Through the Lens and Beyond, Deborah Owen, Photographer

Archive for the ‘Photography Meanderings’ Category

Thanksgiving Adventures

Again this year I went camping down in the Big Cypress.  I have needed a really good stint away from all that’s electronic, my phone, computer etc. and totally disconnect for a few days.  I have been really busy the last few months and just felt my body calling me to get away and to refresh and relax, and that I did.  My youngest son lives/works in the Big Cypress and I went to Trail Lakes Campground/Everglades Adventure Tours to spend Thanksgiving with him and friends.  I brought a dish to share at his request; candied yams & marshmallows.  I was able to go to sleep early and wake up just as early pretty well rested and ready to simply do nothing  or to take my camera and capture whatever caught my fancy.

I left late Wednesday afternoon and got there with plenty of time to set up camp which takes less than a half hour; simple is best for me.  I went to sleep fairly early and woke up Thursday morning ready to head to Turner River Road to check out their boardwalk.  Took a few photos, but later that evening was what I was waiting on.  You see Thanksgiving evening was a full moon and I was excited to capture it in a really dark place.

Big Cypress-80

For the rest of the afternoon I hung out at the store and talked with the people as they came in to check out this little piece of nostalgia.  I also took some photos of my son’s butterfly garden which was quite active.

Big Cypress-3

We had dinner around 4pm and there was so much food, most made by campground residents and probably the best turkey I have ever eaten.  It was so good, and lots of tasty sides to accompany the main bird, all the traditional things, plus some really good repeats from last year.  I was definitely in a food coma and really wanted to sleep, but I waited for the moon to rise…..and rise it did simply stunning.

Big Cypress-1

The next day I wanted to go to where my oldest son works as an alligator wrestler/handler and check out he and his best friend’s show.  I got some great video and photos of the two of them working.

Saturday I went to the Fakahatchee boardwalk and took a few photos there, it was late in the day so not much was out and about except this mama and one of her little ones.

Big Cypress-54

Later in the evening my youngest son (the adventure guide) took me out on one of his tours and I was able to take some breathtakingly beautiful photographs.  I also took photos of his clients and I will be sending those photos to them.  I also met a nice woman and her son who was out at the same time.  Really nice people.  When we returned Tommy’s girlfriend had dinner ready for us when we got back to the campground and it was so good!  Nothing beats dinner prepared on an outdoor fire.  Later Tommy was trying his hand at candle making, and was quite successful, looking forward to some future creations from him.

Sunday came too soon… it’s always sad to leave when I know I will be back at the grind for another month and a half without much of a break.  I will be heading back down in January.   I love going down there, I learn a lot of history from Jack who was born there and he is a wealth of local knowledge of the area.  I come away always with something new learned.

On my way home I drove part of Jane’s Scenic Drive and captured a few good photos of the drive and prairie.

What a fabulous few days, I am so blessed and thankful for the time off and that I got to spend time with my two favorite people; my handsome sons who I love and am so proud of the young men they have become.

For all of you who follow me and live in the United Stated, I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving and for all of you who are from outside the US here is to a blessed and beautiful holiday season.

A Wedding to Remember

This past weekend I photographed the most beautiful non-traditional wedding.  The bride is a friend and fellow photographer and I was honored to do this.  A few of her plans didn’t work or things just didn’t fall into place, but her main goal was to do it their way and well…they did.

The overall theme for the wedding had a Star Wars feel to it and it added to the ambiance of the event.The back yard which is quite large and sits on a golf course was decorated with small blue & white twinkle lights, black & white tulle and tea lights.  A small canopy was set up and transformed into magic.  The highlight of the “wedding tent” was two beautiful wooden (and heavy) bar stools, which not only added to the ambiance, but were from the venue where the couple had their first date.

Christa & Josh (55 of 173)

The bride was dressed in a gorgeous custom re-designed black dress with black & white tulle completely customized to her specifications and she had all the traditional items of something old, new, borrowed and blue which were her adorable Chuck All Stars.  Stunning! Her bridesmaids carried twinkle light & tulle bouquets which were beautiful and fit the atmosphere of the celebration perfectly, it even included one of her four legged family members.

Christa & Josh (25 of 173)Christa & Josh (45 of 173)Christa & Josh (66 of 173)

A few days before the big event the band backed out and the plans for the song she was going to walk down to also changed so she went in another direction which was taken from the movie “Say Anything” and it could not have been any better!  (By the way, the “boom box” was created by yours truly).  The look on the grooms face when he sees his bride for the first time says it all.  A priceless memory.

Christa & Josh (72 of 173)

The wedding officiant was a close friend and the ceremony he performed was humorous and heart felt at the same time.

Christa & Josh (75 of 173)

Every detail was perfect and although the bride felt overwhelmed with how much there was to do (what bride doesn’t?) she pulled off an epic wedding with her best friend and love of her life.  Even the menu for the buffet was created and prepared by her.  Can you guess what the menu consisted of?

Christa & Josh (89 of 173)Christa & Josh (95 of 173)Christa & Josh (28 of 173)

The celebration of love was captured, the love of friends who attended, the love for their family, and the love they have for each other was evident in every single detail.

Christa & Josh (2 of 173) Christa & Josh (136 of 173)Christa & Josh (148 of 173)

This photo says it best…

Christa & Josh (134 of 173)Congratulations Christa & Josh, may the force be with you both; today, tomorrow and always.

Highlighting Blessed Events

As many of you who follow my Facebook page know, I’m an event photographer, I work concerts and high end parties and events;  I also do portraits & weddings by referral only. Maybe one day I will advertise those services, but for now I’m content to keep it this way.

I am regularly contracted to work for an a beautiful lady who creates magnificent stylized parties and I have met some awesome people through her. Susan Noble is an incredibly talented woman who supports other women owned businesses for the paper goods and sweet treats she provides.  I love working with her,  she has such an amazing heart and is so loving to her clients and their children.  She has used my photographs in some online blogs in the past for those who provide the paper goods and confections, but just today I found out she has been featured in the Winter Edition of Everyday Party Magazine and to top it off my photos are published in it!  The magazine featured the Happy Birthday Jesus Party Susan hosted at her home.  It was stunning.  I will post the link to the magazine below.

I began this blog well before I knew about the magazine feature and that makes this even more special.  I want to highlight some of her work in this blog through my photographs; you will see how beautiful and creative her work is.  We have worked together for birthday parties, Valentine’s Party, Easter cupcake decorating,  and a couple of weeks ago I photographed a baby shower for one of our local NBC news anchor Rachel Pierce and it was simply stunning, what an incredible way to welcome a sweet baby boy into the world. Susan followed the mom-to-be’s safari theme throughout, with all the goodies toned in muted greys and yellows.  My favorite the cute little elephant cake pops!

If you are looking for a party/event planner who specializes in Stylized parties, Susan is your lady, she’s is gracious and beautiful and you will love her work.

You can find her information here:  You can also find her on Google+, Facebook and Instagram.

Life and………..

Sometimes we are called on to do things which are difficult, yet meaningful.  I had one of those days this past Sunday.

He was a good man who loved his family and worked hard.  As a young man he went into the Army and served our country with pride.  A couple of years ago at work we had recognized him for his service and sacrifice and I had designed a banner and hung it up in our break room without telling him.  I asked his long time girlfriend for some photos of him in uniform, which she provided so I put my creative touch to work and made a nice collage and laminated it;  I made a copy for him to take home too.

This past Sunday I had the privilege of photographing him for the very last time as he was honored by Hope Hospice and the DAV for his service to the United States of America.  He was presented with a beautiful certificate, a handmade lap quilt and bear, a star from a retired flag, lapel pin and letter.  The former soldiers saluted him for his service and dedication to our country.  It was beautiful.  Unfortunately early Monday morning he lost his battle with cancer and passed.

Final Salute

My Mission

I have been seriously at this photography thing for several years now, and decided I needed to come up with a mission statement of what I am about and what I want to provide to clients.  It took me several months to think about it and to actually put pen to paper and to develop it exactly how I feel; finally I wrote it out; so here it is:

“I aspire through my photography to empower my clients to look and feel incredible, to create beautiful images, and to build lasting relationships with those who step in front of my camera.”

I feel this statement really epitomizes who I am as a human and what I want to portray as a photographer.  I realize I will not get every client who inquires about my services and I’m ok with that, because it only means they were not the client for me.  My style is easy going, yet in control of my environment and can handle the most stressful of situations.  I know how to make people feel comfortable around me and in doing so I get the responses I’m looking for through my lens. My belief is you reap what you sow and if you are comfortable, your client(s) will be as well.

You have to genuinely love people and they have to feel this about you to be completely comfortable.  I see beauty in each of my clients (male & female) and I get so excited when I know I have taken beautiful images.

I’ve seen photographers take on projects they should have never jumped into, because either they have not developed enough skills or the right attitude or they simply are not aware of what it takes to provide great customer service to the client.  I have actually seen client bashing and that is unacceptable to me.  My clients are incredible and I love each and every one of them.  I treat them with respect and give them more than they expected.  I know what it takes to be in front of a camera, it’s not easy because you expose your entire self to the world.  The photographer’s job is to capture the beauty that is truly you.  Be it bride, groom, families, or individual portrait; male or female.

To those I have had the privilege of photographing, thank you and to those who have yet stepped before my camera, I look forward to meeting you and thank you for trusting me enough to show the world your beauty.

Music & Motorcycles

Recently I have been attending and photographing a local venue for concerts.  Our local Harley Davidson has a beautiful facility complete with an area for large stage concerts and another more intimate area called The Pit for smaller concerts.  The dealership along with Classic Rock radio station 94.5 The Arrow has brought in some great tribute bands.  The first was a Journey Tribute band: Never Stop Believing Don't Stop Believin-12

Then a Led Zeppelin Tribute: Led Hed Ded Hed 08-07-15-31 Ded Hed 08-07-15-7

And tonight’s Tribute: Alter Eagle an Eagles Tribute bandAlter Eagles-12

The crowds have been increasing with each band and it’s incredible to see all the beautiful motorcycles roaring in.

Ded Hed 08-07-15-26Alter Eagles-19

The Black Pearl (with Video)

Full Sail

Full Sail

On July 4, 2015 I had a dream come true.  I photographed a moving full sailed tall ship!

The day began with me heading to the dock not really knowing what to expect, I didn’t know the client I was working for as I was hired by someone to do this for advertisement photos for a pirate festival event in 2016.  I didn’t really know what kind of boat I would be on.  I arrived at the dock and knowing a bit about tides and “draw” of sailboats I knew it would be a while before we could head out, we had to wait for the tide to rise so we could disembark from the marina.  I met Captain Troy and his crewman Jonathan and two other passengers that were part of the “pirate” look for the shoot.  I also met a most lovely lady named Sandy and spent a good amount of the time talking to her and finding out more about my day.  Sandy and I went to the grocery store to pick up a few items for the trip and got to know one another.  She and the Captain were dating and she had never been out on the sail boat and wasn’t sure if she would today or not because of the storms.  However, she climbed aboard and even took over the helm a few times.

As we began to get under full sail in the beautiful Gulf of Mexico, I transferred to a chase boat where I would actually be getting my photos from.  This is not an easy task, but my lack of fear and knowledge of boating made the transfer quick and easy.  I was more concerned with making sure my gear arrived safely in the boat.

I will stop here and say, I am very much at home on the water I grew up boating and always in the water and had friends who sailed so this was not new for me.

The images I got were incredible and it’s not easy to do when the subject you are photographing is moving AND you are in a moving boat and hitting wake from other vessels. Below is a compilation slide show complete with music and cinemagraphic effects and music.  Please enjoy.


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