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Taylor.

Today while walking back from the career fair I heard some music on the main green. That’s a fairly common occurrence, but this time was a bit different. The music was coming from the boombox of Taylor Lomba, a recreational break-dancer. I asked Taylor if he was going to be there for a while and when he said he would, I ran back to grab my camera to grab some shots of him. 

Taylor blew me away with his dancing. He made it look effortless. The way he was able to contour and manipulate his body was absolutely incredible. 

Not much else to say about this shoot as it was only about half an hour, but please drop a comment and reblog! I love hearing what you guys think about these posts!

Mike.

This is Mike, or as I usually refer to him, the “flower guy.”

Mike has been selling flowers on this street corner for years. Beautiful bouquets for just $20, which you can buy in the evenings Thursday through Saturday. I got flowers from him all the time; on the way to dates, to spruce up the home, sometimes just so I can photograph them. I had always wondered who this “flower guy” really was, though. I had spent years imagining his motives for choosing flowers to sell. 

Maybe he sold flowers because he was a hopeless romantic. Maybe he lost a loved one early and had always wished he had done more for her. Maybe he just liked flowers.

Mike did a wonderful thing for me over the years. He let my mind wander aimlessly, and turn over theory after theory as to why this man sold flowers, and not strawberries, or blueberries, like most other California street corners. He made my car rides go by a bit more quickly.

Eventually, my curiosity got the better of me, so today I stopped to chat. We talked for a while, I took some photos, and I finally got my answer. 

So why does Mike sell flowers, you ask? Take a few minutes out of your day, stop by the corner of Arastradero and Hillview, buy some flowers, and ask him!

Liana.

I’m starting a new series to this blog all about people, and photographing them! You can find them in the side panel labeled “People.”

This shoot I did yesterday with Liana is a great example of one of the things I mentioned to her about photographing people: for about 50% of the shots I take, I come in with a vision of what they should look like, and they stay true to what I saw in my head beforehand. For the other 50%, and sometimes even more if the person is very comfortable in front of the camera, they just do fun, quirky things that end up looking great! 

Planning for a shot, and executing it the way you wanted is extremely rewarding, but being able to take something away from a photoshoot that you didn’t even think of is an amazing gift. It’s the reason I keep coming back to photography, and portraits in particular.

I’ll give you an example of the two types of shots to help illustrate this. I came into this shoot hoping to get a photo that looked like what you see in the first photo of the set. A simple shot: backlit, of Liana holding up flowers in front of her face. What I didn’t plan for, and am so grateful for, was the little gap in the flowers, that let one of Liana’s eyes pop through. Because the flowers don’t fully cover her face, you can see some emotion in her eye, and the photo is a bit more compelling. That little addition to the photo makes it much better in my opinion, and although it isn’t far from what I planned to shoot, it was an awesome surprise!

The fourth shot in this series is a photo that started and ended the way I had envisioned it to. Everything seemed to work out, and lead towards the shot I had pictured in my mind before we started, from the light, to the flowers, to the hat—it all just worked. These photos are extremely gratifying because they help affirm that with practice, you can actually turn something from a concept into reality.

Drop this post a like or a reblog if you’d like to see more of these in the future! I’m hoping to develop this series quite a bit this year because it allows me to spend a bit more time with one particular subject and take more care in making sure it comes out properly. Let me know what you guys think!