To Wear or Not to Wear?

When it comes to clothes for toddlers, I sort of regret our past. Those of us who were born in the ’80s and grew up in the ’90s all have some things in common in most professional photos taken of us (I’ll only talk about dudes here, since that’s my experience!):

  1. Knee Socks. No need to go crazy here, but for all those ’80s moms out there — WHY? Didn’t you like our cushy leg rolls? Why cover them with two feet of thin, itchy lengths of the thinnest material known to mankind? It’s not like my legs are already super short. Why emphasize it? Sheesh.
  2. Giant Collars. Ok, this one was kind of cool as far as it went. But I’m not talking about those ’70s collars with the bright purple paisley print. I’m talking about those neck-wrapping deals that looked like they came right out of a painting of Henry VIII. Were those in style?
  3. Shorty Shorts. No need. Just no need.

KneeSocksNasty

See what I’m saying? I have some questions to ask my mother…

Little boys today have it MADE! Just walk into any Janie & Jack store to see how awesome little dude clothes have become. I admit, I’m a little jealous.

And I’m so happy to have had the opportunity to photograph a couple outfits for one of these awesome-outfit stores! Lucy & Leo is based out of New York, and they make wonderful outfits for kiddos out of recycled materials! Here’s a blurb straight from their website:

“Lucy & Leo organic clothing is known for its soft color palate and classic design with a modern twist. As our brand grows, we stay true to our vision of creating unique, adorable and comfortable outfits for your child in an eco-friendly fashion. We are proud to be one of the first organic and USA-made clothing brands in the children’s industry.

Our mission is simple: to provide your child with the finest, highest quality clothing on the market. Our garments move and breathe, are durable and very comfortable.

Lucy & Leo garments are designed and manufactured in New York. We are committed,  to bettering the world. We do that in three basic ways. We manufacture in the USA to support our local economy. We use only environmentally sensitive and organic materials, and for every garment purchased, we plant a tree with Trees For the Future.”

So there ya go! It was my pleasure to photograph Amos, who was adorably representing Lucy & Leo in this styled shoot:

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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!

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!

Jonathan + Madeline’s Engagement Session

Road trips are always fun with these two. Granted, the only ones that we have been on have involved us driving together to a venue for shooting, but the ride is always worth it! Our conversation goes from marriage, to theology, to marriage, to theology, etc. Those are two of my favorite subjects! So I had a blast, myself.

The first place we stopped was a local park, and you can’t tell from the images, but we were right next to a road where bicyclists and all manner of joggers and walkers were going by! I’m sure they enjoyed the show that these two put on!

_MG_8366The above image is what happens when you tell them, “Throw up your gangsta face!” Anyway… 😉

Here are some of my personal favorites from the start of the shoot at Cherokee Park.

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The only downside (if you can even call it that) was that we wanted to get some images of the clouds in the sky at sunset. That evening, the sky was a beautiful blue, and the clouds formed a large ripple effect against the whites and yellows of the clouds. So we drove over to the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (my usual stomping grounds) for some shots with not only the beautiful sky, but the red-brick buildings, as well.

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And then, I had some sort of personal epiphany when I noticed these gorgeous red bushes! So I say to Madeline and Jonathan, “Get in those bushes!” And they happily obliged without even the slightest hesitation! Team players, they are. And the image that came out of those bushes was my favorite from the entire session. What do you think?

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I love these guys, and I’m so excited to photograph their wedding this September! It’s going to be fun, so keep your eye on my blog for some beautiful images from their big day!

An Afternoon with Penelope

My step-sister, Kristen, contacted me soon after her third baby was born, and we scheduled a date as soon as we could! I went over to their house — about an hour’s drive for us — during the day on the day of the shoot, and we set up right in her living room. The light was beautiful in there as it streamed through the front storm door, so all the work was done right there. The sun was in the perfect spot: it was sending in ambient light right where we needed it, but it wasn’t sending in any harsh rays.

The shoot went really well, and I even got a back rub from one of Penelope’s older brothers! While working! Talk about service, eh?

Here are some images from Penelope’s shoot that I think you’ll love. You can find some more sneak peeks of hers on my Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/timothymarseephotography), or you can find some on my Instagram page (http://www.instagram.com/timmyphoto).

I hope you enjoy!_MG_5006 _MG_5018 _MG_5025 _MG_5029 _MG_5031bw _MG_5040 _MG_5045 _MG_5050 _MG_5069 _MG_5073 _MG_5079bw _MG_5096 _MG_5098 _MG_5104