Archive for October 2009

The Annenberg Space for Photography

There’s nothing like a deadline to motivate me. I got an email from the Anneberg Space that the Pictures of The Year exhibition would end on November 1st. Today I finally made time to visit the museum for the first time.

I was blown away. The photos in the PoY exhibit are the result of a contest of over 45,000 entries by photo journalists covering the events of 2008.  The exhibit included images from the Olympics, the Presidential Race, struggles in Georgia, Iraq and Afghanistan in addition to stories from around the globe. One of the main images used to promote the PoY exhibit is Emilio Morenatti’s image of a Pakistani Lawyer leaping over barbed wire trying to get away from tear gas. At first glance the photo looks staged. It seems too perfect and constructed. The photo on display is printed at 24×16 and is amazing to look at.

©Emilio Morenatti/AP Running from Gas

©Emilio Morenatti/AP Running from Gas

As you progress through the exhibit you encounter digital photography being broadcast on LCD screens as well as various documentaries covering past and current exhibits.  In one room I watched interviews of the contributing photographers and listened to them how their image was created. When it came time for Emilio’s interview, the image above was displayed on a 60 inch plasma TV in HD.  After seeing the image on a monitor I realized that nothing compares to a beautiful print.

I highly recommend checking out the exhibit in the next few days. As powerful as these images are at depicting historic and current events, nothing compares to the power of a beautiful print.

Here are a few shots I made with my trusty iPhone.  (Even the bathroom is an experience)

beads - Anneberge Space for Photography

beads - Anneberge Space for Photography

Men's restroom self portrait - Anneberge Space for Photography

Men's restroom self portrait - Anneberge Space for Photography

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Holiday Cards and Gifts

Every year I have friends and clients ask me about holiday cards. My main lab offers decent options but has failed to add new designs leaving the cards I offered last year a bit dated and over-used. This year I am happy to offer my customers several options for great holiday cards.

The first option is my partnership with www.Broadcastingbaby.com. We have teamed up to offer our clients great photography and an incredible selection of customized cards. Mention my name and you will receive 20% off your holiday card order.

This year I have also arranged to offer my clients holiday cards designed by an incredible graphic artist. These cards can be viewed in the products section of the cart feature of my website. Chuck Espinoza Photography Products. The following is a handful of the flat card designs.

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Lastly Tiny Prints has finally begun to offer a special collection of cards exclusively for professional photographers.


There are also some great options in the product section to consider as gifts for the holidays. Wouldn’t grandma love a hard cover coffee table book? Don’t want to send another photo in a frame? Send a canvas wrap ready to mount on the wall.

Don’t have the perfect photo for your holiday cards? Call me to set up a portrait shoot. 310.922.5094


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Just Make Me Look Good

For a lot of people having their photo taken is a painful experience. Hopefully my experience, direction and results put my clients at ease. Last week I ran into an old friend who needed a new head shot. Jenica has been a successful actor for as long as I’ve known her and I was honored that someone who has had numerous photographers shoot her head shots trusted in my ability.

The great thing about working with successful working actors is that they know what they want and they know what works. When I work with new models or actors often they haven’t come to a place of understanding the commerce of  the advertising and show business. What photo will help sell “you” and in-turn help a company market their product? Do you make the clothes look good? Will you play the perfect housewife in the new TV drama we are casting for?

Jenica is funny. She plays the funny part. When I asked her to be sultry she was taken back. My goal is not only be able to provide what you are asking for but also to provide you with options you weren’t thinking of.  The results turned out great. I hope that as a result of our work together she’ll book a ton of new jobs and cut me in on her residuals.

Jenica_101909_045_editJenica_101909_042_editJenica_101909_004_edit

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Manhattan Beach Family Portraits

It’s been a busy couple of weeks. I’ve had two weekends worth of family portraits as a result of my partnership with Broadcasting Baby. Family portraits are a funny thing. My perspective and that of the client can be very different. Some clients come in with a preconceived idea of the photo they want me to capture and that may or may not agree with my aesthetic and photography style. I’ll always do my best to make them happy but it will be in addition to shooting my own style and offering them alternatives that they probably didn’t think of.

Over the course of the first weekend’s shoots at Polliwog Park there were a handful of shots that stood out. The first was this shot of the Mahony Brothers. My goal with this shoot was to present the boys in a cool and unique way. I wanted them to walk away thinking they had fun and that it wouldn’t be so bad if they had to do it again. I want them to see the results of the shoot and feel that the photos portray them in a way that they can be proud of.

Mahony Brothers

Mahony Brothers

As with most portrait sessions I don’t differentiate a children’s portrait shoot from a family portrait shoot. If I’m hired to photograph the family I do my best to shoot individual portraits of everyone. If I’m hired to photograph the kids I try to involve the parents as long as they are willing. The following shot of Gabby was one of the one-off shots during a family portrait session. My goal with my photo sessions is to work with everyone so that by the end of the shoot they have relaxed and have had fun. As a result I get more shots like this.

Gabby

Gabby

This was the fourth occasion I have photographed Kora. I love working with her and her parents because they don’t have any preconceived ideas. Some parents want to see shiny happy photos of their kids, others just want a photo that they can look back and remember a time in their life. I always manage to get great shots of Kora. As as much as I wish she remembered me, on each occasion I’m still a borderline stranger. I just have to sit back and let her do her thing and document her personality.

Kora's first visit to Polliwog and the duck pond

Kora's first visit to Polliwog and the duck pond

Kora

Kora

This marks the third year that I have shot family portraits of Tracey and Carley. Their previous photos have made my promo cards, websites and even the promotional piece I made for this year’s holiday card family portrait event. I can’t take a bad photo of them.

Tracey and Carley

Tracey and Carley

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Introducing Isabelle Boudreau – Three days old

Last weekend I had the pleasure of visiting Isabelle and her proud parents at Kaiser West LA hospital.  We had been planning for this hospital visit photo shoot for a couple weeks but we all know how planning for the delivery of a baby works out. Isabelle was born at 8AM on Friday September 25th. She weighed in at 7lbs 7oz and she is the first born to Josette and Jean-Louis.

This photo shoot was a big reminder why I do this. It’s not often that I can feel the gravity and importance of a photo. But as I reviewed and edited the photos I couldn’t help but think that these photos will last a lifetime and that they will always be cherished.

Like most wedding and family photography developing a relationship with a photographer is one of the most important factors. A photographer can be incredibly skilled but if you can’t open up and have fun the photos will reflect it.  That being said if you are having your photos taken by someone you don’t really like, someone impersonal who is just there for a job,  or worse yet if you feel you are just a number in the photography machine then please look for someone new. You’ll see and feel the difference once you find the right person.

Visiting the hospital to take newborn photos takes this relationship to a whole new level. Mom and dad have gone through the ringer and having a photographer there is the last thing on people’s minds. But as you look at the photos if you get the feeling that you wish you had done something like this when your child was born or would like the opportunity to capture these memories when your next baby is born then please give me a call. To see the proofs and the rest of the images go to the proof gallery section of www.chuckespinozaphotography.com And yes, these were all shot in Josette’s hospital room.

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Isabelle and proud father Jean Luis

Isabelle and proud father Jean Luis

Grandma and Isabelle

Grandma and Isabelle

Grandpa and Isabelle - grandchild number 12

Grandpa and Isabelle - grandchild number 12

Josette and Isabelle

Josette and Isabelle

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