Friday, July 25, 2008

Alternative F'ing Photography

Today, I was inspired.
Heading to Austin, I began to wonder what to expect in the workshop by John Michael and Dalisa Cooper. I had no idea, so I decided not to expect anything and simply go in with a clean slate and a new page to take notes.
Little did I know that I would meet the most fabulous artist I've ever met. I didn't really have to ask many questions- John's agenda was well-planned, easy to understand, and extremely easy to see. He had two large monitors so that we could see what he was doing, and showed us every little Photoshop hint from start to finish. I can easily see that my experience is nothing compared to his 20 years or so.
The most memorable moment during our workshop that gave me chill bumps was when John talked about the inspirations behind his anti-bridals. As an outside viewer of his site and blog, I had always assumed that John approached photo sessions as I and many other photographers do- they arrive, look around, and shoot what they see. Au contraire! John actually thinks up something that he wants to shoot, sketches it into a sketchbook, and saves the idea until he finds just the right location and people to make it work. For example, he referred to the "flaming bride" picture, his shocking signature piece that appears on the front page of his website, as "Joan of Arc." Later, he showed us a picture from his blog of a bride with an exaggerated picture of a large, long hairdo, and then showed us the inspiration for that photo- the bride of Frankenstein. I dare you, Google the bride of Frankenstein, and then go to the blog at
At that point, I realized just what kind of person of which I was in the presence, and what a privilege it was to be watching this person work. John makes a "roadmap" in his mind of the pictures before he even goes on the shoot. Unlike most photographers, he doesn't care about the beautiful, the soft, or the scenery. He has these amazing images in his head, waiting to be taken, much like an author has a story in his mind, waiting to be written.

Some of my favorite quotes from the day are as follows:
"I don't have to be the best granny smith apple. I'm a half-sized dirty orange. " John
"if you do something that your mind can't recognize as normal, that will stand out. Your mind has to pause on it. You can't ignore it. Your mind has to stop." John
"Use everyone else's ideas as what not to do." John

Photographers, try as you may, but John Michael Cooper with AltF Photography will never be topped. His mind is always sketching.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Cowger family

Debra Cowger contacted me last week to take her family's portraits while they were all staying at a lake house between Burnet and Kingsland. I met their family early Sunday (early for me because I stayed out late at the Marble Falls Rodeo the night before!) to do their family pictures. They were all so patient and nice.

Jaymi's bridals

Jaymi McAnally works at Camp Peniel in her summers, and she's getting married in January in Kansas. Several of us girls had the best time doing her pictures this past Friday! The bay horse is Taz, mine and Josh's horse. I've been spending time with him lately since I had to put Cajun down. The paint horse is Duke, one of our best camp horses, and also one of my personal favorites. I actually hopped on Duke bareback and in flip-flops to take some of the portraits!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Linell's Photo Session

Linell met me in Marble Falls for a photo session this past Tuesday. I enjoyed getting to know her and hearing about all of her kids and eight grandchildren.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Geoff and Katie's Wedding- July 5th, 2008

Geoff and Katie were married this past weekend at Grace Bible Church in Nacogdoches. There were SO many people at their wedding, more than they expected. The 7 bridesmaids and 7 groomsmen were fun!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Katie's Bridal Portraits

Katie Kasselman (now Gregory) met me in Marble Falls for some amazing bridal portraits in late May. It's always so hard for me not to blog bridal portraits and give away the secret of what the dress looks like! I'm pumped from tonight's wedding as I sit here in the hotel in Nacogdoches. I'm tempted to process pictures all night while I'm listening to this great Texas country radio station, but I can't let myself get on a late-night schedule again!
Here are some of the bridals that we took in May. Wedding pictures will come soon!
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