Saturday, September 27, 2008

October Fest

Lees Summit is in the middle of Octoberfest and it's great entertainment for all. Loved walking around hearing all the kiddies scream as the rides raced by. The colors of the night and entertainment was loads of fun for all.

My wife Nancy and daughter Dani

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Photo's from the OneLight Workshop

Here's a few photo's from the OneLight Workshop just held in Kansas City.


Zack Arias - OneLight Workshop in Kansas City

WOW!!!! First of all my hat goes off to Zack for taking time to mentor other photographers and share how he creates such beautiful and unique pieces of art. We had a great time watching and learning from Zack as he shared his concepts of using just one light for a photo shoot. I was blessed having bought his OneLight DVD and watched it several times before the workshop. While many struggle to write down their notes, I filled in missing pieces of the puzzle, which easily fell into place during the workshop. Just so you understand, I'm not making a dime off his DVD. But, I will gladly promote it as the best explanation of off camera flash. Flash outside the studio without a light meter has always been a struggle for me and the inconsistency has really frustrated me. After watching Zacks DVD and trying the techniques on 3 shoots, his methods have proven easy and very repeatable. I respect those who use natural light, but I love the creativity that flash brings.

Having now pimped his DVD, if you get the concepts you still need creativity to produce a piece of work that stands out from other photographers. One thing that stands out for me is how creative Zack is with one light. To show you how stuck I was, the thought never occured to me to take a shoot through umbrella and point it away from the subject. The results are stunning.

One last thought. For those of you who think you cannot produce outstanding pieced of art with one off-camera flash and one light modifier valued at $200-$300, think again.

A Special Thank You to Stacey Schmitz Photography for opening up his studio for this workshop. Stacey
Now, I want to share with you photo's from the workshop. I am very pleased with my results, but when compared to Zack I have a long way to go.Thanks again Zack for sharing your wisdom and raising the bar!

Monday, September 22, 2008


Tonight I had an opportunity to take Mack out for a quick photo shoot. We arrived 30 minutes later then I wanted to but had a awesome session. I learned a lot about Mack, he has a passion for golf and politics and he works hard as he pursues both.
You can see we had a great time and the last bit of lighting was the icing on the cake.

The sun was dropping fast, we had just minutes to get this shot set up.

Mack performing his best Camilo Villegas imitation.

Heidi Part II

I couldn't help myself, we had so many great photo's from Heidi I just had to post a few more.

Saturday, September 20, 2008


Today I had an opportunity to work with some clowns as they brought loads of joy to a bunch of children. Our church, Abundant Life Baptist Church ,had it's annual carnival where all the entertainment, drinks, hot dogs, candy, and cotton candy are free. It's just one of the many ways they reach out to the community. I took over 300 pictures of the children as they posed with my new friends. Here is some of their colorful garb.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Sweet Heidi

Heidi stopped by today for a impromptu photo shoot. She can't drive just yet so grandma brought her. Together they made a sweet pair. Heidi's a natural in front of the camera and knows how to bring out her best features.

See how she turns on the charm. Don't you just love the 85 f/1.2 lens?

Heidi was getting a little tired with all the lights and directions so grandma stepped in to help. Looks like we got two beautiful girls!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Grandpa Glen

I was inspired recently by another photographer. In his blog, Zack tells of the loss a family member and shares some thoughts about capturing pictures while you can. Time passes so fast it makes a person wonder where it went. For me I travel every week, which leaves little time for the family let alone taking pictures of them.

Glen, my father-in-law, used to live 2 blocks away, which guaranteed I'd see him every weekend. When his bride of 50 years passed away he moved to another town about 30 minutes away. My wife (his daughter) gets to see him every Wednesday when she takes him home from Bible study, but I rarely get to see him anymore. Today, however, was different. I am off this week and got to spend a day with him.

You can't help but love Glen. He seems to know everyone and is a joy to be with, but he's getting up there in years. Zack's blog got me thinking about how I photograph people outside of my family more than my own. Could it be I unconsciously place my family second because I don't get paid to photograph them? Or maybe it's the fact they clown around and make silly faces when I'm trying to do serious work.

Silly faces during family portraits used to frustrate me to no end, then Nancy's mother died. When I began putting family pictures together for the memorial I began to realize how special these silly faces were. At the time I took the photos I was livid, but putting them together for the funeral brought great joy and laughter.

With all this in mind I decided to take more pictures of the family. Today, when we picked up Glen from Bible study, I asked him if I could take a few pictures and he agreed. Here’s a few shots from our impromptu session.

Here's Glen at his Church

Glen, his daughter Nancy and her daughter Dani

Grandpa with Dani and there's Cooper, what a faithful companion.

Visit my wife blog (The Olive Leaf Ministries) to see more photo's and see whats happening on her blog.

If you are a photographer and want to learn a little bit about using off camera flash check out Zacks blog. Zach recently created a OneLight DVD

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Emersyn Jayne – Sep 11, 2008

Thursday, just after I landed in Kansas City, I received an emergency call to photograph our friend's newborn baby. For those of us who know family “K” we were filled with joy over the upcoming birth of little Emersyn. Sadly she died before birth and these pictures would be the only memories they would have of their little girl.

Please pray for this family as they grieve the lose of their child. Many of us can’t help but wonder why God would allow a mother to carry a baby full term, and then call the child home before birth. The truth is we many never understand the will of God in these situations until we meet Him face to face. Our vision of time is different then God's. We see time as past and present, but He see's the future. His Word tells us, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you.” (Jeremiah 1:5) In other words God set’s us apart for His special purpose long before we were born. He created us to worship Him and no matter how difficult our situation might be, it’s vital to lean on Him and trust that He will carry us through.

I wish I had magical words in times like this, but I don’t. Nancy and I have a 20 year old daughter who is Autistic and on numerous occasions we've felt we couldn't take any more. But, it was during these times we found comfort in knowing He would carry us through.

Matthew 11:28-30 says, "Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” Simply put, a yoke is a long plank with 2 curves cut in the bottom. It fits over our shoulders and Christ’s allowing Him to ease our burdens. What a vision of comfort.

So, how can we help others in times of grief? Sometimes the fewer words the better. Let your friends grieve in their own way, don’t criticize or tell them how to feel. Give them time and space and remember it’s ok if they cry out or yell at God. He is big and He can handle it. Let your actions do the talking by bringing them meals, cleaning their house, or mowing the lawn. Men, take the husband/father out for a few hours and women take the wife/mother out for a time of rest and relaxation. Offer to take their children for a day to give the husband and wife time alone. Reach out to someone, share some love asking nothing in return and most of all lift them in prayer. This is how we reflect the love of God to others.