Each year since 2009 I’ve spent the first weekend of December photographing kids as they visit with Santa at Bellingham’s Holiday Port Festival, at the Bellingham Cruise Terminal in Fairhaven. We see quite a few children come back year after year. It’s fun to watch them grow up, and to share their wishes with Santa.
This video slideshow is of the kids who visited Santa on Friday evening, December 6, 2013.
One of the things that sets professional photographers apart from snapshooters is that we’re always looking for the light, seeing how it plays across our subject. Modern cameras are very good at getting an acceptable exposure in almost any light, but we’ve all seen thousands of photos taken in very bad light. You can do better. Here’s one approach.
Natalie and I were visiting her mother, Betty, not too long ago. She lives just a mile from us so we’re there often. Her home has a wonderful sun room, with windows all along the south wall and a couple of skylights so the room is bathed in light. Betty spends a lot of time sitting by the window where she can watch the birds in her garden or reach a book on the shelves beside her chair. Continue reading →
People have been taking snapshots of friends, family, and the places they visit since George Eastman first popularized photography with the first Kodak camera in 1888. In the 125 years since then a nearly uncountable number of photographs have been made. The pace of picture taking has only increased since the invention of digital photography and digital cameras becoming affordable to nearly everyone.
People upload 300 million photos every day to Facebook alone, according to a July 2012 story in USA Today. Sites like Facebook, Flickr, and Pinterest have become today’s photo albums. But will they be around in 75 years? Will our children and grandchildren be able to look back at these glimpses into our lives?
My parents were both avid scrapbookers when they were in their twenties, the same age as our two boys are today. They both had cameras and they took pictures of their adventures. Continue reading →
What is the value of a professional portrait? Is it just the paper on which it’s printed? Or is it the memories enshrined on that paper or canvas that you enjoy each time you look at it? I would hazard a guess that memories win out every time.
Otto de Gruyter family portrait in Turner home
The first thing you’ll see when you enter our home is a framed portrait of my great grandparents, Otto de Gruyter and Rhoda Jane Hill, with their three children, my granddaddy Olen and his two sisters, Eunice and Iona wearing a pendant necklace with initial. The portrait was made around 1909. It’s a formal pose, perhaps a little stiff, which was characteristic of the period when film was slow and portrait subjects had to hold still for several seconds.
I remember this portrait sitting on an easel in Aunt Eunice and Iona’s home when we visited, the same house where they grew up. When they died in the 1970s my mother inherited the portrait. She had a copy negative made and gave copies to her six brothers and sisters and to their children. When she died in 2001 the portrait passed down to me. It took a while, but we eventually made room for it in our home.
This family portrait is much more than a mere piece of paper. The photographer’s name is long lost. What’s important is the connection made across five generations, from my great grandparents to my children. The portrait is one of the few physical objects that makes that connection, and that makes it real, more than bits of linen tucked away in a chest for safe keeping. Seeing this portrait triggers memories of stories I heard as a young man of my great-grandfather immigrating from Germany to central West Virginia with his brother, of his time as an itinerant clock and watch repairman going from house to house, and of establishing a storefront jewelry store that was operated by three generations.
Yes, this mere piece of paper, hanging on our wall in an old and somewhat battered frame, is a treasury of memories.
When you’re ready to have your family photographed, think of the memories you’ll be placing in your own frame, the stories you’ll tell your grandchildren, and the stories their children will pass down to their children when the time comes. You don’t want to wait too long to have that important portrait made.
And if you think you just want a digital file, remember how fast technology changes and how temporary and fragile digital files are. Will your grandchildren be able to enjoy that DVD?
Give me a call at 360-671-6851 to discuss the legacy you’ll leave in your heirloom family portrait. Do it now, and plan for a summer session.
The strongest photographs lead the viewer to concentrate their attention on the subject and minimize anything that might be distracting. One thing that’s easy to miss is the relationship of the horizon line to your subject, particularly when photographing people. You don’t want the horizon to slice through someone’s head. Continue reading →
How would you like a high quality professional portrait of your family or children for a lot less money?
I’m introducing a new portrait service called Treasures by Turner. It’s designed for those who want a quick, abbreviated session that will capture their loved ones without the detailed experience, custom products, or investment required of our Platinum Portrait line. Continue reading →
Nights are still long and the days gray. But my Fairhaven studio is nice and warm, with flattering lights and a variety of backgrounds. I’m ready to play with some new photography ideas this month and have a special offer for a few people who are also in a playful mood.
During the month of February I’m offering a few free “Play Date” sessions in the studio. I want to try out some new lighting techniques, experiment with posing, play with new multi-image and digital processing techniques I just learned, and create some new studio samples I can use in my marketing throughout the rest of the year. Continue reading →