#twydtbt 06.30.16 | Baltimore Lifestyle Photographer

I've recently tripped on an old website server, unearthing tons of old images that, thought they may not fall in line with my current work's aesthetic, they tell a tale of my photographic trek.

I'll share them here periodically, accompanied by a new tricked out "throwback Thursdays" hashtag: #twydtbt.  

If you like the idea - join in! I'd love to see your older (but still noteworthy) images :) You can either submit images or blog link in the comments below, if you're into sharing. Emailing them directly to hello@thewayyouduet.com keeps them private and away from the interwebs ;)

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Now Booking 2016 Spring Mini Sessions | Baltimore People Photographer

*sniffs*

Do you smell that? That is the undeniable scent of spring and who loves that aroma more than anyone? THIS GAL - that's who!

I'm hope you're loving the thought of warmer weather as much as me and that you find yourself daydreaming about tiptoeing through the tulips...because I am ;)
 
Speaking of tulips, I am now booking mini sessions in the Baltimore area on May 8th and 15th. These abbreviated sessions are the perfect opportunity to get out from under the woes of winter and into the warm, sunlit air. Mini sessions last 15-20 minutes and there are tons of photographic goodies for you to get excited about before AND after the session.

Each session is only $150 and includes:
(mini sessions apply to family sessions only; does not include engagement/couple sessions)

  • pre-consultation
  • 15-20 minutes
  • 10 digital negatives
  • online gallery
  • print release

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Oh, and if you mention code 37ANDCOUNTING, you can get 10% off of your first product order!
**Appointments are necessary and availability is first-come, first-served. Payment in full is required at the time of reservation to secure your date/time. In the event that you are unable to come to your session, your retainer will be applied to a future session.

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reserve YOUR SESSION time and location BELOW
(sessions will be rescheduled in the event of inclement weather)

sherwood gardens - may 15th
10a to 2p

FEDERAL HILL - MAY 8TH
10a to 2p

[ SOLD OUT ] 10:00a, May 8th - Federal Hill
[ SOLD OUT ] 10:00a, May 15th - Sherwood

[ SOLD OUT ] 10:30a, May 8th - Federal Hill
[ SOLD OUT ] 10:30a, May 15th - Sherwood

[ SOLD OUT ] 11:00a, May 8th - Federal Hill
[ SOLD OUT ] 11:00a, May 15th - Sherwood

[ SOLD OUT ] 11:30a, May 8th - Federal Hill
[ SOLD OUT ] 11:30a, May 15th - Sherwood

[ SOLD OUT ] 12:00p, May 8th - Federal Hill
[ SOLD OUT ] 12:00p, May 15th - Sherwood

[ SOLD OUT ] 12:30p, May 8th - Federal Hill
[ SOLD OUT ] 12:30p, May 15th - Sherwood

[ SOLD OUT ] 1:00p, May 8th - Federal Hill
[ SOLD OUT ] 1:00p, May 15th - Sherwood

[ SOLD OUT ] 1:30p, May 8th - Federal Hill
[ SOLD OUT ] 1:30p, May 15th - Sherwood

The Fab Five | Baltimore Maryland Family Photographer

20+ years of friendship and we're still going strong.

Miesha and John are expecting little Jace who is making his debut sometime in October. Happy is not even close to what I wish for her, John and this troop of littles. 

Sweltering temperatures aside, this session could not have been more entertaining. I only hope they recognize how special it is that they've found each other. 

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Et tu, Ektar (Another Film Post) | Baltimore Maryland Photographer

I know you’re probably thinking – Oh, no! Not again! Oh, yes – YES, AGAIN! Lol (You’ll be happy to know that this entire post isn’t ONLY about Ektar, there’s some Portra in there, too ;)

I want to love Ektar, I do, I really, really do – I just can’t seem to find a happy medium with exposure vs. processing. This time, I followed the advice of fellow film shooters and pushed it two stops (increased the film speed by two full stops, i.e., increasing one stop = ISO 200 and two stops = ISO 400).

HELPFUL NOTE: For those not totally familiar with film, the more you push a film, the more contrast you’re adding to your overall image. In some cases, that could be excellent; in others – not so much.

Me? I like contrast…or so I thought. I’ve pushed Fuji 400H before and LOVED the results so with Ektar I’m thinking – saturated color AND contrast? Yes, please!

Nope…didn’t want THAT much contrast. It’s too dark in the shadows and too bright in the highlights.

I’m gonna put these right here and try yet another roll of Ektar (why? Because I bought a pro pack – that’s why!). Maybe now, I’ll try another camera because the Bronica doesn’t seem to like anything that’s not Portra…or expired Fuji ;)

TECH SPECS: Square images: Bronica GS-1 | Ektar 100 (pushed to ISO 400); Other imagesCanon EOS3 | Portra 400 (box speed) | Developed by Millers Lab

Brand New | Baltimore Family Photographer

I don't mind your odd behavior
It's the very thing I savor
If you were an ice cream flavor
You would be my favorite one

My imagination sees you
Like a painting by Van Gogh
Starry nights and bright sunflowers
Follow you where you may go

Oh, I've loved you from the start
In every single way
And more each passing day
You are brighter than the stars
Believe me when I say
It's not about your scars
It's all about your heart

 ~ All About Your Heart [Mindy Glenhill]

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Call Me Ektar (another film post) | Baltimore Maryland Photographer

There are times you meet “The One”. The one that just “gets” you; that knows what you’re thinking without needing translation; the one that moves into place because they are able to sense that you need ____ (insert whatever that thing may be); the one that just answers every question you've ever had and get this – the answers make all sense!! Sheesh, we’re all in awe over that “one”. Giddy even.

But then, there are the “other” ones…

The “other” ones that you can barely tolerate for five minutes; that make you say horrible things under your breath so they don’t hear you; that annoy you because they’re either too bright or too slow – just too something. Those are the ones that you struggle with – that you try to learn and appreciate but nevertheless, you still end up frustrated because you just can’t quite get them. You don’t understand them and you give up trying to understand them.

Initially, you may have like them because they were trendy and colorful and you saw how other people raved about them but mostly you liked them because they were a challenge and who doesn’t love a challenge, right? That’s kinda how I’m feeling about Kodak’s Ektar 100. 

Oh, you didn’t know I was talking about film? I’m sorry! Yea, film…not boys or high-waisted jeans…just film ;)

Kodak’s Ektar 100 speed film is slated to be a fine-grain, highly saturated film that is finicky about exposure, much like slide or transparency film. A slower film, it really only lends itself to outdoors (or daylight) photography unless you rate it at a higher speed and push it during processing. (To my digifans, that statement made absolutely no sense, I know and I’m sorry. This post is going to resonate stronger with my film peeps and the language is going to sound a little different than speed lights, noise and Photoshop.)

There are tons of things to like about Ektar on paper: 
+ World’s finest color negative film
+ Ultra-vivid color
+ Exceptional sharpness
+ Extraordinary enlargement capability
(Wait – what?! ALL of those?! C’mon – you’re pulling my leg here! Lol)

The description alone makes you want to go out and scour your local camera store for the infamous stock. And at around $6 a roll, you can’t beat it! Most color roll film, Portra and Fuji included, are anywhere from $8-11 per roll, sometimes higher. So $6?! BRING IT!

Well, ladies and gents – I bought it! Loaded a roll of it in my Olympus OM4 (my favorite little camera) and snapped a roll during my son’s field trip to the Baltimore Zoo. It’s difficult enough to get close enough to the animals to get a good shot – even with a 200mm lens I was struggling – but it’s worse to have your film come back and have the most blech feeling about what you’re seeing on the screen.

But you don’t have to take my word for it – see for yourselves. Critiques and comments are welcome.

NOTE: All images were shot at box speed and were edited only to compensate for the increased red saturation that is synonymous with using this film. Some images of the chimps were shot through glass, which may give an odd glare since I don't have a polarizing filter - oops!

Seattle Film Works (A Film Post) | Baltimore Film Photographer

Shooting film sometimes sucks.

Why? - do you ask? Because it's a total crap shoot at times. 

Yes, there's the anticipation of waiting for your negatives to be developed - to have them delivered and then utter elation...or disappointment. You never know! In this case, I'm a little on the fence. I don't hate them but wish I would have overexposed them a little more than I did. :(

In my film mama group, we tested an expired 35mm film by Seattle Film Works. From what I've seen, it offers punchy, vibrant colors with surprising color shifts. My rolls, ASA/ISO 200, ran more on the green side and a little grainy. What is grain? Grain are the "dots" or "grains" that comprise a scanned image. Digital camera users would most recognize this term as "noise".

Granted, they're not works of art but I enjoy the process - the shooting and reveal of what I've shot.

TECH SPECS: The images below are straight out of camera (SOOC) and were shot on my Olympus OM4 with a standard 50mm f/1.8 lens. I started to make edits to them but didn't think it would be fair.

NOTE TO SELF: Don't forget to OVEREXPOSE expired film. Tsk, tsk, tsk. :)

And now on to the next film mama's SFW submission, visit Sonia Marfatia-Goode's blog here.

Preakness Balloon Launch | Baltimore Photographer

Me and the 'rents went to witness - for the FIRST TIME EVER - the (wait for it) LAUNCH OF THE PREAKNESS BALLOONS (balloons...balloons...balloons...)!! 

However, we didn't have a launch. No bueno, I know!

The flight of hot air balloons have finicky conditions and the 3-4 miles per hour we were experiencing were not in our favor. That's ok! Me padre' and I snapped a roll or so of images (he shoots slides and Pentax) but I haven't seen his yet.

These are a handful of my favorites from those rolls. As a rule of thumb, I try not to edit my images but prefer to get them right in-camera. I will say that I cropped some of the balloon images to squares but that's about it :)

A Coney Island / Catskill Mountains Kinda Mother's Day | Maryland Photographer

I must be a glutton for punishment!

As much as I love traveling, I am no good after 6+ hours of driving. I think my threshold is around 2 hours, which isn't much helpful when you have this innate desire to road trip every friggin' weekend! Sheesh!

After our trip to Coney Island for Mother's Day, we headed on up to Cuomo's Cove in the Catskill Mountains. Yes, it was my first time there and yes, I never wanted to leave. Who'd have thunk this little city girl would turn mountain madame after crossing the threshold of her thirties?! I know, I'm a little surprised myself.

We didn't stay too long: hopped in the hot tub, tried to find constellations and I was on bear watch all night. It was grand. 

I did, however, get a few snaps of our humble digs as we watched the sun come up over the mountains :) Driving back home to my concrete jungle was brutal. 

Dear Cuomo's Cove - I'm coming back ;)

The House That Love Built | Maryland Family Photographer

Once upon a time, I attended a workshop, The YAN FAM WAY workshop to be exact.

Why did I attend, you ask? I attended because I felt like my work was missing something and found that ultimately, I was trying to shoot for the masses, not me. I was stripping my art of its truth which left my portfolio ALL over the place. My perspective - though oft times peculiar - is mine and trying to mold that into a more generic look only provided a disservice to my clients (ahem, that's you guys!). 

Before the workshop, Diana (Yan) sent a questionnaire that I felt was never-ending. Some questions had absolutely nothing to do with photography or business. Some questions were about what I liked, what other people think of me or better yet, what did I think about this thing or that thing - it kinda felt like taking one of those web quizzes and going "HOW THE HELL DID THEY KNOW THAT?" after the results are displayed. It was weird but in a good way, that someone could decode things about yourself from the most fundamental questions. I did my best to answer candidly and she gave me heartfelt, unabashed feedback.

She confirmed some things and made me look hard at some things and there are some things that are still rolling around in my head that I'm still not sure what to do with. Funny thing, introspection, huh?

Oh, we also go to shadow a session with Diana, whose work is kinda awesome. These images are from our time together.

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Independence Mall | Baltimore Maryland Photographer

When cabin fever strikes, I fill up the tank and get going.

This adventure landed me and the man in Philadelphia, Independence Hall to be exact...oh and The Jewish Museum to view Richard Avedon's showcase. We weren't allowed to take images in his exhibit but we were allowed to roam the remaining floors of the museum, which was beautiful. 

TECH SPECS: Olympus OM4 + Bronica GS1 | Portra 400

Dis/Connected | Baltimore Film Photographer

Spring is normally the time to awaken from winter hibernation - where we open windows, clean like crazy and prepare our homes for the upcoming longer, warmer days. For the most part, I'm on board. I've looked around my humble digs and have conjured ways to liven up the now drag looking interior of my little bubble.

The Way You Duet | Baltimore Photographer | Baltimore Film Photographer | Baltimore Family Photographer

What I'm missing, however, are the connections - the people that used to fill my home with love and laughter all have dispersed and are now cultivating bubbles of their own. It truly sucks but I thoroughly understand. I've had to alter my bubble within the last year or so to tend to my own little garden but truth be told, I miss them.

I often feel like older means becoming more separate - to make way for the new paths and new life changes that are occurring to each and every one of us. That thought - that personal, live-altering growth is the thing that has the ability to disconnect us from ones we once evolved around - is not a nice one. It is a lonely one. A sucky one, even.

Family - whether crafted from biology or sociology - is important because it gives us a sense of how "normal" relates to us. Now, don't get me wrong: I would be a fool to believe that there truly is a such thing as normal but what's normal for me is a lot easier to gauge by the ones I hold dear. They are my sanity - my roots, my loves.

“It is an absolute human certainty that no one can know his own beauty or perceive a sense of his own worth until it has been reflected back to him in the mirror of another loving, caring human being.” ― John Joseph Powell, The Secret of Staying in Love

That's where the love affair with photography steps in:

My reasons may be somewhat selfish but to watch how love exists gives me life and fills me up. Witnessing and capturing THAT kinda love lets me know that the world hasn't fully turned to crap, if you know what I mean.

So what do I do in the meantime? I must tend to my own garden: prune away the overgrown and dying parts of my existence and nourish any and all things that are trying to flourish and grow. Sounds easy, doesn't it? It isn't. It is causing me to look - I mean REALLY look - at not only my surroundings but at the other components that comprise my environment...blech.

 I'm going to find ways to stay sane, lol.

CALLING ALL FAMILIES | BALTIMORE FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHER

**CASTING CALL**

The aim of this casting is to locate and photograph families of all shapes, sizes and ethnicities. I want real families with real connections at home in their natural setting.

I'm looking for the following: + Single parent or two parent families (same-sex friendly) with multiple children, ages 14 and under; + Parents of newborns are also accepted; images will probably take place in nursery and/or parent's bedroom; + Clothing and other details will be discussed after selection

If chosen, in return of your willing participation, you will receive:

+ A complimentary family session (one hour maximum);
+ $75 print credit

 

If interested, please email hello@thewayouduet.com.

Thank you!

Good Ol' Abe | Baltimore Lifestyle Photographer

AKA My first Brown Girl with a Camera meetup ;)

So, against my better judgment, a group of ladies met up at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C..... Why against my best judgment, you ask? Because the aim was to catch the sunrise... at 6:15 a.m. Who does that? Brown Girls with a Camera, that's who! Lol

I crept out of bed at the ungodly hour of 4:30 a.m. to prep for the unknown that lay ahead, packed up the hatchback and trekked to Washington, D.C.

I have to admit, the trip was a lot easier than I'd imagined. For those that know me well, know that I despise driving to D.C. I always end up lost and frustrated and late and frustrated and peeved and and and...I think you get the idea, lol. This was my worry on going this dark, Saturday morning. Luckily, Google Maps knows my distaste for all things driving-related in D.C. and found an incredibly perfect highway induced route, void of all side streets and detours. (Dear Google maps, I love you)

Truth be told, I wasn't interested in photographing the sunrise. My father tried to get me with that one when I was kid - drag me to some dark, cold place, set up a tripod, wait for lawd knows how long, only to walk away with a handful of pictures. Nope, that wasn't my scene. Not my scene at all. My intent was a tad different - to meet like-minded ladies that enjoyed going on photo walks and snapping pictures at every turn so in the future, when I needed a photo buddy, I could pull out the list, pack my gear and meetup. (Ha! See what I did there?? Lol!)