Posts tagged durham nc photographers
Gregory Alan Isakov \\ Durham, NC

I'm continually amazed and grateful for the people that I get to meet and the unique experiences that I get to enjoy being a photographer.  

If you've followed me for a while then you might have seen my work with Stelth Ulvang (of The Lumineers), Griffin House, Ben Sollee and many more musicians

This was a similar shoot I did with Colorado musician Gregory Alan Isakov in Durham, N.C. right outside of the Carolina Theatre. 

All photos were shot with the Canon 5D Mark lll using the Tiltshift 45mm lens. 

Follow Gregory Alan Isakov: IG, FB, TW, YT & WEB

 
 
Melora + Conor \\ Durham, NC
Stelth Ulvang of The Lumineers \\ Durham, NC

This is the story of how I got to shoot musician portraits of Stelth Ulvang of The Lumineers in Durham, NC:

I emailed him and I asked.  

He said "ok".

Outside of The Pinhook in Durham, I jumped into Stelth's van and rode down to the local laundry mat, Bull City Suds.  He had to dry some clothes so while they dried I took some portraits of him.

Afterwards, we went down to Full Steam Brewery and I took some more portraits of Stelth.  I bought him a beer, he bought me a grilled cheese from the a food truck.  I talked about how I teach at a local art school.  

Stelth and his band were intrigued. 

The next day he came into my classroom to play for my art students along with Blake Stepan (double bass) and Mike Jesurun (drums).  Click here to see the video of Stelth playing in my classroom. 

Here are the portraits:

Ben Sollee \\ Durham, NC

Here's the story of how I got to take portraits of Ben Sollee:

I emailed him and asked him.  

He said "sure". 

I met him at Motorco Music Hall in Durham, NC.  We shot a few portraits. 

We walked down to Coco Cinnamon Coffee Shop and he bought me an espresso. I said "thanks". We shot some more portraits. 

I shot some portraits of Ben's drummer, Jordon Ellis (click here to see those). 

I did a long portrait of Ben. (click here to see that)  

Ben and Jordon did their sound check inside of Motorco. 

Afterwards, Ben and I walked up the street and did one of his "City Single" videos for their next show in Charlottesville, VA. 

He gave my wife a t-shirt.  She said "thanks".

We had dinner at Geer Street Garden then saw Ben's incredible show along with Becca Stevens Band.



Workflow Editing - From Beginning to End in Lightroom and Alien Skin Exposure

This shoot is from a recent workshop that I taught in downtown Durham, North Carolina.  The goal of the shoot was to take a boring, seemingly distracting environment, and create beautiful couples photos using the tools and resources available in my camera and our creative minds.  

After the shoot, I created a workflow editing video showing my entire process using Lightroom and Alien Skin Exposure.  I cover culling, rating, flagging, white balance, split toning, adding contrast, how to speed up your workflow and how I use Alien Skin Exposure's powerful grain system. 

Need a little more one-on-one help?  I got you!

Josh + Shelley \\ Durham, NC

Outdoor adventure photographers Josh and Shelly Hartman journeyed their way back to North Carolina so we could hangout and make some art together.   We did a couples shoot in downtown Durham, N.C. in the Central Park district popping into the world famous coffee shop, Cocoa Cinnamon.  

Before the shoot I gave Josh a little "homework assignment".  I told him to write Shelly a letter telling her what she means to him (you can see that moment below).   He crushed it as expected and melted her heart. 

We ended the session with a some portraits with Josh and Shelly's custom Brompton Bikes...followed by beers at Motorco of course. 

 
 
Candice + Jonathan \\ Durham, NC

This was a fun shoot. I took Candice and Jonathan to Forest Hills Park in Durham, NC to get some nature vibes!

 
 
Defacto Thezpian \\ Durham, NC

I met Raheem (aka Defacto Thezpian) at a holiday party.  We talked.  I shared my stories (and tequila) of doing photography with musicians and how Stelth Ulvang played Outcast songs in my classroom..."cause the whole world loves it when you make that sound..bah bah..bah bah bah bah" was what would've heard if you were there. 

Afterwards we exchanged contact info and set up a photo shoot in Durham, NC. 

It's always an adventure and pleasure to work with positive, artistic humans.  Here are the photos from the shoot.

Why We All Need More Couples Photos

I've been married to my wife now for 12 years. I take photos of her a lot.  I don't take photos of us that much though.    

I created this photo book for her as a gift to celebrate our anniversary. 

As I was creating it I realized just how few photos that we actually had together.  

untitled-4.jpg

I wasn't ok with this.  I thought to myself "this is the most important person in the world to me and I don't have more photos of us.  what's the deal?"

I realized that  1) I'm always holding the camera.  2) I usually just take photos of Kathryn and not us.

I also noticed how I felt creating this book for her.  I felt joy, connection, intimacy...lots of dopamine being released. 

I asked myself "why am I not taking more photos of couples so they can feel this too?"

One of the goals that I have for the new year is to make more portraits "couples".  I'm going to be working hard to step outside of my normal "portrait" and to focus more on couples portraits. 

What does that mean for you?  

If you have a partner then we should connect!

If you know someone who has a partner then share this with them!

Take advantage of the "Couples Portrait Session" special that I've got going on this month:

In honor of celebrating 12 years with the love of my life, I've decided to give you the opportunity to invest in a couple's session with the love of YOUR life. I am offering 1/2 off my normal session fee.

Happy Holidays,

Mark

holiday-100.jpg
 
Nappy Roots \\ Durham, NC

I listened to Nappy Roots when I was in high school.  My favorite beat was the collaboration of "Awnaw" with P.O.D's Marcus.  It was nostalgic to be able to shoot portraits of them in Durham, NC at The Pinhook this week.

After they warmed up to me a bit we had a great shoot.  I also got to connect with Drew Yager of CMK Productions.  He's been with Nappy Roots for 4 years.  You can see him in the photos below.  

Someone else you might not know is Blake German.  He is the tour DJ and producer for Nappy Roots new album "The 40 AKERZ PROJECT".  I was able to grab him on his way out the door.  

You can get Nappy Roots new album on iTunes here.   

 

Jason kutchma \\ Durham, NC

I got to spend some time with Jason Kutchma at his home in Durham, NC where he communicated his vision to me for his recently released album Blue Highways. He allowed me to capture a glimpse of the vision he has for his art and life.  I hope that these portraits can be an authentic "looking glass" into who he is.  

you can listen to and purchase Jason's new album Blue Highways here.

click here to read an article that INDY WEEK wrote about him.

Becca Stevens \\ Durham, NC

I shot some urban musician portrait photos of jazz vocalist Becca Stevens at Motorco Music Hall in Durham, NC recently.  Motorco Music Hall was her first stop along a tour with Ben Sollee.

If you've not heard her art then check it out at www.beccastevens.com

Blake Stepan \\ Durham, NC

While Stelth Ulvang of The Lumineers was in town for his show at The Pinhook, he brought with him a double bass player.  Blake Stepan.

Blake plays for numerous bands but his favorite is Spirits of the Red City.  You can see Blake playing here with them on NPR's Tiny Desk Concert entry that the band submitted.

I got to spend some time with Blake before and after shooting musician portraits of him at Full Steam Brewery in Durham, NC.

5 things I learned from spending time with Blake:

1.  He was the valedictorian of his college. 

2. He works with pre-k students

3. He is funny, passionate and extremely intelligent.

4.  He started his music career by playing on the street

5. He won't stop smiling.

 

My goal for Blake was to portray him by seamlessly meshing my urban portrait photography style with his free, deep and fun-loving spirit.

This shoot took about 3 minutes and I did it in the front room of Full Steam Brewery in Durham, NC.

Urban Portrait Photography in the Snow - Durham, NC

Here is some urban portrait photography during the recent snow in my darling town of Durham, NC.

Stay warm!

Candice Torian l Professional, Urban Portraits l Downtown Durham, NC

Last month I was encouraged by some local talent. Candice Torian.

Candice is launching a startup that helps folks that are new to the Triangle transition to our area smoothly.  It's called the "The Newbee Network".

Here are her professional, urban portraits taken in downtown Durham, NC.  All of these portraits were taken right around Coco Cinnamon!

12 portraits from this week. Cinemagraphs too.

here are 12 of my favorite portraits from this week.  just in cased you missed them.

death and why I charge so much for my photos.

Over the past few months I have experienced some very "human" things. 

Some of those are:

- a 30 something that died of cancer who I knew as a teenager.  He gave me a pair of shorts that I wore throughout my high school wrestling career.

- my grandfather dying only weeks after I took portraits of him on his land in the back woods of eastern Tennessee.

- a couple of high school acquaintances committing suicide

- a co-workers husband died just days after they asked me to shoot portraits of them.  We never shot the portraits. 

- my wife's great aunt got diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer and died weeks later.

- John Krakauer's book Into Thin Air.   (this was just as emotional as someone dying)

-a few more that I won't mention

 

Through these , I've finally conceptualized why my photos are so valuable.  

They capture life.