Shooting Presidents of the United States of America

Portrait Book and Walking Workshop

Exciting things are happening on the photography front, and I am happy to report some progress on my portraiture book in the making. The overall structure of it is complete, and I am well into writing the first draft.

The book aims to help you get more out of your portraits and to tell a story. Whether you’re new to photography or a seasoned professional, there will be things in there for you to enjoy, get inspired by and apply to your own pictures.

The content includes a mix of tips on everything from lighting to interacting with subjects, and it will have stories and examples from myself and others, all about what makes a portrait great.

Many have already helped the writing along by taking the survey associated with this book, sharing what they care about and struggle with in their own photos. I’m using this research to make sure I address the most frequently asked questions and major concerns.

On a related note, I am organizing a set of photography workshops!

If you’re in the Seattle area in mid August, September or October, you have a chance to join me on a small and exclusive photo walk, during which I will offer tips on how to shoot on the fly and on location. There will also be a Q&A after the walk, and a surprise or two thrown in along the way.

There are limited spots available for these walks, so sign up now if you want to be a part of the walking workshop.

Molly Lewis’ Graduation Concert

On the 24th of June, I was asked to document an important night for entertainer Molly Lewis. She had recently graduated college and had decided to throw a celebratory concert, inviting some of her friends and fellow performers to share the stage with her at Seattle’s awesome venue, The Triple Door. There is nothing I love more than documenting an event like this, and I was extremely excited to be asked.

Shooting a concert like this one, is akin to shooting a wedding. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime event, hugely important to the client, and there is definitely a pressure to deliver some memorable results. There is no do-over if you fail, but if you deliver good work, the client will be forever thankful. I brought an extra camera, so I could go back and forth between my favorite lenses without having to waste time switching. Missing some fantastic moment is easy when there are so many talented people together in one spot. Granted, most of the gold happens on stage, but there are always a few hidden diamonds behind the scenes as well. Those are the shots I live for!

Audience participation as Marian Call gets everyone to do the shark week! Click to see an animated gif version!
I arrived at the venue around 3.30pm, so I could cover all the last minute prep that goes into something like this. The band hastily rehearsing a few songs, harmonies being perfected, monitors being adjusted, jokes being made. Lots of ideas are still being thrown around at this point, and during downtime artists are candidly discussing their work and dreams – or passing time playing a game. The four and half hours between my arrival and official show start went by fast.

It was after 11pm when I left the venue, happy and exhausted, knowing I had at least another 10 hours of solid work, sorting and post-processing the images. I walked out on the streets of Seattle, caught a cab home and collapsed on the couch.

Below is a gallery of photos I took at the event. Of the 1,100 frames I shot before sorting away all the misfires, and frames badly out of focus (which happens a lot in such low light, and with people moving around), a grand total of 444 images survived the culling, were post-processed and sent off to a hopefully happy Molly Lewis.

I urge you to check out the performers present at the concert:

Photo Gallery