~Tooele Photographer Extraordinaire ~ Little Baby Bryten

tooele photographer, baby, cute, pretty, simple, photos at homeThis here is Bryten, wearing her grandmother’s necklace. I thought that was really a sweet touch to go along with her adorable dress. We had hoped to do her photos outside, but given Utah’s propensity to be sunny one minute and storming the next, we got the storm. No biggie though, because you can easily do baby photos inside. The focus is on them anyway, am I right?

I can’t believe how perfect her pose for this was. Truly adorable! She looks like she belongs in a catalog of adorable babies and adorable dresses. 

Also… I need to photograph more babies. Just sayin! 

KidLabs in Sandy, Utah

Graffiti walls for photographers are pretty much like crack. We love them. They can be hard to find though. No longer for northern Utahns though! KidLabs in Sandy is getting ready to open, and was kind enough to invite some photographers and models around to shoot in their space. All the walls are covered in an array of beautiful colors, words, faces, and more. You can’t help but stop a moment and admire each individual piece and how it interacts with the others. It’s stunning!

Obviously, we all spent hours creating together, having fun, laughing, helping each other, and trying new techniques. Here are a few now, and I will probably post more later because I can.

 

Tooele Glamour, graffiti wall, utah, ballet, urban, pretty, beautiful, graceful, whimsy, romance, lovely, hollywooda

bboy, dancing, breakdance, graffiti, urban, moves like jagger, moves, awesome

Tooele Glamour, graffiti wall, utah, ballet, urban, pretty, beautiful, graceful, whimsy, romance, lovely, hollywooda

 

bboy, dancing, breakdance, graffiti, urban, moves like jagger, moves, awesome

 

Part 1

We did get a ton of goofy stuff that I will probably post next…

Through the Looking Glass

More of Alice. I ended up not being a part of RAW because, well, let’s say artistic disagreements. Then other shoots happened and Alice kind of got lost in the shuffle. Here are more.

I know my photos are not perfect. I’m always learning and improving and trying things. But I feel like I’ve grown more in the past year than the previous 3 years.

Why?

I’ve found what I love. Conceptual portraits is where I’m at. I love stories, I love romance, I love geeking out before, during, and after shoots to see something I love brought into a life of its own. I’ve always wanted to be different but followed the crowd in photography, shooting weddings, families, etc. Conceptual portraits don’t bring in money. Well, neither did weddings and families, ha! Don’t get me wrong, I’m not in photography for the money, but I did need to cover expenses, back ups of lenses, taxes, etc. It burned me out.eventually. I didn’t feel valued, I was constantly pitted against someone who was so different than me based purely on price. So I got out. I started doing what I’ve wanted to do. And it is liberating. I am here.

If you ever feel trapped in your photography, get out and do what you love!!

Alice in Wonderland, fairy tale, sun, flare, light, alice, lewis carroll, diy, tulle, pretty, lovely, beauitful

Alice in Wonderland, fairy tale, sun, flare, light, alice, lewis carroll, diy, tulle, pretty, lovely, beauitful

Alice in Wonderland, fairy tale, sun, flare, light, alice, lewis carroll, diy, tulle, pretty, lovely, beauitfulAlice in Wonderland, fairy tale, sun, flare, light, alice, lewis carroll, diy, tulle, pretty, lovely, beauitful

Are you a fan of Alice in Wonderland? Check out the Alice in Wonderland Collectionary for memorabilia and collectibles at http://thecollectionary.com/club/alice-in-wonderland

 
Alice in wonderland, fairy tales

Visit the Collectionary for Alice in Wonderland collectibles and gifts

Hunger Games Shoot ~ District 1 ~ Luxury

May the Odds be everrrr in your favor

A shoot done with the amazing Sara LaFollette as makeup artist. Kira Lake as our lovely lady model, and Maclain Drake as the handsome male model. Olga Assaya put the dress together in two days!! Amazing. Awesome. This shoot was one of those ones where we had two days of planning and just over an hour to shoot. So much to do in so little time, yet it all fell together so perfectly despite all the issues we faced. I am so proud of this and so excited to do more districts!

Hunger Games photoshoot, District 1, Luxury, gold flake, beauty, glamour, romance, gilded age, budget

Hunger Games photoshoot, District 1, Luxury, gold flake, beauty, glamour, romance, gilded age, budget

Hunger Games photoshoot, District 1, Luxury, gold flake, beauty, glamour, romance, gilded age, budget

Hunger Games photoshoot, District 1, Luxury, gold flake, beauty, glamour, romance, gilded age, budget

Hunger Games photoshoot, District 1, Luxury, gold flake, beauty, glamour, romance, gilded age, budget

Hunger Games photoshoot, District 1, Luxury, gold flake, beauty, glamour, romance, gilded age, budget, the capitol

Hunger Games photoshoot, District 1, Luxury, gold flake, beauty, glamour, romance, gilded age, budget, the capitolHunger Games photoshoot, District 1, Luxury, gold flake, beauty, glamour, romance, gilded age, budget, the capitol

Hunger Games photoshoot, District 1, Luxury, gold flake, beauty, glamour, romance, gilded age, budget, the capitolHunger Games photoshoot, District 1, Luxury, gold flake, beauty, glamour, romance, gilded age, budget, the capitol

Hunger Games photoshoot, District 1, Luxury, gold flake, beauty, glamour, romance, gilded age, budget, the capitolHunger Games photoshoot, District 1, Luxury, gold flake, beauty, glamour, romance, gilded age, budget, the capitol

Alice in Wonderland – Proof You CAN Do Whatever You Dream

 
To Follow is to be Led Astray, with Adventure to be had Along the Way…

Sometimes when I’m bummed that I haven’t worked on a sweet concept I blame it on any number of things: not enough time, no money, no models, no locations, not enough lights, not enough nice lenses, it’s already been done, etc, etc.

Well. That’s all bullcrap.

Sure, more lights, a nicer camera, a sharper lens can all be useful. But they’re not necessary.

Take this shot from my Alice in Wonderland shoot last week:

Alice in Wonderland, Down the Rabbit Hole, Fiction, Lewis Carroll, Alice, Whimsical, Fairytale, Blue, Homemade skirt

To Follow is to be Led Astray, with Adventure to be had Along the Way…

(Click for bigger size)

Here’s the setup:

I made the skirt with super basic sewing skills and 12 yards of tulle that was about $1 a yard (note, this was my first completed sewing project, so if I can do it you can), the shirt was on sale at Downeast Basics. The black lace armbands and choker were purchased at a local fabric store and I kept them on with velcro. I currently have one working flash (my other needs a flashtube replaced), and I used a white reflector to bounce off some light from the flash. All in all, about $35 was spent prepping for this. The skirt I can, and will, use again for future shoots. The flash was behind her (you can probably see the light stand a bit), and a reflector camera right to bounce the flash a little and block some annoying light that was casting striped shadows on her pretty face. Tweaked in Lightroom and Photoshop to get what I want and had envisioned, and voila. Done.

There is no excuse to not do what you want. The sooner you own up to that and take charge, the sooner you make what you want. This is a lesson I have to learn over and over. And once I do, I am so happy with the results. Even when I screw up, I remember and paraphrase Brooke Shaden: This is worse failing for.

When you succeed you learn, when you fail, you learn more :)

Down the Rabbit Hole Sneak Peek ~ Tooele Glamour Photographer

At any give time I have a few ideas on what I want to create. The problem usually lies in finding the right person, creating the right look, and scheduling for the correct time and place.

This usually means I make friends and family model as they can’t flake out on me (muahaha). I got sick of trying to find the right outfit and so have started making my own.

For this shoot, my own spin on Alice, I made the skirt, choker, and lace armbands, my bestie Mikael modeled for me, and the perfect place was lying in wait for us.

This is the sneak peek. The actual shoot and really hard work creating the rabbit hole will be shown at RAW Artists in a couple week. If you’re interested in attending, please buy your tickets here: http://www.rawartists.org/sheadrakephoto

 

Alice in Wonderland, Down the Rabbit Hole, Alice, blue skirt, tulle skirt, pretty, woods, wonderland

This is all I’m showing until RAW, October 24. I might show one more, just for awesomeness.

 

Kinzie’s Got It

This is my second shoot with Kinzie. I love it because we get along so well and joke a lot during the shoots. We’re both easy going, hilarious, and awesome. And humble.

This time she’s working on a modeling comp card and came over to my studio for some shots. Here’s a few. Which reminds me, I always mean to come back and post more shots from each shoot to the blog, but it just doesn’t seem to happen. Most things are up on the Facebook page, if you’re interested :)

Tooele Glamour, Stansbury Fashion, portrait, blonde, blue eyes, accessories, pretty, Salt Lake

Tooele Glamour, Stansbury Fashion, portrait, blonde, blue eyes, accessories, pretty, Salt Lake

Tooele Glamour, Stansbury Fashion, portrait, blonde, blue eyes, accessories, pretty, Salt Lake

Tooele Glamour, Stansbury Fashion, portrait, blonde, blue eyes, accessories, pretty, Salt Lake

Tooele Glamour, Stansbury Fashion, portrait, blonde, blue eyes, accessories, pretty, Salt Lake

Tooele Photographer ~ Fun and Fireworks

Hope everyone had a great 4th of July!

For some reason, every year I have this nagging obsession with capturing the perfect firework photo. I tell myself I’ll leave the camera at home, but then I somehow have it in my hands fiddling dials, trying over and over. Frustration over having the settings not quite there, or the composition is off, then, irrational joy at getting that one fantastic shot. It might be silly, but we all have our eccentricities, right?

This year was the year. Probably still not perfect, but thinking I’m going to make some larger prints of a few.

Fireworks, Roy utah, purple, gold, sparks, light, july, davis county

 

Fireworks, Roy utah, purple, gold, sparks, light, july, davis county

 

Fireworks, Roy utah, purple, gold, sparks, light, july, davis county

 

Fireworks, Roy utah, purple, gold, sparks, light, july, davis county

 

Fireworks, Roy utah, purple, gold, sparks, light, july, davis county

 

Fireworks, Roy utah, purple, gold, sparks, light, july, davis county

 

Fireworks, Roy utah, purple, gold, sparks, light, july, davis county

 

Stansbury Park Portraits ~ Ariella is Turning 1!

Ariella Hodges is a sweet little girl, possibly one of the sweetest I’ve seen. Between diaper and wardrobe changes, I think we shot for about 2 hours, and she was so stinkin happy. And has the sweetest laugh.

Her mom, Danielle, had the best ideas for props, including some chevron print fabric, a children’s rocking chair her handy husband Travis painted pink, a cute crown, and a necklace and bow handmade by Danielle. Seriously adorable. I should hire her to make me some photo props!

More to come, but a serious fave for now.

Glitter, Chevron, Baby Photo Ideas, first birthday, princess, tooele portraits, home studio, homemade, flower headband, lace

Open Casting Call for Female Models – Salt Lake, Tooele, Davis, Utah

I’ve been working on an idea for the past month. It’s something I’m so incredibly excited about because it’s so different from anything I’ve ever done and will require planning, precision, patience, hair, makeup, several yards of fabric, and a model.

I have the hair stylist… I have the makeup artist. I’m buying the fabric soon. The planning is almost there…

I need a model.

My plan is a Phoenix Rising from the Ashes. It will be a short series (5ish images will probably be the end result, plus any ideas or headshots the model might want. I figure probably at least 2 hours of post processing in Photoshop will be involved with all of the layers and things I want to do). If you’ve heard of Brooke Shaden, then you’ll understand somewhat what I am looking for and looking to do. I want to go through the stages: death, regeneration, life.

What I’m looking for: dark or red hair (preferably. This doesn’t mean others shouldn’t apply though, your blonde hair and personality might wow me!), someone who is flexible and okay with possibly uncomfortable positions and can hold them for a few moments while I get my shot. Someone who doesn’t mind going somewhere out of the way like the Salt Flats (not necessarily the location at this point, but definitely in the top 5). Someone who doesn’t mind getting dirty. Literally. I will probably smear dirt and ash on you at some point. Attitude is everything with me. I like to joke around and have fun on my shoots, so egos are to be left at the door.

I plan on submitting this series to art galleries and possibly publications. If you’re on the fence because you don’t have a lot of modeling experience, who cares? If this sounds like something you’d really like to do, then email me. I don’t care about experience, per se, I care about if you can follow instructions and have fun. That is what is most important to me. This is a collaboration and, cheesy as it is to say it, a celebration of talents. Let’s gooooooo!

If you or anyone you know is interested email me at sheadrake@live.com

Denise is Graduating from Taylor Andrews

Denise and I go back since high school. She is seriously amazing with a pair of shears. She did the hair for my Snow White shoot and I plan on asking her to collaborate with me on a LOT of upcoming shoots.

Since she is graduating from Taylor Andrews this week, she wanted some photos to celebrate the event. She brought a lot of her gear and we had a bit too much fun with it all. Here’s a few quick ones.

Denise Barfuss, Taylor Andrews Hair, brushes, hair spray, combs, shears, photography, shea drake

 

 

Denise Barfuss, Taylor Andrews Hair, brushes, hair spray, combs, shears, photography, shea drake, Tooele Photographer, Salt Lake

 

Denise Barfuss, Taylor Andrews Hair, brushes, hair spray, combs, shears, photography, shea drake, Tooele photographer

Tooele Glamour Photography ~ Snow White Glamour Shoot

My series of glamour fairytales are still going. I absolutely love it. Last week I had the ability to photograph Samantha Eastin for my Snow White.

Here are two of my favorites so far, just after Snow White has taken a bite of the poisoned apple.

 

Tooele Glamour Photography, Snow White, Princess, Romance, Fairytale, whimsy, Dreamy, poison apple, blue eyes, red lips, beautiful, blue corset, shea drake

Tooele Glamour Photography, Snow White, Princess, Romance, Fairytale, whimsy, Dreamy, poison apple, blue eyes, red lips, beautiful, blue corset, shea drake, brenizer method, portrait panoramaThe second one is actually three portraits put together to create a portrait panorama, also known as the Brenizer Method.

Stay tuned for more fairy tale fun  as well as some other shoots coming up :)

 

Tooele Glamour Photographer ~ Beauty in the Fear

This past week has been insane for shoots. So much beauty, loveliness, and adorableness coming up. I truly feel like my style is so apparent and coming into its own. Each shoot is unique and it is exciting to learn about people and what they want and don’t want. Tailoring each theme to each subject or client. It’s exhilarating and I feel so fulfilled.

For now, an image of Mem that I created. It was greatly inspired by Brooke Shaden. It is a first attempt at a technique called compositing. While I am extremely proud of it, I know there is a lot for me to learn and experience and I cannot wait.

I’m working at storytelling. Such a simple concept, but something I haven’t made myself work on. Composite photos make me plan and work to create a story in a way I have never known. It is exhilarating and exciting to plan and achieve. This is entitled “Beauty in the Fear”. Melodramatic? Maybe, but that’s my style isn’t it. We all have times in our lives where we fall. We’re falling so fast and time zips past us that we forget to look around and live. Enjoy. Look at the beauty around us and revel in it, even if nothing else is right. There is always beauty to be found.

Tooele Photographer, Falling, Compositing, Whimsical, Romance, Fear, Beauty, Clouds, Photoshop, Red Heels, Adventure

Tooele Glamour Photographer ~ Mem Might as Well be a Muse

My niece Mem is my buddy. We both have the same sense of humor and candor. So, naturally, she’s usually a great model who’s willing to put up with me. I’m trying harder and harder to live by my favorite quote. “When in doubt, make a fool of yourself. There is a microscopically thin line between being brilliantly creative and acting like the most gigantic idiot on earth. So what the hell, leap.” – Cynthia Heimel

I am not ashamed to admit that sometimes my ideas don’t pan out. I’m human. And although I’m a good photographer with a lot of knowledge, the great thing about photo is that there’s always more to learn. And whether something works out or not, the fact remains that I’ve learned and grown every single time. It’s so hard to try something new, and even harder to admit that you screwed up. Why is that? Judgment. With the internet, we’re putting ourselves out there for everyone to see.

I’ve screwed up a lot. But you know what, after some trial and error, Mem and I succeeded. Here is my most favorite shot so far from our shooting. This is what I want to do. I want to make every woman look and feel like a starlet. I think we all deserve that when we need a pick me up.

 

utah glamour photography, tooele glamour, sue bryce, muse, beautiful eyes, stansbury park photo, beautiful girl, pin up, classic movie star, starletBeauty is what I love. You are beautiful. Did you know that? Or do you need some convincing?

Tooele Glamour Photographer ~ The Little Mermaid with a Twist

I’ve always wanted to do fairy tale shoots. What photographer doesn’t? There’s something about the romance, the break from reality, all the ways to interpret it and make it your own. My interpretation is a bit sultry, a bit of glamour, and a hint of boudoir. In other words, classy but sexy princesses.

I’ve actually been hesitant to blog this kind of thing and do it. But it is one of my passions. To make a person feel incredible, to make them laugh during the shoot, then see their apprehension turn to surprise and awe as I show them the back of my camera. Yes, that is you and you look amazing. 

I decided to stop holding myself back wondering what people would think. This is what I do well and what I like. Some people may not like it, but I hope that you do.

I’m breaking out of my shell, and on a new journey to create beauty and have fun while doing it. Some are more realistic, and you’ll notice that one one I basically said “screw reality”. Will I do this in every shoot? Probably not, but like I said, I’m breaking out of my shell and trying new things and techniques.

By the way, I’m still accepting princesses! I have a Snow White and a Sleeping Beauty, but hit me up with your princess and why you want to be her :)

Little Mermaid, Fairytales, romance, salt lake, seas, princess, pink hair, alternative beauty, Ariel, sexy mermaid, stormy weather, lake, Tooele photographer, utah glamour

The Little Mermaid Fine Art Portrait

Little Mermaid, Fairytales, romance, salt lake, seas, princess, pink hair, alternative beauty, Ariel, sexy mermaid, stormy weather, lake, Tooele photographer, utah glamourLittle Mermaid, Fairytales, romance, salt lake, seas, princess, pink hair, alternative beauty, Ariel, sexy mermaid, stormy weather, lake, Tooele photographer, utah glamour

Little Mermaid, Fairytales, romance, salt lake, seas, princess, pink hair, alternative beauty, Ariel, sexy mermaid, stormy weather, lake, Tooele photographer, utah glamour

Little Mermaid, Fairytales, romance, salt lake, seas, princess, pink hair, alternative beauty, Ariel, sexy mermaid, stormy weather, lake, Tooele photographer, utah glamour

Tips for Family Photos

This is something I’ve been thinking a lot about lately, I hope you enjoy and learn something new and let me know what I missed.

 

1. The more you stress, the more your family stresses, the more it shows in the pictures. I can erase a zit, but I can’t shake a look of stress off (without face swapping, which is also useless if every photo has that stressed feeling to it). Unless you’re going to a studio where you’re paying by the hour, a lot of photographers understand that it takes time for everyone to feel relaxed in the front of the camera. Take breaks, if you have kids, let them play, just talk to your photographer a while and let them learn more about you and you about them. Drink some water, have a (not messy) snack. This gives everyone a nice break between shots/scenes, and you as well as your spouse and kids can be better rested for the next shot.

2. Kids read off your cues. Kids are smart, and are always watching adults to see what’s going on and what they should do. If you’re relaxed and happy, your child may be a bit rambunctious or super shy at first because this is something new to them and they’re not sure how to respond yet. Keep your cool and your smile genuine and eventually they will follow.

3. Trust your photographer. Most likely, your photographer knows what they’re doing. If you have an idea though, for sure let them know. They may know what they’re doing, but they’re not a mind reader.

4. Plan ahead. Talk to your photographer ahead of time, and not just through email/text/facebook message. Give them a call or meet with them to go over ideas, locations, what to wear/not to wear, what’s important to you and what you want or don’t want. This lets each of you get to know the other before hand and you will feel much more confident going into the shoot.

5. Stuff happens. No shoot is ever perfect. It could take two hours to get the perfect happy family photo you want. In the meantime, don’t stress, make some fun memories and photos being goofy and maybe even getting some shots of just you or you and your partner. You’ll hang the formal photo over your mantle, but you’ll cherish the goofy candid photos for years after.

6. Drink water and bring more with you. Water helps clear out your body of toxins and has a nice refreshing effect. Photo shoots are a lot like workouts, bring some water and snacks to keep you and yours from getting too dehydrated and tired.

7. Do what you want, it’s your shoot after all. Get a last minute idea? Want props in your shoot? Want to try something no one’s ever done before? Do it!

8. The shoot is to be enjoyed, not just endured. Photoshoots are work for everyone involved, and tough work at that, but don’t forget to enjoy it too. Bring a game or play tag. As stated before, take a water or play break. And even during pictures, do something silly. I know I love when families do silly crazy faces together or do a jumping shot or something. Everyone relaxes and the smiles are more genuine after.

9. Bring a friend. Someone to help hold your stuff, who can touch up your hair if needs be, who can watch the kids when you’re getting your own portraits done, and if you kids see someone else they know and are familiar with, they behave a bit better, generally speaking ;)

10. Bring a blanket. Or two. Blankets make great props and are great for break times when you’re not sure what is on the ground. Have your kids all roll into burritos, get a photo of just your feet sticking, get a photo of your partner or child kissing your cheek. Boom. Cuteness.

Tooele Photographer, Family Photo Tips, Thanksgiving Point

Be patient and the smiles will come

“Honey, What Are You Looking at?”

So, once you’ve taken photos and photo classes for so many years, you start looking at advertisements, catalogues, and even postcards differently. You’re so used to having your own work critiqued that you start critiquing everything around you. Well, critique is not the best word. But it’s close enough, right?

I receive the Victoria’s Secret catalog from time to time. My strength in photography is photographing women, I connect better with women and my style is definitely more feminine.  Aside from that, I really enjoy making a lady feel amazing, to show her how gorgeous she is. One of things I do to help with that is check out things like the Victoria’s Secret catalogs. I go through and examine poses, what looks flattering, what looks awkward and to stay away from, etc. Well, I usually use a pen to mark what I like and what I don’t. So here I am, just leaning over the counter looking over half-naked women when my husband comes up behind me.

“Honey… What are you looking at?” He asks, a bit concerned, a bit amused. “And why does that girl have a circle around her that says ‘Yes!’?”

I was struck dumb for a moment, torn between telling him I was looking at poses or telling him something much more scandalous. I opted for the truth, because I knew I couldn’t say anything else with a straight face.

He just shook his head and laughed at me. “Only you, honey…” Then he kissed my cheek.

So there’s a (hopefully) funny story of my husband catching me poring over a VS catalog.

Don’t Doubt Yourself, You May Just Have the Best Idea Ever (Or Close Enough, Anyway)

As a photographer I meet a lot of people who don’t always believe in themselves, their looks, their talents, their ideas, etc.

There’s a quote by Cynthia Heimel that I strive to live by “When in doubt, make a fool of yourself. There is a microscopically thin line between brilliantly creative and acting like the most gigantic idiot on earth. So what the hell, leap.”

I struggle to follow that at times too, but I’ve made my best photos (and, I won’t lie, some not so great ones too), and other crafts.

Photographs like this have been the result:

tooele photographer, tooele portrait photographer

And I just made a new hair clip following that same mantra:

steampunk brooch, steampunk hair clip

Pardon the cell phone pic :)

A steampunk/victorian inspired rhinestone hair clip. One of my favorites so far. I really adore anything steampunk or victorian. Seriously. Who doesn’t!? It consist of a brooch pendant I found out while shopping, a couple of necklace I took apart for other projects as well, and a vintage clip on earring that didn’t have a match. A bunch of rejects to make something that turns heads. I wore this out one day for fun and got so many compliments. Seriously, if I can do it you can too!

The Best Photos Speak Volumes

With film we savored each negative. We saved film for precious moments.

The wonderful (and sometimes terrible) thing about digital is that memory (cards, hard drives, etc) are so cheap that we can take pictures of everything and savor every silly, awesome, heartbreaking moment.

Sometimes, with all of the photos we’re inundated with, we forget to look at and savor each one.

Take this photo of my beautiful sister HayLee. I took it this week at Wheeler Farm in Murray, she’s 38 weeks pregnant with her second child.

The more I look at it the more I love it and think it’s my very favorite.

It’s so calm, there’s so much love there. A mother’s love. Not just a mother’s love, a wife’s love (hubby Heath came along too). All embodied in one photo.

HayLee is due any day now, but at this moment, mother and child are one, together and strengthening a bond that will last a lifetime.  Image

This. This is what makes me fall in love with photo again and again.

 

 

Take some time to go through your photos, recent or old. Sometimes we forget the treasures we have, those images that mean the most that we sometimes glaze over because there’s just so many memories now. Relive them. Love them. Share them! Share them with me if you’re brave enough, I love seeing what people love and why.