This was such a fun shoot! They were up for anything – including walking across a field in high heels!
For this wonderful session, we were given special permission to shoot at the community airport. When this wonderful couple showed up in such wonderful clothing, I knew this was going to be a fun shoot!
Before heading off to Las Vegas and Boston, I was fortunate enough to be asked to do a small private workshop in SouthWest Florida. Here is a sneak peek from two of the sessions.
For this private family session in Las Vegas, we chose a beautiful protected canyon well outside of the busy city. The soft Winter grasses and painted canyons provided soft sweet light in the late afternoon for our session. And I couldn’t ask for a nicer group – friendly and eager to explore the location.
One of my favorite locations to shoot is an apple orchard. I love the neat rows of trees lined up perfectly for interesting compositions and angles. They provide such a dramatic backdrop for my subjects: that little extra that turns a boring picture into something interesting and dynamic.
Photography is, and will always be, very hard work for the professional photographer. It’s not about coming to a location, bringing a big fancy camera, and clicking a shutter. Angles, lines, composition, and especially light (angle, intensity, and color) all have to be weighed and compromises made to capitalize on the best assets and downplay the negatives.
When I go to any location, I first have to analyze the light direction. For an apple orchard, which can only be shot in one of two angles for the majority of the session, I have to make sure the shoot is scheduled for the most optimal time of day. As an example, if I am shooting a North-South oriented orchard field, I can only shoot it very late in the day or very early in the morning. But an East-West field can be shot with much greater opportunity since I can put the light behind or in front of my subjects. All that goes out the window, though, if it is an overcast day. Then I have to put into a new set of considerations in order to prevent harsh shadows of the face and ‘raccoon’ eyes. Also, the amount of foliage also greatly change what I can and cannot shoot: Summer may provide more opportunities with light but also more challenges (green color casts). Spring brings blossoms but few leaves to block the light. Autumn colors are vibrant but the trees can be very dense and the early dead branches need to be avoided.
Once the light is assessed, then I have to decide the best camera settings (aperture, shutter, ISO, lens) to make sure I have enough light on my subject and the surrounding area doesn’t distract or overpower my subject. The lens must enhance the subject but also do appropriate things to the background. A more amateur photographer will most likely have a lot of closeups of the face and be unable to balance the background to the subject. But the professional knows how to provide session variety: closeups, full body, relationship, thoughtful, happy, moments, connection, etc. Very often, the difference between a mediocre shot and an amazing image comes down to where the photographer stood when the shot was taken. Tw0 steps either direction can make or break an image.
Reading a location is a skill set very few photographers possess – it takes time and training to really understand how to find the very best pockets in any location: the confluence of light, background, and moment. It’s one of my greatest strengths and one I proudly bring to every shoot. After all, anyone can shoot a family sitting in the grass in the middle of a park. But at one point, a client should always ask: is my family really that generic and boring that I want to be photographed that way?
And finally, when the images are taken off the camera, post processing becomes critical. Proper color is especially a hurdle for many newer photographers. As well, decisions on mitigation ofenvironmental issues I could not change (ever wish you could move a tree?) and enhancing those that made that area unique need to be assessed with a critical and object eye. For my imagery, the focus (light) is always on the subject. The art of processing is knowing how to ensure that always is the final result of an image with the Ajaton Joki name on them.
I feel that every person is unique and distinct: photographing them in the place where they live, allowing all the factors that helped to grow and define them as a person, are just as important in the story of their life. And that’s what photography really is: the story of a wonderful life, one moment at a time.
Here is the story of a beautiful and serious young lady at the apple orchard where she grew up. This was a later day sunset shoot really playing with the gorgeous light and color at that time of the day. In only a few days, these trees would be picked bare for the harvest: the apple she is holding made into the sweet tasting jellies and jams the children in the area will enjoy for months to come in lunches and as afternoon treats.
In a small rocky jut of land, equidistant from the skyscrapers of Surfers Paradise and the moderate buildings of Currumbin, lies a little piece of paradise. We brought the lovely Magda out for an ethereal sunset shoot in the cool Australian Winter.
Of course, variety is always the aim for me – how can I take the same model, same location, same make up and clothing and make each image distinct, different, and yet interesting in its own right. It’s a challenge – one I hope I rose to in this particular session!
I am not usually given the opportunity to photograph animals – but when asked by fellow Australian photographer Ainslie Bernoth of Wild Spirit Studio, I jumped at the opportunity!
The owner of the Arabian horse stud farm had a gorgeous English riding habit that I simply could not wait to photograph in the later hours of the Australian Winter afternoon. As well, model Charni rose to the occasion as well and created moving portraits of girl and horse.
Simone, the owner of the ranch and her special horses.
And Charni’s images
The weather is finally starting to warm up in Helsinki and I had a chance to shoot a lovely couple at the Seurasaari outdoor museum in Helsinki.
A little extra lighting helped really bring out the colors of the sky yet still retain the vibrant hues of the red in their formal wear. We were serenaded by swans (one of which became a bit too enamored of us and had to be shoo’d away) and the occasional jogger (who we didn’t shoo off). But in all, it was a lovely evening and perfect to really showcase the love and respect these two share.
There is something magical about australia and this particular evening’s sunset was breathtaking. The perfect setting for a shoot with the lovely Ellie.
A very talented young lady shot at the waning hours of light right after dusk.