Between thunderstorms today we managed to squeeze in some cheerleader pictures. MASH cheers are getting ready for the up-coming football season and they needed pictures for the program. This was one of the out takes of the varsity senior group photo. I'll give this one to the program along with one or two others. The purpose of the pictures in the program is to see the girls faces I think, so one of the more close up pictures will probably be better, but if there is room for more pictures like there was in last years program, maybe this slightly more funky group picture can be put in as well. SayerMotter photographs by Richard Sayer
I went for a walk yesterday morning near the Allegheny River in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. As I approached the Andy Warhol Bridge on seventh Street, I glanced down at the water and spotted these reflections. It was really cool, because they were constantly changing. It was Sorta kinda like a living kaleidoscope. I would like to think that Andy was there making those shapes just for me.
Photos By: Harmony Motter
Sunday bests in front of a nice background with hair done just so? Everyone dressed in matching colors and formed into a pyramid? Walking along the beach with the little ones hands stretch up into the hands of mom and dad? Yes these all make for nice family portraits and some day I may even try to make some family portraits like this. But to me a family portraits show love and fun--after all you want to reflect and remember the good stuff. Sometimes the good stuff is just being goofy and making faces at one another to make each other laugh! I recently made a few pictures of the Prestons at the their home, some were more 'traditional' than others, but I noticed how easy it was to get Zach and Aria to make funny faces and decided to ask Bob who obliged and then Dana and finally Rita, who admitted that making faces wasn't something she did-especially not in front of a camera(and perhaps not something to do in front of a camera being wielded by a photographer with a blog!). SayerMotter Photographs by Richard Sayer....PS I did ask before I posted!
Getting a kiss from your sister, well there are times its ok I suppose. I remember when I was little my sister would make me run through a routine when I wanted something--it went something like this--'pretty please sister Debbie dear, I love you with all my heart and here's a kiss to prove it' Its been 40 or so years so I'm not sure if this is all the words--but it was something like this. So I had a different take on a sisters kiss because Deb was almost a second mom who was pretty much a grown up. Zach and Aria are a little closer in age I think so I'm guessing by Zach's expression--its sorta yucky for him and I think Aria knows it and ...well... revels in that! I got a chance to make some informal portraits at their grand-parents house recently and snapped a few aside moments like this one. I like this sort of thing because its probably a more true to life depiction of them than smiling and facing the camera--which we also did try for a couple of those as well. I'm half way through the edit and really just now getting to the family portraits! SayerMotter Photograph by Richard Sayer.
I photographed Caleb Stein this afternoon. He will be a Senior at Meadville Area Senior High School. He had requested that he be photographed in front of a red barn that was located near his home. He and his mom told me stories about how they used to go sledding in the Winter near the barn. One story even included a certain paint ball gun incident in which a young Caleb bombarded the red barn with a variety of paint-ball colors. So needless to say that Caleb and this red barn go way back.
SayerMotter Photograph by: Harmony Motter
So, I have been snapping photos for quite some time now. Over the years there has been one constant with photography, people LOVE color photography and I don't know why. There have been several times where I have presented someone with a beautiful black/white photograph and I hear "well, it's nice but, can I get it in color?" I want to say "WHY??" But, I don't. So, a friend once told me that you have to have three valid reasons to have an argument. So here goes...To the first person that can present to me three reasons why a color photograph is better that a black/white picture....I will give you a free portrait session and a free 10X13 print (black/white or color...your choice). Remember...three valid reasons. Good luck and may you always dream in black/white!
SayerMotter Photos from Amanda Grey's Senior Portrait Session by: Harmony Motter
Awhile back I posted a picture of Jalen that was very similar to this. he wore a hat, at shorter hair and was dressed in more athletic type apparel. When we did a second shoot the other day(after his hair grew out a bit) it was to get more formal pictures, but I wanted to try the same shot with a shirt and tie. Think this is more what I was thinking from the beginning, a formal casual shot. I keep thinking a senior picture needs to be somewhat formal, but not stuffy, so I was happy that Jalen and his mom and dad were great in trying to help come up with this shot, including Jalen's dad having to stop what he was doing in order to run down with a soccer ball to where we were shooting! Its great when people are excited about the potential of a photograph--I know I get excited about it and just hope I can pull it off. We even found graffiti that that complimented Jalen's shirt! SayerMotter Photograph by Richard Sayer.
Photo editing is sorta like painting--you start with an idea, in this case a photo and then you go through a process to turn it into something else. In painting its sketches and little quick paintings that are used to make decisions for the final canvas--and even then it takes on a process all its own once it is started. In photos the layers and use of filters and toning etc.. really transforms the original photo into something else entirely. I believe in moments and capturing a photograph that doesn't need to be manipulated in the end to make it into something, but the painter in me does like to play and see what I can do, but the original photo still needs to have something worth exploring further. It is also sometimes fun to pair up pictures and see how they work as a group. And sometimes in doing this a theme has to be established to give it continuity. Today I finished going through Dee and Greg's engagement session and had a little fun making these up. It was a pretty productive hour or so session we had with many nice moments and images captured. I'm really looking forward to photographing their wedding this November. SayerMotter Photographs by Richard Sayer.
EDITOR'S NOTE: This image below was posted several days later after my mom let me know that I had posted the window washer picture not too long before. In my late/night early morning haze trying to post I just had forgotten I had posted the window washer with another image call a 'Wall relief of Michele'. So this is a make up picture from the same era and same drive to experiment with brand new techniques---at least brand new to me as a 19 year old photo student with very little previous know how. This image was made by shooting a roll of film normally. This is a picture of my great friend Duane Thomas. Duane and I would go out shooting together alot(and for Chinese food lunches). Duane was much more advanced in photography than I was and he taught me a great deal, in fact if it wasn't for Duane I probably wouldn't have made it very far in photography because I just struggled with almost every part of the process in school. After shooting the roll normally I then purposely did everything wrong. I developed the negatives in a colder than normal developer for a longer time. I then used a nearly boiling hot stop bath (here is where I learned how hot metal can get when you put boiling water into it) and then finished it off with fixer that I had put into the freezer for about 20 minutes. Its called reticulation and I got about 4 pictures out of it that I liked including this one. Sorry for the re-post below--I hope this makes up for it. Photograph by Richard Sayer.
I'm not sure if I've posted this picture or not--its one of those ones that I keep hanging on to and even though I wouldn't have it in a portfolio today, its still one of my best pictures. It is pretty straightforward really, nothing special in terms of photography. I just saw it and snapped it(along with about a half dozen other students from the Rhode Island School of Photography on a field trip to Boston in 1985.) I twas shot a little looser than this because I didn't have a longer lens at the time--I think this was shot with either a 85mm or a 135mm--though I really can't remember. This particular image is actually a digital photo of the mounted photo that I made in the Darkroom in 1985 and entered into the Professional Photographers of Rhode Island annual contest where it did very well. I still have this print although its not on display--it is in a portfolio case. I've been thinking alot lately about how little photography I actually have hanging up in my house. Maybe I should do something about this. I have a frame finally for a print my friend Craig gave me from his Pulitzer prize winning essay--so I hope that makes it onto the wall soon. Maybe I bring this one out and see if it looks good enough to still hang up..it looks like it might have some surface stuff and might need to be re-printed! On from the vaults by Richard Sayer--sorry if I've already posted it.
I've written about photo school with its state of the art lighting equipment and how when I graduated I could only afford clip on lights(if I asked mom to buy them for me) and wondered why I couldn't quite get the same results. Then learning how to achieve good results with less and all....well I was thinking about George Hurrell and Yosuf Karsh again and really wished now I could spend money to get even more lights. I have three and they have personality(a nice way of saying I didn't pay much for them and they sometimes act as if I didn't pay much for them) and I try to get results out of them that...well look like they're expensive. Truth is I have to really work it and dig deep into my photo knowhow to get the results I do sometimes. I'd love to have a $5,000 light kit with a $5,000 camera and a $2,200 lens because it would make my results easier to achieve and even better because of fine tuning and control. I read one time that Karsh or Hurrell--i forget which one used 16 lights on one picture. And that was probably in the day when they were pretty hot lamps so the temperature must've been up there a bit in the studio. I don't think I'd want to go to that extreme, but 5 lights would be good--maybe 7....someday. For now I'll have fun trying to make pictures with minimal equipment we have and hopefully be able to brag someday to young photographers--'You know back in my day we didn't have.....blah blah blah....SayerMotter photographs of Jaclyn during a recent senior picture shoot. I was thinking about George Hurrell alot here!