Three siblings, ages two, four, and six entered the room to find Santa Claus sleeping in his chair. Leaving the wary two-year-old behind, the other two approached Santa. He woke up with a, "Ho Ho Ho" and addressed them by name. Seeing his older brother and sister interact with Santa the youngest eventually joined the fun. The magic began! becoming lost in Santa's world the kids enjoyed an evening like no other. First they watched Santa find their names on the "nice" list and then go to the globe to have them point out where they lived to make sure he could find them on Christmas Eve. Spreading a special dust on the globe he confirmed their location. The children stared as the sparkling dust left Santa's fingers and fell to the globe. Next the Claus pulled out a small wooden chest and filled it with more special dust. Then with two hands he gave the chest to the now attentive children and explained to them that they needed to put the magic dust out in the yard in front of the house on Christmas Eve so Santa would be sure to find them. The kids painted with magic paint, helping Santa to finish toys. They decorated his tree and listened to the man in red read The Night Before Christmas. They shared cookies and milk and looked into Santa's bag to see all of the decorated gifts that filled the inside. All to soon their hour with Santa was over. Goodbyes were said. The family left the room with Mom carrying the small wooden chest with the special dust that would guarantee a visit from Santa Claus on Christmas Eve. What an unforgettable evening they had had, their own private time with someone known the world over! The time was absolutely magical!
One thing about being a pilot is you have to know something about weather. One of the things to know is that it can be difficult to predict but you have to anticipate anything. Monday afternoon a friend of mine and I sat in his truck listening to the thunder and watching the rain pour down in a store parking lot as we waited for someone else to join us. We were carpooling out to the Bonneville Salt Flats to meet up with other photographers from the Intermountain Professional Photographer's Association for an informal "shootout." But things were looking a little bit grim. By the time our buddy showed up the rain was dying down, but the wind continued to blow. The windsocks along I-80 as you enter the flats were pointing out straight as an arrow under the breeze! We pressed on. Things hadn't changed as we pulled up to our destination. The clouds were thick, the flats and the mountains in the distance were pretty drab. The hair on the girls who had driven out with their fiance's to model for us was flying everywhere in the hurricane winds (ok - I'm exagerating just a bit!). I could imagine the lights and umbrellas flying off to who knows where. But I noticed a bit of blue sky on the horizon. That told me if I was lucky the sun would break through the cloud cover prior to sunset. Taking some risk I decided to leave the group and hike out across the salt to set up for some spectacular color, but you never know. I found a good spot, set up my tripod and camera, and began the wait. I shot a few images as I waited. After a good hour I watched the sun start to peak from underneath the clouds and light up the white salt, contrasting against the dark mountains in the distance. No sooner did that happen then it disappeared and a rainbow appeared on the east horizon. Finally the sun dipped behind the mountains and the clouds took on spectacular color. When it was done I had my shot. You never know what will happen, but on this day it was worth the anticipation.
After what seemed like an hour of riding up a very bumpy road I was beginning to feel sea-sick; and I never get sea-sick. The road was barely wide enough for the medium sized pickup truck we were in. The switchbacks were the worst. To get around the second one my friend had to make a 90 degree turn and pull the truck up the embankment until we seemed to be pointed straight up in the air. Next he backed down until I thought we were going to go off the cliff behind us. Only then could he make an additional 90 degree turn and continue up the road. The entire trip seemed like a Disneyland "E" ticket ride! Finally we arrived at a small, but beautiful log home that sat on over a hundred acres of private land up in the Wasatch range. I was floored! The "cabin" had running water fed by a reservoir of water under the mountain. It was beautifully furnished and had electricity and even a flush toilet. This was my friends get-a-way. It was a place to lose himself in though and rest from the cares of day to day life. I was out in the backyard of my home. The House sits on a hill so I was above the roof line hoping to photograph a nice sunset. That's my get-away. Sitting next to the camera looking for light and subject to portray through the eyes of my lens. Unfortunately the color did not really appear, but while I was sitting there I noticed my daughter had climbed onto the roof to take some photographs with my Ipad. The roof seems to be her getaway as I've seen her on it many times. Not getting a good sunset image I decided to change gears and walked down the hill until I was level with her resting spot. I called to her and did some minor posing (not wanting to distract her into falling off of the roof.) until I got an image I liked. I had no real way to control the light, but the evening provided a soft sweet light that made the portrait work. The blueish tones give the image almost a monotone look so I was quite happy with the results even though the session was not planned. The point is that I was in my place to go when this opportunity made itself available and I was able to take advantage of it. This is a fun image with a story to tell of a young woman and her place to go. Do you have a place to go? #tedyorkphotography #aplacetogo #ontheroof
For most people, no matter who you are, there is always someone smarter, richer, or better looking. Someone in the neighborhood has smarter kids, a larger house, or a better job. The list goes on and I've felt it. But by the same token there are plenty of people on the opposite side of things, maybe not as hansom, a family with a troubled child, an unhappy marriage, etc. That's how I look at children in foster care. I rarely know the details of their background as they walk into my studio, but I do know they are or have had struggles in the past. I wonder if they have suffered abuse, or were born to parents not capable of taking care of them. Who knows? What I do know is I have met many of them who are upbeat and working to make lemonade our of the lemons that have been dealt to them in life. There in lies the reason I have stuck to this endeavor, shooting for the Heart Gallery. I've done photography for various charities over the years and found I get the most satisfaction out of photographing foster children. I can't tell you the feeling I have had presenting a framed portrait to the new parents of children they just adopted. Unfortunately it doesn't come often enough. Getting these older kids into new, permanent homes seems to be very difficult. I'm trying to help by creating portraits of these you guys and gals that somehow expresses the beauty they have inside. Hoping my photography might attract someone who is willing to accept a foster child's struggle and love and teach them keys to success. As I talked to the older of the two boys I was impressed by his goals and desires to attend college. His goals included becoming a psychologist and a motivational speaker - I assume so he could help others. We had a great time together as I showed him some of the images I created. I was worried about what challenged the younger boy would bring as he had a difficult time concentrating on one thing. But as I began to shoot I realized he had a beautiful face for classic images. I showed him some images and he suddenly seemed willing to sit for me and actually hold a pose. It didn't take long to real him in, get the shots I needed for the gallery, and get him onto the next thing he wanted to do - look at the flowers and wildlife in our gardens. As they drove off I could not help thinking about the great time we had and what a pleasure it was to get to know them. (For those who might be interested in looking into adopting either of these two young men you can check out the following links:
I'm late on this week's post - I know. But here is what happened. I took a two-day trip up to Wyoming for some photographic education and some personal shooting. That is what I had planned on blogging about - not what you are about to get. I'm a pretty active person, I like to keep moving. My theory is that when you quite moving you die. But what that thought failed to take into account was what happened to me after my road trip. A photographer friend of mine accompanied me on the trip. We left on Friday hoping to catch something interesting to photograph, spend the night in Kemmerer, Wyoming, then head up to Big Piney in the morning to attend class and drive home. Saturday was a long day. When I got home I unloaded only the essentials out of the truck, downloaded my card, and headed to bed. I was exhausted. I thought I slept pretty well, but when I woke up Sunday morning some respiratory illness was killing me. I didn't have the energy to even go to church - I was wiped out. I had been asked to model for another photography class on Monday, but by Sunday afternoon I sent the instructor a text and backed out, I was headed to the doctor! By Monday afternoon I was on high powered antibiotics and other stuff. Aside from the class on Monday I was planning to spend much of the week photographing the wildflowers up in the hills above my home, a project that required a considerable amount of energy just to haul the camera and tripod to the locations. But my accomplishments for this week so far? A big fat Zero! No energy! By Thursday morning things started to change. I was finally starting to feel like I could function again. It was a good thing because I had tentatively booked a very important head-shot sitting for Friday. Late Thursday night I discovered the because of my "big fat zero" I forgot that I had shoved everything to one side of the studio last week to photograph something rather large and studio all needed to be put back together. I will have to get up in the morning to clean the studio and make preparations. During my "big fat zero" time . Today is gong to be a challenge! I guess my point is, your health is important and it can change on a dime. And it is very difficult to accomplish anything when you are Wiped out! #tedyorkphotography #headshotsforbusiness #lookgood #keytosuccess #dontgetsickever