I really had a lot of fun photographing Leah and her sister and her mom together at their mom. We used almost entirely natural light. I brought lights and tried a few, but it seemed more fun exploring the house for the best light. I think when we began this business our idea was to mostly do this kind of work. Natural light moments in the clients home with their things and surroundings. I used to write a lot about how odd it is to go into someone business and stand in front of their curtains and then call it a portrait. We do know the importance of studio portraiture and that most people feel this is what a portrait is...and that's fine...we're learning how to make those images even better and hopefully raising the level of studio portraiture a little...at least we're trying. But this idea of a portrait in your own surrounds--though more difficult to accomplish, just seems more right and real. I keep going back to this hour or two thinking--thats it---thats photography---thats portraiture. SayerMotter Photographs by Richard Sayer. Happy New Year everybody! No funny new years elf pictures of us--sorry!
Even at 8:30 in the morning I want to have fun making pictures. I don't really think any of us wanted to be up that early today, but we sucked it up and got the pictures we needed to get--plus some others....and then the girls had to hold practice and I had to get to work on the pictures before going to work at the paper. Here are some of the out-takes from todays shoot. I haven't designed the memory/sportsmates yet, but if I can I'll try incorporate some of the out-takes into them--even if they are in the background and small. SayerMotter Photographs by Richard Sayer
This was another Christmas present that I had to sit on and not mention or show. The top one was one of the designs but I wasn't sure if it would hold up in a bigger poster size picture because the action shot was a little grainy and not tack sharp. These combined action photos of Noah with studio shots I did over the summer or fall during his senior picture session. Last year I made a poster for his dad to give to him for Christmas as well. I keep thinking I need to really market and push this idea further, but that would mean I would have to market..... thats the tough part about being involved in a business you love, you just want to do it, not take time to try to sell it. Someday maybe we'll have enough clients we won't have to worry about that or be able to hire someone who loves to do that so we can do our thing....someday! Right now it is just great fun making things people seem to like and want us to do more of. SayerMotter Posters by Richard Sayer
I've been waiting and waiting and waiting to share some pictures that were a surprise Christmas present. Well Christmas is over and I have three of my favorite photos of the year taken over a month ago that I have saved so I would spoil the surprise. Leah is the new daughter of John and Jill and sister to Lizzie(whose feet and legs appear in photo above.) I've had fun photographing this family now twice in what I hope is years and years of meeting up and making some photos. Two of my favorite photos of 2010 were of the Hyatts and now three this year....they are great subjects...and people! SayerMotter Photograph by Richard Sayer. I'll post my other favorites over the next few days!
I've learned that if there is something I think I would never do... well I'm destined to do it. Earlier this year I said I'd like to have this giant wicker chair a friend was looking for a home for--now years ago I actually said to myself--god no I'll never have one of those giant wicker chairs in my photo studio(they were a staple in photo studios for years). So now I have one in my studio. This fall I photographed a high school senior. While getting stuff out of his mom's car I saw these pink cowboy hats and pink boa's. I joked that we should put this stuff on the senior, a male athletic tough kid. When the shoot was over the mom handed me the hat and boa and despite thinking good god no thank you - I just couldn't say no, something inside me said I should not say . Last night I used the boa for the first time and made a few different shots. This one was sort of a joke, my subject just covered over her face and I said --stay there. 'Are you serious?" I think she asked. I do joke a lot, but seldom about pictures---ok I do joke a lot about pictures too to see what reactions I might get, but I was serious here and we made a few frames. SayerMotter Photographs by Richard Sayer.
After a couple days of being off(which means I only worked on photography stuff for a few hours instead of 8 to 12) I began this day early by photographing the Saegertown boys basketball team and have another shoot in a couple of hours. For a several Sundays and Mondays this fall I was photographing 2-4 gigs on those two days and then spending the rest of the week when I was at the newspaper or teaching--working on the photos. Super-busy. So to have a couple days where I pretty much only worked on a few page designs and some wedding photo editing, I feel like I was on vacation. Even today seemed somewhat relaxed to me. When I got home and downloaded the team and individual pictures I felt like getting started on designing the memory Mate. This is often what parents get because it combines a team photo with the individual shot. When I decided to do these a couple years ago I made the decision that I wouldn't use someone else's design templates and I would design my own. And I'm planning to never repeat one--although I may steal similar thoughts down the road. I'm not sure if this will be the end of this design, but I wanted to get it done and have a look at it over the next few days and then tweak it or fully re-design---it is similar in design to the golf memory mates I made earlier this year. I also like to let the kids decide on their own poses instead of the traditional poses, which are fine and I might try to do a very traditional pose soon with a team, but do it with cool lighting and a low angle---maybe the wrestling team???? SayerMotter memory mate (or sports mate) design by Richard Sayer.
This was my first multimedia piece using audio interview and photographs, though it is rough in quality it is still my favorite, probably because of the subject. I met Ray when I began working at The Meadville Tribune 14 years ago and photographed him many times over the years until he passed away in 2010. Since it is Christmas Eve I thought I'd share his story once again. I can still hear his voice chuckle as he would tell me..'Richard, you've made me famous kid!' He was proud that he was on the front page of the paper every year---this was started by Jim Stefanucci who would make an illustrative portrait of Ray as Santa each year. When I started at the paper I asked to do something a little different, I wanted to follow 'Santa' o his last day of work during the year--Christmas eve. So in 2000 I spent from 5 a.m. til after 10:30 that night with him shooting roughly 700 pictures. Then over the years I photographed Ray every year as he did his thing. He was a very nice man. Meadville Tribune and personal photos by Richard Sayer. Click here to read a story I wrote about him.
Everything from my days as a photo student 25 years ago a self portrait taken this Sept. in a ladder fire truck bucket about 6 feet up that was labeled favorites of year portrait---which means when I took it I thought it should be the portrait I use when I make my best of 2011 slideshow for my work at The Meadville Tribune. Each year I put together my favorite pictures of the year in a slideshow, sometimes with audio, but most of the time just captions with written explanations. I'll be piecing this years together sometime this week coming up and maybe this will end up being the portrait I use---we see--I took a couple others along the way as well. Photographs by Richard Sayer. We might even do this with our favorites from SayerMotter Photography. It has been a really great year for us.
I save everything twice--three times--four times. I keep things around and then don't remember for sure If I saved them...even though I am sure I saved them and then save them again. I have to throw things off my computer a lot because I use up the space very quickly. So I burn discs and store things on portable hard drives and server hard drives....and still I don't like to throw the images away. As I was looking for something to post tonight I decided to go into this one folder on my desktop which then contained several other folders with a lot of images. I could've kept posting pictures and kept posting pictures etc... I only got a small way through the folder. Tomorrow might be round two in this folder. Some of these images are old and some were new--some are portfolio and some are snapshots---the organization of this folder is in serious question, but as I said--I save all my images....at least the ones I like. Photographs by Richard Sayer.