Dec 19, 2015

16 Months Old

 
    16 Months - 1 by Jay Scott on 500px.com
 
 

If some of the adults I've photographed posed half as well as Fiona...

 
    16 Months - 2 by Jay Scott on 500px.com
 
 

How fast she has grown. Have a look back to see her four month photo.

She's very good about not touching what she shouldn't, in fact, she always gingerly steps around any light stands or gear, but no tree means no temptation. We're going to my parents' for Christmas so we'll enjoy their tree and set ours up again, next year.

 
    16 Months - 3 by Jay Scott on 500px.com
 
 

I have no doubt my mom will recognize my favourite Christmas book, from when I was a kid, in Fiona's hands.

Dec 13, 2015

My Contribution to Gary & Carrie's Big Day

 
    Celebration Centerpiece by Jay Scott on 500px.com
 
 

I think I may have been to my second favorite wedding, my own being my favorite. Cousin Gary, and his now-wife Carrie, had a very informal, casual, friendly and humorous wedding. The officiant that married them new them and was able to throw in a lot of good humor to the ceremony. Following the ceremony it was a casual bite on desserts, followed by cutting into the amazing, gluten-free, cake made by Arleen of Gnarly Cakes, wife to the groom's best friend, Arlen. That's not a typo, Arlen is married to Arleen and is best friends with Gary, who married Carrie.

Arleen did an amazing job on this heavy, four tier cake, that was originally going to be six. They said that carrying it in was quite a task and were hopeful that the table it was set on would bear the weight. It did, thankfully. They were a little bit behind schedule getting to the church and, so, I did not quite as much time to photograph it as I would've liked but the results are just fine with me.

Originally there was the potential that I would photograph the wedding. Seeing the church, I think I could've managed to cover the ceremony and I'm pretty sure that wherever they had their pictures done before the ceremony, I could've made do. However, it has been such a wonderfully warm and dry fall that now since we have received some snow, and it's the soft sticky kind that I get stuck in much more than very cold, frozen snow, I'm glad I wasn't the one to do the photography.

So, wonderful job on all of the aspects, Arleen. I've tasted some perfectly fine gluten-free foods, but this was superb. Everyone appreciates the effort you went to to make it happen, just days after getting home from Mexico. I hope I soon have the opportunity to photograph another one of her masterful creations.

 
    Celebration Centerpiece - Detail by Jay Scott on 500px.com
 
 

Dec 8, 2015

Help-Portrait Saskatoon 2015 and an Update

It has been a few good months for me. First, were a pair of excellent ultraviolet shoots. Three of those photos were published in December's Xpressions Magazine. I'm no prude but there is a fairly provocative slant to that magazine, so be warned. I'm looking at getting some tear sheets from them for my own keepsake and distribution. The second excellent part of my month was winning a pair of flashes and a transmitter from Midwest Photo Exchange. A few of my flashes were due for replacing and these have remote adjustability, which saves a guy in a wheelchair a lot of effort not having to run back and forth to adjust power levels, especially when the lights are up high or in remote locations. Now, I just need about three more.

Then, following Help-Portrait, which I will talk about in a minute, I sold a large canvas from Underground Coffee on 20th Street. I have had my work hanging there for over a year and it was nice to see something sell. I will use the funding to have another print made to replace the first one and keep my inventory up so that I'm able to at least have my work displayed somewhere in the city, at all times. And, finally, was the huge effort of Help-Portrait resulting in a very successful day, if I do say so myself.

 
    Help Portrait Saskatoon Shot of the Day 1 by Jay Scott on 500px.com
 
 

If the lead photo doesn't demonstrate that Help-Portrait Saskatoon was a success, I'm not sure what would. Despite our hour-long wait-in-the-parking-lot-until-someone-lets-us-in meeting, it was a great day. When you plan 90 minutes of set up time, to get everything in good working order, work out any glitches and make sure everybody is aware of their places and duties, you count on at least a good portion of that amount. We didn't get let in until 9:15 AM, we were supposed to be let in at 8 AM and we had the usual fun of stressing in the parking lot, then trying to keep our clients happy and occupied while we hastily set up to get things underway... for 9:30!

 
    Help Portrait Saskatoon Shot of the Day 5 by Jay Scott on 500px.com
 
 

The huge irony of it, was that one employee of the Lodge was on her way by, going somewhere else. She stopped to ask if we were with Help-Portrait. We said we were and asked if she was there unlock the doors. She wasn't. The number Bruce was given to call, in case/when something like this happened was not being answered and the person who was to unlock the doors didn't even know they were supposed to be there. Thank goodness this employee drove by so we could eventually get in.

 
    Help Portrait Saskatoon Shot of the Day 3 by Jay Scott on 500px.com
 
 

Now, anyone who knows me, knows that I am fair and forgiving, but straightforward. This was uncalled for. We've appreciated having the location provided for us without charge and we've always given them a donation in gratitude. Renting a place, and having the sway of a paying customer is starting to look pretty good. The attitude of our contact was that of annoyance, when Bruce was checking in a few days prior to make sure somebody would be there. It was nonchalant when he spoke to her about the consequences of this error. He did check in a few days prior to make sure that everything was going to be in place. It was not.

 
    Help Portrait Saskatoon Shot of the Day 2 by Jay Scott on 500px.com
 
 

Recently I've had the pleasure of working with some professionals in the makeup, modeling and agency industries. Their punctuality and professionalism cannot be matched. Being able to rely on someone to do what they say they will do, when they say they will do it, is something that shouldn't be rare, but it is and appreciated. When the significant error of someone negatively impacts approximately 70 volunteers, and the 364 clients we serve, you'll excuse me if I'm a little irritated.

Despite that, we pulled it off, everyone came together as a team and there were a lot of great smiles, happy people and fine photos made.

 
    Help Portrait Saskatoon Shot of the Day 4 by Jay Scott on 500px.com
 
 

If I may sound a little conceited, if there's one thing I know it is lighting. At our rehearsal the week before, there was concern over my decision to use only one key light, the light that illuminates the face and does most of the work. When I learned most of my lighting it was from a talented photographer, who came from a newspaper background. Newspapers typically do not like dramatic, artistic photos with deep shadows. The breadth of light to dark portions of a photo that show up well in newsprint is very narrow. As such, his style originated from a place of shooting for newsprint, with lighting free of deep shadows and bright highlights.

Slowly I'm working my way towards something a little more dramatic, but still somewhat safe. I realize that the portraits that we made on Saturday have room for some artistic flair but not so much edginess that you risk inaccurately portraying the person your photograph. As it were, it seemed that people were fond of the light setup that I have chosen and hopefully next year we will continue to do better with our light than two lights at 45°, even power output and much less interest than a touch of shadow with rimmed highlights.

 
    Eight Years Old by Jay Scott on 500px.com
 
 

On a different note, our little "Poochie" turned eight, yesterday. Not as young as she used to be. Possibly more of a spaz, but still our Kiwi.

She was a great subject to learn a bit about TTL radio with my new LP180Rs and Phottix Odin, the prize from Midwest Photo Exchange I mentioned. I may or may not use the TTL. Manual mode is ingrained in my mind, deeply. What I will use is the ability to adjust power remotely.

So, that's probably it for me until the new year. I will be looking to arrange one more shoot before the end of the year and I have, what will be, an amazing cake photograph next Saturday. But other than that, there is unseen work to be done but it should all contribute to the quality of work that gets done in the new year, even if it only removes some of the tedious tasks, now.

Until then, Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and be well!