LYLA

One of the things I like to do is look at other photographers’ blog and websites.  When I come across a newborn or infant photographer and I decide to comment on a photo or two, I would say “this almost makes me wish I photographed children…the key word being ALMOST.”  Taking these photographs of the Lovely Lyla has made me seriously reevaluate my position on that subject.

Shontionn and Maria are no strangers to this blog.  I have had the pleasure of shooting and blogging both their engagement and maternity sessions.  And the next shoot will be the one year cake smash party.  What fun!

Although Shontionn and Maria were married in a small, private ceremony, they plan to eventually have the big wedding  when Lyla is old enough to be the flower girl.  That will be a very special moment indeed.  In the meantime, enjoy these photos of the Lovely Lyla with her rightfully proud Mama and Papa.

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Thanks, kids.  Doing your sessions has been a wonderful experience for me.  Blessings on your little family.  See you in 6 months.

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AIRI’S “VOYAGE”

Photographer Airi Katsuta has been mentioned in a few of my previous blogs.  I first met her at the 2013 Phoenix Matsuri Festival.  She was displaying her 1,000 origami cranes that she had made as part of her fundraising effort to travel to Japan as a volunteer to help rebuild the tsunami ravaged village of Ishinomaki.   Her exhibit also included images she had taken while on that mission.  Since that chance meeting at the Festival, I have been sure to attend her other exhibits over the course of the year.

Last night I attended the opening reception for her new show “Voyages” at the Method Art Gallery in Scottsdale.  The show is photographs that she took while on traveling on the Peace Boat last year.

The Peace Boat starts from Japan and tours several destinations in the Southern Hemisphere on a 105 day cruise.  But the Boat is not a typical sightseeing cruise.  The group that Airi and her sister, Riho, were with are on a more purposeful mission, which is said best in the Peace Boat’s own words:  “Peace Boat is a Japan-based international non-governmental and non-profit organization that works to promote peace, human rights, equal and sustainable development and respect for the environment.”

Riho served as a translator on the ship.  Airi’s job was to report and photograph the journey.  The show last night featured 25 of her best images, one from each location she visited.

I had the opportunity to visit with the sisters and find out a little more about their experiences.  Both sisters mentioned that the Easter Islands was their favorite location.  They were impressed with the statues, as anyone would be, and the skill and hard work it must have taken to create them.  The girls were less impressed with my theory about how aliens had probably built them  I found out Airi had also seen the movie “Rapa Nui”.  We both agreed it was interesting to watch, but in the end a really bad movie.  One of those movies that came on late at night on Starz that one starts to watch, keeps watching hoping it will get better and fascinated that it doesn’t, and when it is finished one is overcome with regret for the time spent watching.

Airi took over 30,000 photographs.  I can only imagine the amount of time and effort that went into the culling and editing of that many images.

Many times such exhibitions of travel seem to drone on in the sameness of the images.  Not so with Airi’s exhibition.  Each photograph is different in composition, subject matter, feeling and creativity.  It is a wonderful documentation of the lands they visited while on the Peace Boat.

Airi is a very talented young photographer.  She is going to go on another Peace Boat adventure in the near future.  I look forward to the photographs and stories from that adventure as well.

The exhibit “Voyage” is up at the Method Art Gallery through October 3rd.

Airi

Airi

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Sister Riho and guest discuss the finer points of one of the images.

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Notice the map in the middle?  Each photograph had one of those tiny maps with a red dot indicating the location where the image was taken.  (great for a geography challenged person like myself)

The Hello Kitty photograph was taken in Japan.  She looks as though she is ready for the adventure.  This is one of Airi’s favorites.

LINKS

Previous blogs featuring Airi

Matsuri Festival

1,000 Cranes

“Resilience” Exhibit”

The 411 on the Peace Boat

Method Art Gallery Scottsdale

More images and info

“THAT’S SO HANA!”

I shared Hana and Mike’s engagement photographs a few months ago in my blog “The Lumberjack and the Princess“.  Well, the big day finally arrived last Sunday.  Hana and Mike got married. I was privileged enough to photograph their wedding. … Continue reading

THE PRINCESS AND THE LUMBERJACK

Hana_Mike-0003-web-seo-keywordsONE OF MY FAVORITE things is getting hired to be the wedding photographer of one of my former students.  As teachers, we want the best for our students. We enjoy watching  them grow out of those high school drama years into fine young adults.  We want to see them grow up to be happy.  The bonus for me is that I get to capture and share with friends and family those images of loveliness and happiness that occur at the wedding.

HANA AND MIKE

In addition to taking my photography class, Hana ran 4 years of track for me at Apollo High School.  Her ability as a distance runner grew year after year.  Her running abilities were crucial in helping  Apollo win our region and earn a 2nd place finish at State her junior year.

Out of my many memories of Hana’s career, the one that I remember the most is her competition with a runner from Prescott.  This girl consistently had better times than Hana all year.  Except when she raced against Hana.  Every time Hana and this young lady ran head to head, Hana won convincingly.  Those races were truly remarkable to watch.  Lots of high fives all around.

I also fondly, I think, remember how many times in those 4 years Hana came up to me and said “Coach, you spelled my name wrong…again!”

Hana completed a successful 4  year career at Apollo and went on to attend NAU, where she eventually met her future intended, Mike. They both graduated from NAU.  She now works as a K-8 art teacher and he works for the State of Arizona in the area of environmental quality.

Hana and Mike were freshmen at NAU when they were introduced to each other by mutual friends.  They became close friends before they finally decided they were the right person for each other.

Hana describes Mike as a chef, a true gentleman, and tells me that Mike is “all things outdoors, like a lumberjack.”

Mike says that Hana always has an elegant look to her.  He loves to listen to her play the guitar, and describes Hana as “a tomboy and a pretty princess all at the same time.”

Together they enjoy cooking, “artsy stuff” outdoor activities, and of course their two dogs.

On Sunday the 20th, the three of us got together to shoot their engagement session.  I first met Mike at Katie and Jason’s wedding . Hana was one of the bridesmaids. Since I was a bit busy that evening, I didn’t get a chance to do much conversing with the two of them.  I found it nice to finally sit down, talk with them, and get to know more about Hana and Mike as a couple.  It was even better to go out and shoot the session and watch Hana and Mike interact with each other as they express their affection for one another in front of my lens.

You now know a bit about the princess and the lumberjack.  Here are a few of the wonderful, lovely moments from Hana and Mike’s engagement session.

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THE GOLDEN HOUR AND BIG BLUE EYES

Back in March I offered a Family Portrait session for a silent auction benefiting a private school.  Susan B was the highest bidder for the session that would include her husband, Patrick and their three children.  Over the weeks as we discussed details Susan indicated that she would really like the shoot to take place at the Tempe Center for the Arts.  Having never been to the Center, I decided to take a scouting trip out to Tempe and check the place out, scout for good locations and pick the best time to go.

THE GOLDEN HOUR

Photographers call the time about an hour before the sun sets as the “golden hour”.  This usually provides the best lighting for dramatic, creative images.  Because the clients wanted this type of light, we scheduled the session as close as possible to this time.

As I share the images from this shoot with the readers, I would like to begin with a prime example of the magic of the golden hour that took place during this session.

At the Center, there is this beautiful pool in front of the patio that runs over the ledge and creates a waterfall.  This was one of the earliest images I took that day.

012-Edit-untitledI know the boys are cute, but notice the color of the surface and the waterfall.  We went off to other locations around the Center about an hour later came back to the waterfall to finish out the session.  The sun is almost on the horizon.  Notice how the golden hour works its magic and earns its name in the following image.

0001-8-glendale_photographer__family_photographer__family_portrait__Tempe_Center_for_the_ArtsI  believe the sun giving the water and ledge such a warm glow really enhances the image of the family.

BIG BLUE EYES

As I posted the following photographs on Facebook, almost all of the comments about these images had to do with how striking the eyes are.  0001-7-untitled

0001-4-glendale_photographer__family__portrait__blue_eyes

0001-11-untitledHere are the rest of my samples from Patrick and Susan’s family session

0001-9-untitled 0001-10-untitled 0001-12-untitled 0001-15-untitled 0001-16-untitled 0001-18-Edit-untitled 0001-19-untitled 0001-21-untitled 0001-24-untitledI want to thank Susan for bidding for my photographic services at the silent auction.  It was a pleasure for me capturing these images of your wonderful family on this day.

Family Session by Poole Photography LLC, Tim Poole photographer.

“THE BEST LAID PLANS…”

I am not sure, but I may be angering the blog gods somehow by posting another set of photographs from the Jason and Katie wedding.  I am just not sure if the rule is “one and done” or not.  But if the purpose of blogging, as I have been told, is to help garner clients and build my wedding photography business, then I have to post what I want that  highlight the import aspects of my photography.  So I have concluded that “it’s my blog and I’ll post what I want to!” – with apologies to Leslie Gore.

I conscientiously decided to make a two part post out of these photographs, because as the reader will see, they just didn’t fit together on the same page.  The first set of photographs I posted from the wedding are the more traditional, conservative types of wedding shots, the type that everybody loves and expects out of their wedding photography package.  This next series of shots can be classified as “candid” or “journalistic”.  These are the images that we as wedding photographers try to take in order to remind the bride and groom of the great time they and everyone else was having that day.  At these times I see myself as a reporter recording all of the little mini-events that occur over the many hours of a typical wedding day.

The first type of photographs are the images that people look at and tell the bride how beautiful they are and the groom how handsome he looked that day.  The second type of images are the ones that evoke emotion – a laugh, a tear, a remembrance of a touching moment.  The first look.  The first dance.  The father dancing with his newly married little girl.  The mother dancing with her son, no longer a boy, but a fine young man.

My over all impression of this wedding as the couple planned it was they were going to have fun and do it in their own way and in their own style.  The theme of the wedding was soccer as it was at a soccer tournament that Jason and Katie randomly met.  The wedding party wore soccer shoes.  The wedding march was not the traditional “dum dum de dum..” tune, but some soccer pre game warm up song.  Now Katie and Jason did embrace many traditional aspects of the wedding ceremony, but they added enough of their own personality to the proceedings to make wedding uniquely theirs and uniquely fun.

I include for your consideration two series of photographs as examples.

IT LOOKED GOOD ON PAPER

The must have photo list: the first look, the first kiss, the first dance, the first attempt of the bride and groom to kill each other.

After the ceremony we went outside to shoot the family and wedding party portraits, and then a series of bride and groom together.  “We want a picture of me giving Jason a piggyback ride.”  said Katie.  “No problem, I work for you.” says me.  And so it went something like this…

KJW-163The first shot of the attempted piggyback ride.  All seems well.

KJW-164A tale of two looks.  Jason is now putting on his “for the camera” smile as I take the shot.  Katie’s face says something entirely different.

KJW-165At this moment the reality of the situation has finally coalesced  itself in Jason’s brain and his expression reflects what his brain has just figured out.

I am happy to report that no brides or grooms were hurt in the filming of this production.  Fortunately nobody face planted  into the hard surface of Sahuaro Ranch Park.  From a photographer’s prospective, I doubt they are going to enlarge this photograph and hang it on their wall as fine art.  But on the other hand, it is Jason and Katie, and they just might.  But I am pretty sure every time they see these photos they will remember and get at least a little chuckle of a memory.

THE GREAT HYATT GENERATIONS DANCE OFF

Many great, memorable moments happen at the reception.  But how many receptions have the son call out the dad and granddad to have a dance off…winner take all?  This one did.  Andrew put out the challenge and it was gladly accepted by the older Hyatts.

KJW-294“let’s see what you got!” Andrew, Grandfather Hyatt and Father Hyatt open the ball, surrounded by an enthusiastic crowd.

KJW-297“Whose got the ‘moves like Jagger’?”

KJW-299“Let me show you some ‘Swagger Jagger’ son!”

KJW-302Like fighters going 15 rounds, neither father or son gave an inch in this contest.

KJW-308The audience has spoken and the winner is…

KJW-295IT’S ANDREW! THE ONCE AND FOREVER HYATT WEDDING DANCE OFF CHAMPION!

EPILOGUE

And so it goes.  Another wedding done.  Another blog posted.  Another series of special images.

I hope the reader has taken from these samples a sense of what this family is like and experienced through these  images a bit of the magic of the day.

I again want to thank Katie and Jason for allowing me to photograph and share the images of your special day.

And I got to think the blog gods are smiling right about now.

Wedding Photography by Poole Photography LLC

Tim Poole photographer

ANNIVERSARY DAY (kind of)

My hair styler is pregnant and due on the 15th of November. I told her my father’s birthday was November 15th also.  Then on Sunday, I got an invitation to pizza and cake for my father’s birthday on October 18th.  Slap my head, of course!  My mother’s birthday was on the 15th of  November.     I ALWAYS  got those two confused as far back as my college days.  Always had to be careful when I was sending cards.

Aside from being my father’s birthday, today is an anniversary of sorts for me.  This month, Poole Photography started its first baby steps to becoming a reality.  I had bought my first digital camera and started my first class with Dianna Elizabeth on how to use this said digital camera.  And my father’s birthday party last year was the first shakedown cruise of my Canon T3i.  My first couple of pictures I submitted for Dianna’s critique came from that birthday gathering.

It has been a fantastic year for me.  My biggest concern was would I like being a wedding/event photographer?  As Clint Eastwood counseled, I know my limitations.  If I am not enjoying my work, I cease to work.  I would have hated to spend all that money on equipment just to find out I didn’t like what I was doing.  After this year, I can enthusiastically say that this is what I what to spend my time doing.    I have not made a mistake.

In this year I have taken several classes, joined a nation wide photography group, started a website and a blog, photographed several events including  birthdays, a senior portrait session, and  a couple of weddings, the last one of which I was the  lead photographer.  Part of me says it wasn’t enough, another part is pretty darned pleased with what I have accomplished.

So now is a good time to look at where I want to be a year from now.  I have a few more classes I want to take.  I need to take time and sit down and reevaluate my goals and objectives for the next year and the future.  I want to get more involved with the Photographers Adventure Club.  I want to improve my blog writing and my photography skills.  Of course I hope to find more work, the Holy Grail for all photographers.  I want Poole Photography to get 100 likes on Facebook.   And this may seem funny, but I would like to second shoot for or assist an established photographer. I believe I will learn more by observing and helping those at a higher skill level than myself.  Sort of like classroom observation or student teaching.  There is so much I don’t know and I need to learn.  I can read and watch DVDs as often as possible, but I know I learn better when I observe someone else doing.  I will be sharing my journey’s downs and ups over the next year on this blog.    Come along and enjoy the trip.

Note to self: I also need to clean and organize my home office, which I promised myself I would do when I retired.  A little behind on that one.

MUSIC OF THE BLOG: LIGHTNING CRASHES BY LIVE

AND THE WORD IS…

My first priority is a shout out to one of my former student athletes and fellow bloggers, Jessica.  Jessica ran track for me and was one of my better athletes back when she competed.  She  read my Candy Gram blog and posted a reply.  Her post condensed everything I am trying to write about down into one unique word: authenticity.  I know that when I am writing this blog, trying to come up with topics, sometimes writing multiple paragraphs only to hit the “move to trash” button, I am searching for a certain quality, a certain standard to my writing.  I have written about the frustration I have with blogging, especially trying to do it on a daily basis, but I have had a difficult time trying to express the final result I am looking for.  I couldn’t find the right word to describe it.  Oh, the word was there, but it was always circling around the outside of my consciousnesses  like a fish circling the bait.  You know it is there, but it is under the water, bumping into the bait so the bobber moves, but just not giving the bite you need to set the hook.  Jessica’s post brought the word to the surface.  Authenticity.  I can’t write about it if it isn’t authentic.

I started putting together my blog and website because it was a class assignment.  This was my introduction of me to potential customers.  I got stuck when it came to doing the “about me” page.  I looked at other people’s blogs to see how they had written their “about pages” to see if that would give me some ideas or inspiration.  That didn’t work out very well.  I haven’t loved taking pictures since I was a little kid, I don’t have any really cute and clever anecdotes about my life I am willing to share,  I am not romantic by nature, and those few times I have been, I really don’t believe are anyone else’s business.    My favorite food is edible.  I hate yard work.  I no longer do what fueled and motivated me most of my waking hours for the last 31 years.  I have always been reluctant to “toot my own horn” about the many things I have achieved.   I will be the first person to tell you that passion is most critical to a person’s success, but the word is used by so many people to describe their feelings towards their photography that I have a hard time using the word myself when I talk about my work.

Nevertheless, I put together the required statement.  After a week or so, I went back and read my page.  It was like reading a bad used car salesman’s manifesto.  Double yuck.  I revised them immediately, trying to simplify what I had written with the idea I would go back and revise them again at a later date when I had more of a handle on where I was in the pursuit of my new career.  I couldn’t tell you what I wrote, because I have not had any desire to revisit writing that I am pretty sure is boring and trite.

It’s all about authenticity.

Trying to write an introduction to myself with my information plugged into someone else’s template is just not being very authentic.  And that is why the results were so lame.

As I said in yesterday’s post that I am revising and re-tweaking my business model and my brand.  It is time to solidify and even upgrade what Poole Photography is all about.  Time to open up the old “about page”, get the initial cringing over, and come up with a better page.

I do have a question, should I put down that I have two cats?  Does that mean dog lovers and cat haters won’t consider hiring me to photograph their wedding?  Hey, I worry about things like that, OK?

Thanks again, Jessica, for reminding me about authenticity.  Best of luck and God’s blessings on you as you embark on a new journey of your own.