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30 Days Project: Dramatic Landscapes and Music

The landscape was my first love in photography.

I started my studies in photography after borrowing a camera from my mother when I was 17 years old.  I spent the day driving around my grandfather’s ranch in Northern Arizona taking black and white images.  It was an experiment really.  I was attempting to prove that photography was easy!  Just point your camera at something beautiful and you will have a beautiful photo.  I think a lot of people with their iPhone think that too and yet, their photos don’t seem to measure up.  That day, I had a bit of beginners luck, but it was followed by a year of pride swallowing failure and it was the failures that firmly planted the passion for this art in my soul.  I knew I could do it, but it was also challenging, and that is what made it interesting.

I ended up changing my major (from theatrical performance) to photography and started carrying around a large format, 4×5 camera.  This is the kind of camera you see in the late 1800s with the guy under a dark cloth, looking into a camera that looks a bit like an accordion.  It was a beast to carry around, but I thought I was going to be Ansel Adams.  Little did I know that I would stray completely from that format and favor documentary imagery and end up photographing people almost exclusively for the next 25 years.  But my heart still loves the vast, open horizons of my youth and while I don’t miss the weight of that old camera, I do miss the slow, methodical act of landscape photography.  So, I have married the two into one art form.  You will probably notice if you follow my work, that most of my portrait work and even my documentary work is a little bit portrait/documentary and a lot of landscape.  We all have our past.  Mine just doesn’t include skeletons and closets.  It includes a lot of hours riding on a horse looking at a vast, empty landscape.

This slideshow is a collection of landscape work I have made over the past eight years.  Many of the images come from jobs like weddings and portraits, others from my travels as I go around the world teaching workshops.  I have an endless supply of them, so you may see more of them throughout the next 30 days.

This slideshow was made with Adobe Premiere Clip. Clip accesses all of my photos in Lightroom CC and creates beautiful slideshows in seconds right on my iPad or iPhone. The beauty of Clip is that I can either make a super simple and fast slideshow, or I can further edit that slideshow or movie in Adobe Premiere. In this case, I did the entire thing in Adobe Clip and sent it right to the web.  You are seeing eight years of photographic work.  The slideshow itself took about 50 seconds to create with another 5 minutes of little tweaks to the timing.  The hardest part of making this slideshow was choosing the images and the music to go with it.

Speaking of music, this whole 30 Days project is possible because of Triple Scoop Music’s new subscription-based service which allows users to pay one monthly fee rather than per song.  If you are producing projects and need music, I highly recommend Triple Scoop Music.  The service is full of great original songs from independent artists.  License one song at a time, or sign up for the subscription service and use as many songs as you need, whenever you need them.  Learn more at www.triplescoopmusic.com

Music in this video licensed through www.triplescoopmusic.com

The music for this slideshow is called “Dark is Easier” by Stephanie Schneiderman

Unlimited music licensing plans are normally $995 per year and up.  However, right now, for a limited time, there is special pricing! Get yours for just $499 per year (annual billing) or $49 per month when you sign up this month.  If you only use one new song each month, you will save $221 this year.  At those prices, I will save $1,301 this month alone!  That’s pretty amazing.  Choose all the music you need all year long. Choose from over 35,000 hand-picked songs and soundtracks.  Click here to learn more: www.triplescoopmusic.com

Use the code “JAREDPLATT18” and save an extra 10% on your music membership!

If you are a Vimeo fan, you can watch this project unfold at my Vimeo Album

The following photo is me, traveling back in time to work with a 4×5 field camera. Funny how no matter how far back in time I go, I still have no hair…

For a complete list of my equipment, you can go to BHPHOTO HERE.

 

Jared Platt, portrait photographer, with a large format camera dressed in 1800s cloathing

30 Days Project: Music and Photos

Making a commitment to share more work, more often, in more places.

I am starting a new project today called “Music and Photos”. I will be creating one slideshow every day for the next 30 days. This is all in an effort to show more work more often and in more places. But that is a tall order, so I have signed up for Triple Scoop Music’s subscription membership which allows me to use any music I like anytime for one monthly or yearly subscription fee. This will allow me to use a wide variety of music and match my projects to the music exactly. So tune in each day for music and photos (and some video too) and as a bonus, I will be showing you how to use various programs to make these slideshows and videos during the course of the month: Adobe Clip and Premiere, Smart Slides and Animoto.

If you are producing projects and need music, I highly recommend Triple Scoop Music.  The service is full of great original songs from independent artists.  License one song at a time, or sign up for the subscription service and use as many songs as you need, whenever you need them.  Learn more at www.triplescoopmusic.com

Unlimited music licensing plans are normally $995 per year and up. However, right now, for a limited time, there is special pricing! Get yours for just $499 per year (annual billing) or $49 per month when you sign up this month. If you only use one new song each month, you will save $221 this year. At those prices, I will save $1,301 this month alone! That’s pretty amazing. Choose all the music you need all year long. Choose from over 35,000 hand-picked songs and soundtracks.  Click here to learn more: www.triplescoopmusic.com

If you are a Vimeo fan, you can watch this project unfold at my Vimeo Album

Use the code JAREDPLATT18 and save an extra 10% on your music membership!

Music in this video licensed through www.triplescoopmusic.com

The Importance of Photographing Wedding Details

When I am working as a wedding photographer, I make it a priority to capture good images of the wedding details. Those details matter. While every wedding has the obligatory images of the ceremony and reception, the wedding details are what truly make an event unique. They tell the story of the wedding itself. I’d like to share the details from Jessica and Jon’s Scottsdale wedding. Jessica and Jon were married at the Omni Montelucia Paradise Valley Resort in Scottsdale, Arizona.

The Importance of Photographing Wedding Details

Brides spend so much time and money on the wedding details. Details that are often overlooked. Without capturing these thoughtful, personal touches as a part of their wedding photography, these small touches can be lost and forgotten. Without including these images in the collection, there is no way to fully describe the wedding. With Jessica and Jon’s wedding, there are so many stories in the details. The Montelucia Resort and Spa provided a beautiful backdrop to capture these images.

I created these images to tell the story and preserve the details that made Jessica and Jon’s wedding unique. Instead of just taking a picture of the items, I’ve built vignettes to capture the essence of these details. The graceful delicate lines of the chain to Jessica’s cross contrasted beautifully with Jon’s handsome watch. Nestled into Jessica’s bouquet was a tiny cameo with a picture of her father, so he could be there in spirit. Flowers wilt, cakes get cut up and eaten, but the memories are preserved in these images.

Photographing a couple’s wedding details can also be an artistic way to show the passage of time during the event. The wax running low on the candles and the bride’s gorgeous shoes sitting abandoned on her chair tell stories. These details capture the emotion of the moment, preserving not just a picture of the details themselves but the feelings they evoke.

Some of these details are the work of Michelle Scarzone, owner and event planner of Simply Refined Events. Her artistic touch and keen eye helped to realize the vision Jessica and Jon had for their wedding.

Please enjoy these images of the wedding details from Jessica and Jon’s Omni Montelucia Resort and Spa wedding. And, make sure to check back. I will be sharing more images from this event in a future post.

 

 

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Moments Matter- Jon and Jessica’s Omni Montelucia Resort Wedding

When it comes to wedding photography, two things I am passionate about are moments and details. A wedding is made up of memorable moments. While family portraits and group portraits are important, it’s the candid moments that are often the best images. Moments not only capture the essence of the event, but they can transport you back to that night. I shared some of my favorite wedding details from Jessica and Jon’s Scottsdale wedding at the Omni Montelucia Resort and Spa in a previous post, here.  In this post, I want to showcase some of their wedding moments. Moments matter in wedding photography. Here is a selection from Jon and Jessica’s celebration.

Moments Matter – Jon and Jessica’s Omni Montelucia Resort Wedding

Images of moments in wedding photography have the ability to capture the emotion and the feel of the event. They are the images that have the power to take you back to that moment. For many brides and grooms, these images also offer a glimpse into a part of the event they didn’t get to see. The raucous laughter during the groomsmen portraits. A mischievous grin from a flower girl or ring bearer. And, of course, the real, beautiful moments during the ceremony. These candid, documentary style moments capture so much of the energy and emotion of the day.

Often, the first time a couple can truly appreciate the moment they became husband and wife is when they see the end result of their wedding photography. With Jon and Jessica’s wedding, so many of these moments are filled with joy. I love how Jessica’s whole face lights up in laughter during one of the speeches. Other moments are quiet and intimate, shared by the bride and groom. Wedding moments truly showcase people and emotions. I find I create a lot of the wedding moments in black and white, because the color distracts from the expression and the emotion of the moment. My goal is always the same: to capture the energy, relationships and emotions without calling too much attention to my presence.

Enjoy these wedding moments from Jon and Jessica’s beautiful wedding.

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Featured Vendors:

Michelle Scarzone

Owner/Event Planner

Phone: 480-223-8659

Omni Montelucia Resort & Spa – Paradise Valley Luxury Resort

4949 E. Lincoln Drive

Scottsdale, Arizona 85253

Phone: 480-627-3200

Israel and Brittany: An Engagement Portrait Session in the Phoenix Arizona Desert

An engagement portrait session is more than just taking pictures. It’s about making art. An engagement session is about connection; capturing the connection a couple shares and building the connection between client and photographer. It’s about understanding who they are as people and connecting with them as individuals. And, of course, it’s about making beautiful images. That’s exactly what I did with Israel and Brittany. I met up with them in the Phoenix, Arizona desert to connect with them and capture their engagement portraits.

Israel and Brittany are a stunning couple. The two of them were so at ease with each other as we wandered through the desert, chasing the light and enjoying one another’s company. I collaborated them in the same way I might collaborate with a model or an art director. Rather than trying to coax poses out of them, the day evolved organically. We let light and conversation guide us around the desert just outside of Phoenix. We captured moments filled with laughter, quiet intimacy, and love. I always aspire to capture real moments, and we did it in every image.

Phoenix Arizona Desert Engagement Portrait Session

The beauty of the Arizona desert is so unique. Within one session, we experienced a wide range of temperatures and backdrops. In the afternoon, the sun beat down warm and golden. When it began to set, both the light and the temperatures cooled, changing the mood and the look of the images. Together, we looked for interesting backdrops and landscapes, hiking high up into the hills for the best vantage points. The desert has so many different personalities that kept the three of us constantly inspired.

I really enjoyed connecting with these two. The conversation flowed easily and we had a great time throughout the session. As we spent more time together, I got to see more of who Brittany and Israel are, and how they interact. They’re a very loving couple, effortlessly connecting in pictures even when they weren’t touching. There’s energy between the two of them and it was easy to document. They’re very much in love. Israel is smitten with Brittany. Natural, easy intimacy like this makes for gorgeous photographs.

I hope you enjoy these portraits. It was a true pleasure collaborating with this couple.

Creative engagement portrait in the desert outside of phoenix arizona by wedding photographer, Jared Platt

Creative engagement portrait in the desert outside of phoenix arizona by wedding photographer, Jared Platt

Creative engagement portrait in the desert outside of phoenix arizona by wedding photographer, Jared Platt

Creative engagement portrait in the desert outside of phoenix arizona by wedding photographer, Jared Platt

Creative engagement portrait in the desert outside of phoenix arizona by wedding photographer, Jared Platt

Creative engagement portrait in the desert outside of phoenix arizona by wedding photographer, Jared Platt

Creative engagement portrait in the desert outside of phoenix arizona by wedding photographer, Jared Platt

Creative engagement portrait in the desert outside of phoenix arizona by wedding photographer, Jared Platt

Creative engagement portrait in the desert outside of phoenix arizona by wedding photographer, Jared Platt

An engagement portrait is an experience and a chance to get to know your photographer and for him to get to know you. Jared Platt takes that to another level and makes an engagement portrait an opportunity for the bride and groom and the photographer to create something special together. It is a collaborative effort with lighting and landscape and love.

A High School Portrait Session with Friends

This is what you get when a bunch of high school friends who love musicals, dressing up, acting, acting silly, making movies, Disney, etc… get together with a professional photographer, makeup artists, in a beautiful mansion!  It was a fun day for sure.

Here’s the concept.  What if the Disney characters were real people and wanted to have their portraits taken?  What if their senior portraits were taken?  What would they look like?  This group included high school seniors to middle school and grade school kids.  All of them were either good friends or siblings.  We took them out to the Chateau de Vie in Tempe, Arizona and spent the day making portraits of them in their Disney costumes.  Yes… you read that right, they own the costumes.  It’s a fun group of kids.  Many of these costumes were made by grandma, who is a very skilled seamstress, an artist with clothing really.  Thanks to my crew, and our brilliant hair and makeup artists, we got a lot of images done in one day.  There were not simple available light photographs, so having my assistants there to help move lights around was crucial.

Here are some of my favorite images from the day and of course a little behind the scenes video above.

Special thanks to the Chateau de Vie for providing such a beautiful location (which is available for weddings and events) and to our hair and makeup artists, Rachel Jolley and Kate Sepic, who are fantastic artists.  They did such a beautiful job on everything.  I think this was the first time they had met, but they worked as a team and got a lot accomplished very quickly and did a magnificent job.  Everyone looked perfect.

Some of these kids are my nieces and nephews, and the super skilled seamstress/costume designer is my mother, their grandmother.  A special thanks to all of Mary Platt’s work on most of these outfits.  That Gaston outfit… she made that entire thing!

Enjoy the photos and the video!

I’ll be posting again about the lighting and production on these photos later.

High School Portrait of girl in Disney Costume Bell Dress

High School Portrait of girl in Disney Costume Bell Dress

High School Portrait of girl in Disney Costume Bell Peasant Dress

Jon and Jessica’s Paradise Valley Wedding

A Family Portrait Session in the Desert of Arizona

I have photographed this family for years. Every time, it’s been an effort to find locations that don’t look like the desert. This time, mom finally embraced the fact that they do, in fact, live in the desert and requested that we go out to get photos in the desert itself. So we met up at the Gold Field State Park Desert just outside of Mesa, Arizona for this family portrait session.

Arizona Desert Family Portraits

Before we shot the family together, we did the children’s photos in the harsher light. It is easier to photograph the group when the light is softer, after sun has gone down a bit.

Arizona family portrait session platt photography

A family portrait in the desert outside phoenix-mesa, arizona at Gold Field State Park.

The first test of the light was with their youngest son and his penguin. Penguins are very appropriate for the desert.

Arizona family portrait session platt photography

A family portrait in the desert outside phoenix-mesa, arizona at Gold Field State Park.

Mom’s dress is fantastic. The way it flowed in the wind created lots of movement and interest.

Arizona family portrait session platt photography

A family portrait in the desert outside phoenix-mesa, arizona at Gold Field State Park.

Arizona family portrait session platt photography

A family portrait in the desert outside phoenix-mesa, arizona at Gold Field State Park.

Arizona family portrait session platt photography

A family portrait in the desert outside phoenix-mesa, arizona at Gold Field State Park.

It’s important to note, desert light is very harsh. Without the use of a 2’x3′ soft box matching the sun’s harsh cross light, the photos would be extremely dark on the shadow side of the face.  Using the Profoto B1 off-camera flash makes this easy. It is powerful enough to match the sun and portable enough to move when I need to move.

Arizona family portrait session platt photography

A family portrait in the desert outside phoenix-mesa, arizona at Gold Field State Park.

More importantly is its extremely accurate TTL which allows kids to move and adjusts for the change in distance. When little kids move, you have to move with them.

https://bhpho.to/2BaKbCh

A family portrait in the desert outside phoenix-mesa, arizona at Gold Field State Park.

I love crying baby photos. Especially when there are other kids to react. The brothers’ reaction to their littlest sister really needs no explanation.

Arizona family portrait session platt photography

A family portrait in the desert outside phoenix-mesa, arizona at Gold Field State Park.

Arizona family portrait session platt photography

A family portrait in the desert outside phoenix-mesa, arizona at Gold Field State Park.

Arizona family portrait session platt photography

A family portrait in the desert outside phoenix-mesa, arizona at Gold Field State Park.

Arizona family portrait session platt photography

A family portrait in the desert outside phoenix-mesa, arizona at Gold Field State Park.

Toward the end, it started getting cold. Yes, it gets very cold in the desert as the sun goes down.

I love when the little ones leaned in to Dad for warmth. And of course, the shot of the family all together really showcases family togetherness at its best.

Arizona family portrait session platt photography

A family portrait in the desert outside phoenix-mesa, arizona at Gold Field State Park.

This image was my favorite because of its documentary nature… and the fact that it just feels like my childhood.

Arizona family portrait session platt photography

A family portrait in the desert outside phoenix-mesa, arizona at Gold Field State Park.

By the end of the session, I think all of the kids were either miserably cold, crying or frowning. So, any questions as to why we did the walking away shot for the final shot of the portrait session?

A Night at the Phoenix Symphony

One of the things I like about my life and work is the constant variation in what I get to capture. I shoot weddings, portraits, commercial, documentary, and more. One thing I really enjoy is when I have the opportunity to work with other artists, like the musicians of the Phoenix Symphony. From the musicians and conductors, to the marketing staff and the CEO, everyone is extremely talented. 

A few times a year, the symphony presents multimedia performances that include both music and video at the same time. This multimedia performance was a celebration of the work of legendary composer Elmer Bernstein. His iconic music was paired with clips from the movies his scores brought to life. It was conducted by his son, Peter Bernstein, who shared stories about his father and the music during the performance.

phoenix symphony orchestra platt photography

The musical score to the ten commandments by Ernie Beirnstien.

I like to photograph the score because I like to take visual notes. This practice helps me to remember things, like names, details, and more. And I love the way music looks on a page, the way the notes are like their own language. Even though I have played music my whole life, I can’t actually read sheet music.

phoenix symphony orchestra platt photography

Phoenix Symphony CEO Jim Ward Back Stage with Ernie Beirnstien’s son, conductor Peter Beirnstien

Jim Ward is one of my favorite people. This intelligent business genius has been the captain of ships such as Lucas Arts now leads the Phoenix Symphony. His guiding hand has made it one of the few symphonies in the US that are financially sound. This gives great artists a stable benefactor. Who says art and commerce can’t coexist?

phoenix symphony orchestra platt photography

Phoenix Symphony orchestra master violinist Steven Moeckel getting in the zone before performance.

Phoenix Symphony orchestra master violinist Steven Moeckel getting in the zone before the performance. Steven is truly a treasure. Listening to him play is truly mesmerizing.

phoenix symphony orchestra platt photography

Video of Ernie Beirnstien above the Phoenix Symphony performing his film scores.

phoenix symphony orchestra platt photography

The Phoenix Symphony performing socres by Ernie Beirnstien with the films playing above.

Peter Bernstein, son of Elmer Bernstein, conducted the symphony as they played his father’s exemplary film scores. To accompany the music, video clips from the films and clips of his father played overhead. Between the music, Peter also told stories about his father. One of the stories he shared was about his father’s experience in Hollywood during the McCarthy hearings and the Communist black lists that threatened actors, directors and musicians during that time.

phoenix symphony orchestra platt photography

The Phoenix Symphony performing the score for The Ten Commandments by Ernie Beirnstien with the film playing above.

It was filmmaker Cecil B. DeMille who vouched for Elmer Bernstein to keep him off the Hollywood blacklist. He was the one who gave Bernstein his break in the movies, which began his amazing career as a legend in film scoring.

phoenix symphony orchestra platt photography

The Phoenix Symphony

phoenix symphony orchestra platt photography

Guest conductor Bernstein leading the Phoenix Symphony playing his father’s film scores.

phoenix symphony orchestra platt photography

Dirrector of Animal House, John Landis, speaking about the work of Ernie Bernstein.

Director John Landis (of Animal House, Three Amigos, and other ridiculous comedies) was there to discuss his experiences with Elmer as well.

phoenix symphony orchestra platt photography

The Phoenix Symphony playing the music of film score composer Ernie Beirnstien.

phoenix symphony orchestra platt photography

The Phoenix Symphony playing the music of film score composer Ernie Beirnstien.

phoenix symphony orchestra platt photography

Back stage with Ernie Beirnstien’s son Peter, guest conductor at the Phoenix Symphony.

My backstage lighting was critical to the success of these photos. With the Profoto lighting system, I am able to photograph in completely dark situations with complete confidence. With the A1 On Camera Flash (with a focus assist), and the B1 and B2 off camera flashes hanging from various walls and rafters, there is no image I can’t capture. I know where the action is going to happen and set up my lights prior to the event. Because I can control everything from the A1 On Camera Flash, no matter what direction I am facing, I can create light that will make the image work, even in the darkest conditions. Of course, when the symphony starts playing, the lights go off and I slip into stealth mode.

When all is said and done, photography is my opportunity and excuse to go into everyone else’s world. Whether it is photographing a wedding or a symphony, I love my work. And I love working with talented people who are at the very top of their game.