The Pursuit of Texture

     For as long as I can remember, one thing that I've always been drawn to is texture. Whether it's natural or artificial, from clothing or from the background. I absolutely love the way that it pops in an image and these past couple months I have been finding a whole new appreciation for the textures I've been finding in plants and in my surroundings outdoors. I would probably even say that I'm a bit obsessed at this point haha, all I want to do is find great natural plant textures that I can incorporate into my sessions and images.

     Whether it comes from the vibrant flowers of a blossoming and color-filled garden or from a single dense and leafy shrub, I'm probably going to want to shoot with it. My list of go-to locations for portrait sessions has expanded to included all kinds of great new places where the texture this time of year is positively wonderful.

     The thing that I'm really loving the most right now is the complete and total variety I can find in any given area. Each and every different kind of bush and tree offers something unique. Sometimes the leaves are small and matte while just across the park I may find a wall of ivy climbing up the wall or huge leaves shining with new growth. Not to mention both the subtle and drastic colors and hues that come with every different species. It gives me new found respect for those able to identify each and every different type of plant and flower and tell you the details like their blooming and color cycles.

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     This pursuit of new and different textures has me so completely excited for the fall season in Colorado as I know that it will bring, aside from the gorgeous new and different colors, a whole new kind of texture that I can chase. The slow drying of the leaves as they get ready to fall to the ground. The crunch of them underfoot and the wind blowing leaves in every direction. . .how could I not be excited haha? All I can hope is that the fall season this year is a long one, lasting all the way through October, maybe even a couple weeks into November.

     Leave me a comment with some of the favorite textures that you seen out and about. Maybe they are natural like plants and flowers. Or maybe you prefer the urban textures found in the city. Rusty buildings or simple stonework. Maybe it's the texture of clothing haha? Is there a favorite sweater whose fabric is on another level?

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Perfect Day For a Fairy Tale in Seattle

     Each time that I am fortunate enough to visit Seattle I always come back and want to write about the experience. The weather is always awesome (I love a gloomy day more than most people haha), the people are always kind and wonderful, the coffee is fantastic, and I end up with lots of images to edit from the really cool locations I find. Shout-out to all the wonderful clients! One of the last shoots that I was able to do while visiting was definitely a favorite; the fairy tale vibes are to die for and the weather was just too gorgeous and matched the scene beautifully.

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     We met up at one of my go-to locations for when I'm looking for a very natural backdrop and had already talked about shooting a fantasy concept. Wardrobe for the day was already settled upon; we would be shooting a light pink dress, long and flowy. Think prom or ballroom, something classically beautiful. It was like something from a movie or a fantasy novel. I imagine a secret garden styled location, light and beautiful music playing in the background, the cool air blending with the warm sunlight. Surrounded by nature, deep in a forest; exploring and wandering, searching for something.

     With the wardrobe being awesome as it was, a location I was familiar with and knew would be perfect, all we needed to was find the lighting. Fortunately, this time of year in Seattle is a lot like Colorado. Clear and sunny days, few clouds, and a gorgeous sunset in the evening. Over the course of our trek through the park we found lots of shade and texture for out first few sets. The greens jumping out of the background, really adding to the idea of a secret garden. I'm so completely obsessed with natural textures right now, dense trees and bushes, leaves, and plant life. Seattle is an ideal place to find all this with the rain keeping things growing and alive all year.

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     Our timing was great as our last sets we were able to take full advantage of the sunset behind us. Warm light spilling in over the shoulder, bright and orange, beautifully complimenting the forest greens. A soft breeze, just subtle enough to move through the hair and create movement in the images. It's an evening like this that I live for, a single moment in time where everything is in harmony. Beautiful wardrobe, gorgeous location, and such wonderful light. There's not much more a person could ask for and I'm already dying to visit again.

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Building a Photo Shoot From the Ground Up

     Each time that I sit down to write a blog post about a recent shoot, I find myself wondering where the ideas for the shoot actually come from. A lot of times, I find myself writing about specific accessories that made a particular shoot a success and this post is definitely going to be about the mask we used here to make this such an awesome set. I am a firm believer in building up a concept or theme rather than just shooting images for the sake of shooting. I want purpose behind my images, a visual story, maybe even one that has the viewer asking more questions than are answered; a real sense of wonder has to be my goal.

     For this shoot, I was dying to use one of the ½ face bunny-style masks that we've all seen before. It reminds me a bit of a noir-vintage-cabaret style piece and I totally love the vibe. We built our scene around the mask itself. After the fact, I kind of get a bit of a dark and moody Alice in Wonderland vibe too, though that definitely wasn't the original concept (and makes me want to shoot a dedicated Wonderland scene, any takers?). Because the mask is the focal point in the scene, I wanted to keep wardrobe simple and to the point. The mask is black, so the wardrobe should be dark to match. The dark lipstick is a great touch that adds an extra layer of contrast to portion of her face still exposed below the mask. The black bodysuit with simple jean shorts is causal enough and still lets her face and the accessory take center stage.

     Location was easy for this one, we shot along one of my favorite bike path in Fort Collins, Colorado. Several times per week I ride my bike along this route and every time I have thought to myself what a great location this would make for a photo shoot. Loads of texture and lots of different kinds of plants allowed us to shoot multiple sets each with a unique feel and color to them. Add in some creative post processing and each set can feel like a different time of year.

     One set filled with bright oranges and yellows; leaves swirling about reminding me that fall is still to come. One winter filled scene, full of colder tones and a hint of snow falling from on a chilly day. Another set darker and gloomier than the rest, with dense foliage enveloping all around.

     This is definitely a session that I'm super happy with. Something about loving it when a plan comes together haha? Between the mask, a simple but sensible wardrobe, and a killer location to match this session was a complete success. It goes to show that when all you have to start with is the most basic idea, in this case wanting to create a shot around a bunny mask, a little bit of deliberate details really tie everything together. If you're reading this and you have an idea, a concept, or even just a single accessory that you feel would make a really awesome session, then send me an email and let's talk about turning an idea into a reality.