Valentine’s Day Photoshoot: Love Up In Smoke

2019.1.20 Aleisha Soto by StanChambersJr Photography 17 small.jpg

One thing I love about being a photographer is the ability to help clients turn their vision into results they cherish.

It’s even more awesome when those results involve a creative photoshoot.

I’m sure plenty of photographers were asked to shoot client boudoir photos for Valentine’s Day, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that (I shoot those too). But Aleisha wanted something different that she could give to her husband as a framed gift. 

She wanted her love to go up in smoke.

I’ve been lucky to have a cool Valentine’s Day photoshoot for the second year in a row. Last year’s shoot was an alternative take on what it means to be happy on Feb. 14:

But this year’s shoot was an interesting challenge, for I’ve never used smoke bombs before – let alone during a cold January morning at William B. Umstead State Park in Raleigh. The challenge immediately appealed to me because I see myself as an artist who creates using people, light, environment, and the occasional prop.

Photographers who only see themselves as picture-takers limit their creativity, their ability to grow as a creative professional, and doing a disservice to their clients.

One hilarious aspect of the shoot was that neither Aleshia or myself had ever used smoke bombs before, so we had to figure out how they worked (you just pull the string). Also, we wondered if we were going to set the park on fire (we didn’t).

We first tried placing the smoke bomb on the ground, which didn’t work well for us. Then I had Aleisha hold the smoke bomb while simultaneously posing, which garnered much better results.

And then there was the cold. Aleisha looked wonderful in her satin high red dress -but she was freezing.

Some may not realize that the client plays as much of a role in a photoshoot’s success as the photographer. The photographer may be displaying their creativity, but it is the client who must be receptive to the creativity in order for the shoot to work. 

Aleisha did a great job of that, and it’s not the first time Aleisha and I worked together - she was one of my first clients.

It’s satisfying when I can help clients bring their vision to life – especially when their vision involves expressing their love to someone else. 

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Here's why you don't want boring senior photos

2018.11.10 Tai'na Ortiz by StanChambersJr Photography 8 small.jpg

There’s nothing wrong with railroad tracks, water fountains, fields of green and country bridges, but who looks back at those senior pictures and says that’s who they were at that point in their lives?

Senior photography should reflect one’s personality, but they should also be creative. After all, you’re only a high school senior once, right?

Tai'na, a senior at Southeast Raleigh Magnet High School, has a lot of aspirations, including modeling. So I wanted to turn her senior session into a mini modeling session.

And I knew just the spot.

This was my first photoshoot since returning to North Carolina, and plenty has changed in the three years I was gone - especially Raleigh’s Warehouse District.

The area was already popular for photoshoots, but with the building of Raleigh Union Station and The Dillion Raleigh, both of where we took pictures, I’ve seen multiple photographers the few times I’ve been in the area.

And I don’t blame them.

As for Tai’na, we were able to capture some pretty cool pictures despite the early Saturday morning wind and cold.

Want to do a creative senior session? Let’s talk about it!

3 + 1 Reasons to Include Photography in Your 2019 Budget

2017.5.24 Bently Pointer by StanChambersJr Photography 19 copy.jpg

You’re likely already planning your non-routine spending for 2019. 

And I bet photography isn’t one of those items.

I get it. Photography isn’t a reoccurring expense for you. But it’s no different than choosing a new cell phone, because what was once a product for the few has become a needed asset for everyone.

And the quality of your pictures, just like a cell phone, comes down to cost.

Can you get a cheaper phone with less storage? Of course. Will it work for you? Likely. Will you be satisfied with what you end up with? Maybe.

When it comes to hiring a photographer, can you get one that’s less expensive? Of course. Will their pictures work? Likely. Will you be satisfied with what you end up with? Maybe.

We save for items such as vacations and new vehicles because we want an experience that meets and exceeds our expectations. A Ford Explorer and a Land Rover perform the same basic function, but you pay more for the Land Rover because you desire a certain level of quality.

It should be no different when it comes to your photographer.  

It’s easy to say that everyone needs professional pictures, but if you fit into these three reasons, then photography should be a priority for you in 2019:

A Growing Family

Plan on giving birth or adopting in 2019? Kids growing up before your eyes? It’s better to capture those maternity and family moments now before they’re gone. Even better if those photos are creative.

The Business of You

Never underestimate the power of a professional headshot. From your LinkedIn profile to owning your business, if you’re representing yourself in a professional nature, then you need professional headshots. The same goes for models looking for creative photos for their portfolio.

A Major Event

Engagements and weddings are obvious, but what about that big event your organization is hosting? If you’re sweating over every detail of your event, then you should sweat over the quality of your event pictures

And of course, there’s the “you never know” factor, from photos of your property to special pictures for yourself. Either way, it’s likely you’ll need and want professional photos in 2019.

Schedule an appointment to talk about your 2019 photography needs, and don’t forget to plan for them in your budget!

She drove 8 hours for some cool pictures

2018.4.13 Charna Wilson by StanChambersJr Photography 47 small.jpg

It's deeply humbling to have clients from across the country, including those willing to drive hours just to do a shoot with me.

Charna, who lives in Atlanta, drove down to Tampa to take three series of pictures - headshots, graduation and birthday.

It made for a fun photo adventure around Tampa.