Yuma, AZ is known as the “Gateway to the West” because it was the first place the railroad and highway bridges crossed the Colorado River that separated California from the Yuma Territory, long before Arizona was a state. Although Yuma is steeped in history, what Yuma is most known for today is it’s agricultural influence (Yuma is the largest producer on winter vegetables in the country) and it’s heat. The Guinness World Records determined Yuma to be the sunniest place on earth – 91% of daylight hours are sunny! Also according to Guinness, Yuma is the driest place in the nation with an average of 3 inches of rain a year. To this day however, Downtown Yuma is a great place to step back in time and experience some of Yuma’s ‘Old West’ history. It is one of two National Heritage Areas in the nation west of the Mississippi. I recently took a nighttime stroll through the Downtown area with my family. Below are some of the images from that night.
Well it’s that time of year in Arizona again. Rodeos are passing through town and people take to the bleachers to see the cowboy’s and cowgirl’s skills in the arena. I once again attended the Silver Spur Rodeo in Yuma, Arizona. The theme every year is “Tough Enough to Wear Pink,” where proceeds from the rodeo go to fight breast cancer. Seeing all the tough, dirty cowboys in pink always puts a smile on my face. Well I have dusted off my camera and myself and below are some of my photos from the afternoon.
This weekend I went with my family to the Yuma Jaycees Silver Spur Rodeo. Going to the rodeo every year is a tradition in my family and it is always a great event. As I only had my 50mm lens with me, I had to get up close to the arena. I got covered in dirt and scared by a bull, but it was a lot of fun to shoot.
As I have been staying in Yuma, AZ for the holidays, I decided to take my cousins Cassie and Jessica and do an impromptu photo shoot. We live way out in the country surrounded by lettuce fields so I had them trekking through the mud and lettuce, but I got some amazing photographs. My beautiful cousins were great models and the whole shoot was a lot of fun. These photos are lightly edited, but I love the natural, bright look.
Last weekend was a busy shooting weekend. After photographing Tristan at the Frog Pond and Jane in the snow, I was asked by two fellow classmates and friends to photograph an engagement shoot they were doing. They needed stills and video for a promotional video they are making for their upcoming studio and business. We all headed to a park in Concord, MA and the photographers got to work.
As part of our weddings module at school, we had to practice “engagement” shoots. A very nice couple was brought in for us to photograph. As a class, we walked around Waltham, MA and shot the couple in several different environments. We were able to practice not only posing and directing clients, but the technical side as well. I love the shots that I got, but I think that is mostly because the couple was so cute together.
As a photographer, it’s all about your style. My style is generally bright, cheerful, and romantic. In studio portraiture, I can really take this to the extremes. In class we set up some bright seamless sets and worked on our studio portraiture. I shot portraits of my classmates and friends, keeping things lighthearted and fun.
As an assessment of our product studio skills, the photographers were assigned to graphic designers and we had to photograph for their ad posters. My designer, Annabelle McLean, was doing an ad for ski boots. She wanted to shoot them with skis in the snow. As ice/snow is very difficult to shoot in a studio because it will melt under the lights within seconds, we had to improvise. Annabelle went to a dollar store and bought a styrofoam ice chest. Because she had brought a blender for the ice we were no longer using, she was able to blend chunks of the ice chest to create snow. It turned out perfectly and was a very entertaining shoot. As this shoot was for a triptyc of ad posters, we needed three separate shots. These are the rough shots that were given to the graphic designer without any post done to them.