Bry Cox Studio Spring Highlights

Spring is here, school is ending soon, and there are lots of reasons for fun new portraits. Check out some of these highlights from my blog. Click on any image to see more about that shoot or story.

High School Seniors & Grads

School will be ending soon which means that it’s time to get your senior/grad in for portraits. I can make you some really cool announcements or make up photos to go in announcements you may have ordered from school. Many senior men are also getting missionary pictures at the same time. See some samples from the shoots for Whitney and Blake.

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Weddings

I love weather. It gives me a lot to work with in creating a dramatic image at a wedding. Here are two weddings, one in the wind from this last weekend and one from a rain storm that you’ve got to see.

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Click image to see more of Rachelle’s rainy wedding.

If you’re getting married, come in and let’s talk about weddings. You’ll be able to see in person my very custom wedding albums, and what I’ll make for you.

New Awards and Recognition

• My lighthouse image, “Isle of Light” was featured in Professional Photographer Magazine.

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• Top Wedding Album and Design Scored HIGHER Than Anything in Utah

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Click image to see my albums.

• The Professional Photographers of America have awarded me “Elite” Status

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Hunting Lighthouses

This last week I was teaching a workshop on lighting up in Tacoma, and I took a free day looking for lighthouses on Vancouver Island, Canada. See what I shot.

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Summary

Spring is a great time to create some personal art for your wall, whether it be family portraits, high school seniors, or something for your upcoming wedding. Give me a call at 801-728-3317 to talk about your dream portrait, and also feel free to browse my blog and main portfolio website for more cool images.

Until next time, America.

A Sneak Peek from Kami’s Wedding

This weekend I photographed Kami and Mark’s wedding at the Salt Lake Temple. It was a beautiful and windy spring day. The air was refreshingly brisk and though it never rained, the sky had drama. It made for a great environment to create some very romantic wedding images. I really love weather! Here are a couple early favorites that really stand out to me. This is a great couple and were a blast to work with.

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Now that the wedding is shot, I begin the sorting process. I look through each image and begin laying out their big and beautiful album. That is a long process and today is the first overview. And as I was looking at them, I thought it’d be fun to share a few exciting images right now before things get designed. The bride and groom are off on their honeymoon, and I hope they see these gorgeous images today.

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If you’d like to see how my albums are finished, check out this video. My albums continue to win awards.

 So if you’re a bride, give me a call. Let’s create something amazing for your wedding. 801-728-3317

And until next time, America.

My “Isle of Light” Lighthouse Image Featured in Professional Photographer Magazine, April 2014 Issue

My lighthouse image Isle of Light, is featured in this month’s Professional Photographer Magazine. The magazine features a few images that did well at national competition, and shares the story of how those images were made.

Here is how it looks in the magazine.

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I created this image while speaking on the East Coast after getting bumped from a flight. It was also selected to be in the PPA Loan Collection Book after scoring well at nationals.

This image is available on my art site in various sizes and finishes, if you’d like it for your home or business entry.

Professional Photographer Magazine is a publication that goes out to all professional photographers throughout the US as well as other parts of the world. If you’re photographer, you’ll find this on page 20. Here is the double-page spread.

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It’s always an honor to be asked to be in this magazine, and this image is one of my top favorite lighthouse images I’ve created too. I’m glad they love and appreciate it and wanted to showcase it.

Until next time, America.

Photographic Workshop in Tacoma, Washington

I just got back from speaking in Tacoma Washington, and judging at the state’s convention for professional photographers. It was a great event and very inspirational.

I spoke on lighting women specifically, and on just how to get everything right in the camera so that there is no need for retouching, color correcting, or even having to make adjustments later using software. Everything should be manual, including your flash, and angles and poses are specific. When everything is done right, images should look amazing right out of the camera.

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That was the first half of the day, then after lunch I was going to demonstrate my fast digital workflow using some images I already had on my hard drive. But during lunch I was getting a lot of questions about lighting and exactly how to do what I was teaching. So at the end of lunch, I asked an attendee named Lexi to be a quick model for me outside the hotel. It gave me a chance to demonstrate what I was teaching, and also game me some demo images to use during the second half of the day, that everyone knew were not prepared earlier for the event.

A photographer friend I’ve gotten to know over the years who was at the convention, Rich Breshears, took this image of me and Lexi outside in the parking lot. It shows me shooting with my light pole that I have built so that I can really control light even better as a model moves. I like to hold the light so that I can move it as I need to, putting the highlights and shadows exactly where I want them, not leaving them to chance. The parking lot had this big bush which I used as a background because it complimented Lexi’s red hair and also gave me a dark, low-key background that was mostly solid with a little texture, that way there was interest without distractions.

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After getting a few images, we went back inside and started up again. I spoke on my fast workflow system, which is made even faster by not having to correct any images. I also showed that with images already looking great out of your camera, your computer time should be fun and creative, coming up with some cool ideas for the client rather than correcting problems. Here I added one of my new custom edges I’ve made.

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And then I used that same image to create an abstract painting in front of the group.Cox_LSharpe-S-107-painting2-crop

I also used three images to create this trio, showing everyone how to create their own trios and composites. I love seeing images in threes, and having a trio design already made makes designing later even easier.

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It was a great event and very inspirational. When I speak, it means that I study and go through all of my material to determine what to spend my time on with the group. I find myself being uplifted as well as everyone else when I share and give. I really appreciate the opportunity to speak in Tacoma for the Professional Photographers of Washington, and want to thank Lexi for being a model for me at the last minute.

If you need some updated portraits, give me a call. Spring is here and it’s a great time to get in. And if you’re a photographer and want to improve your skills and attend one of my photographic workshops, please visit my upcoming schedule on my workshop site at BryCoxWORKSHOPS.com. Until next time, America.

Hunting Lighthouses on Vancouver Island, Canada

I love the adventure of hunting down and photographing lighthouses. It’s the perfect activity for someone like me with wanderlust. The entire process is cathartic and inspirational. It requires driving through un-populated areas on old curvy roads instead of fast and straight highways, it means driving with the window down and smelling the sea even if it’s cold outside, it means hiking and sometimes scrambling up and down mountain sides to get to the right spot, and it means sitting and watching light and soaking in the atmosphere around you with no one else around as I wait for the right moment to shoot. And in the end, I leave with a beautiful image that I hope others enjoy, but even if they don’t, I know I will enjoy it and the process of creating it.

This week I had a speaking job in Tacoma Washington, and decided to go a bit early to photograph some lighthouses on Vancouver Island, Canada. I love the adventure of photographing lighthouses, and really like the Victoria area on Vancouver Island. I’ve never had time when I’ve been up there to get out to the lighthouses and photograph them. This was the trip to do exactly that.

After landing in Seattle, I took my rental car over to Victoria, Canada on the COHO ferry. This self portrait is me with my point and shoot, on the cold and windy bow of the ferry. Even though it was cold, I always like being outside on a ferry rather than inside. Everything is different outside on a ferry, and it makes me feel like I’m on an adventure. You can smell the ocean air, you feel the droplets, and you can look off at the dark water beneath you as you crash through it.

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After landing and getting established in Victoria, I went out lighthouse hunting. I first photographed the Fisgard Light outside of Victoria. Access is only open during the day and when I got there, I was told hat the light itself was “closed” for the day, but other parts of the ground were open. I paid the fee and went to find an angle where I could still get close and photograph it, knowing I could get around the construction and workers. And that I did. I was able to get right up close, and I spent some time there hiking around the rocks and looking at the light, created these images.

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I really loved the clouds and the dramatic sky, and thought a black and white would work well. Even though I love the red of the building, this black and white may be one of my favorites of this lighthouse.

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Before leaving, I did this self portrait with the lighthouse with my point and shoot on manual.

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The next lighthouse, Sheringham Point, was quite hard to get to, being a long drive up the western coast of the island. Along the way, I looked for my favorite fish and chips hut on the water, but it was closed for the season. When I finally got to the lighthouse, I found that it too was closed — abandoned and gated off by the government. The surrounding land was also locked and controlled by a land developer. Everything was gated and blocked off. It took some hiking and some ingenuity to get to it, but here are the images I created.

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By this time, it was getting late in the day, and being on a different part of the island, the weather was dramatically different, giving this lighthouse a very different and beautiful mood. And the rocky cliffs to the side were my favorite part, and I thought were part of the character of this lighthouse. I found a way over to the side where I could photograph the lighthouse using the cliffs to frame it. These looked much more dramatic than the images of the lighthouse from other angles.BCox_Victoria-2014-481-Pano2-edge

I sat on this rock for a while watching the light move and change, and listening to the crashing waves beneath me. I thought it a cool place to created a self portrait with my point and shoot.BCox_Victoria-2014-594-edge

Being on the hunt, my mind was distracted all day. It was here sitting, that I realized that I still hadn’t eaten breakfast and it was actually dinner time. So I headed to the nearby logging town of Port Renfrew to get some fish and chips, and then from there took the long way back to Victoria, making a loop up and over the island using a curvy logging road. I arrived back in Victoria at night and got some Chinese food for a late dinner in Victoria’s China Town.

All along the way, I also took abstract images on my iPhone and posted them to my Instagram feed. There are iPhone pics of these lighthouses as well as abstracts from the ferry and other interesting things. You can see those here, http://instagram.com/bry_cox

Until next time, America.

Creating An Iconic Image, Artist of Light

This week I realized that I needed a really cool and iconic portrait that screamed, lighting is my specialty. It needed to be an image that could be used in a magazine, used for promoting speaking events, and used on my studio’s opening web page for all my clients to see. It had to be colorful and catch the eye and be completely different from anything else out there.

As I thought about it, the idea came. Being a specialist of light, I needed an image that said, “artist of light.”

I could envision the complete image, the location, the time of day and exposure I’d need for the right kind of blue sky, where the lights would be in the frame, and how I’d mix different lights with different color temperatures to create the right depth and mood. It would be a vertical image ready for a magazine, and I’d be holding the main light with one hand and firing off the camera with a remote in the other hand. And the kicker would be that the main light would be my flash-on-a-stick idea that I’ve been speaking about for the last few years (which is ideal for quick, manual, and very controllable custom lighting, and can be used a number of ways).

That was my idea; very detailed. So the next night I packed up my truck with all the gear I’d need and I headed out to my location. The end result not only matched exactly my idea, but turned out even better than I imagined.

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The key to any great image is lighting. I’m a PPA Master photographer and I speak all over training photographers on how to problem solve and create exquisite lighting using whatever gear you may have with you. It’s not about brand, or auto-settings, but about know-how.

There is a philosophy out there with photographers that lighting is just about exposure, making sure an image isn’t too dark or too light. People with this mindset think of adding a reflector or a flash only when someone’s face is dark or backlit, and even then no care is taken in terms of using light to flatter or sculpt people. Angles of light, choice of modifiers, and color temperature are not even thought of.

I want to be different. I want to create images that stand out from the crowd. I want images that pop with vibrance and emotion and that flatter people and look amazing, that feel three-dimensional, and are created on purpose with repeatable, controllable, manual settings.

I’m sure you need a really cool iconic image to promote you or your business. Let’s talk and create that for you. Or maybe your a bride or a mom and need something beautiful and timeless of your family or upcoming wedding. In either case, give me a call, 801-728-3317.

And until next time, America.

I Am a PPA Elite Member

Just before the national convention, I found out that I was now a “PPA Elite Member.” This is quite an honor and I’m glad to be a part of this elite group of photographers. The PPA for those who don’t know is the Professional Photographers of America. Being an Elite member is something that is brand new and brings some very tough requirements.

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The requirements for being an Elite member are:

  • Certified Professional Photographer in good standing
  • Hold a Master of Photography degree
  • Four for four on images from a single case from previous year’s IPC (Bronze or Silver IPC medalist)
  • Two non-photographic merits earned during the previous year
Here's how my PPA Credentials page looks now: Master, Craftsman, Certified, Elite.

Here’s how my PPA Credentials page looks now: Master, Craftsman, Certified, Elite.

I will not stop being a Master or a Certified photographer, and I certainly earn plenty of merits each year through service. So to keep this status I must hang all four images I submit each year, which is tougher than it sounds. I’ve done it the last couple years straight, as well as on and off over the years too, sometimes missing it by one. It’s always been a personal goal, but has never been easy to do. Having this recognition is nice and gives me another reason to do it each year.

I appreciate the PPA for starting this program that shows extra appreciation to photographers who have gone above the expected norm of professionals. It makes me want to strive even harder to say an Elite member.

Until next time, America.

My Lighthouse Image Featured in PPA Loan Collection Art Book

My lighthouse image, “Isle of Light” scored so well last year, that it is now featured in the PPA’s Loan Collection Book that just came out.

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The “Loan Collection” is a group of the highest scoring images (about 7%), that go on loan to the PPA for a traveling exhibit. The loan images are all published in a book each year, and my copy of the book just arrived.

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It’s always a great honor to get a Loan print and add another Loan Collection book to my collection. This image will also soon be featured in a magazine article on it’s creation, which I will post when it is made public.

You can also purchase this image from my Scenic/Art store here if you’d like a beautiful canvas to display in your home or even office entry.

Until next time, America.

My Wedding Album Scored HIGHER Than Everything at IPPA 2014

At the last minute, I got word of our state’s professional competition this year. I quickly picked and entered my prints digitally the same day to make the deadline because I had no time to print them. However I also picked up my sample wedding book off my table and turned it in too. It is an exact copy of what the bride and groom received. It was not designed special for competition or display, it was a real wedding sitting in my studio.

That book wowed the judges and the audience. It scored higher than anything else in the show. You may have seen it, in a past blog entry, Called Jaqui’s Wedding in Corpus Christi, Texas.

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I also feature it in this video about my wedding albums. It is the medium sized book, 12×14.

I also won these awards, Master’s Court of Honor (one of the top scoring Masters), 2nd Place Master Pictorial/Illustrative for this image,

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…and 2nd Place Finished Product for my album. The first place went to a framed piece because the award was sponsored by a frame company. (Gyp!)

Anyway, if you’re getting married, you must come in and see my weddings. Call me at 801-728-3317 to talk to me and check out my main website, BryCox.com.

Until next time, America.

Rachelle’s Wedding Album On a Rainy Day

I’m so excited for you to see Rachelle’s wedding album. You may have seen her bridals in a previous post, but now her album is completely finished.

Here is a video of me showing the album, page by page. It ends with a slideshow of each page so you can really see the images.

Rachelle’s wedding was at the Salt Lake Temple with reception at the Salt Lake Capitol building. The weather report projected bad weather, but the day surprised us. It started out sunny but cool still, but soon turned to a very heavy rainstorm which was a lot of fun photographically and made for some fun wedding memories.

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I love weddings for both the romance in the air as well as the artistic challenge involved. I love creating something awesome for each client, no matter what. When you look at this wedding, you’ll notice that every page spread is gorgeous and it doesn’t matter the time of day, location, or weather. The entire album is magical, and for years they will be able to look through this book and remember their day.

Weddings are a big deal to me, and nothing about how I create products for weddings is half-hearted. Every wedding I do is finished in one of my award winning wedding albums like this, as well as an Italian made briefcase to carry the album in. To see more about my wedding albums, see this past blog entry on my wedding albums.

And if you’re getting married, give me a call and let’s talk about your dream images and how I can create something amazing for you.

Until next time, America.

Rava’s Sunset Cruise Portraits

While on my Caribbean cruise, I found myself imagining photo shoots on the boat. I was spotting areas that would be perfect for a shoot, especially with the rails and sunsets. I asked a friend of mine Rava, who owns a dress company specializing in very unique dresses from Tahiti to pose for me. Here’s what we created.

Cox_RAmo-S-210I had a very limited amount of gear with me, but it was enough to create the custom lighting I needed to both sculpt her as well as bring out the awesome skies in the background. I really love how these turned out.

Cox_RAmo-S-177She was a great model and the shoot was a fun break to get away from the crowd on the boat and be creative. I find it interesting that sometimes I need to get away from the studio and relax, and other times I need to get away from relaxing and shoot something and be creative. This trip was a mix of both. I didn’t have internet or phone service for that week, which meant being completely off the grid: no email, no voicemail, no Facebook, no news. It was odd at first but also very relaxing. But I also went hoping to create beautiful images of places I had never been. It’s fun to shoot abstracts and scenics, but I also love faces. You’ll notice in my previous post of art images from the Caribbean, faces I met along the way. But it is also fun for me to create portraits with my Master style of custom lighting using an exotic location as a background.

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Well there are some of my favorites from the shoot. And it’s good to be home too and working hard again in the studio. I’m sure there’s a reason you need some new portraits, and this month is a great time to get in the studio. Give me a call and let’s create something awesome for you. 801-728-3317

Until next time, America.

Caribbean Art Images Created Mostly with Point-And-Shoot Camera

I recently went on a cruise with some friends to get away from the cold weather, create some unique art prints, and recharge my creative spirits. One of the things I found fun was to create as many art images as I could with just my small point-and-shoot camera on manual. Now that I’m home, I thought I’d post some of my favorite images.

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This first image is a multi-image panorama created at the Bahama port at sunrise.

© BryCox.com, Bry Cox

Looking down off my room’s balcony into the water of the Bahamas.© BryCox.com, Bry Cox © BryCox.com, Bry Cox © BryCox.com, Bry Cox © BryCox.com, Bry Cox © BryCox.com, Bry Cox © BryCox.com, Bry Cox © BryCox.com, Bry Cox © BryCox.com, Bry Cox

© BryCox.com, Bry Cox These images were created in the St. Thomas area.© BryCox.com, Bry Cox

I really like photographing people and faces, even if they are strangers I meet when I travel. This man had such an interesting look to me. I went over and talked with him for a bit while on the island of St. John. He plays in a reggae band. I made sure to position myself with the blue water behind him before creating this image of him. I loved the look in his eye and the stark contrast of colors framed with the deep blue water.

© BryCox.com, Bry Cox © BryCox.com, Bry Cox © BryCox.com, Bry Cox © BryCox.com, Bry Cox © BryCox.com, Bry Cox © BryCox.com, Bry Cox © BryCox.com, Bry Cox

Then we stopped in Puerto Rico. There is an old fort there with a lighthouse, and most of my images from this island were created there.
© BryCox.com, Bry Cox© BryCox.com, Bry Cox © BryCox.com, Bry Cox© BryCox.com, Bry Cox© BryCox.com, Bry Cox© BryCox.com, Bry Cox© BryCox.com, Bry Cox
© BryCox.com, Bry Cox © BryCox.com, Bry Cox © BryCox.com, Bry Cox

© BryCox.com, Bry Cox © BryCox.com, Bry Cox © BryCox.com, Bry Cox © BryCox.com, Bry Cox The last stop was Grand Turks. It had one of the prettiest beaches. It was a very small island, only 1 mile wide and 7 miles long. The port is at one end, and I paid a local guy to drive me to the other end to photograph a lighthouse. I love searching out and photographing lighthouses when out of town. © BryCox.com, Bry Cox

The lighthouse was not the typical lighthouse, set on a rocky ledge. It was set back quite a ways and surrounded by odd buildings, trees and wild donkeys. With the time of day also not being ideal, I decided to photograph this lighthouse in high-contrast black and white. I also shot some with a shift-lens to blur out areas I didn’t like in the image.© BryCox.com, Bry Cox © BryCox.com, Bry Cox© BryCox.com, Bry Cox © BryCox.com, Bry Cox © BryCox.com, Bry Cox © BryCox.com, Bry CoxHere is a pirate statue that guards the door of a building right next to the lighthouse.© BryCox.com, Bry Cox

By then it was time to get back on ship. This is a look towards our boat on the right, from the Grand Turk docks. The sun was setting so I hurried on board to photograph the sunset from the boat.© BryCox.com, Bry Cox © BryCox.com, Bry Cox Once on board, I hustled up to the top deck to finish photographing the sunset.
© BryCox.com, Bry CoxAnd one last image of this man undocking our ship, shot through the guard rail, creating a cool ‘Z’ shape in white.© BryCox.com, Bry CoxIt was a great and relaxing trip, but it is good to be home. Let me know what some of your favorite images are. I’m curious what others like. I will add some to my art site soon, once I narrow them down a bit.

Until next time, America.