Monday, February 25, 2008

Earliest Memory

If you had to guess which of my parents is more like Michael Jackson who would you guess?

This photo my Mom is demonstrating a move known as the Jackson Dangle. It is less well known than the moonwalk, but much more dangerous.

Before I was born my mother taught a parenting school for stars in Hollywood. Where do you think Brittney learned to drive with a baby on her lap? Alec Baldwin's telephone rant--scripted by my mom. Brittney almost dropping her baby on it's head is a move that was perfected on Jeff.

That's why he grows his hair a little long. It hides the lumps.

Anyway, this photo is of my earliest memory. I remember it being so high up. It didn't seem safe to me. The rail was cool, damp and had moss on it. The moss was very interesting, but I was worried about falling.


Hawaii 1989

I've been scanning old photos with my mom today. We've done a lot of them already, but I get the feeling that we've barely scratched the surface. All the albums that you can slide photos in and out of are done, but most of the pictures are in albums that make removing the pictures much more difficult.

We're doing four photos per scan, so I still have to crop and separate the pictures which means that it will be a while before I get them onto flickr.

In the mean time, you can enjoy this picture of Jeff and me on top of Diamondhead during our vacation to Hawaii in 1989. You will probably notice the very stylish black 'hip pouch' that I am wearing.

They were all the rage in Hawaii that year. Everyone on the whole island had one. I *really* wanted one but my parents seemed to think they were stupid and wouldn't buy me one.

I decided that I would have to take matters into my own hands and so I begged my parents for all their spare change every time they bought something and eventually built up $5.50 worth of dimes, nickels and quarters. It took probably three days. When I finally had enough money, I went down to a store at the bottom of the hotel and bought one for myself.

When I got back up to the room to show off my prize, they decided to buy Jeff and Jackie each their own. Boy that made me mad. All that effort, scraping all that change together and then Jeff and Jackie just get theirs handed to them. I wished that I had just kept the money and begged more for the 'hip pouch'.

That's not the only time my parents and by parents I mean my Mom has not understood how much I have actually wanted something that I asked for.


Monday, February 18, 2008

Dunky Dunky

My brother Jeff and I had a photo shoot in the Church Gym this morning. It went pretty well. Jeff got some really nice shots to upload to istock. I got some that I really like and that I will upload as well, but I found that shooting the pictures I have in my head into my camera to be a lot harder than I thought it would be.

There are several bits of equipment that would probably make the job easier, but we improvised some of it and that helped. Having more time would have been great, because to a certain extent we were a little rushed. More helpers would have been great as well. Having a basketball bouncing freely near hundreds of dollars worth of equipment is nerve wracking to say the least. I have a few pretty good ideas, but it seems that I need a small crew to help with the logistics of all of them. I'm not just talking about models either, I mean actual assistants. It's nice at the studio to always have at least one assistant pretty much all the time and another one or two if the need were to arise.

Having that same equipment sitting by itself unsecured on the same ladder your are using is a little stressful as well.

This is one of my favorites from the shoot. There are some nitpicky things that I would change about it, but this is with no editing other than the raw conversion. I would probably crop it a little differently.

This photo took a little bit of work. I was standing on a ladder with my armpit at the height of the top of the back board and then I held my camera out over the hoop and shot the frame when I thought Jeff was in the right position. It is a little hard to aim without looking through the viewfinder, but with a wide angle lens and a little practice, you get pretty good at it. I was really nervous about the whole thing. If the ladder had tipped, I could have hung on to the backboard, but I wouldn't have wanted to. The edges are pretty square and sharp. We would have lost the two flashes that were sitting on top of the ladder. Hopefully Jeff could have gotten the ladder back up in time or at least been able to catch me enough for me to avoid any broken bones.

-Gary Milner

Monday, February 11, 2008

Overheard in the Studio

Stupid Kid, "My school pictures sucked. Look at my id card."

Girl, "Why are your sleeves like that?"

Stupid Kid, "I don't know. The guy even asked me if that's how I always have my sleeves."

At this point I figure out that I'm "the guy" that asked him about his sleeves, so I say to him, "What's your name? I want to look you up in the computer."

Stupid Kid, "I'm not telling. You'll just laugh."

Girl, "Jimmy Wales" (Name is made up to protect stupid kid)

So I look him up in the computer, and sure enough, he is wearing a tee shirt and his sleeves are push about half way up to his shoulders. When I saw the photo I remembered the kid. I started laughing. I said to him, "I asked you if you wanted your sleeves that way, now you don't like the pictures and you think I'm the idiot?"

Stupid Kid, "It's a tee shirt I didn't know why you were asking about my sleeves. I just though of course this is how I want my sleeves. I didn't even look at them. I don't know how they got that way."

I guess the real question is: Why would I ask someone if their sleeves were the way they wanted them if I didn't think they looked stupid.

Next time, to avoid this sort of trouble I'm going to ask, "Am I a cool guy?" Then no matter how they answer, I'm going to push my sleeves over my shoulders and say,"Does having my sleeves like this make me more cool or less cool?" Then I'll know if they know how they are wearing their sleeves.

In other non-idiot related news, my new ipod battery arrived in the mail today and I installed it. I hope that the new battery resolves my ipod woes.
-Gary Milner

Monday, February 04, 2008

Good Hard Disk News

I think I told you about my hard disk accident from a few months back. I thought I lost 3 years worth of photos but then found out I didn't really. The day before yesterday I made another happy discovery.

I found some CDs in one of my junk drawers. One of them was a copy of my personal folder from the Gauntlet. On it was a copy of my mission journal that I had typed up. That's two years worth of stories. I typed is in ms-word and single space with a 10pt font, it was over 100 pages long. It took me a couple of months typing a little every day.

I'm sure glad that it turns out that I don't have to retype it. I'm thinking of posting it here. I think some people would find it interesting. I'm torn about it, especially in light of my relationship change with Tracie. Maybe I'll just go for it. I could put up a couple of days worth every week. It might be interesting.


Friday, February 01, 2008

Graduation Photos

I just finished my second day of shooting cap and gown photos for this years graduating class. Let me tell you, it is hard work shooting 30 or 40 kids in only six hours. Even when you have two assistants helping you.

Things are going very smoothly. I have my routine down pretty well from last year, thankfully. That makes it much easier on me. I can spend more time on the details that turn a nice photo good and a good photo great.

My main assistant is the same girl I worked with for the entire school season, and let me tell you, she is great. I couldn't ask for a better helper. She works quickly and efficiently, and she remembers to do things the way I like them. She catches on to the cues I give in conversation. She has a good eye for detail and catches most of the things we are looking for, as she helps the model into each pose.

Today, I took over about 15 minutes before the supper break and by that time we were about 45 minutes behind schedule and we had to use almost the entire break catching up. Then the first three after supper appointments showed up 10 minutes early. I didn't have a problem asking them to wait until 7:00.

With graduation photos like this, it is hard to avoid comparing the grads to how we perceived their school to be back in September. I suppose that this is somewhat unfair. At the school, the kids arrive in huge groups thinking, in many cases, that the photos don't matter. "My parents aren't going to buy these ones, I'm graduating. They will probably only buy the cap and gown photos. These photos are only for the id card." It's easier to be annoying to the photographer when you don't care about the photos. Another difference is the price of the photos. Grad photos cost nearly four times as much as the school photos. Oh, and you can't forget it is the grad photos that are going in the yearbook. Generally the grads behave a little better. The get a little rowdy when they come with a group of their friends, but it sort of evens out when their mom brings them.

I'm having a great time taking pictures of these kids.