We almost cancelled it because of rain---thankfully we didn't. Normally I'll do the sports pics involving eye black and smoke machine last in a session, but today we waited out the rain and did some in studio pictures first. This isn't a dramatically different idea than I've done before, but each person brings their own thing to it. We tried the shoulder pads without the shirt again. I did this a couple years earlier with a star quarterback and decided it was a good time to try it again. Chad is rock solid and can seemingly be reflective(truthfully I think he was tired and really didn't want to do his senior pictures - but that too works.)
I'm finding my style of senior portrait certainly isn't the smile at the camera style, the more i work with people, i have them smile, but look for their more natural expressive qualities. Serious is as good as happy and one doesn't mean the other doesn't exist. Serious is also better than a projection of happy that isn't authentic. Chad's mom kept saying 'thats a fake smile'.... well naturally--this photographer ain't that funny!!! its up to me to get my subjects to react somehow and do it naturally so that they are smiling as they would in reality. This is hard because someone who doesn't know me very well has to all of a sudden 'get me' or be willing to laugh - perhaps - at me. Its always an interesting thing, and it can be exhausting for both the subject and the photographer, but I'm glad we seem to find ways to make it work and make cool pictures. Today was pretty easy overall. Chad's a good guy and a hell of an athlete. I wanted to make a cool athlete magazine style photo for him. We did some color ones too with red smoke and his Cochranton Cardinal's jersey. And his little brother Spencer became a prop for a few! Photograph b
Ever meet someone and immediately get the feeling you have met a quality individual? This morning i had to get up early(and no I am not a morning person) to photograph Andrew Kralj. I hadn't met he or his mother before really(they both look incredibly familiar to me so we probably have crossed path sometime). Andrew may not have spoken more than 12 words during our nearly 2 hour shoot, but I got the feeling this guy is a good guy! When i come across good people i automatically want to step it up a notch and make something special for them. I was excited that they brought a suit and tie, even though I'm not a formal person myself, i do think they can look good and it opens up the possibilities for making something cool. I immediately thought it was going to be great to combine formal and football. I've done this before and was excited about doing it differently here today. I have a few with his football jersey too that I think might be even better than these, but was compelled to pick these out of the bunch right away because ... well I just think he looks cool! I hope he thinks so too! I have great fun making these pictures! Photographs by Richard Sayer
About a year and half ago I got an iPhone. I had really wanted one, not for the phone, not for the internet, not for checking my emails and Facebook, but for making pictures with it and primarily making pictures using the Hipstamatic app. I use the Hipstamatic camera everyday and with its broad selections of looks I am amazed almost everyday with what can be done with this little camera. I've been posting pictures to Instagram now for several months and have over 2000 posted--not all winners mind you, but ones i thought worthy of sharing the day i took them. I also use this camera for client work, i don't have the guts to use it exclusively, but i do interrupt my shooting with my dslr to make a few hipstamatic shots of my clients. Some have even ordered this images. I even blew one up to a 16x20. The old saying is that the best camera is the one in your hand--this is true! i feel having my phone on me at all times allows me to take note of everything if i choose. And I really enjoy the act of making these images and then scrolling through them later to share with others. Instagram allows my pictures to be seen all over the world by incredibly talented people! I love exploring the creative process more and more each day and i really think making pictures with this device has helped me improve my skills with the dslr as well. I haven't really ventured back into film yet, but maybe that will happen too someday?? Photographs by Richard Sayer
I make a lot of pictures. Too many really for me to wrap my brain around actually! I've realized this is a problem and yet, I'd rather make new pictures than look back at what I've done(at least i always want to be making new works even if I look back at my past work). Its important to me to see my work with new eyes and even thru others eyes. This picture I saw posted on this model's website and I was surprised it was mine. After looking at it it does look like mine, but i was wondering why it didn't strike me right off the bat! Sometimes you do things subconsciously and don't even realize it. This model, the beautiful Courtney Burns picked this picture as one of her portfolio pictures and as i looked at it it struck me as one of my favorites from the shoot. I'm not a technical photographer, so when i nail technical stuff those stand out to me right away and I often have to be reminded about what is more important. A friend of mine sent me one of the nicest things I've ever heard today "Rich, your ability to make the invisible visible never ceases to astonish me." This really struck me because I don't always feel this way or see it in that way, but what an amazing compliment that is! I feel very fortunate to be able to make work that I love making--even if I don't know it all the
A few years back i did one of my first family portrait sessions in my new studio business of John, Jill and Lizzy Hyatt. That one little session has turned into year after year of get togethers with them and now the rest of the Hyatt family. I am the better for this! This is a creative family who likes real things, real photographs of moments that encapsulate a time. Last year Jill asked if I would join their family in Geneva on the Lake Ohio during their yearly get together. I spent most of the day with them on into sunset. I knew after the day of shooting and all the different moments i captured that the best way to put this work into their homes was a book. So over the next year we talked about the pictures a little bit and i got to learn how to design a book. Below you can flip through the pages of this family album of one day in August 2012 with the Hyatt family. I returned this year and took more photographs and the two above are my very quick look through my edit favorite photographs. I may find others later in more detailed edits, but i wanted to share them and the book today. I think this sort of documentation of a family reunion is something I'd love to more and more of in years to come.
I had an interesting conversation today about pictures posted on my facebook page. As a photographer that works for a newspaper and owns my own studio and who teaches fine art photography at the local college, I make a lot of very diverse work. Today's conversation involved pictures i took of a person building a model portfolio(not related to the picture above) and the senior portraits that I'm in the middle of doing a lot of at this time. To me they are distinctly separated work, but when they are presented on a fb page and a website i can see how the lines are blurred. In my newspaper work i really try hard to keep the work distinctly separate because the ethics of journalism practices are sound and for good reason, but what about the studio ethics? Is there a line and should there be where one form or style of work needs to be kept distinctively separated? Maybe? I'm not sure how to do this yet. I make photographs everyday as anyone who follows me on instagram or likes my facebook page can see. the truth is i love to make images, and the type of shoot i'm doing dictates the type of style in which i approach it(though it usually ends up looking like my work). To me the work is the work and I'm out to make the best work I can, whether its a portrait, a head shot for a website, a portfolio or telling a story... the camera is an extension of not only my eye, but my thought! And my thoughts are pretty diverse!. The picture above was a shot of al girl who is building a portfolio of images that came about from just playing around with and idea of light and hair and movement. This particular one was done with my iPhone and i think its a beautiful image, but certainly not one I'd do for a senior portrait or to tell a story in the newspaper. But i am glad that I think about these things, because it helps me understand how to better do my work and present it to others! Not sure how to separate the work so its doesn't become confusing! i love making images in all different styles for people! Photograph by Richard S