Once in a while, any artist needs a break, or a change in their artistic endeavors. Well as for me, I've recently had both a break, and a change. I've never laid down photography at all, just changed course here and there.
Previously well known for my wedding photography primarily, I no longer photograph weddings. For several years though, it was a burning passion in me. I still look back on my work from days gone by, and it can still evoke a tear in the eye. Not so much that I'm wowed over "my work", but I'm taken by the beauty of the moments captured. There were so many moments captured of "my couples" as I affectionately call them internally. I look at all my couples who's weddings I photographed, and it can be nostalgically endearing. I also realize some of them are no longer together, if I only consider the odds. But I don't often wonder such things. I choose to cherish the moments captured, once upon a time.
As a quick aside, or as an explanation as to why I no longer photograph weddings, which once captured my heart, this is why: At first it was burnout. I needed a break from it. But then, I grew older, and my knees began hurting too much, not to mention the blown rotator on my strong right shoulder. At a wedding, chasing a bride around for 10 hours, kneeling, standing, sometimes jockeying for the best shooting location can be exhausting and hard on an older body. Photographing a wedding is very hard work! I will only now photograph small weddings that are extremely simplistic, such as a bride and a groom and 3-4 guests in a private setting. I would welcome that!
Dawn and I have been married for 5 years, and we have photographed many people together, with her as my very valuable and qualified assistant. Her college degrees in fashion and in marketing are both beneficial. We share a love of photography, and of people. Our specialty is in the genre of people. But don't rule out animals, as we love animals.
Here's to looking forward to more years of photographing you wonderful, beautiful people!
Photo by Shane (with his drone)
So....my wife Dawn and I took off to Florida for a week. We seem to be there about twice per year.
First we drove to Hutchinson Island for a few nights of being more away from it all. Ummmm...I should mention, they have a long bridge to the island. We only got into the car once while we were there on the island, just to make a grocery run. And although we had hoped to escape the Tennessee winter coldness, we did not..at first. It was quite windy and a bit chilling the first night we arrived. It gradually warmed up though, over the three days there.
Then we headed back up north a tad, into Orlando. Again, somewhat cool at first, but gradually warming up day by day. Today as I write this, we are preparing to head off to Disney World for a long and fun-filled day. It's expected to get up to 78° today, and cloudy. Personally I love clouds for various reasons. They are perfect for soft, even lighting in photography. Harsh sun is not. Furthermore, the sun and my skin don't get along very well. I burn. So today looks to be about perfect!
Perhaps I will write more into his blog post before we return home, and add it in right...about....here... below the pelican I photographed with my iPhone. (coming soon)
For those who may wonder about the beginnings, this is the brief story of my photography career. It started in 2008 when my lifelong interest in photography finally began to materialize. I bought my first entry level semi-pro camera. It was the Canon Rebel Xti, with a kit lens. I started off shooting friends, objects, and whatnot. (as most budding photographers do). I enjoyed shooting people pictures the most, and within the same year, I actually opened a small photography studio in downtown Hendersonville where I lived. But before I could really get much going, I got a call to play keyboards in a cruise ship band that was forming and needed me. The thought of being paid decently to travel to all over Australia, New Zealand, Bora Bora, Tahiti, and Hawaii.......well, it sounded good to me. So I closed up my month old photo studio and I hit the open seas!
Well, the music thing was not a big part of my life at the time, and I spent all my free time in those places just walking around with my camera. It was early 2009, and I shot a lot of landscapes, as seen in the blog photos here. I also lined up some sessions with a few models in different locations where we would be docked at. I loved landscape photography, but I also loved shooting models. After my 4 month journey in the South Pacific, I returned home and created a photo book of my best landscapes, and a few of the models I shot here and there. You can see (and purchase it here... https://www.blurb.com/b/696430-the-way-i-see-it )
Upon returning home to Tennessee, I had discovered modern wedding photography. The old style was very boring, but the new and much more artistic style was what caught my attention. I grew intensely passionate about wedding photography. It was who I was. I went on for years, following my passion in that capacity. I think the culmination of it all came with my best wedding ever being on Turks and Caicos Islands (out near Cuba). What a wonderful and beautiful wedding I was blessed enough to photograph!
Eventually, I left wedding photography. Actually I left it altogether for a few years. I had reached a burn-out point. Also, due to some issues with my knees aging too soon, it was time to quit chasing brides around for 12 hours a day. It really can be a run and gun type of workout. As I write this blog today, I am nearing age 53 in December. No more weddings for me.
So I've recently re-launched Shane Irwin Photography, minus the weddings! I will still shoot engagement photos, and various other types of people photography. I may even shoot the occasional boutique wedding, where it's 5 people or less, in a very small ceremony situation. But overall, I photograph people. Senior portraits, events, families, children, etc. And yes, you can include your dog in the photos. You can also include your baby, though I don't do solo baby photography. That's best left to specialists.
So that's it! My photography life in a few paragraphs. I hope you have enjoyed the read. I'm looking forward to hearing from anyone who would like some photography by Shane Irwin.
It's funny to me when I hear people boast how wonderful the day is when "there is not a cloud in the sky". It SOUNDS wonderful, but to a photographer, it's not good at all (in most cases)
The clouds are our friend! In people photography, at least during daylight hours, clouds are great for softening the sunlight. When a cloud, or an entire cloudy sky cast a giant shadow across the land, this is perfect for photographing people. The light is evenly dispersed all around, and there are no shadows. And you know those wonderful raccoon eyes that can happen in the sunlight? Yeah, none of that. And I'm sure you know how people squint in the sunlight while you shoot their photos? Well, none of that either in the cloudy shade. But we cannot know far ahead of time what we will get, as far as clouds, or no clouds on a planned photo session. So, planning professional photo shoots can be tricky. But we photographers have a solution.
There is that sunset part of the evening, and we usually schedule our sessions for the latter part of the day. "Golden hour" as we call it, is the best. You know that last hour of sunshine, where the sun is very low in the sky? That's the good stuff there. Clouds or no clouds, it can be great for photos when the sun is low. We can use that bright sunshine to shoot through the background, through the subjects hair, for that romantic, beautiful sunburst look. (see the featured photo on top of this blog) We love sun when it's very low in the sky. But when it's directly overhead, it can be the enemy of people photography.
Here's another reason this particular photographer does not like to hear the phrase "there's not a cloud in the sky". I burn easily! So, when Dawn and I are at the beach, or when we have the top off in my Jeep, I use sunblock. At the beach in particular, I'm always under the umbrella, while she's in the sun. Oh, but I do always get my share of vitamin D in the sunlight. Just enough to get by.
So in short, I'll take those clouds if you don't want them!