Rain, Cold, and Beautiful Portraits part 2

We kept Viola dry for the first part of her portraits by using overhangs and shelters to stay out of the rain. It looks as bright and sunny here as it would on any summer day but it was actually dark, cloudy and cold.

One thing that Viola especially wanted to do was to get some uniqe portraits in rain in the waterfall. Normally it is a tad bit warmer when anyone braves the water but Viola wanted something a little different than everyone else and she definitely got that. If you look close you can see the streaks of rain falling through the images and the raindrops splashing in the water around her.

Rain, Cold, and Beautiful Portraits

Thursday and Friday were cold windy rainy fall days. I think the temperature was a high of 50 degrees and it rained all day both days.

For some people that means time to call and reschedule their senior portraits. But not for Haley, Emily or Viola. They all braved the rain and cold to get some unique senior portraits. I actually think Haley was hoping for rain, she had a great accessories all ready to go for the rain.

With a few camera and lighting tricks I can make it look bright and sunny or dark and stormy.

Emily brought a fun sundress and high heels to play around with in the rain.

Even if it is dark and rainy it doesn't have to look like it. Colors are actually more vibrant on a cloudy day.


Summer Weddings!

I love late summer weddings! The yellow orange light from the late August sun - wow what amazing colors! Lisa and Jared were married in Waverly on the golf course - about a 2 hour drive from here but it was definitely worth it.

Jared surprised Lisa at their wedding with an amazing canvas gallery wrap of one of their engagement portraits that we took earlier this year.


Busy loving life

Wow! Just a little busy these days. Everyday I have a million things I want to post on here but I'm also itching to process the last session and see everything I've just done. Every time I shoot I learn something new, have a ton of fun and get better. Sometimes I don't even like to go to sleep because I am so anxious to process that next session and see the great images that came from it.

Lately I've been busy with creative business portraits for Salon Incognito and Biker Britches, shooting magazine ads for a few Iowa City Magazines, weddings, families, children, and seniors-seniors-seniors!

Here are just a few of my favorite images from Carolynn & Scott's wedding. They are both from military families and their wedding party and guests flew in from all over the United States to be at their wedding. It was a beautiful day and everything was perfect. Congratulations Carolynn & Scott!!


Sneek Peak at Kiffany & Scott's Wedding

Just a few of my favorite images from Kiffany & Scott's wedding. Their wedding was an absolute blast and I was glad I had the opportunity to be there. We spent almost 16 hours together that day, I was there with Kiffany at the salon in the morning and the party didn't stop till after midnight. What a fun day!


Awesome Graphic Artist Opportunity

Thanks to our amazing clients & all of their referrals... things are going great for Shirk Photography! Our schedule is filling up faster than we ever imagined... seniors, families, babies, weddings... the list goes on! Ben is currently spending 80 hours/week creating portrait art & Sara is working hard to keep the business running smooth. It's definitely a good thing that photography is our passion!

We've decided that we're going to need some assistance if we want to continue to accept new clients! We're looking for a graphic artist. Probably starting off as part-time, but at the rate things are going, there's a good chance that it will turn out to be a full time position. There will be lots of designing... promotional materials, website, packaging, collages, albums, dvd slideshows...

We know there are very few job openings out there for graphic artists so this is an AWESOME opportunity for someone that wants to use their creativity & design skills to their fullest potential! The artist must have a taste & design style that matches ours. They must be detail oriented & be willing to have their work critiqued by a perfectionist (need her name be mentioned?). They must take pride in their work and share our goal to exceed client expectations and that everything will look amazing when it leaves our studio.

We're very excited to get some additional help so that Ben can continue doing what he loves - creating portrait art! If you know of anyone that would be interested please have them send a resume and some samples of their work to info@shirkphotography.com.


Precious Little Emily

As you have probably noticed I haven't blogged for quite a while. Things continue to be very busy here but I recently took a little time out for some very special portraits. Jill contacted me a few weeks ago and invited me up to the University of Iowa NICU to capture some unique portraits of her daughter Emily who was born 13 weeks premature.
It was a moving experience to see Emily hooked up to the many monitors and tubes. She is absolutely beautiful and perfectly proportioned. I am happy to say that Emily seems to be doing very well. I am glad that Jill took the time to contact me and and I am very thankful for the opportunity to capture such precious moments. I look forward to capturing more images of Emily as she grows.
Jill found my name on the ACPCG website which is a volunteer organization of child photographers that are willing to donate their time to critically ill or extremely premature newborns. If you are a parent or if you know a parent that is in need of my services please contact me.



Wilton asked me come in to take some prom portraits. The girls really went all out on their dresses this year. I would love to get more senior girls to bring their prom dresses in with their senior portraits so we can do some fun stuff with them. We can go for a nice look or we can do some crazy/fun images with the prom dress in the back of an old truck, on some railroad tracks, standing in a waterfall.


Audi's, Rolex's & Diamonds

I was contacted by Boom Magazine to do some product and modeling shots for them. I ended up designing the ad for them also (since I designed it for them I made room to fit my own ad also). It was a fun assignment and the model was great to work with. Getting away from my day-to-day portraits and taking images of Audi's, Rolex's and diamonds was cool too. The magazine staff loved how the photography and design turned out and they had me come up again Friday to do another model/product shoot for another of their magazines.


little model

Wow! Avery was amazing! Normally 18 month & two year portraits can be really tough. At that age their attention spans are usually about the shortest they get and they are ready to be done in about 10 minutes tops. I would never have thought that Avery would make it through all the outfits that she brought but she did and was having fun the entire time. Avery's mom always brings really fun outfits to dress her in and she didn't dissapoint this time either. I love it when kids have unique things, clothes don't always have to be something you dress them up in to go to school. Fun is good as you can see by Avery's portraits.


Cayla's Senior Vid

Check out Cayla's senior portrait session. I had a blast taking her portraits. After returning from Florida with a bunch of new ideas and techniques I was ready to put them to use. Cayla was the perfect opportunity, she could easily have been one of the models that I photographed there.


Light Pro - Model Shoot

Our Florida trip was amazing. We left on a Sunday morning, and the night before I had a wedding and was up till about midnight. There was also a bad snowstorm that night so we got up extra early (2:30am) to make sure we got to the airport in time so we didn't get much sleep. Spent most of the day lugging around 5 suitcases a bunch of carry-ons, two kids, a stroller and car seats. The transition from 6 inches of heavy snow to sun and palm trees was almost surreal.

Sunday night I got a little more sleep, but still not enough. If you're a photographer and come down to Light Pro don't expect to get much sleep. Most nights models and photographers were shooting well into the night, I had a few 4:00 am mornings before I called it quits. There was so much to do that it was hard to stop... amazing models everywhere, world class photographers and tons of fountains, pools, waterfalls, palm trees, beaches and everything else you could possibly ask for. Sunrise shooting started around 6:30 but I didn't make it to too many of those.

At the end of the week they have a banquet and a print competition. For me entering something into the competition is kind of difficult. I didn't want to take time out from shooting and networking to sit at a computer and process images. Both last year and this year I waited untill the last possible minute to even look at the images I had captured there. Another thing that makes it difficult for me is that on my studio computer I have spent alot of extra time and money making sure that the images on the screen will print out exactly how I want them to - on the laptop that I brought I haven't done that. I had around 10 minutes left before the deadline to pick out an image and correctly tone and process it. I chose an image that was somewhat unique and simply turned it to black and white to save myself time, burnt it to a disk and turned it in. Turns out that my choice was fairly good, I ended up wining 3rd place and getting a bunch of cool prizes.


Light Pro Expo 2009

So we're down in Florida at a photography convention learning a few great new techniques. It's the best experience to be able to network with the best photographers in the US. This year we brought the boys down with us & a niece to help babysit... they're loving this new experience too. Kaden & Taylor thought the airplane ride was awesome (thank goodness Mason slept the entire time!) It was actually a pretty calm & relaxing trip down here. The kids are loving the pool & beach & of course eating out 24/7! Just an fyi we tried checking our messages & realized our answering machine is turned off... we'll have someone turn it on this afternoon but in the meanwhile if you need immediate help just call our cell at 319-325-1071. We'll post some portraits as soon as we get a chance... Ben's at a class right now & the boys are begging to get to the pool!


St Louis Trip

Went down to St Louis, MO this weekend to watch the National Wrestling Tournament. I had brought my camera equipment along just in case I decided I needed it. On the second day we were sitting high up in the balcony and a few rows in front of us were Hailey and Kassie. We had some extra time in between sessions so I asked them if they wanted to take some pictures downtown Saint Louis. I had taken their senior portraits earlier this year and I figured they would love getting some unique portraits while they were there. I posted a music video of thier images on my facebook fan page. I will try to get the video posted here when I figure out how.

This is an image I captured of two little boys while I was photographing a burned out building across the street.
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Grad Cards

Just a reminder to all 2009 seniors... get your graduation cards ordered asap! Choose from postcards, folded cards, trifolds & accordian style, 4x8 photocards... All cards are custom designed just for you. I was just going to direct you to our website for samples but then it dawned on me that we don't have any posted on there... yet another thing to add to my to do list!

Let us know you saw this post & get 5% off!


Golf Posters

Thought I would post these golf posters. Golf posters are kind of difficult, we do their posters in March and everything is still brown and ugly outside so most times doing stuff on the golf course is out. When they came in I had no idea of what I was going to do for them. Everybody showed up on a Thursday, they had told me what the boys theme was and I had a vague idea of what I wanted to do with them but when the girls got there that day and they said their theme was "Queens of the Green" I thought that they really needed to have their Prom dresses on and they definitely agreed. So the girls went home and came back the next day with their dresses. I think the final result was pretty cool - what do you think?
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Brotherly love

I love photographing twins. Having two babies offers a lot of opportunities to do new things but it is also a challenge to get both babies happy at the same time and in just the right position. Holding a naked baby for any length of time also presents its own special challenges and with two of them the risk is always greater but Caden & Keaton did a great job of keeping the number of "accidents" to a minimum.
I really liked this image of the two boys on their dad's high school football jersey. For some reason when I look at this portrait the shape that they make with the jersey makes me think of angel wings. I am looking forward to photographing these two more as the grow up.
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Bunch O' Sessions

I've had a bunch of great sessions lately but have been so busy with photography and remodeling that I haven't had time to blog them all. We had a fireplace put in this week. Sara has been wanting a fireplace forever and now that it is warm out we finally have it. All I have to do now is find the perfect mantle for around it and lay a few bricks. The office is coming along well too. I put up some trim yeasterday and a new door. I have to make some custom shelving for our orders now.

These are a few of Joey Daufeldt's portraits. His mother said she really likes the custom coloring that I do so he has a bunch in this color. Not sure what to call it - maybe "vintage brown". I really love the feel it gives to images also. His 1 year portrait session was great and he has a ton of really cool images.
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Back by popular demand

Everyone seems to like having a little extra time to show off their portraits to their friends & family... We have extended the online viewing & ordering time back to 2 weeks.

Ask us about our 3 new portrait collections: Love It, Our Faves, & Love 'em All! These collections were designed to give you everything you want for less!



Things have been super busy around here lately but I couldn't resist posting a few of Kambrie's portraits. She is sure growing fast. It seems like just the other day her mom and dad were getting their maternity portraits taken and here she is 3 months old already!

Her tiny ballerina shoes she brought in were awesome. This has to be one of my favorite baby's foot portraits that I have taken . When she is a teenager this would be a great poster to hang in her room.
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Better watch out

Girls watch out, Jenner is only 3 months and he has style. We did some cute and cuddly images of Jenner with some teddy bears then Carissa brought a shirt with a little different theme in mind. She wanted a few cool portraits of Jenner in a shirt that he had gotten as a gift from someone who obviously knows his father. I wasn't sure what I was going to use for a background so I went down stairs to see what I could find. I am in the middle of remodeling my office and have a bunch of building supplies all over. I found a metal furnace duct that I had just picked up at Menards and it was the perfect background. Jenner looked awesome with his spiked hair and shirt.

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