It was a sad week last week, I had to cover stories involving death and a friend lost someone very close to her. On Saturday I covered the unveiling of the latest name added to the Crawford County War memorial. A couple months ago I photographed the soldier's funeral as well. This is important stuff, especially in a small community like Crawford County. We're documenting the history of its people. I normally don't keep many photos that do not include people. We're about people, telling stories to other people and therefore I feel I always need to have the context of people in the pictures I take.But this picture seemed stronger just with the single rose left on the momunet and void of people. Feels sort of lonelier to me. Meadville Tribune photograph by Richard Sayer
Last fall my friends Eileen and Lois took my brother and I(who are not sight seers) to visit the Queen Mary in Long Beach California. Its a cool boat for sure, but the best thing I got out of the whole experience was in the place we had lunch on board. There were several George Hurrell prints of famous celebrities from the early days of hollywood. Normally I would've past these up, I don't really fall for celebrity images, I prefer everyday folk, but these caught my eye. Perhaps it was because Harmony Motter and I recently started a photography business and were in the midst of trying to figure out what we were going to do with it. These images captivated me and I've been trying to do similar work ever since. It is funny how looking into the old photo works to hopefully find answers to create new photo works. I made this image today while working with Alycia and I couldn't help but think of Hurrell. It was made simply--one direct light with a child's rocking chair leaning sideways between the light and Alycia and a subtle fill light coming in from the right to fill in the shadows. Earlier I was getting fancy with flashes and all these lights when perhaps the best images came from using technology Hurrell could've used, and did back in the 40's. SayerMotter Photograph by Richard Sayer
Sunday morning I get to photograph Alycia for the second time in a week. We agreed to have two sessions for her to get a variety of looks and if the weather is nice we might even try an outside shot or two. This picture was one from Monday's session. I've been looking through and editing down and by the time we're all done looking at this group of pictures and tomorrow's pictures we should have about 20 solid looks and photographs for her portfolio and website. SayerMotter Photography by Richard Sayer
Col. Tom Lippert spoke Friday night at the candlelight vigil, part of the 24-hour vigil to honor American POW/MIA's by remembering and recognizing that they may indeed still be alive, even Korean War veterans still listed by the government and not confirmed dead. I cover this event every year and every year I end up taking nearly the same pictures because the lighting is so limited that--other than using a flash during a solemn ceremony there really aren't many options. And I do look for them believe me. I don't like not being able to find a new way of documenting an event. The one thing that I think does work real well in these silhouette images I take at the monument and this one against one of the lights in the park is that the people that are being recognized and remembered have become faceless names over the years and our perception of them, not being family members with memories and photographs, is the image of 'everyman.' We have to see them as a possible face in order to feel anything at all--so, even like the POW/MIA flag - its the outlines of the face--a human face that we associate with the humanness of the names on a list. I told myself tonight that I would find another way to tell this story with a picture, but it just didn't happen. Its quite a thing to watch these dedicated men and women doing what they can everyday to support American soldiers past and present. Meadville Tribune photograph by Richard Sayer
I have conversations all the time about photography. I guess people see that I really do like to talk about it(I know sometimes too much). I remember years ago chatting with my sister's dad-in-law about photography and he kept mentioning the 'throw away pictures' and I was sort of puzzled by it. He loves to document family get togethers with posed group shots. Our family owes him a good bit of gratitude and thanks because he has done it diligently for years. Every year I get pictures of my family and I've seen many grow only from these photos. But he is serious about it and if some makes a face he calls those 'throw away pictures.' I laughed about this today because I usually say --thats the one! When I was toning up some pictures I took of very good friends who I've been neglecting because I was busy(Sorry E and R and A and E) I got to thinking how my sister's dad-in-law might think this was a throw away. I laughed again when I found myself suggesting this was the picture to use for the baby announcements they are planning to send out. I guess I see pictures and their use a little differently sometimes. But you have to admith this picture of little Emmy is pretty damn cute and funny. SayerMotter Photograph by Richard Sayer
Well after three nights of photo shoots I'm tired. I mean sorta like bone tired. But I have a lot to do yet. Each photo shoot consists of levels, a few shots that sort of warm us up, a few shots in the middle where we sorta begin to understand how each other works and thinks and then some shots for fun and in the end some serious work to do what we set out to accomplish. Tuesday night was about getting a good headshot for Brittany, but in working we broke up that task with some fun things to try. It does two things, it relaxes us and perhaps helps us discover a better way to get what we want. We like to work our portrait sessions much like we handle our newspaper assignments--we work the subject photographically to get the best we can at the time. These were two of the out-takes from Tuesday's shoot. I don't believe either will be her headshot, but I think both will grab people's attention. SayerMotter Photograph by Richard Sayer
So, I photographed the Clown City Clowns this afternoon. They are based out of Meadville, Pennsylvania and they are currently offering a clown school. The school begins September 21st and runs until November 9, 2010. The cost for the school is $60 and concludes with a graduation ceremony. If anyone is interested in becoming a Clown City Clown call Jam at 337-2188.
Photo By: Harmony Motter
The purpose of a set of photographs is one of the things we need to know as we're making work for our clients. A model portfolio is different from a fine art figure portfolio, different from a glamour or retro portfolio and all are different than a professional portfolio. They have similarities, we want to create something stunning and eye-catching - we want to highlight the strengths of the subject and portray our subjects in a way that helps their purpose. Last night's shoot with Alycia was different in that we were trying to ride the edge of conservative enough to maintain the style of fitness and glamour that she wants to portray while not being so stuffy that we just create another humdrum portfolio of pictures that won't jump out at the people she seeks to attract and work with in her professional life. Photographing beautiful pictures of Alycia is easy--just point and click the button and you'll get a beautiful picture of a beautiful woman. But making the pictures that will showcase her range and do what she needs them to do--be professional and fun for her website....this is our challenge. I'm not sure this is one that will make her cut for a portfolio or her website, but I like the confidence she exudes in this picture and thought it would make a good featured picture of today! We shot a lot of photos, tried alot of things and even tried taking photos in bright red puffy shirt that made us think of Seinfeld's TV show about the puffy shirt. And this made us laugh and have fun making a few silly pictures too! SayerMotter Photograph by Richard Sayer.
From my shoot last night that ended only about seven hours ago. I shot a few pictures through a mason jar. I did a lot of this a year or two ago in a series of pictures I took of my TV set through the bottom of drinking glasses and jars. I've wanted to try doing figure studies, but don't think it would really work(at least not with the Barilla sauce jars that I've been using--the focus isn't there unless the jar is very close up to the subject.) I liked the way this one had an old style look to it and Sara's expression - distorted thru the glass was sort of sad and contemplative. As I was preparing to go to class--with far too little sleep I saw this sitting on the desktop from a few hours ago and thought I should post a second picture. I have another shoot tonight so I won't be looking at good sleep for a little while yet! If you see me in the next few day and you're carrying a coffee in your hand---I won't be held accountable for my actions. SayerMotter Photograph by Richard Sayer
Tonight was a fun shoot--portraits, but not really, fashion, but not really, old school film style, but not really. "I'm going to buy a cigar!" was an email I got earlier in the day....I knew it was going to to be a fun night of shooting. I didn't really count how many shot we took tonight, but it was a bunch and I feel really good about the range we achieved--everything from smoky atmospheric moody stuff to down right gorgeous glamor. Sara did a great job being loose and rolling with the poses and trying whatever seemed right with the light and the smoke and the clothes. We originally wanted to get sort of an old school film sort of look and found thats harder than you think to achieve, but I think we used that as a good jumping off point to make some pretty neat portrait/style shots. I really liked this one, its the only one I took out tonight to tone because I must get up in a few hours to teach, but I felt this one with its overall smoke and mood was very close to what we started out to get. SayerMotter Photograph by Richard Sayer