Flight of the Balloons (Part 2)

Oh hey, there! How’s it going? Hope all is well as you beat the heat and stay dry (assuming you’re actually getting any rain…which we just got hit with momentarily in “Little Town That Nobody’s Heard Of,” Kentucky…and of course I would be outside working when the downpour happened). As a bit of a midweek treat, I’ve finally got the second extensive look at my photo shoot with Felicita from what now feels like ages ago (and by “ages,” I really just mean 2 weeks). So how about it? Go on and indulge yourselves below (you know you want to):

Oh, the cuteness! This is apart of a short sequence of photos that I couldn’t help but to love. There is a small part of me that prefers looking at them in thumbnail form, but even up close, I still find this photo and its siblings to be quite happy and beautiful in their own special way.

This is easily my favorite photo from the whole shoot. Sure, the other images are great with their summery feel and vintage appeal; but there is just something about this image that causes it to surpass all the rest…at least in my book. Why? Well, it was this image that made me feel, for once, that I might very well be on my way to becoming a bit of a photography professional/veteran. Even before editing this photo (giving it a little more contrast and a light cross-process to boost the colors), I knew this was a keeper. I honestly saw this photo and thought to myself that this looked like a professional took it. I couldn’t possibly have been the person credited with capturing this moment. But then reality hit me, and I branded it with my watermark and it all set in: yes, I did this. I was the one who was there when Felicita was struggling to tame those balloons. I had the camera in my hand. I framed it, focused it, shot it. And for once, the image was the closest to perfection that I have ever gotten. Relatively even lighting in all the right places, focused where it needed to be so…there is a great sense of pride that I achieved with this photo. Simple as that.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All the images after that point just accentuated the fact that my eye for detail is sharpening significantly, my love for the hobby growing immensely deeper than ever before. Some photos were simple, like the colored one above. Nothing special, just Felicita enjoying some sunshine by a log cabin we found. And then there are the greater details like that found in the monochrome photo. Another fan favorite and I understand why (though I often wonder how viewers of my photography can sometimes feel so differently about my photos than I do. For instance, a photo that I may truly think is just mediocre is one that everyone loves [and there were a few of those from this very shoot that garnered cult followings despite how extremely trite I found them]).

Anyway, that black-and-white photo is a crowd favorite for a few reasons with all of those reasons going back to my eye for detail. First, there’s the “Artist Circle” street sign, but I purposefully don’t give the audience any view of the street. Instead, the street sign seems to speak to the second detail: the foliage archway that leads to who knows what (it actually leads to gardens, but for the purpose of this explanation, let’s pretend that the pathway leads to some sort of magic abyss/wonderland). The way the sign is angled, it looks as if it is gesturing towards the pathway. And there is Felicita, standing at the entrance of her next big adventure. She is at Artist Circle, a place obviously for artists like ourselves. Will she go in? She doesn’t quite look like she wants to, but she’s there.

The third detail. Our pictures tell stories.

I did a lot of inspiration hunting for this photo shoot. How does one use balloons as a prop in photography? For the most part, I stuck with the standard “stand there holding the balloons.” But sometimes it’s not a bad idea to switch things up by merely shifting the angle. Sure, taking a photo from dead on, right in front of the model is alright, but naturally isolating the model with the vast blue sky as the background (read: angling the shot from below) can be just as breathtaking and beautiful.

Of course, I couldn’t come out of this shoot without my standard headshot. This time, I surprised myself with the final result (as I did with this whole shoot). The following image is probably my favorite headshot to date:

As far as portraits go, this is one of the grittiest, raw images I’ve ever taken in terms of composition. I say this because it’s definitely been edited, but there is a sense of raw power in this photo. And it honestly all comes from Felicita. It’s her eyes that draw in the viewer, the expression of quiet desperation (or sheer annoyance that I had stopped us to take pictures against this wall in the middle of our hike to the Mexican restaurant), the sun-kissed skin partially masked by only a blue bikini top and white crop tee, the light beginnings of wind-whipped hair…

This photo alone is the epitome of summer to me. Also, it provides a solid case for why I should be a fashion photographer for stores like PacSun that sell beach/sports attire from brands like Roxy, Hurley, O’Neill, and Billabong (clearly I’ve thought this one out…mostly because one of my [many] childhood dreams consisted of my being a surfer like Bethany Hamilton. I’m being dead serious. You can see how that worked out for the girl from landlocked Nashville, TN).

So there you have it. Some of the best/favorites from my Flight of the Balloons shoot. There are dozens of other images, and maybe one day soon I’ll show them to you. But for now, I’m calling this post quits. Au revoir, mes amis!

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