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

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.

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.

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.

A Hawaiian Playground

I was blessed to have my 21-month old granddaughter with me today. All day.  This is heaven for me.

Being a grandmother makes aging all worthwhile.  It’s the icing on the cake of motherhood; it’s the ultimate satisfaction to know it was all-worthwhile.

This little girl and I are going to have a wonderful relationship.  We already do. She gives me a purpose in life (beyond my own survival).

She makes me feel so young and carefree. We can play for hours, but when she lays her head against my chest to fall asleep, it’s magic.  This child believes that I am a wonderful grandmother… and because of that…  I brought her the park today.

Oh, she loves me all right, but when I’m out-of-sight, I’m out-of-mind, the minute she spies other kids to play with, she leaves me in her dust.  Now, add a playground into the picture and she’s in her moment of glory. Playing, Running. Laughing, Climbing. Sliding.  All this, and other children, too!

Today, I was left in her dust. When her father arrived to pick her up, she began to run to him, stopped mid-way, debated a moment, then shrugged her shoulders before returning to the playground.  Can 21-month old babies have this much reasoning?

A neighborhood family was at the park when I arrived. They had two children and a dog with them.  The older boy was off playing in the sports field, but the three-year-old girl and my granddaughter became friends.  I asked the parents if they would mind if I took some photos of their children, which eventually, included them.  It was easy to see why this family is so strongly bonded, their love for each other and their children was apparent.

Children. I just love them. These little human beings are constantly learning from everything and everyone around them.

Other children came and left and she played ‘monkey see, monkey do’, all the while forgetting that she’s the baby on the set.

Some of the children asked me to take their photographs.  It makes them feel special.  Boy, we could all learn a lesson from that… if you aren’t feeling special, what should you do?

Have fun and leave the photography to me!

Enjoy a slideshow of the children at play.

Thanks for stopping by my page ~ 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.

Ala Moana Beach Park, Honolulu, Hawaii

On a beautiful Sunday morning in Hawaii I drove into the city to pick up some prints at Ritz Camera at the Ala Moana Mall (they are my preferred choice of photo labs in the area).  Unfortunately, they didn’t open until 10 and I had a few minutes to wait, so instead of sitting in my car, I went across the street to the Ala Moana Park.  http://www.ritzpix.com

On a beautiful Sunday morning in Hawaii the spirit of the Ala Moana Park was buzzing with activity.  As I walked along I would stop here and there to take a photo (of course, I never leave home without my camera, I am a photographer, after all).  People of all ages, sizes and personalities were out and about exercising (a group of women were walking their teammate across the beach as they held onto their ankles and teammate walked on her hands!) walking on your feet 🙂 , jogging, running, bicycling, swimming, surfing, rowing, and  whew! boogie boarding.  Thank goodness, they have showers!

Then there were the leisurely folks, relaxing with a good book with their feet propped up on a park bench (pass the clippers, please), the sunbathers on the beach turning their skin brown, (but not burnt), and some just sleeping on the lawns (the homeless are safe here during the day, at night the lawn sprinklers ruin their mattresses). Some people drove around in little things that looked like m+m peanuts, one green, one yellow. Yes, they do allow this mode of transportation on all major streets and boulevards, avenues and mountain passes. They are not allowed on the highways, (whew ~ that’s good, because Honolulu’s traffic is very congested; especially during rush hours)http://archives.starbulletin.com/2008/06/18/news/story02.html

Activities ranged from fishing, snorkeling, scuba diving (I think this is where scuba diving class 101 is held), and I saw more than one family playing badminton and kicking a ball around with the kids.  Ohana is very, very connected in Hawaii. (Ohana is family, if a local family likes you very, very much you will be part of the Ohana, too). People had coolers, beach toys, barbeque grills, obviously plenty of food, canopies to shade tutu and the babies.  There were balloons (all shapes and sizes, colors and probably personalities, too) for the keiki’s birthday parties (it looks like you have to come early to stake your land claim) with a very, big inflatable, bouncy palace.

The scenery is fantastic, nature at its best; with birds (doves, pigeons and I’m not sure about the big birds with the orange eyes, but I’ll google it. The guys rowing the outriggers are fantastic, too.  And I mustn’t forget I made friends with a couple of crabbies.  I named them Sister Paul and Alice (funny story for another day).  Oh, look, over there, a young couple in love,  getting married.  So sweet.

On a beautiful Sunday morning in Hawaii, I photographed people enjoying a Sunday morning in Hawaii.   I wondered if everyone felt as blessed as I did.

Enjoy the park through my eyes… next time I’ll stay longer than a few minutes.

Thanks for stopping by my page.  ~ Donna

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ala_Moana_Beach_Park

Donna Welch Photography, Inc.

Capturing the Spirit… of the Moment.

808-699-4330

© 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.

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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