Last night I photographed wresting at MASH. We have these very nice flashes for our digital cameras. They are versatile and powerful......when the batteries aren't dead. I have no luck with our rechargeable batteries. They don't hold a charge and when I do need my flash, quite often the battery power just isn't there. This forces me to look for the spots of light and wait. This is a good thing really. (Now admittedly, if you look at the paper today and see the sports section, I ended up using my pop up flash built into the camera, because there just wasn't enough light on the mat to capture good action--but I did try!) The result from last nights shoot was I looked for light, found it, captured it where I could and made a few nice pictures. I like this one of star wrestler Kasey Davis as he watched a teammate wrestle. I liked how his dark skin and dark background only really allowed the highlights to be recorded. Its what the craft of photography is all about--looking for the light. I find myself teaching this to my students and in turn reminding myself about it from time to time. It really is a beautiful pursuit ---- trying to really see the light. Meadville Tribune photograph by Richard Sayer
I was really thinking about the past today. A long time ago I began to make personal work--work that was something I knew about, but no one else did. I used my symbols to make my own personal expression. This always got mixed reviews. People who believed art was something that came from within seemed to accept this--though possibly still not understand it. Others that thought that art was a reaction to something (ie something cerebral - that could be logically taken from a point and read as some sort of statement) these people didn't really get me. As I progressed (or digressed) as an artist I found myself having to justify this or that in order to get to my goal, having a degree. This meant I had to buy into the notion of art as something cerebral and not something guttural. I did this... and I got my accolades. A harsh price to pay as I'm struggling again to find that self expression that is so inside of me that its true on all levels--not just something I can justify as being art because of this idea or this form or this reaction to---but is art because it is so real that it can't be anything else but art--or at least expression. I photographed this apple today because an apple has appeared in my work for many years and has meant many many things, but mostly it has meant my soul. This picture of this apple will appear in another work I have in progress right now, but for today--it was a simple pleasure to photograph this apple. It was also a simple pleasure to eat this apple afterwards. Photograph by Richard Sayer
Ryan Smith is a reporter at The Meadville Tribune. He smokes a few cigarettes a day. He's a pretty cool dude. When I was leaving the other day I saw him out in the ally having a smoke and lifted my camera for a quick shot. I told him I just took the photo for his first album cover. Of course he's going to have to start playing music or singing or something musical before that happens. Maybe it can be a book jacket portrait. Or maybe just today's featured picture. Photograph by Richard Sayer
Pucker-up! On Saturday afternoon Randy and Amanda were married in Meadville, Pennsylvania. Harmony Motter of SayerMotter Photography had the pleasure of documenting this wonderful event and the coming together of two beautiful people. Its the fun stuff in-between all the serious stuff that really makes our lives happy and fun. This picture is the fun stuff. Photograph by Harmony Motter
Elisha Field who is known as Lash was born on February 13, 1910. I had the pleasure of listening to stories and taking photographs of him at his 100th birthday party at the Lakeland Community Senior Center on Friday. Lash looks the part of an 80 year old at best, and an 80 year that is in very fine shape. But he is 100. One of the stories that was told is how he walks around the track at the senior center and always notices the 'good lookin' chicks'. As I was photographing him greet people after all the speeches and before lunch, I noticed how he would seem to be a little more attentive to the women. So this picture to me said it all about the man. Another story that was told of him was he mentioned after a Dr. appointment that when he turned 100 he was going to give up sex. I thought looking at his expression in this photograph that he still had one more day before his birthday. Meadville Tribune photograph by Richard Sayer
Awhile back I began working with some local models on portfolio building sessions. I read up on shooting models a little in order to find out what the current thoughts are on portfolios etc... and one of the things that seemed to be said over and over again is 'its all about the girl!' I took this to me that you have to make your pictures, not just based on an idea, but to showcase the model your photographing. Use the models best qualities to make the photographs. I've been wanting to make these sort of retro images in black and white using old school lighting techniques that were hugely popular in hollywood in the 1940s. I haven't really accomplished this, but along the way and in the working through these ideas I've stumbled on some different views than I expected. I don't really know if any of these images are helpful to the models portfolio's or not. I've tried to use some of the pictures to make statements and pieces that go beyond the model shot--some more successful than others--and some that seem to be on to something, but perhaps not quite there. Since I question my work constantly, I'm not sure what to do with these---so--like Neil Young said said once about writing his songs and not really knowing what to do with them other than sing them---I show these. Photograph by Richard Sayer
There is a really great photojournalist by the name of Steve McCurry. He became famous years ago for a picture of an Afghan girl with green eyes that appeared on the cover of National Geographic. Perhaps the most recognizable cover ever for the magazine. The picture was a simple portrait in a lot of ways, but seeing the uncovered face of this young girl and her piercing eyes--the story took on a much more wide appeal and reach many people because of the engaging stare. This picture above has many similar qualities as that photo - a hooded young girl with big engaging eyes, but this was taken in a studio during a model portfolio/actors headshot shoot and the purpose isn't to gain a deeper understanding of life, but its an homage just the same to the pictorial devices we have learned from shots like McCurry's. Photograph by Richard Sayer
We photograph publicity photos for local theater companies to use in The Meadville Tribune entertainment section called Bravo which goes in the paper every Thursday. We try to arrange these so we can photograph a dress rehearsal to capture real moments and real acting, but this cannot always be arranged. Tonight I had to scramble a little with a 6 p.m. assignment, this 6:30 assignment to photograph the publicity photo and because of the weather, the basketball game which usually started at 7:30 was pushed up to 6:30. So I ddn't have much time and the actor and director are still in the beginning stages of getting this production underway. So it was to be an actors portrait. I made use of the achitectural elements in one frame and these two large mirrors to make this image. The play is an adaptation of Dostoyevsky's "Crime and Punishment." The actor is Patrick Curley. Meadville Tribune photograph by Richard Sayer.