Bride and groom kiss - Wedding Photography in Phoenix Arizona at the Wrigley Mansion

Sara & Jay: A Wedding at the Wrigley Mansion in Phoenix, Arizona

Sara and Jay’s Wedding at The Wrigley Mansion in Phoenix, Arizona from Jared Platt on Vimeo.

Sara and Jay’s were married at The Wrigley Mansion in Phoenix, Arizona.  The mansion is an old, eclectic building with hallways and doors that lead you around in circles.  Each room is a unique place to shoot.  Which meant we had a number of choices for photographing the dress.  But this room ended up winning.  I loved the portraits hanging on either side and the texture of the translucent drapes.  Generally, I dislike the plastic hangers that come with the dress, but in this case, I was happy with the hanger because the white helped to set it apart from the wood valance.  I would like to know though, why it is that a bride can spend thousands of dollars on a dress and the dress shop only gives her a lame plastic hanger?  That is ridiculous.  They know the dress will be photographed before it goes on, and yet, they give her a white plastic hanger that, in most cases, takes away from the photograph.  I carry a hanger around with me to make up for this oversight, but in this case, the plastic hanger worked in the photo, so I didn’t use my wooden one.

Wedding Photography in Phoenix Arizona at the Wrigley Mansion

We were on our way up the stair case (where I am shooting from) and I saw this little archway and the light coming down the staircase.  So we had to use it because the light was perfect.

Grooms Portrait at a Wedding Photography in Phoenix Arizona at the Wrigley Mansion

The bride’s room at the Wrigley Mansion is full of soft feminine colors.  The paintings, wall papers and drapes are perfect for a slightly desaturated photograph.  I love the layers in this photograph.  Sara looks fantastic in it, the veil is coming into the shot, the painting is framing Sara nicely, the left side of the frame, though vacant, is held together by a bride’s maid’s shoulder and hair.  I just enjoy looking at this one.

The Bride getting ready at a Wedding Photography in Phoenix Arizona at the Wrigley Mansion

This is one of those doorways in the Wrigley Mansion that leads through a series of rooms and hallways that make you feel like you are in a game of Clue.  And, it was a perfect spot for a portrait.  It is not often that you find this much wall without it being interrupted by frames, drapes, light switches, etc.  So I used every inch of vacant wall.  Just to the right and left are elements that would spoil the shot.  It is all about the Bride.  No other distractions are allowed.

Bride Portrait at a Wedding Photography in Phoenix Arizona at the Wrigley Mansion

Bride and Groom at a Wedding Photography in Phoenix Arizona at the Wrigley Mansion

This little ring bearer was quite a show.  Here he comes down the long stairway, which serves as the beginning of the isle at the Wrigley Mansion.  But he caught sight of the cameras and all the people watching him.

Flower girl and ring bearer at a Wedding Photography in Phoenix Arizona at the Wrigley Mansion

So he literally walked the rest of the distance, down the stairs and down the isle with the ring pillow in front of his face to avoid the paparazzi.

Flower girl and ring bearer, Wedding Photography in Phoenix Arizona at the Wrigley Mansion

The entire way!  He was not interested in the publicity!  Everyone was laughing.  You couldn’t have planned that kind of entertainment.  I think that is why we have little children walk down the isle at weddings, in hopes that we get some comic entertainment.

Woman laughing - Wedding Photography in Phoenix Arizona at the Wrigley Mansion

Wedding Photography in Phoenix Arizona at the Wrigley Mansion

Because the mansion is on a mountain, there few flat spots.  Lots of stairs and hills.  But there are also a lot of trees, and because it is on it’s own knoll, you can find great shade somewhere at any point of the day.  I am always photographing, regardless of what is going on.  Whenever the bride and groom are walking, I am snapping a shot here and there and always looking for little moments like this one.  A small glance, a smile, something.  I was happy to find this one.

Bride and Groom walking - Wedding Photography in Phoenix Arizona at the Wrigley Mansion

I am particularly fond of this shot.  My wife saw it and said, “fantastic lines!”  Yep!  That’s what I was thinking when I was shooting this series.  This is one of those images that has to be seen at the camera.  It doesn’t appear from the contact sheet as a happy accident.  You have to see the lines and square up to them, otherwise they just fall apart in the frame and while you may get an ok shot out of it, you won’t get those “fantastic lines.”  The frame dictates the effectiveness of the lines.

The Mansion - Wedding Photography in Phoenix Arizona at the Wrigley Mansion

The Wrigley Mansion’s entry way is full of visuals.  It is a rotunda with a staircase or a balcony completely surrounding the room.  You could shoot this room again and again and get something different every time.

Inside the mansion - Wedding Photography in Phoenix Arizona at the Wrigley Mansion

I loved the graphic quality of this image with half of the frame in complete white and the other half in an textured white with a few darker elements and lines.  And then, of course, the main event, the kiss, happens in the corner of the frame making it more dramatic and full of energy as it battles with the convergence of the bottom and right hand edges.

Bride and groom kiss - Wedding Photography in Phoenix Arizona at the Wrigley Mansion

Photography by Jared Platt, Platt Photography

Wedding Venue: The Wrigley Mansion, Phoenix, Arizona

Stuart Thurkill shooting a wedding at the Montelucia in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Shooting with Stuart Thurkill

Stuart Thurkill shooting a wedding at the Montelucia in Scottsdale, Arizona.

I shot a wedding with Stuart Thurkill a few weeks ago at the Montelucia in Scottsdale, Arizona. His assistant was ill and I was free, so I stepped in to help out. We had a great time. The couple was cool and I always enjoy talking with Stuart because he is so passionate about everything, and he’s such a nice guy. This image I shot of Stuart at the wedding was certainly worth showing. I think that look he’s sporting is Zoolander’s patented Blue Steel look.

Jared Platt photographing the Phoenix Symphony for their 2011/12 Promotions

Conducting (and photographing) the Phoenix Symphony

Jared Platt photographing the phoenix symphony

I am working on a project for the Phoenix Symphony right now and went to a recent rehearsal to photograph some shots for their upcoming 2011/2012 season brochures and banners.  It is quite an honor to do this job and I am thrilled to be a par of promoting the Phoenix Symphony.  I am particularly looking forward to their performance of Sheherazade in March of 2012.  Anyway, it was an interesting place to stand.  I may have chosen this vantage point just so I could stand where the conductor stands.  In the photo above, I am trying to explain to them what I am looking for in the photograph and in the image below, they are playing the most hilarious renditions of various masterpieces, all purposefully out of tune.  I thought it was pretty funny.  But then I was in an orchestra when I was young, so their musical savant humor is not lost on me.

My assistant for the day, Eric Greenhalgh snapped a few images of me working, and I thought they were amusing.  Thanks Eric.

Jared Platt photographing the phoenix symphony

I know the trumpet player in the next photo was getting a real chuckle out of my proximity to his horn.  I know I was…

Jared Platt photographing the phoenix symphony

So what do the photos I took look like?  You’ll have to tune in in a few weeks for that.  I am still working on the project and will unveil a few of them, once we wrap up the first batch for the symphony.  And if you are a Symphony goer, you will most likely see some of the images coming in to you through your mail.

If you are in Phoenix, or passing through, take the time to go see these talented musicians perform.  I am completely impressed, and I don’t impress easily.  And don’t miss Sheherazade.  I’ll see you there.

Jared Platt photographing the phoenix symphony

Thanks again to Eric Greenhalgh, who was assisting me on this shoot for grabbing a few cool shots of me working.  Check out his work.  He’s a good photographer.

Portrait of Sheriff Paul Babue

I Fought the Law and the Law Won: A Portrait of Sheriff Paul Babeu

Isaac Bailey in the Sheriff's Car

“I fought the law, and the law won!”  – The Clash

My good friend Isaac Bailey came with me on assignment to photograph Sheriff Paul Babeu, Sheriff of Pinal County, Arizona.  Sheriff Babeu has received a lot of publicity over the last year in his efforts to fight the drug and human trafficking in southern Arizona.  Of course, Isaac needed to be put in his place, so he took a ride in the BACK of the Sheriff’s truck.  I thought the photo above would be good for his wall.

An hour or so south of my home is a little town called Florence, which is the county seat of Pinal County.  It is smack dab in the middle of the desert.  So when the Sheriff needed portraits that said “Arizona,” there was no better place than his back yard.  Just southeast of Florence is some of the most spectacular desert I have ever seen, and I have seen a lot of desert.  I found the location for these shots on a full day scouting trip specifically for this shoot.  If you want to find the right location, you just have to get in a car, and drive… with an iPhone and google maps, of course.

Portrait of Sheriff Paul Babue Jared Platt

I prefer the serious versions.  I like to think of the Sheriff as the tough law man of the west, but I suppose it is nice to see that the Sheriff has a human side as well.  And Sheriff Babeu is quite a nice man.  I have known him for a while now and I have always enjoyed knowing him.  But I still like seeing the Sheriff with a serious face.

My hat is off to Sheriff Babeu and his team.  They have a difficult job to do.  The Sheriff has Mexican Drug Cartel hits taking place in his county.  But, he is taking the fight to the cartels, coyotes and bandits that operate in Pinal county as they traffic drugs and humans north.  Its a tough job and he gets a lot of negative press from people who don’t understand what is happening out here in the desert and even death threats from the Mexican Drug Cartel.  You have heard of the rancher who was murdered in his home in southern Arizona… this problem is very real.  People are afraid out there.

Portrait of Sheriff Paul Babue

This last shot was a last minute deal.  We thought the light was gone, due to a serious bank of clouds, but then the clouds showed a break and we could expect some beautiful colors, so we made ready very quickly and took the photo.  The sunset and the police lights required a higher ISO with a slower shutter speed of 1/50, but without a flash, the Sheriff and his truck would be fairly dark, so we have a set of White Lightning mono-lights powered by batteries, and Isaac holding a reflector off to the right to soften the shadow on the Sheriff’s face.  I think it turned out nicely.

Portrait of Sheriff Paul Babue

You know, while I was speaking to him, he also expressed a lot of concern for the Mexican citizens being used, endangered and even left to die by the cartels and the coyotes in the desert.  He told me of several instances where the Sheriff’s office rescued Mexican citizens who had been left to die in the desert because they were too slow or couldn’t carry the drugs anymore.  His office rescues these poor people and saves their lives in an inhospitable place that will kill someone very quickly.  It’s a rough place out there in the desert, add some drug cartels, some armed bandits and a few cyotees and it gets a lot more rough.  I was floored by the stories he told us.  It was like a mob movie and a western, mixed with a little Blood Simple by the Coen Brothers.  It is bizarre to know what is happening just an hour south of my home.

He’s a good man, and he’s doing a tough job and taking a lot of flack for it.  I don’t live in Pinal County, so I can’t vote for him, but he’s got my vote.

Photography by Jared Platt, Platt Photography

Subject: Sheriff Paul Babeu

Location: The Desert Southeast of Florence, Arizona

President George W Bush at the Sanctuary in Scottsdale Arizona

Spending the Afternoon Photographing President Bush Again

President George W Bush at the Sanctuary in Scottsdale Arizona

I spent yesterday afternoon photographing a small lunch with President George W. Bush at The Sanctuary in Scottsdale, Arizona.  I have photographed a number of weddings at the Sanctuary, and it tuns out, it is also a good place for small political events.  The small dining rooms there have a lot of great light in them.  They are essentially large north light studios.  The above photo was photographed completely with that natural north light.

President Bush was in town raising money for his Presidential Library, The George W Bush Center.  It is always a pleasure to be around President Bush.  He is a charming, gracious and down to earth man who genuinely takes an interest in people from every walk of life, ambassadors, sports figures, the chef, the staff and even the photographer’s assistant.

Melissa Jill and George W Bush

The last time I photographed the President, Melissa Jill asked if she could be my assistant the next time.  So, she was my assistant for the afternoon and got to meet President Bush and even got a photograph with him.  She also took a cool image of me photographing the president as he spoke with the guests.  It’s always good to have a few good documentary shots of myself doing something, since I am always behind the camera.  Thanks Melissa.

Jared Platt photographing President George W Bush - Photo by Melissa Jill

Here are a few more of my favorite images from the event.

President George W Bush at the Sanctuary in Scottsdale Arizona

George W Bush

President Bush is a very warm and casual person.  I know there was a lot of talk during his presidency about him being a cowboy, and I think a lot of that talk used the term in a negative way, but there is something very friendly, respectful, real and down to earth about a cowboy.  I know many cowboys and they are just good people.  While I don’t miss growing up on a ranch and doing cowboy work, I do miss the simple, good nature of the cowboys I worked with.  President Bush is a real cowboy.  You can see that in the way he interacts with people, with genuine respect and never in a condescending way.

President George W Bush

Photography: Jared Platt, Platt Photography

Subject: George W Bush

Location: The Sanctuary

Additional Photographer: Melissa Jill

Kevin Burdick, The Ivory Coast, Album Cover by Jared Platt

The Ivory Coast: The anatomy of an album cover.

The Ivory Coast: The anatomy of an album cover. from Jared Platt on Vimeo.

Making an album cover photograph for piano rockstar, Kevin Burdick, gets increasingly difficult, as we continue to push to limits of where we can take his pianos. His most recent album, The Ivory Coast, took us and his piano to the sand dunes in Yuma, Arizona, where we suffered through extreme heat as we tried to hoist this heavy piano through the sand. It was fun, but challenging to put the album cover together.

This video includes interviews with Kevin Burdick about the making of the album cover, video footage of Kevin’s exclusive sand dune performance of Freight Train and many of the photos from the album photo shoot.

The video was edited exclusively in Adobe Premier CS5, which uses the 5D Mark II video file natively without requiring a conversion like Final Cut Pro. One more reason that Adobe is the best choice for image making professionals.

The final album cover contains four different photographs: the piano, Kevin on the sand dunes, the ocean and boat and then the texture.  Follow the post below to see the various elements of the album cover and the progression of the album cover.

Kevin Burdick, The Ivory Coast, Album Cover by Jared Platt

Moving the piano was very difficult.  We obviously could not get it to the top of a 30 foot sand dune, so we found some small “mini dunes” that were accessible by truck and off loaded the piano there.  But even then, it took three of us to move the piano and I think all of us almost popped a disk in our backs.  This was one of those old pianos and it was HEAVY!

Our first photograph was the piano.  Since it was the hardest thing to move, we figured we would start with that and match all of our angles for future photographs to that.  We shot the piano early in the morning as the sun rose so we could get the same lighting we would get at the top of the sand dunes down the road.  We had to shoot pretty quickly so we could get out the the large sand dunes before the sun got too high in the sky, so we got our shot done and sped off for location 2.  The Sand Dunes.

Kevin Burdick and his Red Piano on a small Sand Dune

This is our second shot, which is not too complicated a shot to create, it is just getting to the spot that is difficult.  In order to get out to a spot that has the same angle as our piano shot we had to hike in a mile or more into the Sand Dunes.  This is not like walking on the beach.  First, it is hot as hell.  Second, the sand is very deep.  Third, walking up hill while the sand falls downhill makes for some very intense stair step workouts that create the sense that you are not going anywhere.  Fourth, did I mention it was HOT!  And of course, Kevin is not wearing shoes!

Once we climbed high enough to get a shot from above looking down on Kevin and a series of dunes behind him, we got many many variations, as well as some video footage for music videos, etc.  We also got some cool shots for Dixon Golf in the United States’ biggest sand trap (watch for tomorrow’s post).  And then it was up to me to get the rest of the shots.

Kevin Burdick on a Sand Dune for the Album Cover Photograph

This photograph, which I had taken earlier at a wedding in San Diego worked perfectly for the background.  We wanted our Sand Dunes to overlook the ocean with some kind of a boat back there, so I searched my image catalog for the terms ocean and boat and come up with this image.  I worked perfectly.  I suppose, had we been going for realistic, the clouds would have been completely wrong for the photo montage, but we were looking for a dreamlike album cover of a place that exists only in the mind, so this fit the bill.

Sail Boat on the pacific Ocean

Then it was off to the image catalogs again to find the right texture to distress the image a bit.  The texture also helps to mold things together that otherwise wouldn’t fit all that well.  I keep a collection of textures for this very purpose in my image catalogs.  When I am shooting weddings or travel photography, I keep my eye out for interesting textures and collect them for uses just like this.  Being organized enough to find them is the real key.  So, I typed in the word texture into my Lightroom Image Catalog and choose the texture I wanted.  If you are having trouble finding your images, you need to do more key-wording!

This is what the photo composite looks like without the texture, before it is cropped and placed into the album cover design.

Man on the sand dunes with a red piano and an ocean and sailboat in the background

And again, once we have added the texture and the text to the photograph.  You can see how much the texture helps to soften the look of the image and make it a bit more dreamlike.  I actually prefer the tall skinny version of the image more than the square album cover.  I miss the days when you purchased a CD in one of those long skinny cardboard boxes that you could further design.  This would have been a perfect photograph for one of those.  But alas, now you will simply go to iTunes and purchase Kevin Burdick’s new album, The Ivory Coast, on iTunes and see only the square front cover.

The final album cover before the final crop

But of course, if you do that, you can see the back cover here.

Kevin Burdick's, The Ivory Coast Album Cover Back

We actually set up the piano the night before the shot so that we wouldn’t have to cary that thing in the dark.  So as we left it for the night, the sun set in the desert and the lonely piano stood quiet and alone among the shrubs.  I love this shot.

Piano in the desert at sunset

Photo Shoot Details:

Photography: Jared Platt, Platt Photography
Music: Kevin Burdick, (follow him on Facebook)
Photo Location: Yuma, Arizona
Video Camera: Canon 5D Mark II
Video Editing Software: Adobe Premier CS5

Wedding in the Grand Canyon, Arizona

A Wedding in the Grand Canyon

Wedding in the Grand Canyon, Arizona

It is pretty hard to top getting married at one of the seven natural wonders of the world. It’s like being married at the ocean’s edge, except that there is only one Grand Canyon. It was a perfect day for a wedding at the Grand Canyon. Shashone Point is a great location with almost no tourists and no guard rails. This is the way the canyon was intended to be seen. And what a great backdrop for a wedding.

Arizona Wedding in the Grand Canyon

Thank you, Eric and Alicia for allowing us to be a part of this great wedding. It was a truly one of a kind.

The Bailey / Kintner Wedding – The Grand Canyon, AZ from Jared Platt on Vimeo.

Alicia and Eric were married at the Grand Canyon. The ceremony was held at Shoshone Point, which is one of the most spectacular views in the canyon and is one of the most accessible and yet untouched areas on the canyon’s edge.

Photography by: Jared Platt
Wedding Designer: Kim Duncan
Location: The Grand Canyon
Music: Celtic Blessing by Lianna Klassen – Triple Scoop Music

Excuse Our Dust – We are Under Construction

As you can see, we have just changed the blog.  It is all new and improved, except for one thing.  You can’t see the photos!  Which is a pretty big issue.  So we have our very best technicians looking into the problem.  We have hit everything with a hammer a few times and given every hard drive a good shaking and now we are unscrwewing every scew and bolt to see if we can find the photos.

Please be patient as we solve the problems.  We should be back up and running soon.

In the mean time, Platt Photography has lots of great images to look at and for more information about my workshops, go to Jared Platt Workshops.


Jared Platt

Boston’s Elegant Pass Time

It was great to be in Boston again.  I have always loved Boston.  A number of years ago, I sent a few days here at my best friend’s graduation from Harvard.  It is such a beautiful city.  One of the things I find most alluring about the city is the crew and sailing culture.  Out west, we like to boat, but it is a different kind of boating.  We drag skiers behind power boats.  Here it is a much more refined activity.  It’s like the difference between playing Hungry Hippos and Chess.  Both are fun, but one is just a lot more elegant.

Anyway, it was a pleasure to visit.  I am so grateful to Calumet Photographic for allowing us to hold the workshop there.  It is a fantastic store with a great sales staff.  Thanks so much Calumet.

This visit, I had a few minutes to walk along the river and found a big sailing school.  It looked like a lot of fun, but alas, I had to leave for New York City for my next PUG Lecture and Lightroom Workflow Workshop.  Someday, I think I would like to learn how to sail.


Sick of Spam

Want to stop spam emails?  The problem is demand side… as long as there is someone clicking on the viagra spam email link, or the porn offers, there will be spammers.  Once there is no money in it, the spammers will go away. So, who is it out there who is still clicking on the spam emails?  Who really trusts a mortgage company that misspells their product to get through the spam filter?  And what kind of person trusts a spammer to order their medications online?

If there was ever an argument against Al Gore’s push to connect every home and classroom in America to the internet, SPAM proliferation is it.  It may be that we’d all be better off if computers and access to the web were far more expensive!