Friday, January 4, 2008
Actually, these aren't new pictures either, but lest Emily burst a blood vessel i thought it would be best to get these posted. Granted, they're probably still not the ones she wanted, but those really aren't done yet. These pictures were all taken the week before Thanksgiving while we were staying in St. George. I think my entire immediate family stopped by for a pre-Thanksgiving Feast. On one of the evenings we managed to head out to Snow Canyon State Park. Of course, thanks to a variety of circumstances, some of them undoubtedly my fault, we tried to go a couple of times, but it always ended up being too late. This was the case here too, it was really much too late for any good pictures, and rather expsensive for the short amount of time we spent there (stupid Utah state parks only give you one day admission at a time - i love how National Parks are better, yet cheaper, makes tons of sense). But i managed to get some shots of the kids playing in the dunes, they, of course, had a blast. Even though, if i recall correctly some of them started to whine about it being "cold." I tell ya, live in Vegas for a few years and suddenly 60 degrees is cold - and this after they lived in Colorado for a winter! Oh well. Anyway, in case you didn't know, i love St. George. Oh, and i also love the various subjects of these photographs; ya know, my wife, my kids, my nephews...
Thursday, January 3, 2008
You might think that the tile of this posting has something to do with the arrival of the New Year, but you wouldn't be completely correct. It's more like, "man, I've had these pictures forever, i should really get them posted." Also, I'd like to note that normally i would have posted some cute pictures of my nephews next, but my sister was mean to me, so you get these instead. Aren't they so pretty? Photography in the Moab area is kind of a catch-22 for me. While these places (Canyonlands, Arches, Dead Horse Point) are all pretty all the time, they're at their most photogenic at sunrise or sunset. But in the summer, when it's pleasant weather, sunrise is just too early! Especially when you factor in about an hour's drive and some hiking to get to the destination, plus you want to be there about an hour before sunrise! Of course, you could always go in winter. Sunrise and sunset are at much more reasonable hours and it's rarely crowded. But of course you'll also be freezing! This isn't always true though. I've been to Arches in late Winter and it was surprisingly pleasant. So i guess Winter is the best season. Plus if you get lucky you can have snow in your picture, which is a really nice contrast with the red rock. I guess that means i need to start getting used to riding Slickrock in the winter. Oh, and in case you're wondering, these first three pictures are Mesa Arch in Canyonlands National Park in the Island in the Sky district at sunrise. It's a very short hike (under 1 mile round trip i think) and i think less than an hour's drive from Moab. This is another one of my favorite places; Dead Horse Point State Park at sunrise, although it's just as pretty at sunset too. I've been there countless times, and i never tire of the view. As a matter-of-fact, for the longest time i always wanted to get down to that road you can see below because i thought the view would be better. It's not; it's much better from the top. This is actually (kinda) on the way to Island in the Sky. Also under an hour's drive from Moab. Also Dead Horse Point... I'm all motivated to get another winter trip in to Moab now! And actually, this trip in particular was pretty sweet because i was actually working! i tried and tried to talk my youngest sister into shooting her bridals in the Moab area, but she didn't want to. But she must have mentioned it to her future sister-in-law, Misty, because when she found out i was willing to go down there she hired me to shoot her wedding, bridals, and engagements. Since i had never shot any real portraits down there, i went down a couple of days early to scout out some good locations. She put me up in a hotel and even covered my other expenses! She was great! And as if that wasn't enough, she referred one of her friends to me later for another wedding package (this time at Lake Powell)! I know, i know, i should probably post those pictures too. They are on my website though at www.alanjphoto.com. Back to Island in the Sky. This is now the Green River Overlook at sunset. Since i really only had a couple of days to scout things out i was running and driving all over the place to get to these destinations at either sunrise or sunset. The first evening i drove in i was running a little late but i wanted to do Delicate Arch first. I got to the parking lot and booked it up the trail. I still got there too late, but it was cloudy and overcast anyway, so it didn't matter (thus no pictures). But i still scouted the area out for the bridals (you should have seen us hiking up there with a tux and wedding dress!). I think i actually got here early enough that i sat around and read a book for an hour. I'm actually impressed that these pictures turned out at all since it was so cloudy and overcast that whole week. But it ended up working out pretty well with the portraits. i guess part of the problem with getting to these places and taking cool pictures also lies in family. i don't like leaving my family to go on "vacation," but i never take any good sunrise or sunset pictures when I'm with them. Number one, nobody wants to hang around and be bored while i take pictures for two or three hours at sunrise and sunset. Plus, when I'm cuddling with my sweet wife, it's too hard to get up at sunrise. In effect, another catch-22: i can't take pictures if i take the fam, but i don't want to go at all if i have to leave them. Doh!
Wednesday, January 2, 2008
In-laws everywhere! We have been super fortunate the past couple of weeks to have Jennifer's in-laws in town from Anchorage, Alaska. They only recently returned from living in Germany over the past couple of years and that coupled with them living in Alaska again means we don't get to see them very often. And i'm not the kind of son-in-law to think that's good. Well, actually, i probably am, but they're not the kind of parents-in-law where i could think that. There's just too great! And i'm not just saying that because my dad2 could squish me like a tiny bug. Naturally, i was honored when they asked if i'd take a few pictures. Actually, i don't even remember if they asked (although i'm sure they would have). I think Jennifer just told me i better get to it - i guess she thinks she can tell me what to do after having spent untold sums on camera equipment (isn't she great!). Of course, i never mind shooting in my "studio" because i need and enjoy the practice/experience, and i get to wear a warm jacket and gloves - unlike my freezing clients. For some reason no one wants to shoot in there when it's warm. We've had tons of fun with them while they've been in town and of course they've spoiled us and our kids rotten with their typical genorosity (btw, the term "genoristy" does not do them justice). Needless to say Jennifer and i are already trying to figure out when we can cash in our recently acquired sky miles to go up and visit them. But the figuring is actually harder than it sounds; and that's not counting actually working the mysterious airline mile math required to fly anywhere using them. The real difficulty lies in deciding when to go. The summer offers near endless days full of fishing, four-wheeling, hiking, sight-seeing... you name it. But the winter offers skiing, which although i can probably do better here, i can't see the ocean from any Utah resorts. Then there's the Northern Lights which i really, really want to see, and of course, snow-machining. Anyway, something tells me the decision will actually be easier than i think - as soon as we have the necessary miles, we'll go. i doubt we have sufficient patience to be able to wait. Oh, in case you're wondering why i continue to refer to my spouse as Jennifer instead of Jen, it's because her dad usually threatens me if i call her anything but the name he gave her (never mind that he goes by 'Fred' and calls his wife 'Barb'). Anyway, if you can't tell, i think my in-laws are great. I'm not just happy when they come for how happy it makes Jennifer, but for how happy it makes Anya and Aaron and even me!