April is a dear family friend, and her beautiful chestnut American quarter horse, Arthur, has been living the senior lifestyle for a few years now. He spends his days eating grass, enjoying the sun and pasture, he even has some horsey friends! Even though he doesn't get ridden anymore, this 20+ year old beauty is more than any pet or pastime for April. He's very much a part of her life and her family.
We spent a gorgeous sunny afternoon in the field in early October. I consciously shot backlit almost the whole time, and it made for a beautiful etherial aesthetic to help bring magic to the photos. Shooting backlit can difficult, and I was photographing with just me and a camera, no lighting, no assistant, no white card to bounce light. I just kept my eye on my exposure and my histogram, double checking every few frames that I had an exposure I could play with in post! Ideally a second set of hands at least with a bounce card would help fill in the backlight beautifully, but given the circumstances I think I managed ok!
On another photographic note, whenever you shoot outside it's great to use a neutral colored bright surfaces to help naturally bounce light back into the subject. You'll see the photos where the dirt road helped bounce a little brightness back, versus when we were shooting in the pasture where the green grass reflected a different quality of light that can be difficult to edit.
Despite these photographic challenges, April and Arthur were a breeze to work with! He was rather agreeable most of the day, and we played with staged portraits of them together, to April leading him down the lane, to a few more poses to help convey the sentimental nature of the shoot. It was a terrific experience, and I was thrilled with the results! I know April enjoyed her photoshoot, and I hope Arthur did too!
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I made the decision early on to not be a portrait / wedding photographer. It wasn't what I felt strongly about, it wasn't something that stirred me inspirationally, but over the years I will still take on portrait assignments to keep myself fresh. Shooting a variety of subject matter helps keep you on your toes, keeps your creativity flowing, and even if it's not your forte it helps strengthen how you see light and composition. So when a friend asked for portraits of herself and her retired horse, of course I said "Yes!"
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I had been eagerly awaiting this winter season. Here in New England, the winter months can be rather frigid, but for those of us who don’t mind the exhaustive work of climbing into 6 mil wetsuits or ice-cream-headache cold waters, it’s the eagerly anticipated winter months that bring the biggest swells. We had snow before the New Year and water temps quickly started approaching 40°F. But in typical fashion, as soon as the long awaited winter months arrived, I was craving a break from the cold gray in favor of a warm water reprieve.
I've been wanting to shoot more portraits lately, but in combination with the surf community that I've been so involved with the past year. My good friend, Kevin Tanner, behind Soudnings Surf Co creates some gorgeous handcrafted boards. He does all his own shaping, resin work, and glassing, and I wanted to photograph some beautiful boards to highlight his craftsmanship as well as portraits of my friends who ride them. I decided to do board portraits.
A lot of us enjoy the warm weather, but a select few of us still enjoy (or perhaps tolerate) the cold weather. And nothing quite says winter like a fresh snowfall! On the rare occasion Rhode Island experiences more than one inch of snow while there's swell in the water, you can find a select few of dedicated riders on the shore eager to have a snow session.