There have been a lot of photos I’ve taken in the past and I may, at some point, publish some of my early work here. For now, this year, 2009, I’ll move forward with my imagery.

Generally speaking, I am not very good at writing… mostly because I’m not too confident in my prose. I’d rather draw or take a photo, or edit a photo than talk about it.

That said, I will be showing you how I do things in a kind of a before and after ordeal. I hope you’re not going to be too bored.

I want to start off with a project that became dear to my heart out of a shear desire to create a special for children portraiture that no one else could do. Sure there are a lot of other photographers doing portraits of children. Some of those photographers even do fantasy kinds of works. I wanted something I could claim as mine.

I belong to a very good forum for photographers called On that forum, several other photographers do these kinds of works, but I wanted my own look, and did not want it to appear to be a studio faked kind of shot. I wanted it in the woods and as real as I could make it – at least to begin with.

A funny thing happened in the planning, that I’ll explain here.

My wife Christine has a customer who has 3 grand daughters. Christine was explaining to the grandmother about the kind of shots I wanted to try with kids and they concocted a deal where I would do the shoot using her grand daughters and daughter as models for my promo of this kind of work. The shoot was arranged for a the next Saturday at 10: am. I had never shot these kinds of shots at all, in the woods or any where else, so I had to do some experimenting quickly. I learned about the Saturday shoot on Thursday, so on Friday I went to a spot I knew about in the woods, not far from my studio. I took along some fake rocks, and fake mushrooms and fake butterflies and my lights (studio strobes). My van has a 750 watt inverter, so I can plug in my studio lights and have a traveling studio anywhere I want to go.

So, here I am, in the woods snapping trial shots of my target, using different exposures and getting used to the shooting conditions. About that time I heard a noise over my right shoulder. Bambi was walking into my portable studio. Yep, a young deer who still had spots came walking in and allowed me to shoot about 40 or 50 shots before she obeyed her grunting mother who was off to camera left, and ran off. Wow! I thought how neat is that. To be able to be in the woods with studio lights and have a wild deer walk right into the set. Wow!

So next day – Saturday – at 10: am I’m at the scene and the kids show up, jumping out of their van squeeling and giggling as little girls do. I just wanted to regain the respectful silence I like in the woods, and went to the girls and went SHHHHHHH. The youngest girl (around 3 or 4 years old) looked up at me and said “what?” – I replied with – “there are deer that live in these woods, and if you’re quiet, they might come around.” With that, mom picked up the little girl and we all began our trek to the “studio in the woods” about 40 yards from where the car was parked. We had to walk along a path. The path was a deer path. The same deer path that Bambi had walked on yesterday. About half way to the set, Bambi came along, almost on que. I said look there is a deer. The little one could say nothing, but to whisper “hello?” What a great way to start a session with 3 little girls.

So here is the progression. First the original shot:

The image was lightened and wings were added:

Then additional fantasy stuff was added including fairy lights and fantasy background and foreground enhancements:

With a hole on the right, I thought needed filling, I wondered what I could fill it with. Then the thought – BAMBI… so here’s Bambi!

Now my job was to create a promotional piece from this art. Here’s what came of that: