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The "Taylor Martin" conceptual portrait work

Meet Taylor Martin Coiffure renowned Hair Designer and Makeup Artist of Azure Hair Studio and Morris Hill Studios Boise's Best creative collaborative audio, video, and photography facility.

Image Styling and Photography:  Illustrious Sunnie Lynne internationlly know for her publication based out of Boise Idaho

Locations: Azure Hair Studio, Tiger Prop Art Gallery Downtown Bois


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Conceptual Senior Session October 2015 River Hayes

This is by far the most incredible Senior shoot Sunnie has photographed to date.  This wasn't your typical smile for grandma shoot.  She was able to capture the true soul of the senior.  Expression, creativity, self awareness, confidence are just a couple words to describe River Hayes.

Photographed in Boise's most prestigious Salon Azure Hair Studio located in the linen district home of Tod Alan mastermind and most renowned Hair Artist of the century, known internationally for his out of this World Hair and Fashion shows.

Image Styling:  Taylor Martin Coiffure renowned Hair Designer and Makeup Artist of Azure Hair Studio and Morris Hill Studios Boise's Best creative collaborative audio, video, and photography facility.

Photographer:  Illustrious Sunnie Lynne internationlly know for her publication based out of Boise Idaho

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Translating Photography to Video

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Translating Photography to Video

Translating Photography To Video

For the last few years I’ve been working with video projects when time or the opportunity arises.  In the last year or so there have been opportunities to take on professional video projects which has been amazing.  A lot of the technical theory translates from photography from video, but the exciting part is learning the things that don’t.  

I’ve always loved the process of telling a story with a single still or a series of stills.  There are details that provoke emotion on so many levels.  There’s also an ambiguity that leaves room for interpretation on the part of the viewer.  The subject and composition, the coloring, the contrast in the image, and the setting all play their part in the story.


With video those parts exist, but there are things that I quickly learned take some experimenting with to get used to.  Once you’ve had the chance to get some of the basics down, you can go just about anywhere with it.

As I’ve mentioned before, Sunny Daze Photography is based out of The Wormhole Studio.  Working with my two business partners who happen to be audio and video producers, we’ve found that our different skill sets have made the photo to video transition, as well as the audio to video translation, a lot easier.  

It’s an interesting combination that has fast tracked us to doing professional video projects in a matter of months.  Of course if you’re reading this, you’re aware of my obsession with light and using it creatively no matter what the subject or medium is.  

I also have Conor, who is not only a precocious-wonder-boy-genius when it comes to sorting out the technicalities of new equipment (I’m pretty sure he reads the manual of every piece of gear we own cover to cover, for fun), but is also a successful music producer and sound designer that sets very high standards, not only for himself, but for those he works with.  Cary on the other hand, brings his experience as a writer and story teller and Director.  His experience as a songwriter and producer gives him the inherent aptitude to highlight the details on the timeline to bring the story to life and evoke an emotional response. 

You mix the combined skill-sets with our insatiable creative curiosity and it starts to come together really fast.  

Another thing that me and the boys learned quickly was how important the audio behind the video is.  I’ve seen some really beautiful video clips accompanied with harsh, reflective, tinny audio from the camera mic or a handheld recorder of some sort distract terribly from what would otherwise be great video.  Having two audio guys that understand what acoustic reflection is, how to capture and treat high quality audio (noise removal, mixing, mastering etc), and how to compose and score is priceless.  I can’t emphasize enough how much and how often video is compromised by poor audio quality.  Imagine seeing your favorite movie with no music tying scenes together while the actors voices sound like they’re in a concrete jail cell.  It’s not pretty!

 

 

While I’m new to the video world, just having the understanding of the basic components has ignited my imagination for what’s possible.  These videos are three of our projects we’ve collaborated on recently.  With each new project we learn something new that makes the next one better. 

If you’re a photographer looking to learn video feel free to hit me in the comments.  For technical education we often hit up Cary’s brother Curtis who has an amazing youtube channel that explains a lot of the finer points of video through tutorials and equipment reviews.  You can visit him here: https: //www.youtube.com/user/curtisjudd

For Audio and Video Production please visit www.wormholeproductionsgroup.com

 

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Amsterdam Lounge

Boise just got a little cooler.

Reinvention is a key element in art and business alike.  Boise's own Ted Challenger had a vision of transforming the space he purchased in his early twenties to reflect the wisdom and sophistication that comes with twenty three years of life experience, or at least that's this outside observers take on it.  He did it right.  

The Amsterdam is a beautifully sophisticated establishment.  For those that will miss the Bistro (I have a memory or two of my own with the old Bistro as the backdrop), it's worth a visit.  I'm certain the European atmosphere will stretch your mind towards your own personal evolution.

Elegant coffee house by day, lounge by night.  To keep it interesting there will be "stronger" coffee options, not unlike the coffee houses of it's namesake, sans the herbal psychotropics of course.  

It is clear from the moment you enter that a great deal of thought and hard work went into transforming what was once a stop on the "bro-stroll" into a place conducive to meaningful conversation.  The former hundred and twenty beats-per-minute stomp-stomp that billowed from the outside patio will be replaced in the evenings with more thoughtful throwback classics geared toward Ted's own Generation Xers.  

Last, and certainly not least, the collection of classic arcade games adds a touch of playfulness that will keep any air of pretentiousness at bay.  

Go by first chance you get.  Soak it up.  Boise just got a little cooler.

In the meantime, here's Amsterdam through my eyes.

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Zoom In: Artistry In Home Building

The Parade of Homes

It’s the time of year that marks the beginning of the busy season for real estate agents, builders, designers, and me!  

Light Painting

Light Painting

 

The Parade of Homes is a special time in real estate.  It’s a chance for the builders, architects, and interior designers to get a few weeks in the spotlight to really show off their talent.  With that comes quite a bit of excitement, and if we’re being honest, which we are, some extra stress for all involved.

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I’m always excited to get the opportunity to shoot a unique or interesting home, so it’s been equally rewarding.  I’m really proud and grateful that I had the opportunity to photograph not just one, but five of the featured homes this year!  

 

*takes a bow*

 

Sometimes things line up just right and the universe puts you in the place you want to be.  With my newly added “Light Painting” technique, there were of course several requests to add that extra sparkle to the parade homes.  Though it caused for some longer work days, it was really nice to have the last shoot of every day to look forward to.  Me, a tripod, and a light for a paint brush made for some of my proudest images to date.

My partner is convinced he needs to live in this house.

My partner is convinced he needs to live in this house.

 

Not only did I get to experiment with the new technique, I had a lot of interaction with builders and interior designers who were getting their work ready to showcase.  How often do we think of a home as art?  Of course when we visit famous buildings, be it a historical monument, an old cathedral, or the hip new corporate headquarters of google, we become aware of the creativity and craftsmanship that goes into them.   Seeing an interior designer putting the finishing touches on a dining room table or up on a ladder fine tuning curtain fixtures, or having a builder point out the detailed tile work that went into the backsplash of a polished gas range really gave me a new respect for the craft of home building and decorating.  It was so inspiring to get to rub elbows with people who are the best at what they do!

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If you get the chance to see the homes on display this year, I recommend you take it.  You’ll undoubtedly be impressed if not awestruck by what you see.  


While I don’t have any technical photography tips in this installment, I do see value in taking a closer look at what’s around you, not only for photography, but in every day life.  Zoom in a little bit, there is art in everything!

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Painting With Light

I'm fascinated with light.  To "see things in a different light" is a phrase that I take quite literally.  I love the process of taking something from every day life and really looking closely at it.  Walt Whitman said it best, "I see the world in a blade of grass and the universe in a single grain of sand".  I love to find detail in the mundane and shed light and color on the drab.

I've been experimenting with a new technique that is not only really fun, but the results have surprised even me.  I'm sure there's some technical term for it, but I call it Painting With Light.  I'll of course be adding the option to my real estate clients, but right now I'm enjoying the newness of something that blows my own mind!  It's opened up so many new possibilities.   I'm going to apply this to some of my conceptual work as well.   

The basics are this: take a long time lapse and walk around whatever you're shooting (in this case the house) with a light.  I've found that for shooting a house the best results happen at dusk or dawn.  

I made the video below to demonstrate how it's done.  Imagery speaks more eloquently than words, so push play!

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How To Shoot And Be Shot: Real Estate Photography

Real estate is the bread and butter, meat and potatoes, and peanut butter and jelly of my photography business.  I could probably write a book on the subject, but let's just work in small bursts.  It's really easier that way.

For this installment I want to focus on the professional and human side of real estate photography.  When shooting real estate there are two key factors that will keep business running smoothly for photographer and agent alike:  preparation and setting expectations.

If you’re a photographer, be understanding with your clients.  Real estate can be a very intense business.  Real Estate agents, much like you, are not working typical 40 hour 9-5 weeks with leisure time on the weekends.  In the off chance they have a scheduled weekend off, I guarantee they’re still taking calls from clients, thinking about their listings, and ready to jump if a potential buyer can only see a home at 8:15AM on Sunday morning.  

In many cases you will be interacting with the current occupant or homeowner as well.  Be mindful that buying or selling a home is a very stressful process.  It is the single most expensive purchase most of us will make in our lifetimes.  Be respectful and kind when they are present.  Come to think of it, that's a pretty good way to be with anyone, anytime, anywhere, but I'll save that for a different blog.

For my beloved agents that have found themselves reading this, the best thing you can do is make sure your seller knows what to expect on photoshoot day.  The tidier the home, the better it will look!  My style of photography (HDR) is effective because it shows the subtle details that make a home desirable.  Unfortunately it also shows every detail of a dirty floor, a rumpled TV Guide on the coffee table, and a haphazard smattering of poetry magnets on the refrigerator.  Again, the tidier the better!

Newly built homes are a little different, but the same rule applies to construction waste that is often still present just before it goes to market.  In my case, I probably won't be able to drag a wooden palate across the two acre backyard to get it out of the shot.  If you're able to bring in a professional to stage a newly built home, do it.  While you may have a good idea of how to fill the empty square footage with furniture and decorum, many of your potential buyers may not.

All of this being said, let's tackle one of the most common snags we run into when shooting real estate: arriving at a scheduled shoot to a property that isn't quite ready to be photographed.  

There are several little things that make a BIG difference.  Because I'm a visual artist, I've inserted a few yes/no examples below.  Look at it as one of those picture games where you try to find the differences between two similar pictures...

hmmmmmm...no.

hmmmmmm...no.

YES!

YES!

not so much.

not so much.

Yes please and thank you!

Yes please and thank you!

nope.

nope.

Yes!

Yes!

You can see that the differences in these examples come down to a few simple details.  Though they are small things, a few coats hung on a door, a trashcan left out in the open, and a smattering of refrigerator magnets (man those things give me anxiety), distract from the aesthetic of the photo.

The best way I've found to manage this potential setback is really quite simple.  Preparation and expectation.  

The way I've learned to avoid being a part time cleaning lady is by including a Real Estate Photography Checklist in my monthly newsletter.  You can click on it at the bottom of this blog.  I encourage you to make your own based on what problems you run into as a photographer.  You're welcome to use mine as a starting point.  If you don't send out newsletters and you're doing real estate photos on a regular basis, I recommend you start!  

For agents, print out copies of the checklist and give them to the residents of your listings a few days before the shoot.  You'll be surprised how smoothly and quickly the shoot will go with this little bit of preparation.  In the case you're selling an unoccupied home, be sure to see the home in person ahead of time to see if there are any tasks that need to be taken care of.  Also, don't forget to remove the "for sale" sign if it's already posted in the front yard.

In the cases where you (both photographer and agent) arrive at a home that isn't quite up to standard, be kind and pitch in to get it ready.   Do your best to be as understanding as you can with the occupant of the home.  Again, selling a home can be a very stressful process and you never know the circumstances under which they're selling, so keep a good attitude.  It goes a long way and is contagious!  There may be some cases where the shoot needs to be rescheduled if the property is at a point where it's going to take a small army of professionals to clean it up, but this is quite rare.

A few other subjects from my Real Estate Photography Checklist:
-Have every interior and exterior light turned on and keep them on until the last photo is taken and the camera's back in the bag (even exterior shots).  
-If the home has special features like a pool, hot tub, fire pit, or fountain, have them uncovered and turned on.  Make your photographer aware of special features ahead of time.  
-If there are pets, contain them somewhere that they won't run through the shots.  
-If you're a homeowner or agent that is present for the shoot, do your best not to hover while the photographer is shooting.  I/we use our eyes and I guarantee we're looking for the best angles and features of the home.

Turn Around Time

As I mentioned in the beginning of this blog, setting expectations is very important.  It's just as important as the preparation stage.  It is crucial that you set a clear expectation of when your photos will be ready.

In my case, I have a guaranteed turn around time of 48 hours.  I've streamlined my process by setting up a mobile workstation in my car so I can get photos batching as I pull away from the shoot.  In most cases I can get photos edited, labeled, and uploaded to MLS and Tour Factory (the virtual tour service I work with).  

One problem I have run into a few times is receiving a call from a realtor at 8AM Wednesday morning after shooting their home at sunset Tuesday night.  Because I shoot anywhere from 4 to 14 homes a day, I've developed an efficient process that allows me to exceed the set expectation.  It's really not the realtors fault if my track record with them has had photos turned around in less than a day.  To solve this problem, I keep a short note saved on my phone that I can copy and paste into an email or text message that refers to my guaranteed turn around time and the "RUSH" option that is available when they make the order.  I also reiterate the guaranteed turn around time and the "RUSH" option in my newsletters on a regular basis.

-Synopsis-

The problem:  The common snags that come with doing real estate photography.

The Solution:

Photogs - Prepare yourself, your client, and communicate with them ahead of time.  Keep an easy attitude when you arrive to a shoot and the property is in less than ideal condition.  Set clear expectations condition the home needs to be in and how soon you'll have your photos turned around.

Realtors - Prepare your listing and/or have the occupant prepare and tidy the property.  

Click here to see my Real Estate Photography Checklist

 

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How To Shoot And Be Shot: Band Photography

This is the first in a series of blogs I'll be doing that offer tips for my fellow photographers and specific clients they work with.  Before we make our way down the list of peeves and problems of a picture taking princess, let me preface with a little life advice I remind myself to take often: “there are no problems, just opportunities to grow”.  Such is the world of photography, well, really any pursuit, be it creative, professional, or otherwise!  Look at me handing out life lessons in my blog…

For our first installment, I decided to go with the process of photographing a band or musical artist.

A Sea Of Glass 

A Sea Of Glass 

 

This one is a little tricky for me personally.  During my off hours, I am very involved in the local music scene here in Boise.  I not only shoot bands on a regular basis, but I’m in the Boise based band, The Vacationist.  In addition to photography, I am a partner at The Wormhole Studio, an audio/video/photography studio.  I am often on both sides of the lens and stage lights as it relates to all things music.  I've had enough experience to advise on the common mistakes a lot of new bands make.

 

Lamp In The Dark

Lamp In The Dark

The biggest obstacle with band shoots is lack of experience.  

To musicians: Yes, you have spent a maniacal number of hours honing your craft.  You’ve written songs, sweated it out in a van across Nebraska, played to 5 people, and hopefully to 5000.  What you didn’t do was go to modeling school.  Of course you’re going to be uncomfortable in front of the camera.  Most musicians want to think that the music is all that matters and I have to agree, HOWEVER, if your music isn’t dictating an image to go along with it, how inspiring and unique can it be?  

Zack Quintana

Zack Quintana

 

OUCH!  Right?  

Look at a few photos of iconic artists.  Have you ever seen a picture of John Lennon laughing at a male anatomy joke Paul McCartney just told him?  No.  Did you ever see a photo of the late Curt Cobain with Dave Grohl grabbing his hindquarters?  Nope.  Do you think Thom Yorke shows up to a photoshoot in an Affliction/Tapout t-shirt?  Not a chance.

"A good artist makes good music.  A great artist makes great music that can’t help but radiate through his entire being."  

They’re icons for a reason.

Now that the rant is over, what’s to be done?  

First, have a plan.  Think about the music you make.  The lyrical style, the mood, the energy, and the genre.  What does that dictate?  If it dictates an Abercrombie and Fitch advert across your chest, don’t quit your day job.  There are millions of hungry people that need pizza made and delivered.  

 

The Vacationist/Freqmob

The Vacationist/Freqmob

Seriously though, take some time with what you’re going to wear to the shoot.  Set aside 10 minutes after band practice with your bandmates to discuss the overall vibe of the band and set some basic guidelines.  When in doubt, all black with a few accents may seem like a cliche, but it’s a cliche for a reason.  It works.  It works because it leaves focus and light on the faces of you and your bandmates.  A hard and fast rule, unless you’re Blink 182 circa 1999, do not wear overtly branded logo clothing (i.e. the aforementioned affliction/tapout/obey etc).  This type of clothing doesn’t come off as relatable, it makes you look un-imaginative.  Remember, an artist is interesting because he/she/they give the listener a new perspective of the world.

Austin Martin

Austin Martin

The next thing you’re going to encounter is posing in front of the camera.  You will feel uncomfortable and try to alleviate this with your buddies by cracking crass “your mom” jokes or something of the like.  Don’t do it.  It will distract from a potentially great shot.  Be quiet, think about your musical icons, imagine your face on the cover of your favorite magazine, and take direction from the person that’s taking your picture.  Heaven knows those first few band shoots are most likely done by your closest friend with a decent camera that’s doing it because they love and believe in you (i.e. for free).  

The Vacationist/Cary Judd

The Vacationist/Cary Judd

For a photographer shooting a band: Do your best to keep the band at ease.  As you're setting up, talk to them about music.  Find common ground with artists you both enjoy.  Ask them questions about what inspires their music.  LISTEN to their music in advance and ask questions about what inspires them to create and share it.  As you listen to their music, open yourself up to ideas and think about the image their sound is painting. 

To get your subjects on the same page, you'll want to have a conversation ahead of time about the points I discussed above.  Or send a link to this particular blog (I've done half your work for you).  Chances are it will be enough to get them to pause and be manageable on the day of the shoot.  

-Synopsis-

The Problem: Shooting a small and inexperienced herd of cats (a band).

The Solutions:  

Photogs - Take time to get to know the band/artist's music.  Address the common mistakes most bands make by sharing them with your subjects ahead of time.  This will not only make for a good shoot, but will empower them to “take it to the next level” (whatever that means) by skipping certain mistakes green artists make.

Artists: Take direction, don’t wear logos, and do your best to refrain from being goofballs during the shoot.  Keep in mind what you are doing is important.  You're making music, which in my opinion is the pulse of being human.  Nietzsche said it best when he stated, "without music, life would be a mistake".

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Pam and Justin

I had so much fun shooting Justin and Pam's engagement photos last week!

Weddings and engagements can be tricky.  They're pictures that the couple and their families will go back to for years.  The default setting is often to take very traditional portraits.  With a pair like these two, tradition would have undoubtedly bored them to sleep.  

Over the course of a few conversations I realized we were going to have to find a more creative approach.  The one thing that kept coming up over the course of our conversations was their mutual love for music and how they'd bonded over listening to and talking about this subject.  

They really brought the enthusiasm as we started brainstorming location ideas and were an absolute blast to work with.  I found a few locations that I thought would represent the urban love story, stopped in at The Record Exchange to capture them thumbing through used vinyl, and of course, got a few shots outside on the trail to give a respectful nod to the traditional side of the wedding experience.  

Thank you to Pam & Justin for making my job fun!  

Enjoy!
-SD
 

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Rainy Day Light

Through my experience shooting real estate I've always had a strange relationship with rainy days.  While there are downsides to shooting the outside of a home on a rainy day, it's also mother nature's gift to a photographer.

Over the years I've learned that photography from a technical standpoint isn't about your camera, or how fancy of a lens you have.  It's not necessarily about the subject.  Light.  Light is everything.  Finding light that translates what our human eyes see onto a photograph on the screen you're looking at or as a print.

Rainy days are still, ahem, sunny days in my world.  They are nature's gift because of the perfectly defused light that is everywhere.  Defused light that touches everything outside so gentle with subtlety, I have always felt, lends itself to some of my favorite images I've captured.  I'm always a little disappointed when a shoot is postponed because it's raining.  It always feels like a lost opportunity.  I definitely don't like standing out in the rain with thousands of dollars of photography equipment under an umbrella, but the artist in me will always opt to take the risk to capture an image that might evoke a certain emotion in those who see it.

I've had the chance to experiment with some of my real estate shoots this past winter.  The images I have caught on rainy days have been among my favorite.  Of course a real estate agent's job is made a little more difficult when they're showing a perspective buyer a home that's shot on a rainy day.  Understandably so.  So of course I invented my own process I call "The Inversion Inverter".  The combination of rainy day light with merging a blue sky, I've been told, is magical.

For those of you have had the privilege of working with, don't count me out on a rainy day, give me an opportunity to make magic with mother nature's gift.


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Lamp in the Dark Photoshoot

Some subjects make your job really easy and genuinely fun.  The guys from Lamp in the dark were fun, appreciative, and easy to capture. 

Lead Vocals Beni Maneac

Lead Vocals Beni Maneac

Drummer Josh Solts

Base Player Phillip Mangeac

Guitarist Nathaniel Conein

Guitarist Nathaniel Conein

Lamp in the Dark Live
Lamp in the Dark
Lamp in the Dark

Click hear to learn more about Lamp in the Dark!  Be sure to check out their music and like their facebook page.

https://www.facebook.com/LITDidaho

 

 

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New Look, Same Great Stuff

New Brand, Check it out

I feel like I have changed so much in my lifetime. I am so thankful that I can express that through my photography and art.  I decided since I personally am changing all the time, that I would spice up Sunny Daze image as well.  

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Cover Photo FacebookWEB.jpg

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New Look, Same Great Stuff.  First Post from Sunny Daze!

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