Monthly Archives: April 2012
I had the pleasure of photographing the Bar Mitzvah of Aaron Jennis this past weekend at Temple Emanu-el in Providence Rhode Island. The reception was held at The Marriott also in Providence what a wonderful event to be a part of. Thank you to the Jennis family for having me! This fantastic event was put together by a great team of folks that worked extremely hard to accomplish what you see here. Thank you to Bonnie Gold of Gold Events she always does and excellent job! Thank you to Donna DiOrio from The Marriott for your hard work! And Siagel Productions who as always put on a great show!
This was a fairly involved portrait to create with a many meetings/phone conversations/and text messaging to talk about the concept and feeling that we wanted to create and capture. We created this cover shot of Theresa in what is the oldest working court room in the United States. Below are some iPhone photos I took for reference in advance of the portrait as well as set up photos in process of creating the portrait.
I wanted to have a very dark portrait but the room was filled with light so I set my camera to way underexpose the photo and added light to that dark exposure using my flashes. The photo was shot with an 85mm lens ISO 100 shutter 1/200 Aperture 5.6 The main light on her face up and camera left I wanted to be kind of harsh and I wanted the light to be only on her not the back ground, so I put a spot grid on it. I didn’t want the shadows to be too dark though so I put a ring flash on my camera at a very low setting this just nudges the shadows up a little but doesn’t get rid of them all together. And the 3rd light I added was shot through a soft box with a strip modifier on it I used this modifier because I wanted the light coming from behind her to be soft and just kiss her cheek and hair.
Here is the final portrait
I am proud of this very special portrait that I created for Grace Magazine of Theresa Ferryman. I sat down with Theresa to talk with her and was immediately struck by her warmth and intelligence. I was also struck by the gravity of her job. Theresa is a Prosecutor for CT Superior Court and she particularly deals with child sex abuse cases and she is very good at what she does. I knew that I wanted create a portrait that told a story about who is and what she does. I felt like the darkness of what she deals with everyday was in direct opposition to the lovely woman who I was getting to know. How to show both things in one portrait? What I settled on was a portrait in which she was lit in a very dark space, with the darkness being a metaphor for her work. I wanted the darkness to be all around her but to have her still feel friendly and thoughtful, but in charge, direct and unflinching.
What are your thoughts?
For the camera geeks, and photographers that want to take their images to the next level
This is how I created the portrait of Joan Dwyer from “All That Matters”
1st the concept: I sat down with Joan 2 times (with multiple phone calls and texts in between) and we chatted for about an hour each time about this portrait, this time is a very important part of my process. We talked about who she is as a person, a business woman, a mother, a friend ect… And I floated ideas for how to portray her in this portrait. One thing to note is that she was very nervous about being photographed as most people are (including myself) This time we spent together is so very important to making folks feel comfortable with the idea of being photographed. My idea was that I wanted to photograph her as a Goddess at rest. I wanted to tell the story of what I think All That Matters represents and what roll it plays in our community. She was very reluctant to be portrayed as a Goddess, because, understandably, she didn’t want to give the impression she thought of herself as high and mighty… But this is (as are all the Rhode Island Portrait Project series photographs) my conception of who she is. Who I think of her as, not who she thinks of herself as…
2nd the execution: We built this composition over time using different things that Joan had on hand at her place I wanted it to be symmetrical and balanced visually because Yoga is all about balance. I decided to light her with candles mostly, so I went to Job Lot and the dollar store and bought about 200 candles! We used every single one! I constructed the composition slowly, and when I had everything placed where I wanted it to go then I set the exposure for the room (see 4708) then I added the one speedlight shot through a softbox (see 4710) and last I lit the candles and made sure the light was right coming off them (see 4713) when I had everything set which took about 1.5 hours then we started taking photographs and pretty quickly we got the winner (see 4733)
Here is my exposure info: ISO 800 (thank you Nikon) Shutter 1/25th and F 4 on my 50mm lens
With a little photoshoping the portrait was complete! I removed the leg of my light stand and some debris in the back ground as well some optimizations of contrast ect…
Here is a backed up shot so you can see where my light was positioned
I have another installment of my very exciting portrait project. I love my community and there are some amazing people making Rhode Island a wonderful place to live. I have decided to photograph the people who are really making “IT” happen here in my community in a (hopefully) creative and fun way that tells a story about who those people are and what they are doing for their respective businesses.
This most recent portrait is of Joan Dwyer, the owner of All that matters which began in 1995 with a little yoga studio and a big vision, and has grown – under Joan’s guidance – into the largest non-residential holistic center in New England. Today more than 50 weekly yoga classes, an array of workshops, a retail store, and health care services ranging from acupuncture and chiropractic to massage therapy draw some 1000 visitors a week to Wakefield, Rhode Island.
I photographed the Power Plant in Providence Rhode Island this week Here is what I made. I think it is a lovely photo showing off what I have wanted to capture since I moved here in 1995. Sometimes good photographs take their time to come to the surface 🙂