Anna’s Winter Outdoor Family Portraits

It’s winter here in Utah, and that means it’s cold and the trees are bare. My clients needed a new and updated portrait and wanted it outdoors. Showing bare trees in the background would have been the wrong look, so we used a location right here near my studio. It has lots of wide open space, and mixed with my studio lighting on location, everything turned out perfectly.

Here’s a video showing the finished and framed images before delivery.

With families, I like creating and offering a few variations. One particular image may move you the most, and that’s the best one for the wall art. Other groupings can always be ordered smaller for other parts of the home. This fist image was the favorite as the larger image for the wall, while the second was ordered for a smaller spot in the home.

When the kids and everyone smile and look great in every image, it’s often hard to choose a favorite. The colors, textures, spacing, depth, and overall feel of this first image made it stand out as the overall favorite.

With every family portrait, I love creating individual portraits as well. These can be finished in a number of ways, depending on need. For this family, we choose similar images of each child to be finished as square standouts. They look gorgeous!

Standouts are shown better in the video above, and can be displayed as sets in either a straight line trio, or in diagonals, or in other configurations. Here’s one idea for the three girls in a trio.

The first is of the youngest girl. She’s so cute and adorable, with the flower in her hair, hands on her knees, and smiling so perfectly.

Second, the middle girl sitting so beautifully. I love the light coming in from behind, lighting up their hair and the beautiful colors all working together.

And the oldest, looking mature and smiling beautifully with her long hair.

Of course we did a stand out of the three girls together too, as well as one of the parents alone.

As you can see, this family has changed a lot over the last few years. I think the parents look about the same, but the kids have really grown. Kids grow so fast, and it’s important and inspiring to have new and update family artwork on the walls.

Years ago, I also created this painted portrait of the girls walking. It’s amazing how much they’ve grown since.

I love delivering finished images to clients and seeing the portraits hanging in their homes.

I know it’s time to update your family portrait. I make it quick and easy, and I’ll help design it so it’s something you absolutely love! Give me a call at 801-728-3317 and let’s create something beautiful for you.

And until next time, America.

Governor Herbert’s Christmas Family Portrait

This month marks the end of Utah Governor Gary Herbert’s position as our Governor. Just before he left office, I had the pleasure of creating one last family portrait for him. We updated his family portrait for Christmas and to mark the momentous occasion of his last few weeks in office.

Governor Herbert has been Utah’s Governor since 2009. Over that time his grandkids have grown quite a bit, plus there’s more new grandkids too.

This particular photograph with all the grandkids on the stairs was specifically important for them to get. For their Christmas card, they wanted to contrast this with an image they had done their first year in office. The card featured the Governor and First Lady on the front, the entire family on the back, and opened to show the difference in grandkids over the years.

With every extended family portrait I create, I love to also create smaller family portraits while we’ve got everyone together and dressed up. With studio lighting on site, these look beautiful and are created quick while everyone’s energy is high.

During this individual family’s portrait, this little girl was full of energy. I have so many images of her jumping, pulling faces, or otherwise just being silly. She certainly kept me laughing.

As you can see, every family and every individual looks beautiful. Expressions are warm and inviting, and the groupings are relaxed but timeless too. Because I don’t have any preset packages, individual families are free to order whatever they’d like.

I especially love photographing families. It’s a challenge to get kids to stand where they should, relax, and give real expressions, and I absolutely love that challenge. I love being silly with the kids and connecting with them in order to create these works of art quickly and (hopefully for the families) painlessly.

If you’d like to get some new and updated family portraits, give me a call at 801-728-3317. I’d love to create something wonderful for you.

And until next time, America.

Baby Ricky’s First Album

I love photographing little babies, especially over the course of a year as they grow and change so dramatically. I recently finished this beautiful album for Ricky and his family, showcasing him growing from 1 week old to 1 year.

You have to see his entire album, so I shot this video showing every page. You can play this in full screen and HD for more details.

For Ricky, we did shoots at 1 week old, 1 month, 3 months, 6 months, 9 months, and 1 year old. It’s amazing to see how much he changes in those short periods of time.

For his 1 week old shoot, we produced this wall collage for his home, with images specifically to show the attention to his tiny details: his little hands, feet, toes, and cute little body.

Over time you can see his face and expressions grow. And his big eyes and long eyelashes are so adorable.

Here’s just a few pages from the album. I love this pose with him hanging out with his arms in front.

And this little surprised look was a winner again and again. We kept coming back to it during the order and laughing.

I thought it was great in the album contrasted next to Ricky with a big grin.

Ricky in his red pajamas kept me laughing. He was just fun and adorable, and he kept rolling around having a great time. He was so full of energy and smiles that day.

And near the end of the album at 1 year old, Ricky is standing and giving me all sorts of cute expressions.

These images with their soft, beautiful lighting, clean retouching, and overall just show the expressiveness and joy of being a new baby. These works of art are preserved in this gorgeous album for the family to enjoy for many years to come, as well as becoming an heirloom over time.

I love seeing families grow and love producing these works of art for my clients. And if you’d like some beautiful images of your baby, give me a call, 801-728-3317. I’d love to create something like this for you.

And until next time, America.

Headshots for Dennis Prager, Conservative Talk Show Host & PragerU, Salem Radio LA

I recently photographed conservative talk show host, Dennis Prager on location at Salem Radio in LA. Dennis Prager is probably best known from his nationally syndicated radio talk-show, The Dennis Prager Show.

Many young people know Dennis Prager from his conservative educational site, PragerU, a resource of short, 5-minute informational videos that explain a myriad of conservative principles. You can search the site by subject or speaker, and see quick videos that explain the concept by experts in the field. And with over 4 billion views, the website has been incredibly successful in shaping young minds.

Prager has also written a number of books that I can’t recommend enough, including Bible commentaries from a Jewish perspective, called “The Rational Bible.” I even had him sign one for me after the shoot.

Like Dennis, most of my clients are successful and extremely busy, and that makes it hard to take time away for a photoshoot. So I make headshots easy, by coming to you and setting up a studio where you work. It means you only have to stop working for a short amount of time. No travel back and forth to my studio. Instead, just step across the hall.

For Dennis Prager’s portraits, I flew to LA and set up my studio at Salem Radio where he broadcasts. I have powerful lighting gear that’s also compact, and I can fly with it wherever is needed. We were able to find an open area at Salem Radio to set up a small studio setup right there on site. In a short amount of time, we had various angles, backgrounds, and options created for him. From there, we picked favorites, and finished those and delivered them back to him in various formats, ready for whatever he needs.

And because he often needs an orange or blue background for PragerU videos and graphic layouts, I created variations with his specific shades of orange and blue, ready to go.

If you’re unfamiliar with Dennis Prager, here’s an example of one of his short videos from PragerU. You may recognize him and his voice in this video because he’s been broadcasting since 1982.

I really enjoyed my time with Dennis Prager. He loves photography and owns great cameras and gear himself. We talked lenses, gear, and even some Biblical Hebrew. He’s very personable and kind, and his smile was full of life every time.

If you need some new business headshots, give me a call at 801-728-3317. And if you’d like to see more commercial portrait samples, check out my commercial portfolio website at BryCoxPro.com.

And until next time, America.

Headshots for Larry Elder, Conservative Talk Show Host, Salem Radio LA

I recently photographed conservative talk show host, Larry Elder on location at Salem Radio in LA.

Larry Elder is probably best known recently from his nationally syndicated radio talk-show, The Larry Elder Show. You’ll often see him on national news shows debating politics, he’s a best-selling author, and previously he hosted the television show, Moral Court. He also just released a new movie as the executive producer. It’s a political documentary called, Uncle Tom – An Oral History of the American Conservative.

Most of my clients are successful and extremely busy, and that makes it hard to take time away for a photoshoot. So I make headshot shoots easy, by coming to you and setting up a studio where you work. It means you only have to stop working for a short amount of time. No travel back and forth to my studio. Instead, just step across the hall.

For Larry Elder’s portraits, I flew to LA and set up my studio at Salem Radio where he broadcasts. I have powerful lighting gear that’s also compact, and I can fly with it wherever is needed. We were able to find an open area at Salem Radio to set up a small studio setup right there on site. In a short amount of time, we had various angles, backgrounds, and options created for him. From there, we picked favorites, and finished those and delivered them back to him in various formats, ready for whatever he needs.

Larry Elder was incredibly personable and kind, and I think that really shows in these images. We had a great conversation during this shoot and I am honored to have met him and to be able to create these portraits for him. He’s smart, quick-witted, and has a strong and powerful personality. He’s very inspirational, and I love how these images turned out. I hope these work well for his various uses.

Using a commercial white background is always a great option too. It means I can create a clean extraction and replace that white with various colors, tones or backgrounds. Here I replaced the commercial white with this soft, fashion gray. Or logos and design can be added. Having a clean and sharp portrait means it can be used in lots of ways in the future.

I just watched Larry Elder’s new film this week, Uncle Tom – An Oral History of the American Black Conservative. It’s an incredible and very powerful movie that ends on a positive tone. I highly recommend it. Here’s a link to the website.

Thanks again to Larry Elder for a great photo shoot. I wish him well with these images and all of his various endeavors.

And if you need some new business headshots, give me a call at 801-728-3317. And if you’d like to see more commercial portrait samples, check out my commercial portfolio website at BryCoxPro.com.

And until next time, America.

Salt Flats Photo Shoots – Teaching Lighting to Photographers (part 1)

This last weekend I taught a 2-day lighting class to on the Utah Salt Flats to photographers from Idaho. It was my Adaptive Lighting class and it’s the perfect place because the area is so unpredictable. And this time was no different because when we got there the entire area was covered in smoke from the California wildfires.

Instead of wishing we didn’t have smoke, my challenge to everyone was to adapt, problem solve, and create smokey images so amazing, that everyone from now on will want photographs in the smoke. And as you can see from my first example, the smoke could be very beautiful. With some adaptive lighting and gear, my first demo was deepen the sky for a warm, surreal, and golden landscape.

We had an awesome turn out, as you can see in this video, and photographers and models alike were all having a great time. Definitely watch this short video. It’s in 4K, so try full screen if you have the internet bandwidth. It’ll be worth it.

No matter where you are, lighting always needs to be controlled for portraits – and that’s particularly true on the flats because there’s never shade. Many photographers rely on shade to make their portraits work, but learning to nail everything in the harsh environments of the Utah Salt Flats with studio lights and technical know-how means being able to create beautiful portrait anywhere. Out on the Salt Flats, the sunlight changes constantly from morning, to noon, afternoon, sunset, twilight, and even after dark. Being able to rock studio lights at this location is essential.

I am excited by the images I created there, and will post them soon. But first I wanted to share some behind the scenes from the event.

Here’s our entire group in the afternoon on Saturday. I captured this image with my drone, fired with my lower hand. And a special thanks to my friend Cory Waite for coming along as my friend and assistant, and for getting lots of great behind-the-scenes footage.

It was fun seeing all the lighting setups along the flats, and all the photographers and models having a great time.

Here are a few early favorites that I created during various demos.

Here’s a great image of Phil White working. He’s the photographer who put the event on and asked me to come speak for the Professional Photographers of Idaho. If you’re a photographer in Idaho, you should belong to this group.

On Saturday afternoon, we got special permission for our group to photograph at the historic Enola Gay Hangar, nearby in Wendover, Utah. I’m grateful to those who made that happen, and I’m excited to see what everyone creates in this unique spot. With all of our pretty models, lighting gear, and access to this great location, there were lots of ways to solve creative problems and create beautiful images. Here’s some of my early favorites from that location

At one point, photographer Katrina Hoffman was changing her camera settings while photographing a model who was Salsa dancing. I took advantage of the moment to cross through her shot – but Salsa danced through the space. Katrina was quick enough to get this photo of me carrying my lights, and Salsa dancing past her Salsa dancing model. HAHA!

Stay tuned for more great images from this event. And if you’re a photographer looking for training, check out my training website with online courses and schedule for upcoming events. It’s all at BryCoxWORKSHOPS.com.

And if you’re a client and would like to create some amazing portraits, now’s a great time to book a fun new shoot. Give me a call at 801-728-3317.

And until next time, America.

BlackRapid Motorcycle Tour of Utah (part 1)

We recently had the BlackRapid Motorcycle Tour of Utah, and it started here at my home studio. Photographers from around the country came for a week of touring the backroads of Utah via motorcycles.

I do a lot of commercial work for BlackRapid, and have long loved the brand, and the camera straps the company makes. If you’re a photographer, make sure you check them out. They’re by far the most comfortable and versatile strap I’ve used.

Ron Henry, the founder of the company put on the event and I’m happy he did. I had gotten used to the Covid life and could feel the change and a feeling of relaxation when I saw all these cool bikes lined up in my driveway.

We headed out and met in Salt Lake to gather the rest of the group and begin our ride south through the 90-100º heat towards Moab in southern Utah.

Though some photographers cancelled due to Covid and some couldn’t make it across boarders, the photographers that came were a great group of guys. The size was perfect, and we took this group shot before heading out. The photographers are from left to right:

On the long ride to Moab through the heat, I took a few photos with my iPhone during some of the long stretches of highway.

Though we posted iPhone images along the way to social media, my favorite way to create images is with an actual camera. But for things like this, I don’t like taking my high-end professional gear. Though I’d get the best possible photographic images if I did, instead I take a small and compact camera with manual controls. It takes up less space, I’m not worried about it getting broken or lost, and I know the images I’m creating with it are going to work out and give me the highest resolution and bit-depth possible for it’s small size.

If I want to make prints large or small, or even crop, edit, or zoom into an image, I’ve got the quality to do so.

Once in Moab Utah, we got our hotels secured, unpacked our bikes and then headed out to ride through Arches National Park for the latter part of the day.

The sun low in the sky, made for some dramatic light and shadows on these gorgeous red rock formations. We’d ride a ways, stop, chat, and take photos, …then ride some more, just soaking everything in.

A motorcycle is a great way to be in this environment. In a car you can’t look up or around, nor can you feel the air change you pass different vegetation or go from sun to shade. On a motorcycle you’re in it all and you feel it.

As Robert Pirsig says in his great book, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance:

“In a car you’re always in a compartment, and because you’re used to it you don’t realize that through that car window everything you see is just more TV. You’re a passive observer and it is all moving by you boringly in a frame.

On a cycle the frame is gone. You’re completely in contact with it all. You’re in the scene, not just watching it anymore, and the sense of presence is overwhelming.”

At one point we stopped to watch the sun go down behind a formation, but the setting sun created some beautiful light on us and the formation behind us.

The great thing about traveling with photographers is that we all are on the same artistic journey – we all want to stop and take photograph along the way. When we travel with other groups, we feel pulled to go in different directions or stop and take photos and enjoy some particular scenery, but no one else wants to. It means leaving the group, which is hard to do.

Here, if someone wanted to pull over to photograph something, we’d all pull over and just enjoy the moment and look to see what that particular photographer was seeing.

As the sun set below the horizon, we rode the curvy roads out of the park, through the dark and warm summer air, back to the small town of Moab for dinner. It was a great first day on the moto tour of Utah, and there’s much more I have to share coming up in part 2. The next day we did some awesome day rides and took some great photographs. That will all be coming soon in the next part of this series.

But in the meantime, if you’re on Instagram get a peak of our iPhone images by following the hashtag, #BlackRapidMoto2020.

And until next time, America.

After a Blog Hiatus, I’m Back

Everything has been so weird in the world, I haven’t felt like blogging and posting photos, yet each week I’ve thought about it because I’ve had so many cool shoots I’ve wanted to share – both during and from before all this craziness in the world.

Covid and shutdowns has affected weddings, family portraits, pretty much every shoot I had scheduled. Almost everything has been cancelled and even my speaking and training events for photographers have all cancelled.

One wedding that I did photograph recently became a small and quite amazing garden wedding in the yard with just immediate family. I’ve often been amazed at all the money people spend on weddings over the years on areas that I myself don’t value as much. I know that photography is the most important thing and should be a bigger part of the budget because it’s the only thing we keep when the wedding is over. It’s our memories of the day in an artistic form.

So many other expenses seem to be about impressing all the guests in attendance, and one good thing about the Covid weddings are that people are saving money and only getting what they really care about.

This recent wedding was a perfect example. It was serene and perfect. It was in the family’s gorgeous yard with their immediate family, and they had me come do some amazing photography. And the images are fantastic! I hope to share some of them soon on this blog.

I’ve created portraits for the occasional high school senior during this time too. Seniors currently value great photography, particularly because everything else in their senior year has been cancelled – their dances, senior trips, all their plans that they’ve looked forward to are gone. So creating an album of wonderful images for them to document this point in life has been important. I’ll share some of these shoots soon too.

I feel grateful to have the commercial work that I’ve had during this time too. Because of other things being cancelled, I’ve been able to spend more time on certain commercial clients and it has kept money coming in.

Thank you to everyone who’s made orders large and small, like reprints from past family portraits to new shoots, albums, and other things. I appreciate every order and every chance to make something amazing for people.

So to kick off my next blog entry, I’ll share something completely different. I’m going to share photographs from a recent motorcycle trip through Utah. It was a great chance to get away and enjoy a sense of normal life again.

Bella in San Jose, California

I recently had the pleasure of photographing Bella in San Jose, California. I was teaching an adaptive lighting class to photographers there, and she was my model.

We made the shoot extra hard by shooting outside at the worst time of day (noon), and also mixed in some indoor shooting using a small lighting kit. I wanted to show photographers that no matter the circumstances, we can always create great images because we should always control light. That means correctly sculpting people with that light, making them look amazing no matter what, and mixing our lighting with other lighting conditions like bright sunlight.

These images turned out wonderful. I wanted you all to see them.

Had we shot with no lighting at all and relied on haphazard results (what new photographers call “natural light”), she would have had dark eyes, muddy skin, and our background would be too bright and blown out. Instead, by teaching various techniques of light control, we got fantastic images where her skin glows, her eyes pop, and the background can be as bright or dark as we want.

I went for a darker background so that we’d have a blue sky and deep greens in the foliage behind the model. I want to control the viewer’s eye so that it immediately goes to the model.


Aside from shooting a variety of options outside, I also did some demos inside using just the lighting gear that I brought with me on the plane. And you’ll see that even indoors, we can continually get great results. Besides great expressions, you’ll notice the soft shadow on the cheek, soft skin, and eyes that pop.

Thank you to Bella for being our model, and thank you to all the photographers who both attended and also worked behind the scenes to make the workshop in San Jose, California possible.

If you’d like some great portraits, give me a call at 801-728-3317. Even though we’re under quarantine here in Utah, some photoshoots are still possible with the right precautions – particularly high school senior portraits. And others types of shoots can be booked out a bit further too.

And if you’re a photographer that would like some training, check out my training website, BryCoxWORKSHOPS.com

And until next time, America.

Ashleigh in Santa Ana, CA

I recently had the pleasure of photographing Ashleigh in Santa Ana, California. She was my model for a photography workshop I was teaching there. I taught adaptive lighting techniques for portraiture, both in studio and on location.

I taught this event for 2 days at the California Center for Digital Arts, where I used their studio for the indoor photographs. For our outdoor location shoot, we stepped outside onto the street to use the sidewalk, alleyway, and nearby buildings – continually mixing sunlight with studio flash.

I love how these turned out and wanted to share them with you.

Ashleigh’s friend Natalie was her hair and make up artist, and she looked so pretty that I thought it’d be great to include her in a photograph too. Here they are together.

For the outdoor portraits, I liked them in both color and black and white. But the black & white gives them a great vibe with the textures of the street. And they work great in b&w for this trio design.

Here they are up close though so you can see how beautiful they each are.

Ashleigh did a great job and I appreciate her being my model for this event. And thank you to all the photographers that came to this 2-day learning event.

If you’d like some great portraits, give me a call at 801-728-3317. Even though we’re under quarantine here in Utah, some photoshoots are still possible with the right precautions. And others can be planned out too.

And if you’re a photographer that would like some training, check out my training website, BryCoxWORKSHOPS.com

And until next time, America.

“Soft Rain” by Janet Cox (My Mom)

My mom wrote this song, “Soft Rain” a few years before I was born. She wrote it on her ukulele and my dad arranged it for choir and orchestra. I grew up hearing it all the time. Besides singing it as kids, we’d constantly be invited to hear choirs across the valley perform it.

I really love this song, and our beautiful Utah spring weather has made various people post about this song online this week. So my sister took a recording from the 1970s by the Mormon Youth Symphony and Chorus, created this video, and posted it to her YouTube.

There are two windows to the outside world: the version given to us through screens (TV, news, movies, social media), and our actual windows to the outside. The messages are completely different from both views. The first tells us to worry, have fear, and creates anxiety. The second is much more positive. Being outside, talking with our friends and neighbors, and being involved in our community creates a far more positive view of the world.

So being spring time, and knowing that we all need something beautiful and positive today while we’re all in quarantine, here’s this song my mom wrote, called “Soft Rain.”

And until next time, America.

Fall Family Portrait Delivery and Install

I just delivered this gorgeous fall family portrait. It was created right here at in my studio gardens at the end of fall. My client was out of town for Christmas, but now that they’re back, it’s delivery day! This video shows how beautiful everything looks.

I love taking care of all the finishing touches for clients. That means taking the artwork and details past the shoot, and all the way through to the end. There’s a lot of work involved in making something perfect, but attention to detail at every step is crucial, including the individualized retouching, custom printing, surface coating, mounting, framing, delivery to the client, and wall installation.

I love the overall balance and grouping of the family, and how great all the kids’ expressions look. This really looks inspiring and beautiful on the client’s wall.

During a family session, it’s a great time to do smaller family groups too. Everyone can order their own portraits, plus they’re great too for smaller wall groupings and Christmas cards too.

Look at how cute all these kids are together. I photographed them about a year ago and it’s amazing how much they changed in that time. (I share those below.)

Sometimes we can end a family portrait session with just grandkids with the grandparents.

About a year ago I photographed just these four kids alone. Look how much they’ve changed and grown in just a year. It just shows how important it is to get portraits of family and kids regularly. Because they change and grow so fast, it’s wonderful to have professional portraits and wall art throughout their life. 

And during that shoot we also did individuals of each child too. These are great in wall groupings or in a child’s bedroom.

I love creating custom wall galleries and family artwork for your home. And I know it’s time for some updated family portraits for your family. Give me a call at 801-728-3317 and let’s create some wonderful wall portrait art for your home.

And until next time, America.