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.

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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.

Sexy and sweet… Married?

Ena.  She grew up in Hawaii, but now lives on the mainland with her husband and two children. They weren’t able to join her on this brief trip to Oahu, but according to Ena three days without them is too long.

Her daughter had already planned a ‘coloring day’ as soon as mom returns.  Ena’s large brown, almond-shaped eyes twinkled as she spoke about them. Her Filipino heritage is obvious in her beautiful features.  She is sexy, sweet and, unfortunately for all you single guys, married.  Yep, lucky husband and kids.

Ena wanted to wear an Hawaiian cultural outfit; grass skirt, flower leis and shells.  I wanted to capture her beauty and the beauty of Hawaii as one spirit, as it is obvious that her spirit will always be in Hawaii, wherever her travels take her.  I am sure she will return here as often as she can. Hawaii will always welcome her back (as well as all her cousins).

She was careful not to expose too much of her body while we were shooting. I knew her husband would appreciate a few shots that he could frame and place on his nightstand or carry around in his wallet. If Ena wasn’t going to add more visual interest willingly, I guess I had to just prompt her… “Ena, give me a little more thigh in this shot, please?”  Or, “Ena, these are for your husband, so give him (my camera) a sexy look… sexier…. sexier…. ahh, that’s the look I wanted. I’m sure he knows that one.”  Great.  She easily followed my directions and giving directions is pretty easy for me, too. 🙂 Sorry, readers, those photos are  for his eyes only).

Oh, I remember when I was sweet and sexy, but didn’t believe it… I just couldn’t be, could it?  Nah,, not me.  So, instead, I played a proper, young lady of my generation. I played sweet and left the sexy out (well, truthfully, there were occasions when I pretended to be sexy in my own way).

Today, I tell the all young women; “love yourself, your body, your beauty and youth.  Love it, flaunt it and enjoy it completely because you won’t have it forever”.  

I hope you enjoy a few portraits of Ena having fun on a beach in Hawaii.   Thank you 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.

Valentine’s Day Gift ~ in Hawaii

From five… until ninety-five…

nothing is more powerful than love.

We share our love daily, but there is one day set apart from all the others; Valentine’s Day.  This is the day when roses are overpriced and chocolates add pounds to thousands of women on weight control programs. (Unless, of course, you’re five or ninety-five.)  But, for all of us in-between, there is a present that says, “I love you”, that will be cherished forever.  A Valentine’s Day present that will always make you smile, won’t have you worrying about your waistline, one that you can share with each other, display for others to enjoy… a gift that only you can give.

This is priceless, but fortunately, at an affordable price that won’t destroy your budget.

All you need to do is call (808-699-4330), schedule an appointment, and leave the rest to me; your photographer.

After we talk about the details (usually over a cup of coffee, prior to the session date), I may go into my prop room to pack some things that will enhance your session; it may be something as simple as a book of love poems, a rose, an umbrella to kiss beneath, a gown to wear into the ocean or champagne glasses to toast before the sunset.  Sometimes a man’s white collar shirt is as sexy on the woman as it is on the man (let’s add some suspenders, too).

We will talk about which time of daylight will work best for you; the morning sunshine or the golden glow of the sunset.  Do you want the ocean as a backdrop and playground or would you rather walk in the woods to let the shadows play upon your bodies?  Do you to want photos that you can share with your friends and family?  How about some that are a bit sexier to place on your bedside table or in your wallet?

So many people claim they are not photogenic. Boloney!  Everyone, regardless of age, size or personality can have fantastic photographs. (But, I can understand this fear of looking terrible in a photo.  I was one of those people for years, whenever anyone pointed a camera at me I would grimace or fake a smile, both unattractive expressions.)

It wasn’t until I became a photographer myself (safe behind the camera) that I learned the best photographs are captured by a professional.  A snapshot taken by Uncle Ted or your sister may not show your best features, your best angle, the best lighting, the best poses and best spirit.  You have to trust the photographer to place you in the best light, possibly to use props and especially to create an atmosphere of fun while relaxing, enjoying the moment.  Allow me the pleasure of setting the stage for romance (and you may even forget there is a camera pointing at you).

Directing a shoot is great fun for me, I can have you role-play a scene or simply suggest moving your arm a little to the right or placing your lips close to one another but not quiet touching.

I want this to be a fun, exciting activity for you, so leave the photography to me.  My enthusiasm and passion is contagious and our energy will naturally flow, even the most camera-shy people will find themselves letting their spirit shine through… and that is exactly what I want.  To Capture the Spirit… of the Moment.

The state of being ‘in love’ is one of the best times of your life, it is like nothing else. It fills your heart with joy to dream of the days ahead.  Let me capture this spirit in photographs.

But, having love that has been tested through the trials of time; this is the golden love, this is the best love. Let me capture these moments.

This year do something very special… come before my camera and bring home a Valentine’s Day package with hundreds of photos that you will cherish forever.

Gift certificates are available in sweet Valentine’s Day cards, tied with a red ribbon, a rose and a chocolate that can be placed in your sweetheart’s hands.  Ordering on-line is available. Contact me through my website: http://www.donnawelchphotography.com.

You will “wow” the special person in your life with your romantic gift.

Here is a slide show of some of the couples I have photographed…   Each couple was so different in front of my camera, yet they all share the special gift of love.  To me, there is nothing sweeter than couples in love.

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© 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.

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.