May 18th, 2013 — 3:52pm
I photographed the Flamino family at a park in Scottsdale, Arizona. The afternoon was full of fun and energy and snacks and running and more running. Getting either of the kids to sit was a rare occasion, so when they did, I took advantage of the moment.
This was my favorite image from the afternoon and not because of the composition or the light… I just know that’s the moment that matters to me as a father.
She has such beautiful curly hair. She was so much fun to photograph.
The afternoon ended with fun on the swings.
Focusing on a swinging child is impossible because by the time you get focus, they are on their way out of it. Instead of trying to get the camera to follow them automatically, I simply set a focus distance and waited until the child entered into my area of focus.
Children’s Portraits by Jared Platt, Platt Photography
Slideshow Music by Nancy Falkow, courtesy of Triple Scoop Music
Location: Park in Scottsdale, Arizona
Category: Childrens Portraits, Family Portrait, Photography | Tags: Arizona, child photography, family portrait, jared platt, scottsdale Comment »
May 17th, 2013 — 10:00am
When the man or woman on the street thinks about the process of making music, they think about a musician and a piano, or a guitar. Sitting down and playing for hours, perhaps making notes on some blank sheet music, writing some lyrics under a sycamore tree on a funky hand made notebook, and maybe the younger among us add in a snapshot of the musician playing music on their iPad into Garage Band.
But the creative process is goes beyond the romantic and requires organizational skills and business acumen.
When I walked into Cason Cooley’s recording studio in Nashville, TN, to photograph Mindy Gledhill, the first thing I noticed was the wall sized blackboard with a production grid on it. You can see the songs that are being recorded and the series of steps that each song must go through during the production of Mindy’s new album. There are a lot of boxes to check. During short recording breaks, Mindy wasn’t relaxing in a chair, shooting the breeze with the studio musicians, she was fielding calls that were clearly about business.
So, while it is true, that musicians and artists spend a lot of focused time writing lyrics in notebooks and making sketches on napkins, the majority of any successful artist’s time is spent in managing production and business and checking off boxes on an excel spreadsheet or its funky blackboard equivalent.
If you want to be part of the creative life, and “live the dream,” you had better be aware that the “dream” includes spreadsheets and task lists and business goals and production schedules. That’s just part of the creative life. Anyone who tells you something different is selling something.
Thanks to Mindy Gledhill for allowing me to invade her creative space as she worked. You can be a part of her creative venture as well by pledging to her album production at Pledge Music. The beauty of it is that you will also get some very cool things in return. One of my favorites is a signed lyric sheet. I think that’s about as cool a memento as you can get. Of course, I am biased, I was always the lyricist in the band.
If you haven’t heard Mindy’s music, here is a taste of it. You can get more at MindyGledhill.com.
Photography by Jared Platt, Platt Photography
Location: Cason Cooley Studio in Nashville, TN
Slideshow music by Mindy Gledhill, courtesy of Triple Scoop Music
Category: Music Photography, Photography, Photography Assignments, Stories | Tags: creativity, jared platt, lessons, mindy gledhill, Photography Comment »
May 16th, 2013 — 2:20pm
Mindy Gledhill is at it again. Another brilliant record is forthcoming this fall. I had the opportunity to spend a few days in the recording studio with her in Nashville to watch and record her creative process. The creative process is such an interesting thing to study. I am familiar with my own and because I travel so much and meet so many creative people, I am privileged to see other creative peoples’ processes. Some are more efficient than others. Some are at the mercy of the muse and others can call up their muse on demand. But once, the creative process begins, it is surprisingly similar regardless of what art you are practicing.
More on that later.
For now, I wanted to give you a glimpse into the studio as Mindy makes the music come alive. As a fan of her musical talent, I have to report: the music is very, very good.
This next photo is Mindy writing a line on the Key-tar which was transported directly from the 1980′s to the studio through a time portal in the back corner of Cason Cooley’s studio in Nashville, TN. The musician and recording engineer in me walked around the studio in reverence, like I was in a vintage musical instruments museum.
This moment of creativity struck me. Mindy was listening to the music and could tell the song needed something. She voiced it, saying it needed a little more happiness in it (my words not hers). A little more listening, a little more thinking, a little wandering and Mindy was back on the couch with headphones and a key-tar playing a happy line on a silly little instrument. Within 30 minutes, the song had lifted off the ground with that light happy feel she had expressed less than an hour before.
Creativity has so many components to it. Focus seem to be one of the most important.
As I watched her work, I could tell when she entered that zone of intensity where all other distractions disappeared. That, to me, is one of the most incredible things about the human mind, that it can focus in on what needs to be done and forget everything around it, no matter how distracting life may be… The most creative among us can dive deep into that zone, much to the annoyance of their friends and family.
Mindy’s new album will hit the market in the fall, but you can be a part of it now and even get a pre-released copy, or have Mindy sing you to sleep on the phone by pledging your support for the album at Pledge Music. Independant artists put their soul AND their money into their albums. It is an expensive proposition to make an album on your own. Pledge Music allows the artist to fund their production while allowing you to get some cool swag items that you could never get otherwise. Some of my favorite items include:
The New Album (you get it one week before the world)
Mindy Sings you to Sleep
Pre-Release Listening Party
VIP Backstage Pass for Two Years
Be in a Mindy Glehill Music Video
Ultimate Artist Mentoring Package
Support the creative production process and become a benefactor to one of the most talented new artists around. Someday, when she’s too hot to touch, you will be able to say, “Mindy Gledhill once sang me to sleep!” I say that, but Mindy is a super down to earth, wonderful person, so I think she’ll always be singing someone to sleep.
During a few moments of downtime, I interviewed Mindy for a project I am working on. We did the interview in the back of the studio. The light was beautiful, so I got a portrait of her as well.
Images of Mindy Gledhill by Jared Platt, Platt Photography
Location: Cason Cooley Studio, Nashville, TN
Category: Music Photography, Photography, Portraits | Tags: creative process, Documentary, jared platt, mindy gledhill, music, Nashville, new album, Photography, recording, recording studio Comment »
May 12th, 2013 — 12:37am
Ted and Ali were married at the Paradise Valley Country Club in Paradise Valley, Arizona. Paradise Valley is a little community nestled between Phoenix and Scottsdale just north of Camelback Mountain. The wedding was a blast. Ted and Ali are a lot of fun, and so are their groomsmen and bridesmaids. Here are my favorite images from the wedding.
I love black and white. I loved this door, but I wasn’t fond of the colors in the room, but knowing an image will be in black and white, opens up a lot of possibilities for you as a photographer, regardless of the color schemes in a room.
The locker room for the ladies was a bit of a challenge, since I am not a lady. So I had my associate photographer and assistant (both ladies) spend most of their time in the locker room, but occasionally I got in there for the important moments and some good shots.
Time for some shots with the parents. This one caught me. I love the way Ali’s father is looking at her.
And both of these photographs of Ali are so beautiful. The light is perfect, she looks fantastic in her wedding dress, the flowers (by Table Tops, Etc.) look great.
I love the signs hanging from the chairs. Everything about the wedding, from the tables, to the flowers, to the chairs, the ribbon, the colors. All of it looked great. And of course all of that is thanks to the coordination efforts of Rachel at Outstanding Occasions. Nothing replaces a great wedding designer and planner.
Two ring bearers. Both looked great in their little tuxes.
I caught the flower girl taking a look at herself in the mirror. So big… and yet, still so small (short).
The youngest flower girl was so excited to be a part of the wedding and she was also very aware of the camera, or me… maybe she just liked me. But I think she was playing it up for the camera.
I think the purpose of ring bearers and flower girls is to give us all some comic relief from all the emotions. They are always so unpredictable and ofter very funny. Always cute! They make my day, every time I shoot a wedding.
Camelback Mountain makes a beautiful backdrop for a wedding. I don’t necessarily enjoy golfers finishing their round during the wedding, but they were respectful enough and there was no shouting, cursing or hootin’ and hollerin’ about a long put during the ceremony, so I suppose it worked out well.
Anytime I have a strong backlight, like the sun, if I can throw it behind a tree, it softens and scatters it just enough to allow a completely natural lighting shot. No flash, no reflector, just the right exposure.
While, starting earlier in the day for a wedding makes the portraiture more challenging, it certainly makes for far better reception photographs, like the father’s toast. I love this shot.
As the sun went down, the outdoor reception was lit by a grid work of twinkle lights, which give off a beautifully soft glow. One can even get a shot without a flash if you have the right camera with a clean high ISO.
When your daughter gets up for a toast, I am sure it is hard to keep it together.
This has to be the best image of the day. I know that we typically think of the cool portraits and the artsy images as the best images, but in this case, I can not get over this image. Ali was dancing with her dad, when half way through the song, Ted took his daughter on the dance floor for a dance. This is the first time I have been able to see both the Groom and the Bride dancing at the same time in a Father-Daughter dance. It was a precious as anything could be. I had to maneuver a great deal to get this shot to happen. Ali and her dad had to be in the right spot, in the right portion of the turn of their dance, the same is true for Ted and his daughter. Then I had to be in the right spot to keep them all close enough to fit in one frame. Then I had to have Ali’s dad in focus… I was stressed out about getting this shot, because I knew at the time how important is would be.
When I look at images like this from a wedding and think about my little daughter, I can’t emphasize this photograph enough. This is about as perfect a moment as I have ever captured.
That’s a lot of twinkle lights and the chandeliers are a great touch.
The odd little blue puff in the bottom corner of the photo is cotton candy. Yes, cotton candy. I love it.
In spite of being outside with nowhere to bounce a flash to get great light, we made the light happen by putting up a series of Canon 600RT Speedlites that I controlled from my camera. This kept plenty of light on the subjects but from multiple angles so there is a lot of volume in the shots.
Ali brought this white frame along to the wedding and asked if we could do something with it. So we set up a little photo booth situation at the after party. People had fun doing ridiculous things in in, on and around the frame.
Wedding photography by Jared Platt, Platt Photography.
Wedding Planning and Coordination by Outstanding Occasions.
Flowers by Table Tops Etc.
Location: Paradise Valley Country Club, Paradise Valley, Arizona
Category: Photography, Weddings | Tags: Arizona, country club, jared platt, paradise valley, scottsdale, Slideshow, Wedding Photography Comment »
May 10th, 2013 — 10:38pm
I have quite a story to tell, although Kevin Burdick lived it, I will tell it because I was there. This story is true, by the way…
I spent two days driving up to the Grand Canyon with my good friends Kevin Burdick and Carlos Martín. Carlos is from New Jersey and had never seen the Grand Canyon. Kevin and I grew up near the canyon, so we took it upon ourselves to introduce him to the natural wonder. I wanted to show him Shoshone Point, since it is one of my favorite places to experience the canyon.
We arrived a few hours before sundown and went dirrectly to the canyon’s edge. A little hike was required to get there. So, we gathered our cameras and started the hike. Along the way we alternated using Kevin as our subject and photographing the landscape. When we finaly made our way out onto the point, a small storm had moved in, the sun was long since burried behind the clouds, it turned cold and began to snow (in May). But, Carlos and I perserviered with our photographs and Kevin, who was no longer the subject of our images was standing just to my right shivering off the cold. A slight rolling of thunder in the distance foreshadowed the moment to come, but we all stood on the edge of the percipise shivering and photographing.
(This next shot is Carlos Martín, Carlos is a talented Architectural photographer.)
Carlos was adjusting his tripod, I stood behind him with my camera held to my chest looking out into the canyon when I heard the unmistakable sound of electricity pulsing (just like what you might expect in Dr. Frankenstien’s laboritory) and a flash of light just to my right, but the light did not come from the sky and it ddi not come from a mile away.
“Guys,” Kevin said hesitently, “I’ve been struck by lightning.”
That’s right. Struck by Lightning!
(This next photo is my rendition of Kevin holding lightning in his hands.)
Kevin then described in full detail how the energy had, in a mere moment, gone through his head, down his arm (burning his skin below his watch) and shot out of his hand to the ground. This was the flash of light I saw to my right below the level of my eye. He felt his muscles clinch and the energy flow through him, but never lost balance or consciousness.
We rushed to him to make sure he was ok and then we decided it would be a good idea to get off the cliff. Carlos later said he was a bit disappointed that we left. ”I had just gotten my tripod set, and then we’re leaving? Technically, that was the least likely place lightning would strike,” he complained.
After Kevin took the Lightning on the chin and lived through it, we spent another few minutes photographing the fog in the canyon (the first shot in this post) and then hiked back to the car. Later that night, we had a nice steak dinner. Kevin’s still fine!
I remember hiking back to the car, turning to Kevin and saying, “sorry you were struck by lightning Kevin…”
There’s something you don’t get to say every day.
Category: Photography, Stories, Travel Log | Tags: grand canyon, jared platt, lightning, Photography Comment »
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