Friday, November 22, 2013

Fashions in the Studio

A couple of weeks ago, I was fortunate to have the opportunity to help a new, and upcoming Fashion Designer start her portfolio. Sahro Hassan is a 17 year old Senior at Lewiston High School and is designing clothes for her Somali Community. She not only designs the outfits, but chooses the fabric and sews the clothing. I saw her work at one of the Lewiston/Auburn Art Walks and let her know I would be interested in photographing her designs and models.

Sahro brought 8 of her friends/models and 16 outfits to the Studio on a Saturday afternoon. We began with a solid black background and two studio lights. I wanted simple and elegant to not only show the models off, but to highlight the clothing. Black worked well, except for the designs that consisted of mostly black material. They were lost in the background. So we tried a printed fabric over the Black muslin. This worked well for several of the designs.

Some of the printed fabrics were too busy and clashed with this background. The lighting was working well as the models were well lit with no, or little, shadowing. For the rest of the shoot we decided to try some high key lighting and put up the White cloth background. I liked the results, and found that I actually need a little more lighting to render the background pure white in the photographs. This resulted in some post-production work in Lightroom and Photoshop Elements to bring out the white. This was a good lesson for me, and one I will remember. I prefer to get as much right in the camera as possible, to cut down on the hours of post-production.

Sahro's friends did a great job with the modeling and took directions very well. The two hours of shooting was well worth it, and we ended up with very nice images for Sahro to use in her portfolio. As it turned out, the timing could not have been better. Sahro had an interview with the Massachusetts School of Design on Wednesday, following the photography session. I hope these photos help get her accepted in the next step on her career path.

Let me know what you think of the results. The full shoot can be seen at:

A special thanks goes to Brenda Giasson, my partner in the studio, for her help in organizing and setting up the shoots. Her help was instrumental in the shoot going so well.

Until next time, keep shooting and enjoy the world around you.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Weddings, Weddings, and more Weddings...

It has been too long since I have updated my blogs. Time seems to have a way of running away when you are busy. I have photographed three more weddings for All In One Weddings. Connie has kept me busy, and for that I owe a heartfelt Thank you. It seems to be the end of the Wedding season for me, but All In One Weddings has already booked two dates for me in the Spring. Each Wedding, or Elopement session, is different and poses its own challenges.

On 23 September, I was asked to photograph my first Gay wedding in Camden, Maine. One of the unique things about All In One Weddings is that they are almost all Destination Weddings. This couple came to Maine from Alexandria, Virginia. One of the gentlemen had a home close to Camden, and were excited when Maine became one of the first states to have the voters approve Gay Marriage. This couple had been together for about 30 years. I am not able to show any photos of the ceremony, as they have requested we not publicize their nuptials.

This was the site of the wedding ceremony, overlooking Camden Harbor. It is getting on toward Fall, and in Maine the weather can be very unpredictable. As it turned out, the sun was elusive, but it did not rain, and the temperature stayed comfortable - in the 60° range. It was a simple ceremony and the background for poses and shots were outstanding. Some of the flowers were still in bloom, and many of the boats were still in the harbor. It will not be too long before the tall ships are shrink wrapped for the winter. A sight to see, but not very photogenic as a background for weddings.

A couple of weeks later, 13 October, I was privileged to shoot a delightful couple from Germany. Kerstin and Arne were in the states on vacation, and she had previously arranged for the wedding through All In One Weddings. They wanted to be married at the iconic Lighthouse, Portland Head Light, at Fort Williams in Cape Elizabeth, Maine. This shoot was challenging, in light of the fact that Kerstin is a Professional Wedding Photographer in Germany. Lighting was a challenge as the weather was having a hand in conditions. The temperatures remained mild, but a cloud cover played tricks with the light the entire time I was shooting. I believe we caught some very good poses, and moments. Kerstin had a few ideas of her own that she used when shooting weddings. This is a tender moment I captured when they were getting in position for a more posed shot. Sometimes, it is the unexpected moments that capture the heart and soul of a special event.
My last wedding of the season was taken on 19 October at the Saltwater Grill in South Portland, Maine. This is a very nice venue, with a staff that was a pleasure to work with. Once again, the weather played a crucial role in the photography. It was late in the season and most of the boats had been pulled from their mooring in preparation for the oncoming winter. While the day leading up to the 4:00 p.m. ceremony had been sunny, a strong, cold wind was now blowing, and dark clouds were rapidly moving in. The ceremony was simple, and short, at the request of the bride. When we moved outside for some Kodak moments, she decided it was just too cold. But, the Saltwater Grill has a very nice enclosed deck overlooking the harbor that allowed for some nice photography. I did have to use my Speedlights to add a little fill light to the rapidly fading natural light. The shoot went well, and Jessica was pleased with the results.
A good end, to a busy Fall. The next blog entry will highlight Senior Photos and a Fashion Shoot I did for a young, new Fashion Designer.
My work can be seen at my web site:
All In One Weddings can be viewed at: