Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Snowpocalypse Now

In the month of February we've had over 3 feet of snow. Despite continuously digging our way out of our house, we have been relishing in all of the fun activities we can do in the snow, primarily snowboarding. We have lovingly been calling each storm, "Snowpocalypse," because of the fear induced by the media. I'm not sure who coined the term, but I think it's fantastic.

This past weekend we grew tired of fighting the crowds at our local ski resort and decided to have a backyard snowboard session. I thought this would be a good opportunity to try out a new camera. My friend Aaron, whom I've known since I was a child happens to have a mini ramp in his backyard. Back in the fall we painted a giant American flag on half of this mini ramp so we thought this would be a fun backdrop for snowboarding in the country. (Aaron lives next to a farm)

Aaron, Brian (another old friend) and I took our snowboards, shovels, a case of Pabst, my new camera and a couple portable strobes into the heart of the Snowpocalypse. We played all day while friends, lovers, and siblings stopped by to hang out for a while. That's right, three grown men playing in the snow on a Saturday afternoon.

I took my camera along with that same playful intention in mind. As a professional photographer it's sometimes hard to just let myself play with no final composition or end use in mind. We set up a number of different scenarios with Aaron sliding across the top of his ramp. I played with different lighting and various compositions throughout the afternoon in between snowboarding and beer drinking.

I can't emphasize enough the importance of allowing yourself to just play. It frees your creativity and keeps you inspired to shoot more. Playing contributes to a happier you and a happier you gives you energy and motivation. That's why we play work.

Here are a few images from last Saturday. I carried that same playfulness into the retouching of these images. I did things in photoshop that I normally wouldn't do and things I've never done before. And that is essentially the idea behind play . . . create something you've never done before. Children create all the time so why can't grown men do it? I don't know that any of these images are particularly spectacular, but they are new to me. They are unlike anything I've ever done and that gives me motivation to continue exploring ways to play as a photographer. The possibilities for photography are endless as long as you keep playing.

How do you play?

Friday, February 19, 2010

Chace + Smith Photography Announces New Wedding and Portrait Website!

Our new wedding and custom portrait website is now live!  Treat Yourself at www.csphotographs.com and browse Chace + Smith Photography's latest work.

Chace + Smith Photography and Ryan Smith Photography are now live as two unique sites.  Our wedding and custom portrait photography is now represented by the Chace + Smith Photography brand, while our commercial and editorial work now falls within the Ryan Smith Photography brand.  We are excited about this distinction as we feel it will allow us to define our work more fluidly to our clients, be they ad agencies or brides-to-be.

Each site (hosted by LiveBooks) has its own individual style and design.  The Chace + Smith Photography site highlights our work as a husband and wife team capturing the magic of life's greatest moments.  Likewise, the Ryan Smith Photography site allows Ryan's work as a talented photographer to shine through to commercial, advertising, and editorial clients.

We hope you enjoy browsing through our new and improved websites!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Inspiration From One of the Best

Nadav Kander has been a photographer that I have admired for some time. He may be known best for his portrait work, but this project titled "Yangtze, The Long River" is absolutely stunning. Kander traveled from the mouth of the Yangtze 4100 miles to its source . . . a journey of epic proportions.

Both beautiful and haunting, these images compel me to search for more. This work inspires me in a way that few other photographer's projects have. These photographs are both contemplative and in your face, lonely and oppressive, critical and objective.

The scale of these landscapes is daunting. The geographic transformation of China and this mighty river are hard to believe in words, but Kander's photographs show the real transformation. What we are looking at here is a country in turmoil with itself. It's a country trying to learn how to grow without imploding. In Kander's photos we get a glimpse into this world and how this turmoil is affecting millions of people that have been displaced during the transformation of the Yangtze.

I urge you to take 10 minutes to watch this slideshow with commentary by Mr. Kander. I hope it will inspire you as it has me.