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Archive for December, 2007

Baby Cameryn Showed Up In Time for Christmas

Wednesday, December 26th, 2007

A few entries back, I posted a pregnancy portrait of one of my past clients, Regan. She was due to give birth in January, but the baby had other plans. She and her husband Ben were on their way back from a Christmas party when her water burst so they took a diversion to the hospital. They told her that she wasn’t going to go home without a baby so, later that night, little Cameryn came onto the scene.  

She was born one month prior to her due date and she’s  a tiny little thing. She’s doing great and very active. She’s now two weeks old and about six pounds. Here she is with daddy.



Sandra & Neal - Rancho Santa Fe

Tuesday, December 18th, 2007

It’s been a long time since I blogged about one of my weddings, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been shooting ‘em. I photographed Sandra & Neal’s wedding back in October but never got around to posting it. I actually tried, but my computer crashed in the middle of it and with all I have going on, I never found the time. So… now that things have started to slow down a little, here it is!  

The wedding took place at The Inn at Rancho Santa Fe. Wedding coordinator extraordinaire Mary Noble of Classic Weddings handled the production. The ever elegant Botanica in San Diego was the florist. 



Here’s what happens when you have people pose for the camera in the midst of a fabulous party.


Fun with Casting

Tuesday, December 11th, 2007

I’m in the midst of casting for some models for a magazine editorial shoot I’ll be doing in a couple of weeks. I was going through the shots and decided to play around a little with one. Here’s the before shot:

 After taking it into Photoshop, here’s what I came up with:


The key is the lighting. With good lighting, the photo works. Without it, it would just fall flat. Of course, it helps to have great talent. (Talent being the photo term for the models/actors/subjects used for the shoot.)


On the Death of a Photographer

Monday, December 3rd, 2007

Some of you have may have seen my “In the Land of My Father” post from a weeks ago where I wrote about my trip to New Mexico with my father. As we passed through the little mountain town of Capitan, we stopped in to see a friend of my dad’s who was sick.

 Actually, he wasn’t merely sick. He was dying. He’d been sent home from the hospital since there was nothing more to be done. He’d been through rounds of chemotherapy so that, when we saw him, he had no strength and couldn’t speak. The sight of him lying on his makeshift bed - he was too weak to go upstairs to his bedroom - and the awkwardness of not being able to understand his feeble words was too much.

I stepped out and wandered through his front room which was filled with memorabilia, antiques and art. His sociable wife, who seemed to be filled with all the energy that he lacked, led me to a stack of fiber-based, black and white prints shot by the dying man. Knowing that I was a photographer, she proudly talked about his work as she asked questions about mine. 

As I politely flipped through the matted prints, I was filled with an emotional weight that comes from realizing that this is the sum of one man’s photographic life. This is it. No more is to come I thought as I viewed the entire stack of 40 or so prints. There was one in particular that I enjoyed, perhaps because it was not unlike some of my own work. I think it was one his favorites too since there was more than one print from that image.Though the man who had created this work was silenced, his work spoke to me for him. In connecting with that image, it allowed me to connect to the man lying in the next room.

Before we said our awkward goodbyes, my dad suggested that I take a photo of him. I was surprised to hear him murmur an okay. Most folks want to look their best for a photo, but I suppose the photographer in him understood the importance of documenting the moment, vanity be damned.

Later, I reflected upon the thought of what it means to be a photographer and the idea of the legacy that I’ll leave behind. As an artist, my work also has the ability to speak for me when I am gone. Faced with the reality of mortality, I wondered what my work will say and whether anyone will listen. With awareness comes a sense of urgency too. The time to create is now!

Today, my dad called to tell me that Lonnie Lipman died. My guess is that this is the last photo taken of him. As one photographer passes on, his likeness joins the body of work of another. With any luck, some of his spirit too.


Light & Fast Seminar: Take II

Sunday, December 2nd, 2007

Well, it was a gorgeous day outside today and I did manage to get in quick hike in the morning. Nothing like those super-clear, day-after-the-rain days where the smog is gone and you can almost see people on the streets even though they’re miles away.  But, that’s not what I’m writing about. Nope. Today, I spent pretty much all day working on a brand new web site. (I’ve lost track of how many URL’s and sites I have.)

My latest is www.lightandfastseminar.com that I created for my lighting workshop in LA with Jules Bianchi. Take a look and tell me what you think. I think it came out looking pretty cool.Note to Becker: I used the photo of me that you took out in Julian and posted on your blog. The one I had was too boring. Hope that’s cool. (Don’t sue me for copyright infringement; I won’t be able to leave my money at your poker table any more.)

Since a blog post without a photo is kind of lame, here’s a photo that I shot of Joe Photo and Becker in the parking lot of my gallery in Julian this past summer.  

becker    John