Posts tagged durham nc portrait photographer
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!

Holly + Kevin \\ Durham, NC

This was such a special shoot.  Holly and Kevin are the parents of Max who I taught for 4 years at an art school in Durham.  Holly contacted me about doing the very first couples shoot of her and her husband Kevin.  After a ton of re-scheduling, we finally did it!

 
 
Wayne + Melissa \\ Durham, NC

Wayne and Melissa have a really special connection and passion. For this shoot I challenged myself, Wayne, and Melissa with an urban settings that is usually challenging but on this particular occasion it didn't feel that way because of Wayne and Melissa's natural, authentic connection. 

 
 

 

 

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.  

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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

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Woolard Family \\ Raleigh, NC

I don't get to go to downtown Raleigh, NC much anymore so I was stoked to get the opportunity to hang out with Kim, Sam and Dennis for family portraits while we wandered the downtown area.  

Severed Fingers \\ Durham, NC

I had the pleasure of shooting these gentlemen outside of Motorco one Sunday evening.

I wish that I got to experience authenticity like this more often. 

Check out their art at severedfingers.bandcamp.com

 
 
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.

20 portraits that I posted this week l Urban-Modern-Durham, NC

As an unostentatious, low-born portrait photographer it's fairly difficult to get people to your actual website due to low SEO rankings, lack of popularity and the simple fact that I'm pretty new at all this.

One of my goals is to have my "audience size" and "page visits" increase from month-to-month.

I've met this goal for the past 5 months.  

Sometimes though, I post portraits on social networks that never get to my website therefore those of you who follow my blog faithfully don't get to enjoy them.  

So in an attempt to address these important issues I'm going to try and create a post like this once a week. 

Let me know you're out there. Leave a comment please!

 

If you missed my last blog post on how much I freaking hate the holidays along with some art. Click here.

Best Urban Portrait Photography, Durham NC - Beth Ann Noble

This was the most amazing and best urban portrait photography session of all time for me.  

Beth Ann is actually my cousin and an incredible artist.  She is an aspiring conductor, educator and an all around creative person.  

Her style, tenacity and noiseless expressions captivated me during this portrait session. 

She is actually the first person that I've shot that can pull off an "eyes-closed" portrait.  

Check here out below.