A couple weeks ago, my friend and radio personality Bo Dalton came over to the Workhorse offices for a portrait session. You might remember Bo from my photo essay a couple years ago. As always, the shoot was just solid laughter punctuated by moments of seriousness when the strobe would fire. Here's a glimpse of 4 simple setups we tried using a Photek Softlighter as the primary modifier.
Late last November, my friend and fellow collaborator, Josh Phillips, asked me if I could photograph an old house for him. He wanted to assemble the photos into a book to give his step-dad for Christmas. Of course, loving old, abandoned houses, I was up for it. So we took off toward the north central part of the state loaded with my two Fujifilm cameras and the Mamiya RB67 for some medium format film work.
Like The Foster Farm post, I'll let Josh provide the personal touch of what this house means to him.
This house was home on the weekends between the ages of 8 and 12. Being back there was a surreal experience. I hadn't visited the house in at least 12 years or so, and it's been empty for a large portion of that time. It's strange how you can forget just how much you know about a place, and then visit and have it all come rushing back.
I'm so glad I decided to revisit the house. It serves as a very physical reminder of so many memories that had gotten lost in the shuffle. Small things like where my wrestling action figures would have been set up, or renting VHS tapes for the weekend from the grocery store 30 minutes away. The time I went trick or treating at Halloween but we didn't realize that the people in Wiseman and Horseshoe Bend had trick-or-treated the week before (I think my folks took me to buy some candy to make up for it).
I made a photo book from Matt's session and gave it to my parents for Christmas. Getting to talk about all of those weekends and things I had forgotten, it's something I'll always be grateful for. It's funny how when I was a kid, I remember dreading the weekend because it was such a long drive (and at the end of the drive, there were no video games). Growing up can change your perspective on things. As I write this, I'm looking forward to driving over to my mom's house after work to spend the evening with them (still no video games). This old farm house was small, cold, and remarkably unremarkable. But for a while, it was filled with some pretty wonderful people. - Joshua Phillips
"It's strange how you can forget just how much you know about a place,
and then visit and have it all come rushing back."
I'm always humbled when people want me to document a part of their lives, whether it be portraits, places, ideas, etc. Thanks again, Josh, for allowing me to share in the story.
Hello. My name is Matthew Walton and I've tried to design my own logo for almost 10 years.
Well. Not anymore.
We photographers like to gripe a bit about people not paying professionals for their photography, but we're just as guilty of going the DIY route when it comes to our own marketing collateral.
I figured it was time I have a professional create my visual branding.
I've always felt it necessary to have a good relationship with the person that creates something that represents you. Enter Joshua Phillips.
Josh is a fellow Workhorse and has become a good friend and coworker over the past year. We've collaborated on several projects together and even developed our hand-lettering and photography Instagram project, VOLUME. I felt he understood who I was and what I bring to my photography and overall aesthetic.
Through out this year, I've spent less personal time behind the camera than I would have liked. You've probably noticed the lack of posts. But even though I've posted less, I've still been working to develop a personal vision. This is a continued push to mesh the photography with my personality. And to represent that, I'm presenting my name as my brand. I am my photography.
With that in mind, Josh took my short creative brief and a Pinterest board and developed a simple, but elegant mark. I wanted something I could put on anything, anywhere.
Stamps, stickers, stencils, shirts, you name it...I want to make it.
(By the way this post is brought to you by the letter S).
Of course, along with that, a new site was in order: one that focused on the photography itself. I'm still doing the blog posts, but now you can see the work as a whole and as one voice.
I have a few projects in development right now, and I can't wait to start sharing the stories on this new platform.
But, for now, you'll have to make due with my latest session.
Ann is a good friend from High School, and I was beyond honored to take her bridal photos. I've never taken bridal shots before, so this was a new experience, but an extremely rewarding one at that.
Thanks for stopping by! There's more to come!
Last year, I had a goal of incorporating an editorial process to my images. I would interview someone, photograph them and then write a story that centered around who they were or what they did. Sometimes that ended up featuring cows or century old houses instead of people. This year, I'm going to keep up the occasional interview and story, but my main objective is to focus on simple portraiture.
After reading Dan Winters' The Road to Seeing, I was immediately captivated by the quiet portrait. I've followed his work for a while, but to see the images in print with a story that surrounded his portraits excited me like nothing I've ever encountered. On top of that, my wife gave me Gregory Heisler's 50 Portraits for Christmas. If there are two books to get the creative soul moving, those are definitely worth checking out.
At this point, I have two setups that I'm using. One is a window-light photo booth in my office at Workhorse Creative. Just a window, reflector, a green bench seat from some old automobile and a black piece of matboard.
The second setup is just as simple. A dark gray piece of matboard, and a speedlight with a 60" shoot-through umbrella. I'm using the Fujifilm XPro-1 for both of these setups. This second portrait setup is reserved for some special people - my family. I have a goal to photograph as many of my family members as possible with the same camera and lighting setup. It's portable. It's simple. It's an honest portrait.
"I'm 90% therapist, 10% photographer."
The highlight, however, is the conversation. The "session" is just a simple conversation between me and a family member. How many faces can you see in a conversation? It seems the answer is infinite. Laughter, pondering, melancholy, smirking - they all seem to come out at some point. The photography part is done. That's easy. The hard part is eliciting the emotion you want. As Peter Hurley says, "I'm 90% therapist, 10% photographer." Looking past the lights and lens is the key. That's my challenge for this year.
P. S. The 56 f/1.2 is wicked sharp. I absolutely love this lens...now if I can only afford it.