pictureLOVE: mock wedding and controlled lighting workshop

Join us on June 13, 2010 for a special day dedicated to controlled lighting/off-camera flash and a mock-wedding!  Here's how the day pans out for your registration fee of $175; mock wedding ONLY, for pros who want to participate in this uber-fun day for some kick-a$$ portfolio work - $50 - please email for the super fun 'theme' info.  CHILDCARE AVAILABLE!!! $10/child full day, $5/child wedding only for models and/or photographers!  SPECIAL RATE for former DLS attendees, too!!!

10:00 am Wedding Theory: Starting at 10am sharp, we'll be launching into what I'm going to call wedding theory, which will cover the essence of how most weddings go down, what the 'money' shots are, contract considerations, and plenty of other wedding-ish stuff that is good to know about, like dealing with high-energy kids and mothers, goofy groomsmen, and camera-shy bridesmaids.

12:00pm Lunch Break: please bring a bagged lunch; coffee, tea, pop, juice & water will be provided as well as some munchies & snacks.  Please note this is NOT a catered event!

12:30pm Lighting:  Immediately after lunch, the lovely and talented Reanna of Blackbird will be walking us through some of the finer points of controlled lighting and off-camera flash.  Following the brief presentation on different styles and lighting effects, Hope will demonstrate how to set up and use a very simple studio strobe set-up and discuss some different places to find funky, affordable alternatives to expensive studio lights.  Reanna will demonstrate a typical on-location set-up and participants will have an opportunity to try out the infamous vintage Quirky Berkey strobe used for most of my studio-style work.

2:30 pm Mock Wedding: Following the theory and lighting portion of our program, we're going to concentrate on the two biggest parts of the wedding: the ceremony and the formals.  We'll accomplish this by spending a couple of hours shooting a mock wedding, complete with a couple of ceremony walk-throughs, a bridal party in full regalia, and a couple of other surprises that are sure you give you a good run for your money... as an added bonus, you'll have access to the Quirky Berkey if you want to do some indoor shots!

FREE PICTURES - models needed!!! I am recruiting up to 6 males and 6 females for this shoot.  Couples welcome - might be a nice way to get some seriously fun and funky free engagement or overdue couples photos!!!   To keep it interesting for the participants, please send an email to h dot walls at shaw dot ca for complete (top-secret) details...

newLOVE: born with wings

My son asked me on my way out the door tonight how I can do Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep sessions.  For a teenaged boy this isn't a morbid question.  In fact, it's a very good one, and deserving of a fair answer.  I thought about this on the way to my session and the answers came tumbling one after another. 

Because this is important.
Because every parent has the right to beautiful pictures of their children.
Because it's a gift I can give.
Because every baby deserves to be honoured.
Because every baby is perfect, even the ones born with wings.

Say a prayer in your heart for every child taken from us so soon, and for every parent who has lost a child.  Honour them, and you honour yourself.

My heart sings a lullaby to Baby V. and to his brave, amazing parents M & R and the tiny room stuffed with family, may you find peace within yourselves.  I honour you all.

bellyLOVE: anticipating a baby who loves... Pez?

One of my oldest and dearest friends got married to a beautiful and lovely woman, who passed my name along to some friends.  Now, when trying to drum up some ideas for this session, I got a whole life story from J., the Momma-to-Be pictured herein.  What she neglected to tell me, however, as follows:

a) her hubby has THEE coolest push-bike on the planet.
b) she collects Pez dispensers.
c) her husband and her are positively adorable together.

(We thought it would be fun to freak a few people out - they're really only having one baby :) ~smirk~)

Thank you for taking me on a lovely tour of your home and neighborhood, J&C.  I look forward to seeing you in 4 weeks (or less - April 22 is good, yes...) to welcome the little Mr or Miss!!!

togetherLOVE: hookin' up with the regulars

You know, once you've been in the photography business for a while, you develop relationships with your clients.  Unless you're really cold, it's impossible to avoid, because you inevitably develop connections with them with their children, with their lives.  They become people you think about in passing, wondering how they are doing, and what they are up to, and how much the kids have grown.  Sometimes, when they're your friend on Facebook, you go visit them and their kids in the hospital...

I've known this little family since J-poop was barely speaking.  In fact, all he said was, "No."  You could have offered him a truckload of chocolate and threatened to make his parents dress as ponies every day, and his answer would have been, "No."  J-poop is a little older now, saddled with a little brother who has the same affinity for saying,"No," as he had, but this adorable little family has etched its place in my heart, indelible as permanent marker.  D&S, thanks for making the time to hang out with me at the ridiculously busy park today.  It was, as always, a welcome visit. :)

week 14 & 15 DLS exercises: time to play with dollies!

So, this weeks' exercise is THEE funnest one EVER!!!  I'm sure these pictures will bring back fond memories for many of the previous DLS grads :)

This exercise is simple.

Your client is a family, and you need to get a set of pictures that includes but isn't limited to:

a) just Mom & Dad
b) the kids together
c) each kid individually
d) the entire family

The images should include some formal, some casual, and some candid shots.  Pay attention to composition, weird background inclusions, patterns and all that other stuff we've chatted about.  Oh, yeah - and did I mention your family MUST NOT be alive?  Here is an example:

Past workshoppers have used Barbies (like me), Little People, Playmobil people, dollar store plastic people, Potato Head families, and one person actually just used real potatoes and I'm secretly hoping someone out there uses toy soldiers, is into taxidermy, has apple head dolls laying around, or makes some marshmallow people for this year...

Get creative, be playful, and HAVE FUN!  Aim for between 20 or 25 pictures in your set.  Do this only AFTER you've sorted through your pictures from the workshop and uploaded them, though ;)

whole-lotta-LOVE: workshop gone WILD!!!

After spending the first half of the day blabbing away about how to pose people and why it's OK to tell a lady she has a hair growing on her chinny chin, I got to spend my afternoon SHOOTING!  YAY!!!  OK, OK - I know shooting only one day a month is self-imposed, but I MISS it, and had an amazing fun day today.  Our make-up application on our 3 gorgeous female individual models was generously provided by Chantal Berube - please email me at h dot walls at shaw dot ca if you have an upcoming wedding, photography shoot, or special event if you'd like to be put in touch with her!

Here are just a couple of the images from the portraiture workshop, which drew in 6 families and 4 individual models who were game for just about whatever we threw at them.  I tried to get a picture of everyone, but didn't succeed, so here's what I *did* manage to get (and I promise, no boys were actually hurt during the taking of these pictures - it was totally a staged punch lol):

This is one of my favourite models ever, by the way.  J is always up for a session, whether that means getting dressed in really nasty spandex and lace gloves, jumping into a cold icky lake in a wedding dress, or helping out with hair.  I love J.  Thanks for coming out today and lending us your mad hairdoing skillz and your beautiful little family!!!

iLOVE: the pace of life at the Cabana

Here's a little taste of how we spend part of our Easter weekend, chillin' out at the cabana going for walks, reading, playing guitar, sawing and chopping wood, and stopping to smell the flowers (literally!)  Sometimes it's better to just shut up and shoot!

Week 13 DLS exercises: get in the groove!!!

This week's homework is SUPER simple!  In preparation for working with models this Sunday, I would like you to do some research (read: surf the web!)  You might want to look for some or all of the following:


Get your head in the game!!!