Welcome to my first Blog Post! After shooting this and that for over 40 years, we have a lot to talk about! The June Jacobsen Portrait Design studio is now in its 28th year, and Nature and Wildlife is up and running, and passion (yes, I still use that word) for both is neck and neck.
We’ll talk shop about portraits, lighting, many things Classic, tiptoe around the edges of digital, show some ‘before and afters’, and see what got this whole Portrait Thing started in the first place. And speaking of the little angel, here’s a flashback to the early years.
Serious amateur for a number of years, and married for a few, along came Baby #1, Tabitha Christy. Having admired professional portraits and paintings in the past I felt led to make more of baby’s first-year history than mere snapshots. First things first (besides having a baby), was the backdrop. What would Rembrandt do? Ok, what would Sears do.
All those window shades in the house seemed a little extravagant. I pulled one down, hung it in the living room from brand new hooks dug into the ceiling, grabbed a bunch of thick chalk (ok, I went out and bought them), and started swirling. Satisfied I’d created a Rembrandt Masters Style Backdrop, I pulled the dining table into the living room, covered it in blanket and found the first of many many props to be used in the course of photographing many many babies and children…and waited for Angel to awaken from her nap.
I’d read that a flash needs to be off-camera for true portrait lighting, whatever that was. So the little flash-of-the-day (it was certainly state-of-the-art) was screwed into the top of a spindly light stand, just a foot or two from my 35mm SLR Asahi Pentax Spotmatic camera, also on a tripod. I don’t believe there was any light-modifier attached, as the cute little shadow behind Tabitha affirms.
Mother and Child portraits, I knew, were classic. So were vignettes. Enter the Vaseline-judiciously-smeared-filter-era, exhibited here in my self-plus-baby portrait. A sort of Butterfly Light (unintentional, of course) enhances this image of Tabitha and me (1974), camera on tripod, using the camera’s delayed-timer lever.
Three decades have flown by and Tabitha now has her own Little Angel, Eldon, both gorgeous here in a Classic Gallery Portrait, 2006. And lookee here, a modified Butterfly Light, this time with parabolic modifier (my, we’ve gotten fancy!).
Driven to capture the swiftly passing first years of my grandchildren, Little Angel is photographed appropriately with wings, on a stone shelf, with drapery: Eldon, 2006.
Many beautiful images between Grandbabies #1 and 2, and will only share one more at this time, the charming Vera June reclines on a tapestry adorned with tulle, feather and butterfly, in tones that complement the other portraits with which this one will be displayed in her home, 2008.
To work at a true passion and feel that what you do has purpose…can there be a greater blessing? And again I say, Praise God from Whom all Blessings Flow!
PS. From the first year of my portrait studio, the following Bible verse has been the motto, if you will, for my work.
“Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve. Colossians 3:23-24