Photography Project: Taking the High-key Look to the Next Level

High-key blown out image of a woman in white

I recently took an online KelbyOne course by Joel Grimes.  One set-up he did involved two 7-foot umbrellas (yes, 7-feet no typo there) and a 48″+ Octabox.  I didn’t have all of that equipment, but Peter and I improvised, and fortunately the girls were in town so I had models. Continue reading


Photography Project: Cheap Creative Portraits

Portraits in plastic

I always plan a portrait session when the girls visit.  They are usually game to give things a try, and sometimes they walk away with an Insta pic to post.  This time I was inspired by a YouTube video by Gavin Hooey.  He used a plastic dust cover bought at the dollar store.  As with most videos, it was a lot harder to execute than it seemed. Continue reading

Photography Project: Portraits with a dominant color

Dreamy portrait in blue

After much frustration photographing our kids and family, Peter and I have started to venture into portrait photography.  We’ve found that it helps us see the light differently when making our landscape images.  This week, I asked a couple of friends if they would help me with my project.  Creating two portraits showcasing one color, blue, but with two different feelings. Continue reading

Creating Infrared Portraits


I have been shooting with a converted infrared camera for a few years, mostly landscape.  I’m always struck by the other-worldly quality of infrared portraits, but mine have always turned out on the vampire side, and a bit creepy.  A few weeks ago, I took a 30 minute 1:1 tutorial with Dan Wampler from LifePixel, and he set me on a new course for this journey. Continue reading

A landscaper goes to studio flash class


Mary working with Angie

Mary and I have a continuous light kit at home that we have used to make portraits of our family.  Mary really wanted to learn how to use studio strobe lighting and its hard to learn by just watching videos, so we attended a class last weekend.  Here is what I learned.

Continue reading

Why We Love Square Photos or 1:1’s


Sunrise in Healdsburg, CA

Most of us are shooting a 3:2 aspect ratio which is equivalent to a 35 mm full frame sensor or film.  Some micro four thirds and point and shoots use a 4:3 aspect ratio. Common cameras do not come with a native 1:1 aspect ratio, but here are a few good reasons to shoot 1:1 or crop 1:1. Continue reading

Photography Project: Photographing People through a Prism


After experimenting with prisms on things, I turned my focus to the girls.  They are always great about playing along.  Following the principles I shared last week, I focused on simplifying the scene and making sure they were strong as the central image. Continue reading

Infrared Photography Portraiture

1407_MFA_Portrait Infrared_026-Edit-2

I recently completed an infrared photography workshop led by Nevada Wier.  During the workshop I was inspired to try photographing people in infrared, and instead of converting directly to black and white, using the colors that were already present in my infrared capture.  I had many “ah-ha’s” the most fascinating is …. make up doesn’t really matter in infrared.  A woman can look great without an ounce of make-up on. Continue reading

Compelling Portraits: Capture the true family spirit



I am going to go off script and onto a tangent this week, so please bear with me.  Peter and I lost two family members in the last 5 weeks.  I have found comfort in photographs that were in my files, and those that “appeared” from others.  I encourage people often, to take time to capture memories of their loved ones; something more than just the casual snap on the iphone.  I hope this post inspires you to do the same. Continue reading