I can fly ~ the universe shares its wings with me!

It wasn’t my intention to do a photo shoot, on the contrary, I didn’t want to… but he asked and I couldn’t say no to my dear friend.  He went to great lengths to select props and promised to photograph me at some of my favorite locations.  I agreed with the stipulation that I could do whatever I wanted to ~ he could control the camera only ~ we were both compromising and we both knew it. As a photographer, it is difficult not to call all the shots the way I see them, whether I’m in front or behind the camera.  I only hoped he would capture the scenes as I felt them.  He did.
I took time to let the beauty of nature engulf me, the warmth of the sunshine on my skin and the sound of the Pacific Ocean below me, as I stood high upon the cliffs of Oahu’s coastline.

There is a strong sense of spiritual connection for me in Hawaii.  This is where I belong. This is my home. Although many times I have struggled with the challenges of living here, if I go to the ocean, I am reassured… this is where I am free.  This is where my spirit is meant to be.

Here I can fly… if I could just stop trying to be in control of everything and believe that the universe will respond to my questions.

Nature answers, whether it’s angel wings from the ocean or listening to the bamboo trees creaking in the forest, the reassurance that I am connected with the universe is confirmed.  Meditation works wonders, you just need to listen and see the signs.

But, having a photographer to capture your spirit as it flies free… is heaven. I never would have seen the ocean pushing me forward with my dreams, if he had not snapped the frame exactly when he did.

Enjoy a slideshow… (the images in which I appear to be precariously on the edge of disaster truly are from a photographer’s angle.  I did not put myself in harm’s way).

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Thanks for stopping by my page. ~Donna  

Many thanks to Cliff Shorter, an amazing photographer.

Donna Welch Photography, Inc.

Capturing the Spirit… of the Moment.

808-699-4330  ~  www.donnawelchphotography.com

dwelch1432@aol.com

© Donna Welch Photography, 2011/2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Donna Welch Photography with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Passion within Photography

IMG_0092 Love.  It is a driving force… especially with a passionate photographer, such as myself.

Ahhh, being ‘in love’, the beautiful, sensual, fulfilling bliss which fills your heart with a weightlessness within your body and soul.  The cliché ‘walking on cloud nine‘ makes sense, well sort of… what does the nine stand for?

This week I photographed such a couple. They are both military. Yesterday he left for Korea and new wife is on-base here, in Hawaii. I am sure they’ve looked at these photographs over and over in the one day they have been apart.

They are ‘in love’. Their bliss of weightlessness gave me ideas I had never suggested to other couples. “Sit on his shoulders… Can you stand, James? Ashley? IMG_0011 can you stretch your arms out to the heavens?”  They did beautifully and he didn’t stumble once. I knew I would be pushing my limits, and theirs, if I asked her to stand up.  They trusted each other in body and soul.

Many times couples bring their own clothing and I always take some conservative shots to share with mom and dad, younger brother and sister. Then, if the couple wants to spice up the shots just a bit, I take out my props.

IMG_1164Men look handsome and dramatic in an unbuttoned, white shirt and women look very sexy in a long, white silky gown.  Now, put they in the water and you’ll get photographs they will love.  A hand on the tush, a kiss on the neck, a nibble on the ear, a tickle on the side, dripping water from a shell down her chest, pressed against a stone wall, making-out beneath a big, straw hat, silhouettes against the sky or laying in the sand, walking into the water or just playing and laughing. Being within their  intimacy is a delicate business for any photographer, especially when a couple is a bit bashful. They have to trust you completely.

IMG_0163Yes, they ‘re ready to play, but to get great shots, it is important the photographer (me) understands the balance between their freedom and quietly suggesting the position of a hand, the placement of a kiss, the gentle touch against her cheek, the humor to emphasize the sweetness of her smile, the tilt to outline his jaw, the twinkle in theirs eyes. The photographer (me) always needs to know where the sun is shining to capture the image within her mind; the placement of bodies, the use of natural or artificial light, the background, the best lens, the camera settings, her position in regard to her clients, ahh, so much going on in my mind, yet always remembering the most important element of a great photo shoot, IMG_1256the trust between James, Ashley and myself.  It is allowing them space with gentle suggestions, encouraging the loving touches, feeling the love they have for each and blessed they have allowed the photographer (me)  into their circle of bliss.

My heart is as weightless as theirs after the shoot.  My passion for life, for love and for photography has me dancing on ‘cloud nine‘.  Does anyone know what the ‘nine’ implies?IMG_1045

Target Practicing…

The red ‘danger zone’ flags flew all afternoon. People listened intently as the instructors explained, in detail, exactly how this activity would unfold. He explained the rules, the reasons and the repercussions.  They explained the mechanics of the firearms.  I took photographs of the group; a few couples, some middle-aged men and women and more than one grandma and grandpa.  And one grandpa seemed to have brought along his two, young grandsons or nephews or neighbor’s kids.

As a photographer ‘a frame‘ automatically appears around objects and people for me. I decide in that moment how I will show you what I am seeing. When my mind and camera are both in sync then I snap the shot.  (Sometimes, I’m right on, but usually I want and/or need to make an adjustment or two with the camera or my mind.)  I want to tell you a story or pique your interest with images.

But, more importantly, I want to capture the spirit of the person, place or thing, after all, isn’t that what tells the story?

These people were empowering themselves, standing tall and straight, holding a firearm, taking aim and firing.  The married couples stood side by side, enjoying the afternoon, chatting and laughing, both pointing a pistol at the sky.

I see a white-haired female with a black rifle butted against her shoulder.  The bullet casing flew behind her. Bang Bang. Why does she do this?  I decide it is better to let her focus on what’s she’s doing rather than interrupt her with silly questions.

When you look at a photograph that tells a story, ask yourself… reality? or a photographer’s imagination?

Enjoy a short slideshow of an afternoon at a rifle range.  In case you’re wondering why I was at a rifle range…  I am a volunteer photographer for the Navy League in Honolulu, Hawaii.

This was a member’s event.

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Thanks for stopping by my page. ~Donna

Donna Welch Photography, Inc.

Capturing the Spirit… of the Moment.

808-699-4330  ~  www.donnawelchphotography.com

dwelch1432@aol.com

© Donna Welch Photography, 2011/2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Donna Welch Photography with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Love doesn’t see gender when it comes to soulmates.

Do you remember the last time you looked into your loved one’s eyes… for hours?  Have you ever been so excited to please your mate with a surprise that you walked around wearing a silly grin all day? Do you snuggle so closely together that your breath is one?  Do you share ‘words of love’ only known to one another?  Does your heart ache, truly ache, when you’re apart for any length of time?

Do you believe in soulmates?  Couples that belong together.  They fit together.  Complement each other.  Balance one another. They are enjoying the pleasures of life because of their love. They can finish each other’s sentences and spend hours creating ways to please and fulfill the other.

Can you relate to any, if not all, of the above?  If so, then you know the type of love I am talking about.  Soulmates.

It comes around once in a lifetime, or if you’re extremely blessed, maybe more.

Lory and Hein. They are in love.  It was in the tenderness of their touch.  It was in the way their eyes lingered on each other.  The laughter, the smiles that filled their hearts.  Love ~ it is the most beautiful emotion anyone can experience.

I was so happy to be part of their wedding (officially, civil union) on March 9th.  Although they had to compromise on a few issues regarding their ceremony plans, we had a great time, taking photographs through raindrops and using a banyon tree as a canopy.

Everything went so smoothly, it was as though the ‘doves’ were celebrating the occasion along with us as they fluttered and landed on the happy couple. (I’m sure the malasadas helped).

Soulmates.  Lory and Hein are soulmates. I have a feeling they will live ‘happily ever after’.

Treasure it. Embrace it. Guard it. Never take it for granted.

Enjoy a slideshow of some of their photographs.

Thanks for stopping by my blog.  ~Donna

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Donna Welch Photography, Inc.

Capturing the Spirit… of the Moment.

808-699-4330  ~  www.donnawelchphotography.com

dwelch1432@aol.com

© Donna Welch Photography, 2011/2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Donna Welch Photography with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Honolulu Zoo… black and white or color?

The Honolulu, Hawaii zoo is a wonderful learning experience for my granddaughter and I love taking photos there, although taking both at the same time is extremely challenging. This little girl loves the  freedom to run from animal to animal with wild abandon.  Boy, this child just makes me feel young and adventurous and a bit wild, too. Yes, she does have some of my blood in her veins.
Lily likes watching the turtles… so slow and boring for such an active toddler, I thought.  Yet, today, she seems mesmerized by the loud, repetitious rock slamming against rock noise.  Drumming? Music connection?  I heard one mother explain to her inquisitive  five year-old… that’s how turtles exercise, sweetie.” 
But the zebras are the winners of her attention span today. She actually sits on a bench, eating her granola bar and sipping from a juice cup.  At first, I thought it was the snack break that had all her focus, but her eyes are glued to the zebras for a long time (relatively, speaking, of course) after the treat and juice is long gone.  (She spilled half of it and then some other toddler picked it up and finished it off.)   She seemed sad and lost in thought as she studied them.  What does a 21-month-old think?  
Black and white.  Color.  What was she seeing through her eyes?
I used my Canon 40D with a 70-200 lens, one of my favorites, as I tried for few shots.  My lens was fully extended, shutter speed 125, f9, iso 200.
It was a beautiful, sunny Hawaiian day, but I was standing under the shade of a tree as the sun created high contrast shadows in the pasture.  Black and white vs. color… both have their own qualities. 
Lily sat long enough for me to take a few shots, then a saw her smile and the twinkle reappear in her eyes.
The boys are already drooling to kiss her. 
Enjoy a few photos… Thanks for stopping by my blog. ~Donna

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Donna Welch Photography, Inc.

Capturing the Spirit… of the Moment.

808-699-4330  ~  www.donnawelchphotography.com

dwelch1432@aol.com


© Donna Welch Photography, 2011/2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Donna Welch Photography with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Mirror, mirror on the wall… it’s not me after all!

He is Samoan.  He is a man with a heart of gold.  He is my friend.

When I first met him I thought he would be interesting to photograph, not only because of his size and shape, but because of his personality.  I challenged myself to capture his spirit with my camera.

He was initially apprehensive about a photo shoot, but because he cares more about other people than himself, he agreed to help me out.  I assured him it would be painless and promised he would have fun.  We both did.  And since that first shoot a few years ago, we occasionally get together to create and have fun. He has learned to trust me as a photographer and has become one of my favorite models.

This man has no qualms about controlling his own feelings (or his aching back) if it’s in the name of creating art.  His back was aching, his mind was troubled about his father’s poor health and he hadn’t slept much the night before.  All of this, only added an emotional element to the photographs.  Although, I asked him repeatedly, if he wanted to call it quits, he continued to endure my directions, sometimes with a smile and sometimes (I thought) on the verge of tears.  Ahh, a model, a friend, this is a man with an overflowing personality that touches my soul.

Sexy. Sexy. Sexy.  He doesn’t think that he’s very sexy, which only adds to his charm.

Every morning we all look into the mirror to brush our teeth, fix our hair and wash our faces.  We are viewing the least attractive, two-dimensional image staring back at us.  If we just paused through the routines and really looked at ourselves, many of us would find a few flaws (some people find many) within our faces and certainly with our bodies.  So, when someone comes along and complements you… “you’re very handsome”, or  “you have so much sex appeal” or “great body”, we take it with a grain of salt.  “Yeah, sure,”  you may think, reflecting upon the image you see every morning in the mirror.

But, have you seen yourself with your best side exposed to the camera?  Have you seen yourself as others see you in everyday activities?  No, you probably haven’t.  This is where the beauty, the sexiness, your individual spirit rises and can be captured with photography.  This is how the world sees you.

You are not just the mug shot shaving your face in the two-foot wide mirror.  You have so

many characteristics that are beautiful; perhaps it’s the way you tilt your head or raise your eyebrow.  Do you do that in front of a mirror?  Perhaps it’s the concentration expressed on your face as you braid your hair.  Or did you know that whenever you bring your chin down just a bit, your cheekbones create an air of authority all by themselves?  Do you know when you laugh your eyes twinkle?  And when you play the role of a clown, as you often do, your antics are hilarious to watch.

All of this personality, all of this character, everything about you, is visible to my camera (yes, even though the stained glass).

This shoot was sexy and creative.

Spending time with you was great, and capturing that time, was even sweeter.  Thank you, my dear friend.

Thank you for stopping by my blog.  ~Donna

Please, enjoy a slideshow of some of our shots.

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Donna Welch Photography, Inc.

Capturing the Spirit… of the Moment.

808-699-4330  ~  www.donnawelchphotography.com

dwelch1432@aol.com


© Donna Welch Photography, 2011/2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Donna Welch Photography with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

This family is love.

Her dark brown hair is halfway down her back with a flower of a bow on the top of her head.  The white, transparent ribbons curled around and around with little white stars scattered about (must be super-glued on). She looks like the perfect, little gift for this family.  (A child obviously couldn’t have selected a better family. That is, if you believe there is a possibility that we might have a say in it).

People have many different beliefs and just as many explanations why life unfolds the way it does.

A gift was given to me on this family photo shoot.  A gift they shared with me, whether they knew it or not.

This couple’s first child is now a handsome, young man at the age of twelve.  Not only does he have good looks; he’s very intelligent, which goes without saying, he’s inquisitive (already taking college courses)!  He’s witty, definitely high-energy… he cracks me up.  His laugh is spontaneous and… extremely contagious.

We went to the botanical gardens to do the shoot.  It was overcast and I hoped the rain would hold off for an hour or so, the weather is prone to afternoon rain on the windward side of Oahu during the winter months.  This spot is a magical place for me, it is where I come whenever I have time to get lost in nature (with my camera, of course). I knew, without saying, this was the perfect location for this family.

She flew through the air (her father the wind beneath her wings). She decided to make me work for her smiles, as three-year-olds often do.  With her wings attached and her fairy dress in place we played peek-a-boo behind a tree, she blew bubbles and she held onto my granddaughter’s little red monkey.  Her smiles came naturally.

This couple’s love for each, for their family, are high intensity waves, a spiritual energy that embraces anyone within its radius (at least, that’s how I felt). So, if you were within that energy zone day and night, every day of the year, wouldn’t you feel wonderful about life? (at least most of the time)

The children were so ‘comfortable’ with their parents… (hmmm, I guess that isn’t the word I want to use). Comfortable. Secure. Understood. Needed. Appreciated. Respected. Supported. Wanted. Nurtured. Loved.  This family is love.

From the playfulness of their 92 year-old tutu expressing her love to her granddaughter and her great-grandchildren to the antics of mom and dad trying not to laugh as they held their lips mere fractions from each other, careful not to kiss, this shoot was special.  I wish we could have continued the shoot until the little one got overtired and cranky, tutu had enough and overdue homework needed to be done… maybe, maybe… no, I am sure love prevails in their home throughout the daily hiccups of life.

This was a gift to me.  Love is a wrapped in all sizes, ages and personalities… always regard it as a gift.

Enjoy a slideshow of some of the moments we shared.  Thank you for stopping by my blog.  ~ Donna

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Donna Welch Photography, Inc.

Capturing the Spirit… of the Moment.

808-699-4330  ~  www.donnawelchphotography.com

dwelch1432@aol.com


© Donna Welch Photography, 2011/2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Donna Welch Photography with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.