Help Portrait–Giving It Away on Saturday….

  The business of freelance photography is a tough road to hoe.  There are lots of professional  photographers marketing their services and delivering great images.  (There are even more amateur photographers posing as professionals who will take your pictures and deliver snapshots instead of well-lighted, well-composed, creative, heirloom-quality photographs, but that’s another blog subject.)

  You cannot just be a great photographer to make a living at it.  You must be a great business-person as well. 

  Inevitably, business means making money and we all need to do that to live our lives, but there is more to life than money.  Living a good life means a lot of different things to different people, but to me it means using what you have to help those who don’t have. 

  It means using my skills to enrich the lives of others and receive an emotional payday instead of a financial one.

  On Saturday, December 12, myself and about 15 other PROFESSIONAL, caring photographers will be giving our work away to provide free portraits for those who cannot afford them. 

  The event will take place at the St Petersburg Pier beginning at 10am and running through 2pm, or until the last person or family has been photographed.   The Walgreens store at 875-9th St North in St Petersburg has graciously agreed to provide a free 8×10″ print for each person photographed. 

  The event is called “Help Portrait” and was the idea of one photographer who thought it was amazingly sad that there are families in all of our own neighborhoods who cannot afford to be professionally photographed.  There are mothers who cannot even afford to pay for their child’s school portrait. 

  We want to change that.  We believe that every family deserves an heirloom legacy, a portrait session for their descendants, a professional, visual documentation of their life.

  You don’t need to register to be photographed.  You just need to show up. 

  Worldwide, there are more than 6,500 photographers and other volunteers taking part in this amazing show of charity.  These shoots will take place in more than 600 locations and more than 50 countries.

  This is the first year its been done.  Can you imagine the response next year?

  The group has already done some preview and test shoots around the country.  If you wish to see the impact a free portrait session can do for someone who’s never had one, watch the video on their web site:  www.help-portrait.com

   It shows people overcome with emotion because, just then they thought that NO one cared about them, they found at that people DO care about them.

  If you’re a photogapher, makeup artist, stylist or just want to volunteer, email me (heirloomfoto@yahoo.com)  or leave a comment here or call me at 727.504.9425.

  See you there.

Tim Boyles

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American Idol David Cook, Big Voice, Huge Heart

 

David Cook, Mahaffey Theater, St Petersburg, Florida November 27, 2009

  David Cook can sing, but that’s not the only reason I respect and admire him.  There are lots of great singers out there, but few that have a heart the size of a watermelon.

  David does and he shares it willingly with Lindsey Rose Belcher, daughter of FOX-13 reporter Charley Belcher.    I wrote about the bond between them in a previous post (http://timboylesphotography.blogspot.com/2008/09/do-whatcha-gotta-do.html).

  When I did that previous shoot with Lindsey Rose and Charley, I told them that I would love to shoot Lindsey Rose and David together the next time he came to Tampa Bay.    I thought that the bond between the two should be documented and that Lindsey Rose and David should both always have something tangible of each other to refer to when times got tough for them. 

  Lindsey Rose, perhaps, the next time she undergoes chemotherapy.  David Cook, perhaps, the next time he’s on the road for extended periods of time or maybe when he’s looking for inspiration for his next love song. 

  When David’s tour brought him to St Petersburg on November 27, I got invited to join Charley and Lindsey Rose when they met (and interviewed David for FOX-13) backstage in the hours before his concert. 

Lindsey Rose Belcher and David Cook

Lindsey Rose going in for the kiss

Lindsey Rose waiting patiently while Dad-Charley conducts his interview

   Of course, Lindsey Rose is the biggest star in the room.  She may not realize it, but everyone else that was there did.  This photograph above puts the focus where it really belongs. 

    This is the look I got when i asked David to put a kiss on Lindsey Rose’s cheek.

Reaction to request to kiss Lindsey Rose

    This is the kiss that followed.

A kiss for Lindsey Rose

    There’s something incredibly admirable about a man of his status and fame who takes the time and effort to make ONE little girl feel special.    He’s my favorite celebrity subject for that reason. 

  Charley says this is their family Christmas card this year:

Belcher Christmas Card 2009

    I know that my respect for David Cook is unbelievably high.  I can only imagine how Charley Belcher feels about David  and the time, energy and attention he pays to Lindsey Rose.    I can tell you that I think I caught a small  part of that emotion on film when Charley went in for the man-hug with a waiting David.

Charley Belcher goes in for the man hug with David Cook

    And, although it’s not very professional to ask your subjects to pose with you, I couldn’t help it during this shoot.  I mean, I was in the presence of a true idol to many. 

 My new favorite self-portrait with a star.

Self portrait with Lindsey Rose

   Lindsey Rose and I had a big laugh when we looked at the LCD of this shot. 

  I told her it was a perfect frame:  Lots of her.  Just a little of me.

  Thank you for reading.  Support David Cook.  Pray for Lindsey Rose Belcher.  Donate to organizations that fight childhood leukemia.

Florida Wedding Photography Made Simple

It was a busy few days. 

In the previous post, you saw a preview or Ryan and Julia Roeling’s wedding photographs from Saturday night. 

 On Friday, I had the pleasure of photographing the preparations, ceremony and reception for Lindsey Smith and Adam Johnson.  And, it was a pleasure even though it was the largest, most detail-oriented and specific wedding shoot I’ve had in a very long time.  Adam and Lindsey even insisted I bring a second photographer to the shoot, which is something I’ve always resisted.

  Why?

  The standards I set for photographs that are delivered to the couple are incredibly high.  I didn’t think I could find anyone who had the same  photojournalistic backround and experience and was willing to shoot a wedding.  For various reasons, many true photojournalists won’t photograph weddings. 

   I reached out to a former St Petersburg Times photographer I met and bonded with while shooting portraits of John Travolta and Kellie Preston.  He said yes.  We’re still editing the photographs, but I am impressed  by his credentials, personality, interaction with the couple and their guests and most importantly:  The Power of His Pictures.

    That’s the  focus of this blog. 

 How to make Wedding Photography simple:  Deliver great images.

  I believe in the Power of the Picture. 

  It must have impact, technical perfection, mulitple layers of interest, lighting that’s appropriate for the scene and evoke an emotion.

  Simple, eh?

JohnsonWedding0051BWweb

Lindsey's Pre-wedding Preparations

  It can be simple as you can see from Lindsey’s preparation photograph above.  It’s an incredibly simple composition and shot, yet it’s an incredibly complex, complicated moment as she sits in the chair having her makeup done, amid organized chaos inside the hotel’s Bridal dressing room.  Only she knows what, exactly, is on her mind at this moment.

JohnsonWedding0044web

Bridesmaid's Luscious Lashes

  Again, a simple composition, a true un-posed, unguarded moment amid the organized chaos of a Bride’s dressing area before the ceremony.  It’s also a striking image with power, beauty and drama.

  I always encourage brides to allow me to document these pre-ceremony times.   Often, these are very emotional times, with great opportunities to photograph unguarded moments that help to tell the whole story of the day.

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Wedding Rings on Wedding Dress in Extreme Black and White

 

  Simple, yet dramatic portrait of the wedding rings amid the details on the back of Lindsey’s wedding dress.  Yes, I flexed my artistic interpretation on this shot.  Yes, in case Lindsey  doesn’t like the extreme nature of the photoshop finish on it, I’m including a clean, very white version of it as well.

 

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Veiled Bride in Thought

  This is also from Lindsey’s dressing room as she had her veil placed on her and adjusted.  Simple photograph, simply-lit, but with a power about it because of the undeniable beauty of the bride, the woman in the backround (also veiled) helping adjust it, but primarily because of the gaze in her eyes.

  What must she be thinking, feeling?  I have no idea.  That’s Lindsey’s private, simple secret. 

    The simplicity of wedding photography goes beyond simple set-ups and compositions.  Those, sometimes are very complex and detailed, but never, ever time-consuming.  One of my roles as your wedding photographer is to make sure that the time spent posing for/with me is minimal.  Time spent with your loved ones and friends is always more important.

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Simple set-up, Simple Lighting, yet elegant portrait of an elegant bride

  That’s Lindsey before she left the hotel to get to the Church on time.    Due to the late arrival of Lindsey’s hair stylists, which pushed everything back,  the time we had to do pre-bridal glamorous portraits was cut down to three literal minutes.    We shot several simple set-ups in that time with the results being…..beautiful.

    I wish I would have had more time to do elegant bridal portraits around the breathtaking lobbies and lands of the hotel they were dressing in.  I didn’t, but I have enough experience with wedding photography to know that flexibility is one of the keys to staying sane and staying calm when no one else around you is.

  This is one of Adam’s portraits shot post-ceremony.  For this set up, I always put the bride in the front with the groom in the back (which I did before shooting Adam in the foreground).    This was the first time I ever brought the groom to the foreground and I truly like the finished product.  I am still learning, experimenting and growing.

AdamPortraitExtremeWeb

Firefighter Adam Johnson on his Wedding Day

    Adam is a firefighter, a manly-man who rushes into burning buildings and puts his life on the line to save yours.  I wanted to do a portrait of him that is extreme in it’s finish and, as always, powerful in its presentation.  (I am including a softer, cleaner version of it in the final delivery of images in case Adam doesn’t appreciate this interpretation.)

  This photograph has depth, mulitiple layers of interest, dramatic lighting and a fantastic main subject. 

  This photograph is Adam’s chance to be in the spotlight.  It is with a specific intent that you cannot make out Lindsey’s face, only the dimly-lit white of her wedding dress.  It is with specific intent that you can see the iconic presence of Jesus watching over the two at the In Carnation Catholic Church in Tampa.    It is with specific intent that Adam’s face is somewhat in shadow, bringing out the power, drama and masculinity of this Groom.

  Total set up and shoot time for this shot.  Probably one minute.  Perhaps two.    Complex Simplicity.

  (Experience pays off when hiring a wedding photographer in ways that you probably may never realize until the wedding day)

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Lindsey's Light

  I call this photograph “Lindsey’s Light” for two reasons.  One, the incredible, natural light that’s adding a little drama and beauty to this simple, photojournalstic moment at the reception.  Two, because of the joy in her smile and her gaze as she talks with the real Light of her Life, Adam,  during their first moments at the Rusty Pelican reception.

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Tipping the Bride during a First Dance

  Lindsey and Adam had obviously practiced their first dance a few times.  It was slick and smooth with twists and turns.  It was this portion, however, of their first dance that I was shooting  for.  It’s one of the moments when their eyes lock on one another like no one else even exists or is present.  It’s the electric connection between them that makes this photograph powerful. 

    It’s an important image that truly captures a special moment between them.  I tell my couples that you CAN  capture emotions like love and romance in a photograph.  This one does just that.

    It’s also simply-done when you have a photographer who truly knows photojournalism and values, above everything, The Power of the Picture.

  Throw in a great-looking, loving couple, adoring parents, siblings, friends, fellow firefighters and a few bubbles and you have the makings of  heirloom-quality, wedding day memories and images.

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Bubble-infused departure.

  Thank you Lindsey and Adam for trusting me to do this for you.

  Thank you for reading!

(Ask about discounts for active duty military men and women, firefighters, police officers and others who place their lives on the line for people they don’t even know.  I am available to travel Nation and worldwide for assignments)

Julia and Ryan’s Tampa Bay Wedding

    I can only photograph what’s there. 

    I stress that to the people I shoot for all the time.  Delivering photographs that have power, impact, drama, beauty and emotion is not just the responsibility of the photographer.  The subjects have  more to do with that than I do.    Not even the best photographer can photoshop romance or love into a photograph when it doesn’t exist between your camera’s focus point. 

  The subjects must provide those parts of the collaboration for this kind of result.

  RoelingWedding0455Web

  Mrs. Julia Roeling and U.S. Navy Lt. Ryan Roeling.

 

Mrs. Julia Roeling and U.S. Navy Lt. Ryan Roeling.

Mrs. Julia Roeling and U.S. Navy Lt. Ryan Roeling.

      Julia and Ryan are the perfect couple to shoot with.  They’re both confident and classy to begin with. 

      Basically, all I have to do is show up, set exposure and focus and press the shutter.

 

Mrs. Julia Roeling (Waters).

Mrs. Julia Roeling (Waters).

  Any hack with a camera could photograph her and have great results.    (It does, however, take a professional photographer with working knowledge of using, manipulating and controlling light, creativity, composition, camera control, working photojournalism, as well as the knowledge of how to inject and document emotion, and create drama to photograph her like THAT.   (Smile)

   Julia and Ryan gave me unlimited freedom to decide how to do their portraits.  So, how do you make those decisions? 

  As always, Julia was beautiful, elegant and regal on her wedding day.  She should be photographed in ways that capture and display those qualities.

  Ryan is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and an active duty Officer in the U.S. Navy. 

  He should be photographed to reflect a sense of power and presence, as well as to capture  his dignity, pride and masculinity. 

U.S. Navy Lt. Ryan Roeling on his Wedding Day.

U.S. Navy Lt. Ryan Roeling on his Wedding Day.

 

  I always strive to deliver images with power, drama and emotion, but this wedding held kind of a special responsibility to me.  I got my initial training and experience as a photojournalist in the Navy.  It’s one of the reasons Ryan and Julia told me that they hired me for the day.  

    Ryan is quite familiar with the level of professionalism and the incredible amount of training that goes into preparing someone for service in the military.    He knows that whether you’re a U.S. Navy photojournalist, a pilot, a surface warfare officer, a bubble-head (submarine corps), a cook, a yeoman, a security guard or someone’s wing man, that when you’re called upon to do your job, it happens.   Instinctively.

    And, one never forgets it.  I’ve been off active duty for more than 15 years, yet my shutter finger and my mind still function as a single unit. 

    There was one other reason I wanted to do an incredible  job for Ryan and Julia (and their warm, fun families and friends) is because I respect Lt. Ryan and those like him for the sacrifices they give to us all with their Military service.  And, of course, to Mrs. Julia for her new role as a Navy wife.  It’s also a very difficult, demanding responsibility.

  Stepping down from my soapbox, I will close with this:  I can only photograph what’s there.

  You’ve seen the romantic, formal photographs (albeit only a tiny, tiny fraction of them).  Believe me, those shots were only the beginning of what Ryan, Julia and, myself and my assistant Broderick Winn did together before the ceremony.    Ryan and Julia chose to see each other before the ceremony and to spend an hour together shooting pre-ceremony portraits.  It’s becoming quite the popular trend)

    But, of course Julia and Ryan like to do other things than simply appear regal.

  They appreciate humor and laughter.

One too many paparrazi in the limo following the ceremony.

One too many paparrazi in the limo following the ceremony.

  They understand and embrace love, romance and passion as in this shot from their first dance:

Romantic First Dance.

Romantic First Dance.

 And, Julia especially, knows the value of tossing a Coach purse as opposed to a bouquet of flowers to make sure that “All the Single Ladies” (ALL the Single Ladies), pursue the toss with vigor, passion and enthusiasm. 

 

Modified Bouquet Toss with a Coach Purse.

Modified Bouquet Toss with a Coach Purse.

    I can only photograph what’s there.   In this case it was romance and passion, laughter and love and  formal military protocol,  but also sexy shots, scenes from Top Gun, hijinks and highlights.

  PS:  If you’ve never seen their engagement session, see my main web site cover photo:  www.timboylesphotography.com

If you wish to be notified when their  photos are publically posted, leave me a comment or email.

Thank you for reading!

Headshot Hotel

  Headshots are important shoots.

  Your clients are counting on you to provide powerful images that cannot be ignored.   When your 8×10″ glossy  lands on a casting agent’s desk, you can be guaranteed that it will not be alone.  There will be hundreds of other smiling, two-dimentional faces looking up at them begging for the job. 

  The key is to make your headshot stand out,  jump off the page, grab their interest and imagination and ultimately book the job.  

Steve Atkins

Steve Atkins

   This is from last week’s headshot session with Steve Atkins.  He’s 23, works a full-time job outside of modeling, but desparately wants to do something else with his life.  And his looks.  And his personality.  And his charm.  And his warmth.

Steve Atkins

Steve Atkins

  Modern headshots are not traditionally delivered in black and white anymore, yet I thought this shot was particularly powerful in black and white.   Color in a photograph can enhance and enrich the photograph.  A black and white photograph must stand alone on the image itself.   I think Steve’s face and smile are enough in this case.  No color required to make this shot stand out.

  Oh.  One more thing.  Steve’s got more going for him than his killer smile, bright eyes and charming personality.  He’s also got a killer body, heterosexually-speaking.

Steve Atkins

Steve Atkins

Hardcore Steve Atkins

Hardcore Steve Atkins

    These are not traditional headhots.  The body shots are for his comp card, which for models normally consist of five different views of the model showing other sides of their personality and attributes. 

  One of your goals in shooting these is to provide different looks for the casting director.  Do they need a smiling, sweet-looking, handsome young man for the role?  Steve can do that.

  Do they need a tough, intimidating, photographically-frightening thug?

  Steve can do that.

  Do they need someone somewhere in the middle?

Steve Atkins

Steve Atkins

  Steve can do that too.

  The entire key to good headshot photography is to get your photograph noticed.  Make it stand out.  Make it clean and technically perfect.  Add a little drama and mood.  Have a great model.  Do not submit anything less than a professional shot.  You won’t get a second look.    You won’t even get an audition without a great headshot. 

  I’ve had incredible success with my headshots.  The  models and actresses I’ve photographed have been hired by HSN, TV commercials and for a soon-to-launch national TV show, as well as on the boxes of a lighting product endorsed by Tampa Bay’s Martha Stewart-equivalent Darlene Cahill. 

  Do you need headshots?  I’m offering 100 dollars off.  Email to set up an appointment and mention “Headshot Hotel” for the discount.

  Thank you Steve!

  Thank you all.

A Patriarch’s Passing

  Bob Schindler never wanted to be in the public eye, but he was.

The media followed Bob Schindler's every move.

The media followed Bob Schindler's every move.

  He never wanted to have his family’s private life exposed to a world-wide audience, never wanted the noteriety of being involved in a case heard by the U.S. Supreme Court, but he was.

Jesse Jackson stands behind Bob Schindler.

Jesse Jackson stands behind Bob Schindler.

  But, more than that, he didn’t want his daughter to die, but she did.

 Bob’s daughter Terri Schiavo died in March, 2005 after years of legal and political wrangling.   She died after three separate court rulings that allowed her estranged husband to remove her feeding tube.

Bob Schindler comforts those who came to comfort him.

Bob Schindler comforts those who came to comfort him.

 

Bob Schindler comforts those who came to comfort him.

Bob Schindler comforts those who came to comfort him.

Bob Schindler Sr.  followed her August 29, 2009.

  I got to know Bob and his family while covering the Terri Schivao case for various media outlets.  I spent more than five years reporting and photographing the story as it made it’s way through the legislature, the courts, the media and the White House.    I learned a few things from Mr. Schindler along the way:

  1.  Family is always first.

  2.  Fight for what your heart tells you is right.

  3.  Never give up.

  Bob didn’t just teach these lessons.  He lived them every day.  He stayed by his daughter’s side.  He stood strong against immense opposition to those who felt that her right to breathe died when she had a cardiac arrest at a young age.

Bob Schindler, his wife Mary and daughter Suzanne.

Bob Schindler, his wife Mary and daughter Suzanne.

  As a news reporter and photographer, you’re not supposed to take sides and I didn’t.  I accurately portrayed what was happening during the case, but I never could lose the feeling that Terri’s mother, father, brother and sister should be able to hold her hand, brush her hair, talk to her, see her and love her regardless of her medical condition.

  Bob Schindler Sr. will never be forgotten.  His legacy will live on with everyone who knew him, but also to many who didn’t know him, only knew of him. 

  His memory to me won’t be as the father of Terri Schiavo.

  It will be as the father we should all be so lucky to have.   (I am)

  I will miss you, my friend.

 RIP Bob Schindler.

RIP Bob Schindler.

Historical Heirlooms

  One of the great things I love about photography is the ability to document and preserve history.    It’s one of the most important things I do. 

 

George and Mary Lou Cahill

George and Mary Lou Cahill

  Mary Lou Cahill turned 80 recently.  She and George have eight children.  Those children have their own children and some of those even have their own children as well.   Photographing her on her 80th birthday is obviously an important shoot.   Generations from now,  her descendants will still have these photographs in their albums, on their walls and in their wallets.  I can hear her grandchildren bragging about how beautiful their grandmother was when she turned 80.  

  Mary Lou Cahill is truly a family matriarch and a woman who carries her class, beauty and pride with every step she takes. 

Mary Lou Cahill

Mary Lou Cahill

   

George and Mary Lou Cahill

George and Mary Lou Cahill

  Her husband, George, is the charming patriarch of the family. 

  I got one of the greatest compliments from him about these photos.  He told me that he’s been married to Mary Lou for SIXTY ONE years and of all the times she’s been photographed, he thought these showed her at her most beautiful. 

  I am humbled, but what I always remember about being a photographer is that it’s a two-way street.   I can only shoot what’s there.  None of my photography tricks or techniques can put class and beauty when it’s not there.  George and Mary Lou brought their “A” game to our portrait session.

  And, the result…..is History.