It was one year ago today that our little Havanese dog, Jamaica entered into this world.  Still a puppy, she is a handful, but she is getting better each day.  Today she saw her first balloon and was not quite sure what to think about it.  In a day or two she will probably be running around the house with the string in her mouth. This was also one of her first times under the studio lights. The key to success here is to shoot fast because she isn’t staying in one place for very long.

Happy birthday, Jamaica.  You’re an awesome dog!



Self Portrait

I had fun this winter seeing what my beard would look like after not having one for many years.  My dear wife put up with the scratchiness for a while as it grew to what would be its full length.  You see, I got rid of it shortly after taking this image.

I downloaded the update to OnOne Software’s Perfect Photo Suite 7 a few days ago and used the Perfect B&W plugin to do the black and white conversion and to add a border to it.  They have a 30 day trial to their software if you want to try out some cool effects.

The lighting was a single light with no modifiers.  The black background was actually my unlit entryway.




My wife and I had fun working on some self portraits for a “2011 Adventures” book we are building.  These books have become an annual affair, both in building the book and capturing the self portraits.  It will also give us something look back on years down the road.

The lighting was very simple in this setup.  I used a single AlienBees B800 strobe in a 3×4 foot Photoflex Softbox.  Since it was daytime with light shining through the curtains in our living room, I set the camera to a low ISO (100), causing it to need more light for the exposure, plus I stopped down the lens to an aperture of f16.  This caused whatever ambient light in the room to disappear with the only visible light to the camera being created in the softbox.

I positioned Kel to get the light just right on her face, then had her freeze that position. I set up the camera to capture an image every 7 seconds, then I jumped into the photo, trying to match the orientation of my face to hers so that the shadows would fall similarly on both our faces.  The camera captured about a dozen images, as I slowly moved my head position, hoping that at least one of them would be what I was looking for.

Here is my result.  Not an exact match, but pretty close.

Do you like dramatic lighting like this for portraits, or do you prefer a more evenly lit scene?

Family Self Portrait

Here is another portait that I captured of our good friend, Kjerstin.  What a fun photo session this was.  If I didn’t know better, I’d think she spends a lot of time on the modeling side of the camera.  She was a natural which made my job a lot easier.

This one was shot with a white seamless paper backdrop, but without any lights on the backdrop which gave it a light gray tone.  The only light used was a single 2×4 foot soft-box housing an Alien Bees B800 strobe.


My wife is a very talented guitar player and teacher.  One of the extra activities that some of her advanced students get to participate in is being a part of “La Bella Corda.” These kids put in a lot of extra time to hone their skills as musicians.  They also get to perform around the valley at several different venues.  It was my pleasure to be able to photograph the ensemble for an advertising promotion for their upcoming performances. This was our favorite image from the shoot.


Today I had the opportunity of taking portraits of Elijah & Kjerstin, a very much in love couple who have been married for less than a year now.  It was so fun to see the sparkle in each others eyes as they went through the various poses.  If I didn’t know any better I would have thought they both modeled as a profession.

Elijah & Kjerstin are good friends of ours and volunteered to come over for a little practice session.  I’ve been learning some new posing techniques and I thought they would be willing subjects.  They were so good in front of the camera that I’m not sure if did much to contribute to their great photos.  🙂

We wish Elijah & Kjerstin the very best in their married life together.

I had a great time yesterday photographing our friends new puppy.  His name is Zappa and he was one of the most well behaved puppies I’ve seen. Zappa is an interesting mix of a Rat Terrier and a Chihuahua. Here is one of my favorite images from the photo session.

To see the rest of Zappa’s photos, click HERE to be redirected to my gallery site.


Young female jazz guitarist

One of the aspects my photography business is shooting portraits.  My wife owns a music studio and a lot of students and parents coming through on a weekly basis.  This gives me an opportunity to show some of my work to potential customers.  As soon as I get this one printed, it will be up on the wall not only as advertising for me, but for this particular shot, as an inspiration to the music students.

The image was captured by placing the model on a white seamless paper background and a white, somewhat shiny floor.  After the image was copied to the computer, it was edited to take out any slight shading on the white background and to add a light brown gradient.  This was all done in Photoshop in about 10 minutes.

Now it is off to the printer for a nice 16×20 print!