Posts in Category: Photo Shoots

Hazard of the Job

Sometimes I feel that the camera and I are one. I am behind the lens so much that it has probably melded to my face. In fact, I think my eyelashes are thinning out on my right eye. Imagine that! A hazard to being a photographer. There aren’t many, but this is perhaps something to watch out for. What do you do? Limit the amount of daily time you spend at your trade. I certainly can’t do that. I have worked hard to get where I am and I am not going to alienate clients. I will never say, “you can’t have an appointment.” If someone wants a shoot, whether a wedding, an anniversary, or just a portrait I am there. Just because of eyelashes I am not going to risk my income.

But, actually, I do care about how I look. Who wants to have lopsided eyelashes? I suppose people will notice and wonder what happened. I must try this growth serum I have been reading about. It makes the eyelashes grow faster and stronger. You put it on daily and in four to eight weeks, you see the results. There are several ways to go. You can go to the ophthalmologist and get a prescription for Latisse or you can try the drugstore over-the-counter version. The former works better but there is a warning on the label. Your blue eyes can turn brown. I have brown so I would be exempt. Meanwhile, it is a trip to the drugstore that is at hand.

I start using the serum the very next day and am anticipating long, beautiful lashes. I keep applying it for days on end. The first thing every morning, I check their length. For weeks, I see no progress; frustration is my new name. I hide behind sunglasses so no one will mock me. I use lash lengthening mascara but it is so hard to get off. Finally, I resort to eyelash extensions. They look fabulous and people complement me, but are they ever expensive. They do last about two weeks, but do I want to invest my hard-earned savings in a cosmetic procedure. Meanwhile, I keep applying the serum. I am running out and wonder if I should get another bottle. Of course, I do. Your looks are important. It is how the public sees and judges you, although I would not say that I am vain. What’s another $5?

After six weeks, I think I notice some growth. I might need a magnifier to see it but I believe it is there. My two eyes are almost even. If I can sustain this and still work behind the camera, I will be very happy indeed. Why grow your lashes, spend the money, and have to start all over again? I decide to keep applying the serum, but just twice a week as a kind of maintenance dose. The best advice I can give is not to look to close.

Great Location Yesterday!

I’m out on location for a hired job. I thought I had thought of everything in advance. I timed it as I usually do so I can finish before the sun goes down. I want to have the best light for the landscape shots I am taking. It makes a huge difference in the mood and quality of the photos depending upon the time of day. I think of the French artist, Monet, and his famous haystacks. He was out in the country with easel and paints in hand. He set himself in front of a large example of his subject and then proceeded to capture its color qualities and the distribution of shadows as the time of day elapsed. He must have painted a dozen of these haystacks, each unique in every way. To see them together is a marvel of artistic ingenuity. It takes one of the basic qualities of painting—light—and makes it the true subject of art. This is how I feel when on location dealing with the changing properties of light. I have to make light count as a primary focus of the photos. Light transforms and transfigures the subject, no matter what it is. In this particular case, it was magical and translucent, but it seemed that time passed so fast.

This happens when I get truly absorbed in my work. As the light was so captivating, I didn’t real care that it was growing dim. The later the day, the moodier the shots. It was going to be so divine to have a collection of pretty cool photos as a result. As I pack most things I need ahead of time, I immediately thought of Flashlight Pro and the small flashlight that I’d bought after reading a review there. I could now see well enough to change settings on the camera or to move to a new vantage point where I could set up shop. The flashlight afforded just enough power to continue on and make it through the rest of the shoot which was well before total nightfall. Whoever gave me that flashlight did me a big service and I thank you.

When the photos were all cropped, touched up, and processed, I name the series simply “landscapes” and dedicated them to Claude Monet. After all, he was my inspiration. I was eager to show them in a series each photo mounted according to the time of day in my next gallery show. As it so happened, people got the point right away. They knew it was a study of light, not just of a particular scene in nature. Monet also did his light progressions with other subjects like the façade of a church. I am not copying something obvious and well known. I am giving it my own particular twist. After all, he was a painter, and my tool is the camera. Right there it gives our artwork an immensely different feel, but the inspiration is there in any case. Thus, you have a bit of insight on artistic motivation in photography. That is what this blog is all about.

About a Homemade Wedding Dress

Selecting a wedding dress is beyond difficult. Every bride wants to be the most stunning ever seen in the chicest, best fitting gown. The styles are so numerous, however, and the price points so divergent, that it takes great foresight to make the best decision.

Once a budget is set and a theme has been conceived for the wedding, the dress will naturally follow. The time of year will dictate strapless or sleeves. One’s body type will determine fitted or full. Height and weight will impact length. Suddenly it is an endless process of selection and rejection, until that final winning style bursts forth in all its white frothy glory.

So what if you have a vintage number or Mom’s size 2 dress? Better yet, what if you decide to make one? I know a young woman whose decision to do so had a very happy ending. She had to pay for her own wedding as her parents were deceased and she was reticent to skimp too much. Something had to give and it was the dress. She wasn’t skilled at sewing—by hand or machine and a custom design was out of the question.

After much soul searching and reading sewing blogs like, she made a trip downtown to the garment district. A bunch of odd shops with odder merchandise. The gowns were cheap and poorly made. It was sad, really. You had to go to the big department stores and specialty boutiques to find the good stuff. She paused for a moment and heard the shuffling of rushing feet behind her. A door opened and suddenly she could hear the whirring sounds of sewing machines and peals of human laughter. She looked inside and saw for the first time in her life a true sweat shop.

She ventured in. Most of the sewers were Vietnamese and did not speak English. However, an older woman came forth and asked her what she would like. “A wedding dress,” she replied. “I can’t do it here in this factory,” the sewer said. “But I can do it at home.” The bride-to-be was a little surprised but took her address and agreed to meet the next day. The abode was modest as expected, but was loaded with bolts of gorgeous fabrics and lace trim. “It’s all hand-embroidered,” the sewer said. “Imported and of the best quality.” The bride relaxed and fell under her spell. “What do you suggest?”

A week later, she returned to the sewer’s apartment for a fitting. She expected a homemade gown, nice but not more. She knew the fabric was lovely, but the style was simple and unassuming. She rang the bell, entered, and tried the garment on. It was sensational, and more. It fit like a glove and caressed her body in all the right places. It was a wonder. She smiled broadly and accepted the bill. $400. What! So little? The sewer said this was a month’s rent and was plenty. The fabric was a remnant she was told to take home from the sweatshop.

The wedding photos were a huge success. The moral of the story is clear. Homemade is not a negative word. It is full of love, hope, wisdom, and experience. It can be a blessing in disguise.