A weekend away with a good friend

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It has been a while since I have been able to go on a trip (albeit this one small) with a friend. A granted this was a weekend trip to pick up a free TV from an aunt of mine down in Jacksonville, FL. But it was a trip that was needed for not only myself but my best friend Tim that I asked to come along with me. A chance to talk, catch up, and just kinda reflect on things then, now, and hopefully to come in the future.

tim chard-154Recently, Tim came home-He’s been in Japan for the last three years where he’s basically stationed himself after a lot of travels around the pacific oceans abundant amount of countries. Back in 2010, he decided to start traveling again. Prior to this time around he had lived in Australia for 8 months exploring the outback, sleeping in fields, randomly hitchhiking with truckers going through the out back to make their deliveries ( there was even a driver named Texas!). But after a stent stateside, for a little under a year, he got bored and got the travel bug again. For over the past 4 years, he’s been traveling through out Asia. First stop was South Korea-where he taught english for a little over a year and a half. After that, he made his way through Laos, Vietnam, some places in Malaysia. His final resting stop? Japan.

Tasked originally as a vacation with a friend, he fell in love with the city. The music scene was strong. He is an aspiring DJ/Music Producer (you can check his stuff on the music community Sound Clound), the culture was something he loved being around so he set up camp in the city by getting a share house and becoming an english teacher on again like had done in South Korea over the 2 years he was there.

Over the two and half years Tim was in Japan, he taught english, had a corporate career at a financial consulting firm located in Tokyo and developed a music promotion group that although was small it had its loyal followers. He also became somewhat known over there in the music scene via his music promotion that he started with friend and his amazing ability to DJ. But, It was time to come home.

After a quick visit to visit some family over in London, and then Maine to do the same. He made his way back to Georgia. To get away and clear his head, I asked him if he would like to come with me to FL to pick up a TV my aunt wanted to give me for my new place (free? Um, YES PLEASE!) SO we got our stuff together and headed down there on the 13th of February to stay for the weekend. Once we go there around 1230 we passed out, then in the morning we went and visited St. Augustine. Tim’s only been to Jacksonville once when we were traveling through to pick up a friend on the way to Miami for a music Festival back in 2010.

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St. Augustine was a good moment to just kind of take in the sites. Supposedly it is the Oldest Settlement in the history of North America (that is LONG running debate between my parents, both being from FL). It has been a few years since I have been there myself so I didn’t really remember a lot of it. I always loved the Spanish Fort that was there, granted I love history in general, so I wanted to show him around the city.

We walked around the fort for a second, I took a few pictures, and then walked around the town. We definitely started to get hungry after walking around and going in a  few of the shops, and ended up stopping in a nice restaurant on the main street portion of the town. I don’t remember the name of the restaurant but, due to the pretty awesome customer service, I remember the guys name that served us (i think he was the owner too).

Captain Steve, got us some food and, even got us something I didn’t even think about before, a warm cider and fireball. OMG was it amazing.  Once we got some food, we head back to Jacksonville to do a quick take at the beach. Went back to my aunts house, broke down the TV and its stand, had some food with my aunt and uncle, then went and had a beer a cousins bar he bartends that I have not even seen in about 7 years. The only way I knew it was him was the way he walked!

Since we did all that in one day, and then headed home the next morning on Sunday, it was a quick trip. But with getting to go together, and just talk and help each other figure some stuff out. You can’t have a better time. I’ve known this guy for over 20 years, and its been a pleasure and a privilege growing up with him and seeing us attempt to obtain the dreams that we both have. He’s been my best friend for these 20 years, and I know for another 20 he will still be around.

Kampi, Tim!

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Early morning and overcast


There are people here and there that one wants to do repeated sessions with through the course of ones photography career. Maybe that person goes well with the look that you do as a photographer, maybe they are just a good subject shoot, or heck (while it’s not photo related)-maybe they are just a good person. A couple of weeks back I think all three were honestly the case instead of just one.

Back at the end of the month of December, I had a few hours to kill one Sunday and I wanted to do a shoot with a girl that I had shot a few times in the past. During my time in school, she was nice enough to let me do a couple of photo sessions with her for some assignments as well as my final portfolio building. We’ attempted to try and photography a few times after that over the past couple of years but it never really happened; either she was busy-or I was.

None-the-less, We had a couple hours that one morning before she had to go to work and I had a photography meet up to go to later that afternoon. We met up at a park that we had done a session together back in 2013 when I did an infrared shoot with her. I didn’t want to do anything to over the top. Just wanted to honestly focus more on her and utilize the tall grass. The image a top this post is the favorite of the day and you can view the others from the session as well, below.

A “Grungy” Golden Hour

Ok, so on my last post, I introduced you to the idea that I wanted to attempt use an external flash more and more when I am doing portrait sessions. This session while I intended to use the flash, I kinda forgot to put new batteries in them….and the car while it wasn’t a long walk, it was a walk(Don’t judge me!). Anyways, I met Lindsay (the girl I have been shooting recently) up at a public park here in Gwinnett County that I have not used or shot at in a while, probably about a year since I have. It was somewhat a last minute thing, I had been working on a paper for school that whole weekend, and for the love of god did I need a break. Lol when I say writers block, I don’t even think that word was a good way to describe how blank my mind was at that moment.

Ok, staying on topic,  I called up Lindsay and asked if she wanted to shoot, of course she said yes lol. Well we met up at the park, and shot for about an hour and a half. I had used one of the locations at the park before, and the other, I hadn’t but had thought of a pretty cool idea for one of the shots. For the shots near the train cars, i wanted to take advantage of the sun going down in the back ground and possibly use a flair form the sun that could come through on the lens, I think that went well.  I also used the railroad tracks themselves-used them as somewhat leading lines into and away from her as the subject. Again, I think they were executed well.

With the editing I wanted to warm it up a little bit but I didn’t want to over do it.  I realized a month ago, that I have been over doing the editing. For some reason I thought it looked good, but when I look at some of the images that I shot during school, versus the images that I have shot maybe over the past 2 years-my creative freedom got the best of me and the quality kind of went down cause of the post processing in Lightroom and Photoshop. I’ve now made it a point to watch that.  Below is an example of the first location at the park that we did the shoot at:


The second location was where I could be a little bit more “grungy.”  As I had stated before I have used the location before, but its been about a year or so since I had. I had asked Lindsay to wear something that could possibly come across as “grungy.”  She wore a mostly all black outfit with tan combat boots that helped match the shirt that she was wearing with the color of the image on it. However, the color honestly didn’t matter too much anyways because I had decided to put all these images in black and white.

This was also the spot that I had planned on using my external flash. But, as I said earlier in this post, I hadn’t changed the batteries (insert a Homer Simpson “D’OH!”). But it didn’t matter. I went ahead and shot anyway. I had to compensate for the light that I had lost due to the sun being a little bit lower. Which wasn’t a big problem, just meant I needed to do a little bit more post processing in Lightroom and Photoshop. Either way, this set came out really good as well. Below is an example of the shoot at this spot at the location:


As most of you know, I have photographed her before ( hence the last post I did).  From the last session her and I did at the other park to this one,  you can see a very big change in how they came out. When it comes to her as the model, she has grown in comfort level and posing ability, she has grown substantially. Her and I have a lot more shoots in mind to do, those will be in a  studio session and more than likely focus on her tattoos that she has. I will say that I am very pleased with where this shoot ended up before and after they were put through post processing. I know they will only get better the more we shoot together and I can’t wait.

Till next time!

A fun fall night photo session

Ok, so for a few months I have been trying to get more people to shoot. I have been slacking on my photographing of people over the past few years. Portrait sessions have been few and far between. So, a few months ago, I made it a point to try to get more sessions under my belt. Back in October, I put out what I guess you could call, a “casting call” to have people to shoot. I won’t lie, I got the usual ” I would love to shoot, just let me know when!” responses from some people. It never came to fruition. Which is par for the course so I can’t really be mad at them. But, one person who has been down to shoot whenever was up for the challenge and made sure of us being able to shoot when we could.

A friend of mine that I met only a few months ago, Lindsay Bryan, is trying to get her portfolio up and running and let me know that she was definitely down to do a session at any time. Well, back in November, I was up for doing a shoot one evening at a park that I photograph at every now and then. This time, I did it a little different. I used an external flash on most of the images. Honestly I normally do natural light, but I wanted to try it out and well, I did.  I was going for a fall theme; with her wardrobe and as well as with all the orange and red leaves in the back ground, along with the treatment. Take a look at the photos below:

This was a good learning experience, for not only myself but for Lindsay as well. For me, I learned more about using the external flash off my camera. I am used to using external lighting more in terms of actual strobes in a studio; like Alien Bees and Photogenics. Using my Yonunguo Flash was something I have tried before, but honestly not as successful as this time.

With Lindsay, she had never really done a lot of “modeling.” She had gotten photos taken of her and her son but nothing where the focus was on her. Getting her comfortable in front of the camera was not a tall task and you could tell that as the hour and a half went out she felt more and more relaxed.

Overall, it was a good feeling session and I feel like many of those images above were a successful attempt at using my off camera flash.

Till next time!

Afternoon at the Atlanta Goat Farm

Yes, I said Goat Farm. If you are from Atlanta, or just familiar with the creative community in the city you should know what that is. Back in September some of us from a photo critique group on Facebook got together at one of Atlanta’s studios, (in my opinion best studios) Armada Studios. Two of the photographers there who also belong to our group, Riche Meade and Anderson Smith allowed us to use that space for the day. They also set up a couple of models for us to shoot, and make up artists to do.

Now, I’ll admit that day I was not feeling good at all. The prior weekend I had taken a fall that messed me up pretty bad so I was pretty weak, and cold walk around a lot or use my hands that much. It was no fun. But I got around to shooting near the end.

Below are The images that I shot. Please take a look and tell me what you think.