Dancers – if your considering going pro and pursuing a career in dancing, I highly recommend you talk to dancers that are doing it today! This is a limited opportunity to listen and perhaps chat with a professional ballet dancer.
Pas de Deux is hosting a free webinar with Houston Ballet principal dancer Karina Gonzalez on Wednesday, May 13, at 2 pm EDT/11 am PDT.
Karina will talk about her journey in becoming a professional dancer and what it’s like. She will also take questions during the webinar from attendees.
This is a fascinating opportunity to hear from a principal dancer from a major ballet company.
Feel free to share this info and the registration link. We are limited to 100 attendees so sign up soon.
Professional pet photographers make it look so easy! Anyone who has tried to photograph their own pet knows how challenging this can be! Here are some pet photography tips that you can use to help you get the perfect shot
Relax. Your pet can sense if you’re nervous or uptight. A stressed animal will give you ‘ears flattened’, ‘concerned eyes’ look, which doesn’t look good. Take a deep breath and remember to have fun with it!
2. Focus n the eyes and expressions. Just like in photos of humans, we always look at the eyes first. The eyes are the most expressive part of an animal’s face. So if you want to create really engaging portraits, focus on their eyes.
3. Clean up the area. Plan where you want to photograph your pet and make sure it has plenty of light (natural works best – near a window) and tidy it up. Try to avoid distracting and vivid colored objects unless it’s your pet’s favorite.
4. Photograph at their level. Get down to their level and try some portraits at their eye level. Yes, that might mean getting down and dirty! Or in this case, licked to death!
5. Go to the light. Light is always important along with great expressions. You want to be able to see the catchlight’s in the pet’s eyes (the white reflective parts). Avoid photographing in dark rooms. Outside is best but avoid bright sunlight as it tends to flatten the image. Shady spots or anyplace where the light is diffused are ideal
6. Keep treats handy. Every model wants and needs some motivation to pay attention to you during the photoshoot. Otherwise, they will wander off and become distracted.
7. Plan ahead. Create a concept and a shot list ahead of time. Sure you’re probably not going to get every photograph you plan on but you’ll be ahead of the game. Go to Pinterest or any image gallery and search on “dog/cat/your pet portraits/photographs and see what others have done that you love. There are some great options with holiday themes!
8. Quiet and Calm. This goes along with the Relax tip. Avoid giving multiple commands at them repeatedly. This tends to confuse some pets. Try communicating with your pet the way they do to each other – non verbally. Use hand signals or point to invite them ‘over here’.
9. Move slowly. This goes along with the Relax and Quiet and Calm tips. Unless you want action photos of your pet, move in a slow manner to avoid getting your pet all stirred up. If your goal is to get some natural photos of them doing their own thing, this is important as you don’t want to disturb them
10. Patience. Applies to life in general but like anything else is a virtue. If you are patient enough, your pet will end up being relaxed and you will have more opportunities to get a nice photograph.
What tips do you have? Leave a comment below to share with others!
What we feared most has sadly come true. Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, there will be no 2020 Freddy Awards. But wait – all is not lost. WFMZ and the wonderful State Theatre will be having a television special on Thursday, May 21 at 6:30 pm. Details are still being worked out on what will be in the special but I can’t wait!
My favorite photos from last year’s Freddy Awards are currently on display at the Easton Hospital Gallery inside the State Theatre. Of course, no one will be able to see them until we return a little more to the old normal and are able to re-open the theater. In the meantime, I wanted to share a slide show of my photos that are on display in the gallery.
If you see one you love they are for sale by the State Theater. Please contact them to find out how to purchase. Get in touch with me if you have any questions.
For all my dancers out there I highly recommend this interview with Ashley Bouder. This was a Zoom session I participated in with on Friday. Has I known in advance how much Ashley was going to share, I would have shared the invite with all the dance school and dance teachers that are clients of mine.
Ashley Bouder is a principal dancer with the New York City Ballet and is the founder of the Ashley Bouder Project. She sat down with Pas de Deux on April 17, 2020, to talk about the Coronavirus quarantine and life as a professional dancer. She discusses dealing with injuries and what it’s like to be a principal dancer, and how to conduct yourself at auditions. The video is an hour long.
Video from the Church of the Holy Spirit’s 2020 Palm Sunday service
Regular readers of my photography blog will find the above post a little bit strange. Truth be told, an elderly parishioner at my church couldn’t see the online video from Palm Sunday. I needed a quick way to convert the Facebook Live video into another easy format for her to see it since she doesn’t have a Facebook account. Putting the link in my blog was a quick way to accomplish this! And if you are search for an Episcopal church I highly recommend Church of the Holy SPirit in Lebanon, NJ. http://www.churchholyspirit.org.
Are you cleaning out your closets, basements and other areas? Yeah me too. It’s only natural at times like this. Plus we have all that extra free time. The bonus is it needs to be done and it takes out minds off of the news for a little bit.
I gathered some tips to eliminate clutter and get your living space in order.
Marie Kondo is a Japanese organizing consultant and author of the best-selling “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up,” that you need to check out. She also has her own Youtube channel and a series on Netflix!
Kondo transforms the tedious chore of folding laundry into a meditative activity. She urges that, as part of the purging ritual, you hold each belonging as you ask yourself whether it brings you joy. If the answer is no, then it’s time to say thank you and goodbye.
Less Is More
I’m a firm believer of decluttering and purging what you no longer need. If you haven’t used an item in the past 6 or 12 months, chances are you not going to need it going forward. Sometimes I cheat and say “I may need this again.” Then when I go through a purge again in 6 or 12 months and the items is still there, with even more dust on it, out it goes.
One concept of this is one in, one out. Bring in some new socks, there must be some old ones with holes you no longer need. Same concept for clothing and may other items.
When I last cleaned out my closet, I wish I had more room to hang items. Then I realized I only had one horizontal bar in one section of my closet. If I moved up that bar and installed another one lower, I could double my capacity. This works well with shirts and folded pants. Dresses and items that need to hang full length will still need the extra room.
Furniture with the right storage solutions can help an apartment with toys everywhere become a tidy home.
Is a move of your residence in your future? If so this will contribute to improved home organization. Besides you don’t want to move stuff four times that you don’t need (1. put into box 2. load box into car/truck 3. unload box 4. unpack box 😦 )
What Are Your Ideas?
I’d love to hear your tips on this area. Please comment below and send to me and I’ll include!
This may seem like a weird post coming from your photographer but I have my reasons. First, with all of us spending more time at home with family, your home WiFi is on overload.
Probably like many of you, my cable modem was located in the basement where my cable connection comes into the house. So naturally, I put my WiFi router down there. And that worked fine for the most part for many years. But now with COVID-19 and my wife working from home, we were having some issues.
So the first thing I did was figure out where the WiFi router should be for the best coverage in my home. Your basement doesn’t work unless everyone spends a lot of their time down there. I have a basement, a first floor, and a second floor. Moving the WiFi router to the first floor seemed like a good plan. I would have it in a central location so it can still be used in the basement and upstairs.
The easiest plan of action for me was to move it to the first floor right above where it was in the basement. For me, this worked out good as my photography studio is right there. Your situation might be different. I needed to drill a hole from the first floor to the basement and put 2 ethernet cables through the hole. One was from my cable modem (which stayed downstairs – I didn’t want to turn my studio into a data center! lol). The other was to go back downstairs and hook into a switch I have down there that feeds other “hard-wired” devices I have at my house (long story but I still do have non-wireless devices).
In the end, I’m so glad I did this. WiFi performance is now great on the first floor. The second-floor performance increased as well. Basement WiFi access is still acceptable. So now that you have some extra time on your hands <grin> give it a go. Just make sure you do it when there’s no one else using the internet 🙂
Thinking about doing the same and have some questions? Shoot me an email. Before going full time as a professional photographer, I spent 32 years in IT so I may be able to help 🙂
With everything going on in the world right now, I wanted to share a little theater joy. I’m not quite sure what will be happening with the 2020 Freddy Awards, but I know a lot of school’s productions have been postponed until the quarantine is lifted. So I wanted to share some of my best photographs from the 2018 Freddy Awards. These were on display in the Easton Hospital Gallery in the State Theatre last year. I will post my 2019 Freddy Award photographs soon.