Hello and thanks for stopping by! This blog will follow me as i take my cameras to wherever luck and good fortune will allow!
I had a wonderful session with a gal who had booked previously but before the first shoot cancelled as she was not happy with her self in the mirror! She was a friend of Maya's whom I blogged about before Christmas and she booked again for a session. Happily this time she was feeling better of her self image and she and I traded ideas back and forth as to style of the shoot she was thinking about. We decided to try and emulate a style we had both seen posted before from bodybuilding.com.
After her shoot I quickly edited this image as it was one from the shoot I very much liked! After sending it to Dana she posted the following to those that follow her on Instagram,
"dananicole111A sneak peak from today's photoshoot. This portion was inspired by @bodybuilding.com bodies of work. Maybe I will get some hate posting this considering I am naked but really nothing that shouldn't be exposed is exposed.
I wanted to start this season off with a photoshoot because I can not stress enough about how important it is to love your body and yourself at any state your body may be in. As many competitors do, I went through a stage after my show where I was unhappy how my body was looking, I was doing insane amounts of cardio and still felt "fat". Although I was not, I had this mentality and uneducated understanding that the post show body should look just as it did on stage which of course is unrealistic and is unhealthy to keep year round.
After a few months of "suffering" from body image issues I realized and took it upon myself that the only way to reach my goals was to move forward, keeping healthy and eating clean and not stressing so much about that stage body. I finally started seeing results with both my state of mind and how my body was looking. Every day I inspire myself with how far I have come, physically and mentally. I will always strive to be the best version of me I can be, loving myself and body along the way. Be happy with where you are but never stop working towards where you want to be. Here's to an awesome 2016 season. 💜💜💪🏼🙌🏼 📷 by Tony Dathan"
Dana is such a beautiful person with wit, charm, a great sense of humor and attractive!
Its funny how we all have images in our mind of how we look vs how we want to look! I joke I'm old and fat, last year I lost 80lbs, this year I'm up 30 ish. I'm worse than the stock market for weight swings! I hear from women all the time that they'll come in when they lose 5 lbs or they are concerned the camera will put on 10 lbs! With lighting, posing and computer darkroom finishing I can more than overcome the cameras supposed 10lbs! I was chatting with a beautiful lady online the other day after we had met the week before and something made me ask her if she was thinking of a shoot, she said no quickly. Then admitted to thinking maybe. But no. Then to me she dropped a bombshell, she said she has never had a photograph of herself she likes. Never, that's such a long time and makes me so sad, if she sees this I do make a commitment to you; we will get an image you like of you, period!!! We need to be far less critical of ourselves and be more like Dana and "strive to be the best version of me I can be!"
Another beautiful young lady I photographed last spring has also posted of issues she faced,
"#flashbackfriday to my prep for BCs last May, after this show I wanted to prove to myself I could stay lean all year round which led me to a no fat, cucumber and egg white based diet and losing 15 more pounds after this photo shoot. Before each workout was an hour of cardio which depleted me to the point of every weight workout getting harder to get through and only being able to lift half as much as I once could. As I got leaner I still wanted to keep going to reach a satisfaction which I now realize could never be done. Pushing these habits from May until after my last show in November got me a lean body, But it also brought health problems such as metabolic damage, adrenal fatigue and hypothyroid that would have been permanent if my diet and obsession with cardio did not change. Because I was an uneducated silly 18 year old girl, I did not supplement in any essential vitamins that are needed for your body to function, leading my mental health to go down the drain. I was constantly on a low, I missed out on many activities because I was so tired that nothing I did was fun. I was not my energetic, silly self anymore and with that, I still wasn't satisfied with my body image. I am now on a healthy, balanced diet to bring my body fat up to fix the damage that has been done and as hard as it is to see myself filling out, I have energy, killer workouts, I'm not a bitch, I can play hockey (I still suck) and I have fun. After seeing what can happen when pushing things past their limits, I'm fully committed to putting health first while still doing what I love. I write this to remind anyone out there that your mind and body is fragile..you only get one. So listen to it and when chasing a goal, CHECK YOURSELF BEFORE YOU WRECK YOURSELF.. literally #annoyinggymgirl"
And am thrilled she is being healthier and balanced! And even if Syd still sucks at hockey she is always welcome in my studio but if you want to be better at hockey you need to be bigger, faster and stronger on the puck, Lol!
Syd please stay the course and be healthy above all else! These gals are very driven to do well in the bikini fitness competitions and have placed very high in their classes but glad they are looking to be healthy first and foremost!
I am truly blessed with the gals I photograph, some are more self critical than others but there are some that keep me grounded! One is so brittle if you hug her too much she will break but fights to look the way she did when we first shot years ago and always will ask me to make her images resemble more what she sees in her minds eye than what she might see in the mirror which is OK! Another special gal who is way over due in my studio has other issues! I asked her once what she does for a living and she hummed and hawed before saying she was kind of a professional patient, to which I asked more and she said what she had was not a lot of fun but one thing she said makes me think of her any time I have a challenge and that is that when she wakes up in the morning she knows that will be the best she will feel for the rest of her life. A beautiful and special lady that I am long overdue to make more images with!
Other gals trust me with all the phases or their lives from wild and single to the boy friends and besties to the weddings and then pregnancies and then to the mum and child shoots! When you book me for a shoot it is not something I ever take lightly as usually I know or hope it will be the first of many shoots!
You can do your own makeup or we can call in a very talented Makeup Artist. Regardless of how comfortable you are in front of the camera, weather in lingerie or formal gown or Jeans and T's! I promise you I have spent 1000's of hours studying posing, lighting and editing and I will bust my fat ass, maybe not that fat, to give you the best damn images of you I can!
I was blessed in the last little while to have been asked to photograph two amazing ladies! The first was Maya who was training for her first bikini fitness competition called the Popeye's Fall Classic! Maya scheduled her shoot just before her final cutting, pairing herself down, for her final look before she went onstage!
We texted and messaged back and forth and Maya said she wanted to do a more boudoir ish style portrait session!
She had also brought some Sari's with their brilliant colors so we had fun doing some softer and sexier images for her! We joked and had a wonderful time and created some awesome images!
While tremendously fit, Maya was still nervous about her upcoming competition but I knew she was in good hands! She had hooked up with an awesome trainer whom I have photographed before and had full confidence in Krisitin Hazzard being able to get Maya to the top of the podium and sure enough send Maya congratulations for being top of the class and first place in Bikini Open Class!!! I might be getting a reputation for photographing gals who come in first as Sydney Langston was another gal to come in for images and then she placed first! But I suspect Kristin had more to do with it than I did! Grin! Go Kristin and the fabulous TEAM FIT BARBIE!!!
I do ask clients if they would be comfortable doing a referral and was touched when Maya sent the following:
"My experience with Tony was incredible. I had never done a photo shoot before on my own, let alone a boudoir themed shoot. I must say I was extremely nervous and unsure of what I was doing. Tony greeted me and made me feel so comfortable from the beginning and carried through all the way to the end. I have always been a shy and timid personality, but the amazing shots that Tony created certainly reflect otherwise. I was in shock and awe to see the final product and see what I was really capable of. This is all thanks to the direction of Tony and his open and caring attitude. I have never felt more comfortable in front of a camera and this experience certainly helped to bring me out of my shell.
Thank you for your amazing work Tony!!"
Thank you Maya! And I am thrilled with your success and wish you much more! Following our shoot Maya said she might have two more customers for me who had liked the results of her shoot and one did indeed come in! And had an awesome fitness shoot with Dana whom I will have another blog post soon and Maya said her mum might also be interested in coming in, I very much look forward to meeting and photographing Maya's mum and hope May will stop by for us to create some Mother / Daughter images!
Best wishes Maya! And if you too are thinking of coming in and creating some special images I do have some dates open in the new year!
I am so bad at this blogging thing! I am also very bad at self promotion! I have started to ask my portrait subjects if they might take a minute to be kind enough to send a quick note as to how they enjoyed the session!
An email from my last session with Kim who has been a regular for a number of years as she mentions below:
"I highly recommend TD Photos for any photoshoot you are wanting to get done. Tony is Easy to get along with, makes you feel comfortable, and the
quality of images your receive is of the upmost quality.
When I first went and shot with Tony I was like every other girl, Shy, insecure, and unsure of the type of experience that I would receive. Not only did he make me come out of my shell with his constant jokes, and professional comments but the experience is the most surreal you'll ever have. His professional hair and makeup team make you look absolutely flawless, and they are the most sweet people you'll ever meet. And when tony gets you in his lens he allows you to be a part of the experience, he also captures who you actually are, the images are a reflection of YOU!
I decided to go back and shoot with Tony for my 2nd boudoir shoot for my wedding because I just knew that I would be COMPLETELY blown away with his images...and yes again 1 happy bride to be! and he proved another point he's constantly updating and expanding his skills, and always adding to his inventory of equipment. Nothing gets in the way of capturing that perfect image... if you're on the floor.... Tony is on his tummy or knees with you!
Tony has captured many of my life events, from the Pregnancy Photos, New Born photos, Engagement, Bridal, and Family photos his Talent is ENDLESS! I
recommend him to EVERYONE!
If you are wanting someone who is professional, experienced, reasonable, and just plain awesome book with TD Photos
Kim Truax "
Thanks Kim! You are a sweet and kind soul and I very much appreciate you taking time from your schedule to write the above! Wishing you the best for your upcoming Wedding and look forward to many more shoots with you and your new family! Hugs and best wishes!
My cell rang last spring and it was my new friend Perri saying I had to book a trip with Marc Adamus cause he's amazing! Perri and I had been to a trip with Darwin Wiggett in feb and I enjoyed her and her husband Tom's company as we drove around chasing light and dodging snow squalls and just having fun until Tom and I heard Perri yelling for help as she had gone off on snow shoes to get "the shot" but she had gotten too close to a tree well and fallen in to the point she could not move! Lol! We had a mountain rescue guy on the trip and he strapped on his snow shoes and 10 minutes later Perri arrived a little worse for wear!
But on to the phone call! She said here is Marc's cell phone, call him cause if you email him it will be too late! Ok I say and 10 minutes later and a google session to check him out I am now committing to send him my deposit! The trip out line says be prepared for some 4 to 5 mile round trip hikes so after 3 months of figuring out how to live with my new diagnosis of being diabetic and a couple of 5 mile warm up hikes I figure I am ready to roll!
Feeling confident I meet the group in Newport Oregon at 5 ish for dinner and orientation and by 6.30 we are heading down 101 heading south and the whirlwind starts! An evening shoot at sunset scrambling over wet rocks at Seal Rocks with Sea Pines in the foreground we are literally under the gun! With 6 paticipants and Marc we are a small mobile group and wake up calls at 4.30 am for sunrise shoots and processing mid day and driving to our dinner and then sunset spots tucked away I'm amazed Marc knows where we are going each day! From Newport Oregon up to and through Cannon Beach to a Cape Kiwanda with a 4.45 wake up call to go climbing a 400 foot sand dune to a drop on the other side of 600 feet into a sea cave as the tide is just right! Shocking most of us Marc is now urging us to get in the water with waves coming over our knees and tripod into the sea bed we struggle to stay upright and at this point I begin to wonder about the rigors of this trip! But I have to try take some images which I do not do very well with this spot. But an amazing experience only I now have to go up the 600 foot drop! I start ahead of everyone but it does not take long for them to catch me up! But I make it! Legs shaking from the effort but pleased I made it up and down and back again! Now into the car to drive to our next location! Then we leave the shore and off to the Gorge! We get to the Gorge and have 2 pm meetup and then off to our afternoon where we end up in a stream! I found my waders and am a little happier that I'm not soaking wet but still have concerns wondering around knee deep in a stream traipsing over moss covered wet rocks with my cameras and gear! The brochure said a 4 to 5 mile hike! No where did it say it would help to be a mountain goat as well! To get to what Perri and I would end up calling the "garden of Eden!" it was two miles and switchbacks and lots of up! Then down a field of moss covered rocks then after a small tree lined area we had to be careful not to kill the person below as we had to carefully make our way down a steep slope of loose shale rock! The end goals where amazing areas and I am thrilled to have had the opportunity to take some of the best images of landscape I have ever taken! From the Gorge to Forks and finishing in one of my favorite places on our little planet! The Hoh and Ruby beach!
While arduous and strenuous to at times I did not think I would make it this trips will make the biggest impact on my photography for every image I ever make for the rest of my life! An incredible insight to what it takes at times to make stunning landscape images the real difference was the training Marc gave us for his philosophy of photoshop! I have to thank Marc for dragging my ass all over the Northwest and I'm sorry for being the group anchor but I am thrilled with the images we were able to create! As to Marc's vision the first person I showed my new images to gasped on the second image and said "Wow, these look like paintings!". Lessons learned! Big thanks to Marc for changing a lot of what I will do with my photography for possibly the rest of my life!!
I went down to have a lighting workshop with the amazing Craig Lamere in Idaho and it was a fabulous workshop! But one of the biggest highlights for me was at Breakfast on the Saturday before the workshop really got started! One of the gals who had sat down with me looked up from her laptop and blurted out, "I'm so blogging about you!" I must have looked a little shocked because Gina leaned over reassuringly and said" IT's OK you do want her to do this!" So I did not think much of it until driving home on the Monday and I stopped for a mid morning coffee and there it was.... holy mackerel! I was and am so humbled by what Bonnie wrote and saw in me considering we had known each other for less than 36 hours! To Bonnie I will always be grateful for the blog she wrote as follows:
Day 21: What do grizzly bears and glamorous women have in common? They both have Tony Dathan.
I found today’s inspiration in a world of photography that I could have easily missed if my eyes hadn’t been wide open and I don’t want anyone else to miss what I found!
My friend Gina and I sat down at a breakfast table with a photographer who we could tell took his work very seriously. But I had no idea that when he pulled out his iPad that my world was about to be rocked in the most unexpected way.
Image by image Tony began to show us his close encounters with wild animals from his exotic adventures and life in Vancouver. The images alone brought me to tears with their crisp beauty and dynamic colors, but what made my jaw drop and my head swirl was when he started explaining his secrets to getting the most gorgeous light and exposure I had ever seen. They were more like portraits than any nature images I had ever seen. If I was the mother of these animals, I’d be proud to have these portraits hanging in my cave. The emotion he captures in their eyes makes me feel like I could reach out and hug these animals.
His secret? Women. That’s right…Tony also shoots beautiful women with equally mind blowing perfection. But what is the connection between grizzly bears and women and Tony’s camera?
Tony told us about his photographer hero, Julia Kuzmenko, a brilliant fashion photographer and retoucher. Both he and Craig LaMere learned to refine their own styles from her incredible teachings. Tony has studied her methods in depth as well as other genius artists and has mastered how to make women look flawless and applies his techniques to the wilderness. How does he get that bear fur looking perfectly sharp and crisp? Just check out his models’ eyelashes. How about their perfectly exposed and colored fur and environments? It’s all in the magic of the way he gets his models’ skin tones perfected.
While he can’t pose his wild animals, he can certainly give them the same flattering light and color attention that he gives the women who are lucky enough to end up in front of his camera.
Awesome Photoshop Tips from Tony
Tony is humble, inquisitive and generous with his knowledge and he shared a couple of his magic tricks with us that just may change my life.
If you want the women you shoot to be a tad taller, but still mathematically proportional? Change the height in your image to 104%. No more. I failed every math class I have ever touched so don’t ask me about the science behind it, but I trust the man.
Do you want the crisp, brilliant colored, almost HDR look to wild moving animals that are impossible to keep still long enough to snap multiple exposures of? Tony starts off in Lightroom and gets his exposures for the highlights looking fantastic. Then he opens the image in Photoshop. Then he goes back to Lightroom and sets his exposures on the same image for the mid tones. He opens that image in Photoshop and layers it on top of the first image. Then he goes back to Lightroom and sets the image for the shadows. He repeats this process as many times as needed to make sure he has a perfect exposure for every inch of the frame and then uses layer masks to erase the layers until they all blend together as one perfect image. This was definitely one of those, “why didn’t I think of that?” tips that I’ll definitely be using immediately!
All I know for certain is that one of you MUST, MUST, MUST have a National Geographic Magazine connection that can get Tony’s work in their hands. He’s too humble to realize he belongs there and I’m determined that within this beautiful world of networking someone will be able to help National Geographic find the man who can make a polar bear look glamorous. They NEED him. (seriously, friends, pull out your connections for this artist!)
Bonnie while Nat Geo has not yet come knocking on my door it is enough for me that you want me in it! Great big Bear Hugs, thanks and best wishes! Oh and this proves how bad I am at Social Media that I only just today thought it would be a good idea to put this on my own blog! Lol!