Rich Soublet Photography: Blog http://www.richshoots.com/blog en-us (C) Rich Soublet Photography soubletphotography@gmail.com (Rich Soublet Photography) Wed, 28 Jun 2017 02:38:00 GMT Wed, 28 Jun 2017 02:38:00 GMT http://www.richshoots.com/img/s7/v166/u451731727-o168260957-50.jpg Rich Soublet Photography: Blog http://www.richshoots.com/blog 80 120 Road Trippin -- Zion http://www.richshoots.com/blog/2017/6/road-trippin

Go Drive

 

 

I think everyone should take a big road trip at some point in their lives. There's something about the uncertainty of things that I really enjoy, but more than that I feel like it really puts you more in touch with the world around you.

A few years ago there was a Superman story arc where he winds up facing the possibility that he's disconnected from everyday Americans. Superman chooses to walk across the country (rather than fly over at super speeds) to put himself back in touch with those around him. I have little doubt that a good road trip has that same affect on just about everybody.

This goes for people as much as it does for places. It's easy to have a pre-conceived notion of a place and its people, especially considering these days we can read stories by those people and see pictures of these places with little effort. Before going somewhere it's not entirely unusual to build expectations in your mind about what you'll see and who you'll meet.

Utah blew away my expectations. On the first leg of our trip back in May, we drove from San Diego to St George Utah on the first day. St George is a stone's throw from Zion National Park, and while Zion wasn't our final destination, we knew we would have to stop for a hike there. We stayed the night in a little right on the road motel and set out for the north western most entrance to the park, Kolob Canyon, the next morning.



We get it...you're gorgeous.

 

The plan was to find a short hike, maybe 4 to 5 miles round trip, and then hit the road right after. So naturally we spent the whole day on a near 15 mile hike instead. Don't worry, we didn't dive into it totally unprepared. We both carried plenty of food and water. In fact the only way we weren't prepared was having an accurate expectation on what such a hike would feel like. It was mostly my fault for seeing that there was a natural arch at the end of this hike and figuring it'd be worth doing just for that. I was wrong...so very wrong.



If we had stopped here and turned back it would have been the most perfect hike ever...

 

When I think of natural arches...photos of grand vistas viewed through a natural rock window pop into mind. I think of places you'd go to catch a sunrise or see an amazing starscape. I'll never forget the exchange we had with some other hikers around mile 7.

Rich: (huffing and puffing, having just climbed over ((under?)) a downed tree) Is it worth it?

Random Hiker : ...ehh? *shrugs*

At that point there was no way we were turning back...but that last half mile (which felt like 10 on its own) was a bit harder then we bargained for. When we finally got to the end of the trail...well we found ourselves surrounded by tall trees. No arch in sight. There was a sign that read "Further travel not recommended...," and some kind soul had scrawled underneath the official typeface "Arch. Look up" Complete with an arrow. I slightly regret not taking a photo of the view you'd see with human eyes, because it was wholly unimpressive, but here's what the arch looks like through a zoom lens.

 

Ehh.

 

It was so close to the adjacent wall you could barely tell it was an arch at all. It probably looked much cooler from the top, but I'll let the lady show you how we felt looking from the bottom.

da fug.

 

We stayed in the clearing for a few minutes to have some water and a snack before beginning the task of getting back to the car. This was where we may have slightly overestimated our grit. I would say it was around mile 12 or so that I was feeling dead tired. We were stopping way more than we were on the way into the canyon and it was beginning to look like rain on top of that. However, we girded our loins and powered through. This is where I can't possible accurately describe how invaluable it is to have a great partner with you when you feel like you can't do something. In the last mile or so I hit my foot on a rock and a combination of pain / numbness shot all the way up my leg. It felt like I wouldn't be able to walk on it. We stopped for a minute and she looked at me, more seriously/tired than I had ever seen, and said " I can't carry you out of here..." This was all the motivation I needed to suck it up and keep going. A few more miles and a wild turkey later and we were out of there. I don't think either of us will be attempting so far a hike in one day any time soon, but the feeling of "holy shit we made it" is pretty hard to beat. With the car in sight I nearly fell to my knees and hugged the red dirt kissed road, and shortly after we jumped in the car and drove to Salt Lake City.

 

 

 

 

 

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soubletphotography@gmail.com (Rich Soublet Photography) Cars Exhaustion Girlfriend Hike Hiking Love Outside Photography Photos Roadtrip Trail Utah Zion http://www.richshoots.com/blog/2017/6/road-trippin Wed, 28 Jun 2017 02:37:46 GMT
Sandy Eggo? Sandiyaaaaago? San Diego! http://www.richshoots.com/blog/2017/4/sandiego The way I feel about San Diego is right up there with how Winston Zeddemore feels about New York. I've lived here for nearly half my life... which a friend of mine says makes me an official San Diegan! There's a certain responsibility that comes with that. People have to be able to trust your Mexican food recommendations. You have to act like a total baby if the temperature gets too far below 65. You have to drive like a maniac when it rains (though to be fair it is mostly us transplants that do that). It's a strange thing, to leave a place that's been home for your entire life only to find a completely new place and end up feeling more at home there. It certainly wasn't overnight...but it didn't take long for me to fall in love with this town.

 

Backyard SunriseBackyard Sunrise

I mean this is just unfair.

 

There are a lot of reasons. The weather is certainly up there. Jealous friends across the country give me an earful on social media when I'm walking the dog in shorts during winter. Beyond the weather, there's a certain atmosphere (ha!) about San Diego that I really dig. It's the pace. It's very stereotypical Californian in a lot of ways. There isn't a sense of dire urgency behind people's everyday lives (looking at you east coast). The moment you land in San Diego (after dodging downtown high rises) everything relaxes.

 

Either WayEither Way

Thank you for using "relaxovision."

 

I do a fair amount of event coverage for local conferences, and I've had the honor to do my fair share of destination weddings. Outoftowners (all one word) almost always bring up how laid back San Diego is...and that's one of things I love the most about it. I love that "beach culture" everyone talks about. I love that we don't freak out if we don't get our food within 4.7 minutes of ordering it. I love that %85 of that food I'm eating is Mexican food and that %97 of that food is in taco form I love that I get to live close to an amazing urban park that people meander through at their very own pace.. Balboa Park is home to a litany of great museums and what has been hailed as one of the better Zoos on the planet. It's pretty hard to beat as far as having a pleasant relaxing afternoon goes.



BotanicalBotanical

Also, it's real purty at night.

 

Of course, we aren't fully immune to the trappings of big city life. There is traffic. Heaven and Earth there is traffic. If you're one of the few lucky souls that lives within an earshot of your work...then you might not have the faintest idea what I'm talking about here. But as someone who's driven from one end of this place to the other at every time of day imaginable, we have traffic. Getting out of downtown in the evening can be a true test of patience...and most of the North/South freeways are in some state of disarray at the time of day when you need them most.

 

Sonder 2Sonder 2

Every streak of light is a steel/glass case of emotion.

 

The beaches here are gorgeous too. Some are more for tourists...some are less trafficked local spots...others are so picturesque that you'd be hard pressed to go there without seeing a photographer shooting a /model/wedding/sunset/family portrait. As far as landscape views go, Windandsea beach is probably my favorite.

 

InterstellarInterstellar

Windandsea is like another planet.

 

I love my adopted home. I'm not opposed to ever living anywhere else...but I have a strong feeling that I'll always come back to this place. When I graduated college my mom asked me if I was thinking of moving. For now (12 years later) I'm just fine right here... doing things at my California pace.


 

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soubletphotography@gmail.com (Rich Soublet Photography) http://www.richshoots.com/blog/2017/4/sandiego Thu, 27 Apr 2017 00:30:00 GMT
I am bad at this http://www.richshoots.com/blog/2017/4/i-am-bad-at-this Blogging is the worst.

That's a small exaggeration. Lots of things are much worse than blogging. People who don't let you pet their adorable puppy, sand in...anything, and people that jam up the lanes / lot at a gas station are all a lot worse than blogging. I guess when it comes down to it blogging can feel a bit like talking about yourself...and I hate talking about myself.

Rich Soublet IIRich Soublet IIJust me

"My thoughts are sooooooo great!" Ugh.

 

I've never been particularly good at self promotion. In fact I've probably spent entirely too much time not doing it at all. For the most part I've been content to let others do the talking, assuming there's anything to say, when it comes to me...my work...et all. The problem there of course is how can anybody expect to excel at anything in a vacuum? If no one knows you're awesome at something, how can you expect anyone to come to you to do that thing for them? Words like "self promotion" crop up, and it makes my stomach turn.


Recently, however, I came across a Forbes article that goes over a bunch of ways to self promote without being a jerk. Which is great because no one wants to be a jerk...right? Beyond that, there's no sense in being good at something if you don't try your darndest to share that something with others. So this is me making a promise to myself and the internet that I'm going to be a lot better about sharing what I know and what I do.

 

Rich Soublet II SelfieRich Soublet II Selfie

And here's a selfie.
 

 

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soubletphotography@gmail.com (Rich Soublet Photography) Confidence Headshot Nervousness Photography Photos Portrait Portraits Promotion Selfie http://www.richshoots.com/blog/2017/4/i-am-bad-at-this Sat, 15 Apr 2017 17:00:00 GMT
M-Katie http://www.richshoots.com/blog/2016/1/m-katie Katie - H

"I spend a lot of time questioning everything..."

 

 

I've known Katie since 2009. She was acting in a show that a (now defunct) theatre company I was a part of produced. We probably would have crossed paths organically, as the theatre community in San Diego is pretty tight, but she started dating a good friend of mine (who was also in that show, because actors never do that) so I see her fairly often and we've spent a decent amount of time together. I see her more these days, she's a part of a company of her own now, and I tend to do photos for them now and again. We jumped right into it, as while I've hung out with Katie a bunch of times, I didn't feel like I knew her story very well at all.

You can learn a lot about someone by talking about their upbringing and how they relate to their family. I asked Katie about her family and she had these things to say.


"Experiencing a divorce can really change you. Even though it isn't *your* relationship, it can spark quite a personal transformation." 

(I'll get more into divorce at a latter date...as it, and the very nature of our parents' relationships, comes up quite a bit.)

"Family? What does that even mean?"

"I wish I had a better relationship with my sister..."


We talked a bit about how it seems like more and more people our age keep hold of their group of friends a bit tighter than our parents seemed to... while family can sometimes take a backseat. This is doubly so if you live far away from your family and have a large core group of friends. Friends tend to be the "chosen family." As for her sister, Katie remarked how in many ways she found her sister inspiring...but that they're just such different people. I don't know what it's like to have a sibling, but I can imagine how hard it must be to feel obligated to connect to someone that's so very different from you.

Family also tends to have a varying degree of affects on your personal relationships.


"...I feel like there's a lot of pressure to move forward in my relationship."

We talked about this for a while. About expectations from family, from her family and from his family, and how that affects a relationship. Personally, I don't see anything wrong with taking outside opinions on your relationship with a grain of salt. She sounded like she was getting to the point where she wouldn't let outside pressure bother here too much, but I could tell it was still there.  I feel like with any relationship you needn't worry about anyone's expectations on it besides the two people in it, but I totally understand how family members can make that difficult. Especially when your chosen path isn't exactly conventional.

"It's hard being an artist..."

I know a lot of people reading this are theatre people (and thanks for reading, y'all :) ) so you can probably relate to this a bit. Your path through life isn't exactly from A to B to C to D when you're trying to make your passion into your career. You can easily get side tracked because you have to work real jobs to support yourself while you pursue your passion.

"I have a new job...which is weird. It's a steady income with no hard "end," which I'm not used to. After working under grants and contracts this job is scary. I could keep doing this and be alright, but it's scary because I want my passion to work."

I can only imagine how many people out there have thought or felt this...or how many are thinking it or feeling it right now. I know I feel this way all the time. I love photography...but I'm not currently doing it in quite the capacity that I'd like to be. I could keep doing what I'm doing forever and have a very comfortable life...but I'm not sure how fulfilling it is. Listening to Katie talk about worrying about her future fulfillment really struck me. I worry about that too.

The conversation got heavy. We started talking about what it's like trying to pursue a dream and the obstacles you face.

"I feel like you don't get to be passionate about something and taken seriously." 

I think about this one a lot too. Remember when you used to be able to express whatever feeling you had on social media without fear of widespread ridicule? Now, if you "overshare" people tend to turn on you. It's often like that when you express a passion out loud...especially if it isn't something practical.

"I have to try really hard to be taken seriously by a lot of older men. I've been called a bitch to my face."

I'm going to elaborate on this more in another post, because a lot of the women I've talked to have echoed this despite being in completely different fields.

We moved away from this  and talked a bit about how Katie got to this point in her life. Things got markedly lighter from here.

"I once bought a $1700 dollar Volvo that exploded on the freeway."

Wait...what?

"I abandoned it. I scratched off the vin number and left it on the side of the road."

We had some pretty big laughs over the next 10 minutes or so. Talking about our respective shitty experiences with cars...but she totally won in that regard. 

As we wound down we talked a bit about money. How both of us have had some good and some very very bad luck with it. I'm going to get more into that throughout some upcoming posts. Shockingly, a lot of people have a lot to say about money...having it or not.




 

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soubletphotography@gmail.com (Rich Soublet Photography) Art Cars Explosions Family Kids Marriage Money Passion Relationships. http://www.richshoots.com/blog/2016/1/m-katie Fri, 22 Jan 2016 06:04:34 GMT
M - Ryan http://www.richshoots.com/blog/2015/11/project-m---ryan

"I don't feel like the world owes me anything."

 

Why millennials? I've always found it fascinating that people have this need to label things. I'm guessing a lot of people observed how young folks conduct themselves in society and decided there was a clear difference between them and those that came before.  A dividing line was created around a certain time frame (early 80s born to early 2000s born) and the term "millennial" was coined. I read a lot of articles calling millennials all sorts of things ranging from entitled to ungrateful to straight up awful in one way or another...

Then I found out I was technically a millennial.

Being included in the millennial generation was surprising to me, because I didn't feel like anyone I knew in said age range fit these horrendous descriptions I had been reading. So I wrote on my Facebook asking if people would be interested in talking about their experience "reaching young adulthood around 2000" (how freaking vague is that btw?) and if they felt they had been in any way hindered by that label.

The goal was to get a bunch of these "interviews" under my belt before posting, but I felt I couldn't wait any longer. Also, I have a super bad habit of taking the craziest sloppiest notes that are only legible for a set amount of time before I forget just what they mean. So here goes.


I met up with Ryan at Hamilton's Tavern in South Park. South Park is a very "hip" neighborhood in San Diego, CA. A really cool place to live, but impossible to get into...but I digress. Ryan is a guy that tends to readily say whatever is on his mind, so I was glad when he stepped up as one of the first people to undergo this little experiment. We order a couple of beers and then sit down in a relatively quiet corner of the bar. Ryan and I are old friends, so there's a pretty standard amount of banter (which you absolutely do not get to read about) before I steer the conversation toward its purpose.

We spoke for about an hour and a few things really stuck with me.

 

"There's a certain lack of critical thinking and accountability amongst the early 20 somethings in my workplace."

 He noted (while adding that he isn't some sort of genius) that he often finds himself offering simple solutions to not complex problems in the workplace. We wondered how much the internet having every answer to every question at our fingertips had to do with this, and then we laughed at ourselves for a bit when we realized that we both rely (heavily) on our cell phones to remember phone numbers.

 

"Seven years post college was when I finally felt like I was out of college."

What? That doesn't make any sense? Here's what Ryan had to say (paraphrased) " I mean, you were there. I had a 'big boy' job right after college. It wasn't until at least 7 years after graduation that I really felt like I was out of college." He's right. Ryan graduated in 2006 and had a very good job (even better one now) and for him life felt like college that whole time. I attribute part of that to how murky the transition to the "real world" has become. It seems like everyone is waiting longer and longer to do those things that define us as "adult." 

"We both (my wife and I) have well paying jobs...but we cannot afford a house where we want to live."

I want to add here that they aren't trying to live at The Ritz either. Our neighborhood used to be not so nice...but it's getting nicer. There's a house on the corner listed at $730,000. Yet if you go two blocks north of that you'll be standing where someone was stabbed a few weeks ago.

"I moved out when I was 18."

This stood out a lot to me, because one of the things I most often hear about people in my age group is how lazy,entitled, and unwilling we are to work hard. Ryan has held a job for the majority of the time that I've known him (13 years now) and none of them have been a cakewalk. 

"I don't feel like the world owes me anything."

Probably the most "anti-millennial" sentiment of the night. As mentioned above Ryan is well aware that nothing comes easy to anybody, and that you've got to be willing to bust your ass to get even a shadow of what you want out of life.

As our conversation went on I realized this whole thing is going to give me a lot of info on people. I'll share what I deem is appropriate for the conversation, but I'd like to also add we talked a lot about relationships and how people in our age group are doing a lot of "milestones" much later in life...but more on that later.





 

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soubletphotography@gmail.com (Rich Soublet Photography) accountability millennials portrait relationships responsibility workplace http://www.richshoots.com/blog/2015/11/project-m---ryan Wed, 18 Nov 2015 18:08:07 GMT
UK Trip Part 1 - Getting There is Half the Fun. http://www.richshoots.com/blog/2015/11/uk-trip-part-1---getting-there-is-half-the-fun Last November I had the great honor to fly halfway across the world to photograph the wedding of a dear friend. I met her in college while she was studying abroad and we kept in touch over the years thanks to the amazing power of the internet. I have to admit that I was a bit floored when she told me she wanted me at her wedding as her photographer. "Surely it would be much easier to find someone local?" I thought. What I didn't consider though, and what she told me, was that she wanted someone there who not only knew her, but could take the time to get to know her fiance, family, and friends as well.

Now I've done a lot of weddings for people that I know and I have to admit, it is infinitely easier to take pictures of people you know than it is of people you don't. Any photographer will tell you that at the end of an event it is hard to get people to stop wanting to take photos; getting people to have a photo taken early in the day however, can be quite taxing. So during the planning process we speculated that I'd come out about a week early to spend time with everyone before the big day. I'd stay with my friend and her soon to be husband for the whole week up to their wedding day. I would have asked if I could bring the girlfriend...but she beat me to it by insisting that she come along as well.

The experience kind of makes me want to approach spending a few days hanging out beforehand with all of my future clients...but I digress. I'll get to that later.

Once the dates were final and the tickets purchased all that was left to do was wait. It was agonizing to wait for but when the day of the trip finally came...well we felt like this.

 


Huzzah Travel!

 

The flight wasn't nearly as bad as people say. Though to be fair, I've always been good on planes. The lady had a harder time than I did for sure. I'm pretty sure I watched at least 5 movies...and one of them definitely watched me. When we finally got "across the pond" we were treated with this sunrise view.



After we landed it probably took us a good thirty minutes to get our bearings and met up with my friends. We cleaned up a bit so it took us a lot longer to clear the throughway than it did everyone else. With everybody gone I had a pretty neat view of empty airport.

Face direction of travel.

 

I was a bit worried that my memory might be fuzzy, writing this a year later and all, but it's amazing how vivid the whole of this trip becomes after looking through the photos. Part 2 will come soon...but next up you'll get to check out a personal project I've been working on!



 

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soubletphotography@gmail.com (Rich Soublet Photography) Airplanes Heathrow Travel UK exhaustion inflight jetlagged movies photography sleep http://www.richshoots.com/blog/2015/11/uk-trip-part-1---getting-there-is-half-the-fun Sat, 14 Nov 2015 03:39:44 GMT
Hawk Date http://www.richshoots.com/blog/2015/3/hawk-date This year (thanks to the girlfriend's brilliant foresight) I got to spend Valentine's day hanging out with this dude. Sup.

 

 

A short drive from San Diego proper is an awesome mountain town called Alpine. Here you'll find Sky Falconry, an awesome company run by legit rangers... Ok so they don't call themselves that, but I don't know a better way to describe someone that communicate with raptors. The instructors we had were Kirk and Denise, and their knowledge of the birds was eclipsed only by their sheer enthusiasm to share their experience with the class.

 

Probably good to pay attention when about to handle predatory birds.

After a fairly brief but thorough introduction to what we were about to do, our instructors handed out the super cool falconer gloves you always see associated with this sort of thing. I don't have photos of the next part, because I was to busy flying a freaking falcon around... but the long and short of it is that the class stood in a big circle and we literally flew the hawk back and forth. Hayduke (ugh, i'm probably butchering the spelling. Whatever) was a super cool bird that responded perfectly to the "commands" the instructors gave us. I say it like that because they made it pretty clear that Hayduke does this because he wants to, and is perfectly capable of peacing out any time to go hunt for his own food.


Once we had flown him around the circle twice, we all stood in a straight line and watched Hayduke do some cool aerial moves. This was prompted by getting volunteers to step forward and toss animal innards into the air for him to catch. It was awesome. Kirk and Denise took a lot of time to make sure that everyone was involved in the experience an even amount. The best thing though is that they give each person a chance to take an awesome photo with Hayduke. 


 

I'll shut up now, because nobody looks at this blog for words. Here are a good chunk of photos from the experience.

Kirk. Super cool dude. Denise with a smaller Falcon...whose name I sadly forget :\ Hayduke can pose. Quite the character Ready for bird! Eye on the prize He was all about the flips and dives. Happiest girlfriend ever. No wait...this is the happiest ever. I don't look it...but I'll admit he's intimidating. No way! Naaaaaaaature! <3
 

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soubletphotography@gmail.com (Rich Soublet Photography) Alpine Day Falconry Girlfriend Hawk Love Photography Valentine's http://www.richshoots.com/blog/2015/3/hawk-date Mon, 02 Mar 2015 19:00:00 GMT
Downtime http://www.richshoots.com/blog/2014/7/downtime In the middle of wedding season, it's easy to turn days off into idontwannadoanything days. Today though I decided to play around with a few of my favorite things: beer, lights, camera, and photoshop!

 

 

The original image was a great shot of the bottle; it's nice and crisp and lit the way I like. The background however? Ugh. The first few shots had my couch covered in blankets in  the background... I had hoped they'd fall mostly to shadow but light was spilling out (I need grids...). I opted to hang a mostly solid colored blanket behind it and try again because I knew this would make it much easier to cut out later. If i had it to do over again I would have used white paper or some other color that was far from the color of the bottle. As it stands this color made seeing some of the edging by the top difficult when selecting the bottle out of the background.

After a little under 40 minutes in Photoshop this is what I had. I probably could have worked on it a bit longer and touched it up a bit more (some of the edges aren't exactly perfect) but I'm pleased with it overall. Many thanks to http://www.phlearn.com for the quick and dirty tutorial on spicing up bottle photos!


 

 

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soubletphotography@gmail.com (Rich Soublet Photography) Beer Phlearn Photoshop Stone Stone Brewery http://www.richshoots.com/blog/2014/7/downtime Tue, 08 Jul 2014 22:23:04 GMT
Adventure Time http://www.richshoots.com/blog/2014/3/adventure-time No not that one... more like a little day trip up into the mountains. As much as I love living smack in the middle of the city, it's nice to have countryside less than an hour away.

Lindsay watches as I scare away some cows. She proved the more interesting view :)

 

Happy peaceful cows.

Accidentally frightened cows. 

Lindsay is great in a lot of ways, but the fact that she's up for just about anything at just about any time makes her an excellent partner in crime. I'm lucky that I've got someone with so much patience. It was a relatively quiet drive. The road had an occasional group of motorcycles but traffic was nonexistent. We stopped off at a few turnouts to enjoy the varying views.

<3

 

When we got to Julian we stopped to walk around a bit, and of course to get some apple pie. The pie this time wasn't as good as the last time we went...but there's a good bet it's because we took it home instead of eating it there with a scoop of ice cream.  It was on the way home that we saw a real sight though. A brush fire in its infancy.

Rut Roh...

Thankfully there were some authorities already on the scene and fire crews were not too far behind. I didn't hear much about this fire in the news so I can only assume it wasn't anything crazy. It's always great to get away for a bit and forget about responsibilities and obligations. There's something inherently peaceful about a nice long scenic drive.

 

 

 
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soubletphotography@gmail.com (Rich Soublet Photography) Bikers Blue Brush Cows Diego Drive Fire Girlfriend Julian Motorcycles Mountains Pie Road San Sky Smoke http://www.richshoots.com/blog/2014/3/adventure-time Tue, 18 Mar 2014 19:15:53 GMT
Voice... http://www.richshoots.com/blog/2013/10/voice What does this mean?

 

Does any of it matter?

 

What am I doing with my life?

 

These are questions that I'm sure most people have asked themselves at one point or another. It always comes at different times, but ever since I started down this road I have found myself asking more of these questions.

 

 

 

Why do I do this?

 

Sometimes I just feel... bleh. Sometimes I hate the photos I take. I ask myself questions like "Are these any good?" "What is good anyway?" I look at pictures I've taken in the past and I think "This is crap" or "This is uninspired..."

 

The question that's at the head of my thoughts... that I think of after almost every photo is "What am I saying with this?"

 

Photos, after all, are meant to be shared. No one who does this is content creating image after image only to keep them in some super secret hidden library. No one chooses this path in hopes that no one will ever see their work. So what I find myself wondering is what exactly it is I'm trying to say with my photos. With the usual work I do (weddings, events, et all) they aren't exactly complicated messages.

 

"She's happy."

 

"He's nervous."

 

"These people are having fun."

 

"This father is proud."

 

And so on and so forth.

 

 

 

Where am I?

 

Are they just moments in time? Places I've been? People I know?  Is it a memory? Are they hopes?

 

Ideas? 

 

Dreams?

 

Are they life?

 

I'm not one to complain, and I shouldn't either. I'm very fortunate that I get to subsist by doing something that I love. Sometimes though I feel like that love gets lost. I feel like I get distracted. There's this shiny veneer coating that says what I do is glamorous...and sometimes it's really not. I get content keeping my bills paid. I'm comfortable being able to afford certain luxuries for myself, for my dog, and for my girlfriend.

 

 

And yet...sometimes I'll look at my photos and think "These are empty, hollow, meaningless."

 

 

 

 

Where am I going?

 

Don't get me wrong. I don't have some grandiose view of what I do. I won't cure cancer with photography. That's a job for someone that...well for someone that's researching cancer cures. There may never be any great books or collections made from my work. It won't start a revolution. What I'm doing will probably not have any major impact on the world. In spite of everything I see that is... no... everything that I know is wrong with the world, I can't fix it with photography. I think about that, and it's depressing.

 

But you know what?

 

I look over my body of work so far and I do see something. I see a perspective. Is it unique? That I can't say for sure. Is it good? I'll leave that up to others to decide/worry about.

 

What I do know for sure about it is this: It is me.

 

 

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soubletphotography@gmail.com (Rich Soublet Photography) Life Melancholy Photography http://www.richshoots.com/blog/2013/10/voice Mon, 28 Oct 2013 08:51:02 GMT
Capturing a Duet. http://www.richshoots.com/blog/2013/8/capturing-duet
The Warriors' Duet

 This shoot turned out exactly as I imagined it would. Sometimes you'll go into a shoot with something specific in mind and end up discovering something completely different. It's good to be open to that sort of process because rigidity is bad for creatives.





It's best to be fluid to get where you need to be.

This time however, I knew how I wanted this to look and ,with a little bit of direction, I was able to get it in less time than any of us had planned for.  When my dear friend Katie asked if I had time to come grab a couple of shots at the rehearsal for a play my friends’ company was producing for the San Diego Fringe Festival I knew that I didn't want them to look like just plain shots of a rehearsal space. How to go about that was a bit of a mystery initially... I don’t like going into shoots blind so I read the press release for the piece, and a single word stuck with me. “Enchanting” is how they described a relationship the story showcases . I knew that the photos had to reflect that




Form.


So I chose a single overhead light-source from a giant diffuser as my tool and went to work. I watched the piece once to get an idea of where the actors would be and to keep an eye out for any movements or moments that would be particularly striking in this light. After that I set up my light-source and took some snaps of a second run-through. The images were good...but not great. They were missing a certain punch.  So I asked the actors if they could play the whole thing tighter and just get directly under the light as much as possible while still being true to the movement of the piece. The resulting images, even just looking on the back of the camera, were exactly as I imagined them.

I didn't want the viewer to be distracted by the objects in the background, so I really needed the light to make these wonderful actors jump right out of the image. It's always a pleasure to work with people who know how to take direction...which is why i'll never turn down a shoot with actual actors involved :)





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soubletphotography@gmail.com (Rich Soublet Photography) Photography Theatre Plays Discovery Dance Practice Circle Circle Dot Dot The Warrior's Duet Light Photos http://www.richshoots.com/blog/2013/8/capturing-duet Fri, 09 Aug 2013 09:15:00 GMT
Ain't Nobody Got Time For That http://www.richshoots.com/blog/2013/3/aint-nobody-got-time-for-that I'm fighting what I like to call "work comfort." It's that point you reach where you job is enough to provide you with essentials: food, roof, entertainment... but the amount of time I spend there cuts into energy usually reserved for heading out into the world to do what I love to do. Make photos. The past week has been even heavier. As I type this I'm getting ready to go in for my 7th day of work in a row. There are open hours in the day, sure, but I've been feeling pretty strapped for free time lately.

Ok so maybe I have some spare time...


Thankfully, I have a very understanding girlfriend. The lady is happy to take a bit of our time together and use it to satisfy my need for little photo adventures. Just the other night we took a quick detour into downtown San Diego so I could get a shot I had been thinking about for the better part of a week.

Worth it.

I let my last full time job completely sap my energy for photography. It may have been because I felt dirty for shilling crappy souvenir prints to people who didn't really want/need them. It may have been the commute when the job was far away. It may have been the added responsibility of being management. In any event I let it pretty much kill my creativity.

I won't let that happen again.
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soubletphotography@gmail.com (Rich Soublet Photography) Photography Complacency Creativity Work Spare Time Exhaustion Photos http://www.richshoots.com/blog/2013/3/aint-nobody-got-time-for-that Tue, 12 Mar 2013 10:39:00 GMT
The Content of your Character http://www.richshoots.com/blog/2013/1/the-content-of-your-character "I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in 

a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their 

skin but by the content of their character." - Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.


Today is the day we honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. It's still relatively early in the morning, but I've already seen numerous posts linking to his most famous speech. It is important to note that we have come a long way since the day that speech was given...but we are still not living Dr. King's dream.


Yep...sorry kid.

We still live in a world where a brown person regaining power draws this kind of reaction. Whether or not you like the president is one thing. That's your prerogative  Politically speaking there will always be people on the other side. But to resort to this? En masse even? In such an(a) (mostly) anonymous fashion is both cowardly and indicative of just how little the minds of the masses have changed in the 50 some odd years since Dr King's day. I'm not sure what, if anything, can be done for people to realize that there is much much more to a person than their ethnic background. That their upbringing,  their experience and their education all play into the sort of person they are. 

Fortunately for me I don't have to see a lot of this in my daily life. I live in a place where the majority of people I interact with don't seem to give two shits about whether you're black, white, mexican, french, hungarian, gay, straight, lesbian, transgender or a monk. Every now and then I'll encounter an elderly person that is clearly a product of their era... but even most of them that I see have worked to alter their point of view.

It also appears that a larger portion of the next generation is being taught that our differences don't matter. This bodes well for not just the brown folk, but for women and for the gays too.

Eventually they won't have to do this

It's comforting to see things moving forward even if they're always coupled with a few steps back. Here's hoping that next year January 21st  is an even better, more equal world for us all.
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soubletphotography@gmail.com (Rich Soublet Photography) Rights protests marches Racism Equal LGBT rallies inequality Martin Luther King Jr Sexism http://www.richshoots.com/blog/2013/1/the-content-of-your-character Mon, 21 Jan 2013 08:41:00 GMT
What I've Learned http://www.richshoots.com/blog/2013/1/what-ive-learned
....Not how to hit a curve ball, not literally anyway.

This one is a lot less photoey (photo eee? photoish?) than...well than all my other posts. When it comes to photography I've got more than just a few things to talk about. On the other hand I kind of feel like talking about myself today. The great thing about me (stay with me here) is that when I'm 84 years old I'll be able to look back on my 20's and say, "I was such an idiot, but at least i grew out of it." While i'm saying that, I'll be bopping my head to some 90's alternative... waxing poetic about how awesome it was when hoverboards came out in 2015.

In my early 20's I had some pretty serious self confidence issues. 

I didn't always kick this much ass while doing the Carlton.

Why? Hell if I know. I've always had a lot of friends, and at that point I hadn't been without a girlfriend for more than a few months at a time. I suppose at some point in everyone's life self doubt manages to creep in. With me though it was more like being hit by a bus. 

I think a lot of it had to do with still feeling more than just a little bit lost.

Not the awesome road trip kind of lost either...

I did a great job of pretending to be fine (something that I still hate to say I'm good at) so I doubt anyone noticed. I was listless. I had a job that I didn't loathe (though that would change rapidly) and a girl that I loved (again, that would also change) so I didn't think I had any legitimate reason to complain.

Then I (cliche I know) discovered myself.
Somewhere around the time this was taken actually.

I think photography had a lot to do with it. Something about taking photos and sharing them with people felt...cathartic. It's like saying "This is me. This is how I see it." without hiding anything. Sharing little pieces of your world with others, or something like that. In any event, it fostered a lot of growth in how I interacted with people and the world around me. It also grabbed my attention like nothing else had before. It gave me the confidence I needed to take myself where I wanted to go.
It was the first time I knew what I wanted to do with my life and I was 24.

When I meet people who are on their way out of college that express worry over their future I tell them this. That it wasn't even until I was well out of college (over a year) that I really had any interest in a particular path. It was some time after that where I even entertained the thought that it would actually work...and even more time after that before I started to pursue it relentlessly. And now here I am, a 30 year old who knows without any shadow of a doubt my place in the world. I'm meant to explore it, to explore people, to share what I see with everyone.

Must. Go. Places

I've got a good job. I've got the girl. I've got a passion that drives me. Life is pretty damn good.


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soubletphotography@gmail.com (Rich Soublet Photography) Self Doubt Photography Nervousness Images Discovery Girlfriend Inspiration Portraits Love Photos http://www.richshoots.com/blog/2013/1/what-ive-learned Wed, 09 Jan 2013 12:28:00 GMT
Not Without My Softbox http://www.richshoots.com/blog/2012/12/not-without-my-softbox



Not in my backyard

Sadly, and I think i'm not alone here, it feels like I never really get to travel as much as I should. I'm making a concerted effort to change that. Especially now that I have someone that I'm actively excited about traveling with

Recently I went to PA in the wake of Hurricane (Superstorm?) Sandy to be a part of a friend's wedding. Sadly, it didn't afford a ton of photographic opportunity. I was on someone else's timetable. On top of that it looked like the winds had blown away any chance of their being beautiful fall colors on the trees anyway. Thankfully, some time after the New Year the lady and I will do some travelling. I look forward to spending time with her away from here... and the photo possibilities are almost as exciting!

I'd like to see what these look like on the east coast :)

In the meantime, check out the company I work for's blog to keep up with all the weddingy eventy type stuff I don't post here :)

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soubletphotography@gmail.com (Rich Soublet Photography) Travel Landscapes Sunrise Sunsets Girlfriend East Coast PA Sandy Photography 2013 http://www.richshoots.com/blog/2012/12/not-without-my-softbox Tue, 04 Dec 2012 14:14:00 GMT
Tools http://www.richshoots.com/blog/2012/7/tools

Wowzers... Looks like I wrote this and forgot to publish it. Color me absent minded. Since then I have taken one large step in the right direction and purchased Lightroom 4! It is an absolute godsend. I've never been one to be terribly organized and it has helped a lot.

Saucy interface! 


In any event, here's the rest of the entry as it was meant to be...

I discovered recently that I had a metric ton of rewards points from my bank from about 10 years of steady credit card use. I had been looking to streamline my work flow with shiny new software and gadgetry to take image making to the next level, but I just didn't have the money to start doing that.

Enter $250 Best Buy gift card! With this I got myself a nice new monitor. Previously I had been working on a 7 year old dell display, and the colors on the back of my camera (hell the colors on my phone) look better than they do on that monitor. In post processing lately (since my laptop screen went kaputska) I've just been sort guessing when it comes to correct white balance and color.

It was also way past time to get myself a new wireless mouse and keyboard. I am so happy with how this technology has improved over the years. I used to have this giant charging station/receiver thingy that had to plug into the computer and to the wall in order to signal the devices and recharge the mouse. Now? It's a tiny receiver that's smaller than a thumb drive that plugs right into the USB port.

With the leftovers I snagged a wi-fi router so that I can de-cordify my life a bit, and make it easier for a certain someone to use her laptop to write about our food adventures among other things :)

(One more edit, the lady has since bought herself a shiny new macbook pro!)

Hopefully sometime soon I'll get my hands on some extra cash (Gah! bills!) and be able to finish my workstation. Long term I'd like to be running a workflow through Lightroom 3 and CS 5 (expensive, even on e-bay) on a tower that I've built myself. If you know what you're doing, or aren't afraid to learn, building your own computer is absolutely the way to go.
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soubletphotography@gmail.com (Rich Soublet Photography) http://www.richshoots.com/blog/2012/7/tools Tue, 10 Jul 2012 11:01:00 GMT
"Where Can I Purchase Prints?" http://www.richshoots.com/blog/2012/7/where-can-i-purchase-prints
Here's the answer!

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soubletphotography@gmail.com (Rich Soublet Photography) http://www.richshoots.com/blog/2012/7/where-can-i-purchase-prints Tue, 10 Jul 2012 10:54:00 GMT
Go The Extra Mile http://www.richshoots.com/blog/2012/5/go-extra-mile In this case... it's more like the extra hundred yards or so. The other day I was asked to photograph a sweeping vista for the San Diego Zoo's Safari Park Half Marathon. It was cool to be back on my old stomping grounds with something a bit heftier than the D90's they had us using when I worked there. It was doubly cool to be able to walk through the back areas and up to this really awesome view that let you look out over the entire park.

The exact spot that was pointed out to me. Give or take a few feet.

That shot pretty much does the job I was asked to do. They wanted to see runners coming down the hill towards the grand view of the park's beautiful enclosures. I wasn't satisfied though, I wanted the view to be grand I wanted people to say "Holy cow that place is huge!" So I hiked up the hill a bit to a spot that gave me a wider view, busted out the tripod and took seven vertically oriented photos. My only gripe is that it was a grey sky instead of a blue one. In spite of that, I am very pleased with the results!

What a view!
Of course that's the smaller version, but if you head on over to my flickr you can see it in its full glory. It's a lot of work, and a lot of computer power, but I think I'll be doing more things panorama style!


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soubletphotography@gmail.com (Rich Soublet Photography) http://www.richshoots.com/blog/2012/5/go-extra-mile Wed, 09 May 2012 18:17:00 GMT
Feed Me http://www.richshoots.com/blog/2012/4/feed-me
"If I look at the photo and I don't get hungry, it's not good enough."

That being said, this past week I spent the better part of a day doing a shoot for  KnB Wine Cellars new website. I'll be sure to do an edit that links to the site when it's done but for now, here's a bit of a sneak peek at some of the photos that came out of the shoot.


 It was pretty lucky that this one came out as well as it did. This was a shot I took on the fly as a patron ordered while I was shooting the taps above.


 Street Tacos... sooo delicious.

 Sausage and cheese platter... I just...it was so delicious!

Portabella Mushroom burger!

Everything was a real treat to taste. I'm really excited to see the new website and how the photos are incorporated. Food photography is quickly becoming pleasing to my eye...and my stomach :)

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soubletphotography@gmail.com (Rich Soublet Photography) http://www.richshoots.com/blog/2012/4/feed-me Sun, 22 Apr 2012 17:05:00 GMT
Light Falls http://www.richshoots.com/blog/2012/2/light-falls I've spent a lot more time working with artificial light in the past six months than I have since I bought my first film camera in 2005. Call it a newbie mistake but a lot of new photographers tend to shun artificial light. Maybe it's a lack of understanding or an aversion to a certain look, but embracing created light has lead me into a whole knew world with my photos. There was a time when I wouldn't even consider using a flash before dark; now I find myself looking at all sorts of daylight scenarios where a bit of fill (flash that fills in shadows) would do some good. Or where a bit of creative lighting can turn an ordinary outdoor portrait into something a bit cooler.




Argo knows how to find his light.

I am by no means an authority on lighting. I defer to Strobist when it comes to all questions and answers concerning how to light something. I'm still finding my light. I'm looking for the light that accentuates and evolves the style I've developed. I'm trying to manipulate it in a way that mixes a classic style with something fresh. Looking for ways to improve usually starts with imitation, and then moves on to innovation.


I'm not sure where I got the idea to do this...but I bet it isn't original.

Keep a watchful eye and you'll see me playing with light in all sorts of ways in the coming weeks!


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soubletphotography@gmail.com (Rich Soublet Photography) http://www.richshoots.com/blog/2012/2/light-falls Fri, 24 Feb 2012 11:59:00 GMT