Why Photography, Anyway?

When I was first trained on a Canon 20D ten years ago, I had no idea that I would still be in the photography game a decade later. Originally, I applied at the studio where I got my first experience simply to be a salesperson. I was in my first semesters of college and needed a job. My next-door neighbor in the dorm where we lived on campus was applying, and he invited me to join him. I got the job. We had some down time one afternoon, so an elder employee trained us both on the cameras. And we started shooting… and shooting… and shooting…

And a monster was created.

Yep, I’m talking about myself. Of course, “monster” is simply a hyperbolic term that I intend to mean that someone was created that day who obsesses over photography.

“Geeking out” would be another way to describe it.

And I reflect today on why I do it at all. Why not something else? Why is it that putting this metal box to my face really gets my motor running in the heat of the moment during a session?

And I’ve come to a conclusion…

I don’t think it has anything to do with cameras. I like them, don’t get me wrong. I’m fascinated by both digital and film, and I’ve toyed with the rather expensive idea of buying a box camera and experimenting with silver nitrate, glass plates, and all that fun stuff.

But that’s not really it. I mean, if it were, then I would just hoard as many cameras of as many varieties as I possibly could, much like I do with books (all those who know me well will be nodding heavily in assent at this point).

While studying photography seminar videos, which I do from time to time (especially if they’re free on YouTube), one of my favorite photographers said something profound with which I can relate, and therein lies the secret of my obsession with photography — why I keep returning to it over and over again.

In describing why he loves it so much, Australian wedding photography guru Jerry Ghionis said, “I’m absolutely obsessed with light.”

And it clicked.

I’m obsessed with light! Now, you may be wondering what that means, so let me allow you into my reflective brain for a few quick moments, and I’ll try to explain as best I can, with the hope that you’ll be coming away from this blog post being absolutely amazed by the world that God has created.

Our eyes — and all our senses, really — are drawn to beauty. I’m not going to go into the details of what beauty is or whether it’s objective or relative to the viewer, etc., etc. But what I will do is explain how God has not only created the sun, moon, stars, and fire in order to create a lit world, but He has also created the manner in which these lights illumine their subjects. There are perfect angles for creating moods, and there different qualities of light that change almost in an infinite number of ways to create different aspects of someone’s appearance. You can use harsher light close to the subject and just above the brow line in order to create an old-fashioned, “noir” look. You can use a plethora of candles on a table below someone’s face and get a yellow-ish orange glow that electric light simply can’t mimic. And despite what many photographers say about shooting outside, you absolutely can point someone’s face into direct sunlight, have them avert their eyes, and get a quality of light that you find produced in fashion magazines everywhere.

The possibilities are limitless, and I love exploring those!

But what amazes me even more is that even in our fallen state, God allows culture to thrive. And He has inspired individuals to use these tools — these qualities of light, these different types, different times, different angles, etc., etc. — to mold and fashion them into beautiful, artistic wonders. Michelangelo created sculptures that change their mood when the light around them changes. A simple iPhone portrait can be just another “selfie” (jeez, I hate that word) or a beautiful piece of art, depending on the skill of the person “sculpting” with the light. Ansel Adams would camp out and wait for that PERFECT moment to occur when the shadows fell in just the right places so that he could shoot just one amazing landscape that put the glories of God’s creation on full display.

Sure, you can take a subject outside and just shoot around to see what you can get. Or you can learn about how light works, and you can begin to take incredible photographs that you never knew were possible.

I consider photographers and artists to be explorers, in a sense. God has given us tools. We think, we feel, and we mold our surroundings with these tools. We explore the possibilities. And every time we do it, we put a little chunk of ourselves into what we make.

And for the visual arts, the secret lies in “light:” what it is, why it does what it does, and why it’s amazing.

It’s my desire to instill this passion for light in others. I want to teach you to use light to its fullest in order to transform a normal photo into something that you wouldn’t have believed you could create.

I’m exploring the possibility of teaching some seminars and classes on this, specifically. If you have a basic understanding of cameras, you can shoot. But if you have an understanding of light, you can really begin to take your shooting to a new level and create some beautiful pieces of art.

But I’m not sure how many would be interested in such an undertaking, which is why I’m exploring at the moment.

If you’re interested in learning about light and how to use it, shoot me an email at tmarsee530@me.com…

Comment on this post…

…or send me a message on my photography page on Facebook (http://facebook.com/timothymarseephotography).

I’m really excited to share this with you. I’ve been experimenting with it and trying to perfect it for a number of years, and I think I finally have something worth sharing!

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The Cahills

I thought I would use this snowy day indoors to continue updating all of you on some of my sessions from 2015! It’s my goal to blog about each one that I haven’t written about before, so if I miss anyone, feel free to send me a message.

These are the Cahills, and they called me to photograph their newborn baby boy, Frankie. I fell in love with their session, and I hope you enjoy these highlights! If you’re interested in having your family’s memories captured, send me a message on Facebook (http://facebook.com/timothymarseephotography).

Have a great snow day, everyone!

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The Hamiltons

We love the Hamiltons so much! They’re such great, amazing friends, and I’m honored that they allowed me to create some memories with them for their first family session after having moved to Kentucky! I hope you enjoy these favorites of mine from their shoot 🙂

Feel free to share and leave some comments! If you would like to schedule a session for your family, send me a message via my Facebook page (http://facebook.com/timothymarseephotography).

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The Brainard Family

We LOVE THE BRAINARDS! Ben leads worship at our church, and we have grown to love and appreciate his family so much! We went out to Cherokee Park to take these photos of them not too long ago, and I wanted to share some of my faves! We used an off-camera flash diffused with a softball for most of these. Let me know what you think!

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Model Tests

I recently had three young models test with me to see which one I wanted to use for a flower girl dress story that I’m going to shoot for a boutique in Los Angeles later this year. All of them did awesome, and I wanted to show you some of my favorites from their sessions! Let me know what you think! 🙂 Also, a special shout-out to Ella, Isabelle, and Georgia and their mothers for being so awesome!

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LightStalking Features Me! Humbled…

Forgive me if I seem to get way too excited when I find an example of a company or blogger using my images from Flickr. It’s just an HONOR!

I was browsing around and found one of my images of Hannah, who I have worked with several times on different projects. In this image, she modeled for me on a catalog project that I was working on for her sister’s clothing boutique, The Bluegrass Boutique

(Check them out! They have great deals on women’s fashion, and you would be supporting a local Kentucky business!) 😉 

I think Hannah would be flattered that she was featured on a blog, so here’s the image:

  Check it out in the midst of the blog post here: LightStalking.com
The main reason this made me so flattered and stinkin’ excited is because it was used by a photography blog as an example of good, quality portrait lighting! I aspire to that in every shoot I do, so to be given a virtual high-five like that from a good group of photographers is quite the humbling experience!

I encourage you to visit LightStalking.com to learn more about how you can improve your lighting. They have articles that can help and encourage photographers on differing levels of experience!

And thanks for reading!

Portrait Session with Austin

I had the awesome opportunity a couple weeks ago to photograph some portraits of Austin!

I photographed his little sister, Madeline, a couple years ago. I’m honored that their parents continue to use me for their photography needs!

So, without further ado, here are some sweet sneak peeks of Mr. Austin. And, yes, that’s his fedora… which he rocks solidly._MG_8821bw _MG_8830bw _MG_8837 _MG_8853 _MG_8861 _MG_8863 _MG_8871 _MG_8874 _MG_8876

The Bugle Family

It’s always a tremendous honor when somebody books you for their portraits over and over!

I had my first session with Megan when she was building her modeling portfolio back in somewhere around 2008 or 2009. If you’re curious, here’s one of the more popular photos from that fateful session: Megan Headshot. There are a couple more from that session right next to it in my Flickr feed, as well.

And then, a couple years down the road, she called me to do her maternity photos! Here’s one of those: Megan Maternity.

And now, here are some sneak peeks from my most recent session with her family! Enjoy!

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Please don’t hesitate to book me for your family’s portrait session! You can send me a contact form here: Timothy Marsee Photography Just visit the Contact page.

Thanks!

Introducing… Little Miss Ellington!

I love, love, LOVE photographing newborn babies. I can’t explain it, so I won’t go into a diatribe about all the reasons why newborns are the cutest things in the world. We KNOW this!

So I was HONORED when Brennan and Erica asked me to photograph Ellington.

I photographed her older brother, Gentry, for his second birthday. You may recall this adorable little face: A Boy + and His Dog.

Being asked to continue to serve a client by photographing their family as they grow together is a huge blessing. Many thanks to Brennan and Erica! 🙂

I hope you enjoy these as much as I enjoyed shooting/editing them!

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If you’d like me to photograph your adorable little ones, just shoot me a Contact form! You can find it here: Contact Timothy

I would also be much obliged if you would follow my Facebook page! I post these blog updates as well as cute sneak peeks fairly regularly. Timothy Marsee Photography Facebook Page

My Daughter’s (Extremely Belated) Easter Session

How does the saying go? The cobbler’s children had no shoes?

I completely agree. Only I’m not a cobbler — I’m a photographer.

The photographer’s children has no photos!

How many of you fellow photogs out there can relate to this? You spend so much of your time photographing other people that when you’re not photographing someone, your camera (which you spent a good deal of money on) sits in the bag unused until your next session.

That’s my experience.

So, over two months after Easter 2015 has come and gone, I finally get around to editing my daughter’s Easter photos. And I’ve included my favorites for you here.

I hope you enjoy!

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Feel free to leave me some comments or LIKE this post! If you’re interested in having your children’s portraits taken, send me a Contact form from the Contact page of my website: Timothy Marsee Photography