The beauty of art work

6 years ago I had a photographer come over and photograph my new born baby. The pictures are now safely stored on my hard drive, somewhere.

3 years ago I had a photographer take pictures of our family. She did not let me purchase the photos as digital image files. My pictures are now safely stored on her hard drive.  So what did that leave us with?

This:

Frames

 

(all those images were taken by Monika Michelle Photography, she also handled the printing and delivery of my prints)

I look at those images every day. I love them so much in fact that I have no desire to take them off my wall.  I love them so much because someone made them for me with great care and all I had to do was pick my favorite ones. The funny thing is that I think it cost me less money than the digital image files I purchased 6 years ago.

Then I started my business, and because everyone is like me, everyone wanted digital files. So I just sold the digital files.  And when I go to my clients house I see mostly: poorly printed images in an 8×10 frame or no images ever printed. It didn’t use to bother me until I became burned out last year after editing 1000s of images, and very few were ever printed at all.

Everything changed for me after I went to Vegas for a photo conference. I looked at prints. Touched canvases, metal, wood base, flipped through albums. I was in a place where photography was valued, not only as a service to people, but as art work.

What does it mean for you as my clients ? It means that there will be a session fee as before. But instead of me sending you the digital files for a fee, I will have you come over (or Skype if you live far away) and select your images with me. I want to hold your hand as you decide what kind of art work you wish to see on your wall. And then I will take care of editing everything to perfection and print everything exactly like you want it. I will do a quality check on every single product and then deliver them to you, ready for hanging on your wall.

The two questions I get are: yes, but how do I share my pictures with the family? Don’t worry about it. I will give you the right tools to do it. Your pictures with be on Facebook and Twitter and Pinterest even. Your family still has the option to order small prints at a low price. My goal isn’t to make money off of small prints. My goal is that you get a huge canvas or a beautiful metal image for your wall, or that you make a gallery with cool images that create a story.

I also offer albums and folio boxes if you prefer the pictures to be seen only by you.

The second question is: How much more expensive is this going to be? Not much more than the digital, if you consider the fact that you will spend a lot less time, energy and money trying to find ways to print your pictures. And you will have something gorgeous to look at every day.

I have a lot of samples in my office and you will be able to see and touch and have a good feel for what you want to get.

I took this image last year at the Wise Homestead Museum.

The piano

I think it deserves better than being on my hard drive or somewhere on Facebook.  I want this to be printed on metal, I am thinking of a 20×30 metal to have on my staircase  🙂

Katie + David

The first time I met Katie was during a meeting for Art as Action’s show “Break Open” . The first thing she told me was, “I like to work with fire.  Can you photograph fire?”

I had no idea how, but went “Sure!”

Hey, why not…right?  So we did a fire session as practice for her engagement.

Engagement Fire Session
Engagement Fire Session

But on the day of the engagement session, it was so windy that we didn’t get to the fire.  Instead there was Katie and David, me, Brian (my trusty assistant), a bike, and a bed.

Katie (Mesmerie) is an aerialist, hula hooper, and fire breather artist.

David (aka The Fermentor) is a foodie who is completely fearless.  He rides his bike everywhere, loves passionate people and risky behaviors.  Katie loves to say that he is the dangerous one 🙂

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For this session I wanted to give them some classic, colorful, and timeless images.

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I also enjoy sneaking secret messages and dates in my images 🙂

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Because she is a performer and he is happily joining her on stage, I thought a bit of a cinematic feel was in order.

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Denver can be very windy, which can also be a very lucky thing.

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David’s bike is very important to him. They told me that we had to find a way to have it in our shoot 🙂

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I agreed to the bike and then thought: If we are going to have a couple, a photographer, an assistant, and a bike with a trailer, we might as well carry a bed!

So we did.

We walked two blocks with a headboard, footboard, side rails, bed slats, pieces of plywood, mattress, bedding and pillow. In the wind of course.

It was so worth it!

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The “bed” shoot was important to me as I wanted to add a fine art feel to the session, and after all, that is why they hired me!  (little did they know about carrying all that stuff,  but never mind..)

The bed was set by the Rialto.  We built it in 5 minutes, the shoot lasted 10. By that time, an uncomfortable amount of onlookers  started gathering on the side walk and it was time to move on.  We only had one homeless guy try to lie down.  Not too bad!

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After the bed episode, we were so tired that we stopped for a beer.  I convinced them to do one more shot (not of Tequila! ) and we settled down in the middle of Larimer street.

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This shoot was CRAZY.

I loved it because it was completely fearless.

I also loved it because Katie and David  understand that images  become art in the hands of passionate people. There is no way to create something awesome without a bit of hard work, but it was their priority to do whatever it took to turn this session into a series of unique, artistic images.   They also understood that this shoot was a collaborative work where every creative idea was welcome and tested. There was no right or wrong, no judgement, and the process was exactly the same as the one described in my fine art portraiture blog.

Needless to say,  I can’t wait for their wedding on August 9th!

The road less travelled

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I— I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference.  –Robert Frost

I started photography the hard way by jumping straight into fine art portraits.   This is a road less travelled because most photographers who pursue their dream as fine art portrait artists cannot make a living out of it. So most of them keep a job on the side and work with models, or they turn into regular portrait photographers and do fine art on the side.  Fine art portraits can be found in galleries and in magazines, but very, VERY few photographers offer fine art portraiture to clients.

I decided that I would be one of the very, VERY few because I believe that everyone should have a chance to express their vision, their dream, their message, their unique being through my lens.

I have collected many fine art images over the years.  You already saw some in my first blog  Feminine – Fierce – Fantastic,  those were  in my studio.  Let’s look at other types of fine art portraits.

The  Aerialist

This image  was created during Iluminar Aerial’s promotional shoot . We used Iluminar’s studio and I lit the space with my strobes  and used smoke to created a painterly effect.

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A Groom and a Bride

This image was created during Emmy and Travis Moon’s wedding in Grand Lake.  This image is made of 3 composited shots. I have also applied textures to create a painterly feel.

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The Ice Queen

This image was created on a very cold day, with one of my seniors, Kaitlyn Thornton.  I used the natural light and berries. I then processed the image to create a cinematic feel.
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The Wait

This image was created at the Farmstead museum in Lafayette. My little model, Madeeha Aslam, posed and I composited the bird and the grass into the image after the fact.

L'attente / The wait

Chelsea

This image was created during Chelsea’s senior session. It is a composite of many individual images of flying paper. It was taken at sunset.  Untitled-5

Water

This image was created during one of my early projects called “Madness – The Five Elements”.   My model, Tanya, was balancing above the water and I composited the image. This was taken in natural light.  Click the link for the Behind the Scene of this image.

Fire

This is another image that was created during my early “Madness – The Five Elements” project.  Elizabeth was “Fire” and the image was composited to give the impression that the forest was on fire.

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The Rose

This composite was created during two different shoots.  Jen was “Light” for the Five Elements,  and I composited her into the rose later.

Sleeping in the rose

Frozen

This is me, with frozen feet. I love to retreat to small areas surrounded by rough elements. I love the idea of a nest, of a safe place.   I had my camera on a tripod and shot in natural light.

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Motherhood from an Artist’s Stand Point

This is me again.  I wanted to express the way I felt being a fine art artist who is also a mother of two.  This cloud was made by hand using balloons and paste and pillow stuffing.

Where my head went while my child was upset for a reason only kn

The images above are diverse.  They fit into a particular vision,  a message.

Let your imagination fly, and I will do the rest.

Shoot Out

Today I had a boudoir shoot out (which means that I was the model, and then I photographed the photographer) and two things became very apparent to me :

First it is easier to be a model than a photographer.  It is actually quite relaxing, and I felt valued and special.

Second, we both had very very different styles.

I was posed in a very specific way, and it felt good relying completely on my photographer to take care of me.  She was the nurturing kind.

And then I proceeded to shoot.  I am not as nurturing and as detail oriented in the posing process. Instead I feel things, look for light, lines and composition to complement my model. My model and I were in a safe place but she had to take an active role.  I am  the collaborative kind.

A shoot out helps you realize that there is no right way to do things and that every photographer is different.  You have to find the right one for YOU.

Also, the photographer’s voice has to be loud enough that the client knows what they are getting into.   I am not everyone’s photographer, but people who chose me are my clients, my people.  My clients want to be pushed to their edge, try new things, feel empowered.

Fierce, Feminine, Fantastic 🙂

 

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Feminine – Fierce – Fantastic

I have always been on the other side, watching people, observing their little details, such as their ears that point slightly, their expressive hands, their long and graceful necks, their facial expressions.  I am the girl on the edge of the  dance floor who loves watching others dance.

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I have always read fiction books, from Steinbeck to Zola. I enjoy the elegant writing style, vivid description that have made me want to talk, act and eat like the characters (after I read Grapes of Wrath I could only think of eating beans and biscuits and gravy from bacon fat).

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It was no wonder then that when I first picked up a camera,  my instinct  was to take pictures of women, and tell stories that involved death and life and love.  And beauty.  I did it three years ago just for fun and got paid to do regular portraits. Today I do not want to do it for fun, I want to give it as a gift to women who need to translate their vision into timeless images.

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In my heart and soul I am not a photographer. I am not a person who will pose you for your fireplace picture (even though I have done it).

I am a person who thrives on passion.  I get my high from my vision.  I get my high from your passion, and your vision.

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And ultimately, I am happiest when my vision and your vision can blend  and create an image that brings tears of Joy to my eyes.

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If you want to work together on creating an image that you will love forever; an image that comes from the meeting of both our visions, then I am your photographer.

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I want to get to know you. So long before we start shooting, we will spend sometime knowing each other.

And to work together, I need you to understand who I am:

My name is Annabelle Denmark, and I am first and foremost, a fine art portrait photographer.  I craft Fantastic images for the Fierce and Feminine women.

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And so you know, I also have a French accent. And if you must know everything, I love to laugh and feed people.  And watch Grey’s Anatomy (that is a secret though).  And I can be very, very goofy and eat an entire chocolate bar, in one day.

If you would like to know more about what chocolate is the best, or what your vision might be, or if you want to have a crazy pattern on your naked body…..please call, email, message me.
Also…

The images on this post have been crafted to show examples of what I can do, but it is in no way representative of what you should do. You and I will craft YOUR images, whether they take place in the studio or outdoors, with fancy make up or swimming in a lake.  Fully clothed or totally naked.

 

fan·tas·tic
fanˈtastik/
adjective
  1. 1.
    imaginative or fanciful; remote from reality.
    “novels are capable of mixing fantastic and realistic elements”