Katie is a very versatile performer and we wanted her portfolio images to show it. When hiring for a show, venues not only look for skilled performers, but also for physical and personality attributes that will get the performer into a requested character. Having a portfolio that highlight the style and beauty of the dancer is as important as showing off their impressive skills. This is why, for this second part, we included some beautiful and romantic images.
Katie Mesmerie Brunner and I have worked together for 3 years. We shot together for Art as Action (the unforgettable flour shoot), and for Iluminar Aerial (underwater!). I also photographed her and her fiancé sitting on a bed on 16th Street Mall in Denver, and of course I photographed her beautiful wedding in Estes Park. Katie and I are used to working under challenging conditions and I knew that once again we would be creating incredible images when she asked me to shoot her portfolio.
Katie is an aerial dancer; she uses lyras, silks and straps to perform at different venues around the country. Her latest, month-long series of performance in Florida convinced her that as a professional dancer, a solid portfolio of her work was necessary.
I knew that I needed to use a solid color backdrop and model the lights perfectly to showcase Katie’s incredible strength and grace. The challenge with aerial dancers is that they need a rigging point for their apparatus and enough space to move around. Using a large enough backdrop that covers the dancer and her apparatus is one of the greatest struggle that a photographer will have to deal with when working in studio. Katie and I reviewed several locations before deciding to try shooting in my studio. I have an unfinished basement with nine feet high ceilings that I use to shoot all the studio images in my portfolio. This basement is huge and has been a wonderful creative space for the past 4 years. This basement would serve as an aerial dance studio for the first time!
In order to photograph Katie safely, I placed a heavy-duty clamp on a weight-bearing beam (a steel I-beam that runs the length of the house). Then Katie used a carabiner to hang her apparatus. She used an anchor shaped device for her silks. We placed the backdrop (a 12 feet wide seamless) behind and under her and set up the strobes around. By the time the studio was set up, Katie only had a 7.5 feet clearance to work with, which is very low for aerial dance. Thanks to the seamless backdrop and Katie’s skills, I could then recreate a sense of height in post processing.
The advantage of shooting in my studio is that we can use any color backdrop, plug my strobes and take our time to create a solid aerial dance image. Katie quickly adapted to the lower height and we managed to get a series of images that showcase her incredible skills.
This blog shows the first part of the shoot, using a Tiffany Blue Backdrop and silks and a Lyra. The second part of the shoot was done two weeks later and will be the object of a second blog!
I wanted to write a bit more than I usually do. If you don’t want to read, please scroll directly to the bottom of this page to see my albums. They look even better in person, so please schedule a consultation to have a look at them !
Pictures hold completely different meanings depending on what stage of life we are in when we look at them.
A new mom looking at her babies pictures while she is still not sleeping at night, while she is still recovering from the birth, will look at them with delight. The pictures will be shared and go somewhere on a hard drive. Or be stored somewhere on social media.
But an album will be stored in a bookshelf. No one was quite sure why this crazy photographer forced them to make an album, but hey, they just did it.
20 years later, when her little child is about to leave for college, she will look at those pictures with a completely new look. The pictures will bring back vivid memories of her time as a young mom and she will feel many wonderful emotions.
If she is lucky, the sleep deprived mom was organized enough to create backups of her digitals and had them readily available, on a new handheld (20 years from now) device.
But her album will be in her office, now that she has opened her own business. She will be glad to touch her baby’s face while her grown up child drives away.
Then one day she will be a grandmother. The pictures will be brought back up to compare features, new memories will be created and with it will come new images.
Hopefully someone will have remembered to transfer the pictures from the old drive. USB technology? What is that? Who know who saw the pictures last?
But the album is now in the family room with the other precious books. Ready to be opened again.
It is very likely that old prints are brought back up, old family albums are dug up. The pictures will be touched. A little rip or stain adding texture to the times long gone.
I know that people love digital. I understand the need to possess and use what we have. Most people, unfortunately do not print anymore.
This is why, in this era of digital images, I firmly believe in the power of prints. And this is why, before my clients purchase the digitals, I convince them to get an album that I design with love. An album that is beautiful and solid enough to withstand time. With UV coated pages and seamless pages. Albums that are built like books.
Here are just a few samples of my albums. There will be more to come and I hope that more and more of my clients will understand and embrace the power of prints.
Courtney is my hairdresser, she is also a make up artist with whom I have worked in the past. Her and I love Alice in wonderland and started working on this series with her as the Queen of Hearts! Enjoy!
When a lot of people think of photography, they think of family photos, cute babies and landscapes. As a fine art photographer, I am often asked what it is about my work that is different or unique compared to other photographers. The short answer is that I am an artist, and my medium is photography.
I love to work with subjects who are creative, and who are willing to try different and interesting things with their photographs. I work with my clients to create photographs that are memorable, visually compelling and beautiful, all while simultaneously capturing important moments for them. Whether it is a bride who is willing to do an underwater photo in her wedding dress, or an engaged couple who will lounge in a bed on the 16th Street Mall in Denver, I want to create a work of art that speaks to many different people, not just the people in the photo.Take a look at some of my most recent, and favorite, fine art photos.
If these images are intriguing to you, I would love to work with you as a photography subject. Please call me at 720.387.9664 or email me directly at Annabelle@annabelledenmark.com.
I love engagement season. As I scroll through Facebook and see all of the wonderful engagement announcements that people post, I can feel their excitement and it gets my creative juices flowing.
Part of the reason that I love engagement sessions is because it really gives me the opportunity to work with a couple on a personal level, and really find what it is about their relationship that is unique and special to just them.
Over the course of my photography career, I have found that an engagement session is also a rehearsal for the wedding, and a chance to take more personal photos of the couple that they may not get to take on their wedding day.
Here are a few of my favorite engagement shots from sessions this past summer.
This particular shoot was one of my personal favorites, because I was in Paris with the couple for their wedding, and we picked a very special place for the engagement photography session that we knew we would not be able to get to on the wedding day. It was a beautiful spot, and the couple was able to truly be themselves without the nerves and anxiety of the wedding day. It was a lovely day, and as you can see, the shots really captured the beauty of the place and the couple too.
If you are looking for a fine art photographer for your engagement session, please reach out to me today. I would love to help you create the engagement photos that will capture you and your significant other during this special time. Please also check out my website at annabelledenmark.com for even more engagement photos!
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.
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 🙂
For this session I wanted to give them some classic, colorful, and timeless images.
I also enjoy sneaking secret messages and dates in my images 🙂
Because she is a performer and he is happily joining her on stage, I thought a bit of a cinematic feel was in order.
Denver can be very windy, which can also be a very lucky thing.
David’s bike is very important to him. They told me that we had to find a way to have it in our shoot 🙂
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!
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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This composite was created during two different shoots. Jen was “Light” for the Five Elements, and I composited her into the rose later.
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.
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.
The images above are diverse. They fit into a particular vision, a message.
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