Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Annual report portrait

Portrait of an IT worker photographed for King Pharmaceuticals, New Jersey. January 2008.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Avonworth High School Fashion Show and Tea

Liz and Wade tango the runway at yesterday's Junior Class Fashion Show! The Juniors were stylin large in this annual event to raise money for the junior class. Thanks to all the parents, show planning committee, student models, and junior class advisor Nicole Levis, who donated their time and auction items that contributed to a great and fun event!
I had a blast photographing the event for my son's class and photos have been posted online for review and/or purchase.

I feel truly blessed to have kids attending a school district where people care and students get great support not only from the school staff but involved parents as well!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Meeting the man with the "Right Stuff"...

Awhile back I had the pleasure of meeting Gene Kranz the former NASA mission control flight director on the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo space launches. Being a certifiable space race history nut, the chance to meet and shoot Gene was a very exciting assignment. Boise Office Products had hired Gene to give a motivational speech to their sales staff and customers. I was on hand to shoot the event and the "meet and greet" shots. Gene was very gracious and answered lots of questions. Most of you who aren't familiar with the space program, probably remember the movie, Apollo 13. Ed Harris played the role of Gene Kranz who acted very calmly and worked hard with his team to "think the problem through" after hearing that now infamous radio transmission, "Houston, we've had a problem"...His quick thinking and decision making helped save the lives of the 3 astronauts onboard.

I have a huge amount of respect for this Presidential Medal of Freedom winner and what he has accomplished in his life. And though I've met a number of celebrities over the years on assignments, Eugene Kranz is one of the most memorable personalities and someone whom I really look up to. And though I don't dig his trademark haircut, Gene truly has the "Right Stuff" many times over. Thanks Gene, for a great shoot and for your dedicated service to our country!

Friday, February 22, 2008

Jenn with Milk...

Studio shoot, with Jenn. I thought milk, plexi, and a white gown would look nice together...Whaddaya think?
Have a great weekend!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Cup of Java and chat...

I've been wanting to do a story about one of my favorite coffee houses in the city, The Vault Coffee and Tea Bar, for quite some time. After all, I'm usually in there two to three mornings a week when I'm not on location catching up on the latest gossip, discussing Sirius radio, Howard Stern, new music, and Kevin Smith movies with Brad Richards, the manager of the shop.
When you are a one man biz like myself, it's important to get out and mingle. Otherwise, I'd climb the walls from lack of social interaction.

Why the Vault? First, they serve the best damn coffee around. They use Orinoco beans, ground fresh and use Ghiradelli bittersweet cocoa in my skim mocha latte. No Hershey's corn syrup that is called "chocolate" found here. All their drinks are poured with precision and made with extra care. Great pride is taken in the presentation and ingredients. The mocha that I photographed, isn't a "special" drink made for photography, it is what their drink actually looks like every pour (even in a "to go" cup!) Coffee mugs are pre heated to avoid cooling down their drinks that are served at the optimum temperature (match that Starbucks...) It's a true joy to see utilitarian food and beverage served and created with pride which is so rare these days.

The baked in-house pastries and vegetarian lunches are super yummy and made with the freshest ingredients.
A comfy lounge, with plenty of music and design industry magazines along with an art gallery make for a relaxed visit.
And they have tons of signs. Neat signs. Signs I want to photograph that bring a smile to my face everytime I see them. One of Brad's heros is film maker Kevin Smith. He loves Kevin's sarcastic sense of humor as much as I do. The Vault has smart ass baristas much like Clerks, only with service that is more like the Ritz!

One more thing...try to get there every September 12th for Johnny Cash day. Johnny is played non-stop all day long on the shop sound system. All the baristas (Brad, Drew, Matt, and Damon) wear black. But...the fun part is whenever June Carter joins in song. That's when everyone (baristas and customers)stop whatever they are in the middle of doing and down a shot of Makers Mark Bourbon. Let me tell you...at 7AM this game can get addictive and starts your morning with a smile on your face!
Brad tells me he would like to have more "dead people" days as they are great crowd pleasers. I'm with you on that one Brad!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Test shoot with Mitch...

I had fun yesterday photographing a new model, Mitch at one of my favorite locations, The Creative Treehouse. We worked quickly and I shot using a variety of techniques, including a tilt-shift lens, Profoto strobes, and available light with fill cards. It was very much a collaborative effort and we made some great images. Thanks Mitch for your hard work, and good luck to you in grad school!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Snow Day!!!

Well, yesterday it snowed and snowed.  My kids had the day off and hit the neighborhood slopes hard.  I had a great time photographing them and just watching them play and build
ramps, pipelines, and rails in the woods next to the house.  It is refreshing to see the guys get away from the xbox and get the fresh air we all need.  I know I NEEDED some fresh air...
The play time was a great break for my oldest son, Michael who has been hitting the books hard prepping for his SAT's and my younger son, Tyler, who enjoys trying to keep up with Michael and friends Zach and Tommy, as they trick out death defying acts on their snowboards.
Ahh... to be young and have muscles and bones that recover quickly....Enjoy the day!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Art for Art sake...

Besides being a very cool classic rock song by 10cc, check out this performance art in Grand Central Station in New York.  Gotta love it...
Thanks to my old high school friend, Barb Zolli for forwarding this to me.  I miss you Barb!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Throw me a friggin bone...

So In October of 2007  I started this blog. The biggest reason for doing this was I figured it could drive some traffic to my Pittsburgh Photographer website, www.markbolster.com.
However, it has been fun writing about things that I might not normally discuss and showing images that might not make it on my photography portfolio website.  The hardest part is just keeping up on a daily basis while I'm trying to get work done for my photography business.

My dilemma is this...is there anyone out there in cyberspace that is actually reading this blog?? So far I have had a grand total of 2 comments. Not even from any family members!  If you stumbled upon this site PLEASE leave me a comment. Good, bad, indifferent. I don't care. I'm lonely. I need to feel the love. Do it today knowing you have made me feel better about myself.
Do it often. Let me know what you'd like to see or discuss. I'm doing this because I enjoy talking photography.

If you have any questions about the photography business in Pittsburgh, or just want to talk tech stuff, I'd be happy to give my two centavos.

Speaking of plastic camera photography...

Those crazy hipster kids, Meg and Jack White from the White Stripes have joined up with the LOMOGRAPHY website which is now selling "limited edition" sets of the Meg White Diana camera and Jack White Holga.  The Meg White version comes with a "ring flash", funky spiral red color filter, fancy packaging, and a photo book of Diana images.  All for $180.00.  If this sounds like way too much money for the Chinese camera that sold for about $5.00 in the 60's you're probably right.  But I guess that is the cost of having company with rich rock stars....

The website is currently selling new, "plain jane" Diana's for $50.00.  And no...the optics aren't any better on the more expensive camera.  If you are looking for optical quality, then you simply don't understand the zen of plastic cameras.

I've always been partial to the Diana instead of the Holga.  The Holga almost seems too "sharp" to me.  If you find an original Diana for sale, make sure that it will take 120 film, since many were manufactured to take 620 film which is no longer produced.  For you digital people who vowed never to shoot with film again, there is always the Lens Baby, which unfortunately is getting more expensive and sharper which goes against everything I love about plastic cameras.

Monday, February 4, 2008

New showing of New York Diana camera images

Good to be back writing...I've been extremely busy the last 3 weeks working on the King Pharmaceuticals annual report and traveling pretty heavy.  The shoot went well and the design of the annual by Taylor and Ives, from New York is really clean and I think one of the better books we've done yet.  The shoot was special because I've been working with senior designer, Trevor Paccione, for a number of years on this project, but yet had never had the opportunity to actually meet him in person.  Art direction was done by way of comps and pdf's.  Trevor went to all the sessions, and it was helpful having an extra set of eyes on the set and his suggestions were almost always spot on.  It is great working with an experienced designer who knows the pitfalls of corporate photography and understands the politics and people who are involved.
Having the designer travel and visit the facilities that I shoot in is also positive, in that he learned more about what I'm up against logistically scouting for fresh shooting environments.

Saturday, Feb. 9  The Bellevue Barbershop will be having another creative night party. Featured will be my toned, black and white Diana camera photos of New York City.  The photos are street photography in the purest form.  Subject matter is the streets of Manhattan and  Coney Island.

Aaron Stubna, owner of the shop works hard to promote local artists and promotes Bellevue
as the next upcoming hot neighborhood.  Try to stop by Saturday evening for some vino, food, music, and good conversation in a very unique setting for a photo show.  Be sure to say hello to me!

The images shown are part of the show.  If you can't make it to the show, you can see the images here: Diana Camera