Memorial Day is always a special one for me. In fact I consider it the most precious of the “secular” government declared holidays. It is for me as spiritual and soul-moving as Christmas and Easter (sans Santa and the Bunny).
Yesterday I was able, through the gift of my travels and cameras, to have a solemn remembrance and reflection at Omaha Beach and some of the other Normandy beaches. Particularly moving is the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial.
On June 8, 1944, two days after the landing, the U.S. 1st Army established the temporary cemetery, the first American cemetery on European soil in World War II. After the war, the present-day cemetery was established a short distance to the east of the original site.
Like all other overseas American cemeteries in France for World War I and II, France has granted the United States a special, perpetual concession to the land occupied by the cemetery, free of any charge or any tax. This cemetery is managed by the American government, under Congressional acts that provide yearly financial support for maintaining them. The U.S. flag flies over these granted soils.
From this view, I am at a loss for words at the thought of human carnage and death that colored this sand and water red seventy-two years ago. As the clouds parted on an impossibly heavy overcast day, and this rainbow shone, I am reminded that good does conquer evil in the end.
Thank you to everyone and their families who sacrificed on these beaches to bring peace to Europe and the world. Thanks to all who sacrificed through the ages and continue to do so to this very day, to keep our nation and way of life free and alive!
There are days and then there are dog days. This beautiful Standard Poodle and I have been friends for over ten years. He is also a client. Romeo was the first “child” of some friends of mine. The lone recipient of his parents’ attention and affection for many years, Romeo inevitably faced what many dogs do in life – the arrival of a child. When the first born came into the world it was time for another photo session. Alas, Romeo would be relegated to a somewhat smaller role in the session even though he towered over the newborn.
I spread a black sheet on the floor of my clients’ bedroom to create a simple contrasting background for B&W images of the precious newborn. While she was being changed, the unexpected moment presented itself. Looking around as I am prone to do as a visual artist (and I was prone myself) I noticed my friend Romeo peacefully if not somewhat sadly taking in all the action from my level close by. In an instant, I created one of my favorite and most lasting images of the beloved canine (Canis lupus familiaris to be exact). You can see into his soul and sense I feel, a bit of longing and sadness in his eyes. He would no longer be the one and only, however, out of all the photos I have done for the family (now 2 young girls strong), this photo of Romeo is the largest in the house and enjoys a very prominent spot.
What a blessing to be able to live a life where you never really “work”, using your gifts to bring joy and good to others and all the while sustain your own living. The Bible says “Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them” (Romans 12:6).
This passed weekend was a joyful recurrence of one of the most amazing events I have ever been witness to. The Colorado Youth at Risk launch course. This is the “kick off” if you will, to a new year and new community for this wonderful organization. Colorado Youth at Risk empowers teenage students to make life choices that positively impact their future through community-based mentoring and intensive training. Colorado Youth at Risk (CYAR) aims to reduce the number of high school dropouts, match students with an adult mentor and provide students with a sense of the future and their place in that future.
What “lights you up”? For me it is photography. And working with these young people. I have been blessed to parlay my passion and gift for photography into a means to make a living. I photograph, as my brother once said to me, “All that is good in life. Weddings, children, events, live music, food, parties…” He went on to say, “what you create, people put on their walls. No one hangs their tax returns on the wall”. That conversation, opened my eyes even wider.
I am also passionate about our young people. Particularly the young people CYAR serves. I have worn many hats with this organization – mentor, group leader.. Last weekend provided me the opportunity to use my God given gifts to witness – and with my camera – bring permanence to that witness, for all involved or who may want to be involved. To visually share what transpires and more importantly, what transforms, all who are present during this weekend and subsequent year(s). Please enjoy a few moments from this special time and look into how you can contribute to this incredible organization.
The “trust fall” or “freedom fall”.
Look at the all the things that the young people said they are up against.
It’s becoming more and more common for couples to meet through dating sites such as match.com or OkCupid. In 2014, nearly one in four Americans met their spouse online. But with all of this competition, how do you set yourself apart from all of the selfies and bathroom mirror shots? You have a professional photographer take a headshot that will make any potential mate look twice at your profile.
There are many reasons to have Garrett Hacking of Photography G take your headshots. One of which is his knack for capturing your personality along with your good side, but here are three more reasons you need a new profile photo now:
1. Set Yourself Apart
When it comes to online dating, it’s all about the first impression… of your picture. Many men and women won’t start a conversation with someone who doesn’t have a photo of themselves on their profile, but if you have a bad photograph your message is being filtered straight into the trash.
2. Show Off Who You Are
A professional photo shoot doesn’t land you with just one photo. You can showcase who you are, and what your hobbies are all while looking your best. Denver, and Colorado in general, is a great backdrop and if you’re like most Coloradans, you probably love the outdoors. Photography G offers multiple options for professional headshots including on-site and studio shoots.
A majority of profiles are filled with group shots from a bar or birthday party. Don’t be that guy or girl. Be original and meet the one you’ve been looking for. Who knows? You might be hiring Garrett for your wedding photography in a year or two.
3. Get The Conversation Started
A great profile picture on a dating site is the best way to get a conversation going. Once you have a good connection with someone, your photos pale in comparison to your spark, but you still need a great headshot to get you in the door.
If you’re looking for a photographer in Denver, call Photography G today at (303) 444-6994 to schedule your photo shoot. Garrett Hacking does all genres of photography in Denver, Colorado and nationwide.
An artful sunset in Paris: the city of lights. Nothing tops what the big light in the sky can do. The “golden hour” occurs in the waning hour or so of evening as well as early in the morning. Since I am late in posting this today, I elected for a favorite sunset shot. And nothing beats the glorious Eiffel Tower and the Seine’s magical bridges and historic lamps and lanterns.
You will notice in a lot of my work I shoot silhouette. I like the shapes and outlines I can see in my mind’s eye. In reality, all of the foreground is completely visible. Through”stopping down” your exposure, you eliminate shadow details and help some details in the highlights shine (nice pun) through. Another valuable note.. even though I was exhausted from the travel, I got my butt out the door the afternoon I landed for what would be the first and last sunset on an otherwise mostly cloudy and rainy trip. Seize the moment, it may never come again!
An emotional wedding moment with the father of the bride is like few others on a wedding day. Sure, there can be many special moments at a wedding — the first look, first kiss, first dance. The list goes on. It is, after all, one of the most amazing days and milestones we can experience.
After nearly twenty years in the business of wedding photography, the moments that I see move people the most involve the father of the bride. There is a special bond between a father and daughter that transcends most other relationships. I hear about it time and again. I’m not a father myself, but I believe it because I have seen it. I’ve photographed it!
One of those father-daughter moments is when he walks her down the aisle and “gives her away” to to her soon-to-be husband.
This is one of my all-time most popular photos. Over twenty years, you internalize your craft and the mechanics of photography. It becomes like a second language that you speak without thinking. You pray to the gods of creativity and aliveness that you remain awake, alert and in command of your senses, so that when the moments arrive you are ready.
Everything came together for this timeless moment: Composition, depth of field, a veiled bride whose beauty does not distract and the most important – Dad! That face is so precious and perfect. A split-second in time, and I was ready.
I can’t tell you how many times prospective clients have come to my studio and upon seeing this image, the tears begin to flow. There is no better compliment to my work than to see people emotionally moved by an image of someone they don’t even know. Let me know how it affects you and share this photo to see how it touches others.
Romance in Paris is seemingly everywhere. The city seems to ooze it. Whether it is of the human nature, or falling in love with the history, architecture, food, wine, art, museums.. the list could go on forever! Paris really does have something for everyone.
It seems in U.S. cities you have to really dig to find great spots for photography. We are still a young country and don’t have the history and age that European cities do. When I made my first visit to Paris in 2009 I knew I would be in for a photographic feast. And I made plenty of photos of all of the above some of which I will share in future posts. But a favorite of mine will always be this couple in Montmartre sneaking a kiss (as best as you can in broad daylight!).
My style of shooting has always been to have my subjects be as camera unaware as possible. That was certainly the case here. As you can see, neither the couple nor anyone around them notice my stealthy presence. Not sure how that happens sometimes, as this was taken with my full-on Canon SLR professional camera and lens! Not exactly a James Bond pen camera. I love when everything comes together in a moment. Here, in the plaza at Montmartre, I spied the perfect “bohemian” couple. Their outfits, shoes, hair- the perfect “Parisian poster children”. I love that everyone around them is so otherwise absorbed or oblivious. My job is to anticipate a moment that matters and bring to fore my instincts and skill to capture that split second moment in artistic fashion. The final touch I felt was to make it a black and white image.
To see a snowy owl up close is indeed a rare thing. There are two main reasons these owls are rare to sneak up on. Unlike most other owl species, snowy owls hunt mainly in the daytime. Snowy owls are highly nomadic and their movements are tied to the abundance of their primary prey species, lemmings. They are known to aggressively defend their nests and will attack those that disturb their nests. These reasons made this approach particularly challenging. I spotted this bird of prey while hunting pheasants in central South Dakota in early winter. It is either an immature bird or still changing color to adapt to recently arrived winter. My first photo was from the truck window. Then I thought I may as well try and get closer. So I would take a step, freeze..take a step…freeze. All the while, my hands were freezing as I had started my stalk without gloves. I did get to within 15 yards of this beauty. I can feel my pinky finger ache to this day when it gets cold out. But, the photo lasts a lifetime. I always kid my wedding clients to “suffer for the art” if conditions aren’t ideal, for that very reason!
I am humbled and honored to have been selected as a Judges’ Finalist and People’s Choice Finalist for best photography at the prestigious Icon Awards. Last summer I teamed up with a favorite industry partner, Three Tomatoes Catering, to capture their artistry and the action at Urban Nights Denver 2015. Then, after encouragement from my colleagues and peers, I submitted my work for the Icon Awards. The judging is done by nationally recognized judges outside of the Denver area, from Chicago, L.A., and Dallas who carefully critique each entry. Finalists are chosen based on creativity, originality and execution of service. I was also selected by individuals as a People’s Choice finalist! This photo is from the runway fashion show (largest ever in Denver) portion of the evening. Look at her left leg step and foot flex, the synched right arm swing – she’s a pro! Then..I anticipate that moment, squeeze..click! I decided for a little added creativity, I would submit my work in a folio in the guise of a magazine cover, so I added the design work around the image. See more of my fashion and modeling photography. Thanks to Mares Video for giving me a heads up I was selected! And special thanks to Three Tomatoes Catering for having me be a part of this amazing event. Your work elevates the beauty of any event!
When you are passionate about what you do, you often don’t feel like you are “working”. That is the case when I am shooting for myself or others. I never really “quit”. I made this photo at a wedding after I had fulfilled my contracted duties. I had just packed my gear away, taken it to my car and then heard this beautiful violin music coming from down by the water. It was a band member getting ready for a second set. As soon as I saw him in the dusk light by the water’s edge, I knew what I had to do. In my mind’s eye I saw this as a silhouette and exposed accordingly. I also anticipated the perfect moment of his bow hand. Creativity meets opportunity, equals this favorite shot of quite a moment!