Share The Gift, The Largest Nativity Event & Music Video

This weekend, the #ShareTheGift Largest Nativity music video was released. I was hired for two days to be there during the creation to capture some behind the scenes images as well as do all the VIP portraits for social media, as well as shoot some video interviews too. It was all put together by the Radiant Foundation who brought together Peter Hollens, David Archuleta, The Piano Guys, The Mormon Tabernacle Choir, and YouTube personalities like Shay Carl, Alex Boyé, Cute Girl Hairstyles, Devin Supertramp, Stuart Edge, Kid History, Studio C, and The Gardiner Sisters.

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It started with the Guinnes Book of World Records representative double-checking all the numbers and making sure a record was made as over a thousand volunteers streamed in and were given white robes to wear.

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Throughout the night, I photographed people in the VIP tent on the ‘step and repeat’ background. A lot of those images can be seen on the Live Nativity’s Facebook page. Here’s some of them.

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And as it got darker, the filming began for the music video. This was just day one of filming for the music video.

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Day two of filming included people like David Archuleta and the Piano Guys at a different location. Again, I was there to do the VIP portraits on the ‘step and repeat’ background, as well as some behind the scenes shots.

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The hashtag has been trending on social media sites, as has the music video this weekend on YouTube. It has been a huge hit and has been covered by the news both local and national. Here are links to some of the news stories:

Deseret News / KSL News / Channel 4 Salt Lake KTVX / The Blaze / Salt Lake Tribune / News in Virginia / Fresno California Bee / CBN Christian Broadcasting Network / Univision / AOL News …

Here is the final music video

It was a real honor to be asked to photograph this event. I know there were a lot of people at all levels that worked countless hours on this project. I hope everyone gets a chance to watch the video above, as well as this beautiful video below that is a part of the same #ShareTheGift campaign.

Merry Christmas and until next time, America.

How I Created My Christmas Card, A Group Portrait of Me

For many years I’ve done group portraits as my company Christmas card, always a group of just me as if it’s taken at my own company’s Christmas party. And because I personally see each job through from beginning to end, I wear a few different hats and the card has become a growing joke, getting better each year. Well here is my card and how I created it.

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Clients, especially children that come in are always asking me how I shoot my group photos of myself, so I decided to share with you my process.

First I mapped out the entire shot, and decided on which images I’d need, where the various people would be positioned throughout the image. I needed depth, but didn’t want anyone in front of anyone else. I even have three people tied together with garland, all handing each other the same strand. It all has to look real and work. Each person had to be working together naturally, and that meant thinking about how the angles and lighting should be.

Once it was mapped out, I began photographing the pieces. I started with my studio/home. I needed to use open area of the front and didn’t want it covered with the cedar fence and line of trees in front. So I used a wide angle up close to get the entire home in the shot without the fence and trees you’d see from the street. This gives me the best angle on the place but causes bending on the vertical lines, that I will fix later.

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Next I photographed my folks’s tree in their home. My mom always puts together the best tree.Cox_Christmas2013-114

Then back at the studio I photographed each remaining part on my fashion gray background so that they could be extracted easier. Extractions are not easy nor fast, but a solid gray background makes it easier at least.

To fit a large ladder in the studio on gray, I chose my smallest ladder, and doubled the size of the legs digitally, adjusting too for the perspective of the steps. I then photographed each version of myself, imagining where each would be positioned in the final image, but used the same step on the ladder to stand so that I’d fit in the studio shot.Cox_Christmas2013-groupEach photograph was fired with a remote that I am hiding in one of my hands. For instance, in the shovel image, I’m holding the remote up against the shovel’s handle. Once I’m in position, I fire the shot. After each shot, I change clothes, set up the next image, and shoot again.

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After all the camera work, the digital work begins. I started with the individual versions of me, each extracted off the gray background and placed in the shot where they were mapped out. The ladder was also extended taller, being key to making sure all the other people were in the right spots and in proper perspective.

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Slowly the group began to grow, and the star was added in the hand on top.Cox-Christmas-2013-Card-Design-1c

Then I extracted the tree off the living room background and prepped it.

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The tree was brought in and more details were brought together.Cox-Christmas-2013-Card-Design-1d

 

Then to the background. I corrected the vertical lines, and the image was cropped to fit the final piece.Cox-Christmas-2013-Card-Design-1e

I then created snow from scratch and added it throughout, fading out the home as well for a misty look and to keep the background from being too busy and competing visually with the foreground.Cox-Christmas-2013-Card-Design-1f

The background was added to the crowd, and more details were added like sparkles on the Christmas tree’s lights.Cox-Christmas-2013-Card-Design-1g

Once the background was in, people needed to be moved slightly on the right side to work better with the background. Once they were in place, shadows were drawn in so that each person and object cast a shadow that matched the lighting from the sun behind. Each point of contact with the snow was then painted up close so as to “drop” everyone into the snow so they didn’t look like they were on top. That, along with creating custom shadows, help give the final piece a more 3D look and not a flat, fake look. There’s much more I could do to make it look real, but a little of that fake look will help with the comedy effect.

The star was also given a nice sparkle. More snow was added around the edges to create a natural white vignette to keep the focus inside the image, and the tree’s trunk was finished as well.

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Finally, I used one of my custom edges to finish the piece, added the text, and the legend of who everyone is at the bottom. And the finishing touch as always, is adding my signature, in this case in the bottom left.

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So what’s your guess on how long it took to complete this project? All in all, it took about 23 hours including both the camera and digital designing time, and that doesn’t count working with the printer and mailing company to get it all out to each of you. Hopefully when it comes, it brings a smile to your face. If your address has changed, let me know so that I can update it for the next mailing I send out.

I hope all of you have a joyous season with family and loved ones. Merry Christmas!!

And until next time, America.

Pat’s Updated Fall Family Portraits

One of my favorite things about being a photographer is being able to work with some of the same families again and again. It is fulfilling creating a custom wall portrait that I know they will look at and love for years to come. It’s just another reason why it was great to hear from Pat wanting a new and updated grouping. The last time I photographed her family was in 2003.

It’s amazing how fast time flies and how much children change and grow, and it was really neat to see the original portraits in Pat’s home when I delivered her new and updated wall portrait. Notice how little the parents have changed over the years, but how much the children have grown. Some have gotten married and there are even some little grandkids too.

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And below are the kids alone. What I think is interesting, besides how much everyone has changed, is how I analyzed the group of kids both 11 years ago and today. In both cases I looked at the kids and saw a line, and grouped them boy/girl/boy/girl. In fact they are all in the exact same order with the exemption of swapping two girls. And we even did a slim-line crop again too. I love that.

Being a Utah photographer means having lots of locations to to use as backdrops. For the new portraits, we shot up in the canyons and for the original portraits 11 years ago, we photographed in my outdoor studio gardens.

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During the new shoot, we also created smaller family groups that we finished as squares. That way they could all be framed and hung in a grouping on the wall together.

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It’s amazing how a photograph can stop time, and I love that the value of a photograph only grows over the years. If it’s time for a new and updated family portrait, there’s no better time. I can get things finished for Christmas for you and even get some cards done quickly too.

Give me a call, 801-728-3317 and check out my main portfolio website too at BryCox.com.

Until next time, America.

Bry Cox Portrait of Keith Stubbs in Utah Business Magazine

This month, Utah Business Magazine is using one of the portraits I did of Keith Stubbs for their article on him. Many people already know who he is, but if you are unfamiliar, the article starts by introducing him this way:

“Keith Stubbs is arguably one of the busiest men in Utah’s entertainment industry. The radio personality and stand-up comedian hosts two radio shows each weekday in Salt Lake City—from 6 to 10 a.m. on 101.5 The Eagle and from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on ESPN 700 for the Keith Stubbs Sports show. He also owns WiseGuys Comedy Clubs in both West Valley City and Ogden, with a third opening in downtown Salt Lake City later this year.”

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This was a very fun photo shoot with Keith, and we got some great images from it that show a lot of personality and tell the story of being a comedian and entertainer.

And it’s always fun to see my images in magazines. The November 2014 issue of Utah Business Magazine is available on newsstands throughout Utah, and the article can also be read online here: http://www.utahbusiness.com/articles/view/keith_stubbs_bringing_laughs_to_utah

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And as always, check out my main portfolio at BryCox.com. I do have another photo of Keith there in the VIP portfolio.

Until next time, America.

Utah’s Adoption Exchange Heart Gallery on KSL News

Utah’s Adoption Exchange had it’s Heart Gallery opening Wednesday night at the Utah State Capitol. I wasn’t going to post about it publicly, but since it was on KSL News and people have been messaging me about it, I’ll mention it briefly here and then let you read more about it on KSL if you’d like.

For the last few months, some professional photographers including myself have been photographing kids in the Utah foster care program who tend to be older and often overlooked for adoption. It is a wonderful cause and especially good for the kids.

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Having been a portrait photographer for so many years, I really believe in the power of a great portrait. People need great portraits of themselves, and it’s not about ego or esteem or being in love with yourself, but instead it’s about seeing your self-worth.

It is good to regularly see a great portrait of yourself, something that isn’t overly retouched or covered in effects, but instead is real and honest. A great portrait should capture the sparkle and light in you and make you feel good about who you are when you see it. That’s why I said yes to this program. I especially love to photograph children, and this was a great opportunity to share with some specific kids at a very formable age, a new perspective as to who they are inside.

There are many ways to help, and I think this is a powerful one. Imagine a child for instance that usually avoids eye contact and rarely smiles, but then is given a powerful photograph of themselves that they see every day. And in that photograph they see a different perspective of themselves and they know on some level is a true version of who they are. They know nothing is fake about the photo, and looking at it they see a version of themselves looking confident, have unwavering eye contact, and smiling with a glow and sparkle in their eye.

I know seeing an image like that speaks volumes to the subconscious and helps with identity and self-worth. I’ve had past clients tell me this very thing for years, sharing stories about their child I photographed, sometimes a high school senior who came out of his/her shell after our photo shoot, or of girls who had gotten married or their dating life surged because of the new-found confidence and new way of seeing themselves after our shoot.

I hope that that these kids we photographed for this adoption project will see themselves in a new light too, and that the families looking to adopt can see them in a brighter light as well.

I’m grateful to have been able to help with this project. If you’d like to see more about it, here is a link to the KSL news story, and here are links to the Utah Adoption Exchange and specifically the Heart Gallery photographs. (And above is the video clip from KSL’s news broadcast that should play by clicking on it.)

Until next time, America.

Photographing David Archuleta, Lexi Walker, & Kendra Lowe for Charity

This weekend I photographed singer David Archuleta, Lexi Walker (the young 12 year old singing sensation), and the talented Kendra Lowe as part of a private charity fund-raiser for the group Rising Star Outreach, which helps leprosy colonies in India.

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I think most people recognize David Archuleta, Lexi you may recognize because I recently photographed and featured her on my blog, and the talented Kendra Lowe used to be the musical director and accompanist for David and is now the musical director, accompanist, and arranger for Lexi (amongst a host of other things that she does musically).

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The evening started with me photographing the artists as they prepped and warmed up. Here is Kendra and Lexi singing and doing hair.

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The private concert was held at a gorgeous home with a beautiful yard, that was seemingly built for such events. The stage was a balcony beyond a swimming pool that jutted out over a beautiful canyon. As they were warming up, the sun was setting and the canyon looked beautiful behind them. By nightfall, a canyon wind blew through the stage area which made for a great atmosphere.

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And then after the show, we all went inside to an area where I’d set up some studio lighting. Here I photographed all the donors and guests with David and Lexi. These images were created as gifts to each of the guests from the organization. It was a great idea and a wonderful way for everyone to remember the evening.

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At the end of the night as we were cleaning up and loading out gear, I got a fun shot with Kendra.

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A special thanks to Rising Star Outreach for all they do for people with leprosy and for having me photograph their classy event.

If you’re having an important event and need some great photography, give me a call at 801-728-3317 and let’s talk about it. I’d love to help make your event memorable and wonderful. And if you would like some new family portraits for the holidays, it’s a great time to get in. In fact there are still fall leaves falling here in my outdoor studio gardens.

And look through my main website which shows a large portfolio of photographs from families to high school seniors to weddings, BryCox.com.

And until next time, America.

Bry Cox on Faces of PPA

It’s an honor to be featured this week in the ‘Faces of PPA‘ gallery. It showcases photographers from all over.

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As part of the process, they ask some questions, and then they pick through your answers for a few bubbles to go over your image. It was fun project and I appreciate being a member of PPA. It has helped me immensely, and it was nice to reminisce about times and places and where my career has taken me, particularly when it comes to my partnership with the PPA (Professional Photographers of America).

I specifically shot this image (Artist of Light) for use in the PPA magazine as well as for my tutorial lighting DVD for photographers, which is why I shot it vertical. I wanted an image that said I was an artist of light, and the thought came to me to be lighting myself. I could imagine the entire image down to the details, including the location, the time of night, the different colored lights, etc. It took a bit to load that gear out there, but I really love how the image turned out.

I would like to thank the PPA for this, and would like to remind any photographers out there to come to the national convention coming up during the first part of February in Nashville. I’ll be speaking there so be sure to come see. Here’s a quick video about that.

And until next time, America.

Kamberlyn’s Windy Wedding Album

I am finishing up and shipping out a lot of wedding albums right now, and Kamberlyn’s album is one I must share. Ever since I posted the sneak peek of her wedding, people have been talking about these images. Here are a few of them again.

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Most photographers see weather as something that must be avoided, but I love it. It gives me a chance to really stand out and use creative lighting and posing in creative ways for really impactful images. And this windy day of Kami’s made for a lot of impact and emotion throughout the album. Plus this couple is a dance team, and you can see the chemistry between them.

So here is her entire album design, shown as a slideshow to music, with each double-page spread shown as a slide. The wedding starts at the Salt Lake Temple, continues on with lots of romantic couple portraits, before going across the street to the City Creek for the reception.

Hopefully you notice the artistry, the clarity, the romance, the weather, the dancing skills, and what a beautiful day this is.

And here is how my albums look when they are finished.

If you are getting married, give me a call. I’d love to create something for you. 801-728-3317

And until next time, America.

Official Birthday Photo

Today’s my birthday, and I’m spending the day with friends cramming in the fun, including shooting guns in the canyon and eating out.

As I was making my party invite on Facebook, I realized I needed an awesome photo. I had the thought of making a satirical cover image typical of 80’s style action novels and movie posters. I thought about it in my mind and quickly whipped up this image and had it posted on the invite.

And because I want more people to see it than those few friends on the invite, I’m posting it to my blog today. I hope you get as much of a kick out of it as I had making it.

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And because the resolution of the web is low, here’s a vertical crop so you can see more detail.Cox_BCox41Bday-135b-composite-2-900b

Well, I hope you all are having a great day today too. And until next time, America.

Bry Cox Portrait Paintings from Photographs

Fall weather means family portraits — and also Bry Cox’s family portrait paintings.

When I photograph your family, I can also create a very unique piece of art — a painting. These are actually painted stroke by stroke using the original photograph as a reference so that everything is in proportion. You can save by doing this too as part of the fall special going on now.

Here is a short video of me talking specifically about these paintings…

Remember, my fall special is going on now. All the details are here. Give me a call and let’s create something amazing for you.

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Below are some paintings I’ve created for people. These are each finished as a stretched canvas in a variety of sizes, ready for hanging. I am based in Utah and have both an outdoor shooting area here at the studio location, but I also know of great places to go in the canyons and nearby mountains. For example, these first few are on location throughout Utah.

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These next few paintings were shot in the studio gardens.

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This next one was created at the client’s home.

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While these last three were painted from images I created in the studio.

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And here is a painting created from a studio portrait for a high school senior session.© BryCox.com, Bry Cox

And last week on my blog, I shared a family’s painting as a time-lapse animation of it being created. Here is that time-lapse again.

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Give me a call at 801-728-3317, and let’s set up your fall appointment and create a fall family painting as well. And check out my main website to view more of my portfolio at BryCox.com.

And until next time, America.

Outdoor Family Painting & Portraits in a Field

I love photographing families and creating unique pieces of art for them, and my painting line is definitely unique. Starting with a photo for reference, this painting is created from scratch with no computer filters or quick effects. They are stunning to look at in person, but are hard to describe online, so I created this animation showing some of the steps of how this painting came together over time. It starts out very rough and abstract, and slowly comes together. When I finish the piece, I like to leave a lot of the rough, abstract brush strokes around the edges and throughout the background. It gives it a very etherial look, and makes it hard to mistake it for a photograph. However the faces are always very detailed.

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Here’s the final painting.

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These paintings are available in a variety of sizes starting at 20 inches, and are perfect for outdoor fall family portraits. Right now is my fall family portrait special. All the details are on the past blog post, but here’s a link. It’s a great time to get in for a shoot while the weather is great, and before the Christmas rush.© BryCox.com, Bry Cox

And aside from shooting for a painting, together we’ll create some great images of your family during the shoot. I have great options for outdoor portraits at my studio, but this image was created on location at a spot near this family’s home. This family was so nice and fun to work with. The weather was actually very hot during this session, and for most photographers that would mean bright, washed out skies and blotchy sun marks on the skin which means most photographers would probably make the image black and white to hide their problems. But light is my specialty, and I set up some powerful and direct lighting to bring add dimension the family, while at the same time darkening the sky. The result is a beautiful family with warm, beautiful skin tones, lots of spacial dimension, a gorgeous sky with dramatic clouds, and a field full of warm vivid colors.

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After the family portrait, I like to focus on the kids. These kids were very smart and funny. I was amazed at the advanced subjects they were studying in school. And I really like the real and natural expressions in each of these images.© BryCox.com, Bry Cox © BryCox.com, Bry Cox

Being a Utah based photographer, we have so many options for outdoor locations, especially in the fall. So whether you want a family painting, photographic portrait, or want to shoot inside the studio or outdoors, I know you’ll love what I create for you. Fall is here and it’s a great time to get in. Beat the rush and call me today for the best dates and availability: 801-728-3317

Check out the details of the fall family special, and feel free to check out my main portfolio website for more samples, BryCox.com.

Until next time, America.

Fall Family Portrait Special at BryCox.com

It’s fall, the weather is beautiful, and it’s the best time for fall family portraits. Maybe you’ve wanted the best possible portraits but also want to save money, or maybe you just want to look great in your portraits. Well I am one of the most award-winning photographers in Utah with some of the highest national credentials, and it’s because I know just how to make you look amazing! Without excuses you will love the portraits I create for you. Plus with the fall special, the prices are the best all year.

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Here is the Bry Cox Fall Special!

  • Free Family Portrait Session (Value $200-$400)
  • Free 25 Custom Christmas Cards (Value $100)
  • Free mounted/textured 11×14 of the kids (Value $200)
  • With the purchase of a framed family wall print, 16×20 or larger ($699 and up)

Here at the studio we can shoot outside or inside the studio, create family paintings like this image above, do smaller groups of just the kids, and even create some top-notch Christmas cards.

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Whether you want an indoor or outdoor session here in the studio gardens, your photo shoot will be fun, and your kids will look great and show personality. Your images will be artistic, timeless, hip, and fun. My specialty lighting techniques mean you’ll look great before any retouching, but my personal digital enhancements are also included, which means you’ll look amazing and real.

Beat the rush and call me today for the best dates and availability: 801-728-3317

And feel free to check out my main portfolio website for more samples, BryCox.com. Until next time, America.