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

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.

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.

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.