Tag Archives: photos

Music & Imagery












I love good music.  Now this might not be the world’s most earth-shattering confession, but there you go.  Now, my love of music isn’t really restricted to one particular genre or another, and my tastes are pretty eclectic (though I must confess, I’ve never found any rap, hip-hop, or heavy metal that I’m really fond of).

My iTunes has everything from classical, jazz, & opera to show tunes, rock, & pop.  Oh, not to mention a HUGE collection of Christmas music.   I was particularly proud last weekend, when driving back to Washington, I had AC/DC, Alfie Boe, She & Him, Dean Martin, and Keith Urban all playing back to back.  Yes.  I’m awesome.

So, what does this have to do with photography?  Well, not much.

But, I have found that while visual arts and music are both beautiful and enriching on their own, together they are even more powerful.  Beautiful images combined with the right song are even more poignant.  To that end, one of my practices as a photographer is to create a musical slideshow for each of my clients as the first impression they get of their photographs.

Here’s a little insight into my workflow.  After I’ve finished retouching and doing the artwork on the photos, I upload them into a program where I arrange them, create the visual effects, and choose the perfect song.  Sometimes the song choice is very apparent and easy, other times it takes a little bit of searching.  Other times I’ve *thought* I knew just the right song, but when I put it with the images it didn’t gel.  Nevertheless, I’m tenacious about such things, and eventually I end up finding the perfect fit.  I love it: organizing the photos and telling a story with both with the images and music makes my creative process that much richer.

Conversely, there have also been a couple of times when music or a song has inspired the photography.  Last December I was listening to some new music by Katie Melua, and heard the song “Red Balloons.”  I got a vision in my head of my nieces standing in snow covered lawns, dressed in red and black, holding dozens of red balloons, with a final shot of them floating away.

I called the girls, and they agreed to do the shoot when I went home for Christmas.  We had so much fun (despite the cold)!  Though we didn’t get to shoot at the Daly Mansion as I had originally intended, we did get to go to Riverside Park, and had a grand time.  As I was shooting, I had the song running through my mind, which helped me design the photos I wanted.  When I got back to the studio for developing, and put the final project together, the result was awesome!

I’ve recently created a YouTube channel to showcase the videos from my various photo shoots.  So far, I’ve posted the Red Balloon video, the videos from Erin & Trevor’s shoots as well as Brent & Michelle’s engagement session.  To see them, please visit my YouTube page at:


What do you think?  Does the music make it a little more special?


A fair is a veritable smorgasbord orgasbord orgasbord…

And while I totally agree with Templeton, turns out it’s also a pretty good place for a fun, romantic photo shoot too!

Last weekend I had the chance to go home to Montana for a few days.  Not only did I have a great time visiting with my family and meeting my new nephew (I’ll post bragging pictures later, because he is the CUTEST first great-grandson ever to be born into our family), I also got to do engagement photos for my beautiful niece, Erin, and her wonderful fiancé, Trevor.

Erin and I started planning and talking about wedding ideas a couple months ago (even before she was formally engaged!) and in discussing engagement photos, I  realized that the most likely weekend I’d be home to take them would also be the weekend of the Ravalli County Fair…well, it was just too good to pass up!  Erin loved the idea, and Trevor loves Erin, so on Saturday evening the three of us spent several hours at the fairgrounds taking pictures.

I am so pleased with how they turned out!  Lots of color, lots of atmosphere, and I even got them on a camel together!  Now Erin can say with the upmost of authority, how difficult it is to kiss while riding a camel. 🙂  In editing and developing the photos I chose to do some of them with a more aged/distressed finish, as Erin has chosen a vintage theme for her wedding.  Check out a few of the samples below.

A summer evening, a ferris wheel, a candy apple, & a kiss. Does life get much sweeter?

"Wow, it's really hard to kiss while riding a camel!" -Erin Recht

It might not be a magic carpet, but a ferris wheel is still a classic!

And of course, who can resist a smooch on a carousel?

Les Miserables and Photogenic Tenors

My brain operates in a weird, circular way.  Playing word association with me would make psychiatrists cry.

Case in point: I’m planning my trip to Paris, so have had all things Paris & French on the brain at the moment.  Paris makes me think of Les Miserables (both the book and the musical, but in this case, we’ll focus on the musical).  This sends me to iTunes to listen to the soundtrack.  The soundtrack makes me want to watch it.  Hello Youtube!  I watch the 10th Anniversary cast.  Then I move on to the 25th Anniversary concert.  I cry.  I get goosebumps.  I discover Alfie Boe.  This sends me to Amazon where I download his new album, “Bring Him Home.”  This sends me into blissful delight as I play it over and over.  I start YouTube-ing like mad.  I find Alfie Boe singing Christmas songs in a church.  I start thinking of Christmas.  I start thinking of Christmas trees.  I start thinking of Christmas trees that can sing like Alfie Boe.  I decide to take a break.  I come back from my break to the same YouTube video of him singing in a church.  The church reminds me of the Sainte Chapelle that I plan to see in Paris.  I’m getting excited for Paris.  I once again go back to planning my trip to Paris. I read about Victor Hugo.  I want to visit his house.  I’m in the mood to watch Les Miserables again.

There you have it.  I am just a little nuts (but in the good way, like a DQ peanut buster parfait).

However, during my recently discovered Alfie Boe obsession (and now I will forever associate him with my first trip to Paris, which, my friends, is not a bad thing to be associated with) I found these INCREDIBLE publicity photographs, and I fell in LOVE with this photographer.

The sad thing is, I don’t know who the photographer IS! 😦  I can’t find the photo credits anywhere!  If someone can, please let me know, because I need to be their friend (plus, I need to put their name here).    The lighting in these portraits is GORGEOUS!  Theatrical, but subtle.  Just enough background to allude to the theater, while still keeping the subject as the main focus.  The costuming is perfect–adding to the character without overwhelming him.  Sorry.  I’ll stop gushing now and let you see for yourselves!

Besides, YouTube is calling for me again…

***UPDDATE: Thanks to a reader, Fin, I now know the photographer!  His name is Ray Burmiston.  His website can be found here: www.rayburmiston.com  I just followed him on Twitter. 🙂  Thanks, so much Fin!

The staging of this is beyond brilliant: putting the actor in the balcony for a change. Plus the pose is just so languid and reposed.


The use of light and shadows is BRILLIANT. Also, love the expression that was captured here.

I love the detail of him playing with his cuffs, and the shadow in the background... so atmospheric!

Bonjour Paris!!!

2011 has been a pretty awesome year for me in terms of being able to cross things off my bucket list.

In February, my friend Abbie and I went down to Seaside, Oregon for a much needed weekend getaway.  We stayed in a gorgeous old inn that was built in 1892.  Each room had a unique theme, and the lobby and main floor were filled with antique furniture.  Plus they had freshly baked chocolate chip cookies each afternoon!  It was right on the beach and absolutely perfect for curling up in and escaping the real world.   Item #12 on the Bucket List? “Stay in a fabulous hotel.”

#14 on my list was “buy a fabulous bed,” which I did this spring.  I LOVE it.  And so happy to be sleeping in a huge, comfy, queen sized bed after spending 4 years in college with a twin and another 6 years moving all over the country with a twin bed my parents bought me when I moved into my first “real” apartment.

The BIG check mark came in May when I flew down to San Francisco for the weekend to see Hugh Jackman in Concert!  #18, “Watch Hugh Jackman perform live” has been on my list since about 2006.  I had 3rd row tickets and they were worth EVERY penny.  The weirdest part of the whole experience though was standing by the stage door entrance just like the real groupies and actually touching his arm for maybe 1/2 a second before I got scared his security guard would break my hand.

But the next item to come off my list–in less than 3 months, thank you very much, is one that’s been on there since I was about 9 years old and saw Audrey Hepburn and Cary Grant walking along the Seine and eating ice cream in Charade.  Yes, ladies and gentlemen, your faithful blogger is going to PARIS for Thanksgiving!  But shhh. I still haven’t told my mother yet! 🙂

My friends Abbie and Kris are coming with me, which is exciting because I usually travel alone, and now I get to share the experience with two fabulous women.  Our hotel is on the left bank with a view of Notre Dame.  And we get to spend a full week enjoying and exploring the city of lights.

Of course, one of the things I’m most excited about is getting to photograph this beautiful city that I’ve seen in movies and read about in books all my life.  So, in the words of Audrey Hepburn, Fred Astair, and Kay Thompson… BONJOUR PARIS!!!

Romance and Weddings and Pictures, oh my!

It’s funny, most photographers seem to have summer as their busy season for weddings.  For me, it’s fall/winter.  So many weddings coming up!  But first…we have the engagement sessions!  These are so much fun to do because there are limitless possibilities, and each couple is so unique.  My  favorite thing is capturing the little moments… the gentle touches, soft smiles, bursts of laughter, and the joy they find in each other.   It’s so inspiring and beautiful to watch.

This past weekend I had the privilege of doing some engagement pictures for my friends Brent & Michelle, who are getting married in October.  They wanted a fun, relaxed shoot, which suits them perfectly.  So, Saturday evening we went into downtown Seattle and got to play for a couple hours.  Here are just a couple samples, but I really love how these turned out!

Our version of the famous 1945 Times Square photograph.

Don't you just love the carefree joy?

A kiss with sunflowers.

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