I’ve just returned from the International Photography Awards and Convention in Las Vegas where over 20,000 photographers from around the globe come together for a week of learning, sharing and inspiration. Each year I make the pilgrimage to catch up with great friends old and new and immerse myself in photography from around the world. It helps me keep it fresh and current for my clients and for myself. This year I taught a 2 day workshop taking 20 photographers through the process of creating the wedding landscapes that Studio Impressions has become know for. When I first started photography I wanted to incorporate my love of landscape photography with my love of wedding photography. I wanted to use the landscape to somehow convey the story of a couple as they begin their life together as husband & wife.
We received our first International award back in 2003 with this kind of landscape image and somehow in that process, began a new style in wedding photography. This year at WPPI, one of my images, in a similar style, took out 1st place, again. Of course this isn’t all we do, and our photography has changed and grown with time, and I still love to experiment. But, it is nice to see, that 10 years on this style is still relevant and that fine art images will always remain classic, and in demand. All I ever wanted was to create timeless images. This year, at WPPI, I thought for a moment maybe I am finally doing that.
Here is the image that received 1st place this year.
This is The image that received first place in 2003, when landscapes and wedding photography combined was something new.
A lot of photographers have been asking me when I’m going to run another workshop. Well the answer is February 6th, 7th & 8th. And it will be FREE. Am so excited to be giving my next workshop on creativeLIVE! So anyone can watch it free online, live from Seattle. Just register at www.creativeLIVE.com
It’s going to be a practical workshop giving you a behind the scenes look at my wedding photography. I will be doing actual shoots & breaking them down, explaining why I do what I do when & showing you how I do it. I’ll be talking about how I prep for a wedding and what equipment I will use, including lighting equipment, and I’ll be showing you how I use post production techniques to finish off my images.
I think I might have personally photographed maybe 600+ weddings (stopped counting a long time ago), and I’ve learned A LOT along the way. So in this workshop I’m giving you plenty of the tips & little tricks I use to get the images I get – stuff you can use straight away. If you have ever wondered how we create the images you see on this blog, then don’t miss the chance to have your questions answered.
So join me online or JOIN ME IN PERSON….but HURRY………….
SIX people will get to join me in person on the workshop in Seattle. Those people will get to photograph with me & have me give them personal advice on improving their images. To be one of those six people, simply:
- Create a short video telling me why you want to join my workshop in person on creativeLIVE
- Post that video to your blog, YouTube, Vimeo, Facebook etc
- Tweet a link to your video to @creativeLIVE . Remember to include the hashtag #marcusLIVE.
BUT you only have a couple of days to do it! DEADLINE IS 9TH JANUARY! So get posting!
And please SHARE THIS so anyone that wants to join in can.
Opened the mail today and found my new copy of Queensland Bride Magazine. Flicked through to find this fab shoot by my very talented husband. (Some may say I’m biased, I call it accurate). It was all styled so perfectly by the equally talented Brendan at Styled Events and Cara at Invitation Station.
So excited! I heard ALL about this in the lead up from Cara and from Brendan and from Marcus, who, I have to say, was pumped when he left the house to do this one. I think Cara’s perpetual state of excitement might be catching.
The funny thing is, I didn’t actually see the images until today. All I can say is I LOVE IT. Wow! Gorgeous flowers by Stem Design and gorgeous models with hair & makeup by Kim Snare too. I’ve posted a few more from the shoot below, but check out Queensland Bride for the full story.
At the time, I was a little jealous I wasn’t there. Even more so now. Brendan & Cara, next time you put something together like this, invite me. I’ll bring Adam as the photographer. Marcus & I can get married again right there, then. Why waste this fabulousness?
If that wasn’t enough, also in this edition of Queensland Brides was the real life wedding of Moira & Kristian . He does do some fine work that Marcus Bell (even if I am biased).
We are bad bad bloggers. I know it has been a few weeks since either Marcus or I have posted anything at all. Lots of good reasons why but none of them really matter to regular readers of our blog. Just know that we will be making up for it in the coming weeks.
First I wanted to share something that did happen during our blog hiatus that made me very very proud.
The Australian Institute of Professional Photography held the 2012 National Photography Awards. Marcus enters these awards every year and I will be honest and say I have often asked why. Over the years I have watched him grow in his photography and I have come to not only accept but love that he always wants to do better. Every year I smile when I see him look through hundreds of beautiful images and tell me he “just doesn’t have anything” (good enough to enter). I remember his very first awards and how much he wanted to prove to himself that his work could stand on its own merits. All these years later, this is still exactly the same. He honestly doesn’t care about the trophies or the titles, and we know that our clients don’t really care too much about that either. I have learnt that photography is Marcus’ voice. It is his way of expressing what he thinks about the world and while he doesn’t put it like this, I know he wants to always produce work that says something – that makes people feel. The awards give him a chance to litmus test that. And so I accept the annual craziness that is APPA. I love that he is still so passionate about it and I am quietly in awe of the consistency with which he produces beautiful images. We often laugh about how we see the same thing so differently. I am the lucky one in the unique position that can really see Marcus in his images, and his images, of other people’s weddings of all things, say more about him than most people know.
This year the images below earned him 2 Golds and 2 Silvers with distinctions, but more importantly, they earnt him enough “points” to get the title of Grand Master of Photography. Unfortunately this title doesn’t come with a cape or samurai sword or even a Grand Poobah fur hat with horns (Flinstones fans will know what I mean) – it just comes with a lot of years of hard work and consistently high standards of photography. For those of you that are not photographers, photography titles are bestowed by the AIPP based on the accrual of “points” for your photography. In order to receive a Grand Master of Photography you must first achieve the level of Master of Photography a minimum of 5 times, and accumulate at least 65 merit points over your career, including at least 5 Gold awards and 10 Silvers with Distinction. Now given that you only get two points when one of your images achieves a Gold with Distinction (the highest score you can get at an award), it takes a while to achieve 65 merit points. There are not a lot of Grand Masters out there and Marcus might well be the youngest of them.
Back at those first awards, I remember how Marcus dreamed of winning a Category. Grand Master seemed impossible. So jokes and name calling aside (there have been many courtesy mostly of me), I couldn’t be prouder that the commitment I have seen Marcus give to his photography and the little piece of him that appears in his images, has been rewarded in what is actually a very personal achievement. Well done you. This is something special.
Now Grand Master Shifu, can you pack the dishwasher for me?
Marcus & I are the parents of premature twins. Our boys were born 2 months early and they did not have an easy start to life. I am forever in wonder of the perfect little crazy, boisterous, brutus, capable human beings that inhabit my house today, 7 years on. The odds said it should not be this good. So, because we know we are lucky, we do our little bit throughout the year to raise money for projects related to newborn babies and perinatal research. Maybe more people will get to have healthy children like ours.
The day our twins were born at the Royal Brisbane & Women’s Hospital I became a “Royal Mum”, one of the thousands of women in the history of Queensland to give birth at “The Royal”. The RBWH Foundation has created a book about Royal Mums documenting the stories of women since the 1930′s that have had babies at their hospital. Volume 2 was launched on Friday with a fabulous morning tea.
We are proud to say that Studio Impressions has been a collaborator on this book. We donated the photography for Volume 1 in 2010, and now we have photographed, Volume 2. This has been an exciting and uplifting project for our little team. We have gotten to meet women of all ages, from all over Queensland and who all have stories that are funny and sad and uplifting and heartwarming. This book is both a story of the experience of women, the creation of generations of Queenslanders, and the story of the history of Brisbane as it describes historic events in our beautiful city through the eyes of new mothers.
Royal Mums: A Collection of Memories Volume 2 is for sale through the RBWH Foundation. All the money goes toward creating a Mother’s Milk Bank which will provide life saving nutrition to newborns when their own mother cannot produce enough.
Here are some behind the scenes from Volume 2. If you like what you see – buy the book - you’ll love what you read and you will help make a difference to the start of someone’s life.
Left Image: Makeup artist extraordinare Kari Chaney who donated all the makeup for our Royal Mums, at work on Royal Mum Kaley. Kaley’s boy, Vincent, was born a premmie.
Right: Marcus at work on the portrait of Royal Mum Angela. Angela was presented with the first release of Volume 2 in honour of her beautiful baby boy Noah who was born on January 23rd 2011 and passed away a few days later. Read more of Angela’s story here and how Noah’s life is making a difference for other little babies.
Below are the Royal Mums portraits appearing in the Book. From top to bottom, left to right: Anna Porfryio, Charmaine Giarratano and baby Brooklyn, Christine Bennett, Muriel Porter, Laura Perkins and Betty Biggers, Angela Perry, Marjorie Bowers, Barbara Underwood and Kaley Butten. Ladies, it was a pleasure to take your portraits. Thank you for being a part of this very special project.
The launch morning tea:
The launch was MC’d by ABC Presenter Jenny Woodward. We also heard from 94 year old Betty Biggers who told the crowd what it was like to have a baby in the early days of the RBWH – when Dads were not allowed in the room, and long before the days of disposable nappies. A neonatal intensive care nurse told us of the daily experience and hundreds of babies every year that will benefit from a milk bank, then CEO of the RBWH Foundation Peter Treseder spoke presented the book to Royal Mum Angela Perry.
If you are looking for a unique Mother’s Day gift guaranteed to make your mum laugh, smile, cry and retell her own story of your start to life – this is a book you HAVE TO GET. PLUS it is only $35! Should I say it again? Do something good today - Buy it now!
It is Photography Awards season here in Australia. Although it always seems to sneak up on me, I love the Awards process. At times it is more of a love/hate relationship. It is hard to put yourself out there. Even after years of entering it is a confronting experience. You are putting something you have created, up to be judged. But the reason I do it is because it makes me stop and think about my work and it tests me creatively. When you push yourself, you have to become a little better and in the end that makes a difference for the people who trust you to photograph them as a professional.
I’m pretty happy with how my prints went this year, but what I am most proud of is not my work, but Aurelie’s. Aurelie really put herself out there this year and she not only just went okay, she became Runner Up Queensland AIPP Illustrative Photographer of the Year. The smile on her face was better than any award I’ve won. Aurelie joined our team a little over 2 years ago and has quickly become an incredible shooter, fast booking weddings of her own. You can check out her portfolio of images in the photo gallery here.
This was just one of the many moments already this year that have reminded me how lucky I am that Studio Impressions is more than just me. Studio Impressions was started by me, but it is really a collective of passionate talented people who love photography and how it can make us laugh or cry or argue or smile. Each one of them is talented in their own right. I’ve told you about Aurelie and you often see Adam’s work on this blog, but also sharing our little workspace are Karen & Tania who create cuter baby images than I can, and Gabe who is my right hand man at weddings and has recently produced some of the most beautiful albums the Studio has ever done. And then of course, there is my wife Penny who has been there behind the scenes from the very start, by my side, building this dream of ours. It really is a team I am super proud of.
I’ve decided it is time that you started to hear a lot more from them too. Along with Adam’s weddings you can look forward to some future posts of weddings by Aurelie and newborns by Karen, and I have asked Penny to write a few posts of her own too. I think it will be nice to hear a female voice now and again, starting tomorrow when I let the girls loose on the blog to share their favourite wedding fashions.
In the meantime, a BIG CONGRATULATIONS to all the very deserved Award Winners at this year’s Queensland AIPP awards. Here are just a couple of Aurelie’s gorgeous images that scored solid silver with distinctions from the Illustrative and Wedding categories.