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.
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.
Washing your car
Playing Hide & Seek
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
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
MIDLOTHIAN, TX Photographer Earns Craftsman Degree and Awards
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.
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 email@example.com www.iveystudio.com
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.