Open House!

This weekend is National Open House weekend sponsored by the National Association of Realtors so if you’re in the market for a new home. thinking about it or just want to see the place around the corner that went up for sale, this weekend might be the time to do it.  Client and realtor Lyle Sorenson who is now with the Windermere Real Estate in Bellingham stopped by the studio yesterday and told me that there will be more than 200 houses open for view this weekend. That’s a lot of home viewing!

Lyle's a real estate professional with Windermere here in Bellingham.  He came in recently for an update for his business portrait.  We kept this one casual with an outdoor setting.
Lyle’s a real estate professional with Windermere here in Bellingham. He came in recently for an update for his business portrait. We kept this one casual with an outdoor setting.

If you’re home shopping, get in touch with Lyle.  He just told me yesterday about some new condo properties with fantastic 180-degree views in Blaine.  Might be just the thing if you’re in the market for a waterfront property!  You can check it out here on these on-line fliers from Lyle’s Facebook page: http://on.fb.me/1060QaB.

Lyle came in to pick up the finished images of his updated business portrait.  We did both a studio portrait and a more casual, outdoor portrait for him to give him flexibility. I advise all my business portrait clients to do that so they will have different images for different uses.  It also saves the client a lot of time and money in not having to reschedule a second appointment when they need a new image.

A studio portrait creates a different look.. It helps establish your professional image for your business' promotional purposes.
A studio portrait creates a different look.. It helps establish your professional image for your business’ promotional purposes.

It’s also a good idea to keep your business head shot current and refresh it with a new one at least every two years, if not more often. There’s nothing worse  than having a stale, outdated business portrait on your website or promotional materials.  On second thought, the only thing worse would be using an amateur snapshot to represent your professional image.

Business portraits are a specialty of my studio.  I love working with other professionals to help them achieve their business goals with a good, professional image.  Click here http://bit.ly/11r6zea  to go to my website and see what I have done for other Bellingham business professionals and can do for you!

Happy Birthday, Champ!

Richard Knight is a real champion! Last July, at age 79, he won 6 gold medals in the Senior Olympics swimming events in Tacoma, WA. and he broke five records. That in itself is quite a feat, let alone doing it at 79. For a gold medalist, Richard is a pretty humble guy.  I had the honor of making his portrait a few days after his incredible performance in the pool.

Senior Olympian Richard Knight won six gold medals and set five records in swimming at age 79.

Senior Olympian Richard Knight won six gold medals and set five records in swimming at age 79.

Richard turned 80 on April 6th. He’s now training for this year’s upcoming Senior Olympics. I hope I’ll get to see him swim. He’s the kind of guy who inspires us all to strive to do our record-setting best.

Congratulations, Richard and Happy Birthday!

To read more about this remarkable man and his accomplishment, click here to go to my blog post:  A Knight in Shining Armor  https://cherylcrooksphotography.wordpress.com/2012/08/01/a-knight-in-shining-armor/

Wwhhat, A Dog

My conversation with my brother nearly 15 years ago sounded like a routine by Abbott and Costello.

“I got a dog,” he says. “It’s a beagle.”

“What is its name?” I ask.

“That’s right,” he says.

“What?” I say.

‘Yes, Wwhhat,” he says.

“Wwhhat’s the dog’s name?” I ask.

“That’s right, Wwhhat.” he says.

“Wait a minute, the name of your dog is Wwhhat?” I say.

“Yes, the dog is Wwhhat,” he says.

After 15 years of companionship, my brother had to say goodby Wwhhat. She had lived a long life but developed several health problems in recent years that caused her some pain in her back legs. She still wagged her tail, however, whenever I showed up on a visit to my father’s house, where she now stayed. She was deaf, but I think it was more like selective hearing because whenever I said to her, “Let’s go inside, ” she came right to the door of the house.

What sleeps peacefully in front of the television. When she was younger, she'd keep me awake at night when baying at anything and everything that moved in the dark.
What sleeps peacefully in front of the television. When she was younger, she’d keep me awake at night when baying at anything and everything that moved in the dark.

Wwhhat and I didn’t exactly get off to a great start. When I first met her, she was a young dog, living with my brother.  She slept outdoors at night.  I slept in the guest room, or rather tried to sleep but couldn’t because she was right outside my window baying at anything that moved in the dark.  The next day, she slept peacefully while I stumbled through the day. In time, however, we became good friends and when she eventually came to live with my father a few years ago, I came to think of her as my dog in Kansas, especially after my own dog died. She kept me company during my visits, staying up with me long after my parents had retired, going on short walks when she was still able, lying nearby whenever I was out working in their garden.

I tearfully gave her head one last scratch and watched broken-heartedly as my brother bravely carried her out to the car, her legs dangling because to carry her any other way would have hurt her back. I’d never see her again. I’m sure my feeling of loss was small in comparison to that of my brother’s.

May was my 'studio assistant' and companion for 12 years.  She was the only other 'girl' in our family.
May was my ‘studio assistant’ and companion for 12 years. She was the only other ‘girl’ in our family.

Our pets are more than just companions; they’re members of our family.  My own dog, May, was always included in my own family group portraits; she stayed with me in the studio and accompanied me nearly everywhere. Now I have all those memories and visual records of her.  That’s one reason I always encourage my studio clients to include the family pet it in their own portrait session. Most do.

Some of my clients schedule portrait sessions of the pet themselves as did, Barbara, t0 surprise her husband for Christmas. Tabetha, a sweet, short-haired terrier, came to the studio with Barbara last December. She was a natural in front of the camera.

Tabetha's portrait was a surprise Christmas gift for her master.  Now it's a cherished memory.
Tabetha’s portrait was a surprise Christmas gift for her master. Now it’s a cherished memory.

Her bright little eyes lit up and she cocked her head as Barbara and I talked to her from behind my camera. I grabbed the shot. We did a few more of Tabetha with  Barbara and her daughter, Sarah. Her husband loved them all, Barbara said.

Last month, Barbara contacted me to let me know that Tabetha had died. She thanked me for portraits I had done of her and said:  “I look at her every day, and of course miss her  so terribly much…Thanks again for preserving her in memory.”

It’s words and portraits like these that gives me a warm feeling in my work as a professional photographer. Like Barbara, I too cherish the pictures I have of my dog, May and those of  my brother’s dog, Wwhhat.  As the great photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson once wrote:   ‘We photographers deal in things that are continually vanishing, and when they have vanished, there is no contrivance on earth that can make them come back again…”

Tabetha with Barbara and her daughter, Sarah in their portrait together.
Tabetha with Barbara and her daughter, Sarah, in their portrait together.

To read more about What see my brother’s blog post:  http://bit.ly/Z0JXSM.

And click on this link to check out more of my portraits of families with their dogs on my blog’s Portfolio page:  https://cherylcrooksphotography.wordpress.com/portfolio/

Out of Nothing Comes A New Film

I was invited recently to an investor preview of a new documentary being produced right here in Bellingham. One of the executive producers of the film was a senior portrait client of mine, Logan Barnett. Maybe you recognize him from his senior portrait, below, featured on website.

Logan chose a favorite spot for his senior portrait.  Now, it's one of my favorite spots too!
Logan chose a favorite spot for his senior portrait. Now, it’s one of my favorite spots too!

Logan is a cool guy. As a senior, he already had a knack for the dramatic. The spot we chose for his senior picture was a  waterside location not far from his home where he often liked to go. I loved the place for its mood and range of color. The canvas print hangs in my studio too, as well as his parents home. Another cool thing about Logan, he brought his cat for some of the session. The Siamese wasn’t thrilled about sitting still for the portrait but we managed to pull off a few and ended up with a terrific image.

His cat wasn't excited about posing for the portrait, even though Logan held it securely in his arms.
His cat wasn’t excited about posing for the portrait, even though Logan held it securely in his arms.

While I couldn’t attend the preview, I received a very handsome brochure about the movie, detailing its background, budget and investment needs. ( Among those listed on the film’s team is comedian and producer Ryan Stiles.) From the description, it  sounds like a very intriguing documentary.

“Out of Nothing is a story of human perseverance, character and the pursuit of extraordinary achievement,” the brochure reads.

Out of Nothing tells the inspirational true story of four tenacious men who risk everything to conquer the world records of land speed racing. Meant for anyone who has ever had a dream, Out of Nothing is a close-up on personal character; character built not by a singular moment of success, but by the experiences that herald success.”

The feature-length documentary was filmed in high-definition video at the Bonneville Salt flats where the  brothers, Carl and Mark, set a new speed record for motorcycles.  What a backdrop for this inspirational story.

Even when a senior in high school, Logan had an artistic and confident air about him that came through in his senior portrait.
Even when a senior in high school, Logan had an artistic and confident air about him that came through in his senior portrait.

The production company has already logged in more than 90 hours of footage and are now moving into the post-production stage. They could use more investors to help them finish it up.

 

 

 

 

For more information about the film, contact Logan by e-mailing him at: OutofNothing@P51Pictures.com.