Occasional Moments of Brilliance

Photography that is always great, and occasionally brilliant.

Posts tagged ‘studio’

Katie and the New Dish

KatieRoA 2-up



KatieRoB 2-up


Back when I spent a lot of time hauling location cases for another photographer, the beauty dish was never my favorite piece of gear. The effect was great, but it was basically a giant aluminum salad bowl. It didn’t fit into the standard location cases and had to be carried separately. I recently picked up a collapsible beauty dish by Chimera. It fits easily into my existing case system and creates a very nice kind of light.

I called up my friend Katie whom I hadn’t seen much of since returning from Korea to see if she would sit for me. She mentioned feeling a little apprehensive as she’d worked with some less experienced photographers in the past, so I was sure to allow plenty of time in the beginning to relax and get caught up. Plus, it took some time to go through the mountain of wardrobe options she brought.

In addition to the new dish, I decided to use a warm gray seamless paper backdrop and a reflector panel on the right to provide just a bit of fill light. In the end, Katie was great to work with, and we were able to create a fun set of beautiful images showing her character and personality.

A Picture is Worth



“The last time we had our pictures taken was maybe ten years ago” say the parents of two children aged 11 and 14. I pondered this as I arranged and posed them. Each year growing up, my parents would update the 8×10 school portrait of my brothers and me hanging on the wall in the family room. This family on the other hand had no recent portraits of their teenaged children. Last weekend I volunteered for a great event called Help-Portrait. It’s an organization founded by celebrity photographer Mark Cowart. Their first international event took place in 2009 and has now spread to 60 countries. Here’s a quote from their website “Help-Portrait is a community of photographers coming together across the world to use their photography skills to give back to their local community.”

This year’s event put on by the Carol Stream Illinois chapter was coordinated by Mark Lane, graphic designer at Tyndale House Publishers. On Friday evening there was an opportunity for Tyndale employees and their families to get some portraits done for a small donation that helped recoup costs for the event. The next day, over the course of six hours, 71 families showed up at the Wheaton Ministry center. That means 680 people were given professional portraits that they normally couldn’t afford. It was a busy day as I along with 3 other photographers captured memories for each of them. There was also a café set up so that they could relax as they waited for their appointment, and look for frames afterwards.

This was a fun event for a good cause. For more information, or to get involved yourself, check out the Help-Portrait website here: http://help-portrait.com/.

The Classical Look



Recently, had a portrait session with local musician Adam Babaric. We had agreed on a basic look that would be classy and professional, and also portray the warm and intimate atmosphere, which he hopes to provide for his clients. As I did a final check of lighting and exposure, Adam began to play Lagrima by Torroba. With a dark studio space and Adam lit only by the modeling light playing a beautiful classical guitar piece completed the mood for a beautiful session.