Venturellas:: in the studio!

     I’m still getting used to shooting in an actual, for real studio. It’s not easy.

     Many photographers start with a studio and don’t know how to work with ambient light once they step out of it. I am the exact reverse.

I have shot weddings, seniors, babies, families, maternity, creepy dolls, corporate group pictures, t- shirt models, cars, college professors, weather, movie-set production photos and cows without setting foot in a studio. I’ve actually worked ‘on location’ for so long now, that getting a studio scared me. Suddenly I go from having my pick of backgrounds, and as much space as I want to move around in and light from- to having an enclosed space; one background, comprised of a roll of white paper, and no natural light. To a photographer who has worked in hundreds of different situations each involving completely different light, a studio is TERRIFYING.

     This shoot, with my very faithful clients the Venturellas, marks me stepping out of that fear and beginning to feel in my element here in the studio setting. I still have so much to learn and a whole lot of experimenting to do as I take some time to admire those that have ‘conquered’ studio lighting (aka my photo-man-crush zack arias). But in the meanwhile, here are some shots, in the new studio I am thankful to have, that I am pretty proud of.

     Thanks to the Venturellas for being patient with me as I fiddled with my flash & tried a few things as we went… and a pre-emptive congrats on the new baby girl that the little family will be enjoying next year. And thanks to you readers for being patient with me as a rambled at you for awhile.

     I’m starting this off with some of my favorites, as usual from the unplanned shots… little Roman kept finding a way to sneak into the photo, whether he was supposed to be in it or not. 🙂

I’m also excited to have snuck my outrageous 70s salon chair into the shoot… as Christina is an (awesome) hairdresser, I told her she might be the only client for whom the chair would be fitting.

The Newman buildings’ centennial celebration- a good ol’ time in Downtown Joplin

    Yesterday was a time for celebration in downtown Joplin… the Newman building (now serving as city hall) turned 100. To mark the occasion, an event was held that included a display of a different car for each decade— from a 1912 Model T Town Car to a 2010 Ferrari. Former employees of the Newman building also spoke about their experiences & the building.

    I joined forces with talented makeup artist/aesthetician Leah Patterson (see her site here). She applied time period makeup and then I took pictures of folks in front of the amazing assortment of vehicles. Some very fun shots out of the day… opening with the model T being pushed into place for the occasion!

ava (baby’s 1st year, session 2)

    You were introduced to little Ava a couple of months back when she was still relatively new to the world… she’s back, & cuter than ever. This is definitely one of those sessions where it’s just hard to know when to stop… but that’s not the worst problem to have. 🙂

     Enjoy these shots of happy little Ava & proud mom Michelle.

Susan & David… awaiting Eleanor

    I have a new entry into the ‘baby’s 1st year’ program… baby Eleanor, set to arrive January 11th, 2011. Just two days after my own birthday & within a week of my own wife’s due date for our second child!

     The parents are Susan and David, some very funny & down to earth folks who hired me on after attending a friends’ wedding that I shot last year. The baby to come is already set on footwear with the Pitt state booties & red converse… and I was very happy to see both parents sporting converse as well.

      Can’t wait to take some newborn pictures this coming January!


Jessica & Chris

       Meet Jessica & Chris…a couple very much in love. We met up just outside the studio for this shoot and stayed downtown for the duration. These two were sad that they had to miss last months’ costume theme, so I said why not do it anyway? So after the outside shots, we wandered back up to the studio and did a few shots of the two just being goofy in pirate and superhero garb. I’m ALWAYS up for a little goofiness in pictures… 🙂

Jon + Whitney (to be married)

       I am ecstatic to present these engagement pictures to you. #1, I am very happy with this batch given the incredible location & the fun nature of the subjects, and #2, mr Jon Hamilton is an old friend, and also my long standing, go-to technical consult when it comes to photography. It is so great to be there to capture his engagement and, next May, his marriage to the very lovely Whitney Stark. I got to (officially) meet Whitney the day of the shoot, and the two just make a great couple. 

      Jon picked the spot for these pictures, and he couldn’t have done a better job, especially when it came to the inside of an old silo here in Joplin. 

      Here’s the opening shot. What is this vulgarity, you ask? This is me… doing what I had to do to get out of the silo to get a piece of equipment, and being dumb enough to hand my camera to a subject who is, himself, a photographer. 

 Sorry you had to see this. It won’t happen again.

Now on to the real pictures… congrats to the couple on their recent engagement, and look out for wedding shots of these two next Spring!

on the set of ‘blogger’

    Well here’s something a little different. A couple of my friends made a movie here awhile back- a competing short film in the ‘48 hour film project’ in Kansas City. Well… they won the competition. Best film, director, cinematography, music, etc. 

    so what was next? Make another movie, only for a bigger scale competition, aka the 2010 national film challenge. This time it was made here in Joplin MO, which meant I got to hang around the set (and yes, make a cameo as both a barfly and a body on a basement floor).

This whole experience also meant ME holding a reflector for someone else, which was both surreal and refreshing. And of course, I did take some shots of my own during production. 

     INFO: The film was helmed by the very talented Derek Hammeke & Colby Williams, & features ctress Shelley Keezer as the ‘star’ of the show, and my best friend Ryan Larson as the leading male. That’s not to mention the graphic talents of my office mate Matt Spiel for the credits, the outstanding music of formerly Joplin-based composer Tony Anderson, & the hard work of several others who labored over a mostly sleepless weekend to make this 7 minute thriller within a two day deadline.

     Here is a link to the movie itself, which I suggest you watch before looking through the pictures…

   And here’s some behind the scenes snaps of movie making magic. 

And then my very favorite… my own set up, a shot taken as more of a ‘poster’ image just for the heck of it.


     Brennon picked his own spot for this shoot, and I’m so happy that he did. We met up on some family farm property just outside of Golden City, Missouri—  the rustic scenery combined with a spectacular sky and a beautiful classic car made for some photographic magic. (Is that a song? It should be if it isn’t.)