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Dec 19, 2015

16 Months Old

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If some of the adults I've photographed posed half as well as Fiona...

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How fast she has grown. Have a look back to see her four month photo.

She's very good about not touching what she shouldn't, in fact, she always gingerly steps around any light stands or gear, but no tree means no temptation. We're going to my parents' for Christmas so we'll enjoy their tree and set ours up again, next year.

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I have no doubt my mom will recognize my favourite Christmas book, from when I was a kid, in Fiona's hands.

Dec 13, 2015

My Contribution to Gary & Carrie's Big Day

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I think I may have been to my second favorite wedding, my own being my favorite. Cousin Gary, and his now-wife Carrie, had a very informal, casual, friendly and humorous wedding. The officiant that married them new them and was able to throw in a lot of good humor to the ceremony. Following the ceremony it was a casual bite on desserts, followed by cutting into the amazing, gluten-free, cake made by Arleen of Gnarly Cakes, wife to the groom's best friend, Arlen. That's not a typo, Arlen is married to Arleen and is best friends with Gary, who married Carrie.

Arleen did an amazing job on this heavy, four tier cake, that was originally going to be six. They said that carrying it in was quite a task and were hopeful that the table it was set on would bear the weight. It did, thankfully. They were a little bit behind schedule getting to the church and, so, I did not quite as much time to photograph it as I would've liked but the results are just fine with me.

Originally there was the potential that I would photograph the wedding. Seeing the church, I think I could've managed to cover the ceremony and I'm pretty sure that wherever they had their pictures done before the ceremony, I could've made do. However, it has been such a wonderfully warm and dry fall that now since we have received some snow, and it's the soft sticky kind that I get stuck in much more than very cold, frozen snow, I'm glad I wasn't the one to do the photography.

So, wonderful job on all of the aspects, Arleen. I've tasted some perfectly fine gluten-free foods, but this was superb. Everyone appreciates the effort you went to to make it happen, just days after getting home from Mexico. I hope I soon have the opportunity to photograph another one of her masterful creations.

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Dec 8, 2015

Help-Portrait Saskatoon 2015 and an Update

It has been a few good months for me. First, were a pair of excellent ultraviolet shoots. Three of those photos were published in December's Xpressions Magazine. I'm no prude but there is a fairly provocative slant to that magazine, so be warned. I'm looking at getting some tear sheets from them for my own keepsake and distribution. The second excellent part of my month was winning a pair of flashes and a transmitter from Midwest Photo Exchange. A few of my flashes were due for replacing and these have remote adjustability, which saves a guy in a wheelchair a lot of effort not having to run back and forth to adjust power levels, especially when the lights are up high or in remote locations. Now, I just need about three more.

Then, following Help-Portrait, which I will talk about in a minute, I sold a large canvas from Underground Coffee on 20th Street. I have had my work hanging there for over a year and it was nice to see something sell. I will use the funding to have another print made to replace the first one and keep my inventory up so that I'm able to at least have my work displayed somewhere in the city, at all times. And, finally, was the huge effort of Help-Portrait resulting in a very successful day, if I do say so myself.

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If the lead photo doesn't demonstrate that Help-Portrait Saskatoon was a success, I'm not sure what would. Despite our hour-long wait-in-the-parking-lot-until-someone-lets-us-in meeting, it was a great day. When you plan 90 minutes of set up time, to get everything in good working order, work out any glitches and make sure everybody is aware of their places and duties, you count on at least a good portion of that amount. We didn't get let in until 9:15 AM, we were supposed to be let in at 8 AM and we had the usual fun of stressing in the parking lot, then trying to keep our clients happy and occupied while we hastily set up to get things underway... for 9:30!

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The huge irony of it, was that one employee of the Lodge was on her way by, going somewhere else. She stopped to ask if we were with Help-Portrait. We said we were and asked if she was there unlock the doors. She wasn't. The number Bruce was given to call, in case/when something like this happened was not being answered and the person who was to unlock the doors didn't even know they were supposed to be there. Thank goodness this employee drove by so we could eventually get in.

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Now, anyone who knows me, knows that I am fair and forgiving, but straightforward. This was uncalled for. We've appreciated having the location provided for us without charge and we've always given them a donation in gratitude. Renting a place, and having the sway of a paying customer is starting to look pretty good. The attitude of our contact was that of annoyance, when Bruce was checking in a few days prior to make sure somebody would be there. It was nonchalant when he spoke to her about the consequences of this error. He did check in a few days prior to make sure that everything was going to be in place. It was not.

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Recently I've had the pleasure of working with some professionals in the makeup, modeling and agency industries. Their punctuality and professionalism cannot be matched. Being able to rely on someone to do what they say they will do, when they say they will do it, is something that shouldn't be rare, but it is and appreciated. When the significant error of someone negatively impacts approximately 70 volunteers, and the 364 clients we serve, you'll excuse me if I'm a little irritated.

Despite that, we pulled it off, everyone came together as a team and there were a lot of great smiles, happy people and fine photos made.

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If I may sound a little conceited, if there's one thing I know it is lighting. At our rehearsal the week before, there was concern over my decision to use only one key light, the light that illuminates the face and does most of the work. When I learned most of my lighting it was from a talented photographer, who came from a newspaper background. Newspapers typically do not like dramatic, artistic photos with deep shadows. The breadth of light to dark portions of a photo that show up well in newsprint is very narrow. As such, his style originated from a place of shooting for newsprint, with lighting free of deep shadows and bright highlights.

Slowly I'm working my way towards something a little more dramatic, but still somewhat safe. I realize that the portraits that we made on Saturday have room for some artistic flair but not so much edginess that you risk inaccurately portraying the person your photograph. As it were, it seemed that people were fond of the light setup that I have chosen and hopefully next year we will continue to do better with our light than two lights at 45°, even power output and much less interest than a touch of shadow with rimmed highlights.

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On a different note, our little "Poochie" turned eight, yesterday. Not as young as she used to be. Possibly more of a spaz, but still our Kiwi.

She was a great subject to learn a bit about TTL radio with my new LP180Rs and Phottix Odin, the prize from Midwest Photo Exchange I mentioned. I may or may not use the TTL. Manual mode is ingrained in my mind, deeply. What I will use is the ability to adjust power remotely.

So, that's probably it for me until the new year. I will be looking to arrange one more shoot before the end of the year and I have, what will be, an amazing cake photograph next Saturday. But other than that, there is unseen work to be done but it should all contribute to the quality of work that gets done in the new year, even if it only removes some of the tedious tasks, now.

Until then, Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and be well!

Nov 30, 2015

UV Session 2 - Emma and Olivia

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Once, again, Melissa Agarand of Missy Makeover put in a solid chunk of time getting Emma and Olivia done up, beautifully, for me to photograph.

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Top-notch work like hers makes my job so easy. The enthusiasm of Emma and Olivia made directing them into excellent poses very easy.

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As we all learn and gain experience the process just improves. Learning and discovering is a part of the fun, but consistently applying what has been learned, to produce even better results, makes for even better photos. And that is not just fun but rewarding.

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With the busyness of the season, and the preparation and planning needed for each of these sessions, I will aim to have another shoot in the early new year. If you are interested, please contact me. I will be putting out a call when the time to begin planning comes. I have plenty of ideas and concepts left and would welcome yours.

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Help-Portrait 2015 is this Saturday and, for the most part, all the plans are in place. We will be relying a bit on the unknown volunteers, that is, the people who show up wanting to help that we were unaware of before the day comes. I'm not worried that any important roles won't be filled, but sometimes not knowing is the worst part. There will be plenty of hands and plenty of help but that doesn't mean that if you would like to contribute that we would not welcome you and have work for you to do.

Bruce and Karen were on TV this morning. Here is a link to the clip:

I think they did a great job and am glad that they were willing to put themselves out there. I'm quite happy being an organizer behind the scenes, working on the administrative side of things and helping to do whatever I can to minimize the stress placed on Bruce and all that he has done this year.

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At times I feel like I need to be more intentional about shooting and making quality work, but lately my plate has felt quite full and I look forward not only to Help-Portrait, but to the sigh of relief once it is concluded. It's always a good time, and very rewarding, but it does take a lot of time and effort that most people don't realize. The well-deserved break on the following week will be earned and I will be happy to spend it planning more work while enjoying good coffee in a cozy and warm office.

    UV Session 2-15 by Jay Scott on

MUA: Melissa Agarand - Missy Makeover
Models: Emma and Olivia of Infinity Management

Nov 22, 2015


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I had the opportunity to work with some of Infinity Management's new talent, Samantha Willey.

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Samantha braved the brisk chill to pose outside for me, before we made our way through Health Sciences, stopping to shoot as we went.

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She was professional, easy going, agreeable and fun to work with.

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As with most models, she knew her best poses, sides and expressions. Part of my goal of working with more professionals is to improve my skill at posing individuals, couples and families for their sessions. At this point, my posing suggestions are minor adjustments. It's studying the model's overall choices that teaches me the most.

    Samantha - 5 by Jay Scott on

One of the best ways to help your subject understand what you want them to do is to demonstrate it. Most of the time it's a physical impossibility for me so choosing proper descriptions and adjectives is important. Frustration in understanding what I'm trying to communicate will drain the positive energy out of people as fast as anything.

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It wasn't long before I knew that her bright and smiling eyes were shouting to be front and center.
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I have no doubt that I will work with Samantha, again. A grand thank you to Infinity Management for the casting call and for connecting us. Thank you to Melissa Agarand for another fine work on makeup. You'll get to see more of her work, preparing my next UV portrait subjects, for a session the very next day. I'll have those up later this week.

Photographer: Jay Scott Photography - Saskatoon
Model: Samantha Willey of Infinity Management - Saskatoon
Makeup: Missy Makeover - Saskatoon

Nov 15, 2015

UV Session 1 - The Magic of Fluorescence

I've always been fascinated by ultraviolet portraiture. Once I found the models and makeup artists I wanted to work with, and did my homework on how to get the most out of the props and lighting, it came together nicely. So nicely, in fact, second session, with two different models, was done only six days later.

I find it so captivating and that it fits my desire for vibrant and surreal colours in my photos. I see many more shoots like this in my future and welcome any talent that wants to participate in being a part of it.

For a change, I'm not going to commentate, but let the photos do the talking.

Thanks so much to Infinity Management and Missy Makeover for being so enthusiastic about this and being a critical part of this session being successful. Without Bruce Johnson's help, this wouldn't have happened, either!

Models: Colleen A. Shalley and Melissa Agarand
Hair: Colleen A. Shalley
Makeup: Missy Makeover
Photographer: Jay Scott Photography

The behind the scenes time lapse:

All photos on 500px are here.

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Oct 29, 2015

14 Months

Well, 14.5. We're a few weeks late.

    14 Months 1 by Jay Scott on

The last little while Fiona has taken to crawling in and playing in Kiwi's kennel. It's always so cute but I certainly can't get down on the floor to make a photo of her while she's in there so we set up on the table for a better angle and since I needed to test out a combination of an old soft box with a new flash to see if the mounting work properly. It did.


"That's a reflector, Fiona."

    14 Months 2 by Jay Scott on

We are a few weeks late on her 14 month photo. I was going to have a daddy-daughter photo since my birthday was yesterday but I had a terrible sleep last night and the shadows under my eyes were beyond my Photoshop skills. One of these days we'll get a nice shot of me reading her new book that her mommy got me for my birthday.

    14 Months 3 by Jay Scott on