This is the second portrait I took for the Down Syndrome Association of Texas (DSACT) calendar in 2012. Brian Sharples is the celebrity, and Sam with his brother spent time together painting in the art studio enjoying each other immensely. Our shared passion for the portrait session was “Painting”, and that extended to painting each other. Pretty fun. I so enjoyed getting to see them interacting and having fun; Brian was all about engaging these brothers and I think he succeeded! I absolutely love the connection between Brian and Sam; they really hit it off and enjoyed their time together.
David and Allie are getting married in March, and we photographed them at their home as well as at Chapel Dulcinea for some engagement portraits. It was a beautiful and somewhat breezy cool winter day here in Austin, and we have a great time capturing a few images. Engagement photos are always fun for us; there’s great excitement for the future and we get to try lots of fun poses and scenes.
Here are a couple of my favorites:
At the recent wedding of Tom and Hannah, there was a band playing. And the band had a sound guy in the very back. Now most people probably didn’t even see him, but as I worked the room capturing all the guests so the bride and groom could remember everyone who attended, I wandered over to his area. I don’t think he even saw me; either he was busy working on his live mix for the band, or he was just not so into people watching. Anyway, I quickly set up my off-camera flash nearby and grabbed a couple of portraits. This one is my absolute favorite from those few moments! Serendipity!
For a family Christmas present this year, Hannah and I wanted to try out some new props, and she had this amazing field of grass in her yard. So, we set up in the grass and we could both tell we were going to end up with some wonderful photographs even before we started photographing. The boys were having fun and smiling and the grass was just amazing. Isaac was totally engaged with the process, and Eli thought it was pretty cool too. Willing subjects, beautiful setting, fun props, great ideas… Doesn’t get much better than that! I spent the whole day with them, and even got to help Eli learn to ride a bike without training wheel that day. Being a granddad is pretty neat.
Back in February Hannah and I did the first session I did this year for the 2013 Down Syndrome Association of Central Texas calendar. DSACT produces a calendar every year to help with raising funds for their efforts to help individuals with Down Syndrome. For each month, there is a photograph of one of their “models” with Down and a local celebrity who will volunteer their time to pose for the calendar. That calendar is unveiled at the annual Share the Passion Gala, which I have photographed in past years.
This first session had one of my favorite actors, Kyle Chandler, who has been in the TV series Early Edition and Friday Night Lights. The chosen model was Jane, a vivacious little girl who already rides horses as a part of her life. We met at the Red Arena hippotherapy property and walked around looking for a great backdrop. My first choice was down by the water for some great Texas thicket. We let Jane ride down and back from the arena on the horse, which she loved.
As soon as everyone got in position, Kyle and Jane hit it off right away and started interacting almost faster than I could react. In such a situation, I find it’s almost beside the point to “pose” people; we just let the scene unfold while they played around. Jane took an immediate liking to Kyle’s hat, which you can see in her hand in this photograph. Kyle grabbed Jane’s cowboy hat and plopped it onto the very-compliant horse’s head. At the moment of this photograph, I was just loving the fun and interactions between the two of them. I think we created a great portrait of life for the calendar. This image ended up as the main image for the month of December:
Here is one of the images from the walk back up the path to the arena after we had the main photograph:
Hannah and I photographed a couple a while back down around Town Lake to celebrate their life together and to coincide with their imminent parenthood. We wandered around, looking for some cool locations to serve as backdrops while giving the idea of context in Austin. They specifically wanted to have a flavor of the Austin area in their photographs. Near the end of our time together that day, we had them sitting up on a hill at Butler Park and a dog wandered up to see what we were doing. The couple had some great fun just playing with the dog, who was very friendly and seemed to want to be in every photograph. It was a great ending for the session.
As we worked, it was pretty warm, but we had fun and captured some great moments that they will be able to look back on and remember this time in their lives. That’s what we do; create portraits for life. I love doing that!
This has been an amazing year for me, as I have been volunteer photographing for the Down Syndrome Association of Central Texas. For the previous three years I volunteered as an event photographer for their annual Gala. The organization puts out a celebrity calendar for the following year, featuring some of the individuals in the community with Down’s Syndrome and some wonderful celebrities. I was honored to be the photographer this year and I really enjoyed getting to work with everyone to help put out the calendar. It will be unveiled at their annual Share the Passion Gala tomorrow night and I am looking forward to being there with all the wonderful people that are involved, as well as the families friends of DSACT. The proceeds from the sales of the calendar help to fund the programs DSACT does; I’d be super pleased if you would buy one or more! DSACT does some amazing work. I’ll be sharing the individual portrait sessions over the next few months, starting just as soon as the calendar is released.
It seems I’ve neglected to share a couple of my favorite photographs of my newest grandson, Isaac. Well, here I am to correct that. Several weeks back I photographed him in a newborn session and these are certainly among my favorites. I’ve found that it’s unusual to get such a young newborn to smile or engage in a portrait, but we seemed to have more trouble getting him to sleep for the camera! I think my favorite way to show these is in black and white; in my case at least I tend to focus on the connection we have through the portrait rather than details around him.
He’s pretty cute!
Hannah has been pregnant since last year with her second child, and we kinda waited until pretty much the last minute to actually get some maternity photographs done for her. We did the session on June 16th and baby Isaac was born just 12 days later… I guess we maximized the roundness of her belly!
Here are a couple of our favorites from the session:
It’s the time of year when high-school seniors get their portraits taken to celebrate a major milestone in their lives. I love being a photographer; I get to work with young adults as they make the huge leap out of high school and on into the rest of their lives. It is great fun to be able to find something in their personality and interests that we can put into a unique portrait. Allison loves music and plays the guitar so we incorporated a wonderful, peaceful scene with her instrument and lovely personality to create this portrait:
One of my favorite aspects of this particular image is the reflection of the trees and surrounding texture in the body of the guitar. This is a high dynamic range image, processed specifically to increase the natural texture in the scene around Allison while keeping her skin soft and clear. I enjoy bringing out structure and texture in the world; it’s something I am always on the lookout for with my eyes and it is so pleasing to be able to create it in the portraiture that I do.
Mayfield Park and the Gardens are a unique treasure in Austin and I really like working there.