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Category: Portraits   |   View all recent posts

The Tacketts [Dallas Family Photographer]
WHO: Jerry, Tina & Trinity   |   WHAT: Families, Kids, Portraits   |   WHEN: October 18, 2010   |   WHERE: Dallas, TX
Everytime I photograph the Tacketts, it's a trip down the proverbial memory lane for me. Not only have I been friends with Jerry and Tina for a little over 14 years, this photo of their then newborn little Trinity was one of the first I ever took for somebody else.  Oh they didn't ask me to... I just took it sent it to them like I was Ansel Adams or something.  Before that I was just playin' around with a camera trying to figure out the difference between an aperture and an f/stop. (Turns out it's a cruel photography industry joke... there is no difference.)  Truth be told, I'm not really sure how I even got that image other than pure serendipity because I didn't have a clue what I was doing with my camera at that time and for some time after that... and I'm sure I spent at least an hour in Photochop fixing my technical incompetence with the camera.

Fast forward 5 years, and we've all come a long way.  I now know the aperture vs. f/stop gig, and little Trinity is, well, not so little.  I've had the pleasure of seeing this princess grow up right before my eyes.  I've probably got a thousand photos of her from her first five years floating around on hard drives, and Kylie and I were blessed to have her as our snowflake girl at our wedding in Indiana back in January of '09. 

It's not all about Trinity this time, though.  Jerry and Tina have been two of my best friends for almost as long as I've been in Dallas.  Jerry did the honors of being my best man at the wedding and Tina, well, she's the sister I never had... and my creative sounding board.  Oddly enough, in the years A.T. (after Trinity), we've never really done an official family session with all three of them.  We've grabbed a few images here and there, but we finally carved out some time to create some images of the whole tribe.  And because Tina's always photographing the rest of the family in addition to her clients, she rarely gets in any of the photos.  Soooo, last weekend we fixed that.  We headed downtown near the Deep Ellum Arts District and got our family photography session on.

Here's some of my favorites from our session. 

Check out Trinity already strikin' a pose like a pro in this first one.

Love this image.

Like mother...

... like daughter.

Trinity busted out her Hello Kitty guitar and started rockin' it out.

Mom and dad were instant groupies.

Love this image of Tina playin' and Trinity singin'.




Precious image.


Rachel & Lance - Just Because
WHO: Rachel & Lance   |   WHAT: Engagements, Families, Portraits   |   WHEN: October 12, 2010   |   WHERE: Deep Ellum
Rachel & Lance came in this evening to view their images.  We laughed.  We ate chocolate chip cookies.  We talked photography.  We watched iPhone videos of their three 8 yr old boys rockin' it out on their guitars at home.  We had fun.  These two are so laid back and easy going; it was truly a pleasure spending time with them, and I think we really got some great images in their "just because" session. 

Besides the sneak peek image I posted yesterday, here's my favorites from our time down in Deep Ellum.

Love the relaxed moment in this next one.

They rocked this one.

This was one of the last images we took, and it was getting dark, so I had my assistant Sara go up to the next stairway landing and hold a remote flash with a small softbox, pointing it down at Rachel & Lance.  While not a perfect image from a technical perspective, there's just something I really like about this image.  It's kinda got a vintage movie set feel to it.

The session was over and we had walked back to our cars and were about to drive home when I just put a flash on the ground behind Lance & Rachel trying to see if we could get something interesting.  I think we did.  Thanks, you two, for being game for "just one more".


WHO: Garry (a.k.a the "FIL")   |   WHAT: Portraits, Random   |   WHEN: August 2, 2010   |   WHERE: Plano, TX

Kylie's parents just left today after staying with us for the last four and a half days, and I 'm sad to see them go for a couple reasons:  1) It's just nice to relax and hang out with them because they're good peoples from the mid-West.  2) No more fresh corn on the cob straight from the Indiana stalks.  3) The indulgent snacks (home made ice crean, brownies, homemade strawberry shortcake, Klondikes, homemade cinnamon rolls, buckets of soda, etc.) suddenly become harder to justify eating when all the company leaves.  4) Mia seems a little depressed after being in K-9 heaven with the nearly 24-7 attention and spoiling she got from "Grammy" and "Grandfather Garry".  5) Now that Garry's gone, I'm designated as the resident handyman again, and for those that know me, the term "handyman" and me?  Well, we're not exactly friends.  In fact, most days we're downright adversaries. 

Oddly enough, my dad is quite the Bob Villa as well when it comes to fixing things around the house.  Apparently I was absent the day he and I had an appointment scheduled to transfer that father-son knowledge.  In general, it just seems like men from my dad's and Kylie's dad's generation know how to fix more stuff.  Me?  I'm blaming the internet and Microsoft for my home improvement shortcomings - the internet because it's made me lazy and Microsoft, well, because it's been a while since I blamed Microsoft for anything (and it's due).

Anywho, back to Garry (a.k.a. "the FIL")... everytime her parents come down for a visit, Kylie makes a list for her dad of things around the house that need a little help.  And typically Garry goes above and beyond in blowing through the list and then some.  For me it's great because I pick up all kinds of tips and tricks for fixing things while Garry does the work and I pretty much stand there and say, "Great job, Garry.  Lookin' good... You need somethin' to drink?  Need me to wipe that sweat off your forehead before it gets in your eyes?"  WIll I ever remember said tips and tricks when the time comes and he's not around?  Dunno, but I like to think I'm absorbing his skills through osmosis, and they'll magically come back to me next time something comes up and he's not around, and it will be my time to shine.  Wishful thining?  Prolly. 

I was out watering the plants in the front of the house last night - a skill I picked up all on my own, thank you very much - and I noticed the sunset and wanted to grab an image.  I decided to snag Garry and rescue him from watching Design Star with the ladies for the moment and do a quick portrait in the middle of the street.  It was pretty dark, and all I had was a light meter and a Nikon SB-800 flash, but no light stand to hold it.  So I had Garry hold it, laid on my back in the street (as a neighbor and his 3 dogs walked by, of course), and fired a couple images.  The one above was my favorite because he kinda looks like Super Garry, which - considering there's not much he can't fix - seemed appropriate.

For you photography geeks out there who might be wondering, I put the flash (with Pocket Wizard transciever attached) in manual mode and set it to 1/128th power and placed the light meter right in front of his face to get a reading.  I set me shutter speed to 1/250th of a second which is what my light meter told me to use at ISO 400 with an aperture of f/5.6 at a flash output of 1/128th power.  I ended up slowing down the shutter speed to by a stop to 1/125th to burn in a little more of the orange sunset light in the background.


Random Chad
WHAT: Portraits   |   WHEN: May 14, 2010
Here's a couple random images of my buddy Chad from Texas School last week.  He's a police officer by day in Iowa, and a photographer with his sweet wife Janna by night.  Actualy, I think it's the other way around, but whatever... he's a great guy 24/7... despite the crazy bleached blonde mohawk he was sporting for Texas School.  That's Chad for ya... generally a little quiet and soft spoken and then BAM! He busts out something that seems competely crazy and out of character for him.  Guess that's the way they roll up there in Iowa.  Oh... and for a real show just ask Chad about Marvin the Martian.

Both these images were taken at night (obviously using light from a street lamp above and a little Sunpack rechargeable video light behind him for a little rim light.


Feeling Alive
WHAT: Cityscapes & Landscapes, Portraits   |   WHEN: May 9, 2010

Here's a few images from last week at Texas School.  We did a shoot, oddly enough, at the same exact location I took Lauren and Ron's mock engagement images only a couple days earlier.  We had a few models to use to shoot whatever type of images we wanted, and I feel really drawn to the types of images below and want to create more of them...  not ballerina images, per se, but rather the idea of more fine art images.  Creatively this is where I feel most 'alive', and I could play in this space all. day. long.

PArdon the sentimentality today... I'm feeling a bit in touch with my inner self, but I plan to be out of touch with myself and back to regularl scheduled programming again tomorrow.

This model had serisouly amazing eyes.  There is very little post-procesing done to the image below.  Ridiculous, right?


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