ell, its Monday. And precisely one week ago today, I was laying prostrate on the hotel bed asking the heaven's why I agreed to speak at WPPI...I was so nervous I could barely function. JD would ask me a question and I'd shake my head from whatever fog it resided and answer, Yes, your meatball did look delicious at dinner last night! The answer was always the same, regardless of the question. I couldn't think straight. This was partly because my friend Regis texted me a picture of the MGM Garden Arena (the venue where I was scheduled to speak) on Sunday night. From that moment on, my brain stopped functioning. This was roughly when JD's meatball arrived to the table during dinner.
The venue was massive and as I sat backstage and waited for the presentation to begin, I saw a picture of Bette Midler. Oh, com'on, how can I compare with the woman who sang WIND BENEATH MY WINGS?! As I approached the stage, I shook like a leaf. A big, brown leaf. I walked to the podium from backstage and I couldn't see. No, really, the first row of seats were 100 yards away. Now this is where JD jumps in and waves his arms and scrunches his eyebrows because he hates when I exaggerate. Jasmine, he'll not-so-patiently say, 100 yards is the length of a football field...you mean 100 feet, right? And then I'll say no. And he'll start flapping his arms again and I'll ask him to stop trying to fly.
So maybe it was 100 feet...but it felt like 100 YARDS!!! I couldn't see, hear, or get a sense of the audience and I felt like I was going to pass out. My voice quivered and my knees shook, but I pushed forward with the presentation. For those of you who sat in the audience and whooped/hollered/amen-ed loud enough for me to hear, thank you. It meant more than you'll ever know. I hope the evening marked a new beginning and I can't wait to hear how you change your story. I'm honored to call you friends.
All photos were taken by Regis...a friend I made at the very first WPPI Conference I attended.
This was part of the evening was where I felt more in my element...talking to people and making new friends!
Many, many thanks to those who came out and introduced themselves...at the risk of sounding like an After School Special, I'm a better person because of you. Really.
A special shout out to these two girls...they were the last in line and waited way too long, but they were incredibly awesome!
Happy Monday and a HUUUUUGE thanks to Anton for creating the new Jasmine Star Commercial...it started the presentation better than I could have imagined...
...Oh, and a special thanks to the entire WPPI crew (especially Kate, George, and Arlene) for being incredibly supportive and giving me this opportunity...and PDN's Lauren Wendel offering a last minute pep talk before I took the stage...and DJ Kishi for mixing up some of my favorite songs to set the mood right (you can find all his mixes here)...
...Lastly, I need to thank JD for listening while I practiced that presentation waaaaaaay too many times, for getting me to the presentation on time, and for being the other half of my brain the entire week in Vegas...
'm always upfront and straight-forward in letting people know I don't have it together. In fact, I'm making it up (and making it work) as I go along, so when I received an email from my good friend Crash Taylor inviting me to join a project for Professional Photographer Magazine United Kingdom, I was nervous. The royal wedding of William and Kate is coming up, Crash wrote, and the editor requested three international wedding photographers to address issues he presented in a royal brief and how we'd handle a myriad of situations on a wedding day.
And then I was all, Whoa, whoa, whoaaaaa there. I didn't know what a royal brief was, so how the heck was I suppose to address it?! I read the brief and then responded the best way I knew how (although I assumed, Crash, Yervant, and I were all photographing the wedding together...silly me). I even emailed Crash and told him I thought I did it wrong.
Fast-forward to today: I received word from PPMUK that the article was published! I was excited! I couldn't wait to read it! I opened the pages! Then I realized I was wrong! I wasn't hypothetically shooting the royal wedding with Crash and Yervant...I was supposed to be positioning myself against them to get the job. Awesome sauce. Little did I realize, I was essentially pitching myself to William and Kate. Had I known this was the case, I would have written I'd ride into Buckingham Palace on a unicorn and hand-out cupcakes and noise makers. Duh.
Either way, I was incredibly honored and if Willie and Katie are still looking for a wedding photographer, I'll get the unicorn warmed up.
**Update to Add** I wrote this in the comment section, but I'm adding it here just to ensure we're all on the same page! :)
Thank you SOOO much, friends! One thing I want to clarify is that this article was a complete hypothetical...I realize the Royal Photographer was chosen months ago...Crash, Yervant, and I were simply asked for our input and approach. However, if you'd like to get together with cupcakes and noisemakers, I'm ready to party.
The T-Ball Wedding
his is totally random, but I found this video clip on the web a couple days ago. It's a snippet from the creativeLIVE online photo course. People often tell me I talk fast and my response is always the same: I don't talk fast...you just listen slow! I, however, may have to rescind previous comebacks after viewing this video. Wow. If photography doesn't work out, I can totally pursue auctioneering.
Oh, and doesn't this frame look like I'm screaming JAZZ HANDS!!!
Reflections : Natural Reflectors
appy Wednesday, y'all! I decided to revisit a post from last week and create a Reflections entry about it because it was one of the toughest shoots I had in regard to lighting. This time of year can present tricky lighting situations and when I shot this photo session a couple weeks ago, it was no exception. I usually arrange the a session about an hour and a half before sunset if I'm shooting along the coast. I can usually find open shade to shoot the couple in until the sun has fallen and created a nice, orangey glow around sunset. However, when you're shooting on a boat dock, you're not given that luxury as open shade isn't readily available.
I arrived early to scope out the location and realized there was, literally, no where else to shoot besides the dock. And it was blazing. That's when I went into red-DELAY-THIS-SHOOT-alert, but kept my demeanor calm on the outside. I needed to buy some time before getting the boat on the water because it was far too bright to shoot, so I assessed my options and here's a photo of what they were:
You can see from the photo above the light was scattered in between each boat, but I made mental notes of where the natural reflectors were and where I could place my subjects on open shade. Now, the photo below didn't make the final edit because I felt the natural reflector was far too distracting, but I'm showing it here to put into context how I positioned the bride and groom in relation to the reflector, which was about 3-4 feet from them.
Whenever I'm using natural reflectors, I try to omit them from the frame so I don't reveal the light source, as it's usually blown out and distracting in a photo. In the photo below, the natural reflector is just left to the frame and is bouncing light back onto their faces. If the reflector wasn't there, their faces would be far too shadowed since the sun was so harsh.
In the following photo, I had about four feet of shade to work with...which is less than ideal, I know...but you have to take what you have and make it work. I grabbed a stool and asked the couple to share it. The main natural reflector for this shot is about two feet in front of them on the pavement, which bounced light back onto their faces.
I hope this helps put into context how I shoot using only available light. Yes, it's sometimes difficult, but I prefer natural, life-like imagery and using artificial reflectors or fill-flash takes that away from me. If this explanation was confusing...forgive me...it's all I have and maybe I'll try again in the near future to explain my approach and thought process! :)
kay, so how do I begin this post? I'm so overwhelmed with gratitude and thankfulness. Seriously. For those who came to the Untold Stories presentation last night, thank you. Thank you, thank you from the bottom of my heart. I was incredibly overwhelmed with the outpouring of support and dedication to those who stood in line to talk afterward. A more thorough breakdown and recap is coming soon, but for now, I'm incredibly honored to share the new Jasmine Star commercial produced by Anton Lorimer...