PhotoExperience: Rachel Hines

The Hunt for The Location

One of the wonderful things about living here in the PNW as far as photography goes, is that there are so many sites to see and so many great locations to shoot in. I mean really and truly it's a veritable buffet of location delights and what really adds to it all is being able to see seasonal change. In the Bahamas, I could shoot in the fall but I could never really get that true look of Fall, I could never really  get that true look of Winter and now having that, there are endless possibilities for shoot concepts.

So I recently met Rachel Hines from a networking group and she was looking to build her portfolio. We discussed some ideas and it was on to me to find a good location. The location I had in mind was one that I visited in Bothell a couple years ago. For the life of me though,  I could not remember the name of it. A few search results and Facebook appeals pointed to Bothell Landing Park but from what I saw, it only bore a slight resemblance. The spot I scoped out was relatively smaller and had this bridge that I really liked.

This turned out to be one of those rare instance where I became grateful for technology. I recalled that I had taken a bunch of  photos of the location and as luck would have it, my images were synced to my Google account. Google also had the GPS of the location, so just like that, the problem solved, Canyon Park, Bothel. Hooray Google ☺.

When I first trekked there it was around Spring so everything was lush and Green. I had some rather interesting encounters that day I must say, everything from a big black bush snake to some Gangster Geese that chased me for getting to close to their territory. Seriously geese can be freaking vicious, I guess I wasn't fly enough for then, hahaha get it? No....oh okay. Well there was also this giant Rodent called a Nutria which was taking a dip in the nearby  pond. You will see it in the images below. It is basically a big Rat and considered an invasive species. Believe it or not though, Nutria are known for their delicious, low fat, high protein meat....yea that's right, some people eat them 😲.  As a matter of fact ,In my research I have even seen them referedd to as the other white meat.

All that deliciousness aside, Rachel and I set up our shoot and set our date and time. We got to out spot and ventured to our location. One of my big issues these days when shooting on location, is my distance to my set. I don't have any assistants and carry my gear by myself and you know what? Avengers C-Stands are not light. I used to use Alien Bees heavy duty light stands they were not as weighty but the overall quality was something that was never impressive. Rachel was a real trooper and helped, she was more of a trooper when shooting because it was COLD ❄❄❄. I am not talking ⛄ weather but it was a good 32, so cold in fact that I could not even hold my C-Stand for too long. At one point as I was setting up, I turned around and Rachel was shivering with her teeth chattering. I felt terrible ☹ and took off my jacket for her to wear. Cold weather aside we got some great shots and she absolutely nailed it. I am definitely going to have to shoot at that location again. Check below to see a few behind the scenes snaps and below those are some of the finished images. Hope you enjoy them and stay tuned, more images will be coming soon and feel free to comment.

PhotoExperience: Nine Lorena Gabriella

Getting Back In The Game

SO I am finally back at it with my photography which is something that I am very, very happy to say. I have my own camera again, bought some new gear, been doing some research on branding and also spending a lot of time networking. As it swiftly is coming to a close,  I must say that 2017 has been a very interesting year for me. Aside from personal growth, a lot of my artistic views have changed. I have more of a drive to push my creative boundaries and to charter in to areas of the unknown. I have been out of the game for a very long time, much to my own chagrin and since my move here to the PNW,  I have just not been pushing my photography as much as I should have been.

I did a recent test shoot with Nine Lorena Gabriela. We met on a Facebook network page and she was looking to build her portfolio so we discussed about a collaboration. This would be my first shoot since March. This would also be the first shoot I have done with my own camera and own gear, so I was no need to say very excited. Fall is the season now and I have never done a Fall portrait session, so this was definitely something I was looking forward to. One of the things I always do is scout my locations. I want to get a sense of my surroundings, my light and where I will stage my subject. With Fall being the theme, I wanted an area that would show the true beauty of this amazing season.

I went on a camera hike around the Japanese Gulch Trail near me. It has some nice spots but they were not ideally what I was seeing in my head. In addition to that, to get to these spots we would have to hike a bit and with a 100lbs a gear in damp weather, that was a no bueno. So I ended up scoping out Harbour view park, which had some nice trees that were perfect. One problem I had, was that I was not sure if I would need a permit and it was an open area. Either ways I texted Nine the  photos and said hey this is going to be our spot at 8am. The next day to my surprise she sends me some photos from a trail in Shoreline that she frequented. It was absolutely perfect and definitely what I saw  in my head, a model who scouts locations...how awesome is that. So we finalized everything, set our designated meet up spot and 9 am was the time.

Saturday morning, I am packing my gear and on the road. Nine had alarm issues so we did not meet at the time agreed upon but it was absolutely fine. We go to the parking area and hiked down for about five minutes and this spot was just beyond amazing. A beautiful area overlooking the Sound, to say it was breathtaking would be an injustice.

We set up, go through our wardrobe and get on with the shoot. I had my 22" Alien Bees old school deep dish BD that has since been discontinued. I still love that Beauty Dish and favor it over the new shallow versions because it gives a better wrap around light in my opinion. I have long been a big fan of the Alien Bees brand. They are reliable, affordable and their Customer Service is beyond unparalleled. We got some great images which you can view below. Nine was amazing to work with and we are already planning our next shoot. It feels wonderful getting back inot the craft that I love, so stay tuned, hope you appreciate the work, Excelsior.