Maui Beach Elopement | Sierra + Daniel

I've been getting a lot of intimate elopements recently.  And I have to say that I really, REALLY have a blast with them.  They are so intimate, and I have time to get to know the couple and really feel their connection, which I feel translates to much more real photos.  Photos where you can feel the love they share.  Did you know that because of Daniel's job, he can't wear metal... so Sierra had a silicon ring made with the inscription TRUTH + LOVE?  (two of my favorite things)

And did you know that she made her own bouquet and did her own hair while her makeup was being done?  I love a girl who can do it herself... and do it well.  Cause her bouquet was SO WELL DONE and her hair looked freaking amazing, which on Maui, is no easy task.

Here's some favorites from this super fun and super sweet Maui Beach Elopement.

Hair and Makeup: Makeup and Talent Hawaii
Officiant: HawaiiWeddings.com
Location: Po'olenalena Beach
Developing and Scanning: The Find Lab

MAUI BEACH ELOPEMENT

30% Off All Horse Photography Prints to Help Happy Dog Ranch Foundation

In my recent travels, I was lucky enough to spend the day at Happy Dog Ranch in Littleton, Colorado.  It was one of my favorite parts of our trip.  It's a really unique place, in that it combines horse rescue with... well... people rescue.   Horse therapy has had tremendously positive impacts on so many lives, and I just love the fact that this works both ways.  Human's save horses, horses save humans.  Win/Win.

They are a non-profit organization, and recently lost their largest benefactor.  They are in IMMEDIATE need.  And I have what I hope is a win/win situation to help this win/win situation.

Beautiful horse photography prints are now available in my store, and 50% of all sales will go directly to Happy Dog Ranch Foundation.  

Until March 5, 2017, get 30% off all prints from my Happy Dog Ranch collection, with 50% of all sales going directly to Happy Dog Ranch.

Coupon code: HAPPYDOG

If you love horses, or alpacas, or pigs, or ducks, or cats, or just like to help others (or all of the above), check out my gallery of available horse photos, alpaca photos and pig photos and purchase to get beautiful prints for you, and help Happy Dog Ranch Foundation continue its amazing work.  

My favorite is when you get and give at the same time.  Now you can get, and give, so the giving can keep on.  Thanks for your help!

Maui Photo Circle | Repetition

Alright.  So I've got this group of photographers and every month we choose a theme at random and then shoot photos in that theme and share at the end of the month.  I started this group because I wanted a challenge and to force myself to see things differently.  

Last month's theme was shadows, and I found it really fun.  This months theme was repetition... and I freaking hated it. So much so, that I didn't really shoot anything (maybe like 2 film shots intentionally for the theme) and even was thinking about changing the theme to something I liked better halfway through the month.  But, um, that kind of defeats the purpose.  I'm not always going to like it... the point is to challenge myself to do it anyways.  So yesterday rolled around and I was like... crap... 

So I went in my backyard, with my iPhone, and stood there for like 5 minutes telling myself to just stuff it and find something in my archives to share.  I am REALLY good at avoiding doing things I don't want to do.  And I know this about myself... which is why I started this group... which is why I then forced myself to stop being a baby and take some photos.

I can't say that I really love anything that I shot, and it seems I've posted mostly ones where my interpretation of "repetition" doesn't follow in the traditional sense.  The traditionally repetitive, pattern making shots I find incredibly boring (though I am WELL impressed with the iPhone 7+).  But this project isn't necessarily about the resulting photos.  It's about the process, and what I can learn and how I can grow.  And what I've learned is the next time "repetition" is chosen by the randomizer... I'm freaking changing it before anyone knows.  ;)

To see how others in this group interpreted this theme, follow this link!

iPhone 7+.  Edited with Filmborn.

iPhone 7+.  Edited with Filmborn.

iPhone 7+.  Edited with Filmborn.

iPhone 7+.  Edited with Filmborn.

Nikon F5 + Portra 160 + The Find Lab

Nikon F5 + Portra 160 + The Find Lab

Contax 645 + Fuji 400h + The Find Lab

Contax 645 + Fuji 400h + The Find Lab

Nikon D4

Nikon D4

I don't just shoot random things.  I shoot mostly families and weddings.  Interested in booking a session?  Contact me today!

 

 

Magnus 4 Life

So I'll tell you a story.  This one year, I had this thing where I'd accidentally start calling all my grooms "Alvin" mid wedding.  I don't know why.  I knew their names (and likely had them written on my wrist... photographer secrets 101).  But for some reason, I'd just start calling them Alvin and then be like... did I just call you Alvin?  And they'd be like... um... ya.  I've only had one groom named Alvin... apparently he must have left an impression on me?!  

But you know what's funny?  I hired Jonathan Canlas to come and shoot my family photos this past year, and he DID THE EXACT SAME THING!  For some reason, halfway through the shoot, he started calling my husband Magnus.  And it cracked me up so hard because 1. I'm not the only one who does this and 2.  FREAKING MAGNUS!!  We are always coming up with new nicknames in our household.  Mine has been "Porkball" for freaking 15 years (awesome).  But husband's has morphed throughout the years from Boobejaan (baboon in Afrikaans), to Gavilina, to Mr. Tight Pants (he's a long distance cyclist... hello spandex) to a myriad of others that probably aren't appropriate to share on a professional blog ;).  

Well now, he's Magnus.  Forever.

The OTHER funny thing that happened was that Jonathan Canlas was able to get my husband to take his shirt off for the last part of our shoot, which resulted in some stellar photos of the hubs in all his shirtless glory.  Photos that ended up being shared on his instagram account followed by the hashtag #magnus4life.

So I am now engaged in an epic instagram battle of the shirtless dudes.  So when I got to see one of my first wedding couples EVER again this December, along with their family, I was like... um... I have this thing with a dude named magnus and partial nudity... are you game?

Well, the ball is in your court Mr. Canlas...  Magnus4Life

Disclaimer: no one was called Alvin in the making of these photos

 

 

Maui Photo Circle - SHADOWS

Last year was a rough one for me.  I mean I learned a lot and nurtured my newfound love of film and still had my insanely good luck connecting with amazing clients.  But I was internally... um... strifed?  Is that a word?  Strifey?  Filled with strife?

I just felt unfulfilled on a weird level.  Like... lost.  I felt... well... VANILLA.  Which is NOT a good feeling when you're a creative for a living and you, in your core, are super NOT vanilla, but started feeling like to be successful, you had to be vanilla.  

I was so conflicted by this, that I actually decided to quit photography.  Yup... just two weeks ago I was like... okay... there's no sense in taking something that you love so much and abusing yourself with it.  This isn't worth it.  Just stop.  Finish the shoots that you have, and then be ready for whatever is next.  

I totally gave up.

And do you know what?  That was THE BEST THING I COULD HAVE EVER DONE for myself!  I gave up on trying so hard.  On trying to be something that I wasn't.  And IMMEDIATELY, I found that fire again.  That thing that makes me inimitably me.  I don't even know what it is.  But it was gone, and now it's back and one thing is for sure... this year... I am going to be a force to be reckoned with.  

One of the things that I knew I had to get back into was playing.  That's one of my favorite things about photography.  Trying new things, learning... feeling like a beginner again.  So I gathered a bunch of photographers that I know and we're working on a monthly project.  Each month has a theme.  Each month you play and shoot in that theme and see what happens.

So January's theme is SHADOWS.  And it's actually kind of poignant... because it's what I was battling internally all last year.  And do you know, when I was dropping off my rolls of film with all of my shadow photos on them, the guy in front of me in line turned around, looked me dead in my face and was like "You have a shadow."

When I was done having my "wtf was that" moment, I realized that was kinda cool.  Cause ya, I do.  We all do.  And as much as it can suck super hard, it is also responsible for most of our growth.

So here's to embracing our shadows.  And to see other photos from this project, check out Barb Toyama's shadow post.

MAUI PHOTO CIRCLE PROJECT - SHADOWS

Iphone 6s, edited to black and white in Snapseed.

Iphone 6s, edited to black and white in Snapseed.

Iphone 6s, edited with Filmborn

Iphone 6s, edited with Filmborn

Nikon F5 - Portra 160 (converted to black and white) - The Find Lab

Nikon F5 - Portra 160 (converted to black and white) - The Find Lab

Nikon F5 - Portra 160 (converted to black and white) - The Find Lab

Nikon F5 - Portra 160 (converted to black and white) - The Find Lab

Nikon F5 - Portra 160 (converted to black and white) - The Find Lab

Nikon F5 - Portra 160 (converted to black and white) - The Find Lab

Puppy Love

Every new fur baby family should do a family shoot.  Because fur babies grow even faster than regular babies.

I have a super soft place in my heart for animals.  And Frenchies, specifically, seem to take a big part of that (right next to the pig and rescue dog).  

This, here, is Tater Tot.  And she will still steal your heart...

(and if you're looking for a Frenchie in Hawaii, check out The Perfect Creations.)

Maui Waterfall Elopement

The beauty of simplicity.  This wedding goes down as one of my favorite weddings EVER.

It involved getting ready, together, with their feet in the mud.  The dress getting wet before the ceremony, and that being totally okay.  Bug spray instead of perfume.

She wore earrings that she had been gifted as a flower girl, when she was 5 years old.  He donned a wooden bow tie that wore more like a piece of art. 

It involved thoughtfully written vows, tearfully exchanged at the foot of a waterfall.  And the applause of strangers who had happened by just in time for the first kiss.

And it involved champagne.  And laughter.  Lots of it.

It lacked absolutely nothing.

Hair and Makeup: Jessica Waite
Location: Twin Falls
Development & Scanning: The Find Lab

Maui Waterfall Elopement

 

 

Camera Recommendations for Beginners

I've had TONS of fun teaching photography classes lately, and aside from learning what things tend to typically keep people from learning more, one thing that I'm being asked A LOT, is what kind of camera is a good starter camera.  So I've compiled my thoughts on the subject below.

Disclaimer: there are LOTS of options out there, and so I choose to only speak to those options that I'm familiar with.  Does that mean that there no other suitable options?  Not at all.  But I'm attempting to keep it simple and these are cameras that I have personal experience with, and so can feel comfortable recommending.

DIGITAL VS. FILM

If you are just starting out with photography, my personal recommendation is to start with digital.  Because being able to see what you're doing immediately, allows you to make corrections immediately and see the results immediately, which makes learning easier and faster.  If you're die hard for film, email me and I'll send you my film camera recommendations.  

NIKON VS. CANON

I personally shoot with Nikon (Nikon D4s and Nikon D700 for digital, Nikon F5 for 35mm film, along with Contax and Pentax for Medium Format film).  My dad shot with Nikon, and he got me my first good film camera when I was 16 which was a Nikon, and I built my arsenal from there.  Is Nikon better than Canon?  No.  It's just how I started and once you're in, switching over can be... well... expensive.  What I've noticed is that Canon seems to offer faster lenses that are more affordable than Nikon lenses, so if you plan on being a lens junky... that might be something to consider.  But I've never felt the need to switch from Nikon, and if Nikon ever releases a medium format camera (there are rumors)... I might indulge.

NEW VS. USED

As much as getting one of those brand, new, starter kits at Costco or Target seems to make the best sense, I have to say that if you really want to learn, you're going to be frustrated by the lenses that come with those kits.  They are very limiting.  So although it seems like a great deal, to me it seems like a great way to sell crap lenses to people who don't know better.  Save yourself the time and frustration, and go to Ebay and get yourself whatever camera body you were looking at in that kit, and get the body only.  And then find a 50mm f1.8 prime lens or thereabouts.  You can likely get both the camera body and lens for around $300, and that will have you in a much better place to get photos that you love than any kit their selling right now.  It will also help you to learn because you're able to change the f-stop on that lens to see, first hand, the affects of aperture (depth of field).

NIKON RECOMMENDATIONS

NIKON D3200 DIGITAL SLR CAMERA BODY 

CANON RECOMMENDATIONS

Canon EOS Rebel T6i Digital SLR Body

With either of these set ups, you'll be ready to learn and excel at photography, and the best thing is even once you grow out of that camera body, that lens will stay with you.  It's one of the most affordable lenses (in either Nikon or Canon's lineup) and it's still one of my favorites.  I never go to a wedding or shoot without it.

If you're interested in learning more about photography, I do offer classes.  Check out my Classes / Events page on my website to see upcoming classes and offerings!

3 Photography Myths Debunked

So I held my first photography class this weekend and it went EXCEPTIONALLY well.  From the weather, which was gorgeously sunny, to the students who were eager (and quick) to learn, to the random people I chased down on the street who were freaking gorgeous and willing to let us steal a few moments of their day to be photographed.  It was an amazing experience all around.  

There were so many really rewarding moments... like watching someone take a photo, not like it, show it to me and then through discussing the concepts they'd learned in just one hour, sort out what they needed to do to fix it.  Then watching them reshoot it with the fix and seeing that BIG GRIN when they looked at the back of their camera and realized... hey... I really CAN do this.

Taken by student Morgan, shot in manual mode.  The only edit is making it black and white and cropping me out of it (I was in the bottom left of the frame taking my own shot.  :)

Taken by student Morgan, shot in manual mode.  The only edit is making it black and white and cropping me out of it (I was in the bottom left of the frame taking my own shot.  :)

And there was a real "ah ha!" moment for me as well.  Specifically, hearing what has kept some people from pursuing photography.  We all tell ourselves stories.  We all make reasons why we "can't".  And there are 3 major myths about photography that I think a lot of people use against themselves, and I'm here to debunk those myths right here and now.  Because the truth is, if I can do this... you can do this.

Taken by student Shelly.  Shot in manual mode.  No edits.

Taken by student Shelly.  Shot in manual mode.  No edits.

Both of these photos were taken by absolute beginners who were literally shooting their camera in manual mode for the first time ever.  Both of these photos were taken after only an hour of discussing the basic fundamentals of ISO, Aperture and Shutter speed.  Both of these photos are rad.  So you know what this means... it means I'm about to remove all the reasons you've had for not pursuing your dreams of getting better at photography...

 

3 Photography Myths Debunked

 

Photography Myth # 1  |    It's Freaking Complicated

It's actually not.  There are some things that feel a bit backwards at first, but if I can get it (A.D.D and Dyslexia), so can you.  If you've struggled reading photography books, or didn't make much progress using online courses, chances are you're simply a visual learner and would benefit from a more practical learning process with an actual human to answer your questions as they come up.  That's why I decided to teach classes in the first place.  Because I'm not a techie type person and with all the f-stops and shutter speed numbers in the manuals and books, I got overwhelmed, and frustrated.  And with no one to ask, the whole process became a chore to learn.  But when broken down into the 3 basic parts, in a way where you can see what you're learning in context, it becomes much simpler and it becomes fun again.  It SEEMS complicated.  But it really isn't.

Photography Myth Number 2  |    I Don't Have a Good Enough Camera

So I'm going to go ahead and save you a couple thousand dollars here (you're welcome).  All cameras work the same way.  Granted, some cameras have a better sensor, better low light capability... but they all use the same concepts.  So if you're not getting good photos with your current camera, you're not going to get better photos with a better camera.  You're just going to get more expensive, shit photos.  All you really need to learn/improve is a super basic camera that allows you to shoot in manual (so it allows you to manually set your iso, shutter speed and aperture) and a 50mm f/1.8 prime lens (or something similar).  With that super simple set up, you will learn to take AMAZING photos.  As long as you learn the fundamentals, which as I covered a couple minutes ago, are not as complicated as they seem. 

Photography Myth Number 3  |    I Don't Have a Natural Eye

So you may have heard from someone else that you don't have "the eye".  Or you may have convinced yourself of this on your own.  And it may be true.  And it may actually not be.  But either way, I've got a secret for you.  People who have a natural eye, just have one less thing to learn.  That's all.  If you love photography, but you don't have a natural eye, it CAN BE LEARNED.  There are rules and concepts of composition that can be taught, ways to train yourself how to see and shape light, ways of DEVELOPING your eye.  And the only difference between you and someone who has a natural eye is that you'll just have to work a little harder at that bit.  And, as with all the rest of it, it isn't as hard as it may seem.

So if photography is a real passion of yours, and you've talked yourself out of learning for any of these 3 reasons... I'm here to tell you that those aren't the reasons at all.  

You're getting in your own way.  And the only thing you really should ask yourself is... how bad do you want it?  

If you want it bad enough, I'm going to be offering more classes this year, for different skill levels "beginner, intermediate and advanced".  And if you click the button below, you can be added to the list to find out about them first, and get early bird registration discounts and opportunities.

Here's to a New Year of erasing self imposed limitations and going for what we want.  Whatever that may be.

Serendipity

I remember when inspiration was a more internal experience.  When it was less about looking at Pinterest and more about seeing, hearing or even feeling something that inspired you and then playing with that idea in your own mind.  

I'd seen this old, abandoned church like 8 years ago.  I like places that are abandoned.  The lack of love and attention actually allows them to exist in their own way, and I suppose I like the rebellion and realness in that.  I sort of fell in love the with idea of shooting at this church one day and would often think about certain light drenched photos that I'd take there whenever I'd drive by that area and be reminded of it's existence.   But that particular location is frequently overcast.  And I stopped driving past that area so often.  And I kind of forgot that it even existed.

Come this past November, I had a styled shoot with a great local coordinator and dresses on loan from one of my favorite designers, and then the dresses didn't work (for a super wonderful reason ;), but still.  I had dresses on loan from a designer, and now no photos to show for it.  So I kind of went into a panic.  I did have my favorite model in town, but she was only going to be around for another 2 days... how the hell can I throw something together in 2 days?

By simplifying.  And focusing on what is most important to me.  Light drenched photos.  BOOM.  Go to that old church you've always wanted to shoot at!  But it's never drenched in light Trish.  Whatever... you have no options.  Just do it and make it work.

And we showed up super early, and the light was super flat.  And I was just in "get photos for the designer" mode.  And then the sun rose, and those light drenched images that I'd imagined in my mind all those years previous, became real.  

It is these experiences... these serendipitous situations that really help me to keep putting one foot in front of the other.  And it just reminds me that it is so, so, so much more rewarding to create, nurture and grow your own ideas.  These images aren't mind-blowingly different.  And some of them are probably technically wrong.  But I fucking love them.  How they came about, how long they took to be realized.  They ARE a story.  And, apparently, I like telling stories with photos...

Maui Wedding Photographer

Gown: Griffyn by Maggie Sottero Designs
Hair + Makeup: Dacia Waller of Spa Lotus
Ribbon: Adorn Company
Film Developing + Scanning: The Find Lab

 

Full of Grace

Maui Family Photographer

When you get to shoot a dear friend and her kids end up BLOWING YOUR MIND.  The key to having a great family photo shoot, parents, is not to care... not to stress (this, from the person who shows up to her yearly photo shoots with at least 2 people in tears every time).  I get it.  Believe me.  Just getting them to wear something that isn't stained or ripped is like... a battle.  And then getting them to the shoot, without staining or ripping what you finally got them in... a bloody miracle.  

What I've learned is that the bigger of a deal we make it, the more pressure the kids feel.  And that's when kids, or husbands, or moms implode (one of the two people in tears at my shoots is always me).  So just know, a really good photographer will get good shots... even if the kid is screaming and crying seemingly the entire time (true story... I believe the parents exact words were "how the f^&* did you get those photos with what was going on?!").  All you need is 1/160th of a second.  

But this right here... this shoot had no tears... and no imploding.  And everyone was into it (most of the time).  And the light was AMAZING.  And I was smiling so big as these scans came in.  And I'm smiling pretty big now as I share some of my favorite shots from this Maui Family Photo Shoot.

 

Interested in booking a family session with me?  DO IT!  Email me at trish@trishbarkerphotography.com and let's make it happen!

Camera: Contax 645
Film: Fuji 400h
Developing and Scanning: The Find Lab

NEW OFFERING! Photography Courses - Trish Style

MAUI PHOTOGRAPHY CLASSES

Learn in context, in a visual and fun way that will solidify what you're learning immediately.  

Whether a beginner class, or more advanced, these little adventures will get you to a point where you know your camera, know what you want to shoot, and know exactly how to create and capture the images you see in your head.

Available for both kids and adults!  

Details and pre-registration available here.  

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Return of the MAGIC Family

Maui Family Photographer

When we work together on a family session, be prepared to have stupid amounts of fun.  And to be totally comfortable being yourself.  I want you to so much fun, that you'll want to do it again... specifically with me.  Cause I love repeat clients... especially the MAGIC family.  I can't explain it, but they show up, I give very little direction, they just play and have fun.  And it is just pure magic...

This was a family mini session, which I do limited numbers of during the holidays; shorter session / cheaper price.  

There's still time to get yours done if you're interested.  trish@trishbarkerphotography.com

Film Stock: Fuji 400h
Camera: Contax 645
Development and Scanning: The Find Lab

Water Is Life

I do have an obsession with water.  I live by the ocean and my kids swim competitively so I find myself staring at the surface of it... frequently.  I'm fascinated by it.

I'm also pretty darn dependent on it.  

My online print store now features my    W A T E R    I S    L I F E    series.  Black and white film and digital shots that I've taken in my personal work, featuring water.

Enter coupon code NODAPL to receive 20% off your purchase with all proceeds going to Standing Rock.  

SALE EXTENDED UNTIL DECEMBER 6TH IN LIGHT OF RECENT EVENTS.

Click here to view the full series.

Drop

Drop

 

 

 

New Blog for Trish Barker Photography

Okay everyone.  I'm back to blogging.  But I've also got a new website... and even though my new website service peeps told me I'd be able to import my existing blog into this one, alas... several days and error messages later... it ain't workin'.

So, I'm linking to my old blog here... and starting new.  So if you've hit this post, it is NOT the end of the line.  Lots more shiz to see by clicking below:  

www.trishbarker.com/blog.

From a recent shoot with Adorn Company.  I'm addicted to her ribbon.  For reals.   Featuring sweet culinary gems from Set Maui.  Also addicted.  She's probably the coolest, most organized hoarder... ever.