Men

Wilford Passes Away at Age 102

This week I attended the funeral of a neighbor, family friend, and client who passed away at age 102. A couple years ago I created his official centenarian portrait at age 100. I shared some of those images and the stories on my blog, here. They are some of my favorite photographs because of the stories they tell about this wonderful and perfect man.

Years ago, my town was mostly farmers. And because LDS/Mormon leaders are not paid for church service, many of these farmers would regularly have to briefly leave meetings to change their irrigation or do some quick work before coming back to the chapel to teach their assigned lesson. Seeing Wilford with his pitch fork, standing on his farm in dress clothes reminds me of those young memories and of the worth ethic he instilled on his family and many of us youth growing up.

He was a perfect man, kind, giving, and incredibly generous. A small symbol of his character is in these wooden pens that he made with wood brought to him by friends who traveled the world. And he made these pens with a lathe that he made and kept in his barn. I think about him building his own lathe, and I am inspired. There is a solid sense of contentment in this earlier generation that is lacking today. It was the sense that you earn the things by saving for them over time, then you made them last, and continued to fix them. And if you couldn’t afford something or couldn’t make it yourself, you did without. I am honored to have been given one of his wooden pens, and I wore it in my suit pocket to his viewing.

And a few years earlier, I photographed him with his dear wife for their 70th anniversary. They’re now reunited together again in heaven. 

I will miss Wilford. The world needs more good men like him. I hope his character, ethics, and love of God continue to be passed on through the generations of his growing family.

Matthew’s Wakeboarding & Senior Portraits

I love photographing high school seniors. I always try to make every photoshoot extra creative, but high school seniors appreciate the ultra creative shoots even more allowing me to push things even further. That means I can photograph seniors with a commercial fashion ad look, and Matthew was the perfect subject for this wakeboarding collage project.

Instead of just shooting seniors in a simple, minimalistic way, I in stead do big over-the-top shoots. We do high-end studio work at my Utah location, sometimes mix in outdoor portraits in the studio gardens, and can even go on location to relevant places that mean something to the senior. And I always try to design up a cool collage that tells a story about who the senior is at this point in life.

This video shows more about how this collage was created, as well as how it looks framed and ready to hang.

And here is the final wakeboarding collage.

Here are some of his other favorite images. We did a variety of clothing changes, along with a mix of lighting styles.

Matthew will be serving a religious mission for the LDS Church and so we also mixed in some cool pictures of him in his suit.

If you’re a senior, now is the time to get in. We’re finishing up with the class of 2017 and getting a head start with the class of 2018 who want to beat the rush. Give me a call at 801-728-3317.

And until next time, America.

Updated Studio Portrait for Spring

I’m being featured in a magazine and needed to turn in a headshot, and realized the latest image I had of myself was a year old. Now a year is not that long when you’re an adult. Still, I believe we should all have updated portraits to fill both our business and personal needs.

I’ve talked before about how nobody really likes getting their portraits taken, including me. But that’s also exactly why I focus on creating great portraits of people. And if I want my clients to update their images, I should lead by example and make sure my portrait is always current.

I think it’s important to have current and professional portraits of yourself for business needs and for personal needs too. It wasn’t too long ago when our ancestors would get one or two professional portraits in a lifetime, and they’d save up to do it. Now we can easily come to the studio to get professional portraits regularly, be we often don’t. Instead I see some professionals using the same photograph for what seems like 10 years. Instead of looking “younger” by using old photos, it appears as if they’re sad about their age, or yearn for a distant youthful version of themselves. Rather I think it’s better to be happy and confident about our current stage of life and who we’ve become by having a current and updated studio portrait that reflects that.

And because no one likes being in front of the camera, my biggest job as a photographer is to read people and connect with them, helping them feel comfortable to bring out their real emotion in a portrait while also deciding the best angles and ways to light them. I make it painless and easy. And because business portrait sessions are short, we often have time to look at the images right then. You can see how it went, how good you look, and if you’re concerned about your hair or something, we can shoot more while you’re here. I’ll make sure you get something you love and are proud to use.

So with all that in mind and being the first day of spring, I took some time to photograph myself. I try to change up the ways I light myself. I don’t want to use the same angles and lighting that I know have worked in the past. I want the entire look to be current and new. Here are my three favorites. I’ll live with these for a while and see which ones I use more, but now I’m ready with three current options to send to magazines and speaking events: a color image, one with my toned color nouveau, and a high-contrast black and white, .

 

If you’re a professional and need a great new portrait, give me a call, 801-728-3317.

And if your entire office needs new portraits, I can come to your office and set up a mini studio. That way each person only has to give me 3 minutes of their time, and they’re done. I’ll even pick and retouch the best ones and send the finished images over. No hassle for anyone.

Give me a call. If you’re in the Ogden, Salt Lake City, or Provo areas of Utah, spring is a great time to get some updated portraits.

And until next time, America.

Dr. Collin Ito & the Sonoran Hills Dental Staff Near Phoenix Arizona

When I was recently working in Phoenix, I got my teeth checked out by my dentist and good friend, Dr. Collin Ito of Sonoran Hills Dental, located in the Ahwatukee area. And still no cavities! It was also time to update his commercial and staff photos for his office and website. I’ve photographed him, his family, and his staff for many years, and it was good to see everyone again.

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Here’s his office staff (above) for his website, and individual head shots of everyone (below) for the office wall. brycox_cito_sonoranhillsdental_2016_01 His entry and office areas had changed quite a bit since I’d been there last. And my skills in photographing people and interiors have improved too over the years, so it was nice to shoot some new, updated photographs to showcase his place.
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Even if you don’t know him, I think you can see in these photos how genuine he is, and how great he is to work with. And he’s very skilled at what he does.
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brycox_cito_sonoranhillsdental_2016_04A nice touch is that he’s got video monitors and headphones rigged up so you can watch a movie while you’re getting your teeth worked on
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And he has relaxing areas for waiting and for consultations.
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If you’re in the Phoenix area and need a great dentist (or if you want to go to the dentist when you happen to be in Phoenix, which is how I do it), Collin is a great guy and a great dentist.

And if you’re looking for some killer commercial photos to showcase your business, give me a call at 801-728-3317. I’d love to help tell the story of your business through some great photographs.

And until next time, America.

The Unique and Amazing Individual, James Christensen

A good friend, James Christensen, has passed.  I extend heartfelt condolences to his wife and family and thank them for the great times my friends and I have had with them at their home. Well alll miss James dearly.

He was a great man to look up to, and I identified with him particularly because he was deeply religious while also keeping a young, humorous, slightly rebellious streak. He gave so much of himself and his time and talent to the LDS Church in a variety of callings, and the enormous murals that he painted in temples will forever inspire, as does all of his art.

His love of symbolism in scripture and art, and his ability to see what others might miss, and to add these details to his own pieces provide an almost magical insight. He hosted various barbecues and kung-fu film nights — he had the ability to connect with all of our friends despite age differences.

And as you can see in this portrait below, he raised a wonderful family that I’m honored to have photographed for Sari’s wedding.

And my friends and clients will remember the many Christmas CDs that we produced over the years bearing his artwork. These were a joint project. James Conlee produced them, James Christensen provided the cover art, while I handled the graphic design and printing.

I would sometimes have to adapt his painting to a square design or to allow text to flow over top. That meant digitally changing his art, sometimes extending things or cropping areas, all of which I was always very cautious about doing. But when it was needed, I made sure every change was true to the original feel of his painting so it’d be un-dectable. And then I waited for his opinion. He was always very kind and would say, “Well done, Bry. I like how you did this, and how you did that.”

Here’s a few covers from over the years.


The most dramatic change was with this painting below where I removed everyone but the one angel in the middle, and then recreated stars and sky in their place. All these alterations were discussed beforehand. He was great about them. Here’s his original painting.

And here was the final CD cover. I feel lucky and blessed to have known him, to have his artwork on my walls, and my heart goes out to his family and loved ones. I can’t imagine the loss they feel. But I also have no doubt that he was welcomed with open arms into the highest levels of the next life.

For anyone looking for more info, here are a few links. First, his Official site at Greenwichworkshop.com. Next a video produced by Deseret Book. Despite the awful production value of this video, it is really nice to hear him talk again, and to remember how he discussed his work, to see his thought processes, and to hear the familiar cadence of his voice.

And finally, a news article about his passing.

Jason’s Acting Portraits

Jason was a great model during his acting shoot. He owns a tech company that he runs during the day, but in his free time, he does acting and needed some cool new photos. This first one was one of my favorites from the shoot.

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Being based in Utah, we can easily do a variety of looks, especially right here at the studio. For instance here, we created images inside the studio and outside as well, including this cool one with a motorcycle. BryCox_Jason_Acting_2 BryCox_Jason_Acting_3 BryCox_Jason_Acting_4

These are just some of the many images we created, but I think they show a variety of looks and different sides to his personality, which is something you try to get across in an acting photo.

If you need some cool new photos for your business, give me a call, 801-728-3317.

And until next time, America.

 

The Story Behind My Birthday Portrait, And Our Love/Hate Relationship With Photos

I just had a birthday and like all of us, it reminds me that I’m getting older, I look different – and that’s usually reason enough for people to not get new portraits. In fact photographers don’t like being in front of the camera any more than anyone else. Everyone has the same excuses to put off professional photos: it feels vain, I’ll do it later, I’m getting older, I don’t have time…

No One Likes Being In Front of the Camera

Being a photographer for so many years, I’ve found that actually no one likes being in front of the camera. My clients constantly tell me how much they worry about their upcoming shoots, moms put off family shoots because they worry about how they look, high school seniors fear their shyness or other weaknesses might show, beautiful models are more critical of themselves that you can even imagine, and even famous VIP clients confide in me about their various concerns.

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My biggest job as a photographer is to help my clients feel comfortable and to bring out their real emotion in a portrait. I don’t want fake looks, I want real expression that I can light in an exquisite way. That’s why I say my specialty is exquisite lighting and emotion – you need both for a fantastic portrait. And because I believe that my clients should get regular portraits, I too try to create regular professional portraits of myself. I personally use these for my website, for magazine articles I write, and for when I go speak at conventions to train photographers. Sure I could do what a lot of people do and send a 10-year-old photo, but I really dislike when I see others do that. It looks unprofessional and is says that you’re embarrassed with yourself now and that you deep down really wished that you looked like you did back then.

That’s unhealthy. We should be happy with ourselves right now. But we’re bombarded with ads, creams, and magic serums telling us that we shouldn’t be happy with ourselves. The old hippie mantra was, “Don’t trust anyone over 30,” as if to say that our elders are stupid, life experience made you wrong, and that youth was the answer. And decades later the media is full of pop musicians, models, tv shows, and movies all staking a claim on “youth.”

So what’s wrong with being the age we are? What’s wrong with lines and wrinkles that we earned? What’s with Hollywood actors always pretending to be characters 15 years younger than they are, like 40 year olds saying they’re 25, or 30 year olds pretending to be high school teens with silly haircuts?

The truth is that in a few years we’ll look back to how we look now and think how great we looked, meaning we should enjoy how we look now.

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Our Ancestors Valued Portraits

It wasn’t too long ago when our ancestors would scrimp and save to get one or two great professional portraits in a lifetime. These would be professionally printed physical heirlooms that would be passed down through generations and people would fight over who got to inherit great-grandpa’s portrait. Even today we run into burning buildings to save important photos and family archives.

But lately we’ve moved into an era of digital-snapshot-proliferation, where every device is a camera, no image is very good, few images are printed well if even printed at all, and we’re overwhelmed online with bad, egocentric selfies – often from the exact same angle and with the same annoying cocked-head and unattractive pouty duck-face. All this makes people worry that a professional portrait means that “we’re in love with ourselves,” which isn’t true at all.

Plus add all the new untrained photographers flooding our feeds with sub-par, over-retouched, washed out, puffy-eyed, “natural-light” photos that are to some young people becoming the new norm – just like the awful sound of Auto-Tune in trendy pop music which is indicative of bad signing.

I care about this industry. And despite the devaluation of photos is some areas, I still believe in the actual importance of a good, well-made professional portrait, and that it’s good for the soul.

A Good Professional Portrait IS Good for the Soul

What Are We Passing on to Our Children? How many times do we wish we had a better portrait of someone that we loved but lost? Maybe it was a relative that passed away or maybe it was someone we cared about that is no longer in our lives. When we get portraits done, it’s often for our closest loved ones.

But a great portrait isn’t just valuable later and to other people, it’s good for us right now. A good portrait that is well lit and masterfully retouched and void of all the artificial rubbery-skin looks, is good for the soul. It’s good for your own self-worth.

Testimonials From Mothers and Single Women

I could share countless stories from mothers who’ve told me that the portraits I did for their high school senior child changed how they felt about themselves. Girls walked taller and boys found more confidence because I portrayed them in ways they couldn’t see before in themselves. I can tell you stories of older women that have gotten married and thanked me for the attention they got on Facebook and dating sites.

I’ve photographed children in foster care who avoided eye contact and smiling, kids sometimes with severe issues of self-worth that have never had a good portrait of themselves, that later get soggy eyes when they see their finished, framed image on display. You can see the gears turning in their head as they come to terms with the fact that they are perceived differently than they see themselves internally, and they’ll say, “That’s me?! …….That’s Me!!”

And moms have given me big hugs after I hung their family wall portraits in their home, because they are so stunned at how great they look surrounded by their closest loved ones. It’s a big change from before the shoot when they are stressed about their hips, their clothes and countless other things.

A well-made portrait is good for the soul. Why? Think of the all-to-common alternative. How do you feel about yourself when your so-called “professional” picture is only deemed viewable by the public after your “photographer” has over-retouched you until you have a plastic, pore-less, rubber face? Or when they whiten your eyes so that you look like a weird alien that is going to shoot lasers out of your eyes and start fires, or when they “liquify” and bend your body to change your boobs or arm shape? What does that say about you? How do you feel when you look at it, knowing that it isn’t you at all?

Come in to my studio and get a real professional portrait that you absolutely love. I’m a Master Photographer and use specific lighting techniques that will accentuate the right things and hide the things you worry about. You’ll be amazed at how great you look before I do any retouching. I want you to have regular portraits from throughout your life that you love, and that your future children and grandchildren will fight over when we’re all dead and gone.

My 2015 Birthday Portrait

And because I believe so strongly in portraits, I make myself get portraits regularly. It’s not always fun at first, but I’m always grateful afterwards.

So this last week I set up my studio for the lighting I envisioned. Being an older guy I wanted an aggressive angle that would accentuate wrinkles and skin texture, not hide it. And being fall outside, I shot myself in the clothes I happen to be wearing, including my Black Rapid snow cap (a gift from the owner of Black Rapid from earlier in the year). I was wearing the cap just prior and opted to just leave it on because I thought it was different than my past photos, and I was also being lazy, knowing that I didn’t want to comb my hair or overthink the shoot too much.

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I shot about a dozen images because I can’t see exactly how the light is working when I’m not behind the camera, I have to imagine it. So I shot a few more than I thought I’d need and from those I narrowed it down to these two as my favorites. I think they’ll work well with my new website that I’m working on, but more than that I’m really happy with the photos and am excited to use them, as we all should be with professional photos.

So if you’re in need of some great new portraits (and I know you are) either of yourself or your family, let’s get them done now for Christmas, and beat the Christmas rush. Call me at 801-728-3317.

And until next time, America.

Radio Personalities of Radio Station Z104 Country

We had a great time in the studio again during the shoot with the radio personalities of Z104 Country, Dave and Deb, CJ, and Gentleman Jim. And as this first image shows, Dave and Deb are a hoot together. We’ve done a number of shoots together over the years, and this shoot was just as much fun as the ones before. As soon as they arrived at the studio, the laughing started. And we created some really fun images for their billboards, website and other promotional uses.

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Going through our favorites, this one made us laugh each time we saw it. It was obvious that we’d be using it for either a billboard or some other commercial design. And of course we have a mix of different looks and outfits too.
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Great commercial images are always important for businesses, but radio stations especially need impactful and professional images of their DJs.Cox_DaveDeb_Aug2015-173 Cox_DaveDeb_Aug2015-191 Cox_DaveDeb_Aug2015-215 Cox_DaveDeb_Aug2015-269

Some of these are already up on Z104’s website and Facebook page. But if you live in Salt Lake City, keep your eye out for new billboards too. I’m excited to see all the ways they use these photos.

If you’re a business in need of some great commercial images, give me a call at 801-728-3317 and let’s collaborate and talk about your next project.

Until next time, America.

Commercial Portraits of Musician Ryan Shupe

How do you relate the visual story about a musician that plays multiple instruments, is changing up his sound, while matching the album title, We Rode On? Creative commercial portraits that tell a story are some of the most challenging and fun images to create. That’s why I love photographing musicians, they appreciate and want these types of dramatic images, understand the time and work that goes into creating them, and these images get used in print and promotion for some time. They need to be powerful, professional, eye-catching, while telling the story of the musician.

Ryan Shupe has been a long-time friend, and I have done his professional photography for so many years, that it’s crazy to think about all of the shoots we’ve done and all changes that have happened in both the photography and music industries over the years. But Ryan has also helped me push my creative boundaries to continually create new and innovative images that have visual impact and commercial appeal, and this latest photo shoot is for his new album, We Rode On, is no different.

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For more information on Ryan Shupe and his new album, visit his website at RyanShupe.com and If you’re a musician and need some killer photographs that you can use for posters, CDs, media, and web use, give me a call at 801-728-3317.

And until next time, America.

Concert Pics from Ryan Shupe & the RubberBand Show

I recently shot concert photographs for Ryan Shupe and the RubberBand, and here are some of my favorites.

Concerts are a fun and creative challenge for me photographically. My specialty is lighting, and I don’t like creating normal images. I want images that pop emotionally and artistically, and that means controlling the lighting. But during a concert I can’t use custom lighting techniques and set up a portable studio on location like I might with other type shoots. Instead I have to use the stage lights which are always changing. Making that work means understanding what’s happening with the light and the show, and moving to make it all work from the right angles.

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If you need some images for your business, give me a call. 801-728-3317. I’d love to create something great for you.

New Portraits for the Doctors of Premiere Wellness in Utah

Premiere Wellness has been updating their website and needed new and professional portraits of their doctors. In doing this shoot I thought about myself and what I would look for in a doctor based on an online photo. I would search not just for credentials and experience, but also look to see if a doctor seemed approachable and kind in their photo. Are they going to listen to me and customize their care based on my needs? These doctors explained to me that this is exactly how they work, so their photo needed to show that. That means images that are professional, beautifully lit, and have an emphasis on emotion and personality.BryCox_Wellness-07

Premiere Wellness offers chiropractic care, physical therapy and holistic treatments from Dr. Kory Brahnam (center), Dr. Evan Brady (left), and Dr. Jared Anderson (right). Aside from the group portrait, we also did individual images of each doctor for their website as well as on business cards and in papers and for speeches they might give.
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I’m excited about how these look and would be happy to photograph you for your business needs. I am based in Utah and mainly work in the Salt Lake area, but travel all over the country for clients who want the best possible portraits. Give me a call at 801-728-3317 and let’s create something great for you.

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.