Coeur d'Alene Photographer

Favorite 100 Portraits of 2016

A difficult but rewarding task

It is that time of the year where I have a fun but almost overwhelming task.  It is the time that I go through all of my finished images of the last 365 days and narrow them down to my favorite 100. This starts out feeling like a daunting task and I experience sorrow as I have to eliminate images that I love.  Sorrow, however, is always overcome by joy as I get to be reminded again of some of the fun moments spent with my clients.  I relive the excitement of being able to show an athlete the back of the camera when we nailed the perfect sports action portrait.  I have the opportunity to experience again the awe of one of those amazing inland northwest sunsets.

Yes, it is a big and difficult job but it is always worth it!  I will say a bit more about the past year further on, but for those of you that are just here to see the photos I won’t keep you any longer!

Partnership with Interfit Photographic

One of the big changes in 2016 was a new partnership with Interfit Photographic. As a sponsored pro I made the switch to using the new S1 strobe and have been very pleased with it’s performance.  A large majority of the images that you see in the above video were taken using these lights.  I hope you would agree that these tools did their job well. One of the best parts of working with Interfit is that I am able to offer the photographers that follow my page a 10% discount on all their products.  If you want to know more about this check out this page: http://jasonduchowphotography.com/interfit-sponsored-pro-interfit-s1-discount-code/

Past Favorite 100 entries

This favorite 100 portraits post is something I have done at the end/beginning of each year for the last couple of years. For those interested in seeing my favorite portraits of years past you can check out those entries here:

2015 100 Favorites Portraits

2014 100 Favorite Portraits

Having such great clients is what makes all of these images possible.  I want to once again thank all of my clients!

 

Jason Duchow Photography is located in Oldtown, Idaho and does on location portraiture throughout Northern Idaho and Eastern Washington.   Jason specializes in environmental portrait photography often with the use of  dramatic lighting techniques and is also known for his freelance sports photography work.  Jason is also a Sponsored Pro for Interfit Photographic (http://interfitphotographic.com/)

2016 Sandpoint High School Graduation

This last weekend I was honored to once again have the opportunity to be the official photographer for the Sandpoint High School Graduation Ceremony.  I have had the pleasure of getting to know quite a few of these graduates.  For many I had the pleasure of capturing their style and personality for their senior portraits.  For many of those clients and others I have been able to be there on the sidelines of their sporting events, capturing images of them breaking records, winning championships as well as holding back my own tears as they endure the pain of defeat.  I have a lot of memories of the class of 2016, way too many to share here. Ultimately my memories is not why I do what I do, it is their memories that I am so very grateful to be able to preserve and capture.  Thank you to the Class of 2016 for a great year of creating memories together. Here are just a handful of photos I captured at your graduation.   These, along with about 1,700 other photos from graduation can be found on my website at this link: http://bit.ly/1UraaXx

2016 Sandpoint Graduation 0152016 Sandpoint Graduation 0162016 Sandpoint Graduation 017 2016 Sandpoint Graduation 001 2016 Sandpoint Graduation 002 2016 Sandpoint Graduation 003

2016 Sandpoint Graduation 018 2016 Sandpoint Graduation 0042016 Sandpoint Graduation 0192016 Sandpoint Graduation 0202016 Sandpoint Graduation 0212016 Sandpoint Graduation 0222016 Sandpoint Graduation 023 2016 Sandpoint Graduation 005 2016 Sandpoint Graduation 006 2016 Sandpoint Graduation 007 2016 Sandpoint Graduation 008 2016 Sandpoint Graduation 009 2016 Sandpoint Graduation 010 2016 Sandpoint Graduation 011 2016 Sandpoint Graduation 012 2016 Sandpoint Graduation 013 2016 Sandpoint Graduation 014

Jason Duchow Photography is located in Oldtown, Idaho and does on location portraiture throughout Northern Idaho and Eastern Washington.   Jason specializes in environmental portrait photography often with the use of  dramatic lighting techniques and is also known for his freelance sports photography work.  Jason is also a Sponsored Pro for Interfit Photographic (http://interfitphotographic.com/)
Sandpoint Photo Booth

2016 Sandpoint Prom Photo Booth

Yesterday I had the pleasure of setting up my photo booth for the 2016 Sandpoint High School Prom.  The event was held at The Hive  in downtown Sandpoint, it was the first time I have been in the music venue since they remodeled and I have to say they did an outstanding job of transforming the building into a pretty amazing place for a live show or event.  I set up my booth in the upper balcony level where they have their VIP seating, it was a tight squeeze but I made it work.   As a gift to the Class of 2016 I am offering any and all of the photos from the booth as a FREE digital download or 4×6 prints for only 0.99 cents.   To download your prom photo booth pictures visit the link below, click the buy button on the photos you want and select the free digital download option.  You can screenshot the photos if you want, but you will get a much higher quality version if you use the built in download features.

I have one favor to ask . . . please use the built in Facebook and Twitter sharing  buttons to let your friends know about the photos!  Below you will find a handful of photos from the evening, the full gallery with over 1,700 photos from the evening can be found at this link.  Enjoy!

Sandpoint Photo Booth Sandpoint Photo Booth Sandpoint Photo Booth Sandpoint Photo Booth Sandpoint Photo Booth Sandpoint Photo Booth Sandpoint Photo Booth Sandpoint Photo Booth Sandpoint Photo Booth Sandpoint Photo Booth Sandpoint Photo Booth Sandpoint Photo Booth Sandpoint Photo Booth Sandpoint Photo Booth Sandpoint Photo Booth Sandpoint Photo Booth Sandpoint Photo Booth Sandpoint Photo Booth Sandpoint Photo Booth Sandpoint Photo Booth Sandpoint Photo Booth Sandpoint Photo Booth Sandpoint Photo Booth Sandpoint Photo Booth Sandpoint Photo Booth Sandpoint Photo Booth

 

Jason Duchow Photography is located in Oldtown, Idaho and does on location portraiture throughout Northern Idaho and Eastern Washington.   Jason specializes in environmental portrait photography often with the use of  dramatic lighting techniques and is also known for his freelance sports photography work.  Jason is also a Sponsored Pro for Interfit Photographic (http://interfitphotographic.com/)

Gymnastics Photo Shoot with the Interfit S1

Julie, one of my Senior Models, is a flyer for the Coeur d’Alene High School Cheer-leading team.  After learning of her years of training in gymnastics I knew I had to talk her into doing a gymnastics photo shoot, it was not a hard sell!  For a few months now I have been testing out equipment from Interfit Photographic, I have pretended to patiently wait for the brand new Interfit S1 to be available for testing.  Now after chomping at the bit for months I finally had two units in my possession and this shoot would be a great way to test them out.

(To find out more about why I was testing this gear check out this blog post)

Julie talked to her gym, Avant Coeur Gynmastics, and we found a time that we could use the gym without getting in anyone’s way.  My main goal with this shoot was to capture Julie in action. Since the vault is her favorite event that is where we decided to start.  I set up five lights, the two Interfit S1 strobes were set up as my main lights,  Camera left I had one with a 47″ gridded Octa, camera right was a 35″ gridded octa.   For my rim lights I used two Einsteins with 7″ reflectors and 30 degree grids and to light the gym I used an 11″ reflector with a blue gel.  Because of all of the equipment in the gym there were many limitations to where we could place our lights I found what I thought was our best option and we shot some wide angle from right under the vault first and then a longer focal length from a distance.

Interfit S1 Gynmastics Shoot 002

Interfit S1 Gynmastics Shoot 003

Here is behind the scenes video I put together showing the capturing of the first image:

Next we moved on to get some photos of her on the floor.  For these shots I used the two S1’s with the standard reflectors and 30 degree grids pointing straight at her front and back.

Interfit S1 Gynmastics Shoot 004

Interfit S1 Gynmastics Shoot 005

After the floor we were starting to run out of time so we started to move more quickly, first setting the high bar.  This time it was two S1 units with the same octa boxes and the two Einsteins with reflectors and 30 degree grids for rim lighting.

Interfit S1 Gynmastics Shoot 006

Then the uneven bars, finding a good safe angle with good angles for the light was hard so I went with the a high angle.

Interfit S1 Gynmastics Shoot 007

I know the classic chalk photo is common, but it would not be a complete test of the new light without it.  For these we used a 47″ gridded octa camera left as the main and a standard reflector with 30 degree grid for the rim light camera right.

Interfit S1 Gynmastics Shoot 008

Interfit S1 Gynmastics Shoot 009

We concluded in the gym with some still portraits.

Interfit S1 Gynmastics Shoot 010

Interfit S1 Gynmastics Shoot 011

After we were done at the gym we had time to do a quite outdoor shoot.  Since it was February in North Idaho I had hoped for some snow for our outdoor time, but that was not happening.  Without snow most places around here are not very pretty, the grass is brown the trees are barren and it is chilly.  After trying to find a place that would work we defaulted to what I knew would do the trick, sunset portraits next to Lake Coeur d’Alene.   It was very chilly so my goal was to work quickly, get some good photos for Julie, test the High Speed Sync (HSS) and call it good.  We started out with some portraits with the standard sync speed.

Interfit S1 Gynmastics Shoot 012

Interfit S1 Gynmastics Shoot 013

Then we switched up to HSS.  All in all I found the color accuracy of the lights to be consistent, I did see that when we changed from standard sync to High Speed Sync the color between the two settings was slightly different but I the color in my shots was consistent in each mode.  It was just when you compared the standard to the HSS that I notice the slight difference.

Interfit S1 Gynmastics Shoot 014

Interfit S1 Gynmastics Shoot 015

After this first round of portraits with the Interfit S1 I am very pleased with the performance of the light.  I really love the simplicity of set up and the fact that I no longer need to deal with cables and external batteries.  After this test I was convinced that this light would be a great fit for my workflow and that I could comfortably make the switch from my PCB lights to the S1.  The hard part has been waiting for the weather to get better so I can get out and shoot more outdoor portraits, thankfully the weather is turning and the outdoor portrait season is right around the corner!

Jason Duchow Photography is located in Oldtown, Idaho and does on location portraiture throughout Northern Idaho and Eastern Washington.   Jason specializes in environmental portrait photography often with the use of  dramatic lighting techniques and is also known for his freelance sports photography work.  Jason is also a Sponsored Pro for Interfit Photographic (http://interfitphotographic.com/)

 

Behind the Scenes – Softball Action Portraits

Cody, one of my Senior Models, and her sister Brianna met up with me to do some softball action portraits as a test of the high speed sync capabilities of the Strobies ProFlash 360 by Interfit Photographic.    Unfortunately the dirt on the infield of Sandpoint High School’s field was not the softest in the world which made sliding a bit more difficult (and painful) than I expected.  I have to give a big thank you to Cody who definitely sacrificed her body for these photos, the hard dirt near home plate ended up giving her a little bit of road rash . . .  sorry and thanks Cody!  Also a big thank you Cody and Bri’s dad who came out and put down the lines on the field for us so we would have more of an in game feeling to the images.

For this shoot I used three ProFlash 360 units, set on full power high speed sync.  The photos were shot with a Canon 1DX with a 17-40 f4 lens with a circular polarizing filter on front.  I could have achieved a faster shutter speed without the filter but I like the deeper blue I get in the sky when I use this filter.

The first shot that we set up was at third base.   We tried it at first with Cody wearing a helmet but in every shot it was too hard to see her face through the protective face mask so we cheated and placed the helmet in the frame to make it look like if flew off of her head during the slide.  We also did another cheat, before we had Cody do any sliding we threw the ball to Brianna and took a photo of the ball flying toward her mitt.  Unlike capturing photos during a game when I can shoot 12 frames a second I only get one take per slide so rather than risking having the ball be in the wrong spot or worse yet hit Cody during the slide we photographed it separately and added it in with Photoshop.  It is always my goal to get the shot in the least number of attempts and these two cheats helped immensely to limit how many times we had to have Cody slide.  Here is the final image, shot at 1/2000 and f4:

Softball action portrait of a slide at third base

Next Brianna put on her catching gear and we set up for a play at the plate.  Like before we started with a clean shot of the ball without Cody sliding to use in Photoshop later.  Here is a pull back shot of our lighting set up, you can also see out setup in the behind the scenes video at the bottom of this post.

softball action portrait behind the scenes

Here is our final image shot at 1/1000 and f5.0:

softball action portrait slide at home plate

Now, as promised here is a quick behind the scenes video from our shoot.  You can watch it here or on YouTube at this link: Cody and Brianna Softball Action Portraits

Since doing this testing I have receive the latest strobe by Interfit Photographic, the Interfit S1, which I will now be using as my go to for all of my on location portraits and action portraits.  Like the ProFlash 360 these strobes have high speed sync capability to be able to do actin portraits like this one.  They are bigger than the ProFlash 360 units but they have a built in battery instead of an external battery and they pack a bit more power with 500 watt seconds as opposed to 360 watt seconds.  Through my partnership with Interfit my readers and social media followers can save 10% on all of their products.  Just order directly from InterfitPhotographic.com and use the coupon code “DUCHOW10” (all caps) when you check out.

Jason Duchow Photography is located in Oldtown, Idaho and does on location portraiture throughout Northern Idaho and Eastern Washington.   Jason specializes in environmental portrait photography often with the use of  dramatic lighting techniques and is also known for his freelance sports photography work.  Jason is also a Sponsored Pro for Interfit Photographic (http://interfitphotographic.com/)
hammer action portrait

Senior Portraits with Joselynn – Central Valley High

I was very excited to work with Central Valley Senior Joselynn for her senior portraits because of something we have in common.  Joseylnn is a stand out Track and Field athlete with a passion for the throwing events (Shot Put, Discus and the Hammer).  When I was a freshman in High School I was introduced to the throwing events and fell in love with them so when Joseylnn applied to be a Senior Model and shared her interests with me I knew I had to work with her!    We started out with a studio session where the main focus was to get some images highlighting the throwing events, especially her favorite event the Hammer.

Hammer Thrower Senior PortraitHammer Thrower Senior Portrait discus thrower senior portrait Track and Field senior portrait Track and Field senior portrait

During out outdoor session we started out at the Central Valley Track and Field complex with our main goal being to get a great action portrait of Joselynn throwing the hammer.   Yes, it did make me a little nervous having that 8 pound ball flung around near my lights and camera but mostly I put my faith and trust in Joselynn’s skill and abilities and she did not disappoint!

Hammer Thrower action portrait track and field senior portrait

Joselynn has seen a photo I did of a past senior in a tunnel with some dramatic lighting and wanted to get a similar photo in that location with her Letterman Jacket, I was happy to oblige.  This tunnel is very narrow, this makes the lighting very tricky but without the lights this tunnel would not be a very interesting location so it is well worth the contortions that we have to do to make it work.

athlete senior portrait in a tunnel

For the rest of our session we headed off to Farragut State Park and the Marina in Hope, Idaho.

senior portrait with the lake in the distance senior portrait senior portrait with her dog senior portrait at the hope marina senior portrait at the hope marina natural light senior portrait senior portrait with dramatic light along a rock wall naturla light senior portrait senior portrait at the lake sunset senior portrait with her dog sunset silhouette portrait with her dog

Jason Duchow Photography is located in Oldtown, Idaho and does on location portraiture throughout Northern Idaho and Eastern Washington.   Jason specializes in environmental portrait photography often with the use of  dramatic lighting techniques and is also known for his freelance sports photography work.  Jason is also a Sponsored Pro for Interfit Photographic (http://interfitphotographic.com/)

Senior Portraits with Cody

Cody was one of my Class of 2016 Senior Models from Sandpoint High School, she is an extremely talented softball player.  One of the things that always stood out to me was Cody’s dimples, but as we started working together I realized she does not have dimples . . . . she has a single dimple on her right cheek.  We worked together on three different occasions, first we had a studio session which was followed a couple of days later by a fun road trip session.  We worked together a third time when I needed to test out some equipment that I received from Interfit Photoraphic, those photos will be posted on the blog later.  To start out, here are a few from our studio session.

studio senior portrait Softball studio senior portrait Softball studio senior portrait

To start off our outdoor session we were at the Sandpoint High School Softball Field.

Softball senior portrait softball senior portrait

After the softball field we loaded up in the car and took a road trip to Montana.  The final destination was the Ross Creek Cedars and along the way we kept our eye out for some interesting spots.  We found a great spot along side the highway with a nice patch of lupines.

senior portrait among the lupins

A little further down the road we found a great spot along side the river.  There was a thunderstorm moving in quickly so we hustled to get the light set up and it was certainly worth it, the look of the rain falling in the distance made one of my favorite landscape portraits of the 2015 portrait season.

senior portrait with dramatic clouds and rain in the distance

The rain came down very hard, but thankfully it did not last long.  We continued down the road and endured some light sprinkles to get some photos at this location.

road trip senior portrait in Montana

When we got to the Ross Creek Cedars it had started to rain again.  We covered my strobe with some plastic to protect it from the water and thankfully the thick trees helped with the light rainfall.  With the overcast conditions the area was fairly dark but we were still able to manage to get a handful of good shots.

Senior Portrait taken at Ross Creek Cedars  Portrait taken at Ross Creek Cedars  Portrait taken at Ross Creek Cedars

As we left the Cedars the combination of the sun peeking through the overcast sky and some low level clouds in the distance made for a very cool scene.  The only angle we could get at it included a guard rail along the road, but we made use of it and captured the scene.

 Portrait taken near Ross Creek Cedars Portrait taken near Ross Creek Cedars

We debated about where to go to try to capture the sunset, in the end we decided to back track the same way we came and as luck would have it the best spot we found was the same spot on the Clark Fork River that we had been when we had the thunderstorm roll in.

Sunset Senior Portrait taken along the Clark Fork River in Montana

Jason Duchow Photography is located in Oldtown, Idaho and does on location portraiture throughout Northern Idaho and Eastern Washington.   Jason specializes in environmental portrait photography often with the use of  dramatic lighting techniques and is also known for his freelance sports photography work.  Jason is also a Sponsored Pro for Interfit Photographic (http://interfitphotographic.com/)
Sunset senior portrait

Senior Portraits with Andra

Andra was my Class of 2016 Senior Model from Post Falls High School.  For her portrait session we started out with some time in the Studio, she is a setter for the Post Falls Volleyball team so we spend a lot of our studio time working on some sports themed photos for her.

Studio portrait by Jason Duchow Photography
Volleyball studio portrait with Jason Duchow Photography Volleyball studio portrait with Jason Duchow Photography Volleyball studio portrait with Jason Duchow Photography Volleyball studio portrait with Jason Duchow Photography

After the studio we explored some areas in Eastern Washington.  At the next location we started out with some natural light portraits and then we pulled out the strobe so we could capture all of the vibrant colors of the spring grass, deep blue sky and the great cloud formations.  You can see by the vibrant colors we are able to capture why I love working with my senior models during the spring, you don’t get these same colors in July and August!

Natural light portrait Spring senior portrait with vibrant colors Spring senior portrait with vibrant colors

After a while we moved on to the greenbluff area just north of Spokane.

Spring senior portrait with vibrant colors Spring senior portrait with vibrant colors Natural light senior portrait senior portrait with a barn in the distance senior portrait with a barn in the disctance

We finished up with some shots around sunset time.

sunset senior portait sunset senior portait sunset senior portait sunset senior portait sunset senior portait

Jason Duchow Photography is located in Oldtown, Idaho and does on location portraiture throughout Northern Idaho and Eastern Washington.   Jason specializes in environmental portrait photography often with the use of  dramatic lighting techniques and is also known for his freelance sports photography work.  Jason is also a Sponsored Pro for Interfit Photographic (http://interfitphotographic.com/)

Favorite 100 Portraits of 2015

Every year at the end of December I have the extremely difficult job of going through all of the photos I have taken for the past 12 months and picking out my favorite 100 portraits.  With such great, talented and creative clients this is a job I mostly look forward to, but with a hind of dread as I know will have to eliminate from contention many portraits that I really love.  I readily admit that I do have an biased connection to some of the photos that I choose as I know the challenges that went into making them.  It may be that someone else might choose a very different top 100 list, but then it would not be MY favorites 100 portraits of the year.  With the number of jobs and clients I have every year narrowing this list down to 100 unfortunately means that not every one of my clients or subjects makes this end of the year video, I wish they all could be here but then I would have to have a top 200 or 300 portraits video and that would double the play time of the video and with attention spans what they are these days keeping things shorter is often sweeter!

One of the photos featured in this video was selected by Senior Style Guide to make their yearly Hot 100 issue featuring the best senior photo artists in the country, I am humbled and honored to have been selected for this honor a second year in a row.  You can check out the winning entry on this blog post.  I think that is enough words, now on with the show!

Thanks for taking the time to check out my video. If you want to see my selections from last year you can check out my Favorite 100 Portraits of 2014 here.

2015 Senior Style Guide Hot 100

Hot 100 WinnerEvery year the the folks at Senior Style Guide put on the Hot 100 photo contest.  This contest consists of 10 categories with 10 winning images selected from each category and the goal is to feature the very best of senior portraiture.  This year 6,315 images were submitted from some of the best portrait artists around the globe and I am so pleased to announce that one of my submissions made the cut!  It is truly an honor to have been selected for a second straight year.  Last year my photo of Preston Cole was selected in the “Urban” category, you can find the blog post about that contest and how that image was made here.

Now, without further adieu I am glad to reveal that my sunset image of Class of 2016 Lake City High School Senior Grant Wade was selected in the “Off Camera Flash” category.  Here is the final image:

strobist sunset "sunset portrait" senior portrait" "off camera flash"

Here is what the photo looks like straight out of the camera:

strobist sunset "sunset portrait" senior portrait" "off camera flash"

This image was made using four different strobes.  The main light was camera right with a 47″ gridded octabox set to a position to give a Rembrandt style lighting pattern.  The remaining three lights were used to light Grant’s Jeep which he restored himself by the way!  I used two strobes with strip boxes camera right and camera left to light the front and sides of the jeep.  Then as I always like to do when I photograph seniors with their automobiles I added a strobe to the inside of the jeep with a colored gel.  Blue seemed appropriate as it would be a complimentary color, matches Grant’s shirt and also is one of his school colors.  This image was captured with a Canon 1DX and 17-40 f4.0 lense set to 1/200 at f5.6 and ISO 100.  Here is a behind the scenes look:

"Behind the scenes" "sunset portrait" strobistI want to thank Vickie Black, the crew at Senior Style Guide and the judges for the opportunity, I am truly honored and grateful!  Now it’s time to get ready to make another run at it with the Class of 2017!

Jason Duchow Photography is located in Oldtown, Idaho and does on location portraiture throughout Northern Idaho and Eastern Washington.  Jason specializes in environmental portrait photography often with the use of  dramatic lighting techniques and is also known for his freelance sports photography work for www.idahosports.com, The Coeur d’Alene Press, The Bonner County Daily Bee, Priest River Times, Newport Miner, Living Local and a handful of other newspapers and publications.