Wednesday, June 30, 2010

So what exactly is a Lovefeest anyway?

Originally uploaded by lisablaschke
I've heard this several times over the past week as I describe to others the event I shot Saturday. I Googled it and didn't really get anywhere. Not because there are no mentions online of Lovefeests or feests themselves, but because every site I found was written in Dutch. My Dutch being a little fuzzy, I was unable to translate. So I'll do my best to describe a Lovefeest from my perspective because I can honestly say I have attended one.

A beautiful free-spirited lady fell in love with a Dutch man on her world travels and they decided to spend the rest of their days celebrating their love for each other. To kick off that chapter of their lives they threw a grand shindig in the back yard of her New Braunfels home. There were skits performed by loved ones, songs, readings of poems and stories, flower petal throwing and a grand circle of love hand shake exchange. I had never seen anything like it, but then I don't spend much time in Holland. There was nifty cheese in the shape of wooden Dutch shoes, though. And anytime you involve cheese, I'm all over it. What really tapped the evening off for me however, was the arrival of the Mariachi band.

So I guess a Lovefeest, or at least the one I attended, is a mixture of Dutch culture, with earthy love, Texas heat and a little sprinkling of Tejano.

This event was a challenge for me to shoot because of the darkness of the night. The only lighting was a string of lights around the yard and some tiki torches. As a result I had to shoot at a very high ISO, which introduced quite a bit of noise. I did learn a few things about noise reduction while processing these images and I had a great time playing with my starlight filter. The couple's romantic dance was to Van Morrison's Moondance, which I found very appropriate so I had the music playing on my computer as I processed these images. It helped set the mood.

Thanks for including me in your Lovefeest Arlayne and Martin. You guys really know how to throw a party. And thanks for the cheese!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The Alan Porter Project

Howdy folks--Jayme here. Lisa tells me I need to start earning my keep and contribute to the blog, or else she won't let me play with her cameras anymore! I know not to argue with that...

Alan J. Porter, a talented Austin writer I know, contacted me a while back because he needed updated publicity photos for his book publisher. I enjoy doing head shots, because it's a thrill to create images that go far beyond their expectations.

Among other things, Alan scripts the Pixar Cars comic book series for Boom! Studios, so I wanted to include visual references to that in his shoot. The Lightning McQueen poster in his office did the trick.

I also wanted to get some brighter, outdoor shots, to show he wasn't always cooped up in his office, writing away. Fortunately, he and his wife have a lovely rock walk/garden at their home, and I was able to use this setting to good effect.

I have to confess, though, that this final comic book page composite was my ultimate goal. When he first contacted me, I knew I wanted to do something outside of the box that would make him smile, even if it wasn't appropriate for a book jacket. Starting with an old back issue of The Flash and lots (and I do mean lots!) of trial-and-error on Photoshop, I finally came up with something I was happy with. And judging from Alan's comments, he was, too!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Girls Afternoon In

Originally uploaded by lisablaschke
Wow! Where to begin! Yesterday was an amazing day for me. I had a wonderful, delightful, fun session with a beautiful group of ladies. I'm sharing a photo of that session with you here, but don't expect to see any more. Unless, of course, you're one of the 13 women who stripped down naked and posed for photos with your best friends while sipping champagne and talking about love.

Every single one of these women had beauty and friendship radiating from her. Some were shy about being naked in front of the camera -- I don't blame them! But all swore an oath that the password to their gallery of photos would remain a secret, known only to the women in that room. My lips are sealed.

When my client first contacted me about this shoot I almost turned her down. I had a conference in Austin all weekend and the prospect of driving back and forth was not appealing. But she's such a sweet lady and this was the only day all these women would be able to be together in one place. My gut was telling me to do this. My gut's usually right. I had such a great time and it was wonderful to see women of their age -- mostly 40s and 50s -- so gloriously confident in their bodies. I adored each and every one of them.

It was the most fun I've had at a session yet -- and I've had lots of really cool sessions! Thanks so much, ladies, for trusting me with this most special and most important session. You're all beautiful -- inside and out!

Monday, June 21, 2010

The older I get...

Originally uploaded by lisablaschke
the faster time seems to fly by. For my 9-year-old daughter the summer days are filled with endless hours of "I'm hungry, I'm bored, there's nothing to do." For me the summer days are practically non existent. I wake up, I work, I drudge, I shoot, I process, I blog (sometimes I do I swear it!), and then I drag myself to bed wondering how I squandered my day. Meanwhile my daughter is sitting in bed asking me "when are we going to DO something?"

So Disneyworld wasn't enough I guess. It's "what have you done for me lately?" Fortunately I have more fun up my sleeve. A conference! Yes, it's work for me. I will spend this weekend rounding up business and shooting at the La Leche League Are Conference in Austin. But to my daughter, it'll be a fun-filled weekend of hotel swimming, family sessions with playdoh and dancing, a play room full of kids and toys and free shampoo courtesy of the Marriott. And I honestly don't know what the joy is in a free shower cap, but the child acts like it's Christmas morning when she finds one. So tonight when I lay down with her for a minute to say good night and she asks me as she has every single night in recorded history 'what are our plans for this weekend" I will tell her about the conference and all its hotel goodness.

The past weekend brought fun in the form of a swim meet for my older daughter who is due to sprout gills at any time now judging by the amount of time she spends in the water. I shot this image on Saturday because the coach suggested I shake things up a bit with the group shot. Every year we shoot the same formal posed team shot on the bleachers. We did that as well, and then I told them to jump on in and we tried this one. The water is quite deep here so most of these kids had to tread water for about 5 minutes while we did our best to organize them. I like it. It says to me organized chaos. It's fun.

Friday, June 11, 2010

And the Rain Rain Rain Came Down Down Down

Originally uploaded by lisablaschke
Yuk! New Braunfels got soaked the other night! Storms hit us early Wednesday morning and kept much of the town awake all night. The lightening was so constant and the thunder so loud it was like a freight train going through my home. And it kept coming. And coming. And coming. Some parts of our town -- including my home -- got up to 12 inches of rain in just a few hours time. When the sun finally came up on my dreary sleep-deprived eyes, what I saw was water water everywhere. Landa Park -- one of my favorite portrait shooting locations -- was under water. Much of Gruene was under water. The road to my home was under water. In fact, pretty much most of New Braunfels was under water.

People love to camp out along the river and most of them were caught totally by surprise by the storm. A lot of people were swept away in their tents and campers and one person was even killed. I'm grateful yet surprised that the death toll wasn't any higher. There were a lot of people camping out that night -- it's the beginning of the tourist season.

Once our roadway dried out a little, I ventured out with my camera to see some of the damage. I stuck to high ground and didn't take any chances -- I had my kids with me of course -- and this photo is what we saw near I-35. We watched for a few minutes as picnic tables, inner tubes, lifeguard stands, fences, building materials and coolers drifted by below us. It was heartbreaking to see household appliances and personal possessions floating along, lost forever to the people who's homes got swept away. We also saw a lost baby deer frantic, wet, and scared hopping along near the water's edge, separated from its mother -- could she have been swept away by the water, or just lost in the confusion of the storm?

It's been three days now and the water has receded in most places. What's left is lots and lots of mud. But we'll recover as a town. New Braunfels has had to deal with this before and they'll deal with it again.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Home Again Home Again....

I took my little family to Florida last week and we hit all the Disney parks. Whew, what a whirlwind. I have to say it was the best vacation ever -- even better than our cruise a couple of years ago. The kids didn't squabble too terribly and everyone seemed to enjoy each other's company.

We flew of course, but in hindsight, we should have driven. We had nothing but flight delays on the way over and on the way back. It took 16 hours to get there if you count time spent sitting around the airport and 10 hours to get home. Google maps says it takes about 19 hours to drive and they're always a little over the actual time. So we literally may have pulled into our resort at about the same time if we had hopped in the car and driven across four states.

I think my favorite would have to be Soarin' at Epcot. I've never had such a real sensation of flying over the treetops as I did on that ride. It was amazing. After that,my favorites would be the classics. The rides that have been at Disneyworld for ages -- Pirates, Peter Pan, the Jungle Cruise, It's a Small World and the Steamboat. Those brought me back to my childhood, when I'd pore over photos and Disney books and dream and wish I could go to the actual park. I made it there when I was a teenager, but at that age, it was all about the thrill rides. I was disappointed at the absence of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and the Honey I Shrunk the Audience ride was closed for renovations -- bummer.

We really truly did not want to leave when it came time. Usually I'm so worn out at the end of vacation that I can't wait to get home. Not this time. I was ready to change my address to the Port Orleans Resort and start setting up my business there.

I managed to take about 1,500 photos while there. I won't share all of them for you here. I'll post a few along the way. I'm still trying to play catch up so don't panic if I haven't returned your call or e-mail yet. I'm getting there!

Originally uploaded by lisablaschke

Yes that is me sliding down a big roll of film. I loved it.