This is by far the most rewarding thing I do all year. Mark Bealer, Vicki Daniels and I are chapter directors for the local chapter of Flashes of Hope http://www.flashesofhope.org . Every month we go to Cincinnati Children's Hospital and photograph children with life threatening illness. We often bring a team of hair and makeup artists. Each month we have a different volunteer photographer. White House Custom Color http://www.whcc.com donates the printing for every chapter in the country of which there are many. This team of volunteers brings a bright spot into the lives of people facing the greatest challenge of their lives. This is a celebration of family, hope and love. It helps to keep things in perspective for me. This was a special sesson scheduled the evening before Brittany's surgery. She has so much support in her life. I was happy to be a part of it.
Congratulations Anna Marie! I love making photographs at Eden Park. We took these during my favorite time of day, the "golden hour". The best light for portraits is 2 hours before the sun goes down. That means in the summer I can shoot outside as late as 7 PM. Spending time getting to know young people about to graduate high school fills me with optimism. They are bright, engaged and conscious individuals destined for great things.
This family is a perennial favorite. We always update their portraits in the fall and create a canvas wrap wall collage. I just delivered the most recent one to add to the collection going up the stairs in their home. I can't wait till next year! We will have to include the dog next time.
Welcome to the world! Typically I prefer sleepy newborns. They are like putty in my hands. You can practically fold them in half. This 2 week old baby was wide awake. Lucky for me she gave me a sweet smile. The first ten days are the best time to photograph a newborn. I photographed this session in the Cohen's home with a half dressed toddler running underfoot. Oh how I miss that chaos in my own life!
In the old days of film photography I would shoot 3 rolls of 15 exposure film during a portrait session. This would take about an hour and we would not see the result for a week. There were times when I would not have a single photo where everyone had their eyes open! The only solution was to re-shoot. Now I shoot 100-200 photos in and hour and when the "perfect" shot is still not there, we can "head swap". My clients laugh at me when I suggest such a thing. They don't really believe it.
Here is a perfect example. From this session, we narrowed our favoirtes down. Claudia (the mom, who happens to be my dear friend) loved the photo with the youngest sitting in a chair in the middle. She said the picture was "alive". I love that! Our favorite was the one where Zach (in the middle) was laughing, however, his brothers were squinting. Their eyes looked better in the other photo. Presto, Change-o ! I simply combined the images in photo shop to get the perfect result. the image on the left is the best one of Zach. The image in the center is the best one of his older brothers. The image on the far right is the combination of the two.
The last time I photographed these boys, Zach may have been in diapers! They sure grew up nice!
Each year Lighhouse Youth Services honors humanitarians with its prestigious Beacon of Light Award. Honorees are recognized for leadership and service, community impact, and involvement with children, youth and families. This year, the gala will be held on April 16th at 6:30 PM at the Hyatt Regency downtown Cincinnati. It is my privilege every year to have the opportunity to photograph the honorees. Ryan Messer and James Musuraca-Messer brought two of their children to the studio for a fun albeit slightly chaotic photo session. They have since added another child to their family! Ryan and Jimmy are passionate advocates for LGBTQ equality. They are active in the Over-The Rhine neighborhood in which they live. Edgar Smith is an advid volunteer and has served on the boards of many nonprofits, including ArtsWave, American Red Cross, Boy Scouts of America and others. He also inspired me to add hot air ballooning to my bucket list!. Rabbi Gary Zola is the execturive director of the Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives. He is an advocate for interfaith relations, justice, human rights and community understanding. He is also passionate about photography. We spent more time talking about photography than actually making portraits! Iva Brown is also being honored this year. I had the pleasure of serving on the Beacon of Light committee with Iva for over 15 years. Sadly, Iva passed away before I had the chance to photograph her. She was a dedicated volunteer in our community serving Lighthouse, the National Underground Freedon Center, they YWCA and the CIncinnati Symphony Orchestra. She is greatly missed. For more information about Lighthouse Youth Services please visit http://www.lys.org