I’ve really been having fun with the family photos this week. With bookings every morning and evening during the holidays, I’ve been challenging myself to do something new and special for each group I work with. This family was staying at Seven Mile Beach Resort but, wanting to get away from the crowds, we took a 20 minute cab ride to a remote local beach without the holiday crowds. Due to the pre-sunrise arrival these photos really have a special feel. It doesn’t hurt that they could start a modeling agency within their own family! This was a one hour shoot.
Aside from cropping, this photo is un-manipulated. Just as I was beginning a family portrait session at the Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman, a passenger jet began final approach to Owen Roberts International Airport. Viewed from Seven Mile Beach, the aircraft appeared to fly directly through the funnel cloud. Meanwhile, the parasail boat seems to have barely escaped being sucked up into a tornado on the surface of the water. I’m sure both craft were well out of harm’s way but it must have been a thrilling ride for everyone!
Family portraits are my favorite job and, living in a beautiful destination like the Cayman Islands, I get to a lot of them. I love it when people take advantage of a special occasion like a 50th wedding anniversary or significant birthday to get the whole family together and take pictures. I photographed this family a couple of years ago when they were staying at the Cayman Castle. This year they rented a private home in South Sound and asked if I could come back and work with them again. Of course the holidays are always a busy time and Christmas Eve was the only day left in my schedule. When working with large families I try to get a good portrait of the matriarch and patriarch, a few good photos of each of the family groupings, and some great pictures of all the kids. It was great to see these guys again and I’m really pleased to share a few of my favorite photos from this 1.5 hour session.
OK. So I didn’t shoot the pictures that actually appeared in Playboy Magazine but I did photograph the actual Playboy Centerfold Models at the Shoot the Centerfold photography workshop in Las Vegas this past weekend. Playboy photographers Arny Freytag, David Mecey, and Jarmo Pohjaniemi were the course instructors. Also on hand were Playmates Jessa Hinton (Miss July 2011), Ashley Mattingly (Miss March 2011), and Olivia Paige (Miss September 2010). Senior editorial staff for Playboy magazine were also there to review portfolios and answer questions. This was a great opportunity to network with other top photographers and share ideas and insights. I learned a lot, made a few friends, and will certainly attend in the future.Jessa Hinton (Miss July 2011) models on a 30 light set created by veteran Playboy photographer Arny Freytag.
Arny Freytag demonstrates lighting and posing techniques.Playboy photographer, Jarmo Pohlaniemi, and his crew work with Playmate Olivia Paige (Miss September 2010). The course instructors and their crews could not have been better. Attendees could ask questions of anyone at any time and information was shared freely without reserve. Miss March 2011, Ashley Mattingly, lights up a set created by Playboy photographer David Mecey. The models were all approachable, professional and fun and worked extremely hard for all three days.
Of course the Playmates couldn’t keep their hands off of me and kept begging for a photo. I finally relented and agreed to pose with them. What else could I do?
Each summer I’m fortunate to spend some real quality time with my family in a very special place called Lake Temagami. The lake is protected by a an agreement called the SkyLine Reserve effectively limiting the cutting of trees or any development on the mainland. Translation: no car noises, no light pollution, and water clean enough to drink (in fact we do.. all summer long!). We have a cabin there on Bear Island accessible only by boat. Its more like camping than like being at a cottage. For the first three years we had no running water and no electricity and lived out of a cooler, hauling drinking water in buckets from the lake and cooking on a propane bar-b-que. Today, two solar panels and four batteries provide enough power to run a small water pump and a few reading lights at night. Still no telephone or internet and we do our business in a two seater outhouse! Below is the view from our primary dock which faces due north. That’s the Aurora Borealis. Look closely and you can make out the big dipper low near the water. It really is an amazing experience. What you don’t get in this picture is the sound of the loons which sing to us every night, so I’ve also added a 30 second video below the image! Turn up the volume and watch this amazing natural phenomenon.
Listen to the haunting calls of the loons during this amazing display of Northern Lights as seen from our north facing dock on Bear Island, Lake Temagami, Ontario.