Friday, April 15, 2011

Flare for the Dramatic: An Actor's Senior Portraits

It's senior portrait season and I have been having an absolute blast. Betty Marie is an incredible performer who gave me creative freedom to explore different styles of portrait photography during her senior portrait session.

The weather was beautiful, so we took advantage of the great lighting and scenery around my studio.

Inside the studio we were able to achieve a huge variety of looks together.

Betty Marie brought all kinds of great outfits; her car was stuffed. She even brought this amazing heart pillow. She had no idea how we could use it, so I was excited when we nailed this shot.

Our mutual love for theater helped us create fun shots that incorporated some of her favorite accessories.

After that, the shoot got messy. Betty Marie liked my past work with powder, so we continued the series together. Working with powder constantly surprises me with the new shapes it creates.

After nailing this shot, Betty Marie was completely covered in powder. Even though both she and the studio were a mess, we snagged this shot with a great pearl necklace she brought in.

For her last look, Betty Marie wanted to work with water. I set up a small pool outside and lit the set with studio lights after sundown. Even though it was freezing, Betty Marie toughed it out and we did some great work.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

A Musician's Senior Portraits

I love senior portrait shoots because they allow for so much freedom. Catherine is graduating with a music performance degree in flute, so we not only incorporated her instrument into some of her photos, we also snuck in a few headshots.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Carnival in Recife!

After spending time with some great friends in Recife, I got my first chance to party like a real Brazilian. Just about everyone has heard about Rio de Janeiro's legendary Carnival, but few realize what exciting festivals are held in Recife during Carnival season. Parades, fireworks, singing, and dancing all combined to make an incredible night.

Walking through dense crowds made it difficult to see anything other than children on parents' shoulders.

I shoved to the edges of mini parades to get the best views.

Dancing crowds and music from all directions left my head spinning.

My absolute favorite part of the Recife Carnival experience was frevo. Frevo is a style of music and dance that is most popular in Recife and the surrounding state, Pernambuco. Initially, I thought frevo was just hopping around with a tiny umbrella. It turned out to be one of the most thrilling forms of dance I have ever had the privilege of watching.

Frevo dancers are true athletes, displaying the flexibility and strength of gymnasts while spinning umbrellas with the agility of baton twirlers.

The most unique aspect of frevo dancing happens when the dancers jump up on to their toes in tennis shoes. They are like rough and tumble ballerinas, balancing and twirling on feet bent into positions I have never seen before.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Recife, Brazil

After rustic adventures in the amazon and Ilha de Marajo, I was relieved to rejoin civilization in Recife. I was mainly interested in experiencing Recife's Carnival, but first I took a few days to photograph the many different sides of the city.

First, I escaped to some of Recife's most beautiful beaches. They were far enough from the center of the city that I could capture the skyscrapers of Recife in some of my beach photos.

I returned to downtown Recife to explore the local markets. They were bustling with people and fresh fish.

I had the privilege of visiting some beautiful old churches as well. I was particularly impressed with this statue of Christ. The hair on the statue is made of real human hair from the time the statue was built.

The most spectacular artistic experience I had in Recife was visiting Oficina Brennand, a magnificent workshop/exhibition space created by Francisco Brennand. His unique creations are the result of 34 years of tireless devotion to his craft. The entire complex is a truly impressive work of art.