Henry Gonzalez Photography LLC: Blog https://www.henrygphoto.com/blog en-us Copyright (C) 2000-2024 Henry Gonzalez Photography LLC, All Rights Reserved [email protected] (Henry Gonzalez Photography LLC) Mon, 16 Mar 2020 06:58:00 GMT Mon, 16 Mar 2020 06:58:00 GMT https://www.henrygphoto.com/img/s/v-12/u930714613-o52267128-50.jpg Henry Gonzalez Photography LLC: Blog https://www.henrygphoto.com/blog 91 120 AZ Summer Survival - 10 Common Sense Tips to Summer in the Desert https://www.henrygphoto.com/blog/2016/6/az-summer-survival The summer heat is upon us once again, and while it marks the beginning of Senior Portrait and Wedding season in other parts of the country, not so much here in AZ.  Why?  Well, If you're new to our great state you'll learn fairly quickly, if you're a native however, the answer is quite obvious.  But to illustrate the point, I'll share the experience of a friend of mine that moved to Tucson from Minneapolis.  This friend was brainstorming ideas for a good business that he could make a small investment in and run on his own.  He'd experienced the mild Arizona winter and we were getting into the spring months when he told me his grand plan.

"I want to buy an ice-cream truck." he told me.  

6D_Practice-092Playground Fun?The surface of playground equipment can reach 160° F on a typical summer day! "I can make a killing, who doesn't love ice cream? There are a couple of parks near my home, I was thinking that I'd just set up shop there during the summer.  What do you think, would there be too much competition?" he asked. 

"It's not the competition so much as the clientele you should be worried about," I answered.  

"You know how you have those hamster tunnels running from one building to the next back home- the ones you guys use to keep from freezing to death? Well, let's just say, our version of that is to stay inside!" 

"That can't be true," he interrupted, "kids will always want to play in the park on the playgrounds no matter what! The playgrounds were full of them just last weekend!"  

"True enough," I answered, "but there is a huge difference between March and July in Arizona."

I felt bad for throwing cold water on his idea, but he found out first-hand that summer is why Arizona kids don't spend time on the playground.  With the latest forecast calling for a high of 115°F by the weekend, there's no better time to talk about the heat.   So with that, here are my top 10 common sense tips to survive summer in Tucson.

10.  Avoid playground equipment!

While the slides and jungle gyms are oh so fun during the rest of the year, they can cause second degree burns during a hot summer day.  Uncovered playground equipment reaches temperatures of close to 160° F - the temperature at which you can fry an egg! Similarly, don't walk on a sidewalk with bare feet and if you've got pets, remember that they don't wear shoes - if the hot asphalt can burn your feet, it will burn theirs as well.  Remember, Arizona gets enough heat to fry an egg on the sidewalk, think of what it will do to you or your pet's feet!

9. Stay indoors!

FYF_Triathalon-148Cool in the Pool!A dip in the pool is a good way to stay cool in the AZ heat, just don't forget the sunscreen!

As much as possible, just avoid being outside.  Stay indoors where it's air-conditioned.  If the AC goes out or if you don't have any, stay in the lowest room in the house away from the sun - better yet, go to the mall or public library, or find a cool swimming pool someplace where you can get out of the heat.  What about watching a movie?

8. Know the safe and danger hours

The heat sticks around in the desert, so the word "safe" is relative.  But if you want to get stuff done outdoors, or if you insist on taking a jog around the neighborhood, then do it early.  The coolest hours are generally between 4:00 a.m. and 6:00 a.m.  Conversely, it is important to that if you're going to be active between 11:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. be sure to take additional precautions as this is the time when the heat is at it's worst. 

7. Dress appropriately

Wear lightweight clothing that breathes and avoid dark colors which tend to absorb the heat.  Consider natural fibers like cotton and avoid fabrics that retain the heat (don't wear your under armor gear for your summer runs).  Wear a wide brimmed hat like a cowboy hat or a golfing hat - even an Indiana Jones style safari hat will help, or for the ladies a nice sun hat - something that will keep the sun off of your face and neck.

6. Wear sunscreen lotion

Sunblock is serious business in the desert.  Aside from saving you from a very painful burn, sunblock is important to keeping your skin from aging prematurely and can even prevent you from getting a deadly skin cancer.  Because of the intensity of the Arizona sun, choose a product that has at least an SPF of 30, but the higher the better.  Also, choose one that is labeled as a "broad spectrum" sunscreen that protects against both UVA and UVB light.  Look for something that is zinc and titanium based, as they tend to be better for your skin.

The heat in AZ will cause two things to happen that you must consider when using sunscreen.  1) You will be enticed to take a jump in the pool and 2) You will sweat profusely.  These two things are very bad for sunscreen, so be sure that you are reapplying sunscreen often (about every 45 minutes - 1 hour) depending on how much you're sweating/swimming.

5. Eat small meals often

When it's hot out, your body wants to keep that heat in your extremities where it can be cooled by the sweat that's evaporating off your skin.  When you have a big meal, your body shunts blood to your intestines in order to digest the food and collect the nutrients to send to the body thereby interrupting that natural coping mechanism.  To avoid problems eat small meals more often.

4. Avoid these foods and drinks

Avoid eating foods that are high in protein, and avoid beverages with alcohol or caffeine as they exacerbate the effects of heat on the body. 

3. Learn the different signs and symptoms of heat illness

Heat illness comes on in stages; it's important to recognize it early to avoid full-on heat stroke, which claims the life of around 50-60 Arizonans every year.  

Review the following information put out by the Arizona Department of Health Services:

Heat Cramps
Muscle spasms or cramps are an early warning sign of heat illness. Immediately get to a cooler place and rest. Lightly stretch the affected muscle. Drink 1/2 a glass of water every 15 minutes.

Heat Exhaustion
Sweating heavily, headache, upset stomach or vomiting, and dizziness are all signs of heat exhaustion. Cool, moist, pale, or flushed skin (turns red) are also signs of heat exhaustion.  Heat exhaustion can become heat stroke.  Immediately get to a cooler place and rest. If symptoms worsen, get help immediately. Drink 1/2 a glass of water every 15 minutes.

Heat Stroke
Hot/red skin, dizziness, confusion, rapid weak pulse and rapid shallow breathing are signs of heat stroke. If a person was sweating from activity, skin may be wet; otherwise, it will be dry. Call 9-1-1 or your local emergency number. Immerse in a cold bath or wrap with wet sheets and turn on air conditioning and a fan. Watch for breathing problems. If you are helping someone and they refuse to drink water or are throwing up, don’t give them anything to eat or drink.

2. Never ever do this!

Never leave a child or a pet in a car - ever! Not even for "a couple of minutes".  The outside heat is transferred to the inside of the car via the windows, but that heat transfer is one-way only, as the heat is not able to be released.  This means that the temperature inside the vehicle can reach about 50 degrees hotter than outside the vehicle.  So, on even a "mild" Arizona day of 85°F, the interior temperature is around 135°F! Think "cracking" the window open will help?  Well it will - only by about two or three degrees.  


Drink plenty of water and drink it often!  Even if you don't feel thirsty, your body is losing water.  You'll notice most Arizona natives walk around with a big water bottle filled with water- there is a reason for that!  It is the law in AZ that a business must provide water, free-of-charge to anyone who asks, and  there is a reason for that too!  If you're going to be active during the "danger hours" of 11:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., water becomes even more important; during that time you should be drinking a quart of water every hour. 

The Desert heat can be deadly, but if you are careful, you can learn to enjoy the Arizona summer - especially the amazing summer nights we experience! We here at henrygphoto.com wish you a very fun and adventurous summer.  Stay cool, and stay safe!

[email protected] (Henry Gonzalez Photography LLC) Arizona Henry Gonzalez Photographer Portraits Senior Summer Survival Tucson family headshots weddings https://www.henrygphoto.com/blog/2016/6/az-summer-survival Wed, 15 Jun 2016 04:07:27 GMT
You have a right to choose! https://www.henrygphoto.com/blog/2016/5/you-have-a-right-to-choose David at sunset.Your LocationChoose a location that represents who you are.

When I was in High School, the Senior Portrait was not a big deal.  Before the start of senior year, the school would tell you where to go to have a formal 

portrait taken for the yearbook. The idea was that you wanted something better than the standard high school photograph; one that was not taken by someone whose photography training and experience was not much better than the lady who takes your license picture at the DMV.  Since you were there, they offered the ability to get your picture taken with a cap and gown and even with a giant number representing the year you graduated- and that was it.  Today, schools still instruct their students where they want them to go for their Senior Portrait, but do you have to go where they tell you? More importantly, should you?

It is understandable that the schools must control what types of files they receive for the yearbook it is a matter of consistency.  But senior portraits are expensive, and you need to know that you're getting the results you want. It is unethical for the school to require or for the photography studio to imply that you must also get your senior portraits done with their chosen photographer. Beyond the basic yearbook photo, the choice is yours. 

Choosing a photographer is a personal decision and it comes down to two basic criteria. 

  1. You identify with their photographic style.

    When you see that photographer's images on their website, do you like what you see?  Do you connect with what they are doing? Their editing style, their use of lighting and the connection  Wava-080-EditDreamy Golden Sunset PortraitSelect a photographer whose style you like. with the models should generate some emotion within you.  Not all photographers are able to achieve that, and even when they do, not all photographers appeal to all people.  Photography is like any other art, you have t o have a taste for it.  The fact that I'm not a fan of country music doesn't mean that the musicians who play that style are any less of an artist than the classic rock bands I enjoy, it just means I have a different taste.  Your aesthetic must match that of your photographer.   
  2. You are comfortable with the photographer's personality.

    You will be spending several hours with this person.  Starting with the initial consultation when you plan your shoot, all the way through the shoot and then print selection afterward, you have to trust this person and be able to work with them. 

When going with the big photo studios that the school normally recommends, there's no guarantee that you'll get to really choose. Usually they are very good at what they do and that is take lots of pictures for lots of people and do it the same way all the time.  They'll assign you to whomever is available for the shoot that day, you'll have no sense of photographic style, nor will you have the opportunity to meet ahead of time to be sure your personalities are a match.  For them it's all about volume.

Sweetly SmilingYour photographer should make you feel comfortable. Choose one you "click" with.

Today, having your senior portraits done is a big deal.  It's the opportunity to get decked out and perhaps pampered by a hair-dresser and/or make-up artist on-location.  Throw in a couple of wardrobe changes, and spend a few hours getting treated like a super-model in locations that have a special meaning to you and you get a special memory that is matched only by the beautiful portraits you get afterward.  For you parents, let's face it, this is the last time you'll probably get formal portraits of your child before their wedding.  A far cry from what I had back then, and not something you want to trust to just whomever the school says you must use. Don't surrender your choice. If your school insists on using their photographer - just do what is required of you for your yearbook.  But for your precious memories, hire the photographer that you choose!


[email protected] (Henry Gonzalez Photography LLC) Choice Hair Magic Make-up Photographer Portrats Senior Senior Portraits Tucson https://www.henrygphoto.com/blog/2016/5/you-have-a-right-to-choose Sat, 21 May 2016 01:07:05 GMT
Should you hire a Wedding Planner? https://www.henrygphoto.com/blog/2016/5/should-you-hire-a-wedding-planner As a photographer, I get to be behind the scenes of lots of weddings.  There is one rule that I have yet to see broken and that is this:  Something WILL go wrong on your wedding day.  It’s not always a big something, but it is the kind of something that often causes a bit of a frenzy amongst the wedding party and family.  Why?  Well, that’s an easy question to answer.  Weddings are huge events filled with lots of little details.  I’ve been in charge of planning big events and seeing them through to completion – that is a full time job in and of itself.  Now add to that the stress of getting yourself ready, taking time away from the event to get your portraits done and all the other details that go into getting married, and it could very well be a disaster waiting to happen if you haven’t planned the wedding out to the last detail.  So then hiring a wedding planner should be a dream come true right?  Well, it is a big decision, and not one that you should make lightly.  There are definitely some great benefits of hiring a wedding planner, but there are also some things you give up in doing so.

Let’s take some time to think this through.

The Fun Factor

How many weddings have you attended this year?  You can be sure that the wedding planner has probably planned more weddings this year that you’ve attended in the last four or five and that means they’ve seen it all.  They have ideas for making the wedding even more fun and spectacular. Ideas that you may have never imagined.  Such amazing details often make a wedding more memorable for not only the guests, but for the wedding couple as well.  I remember one wedding that I attended on the beach: flip flop sandals were provided to the guests so that the women in heels wouldn’t sink into the sand – who thinks of these things?  Wedding planners do! 

The Cost Factor

Wedding planners don’t come cheap – good help never does.  They are miracle-workers, but they can demand a king’s ransom.  Do you have a budget for a wedding planner?  If your budget is tight already, then maybe you need to forego the planner right?  Well, not so fast!  You see, most wedding planners that have been around for a while have established good relationships with several of the vendors and they are often able to get discounts for things that you are going to need anyway.  Often the discounts they amass cover the cost of hiring them in the first place.  It doesn’t always work out, but it is worth looking into.  On the other hand, costs may actually go up by hiring a wedding planner.  Remember those details we talked about earlier?  Well they do cost money, and the more of those you go with, the bigger the hit your budget takes. These were details you had never even considered before, but now you can’t live without them!  

The Trust Factor Frick-Karr Wedding_0200Newlyweds`Newlyweds

Just as with choosing a photographer, you need a wedding planner you can click with.  You are placing one of the most important days of your life into their hands.  You are asking them to help you make decisions that communicate to the world who you are as individuals and as a couple.  If the planner is all about dictating to you their vision for your wedding, then they may not be the best fit.  In the end the wedding has to be about you.  And that is one of the biggest hurdles couples have when deciding whether to use a planner or not, are you willing to give up the control over your wedding to someone else?

The Stress Factor

On the other hand, consider what an enormous undertaking planning a wedding can be.  There are so many details, so many different moving parts that if things aren’t planned out just right the whole thing can come crashing down.  If you’re super-motivated and really enjoy the thrill of putting something like that together, then go for it!  If, however, you’re prone to stressing out and have no idea how to plan a big event, the wedding planner will give you peace of mind on that big day.  No worrying about whether you ordered the right number of chairs, or if the caterer was given the correct address for the venue – the wedding planner has it covered.  And what about when that unforeseen problem comes up?  No frantic bridesmaids or family members will be running into your “get-ready” room – the wedding planner has it covered.

The Me Factor

There is one more factor that we should look at here.  Sometimes hiring a wedding planner can leave you feeling detached from your own wedding.  You may begin to feel as if it were not really your wedding.  You might see it as though you’re taking part in someone else’s production and not your own.  Again, that’s why choosing the correct planner is so important.  You want to choose someone who is going to guide and facilitate your vision, not impose their own.  A good wedding planner should enhance the experience on your wedding day, not hijack it.

GroomGroom portraits taken at Saguaro Buttes, Tucson, AZ Alternatives

Venues such as The Savoy Opera House, and Reflections at the Buttes and Saguaro Buttes as well as many others offer pre-packaged wedding services in the greater Tucson area.  These venues leverage all of their vendor relationships to get you great deals and are very adept at putting these events on often doing three or more weddings a week during the traditional wedding season.  If you use one of these, you may not require the services of a wedding planner at all. 

If you want to plan your wedding on your own, but would like that person to be there the day-of to hold your hand and to take care of any emergencies, you can do that too. Many wedding planners do “day-of” planning as part of their services.  

Breaking it Down

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to the question.  Someone may read this article and be convinced that they must absolutely have a wedding planner, while someone else comes away convinced that a wedding planner is the last thing they want.  And that’s the whole point, a wedding planner is a very personal choice one that should be thoughtfully considered.  The good news is that you have options, so take your time. Research your options, and come up with the best answer for you personally.   

[email protected] (Henry Gonzalez Photography LLC) Brides Magic Photographer Planner Tucson Venues Wedding https://www.henrygphoto.com/blog/2016/5/should-you-hire-a-wedding-planner Sat, 14 May 2016 07:44:55 GMT
Why I hate Instagram Filters! https://www.henrygphoto.com/blog/2015/8/why-i-hate-instagram-filters Do I really hate Instagram filters?  Why?  Don't they make my iPhone and Android photos look artsy?  The quick and dirty answer is no.  In fact, back in the film days, we were constantly striving for film that did exactly the opposite of what Instagram does.  The photos that are created when you throw a bad filter over a mediocre image are not artsy.  They are busy mediocre images with awful filters thrown over them that make them look worse.

There was a time when photographers were demanding and film companies were striving to manufacture a film that could generate a great image without all the noise and color weirdness that was so common back then.  In fact the consistency was so hard to achieve that when buying film for a wedding it was necessary to check and double-check the lot numbers on even the most expensive professional grade films to make sure they were all the same, so that the emulsions would match each other!  That was a lot of work that we went through in order NOT to have our pictures turn out like Instagram.  Consider this scan of an image originally shot on film:

REG1317-R01-017-7REG1317-R01-017-7A wedding photo shot on Kodak Portra NC 160 color 35 mm film. Notice the overly saturated colors and the extra grain in the veil and the bride's face?  That is not a lovely filter.  At the time those qualities were considered BAD, and yet I see filters out there that seek to imitate this! This was not art, it was one of the bad qualities of photographs that we were forced to live with. Though this image would have been considered a quality image at the time as it was shot using professional quality film and exposed correctly using a professional 35 mm camera, the deficits would have been called just that- deficits, the limitations of the medium used to capture the image.   The true art is in the composition and timing of the photograph.  That look on the bride's face reveals who she truly is, and her placement in the frame while important is not nearly as important as the connection a lovely young bride has her soon-to-be husband. You get caught up in the moment, but not because of the faults in the film but in spite of them.

It's about timing and connection

The image above works because of timing and connection.  The look on her eyes is caught in such a way as you can almost feel the love coming from her heart.  What makes the image is that you feel like you're watching something you shouldn't- it is a very intimate and emotional moment.  Your mind clears away the imperfections of the medium because the emotion is there.  

Now consider this image shot with a modern professional DSLR camera with modern optics:

Date_Night-055-EditDate_Night-055-Edit The difference is striking!  The emotion is just as powerful in this second image, but it is more compelling because of the clarity and the precision of the optics. Notice the detail in the hair, the clarity of the eyes and smiles of each.  No filters need be applied here. This is beauty and art because the connection between the two was captured at just the right time, in just the right way and was conveyed in the most beautiful manner technically possible.  The media is different, but the feeling is the same because I was looking for the same thing each time.  I was looking for raw emotion so that I was able to act in that instant that I saw it. 

If you want to make your photos better, then put away the filters and instead spend some time thinking about the photograph you are making.  What are you trying to say?  What are you sharing with the world?  I promise if you stop and think about your photography you will get much better images to begin with than you ever can by just throwing whatever filter over it as an afterthought.

[email protected] (Henry Gonzalez Photography LLC) instagram Filters https://www.henrygphoto.com/blog/2015/8/why-i-hate-instagram-filters Tue, 04 Aug 2015 07:51:01 GMT
Getting Married Soon? Consider an unplugged wedding. https://www.henrygphoto.com/blog/2015/7/getting-married-soon-consider-an-unplugged-wedding My first experience with an "unplugged wedding" was at my brother-in-law's nuptials early this year.  Never heard of an "unplugged wedding"?  Neither had I prior to then.  The idea first caught on after the publishing of a blog post by Corey Ann Photography, an internationally award winning  photographer out of  Canton, OH.  In it she details how the idea for unplugged weddings came about.  Here is how she explains it (quoted and linked by permission): 

Last year one of my friends got married and I was so thrilled to be her photographer that day.  What was even more amazing was that she had an “Unplugged Wedding” after seeing pictures and reading my rants over the years about well-meaning guests whom have inadvertently (or heck, even completely on purpose) ruined images.  Prior to the ceremony, the officiant read this, “Welcome, friends and family! Good evening everyone. Please be seated. Dan and Jennifer invite you to be truly present at this special time. Please, turn off your cell phones and put down your cameras. The photographer will capture how this moment looks — I encourage you all to capture how it feels with your hearts, without the distraction of technology. If Dan can do it, then so can you.”  I can’t tell you how many happy leaps of joy my heart did when reading this!!!  The guests all obeyed and even after the ceremony many decided to keep their arms down and their hearts open and enjoyed the day instead of being an observer from behind their cameras.

I remember back in the day, before everyone who had a phone had a camera, it was not unheard of to see the occasional wedding guest whip out a point and shoot camera and take a quick snap of the wedding.  With the advent of digital cameras and through their ubiquitous presence thanks to the universal appeal of smartphones, this is no longer occasional, quick or harmless.  Corey Ann goes on to describe with pictures as proof, how a well-meaning guest can absolutely ruin a shot. 

Let's be honest, people pay professional photographers lots of money because we have invested in the training and equipment to make sure we capture those once in a lifetime moments in the most beautiful and artful way possible.  You don't want those ruined by your office co-worker on his cell phone just so he can get that perfect picture for instagram right?  There's one other reason, I love the idea of an unplugged wedding.  Consider this photograph from back when film cameras were still king.  Pay particular attention to the guests. What do you notice? 


The first thing I notice that differs from photos of weddings shot today is that people are actually experiencing the wedding with their eyes.  They are present, they are enjoying the moment.  As much as I love photography, I don't like to bring my camera to special events such as these for this very reason.  I like to be "present", "in the moment".  If that picture would be taken today, you'd see at least half of those people holding up their phones, experiencing the wedding on a tiny 5 inch screen, completely disconnected from reality, as in the picture below (copyright unknown).

Picture Ruined by iPhones

Ultimately the choice is yours, but to make the day truly magical consider an unplugged wedding.  

You can read Corey Ann's complete blog post here.


[email protected] (Henry Gonzalez Photography LLC) Photographer Tucson Unplugged Weddings https://www.henrygphoto.com/blog/2015/7/getting-married-soon-consider-an-unplugged-wedding Mon, 13 Jul 2015 22:32:38 GMT
Rain 0, Dynamic Duo 1 https://www.henrygphoto.com/blog/2015/5/rain-0-dynamic-duo-1 David needed some good senior portraits and he needed them now.  Graduation is coming up and he had done the boring "studio" portraits that his school made him do, but he wanted something that was him. 

I met with David and his mother last week to set up his session and find out more about him, here's what we discussed.


David's mom was thinking something rustic, David really liked the horse stables that one of his sisters used for her Senior Portraits.  Stables could be found, but at a price and not at short notice.  I showed him one of my locations from a previous shoot and both he and his mother were sold.  It is a rustic, broken down barn with lots of character.  I've been out there a few times, and I can honestly say I have yet to fully explore it.


David was not involved in anything that was particularly important to him during his time in school, but he is known to have a camera in his hands most of the time.  He does have an absolute favorite photographic subject, and I'm not at all surprised by why.  His niece means the world to him, and he wanted to highlight that for his portraits. DavidV-Final-24DavidV-Final-24This cutie is David's niece and favorite photo subject. I can see why!

Here is a side note.  David shared some of his photography with me and form it I was able to determine his aesthetic.  His photography tends toward dramatic lighting, hard and edgy transitions, and bold shadows, so I tried to include just a touch of that style for our shoot.  

About the Weather

So we were all set, what could possibly go wrong?   Famous last words.  As my wife and I lay in bed the night before the shoot trying to drift off into dreamland... FLASH! CRACK! BOOOM! A thunderstorm?  Really?  After watching the weather the next day, initially calling to postpone, then backtracking once the weather started to behave, we made the decision that since neither David nor I would dissolve in a little bit of rain, we'd do the shoot.

The Verdict

Never, never, never be afraid of a little weather.  Though there is a little bit of a risk that you'll get wet, the pay-off is well...

DavidV-Final-19DavidV-Final-19When the weather gets nasty, the sky comes to life.



[email protected] (Henry Gonzalez Photography LLC) Senior Portraits Tucson family location mobile photographer professional quinceaneras quinceañeras studio stunning wedding https://www.henrygphoto.com/blog/2015/5/rain-0-dynamic-duo-1 Wed, 06 May 2015 13:39:56 GMT
How late is too late for Senior Portraits? https://www.henrygphoto.com/blog/2014/6/how-late-is-too-late-for-senior-portraits As crazy as it sounds, I found out that not all high schools encourage getting professional senior portraits for their seniors' yearbook picture.  Larrina, didn't even know what Senior Portraits were about, but her grandmother wanted to get her "graduation portraits".  

I've heard it said that Senior Portraits offer the seniors at least one opportunity to look good in their yearbook. Though this may be true, it is by no means the only reason to have your portrait done. Consider the portrait life cycle. You start out with baby pics.

Then perhaps confirmation or first communion, then QuinceaƱera for the girls and finally Senior Portraits. When will your next professional photo session be? It will probably be when you come see me for your wedding pictures! The point is, even if you don't have your portrait in the yearbook, it's never to late to capture the essence of who you are now. Filled with hope and a bright future. This is you ready to embark on a whole new adventure!

Larrina had no idea what Senior Portraits were and had not been to a professional photographer before, all she knew is that she wanted outdoor pictures. Rather than spend the pre-shoot session writing down all of her ideas and wardrobe selections, we spent time talking about her time in High School. What activities she was involved with and most important, what was of greatest value to her.

Larrina was heavily involved in the Bible club at school, so we decided that her portrait should reflect that.  Of course the pictures had to be outdoors, because that's what she wanted, so I took her to one of my favorite spots for portraits and we were excited to see that the grass was very lush and green (comfy and photogenic)!

The jackrabbits thought the grass was nice too, and Larrina wanted them to pose with her, but for some reason they refused to comply. We started with some initial shots to help Larrina relax in front of the camera, and after some good-natured teasing from her grandmother, she began to show her true self. We moved her over to the grass and placed a Bible in her hand, and the result was that we were able to capture the real Larrina.  Not only did we get quality images, we had them edited and ready to order in time for her to give out at graduation.  Our partner lab has next day delivery available and can turn these around super-fast. 

So to answer my original question.  It's only too late if you fail to get them done at all. Ask Larrina, she graduates in a few days, and her Senior Portraits were done less than a week ago. Too late? Not at all!





[email protected] (Henry Gonzalez Photography LLC) Photographer Regent Senior Portraits Tucson the real you https://www.henrygphoto.com/blog/2014/6/how-late-is-too-late-for-senior-portraits Thu, 19 Jun 2014 20:40:02 GMT
Senior Portraits with Lily and the Shoes https://www.henrygphoto.com/blog/2014/5/senior-portraits-with-lily-and-the-shoes Lily_M-151Lily_M-151

It used to be way back in the dark ages when I was in high school, that when you made an appointment to get your senior portraits done, that you went to the studio (pre-selected by the school), put on a cap and gown got a very typical picture taken. Next, your portrait was taken wearing in whatever you showed up in that day. Two looks- that's it!  Looking at my High School yearbook, there was not much difference between my "Senior Portraits" and the plain dumb school pictures taken by everyone else.

Well senior portraits have come a long way since then.  Lily got a late start on portraits and when we first sat down to discuss what she wanted, she had some very specific shots she wanted.  In addition to a magazine cover girl look, she wanted to show off her competitive side, and her playful side, but more than anything, there was a particular shot she wanted to get.  

Lily wrote letters to the women who had influenced her the most throughout her life. She asked if they would lend her a pair of their shoes so that she could honor them and what they meant to her, by taking a photograph that suggested she had big shoes to fill.  Each woman received a personalized note telling them what it was about them that inspired her.

Think of what makes you, you.  Are there people that have inspired you in your lifetime that you may want to remember in some way? What about the things you are most passionate about?  The sky's the limit!



[email protected] (Henry Gonzalez Photography LLC) AZ Lily Photographer Regent Senior Portraits Shoes Tucson https://www.henrygphoto.com/blog/2014/5/senior-portraits-with-lily-and-the-shoes Fri, 09 May 2014 22:21:43 GMT
The Right Place https://www.henrygphoto.com/blog/2014/2/the-right-place This photo would not have been possible using natural light only. The blazing orange of the sunset would have caused Amanda to be rendered as a silhouette.


When talking about real estate, the old adage is there are only three things you need to know: location, location,

Great photography is more than just making a great image, great photography tells a story as well.  It should say something about you. A big part of capturing the real you, is capturing you in your natural surroundings.  

The high school senior booking his senior portraits may want to have his picture taken in his baseball uniform to show off his passion. No one could deny the beauty of the young virtuoso- beautifully lit, bow in hand, cello at the ready.  But those are obvious.  What are some subtle ways of telling your story?

If a picture paints a thousand words, then the couple who is booking their engagement shoot may want to have their portrait taken at the place they first met, or perhaps where he proposed.  Maybe a location that speaks to a shared interest? 

Think of unique locations that say something about you.  Don't let the "technical" downsides of a particular location dissuade you either, while I take full advantage of natural light, I don't limit myself to natural light only. By making use of the mobile studio, I can make sure that your portraits are not only unique, but beautiful as well- no matter what the ambient lighting is like.  The majority of so-called "natural light" photographers, are people who are not comfortable using flash, they're either intimidated by the intricacies or they have never seen it done correctly and therefore have a bad opinion (rightfully so) of flash-photography.  

This photo of Amanda would have been impossible to shoot using "natural light" only.  The blazing sunset in the background would have rendered Amanda as a silhouette.  By placing a speedlite and umbrella to her left, and a reflector on her right, we get this soft and very beautifully lit portrait, without losing the drama of the sunset behind her. 

In other words, you have more options that just running down to the park to take your pictures.  Whatever you choose for your portrait location, we can make it work.



[email protected] (Henry Gonzalez Photography LLC) Lighting Location Magic portraits senior weddings https://www.henrygphoto.com/blog/2014/2/the-right-place Thu, 06 Feb 2014 22:14:57 GMT