Portrait

Jess & Matt – Ready to Pop!

We received an emergency call last week… Jess was a day away from her due date, and she and Matt had been so busy with all the preparation, that they had completely forgotten to book a pregnancy session. Luck would have it that we didn’t have anything scheduled, so we packed up our gear and raced to Lynde Shores Conservation Area for an impromptu shoot and to take advantage of the beautiful golden hour light…

Jess & Matt - Pregnancy-4 Jess & Matt - Pregnancy-12 Jess & Matt - Pregnancy-15 Jess & Matt - Pregnancy-10Jess & Matt - Pregnancy-8

eSession – Anita & John

We spent a beautiful (albeit hot) afternoon at Cruickshank park in Toronto with Anita & John (and Hanna, too!). We hadn’t been there before, but had heard rumours of a path draped with massive weeping willows, so we decided to take a gamble… We think it paid off…

J&A - Engagement-1 J&A - Engagement-15 J&A - Engagement-13 J&A - Engagement-22 J&A - Engagement-17 J&A - Engagement-6

Fun Pregnancy Announcement Photos

Here’s a little story (with some photos to follow, because, well, this is a photography blog ;)… For 15 years, my wife and I have tried to have kids. Early on, we did all sorts of fertility treatments, but the result was always the same. Negative. And with no explanation. We were simply part of a small percentage that Dr’s were baffled by. After some time, we reluctantly accepted that it wasn’t going to happen, but didn’t take any “precautions” either. Figuring that if it was going to happen, it would happen. Years went by without a single hint of conception and our attention slowly shifted towards the benefits of living as DINKS (Dual Income, No KidS). Renovation plans, Vacation plans, toys for the big kids… Planning for a future that mainly revolved around the two of us.

By now, I’m pretty sure you can see where this story is headed… While we were busy racing towards our forties, and the idea of becoming parents all but a distant, diminishing thought, the universe was busy making sure that we were still (and always) on our toes…

It happened! Shit just got realer than real!

Now, having to keep this news quiet for a couple months was one of the toughest parts, so we decided to focus our attention on coming up with creative, customized photos for our families to announce this shocking news. Below are those photos…

Because this WAS our plan for future vacations...

Because this WAS our plan for future vacations…

Because two doors just ain't gonna cut it anymore...

Because two doors just ain’t gonna cut it anymore…

Because the Grand-dog was as close as our parents thought they would get...

Because the Grand-dog was as close as our parents thought they would get…

Because Saturday nights have always been about the bleu, blanc et rouge...

Because Saturday nights have always been about the bleu, blanc et rouge…

 

Kids are Colourful

So why not use a splash of colour to enhance their portraits! In the images below, I used Honl Photo’s Speed Strap and coloured gels on a Nikon SB910 (with the wide angle diffuser pulled out) to add a pop of colour to the background. I chose colours that would accent their personalities, clothing and eye colour. The lighting setup was a simple 2 light arrangement. The main light was another SB910 in a 26″ Westcott Octagonal Rapid Box (with diffuser panel) to camera left and at a 45 degree angle. Both lights were triggered by a camera mounted SU800 and the RadioPopper PX system (no line of sight required).

The key with kids is to try and keep it fun. Let them make some funny faces in return for some genuine smiles. It might not always work, but when it does, the results can be great.

Eli

Ben

The Proposal – Nawaz & Zahra

We were honoured to be asked to shoot Nawaz’ uber-romantic proposal to his lovely girlfriend Zahra. His months of planning payed off in spades, and the weather (despite a favorable forecast) held out just long enough not to spoil a single second of it…

Burden of proof

(Disclaimer: I do not contend to know the law surrounding every aspect of photography in its nuanced entirety. The information below is my understanding of it and should not be taken as definitive legal advice.)

During a class this weekend I had a student ask about using/posting/selling pictures that have people in them; and the potential legal ramifications that can arise from it. While still largely untested, the general rule of thumb is this: If you don’t have a signed model release, you don’t have permission to sell the image for commercial purposes.

But it’s a little more complicated than that. In the US and Canada, you can use images taken in public places with people clearly visible for the purpose of photojournalism or Art. However, you wouldn’t be able to sell it on, say, a stock photography site, without a model release signed by each individual in the image. The reason for this is that you can’t control how the end user/purchaser will use that image. If it is used to promote or sell a product, and you haven’t gotten permission from the person(s) visible in the image, then it could certainly cause some issues. This is why stock photography agencies require a model release for any image that contains people. Here is how istockphoto outlines it:

‘ Ask yourself this: “Could any of these people depicted recognize themselves in this picture?“ If so, you will need a model release. Sometimes the context of an image is enough to make a person recognizable, even if their face isn’t visible.’

This requirement also stretches beyond stock photo sites. Most (if not all) photo contests require a model release in order to enter an image into competition. The reason here is quite simple. If that image ends up in the top of the heap of submissions, the organizer will more than likely print it and/or use it for promotional purposes, all for which you would ultimately need a model release.

Here is a real life example… During an eSession last year, we were on a boardwalk taking pictures of the couple on a bench when a group of officers walked by on foot patrol. Inspiration struck, and we asked one of the officers if they would pose and pretend to write the couple a ticket while they made out on the bench. Caught up in the moment (or perhaps subconsciously not wanting to push my luck), I didn’t think to ask the officer to sign a release form, even though I felt we had potentially captured something unique and special. Even though the officer’s face isn’t visible, because I didn’t get a release signed, I’m unable to submit the image below for consideration in contests.

No model release. No contest submission.

No model release. No right to sell (commercially) or submit to contests.

eSession – Jaan & Marcia

We actually did this shoot in December, just before Xmas and our trip to New Zealand (those pics will be coming soon). Somehow I managed to press the “save draft” button on this post instead of publishing it. Better late than never, I suppose…

We had a pretty chilly eSession/family shoot on the weekend with Jaan, Marcia and Marcia’s daughter, Jordana. Despite the cold weather, they were real troopers, especially Jordi who was hamming it up for Jess while I was doing some shots of the couple. I still haven’t regained full sensation in my shutter finger, but I feel worse for the three of them after hearing that they are all under the weather following the shoot. We wish them a warm and speedy recovery.