Double Bronze Medal Photographer of the Year

By Chris Smith, M.Photog.Cr.

The “Photography Olympics” (International Print Competition by the Professional Photographers of America) just completed this week in Atlanta, GA. This year, I was within 2 Merits of completing my “Master Artist” Degree, given by the Professional Photographers of America for excellence in Digital Artistry. I submitted my 4 entrants, and although they didn’t reach the prestigious LOAN Collection as hoped, I did earn Merits on all FOUR images, earning a Bronze Medal. Thanks to all who served as advisors and mentors over the past 3 + years of creating these images. I look forward to celebrating them with you in Atlanta at the IPC Exhibition in January.

In addition to the “Artist” category, I entered 4 images in the Photographic Open division, and also earned 4 Merits on my images. I’m very proud of both of my cases, especially knowing how few entrants even attempt 8 entries, and how even more rare it is for someone to Medal in both categories. I am also proud to say that this is my second year in a row to earn Merits/Loans on all 8 of my entered images.  In 2017, I was one of only 21 photographers to achieve the 8 for 8 designation.

The images I entered are shown here, along with a brief description of what makes them a “Merit Award” winner.

“Sledding with Santa” – 2018 IPC Artist Category Merit Award.  This image features Santa Chuck Lee and our now famous Snowman “Wilbur”.  The set was created for The Storybook Santa Experience” in 2017.  I took a few minutes after our sessions to ask Santa to pose for a few images.  You can see the reference image in the right hand margin.  Notice the addition of the snow overlay, the hand finished paint strokes, the “magic” snow around Wilbur, and then the colorful finish to Santa’s coat.  In addition, I removed the light box that was visible in the initial frame.  The judges liked the composition, lighting, and storytelling of the image, along with the finish details like the lantern and the hand painted beard and fur on Santa’s coat.

 

“American Legend” – 2018 IPC Artist Category Merit Award.  This is a DC3 that operates out of the Midway Regional Airport in Midlothian.  Last summer we had a high school senior who was going into the air national guard and asked for a photo with an airplane.  I knew this one sits at the airport and I asked the owners for permission to photograph it.  There are 33 different images used to make up the final exposure.  Each part of the aircraft was lit independently for maximum effect and then layered together for the final image.  The overall was hand painted in Photoshop and a new sky was dropped in for dramatic effect.  The process of photographing and creating the image took approximately 60 hours.

 

“Boys’ Night Out” – 2018 IPC Artist Category Merit Award – This is my favorite image of all of my Artist entries for this year.  We created this image for a client, with the specific idea in mind of a S’mores camp fire cookout.  The original images were made in broad daylight, and it took two exposures to get the expressions I wanted from each of the boys.  I was able to merge the two files together and then paint the scene to feel like a dusk campout.  I added all of the highlight and shadow detail, as well as extended the “forest” in the background and painted in the “fire”.  The kids really enjoyed the actual shoot and we did eat the Smores afterward.  🙂

 

“Freedom Fighters” – 2018 IPC Artist Category Merit Award.  This image came as a result of learning that a local Santa Claus actor, “Santa Bill”, was also a post revolutionary war actor.  When he told me he has a closet full of authentic clothing, guns and accessories, I knew what I wanted.  We photographed this in the park near the Fort Worth Zoo.  He played both the sniper and the loader in the scene, and you can see him posing in the reference photos.  The rest was added in from elements found online and then finished with a smoky morning blue.

“Fender Bender” – 2018 IPC Photographic Open Category Merit Award.  This image is special to me because this is the third year in a row my son, Connor, posed for me in an image.  He is an excellent guitarist, so this is a real slice of life for him.  If I can’t find him playing video games, he’s usually sitting with his guitar and playing whatever song he heard last or whatever melody pops in his head.  Shot in the studio.

“Lonely, Seeking Relationship – Strings Attached” – 2018 IPC Photographic Open Category Merit Award.  This was another personal project using my own guitar.  I’m a new guitar collector, and this was a new addition to my set.  It is a Taylor W65ce 12 String.  The walnut is just stunning and I had to photograph it. This is actually 17 different exposures in one, layered together to enhance every detail of the guitar, from the gold tuning pegs, down to the ebony bridge and pins.  Shot in studio.

“Making Magic and Memories” – 2018 IPC Photographic Open Category Merit Award.  Of course, no print competition case of mine is complete without a Santa Claus portrait.  This is Everlee with Santa Jeff.  She came to our Storybook Santa Experience in November of 2017.  Her outfit was absolutely perfect for the outdoor snow scene.  With a little paint and some magic from Santa, this piece earned a Merit Award.

“Simple Swag” – 2018 IPC Photographic Open Category Merit Award.  This is Jordan.  He goes to school with my son and he was a part of a promotion we did for the Couture Kids line.  I loved his pose and his expression and the finish is a mix of photoshop techniques designed to highlight the texture in his clothing and his skin tone.

 

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2018 Enchanted Summer Portrait Series

What are your kids’ favorite summer activities? What moments do you catch them in that you’d like to keep forever?
We are developing a series of hand painted photographic art designed to capture the dreams, the wonders, the moments, and the memories that childhood is made of.

When thinking about my own childhood, and things I see my own kids do, I can think of dozens of themes, activities and moments I’d want to immortalize with a piece of art.

Backyard forts
Washing your car
Playing Hide & Seek
Catching fireflies
Picking wildflowers
Playing in the tree house
Riding bikes in the neighborhood at dusk
Having a tea party
Playing dress up
Paddling the creek in a canoe
Flying a kite
Splashing in the sprinklers
Swinging on the playground
Splashing in the pool
Playing kickball with friends
Eating snow cones or ice-cream before it melts
Roasing marshmallows
Going camping in the backyard
Swinging from a rope tree swing (tire swing)
…… so many more….

Right now we are looking for families with children ages 3-13 who would like to have a FREE session ($250 value) to help us put together a larger portfolio of images. We will give you one image to share on social media and offer you a discounted price if you would like to purchase the artwork we create.

Please message us or tag someone you know who might be interested in creating a piece of art with us this summer.

The images below are to illustrate how a simple photograph can transform into a very unique piece of art for your family.

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School Photography – Its Black and White

Are you tired of the same old school pictures from your school photographer?  We were, too and we did something about it.  At Kennedale Middle School, we brought a tried and true studio portrait technique and applied it to 7th and 8th grade spring portraits.  We’ve been photographing school and volume photography at Ivey Photography since the studio opened in 1977.  We’ve traditionally done the standard fall yearbook portraits on an old master background, which is a very nicely lit, documentary style portrait.  In the spring, we’ve tried everything from spring flowers to fishing docks to railroad themes.  But this year, we went SIMPLE.  Really SIMPLE.  We offered students the option to wear either a black shirt or a white shirt.  We setup two different backdrops, a black for the students wearing black and a white for the students wearing white.  There are approximately 550 students at KJHS.  MOST students chose to wear black, with about 40% choosing to wear white.  Each student was given 2-3 poses to flow into, with each session taking about 30 seconds to complete.

If you are a school administrator looking to step up your school portraits, we work with schools ranging in size from 200-2000 students.  We offer a complete line of in-school portraits, sports, and senior portraits.  Our pricing for parents is very attractive and our school incentives are competitive with the other national brands.

Prior to the sessions, we hung large posters in the school promoting the sessions.  The students were buzzing about it and over 95% of students remembered to wear black or white.

 

 

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Couture Kids Portraits – Connor 11

Couture Kids Portraits is a new line of portraits for children ages 6-16.  The idea is to offer an affordable, professional portrait, that you can repeat several times during your child’s in-between years.  Children are commonly photographed professional at younger ages like newborn, first birthday, five year, and maybe 10 years old, then not again until they are seniors in high school.  Our studio focuses on portraits of children, and the Couture Kids line is specifically designed for kids in the middle.  We make the sessions fun, fast, and easy for them.  We finish the images with unique textures and tonality that represents the digital age of photography, but with classic and simple poses and backgrounds.  We want you to notice their expressions, their clothing, their hobbies we feature, and not be distracted by the location or any elements in the background.  You can learn more about the Couture Kids line here.

Connor is a 6th grade student at Walnut Grove Elementary School in Midlothian.  He loves to play guitar, listen to music, play tennis, go fishing and is a straight A student.  His was the first set of portraits created for Couture Kids and we’re proud to feature his session here.  He’s also Chris’ son, so that makes him extra, extra special.  Meet Connor.

Couture Kids Portraits for Children with Style by Ivey Photography Dallas Child Photographer

Couture Kids Portraits for Children with Style by Ivey Photography Dallas Child Photographer

Couture Kids Portraits for Children with Style by Ivey Photography Dallas Child Photographer

Couture Kids Portraits for Children with Style by Ivey Photography Dallas Child Photographer

Couture Kids Portraits for Children with Style by Ivey Photography Dallas Child Photographer

Couture Kids Portraits for Children with Style by Ivey Photography Dallas Child Photographer

Couture Kids Portraits for Children with Style by Ivey Photography Dallas Child Photographer

Couture Kids Portraits for Children with Style by Ivey Photography Dallas Child Photographer

Couture Kids Portraits for Children with Style by Ivey Photography Dallas Child Photographer

Couture Kids Portraits for Children with Style by Ivey Photography Dallas Child Photographer

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The Stearns Rustic Wedding 12/30/17

We met Connor and Zane at the Star Telegram bridal show in August 2017 and immediately knew the chemistry was there for the perfect client/photographer partnership. Between the love for fishing, skeet shooting, rustic wedding, and simply having fun on their big day we were probably more excited to shoot their wedding then they were to have us!

Rain or Shine, Let’s Get Married

Connor & Zane’s wedding was originally scheduled for April 2018 but a change in plans moved the date up to December 2017.  Of course the weather in Texas in December is unpredictable, and we drew a really cold, really windy day for them.  The Stearns wedding took place at Lucky Spur Ranch Retreat in Justin, TX.  Despite the freezing temperatures and drizzling rain, everyone was in great spirits.  As professional wedding photographers, we are prepared for any type of weather.  In certain situations we prefer to photograph in the available light, without flashes.  In other situations, we can create beautiful light by augmenting the available light with our portable strobes.  Because of the weather, we were challenged to create beautiful lighting at nearly every scene.  See if you can tell the difference in the places where we used our strobes vs where we used the available light.

Bridal Portraits and The First Look

Our day with Connor (the bride) started early for a private bridal session.  The Lucky Spur Ranch makes an amazing backdrop for any portrait sitting.  With the weather, we were limited to certain parts of the venue just to keep Connor out of the wind.  Focusing on our bride and the details of the venue, we captured her excitement and beauty in a variety of settings, lighting styles and poses.  As a part of her bridal portraits, Connor made sure to take time for her father.  We helped her set up a special Dad’s first look with him in the courtyard.  Zane and Connor had already planned a first look, and with the help of the videographer, we staged a scenario that kept everyone as warm as possible, while still in position for photos and video.

The Wedding and Reception

On any wedding day, we feel it is our duty to capture things that are already happening, without interruption, while at the same time, using our experience as photographers to capture moments in the best light.  We generally like to spend 30-45 minutes with the groom and his family while he gets dressed and we make portraits.  From there, we like 45-60 minutes with our bride and her family.  All the while we are creating moments or capturing them as they happen.  Since we work as a two photographer team, we are generally prepared for any wedding day scenario.  With the wind, the families decided to relocate the ceremony from the traditional outdoor space into a covered barn area.  We were able to make a few adjustments to our plan and capture their ceremony without issue.  Everything went smoothly and we made it to the reception where creativity and fun intertwine to build a memorable series of images that are always my favorite to capture.  We did get a chance to pull our bride and groom from the fun and excitement and capture a key portrait of just the two of them and then quickly returned them back to their party so nothing was missed. We made it through the highlight moments of first dances, toast, garter/bouquet toss, and cake cutting before the grand exit was made. Having a 2 man team makes these moments a breeze and allows us to capture two different perspectives of the events.

This rustic wedding was planned beautifully with every detail that went into it. It was such a pleasure working with Connor and Zane and all of their family and friends. We look forward to seeing them all again very soon when we shoot Connor’s brothers wedding later this year!

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Dallas Apartment Lazy Sunday Engagement Portrait Session

Who do you want to be photographed with?  Who doesn’t love a lazy Sunday at home with your loves?  Why not be photographed where you are comfortable?  99 times out of 100 when couples contact us who wish to have engagement portraits made, they want to dress up, get out of the house and find a beautiful location for their portraits.  And I love photographing on location.  I can use the light, the terrain, the textures and create poses and scenarios for any couple to shine.  When Kim and Derek contacted me, Derek asked me to capture his proposal to Kim at Klyde Warren Park in Dallas.  The day was beautiful and their proposal was as sweet as can be.  Derek was brave to do that in such a public space.  But what Derek and Kim enjoy is time at home with their rescue dog, a glass of wine, a nice cheese tray, and some fresh baked cookies.  Like the Lyle Lovett song says “I like to sleep late on Sundays”, they agree.  And since we got rained out for two previous sessions planned outdoors, AND it was cold and rainy on the third day we scheduled, we had the idea to just work in their apartment.

When I walked in, I immediately had a vision of simple, black and white, relationship portraits.  The only exception to the finished images is the one of Derek and Kim on the bed.  I loved the color of her skin in this light and thought the hazy tone fit the day so perfectly.  Sit on the couch with your shoes off, wrap up in each other’s space, and let me shoot.  They were more than willing to take direction, but mostly, they just did what couples do on a lazy Sunday.  Derek poured the wine.  Kim baked the cookies, and they really just enjoyed each other.  I appreciated their love for each other and got a glimpse into their real lives.

Kim and Derek have the sweetest, most shy rescue pup ever.  He’s a pit bull mix and came from an abusive home.  Although it took a few treats and some gentle words to get him out from under his bed, he came along for his closeup and some bed time with mom & dad.  Photographing dogs is very rewarding.  I take pride in being a dog person, and being able to understand and work with a dogs mood and posture to eventually create a portrait.  My goal with this pup was to tell his story and how he relates to his people.  He likes his treats, he likes his naps, but he LOVES being on the bed with them.  Once they shared that with me, the location for the shot was an easy one.

As far as the lighting and techniques used, luckily, their apartment had two large windows in both of the rooms we worked in.  I LOVE window light.  The play of highlight and deep shadow are fantastic, and I believe it is the most flattering light for any portrait.  And nothing says morning coffee like sitting by the window with your sweetheart.  For the kitchen sequences, I did add in some off camera flash, which the doggie did NOT like!  He ran under the bed again, so we had to sooth him and get the flash put away before he would come back out.  No worries, he likes cookies more than he hates photography equipment.

Enjoy the images and leave us a comment about who you’d like to spend a lazy Sunday with.

Dallas Apartment Lazy Sunday Engagement Lifestyle Bedroom Portrait

Dallas Apartment Lazy Sunday Engagement Lifestyle Bedroom Portrait

Dallas Apartment Lazy Sunday Engagement Lifestyle Bedroom Portrait

Dallas Apartment Lazy Sunday Engagement Lifestyle Bedroom Portrait

Dallas Apartment Lazy Sunday Engagement Lifestyle Bedroom Portrait

Dallas Apartment Lazy Sunday Engagement Lifestyle Bedroom Dog Portrait

Dallas Apartment Lazy Sunday Engagement Lifestyle Bedroom Portrait

Dallas Apartment Lazy Sunday Engagement Lifestyle Bedroom Dog Portrait

Dallas Apartment Lazy Sunday Engagement Lifestyle Bedroom Portrait

Dallas Apartment Lazy Sunday Engagement Lifestyle Bedroom Dog Portrait

Dallas Apartment Lazy Sunday Engagement Lifestyle Bedroom Portrait

Dallas Apartment Lazy Sunday Engagement Lifestyle Bedroom Portrait

Dallas Apartment Lazy Sunday Engagement Lifestyle Bedroom Portrait

Dallas Apartment Lazy Sunday Engagement Lifestyle Bedroom Dog Portrait

Dallas Apartment Lazy Sunday Engagement Lifestyle Bedroom Portrait

Dallas Apartment Lazy Sunday Engagement Lifestyle Bedroom Dog Portrait

Dallas Apartment Lazy Sunday Engagement Lifestyle Bedroom Portrait

Dallas Apartment Lazy Sunday Engagement Lifestyle Kitchen Cooking Portrait

Dallas Apartment Lazy Sunday Engagement Lifestyle Bedroom Portrait

Dallas Apartment Lazy Sunday Engagement Lifestyle Cooking Portrait

Dallas Apartment Lazy Sunday Engagement Lifestyle Bedroom Portrait

Dallas Apartment Lazy Sunday Engagement Lifestyle Cooking in the Kitchen Portrait

Dallas Apartment Lazy Sunday Engagement Lifestyle Bedroom Portrait

Dallas Apartment Lazy Sunday Engagement Lifestyle Kitchen Portrait

Dallas Apartment Lazy Sunday Engagement Lifestyle Bedroom Portrait

Dallas Apartment Lazy Sunday Engagement Lifestyle Kitchen Portrait

Dallas Apartment Lazy Sunday Engagement Lifestyle Bedroom Portrait

Dallas Apartment Lazy Sunday Engagement Lifestyle Kitchen Portrait

Dallas Apartment Lazy Sunday Engagement Lifestyle Bedroom Portrait

Dallas Apartment Lazy Sunday Engagement Lifestyle Kitchen Portrait

Dallas Apartment Lazy Sunday Engagement Lifestyle Bedroom Portrait

Dallas Apartment Lazy Sunday Engagement Lifestyle Coffee Portrait

Dallas Apartment Lazy Sunday Engagement Lifestyle Bedroom Portrait

Dallas Apartment Lazy Sunday Engagement Lifestyle Morning Portrait

Dallas Apartment Lazy Sunday Engagement Lifestyle Bedroom Portrait

Dallas Apartment Lazy Sunday Engagement Lifestyle Couch Portrait

Sunday with.

 

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MIDLOTHIAN, TX – Photographer Earns PPA Craftsman Degree and Awards

MIDLOTHIAN, TX Photographer Earns Craftsman Degree and Awards

2017 IPC PPA Photographer of the Year

2017 IPC PPA Photographer of the Year

2017 IPC PPA Photographer of the Year

2017 IPC PPA Photographer of the Year

2017 IPC PPA Photographer of the Year

2017 IPC PPA Photographer of the Year

2017 IPC PPA Photographer of the Year

2017 IPC PPA Photographer of the Year

2017 IPC PPA Photographer of the Year

2017 IPC PPA Photographer of the Year

2017 IPC PPA Photographer of the Year

2017 IPC PPA Photographer of the Year

2017 IPC PPA Photographer of the Year

2017 IPC PPA Photographer of the Year

2017 IPC PPA Photographer of the Year

2017 IPC PPA Photographer of the Year

Chris Smith of Ivey Photography recognized for helping to advance the photography industry

Midlothian, TX – January 14, 2018 — Chris Smith, M. Photog. , of Ivey Photography in Midlothian, TX has earned the photographic craftsman degree from Professional Photographers of America (PPA). The degree was presented to Smith by PPA p resident Rob Behm , M.Photog. Cr. , CPP , at the association’s annual convention, Imaging USA, held January 14 – 16, 2018 in Nashville, Tennessee .

This Photographic Craftsman degree is not merely a piece of paper. It means that Smith has met the standards of excellence set by PPA. He has been awarded the photographic craftsman degree in recognition of his service to the photographic profession as an orator, author and mentor.

Smith’s degree — and all the expertise it requires — illustrates his accomplishments and talent as one of a select few.

This is the second PPA Degree awarded to Mr. Smith. He earned the Master of Photography degree in 2017 for excellence in Print Competition and continuing education in photography. The PPA will now list Mr. Smith as a Master of Photography, Photographic Craftsman (M.Photog.Cr.)

 

Smith of Ivey Photography wins national and regional awards for excellence in competition.

In addition to the degrees awarded to Mr. Smith at the Nashville conference, he was recognized for outstanding achievement in the 2017 International Print Competition held in August of 2017 in Atlanta, GA. Mr. Smith was named Gold Medal Photographer of the Year in the Photographic Open category, and Silver Medal Photographer of the Year in the more difficult Artist category. There were only 70 photographers to earn the Gold Medal distinction and only 108 earned a Silver medal overall. Smith was one of only 21 entrants from the over 2000 professional photographers, to earn more than one medal distinction. His print “Urban Assault” featuring the Midlothian and surrounding area Special Response Teams earned the Sunset award at the 7 state district competition for its excellence in impact, storytelling and print quality.

 

About PPA

Professional Photographers of America (PPA) is the largest international nonprofit association created by professional photographers, for professional photographers. Almost as long – lived as photography itself, PPA’s roots date back to 1869. The nonprofit assists 30,000 members through protection, education and resources for their continued success. See how PPA helps photographers be more at PPA.com.

Contact: Chris Smith, M.Photog.Cr.

972-723-2464            csmith@iveystudio.com           www.iveystudio.com

 

 

 

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Santa Chuck Lee and Alex in The Storybook Santa Experience

We are SO excited to have Santa Chuck Lee as our featured Santa Claus in our Midlothian, TX studio.  He truly represents the essence of The Storybook Santa Experience.  Little Alex came in to visit Santa and learn all about his workshop, the magic bag, and learn about how Santa maps out his path for Christmas Eve.  During his one-hour, private visit with Santa Chuck, we watched them as they laughed and played, all while we made beautiful images for The Ramirez family.  These are just a few of our favorite images from their session.  Mrs Ramirez took home 2 wall portraits, a collection of Christmas cards, and a number of gift prints for her family.

The Storybook Santa Experience Midlothian Dallas Fort Worth Texas

What’s in My Magic Bag?

The Storybook Santa Experience Midlothian Dallas Fort Worth Texas

Look Closely for My Workshop

The Storybook Santa Experience Midlothian Dallas Fort Worth Texas

Have You Been a Good Boy?

The Storybook Santa Experience Midlothian Dallas Fort Worth Texas

Cheers!

The Storybook Santa Experience Midlothian Dallas Fort Worth Texas

Snow Blowers

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