling you. They may not say it out loud, (in fact they rarely do,) but the signs are usually there. If something’s working, but not what you planned, just go with it. Don’t be afraid to push a good moment further along.

If your bride and groom are goofing around and making a mess, try having them roll around on the ground. If the kids are being unruly, let them go crazy. You never know what something unexpected – and really good – might come from it all.

Get Out of the Way
Sometimes it’s best to leave the clients alone so that they can relax. It’ll tell them to forget about the camera or even that it’s broken and I need to test it a little. Either way, when subjects don’t think that they need to put on their photo face, their expressions and body positions loosen and become more natural.

Happy face

When photographing the bridal party, I’ll often do my “camera is broken” trick. The girls will invariably start making jokes and laughing since they don’t think they need to pay attention to the camera. Eventually they’ll realize that I’m actually shooting and then the laughter – along with some great expressions – starts all over again.

Other times, backing off and using a long lens can take the pressure off of the subjects. Give them some distance and see what happens.

Work the Scenery
No matter who the client is, it never hurts to pull back and let the scenery be the hero in the shot. Breaking things up also opens up opportunity for sales of albums and wall prints. Many people who would be loath to put a big picture of themselves on the wall will happily purchase a framed print where they are smaller in a beautiful scene.

Happy face

Drop a Brick on Their Foot
This one comes courtesy of one of my favorite writers, P.J. O’Rouke. In one of his books, he suggested dropping a brick on someone’s foot if they have a headache. The idea being that you can distract someone from a minor discomfort with a major pain.

My manner of executing this dubious logic is to get right in my reluctant subject’s face with my camera. Or I let the client sit awkwardly in front of the camera with no direction from me. I’ll go well past their comfort zone – for a little while. Everything after that seems so much easier for them to deal. After uncomfortably posing in silence or facing a lens just inches away, my more normal shooting style is received with new appreciation.

Get Buy In
Nothing can turn into a train wreck so quickly as trying to get kids to do something that they don’t want to do. I like to talk to the kids in advance and let them throw out ideas for what they’d like to do. I’ll even offer to let the kids photograph me after I photograph them. Once they realize that it’s a two-way dialogue, they feel much more involved with the process.

If dad books the session, but mom is the real driver behind the shoot, be sure to talk to mom. She may have completely different ideas about the images she’s expecting. Few things are more frustrating than showing up for a shoot with a plan in mind but then butting heads with a mom who has her own plan. (Also, since mom will probably make the buying decisions later, be sure she’s on the same page as you if you want to make any post-shoot sales.)

Happy face

Try a Variety of Scenarios
This goes hand in hand with thinking sideways, taking your time and being patient. Don’t just stick to one setup or composition. Try different backgrounds, poses and camera orientation (landscape v. portrait). Don’t get stuck on one setup no matter how much you think it’s working.

If a client doesn’t like any given series after a shoot, it’s good to have a variety of others that the client can choose from. There’s few things more frustrating than coming back from a shoot where your hero, can’t miss shots look blah and you have nothing to fall back on.

Ask for What You Want
If you want a client smile, ask them to smile. You want a laugh, ask for a laugh! I recently had an assistant take some photos of me for practice. He kept trying to crack dumb jokes to get a smile of me. Finally, I told him to ask me for what he wanted. Things went much better from that point.

Happy face

It doesn’t hurt to actually practice a little with clients. I’ll show them what I’m looking for. Most subjects will give you what you want if they know what to do. A little encouragement and practice can help them turn it on for the camera later.

Act Like a Fool
You can’t expect your clients to cut loose if you don’t or won’t. A lot of times, I ask my clients to do stuff that they find embarrassing. They’re much more likely to go for it if I’m doing stupid stuff too. When I open up, it gives them license to do the same.

In response to a video of my photographing a subject, someone once posted that they were embarrassed for me because of the dumb things I was saying to direct the woman. They meant it as an insult, but I took it as a compliment. In the end, it’s the moments and expressions that I capture that matter.

Happy face

Don’t Stick Your Clients in a Box
There’s nothing wrong with focusing in on something specific with a client. But don’t allow your initial concepts to limit the direction of the shoot. What works for one subject on one day may not work for another on different day.

I recently took a look at another photographer’s bridal shoot. I was struck by how the the photo were technically nice, the bride pretty and the poses fairly sophisticated – but the shots just fell flat and had no life. The problem was that the photography ran his client through a set of poses he’d learned from a well-known photographer, but they just didn’t work with this subject. He’d have been far better off to dump the concept once it was obvious that it wasn’t working try something – anything – else.

Final Thoughts
Creativity is often viewed as this lightening bold that comes from above. In reality it’s often the end result of simple playfulness and experimentation. By adopting a process that allows you to adapt to the unique demands of each shoot and go beyond the expected, you’ll quickly be regarded as a creative genius. And you thought photography was supposed to be difficult!

 

I was thrilled when I was asked to by the lovely and talented Autumn Thatcher if I would be willing to be a part of a cover story about 4 local photographers for their next issue of  In This Week.  First is the printed version and then right below is the the online version of the story.  If you would like to view the article online go here. The printed version is available today, so go pick up a copy!
Cover: Salt Lake’s Hot Shots, Andrea Hanks
Posted 2011-03-30 14:27:23 by Autumn Thatcher

Our day-to-day lives happen in a blur and the monotony of our daily responsibilities sometimes causes us to get into routines that prevent us from stopping and taking a look at the world around us. While most of us have to remind ourselves to look at our surroundings, there are those select few who tend to see nothing but what surrounds them. These individuals are more often than not, photographers. Anyone can buy a camera and start shooting, but not everyone can turn their work into art. In appreciation for the photographic talent that exists in Salt Lake, we minimize our words and talk to four different professional photographers who differ in style and subject, but are similar because of their ability to see something ordinary and make it extraordinary. These people show us on the pages what they see in their surroundings and capture their interpretations behind the lens for everyone else to admire.

Andrea Hanks has been working with photography and cameras since she began modeling internationally at the age of 14. Her experience in front of the camera along with the realization that it was time to step out of the world of modeling led her to pick up a camera and go behind the lens.

What she likes to shoot • I love the fashion industry, so my style is most influenced by high fashion editorial.

On her photographic studies • Experience has been the best teacher for me. A lot of trial and error. My yearly goals always include some form of continued training. I spend time analyzing other photographers and seeking their input from camera setting to the best shoes to wear on the risers at LA Fashion Week.

How she is different from other photographers • Because of my unique experience in the fashion industry, the way I use lighting, the way I pose and most often don’t pose subjects and my decidedly unique processing style using rich, bright colors and deep contrasting blacks and whites.

Who she would shadow for a day • Nicolaas de Bruin or Walter Ego

Opportunities her career has presented her with • Good luck is where the paths of hard work and opportunity cross. In my short career, I have been able to shoot celebrities at Sundance Film Festival, and I am the house photographer for the biggest venue at LA Fashion Week. I have also shot wedding proposals in Chicago, weddings nationwide and most recently in Jamaica. I am currently working on some shooting projects this fall in New York.

Vanilla Ice

September 27, 2010

Does the name Vanilla Ice bring back memories of a time filled with fluorescent clothing, large hoop earrings, peg legged stone washed jeans, and of course big, big bangs?  Well, don’t be fooled into thinking that Vanilla Ice is stuck in the 90′s.  Yes, he is back and but with his come back he is not singing rap…Vanilla has a cool new sound.  I think Vanilla is a wonderful performer…but what is he like backstage?  Even cooler.  Yep, he is one down to earth guy who puts everyone around him at ease.  Enjoy the photos and the slideshow, but don’t fooled into thinking that “Ice, Ice Baby” is the only song Ice will be known for.  Check out his new stuff here.

Here is a video from the night I shot Vanilla Ice performing. (You can see me in the bottom right hand corner of the frame photographing the show!)

Third Eye Blind

September 13, 2010

Third Eye Blind is another group I was able to cover at Candlelight Serenade. I am sure most of you will recognize them as a really popular group in the 90′s.  Also, Abraham Millet, the bass player for the band is really cool! Once again, thanks to Michael Mangum, the director of photography for the event, for asking me to be the backstage photographer with an all access pass for the day.  Enjoy the slideshow!

Third Eye Blind with Utah’s Attorney General, Mark Shurtleff

Kosha Dillz

June 18, 2010

I would like to introduce a great friend of mine who is quickly becoming a very well know hip hop artist…he is going on tour with Snoop Dogg this summer! His stage name is Kosha Dillz, but his real name is Rami. I am not sure which is bigger, his talent or his heart. He is willing to help anyone, including 3 helpless kitties. Kosha is Jewish and chooses to only eat Kosha brand meats. One of the things that can be difficult as an artist of any type, is finding people to believe in you and what you can offer the world. A lot of people who do really well in show biz have agents or record companies promoting them. Kosha has done all of it by himself with the support of friends and family. If you are into hip hop, I suggest you check him out. He is FRESH! I have photographed two of his shows as well as one amazing portrait session at Saltair. Jon Woodbury was kind enough to come along and assist as well as  shoot with me-the results are awesome. To check out more of Kosha go here. To see Jon’s photos from the shoot go here. I am about ready to tell you the coolest part about this post…are you ready?  REALLY?  You really have to watch the slideshow because the song in the slideshow is one that Kosha wrote just for ME! I LOVE IT. Enjoy!

2 AM Club

June 18, 2010

Another group that will blow up soon! Don’t take my word for it, read here. The boys’ first album is slated to be released this summer and RCA is going to use some of my pictures to promote it! These guys are going to kill it! Check out their website here.