Saturday, June 23, 2012

Sandra Bernhard in Seattle

This past Thursday June 21, 2012 Sandra Bernhard performed her first of what was to be 5 shows at the Triple Door Theater in Seattle.  The show is called "I love being me, don't you?"  The title refers to the overwhelming number of people that create Facebook and Twitter posts about the most mundane things in their life seeking some way to fill a void that most don't even realize exists.  I myself and very guilty of this, constantly seeking attention via social media.  In fact, as soon as I am done posting this blog I am going to post a link on my Facebook page even though I have already shared the photos there (thanks for coming by the way :)  Shameless I know but it's what I do.  It's probably what you do too. 

I had set up early in the morning and was shooting portraits for work with the same setup I was using for Sandra so I had a good idea of what I would be getting once she arrived.  It was essential I be prepared to pick up my camera and fire fast so she could get in and out.  I had promised her Manager the longest part of the shoot would be to make it 5 floors up the elevator to the room I had set up and that I would take no more than 3 or 4 photos and be done.

Sandra arrived at around 4pm and proceeded to sound check.  The rehearsal took longer than I had thought it would so I was getting nervous it wouldn't happen.  She was set to go on stage at 7:30 and after several hours of waiting on standby her Manager came and got me at 7:15 after she had put on a gorgeous dress that was to be a focal point of her show in just a few short minutes.  The pressure was on!  I was more determined than ever to be quick and efficient.  We got to my faux studio which was basically a glorified hotel room where I had haphazardly moved furniture around to create an open space large enough to hold my lights.  I was using 3 Elinchrome D Lights, a couple of 8 inch reflectors, a huge Octobank and a Profoto ringflash.  My models earlier in the day had commented a lot that the ringflash was pretty intense on the eyes so I was nervous it would bother Sandra right before the show.  On the contrary, when I gave her the disclaimer that the bare bulb was intense she knew the light well and told me to light it up!  She stood in position and immediately gave me an awesome look, I fired 3 shots and said "OK, were good."  She looked at me as though I were from the Moon Titan.  "Screw that, we're taking some pictures!" she said.  My heart skipped a beat!  I had remembered seeing her HBO special Sandra after Dark in the early 90s.  On that show she had Tom Jones as a guest so I was playing a Tom Jones CD on my daughter's boom box.  It was a depressing song on at the time though so Sandra told me that I needed to change it.  I fumbled around until I found the song She's a lady.  "Turn it up!" she instructed and I obliged.

She proceeded to dance and sing for the camera for then next 5 minutes and I was firing my new 5D Mark III away pushing the battery pack for the ringflash to the limit.  She has a way of being sexy, seductive, cool, fun, intense and funny all at the exact same time.  I don't think I have interacted with anyone like her in my life.  The song ended, the shoot ended, we gave each other a high 5 (I was wayyy to sweaty for a hug...tmi?)  and we walked back to the venue.

I met up with my beautiful Bride and we rushed into the venue where we had front row seats so I could fire off some shots of her show.  The show was hilarious.  She had myself and the rest of the audience cracking up from start to finish with her stories (my favorite was about the plumber).  Her mannerisms, wit and voice made the show extremely entertaining.  Her wardrobe change near the end of the show made it even more..err, for lack of a better word...stimulating.  Sandra Bernhard is about as awesome as it gets!  Go see her show!

Saturday, June 09, 2012

David and Cortney Married in Walla Walla

My friends David and Cortney together make one of those couples you see and can instantly tell they are perfect together. Two of the kindest people you will meet and it is so clear they are madly in love with each other. I was honored and thrilled when they asked me to shoot their wedding in Walla Walla on May 19, 2012.

I had never been to Walla Walla but have always wanted to visit. The wedding was the perfect opportunity. It is absolutely stunning out there. Endless hills along a long, windy highway covered with deep green Alfalfa set the backdrop for a peaceful town filled with some of the best wine created on the planet.

The wedding was as charming as I had ever seen. They had cut a large circle out of the tall grass adjacent to the vineyards at A'Maurice winery. The guests stood around the couple while they exchanged vows. Once the ceremony was done everyone headed back down to the winery where there was delicious wine, an amazing food truck responsible for creating the BEST hamburger I have ever had in my life! They had fun games at every table and on the grass. A giant Jenga game made of 2X4's was the biggest hit I think. Kite flying, hula hoops and good times abound. It was a perfect wedding day for a perfect couple. A small handful of pics are below. I've also created a slideshow that can be seen by clicking the link below as well as a link to the full gallery should you be interested in purchasing prints.

 Cortney and David Leischner Wedding Photo Slideshow

 Full Gallery Here