In all honesty, there's only one reason we decided to do this shoot.
James had to shave his beard :(
Haha so this shoot was initially a celebration of all that is wonderful about facial hair, but we took it a little farther to be a celebration of all that's wonderful about the great outdoors and spending some quality time in solitude.
It was great to be able to have a dedicated portrait session with James. I've done a portrait of him with a super old school 4x5 film camera, which turned out awesome, and a few shots of him while we were in Washington. But it's so nice to be able to focus on getting some great portraits of a person just doing their thing, without other distractions or tasks that need to be done.
I love that photography so frequently takes me into the mountains. James and I went up Rock Canyon, and were so happy to see how beautiful it is right now.
Whenever I go out into the wilderness, I'm reminded how important it is in my life. I think everyone needs time to breath slowly and deeply, away from all the rush and stresses of everyday life. Being in nature seems to give me a broader perspective on things, and allows me to see past the relatively small roadblocks in my way. I always leave refreshed and rejuvenated, and ever grateful for this place where I can find peace.
You may have noticed that James is a musician. I love photographing musicians while they're playing, because I have some lovely music to set the tone for the photographs. It actually helps me and the musician to get the right mood in the photos. Having something familiar to do keeps them relaxed and looking natural in the photos, and the music helps me to represent them and their music more insightfully.
And the way James plays is beautiful. There's something so soulful and intimate about the sounds he makes with his voice and various stringed instruments. It gives you just a little taste of who he is and what he's experiencing in life. I think those are the best kind of musicians. And artists in general for that matter! Some of you may know that James is my latin ballroom dance partner and a gifted blues dancer (one of the best around), and his dancing reveals himself in the same way.
He's a true artist ;) And I'm incredibly grateful to call him a dear friend.
I think portrait sessions like this one I did with James are great for musicians and other performers who need some photography to promote themselves. I also LOVE the idea of doing some high school senior portraits like this!
If you're interested in doing a photo session like this, feel free to contact me to discuss the details! I would be so happy to have another excuse to go up into the mountains. (Not that I really need an excuse...)
Also, I post photos like this all the time on my Instagram. Follow me to get your daily dose of adventure!
And if you think James' beard is SWEET, click the share or like button below :)