Tag Archives: boy

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 | 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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Arvada, CO | Documentary Portraits | Family Pumpkin Picking

Halloween is here again! I hope you have your pumpkin picked out.

Below are some documentary pictures from our pumpkin picking adventure this fall. The whole crew went over to my Mom and Dad’s place where Dad has a big garden with a small pumpkin patch. The kids all got to pick out a couple of pumpkins and there were still a few left over to give to some of the kid’s friends.

I really like these pictures for a few reasons… first is the light. We did this in the late afternoon, so the light was warm and directional, perfect for these kinds of pictures. If you are scheduling a family event that might provide good photo-ops, always try to take advantage of the light at the end of the day.

Another thing that I like about these pictures is the authenticity. Everyone looks real. Julie and Luke just got out of work, so they are wearing their work clothes. Dad is pretty much always dressed just like this – jeans, pocketed t-shirt and a big hat (in the winter he adds a flannel shirt). It’s the end of the day, so the kids hair and clothes are messy, and they have stuff all over their faces – just as you would expect. These pictures really document our family, not some idealized version, our real family.

This kind of authenticity is what I always strive for in my documentary portrait sessions – family fun, real locations, natural light, comfortable clothing – perfect. So if you have a family event coming up that could benefit from some authentic documentation, give me a call.

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

Tech Info:
Late afternoon light
Nikon D70s
Nikon 35mm f2.0
Adobe Camera Raw

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Arvada, CO | Documentary Portraits | Jaxon Playing Outside

This is Jaxon. He is truly a boy’s boy. He is happiest when he’s eating, sleeping, or playing outside. He loves to run through the rocks, weeds and grass. He loves to play with sticks. And most of all, he loves to push his jeep.

These are documentary portraits of Jaxon doing his thing. For this set of images, I really wanted to show him in his element, so we went outside in the morning, when the light is good, and before he has a chance to get tired and cranky. I pretty much just followed him around and waited for him to do something interesting. He didn’t need any direction, I would occasionally say his name, just to get him to look at the camera.

My camera selection was based on my desire to place Jaxon in context. I wanted it to be obvious that we were outside running around and playing. So I went old school – these were shot using an old fixed lens rangefinder camera from the 1970’s. Notice the soft corners in some of the images. That is one of the great things about using old film cameras and lenses, they each have their own unique look that can really add to the feel of the shots.

One thing I especially like about this particular camera is the fixed 40mm lens. It is close to a standard 50mm, but just enough wider to give more context to the images. However, it is not as wide as a 35mm, which can show distortion in portrait images. 40mm really seems to be the sweet spot, at least for me.

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

Tech Info:
Canon Canonet QL17 GIII
Fixed 40mm f1.7 lens
Legacy Pro 400 (AKA Fuji Neopan 400)
Ilford Ilfotec DD-X (7min @ 20C)

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

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Arvada, CO | Baby Portrait | Smile, It’s A Holiday Weekend!

Smile everybody, it’s a holiday weekend!

Let’s kick it off with a picture of a happy baby. Check out those new teeth.

This scene was photographed during an at home portrait session in Arvada, CO. All of the light was provided by large windows to camera right, and a smaller window just out of frame above the baby’s right shoulder. Fill light was provided by the window light bouncing off of the rest of the walls in the room. Fast film (ISO 1600) and a fast lens (50mm f1.4) let me grab this shot while keeping motion blur to a minimum.

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

Tech Info:
Nikon F100
Nikon 50mm f1.4
Fuji Neopan 1600
Processing and scanning by Richard Photo Lab

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Documentary Portraits – The Brothers – Brighton, CO

Below is a gallery of documentary portraits from a recent shoot. I love the authentic expressions in these images. We even got some nice smiles and no one had to say “cheese”…

Beautiful color and awesome dynamic range provided by that ancient medium called film.

Tech Info:
Nikon N90s
50mm & 85mm prime lenses @ f2
Fuji 400H film
Processing and Scanning – Richard Photo Lab

View the whole shoot and order prints here.

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Bright Shining Faces, or Maybe Not – Documentary Portraits

I was going through my archive looking for images to add to this site, and came across this one…

I love it!

It’s certainly not traditional, but it is real. The hat, the bib overalls, the messy face, the expression, even the out of focus cup in the foreground – I had totally forgotten about this day, until I saw this picture. Then it all came rushing back. That is the power of a documentary portrait, it doesn’t just capture what a person looks like, it captures who they were at that moment in time. Beautiful – no matter what is smeared all over their face.

Info for any photographers out there:
Sigma SD9
Sigma 50mm f2.8 Macro
Manual exposure, 1/180 sec, f/2.8, ISO 100, Compensation: +1/2
Check out the detail (Click on the picture to see it larger). When this camera gets it right it is really right. Unfortunately, when it gets it wrong, it is really wrong. There is no safe middle ground.

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