Child Life Portraits by Jared Platt, Taken in Shanghai, China

Portraits from China: The Driggs Family

This is my 3rd post of the China portraits I shot in Shanghai, China.  A few more posts on China to come.

This series of portraits was taken at a Buddhist Temple in Shanghai, China.  The grounds were fairly spacious and offered a lot of great opportunities for backgrounds.  Both of the boys are young enough not to be all that interested in the surrounding architecture and symbolism, but they did enjoy the coy ponds and the many small walls and walking paths.

The slideshow has a lot of great images in it, but I was particularly interested in a small few for the purpose of discussing the lighting.  In the next image, we were on the back side of the property where the light was getting dimmer and softer.  The main light-source was the open (sunless) sky, what we could call “north light”, although I don’t know if it was truly the northern sky.  That open sky was to the child’s right and just behind him.  Notice, how the size of the light source helps to wrap around the child’s face, making smooth transitions extremely soft and smooth.  Of course the sky is a huge light source.  But if the sun were visible in the sky, the sun would become that light source and would create harsh shadows and would not be so pleasing.

I like this shot.  This little boy is always on the move and always paying attention to everything, not just where he’s going.  I think the image describes that well.  While he is climbing on the wall, he is still keeping track of everything else in the area.  Probably keeping tabs on his little brother…

Here is the little brother.  Those eyes were the subject of most of my photos with him.  This was the perfect outfit to intensify them.  That large open sky, makes a perfect light for portrait.  But notice that I am not shooting with him facing the open sky directly, which would flatten the subject.  Instead, the open sky is off to his left, my right.  The shadow side of his face is toward me.  The soft highlights are coming from his left .  It’s all about volume and depth.  Without some shadow, you have none of that.

OK.  I have been looking forward to writing about this photo for a while.  The basic scene here is lit by the open sky off to the children’s left (the camera’s right).  You can see the lighting effect on the boys’ faces.  Highlights on the right side of their noses, shadows on the left sides.    But there was one very real problem, the background was quite dark.  Everything back there was sucking up the light and with a thick canopy of trees over the background, the open sky was not lighting the back ground with the same exposure as the foreground.  In essence, it was a black hole.

Enter a small Canon 600 RT camera flash placed off camera to the camera’s left and behind the boys.  You can see the light’s glare in the top left corner of the frame.  It is also lighting the grass and the bushes in the background a bit and most importantly, it is catching the edge of the kids’ shoulders and hair to separate them from the background.  Without this little flash, the photo would not be worth showing.  But notice, I only needed one little light to get a very well exposed and expertly designed shot.  This shot could have been designed with many more lights to get practically the same shot, but why?  The point is, that one small, lightweight flash or even a flashlight can escalate the production value of the shot with very little additional cost or effort… efficiency isn’t just for post production.  Efficiency during a photo shoot is just as critical.

If you are interested in these issues, I am teaching a free workshop called The Efficient Photo Shoot online at CreativeLIVE.com on Dec 6-8, 2012, where we will be demonstrating these very concepts.

This kids started running around and around on this little path and I realized, my light from the first shot could still be used to accomplish the same goal right where it was.  It just had to be turned slightly.  With Karen Liu at the light, that was easily done.  I ran to my new position and told the kids to keep circling the path and kept firing away as the got into the positions I liked.  I think they must have run around that path 50 times, over and over, which was good for me, I needed a lot of opportunities to get the right shot.  And good for mom, they must have slept well that night!

I love how the light cascades across the long grass and kisses the little one’s cheeks.  Imagine, without the light, his little hand would be completely lost in the shadow of the trees.

Now, with the open sky light coming from camera left and the flash also on the left, behind him, the light wraps all the way around his left side.  This makes for an even softer look because the rim light is not so pronounced and looks more like a slightly brighter continuation of the sky light.  Again, volume is created by the direction of the light.  The shot is slightly dramatic, but still pleasingly soft.  I love these shots.  If I had gotten nothing but this little series of shots in the tall grasses here, I would have been trilled.

 Child Photography by Jared Platt, Platt Photography

Location: Shanghai, China

Slideshow Music by Fisher, Courtesy of Triple Scoop Music

Street Portraits of Children in Shanghai, China

Portraits from China:: The Liu-McGee Family

This is my second post of portrait sessions from Shanghai, China.  You will see, we are in a different spot for every photo session and all of them are very unique, as are the photos themselves.  I try not to follow too much of a pattern when shooting sessions.  I want them all to have their own unique flair…

Karen Liu, mother of three great kids and an aspiring photographer, booked a photo session as a learning experience.  So, we shot a little less and spent a lot of time learning.  I took her through my thought process for shooting and lighting on the street with both natural light and additive flash lighting.  We also talked about compositional choices and selecting the appropriate camera settings.  All things I will be teaching in my upcoming free workshop at CreativeLIVE on December 6-8, 2012.  We got to the market in Shanghai, China early enough to avoid the throngs of shoppers and pedestrians that make this place a purely claustrophobic experience during the business hours.  This also gave us great light, since the market is a canyon of traditional Chinese style buildings (I say that with absolutely no understanding of “Chinese architectural styles” but when you look at the images you will understand what I mean).

In this first shot, we had 360 degrees of choices for the shot, but one gave us the best lighting for a complete existing light portrait.  Notice that the strongest instance of sun is coming from behind the kids which gives us the rim light coming from behind them.  Behind me is a large building with a light wall which is reflecting indirect light onto the kids, so, we have beautiful soft light coming forward on them.  So in an instance like this one, all that is required is the correct exposure at the camera.  No additional light is needed to get a nice shot.

As we got further and further into the morning, it got more and more crowded.  I love crowds for portraits, because you get all sorts of additional people in the shot.  If you wait for the “right” person, you get get juxtapositions.  I love this one.  Karen (mom) also loves this street photography style work, so I suspect she will love this one as well.

We stopped for a Chinese snack after the shoot.  I am not this good at chopsticks!!!

This is one of my favorites from the session because I identify with it!  My kids hang on me whenever I am shooting and they are around.  I am sure any of you parents out there with small children experience the same situation.  I think they do it because they know you are not paying attention to them.  Hanging on you seems to force the attention their direction.

Incidentally, I have the same problem when I am traveling with adults.  I get to taking photos and all my attention becomes focused on the shot.  So my wife and all the other adults with me tend to get annoyed with my lack of attention.  So, if you have a photographer in your life… just know that they still love you, even when they seem to be ignoring you.  Want their attention?  Take the camera out of their hand.

Children’s Photography by Jared Platt, Platt Photography

Location: Shanghai, China

Slideshow Music by Nancy Falkow, Courtesy of Triple Scoop Music

Subject: Photographer Karen Liu

Portraits by Jared Platt in Shanghai, China

Portraits from China: The Sloan Family

Today starts a series of Portraits taken in China.  I will be posting once each day for the the next few days.  Today, I will introduce you to the Sloan Family.  We went to the Former French Concession in Shanghai, China for a walk with the family.  The Former French Concession is unlike anything else in Shanghai.  Enormous trees canopy the streets and you feel like you are on a street in Europe, except that there are an awful lot of Chinese nationals running around…

The kids were great to work with.  They are extremely expressive and are pleasant children.  So, they make for easy subjects.  Something I had not accounted for, though, was the Chinese people’s fascination with blonde hair.  The boys are all ultra blonde, so these kids are a hit everywhere they go and attract a lot of attention, so we had a lot of people staring.  Fortunately, they were less invasive of our personal space since we looked all official as we shot the photos.  But, it is a common occurance to have the Chinese people run up and take their photo next to your child if you have a blonde child…  Anyway, that is one thing I could have never anticipated about the cultural change between the US and China.

This first shot is pushing the composition, but I really responded to it.  It has a lot of energy and movement in it.  I had to include it as one of my favorites.

I seem to recall some question when we first met being raised about her blouse.  Was it a good choice, etc.  I liked it and now I see why.  That soft pink matches her so well.  You can see that same shade highlighting her cheeks and in her lips.

The light here was quite perfect too.  Everything was soft.  Shanghai is an extremely hazy city (due to it being very polluted), but that works well for portrait light.  Then, the buildings, keep any direct light from hitting the subject and the canopy of trees keeps the light from the sky from being too bright (creating raccoon eye shadows).  So the main light source is reflected and filtered light coming from the street to her right and from behind here.  This puts the shadow of her face forward, creating an alternating light pattern on her face shadow, light, shadow, light.  In this case, it is simply about seeing the right light as it exists and exposing for it.  No other lighting necessary.  It’s simple light, but very pleasing.

There’s the curly blonde hair that is the ultimate stand out in China.  I have a shot or two with his head up, but I love this shot.  I think a lot of who we are comes from our hair, when we have unique tops.  I am completely bald.  That is quite identifying and I tend to wear that proudly (as I wear most things).  So hair like this is also worn with pride, and makes a major identifying mark on a person.  I’m pretty sure he loves his hair.  Who wouldn’t!

There are the trees.  Minus the all the cars on the street, this was a perfect place for photos.  I had to constantly re-frame to avoid too many cars and people.  I love the look on his face.

Talk about expressive.  The youngest boy is great.  I know Mr. and Mrs. Sloan were a bit worried that he was getting out of line or that he was not being cooperative, but sometimes a character like this has to be set free so you can get those great shots.  And it’s not all just about the funny faces.  It’s about all of the expressions you will see in this post.  Taking a photo of a child is an art in and of itself, and the art is based in knowing how far to push and when to let go of that control.  There has to be a good balance of discipline and freedom to get the expressions and still maintain control over the photo shoot.  The Sloans had the balance and it shows in the final results.

Now that is a shot for the wall!

I love the light on this image and the texture.

This is the Shanghai sky line on one of the only clear days we had in the city.  So we had to take the opportunity to shoot with the skyline in the background.  The first day we got there, we came to this spot and could see only the shadows of the buildings through the smog.  I’ll post those photos later this week.

The light on this shot is simple.  I exposed for the ambient light from the sky and the buildings in the background, but that leaves the family in dark shadow (not silhouette).  So some additional light was needed.  A Canon 600 RT flash does the trick.  It is off camera right just above head level.  That provides all the light needed to match the exposure of the buildings.  Notice that I put the flash to the side that mimics the direction of light hitting the buildings.  You can see this best on the tallest building in the city.  The shadow is on the left, the highlight on the right.  The same is happening on the family’s faces.  Highlights on the right, shadows on the left.  Put the flash on the other side and it would start to look a little strange.

And this is The Bund.  Look a big like London?  That’s because the English built this part of the city.  I like this photo as well.  It’s shot at 6400 ISO f2.5 at 1/125 of a second with no flash.  This is a risky shot.  You don’t always get it right when you play at low shutter speeds and wide apertures.  But it worked and I love the shot.  The thing is, like everything in life, if you always play it safe, you get predictable shots that are good enough, but the truly fantastic shots come from accepting some risk and accepting some failures to achieve the great shots.  Did I get every shot in this series?  Not even close, but I got three from it, that I liked.  Is everyone tack sharp?  No, I’m shooting at f2.5 at 1/125.  But the photo is strong, there are a few people in the focus plane and the rest become supporting actors in a very cool documentary shot that I love.  I’ll have to see whether the Sloans love it, but I suspect they will…

 

Family Photography by Jared Platt, Platt Photography

Location: Shanghai, China

Slideshow Music by Mindy Gledhill, Courtesy of Triple Scoop Music

Engagement Portrait in Chandler, Arizona (1)

Photos and a Game of Golf: Mattie and Riley’s Engagement Portraits

When I have to get up early in the morning, I set three alarms.  My body and mind are not pre-disposed to the idea.  But I do it fairly often, because the sun doesn’t wait for anyone.

Mattie and Riley were in town for a few days and we needed to photograph their engagement portraits.  It’s hot in Phoenix (for those of you who don’t know this little fact) and every minute that sun is in the sky, it get’s hotter.  So the first image here, is not sunset, it is sunrise.  This means, we had a few hours of warm to warmer temperatures to shoot before it got deathly hot.  So, we all woke up extremely early, and while I never enjoy waking up that early, once I get out there photographing, there is nothing like it.

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I had a friend photographer ask me once, “why don’t you just meet your clients before sunset?  This way you don’t have to get up early and there is a definite finish time, when the session must end because there is no more light.”  First, when it is hot, it is too hot in the evening.  Second, I enjoy shooting and I enjoy my clients, so I’m not trying to get out of the session, to be done with it.  Third, early morning has a very beautiful quality of light.  So when my clients can make it in the morning, I push for that time frame.  That doesn’t mean I like waking up… but once I am out there, I enjoy every minute of it.

I love the early morning light, when the sun is still raking across the landscape, but it is still blocked by buildings and trees.

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I love this photo!  This has to be on of my very favorites.  OK… there are a couple more later in the post that are also my favorites.  So, I can’t say this is my actual favorite, but you have to love the warmth on this shot.  It’s almost all natural, with a little help from me in post production.  But, it is close enough to reality for me…

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Once the sun got a bit higher in the sky and was causing more grief than it was worth, we took cover in my favorite grove of trees, which were apparently being pruned.  Branches were strewn about the groves so thickly that we could hardly get through, but it made the grounds even more interesting, so we waded through the downed branches and clippings and got some cool shots.

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This happens to be another one of my favorites.  The light falling down on them from the hole in the tree cover causes a bit of glare on the photo, but that gives the photo its soft quality.  However, the shot isn’t possible with available light only.  I have a Canon Speedlite 600RT flash off to the right filling in the couple to keep them from going too dark.

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I love the color on this shot.  And you may think that I produced this color in post-production, but that is not the case (I admit, I helped it along).  It is a natural color that comes as a result of the light and glare situation from this particular angle under this large hole in the canopy of the orchard.  The image had this coloring naturally, and I was inspired by it, so I went along with it.  I tend to do that.  Rather than fight the natural lighting and coloring and contrast of the shot, I tend to go with it.  More often than not, inspiration is the internal reacting to external conditions, a kind of game of call and response (Marco Polo).

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After the portraits were finished, more or less, we headed off to the golf course.  Mattie and Riley are a golfing couple.  And I grew up golfing since I could hold a club, so we went to Ocotillo Country Club (which has water on almost every hole) and played nine holes.  They continued on after that, but by that point, it was so brutally hot, that taking photos was no longer worth while.  We were all beat red and sweating.

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I spent most of the time taking photos, but I played a bit too.  It’s just nice to have an excuse to pick up the ball when you are really doing poorly and pretend that you’re just picking up because you need to take some more photos.

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Mattie is better than me or Riley, I think…

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What a great morning.  Early, but full of great photos and a good round of golf.  Thanks Mattie and Riley.  We’ll be shooting again before you know it.  The wedding will be here before you know it.

Engagement portrait by Jared Platt, Platt Photography.

Slideshow music by Kevin Burdick, courtesy of Triple Scoop Music.

Location: Chandler, Arizona.

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Black and White Infant Portrait for the Mulligans

I photographed Meghan and Hugh’s wedding a few years back and was thrilled to drop by to meet the newest mini-Muliigan.  Wylie is a serious boy.  Or at least he was serious about our photo shoot, which I think makes him look quite handsome.  Here are some of my favorite images from the photo shoot at the Mulligan home in Phoenix, Arizona.

I loved the shirt.  Had to get that into the shot for sure.

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I ended up with very few color images from this infant portrait shoot.  I am a  firm believer that color should only exist in a photograph if it is driving the photograph.  I thought that the majority of the images were better seen in black and white, which also makes those left in color stand out even more.  I am pleased with the results.

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Wylie has a very cool nursery, filled with cute little monsters and a large chalk board wall.  He’s going to enjoy that when he becomes aware that drawing on walls in most homes is a bad thing…  Not in the Mulligan house.  Hugh is a graphic artist.  So…

 

This is by far one of my favorites.  Not only is it a favorite of the photo shoot, I think it is a favorite of images like it.  The difference between the father’s hands and the baby’s foot is quite stark and the rich black and white contrast helps to push that concept even further.

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Here are Wylie’s little monster friends.  That is a colorful photo.

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That is a big baby, born on a very good day!  Father’s day.

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Infant portrait photography by Jared Platt, Platt Photography.

Slideshow music by Cherie Call, courtesy of Cherie Call.

Location: Home, Phoenix, Arizona

Senior portraits by Jared Platt (1)

Lindy’s Senior Portraits in San Diego, California

Meet Lindy.  Senior, class of 2013.  She’s a all around great girl with a great attitude.  I love to meet high school students who have perspective and can see the big picture.  Sometimes a teenager who is wise beyond their years can be a bit too serious so they aren’t super fun, but Lindy has a lot of energy and spunk, but still sees her world in realistic terms.  That’s important.  Well, I can’t say enough good about her and we wish her the very best during her senior year and out into her future.

We took Lindy’s senior portraits in San Diego at Mission Beach.  We arrived at the beach early in the morning, so the beach was fairly empty which gave us plenty of room to work.  I love the over cast day.  So many clients worry when their photo day or wedding has clouds, but when it comes to photos, I couldn’t ask for anything better.  I love the soft light.  It gives me a nice even exposure to deal with.  Then, if I want to sculpt with light, I can add a little light wherever I want to see it.

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Lindy brought along a hat, which I completely loved, so that stayed with us a lot during the shoot.  While in this next image, it is merely a prop, it finishes the photo in many of the images.

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This is where the hat really makes the image!

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This next image is very important to me as a photographer.  Catching a subtle and important aspect of a senior’s personality in an image is important to me.  And this image, speaks volumes to me about Lindy.  That strong determination is a big part of how I see her.  I suppose I can be wrong in my read of personality, but when I am photographing someone, I think I get a good read on people.  And with Lindy, because she is a good friend to our family, I think I can say with confidence that this one is very accurate.  But, I suppose you’ll have to ask her mom.

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We did a few shots of Lindy looking at the camera next to her 2013 numbers in the sand, but I liked this one the best.

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This is a great example of the process of sculpting in a subdued and flat lighting condition.  I am using the ambient marine layer lighting to get the basic exposure accomplished, then with my Canon Speedlite 600RT flash off camera to the left and behind the subject, I am adding the crest of light on her nose and cheek-bone, etc.  This gives the photo great deal of volume with very little effort.  Normally, the sun would fill in as the backlight, but when the sun is held up behind a thick cloud, you have to create your own sun.  The nice thing about this manufactured sun (a flash), the power is completely controllable.

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Lindy, thanks for trusting us with your Senior Portrait.  May every year ahead of you be a success!

Senior Portrait Photography by Jared Platt, Platt Photography

Slideshow Music by Mindy Gledhill, courtesy of Triple Scoop Music

Location: San Diego, California

All That Matters: Tyler and Allie’s Wedding in Phoenix, AZ

I am writing this post conscious of the fact that my wife will read and re-read it and will scold me if I do not do present this one exactly right.  You see, Allie, the bride, was my wife’s high school student a number of years ago.  Allie was one of those 17 year old girls with 30 years of wisdom.  She is one of the most impressive young women we have ever had the pleasure of knowing.  So when she told us of the news, that she and Tyler were getting married, we were thrilled.  We would have been at the wedding anyway, so when Allie asked if I could photograph it… well, how could I not.  Allie is the type of person that gives so much to everyone, personally and professionally, that everyone around her can’t help but want to give back.

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Allie’s wedding, though would be an interesting one.  It was planned for a Monday evening in Pine, AZ (a tiny little town) where the beautiful forests of Northern Arizona would have been the backdrop.  We all had our little hotels and bed & breakfasts staked out and were ready to head up the hill, when I got a text from Allie’s good friend and wedding coordinator.  Everything was on hold, as Allie had been rushed to the hospital back in Phoenix for an appendectomy.  She and Tyler had arrived in Pine, but she began to feel a pain in her side and decided to head to the emergency room in Payson (a slightly bigger small town in Northern, Arizona).  Allie is tough, so when she decides to go to the emergency room, something is wrong.  They then sent her back to Phoenix to have her appendix taken out.

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Having her appendix out, meant that she needed to keep it simple.  So, Allie spent a lot of time sitting down and relaxing, which is what I think brides should do more of anyway.  But with the sitting came this shot, which is one of my favorite images from the day.  The room where she got ready was her friend’s scrapbooking and craft room.  It was perfect for the shot.  For those of you interested in the techniques used to get the photo, it is not as simple as it may seem.  There is no window to the right as you might assume.  I have created the window light by bouncing a Canon 600 EX RT Speedlite off of a a wall.  The exposure was set for the ambient light in the room, which gives her the warm glow and generally lights the room.  Then the large light source (the bounced light coming from a wall) on the right gives her the three volume that makes the shot so successful.  Also, keep in mind that the blue and taupe walls are complimented by the mixture of light between the warm incandescent light in the room and the cool blue light of the flash.  I almost always set the ambient exposure first and use flashes to augment the light that already exists because in most cases, the light we see around us is close to perfect as it is.  It can sometimes just use a little help.

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I can only imagine the roller coaster ride Allie went through.  And I understand there were times when she talked about postponing the wedding until she got better, but it was reported to me that Tyler said “by the end of this week, I will be your husband.”  I’m paraphrasing, of course.  We all waited to see how she would do after surgery and she set the date for a simple backyard ceremony on Wednesday with a small reception for friends and family on Saturday.

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Tyler is a good man, I love this shot of him looking out into the back yard, where the ceremony will take place.  This is another one of those ambient first, and add a little fill flash bounced off the dealing above and to the right to fill in the shadows just a little bit.

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This is one of my ultimate favorites from the day.

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As is this one.  I purposefully added additional film grain to these images.  I thought they felt very classic, so they deserved classic grain to them.  Besides, I love film grain.

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This is one of the most precious moments during the day.  I can’t get enough of the relationships between a father and a bride.  I hope, when my daughter is married, someone finds a moment or twenty like this for me.

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And this.

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One thing I enjoy about an extremely small wedding is the closeness of the ceremony.  Everyone sits or stands very close to each other to witness the marriage.  And that includes me.  I get a lot closer shots during extremely small weddings, and it has been said many times, “if your images are boring, you’re not close enough.”  It’s nice to be in close to the action and small intimate weddings like this one, allow for that to happen in a very non-intrusive way.

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I loved the bride’s bouquet.  It was simple and had a very wild flower feel to it, with a few accents of roses.  It was well done.  I especially loved the broach on the stem wrap.

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Allie, you are a beautiful bride.

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Like almost every little girl, I am sure Allie dreamed of her wedding and had it all planned out (she’s a planning kind of girl), but plans change, sometimes at a moment’s notice.  The wonderful thing about marriage is that no matter what circumstance does to our plans, whether it is rain, or mixups with a vendor or a trip to the ER for an appendectomy, the most important part of a wedding is the commitment, the I Do!  And Allie and Tyler said “I Do.”  And now they have the rest of their lives…  and no doubt, they have a great wedding story to tell.

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The reception on Friday was every bit the party and a party always seems to come with a feathered headdress.

 

I loved this moment between Allie’s mother and father.  Some of these moments happen so fast that I have to take the moment I am given.  I wanted so much to be about 8 feet to the left, but I saw the moment happening and had to take the shot while it was there.  I then moved to the better spot, but it was gone by the time I got into position for the “perfect” shot.  This is what we call stalking the moment.  When we see a moment developing, we take a series of shots and try to improve upon the moments as they build by getting into an even better position, or waiting for the moment to make its crescendo.  Sometimes, the moment falls apart before we get the “decisive moment” we are after, but we still have a  pretty good one.  So the lesson is: when you see something that may be great, start shooting now, and stalk that moment, because if you wait for the vantage point to be perfectly aligned to the moment before you shoot or for the moment to become great, you may miss the very good shots.

This was a brilliant gift for everyone.  Take home a stack of yummy recipe cards for the cookies at the wedding, which I understand were made by Allie…  and they were yummy.

I can’t cook, nor can I bake, but I can eat cookies.  Which reminds me, I should have my sister make some cookies…

It was a wonderful wedding to witness.  Allie and Tyler, thank you for trusting me with your wedding day.

Wedding Photography by Jared Platt, Platt Photography

Slideshow music by Cherie Call, Courtesy of Cherie Call

Location: Phoenix, Arizona

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Collins: An Infant Portrait in Chandler, Arizona

I’m in my office, listening to music, posting images of Collins, the beautiful new baby to Pat and Laney, who are were married about a year ago.  My own family is traveling, visiting family, and I just received a phone message from my little girl.  Someday soon, Collin is going to be leaving her daddy goodnight messages an breaking his heart with her cute little voice.  Right now, she is melting his heart by sleeping in his arms.  I love my work.

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I was fortunate enough to be in town and available when Laney delivered her baby, so I was able to come to the hospital and see them.  These are some of my favorite images.  Day one is a miracle beyond belief.

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I always love the little hats on the first day.  Maybe the baby’s don’t love them.  Not sure we’ll ever know.  One of these days, a baby is going to start talking on day one and we’ll get the full scoop.  Until then, we’ll keep putting hats on them.

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A few weeks later, we shot her official portraits.  She was exhausted right from the start.  Everything was shot in her home.  I loved the textured wall paper in the family room, so we put together a little photo op for her there.

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She looks so peaceful.  I enjoyed the ruffled tutu in the foreground.

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Now, that is a well styled dresser.  Cute items and a cute little baby.  That blanket is super soft.  We worked on Collins’ position a bit, but she likes to sleep a little more spread out.  I think she looks quite comfortable.  In fact, I would have taken a nap there, but the dresser would have tipped over and the piggy bank is too fragile to fall that far.

Oh and a great composition.  For the photographers out there, notice how every frame edge is playing with the shape of the dresser.  On the top and left, the negative space is creating great shapes.  On the right, the frame is toying with the center support for the shelves and on the bottom, the frame is interacting with the opened drawer.  Framing is very important to every photograph.  I can’t emphasize that enough.  When you are shooting a photo, pay attention to all four frame edges before you take the shot.

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I enjoyed watching Pat with his daughter.  This shot is a pretty good description of that relationship.

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If you are going to catch Collins awake, this is the time to do it.  I was so glad to grab this shot.

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I always love seeing a baby’s nursery.  It ways a lot about the mother (usually – sometimes the father is involved).  Collins’ nursery was decked out!  This wall was great.

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The pink and the grey is a great color combination and I love the bling encrusted mirror.  And there is sleeping beauty again.

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Little fingers and little toes.  No matter how many times I take a shot or look at a photograph of them, I am always amazed by the miracle of these tiny little things!

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Thank you for including me Pat and Laney in this wonderful event in  your life.  She is beautiful.

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I’ve enjoyed looking at these images.  So many great keepers.  What a life.

Infant portrait by Jared Platt, Platt Photography.

Slideshow music by Cherie Call, courtesy of Cherie Call.

Location: Chandler, Arizona

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The Newest Day: An Infant Portrait in Gilbert, Arizona


Many years ago (not that many) I photographed a beautiful wedding in Sedona for a great couple, the Day’s.  I have been photographing their family ever since.  This time I get to show a little progression.  On kind of a last minute shoot, we went out and photographed Amaris’ maternity portraits, but since it she already has a little girl, it was more of a family portrait session.  Later, once the baby was born, I went back to photograph her.

Here are my favorite images from the two sessions.

Lola is the same age (within a week I think) of my daughter, who, although they have only played together once, claims Lola as her “best friend.”  Anyway, Lola is a fun little girl and full of expression.  She wasn’t angry in this shot, I think she was trying to strike a pose.  It makes me laugh.

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Amaris is ready for the baby to arrive, and I think Lola is too.

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Nathan’s truck is a tough lookin’ beast, and much to his wife’s amusement, we both agreed that the truck needed to be in a shot or two.  If I had a truck like that, it might be a part of my family as well.

I love this shot.  Just for the pure documentary nature of it.  I picture my daughter trying to get my attention to have some serious discussion with me.  There’s nothing better than a serious little child putting her tiny hand on your shoulder and having an adult conversation with words you can barely understand.

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Yep.  Perfect little moment.

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She’s so proud to be there with her daddy.  Not planned.  We were getting ready to photograph the baby and as I was putting my equipment together, Lola saw the camera and figured it was time for some snap shots and went to posing for them.  It made us all laugh.

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Such a little ham.  She’s always ready for her closeup.

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And there she is, the newest Day.

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Isn’t this the constant state of life for a baby sibling.  Always clobbered by her sister with affection and love.

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This is one of my very favorite images from the shoot.  The lighting is so perfect and so are the expressions.  This is the one I would have with me at all times.

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I thought all the old items were quite beautiful in contrast with the new baby and the new flowers.  And of course, the light is wonderful.  This is the product of three Canon 600 EX RT Speedlites.  I can’t say enough good things about that flash system.  It works wonders.

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Such a serious face.

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She is beautiful.  Congratulations Nathan and Amaris on another beautiful daughter.  It is an honor to be there to document your family’s growth.

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By the way, this is the coolest front porches ever.

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Family Portrait by Jared Platt, Platt Photography

Slideshow Music by Kristen Andreassen, courtesy of TripleScoopMusic

Location: Gilbert, Arizona

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Glory: A Child Portrait at the Phoenix Botanical Garden

Glory and her parents were visiting from Maryland and called to schedule a portrait session for her.  I photographed Glory’s parents wedding just a few years ago so it was a thrill to see them again and meet the new addition.  We chose the Phoenix Botanical Gardens for the portrait session because it offers a great variety of backdrops and environments, plus, it is just a nice walk.

Here are some of my favorites from the morning.

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Glory didn’t stop moving the entire morning.  She’s a very busy little girl.  Fortunately, there are a lot of paths to walk and wear her out…

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I loved this shot.  Now that I have a daughter of my own, I have become increasingly more aware of cute little dresses.  I like the fact that the flower in her hand is so subdued in comparison to the vivid print on the dress.

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This is my absolute favorite shot of the day.  I love the long grass, the dress, the backlight and then the treatment helps put it all together.

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And this is a great companion image to the previous.

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When I was taking this photograph, I was thinking about W Eugene Smith’s photograph, The Walk to Paradise Garden.  It’s not the same, but it’s one of those things that makes me smile, when I see something in front of me that reminds me of something great from the past.  If you have not seen photographs by W Eugene Smith, I suggest it as a great activity for the evening.

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There’s nothing better than reading next to a big bear that is five times your size!

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I love this one.  She looks so happy tucked in with her pillow and her book.  Her smile is infectious.

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Love.

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Snack time…

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It was a pleasure and an honor to photograph Glory.  I am glad to have caught so many images that I would love to have of my own daughter.  I suppose that is my ultimate goal, to be a little jealous of my client’s photos…

Child Portraits by Jared Platt, Platt Photography

Slideshow Music by Mindy Gledhill, courtesy of Triple Scoop Music

Location: Phoenix Botanical Gardens and Home in Scottsdale, Arizona