Sunday, October 07, 2007

Family Fall Fest

Every year the Shaker Family Center has their Family Fall Fest. Here are some of the images that I provided them. As the photographs illustrate, children look forward to this event each and every year.

Kid's riding on a CatFeeding TimeKids enjoying a puppet showClowning around with baloonsFun in the fountainSplashing in the fountainWhat's up?

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Neighborhood Pharmacist

Pharmacist Phil Parsons
Last week I had the pleasure of photographing Phil Parsons for CVS/pharmacy Caremark. This was a fantastic photo assignment to work on. Not only did I remember him from my old local pharmacy from twenty years ago in my old neighborhood, but it ended up being a great reunion as I became re-acquainted with neighbors from years gone by. Loved by the community, Pharmacist Parsons still takes the time to care and interact with each of his customers-- no wonder why he is this years winner of the "CVS Caremark Paragon Award", a very prestigious award honoring the best of the best.

It not only was a fun assignment for me, but my client loved the results as well:

"What you have uploaded is exactly what we were looking for. You were worth every penny." - EH, Advertising Ventures, Inc.

CVS/pharmacy team

Thursday, May 31, 2007

A Classic Wedding

Last Saturday I had the pleasure of photographing Melissa & Tim's Cleveland wedding. We all had a wonderful time at St. Ann's Church in Cleveland Heights followed by the reception at Manakiki in Willoughby Hills. Despite the rain that day, Tim still brought out the family's classic Corvette. Sammy's always does a great job catering and the rain had passed in the afternoon so all were able to enjoy the beautiful weather outside.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Jeanne Freeman Smith 9/21/1910-4/3/2007, My Grandma

My Grandma & Grandpa gave me a $4000 loan back in 1991 so I could buy my first Hasselblad system to photograph weddings & commercial work in medium format. I will be eternally grateful for their generosity. This is the first photograph taken with my Hasselblad Classic kit-- a Hasselblad 500 C/M w/ an 80mm CF f2.8 lends with Ektachrome (EPP) Color Transparency film. This is one of my most cherished photographs. It was taken outside their house and illustrates a very happy time in their life. I am truly blessed to have a career in which I can capture precious moments of people for generations to come.

My Grandmother just passed away on April 3rd and I spoke at the memorial service. My Grandfather passed away on December 13th of 1997.

Here is what I said:

Jeanne Freeman Smith 9/21/1910-4/3/2007

My earliest memory of my grandmother is indeed not my memory, but hers. She told me how she held me, rocking me in the rocking chair, when I was very very sick. She was terrified that I was going to die and she loved me so very much and did not want me to die. She rocked me back to health. She was always the one to go to when you were sick or sad or having trouble. Grandma--- the giver of unconditional love.

I remember going on walks with Grandma to the Five & Dime store @ Cedar Center. Later in life it would be shopping on the west side @ Parmatown mall.

I'm so fortunate that my children got to meet Grandma Jeanne. I never got to meet any of my Great Grandparents. Jeanne was different things to different people. I never knew Jeanne as a mother, that was who my mom & aunt knew. I knew Jeanne as my Grandma who I was so very close to. Will & Carissa never knew that Jeanne. They knew Great Grandma Jeanne. We all evolve over our lifetime into different parts of a whole. Each moment in time represents a different part of us, of our lives.

The night before Grandma Jeanne died, Will & I had a discussion about life and death and how none of us go on living forever. We talked about how Grandma Jeanne would probably end up being the next one to die. We talked about how fortunate we were to have known her and how grateful we were to have seen her one last time over Thanksgiving in Washington. I now believe that this was the Holy Spirit talking to us letting both Will & I know about Grandma Jeanne's condition. It was indeed Grandma Jeanne asking permission to leave this world and join her husband, Charles Smith.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Inner Beauty & a look at Dove's Beauty, Aging & Self-esteem campaigns

I have always felt that true beauty comes from within and that we all change and age over time. This true beauty is best captured candidly and naturally. This is one of the reasons that I feel so privileged to be a photographer who documents special events as they unfold. We all have unique life experiences and stories. I've always been drawn to people as a subject matter. I truly enjoy capturing one's personality on film, and now digitally-- so one's loved ones, historians and all of us can cherish. Isn't it remarkable how most people can be moved by a spectacularly photographed emotional event of a child, wedding couple, and so on. It involves the human element, it involves people's inner beauty coming through the protective shells that we learn to create! I enjoy capturing those special moments!
Dove's Real Beauty Ad campaign(s) illustrates this marvelously. I just came across a neat little video about the Evolution of Beauty.
This covers the distorted "myth" of shallow unrealistic "beauty." Dove created it to explain "All this talk about fashion models and extreme dieting. How did our idea of beauty become so distorted?" It actually can be argued that this "Beauty" is not beauty, but fashion that comes and goes with the times-- a 1950s model is so very different from one today by these false standards.

I hope you enjoy the clip as much as I did. It is part of their Campaign for Real Beauty.

Dove answers "Why the Campaign for Real Beauty?
For too long, beauty has been defined by narrow, stifling stereotypes. Women have told us it's time to change all that. Dove agrees. We believe real beauty comes in many shapes, sizes and ages. That is why Dove is launching the Campaign for Real Beauty."

Other campaigns they have following the same theme deal with girls and low self-esteem.

(This low self-esteem True Colors ad with the multiple girls by far, is my favorite commercial in the campaign to date.)

Their most recent campaign deals with the slightly older group:

This is their anti-anti-aging Ad campaign

where they feature "real" aging 50+ & 60+ women in the campaign. Interestingly enough, it was banned in the US for showing too much skin.

Information on all of the campaigns can be found at and selecting Canada (English) from the drop down menu.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Military Retirement Ceremony

On Saturday, I had the pleasure of photographing a retirement ceremony for Army Colonel Cheryl Kyle at Executive Caterers at Landerhaven. She served as a nurse in the Army and is currently completing a PhD in Health Services Administration. She told me she wanted to wear her Battle Dress Uniform since she wore it for most of her career and wanted to retire wearing it. Many wonderful speakers paid tribute to her, including: Rev. Dr. Henry J. Payden, Sr., Frmr. U.S. Congressman Louis Stokes, U.S. Congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs Jones, Warrensville Heights Mayor Marcia L. Fudge, Esq., just to name a few. She surprised a colleague with a promotion ceremony. Both she and her colleague were pinned with their Colonel's wings that night.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

eBay and money making!

I just found out some interesting info about web offers. People actually sell off these offers on ebay!

For example:

Make a PayPal purchase of $30 or more by March 31 and you will recieve a $15 rebate. You must first register your email. The rebate can be used only one time. The complete terms and conditions are found on the PayPal website.

Take a look at this:

This free offer:

Is being sold here on ebay.

Highest bid currently is $1.50

What an interesting way to make money. I wonder how "Legal" this is and I also wonder if Paypal would refund the $ under their insurance policy they offer if the individual pays via Paypal. I also wonder if it was worth the time to create the auction for the individual.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Update

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom will be released on February 19th. You will be able to order it for only $199 for a limited time. After that period the retail price will be $299.

More information about the actual Photoshop Lighroom release

You can still download the Beta version of Adobe® Photoshop Lightroom™ until its expiration on February 28th.

Until I post again, have fun, remember not to take life too seriously and have a great week,

John :)

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Photoshop CS3 Beta

Adobe Announces the (pre-)release of Adobe® Photoshop CS3 Beta!

Photoshop CS3 Beta was is currently only available for Photoshop CS2 owners. Adobe decided to make this Beta version available to the general public of registered PS CS2 users because of the Mac Universal Binary issue. This is "Adobe's way of delivering native performance on Intel based systems many months earlier than [they] otherwise could have done." It is available for both Macs & PCs. Macs need: OS 10.4.8 (Tiger) +, PowerPC G4 or G5 or Intel Mac with at least 320MB RAM , 64MB VRAM. Windows PCs need: Intel Pentium 4, Intel Centrino, Intel Xeon, or Dual-Core Intel Xeon processor, Windows XP Service Pack 2 or Windows Vista, 320MB RAM, 64MB VRAM . I have not yet gotten a chance to play with it yet on my Mac-- I still don't have Tiger, I just have Panther (10.3), but I'm playing with it on my PC. I'm most excited about the Smart Filters. I currently use and love Smart Objects with Camera Raw and Smart Filters are just an extension of this concept by offering the ability to "redo" or "tweak" the filter after it has already been applied.

If you are a PS CS2 user, I urge you to download the Demo. If you are not a CS2 user and want to see some of the Camera Raw Functionality, I suggest you see my previous post on Adobe Lightroom which is now available for PCs as well and has been renames Adobe Photoshop Lightroom.

I'm still not sure how Ligthroom will work with or be integrated with Photoshop.

Until I post again, have fun, remember not to take life too seriously and have a great week,

John :)