As a band parent and soon to have two students in the Belleville East band program I know they are always looking for ways to raise money for their rather large operating expenses. Next year they’re starting the season with new uniforms and that ain’t cheap!
For the next few weeks I’ll be selling discounted gift cards. For $50 you can purchase $100 credit at Doug Howell Photography!
Details? Your check can be made out directly to the band parent organization: BEBOP. In exchange for your $50 I'll credit your account at Doug Howell Photography $100 which will be good for 1 calendar year from date purchased. This can be applied toward a minimum $500 order and like most these things may not be combined with other special offers. Only one gift card may be redeemed with each session.
Life is full of firsts of course… and better yet when they involve your kid.
I’ve been making senior portraits for a bunch of kids for several years now and this year I get another first. MY kid. Rachel will either be spoilded by me or hate the process… but this is gonna be a summer long project! I can’t imagine having to squeeze all my senior photo memories into one visit to one photographer. Yup. I want Rachel photographed at all her favorite things… school… theater… parks… restaraunts… I want it all in her senior pictures. But that can’t really happen. I guess what I want is simply to freeze time. We have been incredibly fortunate to have a beautiful young girl who loves and cares for her family.. who is growing up to be a beautifully strong and loving young lady.
When Rachel got her license and no longer needed me to drop her off at school I told her I was gonna miss that. As up tight as I can get trying to get my family out the door sometimes I really miss dropping her off at grade school… middle school… high school. Pretty much every day of every year of her school carreer we’ve dropped her off. There were tears and laughs and frustrations.. but an exchange of ‘have a good day’ & ‘love you’ before the door closed.. every day.
I’ve experienced tears in the studio from parents as they watch their son or daughter almost instantly grow up in front of them. Somehow suddenly this kid is ready to start making it on their own in the world. This time it’s my turn and I want to enjoy every minute of this next year.
AfterDark. Lots of things happen after dark. This week lots of very creative thinking was happening in Saint Louis. AfterDark has been a creative force in the photography industry since 2009. A dozen times since 2009 some of the most creative, innovative artists in the photography industry have gotten together and mentored THOUSANDs of their fellow photographers and artisans. Fire-breathing, pink-haired, bull-in-the-china-shop mentors have taught everything from newborns to weddings… underwater to seniors… and maybe most importantly – they weren’t just teaching numbers and buttons. They were inspiring. They were teaching how to think. They were mentoring.
Model: Risa Scott
I’ve been to a small handful of photography conventions. Really big ones and pretty small ones. AfterDark was NOTHING like any of them. Small[ish] groups in a very interactive and intimate setting were able to sit and chat and work through ideas and processes to help create beautiful imagery and maybe most important sustain a viable photography business.
Model: Dayvion Garnet
I chose to attend AfterDark as an mentor’s assistant. EXCELLENT choice. It was lots of work, schlepping light stands and cords and bags and backgrounds. BUT a mentor’s assistant works one on one with the mentors to trouble shoot problems during live demonstrations as well as to set lights and background pieces. You can’t help but feel a bonus connection with your mentor when you just scrambled to replace broken cords or dragged an entire model’s wardrobe through a convention center to expedite their next clothing change.
Model: Makenzie Morrison
Very little sleep. Lots of work. Worth every vacation day I burned. Sadly though, AfterDark is now over and done with. The creative force behind it will probably create a new and better educational experience… setting the industry standard again for how to impact the most people in a very short and intensive manner – wherever it is… I’ll do my best to be there schlepping gear and being inspired by some of the very best artists in the industry.
Model: Keegan & Elizabeth Hensley
Obviously it wasn’t ALL work.. and especially if you love what you’re doing and learning it still doesn’t feel much like work.. except for the exhaustion at the end of a day that reminds you – work was indeed done. Lots of really talented models and goofy folks made the 3 day convention plus 2 setup/tear down days wonderfully enjoyable. One of our late nights we were treated to a fire spinning demonstration by the Saint Louis fire spinning troupe: VENUSinFLAMES! How cool!?
Finally my regrets. I regret I didn’t study the mentor lineup before arriving to KNOW them before I arrived. I regret I didn’t hand out a zillion more cards to folks I wanted to stay in touch with. I regret not meeting one on one and giving a hug to every hair and makeup artist that were responsible for crafting and designing the scores of models flawlessly.
Thanks to my good friend Barb and Steph for making me want to go. Dave Junion and Jim Pierson and Dan Rowe [and others I sadly don't even know] for creating and driving this monster through Saint Louis…. you done good.
I recently wanted to try a couple ideas and who better to call than one of my recent high school seniors. That’s a big bonus for some of my senior subjects.. and for me too.. whenever I need to test some equipment, a location or an idea I have a good group of camera ready models to share some cool new photos with!
I’ve got some new equipment coming again soon…. if you’re interested in some bonus FB photos give me a shout!
Sometimes when an opportunity comes along that seems too good to turn down you’re fortunate enough to actually realize it and make it happen. Five days on the road with some of the most gifted and experienced photographers I know. Five guys: Paul Rogers, Michael Barton, Peter Yu, Mark Van Huis and myself. This was simply too good to refuse.
Don’t ask why a trip to Moab started in El Paso but White Sands New Mexico was a stunning place to get started. 275 miles of white gypsum dunes stretch out at the base of the San Andres Mountains to act as a backdrop for these seductive shapes. Spend just a couple moments staring at these dunes and you can’t help but imagine lovely feminine lines and curves.
As feminine as the dunes are, El Capitan, at the beginning of the Guadeloupe Mounain range, is masculine. Strong and imposing. No mistaking this for a hill far off in the distance. Its rugged and fractured face is extremely close to the road and for miles I just kept marveling at its size. At 8,751 feet it is the highest point in Texas and the surrounding national park make it a hiker’s paradise in the West Texas barren wilderness.
You know you’re spoiled when you get to watch the sunlight smack into something this imposing and yet you still want more! more… more drama… more clouds. Maybe an eagle flying over just as the first rays of light start warming the mountain’s face. That’s how spoiled and expectant we can be. But this is lesson in patience. And as they say, most any sunrise with a camera in hand is better than any day in the office. So after photographing and appreciating the newly risen sun we napped, lunched, hiked and waited for the sun again. Found just the right spot. Boulders. Ravine. Wild flowers. Close to the mountain. Now just to cue the sun!
Yup. We were rewarded for our patience and clicked our way through the waning light as it continued to make everything warmer. softer. beautiful.
Next day: Another early morning. This time for a sunset 12 hours north near Moab, Utah.
My first glimpse at the expanse of the rugged canyon valley with the snow capped Lasalle Mountains in the distance was simply overwhelming. (I’m discovering that with each additional year of life I become more deeply moved with the natural beauty around me.) The wide open scene.. the wind and sky.. my knuckleheaded friends enjoying the edge a bit too much… yup.. this was worth the long drive and then some.
The sun sets. Again we are gifted with a stunning view. I simply click my way through the event – Michael on the other hand has brought out the big gun. Shooting old school. Mr. Barton is looking at the scene on the back of his 4×5 view camera. I click through a couple hundred shots on my fancy pants digital camera. He exposed 6 sheets of film.
Next morning – another sunrise. None of them are the same and all of them are worth every minute of lost sleep – as each sunrise makes you appreciate deeper the world we have before us.
More driving, more short nights and more awesome beauty that is the Canyonlands and Arches National Parks.
You get the idea. It was a good trip. I am extremely fortunate to have these opportunities. Michael. Paul. Peter. Mark. I am extremely fortunate to call them my mentors and my friends.
I often quietly pray that the latent image in the camera will come close. That the finished image will convey just a fraction of the beauty and grandure I’ve been allowed to experience first hand. Imagine for a minute that you have the opportunity to photograph the face of God… This creation we are so blessed with having dominion over is as close as we can get.
No pressure there.
Wanna go next time?
This May I’ll be jumping into the teaching world and leading a class as part of the Professional Photographer’s of America’s Super 1 Day on DSLR video: shooting & editing.
The class will discuss a bit about scripts and storyboards, sound and lighting, editing and sharing, and more. We’ll start with an overview of video systems, TV and DSLR and then examine how to capture the right images for your story and discuss editing capabilities and attributes that all modern systems, from FCP, Premiere, Avid, Edius and even Photoshop have – learn what you want to use and when.
I’ll also walk you through camera technique and basic settings you want to use to enhance your production.
We’ll do a few live demos where you’ll have a chance to shoot-and-edit your own video short. This hands-on opportunity will allow you to practice what you’ve learned with plenty of time for Q&A at the end.
Take it from someone who knows what they’re doing – and make it yours!
How do I use my DSLR? Wanna see some of my work?
Vimeo is where I keep some of my favorite video portfolio pieces.
And of course since we’ll already be at St. Louis’ NBC affiliate we may as well take a quick tour of the TV station’s news room, control rooms and studios.
Course Date: Sunday, May 18, 2014
Course Hours: 2:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Items to Bring: DSLR and video editing software
Location: Doug Howell KSDK-TV 1000 Market Street St. Louis, MO 63101
Kenzie’s little sister Maddy came by recently for a test session… of course we had to take advantage of our studio time together and create a few new headshots for her as well.
Thanks as always to Kenzie for coming over and spending some quality time in the studio!
Meet Maddy. She’s one of the newest models on the block! Maddy is hoping to get some face time when AfterDark comes to St. Louis next month and needed a couple quick shots for her brand new portfolio. Maddy should be pretty well prepared for the long tedious days at a large event like that – her sister has been modeling in the Saint Louis area for several years [more on Kenzie later].
I do enjoy working with new models. Partly because they don’t look at me like I’m as crazy when I’m doing my ‘model 101′ routine.. hands this way… hips that way [I look really good doing this stuff too!]
My favorite moment of the night was watching Maddy try and make sense out of my direction AND trying not to fall over in the process! Maybe if I worked in HIGH heels I’d have a better appreciation for some of the silly things that I ask a model to do!
Thanks to Maddy and her sister for coming over last weekend… you’ll be seeing more of Maddy especially if she gets signed up for the AfterDark gig!
I needed some firemen today. Called my old high school friend Tim Tincher, a Lebanon IL volunteer firemen and a few hours later… I had firemen. I had trucks and lights and pretty much anything else I would have asked for. I even left with an invitation to join them in some training exercises next time they have a house to burn down (yes they do that for practice)..
Why did I need some firemen? I needed a bit of video.. an image of the classic strong and proud looking firemen for a promo we’re working on for KSDK to run during the opening ceremonies of the winter Olympics this week. I got it. Tim and the guys fit the bill perfectly and I couldn’t have been happier to have had another opportunity to connect with Tim again.
Thanks Tim. I’ll link to the finished promo soon as its available.
The Lebanon-Emerald Mound Fire Protection District encompases the City of Lebanon as well as areas surrounding and outside of city limits. The Lebanon Emerald Mound Volunteer Fire Department is a member of a group of Mutual Aid Fire Departments and can be seen assisting in many surrounding areas and communities.