Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thanksgiving Week…Families, families, families!!!

On Tuesday I was back in the studio after a superlative trip to Augusta…and bang…!!! Two or three family portraits every day…Yes, Thanksgiving is definitely about friends and families. LOTS of visitors in town, for sure! We have been photographing on various beaches, in the woods, at homes, and in the studio…Soooo delightful…I am particularly thankful that I had an early Thanksgiving dinner party with James and his fiancée Angelle in Augusta…that leaves me plenty of time to photograph your families this week. Watching family dynamics is one of the very fun things about doing family portraiture. We normally have the Nervous Nellies (the ones who planned this whole thing), the Alpha Annies and Allens (“OK, where do you want us!”, said with great authority), the Patient Pattys and Peters, and the Rolling Eyed Early Teens, and of course, the Wailing Wee Ones – Recognize the group?? I certainly do…! The cool thing is that the dynamics do not usually change…even in the families I have photographed many times. Now we all just tease each other and laugh about our respective rolls…You know what family portraiture is REALLY FUN!!! You should try it sometime…!!!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Up Up and Away…for a day or three…!

Lucky me…having someone in the studio that is as competent as Melisa is wonderful…It allows me to do what I am doing which is that I am in Georgia visiting James (my son) and Angelle (his fiancée and my soon-to-be daughter…notice I did not add the “in-law” part). They are both amazing and so super together…Love it…and them too!

But, if I thought it was a bit nippy when I left Florida, ha ha ha…..I am now reminded of the meaning of seriously cold! But it is bright and sunny and fun to be here!

I fly back into SRQ late Monday and will be back in the studio on Tuesday…In the meantime, have great fun with Melisa!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Some like it hot…even when it’s cold!!!

OK…Julie and Mike are engaged!!! And they also happen to be the most amazingly fun couple to photograph. They went to a lot of effort to get ready for the session and, as you can see, they did a great job….Their session was beautiful, edgy, fun, romantic, and so many other things…

And despite the fact that the day was blustery and cold, they were red hot to play! I love love love their images…and so do they! When we got down to the sand and water, I was crazy about the way the sea oats out-of-focus (intentionally!) framed the two of them…It gives so much intimacy to their special moments. We also used the white fencing to give us great leading lines…Enjoy their images…we certainly enjoyed creating them!

Friday, November 14, 2008

What a coincidence…

Don’t believe in coincidences…well, ok…but this one might just change your mind.

On Thursday the 20th, I am going to Augusta, GA, to visit my son and his darling fiancée. They are both Arab Linguists and both work, now in a civilian capacity, at Fort Gordon doing almost exactly what they were doing in the military. James as a Marine, Angelle as Air Force.

I will be staying in Angelle’s apartment – how sweet an invitation is that??!! Anyway, they asked me what I would like to do while I was there…And suggested that there was a dinner theater play going on at Fort Gordon and would I like to go? Well, of course I would without having the vaguest idea which play it was…Angelle said, “It’s called Plaid Tidings” and had I ever heard of it. I started to laugh.

Well, yes I have heard of Plaid Tidings. You see, this year we have been doing the promotional photographs for the Venice (not Little) Theater…and just exactly the night before, I had been photographing the four main singers in the production of, you guessed it, Plaid Tidings…

Thursday, November 13, 2008

And Real Estate…Oh my yes!

We photograph an amazing number of Real Estate agents and brokers. Most of the images are created in the studio, but sometimes people want something entirely different for a brochure. The standard non-busy background headshot prevails but check this out. Denise Conrad has definitely opted for something different…and we did it for her! We started with studio images and then on another day (weather issues) did the last images of Denise and her Search and Rescue Dog I’kaika running on the beach at sunset.

Incredible! Thankfully both Denise and I’kaika were fit and did the ‘run’ about a million times while we got the right wave, the right expressions, the right view, the right sunset…and we got it!!!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

From 13 year old Orthodontic Patients to Caldwell Trust…who better to provide for your family’s future?

We have been photographing Trust Officers and other staff members from Caldwell Trust for a long time. We photograph them individually, we photograph their families, their expectant families, and we go on location in the elegant office headquarters. They are some of the warmest, most professional, wonderfully caring and most competent people you will ever meet. I know, from both sides of the proverbial fence because I am one of their clients.

I know Lee and Suzanne Thacker on so many levels…Lee as my trusted advisor/friend, as an active Rotarian, and both Lee and Suzanne as civic minded people heavily involved with the Boys and Girls Club. I know they do lots and lots of other things community oriented things, but this is how I know them. They are both awesome…as are all the Caldwell Trust folks…Check them out at

Other than VRMC who???

How privileged are we? A lot, that’s for sure! Our client list is so much fun! And believe me we are grateful for each and every one of them!

Have you or your child had braces? Well, if so, you will probably be coming to us for a gift portrait from orthodontists, Drs. Ehrlich and Sallapudi. Check them out at
We have been photographing gorgeous teeth in the smiles of great kids, for years. Many of the youngsters are from about 13ish to 18ish…with several adults scattered in along the way…Matter of fact, we have photographed one whole family who were all in braces at the same time…I think there were four of them!

Anyway, photographing teens is always an experience…a happy experience – mostly! J But there are notable exceptions: it’s about those ‘schlumpered’ down (you know the pose!), grumpy, eye-rolling, 13 year old guys (sorry, but it’s usually the guys) who are only at the studio only under extreme duress of Motherly Wrath. Well, how fortunate am I…God knows who needs to have boys and I have one. Once upon a time, he was 13…I know the drill!

Now then…The docs need a smiling image to show off their miraculous work…and a 13 year old is not necessarily a beamingly happy smiling individual… (Exceptions Noted!!) My son, at 13, said that there is no one on the face of the earth that I could not annoy…I take my work seriously . But, by the end of the session, I have usually managed to annoy the guys to the point that they are laughing…at me, I’m sure, but I am undaunted and I’ve got real smiles!!! Mom and I are happy…and actually so are the kiddos...they just don’t want Mom to know!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

And the week started with a Monday…!!!

What a week it was…we are super busy right now…but ever so overjoyed to be so!!!

After a busy weekend, Monday was fun with lots of activity…It started with a studio Executive Portrait session with one of the doctors from Venice Regional Medical Center. For years, we have been photographing the doctors with hospital privileges for Kathy Turner, Director of Marketing. The photographs are used in the Physician’s Directory and in much of their advertising. It is fun to get to know the doctors who are often newcomers to the Venice area and end up being family portrait clients/friends. A couple of times a year, we go to the hospital and set up for two or three days and photograph the doctors before or after they have made their rounds. You know, we have discovered as I am sure many of you have, VRMC has some terrific physicians and hospitalists on their staff (if that’s the right word). We have met a lot of them and they are super!

With lots in between, Monday finally ended with me heading north to our Bay Professional Photographers Association monthly meeting. I was the Moderator for the program of guest panelists of Master Photographers.
And then came Tuesday…Veteran’s Day…a time to reflect on our freedoms and those who fought for them…Including my son who, as an Arab Linguist and Analyst in the Marine Corps, was treated to an all expense paid view of life from Fallujah, Iraq…much to the consternation of his Mom!!! As he reminded me, however, in his words: “Mom, the guys (and gals) who went to Viet Nam did not have a choice. I do. And I believe in the good that we are doing in Iraq.” And so do I…

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Dr. Rob, Gia, and 3 Gorgeous Girls…well, actually 4 Gorgeous Girls counting one of my favorite Moms!

We have had the great pleasure of photographing this terrific family for several years…There is just so much I could write about each of them, but I’ll try not to ‘carry on’ too much. Gia is one of those smart Mom’s (wish I had been so clever) who really has kept up with her children’s albums. Listen to this…each one of her girls has a beautiful individual album with their newborn, three-six-nine-twelve month baby pictures and then pictures every year thereafter. Each time we get to add pictures to their albums, I am in awe of how the girls have changed and how wonderful the years are to them! Each child is individualized and must feel incredibly special that they have their very own album of their lives growing up…Wow…now there is an esteem booster if there ever were one! Gia…you are Amazing!!!

And, by the way, yes, we do have an album plan…and yes, you too can do this for your children and for you! It’s great…Trust me!

But I digress...after being thwarted several times due to weather – major wind, rain, and much etc., our Sunday (yes, especially this time of year, I will photograph on weekends) appointment day arrived and was awesome. We had decided to photograph in one of my favorite spots…As you can see; it was not the beach but gorgeous woodsy landscaping. The plumbago shrubs and bauhania orchid tree were blooming…and all was well…

Matter of fact, it is from this very spot that I received my first Honor Print and Distinguished Award Print from the Florida Professional Photographers Association. Might just have another one from this family session…!

This time it’s Mom and Dad…

Yesterday we photographed Nate Whitehead’s Four Generations…Today it was Mom and Dad’s turn. We went down to the beach for their session. It poured – no, deluged – rain for some time but then cleared beautifully for an interesting and gorgeous sky. As you can see, Andy and Melisa opted for the Columbia shirts in pastel colors…Love how Andy’s green shirt all but matches the green water and their colors are of the same density. It does not always have to be matchy matchy and/or khaki and white although that is often still the preferred look…a little theme and variation can be a good thing!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Generations are amazing…

Nathaniel Patrick Whitehead is one lucky little boy in so very many ways! Nate is 2+ and is fortunate enough to know four generations of his family on both Mom and Dad’s side. We just photographed the Whitehead side of the family in jeans and white shirts in the studio setting. The images are casual yet the posing gives it a pleasantly relaxed feel and pleasing results.

Bonnie & Dick's Family

Family dynamics are some of the best most fun part of our job as professional photographers. Bonnie and Dick’s family with their two grown children and their little ones was no exception…Although everyone was on time (a joyous thing) and dressed appropriately (double the joy!), the weather was not helping us. It was a temperate, bright sunny, high pressure kind of day without a cloud in the sky and we were on the beach. Lovely you say…I say, in the inimitable words of Calvin and Hobbs, “ARGH…We gotta wait.” The sun was so super bright that everyone including me was squinting unmercifully…so wait we did…

Fortunately the Butens are a delightful family and conversation was easy. But, we were trying to wait for that gorgeous golden soft sweet light that happens right at dusk…On a clear day, that light does not happen until the very short minutes before the sun and the water meet.

Important Note for Photographers: Get out your notebooks and write this down! Ready?

Whenever there are one, two, or more adorable and energetic little boys and a wee baby in the family portrait, minutes get a lot shorter than 60 seconds!
That’s a law of photography!

But, with the help of a fill flash and strategically placed people, we photographed the smaller family groups - earlier than I might have liked - but because we knew what to do, our results were beautiful images anyway. As the sunlight softened, we were able to photograph the whole family group. And finally, when the sun was just below the horizon, we finished with some pictorial fun family groups.

Thank you to you all…you were great!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

The Wonder of Passion

We at Island Photographics have such a privilege combined with the world’s best occupation….and believe me…we are reminded of that fact every single day! The pure joy of being able to do what we love and to have our friends/clients love what we do is INCREDIBLE!

I think we must have not only the world’s best occupation, but also the world’s best clients. You have commissioned us to be the chronicler of your family events and historians of your family’s generations. We take that responsibility with humility and with great respect.

The history of your family is a marvelous circle that can be entered at any point…just ask any new “in-laws”! So let’s start with weddings… the new family, then come the tiny babies, the First Year, First Day of School, new additions to the growing family, First Communions, Bar and Bat Mitzvahs, Anniversaries and significant birthdays, grandparents and grandchildren – the generations, High School Seniors, Cap and Gowns, the new jobs and executives, Family pets, and weddings…back where we started…and so very much life in between! Yes, we have, with many families, become the chroniclers of time passing.

We have worked with so many of our clients for such a long time that our clients have become our friends. We share your joys and your worries, we share triumphant moments and some…well, not so triumphant moments! You know our children and we know many of yours…

But, for those of you who are new to Island Photographics Inc., here is a concise history. Island has been around for about 20 years (I think I said that a couple of years ago, but then, who’s counting??). Founder, CEO, President, Owner, and a Photographer – is Kate Hill-Moore… (That would be me loving those lofty titles!) Other titles I have are Mom, about to be Mother-of-the-Groom, artist, music lover, sports enthusiast, reader, apparently writer, and Standard Poodle (named Calliope) owner. Though I believe ownership of a Standard Poodle is highly debatable. In reality, I think I have really been well trained. I have been around Island forever but, the person who really runs the studio and keeps me pointed in the right direction, is Melisa Whitehead...Studio Manager, Production Chief, Advertising Manager, Creative Genius, and Photographer. Melisa’s other titles include Wife of Andy, Mom of Nate, Owner of Shad (Border Collie) and Emma (Great Dog), daughter, granddaughter, sister, music lover, computer lover (sometimes!), reluctant camper and fisherwoman and volunteer par excellence!

That’s it…when you deal with Island, you are dealing with one of two people and most likely both of us…and we both care…We care a lot about not only your terrific images, but about you! We are both ‘people pleasers’. One of the few things that we really insist on is that you must be happy – at least with what we have created for you…That desire is not only our guarantee, but it is also our passion!
Thank you for reading our new blog. In later additions, we will be talking more about where we see photography going, some tips about Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanza and New Year pictures, more about the super people we have the privilege of photographing, some funny and fun and beautiful images, and more about whatever you might like to read.