Someday I want to have the type of business that allows me to have a big warehouse or old factory type studio that is safe and secure that people would feel comfortable going to that had both clean and modern walls and old and grungy walls with splatters and graffiti and all. That is the goal. There are places around Meadville that I'd love to use as a studio, but I'm not sure how safe they'd be to keep equipment and things or how comfortable people would feel coming to at night. I love that old avtek building in the fifth ward, but i know kids break into it all the time(I see pictures everywhere) and the parts that I'd love to use I don't believe clients would feel safe going to. Maybe someday when we have built our business up and have enough money to actually fix up and rent a place like this to make it safer and more appealing! But for now I like that we can find little things to use to get some of the same feel for photos--simple chains that raise and lower backdrops in a friends studio, or stairwells and old walls around town or in our studio. We adapt and make the most of what we see. And that too is fun. Even when I get that dream studio...I'm sure I'll be changing it around as often as possible to find fresh ways to approach the photographs of our clients. SayerMotter Photograph by Richard Sayer.
The idea of this featured picture of the day is to show what we do everyday. Harmony and I have been really busy lately photographing sports teams and senior pictures and family portraits. The sports teams are going to occupy my every waking free moment(time I'm not working at the paper or preparing and teaching a class at Allegheny) over the next few weeks. We know our clients want to see their pictures as quickly as they can and my hope is to get them pictures before the end of Sept. This means little sleep an a lot of cropping and toning and designing. I like to get the sportsmates(or Memorymates) designed first because it sets the tone for the style of that particular team's pictures. The latest one I worked on was the MASH Cheers and here is an example of how they're going to look. Some girls have vertical pictures so a little more thought in design will have to go into that, but I've got a basic plan at least to move on from. I know we've shown a lot of these memory mates lately, but like I said--the purpose of this featured picture of the day is to show what we do--and this has been a big part of what I'm working on lately. SayerMotter Photographs and design by Richard Sayer.
So , I photographed the Baker's last night at their home in Linesville, Pennsylvania. We had a lot of laughs. The shoot included...Mom (Robin), Dad (Jason), Sons (Tristen and Conlin) and 11 week-old puppies (Black and Blue). Above is a photo of Jason Baker with his son, Tristen and the dogs. Robin is not pictured because she is looking for her 3 year-old son, Conlin who has taken off for a nearby field on his electric gator vehicle. He was hard to catch and wanted nothing to do with this picture business. So while we were anxiously awaiting Conlin's return, I took the opportunity to snap this shot of Dad with his little boy and their two young puppies. I am glad that I did. I thought it was a nice moment. Below is the picture I shot immediately following this one.
SayerMotter Photos By: Harmony Motter
When I decided that I wanted to have unique Sportsmates and not use templates used by photographers all over the country, it meant more work. And as I keep making new designs, I find that it takes even longer...but thats the hard part...making the first one and coming up with a plan. Then after that they go a little faster as I use most of the elements over again. So right now I'm in the design mode of the sportsmates. And I have created more work by choosing to cutout the volleyball and golfers in their design, but I think it'll be worth it in the long run...and I really don't require that much sleep! SayerMotter Photographs and designs by Richard Sayer and Harmony Motter.
I had photographed Erik in the spring right after his prom before he took his tux rental back for his senior portrait. We had agreed to do two sessions, one formal with the tux and one later on much more casual. So a couple weeks ago we got together and made some more pics--some fun and some more serious. I really think in the fun pictures we find more personality that is truer than we do in the more staged portraits---though we want to get a little of everything in the shoot. Erik's a tough kid, he curls 60 pound weights with one hand(I had trouble even moving it out of the way for one shot and I was using my whole body!). One of the things he does in training is the lineman challenge activities which often includes moving these giant tires around by flipping them--it ain't easy. So we did this sort of laid-back portrait against the tire---sort of like saying--I conquered this no sweat! Even though I thought the context of having the lights in the background was important, that would be something I might try to do different--do this shot without the lights.... or put the lights somehow in the center of the tower. We'll see, I might play with the image a little more! SayerMotter Photographs by Richard Sayer.
We were recently confronted by someone who wasn't happy with our work. It happens. We cannot please every one or every taste...its impossible. Even my mom, who i know loves me and would defend me to the death, doesn't like all of my photos(though I think she likes about 96 % of em--she is my mom afterall!). This person was quite aggressive in their displeasure....but as I think about it I think she just doesn't get what we're trying to do. For years people have grown accustomed to getting the same old thing...we don't do that. We like to experiment and we like to watch. Watching allows us to see something we didn't expect and then make something from that---we hope better than our original plan. I could never be a photographer that demands that something turn out just as I dreamt it up--so many more great things happen in front of me and as a photographer I need to be prepared to capture that! I was told I didn't know what I was doing.... well that is somewhat true, because I believe in seeing life unfold as I snap the shutter, sometimes it might seem that I'm winging it....but know this...I believe in moments more than I do preconceived ideas. Within serendipity lies innovation. If we neglect to see this we'll never move forward, rather stay stuck and accepting of the same old same old....even if it isn't any good. These pictures of Jalen were made mostly because I looked and learned--not dictated! And I think we had fun. SayerMotter Photographs by Richard Sayer.
So, I photographed Sandra and Keith this evening. They are an engaged couple from Erie, Pennsylvania and are slated to marry in June of 2012. This was our second shoot together. The first shoot was quite an adventure. We were racing against the rain, nerves, humidity and mosquitoes. So we all thought it better to go for a re-shoot and I am so glad that we did! Here are a few of my favorites from today. Thanks guys for your patience and I am hoping that it paid off.
SayerMotter Photographs By: Harmony Motter
I photographed Natasha on Sunday. We battled with the rain while standing under umbrellas and hanging out in her car until it would stop but, we made it. Natasha will be a senior at Hopewell High School and she is a busy girl. She manages to play four instruments, whack around a golf ball from time to time and hold a part-time job. Yikes! I am that busy now at the age of 34 and could not imagine juggling all of that stuff and still attending high school five days a week. You go girl!!
SayerMotter Photographs By: Harmony Motter
'Its her birthday' a few girls pointed to #5. 'Lets throw her up in the air!' a voice from above (I was standing on a platform) 'Yeah, I want to be thrown up in the air' #5 admits. Suddenly the voice from above began thinking about how this might be a bad idea and if anyone got hurt not only would he feel bad, but the coach would probably beat me up. 'Maybe just lift her up!' It was agreed upon and the birthday girl got a picture high above her teammates only just a few minutes after taking the team photos with and without tongues hanging out and making faces. We have fun and still got the 'more serious pictures' made for posterity in the yearbook. But I'm not showing those here today. Happy birthday #5! SayerMotter Photographs by Richard Sayer.
Today is the beginning of photographing Saegertown Fall Sports programs. My first shoot was with the golf team at noon. I'm getting ready to head to get varsity football, then Volleyball and then Junior High football, but as I was having coffee(I felt i might need a little extra boost this afternoon/evening) I thought of how I wanted to do the golf memory mates and made this quick sketch. It will be refined a little before I'm done, but I wanted to get this idea together while it was fresh. Some of the kids had a different look to their picture so they won't be all identical, so I'll have to figure those out as I go, but this one seemed to go together pretty well and although I already know I want the 'reflectio' of the group to go darker, I think I'm close. SayerMotter Photography design and photos by Richard Sayer.
Below is revised sketch--not quite there yet