Category Archives: Portrait

Denver, CO | Family + Senior Combination Session | Three Sisters

Below are a bunch a pictures from my recent Family Portrait / Senior Portrait combination session. I really like the variety of images we were able to get in just a short time. McWilliams Park in Denver provided a bunch of different settings and backgrounds, and I kept switching between Camera/Lens/Film(digital) combinations to keep the look changing.

As you look over the pictures below, the soft, pastel looking color images were shot on color film, the warmer more contrasty color images were shot on digital, and the black and white images were shot on black and white film. Film processing and scanning was done by the amazing Richard Photo Lab in Hollywood.

I am really happy with how all of these images turned out, but as usual, my favorites are the images shot on black and white film. The combination of Fuji Neopan 400 and the Nikon 85mm f1.8 lens constantly blows me away.

You can click on any of the images to see them larger. Enjoy…

Tech Info:

B&W Film
Nikon F100
Nikon 85mm f1.8
Legacy Pro 400 (AKA Fuji Neopan 400)
Richard Photo Lab

Color Film
Nikon N90s
Nikon 50mm f1.4
Fuji Pro 400H
Richard Photo Lab

Digital
Nikon D70s
Nikon 35mm f2
Adobe Camera Raw

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Westminster, CO | Documentary Portraits | Molly & Balloon

With all of the below zero weather this week, I was really longing for some summer sun. I went back through some of my photo shoots from last summer and pulled these documentary portraits of Molly. They were shot during a concert at the Westminster Promenade in Westminster, CO. Molly was having a great time playing with the black balloons while staying in the shade of the Westminster High School tent.

The dark tent overhead, with light streaming in from all sides, made for some beautiful light; and the dark balloons next to Molly’s light skin created really interesting contrast in the images.

You can click on any of the images to see them larger. Enjoy…

Tech Info:
Natural Light

Nikon F3
Nikon 50mm f1.4
Ilford HP5 Plus
Ilford Ilfotec DD-X (9min @ 20C)

Camera Scan
Sigma SD9
Sigma 50mm f2.8 Macro
Photosolve Xtend-a-Slide

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Arvada, CO | Children’s Portraits | End of Year Collage

I have posted previously about a collage that I created for one of my seniors. For the holidays, I decided to take that idea and apply it to a bunch of pictures that I had made of my girls thoughout the year. I put together the collage you see below and we gave prints to Grandmas and Grandpas. I think this ended up being a cool way to display a variety of pictures, and it tells a much more complete story than any single image ever could.

These collages would also work really well to display a selection of pictures from one of my documentary family or children’s portrait sessions. Over the course of a single shoot we might not get enough images to put together a complete album, but we will almost always get enough great images to put together an interesting collage. If a collage seems like something you might be interested in, just let me know.

You can click on the image to see it larger. Enjoy…

Tech Info:
Collage created in Adobe Photoshop CS5
Mixture of film and digital captures

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Denver, CO | Family Portraits | Sneak Peek – Sisters

Today, I have a sneak peek from a recent portrait shoot. These three young ladies are sisters, the two in the vertical shots are twins. The images are from a sort-of combination family/senior (in college) portrait session. The twins just graduated from college, and their younger sister is a student at CSU. Their mom wanted to take some time to document how they look at this transitional moment in their lives, finishing up school, but before careers and families. I think this is a great idea, and it was especially fun for me because I have know these girls since they were little.

We dedcided to try for an outside shoot – always my preference, but sometimes tricky in January. We lucked out and got a relatively warm day with just slight overcast and enough snow on the ground to give some of the pictures a sense of seasonality. Pretty much ideal conditions for an outdoor shoot in Colorado during the winter.

I really liked how these digital captures turned out, so I wanted to get them up on the blog while eagerly awaiting my film scans from the extraordinary Richard Photo Lab. I will put up a more comprehensive post once I have all the film scans and digital files prepped and ready.

You can click on any of the images to see them larger. Enjoy…

Tech Info:
Natural Light
Nikon D70s
Nikon 35mm f2
Adobe Camera Raw
B&W conversion using Adobe Photoshop/Channel Mixer

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Arvada, CO | Outdoor Children’s Portraits | Emma+Molly+Tree

There has been a lot of black and white stuff up on the blog recently, so I wanted to break things up with a bit of color. Below are a few portraits of the girls that I shot back before Christmas. I needed to get prints of these pictures in short order, for presents, so I shot digitally. I think the digital files held up pretty well. It would be nice to have a little more highlight detail (like I can get with film), but the prints still look really nice.

Even though these are my own kids, this was a pretty typical “kid’s session” for me. For this shoot, I was more focused on nailing the traditional portraits than I normally would be. We were working on a pretty limited time table, and I knew I was going for a couple of nice prints rather than a photo story or session album. We had to shoot pretty fast because the light was falling and it was pretty cold (but not that cold considering it was December in Colorado).

I find, when photographing kids, it makes things easier if I have something for them to interact with. It takes their mind off of the camera and allows me to get more natural expressions. In this case, we used an almond tree in my parent’s back yard as our “prop”.

We waited for late afternoon to get warm, directional light. I placed the sun at the girls’ backs to give nice rim lighting on their hair and to help show the texture of the tree.

One other element in this shoot was camera angle. You will notice that I was moving around a lot. Some of the shots I was standing on a chair to get a higher angle, and some of the shots I was sitting or laying on the ground to get a lower angle. I like to move around to keep the images from a shoot constantly changing. It allows me to get a variety of different looks from a single location.

You can click on any of the images to see them larger. Enjoy…

Tech Info:
Nikon D70s
Nikon 35mm f2
ISO 200
Adobe Camera Raw

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Brighton, CO | Documentary Portraits | Merry Christmas Everyone

Merry Christmas!

Here are a couple of documentary portraits from a couple years ago on Christmas day. I like the fact that they include the Christmas tree, but it is subtle and out of focus in the background. I also really like the tones and grain visible in these film scans. As usual, these were shot with available light, in the natural surroundings. Just a couple of quick snaps after the kids had opened their presents. It doesn’t take a lot of time to get great shots. Simply pay attention to the light, the situation, and expressions and be ready with the camera. That is the fun, and the challenge, of documentary portraiture.

You can click on the images to see them larger. Enjoy…

Tech Info:
Nikon N90s
Nikon 50mm f1.8
Ilford HP5 Plus
DR5 Process (B&W Slide)

Camera Scan
Sigma SD9
Sigma 50mm f2.8 Macro
Photosolve Xtend-a-Slide

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Arvada, CO | Documentary Portraits | Real Baby, Really Cute

It’s hard to shoot a picture of a baby that isn’t really cute, but you don’t see a lot of portraits of babies that are really real. They are usually laying on a white background, or sitting on a blanket covered with roses, or popping out of a cabbage patch in a costume. While those types of pictures are fun, they don’t really tell you much about that baby’s personality, or what makes them different.

Below, I have some documentary style baby portraits. These pictures were made in a real location, with natural light and authentic everyday baby clothes. Through the pictures, you can relate to this little one’s environment and understand how  she interacts with the world. They give you a good sense of how old she is, and where she is in her development. She is alert and aware – curious about the camera. She is able to pull herself up to a sitting position. She is very tactile, using her fingers to better understand her surroundings. This is all important information that can be effectively communicated through documentary portraits. And of course, you also get to see all the “cuteness” visible in a more traditional studio portrait – the big eyes, the peach fuzz hair, the chubby cheeks. I think it is the combination of all these elements that makes for interesting pictures.

You can click on any of the pictures to see them larger. Enjoy…

Tech Info:
Nikon N90s
Nikon 50mm f1.8
Ilford HP5 Plus
DR5 Process (B&W Slide)

Camera Scan
Sigma SD9
Sigma 50mm f2.8 Macro
Photosolve Xtend-a-Slide

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Northglenn, CO | WHS Senior Portrait Session | Collage

Here is a collage that Breanna asked me to create using her favorite images from our Senior Portrait session this summer. This image is pretty different from the work I usually put up on the blog – I tend to lean more towards black and white images on simple backgrounds. But this was a fun project, and it shows the variety of opportunities that are opened up with technology.

Having been out of high school for more than a few years, I didn’t know that collages were “a thing”.  Now that I have had my eyes opened to the possibilities, I am definitely interested in where they may lead. Collages seem to be a great way to showcase a wider variety of imagery and include some of the “edgier” pictures that might never see the light of day in the traditional world of 8X10’s hanging on the wall.

Anything that lets people see portraiture in a new context, and exposes them to interesting imagery, is okay in my book. What are your thoughts?

You can click on the image to see it lager. Enjoy…

Tech Info:
Collage created in Adobe Photoshop CS5
Images are a mixture of film (Fuji Pro 400H) and digital (Nikon D70s) captures

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Arvada, CO | Arvada Center | Documentary Family Portraits

Below are some pictures from one of my fall documentary family portrait sessions. These pictures were all shot over the course of a couple hours at the park behind the Arvada Center for the Arts in Arvada, CO.

I was fortunate to get to work with such a fun and happy young family, with a three year old son who reminds me so much of Molly (also three) it’s scary. We were blessed with a warm day, nice late afternoon light, and beautiful fall colors.

It was fun to document this family interacting and having a good time. I think we were able to capture some great images that really tell a story about who these people are and how much they enjoy each other.

You can view the whole event and order prints HERE.

Click on any of the images to view them larger and read a caption. Enjoy…

Tech Info:
For this shoot, I used three camera/lens combinations

B&W Film
Nikon F100
Nikon 85mm f1.8
Legacy Pro 400 (AKA – Fuji Neopan 400)
Richard Photo Lab

Color Film
Nikon N90s
Nikon 50mm f1.4
Fuji Pro 400H
Richard Photo Lab

Digital
Nikon D70s
Nikon 35mm f2
Adobe Camera Raw

If you would like to figure out which combination was used for which picture, you can look at each image’s IPTC info (using Jeffrey Friedl’s Exif Viewer) or you can hop over to my Flickr photostream and look at the image tags.

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Arvada, CO | Kids Portraits | Airplanes, Wagons & A Big Bruise

Kids are resilient. Ten minutes before I shot this series of pictures, Jaxon managed to fall and bang his forehead on the asphalt. I would have been laying in bed for a week. He cried for about thirty seconds, and then wanted to get down and play. We watched as the bruise started to come out on his forehead, and I went back to taking pictures. This was something important to document, as a toddler he is pretty much a walking bruise. That’s just who he is at this point in his life.

Jaxon never seems to get too worried about it. He has more important things to think about. Like airplanes flying overhead and wagons to pull and climb on. I guess he figures bruises are just the price you pay for the freedom to walk around and check things out.

I really like the authenticity of these pictures. The bruise, the clothes, the hair, the setting, it all feels real – because it is real. A picture doesn’t have to be staged and styled and manicured to be beautiful. Life is what it is, and I like to document it. Let me know if you have a life you would like to have documented.

You can click on any of the images to see them larger. Enjoy…


Tech Info:
Open shade late in the day
Nikon D70s
Nikon 35mm f2
f2.8 | 1/400 | ISO 200
Adobe Camera Raw
Photoshop Unsharp Mask to boost midtone contrast

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