SayerMotter Photo By: Harmony Motter
I photographed Austin and Brandi yesterday afternoon. They are engaged to be married and asked that I shoot their engagement portraits. We braved the chilly Fall weather and travelled to Woodcock Dam as well as to Tamarack Lake. I like being introduced to new couples and hearing about when they first met, their first date and how he proposed to her...Neat stories!
SayerMotter Photo By: Harmony Motter
I recently returned home from a trip to Winterset, Iowa. It is the sweetest place on Earth. I first discovered Winterset in 1993, when I read the legendary love story and the bestselling hardcover novel of all time, The Bridges of Madison County by Robert James Waller. I fell in love with this little town and vowed that one day I would travel the dirts roads of Iowa. So much to my surprise, the book was made into a movie in 1995. I ran to the theatre to see it played out on the big screen and I loved it! In the Summer of 2006, I travelled to Madison County to see the six remaining bridges with my own eyes and with my own camera in hand. It really felt like a heaven made just for me. I don't know why and I can't really explain it. I just felt as if I belonged there. It felt like home to me! So, now in the Fall of 2011 I returned. This time, I spent more time with the bridges. I really tried to take in all that I could. Above is a reflection of Roseman Bridge. Roseman Bridge was built in 1883, and sits in its original location. The bridge was renovated in 1992 at a cost of $152,515. Roseman Covered Bridge has also been called the haunted bridge because in 1892 two sheriff's posses trapped a county jail escapee in the bridge. Legend says that the man cried out, rose up straight through the roof of the bridge and disappeared.
Hogback Covered Bridge is 97 feet long and was built in 1884, and is in its original location in a valley north of Winterset, Iowa. It was in use up until the mid 1990s, when a modern bridge bypassed it.
Cedar Bridge is 76 feet long and was built in 1883 by Benton Jones over Cedar creek north of Winterset. Cedar (also known as the Casper bridge) was one of 19 original covered bridges built in Madison County. The bridges were covered by order of the County Board of Supervisors to help preserve the large flooring timbers, which were more expensive to replace than the lumber used to cover the bridge sides and roof. In 1921, the bridge was moved by steam-powered tractor to its present location over the same creek, about a mile to the east. Cedar bridge is the last bridge open to vehicles. The bridge was destroyed by a fire set by an unknown arsonist on the evening of September 3, 2002. The Madison County Board of Supervisors have constructed a replica of the original bridge. Although the original Cedar bridge and its 119-year history can never be replaced, residents feel that rebuilding the bridge with the same methods and materials used in its original construction is a positive response from the community to this cowardly act.
Photos By: Harmony Motter
When I was toning a recent senior portrait shoot I wanted to try to do a fade on one side that looked like a reflection, as I began working on it I saw this almost kaleidoscope thing begin to emerge and just went for it. I'm sure its not going to end up being a picture the family orders, but, as I said before, the more experimentation I can do, the more things I can offer clients down the road. I'm thinking about the posters I made last year and might start trying to do these again soon. We'll see. So many possibilities! SayerMotter Photograph by Richard Sayer.
I have been shooting a lot of senior portraits lately. With senior pictures comes the challenge to find cool backgrounds. I mean, we as a business could go to some random website and purchase paper backgrounds that have been massed produced. But, I would personally like to find my own. I am always on the look out for funky textures, designs and colors. Recently I stumbled upon this blue and white building on the outskirts of town. I think that it is actually part of Lloyds Rental in Meadville and they are in the process of painting it. The paint was all scraped off and the grays and whites were showing thru. I thought that it looked great! But, I am sure that the business owners of Lloyds Rental would disagree with me. Perhaps if I ask them nicely, they won't paint it and I can continue to use it for my backgrounds.
SayerMotter Photograph By: Harmony Motter
I recently photographed Becky Fisher's senior portraits. Becky is a senior at Meadville Area High School. We were hoping for some outside shots as well. But, due to the nasty Fall weather we decided to spend all of our time in the studio. That was ok with me though. I think that we came up with some pretty nice shots. The photo above is Becky and a mirrored reflection of herself. I have to admit that I stole this idea from Richard Sayer who probably stole the same idea from Jim Stefanucci who probably came up with the idea on his own and shot it better than Rich or myself. So it goes...SayerMotter Photograph By: Harmony Motter
The latest Memory Mate designs I made were for a small catholic school basketball team. I think it is nice to have a formal arrangement, but I always want the team to interact somehow--afterall they are a team. So I usually set them up in some manner and then tell them to give me a 'attitude' pose and then tell them to lean on each other etc... I usually tell them to stick their tongues out too just to loosen them up and have a little fun(sometimes those are the best pictures!). So I try to have fun even with the static team picture. When the team is small I can also do things like cut out the individual shot(for big teams this would take far too much time to do.) Then its a matter of trying to figure out an arrangement of images that are pleasing and act as a memory of the year the student played on that particular team. I know these will end up in scrap books eventually and maybe even cut up, but its my hop that I create something my clients will want to keep as a keepsake--so if I think this way it is well worth the extra effort. I'm not one that can easily settle with the easy way out, even when the time and energy pretty much means I work for pennies--at least I still get to make pictures! SayerMotter Sports Memory Mate by Richard Sayer.
An artist Ferdinand Hodler was talking about similarities once and and he explained that every maple leaf is different and that you could search billions of them and not find two identical. And yet we can identify a maple leaf as such because it looks like a maple leaf. I'm not sure if he was talking about painting styles or how we just perceive everything. I think about that sometimes, about stereotypes--how it is unfair to stereotype because even if we witness similar traits or even actions, no to people are ever exact--not even identical twins, yet sometimes categorizing helps us understand people better. We can understand the mindset sometimes, even though we can't entirely know what each person is thinking or capable of thinking. Its always amazing to me to get to know some people a little better and learn the depth of their character. Today as was heading to a soccer game I saw this one red leaf and really thought about making a picture but passed it up---I've been a little fixated on leaves this fall for some reason. A few step later i saw the yellow leaf and thought about artist Andy Goldsworthy who would round up hundreds of leaves and sort them by color and then put them together in amazing visual ways--I didn't have time for this--I heard whistles and cheers and knew I was late to the game, but I did just snap one frame of the two leaves together. Not for any great photograph--though it is pretty, but because I was thinking about similarities and infinite differences! Photograph by Richard Sayer.
I haven't really had a chance to go through and edit the pictures from today, but I told Eric that I'd post one or two before the night was out. We had a rarity happen today, Meadville blessed us with ok weather when we needed it(ok the sun refused to cooperate for one of the shots I wanted to get--but overall I can't complain today!) We had a few laughs today and I think if Eric didn't have to get to hockey practice, that I might have even gotten him to do a funny picture wearing a pink cowboy hat and pink feather boa that was in his mom's car from a recent breast cancer awareness event(which by the way Eric's mom Kim gave me and is waiting at the studio for whoever wants a shot--Thanks's Kim!) Actually I'm kinda glad we didn't take that picture because the temptation to use it as the featured picture would've been too great and even though I get the sense that eric respects his elders--I'm pretty sure he could snap me in half like a twig!.In just over two hours we managed to snap several different looks and hit one location outside to get some shots with his bike. SayerMotter Photographs by Richard Sayer.
I have had the honor of photographing these sisters since they were in their momma's belly. Harmony and I had this concept that we wanted to really push forth called 'Photography thru life' which was to document someone or some family throughout their life-time. It is my hope that I can photograph these sisters and their parents, Eric and Aimee as the grow into teens and adults. I'll love to get the call to drive out to where ever they are living to do Scout's Senior pictures in 14 or 15 years and then again a couple years later for Emmy and then maybe get a call a few years later to do their weddings! I think it would be wonderful to someday have all of these shoots put together in a book. I know Aimee is really great about doing things with the photographs like making books and little announcement cards etc... I'm hoping to have another session with them soon to see how much they have grown since this session this summer. That and its fun to be around good people. SayerMotter Photographs by Richard Sayer.
One of the things I love about photography, and try to emphasize to everyone I talk to about photography is that we capture things we love to remember with it. Seriously. The one down side is that sometimes we remember the photograph more than the time. I have known Ray Borden for 40 years. This sounds funny to me saying this...but it is true. Ray and I became best friends probably in Junior High. I remember hanging out with him before school started in the cafeteria of the high school and we laughed and laughed. I think it was at that time I really knew what friendship was. My 'best' friends up to that point had somehow not kept up with me. Ray was different. With Ray we could get mad with each other and just know that was all it was(admittedly I got mad more with Ray than he did with me, but that was my being a jerk--not him!). I actually haven't seen Ray in a few years now, but still consider him my best of friends(now as we get older we have multiple best friends so Jim, Craig, Chris, Harmony and Sam and brother Bob are still right there too!), I guess its something in the history that we live that binds us. I have photographed Ray many times over the years and each of these photographs I remember the fun we had.. and I can't remember a bad time with Ray other than when we were teenagers and growing too fast for our own good--and again--it was me being a jerk and not Ray--Ray has been a consistent and great friend from the start! Not sure why I chose to write about this tonight other than I've been looking back a lot lately and I stumbled upon these old photos as I was looking to make today's post. Photography--has certainly---been a very very very good thing in my life! Photographs by Richard Sayer.