Jordan Imhoff Photography

Vision + Craft

SENIOR PORTRAITS WITH SHARRY

Downtown

Last week I was lucky enough to shoot senior portraits of Sharry.  To say she is natural and easy going would be an understatement.  Meg and I had an absolute blast trekking around Downtown Crystal Lake, Il (softbox in tow!) capturing Sharry’s unique personality and natural beauty.


Toes In The Sand

After hitting a couple places downtown, we decided to head over to Crystal Lake (the actual lake for which the city is named) and shot a little on the beach area before the sun finished setting.  One of the reasons I love what I do is the freedom it presents.  While I don’t mind dressing up or wearing formal attire when the occasion calls for it (and it often does in photography!), I personally just love to be comfortable.  There are not that many jobs which allow you and your client to collaborate with your shoes off and toes in the sand!  Not a bad day at the office!


Before You Go

Before you go, I just wanted to says a few things about the tech side of these shots for those who are interested (but not too much, because I want you to stay awake!)

  • Focal length: I shot everything at one or two focal lengths.  50mm and 85mm.  However, take into account that I shot on a Canon with an APS-C crop sensor.  So…even though I shot with a 50mm and an 85mm, my focal length was more in the range of 80mm and 136mm.
  • Apature: For most shots I shot at an f/2.8 and went as closed as f/3.5 and as open as f/1.4)
  • Lightshapers and Flash:  For lighting I primarily used a 24x36 inch softbox with a manually controlled Vivitar 285 speedlite inside.  Additionally, I used a 5-1 reflector for light cutting and fill light.

That’s it! Look for more posts every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday!

- Jordan

Like what you see?  Follow me on Twitter and “like” the Facebook Page!  Also, be sure to check out jordanimhoff.com to keep up with all that is happening at Jordan Imhoff Photography!

PREP BEFORE YOU STEP
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Check Out, Check Two
I’m getting ready to head out and shoot some Family Portraits later today.  As with any shoot, before I walk out the door I take time to go through my gear, see what I have, what I might need, and pick the right tools for the job.  After that it’s battery checks, flash testing, and card formating.  Oh, and Meg helps me gather props! Here are two of the props we will have. We will also have a blanket and a rug to lay out, and of course bubbles!  With children it is so helpful to play/interact with them while you shoot.  No one, much less a child, really wants to sit still on a beautiful day (photos or not!).  Interaction is the name of the game.  If everyone is having fun then it will be reflected in the portraits.  Also, remember that the camera is in someways a mirror.  It will reflect the photographer.  If you are having fun, being loose, and joining in the fun, your photos will show it.  This is also why it is important to know your camera and your gear.  You want it to be second nature so that the “tech stuff” gets out of the way (but that is a whole other topic we will save for another day).  With kids, it’s best not to just try to tell the story, but rather be apart of it.  Look for the photo set coming soon.
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- Jordan
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Like what you see?  Follow me on Twitter and “like” the Facebook Page! Also, checkout jordanimhoff.com to keep up with all that is going on at Jordan Imhoff Photography.

PREP BEFORE YOU STEP

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Check Out, Check Two

I’m getting ready to head out and shoot some Family Portraits later today.  As with any shoot, before I walk out the door I take time to go through my gear, see what I have, what I might need, and pick the right tools for the job.  After that it’s battery checks, flash testing, and card formating.  Oh, and Meg helps me gather props! Here are two of the props we will have. We will also have a blanket and a rug to lay out, and of course bubbles!  With children it is so helpful to play/interact with them while you shoot.  No one, much less a child, really wants to sit still on a beautiful day (photos or not!).  Interaction is the name of the game.  If everyone is having fun then it will be reflected in the portraits.  Also, remember that the camera is in someways a mirror.  It will reflect the photographer.  If you are having fun, being loose, and joining in the fun, your photos will show it.  This is also why it is important to know your camera and your gear.  You want it to be second nature so that the “tech stuff” gets out of the way (but that is a whole other topic we will save for another day).  With kids, it’s best not to just try to tell the story, but rather be apart of it.  Look for the photo set coming soon.

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- Jordan

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Like what you see?  Follow me on Twitter and “like” the Facebook Page! Also, checkout jordanimhoff.com to keep up with all that is going on at Jordan Imhoff Photography.

Virginia Is For Lovers

This summer I was lucky to be apart of the wedding celebration of Dan + Jess in Virginia.  While spending time around Dan and Jess on their special day it was clear they are absolutely meant to be together.  It was a wonderful celebration chalk full of laughter, smiles, and love.  Thanks for letting us be apart!

To see the full post go here: http://bit.ly/SPf6Vl

- Jordan

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(Source: photography.jordanimhoff.com)

2 DAYS IN THE CHICAGO LOOP


In the City


This past weekend I did some videography in Chicago. I live in one of the Northwest Suburbs so working in the city happens on occasion.  Let me first say this, I love Chicago!  When it comes to big cities I think Chicago is pretty hard to beat.  One of the things that I (and most everyone I ask) love the most about the city is the simply feel and style of it.  The architecture is beautiful, Millennium Park is fantastic to take a walk through (the bean!), and the food is drool inducing.

I Took A Walk

After filming I did one of my favorite things, I took a walk.  Sometimes it’s great to give yourself some limitations to work within, so I decide to limit my photography gear to just my 50mm lens and my iphone.  Orson Welles has a great quote that goes like this, “the absence of limitations is the enemy of art.”  Simply, limitations force you to be creative.

Something Different

For the most part I am a people photographer.  I like shooting portraits, wedding, headshots, themed concepts, etc…So, shooting some architecture and using a more abstract style wash refreshing.  The limitations of equipment and gear helped me to use and develop styles of shooting I do not usually have to tap into.  In the long run, shooting and studying styles that are different than what you naturally lean towards improves and influences your overall style.  For example,  when you can shoot both portraits and landscapes the options for strong environmental portraits become vast and intuitive.  The more I learn to shoot, the more I learn to see the world as visual language.

- Jordan

Be sure to follow me on Twitter and “like” the Facebook Page! Also, stop by jordanimhoff.com to keep up with all that is going on at Jordan Imhoff Photography.

This Thing Or That?

Read This

This morning I was reading at a coffee shop. The book was Joe McNally’s brilliant exposé on flash lighting techniques, Sketching Light.  Having read two of his other books, The Moment It Clicks and The Hot Shoe Diaries, I would have to say this is Joe’s masterpiece thus far.  It is an expansive wealth of knowledge when it comes to both large and small flash techniques.  On top of that, it is incredibly refreshing to read a book on something so technical, yet written in is such an accessible tone.  Through his books (as well as his online presence at www.joemcnally.com/blog/) Joe McNally is seemingly one of the most down to earth, practical photogs I have ever seeked to glean knowledge from.  One day I hope to pass on knowledge, wisdom, and technique in the same manner as he does.  To say my vocabulary and understanding of the mechanics of visual language has grow since picking up one of his books two years ago would be an understatement.

We are not the thing.  The story is the thing.  The viewer is the thing.  We are just the vessel, a conduit.

Why we do this

Today this group of four short sentences really got me thinking. Why do we do this?  Not even limiting that question to photographers, but even applying it to humanity in general.  Why do we do most of anything?  If you really examine it, I think the reason we do most things is for the sake of story.  To be able to pass on a piece of our story to someone else.  To create something in our lives that makes other wish to be apart of our story.  To experience a life that leaves an impact on the stories we share with those we love.  This is why Photography has won me.  This is why out of all the different mediums of art, I am most compelled to make photographs. As a photographer I seek to accomplish this in a simple rectangular frame. As Joe McNally puts it, “We live to tell stories, to experience, and then to communicate that experience.”

- Jordan

Be sure to follow me on Twitter and “like” the Facebook Page! Also checkout jordanimhoff.com to stay up to day with all that is going on with Jordan Imhoff photography.

P.S. - Watch This

If you have some time, checkout Joe McNally’s youtube channel.  Short chunks of good stuff.

SEAMLESS

What you don’t have…

…is something we tend to get caught up on.   At least I know I do.  The latest camera, newest lenses, best lighting gear, fastest editing suites…the list is endless.  I don’t know about you, but I am a photographer who is very much affected by a little pestering word called, budget.  At times of dispare and frustration I like to pull this little word out of my pocket, put it on the table, and proceed to blame all my problems and short coming on it (and while it’s fun and easy to do, it is by no means helpful or effective).  It goes a little something like this, “If only I had a larger budget to work with, then I would be able to get that shot the way I really wanted!”  Or, “If my budget only allowed for me to buy this newer camera I could kiss all my low-light problems goodbye!”


Reality check

 After spending a few mintes at this little pity party I usually have a moment of clarity.  A little reality check.  I remember that while I do have an overactive imagination, I do in fact live in the real world.  Reality is the hand we are all dealt.  Luckily, reality can be what we make of it (or so I believe).  With that in mind, I put “the budget” back in my pocket and begin to re-imagine what it is I wish to accomplish with the resources I have.  Now, I think this attitude was shaped in me during my days at film school, where creative problem solving is the name of the game.  As I have delved deeper and deeper into the world of photography I have found this to be just as true of a statement.

Creating something seamless

Something I have been wanting to purchase lately is a studio space with a nice seamless backdrop system.  I have become more and more interested in experimenting with dynamic controlled lighting, and would love to have some black or white backdrops to shoot against.  Since that is currently not an option (no where to put it!).  I have been using different methods to achieve the desired effect.  For white I have been taking the diffusion portion of my 5-1 reflector and placing it behind my subject.  This also creates a nice luminous glow for portraits or headshots.  Getting the look of a black seamless is pretty easy as well, you simple shoot outside in the dark!  While I know these techniques are limited, they have non-the-less been effective, and I’m sure I am just scratching the surface of creative ways people develop and use backdrops.  You’ve gotta love the way limitations forces creativity!

(Above) - Here are three shots I have taken that mimic a white or black seamless, each taken with a different style of light.  The top used a beauty dish, the middle used natural window light, and the bottom used a soft back and bare strobe.

- Jordan

Be sure to follow me on Twitter and “like” the Facebook Page! Also checkout jordanimhoff.com to stay up to day with all that is going on with Jordan Imhoff photography.

Captivated By Wonderment
While editing a recent wedding I came across this photo.  It reminded me of what is was like to see things from the perspective of child.  Everything is bigger, grander, and more exciting when we stop worrying about “life”.  I’m not saying shirk responsibility, but I do think I would definitely benefit from being a little less self-aware.  When I was a kid I definitely found it easier to “just be” and enjoy the world around me.  I find this to be especially true as it relates to art.  It is much easier, and way more enjoyable, to create strong photographs that tell a story when I am content.  This allows me to put focus on who I am photographing and see the environment  I am working on from a fresh perspective. I think Pablo Picasso got it right when he said, ”Every child is an artist.  The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.”    
- Jordan
Be sure to follow me on Twitter and “like” the Facebook Page! Also checkout jordanimhoff.com to stay up to date on all that is going on with Jordan Imhoff Photography.

Captivated By Wonderment

While editing a recent wedding I came across this photo.  It reminded me of what is was like to see things from the perspective of child.  Everything is bigger, grander, and more exciting when we stop worrying about “life”.  I’m not saying shirk responsibility, but I do think I would definitely benefit from being a little less self-aware.  When I was a kid I definitely found it easier to “just be” and enjoy the world around me.  I find this to be especially true as it relates to art.  It is much easier, and way more enjoyable, to create strong photographs that tell a story when I am content.  This allows me to put focus on who I am photographing and see the environment  I am working on from a fresh perspective. I think Pablo Picasso got it right when he said, ”Every child is an artist.  The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.”    

- Jordan

Be sure to follow me on Twitter and “like” the Facebook Page! Also checkout jordanimhoff.com to stay up to date on all that is going on with Jordan Imhoff Photography.

BOXING LIGHT
Finally…
….after much procrastination I bought a softbox for my speedlites.  While I’ve always seen the potential benefits of owning a softbox, I continually put it off saying I would “get by with what I had.”  Now, this is not necessarily a bad attitude to have concerning gear, until it is.  There are plenty of things I wish I could add to my bag of tricks that are simply not, 1.) affordable and 2.) practical.  These are the two factor I consider when making a purchase.  Would I like to own a sweet Canon 50mm f/1.2?  Of course!  But see that they cost $1,400 I will have to stay with the Canon 50mm f/1.8 ($100) or Canon 50mmf/1.4 ($350).  Simple put, every item I add to my camera bag is a tool, bottom-line.  Until my work demands that a certain tool is regularly necessary (and provides the overhead!) I will consider those tools a want, not a need.  There are great sites to rent from like borrowlenses.com that offer great rates of cool toys for your photographic pleasure.  I suggest you check ‘em out!

Style and Contrast
Ok, back to softboxes. I needed one, haha.  My work mainly consists of portraiture and event photography.  I like to shoot people.  For a while I got by with using other methods for achieving my desired result for good portraiture.  I used the lobbies of buildings that had giant windows, I would spontaneously ask to shoot when a nice overcast day appeared, I even created a “softbox” by combining a few silver handheld reflectors with a white shoot-through umbrella.  While these where great exercises in creative problem solving, one of the marks of being a professional is being able to create the desired result every time, no exceptions, no excuses.  In this case the result I desired what the look and style a softbox affords me to create. It’s matter of preferred style.  Some people like harsh strobe light, others the wide diffused scatter of an umbrella, and some the style and pop of a beauty dish (which I am becoming more and more a fan of).  For me, I tend to like my light big, diffused, and lots of it.  With that being said.  The softbox currently fits my needs more than other types of light shapers.  While I look forward to finding more reasons to love other light shapers, I am happy to welcome the softbox into my family of gear.

- Jordan
Be sure to follow us on Twitter and “like” our Facebook Page! Also, check out jordanimhoff.com to stay up to date on all that is going on with Jordan Imhoff Photography!

BOXING LIGHT

Finally…

….after much procrastination I bought a softbox for my speedlites.  While I’ve always seen the potential benefits of owning a softbox, I continually put it off saying I would “get by with what I had.”  Now, this is not necessarily a bad attitude to have concerning gear, until it is.  There are plenty of things I wish I could add to my bag of tricks that are simply not, 1.) affordable and 2.) practical.  These are the two factor I consider when making a purchase.  Would I like to own a sweet Canon 50mm f/1.2?  Of course!  But see that they cost $1,400 I will have to stay with the Canon 50mm f/1.8 ($100) or Canon 50mmf/1.4 ($350).  Simple put, every item I add to my camera bag is a tool, bottom-line.  Until my work demands that a certain tool is regularly necessary (and provides the overhead!) I will consider those tools a want, not a need.  There are great sites to rent from like borrowlenses.com that offer great rates of cool toys for your photographic pleasure.  I suggest you check ‘em out!

Style and Contrast

Ok, back to softboxes. I needed one, haha.  My work mainly consists of portraiture and event photography.  I like to shoot people.  For a while I got by with using other methods for achieving my desired result for good portraiture.  I used the lobbies of buildings that had giant windows, I would spontaneously ask to shoot when a nice overcast day appeared, I even created a “softbox” by combining a few silver handheld reflectors with a white shoot-through umbrella.  While these where great exercises in creative problem solving, one of the marks of being a professional is being able to create the desired result every time, no exceptions, no excuses.  In this case the result I desired what the look and style a softbox affords me to create. It’s matter of preferred style.  Some people like harsh strobe light, others the wide diffused scatter of an umbrella, and some the style and pop of a beauty dish (which I am becoming more and more a fan of).  For me, I tend to like my light big, diffused, and lots of it.  With that being said.  The softbox currently fits my needs more than other types of light shapers.  While I look forward to finding more reasons to love other light shapers, I am happy to welcome the softbox into my family of gear.


- Jordan

Be sure to follow us on Twitter and “like” our Facebook Page! Also, check out jordanimhoff.com to stay up to date on all that is going on with Jordan Imhoff Photography!

                                                   ABIGAIL’S BABY SHOWER

Being a photographer certainly has it’s perks.  And one of those many perks is always being there to capture your own personal memories.  While it is an honor and a joy to capture memories for others (it’s one of the main reasons I am in this business), it is always refreshing to shoot events of personal significance.

Once in a Life Time

As the Earth continues spin at it’s perfect 23.5 degrees, time passes, and once in a life time moments come and go.  Recently I got to celebrate the coming of one the most significant events that will occur in my life, the birth of my daughter Abigail.  It is in the midst of these once in a life time events that I feel incredibly blessed to be a photographer.  Just the thought of one day being able to sit with my little girl on my lap and flip through these photographs, with her pointing and smiling big, is overwhelming!

Sharing

Another great perk of being a photographer is sharing in the experience of what you are photographing.  This is true x 10 when shooting something close to your heart.  The pressure of “getting the shot” is lessened and the importance of “being in the moment” is heightened.  It is during these times that I gain a corrected perspective of why I do what I do.  It’s to preserve the moment, yes, but it is even more so to tell the story of that special day.  If I find myself too focused on the technical and miss the feel or ambiance of the day, then I would be missing what makes that day worth capturing.  These personal experiences help to remind me of why photography feels like magic at time, which is important because I love magic!

The End

All in all, I think one of my favorite Beatles songs sums up the sentiments I’ve stated perfectly (leave it the greatest band of all time to express what I feel in just a few words).  In their song “The End” Paul sings the lyrics, “and in the end the love you take is equal to the love you make”.  So, I think that in the end, it is the experiences we share with one another that makes an event special and worth preserving through photography.

- Jordan

Be sure to follow us on Twitter and “like” our Facebook page!  Also, checkoutjordanimhoff.com to stay up to date on all that is going on with Jordan Imhoff Photography!

ALL THE GOOD TIMES

This past week one of my best friends came into town for a visit.  It was the first time in year that we had been in the same city, much less the same room, so this was going to be an (excuse the over used hype word) epic reunion.  There are certain friends you make in life that just stick no matter what, you know?  You share the same humor, play off of each other well, you can go a year with out see them and things pick up right where they left off.  It’s a beautiful thing. And isn’t it what life should really be about?  Isn’t Building connections, forming friendships, and strengthening relationships one the essentials of our humanity? I think C.S. Lewis said it well, “Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art… It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things that give value to survival.”

- Jordan

Be sure to follow us on Twitter and “like” our Facebook page!  Also, checkout Jordanimhoff.com