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

Silhouettes

As the sun sets below the horizon, the people in Hawaii stop and take notice. If you stand  far enough back, you’ll see cut-outs of human forms in the panoramic view before you.   Scanning the beach you’ll see the surf instructor playing, “one, twoooo, THREE…” impressing yet another sweet, naive tourist by flipping her up from the ocean.  Take notice, ladies, for good or… for bad (girls :)), the beach boys are still alive and well in Waikiki.

It’s a shame this couple isn’t enjoying the sunset behind them… (or maybe the sunset is enjoying playing its magic on them).

Everyone has a spirit within them, in some shape, form or fashion. In Waikiki, the sunsets allow you to stand quietly and reflect upon the day, (unless you’re a young tourist or a beach boy).

From where you are standing, let your eyes travel the edges of the cut-out.You’ll create his character by the strength of his stance, the way he rests his hands on his hips, and the tilt of his chin.  Without a doubt, you know this man has the softest heart, but holds a firm stand on his beliefs. This man would definitely be a good friend (if only he would schedule another photo shoot with me!)

It’s another beautiful sunset on the island of Oahu. It is another evening that people will stop and take notice, reflect on the day’s events (the good or the bad :)), chose which to toss into the ocean and which to hold within their spirit. This is nature’s beauty in true form.

Thank you for stopping by my blog.  ~ Donna

(This is where I should insert a slideshow of some of the most beautiful sunsets I have photographed in Hawaii, but I’ll save it for another day… I hope to keep you coming back!)

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.

Creative make-up/model = perfect photos

A professional model.  Kimmy Catalina, her work can be viewed on Model Mayhem website.  http://www.modelmayhem.com/2516140 

A professional make-up artist.  Jason, at the Sephora’s Studio in Waikiki location applied Kimmy’s wild make-up.  He did a beautiful job.   http://www.sephora.com

I worked with Cliff Shorter, a local photographer.  He actually invited me to the shoot. Thank you, Cliff. http://www.modelmayhem.com/2136021 

Kimmy is a pleasure to work with, she’s understands the art of modeling, she knows her body, her best angles, her poses, her expressions, the lighting, in addition to being fast at changing outfits, this model is just fantastic.

On the shoot, I stayed behind the main shooter, trying not to get in his way, after all, I was second photographer on this scene.  But, even though I didn’t have full control, I was able to get my shots because Kimmy took the time to work with me as well.  She listened for my camera’s click before she moved her position.  Thank you, Kimmy, Cliff and Jason for all contributing to a beautiful, passionate Sunday afternoon for me.  I was in my glory!

Here are just a few of her photos.  Enjoy the slide show.  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.

Trust me…

Trust me. When someone says that to you, don’t you literally pull your head back just a bit… and worry?  (Well, unless it’s your grandmother or your best friend.)

This model was professional and relaxed, comfortable with her body and her gift of beauty. I explained what I wanted to create in the images and she gave me exactly what I wanted; every time.

But most importantly, she trusted me completely as a photographer. This allowed an energy to flow that lasted throughout the shoot.

Oh, yes, we used more than the one prop, (other posts of this shoot may follow)… wait until you see her in the ocean, she’s amazing or in the red dress. Wow. We were on the same page for almost 3 hours.

Maybe it’s because I’m a female photographer or that my sense of humor can be appreciated by young, beautiful models or maybe she and I are good friends, but whatever the reason(s)… “if you want to create the best photographs… please, trust me.”  

(Now, as a grandmother speaking, “if you’re a young model, be sure to research the photographer and take an escort to the shoot!)

Yes, this is one of my favorites.

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.

Love before my eyes…

Whenever I have the opportunity to photograph a couple, I consider it a double blessing.  To witness the spirit of love is so uplifting to my soul, it is as beautiful as seeing little children playing and laughing without a care in the world.  Yes, I am an old romantic, but to see the twinkle in their eyes, the obvious touches of endearment, it just fills my heart with joy.

Ginell and Rich are two such people; completely devoted to each other, so much in love you can see their aura radiating a soft glow. They are a happy, blessed couple and they both know how fortunate they are to have found each other.  (Not to mention, having a vacation in Hawaii.)

The session was a breeze on an early morning shoot.  All I had to do was ask for this or for that and they gave me everything I wanted.  In return, they received almost 200 photos to bring home to share with family and friends. But, most importantly, they now have photos to decorate the walls of their home.  I will share a few with you.  Enjoy.

I hope you have love in your life, but if not now, keep your heart open… and love will find you.

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Morning Light… is sweet.

Five months ago, the Pride of America, Hawaii,  www.cruiseweb.com/NCL-HAWAII.HTM, cruise ship hired Chelsea as a dancer in their production crew.  She’s talented, beautiful, spirited and a pleasure to work with, oh, did I mention she’s an outstanding model, too?  We created images using four different outfits, having fun and working together.  She has a great portfolio.

On a photo shoot I want to Capture the Spirit… of the Moment in many lights.

I started planning my ‘shots’ before we even reached the beach. The natural light is beautiful at 8 or 9 AM. Chelsea. Red hair against blue sky? Brilliant. Fair complexion? High-key. Artificial flash?  I decided the use both, natural and a Norman Strobe 400B. Chelsea also added a light-tone of her own to each frame.  A few slides for you to enjoy…  Thanks for stopping by.

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Mai Tai in Waikiki

The Mai Tai Bar in Waikiki is located on the top-level of the Ala Moana Mall. www.maitaibar.com  It is a popular bar in Honolulu.  The tourists, shoppers and the night-life crowd enjoy yummy appetizers and yummier drinks as they relax on a sofa, at a table or lounge at the bar.  Ahh, yes, easy and relaxing, with waitresses in short aloha-style dresses. ( Unlike most 50+ year-old women I don’t begrudge their beauty and youth.  Not me, I’m keep my wisdom, thank you, but in my next life I will appreciate and possibly flaunt it just a little bit more).

I once enjoyed a mai tai cocktail (rum and sweet juices and triple sec and ?), it’s a sweet concoction that knocked me over and left me with a big, enormous headache in the morning.  I shouldn’t have had more than one.  Although, I am glad the memories still exists (possibly embellished a bit), as it always make me feel much younger (and foolish) for a moment or two.   Mai-tai’s… that’s one big ocean, little girl.

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Her name was Mai Tai.  I looked at the model and my face immediately got the ‘cat ate the bird’ expression.  I hope she didn’t think it was because of her name.  Maybe my face stayed frozen for a moment too long because she began to explain that mai-tais may have played a part in her conception.  (I wanted to tell her I could empathize as I’m sure there was an alcohol-induced sperm in my creation too, but thought better of it.)  It’s not wise to get a model professionally made-up only to create an ocean of tears, destined to destroy the air-brushing professionally applied by Sephora Cosmetics on Kalakaua Ave. in Waikiki (thanks, Danielle, you did a beautiful job).  www.sephora.com

 Mai-tai was a natural at posing, but it was her eyes that expressed her spirit to my camera.

I used my Canon 7D with a 70-200 lens for head shots shooting at 125 shutter and 18 aperture, 200 ISO for most of the shots.  Although there was plenty of natural light between 4:30 and 5:30, I decided to use my 400B Norman Strobe light.  It is a heavy, bulky, older version, but I’m always pleased with the results. The props were simple: a pink, silk scarf to begin our session…

Mai Tai said she favored her mother, obviously a Chinese beauty herself.  The story unfolded within my imagination as Mai Tai modeled before me; a young woman, delicate as a Chinese flower, (possibly a cherry blossom) walking along the beach wrapped in a pink, silk shawl carrying a parasol.  A definite heartache buried in her soul. Perhaps from the lover that promised to take her back to his home in Hawaii?  Is she torn between family and the man she loves?  Does she have a secret she can’t tell?  As my mind played out the scenes, Mai Tai recreated them beyond me.  We were on the same page, or literally, standing in the same ocean.

Next prop: The change into the silk, black wrap-around dress definitely modernized Mai Tai.  The contrast between the background and her body stretched upon on big, well-textured rock created images of a smooth, sexy, elegant woman, but more importantly, it was the variations in tones that intrigued me the most, (possibly great in black and white?). My imagination continued to play out the role; a young woman aware of her sensuality, intelligence, ambition… and big goals.  She aches from an unknown lonliness, but does not allow the pain to surface very often, determined it will never interfere with her dreams.

The next set of photos we took were head shots using a blue fan as a prop.  Her face is beautiful, her eyes cast the emotions wherever her imagination was traveling.  She is an exceptionally talented model.

Mai Tai will achieve her dreams; she will be an emergency room doctor in another 6 years? She had known since childhood she would become a doctor.  She can put away the toy stethescope her father bought her when she was a little girl. She is on her way and she hopes modeling may help pay for some of her expenses.

The time just flies by when I’m on a shoot. The sun was getting lower and lower in the sky. We got ready for the wedding gown shots.  The dress was perfect for her, a feminine Cinderella gown.  The bride was glowing and her eyes twinkled as she tossed the pink rose blossoms into the air.  Mai Tai twirled on the beach and sat upon a rock in the water, oblivious her wedding gown was getting trashed. (Don’t worry, I directed her.)

The soft blue sky in one direction, the golden glow if I faced the west.  I love to shoot at this time, the possibilities with lighting are so much fun to play with.  Using filters at sunset can create beautiful photographs, as well, but this evening my lens was naked. I was using my 18-55 for the scenic approach. (When people come to Hawaii, they want to see ‘Hawaii’ in some of the background shots, damn it!)

I love to create and when Mai Tai and I got together we created a spiritual dance with our energy; from her soul, to my camera, to my soul. (Thanks for sharing Mai Tai).

The following week I researched the meaning of her name on the internet; Mai in Chinese means ocean, elegance; in Japanese it is dance and in Vietnamese it is Cherry Blossoms. Tai means big ~ and big can be placed before any dream .

Mai Tai’s parents gave her a very, special name.  It is reasonable to conclude that a Mai Tai is not just a mai-tai.