Bus and Ida May

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Buster Brown

Ida May

Bus By The Barn

Bus and Ida May are good family friends of ours, and they live on a farm near Seattle.  Their farm used to be even larger than it is now, but there is now a major highway, several off ramps, businesses and condos where the cows used to graze.  Every summer for the past several years, my wife Nichelle and I have enjoyed homemade desserts with them on their back porch made from ingredients picked just several yards away.  After spending time with them one evening, I felt compelled to photograph them.  To make things as comfortable as possible, I set up in their back yard, while friends and family came over for dinner.  A good  amount of my studio work is actually done on location like this.  Not necessarily on a farm, but in a place that my subject feels most comfortable.  In this case, it was a farm.  Not to mention, I would choose to work outside on a warm summer evening instead of in a studio any time given the choice.

I have a photography show opening in a few weeks, and the headshots of Bus and Ida May will be two of the 12 or so images on display.  I will have more information about the show shortly, and after I wrap up a few large projects, I will be able to get back to a more regular blog schedule.  Thanks for taking a look, and I hope you are enjoying what is left of summer.


Those are just wonderful. I hope your show is in Seattle so I can drive up from Portland to see it.

POSTED BY John Keel on 9-12-2009

wow... just... wow!

POSTED BY Nicole Friesen on 9-12-2009

John, how do we find out about the show? Do you have a mailing list? Would love to attend. -Kirk

POSTED BY Kirk on 9-12-2009

The show will be Thursday October 1st, and it will be at Publicis in Seattle. I will let you know the time when I find out, and I will make an announcement with all of the details. Thanks Kirk.

POSTED BY John Keatley on 9-12-2009

Thanks John Keel. Yes, the show will be in Seattle. I just replied to Kirk (above) with some of the details.

POSTED BY John Keatley on 9-12-2009

Very intimate shots and great style! Well done! Hey, is there a book you'd recommend to anyone interested in developing this kind of portraits? Thanks a lot!

POSTED BY Levy on 9-14-2009

Amazing work, John. I am a fan/student of your work. One question, out of curiosity how much 'post-processing' (photoshop) do you do on these portraits? To be sure, I am not asking 'critically', just wondering if you try to get most of your vision in shutter-time or in mouse-time.

POSTED BY Ernest Y. Koe on 9-22-2009

@ Ernest Thanks so much Ernert! I always try to be as perfect in camera as possible. I am pretty picky and pay a lot of attention to detail when I am shooting. I also do a fair amount of post work on my images. Not necessarily to fix something, but to get the color, contrast, and feel of the image that I want. The nature of digital photography is RAW images tend to be flat, and require some work.

POSTED BY John Keatley on 9-22-2009

Love the catch light in Ida's eyes. Can you share some information about the lighting setup used in these photos? Thanks

POSTED BY canon5dshooter on 9-29-2009

Hi John, I'm a starting photographer and found your site through the strobist site. I'd *love* to hear how you pulled these shots off? They've got a great, extraordinary touch to them. How did you light them and what else did you do to get this style? Thanks a lot in advance! Joost Netherlands

POSTED BY Joost on 9-30-2009

Beautiful portraits! I really like the environmental portrait of the man, but I love those backgrounds you created on the first two portraits.

POSTED BY John A. on 10-7-2009

Hello John! For the headshots, what did you use for background? Do you use a collapsible muslin, or just a wall? In the case of a wall, do you usually light it with a coloured gel? Superb shots! Thanks!

POSTED BY Levy Carneiro Jr. on 6-4-2010

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