Jim Walker Photography: Blog http://www.jimwalkerphotography.com/blog en-us (C) Jim Walker Photography walkerj@megalink.net (Jim Walker Photography) Sun, 20 Aug 2017 17:34:00 GMT Sun, 20 Aug 2017 17:34:00 GMT http://www.jimwalkerphotography.com/img/s/v-5/u300448431-o54458769-50.jpg Jim Walker Photography: Blog http://www.jimwalkerphotography.com/blog 92 120 Senior Photos, It's Not Too Late! http://www.jimwalkerphotography.com/blog/2017/8/senior-photos-its-not-too-late HannahHannahHannah

I received a phone call from an anxious mother last weekend. Seems the photographer her daughter had contracted with had cancelled at the last minute. What a dilemma! At this time of season, most photographers have been booked for awhile and have little time to squeeze someone in. A mutual friend suggested she give me a call to see what I could do for her. It just so happened that I did have one time slot I could put her in, but only on a Wednesday afternoon. We discussed pricing and she booked me for her daughters photo shoot. Normally, I like to discuss clothing and locations, and what the daughter had in mind, as well as her likes and dislikes. There wasn't time for these niceties, so the time was scheduled.

HannahHannahHannah We met at my studio, so we could discuss how the shoot would proceed and what Hannah wanted, and expected. She is a beautiful young lady with a great attitude and, I believe, a good choice in clothing. Hannah was a natural in front of the camera and took instructions very well. Her long-time boy friend, Anthony, was with her, as well as her mother, Alicia. We drove the short distance to Simard-Payne Park in Lewiston. This is usually a great place for Senior Photos with a lot of different plantings and a variety of trees, as well as views of the Androscoggin River. At this time there were a lot of workers preparing for the next weekends 25th Great Falls Balloon Festival. The park is spacious enough that we found a variety of interesting backdrops for her photos.

Halfway through the shoot it was time to change outfits. One of the pitfalls of Simard-Payne park is its lack of facilities. But, Hannah, being young and limber managed to do a quick change in the back of her mothers car. The dress she chose for this portion of the session was black and white, with a skirt that flowed in the breeze.

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I love doing Senior Photos with these young people that are so vibrant and full of life. There are several great areas around Lewiston and Auburn, so everyone's photos can look different and be as individual as they are.

What are your likes and dislikes? Is the deadline rapidly approaching for your Senior Photo? Contact me to schedule a session for your photo shoot. We can have great fun making magic happen and providing you with photos that will be treasured for a lifetime.

Be sure to stop by my web site and take a look at my work. I know it is hard to think about it, but Fall will be here soon. The perfect time to take those family photos and get you Christmas Cards ordered.

www.jimwalkerphotography.com

 

 

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walkerj@megalink.net (Jim Walker Photography) #jimwalkerphotography #photoshoot hannah lewiston maine photography photos professional roddy seniors http://www.jimwalkerphotography.com/blog/2017/8/senior-photos-its-not-too-late Sun, 20 Aug 2017 17:34:10 GMT
PPANE AND MPPA http://www.jimwalkerphotography.com/blog/2017/7/ppane-and-mppa

 

LEWISTON, ME – Award winning Photographer, Jim Walker, was recently appointed to the Board of Directors for the Professional Photographers Association of New England (PPANE). I will be representing the Maine Professional Photographers Association (MPPA), and am also currently serving on their Board of Directors as the Director of Communications.

I have been a Professional Photographer for 15 years, and own a Portrait Studio at 145 Lisbon Street, Suite 604, in Lewiston. I provide professional services in Portraiture, for personal, professional, modeling and actors; Headshots for business and social media; small Destination Weddings and Elopements; and Senior Photos; as well as event photography.

I can be reached by e-mail at walkerj@megalink.net or through my website at www.jimwalkerphotography.com

 

It is with a great amount of satisfaction that I can serve the Professional Photographers Community on both the Maine and New England Board of Directors. It also provides me with a great opportunity to learn from other Professionals in my field. Work has begun on organizing the Trade Show that will take place on March 18, 2018 at the Clarion Hotel in Portland, Maine. I encourage all Amateur and Professional Photographers to take advantage of the Trade Show and bring your questions to the many Vendors, and check out the new equipment that will be on display. I will post a detailed description of the Trade Show and the Vendors that will be represented as we get closer to the big day. For the last two years the Trade Shows have had a great reception, and this one should be bigger and better than ever.

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walkerj@megalink.net (Jim Walker Photography) #jimwalkerphotography board director lewiston maine mppa photographers photography photos ppane professional studio wedding http://www.jimwalkerphotography.com/blog/2017/7/ppane-and-mppa Fri, 28 Jul 2017 19:13:38 GMT
Lillian and Brandon - and Wedding Season Begins http://www.jimwalkerphotography.com/blog/2017/7/lillian-and-brandon---and-wedding-season-begins Wedding Season began for my studio on 15 May 2017. I had been contracted several months ago to photograph a small wedding on Chebeague Island, Maine. I knew it would be a test of my shoulder after I had been given the ok by physical therapy only a couple of weeks ago. The surgeon did a bang up job and the shoulder presented no problems.

The wedding party met in the Ferry parking lot in Cumberland. The Chebeague Island Ferry has a shuttle bus that runs a couple of times a day. I noticed the parking lot is actually owned by the city of Cumberland, and the parking fee for one day, $16.00, is very high. The same price as a round trip ticket to the Island. This was the be Gaylord/Lee WeddingGaylord/Lee WeddingGaylord/Lee Wedding at Chebeague Island Inn ginning of the season and the Ferry has an expanded schedule during the summer.

The day began a little overcast with the threat of rain. I had faith the rain gods would smile on me and let the wedding go on as planned. We arrived at the dock on Chebeague Island, and it was a short drive by the Inns van. The Yellow Chebeague Island Inn was a warm and welcoming sight with the back deck looking out to sea.

The staff at the Inn were very friendly and accommodating. The Groom, and most of the wedding party, had taken the same ferry to the island. The Bride, however, had already arrived and was sequestered with her Maid of Honor and one of the Groomsmen, getting dressed and ready for the ceremony.

There was to be a cocktail hour prior to the ceremony, at which time the Bride, Lillian, announced that the wedding would take place at 4:30 and that it would definitely take place outside.

Gaylord/Lee WeddingGaylord/Lee WeddingGaylord/Lee Wedding at Chebeague Island Inn Gaylord/Lee WeddingGaylord/Lee WeddingGaylord/Lee Wedding at Chebeague Island Inn

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The wind was picking up and the skies were getting darker as we came closer and closer to the ceremony. Shortly after 4:30, Brandon and his Groomsmen were ready and waiting. The Bridesmaids, and Lillian came down the aisle from the Inn. The air turned a little chilly, but the rain held off, and the ceremony was meaningful and beautiful. As soon as it was completed and congratulations were exchanged by the friends and relatives, the party moved inside. Then the rain came, not a great deal, but just enough to let us know it had held off as long as it was going to.

Gaylord/Lee WeddingGaylord/Lee WeddingGaylord/Lee Wedding at Chebeague Island Inn Photos were taken and everyone socialized while the bride changed into something a little more comfortable. We were waiting for the 6:00 ferry that would take us back to the mainland. All in all, it was a nice wedding in a pleasant venue. After the ceremony, I learned it was only the second day the inn had been open for the season. The staff did a great job, thank you. What a great way to start out wedding season.

 

 

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walkerj@megalink.net (Jim Walker Photography) #jimwalkerphotography #photoshoot Bride Groom Island MPPA Maine Photos Wedding ceremony photography http://www.jimwalkerphotography.com/blog/2017/7/lillian-and-brandon---and-wedding-season-begins Sun, 09 Jul 2017 03:56:05 GMT
Corporate Events and Group Photos http://www.jimwalkerphotography.com/blog/2017/5/corporate-events-and-group-photos I was recently contacted by Global Manufacturing to do a group shoot for the companies 130th anniversary. While Global has been around for quite some time, they bought Falcon Footwear a few years ago, and it is now Global Footwear. The Auburn facility manufactures Boots for Fire Fighters. They had initially wanted the photo done outside, but had a contingency plan in case of inclement weather. Of course, being in Maine, we had to fall back on the contingency plan, which ended up being a great location.

Gayle, the HR person at Global, gathered about 52 employees and 3 company executives in front of an old Auburn Fire Engine, making a perfect back drop for the company photo. What a great group of people, very enthusiastic about their company and what they produce. Their spirit was catching. On of the employees set up a lift for me to gain height to make sure everyone was in the photo, and visible. Sure beat climbing up and down a ladder.

I used two Studio Lights to light up the group, and only wished my light stands would have gone higher. A boom would have worked good to direct the light down and reduce shadows, but I was happy with the results. Everyone was smiling and almost everyone was looking at the camera. That is where a good retouch service comes into play. I sent retouch.com two photos to use. One as the base photo, and one as a reference they could pull from. The base photo had everything good, except for two people that were hidden, or looking away. Retouch.com used the reference photo to pull those pieces and replace them on the base photo. When you look at the completed photo, above, you will never see that anything was done to fix it. I always try to leave enough space around the group so the photo can be cropped, depending on what size print is ordered.

After the group shot, we used the Fire Truck to pose the Company Executives with their fun outfits. Great sports, with infectious smiles and laughter to brighten any photo shoot. What a pleasure it was to work with the Company and its employees and representatives. I love doing corporate work and hope to schedule more in the future.

 

 

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walkerj@megalink.net (Jim Walker Photography) #jimwalkerphotography #photoshoot Auburn Footwear Global Maine Manufacturing Photographers Photos Professional photography http://www.jimwalkerphotography.com/blog/2017/5/corporate-events-and-group-photos Tue, 02 May 2017 19:00:38 GMT
Studio Photography http://www.jimwalkerphotography.com/blog/2017/4/studio-photography In July my Portrait Studio will have been open for 4 years. It is a source of great satisfaction that I have a place to practice my craft, and photograph my clients in a controlled environment. When my Studio Partner came to me with the idea, it did not take me long to agree with her to open the Studio and share the expenses. Our businesses are separate, but we share the Studio space. We found a reasonably priced space in the Professional Building on Lisbon Street in Lewiston, Maine. A small reception area and one room we could use for our camera work. The only drawback is being on the 6th floor, but there is an elevator (that works most of the time). We don't see any walk by customers, but our work is done by appointment only, anyway. Besides, how much Studio work is gained from folks walking on the street? I would say, not much.

We started with just 2 studio lights and a reflector. I now have 2 lights from Paul C Buff, and Brenda has 4 lights. We have acquired many backdrops and props, as well as reflectors and light modifiers. As you can guess, we quickly outgrew the single Studio room. When the office next to ours became vacant, we rented it. Now we had a room dedicated to props and equipment. It was not long before another office was vacated, and we added it to the studio. We now have two fully functioning Portrait Studios to use for our clients.

It is a real pleasure to have a client in the studio and be able to capture the look and feel of what they have in mind. Some clients will consult with me on their clothing and makeup, along with the backdrop that gives them just what they have in mind. The studio also lets the creative juices flow when photographing models or actors for their portfolio.

While I do photograph small weddings and elopements on the Coast of Maine and some of the adjacent Islands, my main focus is on my portraiture work with individuals and families. I am also very enthusiastic about photographing company events, group photos and headshots for Business use.

I invite you to contact me if you need a Photographer in, and around, Maine.

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walkerj@megalink.net (Jim Walker Photography) #jimwalkerphotography #photoshoot Island Jim Lewiston MPPA Maine Photographers Photos Professional Studio Walker Wedding photography http://www.jimwalkerphotography.com/blog/2017/4/studio-photography Thu, 20 Apr 2017 17:00:21 GMT
The Year Begins in Earnest http://www.jimwalkerphotography.com/blog/2017/3/the-year-begins-in-earnest

The MPPA Convention and Trade Show was last weekend. The only thing remaining is the Thank You e-mails to Vendors, informing the Raffle Winners of their good fortune, and the wrap up Board Meeting and subsequent Newsletter. It was a lot of work, but well worth it. We had a very successful Trade Show and are looking forward to how we can make it even better next year.

The shoulder is healing well from the Rotator Cuff surgery, and the Physical Therapy is progressing nicely. I should be able to pick up my camera in about another week and a half. It has been too long and I can hardly wait to get back in the Studio. I am planning on doing a few gratis Headshots and Portraits to get back in the groove.

Easter and Mother's Day is looming on the horizon. Isn't it time you thought of having a Professional Photograph taken of your family? Your mother and/or father would love to have a well done Portrait of your family. And yes, Father's Day will be here before you know it.

Jennifer MichaelisJennifer MichaelisJennifer Michaelis Smart EyeCare CenterSmart EyeCare CenterSmart EyeCare Center

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Studio will be open for business on 7 April. Schedule your Headshot, Individual Portrait, or Family Portrait by phoning 207-650-0200, or by e-mail at walkerj@megalink.net. Samples of my work can be seen at www.jimwalkerphotography.com.

WMPG 2016 Fashion ShowWMPG 2016 Fashion ShowWMPG 2016 Fashion Show I have agreed to photograph the WMPG Fashion Show again this year. It will take place on 23 April at the Port City Music Hall. This is always a fun event with many local designers, and their creations. The designs range from the mundane to the outrageous, and everything in between.

So far, I have booked four elopements, or small weddings. The rest of the year may turn out alright in the long run. Being out of commission because of a necessary operation is concerning, but not the end of the world.

In addition to being on the Board of Directors for the Maine Professional Photographers Association (MPPA), I also produce their newsletters a couple of times a month, am on the Scholarship Committee, and am a member of the Professional Photographers Association (PPA). Recently, I accepted a position as the Maine representative to the Professional Photography Association of New England (PPANE). 

All in all, it may prove to be a very busy year....

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walkerj@megalink.net (Jim Walker Photography) #jimwalkerphotography #photoshoot Fashion Headshots Lewiston MPPA Maine PPA PPANE Photographers Photos Portraits Professional Studio Wedding photography http://www.jimwalkerphotography.com/blog/2017/3/the-year-begins-in-earnest Sat, 25 Mar 2017 15:48:40 GMT
MPPA 68th Photographic Exposition, Convention and Trade Show http://www.jimwalkerphotography.com/blog/2017/3/mppa-68th-photographic-exposition-convention-and-trade-show  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

March already!!! The Maine Professional Photographers Association [MPPA] is hosting the 68th Photographic Exposition, Convention and Trade Show. I have been on the Board of Directors for the past two years, and have been responsible for putting together a Trade Show for the 2016 and 2017 conventions, as well as creating and distributing the MPPA Newsletter. I was recently selected as the Maine representative to the Professional Photographers of New England [PPANE]. Both of these organizations are affiliates of the Professional Photographers of America [PPA], of which I am also a member.

In addition to the MPPA annual convention, we also hold monthly meetings with speakers featuring many topics of interest to our members. As many of you know, I own a Portrait Studio in Lewiston, Maine. I specialize in Portraits for Business, Models, Fashion, and Actors, as well as photographing small Weddings and Elopements. I also enjoy nature and wildlife photography. It is a real pleasure photographing people and seeing their joy when they see the finished product. I hear "I never take a good picture", only to prove them wrong. Granted, not everyone is naturally photogenic, but a good photographer, with proper lighting, can create a photo that they can be proud to share with family and friends.

That is one of the great benefits of the MPPA: association with many Professional Photographers in all aspects of the business. I have learned so much in the past few years. It is great to have so many experts to call on to answer any of my questions on technique or posing. I would encourage all photographers to get involved with their local PPA affiliate, and with the PPA itself. Their are so many opportunities to learn and hone your craft.

This is the cover of the MPPA convention book:

Oh, did I forget to mention that Saturday, March 18, is a free day. There is no admission fee to watch the Print Competition, enjoy the Trade Show, and listen to Canon Explorer of Light Photographer, Ken Sklute. You can follow this link to take a look at the MPPA Convention Book.

Be sure to check out my website at www.jimwalkerphotography.com

 

 

 

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walkerj@megalink.net (Jim Walker Photography) #MPPA #jimwalkerphotography Lewiston MPPA Maine Photographers Photos Professional Studio Wedding photography http://www.jimwalkerphotography.com/blog/2017/3/mppa-68th-photographic-exposition-convention-and-trade-show Wed, 08 Mar 2017 13:00:00 GMT
Somali Wedding in Lewiston http://www.jimwalkerphotography.com/blog/2017/2/somali-wedding-in-lewiston

 

 

 

 

 

 

At the top of my list of achievements last year was being asked to photograph a Somali wedding. Abdimalik Salaam had approached me earlier in the year about photographing the ceremonies leading up to Abdimalik and Fortun being married. Of course, I jumped at the chance to be a part of an event that had not been photographed in Lewiston or Auburn, Maine before.

A Somali wedding has no comparison to most American weddings. As Abdimalik tried to warn me, everything slows down to Somali time. The procedure begins with the Nikah, as the prospective groom meets with the elders of both families while the Bride price is negotiated and her family gives consent to accept him as her husband. This is all being negotiated through the communities Cleric, who is also interviewing the husband-to-be. When all has been accepted by both sides, songs and chants to Allah and blessings for the union are sung by all. When this is concluded, the couple are married in the eyes of the Muslim community. This does not conclude the festivities through. (Photos of this portion of the Nikah are private, and not available for public viewing.)

The Nikah was scheduled to begin at 5:00 pm on 8 Jul 2016, and this is when we began ”Somali” time. Food had to be gathered for the famiy's meeting, Elders must arrive, as well as many members of the extended family.

I received a call at 12:30 am on 9 July that all was ready to begin. I met Abdimalik, and several of his close friends and a brother, outside an apartment in Lewiston, and the adventure began. Gathered in the kitchen and living room, the women and children were enjoying food and conversation, while the men were in a separate room for the negotiations and interview with Abdimalik. Traditionally, the Bride does not attend the Nikah. Once the Bride and Grooms fathers have reached an agreement and the Cleric has given his blessing, songs and chants are begun in praise of Allah and to bestow good will to the couple.

Abdimalik and FortunAbdimalik and FortunAbdimalik and Fortun nikah The couple is now married, but the festivities have just begun. While the Nikah was going on, Fartun and her friends were having a Henna party. At 2:00 am, the couple, and their friends, met in the street to exchange greetings. I could not help admiring the beautiful Henna work done on the Bride’s hands.

Abdimalik and FortunAbdimalik and FortunAbdimalik and Fortun nikah Abdimalik and FortunAbdimalik and FortunAbdimalik and Fortun nikah

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

During this evenings activities, Abdimalik was dressed in the traditional white Dishdasha or Thobe, and Fortun had on the traditional black Abaya covering her dress and Niqab for the head. Now it's home and a few hours sleep.

We were to meet that afternoon for photos around the lake at Bates College. Fortuna and her friends were not able to make it, so Abdimalik and many of his friends and family drove to Bates for an afternoon photo session. He was now dressed in a colorful jacket and pants and many great photos were captured.

Abdimalik and FortunAbdimalik and FortunAbdimalik and Fortun nikah Abdimalik and FortunAbdimalik and FortunAbdimalik and Fortun nikah Abdimalik and FortunAbdimalik and FortunAbdimalik and Fortun nikah Abdimalik had scheduled a limousine for the evening to take the wedding party to the “Aroos”, which is the party that culminates the wedding festivities. Unlike the traditional American Wedding Reception,  the entire community is invited to the Aroos. When we picked up the ladies they were dressed in beautiful multi colored dresses and head scarves. Some memorable photos were taken along the Androscoggin River in the waning light of the evening.

Abdimalik and FortunAbdimalik and FortunAbdimalik and Fortun nikah Abdimalik and FortunAbdimalik and FortunAbdimalik and Fortun nikah

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Abdimalik and FortunAbdimalik and FortunAbdimalik and Fortun nikah Abdimalik and FortunAbdimalik and FortunAbdimalik and Fortun nikah Abdimalik and FortunAbdimalik and FortunAbdimalik and Fortun nikah

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Abdimalik and FortunAbdimalik and FortunAbdimalik and Fortun nikah Abdimalik and FortunAbdimalik and FortunAbdimalik and Fortun nikah

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then it was on to the Community Center for the Aroos. Abdimalik and Fortun greeted friends and relatives and would then go on to their apartment as husband and wife.

I thank them for allowing me to be a part of this special day.

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walkerj@megalink.net (Jim Walker Photography) #photoshoot Abdimalik Aroos Bride Fortun Groom Islam Lewiston MPPA Maine Muslim Nikah Photographers Photos Professional Somali Somalia Wedding photography http://www.jimwalkerphotography.com/blog/2017/2/somali-wedding-in-lewiston Tue, 28 Feb 2017 14:00:00 GMT
Destination Weddings http://www.jimwalkerphotography.com/blog/2017/2/destination-weddings

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My year in review found me in several new and unique ventures. I continued photographing weddings for Connie Jo Mills of All In One Weddings throughout the year. This, in itself is very interesting as most of these are destination weddings and I get to meet people from all around the country and all walks of life.

One of the most interesting was a couple from Massachusetts that were having a small ceremony on Malden Island, just off the coast of Georgetown, Maine. The shooting day began, and ended, with a skiff ride from Five Islands Lobster Pound to the dock at Malden Island. It was a second wedding for both of them, so the ceremony was small with just a few family members present. They were very personable and treated John Portela (the officiant) and I as part of the family. After the ceremony, the Bride wanted to dive in the ocean to celebrate.

I adjusted the settings on my Canon EOS 5D Mark III for a shutter speed of 1/250 and f16 to capture both the correct lighting and Depth of Field. I wanted a shutter speed fast enough so there was enough sharpness, and continuous shutter release. This enabled me to get a very nice sequence. The bride loved the results, and so did I.

Christine and Christopher were married at a camp in South Bristol, Maine. There is something special and magical about having your ceremony on the Maine coast with the ocean in the background. It is hard to convey the joy that is felt by capturing the memories of a couple in love.

Christine and ChristopherChristine and ChristopherChristine and Christopher's Wedding Christine and Christopher were no exception. Tears of joy were shed by everyone. Christine and ChristopherChristine and ChristopherChristine and Christopher's Wedding This type of photography is not for everyone. No two weddings are alike, and the lighting is always a challenge. Christine and Christopher's wedding had just about every condition except rain. One minute it was cloudy, then sunny, then we were in heavy dappled shadows. You just have to be very adaptable.

My significant other, Rose, and I flew to St. Louis, Missouri to photograph my nephews wedding in Granite City, Illinois. It was a perfect October day for a wedding in the park. Robert and Jamie had been planning this for over a year, and the weather gods smiled on them. This was not the typical project I take on. Rather than the short elopement style weddings, this was big, and long. The day began at 10:00 am, with me shooting the groomsmen getting ready, then on to the park, photographing guests as they arrive. Finally the ladies arrived and the time for the ceremony was upon us.

Robert and JamieRobert and JamieRobert and Jamie Robert and JamieRobert and JamieRobert and Jamie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Robert and JamieRobert and JamieRobert and Jamie

I had no idea going into this that it would be such a large wedding with over 150 guests. If I had known this in advance, I would have hired a local photographer as a second shooter. The wedding went off without a hitch, and we finished the day around 9:00 pm at the reception in Collinsville, Illinois.

This was the area I grew up in and it was nice to take Rose around the area sight seeing. If you are ever in St. Louis, the Arch and the St. Louis Zoo are a must.

Stay tuned, my next blog entry will be about my first experience photographing a Somali Wedding in Lewiston, Maine.

www.jimwalkerphotoraphy.com

 

 

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walkerj@megalink.net (Jim Walker Photography) #jimwalkerphotography #photoshoot Bride Bristol Ceremony Georgetown Groom Illinois Island MPPA Maine Malden Photographers Photos Professional St. Louis Wedding photography http://www.jimwalkerphotography.com/blog/2017/2/destination-weddings Tue, 21 Feb 2017 13:00:00 GMT
April Fools Day Wedding http://www.jimwalkerphotography.com/blog/2016/4/april-fools-day-wedding

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now that the MPPA Convention and Trade Show is behind me, until next year, it is time to welcome the beginning of a new season for photographic opportunity. It has been a slow beginning to the new year, but that is not unusual for this business.

I begin the season with a hastily put together wedding on April 1st. Yes, April Fools Day. Connie, from All In One Weddings, called me on Tuesday, 29 March, to see if I was available on Friday. Of course my first reaction was, is this an April Fools Joke? Happily it was not. She had been contacted at the last minute for a wedding to be held in Rockland on that infamous day. I was free, and agreed to be the photographer at this last minute event. Besides, it might be interesting.

Interesting, it was! And very colorful! When I arrived at the address in Rockland, I was greeted by the Groom, Dave, and his best man. Laurence. Dave was dressed in a Purple long coat and hat, and Laurence had a two color combination going on. Ah, a themed wedding, as in Bat Man Villains. Dave was the Joker and Laurence was Two Face. The Bride, Susi, was to be Harley Quinn and the Brides Maid, Kathleen, was a modified version of Robin. All the ingredients of some very colorful photos.

Susi and DavidSusi and DavidSusi and David

The day was very overcast with a promise of rain, but the rain gods smiled on us and held off for the ceremony and family photos that followed. This time of year in Maine does not lend itself to great backgrounds. There is no greenery yet, and the snow is no longer covering up the dead foliage. For the family photos we left the apartment complex and headed to an area below the Samoset resort in an attempt to have the ocean and breakwater as a background. It was better, but had challenges of its own. The fog was rolling in over the harbor as the boats disappeared in the mist. Just as we were finishing it began to rain. As they say, timing is everything.

Susi and DavidSusi and DavidSusi and David I had to ask the Groom, "Why April Fools Day?" He said, "they met on April 1st, moved in together on April 1st, so it only seemed right to get married on April 1st. Besides, it would be difficult to forget their anniversary."

An interesting start to a new season of Wedding, Fashion, Portrait and Pageant photography. I love this job....

 

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walkerj@megalink.net (Jim Walker Photography) #jimwalker #jimwalkerphotography April Bride Ceremony Fools Groom Maine Party Photos Rockland Wedding photography http://www.jimwalkerphotography.com/blog/2016/4/april-fools-day-wedding Sat, 09 Apr 2016 16:20:25 GMT
2016 Maine PPA Photo Exposition, Convention and Trade Show http://www.jimwalkerphotography.com/blog/2016/2/2016-maine-ppa-photo-exposition-convention-and-trade-show

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

18 - 20 March is the 2016 Maine Professional Photographers Association's (MPPA) Photographic Exposition, Convention and Trade Show. This years extravaganza is being held at the Clarion Hotel, 1230 Congress St, Portland, Maine. We have some great speakers lined up for your enjoyment and education: Kaitlyn James on Weddings, Gary Hughes on Professional Headshots, Richard Sturdevant on Sports, and Alison Miniter on Beginning Photoshop. As an extra fee, we have arranged a workshop on Monday with Lou Freeman and her fashion photography. Please take a look at the Convention page on the MPPA website for the full schedule of events: http://maineppa.com/convention/

There are many activities planned for the weekend, to make this one of the most enjoyable, entertaining, and worthwhile conventions we have had.  The MPPA Board of Directors has been working hard to put together a Trade show for this convention. We are still in talks with some Vendors, but here are some that will be represented at the Trade Show with a booth or table: H+H, ACI, Hunt's, Tamron, MacGroup, Moab, Maine Canvas Prints and Beauty Couture. In addition, Lowepro, Blue Marble, Nations Photo Lab, and Paul C. Buff have donated product or gift certificates for the Silent Auction and Raffle that will help support our speaker fund for the coming year. The Trade show is on Saturday, and is free for all photographers. You do not have to go to convention to come browse the Vendors in the Trade Show area. It will be going on at the same time as the Print Competition, which is also free to attend. The Trade Show and Photo Expo are Saturday, 20 March 2016. The Print Judging begins at 8 am and the Trade Show is open from 9 am to 2 pm. Hope to see many of you there.

Club 79 is also new to this year's convention and Print Exposition. In the past we watched the Print Competition in the same room as the judges and could not comment on the images (good or bad). This year the judging is being piped into a separate area we have set aside. So get rowdy, let your feelings be known. A cash bar will be available and you can pre-order lunch for $10. Should be a blast, and you can visit the Vendors at the Trade Show during the judging, Lunch, and breaks.

The Vendors will also be holding mini-programs throughout the day. So, come join the fun. You might be able to pick up a deal on one of the items being featured in our Silent Auction.

A Hospitality Suite is also available during the Convention. Evening festivities are planned for Saturday and Sunday. Saturday, we are having a Sports Night. Wear your favorite team jersey (or not) and come join the fun. I hear there may be a Foosball Table, and other goodies available.

Sunday Evening, after the Awards Banquet, is the Gala Red Carpet event in the Hospitality Suite. What a way to finish off the convention. Come party with old friends, as well as new friends you have met over the weekend.

This Photography Exposition, Convention and Trade Show will be bigger and better than ever. And, I am not saying that just because I have been involved in the planning, and putting together the Trade Show. Well, maybe just a little.

To sweeten the pot, if you have never been to one of our conventions and have not been a member of MPPA since 2012, you may be eligible for a Buddy Pass for the weekend. Just contact one of the MPPA members and tell them you are interested in coming to the convention on a Buddy Pass. They can submit your name to our Membership Committee, and get you added to the list.

If you have any questions, please be sure to e-mail me at walkerj@megalink.net.

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walkerj@megalink.net (Jim Walker Photography) #jimwalkerphotography ACI Blue Buff H+H Hunt's Joby Lowepro MPPA Maine Marble Moab Paul C Buff Photographers Portland Professional Tamron Trade Show Wedding classes competition convention education exhibit photography print training workshop http://www.jimwalkerphotography.com/blog/2016/2/2016-maine-ppa-photo-exposition-convention-and-trade-show Fri, 26 Feb 2016 21:56:15 GMT
Casey and Jordan http://www.jimwalkerphotography.com/blog/2016/1/casey-and-jordan

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One of my New Years Resolutions is to try to be more faithful to my blog. Admittedly, life sometimes gets in the way. But, I feel it is important to show my work and how I am progressing as a photographer, in the studio, as well as on location.

My last Studio session of 2015 was very satisfying to me, as well as producing some great photos. Jordan had asked if I would photograph him and his friend, Casey, before Christmas. They had both enlisted in the U.S. Army, and Jordan was leaving on 29 December for Ft Jackson, SC and Casey was leaving on 4 January for Ft Sill, OK. They wanted photographs to give to family and friends, knowing things would change after they were serving in the military. I applaud both of these young people for their upcoming service to their country, and on the beginnings of a new adventure.

Casey and JordanCasey and JordanCasey and Jordan

Casey and JordanCasey and JordanCasey and Jordan Casey and JordanCasey and JordanCasey and Jordan

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Casey and JordanCasey and JordanCasey and Jordan

I am hoping I can get both of them back in the Studio when they return from their respective training assignments. It will, without a doubt, be a scheduling nightmare to catch both of them home at the same time. I can not say enough good things about Casey and Jordan. To be selected as thier photographer was a privilege and produced some fine work. I am so pleased that they chose to have their work printed by the professional lab that I use. The prints will be enjoyed by family and friends for years to come, while digital files would probably languish in a drawer until technology passed it by. 

 

Thank you Casey and Jordan for selecting Jim Walker Photography for your memories. The Gallery can be viewed at:

 

http://www.zenfolio.com/jimwalkerphotography/e/p30570248

 

Enjoy, and thank you for taking a look at my musings.

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walkerj@megalink.net (Jim Walker Photography) #jimwalkerphoto #photoshoot Maine Photos Professional Studio photography photoshoot http://www.jimwalkerphotography.com/blog/2016/1/casey-and-jordan Sat, 02 Jan 2016 21:36:42 GMT
Gannetts, Portraits, Weddings, and MPPA http://www.jimwalkerphotography.com/blog/2015/10/portraits-weddings-and-mppa

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It has been far too long since my last blog. I have had good intentions, but have not translated them to actually writing about events. It has been a busy summer since I returned from France.

The 4th of July wedding had perfect weather and a great couple, Marty and Eric. It took place in the backyard of a home in the country, surrounded by flowers and views of the countryside. What a fun couple, and some great photos.

A few days after the wedding, I made the trek to Perce' on the Gaspe Peninsula in Quebec, Canada for the express purpose of photographing the Gannetts on Bonaventure Island. Two fellow photographers, Dan and George, joined me on the trip and shared the driving. And a long drive it was. With only occasional stops for gas and food, it took us 11 1/2 hours to drive from Lewiston, Maine to Perce'. After settling in the motel, and getting a well needed nights sleep, we took the ferry to Bonaventure Island the next day. Over 50,000 pairs of Gannetts come to the island to nest during the summer. The Gannett colony was on the other side of the island from the ferry terminal, and it was a 2 hour hike across the island, mostly uphill. The birds did not disappoint us, and some of the chicks had hatched. It was really a magnificent site with all those sea birds crowded into a relatively small area. Now that it is checked off my bucket list, I don't think I would care to make the trip again. Here is a short video to give you an idea of the scope of the Gannett colony.

Gannetts on Bonaventure IslandGannetts on Bonaventure Island

 

 

 

 

Then there were the Portrait sessions in the Studio. These two families had the most fantastic kids. One set of red heads, and one set of twins. These kids were so great, they took direction very well and paid attention to what I was looking for. The results were some excellent photos. The red heads had accompanied their mother, Jennifer, to the studio and were a great bonus to our shoot. Here are a couple of samples of the kids.

Charlie and JohnnyCharlie and JohnnyCharlie and Johnny

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With all of this going on, I am also very involved with the Maine Professional Photographers Association. We have been hard at work planning our 2016 Convention in Portland, Maine. We have a great lineup of speakers scheduled and the venue, Clarion Portland Hotel, has been superb to work with. Our speakers will include Katelyn James on Weddings, Gary Hughes on Headshot Photography, Richard Sturdevant on School Sports, and Alison Miniter on Beginning Photoshop. As a special one day workshop, Lou Freeman is presenting her "Portrait, Fashion & Lighting" presentation. All of this, along with Image Competition, a hospitality suite, an awards banquet and more, will make for a fun  three or four day weekend March 18 -21, 2016.

Hope to see some of you in Portland in March.

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walkerj@megalink.net (Jim Walker Photography) #photoshoot Gannett Maine Photographers Photography Photos Professional Studio Wedding birds children kids http://www.jimwalkerphotography.com/blog/2015/10/portraits-weddings-and-mppa Wed, 28 Oct 2015 18:08:33 GMT
Chalon-Sur-Saone to Paris and home to Maine http://www.jimwalkerphotography.com/blog/2015/7/chalon-sur-saone-to-paris-and-home-to-maine

This is the third, and final, installment about my recent excursion to the South of France, ending with two days in Paris. It had been over 30 years since I had lived and traveled in France, and the first time in the South of France. This is a trip I had been anticipating for several years, and it finally came together.

We woke up in Chalon-Sur-Saone on 23 June, early in the morning. Bags were to be packed, and loaded on the trucks for Paris. Our time on the river had come to an end and we were to board buses after our final breakfast aboard the Avalon Scenery. It is funny how you develop relationships with some of the crew members over the course of a little over a week. They did an excellent job and really took care of us, we will miss them.

Avalon Tour - 2015Avalon Tour - 2015South of France - Provence to Paris The bus made a stop in Beaune to tour the Hotel-Dieu, a charity hospital dating back to 1443. It is still a viable hospital today. Then a stroll through town, a stop at a sidewalk cafe, and time to purchase a few items for friends in Maine and it is back to the bus, and on to Dijon where we will board the High Speed Train (TGV) for Paris.

The train arrived in Paris after about 1 hour and 40 minutes. Buses were waiting to take us to the Pullman Montparnasse hotel. It is nice to have a room over twice the size as the cabin on the boat, but we do miss the Avalon Scenery. Avalon seems to use only 5 star hotels on this cruise. Quite nice.

After settling in our room, we took a stroll around this section of Paris and had supper and a glass of wine at an outdoor cafe. This is part of what I have missed about living in Europe. There is great pleasure in sitting there with the town bustling around you and watching the people strolling along, or hurrying to their destination. It is astounding the amount of traffic, and the motor cycles, scooters, and bicycles on the roads.

A good nights sleep, an early breakfast, and we boarded the Avalon Tour Bus for a drive around Paris. I thought it would be good for Rose to see the main sights this way, as she had never been to Paris. The bus made the obligatory stop for a view of the Eiffel Tower Avalon Tour - 2015Avalon Tour - 2015South of France - Provence to Paris and a Kodak moment. We also strolled through a nearby park and had a grand view of the now, French Parliament Building, once a grand chateau that was taken over during the French Revolution. Then it was back to the hotel, and lunch at yet another sidewalk cafe. After a leisurely meal we boarded yet another bus for the Louvre Museum.

There were only 5 of us on this tour and our guide, Joelle, proved to be resourceful and a fountain of knowledge. She appeared to be somewhat of an Art Historian. Rose loved it and thought the guide was fantastic. I was a little less enthusiastic. The Bus would not stop so I could photograph Avalon Tour - 2015Avalon Tour - 2015South of France - Provence to Paris the front of the Louvre. Joelle spent so much time explaining and talking about a few paintings, we could not see very much of the museum. The Louvre itself has grown a lot in the 40 years since I was last there. The modernization effort has taken the charm out of the Louvre. Add to that the hordes of Chinese swarming everywhere, and you were hard pressed to even get close to any of the masterpieces. Had I not spent time in the Louvre many years ago, I would not have known how much different it is now.  Oh well, things always change, and you can never go back. Sometimes the change is for the better, sometimes not.

To mark the end of our stay in France, upon returning to the hotel we were informed there may be delays getting to the airport the next morning. The Paris Taxi Drivers Union has declared a one day strike and they will try to block many of the roads. The Avalon representatives were hard at work arranging alternate transportation for our trip to the airport and the flight back to the States.

That evening, we found yet another sidewalk cafe, and I got a French Crepe the likes of which I have been craving for many years, since I last was in France. It was a desert Crepe, filled with Bananas and Chocolate. They just don't make Crepes like this in the States or Canada. What a great ending to the trip.

After breakfast at the hotel, Avalon had arranged a Van for six of us to go to the Airport. As we were driving I was listening to the driver and the radio reports about various roads being blocked by the Taxi Drivers, including the road to Airport Terminal 1. Luckily we were leaving at Terminal 2, and that road was still clear. We arrived at the Terminal about an hour ahead of schedule and had to wait for the Swiss Air counter to open. Things went very smoothly for us to go through customs and take our flight to Zurich. In Zurich, we had to go to the other side of the airport to catch our flight to Boston.

The Swiss Air plane was most uncomfortable. I had paid extra for seats with extra leg room. I shudder to think how close the seats were where there wasn't extra leg room. We were crammed in like Sardines and they still did not have Rose's requirement for a Gluten Free meal correct.

The worst part of the entire trip was going through customs when we arrived in Boston. Five international flights landed within a very short time frame, and we waited in line for over an hour and a half to have our passports checked. Very poor planning on the U.S. Customs service. There were not enough agents on duty to handle the crowd, and half the custom booths were closed due to lack of personnel. I was very surprised that after we went through the passport check and retrieved our luggage, nothing was checked. I could have had anything in my suitcase and no one would have been the wiser. Not a good footnote for Border Security at the airport.

After another 2 hour bus ride to Portland, Maine, we were finally in my car and headed for home, arriving at about 3:00 am on Friday, 26 June 2015. It was a great vacation, and I would highly recommend Avalon River Cruises to anyone, but it was good to be home.

I had a Family Photo Session scheduled for the next day, and a wedding on the 4th of July, but that will be another blog entry.

Stay tuned and thanks for reading.

Please check out this blog by Jen on the 100 Best Things to do in France!

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walkerj@megalink.net (Jim Walker Photography) Beaune Castle Chalon-Sur-Saone Chateau Dijon Eiffel France Hotel-Dieu Louvre Montparnasse Paris Photos Provence Pullman Rhone River Saone TGV Tower Train bus cafe cathedral chef church dining food hotel outdoor photography sidewalk tour http://www.jimwalkerphotography.com/blog/2015/7/chalon-sur-saone-to-paris-and-home-to-maine Sat, 25 Jul 2015 21:06:23 GMT
France - Avignon to Tournos http://www.jimwalkerphotography.com/blog/2015/7/france---avignon-to-tournos My last blog entry left us in Arles, Provence, France.

We cruised down the Rhone River and woke up on June 18th, docked in Avignon. A leisurely breakfast in the ship's dining room, where the food is always good and the service is great, and then a decision to put off walking until this afternoons tour of Avignon. We need a little down time.

It is a beautiful afternoon for a stroll through Avignon and the Pope's castle. The grounds host the largest Gothic Church in France.

The temperature rose to 81⁰ F and the dry Mistral winds began blowing. We would be experiencing the Mistral for the next several days. While they are fierce winds, they do have a side benefit. The Mistral blows away the moisture and any chance for rain. Hang on to your hat, but no need for an umbrella.

Avalon Tour - 2015Avalon Tour - 2015South of France - Provence to Paris The Pope's castle was vast with many stair cases, and we managed to climb them all. Our tour guide, Sandy, was very knowledgeable and had a great personality. It took several hundred servants and serfs to keep the castle running and the Pope waited on.

The "We" I am referring to is my girlfriend Rose, my companion on this adventure.

We left the tour after the castle for some free time shopping. After spending a few minutes at a sidewalk cafe with a cold drink, it was off to find a few shops where Rose had spotted some table cloths and napkins she wanted to check out. She found just what she was looking for and we made our way back through the winding, narrow streets to the boat. Avignon is a very impressive city with the original walls and battlements still in place.

A couple of the things I like most about Europe is the outside cafe's, winding, narrow streets, and their open air markets. We will find plenty of each on this trip.

The 19th of June and a late start to the day as Avalon Tour - 2015Avalon Tour - 2015South of France - Provence to Paris we cruised up the river to the largest, and deepest lock on the Rhone - The Bollene Lock. It takes about 50 minutes to raise the ship 82 feet to the level of the river upstream.

After another fine lunch in the Avalon Scenery's dining room, we took the walking tour of Viviers. A very steep climb to the Cathedral at the top of the village. Rose chose to go on a prearranged Van drive to the Cathedral for the Pipe Organ concert by ValerY Imbernon. He is a well known organist that provides mini concerts for some of the River Cruise companies under the auspices of the Viviers Tourist Board. Then it was back down, through the winding, narrow streets to the boat.

As soon as we returned to the boat, the bus was ready to take us to the Lavender Fields. We drove and drove through the country side and saw many fields of Lavender in bloom. I was beginning to wonder if we would stop for a Kodak moment, but eventually the bus pulled off the road and the tour guide gave us 15 minutes to photograph the Lavender. We had one other opportunity when we made a brief stop at a Lavender Distillery. Then it was off to Chateau Grignan.

Avalon Tour - 2015Avalon Tour - 2015South of France - Provence to Paris

Grignan is located in the south of the Drôme department in the Rhône-Alpes region in southeastern France, near the border of the neighbouring Vaucluse department, and close to Mont Ventoux, the highest mountain in Provence. The main crops produced in the area are lavender, truffles, wheat, and sunflowers. A 45 minute stop in this small, picturesque village was not nearly enough. Rose purchased some Lavender Honey, as well as some Nouget candy, that are made in this region.

Due to scheduling the use of the locks on the Rhone, the ship left the dock within 15 minutes of our returning from the tour. Time for supper while the boat makes its way to Tournon.

Woke up in Tournon on the 20th of June, and took a short walk in the village. Our English speaking guide this morning was Barbara, an American from Pennsylvania who has lived in France for 39 years. She led us on a short walk through the streets of the small town, explaining the history of the village on the way to the market. It was a nice market for a small town. Barbara purchased small amounts of Bread, Garlic and Goats Cheese for us all to sample. I just love the markets and the fresh bread and cheese- so good. I purchased a couple of Lavender soaps for Rose. Then it was back to the boat, where I photographed a pair of swans and their signets.

Avalon Tour - 2015Avalon Tour - 2015South of France - Provence to Paris Off it is to Tain l'Heritage-Vienne, one of the oldest towns in the region with Roman ruins dating back to around 20 B.C. We set off with our guide, Cecil, a french woman with an American accent - what a fresh sounding voice. An informative hike around the city with views of a Gothic Roman Catholic church dating to the middle of the 12th century. The Priest kicked us out as he was performing a small wedding. Now I can say I have been kicked out of a Cathedral.

Several musicians were playing as tomorrow is the first day of their music festival. Seems there is a music festival scheduled in all the villages in the region for the next week, or so.

Once again, it is back to the boat for a small chocolate tasting. This evenings meal was superb as usual. I had the breast of Duck, along with the Apple Fritter. Wow, can the chef put out a great meal!  After supper, Jerome, the cruise director, has booked a French singer. Very reminiscent of someone you would listen to in a small French Bistro in Paris or Marseille.

The 21st of June and we arrived in Lyon last evening. However, what a way to start the morning!!! Alarm did not go off and we have missed this mornings tour. Oh well, a leisurely breakfast and a little stroll on the rivers edge showed that my knee was hurting too much to walk very far. Lots of people out this morning. Several organizations are setting up demonstrations along the river, to take part in the music festival. Avalon Tour - 2015Avalon Tour - 2015South of France - Provence to Paris

Another great lunch and it is off to Beaujolais for a wine tasting. But first, a stop in a beautiful area called les "Pierre Dorees", and the small village of Oingt. Oingt is the only village in the county to have been awarded the French accolade 'Most Beautiful Village'. The ochre-yellow stones that are the predominant building material in Oingt literally shine when the sun is on them. Then it is on to "Domaine Paire" for an introduction to the vineyards Beaujolais wines, both Red and White. Great flavor and aroma, but a little dry for my taste. The owner of the vineyard explained the process of making the wines and lead the tasting. Sixteen generations of Paire have been making wine here.

Back to the boat for a lecture about France and its history. The presenter was quite good, and very humorous. This evening a presentation by the Captain of all the staff, as we only have 1 more evening on the river. The special desert this evening was a delicious serving of Baked Alaska. When in Lyon we left the Rhone and started up the Saone River.

On the 22nd of June we woke up in Macon and decided to give the knees a rest. We were not going to be in this port for long. When we set off for Tournus it was quite apparent we were on a different river. The current was very strong on the Rhone, and it was much wider. The Saone is more of a gentle river experience with slow moving water, and more farm yards on each bank. Fishermen were in their boats and in their waders and we passed a small island with a White Stork rookery. There were many Swans on the river, and passed one flock of at least 25 birds, some with their signets.

In Tournos we had a nice leisurely walk about town and bought a macaroon baking sheet at a local hardware store. Our French was not so good, and their English wasn't either, but we managed to complete the transaction and had a good time doing it.

As we set sail for Chalon-Sur-Saone, Jerome had arranged for a cheese tasting. This is the last evening on the boat. Tomorrow, we will have a tour in Beaune before heading to Dijon and the high speed train for Paris.

For more travel information on France, be sure to check out the Blog by Jen: 100 Best Things to do in France

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walkerj@megalink.net (Jim Walker Photography) Avignon Bollene Castle Chateau France Grignan Honey Imbernon Lavender Oingt Photos Provence Rhone River Saone Tournon Tournos ValerY Vienne Viviers bus cathedral chef church dining food lock organ organist photography tour http://www.jimwalkerphotography.com/blog/2015/7/france---avignon-to-tournos Wed, 22 Jul 2015 04:40:32 GMT
France - Monte Carlo to Arles http://www.jimwalkerphotography.com/blog/2015/7/france---provence-to-paris

 

 

 

 

 

This has been the start of a very busy summer. I quit my regular job at L.L.Bean to devote more time to my photography, and to take a needed vacation to France. The next few blog entries will be playing catch up with my activities. As soon as I returned from vacation I had a family session to shoot, then a 4th of July wedding, followed by a four day trip to the Gaspe' Peninsula in Quebec, Canada to photograph Gannet's.

I hope you enjoy reading about some of my adventures.

The month of June found me, and my significant other, Rose, on a River Cruise up the Rhone River in the South of France. After 9 days on the river, we were to take the high speed train to Paris for the last two days of our adventure. This was one of the best, and most relaxing, vacations I have experienced. Avalon River Cruises really know how to do it. It was nice having your hotel float along with you, and not having to live out of a suitcase as you travel.

As we were gone for 14 days, there will be several entries to tell the tale of our adventure in wine country, with wonderful food and photo opportunities around every bend of the river.

On the 14th of June we left Portland, Maine on the bus headed for Logan Airport in Boston, MA. We checked our bags with Swiss Air and breezed through TSA and customs. The plane was late leaving by about 45 minutes, but we are truly on our way. The staff on Swiss Air were really nice, courteous and helpful. The Plane was one of the worst. I paid extra for more leg room. If that was more, pity the poor schmuck with regular leg room. I could hardly get in and out of the seat. Granted, I am not exactly a small person, but come on.

We landed in Zurick on the 15th, but our 2 hour layover was now much shorter. We managed to get to the other side of the airport for our connecting flight to Nice with about 10 minutes to spare. This flight was not so nice, the staff was rude and just not friendly at all.

Suitcases made it, and it was a breeze going through customs in Nice, France (maybe too easy). A driver and representative from Avalon were waiting for us, and we were off to the first stop on our trip: Monte Carlo, Monaco. The driver gave us a great history lesson of the area as he Avalon Tour - 2015Avalon Tour - 2015South of France - Provence to Paris wound through the tight, busy streets. After checking in the hotel, and the Welcome Briefing by the Avalon Cruise Director, Rose and I walked around Monte Carlo taking in the view and searching for a restaurant. After eating, we spent the next hour walking around and looking at the shops and scenery. Everything seems to be built on very steep hills. We finally found our way back to the Fairmont Hotel to relax a little and get a good nights sleep.

Rose and I elected to take the optional tour of Nice in the morning of the 16th. Cecile, the tour guide, led us on a very informative discovery of Nice. The Bus driver was amazingly patient in the crazy traffic. (We were to discover that this was a pattern of behavior amongst Bus Drivers in France. They did an amazing job of negotiating small streets with incredible traffic of Cars, Trucks, Buses, Mopeds, Vespas, motorcycles and Bicycles.)

Spent an hour of free time in the Flower Market, and sitting at an outside cafe sipping an American Cafe'. The Bus stopped at several scenic overlooks on the way back to Monte Carlo.

Avalon Tour - 2015Avalon Tour - 2015South of France - Provence to Paris Avalon Tour - 2015Avalon Tour - 2015South of France - Provence to Paris

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Avalon Tour - 2015Avalon Tour - 2015South of France - Provence to Paris

 

After a light lunch at an incredible little outside cafe in Monte Carlo it was time to make our way back to the hotel. The Coffee Eclair was great and Rose had 4 scrumptious Macaroons of different flavors.

Then it was time to board the bus for our 3 1/2 hour ride to Arles and the Avalon Ship "Scenery". The only rain we saw on the entire vacation was on this leg of the journey. We were cooped up in a Bus, so the rain really didn't matter.

We had a welcome cocktail aboard the ship and a fabulous dinner of Veal. Rose was given first class service by the dining room staff and her Gluten Free requirements were catered to. We were to discover that first class meals and treatment were the norm aboard the Avalon ship.

Suitcases unpacked, electronics plugged in. Tomorrow starts the actual tour festivities in Arles.

Avalon Tour - 2015Avalon Tour - 2015Roman Coliseum, Arles, France

17 June 2015 - Another wonderful breakfast on the ship and it was off for a walking tour of Arles. It is great being able to see such historic things as the Roman Coliseum and the ruins of the Roman Baths. The Coliseum was built around 45 B.C. and is still being used for concerts and bull fights. This morning it was evidently time for a side adventure. I became separated from the tour group, along with a couple from Australia, Russell and Wendy. A very nice couple and good companions to be on your own with. After some amount of extra walking, we found our group and finished the tour of Arles.

Back to the ship for lunch and at 3:30 p.m. it was time for another adventure. This time we boarded a bus headed to several spots on the quest to see the places that Vincent Van Gogh lived and painted, along with a stop at the Asylum at St. Remy where he lived for a couple of years. Very beautiful country, and it is easy to see where Van Gogh got his inspiration. After a welcome stop in St. Remy for some refreshments at yet another outside cafe, we headed back to the ship.

Outside cafe's will be theme throughout our time in France.

The evening brought one of the more formal Captain's dinner and then entertainment in the lounge by a gypsy trio and a dance. Off to bed as we make our way to Avignon.

 

For more travel information on France, be sure to check out the Blog by Jen: 100 Best Things to do in France

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walkerj@megalink.net (Jim Walker Photography) Arles Avalon Carlo France Monaco Monte Nice Provence Scenery cruise landscape photography river ship http://www.jimwalkerphotography.com/blog/2015/7/france---provence-to-paris Thu, 16 Jul 2015 16:31:08 GMT
Models and Weddings http://www.jimwalkerphotography.com/blog/2015/6/models-and-weddings

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have been absent from the Blogosphere for far too long. The winter was too long, the spring too cold, but it looks like summer weather is finally here. It has been difficult increasing the traffic to my Studio. Things are looking up, with a very successful model shoot in May, and a destination wedding photographed at the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens in Boothbay, Maine.

 

A Burlesque dancer, and model, expressed interest in spending some time in my Studio to get fresh photos for here portfolio. I will say it was a very fun shoot with Fleur Tease-Ya (her stage name). Fleur Tease-Ya tries to keep her dancing and modeling careers separate from her private life, so I will respect her wishes here. She brought several outfits and we tried different poses and lighting setups. A great two hours and some good photos were the results. When photographing models, always make sure you get a signed model release. Professional models are very familiar with this requirement, but you may have to educate those that are new to the business.

Fleur Tease-YaFleur Tease-YaBurlesque Dancer and Model

June 4th found me at the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens in Boothbay, Maine to photograph the wedding of Jessica and Nicholas. I love these small destination weddings. This couple came from Ellenbury Depot, New York to tie the knot in our beautiful state. They could not have picked a nicer location. The days leading up to the wedding were rather nervous for the couple. It poured down rain the first few days they were here. Alas, the rain gods continue smiling on my couples. The rain stopped, the sky was slightly overcast, and the temperature was moderate. All in all a good day for a wedding. Connie Mills of All In One Weddings performed the ceremony and contracted my services for the photography. The couple had rented a golf cart for the afternoon, complete with the Gardens Wedding Coordinator to drive us around. That made taking photos in various areas of the vast gardens a little less time consuming, and a lot less strenuous.

Jessica & NicholasJessica & NicholasJessica & Nicholas

Jessica & NicholasJessica & NicholasJessica & Nicholas Thanks for taking a look at my blog, and until next time. Enjoy the summer, they are woefully short in Maine. Make the best of what you have been given.

Jim Walker Photography

Member - Maine Professional Photographers Association

                   (Member of the Board of Directors 2015-2016)

Member - Professional Photographers of America

 

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walkerj@megalink.net (Jim Walker Photography) Boothbay Bride Burlesque Coast Coastal Gardens Groom Maine Model Photographers Photos Professional Wedding photography http://www.jimwalkerphotography.com/blog/2015/6/models-and-weddings Thu, 11 Jun 2015 21:51:50 GMT
Pageants and Conventions http://www.jimwalkerphotography.com/blog/2015/4/springtime-and-the-maine-professional-photographers-association-convention

 

 

 

 

 

 

It has been a month since my last blog entry, and what a busy month it has been.

The 2015 USA National Miss Massachusetts and New Hampshire Pageant took place for the first time in Milford, New Hampshire on 28 March. It was a small Pageant with 9 contestants. Several of the young ladies took advantage of the special mini-portrait shoot that I was offering. I had brought my Studio to the Pageant and set up a backdrop and two lights. I was very happy with the resulting portraits, as were the

Sophia JoyalSophia Joyal2015 USA National Miss Pageant Jenny GouldJenny Gould2015 USA National Miss Pageant

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

subjects and their mothers. This shoot pointed out the need for additional backdrops, which I have since acquired. I try to learn something with every photo shoot I go on. Sometimes it is about posing, sometimes about lighting, but it is always about striving to be a better photographer.

The weekend of 10 - 12 April was the annual convention of the Maine Professional Photographers Association. A weekend traditionally filled with classes from well known speakers from around the country. This year we had Steve Bedell, Carl Cox, and Mary Ann Talamo. Saturday is the day for the Print Competition. It is interesting to just sit through the day long judging and learn what makes a good competition print. This was my first year of entering, and I wish I had done better but I did manage to get one Red "Above Average" ribbon. Not to worry, I will do better next year. It is all about learning.

Sunday was dedicated to a full day of classes on posing and lighting by the well known expert in the field, Craig LaMere from Pocatello, Idaho. What a dynamic and energetic person, full of ideas and with the ability to teach them to others.  Wow, what a weekend.

Monday was a day we had arranged with Craig to have a special day long session with him, reserved for the first 20 photographers to sign up. Craig set up 4 stations with different light situations in each one. One of our members, Lauren DelVecchio, had lined up 10 models (9 female and 1 male) to do fashion and boudoir. It was a fast and furious day, exhausting and exhilarating at the same time. I learned a lot about lighting and posing on Monday. Now I just need to shoot more to keep improving on those skills. Here are a couple examples of the Fashion models from Monday's shoot.

Craig LaMere Lighting WorkshopMcKenzie BennettCraig LaMere Lighting Workshop Craig LaMere Lighting WorkshopCraig LaMere Lighting WorkshopCraig LaMere Lighting Workshop

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oh and did I fail to mention, I was elected to the Board of Directors for the Maine Professional Photographers Association. It is a great organization, with some great folks involved.

Keep shooting, and keep learning... Until next time.

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walkerj@megalink.net (Jim Walker Photography) Brunswick Convention Lighting Maine Model Models National Pageant Photographers Photos Posing Professional Workshop http://www.jimwalkerphotography.com/blog/2015/4/springtime-and-the-maine-professional-photographers-association-convention Fri, 17 Apr 2015 21:40:46 GMT
Being Published, and a Cover Photo at last.... http://www.jimwalkerphotography.com/blog/2015/3/being-published-and-a-cover-photo-at-last

Part of the fun and pleasure of being a photographer is seeing the finished images after a shoot, whether it be a wedding, seniors, portraits, etc. The icing on the cake is when the client shows appreciation of the images, and likes your vision.

I have had individual photos published in magazines, books and newspapers over the years. But none were quite the same as when my photos were used in an article for an airline magazine, and I got the cover shot. You never know when a photo session will catch on and perpetuate itself over a period of time. I volunteered to photograph a young Somali Fashion Designer, and her fashions modeled by her friends. The designs were beautiful and full of color, and the young ladies that displayed them could not have done a better job. The entire shoot was fun, and turned out some fabulous images. The designer, Sahro'Uji Hassan, used the images in her portfolio to gain acceptance at a Fashion and Design School at Mount Ida College in Boston, MA. A couple of the images were used by National Public Radio on their web site, as well as the International Public Radio. Stories have been done on Sahro and her designs by the Lewiston Sun Journal, the Boston Globe, Saudi Aramco World magazine and finally Circa.

Circa is the publication of the Somali Airlines. My photos accompanied the article on Sahro, and was featured on the cover of the magazine. I am very proud of the photos that were used, and the magazine publishers did a great job with the color reproduction.

http://issuu.com/landmarine/docs/cirka_magazine02?e=1056874/11463957

http://issuu.com/landmarine/docs/cirka_magazine02?e=1056874/11463957

 

The Studio is open for business, and it is time to start thinking of those springtime Family Photo sessions. And, it is never too early to schedule Senior photos if you will be graduating next year. I have expanded the Studio and added another room for props and equipment. This gives more room for shooting those award winning Portraits and Headshots. Do you need to update your Model Portfolio, and have a new Headshot for a Pageant you are entering? I also cater to Corporate Headshots for use in company literature and social media. Would you like a new photo for your website or Facebook page?

Apologies are in order for those of you that follow me on Facebook. Somehow I was hacked last weekend, and someone tried to contact a lot of my friends with a scam offer. I do not know how this happened as my passwords are a random combination of letters, numbers, uppercase, lowercase and special characters, and very hard to crack. It took several hours to clean this up and change passwords to everything. It should be safe again to follow me on Facebook and like my Jim Walker Photography page. Thank you for your patience, and for all of you that alerted me that something was very wrong.

When my Facebook page was hacked, I happened to be out photographing one of my favorite events of the the year, The World's Greatest Sleigh Rides. There is something majestic in seeing the Percheron, Belgium and Halflinger draft horses pulling sleighs full of happy people through the snow. The event is put on every year to benefit the Pine Tree Society, a Maine non-profit that helps handicapped and disabled children and adults.

World's Greatest Sleigh RidesWorld's Greatest Sleigh RidesWorld's Greatest Sleigh Rides

I will be photographing a Pageant the end of the month, and hopefully several studio sessions. So, until next time, thank you reading what I have been up to.

 

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walkerj@megalink.net (Jim Walker Photography) Falls Lisbon Maine Photos cover draft horses magazine photography rides. sleigh http://www.jimwalkerphotography.com/blog/2015/3/being-published-and-a-cover-photo-at-last Sun, 08 Mar 2015 18:13:07 GMT
Finally, It is Back To The Studio http://www.jimwalkerphotography.com/blog/2015/2/finally-it-is-back-to-the-studio January and February are always tough months to be a photographer.  Unless you photograph newborns (which I don't), there is not much call for Studio Sessions or Weddings. I have been working too much at L.L.Bean to line up more than a couple of weddings this summer, and no Studio Sessions. So, I decided it was time to try a little advertising through FaceBook. [Time for a little self serving advertising, please like my Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Jim-Walker-Photography/114541688557470?fref=photo Thank you!]

The advertising led to a query e-mail from a young lady in Portland, Queenie. She was interested in a photo session on Valentines Day. Now I was thrilled, but not quite sure if the session would actually happen. Another Blizzard was due to hit Portland and Lewiston, Maine on Saturday afternoon. I made the appointment with Queenie for Saturday afternoon, and crossed my fingers. Queenie ,and her friend Chris, were a little late, but they made it. What a great couple. We chatted for awhile, and discussed what she had in mind as I showed them the Studio. We just began playing with poses, and locations and tried to have fun. It was fun shooting in the Studio again, especially with the lights.


And, as luck would finally have it, the Blizzard went south and north of us. But, only a couple inches fell in the mid-coast region of Maine. The weather man called this one wrong, and the brunt of the Blizzard went out to sea. With over 78 inches of snow having already fallen in the last few weeks, it was time we had a break.

Thank you Queenie and Chris for the pleasure in photographing you on Valentines Day. What a great couple!

I am handing in my resignation with L.L.Bean for the end of March. I need to devote more time to my Photography. It has been a good 14 years with L.L.Bean, but time to move on and do what I really enjoy doing, Photographing People...  I have Studio Time available for Families, Couples, Corporate Headshots, and Models that need to update their portfolios. Contact me at walkerj@megalink.net if you would be interested in booking a shoot.

On another note, I feel honored to have been asked to join the Board of Directors for Maine Professional Photography Association. I am looking forward to our annual convention in Brunswick in April, and entering the Photography competition with some of my Portraits.

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walkerj@megalink.net (Jim Walker Photography) #StudioPhotography Couples Lewiston Maine Photos Studio Valentines photography http://www.jimwalkerphotography.com/blog/2015/2/finally-it-is-back-to-the-studio Tue, 17 Feb 2015 14:00:00 GMT