Thesis Work with Dancers
As I am continuing to pursue my Masters degree in photography, I have entered the thesis zone.
I have been working with 4 young and talented young dancers for the last few months and as I gather more and more images that will eventually become a book about the life of dancers, exploring what it takes to be committed to this wonderful and challenging art form, I get to play with one of my favorite things of all time. Dance.
These were captured while I worked with the help of my wonderful parents to get the lights situated correctly behind the scrim.
In this latest shoot with 3 of my 4 dancers at the Maryland Theatre, we played with silhouettes (my 4th dancer had just had a change in schedule and could not join us that day, but luckily she is back to having that week day open again).
We all had fun. i always give these athletes and artists a chance to be creative with me and try new things, and give me their ideas.
It makes for a more interactive and fun shoot and the images always show that.
Then there are a few shots of jumps, and poses.
We also played with shadows which required me to climb into the rafters along the side of the stage.
And lastly and shot from above for the shadow, but creating a dilemma for me as I am not sure if I like the black and white version better or the soft color.
To continue to follow this story unfold, make sure to check non on our Facebook page
Networking with Venues and other Businesses
Once or twice a year I get in contact with JB Bridals in Chambersburg, PA, Bella Salon and Spa here in Hagerstown and a venue to create images that benefit us all. I reach out to models I have worked with before and love and add a few fresh faces into the mix. Sometimes these shoots are designed around something I really want to play with and have not had a chance to do, and other times they are designed around one of our business partner’s needs as was the case this year.
We have been allowed into the Miller house for a few bridal sessions, family photos and engagement sessions and have developed a great relationship with this local non-profit historical home that houses the historical society of Washington County. The governing board decided to begin promoting the house as a wedding venue and we helped out, not only by providing images from past “real” sessions but also from this styled shoot, specifically designed to highlight some areas of the house we had not worked in before.
I really enjoy the days during which I just get to play, everything connected to a styled shoot is fun. I love working with JB Bridals and picking out gowns and tuxes for the event. Jackie always pulls the most gorgeous gowns according to what my plans are and the models have a blast trying them on.
Bella Salon always sends me the best stylists and make up artists and they perform their magic turning my models into brides and brides maids as was the case this time. We work together for trade, and everyone benefits from the session. I love the pace I get to set on those days, there is no rush to get to the next stage of the day and I get to meticulously plan each shot.
As a photographer it is important to continuously push myself, and to take time to explore ideas and different ways to utilize a setting, light, and mood. During a wedding I am stuck with whatever the chosen venue has to offer and I am tied to the wedding day timeline. I know how to work within the confines of all that, but it is nice to be able to control each moment, which is one of the reasons I arrange for at least one styled shoot a year.
This year I am planning a second one and it will be fabulous 🙂
Within this post I am showing you a few of my favorites of the day and since we were working at a historical venue, several of them are in either muted tones or black and white. The gowns had gorgeous trains which I showed off in several of the shots. Enjoy 🙂
Life happens and it happens fast. We try to capture as much of it as we possibly can; from Mom snapping pics with her cell phone, to National Geographic Photographers capturing worldwide documentary quality images, fit for magazine print and awards among the best in the world.
Perusing photos throughout our lives, we will at some point, begin to see differences in style, composition, quality and so on. Our appreciation for great photography has been well noted, as so many marvel at truly wonderful pics. We hang them, post them, share them, comment on them and even sell them!
Some believe that the differences in quality of photography start with the camera. I’ve heard people say, “Wow! Those are great pictures… You must have a really good camera!” There are those who say that it’s in the education and experience of the photographer. (We stand by this one!)
Still others maintain that wonderful photography happens by chance or by luck. These ideas beg the question, “What does it really take to produce Great Photography?” We are going to pursue the answers in this series. Please join us and feel free to comment. Participation is always welcomed!
In October it was suggested to us to participate in a styled wedding shoot, Indian style. Several venues were bounced around and after a while it was settled that the Kamran Center close to Frederick would be the place to do this.
We worked with three models, one male and two females, one of which we worked with before. It was fun to experience the differences in wedding attire and to see first hand how long it takes to get wrapped into a Sari.
While the guys are much more comfortable and it seems carefree in their wedding attire in the Indian tradition, the girls have it much harder, as the Sari tends to slip off the shoulder when they move and restrict they way they can walk etc.
I can not even imagine dancing in one.
After this experience I will forever appreciate the ease in which a western bride gets into her gown and can move pretty freely depending on the style she chose.
All in all this was an interesting experience and we did get some great shots from our great models. Both ladies are gorgeous and witnessing them being transformed into fairy tale creatures was fun.
We are currently organizing a western wedding shoot for March, again working with JB Bridals and if you are interested in participating in that, please read last week’s model call posted here.
We had some fun and talented High School Seniors this year. For the first time ever, we also had seniors late into fall, which made for an interesting journey into colors, leaves, cool weather and locations.
Here is looking back at some of the fun we had and some of our favorites from this year. We spanned the interests these young adults had as well, giving us an opportunity to play with some new ideas as well as explore what makes these students tick.
There was Jake, a Criminal Justice major at our local technical high school. He also plays lacrosse but plans to go into law enforcement so we reached out to our friends at the police to arrange for some unique photos.
Jake also loves his pooch, so we incorporated his pet into the session as well.
Showcasing both his love for his major in high school and his love for lacrosse led to this image:
Then we had Amanda who plays several sports, balancing her love for sports with her academics and who had several ideas of what she wanted out of her session, something we always discuss in our consultations and implement as much as we can, giving it our own unique twist.
Amanda is a very pretty young lady and we felt that we should showcase that as well as her athleticism.
And then we also created a composite for Amanda as she is also in the marching band at her high school.
One more as it is our favorite from this session:)
Another male soon-to-be graduate we worked with this fall wanted to go hike to Wolf Rock, described to us as a walk, that turned into quite an adventure as I discovered that wearing heels was not very practical as we had to actually hike up a mountain for this session.
This young man also had his own ideas and we took advantage of what nature supplied.
Another one of our girls this year is an artist and we showcased this both in studio and out at a local park as well as downtown. Here are some of our favorites from this lovely young lady’s session:
Jimmy is a theatre student at our local Performing arts high school and was a lot of fun to work with. His session was off the cuff, as he did not originally want to get his senior pictures done and followed mom’s lead when she made him do it. We had a lot of fun improvising his session and got some great shots out of it.
The following image is at the old YMCA building downtown he used to swim at as a child. Sweet memories.
And this in the back of Barbara Ingram School of the Arts, his high school.
Another favorite from this fall is the following sweet gal, also a theatre student at BISFA, Bailey, who was wonderful to work with. Her acting talent was very apparent and we had a hoot working with her.
Our local theatre was gracious and let us use the space for the first half of our session. The folks at the Maryland theatre are always great to us.
We then travelled up to Bedford, PA for outdoor pictures and a place Bailey’s family is very fond of. We love exploring new places and this one was a gem.
Our last senior for this fall is a young musician, also at BISFA. He plays the tuba, sax and flute and is a very enthusiastic musician who was open to great ideas and willing to give everything I suggested a try. This was a treat for us as he was the first classical musician I had ever worked with and the first one who plays wind instruments. This session was a fun adventure.
yes, we had to play with the smokey feel of a club.
great textures in our alleyways downtown
and who can resist the sax?
I hope you have enjoyed our look back at some of our favorite seniors from this year. Please vote for your favorite image. The winning senior will receive a magnet of their favorite image and you will be added to a drawing for a free family session for up to 5 people just for voting. What could be better?
Call us today for a free consultation to find out how we can customize a session of any kind for you and yours. We will be glad to work with you. 301-693-3021
Playing with flour is something I have wanted to do for a while. Last summer I had a senior in the studio who was enrolled in the culinary program at the local high school and we played with flour a little, yielding some great shots. A few months later I saw an image that combined flour and dancers and I wanted to do something similar. I love dance being a dancer myself and the mother of a dancer, so combining dance with flour is natural.
The first order of business was to secure one of my favorite dancers I have worked with before, presenting me with a challenge as Nutcracker rehearsals have started. It left us with a 5 pm starting time on a Sunday afternoon. The second order of business was to find an empty, industrial space we could make a mess in. One of my business associates offered the use of such a space. At 5pm we had some natural light left that entered through a strip of windows to our left, but we were able to control the rest of the light and by the time we were almost done, the natural light was fading quickly.
This was so much fun! Maddie, my dancer, is a blast to work with. She is beautiful, graceful and follows instructions wonderfully. She had some of her own ideas that we incorporated as well. But the time we were done, Maddie had flour in places she probably never thought were possible. It was her dad’s birthday and they went to dinner after we finished the shoot. I am sure that her hair was still lightly grey at dinner 🙂
This shoot was one of those things I love to do. Work with a lovely young lady who is open to trying something unusual, resulting in imagery that we are proud to display. It also gives us a chance to play. A chance to figure out what it takes to get a certain shot, so we can repeat it if a senior or adult wants to have the same experience. Before we got into the flour, I tired some things with sheer fabric and the fan I have, to discover that the fan was not powerful enough for the effect I was after.
As an artist, you do not wait to try these things with your clients, but in sessions that are arranged to try out new things. As an artist, I draw inspiration from other artists. I see things and wonder how it was achieved. I know how to light things to get what I want, but some of the other effects, such as creating wind to achieve certain effects have to be explored on my own time table, not that of a client.
I believe that these sessions during which we play and explore to continually build our portfolio is what sets us apart from the competition we have around us. Wertman Photography has grown over the last few months, adding an additional photographer and a videographer to the team. We have added equipment that needs to be explored and personally I am working on my masters in fine art, continually growing as an artist.
When you hire us, you get a team of artists, not technicians. You will work with people who understand light, movement, emotion and relationships. This knowledge shows in our work. Whether we work with athletes, create fine art for fun, photograph families, babies or weddings, we bring our knowledge with us and apply it all to creating memories for you that you will be proud to share with your friends and families for years to come.
Call us today to book your unique session. Tell us what you have in mind and we will be sure to get it done for you. 301-693-3021
Vote for your favorite image for a chance to win a family session for up to 5 people, a $150 value.
Two weeks ago we had the pleasure of working with Alderson Broaddus’ swim team again. I was great working with the athletes we met last year and working with some of the new recruits.
The weather was much warmer this year than last and the sun was out the entire time we were there. More of the swimmers opted in to capture action shots this year as well. We used a different location for the team shots and I still worked in different areas of the campus. 19 of the 20 swimmers were able to attend the team picture and everyone was there for the head shots. All in all a successful trip.
What I enjoy most in working with these young adults is seeing the obvious connection they have as a team and their dedication to their sport. They are all very easy to talk to and very easy to get good pictures of.
Athletes as a rule are fun to work with. They love showing off their skills, their athleticism and in this case, how they have grown in one year.
When we get to work with a particular team year after year, it is fun to see how the athletes change, grow up and develop in their skill set.
It surprised me to see how these young men and women had changed in a year. They are, after all in college and at least the juniors and seniors are over 20. Yes, they are looking older and more mature. They are coming into their own in many ways and athletically this shows.
We have worked with a couple of other teams as well, but for me at least, being the mother of a swimmer, this is the most fun.
If your child is part of a team, school or club, and you are tired of seeing the same pictures every year, please consider sharing this post with your coach and school. The images captured during this shoot have just been shared with the parents and part of the proceeds from the picture purchases will go back to the team to help them go to Florida for training in January.
Every sports team raises money for gear, trips, entry fees and other assorted stuff. Why not raise funds this way? If you are interested please give us a call today at 301-693-3021.