From Clown to Beauty

A year or so ago I did a photo shoot for the Idiom Theatre here in Bellingham. This was for a production based around clowns. This was a photograph I got of one of the performers, Shu-Ling.

Clowns (103 of 436)_1

When I saw, about a week or so ago, that she had posted it on Facebook saying that she needed a headshot for grant applications for the new theatre and that this was all she had I knew that it was a great opportunity for me to offer my services on a voluntary basis. And so I met her at the theatre and we shot these photographs. It’s hard to believe that this is the same person!

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Katie is a local ballet dancer who wanted to collaborate with me to produce some fine art. So we found another local, a make up artist and the three of us worked to produce these images.


On a semi-regular basis I like to rent Inspire Yoga Studio in downtown Bellingham because it is a very large space with lots of beautiful windows and exposed brick as well as hardwood floors. There are also lots of electrical outlets which makes a big difference, of course!


This was the first time I’ve attempted something which I wanted to do for a long time which is to have the trailing white powder. I think that usually this is chalk powder but we used flower which seemed to work very well.


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Out in the Sticks at Midnight.

In the off-season I find I have more of a chance to get out into nature and photograph beautiful county. Last week a friend and I went off to the Lummi Ferry Dock. People may remember just how incredibly cold it was last week and I feel like I almost lost some fingers!


But despite the freezing weather it was very much worth it to capture these images. I was pleased to discover the difference just a few feet of elevation can make. I’m not gonna show you the shot that I took first but this one is the one I took when I walked down onto the beach and the lighting became so much softer. When I was up higher the central light just streaked across the sea causing a horrible glare. This is so much nicer, trust me!


I’m not sure what it is about this shot that appeal so much. Perhaps that is the stark nature or the cones of light coming from the three light sources but anyway somehow this reminds me of Scandinavia. The angled lines pull the eye into the centre of the frame which is also a good thing, of course.


A 10 second exposure renders of the sea as a soft mirror reflecting all the straight lines. I particularly love the ladder that is a detail that catches the eye on the right and the bird which catches the eye on the left.


Another stark image I like very much. The summer shows at five seconds and something about it looks like infrared. I also love the echo of the rather dimmer pole in the centre.

If you like any of these images in particular I would like a print please don’t hesitate to get in touch. I always love to sell images as prints and to imagine them gracing somebody’s wall.


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Emma From the Last Century.


Something that I really love to do is to bring a high level of art to my shoots. This often means needing to shoot purely for the love of the artistry and with no idea of earning any money!


I’ve been lucky enough to meet a local young woman with wonderful looks and a great ability to model. She is always willing to take on new projects and to share our creativity.


This week we went into the studio with a local hairstylist and make-up artist to produce them shots in the style of the 1910s, 20s and 30s. I hope you like the results. I am very happy with them.


If you know of somebody, male or female, who might be looking to put together a portfolio of work with an eye to getting into the modelling of fashion industry do please have them get in touch as I would love to talk with them and create something really special.

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Really Too Exciting for Words


You’ll have to excuse this post as it has no very pretty pictures in it. I know I am being a terrible nerd but I simply cannot hold in my excitement. I just received my new camera, the recently released and quite beautiful Pentax K5. It’s a funny thing because having spent so much money you would think I would be keen to show it off to my girlfriend but I have felt no such desire for one very simple reason. It really doesn’t look very different than my old Pentax K20 or even my Pentax K10 or, for that matter my Pentax istD. It’s just another beautiful black camera.

What is new about it is simply not on the outside, it’s what you’ll see when the pictures are processed. Frequently weddings take place in dark and beautiful surroundings such as the Lairmont Manor which is full of gorgeous oak walls. This can lead to very grainy images due to technical reasons too boring even for a blog entry as boring as this one! But no more. The K5 produces images so smooth, so silky in texture even at high ISOs (no, you don’t need to know what that means) that a shot snapped in low light can be just as beautiful as one shot in bright sunshine.
This is truly going to revolutionize my wedding photography. It will make little difference for landscapes (except nocturnal landscapes) or for studio portraiture but for weddings, it’s really going to be a night and day difference.

So tell your friends, tell your neighbors, tell Randy Gonzalez! Seriously, if you know of anyone wanting to get married please ask them to get in touch with me. I don’t think they will be disappointed.

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A Big Smile

A Big Smile

Ahh, the joys of photographing babies! Where would the struggling genius be without a constant stream of brand new little humans to immortalize? It saddens me to think of all the parents who simply don’t get any shots of their little ones and then regret it in later life. Can there be any greater tragedy? Well, yes, clearly there are many but the alternativces to those others do not result in an income stream for me so I have less interest in those.

Caleb enjoys my tasteless humor.

I wonder what it is that makes children like me. Perhaps it’s the rare opportunity to be someone’s intellectual superior or maybe it’s the goofy facial expressions I produce for them. Anyway, whatever it may be, when a kid comes into my studio it is rare indeed that I can’t weedle a smile from them.

Big Dog Head

A set of fine props can really aid a photo session. In this case the family brought in Barnabus, the big, tan dog. As you can see, he is a VERY big dog. What you can’t see is just how gentle he is.

He goes down!

Of course, props of this size, irrespective of their demeanor, can cause mayhem simply by stretching. Apparently this is Grandma’s favorite from the shoot!

Old style.

And this is mom’s!


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Avery is a delightful young man of only seven months. I can’t describe how easy it was to photograph him. He smiles, he giggles, he looks at me and loves the camera.

I did have a realisation whilst doing this shoot though and that is that I need to make up a few small sets of toys, one for each age group. Probably should be classic items such as Crayola crayons, wooden trains and so on. This shoot really worked but, had Avery been less excited about being in front of the camera some distractions might have been a good thing.

When I say I had nothing I am not actually telling the truth. In the foreground here we see Squirrel who was one of my favourites when I was a nipper. Avery showed about as much interest in Squirrel as my daughter Ally did i.e. none. Ahh well, never mind, Squirrel, I still love you.

I also improvised with my hat.

And finally this, the classic baby shot. Lovely!

If you look closely you will see that Avery’s skin is amazingly flawless. Now far be it from me to say that a babys skin is not actually flawless but…well, they ain’t, especially in winter. So what’s a photographer to do? Well, I have to thank Clint for turning me on to Portrait Professional which is my latest software acquisition. Perhaps I shouldn’t be giving away the tools of the trade but boy, does this program work miracles and take the effort out of producing perfect faces every time!

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