Texas

Janet’s Vacation Family Portraits at Texas Lake House, Part 1

It’s family portrait season, and I wanted to share this beautiful and extensive family shoot. I was flown to Texas to photograph this wonderful family while they would all be together on vacation at a gorgeous lake house. I’ve done a lot of work for this family over the years, and I loved seeing them all again to create these wonderful art pieces.

Here’s a video showing their wall canvas and family album. It’s best viewed full screen and in HD. ūüôā

Here’s a shot of Janet’s gorgeous album, black leather with a black leather briefcase to hold, carry, and protect the album.

Kids seem to grow the fastest between family portraits, and these kids were no different. All of the children had changed, and were so adorable and fun to work with. This image below was our favorite big group where everyone looked their best.

This Texas lake made for a wonderful backdrop.

And as you can see in the video, I spent time photographing each family, creating various groupings and ideas and even made some into paintings. Here are some of those.

After each family, I focused on couple and individual children’s portraits too, getting great expressions and capturing personality in each child.

When I was done with one family, they’d go off to play and enjoy their vacation, and I’d begin again with another family.

This beautiful little girl was getting baptized, so we created these images in her white dress to commemorate this time in her young life. I really love these images and her beautiful expressions and poses in them.

And finally, I created this trio of her funning to capture her youthfulness.

I’ll share more from this extensive shoot soon. But in the meantime, if you’d like some family portraits, give me a call at 801-728-3317. Let’s talk about your dream portrait and get something scheduled before the weather gets cold.

And until next time, America.

Teaching Fashion and Creative Photography for a Week in Texas

Every year for one week in the spring, I teach an intense week-long workshop in Texas for photographers who fly in from all over the country, and sometimes other countries as well. I am back from that event and am mostly recovered (as I get little to sometimes no sleep each night), and wanted to share some of the images I created while I was there sharing my entire system, everything from lighting, to digital workflow, to business.

This event is always amazing and inspirational, and this time in particular I have come home to some of the best thank you emails and calls from the photographers that I think I’ve ever had.¬†I really appreciate it. I feel honored and grateful to be a mentor to photographers and help them learn and do better.

So¬†I have specific steps to creating a portrait that I share. The trick is to get exquisite lighting, truly capture someone’s personality, and also nail everything technically as well for perfect skin tones, perfect brightness and contrast, perfect eyes, and fantastic expressions that draw you in as a viewer.

And with perfect images, it means I can spend some time on the computer doing artistic work rather than corrective work, so I have fun creating paintings, collages, and creating other art pieces.

© BryCox.com, Bry Cox

© BryCox.com, Bry Cox

Here I shot this model against a studio background using a specific fashion light setup. Nothing has been retouched, no eyes have been brightened and no skin blurred. All I did was convert to black and white and design this awesome collage that shows a lot of personality.

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When an image is real, it has more power. The mind can tell when something is fake, and by lighting exquisitely and capturing emotion in a real way, the image is far more powerful. Then, if I want to do some artwork on it (like this image below), the image can retain it’s powerful draw because any retouching done to eyes and face is so subtle, that it can’t be seen, and all the heavy artistic work is done to the background.

© BryCox.com, Bry Cox

Of course I love my paintings, and so I took this same image another direction as well, painting it too.

© BryCox.com, Bry Cox

Here are more un-retouched images. For variety, I used the curtains in the conference room, and shot these all with one studio light. Again, none of these have been retouched, I just designed up this cool collage showing a variety of poses and emotions to tell a story.

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I also shot this model in the hotel’s bar using the Einstein bulbs hanging in the back as a background. I had to be strategic to hide people in the background, but created this with a very minimal setup.

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I took three images from that set and designed this trio.

© BryCox.com, Bry Cox

And I shot other models both in studio and out.

© BryCox.com, Bry Cox

© BryCox.com, Bry Cox

One night in particular, I photograph¬†a slew of models, each for only a few minutes, and each in separate locations around the hotel, inside and out. None of these images are retouched or corrected. These are all straight out of camera. But this also shows one big creative secret, and that is to not shoot the same thing twice ‚Äď no two images can be the same. To truly be creative, you have to change up each shot making small changes and then big changes, and these thumbnails show that.

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These were shot for the event so I didn’t work up any of them. But if I do, I’ll post them here on my blog.

So a special thanks to my cute models for coming and working with me, to my suppliers and sponsors, and everyone who came out and oversold my class.

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© BryCox.com, Bry Cox

I love speaking and teaching in¬†Texas and love that it’s full of¬†people that pour their whole heart and soul into making it a great event.

And did I mention that I played blues harp in a band there too? Here’s our official band photo shot by the famous John Hartman, shot just before our gig in the hotel’s garage.

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And here we are backstage before going on, shot with my point and shoot camera on a tadpole selfie stick. I’m still hoping to find some video of us playing.

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Well that’s it for now. If you’d like to attend one of my photographic events or get some online training, visit my site for photographer training at BryCoxWORKSHOPS.com.

And until next time, America.

Jacqui’s Wedding on a Private Beach in Corpus Christi, Texas

I have finished Jacqui’s amazing wedding album design, and it is up on my main website. Here’s a sneak preview.

Her wedding was on a private beach on the Gulf of Mexico, outside of Corpus Christi, Texas. Here she is getting ready in her room at a nearby resort.

Later in the album, she arrives with her father at the beach location. All of these are 2-page spreads from the album design.

After the ceremony, we created some incredible images of the couple alone on the beach. It is incredibly difficult to light people on a beach in direct sunlight, but when it is done right, the results look like this, crystal clear images, deep colors, great skin-tones, and a gorgeous sky that isn’t too light or too dark. On top of that, I love the great expressions and the realness of the emotion in these images.

A change of position to catch the warmth of the sunset behind, and we created this dipping diptic.

Later during the reception, I stole the couple to go out on the dock and get some more images of them alone. Simple and Romantic portraits of a couple that are emotional and scenic are a huge part of making one of my custom wedding albums amazing and fun to look through.

If you’d like to see the entire book, from beginning to end, it’s up at my website, BryCox.com. Go to Portfolio > Weddings > Wedding Albums, and it should be the first one.

Beach weddings may seem easy, but they are very difficult, especially there. I lived in the South for a few years during my Mormon Mission, but I never remember humidity like on this beach. Even at 11:00 pm at night, I checked the weather on my phone and it showed, 85% humidity and 85 degrees. The humidity and hot weather worked havoc on my gear, the sun is very direct and changes constantly, and the lighting conditions change wildly from inside, outside, daylight, sunset, and evening.

Nevertheless, it’s my job to get amazing images no matter what, and I’m so happy with this wedding.

If you’d like to get something amazing made up for your or your family for Christmas, or if you’d like me to create some magical images of you at your wedding, give me a call at 801-728-3317.

Until next time, America.

New Regional Awards Announced, Including High Print Case and a National Photographer of the Year Award to Come!

After my state competition earlier this month, my images went on to District Regionals where I won the High Print Case for all of Utah (usually called “Photographer of the Year” at the state level), “4 for 4” meaning that all 4 prints scored so well that I’ll receive a national Photographer of the Year award in 2013, and finally my lighthouse image, “Isle of Light” won a a special “Distinguished” award and was my highest scoring print.

This is the 2nd time I’ve won the High Print Case for Utah at Regionals (SWPPA), and the 4th time I’ll have won the Photographer of the Year award on the national level. I’ll have to wait until next summer to find out what rank I’ll be, Diamond, Gold, Silver, or Bronze. So I’ve won two Bronze and one Silver.

Earlier this month I won four more awards at the state level: another Kodak Gallery Award (that makes 7 of these for me know), the ASP State Elite Award (called the Best of the Best, my 2nd one), 1st Place Master’s division, and Master’s Court of Honor.

I’ll let you know how this print case does at nationals in the summer of 2013.

Until next time, America!