cold

Cold & Colorful Outdoor Shoot with Nikola

I had a very fun shoot with Nikola outside, despite the frigid 12º-15º temperatures. Nikola was especially great to shoot, and she was a great sport too – never complaining about the freezing cold. The cool, foggy air of downtown Salt Lake City made for some beautiful backdrops and I wanted to accent that with some creative lighting skills.

We battled the cold and took advantage of the beautiful foggy air, accenting it even more with some specialized lighting techniques to add a color shift and punch to the images. For instance in these first few images, I lit her in a way to make the skyline behind go a deeper blue. That contrast between cool and warm colors really makes her pop out, and it accentuates the cold feeling of the night.

These close ups are killer! I love her subtle expression, the look in her eye, and the color makes the image all the more interesting to me.

Here we have a mix of cool and warm colors again. It adds depth to the photograph, and makes the image feel more three-dimensional. Most photographers in comparison sadly use a very “flat” style of lighting. Their images are often muddy, dull, or blown out. The problem is that a photograph is already flat, and a flat picture on flat paper doesn’t have as much impact. I work hard to create dimension. I want to draw people into the images I create and make them stare and feel as if they could step into the photograph. That extra work I think gives images more of an emotional impact. I hope people can see the difference in what I offer.

These laughing images just show how much fun these photo shoots are. You can tell it’s cold, but you wouldn’t believe how cold by this genuine smile.

Finding some cover from the harsh wind, we stepped into this stoop for a few photographs. I really like the colors and textures and how they mix and blend well with her.


Shooting along this brick wall was great. I love the color harmony, and Nikola’s gorgeous hair ties in beautifully.

While speaking for Adobe at the national photography convention (ImagingUSA) this last week in San Antonio, I felt blessed to have a packed ballroom of about 1,000 people. I used these images in my demo on stage, and part of that demo was creating this trio below from scratch. I really liked the genuineness of her laughing images, so I combined them into a framed trio design to tell a story in three images. 

And finally, this serious image is just killer.

Thank you to Nikola for the fun shoot and her good-naturedness despite the freezing cold Utah weather. Often this time of year I’m shooting in the warm studio, but for this shoot I really wanted to create something different. And we got some incredible photographs by utilizing that cold air with some really creative lighting styles.

If you’re in need of some awesome photographs (even despite weather problems like frigid cold), give me a call at 801-728-3317. I’d love to create something awesome for you.

And until next time, America.

Jessica’s Cold Wind Photo Shoot

I recently spoke for Adobe at the two big national photographic conventions, PPA in Nashville and WPPI in Vegas. The week leading up to the second convention I photographed Jessica, and used her shoot as my demo for the crowd in Vegas to teach workflow and retouching. It worked great because it was a fun photoshoot that involved some problem solving.

We had a batch of warm weather and planned something outside, but it turned out to be a very cold day in Utah instead. And because of time constraints, our first choice for a location shoot fell through and we instead met at a parking lot between us where there was no “traditionally great” place to shoot. But we set out to find something that would hide the brown, dead, winter look of Utah, and also possibly block some of the heavy and cold winter wind of the day. And with some creativity and lighting skills, I know that any background can work.

Jessica spotted this awesome bright red double-decker bus and we set up. The wind was cold and pretty heavy, I believe hitting 20 mph that day. But the wind was blocked on this far side and the sky was on a great angle from the sun to really go blue when mixed with some lighting techniques that would also knock down the harshness of the sun.

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Jessica is great in front of the camera. She’s relaxed, she moves well, and she responds perfectly to direction. I love the emotion and action between these images in this trio above. The deep colors, her hair blowing, her laugh – it all really makes this set incredibly interesting.

We also did some work on the side of the bus to put the sun behind us, but the wind was a lot stronger here so we didn’t last long. But here is one of my favorites with her hair blowing in the wind. And with the warm beautiful colors, you’d never know it was freezing cold. However, between setups, she was bundled up in coats. She was a good sport.

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We didn’t have much time left, so I thought of finishing up inside somewhere warmer. There was a nearby hotel where a friend used to be night manager, and so we walked over and asked to use their lobby for a few minutes. This is Jessica as we were walking in, wearing my down parka backwards on top of her own layers.

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We took about 20 minutes or so in the hotel’s lobby, and got a great variety of amazing images. There is a lot of expression and changes of mood in these images, and notice too how the lighting changes from shot to shot to constantly highlight her cheekbones as she moves. There were so many fun images and every one shows a different side of Jessica and I couldn’t cut any out. In fact I thought they worked great as a series so I used them all and created this square collage.

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Though my program for Adobe was on retouching techniques, the big secret is to of course do everything with lighting so that no retouching or adjustments are required. And then when you retouch, it should be subtle so that everything looks natural. That’s what really makes women look great.

But as a side note, none of the images in these collages have had any retouching or adjustments. And yet her eyes pop, her skin glows (and isn’t gray or muddy), the angles of light and the color balance are all right on so she looks great and the background colors pop – and add to that Jessica’s graceful movements and her fun personality and we have one killer shoot.

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This colors of the couch and wall worked great with her outfit so I made a trio (above) and felt this one long shot below was really interesting and captivating, so I used it as the basis for a painting.

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And here is the final painting.
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And on the way out of the lobby was a big leaf mural. I shot a few closing images by it and did some texture work to the background.BryCox_Jessica_05

Well there you go, one great shoot created on a very cold and windy day while finding new and unique places to shoot.

If you were a photographer who attended my speaking event then you can see how the collages and and other ideas all came together. If you’re a model or a high school senior and want fantastic images, now is the time to book. And if you’re a bride and want to look great no matter where your wedding is located or what the weather is like, give me a call. 801-728-3317. I know just how to make women look great, so call me and let’s talk about your dream portrait.

And until next time, America.

Ben & Marisa’s Wedding

One of my favorite things about photographing a wedding is delivering the final album to the couple. A wedding requires a lot of prep time, a jam-packed day and night of shooting the event artistically, and then quite a bit of time afterwards to design and produce one of my award-winning albums. During this entire process, I am thinking about how the end product will look, I’m designing it all, and when I finally see it finished, I can’t wait for the wedding couple to see it and enjoy it. Delivering it personally is part of my pay artistically. I love delivering albums!

Ben and Marisa’s album was gorgeous and looked extra beautiful with its custom metal cover. It’s hard to describe how pretty it is online, but here are some of their images. It was a cold day but the images look warm, romantic, and beautiful.

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And here some of my favorite pages from their book to share. Keep in mind that these are double page spreads, folded down the middle, with each half measuring about 10×13 inches. That makes for an impressive and large spread when laid open.

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This couple has been so great to work with and they are a great couple together. You can really see their love and excitement in these images, and it made photographing their wedding a joy.

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I’m one of the few Master/Craftsman photographers based in Utah, and do a lot of weddings of all faiths. However some years most of my weddings I photograph are Mormon weddings at the LDS temple in Salt Lake City, like this one. It’s a gorgeous place to shoot and I love it when there’s drama in the sky and bad weather. It makes for some memorable images. In fact the first wedding I photographed almost 20 years ago, I shot here at the Salt Lake temple on a very snowy day.

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If you follow my blog, you may remember this couple’s engagement and bridal portraits, which you can see here. They too are gorgeous and fun.

And if you haven’t seen my awesome wedding albums, then check them out in this short video…

Well if you’re getting married, give me a call. I can do your wedding, or just bridals or engagements or even everything together. No matter what you hire me to do, you’ll know you’ll get the best portraits possible. 801-728-3317.

Until next time, America.

Scenics in Banff, Canada (part 2)

While in Canada and Banff, I took a number of images on my point-and-shoot camera and iPhone. Part of being creative I think, is just taking photographs everywhere, and using any and all tools, including small cameras.

Many times I’ve looked back on my life and have found that I have beautiful images of the places I’ve been, but no images of myself. As we get older, we wish we had images of ourselves at certain times, so I’ve made it a goal to try and include myself in more photos, even if I don’t like them at the time. It’s always good to have photos to look back on.

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I particularly love my point-and-shoot, because it is a professional version with full manual controls, dials instead of menus, and it captures in RAW so I can edit it or convert images to black and white with more clarity. I have it rigged with an extendable stick so that I can get photographs of myself when I go places, without having to rely on strangers for focus and composition.

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Below is a panorama created with the new iPhone 5. It does a fast job of panos, and in this image you can see my main camera around my neck and my point-and-shoot camera on an extendable stick in my hand.

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The rest are some iPhone images of my trip. I like shooting for fun with the iPhone, because it’s a challenge. There are no controls, so you have to think differently when using it — you have to think around the fact that you can’t control some things, yet you still have to make the image artistic and work.

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These first two images (above and below) are me flying out of the inversion and bad weather of Utah and seeing some blue sky again.

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This is me flying into Calgary. I dragged the exposure for motion blur.

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While shooting scenics in Banff, I shot some on my iPhone as well. I really like this image in black and white.

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Here is some close-up details of frost on some grass coming out of the frozen lake.

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My friend Cam took me to see the Banff Springs Hotel, and inside was this old ad.

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Here it is from the outside.

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And finally, as I was leaving Calgary very early in the morning, I found myself alone in the airport. I really liked the lines in this image, along with the 70’s looking multi-colored chairs.

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Once on board, the flight was delayed due to a storm. I took this looking out the window of my airplane, waiting for takeoff.

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Well, that’s it. I hope you enjoyed seeing these images. Make sure you check out the previous post (part 1) to see the scenics I took while there.

Until next time, America.

 

Scenics in Banff, Canada (part 1)

After speaking at the Alberta Professional Photographer’s Convention this month in Calgary, I took a free day to go to Banff. Here are some of the images I created that day.

I was taken there by a long-time photographer friend of mine, named Cam Colclough, that I met over 10 years ago in Oregon when we were both speaking at the same convention. We’ve stayed friends ever since, and he was kind enough to take me on a tour of some of his favorite places in Banff.

And here are some of the images I created in this area. I really loved the slanted mountains and awesome clouds in the background. It helped give me some contrast and directional light on the mountains, so I worked to create a variety of images by changing the foreground. A good foreground helps create depth, especially when there’s great depth created naturally by the lighting.

I was lucky to shoot these when I did, because right soon after, the weather changed dramatically, everything became foggy and overcast, and shooting scenics was no longer an option.

I really like all four of these scenics for different reasons, but I am having a hard time deciding which one is really the best. Which are your favorites? I’m curious as to what others are drawn to and why.

As part of my Banff Part 2 post coming up, I’ll show a completely different set of images — fun images I created solely on my iPhone and point-and-shoot camera.

Until next time, America.