Friday, March 25, 2011

Karen, Dakota, Dalton, Harley & Davidson (part 2) ... Enid, OK. photography

Our thanks to Karen for the second incredible portrait from this session (see yesterday's post). Jolene and I both know that these portraits are even now family heirlooms and in 50 years, Dalton and Dakota will still be telling the story of their parents and how this all came about.
Karen, you too did a great job on framing and gifts for your family and friends ... PERFECT!
Also, thanks to Karen for a lot of my 42 years of enjoyment at "Taco Bandito", delicious as always.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Richard, Dakota, Dalton, Harley & Davidson ... Enid, OK photography

In many respects, this portrait has been running around in my head since the mid 60's. "LOOK" magazine published a series of similar photographs by "Irving Penn" when I was in Junior High at Emerson. I remember looking at the portraits (as well as the "psychedelic Beatles" portraits by "Richard Avedon" in the same issue.  In fact one of the John Lennon portraits hangs in our mens' dressing room)  and thinking just "how cool are these". Two years ago, Richard came in with his son Dakota for a senior portrait and I showed him the Penn portraits, and again last year when we photographed Dalton for his senior portrait, I mentioned it again. February of 2011, Richard made a dream come true, we rolled the bike in, lit it, directed the men, and what I believe is a masterpiece emerged. Although the bike is a part of the portrait, the people are most prominent (as a portrait should be). The circular feel of the portraits with the pose of bodies and heads keeps our eyes engaged. Richard framed both his portraits perfectly in a chrome portrait frame and gave smaller pieces as gifts to friends and family.
There is not a thing I would have done different.
Thank you to the Druseses.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Mr. & Mrs. Ashley Bowen ... Enid, OK. Photography

Not an "artsy" blog post today, just a heartfelt blog post.
Jolene and I would like to congratulate Kate and Ash on their marriage last Saturday, March 21 in New Orleans. What a wonderful couple, we know that their married life will bring them joy and happiness.
Thanks for coming to Enid for the engagement portrait, the session was a lot of fun as you can tell from the portrait.
God Bless!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Nathan's Senior Portrait ... Enid, OK. Photography

Another thought on the design of a great portrait, props. If you have been reading my blog for a while, you will notice that we don't usually include a lot of props in our portraits. When we do though, they must be part of the story, something that is real, not fake or contrived.
When I look back at my High School years, I really wish that I had a portrait with my car, a 62 Chevy Impala. WOW, what an opportunity missed! Time moves on and waits for no one.
Here I believe we did Nathan a great portrait that focuses on him to begin with, and then adds the car as a secondary element. Even the lines of the building and the angle of the car brings our eye back to his face and a solid expression.
To his mom and dad, thanks for letting us photograph all three of your sons' senior portraits. You and your family have truly been a blessing to "the Grays"!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

the Peters Sisters ... Enid Ok Photography

So ultimately, can there be a great portrait with out a great expression? In our world, we think not.
First time clients often comment on how natural and real our portraits look (even when they don't know the person). How do we get these expressions? It's tough! We live in times where we tell children not to to interact with people they don't know.  Also,  here is a fact I don't like - people just do not want to take the time out of their lives for a nice portrait.  After all, it does take time, and it is this time that makes expressions natural. We meet our clients for a short period of time a week or two before the session, to look at clothing, give them a tour of the studio, pick their brains, and mainly just get to know them so when we take the portraits, we are friends on some level.
We go to church with these girls, so they had seen me around. Still, the design time made it even better, and more real. more sweet and nice.
Just like they are!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

the Embrees ... Wedding Portrait ... Enid, Ok Photography

We all know why Marilyn and Jim chose this portrait, they look great. But in addition to that, I love the protectiveness of Jim holding her close, as well as the lovingness of Marilyn's  head against his chest. Now add the circle of Jim's arm pulling our eyes back to their eyes, plus the color harmony of the soft tans and blue (matching the background and the eyes) and you have a "picture perfect" portrait on a loving and lovely married couple.
Thanks for allowing us to be a part of this special time in your lives.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

36 years ago today we opened the studio

March 3, 1975, catty cornered from the newspaper.
21 year old photographer with a dream.
$6000 borrowed.

A lot of people to thank, but it all goes back to Cliff Morton of "Cliffs Camera Shop".
When I was 15 years old, I decided I wanted a really nice camera, and so off to Cliff's with $12 in my pocket, I new that was how much a good camera would cost.
To my surprise it was actually $35.
To my next surprise, Cliff financed the balance at $2 per month for a year.
Where else but in Enid, who else except Cliff?
My thanks to Cliff and to Enid.
I never, every would have dreamed what would happen for me and my family in 36 years.
The best.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

the Jensens ... family photography by an Enid, Oklahoma photographer

What makes this portrait "art" is the circular flow of the eyes, from mom, dad and brother to the new little sister, and then from her, looking back at dad.  Even the curve of the arms on all four create another curve, a flow for our eyes to follow. This does not just happen by accident, or by shooting a ton of exposures and hoping for the best. It has to be set up with even the foot position of the parents taken into account. But above all, happy, loving expressions made possible by a controlled enviorment in the camera room make this an heirloom for the decades, a treasure in the years to come.