Scottsdale Arizona Child Portrait of Twins

Taking Twins to the Park: A Children’s Portrait in Scottsdale, Arizona

The Scottsdale Railroad Park is a great place to photograph children.  They hardly know that the photographer is there, which is perfect for my style of children’s photography.  I prefer them to be busy and having fun and these two twins were very busy and having lots of fun.  Here are a few of my favorite images from the child-life portrait session.

Scottsdale Arizona Child Portrait of Twins

It’s all about the leggings!

Scottsdale Arizona Child Portrait of Twins

Their mother works for Wells Fargo, so this stage coach was a perfect fit.

Scottsdale Arizona Child Portrait of Twins

I love the sense of height here.  I seems like the kids are making an incredible leap here.  And who can resist a carousel in the back ground.  Although, you will note that when you do have a carousel in the background, you must shoot at a wide aperture, otherwise, the background would be far to cluttered and would compete with the kids in the foreground far more.

Scottsdale Arizona Child Portrait of Twins

This next set reminds me of a Norman Rockwell painting.

Scottsdale Arizona Child Portrait of Twins

Scottsdale Arizona Child Portrait of Twins

I had to include this shot.  This was toward the end of the session and the little boy was being a bit challanging and there was this little moment between father and son.  If I were to make one of those one word motivational posters out of this, it would be titled: FRUSTRATION.  I thought it was a perfect little story of its own.

Scottsdale Arizona Child Portrait of Twins

Now for my favorite part.  Ice-Cream!  There is a little ice-cream shop there at the park, so we went in and got a few cones.  Ice-cream equals joy!

Scottsdale Arizona Child Portrait of Twins

Scottsdale Arizona Child Portrait of Twins

Scottsdale Arizona Child Portrait of Twins

Scottsdale Arizona Child Portrait of Twins

Photography Session Information: Children’s Portraits

Photography by Jared Platt, Platt Photography

Location: Scottsdale Railroad Park, Scottsdale, Arizona

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.

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

Portraits of Kevin Burdick – Piano Rock Star

It is an interesting thing to have talented friends.  I grew up around very talented people, but Kevin Burdick was one of the most talented and has always amazed me with his story telling and musical depth.  It is such a pleasure to work with him as his photographer.  Next project: a music video!