Blog Archives

Misadventures of a snowbound photographer

Tonight I have to direct you towards another url.  As I’ve already chronicled this particular misadventure on my photography website.  I do promise though, the many photographs of our frosty day are well worth the visit.  I know you’ll laugh as much as we did as we battled the environment to get these important shots.

http://tdphotography.me/2013/an-unexpected-snow-filled-adventure/

Hip deep, completely stuck, immobilized in the snow and ice.

Hip deep, completely stuck, immobilized by the snow and ice.

 

And a big thank you to Jamie for not only volunteering as my assistant today, but for capturing the entire thing with her iPhone.  LMAO

Family Photography at Dusk

Dusk is a time of day often neglected by photographers.  The poor light tends to cause folk of our ilk to shy away in favour of brighter times, especially considering dusk is shortly after the “golden hour” with it’s beautiful warming rays.  However, dusk can be a lovely time to shoot.

The low light of dusk creates images reminiscent of yesteryear, with it’s last filtered rays of sunshine…  It is exceptionally moody, creating romance and intrigue.  Especially during the late Autumn or early Winter when rosy cheeks and noses only add to the feeling of crispness.  Here are a few photos from a recent shoot to inspire you to get out there and create during this mostly ignored time of day:

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My thanks to the St. Onge family for braving the chilly air in search of these shots.  It was a pleasure working with you!

Portrait photography can be so much more!

As I was waiting for this evening’s clients to arrive at our location, I had the chance to observe another photographer.  I always arrive early for any shoot by fifteen or twenty minutes which gives me time to mentally prepare, and to scout the area for light – because even if you shoot at the same location three days in a row at the same time, the light will be different each time.  I’m always surprised at just how different my approach is…  For me, what I do is normal, it’s natural, it’s just how I am.  And I can, and do, forget just how different the experience I provide is.

An iPhone snapshot of the photography team and family I observed today while waiting for my clients.

 

When I first arrived on the scene, I knew the family gathered there weren’t my clients.  The ages and number of people were wrong…  but it was clear they were nervous.  So I laughed with them a little about how popular this particular spot is with photographers, and how it’s unusual to find less than two or three there at any given time.  They invited me to photograph them if my clients failed to show.  LOL  It was casual, easy going, and fun.  We all shared some smiles and laughs – which made everyone feel better.  That’s when the patriarch of the family pointed out their photographers, saying “They’re supposed to be taking care of us.”  The two photographers, or photographer and assistant (their relationship wasn’t clear), were off on their own standing and talking secretively with their backs to the family.

From the moment my clients arrive, it’s my job to help them relax, to put them at ease.  It’s an odd situation – trying to look and act natural in circumstances that are anything but.  If I can help make my clients feel better about things, especially if I can get them to trust me enough to laugh and let go of their fears a little, it makes a world of difference.  Not just when it comes to their experience, but for their photos as well.  Not every photographer does this…  and sometimes I can forget that.

After a while I watched the photographers call the family over and begin setting up their posed shot.  Now, I don’t do posed photography, but many many photographers still do.  It’s a personal preference, and there are clients who feel more at ease being posed.  It certainly requires less effort from your subjects.  Working with me is about give and take, you have to be willing to put yourself out there a little.  Share a little with me, and I’ll give it back to you in a beautiful and amazing way…  it’s exhausting though.  Most of my clients end up pretty tired by the end of a shoot, we’re busy and engaged, a shoot goes fast and by the end you’ll be tired.  Posed shots are easier, they don’t require anything of you.  Just hold a pose and paste on a grin.  But when you don’t give of yourself, the finished product won’t be personal either.  Take a look at the snapshot above, it took the photographers fifteen or so minutes to set it up – and while it will likely be a nice keepsake, it doesn’t tell you anything about the family or their personalities.  There isn’t anything wrong with it, but it’s not a style I can understand or would ever emulate.

When my family arrived, and I say “MY” family quite purposefully, we got the necessary paperwork out of the way but then it was all fun.  We were laughing and sharing.  I get to know their quirks, and how they relate to one another.  I watch the dynamics present, and do my best to capture those quiet moments of knowing.  Sure, we get the portraits where everyone is looking at the camera – the ones for the holiday cards…  but even those share a whole lot more about who each person is.  Their individuality shines through in a big way.

I love my clients, I love working with them.  I love that a photo shoot is about sharing, and supporting one another, creating together.  That is what portrait photography should be, at least in my eyes.

If you ever walk past a family I’m working with, you’ll hear laughter, see people being silly with one another, people being honest and having fun.  The couple of times we walked past the group above it was quiet, I sensed a lot of apprehension and nervousness.  My clients may feel those things at the very onset of a shoot, but in the end?  They are MY families.  I do my very best to take care of them and make them feel great.  It’s not just about creating photographs, it’s about creating memories, it’s about photography as legacy…  and that just means so much more.

Sarah & Shaun; Saskatoon Sweethearts!

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of working with Sarah and Shaun, and thanks to this Eustachian Tube Disorder (which isn’t an ear infection at all, though I still definitely consider it an ear troll) it has taken me far longer to work through the enhancements than I’d like.  Working on the computer is slow going when it feels like someone is auditioning for Stomp inside your head.  😉  But I’m powering through as best I can.  And Sarah and Shaun have been so very patient.  I’ve said it before, and I know I’ll say it again:  I really do have the best clients.

I absolutely adored working with Sarah and Shaun.  The fact that she loves him and that he adores her is so clear.  They are totally adorable, and were so easy to work with.  I found myself focusing a lot on Shaun (which is out of the ordinary for me, generally I focus on my female clients) but he is so head over heals, goofy in love, for and with Sarah that I couldn’t help myself.  Of course, I made sure Sarah got a lot of focus too – she’s extremely easy to photograph.  They really were a delight to work with.

So, here’s a bit of a preview, while I do my best to get through the rest of the shoot:

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Little Zombie on the Prairie

I feel the need to be brief tonight.  I’m positively exhausted.  The ear infection/perforation is still not completely cleared up, and it is taking it’s toll.  That said, this third antibiotic does seem to be having an effect as most of the pain is gone. My voice still reverberates within my head, and I’m still experiencing the underwater feeling and the dull ache as well as the popping – but I am trying to ease my way back into my processing work.  So today, I sat down for a couple brief periods and gave some edits/enhancements a go.  Here are the results, from Sunday’s Zombageddon movie shoot:

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Choosing your Wedding Photographer!

 

In spite of this ear infection raging on (and I mean, seriously?  an ear infection?  last time I had one of these I was still in grade school) tonight’s photo shoot was an absolute delight.  Sarah and Shaun were wonderful to work with – and so totally cute!  I put the bug in their ear that you can totally bring a photographer along with you for your long-distance wedding… and honestly?  In spite of my wanting to tag along for what I’m sure will be an unforgettable wedding with such fabulous people, it actually is a safer alternative to hiring someone local that you’ve never dealt with before.

I always recommend couples really do some serious shopping when it comes to choosing a wedding photographer, and don’t leave it for the last minute.  As soon as you get engaged, start looking around at local photography experts.  Find someone you can relate to, and who’s portfolio you absolutely love!  And then book an engagement or couples shoot.  Your engagement shoot not only gets you prepared for your big day by providing images for your Save the Date cards, your Invitations, your Thank You cards, and your Wedding Announcement it can also serve as an interview process for any photographer you are seriously considering for your big day.

There really are two absolutely vital points when it comes to choosing your wedding photographer, and they both must be weighed equally.  You need to have someone you enjoy working with.  Your personalities have to click, and you need to have a good rapport.  You need to feel relaxed and at ease with them, if you don’t?  It will show in your photographs.  But just as important?  You need to love their work.  And seeing the results from your couples shoot will let you know exactly what you can expect.  Just because you love what they’ve created with other couples, don’t assume you’re going to get cookie cutter results.  In fact, why would you want cookie cutter results?  You are a unique couple, and what the three of you create together should be unique to you as well.

After your session think about these things:  Did the photographer listen to you?  Did they make you feel like you were an equal contributor?  Did they help you to feel confident about yourself and their process?  Did they answer any questions you had?  Is this someone you would enjoy having near by throughout your entire wedding day?  Would they add to the experience rather than detract from it?

All of these things apply whether you are looking to tie the knot locally or if you are planning to do some globe trotting on your big day.  It’s a whole lot easier to get married locally, as you can really get to know and trust all the vendors who will be helping to make your day special – but preserving your wedding and the memories surrounding it really is too important to leave to chance.  Most photography professionals will be happy to offer a discount to couples planning a long-distance wedding to help cover the added expenses of bringing along a photographer, myself included.  And then you can know for certain that those oh so precious, once in a lifetime moments, will be captured perfectly, a legacy for your newly created family.

 

couples or engagement photography, a perfect trial run for your would-be wedding photographer

 

 

Win a Free Photo Session!

enter to win a free photo shoot

Sooo…  who wants to win a FREE PHOTOSHOOT???

Well, you could very well win yourself one.  I’m giving away a session of choice (limited to my “a family affair”, “sweethearts”, “it’s all you”, “pawtraits”, and “headshots” sessions) to one lucky Facebook fan.  All you have to do to enter is pop on over to FB, like my page if you haven’t already, and then share both my page and this note:  https://www.facebook.com/notes/td-photography/win-a-photoshoot-with-td-photography-saskatoons-photosmith/422511161133793  Make sure you pop back over to the note afterwards to let me know you shared and to claim your entry.  You can get yourself as many as FIVE entries by simply sharing in a variety of places in a variety of ways.

The give-away is open to both new fans and past clients.  So hop on over to my FB fan page at http://www.facebook.com/tdfoto and start sharing your way to a free session!

 

Lindsay & Daniel’s Engagement Shoot

Not too long ago I had the privilege of getting to know Lindsay and Daniel, a charming couple who (I’ll admit) remind me quite a bit of Damon and myself…  And not just due to their physicality (us gurlz are both 5’0″, the boyz are both six foot or taller.  us gurlz are blondes, the boyz have dark hair).  LOL  I enjoyed watching them interact with one another, and seeing the same dynamics I find in my own relationship.  I have a very strong feeling that this couple will still be making time for one another, and making each other laugh in forty years.

Lindsay and Daniel, thank you for choosing me to do your engagement shoot.  I really did enjoy our time together, and hope it was memorable for you as well.  I wish you nothing but the best.  May your love continue, strong and steadfast, for a lifetime together.  I hope you enjoy the preview!

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I’m pretty lucky as far as the weather is concerned…

I’m pretty lucky, as far as dealing with weather conditions as a photographer.  In all my years as a professional photographer I’d only ever been forced to reschedule a session due to inclement weather twice.  Scratch that.  As of this evening it’s now thrice.

Still, I shouldn’t complain.  Three times during my professional career?  That’s less than once every two years.  I’d say it’s a darn good track record.  Seems Mother Nature is generally on my side.  😉

These winds though, WOW!  While they’d be fabulous for a glamour shoot – a woman wearing a gauzy dress, with flowing hair, and a big wide brimmed hat?  How much fun would that be???  But a couple looking for some relaxed and romantic, quiet and calm captures?  Not so much.  So we rebooked for another time.

I love working in the open air, you simply won’t find a studio environment that can offer even a tenth of the qualities you can find out in nature.  The light, the setting, the amazing effect both can have on your subjects…  Nope.  You’re not going to find that in a studio.  Heck, I used to have one…  and I didn’t use it.

Yep, given me the real world any day.  Real people, enjoying themselves in a real situation.  Loving themselves and the experience.  It just doesn’t get any better!

 

Ugh.  Just realized I’ve got bug guts on my screen.  Ewwwwwww……….  😛

Gotta love Summer!  (and yes, it’s from something getting squashed earlier while I was working outdoors – because even when I’m processing an image, if I can be outside?  I’d rather be.)

The Power of SHe – Photography Debut

Last night marked the debut of six pieces from my Power of SHe project.  They were premiered at the Mosaic art and fashion show, celebrating the 20th anniversary of Pride in Saskatoon.  It was a sold out event, with spectacular performances, beautiful clothing, and an outstanding array of artistic work.  I was proud to have my work featured at such a fabulous event.  My congratulations to the Saskatoon Diversity Network for putting on this groundbreaking event, and my thanks for all their hard work.

Now, without further ado, I’d like to introduce you to the six pieces I debuted last night.  As many of you are aware, The Power of SHe is a personal project of mine focusing on how we, as Women, choose to define ourselves vs how society and the media seek to define and confine us.  I hope it forces people to take a closer look at what makes us who we are, and find those things which unite us.  As Women we should be supporting one another in our choices, finding strength within ourselves and helping to empower our sisters.  That is what The Power of SHe is all about.

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All six images can be seen in greater detail (and are available for purchase) at:  http://td365.smugmug.com/Art/The-Power-of-SHe/  For information on how you can become involved in this important project, visit http://photography.tobi-dawne.com/Power_of_SHe.html

 

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