I got a chance to hang out for about 45 minutes on Sunday with one of my favorite family and take a few frames of them and their friends for their annual family plus Christmas card. I met the family years ago. I was working on a story about Alzheimer's disease and Barb and George were fully involved with it having George's mom living in the house. I asked and they granted me access to spend a little time with them and see first hand what the story of AD was like for the loved ones as well as the victim of the disease. I got to know a little bit about the family and through the years we've managed to stay in touch and even get together on occasion to enjoy each others company. George turned me on to the idea of a Sunday beer. So we exchanged a couple beers since this was a Sunday shoot. I like how casual they like their photos and I tried to keep that feel for them. And they wanted to include the creek so I tried a few things. This one below I liked a lot and I like moments where people laugh and are themselves so I like the one up top too. Photos by Richard Sayer
I'm not really a fan of vandalism. Graffiti is often crap--though I've seen some incredible stuff too--and I certainly don't appreciate people starting fires or wrecking property that doesn't belong to them. But I do find myself taking advantage of the 'marred and scarred' whenever I see it. Yesterday I was taking some pictures in the afternoon light of the parking garage when the sun had the audacity to sink behind radio tower hill and ruin everything I was hoping to get there. So we had to re-evaluate and move on. Instead of wasting the trip, I saw this burn mark, actually the model Janae saw it and asked what happened there. As I drove up the top level explaining how there have been several acts of vandalism in the garage I began thinking about the shape of the arch created by the smoke and thought--why not? So we made some pictures using it as a compositional device. The color even worked out with her outfit which was meant for a very different style of shot had the light not gone away. SayerMotter Photograph by Richard Sayer
Today I had 4 clients between 9:45 a.m. and 6 p.m. My second client was a portfolio shoot with Christian Perrine. We photographed headshots and several outfits and poses. At the end I asked if there was anything else Christian wanted to try and she had a pose in mind on a table. We didn't had a good table to use so in trying to improvise we tried a couple chairs and then I thought about adding a mirror (many folks know how much I shoot reflections so this isn't any shock). So ended a very successful shoot with some very successful improvisation and experimentation. SayerMotter Photograph by Richard Sayer.
After a small electrical fire put into question this weekends performances of the Nutcracker, everything fell into place and the Academy Theatre didn't miss a beat and the opening performance went off without a hitch. I went to try to get some behind the scenes as well as performance shots for the newspaper to go with a story that said that even though it could've been worse, the show did indeed 'must go on!' Meadville Tribune photographs by Richard Sayer.
Not only is it the time of year again for christmas festivities, its the time of year for story after story of Christmas festivities. As I was looking for a picture from last December to put on the newspaper's monthly calendat I stumble on this image I took about a community of Santas who go to homes in the Cambridge Springs/Venango area to give out gifts and dinners to families who are struggling to get by. I remembered saving this photo last year because of the apparent body language of the blurred Santa. I thought about how the holidays sort of wear us out and I thought this Santa just looked tired. He wasn't really, it was just the lighting and motion blur that seemed to make it feel this way. I also thought about the idea of Santa visiting all the worlds homes in one night. phew! That must make him tired. Meadville Tribune file photo by Richard Sayer.
One thing I hadn't really spent much time in with my photography of the last 25 years was developing my eye for portraiture. I studied portraiture in Photography School and learned a great deal about lighting and light/shadow ratios and composing the lights to create the shadows to best light the different shapes of faces out there. But I didn't really practice it much as I was a documentary and journalist photographer who didn't really like to pose. Over the last year I've been changing this a bit and working on developing this eye to serve my clients the best I can. I keep learning new things and improving, but I still like to take an approach that a pose is a suggestion only and that the subject brings more to the table than I do and its up to me to make sure they are relaxed and when they project the right expression that really makes the portrait special--all I need to do is be prepared and light it well and snap the shutter at the right time. And boy is that the fun part when that happens. This is a portrait of Aubry for her portfolio that I shot earl
Sara and BreAnn are, I would guess, pretty much best buds. They get along well, fight well and share moments of genuine love well. Its easy to have fun taking their photographs solo and together. They both love photography and are photographers themselves so they know what they want when they are behind the lens and they project that when they are in front of the lens. I'm pretty sure this won't be the last time I photograph the Peters girls.