Posts by Larry

Senior Portrait: Lara

Last month, I did a senior portrait session with Lara – who has been one of my favorite models since she was little! We did a lot of traditional senior portraits, then decided to work on something a little more artistic.   We went with much more dramatic lighting and played around with some more unconventional cropping. We ended up with this incredible image. I loved the timeless look of the shot- especially the lighting.  It reminded me of Vermeer’s Girl With A Pearl Earring.  Truly a beautiful image.
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Snap The Whip

As photographers, we often have a tendency to become technicians vs artists. I think it is important that we study the work of the great painters – in addition to the great photographers – to keep ourselves well-rounded. I decided I would periodically post a blog entry about a painter or painting. I’m starting with one of my favorite American artists of the 19th Century – Winslow Homer and his classic “Snap the Whip.” As photographers, we are often hoping to tell a story with our images. This painting, done in 1872, is a fantastic example of storytelling. The children are playing a game called “snap the whip” where they try to keep their hands connected while they spin and snap the “whip” at the end. The painting came out at a time when little red schoolhouses, like the one in the background, were slowly starting to disappear across the country. It captures a slice of life that tells us how things were. This type of sentimental storytelling is a key component in creating an image that will stand the test of time and be admired for years to come. Although we have technology that allows us to capture more
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Social Media For Photographers

Is social media something a photographer needs to be concerned with these days? Over the past couple of years, I’ve had the opportunity to speak to groups of photographers all over the country. One common thread I have seen is that people are very undecided on social media. Most people are doing Facebook, some are doing LinkedIn and a very small few are doing Twitter. They aren’t sure if it is something they need to do and don’t want to waste a ton of time and energy on it. I’ve bounced back and forth on the topic myself, but have finally settled on the side of “yes- you should do it.” There is no doubt that social media is here to stay – at least for the next several years. Remember when Facebook first started and none of your friends were on it…. now EVERYONE is on it. Because it takes such a relatively low amount of time to get started, there is really no reason to wait. At the very least, you can setup an account and have your name out there. When people are in need of a service, they aren’t running to the Yellow Pages anymore –
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The Importance of Competition

Over the course of my photographic education, few things have done more to better my image-making than print competition. Having someone critique your work is one thing…. having it judged by strangers in front of a crowd is something else altogether. When I speak to groups of photographers, I’m always curious to see how many of them are active in print competition. Unfortunately, most are not. For every person who enters competition, there are 5 who say “maybe next year.” The great thing about photographic competitions are that they force you to stretch yourself – both technically and artistically. Day to day work usually won’t cut it, so you have to go outside your comfort zone and create something that is truly exceptional. If you fall short, you are still better than where you started – so what do you have to lose? The person who scores a 72 still scores 72 points higher than the person who doesn’t enter. I’m reminded of the famous quote by Theodore Roosevelt, from his speech at the Sorbonne in 1910: It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of
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The Investment Of Photography

Is Photography An Investment? A lot of times, you hear the word investment used very loosely. You have time investments, emotional investments, and of course – financial investments. Now everyone agrees that stocks and bonds are an investment, but is photography really an investment? I might be slightly biased, but I think it is a wonderful investment. Let’s say you had an extra $1000 sitting around the house and couldn’t decide how to spend it… I know, a good problem to have! Obviously, there are tons of options for you to choose from, but I’d like to just narrow it down to three. The first option would be something Dad would love – a 50” plasma TV for the den. Weekend football just got a whole lot better! Depending on how much television you watch, you could get a lot of enjoyment out of this over the next several years. Another option would be something Mom might vote for – a new sofa for the den. You could pick out something very traditional or maybe a really cool, trendy piece that will change to look of your den. The third option would be a portrait of your kids. Let’s say
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Garrett

Last month, I did a senior portrait session with Garrett. This guy is super-involved and we got tons of great images in his various sports uniforms. He is also a musician and wanted a nice portrait with his trumpet. After trying out a few different poses, we ended up with this – We also had one where he was looking down, but everyone decided the eye contact made this one stronger. I went with a more dramatic lighting ratio and really close cropping. It produced a portrait that was very traditional, but also had lots of impact. I’ll tell you what I really love about this portrait… Have you ever looked back at pictures of yourself from your teenage years and been so embarrassed by how you looked, what they were wearing, etc? I think this image has a very timeless feel that will look cool no matter how far down the road you look at it.
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Photography Camp

Earlier this month, I had the pleasure of teaching a photography camp at the Westwood School in Dallas. We learned about photography, did some photo scavenger hunts – and even did a little modeling! I put together a slideshow of some of the camp highlights- hope you enjoy it!
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Opening Night at the Courtyard

Thought I would post a few images from tonight’s opening of my 40@Forty Show at the Courtyard Theater in Plano. I was worried the rain would keep people away, but was thrilled to see we still had a great crowd. Hanging out at the refreshment table! Such a great venue for a show. Hanging out with the Westwood gang. A shot with my friend and mentor Gail Nogle, in front of the portrait she inspired. —– It was so nice to finally see all the images enlarged, framed and hanging in one place. The best part was find out each person’s favorite image. It was so interesting how everyone seemed to have a different favorite. The show will be on display through the end of the summer, when it moves to the Goodrich Gallery in Dallas. If you are in Plano during July or August, I hope you will stop by and check out the images.
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Setting Up

Just got back from setting up my exhibit at the Courtyard Theater in Plano. The show contains 25 images from last year’s 40@Forty Project. It was quite an undertaking – trying to figure out where to hang everything and getting them spaced out properly. Luckily I had a couple of helpers available to assist! The show officially opens next week with a reception Thursday night. Click HERE for the details. Also, its not too late to be a part of the show. Wanna know how?
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