A couple weeks back I had a chance to photograph my friend Helena Raghubir of the Center for Happiness yoga studio. I’ve photographed Helena a few times now over the past several years, and it’s always fun.
Yoga portraits tend towards the staged and perfectly posed, but Helena (and I) wanted to create images that evoked the mental experience of being on the mat. For me, what comes through in these images is Helena’s focus, strength and fluidity, and a grounded-ness that suggests the value of the mental side of a yoga practice over its physical manifestations.
Or at least that’s what I hope gets evoked. What do you see?
As is usually the case with portfolios, a new gallery doesn’t necessarily mean that I just recently started photographing kids; prior to this portfolio update I had various kid-centric images scattered throughout my site. But as of this Fall it seemed like the critical mass was there to call it a legitimate specialty area.
Over the years I’ve photographed kids for Fraser, Midwest Food Connection, Thrivent Financial for Lutherans, the Seward Co-op and several others. But the tipping point was a book project I did recently with Redleaf Press: a picture book for elementary school-age kids explaining how people come to have different skin colors. It’s called “All the Colors We Are,” and it was a ton of fun to work on. Enough fun to save for its own blog entry, coming soon.
For now, here are a few shots from the new gallery to give you a taste. Photographing kids forces me to move fast, stay flexible, and bring an energy level on par with that of a five year old to a project. It’s a great challenge, and such fun to get in to a goofy space with kids.
I recently had the chance to help my friend Stef with some professional portraits, to use on LinkedIn, etc. A few years back she helped me out on my Snack Series, so I was more than happy to return the favor and help her with some more serious portraits. Stef has an interesting day gig, but equally cool is her blogging, which covers living life well. It’s worth checking out.
When an individual approaches me about photographing them for personal professional use, my approach is the same as it would be for an editorial or corporate assignment: the first order of business is to understand a little of the story behind the individual. The chance to have those conversations is one of my favorite parts of being a photographer. Then we talk about possible locations where the person will feel comfortable and genuine, and that will also help tell the person’s story.
For Stef, with her love of, and belief in the power of words, that place turned out to be the downtown branch of the Minneapolis Public Library. We talked on site, and it wasn’t necessarily important to her that books were in the image; it was just the energy of the place that made it right. And I love this shot that we found. It’s modern, bright, interesting – all characteristics that I think define Stef.
Just got the fall issue of Biztech Magazine in the mail, which contains a portrait of Paul Valentino I took earlier this summer.
Paul runs vCommunity Trust, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to help people complete IT certifications who wouldn’t be able to afford the training otherwise. Great guy, addressing a real need in the tech world.
One of the great things about studio food photography is the chance to collaborate with people across disciplines: food as art, image as art. A couple months ago I had another opportunity to play with Rachel Sherwood on some personal work.
My colleague Nate Ryan was nice enough to swing by and film a little behind the scenes of the day, and I think he did a good job of conveying how a food shot comes together: the experimentation with composition, ingredients, and propping, then the careful preparation of the ‘hero’ dish and capture of the final shot.