2 year portrait, 3 month portrait and family portrait

     It was time for Leon’s 2 year portrait and Nora’s 3 month portrait.  My favorite part was when I got to play peek-a-boo and sing “The wheels on the bus”. I miss those days with my kids. What to do with all that hair! We tried the ‘man-bun” and finally decided to let those curls fly. LOVE those curls!

Susan Sontag, Nik Filters, and the Future of Photography

http://www.newyorker.com/business/currency/in-the-future-we-will-photograph-everything-and-look-at-nothing?utm_source=On+Being+Newsletter&utm_campaign=edd4079876-20160820_running_newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_1c66543c2f-edd4079876-69866905&goal=0_1c66543c2f-edd4079876-69866905&mc_cid=edd4079876&mc_eid=858fa84774     I came across this article in The New Yorker by way of   www.onbeing.org.   Saying that photography is ubiquitous is an understatement. Everyone truly is a photographer these days. This has become the negative mantra of professional photographers everywhere. Anyone with a cell phone can make good and sometimes great photographs, making it harder than ever to earn a living as a photographer. When Google announced that NIK filters would be free to everyone, I felt defeated once again. I wanted my $400 back! NIK gave me another way to separate myself from the “amateur”. What I really want back is the gap that used to exist between a professional and an amateur.  Maybe it’s all for the best.  When everyone is an artist the world is a beautiful place. The fact is that I still have skills that separate me from the pack. I know how to make people look their best. I know how to arrange groups of people so they look balanced and natural. I understand light, color, design and composition. I know how to make people feel at ease. I love telling the story of family and preserving priceless memories.  I am humbled when people tell me that the first thing they would grab in a fire is the portraits we have made together.

“Today everything exists to end in a photograph”. Susan Sontag wrote this in 1977 in her book “On Photography” Forty years later it seems as though the photograph exists instead of the experience it is supposed to represent.  Om Malik says “In the future, we will photograph everything  and look at nothing”. I wonder if we will photograph everything and experience nothing.


Sycamore High School class of 2017 senior portrait at Washington Park Cincinnati, Ohio

     Keeping up with Madelyn was a challenge. She knows what she wants, and she moves fast! I love shooting on Sundays. It’s quieter than usual, and everyone is more relaxed.   This Sycamore High School senior wore me out as we went from Washington Park in Over the Rhine (http://washingtonpark.org/) to Madelyn’s favorite coffee shop, The Coffee Emporium (http://www.coffee-emporium.com/).   

     Madelyn has an adventurous spirit, an artistic eye, and great taste in coffee.  I know it’s hard for younger folks to imagine life without Starbucks, but The Coffee Emporium was around way before Starbucks.  The baristas know Madelyn by name!

     I couldn’t have done the photo shoot without Madelyn’s mom, Mary Kay, who carried the wardrobe and held my reflector. I love when moms come to the senior session. Mary Kay teared up when she looked at the photos on the back of the camera. The senior portrait has become a rite of passage ritual that the whole family can partake in. It’s a love fest! Here are some of our favorites from that special day.




     This year I celebrated 30 years as a professional photographer. For most of that time, I have been a proud member of the Professional Photographers of America (http://www.ppa.com/). PPofA is a non-profit organization that helps those serious about photography live their dreams profitably. They educate photographers on business and technical skills. They advocate for copyright and maintain a powerful and continual presence on Capitol Hill. Professional Photographers of America (PPA.com/CPP) is the leading body for certifying imaging professionals. CPPs must complete a written examination, finish an image evaluation and adhere to a strict code of conduct. Certification must be renewed on a periodic basis, ensuring continued confidence in the professionalism of Certified Professional Photographers.

    After 30 years, I decided it was high time I became certified. You might think that would be an easy thing for a long time veteran, but the exam and the portfolio submission proved to be a challenge in spite of my experience. I passed with flying colors. These are some of the images I included in my portfolio, showcasing a specific required skill set.

      Professional Photographers of America currently recognizes fewer than 2,500 CPPs. Even though I have been in business for many years, I saw this as an opportunity for growth. I believe it is necessary to continually challenge myself to learn and to stay current in my field.  When you hire a CPP, you know you’re getting someone who is willing to go the extra mile to deliver the best possible images. 

Mason High School Senior - Cincinnati high school senior portrait photography

I photographed Ally's brother when he was a senior at Mason High School. This year it was Ally's turn. She is a member of the Mason High School class of 2017.  Ally is in the color guard at school and is interested in becoming a biomedical engineer. We met at Sharon Woods Park and had a great time in spite of the heat. Here are her favorites.


High school senior session album. Class of 2016 Seven Hills High School Cincinnati Ohio

I photographed Kelly both in the studio and at Spring Grove Arboretum. We had more great photos than we knew what to do with. A session album was the perfect product for enjoying so many great shots. I like to shoot with a session album in mind. I want to tell a story that will become a treasured family heirloom. I insist on using quality papers, printing and covers that will stand the test of time. Kelly and her mom chose a lavender linen cover for her 8x8 senior album. Here is what the final layout looked like.

Cincinnati High School senior portrait Country Day High School

    Photographing high school seniors fills me with optimism for the future. These young men and women are hardworking, socially conscious individuals. We are in good hands when this generation starts contributing to society. Many of them already are! Astrid is as beautiful on the inside as she is on the outside. It was still early spring when we took these photos and the trees were still mostly bare so I knew the studio would be our best option.I love shooting in the studio because the lighting is beautiful and easy to control. I also have a room in my home studio that has windows on three sides and gives me a light airy look to my portraits. I generally choose my background based on the clothing my subject is wearing. I always choose light first. Light first - background second. I feel like i am cheating when I photograph someone as beautiful as Astrid! Congratulations Astrid! Class of 2016