NEW BLOG!

Hi all!

I redesigned my website and started a new blog using a ~fresh~ format!  I love the modish look, and hope I can persuade you to check it out.

Please CLICK HERE to catch up on the latest & greatest Carla Boecklin Photography posts!

Please also check out my newest:

Wedding Site

General Photography Site

Booking Site

FAQs

See you over there!

musician photographer

Flower Friday!

I had a pretty typical day on Wednesday.  I begin working around 6.30am.  It’s routine: make sure images from any shoots the day before were properly downloaded from the cards & uploaded into Lightroom & exported to external hard drives & clouds for backup; check email and answer any questions I can address without having to design, edit, photograph, or do mental gymnastics; send invoices or follow up on unpaid invoices; orchestrate a blog post, if it’s a blog day; and maybe lop off something from my to-do list if it’s not too major an activity.  I try to have these types of things completed before 9am.  That said, this routine is null & void if I have a morning shoot or meetings — on those days, I just set my alarm for early-early and hold on for dear life as I try not to wake up in a panic (“are my lenses cleaned?” “have I formatted my cards?” “did we charge the battery pack?” “oh CRAP, is it blizzarding?!?”)

Photo shoots, meetings, and unplanned incidents aside, my days are usually very full with editing, design, writing, bidding, branding and networking projects after I’ve taken care of my usual mourning routine.  One project that seems to comprise each of those activities is publishing photography collections (or even a single image).  I’ve written about publishing in several blog posts (i.e., here and here and here), but I’m never sure I’m communicating just how challenging it can be.

I spend an inordinate amount of time sending out pitches to magazines & blogs & friends in ‘the industry.’  I don’t mean that I spend night & day sending this stuff out.  But I want to emphasize that, every time I post about a publication, it’s something I’m super proud of not only because my name is in print (which is cool, for sure) but because getting published represents the culmination of a lot of time & effort.  From the concept to the shoot itself to the image processing (and re-processing, and re-processing) to the campaign I run trying to get the work in front of an audience, getting published is an ordeal.

On Wednesday, I checked my business Facebook page, and I saw that Dark Beauty Magazine had featured one of my photos on their website and social media.  I was so.damn.excited.  This publication is widely respected among the fashion industry and has a huge following, both nationally and internationally.  And… they picked MY submission to publish.  What’s more, the shoot from which the image was selected was & has been a challenge for me since November 2012.  For the longest time, I didn’t know how to process and/or pitch it.  It was shot with bridal gowns, but without any of the accompanying “bridal” stuff (i.e., rings, cake, decorations, etc) to formally recognize it as a “bridal shoot.”  And, besides, few “bridal shoots” take place at night using dramatic lighting.  So I suppose it was a “fashion” shoot but we weren’t working with a concrete concept.  Mostly, a group of creatives (MUAH, models, photographers, assistants) got together one (cold, cold) night on the Jordanelle Reservoir and prepped & shot from 4pm-2am.

At one point in the evening, I grabbed James & Emily and we went outdoors to a fence.  Emily was barefoot (for some reason) and, if I remember correctly, James scooped her up into his arms and carried her the 1/4 mile, which I believe fostered a sense of romance immediately.  It was probably midnight, the wind had picked up, and the moon was lightly lighting the mountains in the distance.  When we got to the fence, I didn’t say a word of direction.  James just did what he does beautifully: crafted the emotion in the situation.  With Emily perched on the fence, James hovered around her passionately, lovingly, graciously — it was all I could do to hit the shutter button (and hope V & our lights didn’t blow away!).

Anyway, that’s the behind-the-scenes on the publishing of this image and a little insight into the publishing experience.  While it might seem like an image just *appears* in a magazine, this one publication in particular was about a year in the making.

dark beauty magazine publication

Park City Live

Sundance is coming up quickly, and I’ve been putting together image portfolios for potential clients during the 10 days our little mountain town becomes a pop culture phenomenon.

In revisiting my coverage of 2013’s Festival, I recalled a few events at one venue in particular: Park City Live.  Actually, one of the highlights of my LIFE happened at Park City Live.  I was photographing in the Red Touch Media Lounge, which is adjacent to Park City Live, when music started blasting upstairs. I figured it was the roadies tuning instruments for the Festival’s Big Show: the Foo Fighters, who were in town to support Dave Grohl’s Sundance film, Sound City.  Tickets were going for $5,000/each.  Ummm, yeah.

I meandered up to the stage to check out the scene, and I was absolutely-positively BLOWN AWAY to see that the Foo Fighters THEMSELVES were rehearsing — and with an entire horde of celebrity guest musicians.  Stevie Nicks, John Fogerty, Rick Springfield, Cheap Trick’s Rick Nielsen, Slipknot’s Corey Taylor, Nirvana bandmate Krist Novoselic, and Pat Smear.  And, like, they weren’t just rehearsing; they were performing their entire set.  Which they did for two hours.  And I was one of maybe 8 people watching the show with the houselights up and PCL staff running around preparing for the night’s crowd.

That said, none of the photos below are from that particular day (no cameras allowed) but nonetheless I want to take a moment to highlight one of my favorite spots in Park City.  I’ve photographed the venue for fundraisers, concerts, and private parties, and I just love the atmosphere and spirit of the place.

Rock on, PCL!

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BLOG SERIES: Myths About Going Pro

I’ve added a new & exciting series to my usual blog tidbits: a point-by-point response to Jim Harver’s 20 Myths About Becoming a Pro Photographer.  His article resonated with me to the point where I couldn’t stop thinking about it for a couple days, so I decided to add my two cents in my own Carla-way.  Please be sure to check out other parts of the series if you’d like to catch up!

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6 
Part 7 

PART THREE: The “Creative” Shots

One Myth that Jim addresses in his 20 Myths About Becoming a Professional Photographer article is that clients will love your photos if you take creative shots. His tongue-in-cheek point?  Clients want to see images that satisfy them, not your creative spirit.  Sometimes you’ll have nailed the lighting, the composition, and a striking facial expression, and you’re totally obsessed with the photo; and the client will say, ‘meh, nope, I’m not looking at the camera.’  This has happened to me endless times, and it’s positively flabbergasting.

So backstory to this post: I’m redesigning my website, and this post will be among my last on this old format.  It’s served me well for two years and helped me kick-off my business, but I’m ready for something a little more… sophisticated (or so I hope?! maybe ya’ll will email to let me know you hate the new format!!).

Part of the redesign process is juggling the pragmatic, the effective, and the creative.  My thoughts on each of these adjectives:

  • pragmatic is essential.  Clients must be able to USE the site: click around easily, read the font, load the pages without watching the wheel spin forever, understand the copy, find your email address & phone number to reach you.
  • effective is important, too.  The design, image selection, and narration on the site needs to draw in your audience.  You want them to hang out a while: check out your galleries, read your bio, learn about your style.  If you’re lucky, they’ll head over to your Fbook page & “like” you.
  • creative is SUCH a subjective word — what looks fabulously creative to me might look like crap to someone else.  You have to walk the fine between what resonates with you as an artist and what will attract clients.  I want the site to pop but not overwhelm.

In spearheading this new site design (which I did myself — I do website building via WordPress as part of my Carla Boecklin Creative agency) — I’ve had to cull through my entire image collection to locate images that I feel best represents what I want to shoot.  And it’s damn hard.  I’ll find myself looking through a pretty solid family session — sharp, everyone’s looking at the camera (even the dog!), the foliage looks nice or maybe there’s a view, the colors are vibrant… and yet I’m hesitating to add it to my portfolio.  Why?  Because I don’t *feel* it.  Perhaps the client absolutely adored the pics but I can’t say I’m in love with it.  The thing is: as you hone your craft and find your artistic voice, you also hope to attract clients that respond to your unique shooting style.  So, I don’t necessary want to include a ‘perfect’ photo in my gallery because I’m not really sure I’m looking to be hired for that ‘perfect’ style of photography.  Rather, I want to nestle into a good fit with my clients, where they appreciate what I have to offer.  I’d like to strike a balance — or find harmony — between pushing the bounds of my artistry and delivering fantastic work.  I’m not sure the two have to be mutually exclusive.

Anyway, in designing my site and choosing the images my site will feature, I was reminded of Jim’s point about clients not loooooving your ‘creative’ shots.  My new site, including the images on it, is a litmus test of sorts, a means of locating potential clients that appreciate my stylistic choices.  But, in featuring images that won’t please the masses, I have to remember that I am weeding out opportunities.  Again, the entire business of photography (notice I didn’t say the art of photography!) is about striking a balance.

josee nadeau

EVENT PHOTOGRAPHY :: JANS Winter Welcome 2013, Park City

The 33rd Annual JANS Winter Welcome 2013 was a roaring success… and a lotta fun, to boot!  V and I were honored to photograph the event after having such a blast last year and shooting this year’s promotional material with several celebrity athletes.

Numerous supporters, vendors, and Olympic athletes threw an incredible gala to raise funds for The Youth Sports Alliance of Park City — and the evening did not disappoint.  Hosted at Deer Valley’s Silver Lake Lodge, the night included live & silent auctions, gorgeous cocktails & cuisine, and a 19th Hole  golf theme to accompany the event’s grand prize: a trip to the Masters!

Olympians!

Featured celebrity athletes included Shannon Bahrke HappeScotty BahrkeDerek ParraEric Heiden, Tracy EvansBill Schuffenhauer, Emily CookJon Owen, and Heidi Voelker.  And be sure to click here to visit the YSA site & view the full list of vendors and donors that made this event truly special. 

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