Sunday, October 31, 2010

Amy + Pat: Punta Gorda, FL


Amy and Pat were married on a beautiful Florida October day at Amy's Uncle's home outside Punta Gorda, Florida. The day before had been quite sunny and humid, but the wedding day was blessed with fluffy clouds and a light breeze. Amy and Pay live in Chicago and many had to travel to attend the wedding. I think everyone was glad they made the trip because it was a gorgeous wedding!

Amy's dress was unbelievably stunning. I have seen a lot of wedding dresses in my day, and I was immediately taken with it. Once Amy put the dress on, it was even better, it was though it were made just for her.

Pat, Pat's brother, Mike, and Amy's Uncle Tom wait before the ceremony begins. Uncle Tom was the officiant and did a spectacular job. My favorite ceremonies are ones with a good blend of humor and emotion, and this one had a heavy dose of both.

We had such beautiful light this day for portraits. Combine that with a gorgeous background and a fantastic couple, and you have a very happy photographer!

The reception and cocktail hour were set up outside next to a small lake on the property. The canopy of trees and the color scheme for the wedding worked beautifully with the outdoor setting.

We snuck away for a few more portraits as the sun was getting low.

And of course, portraits with Elle were a must!

The reception was just lovely! The speeches given by Mike and Pat were particularly moving and had the whole place rolling with laughter.

Congratulations, Amy and Pat!!

Friday, October 22, 2010


My original intentions upon creating this blog were three-fold:

1) Share photos from my recent projects, since this blog would be updated more frequently than my website.

2) Discuss the various aspects of the photography business: technical challenges, personal projects and ideas, business strategies, etc

3) Present really cool things that I have come across in the field of photography, things that inspire me and make me think, "My God, what a genius!"

The third topic is one of the the +/- parts of this crazy/wonderful profession. As with any artistic field, there is a Jekyl/Hyde aspect that goes through many artists' heads as they paddle through the waters of inspirations. "That is a great idea", "Whatever, I have seen it before", "No, really, I think it's fantastic", "Yeah, if by fantastic you mean predictable and unoriginal", etc, etc. I struggle with this from time to time and my way of coping is generally inaction. We all have our demons to overcome, and that is definitely mine when it comes to progressing my own artwork and ideas. Having said that, I do often thrive on inspiration I find in all forms of art/life. When I am confronted with something original and thought-provoking, I always ask myself how can I bring this back to my work. However, I think the better thing to do is that I need to also remember to take a step back and appreciate the work for the amazingness that it has brought into the world, and forget about what it can do for me.

So, on that note (i.e. long digression), I am brought back to my third intention which is recognizing amazing and inspiration artists. This one goes by the name of JR. Why did I say it like that? Well, he's somewhat a rogue artist, think of him as a photographic Banksy. Anyone that can bring more art into the world, I say more power to them, but the fantastic thing about JR is that he focuses his efforts in run-down and often third-world locations, bringing art to some of the most "unbeautiful" places. Not only that, but he also involves the communities where the art is displayed, using local people as the subjects of his portraits. One of the most poignant projects was his Face2Face project concentrating on the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, or more specifically, the people. He just currently won the 2011 TED Prize, and I think it is totally deserved.

Find out more info about TED and JR

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Summer, what summer???

I have no idea how a perfectly good summer could just fly right by without me even seeing it. I remember May, June seems familiar, and then all of a sudden...poof, it's October. Well, I certainly haven't been sitting around and twiddling my thumbs, so I will have to make up for lost time with a few extra blog posts.

I have to admit, part of the reason that summer flew by was that I was fortunate enough to take and extended (ahem, month) vacation during August/September. For any of you that know Florida, this time is also affectionately known as "Hell's Opening Act". I hopped across Europe visiting all the family and friends that I could think of along the way. Needless to say, a month in Europe + my camera(s) -----> ∞ photos. Once I have my head above the 1's and 0's again, I will share some travel highlights.

So, I supposed this blog post is like dipping my toe back into the water, but I should have some good swan dives coming in the near future.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Naples House

When you are an architectural photographer in SW Florida, it can sometimes feel as though you are waiting out the weather more often than you are actually taking photos. Don't get me wrong, the weather here is usually gorgeous at some point during the day, but considering that most properties have a time of day that is most suitable for their particular orientation, the stars do not always align appropriately. Even though it can be irritating continually postponing shoots for good weather, I do have to admit that I enjoy attempting to interpret the weather. I have become fairly good at understanding fronts, what wind directions mean for future weather, and analyzing radar maps, but I am always completely thrown off now and again by something totally unexpected (just to make sure I don't get too cocky!).

But, on those occasions where everything falls into place, I think it makes you really appreciate it more. I went down to shoot a house on the water one morning, and I was greeted with not only beautiful blue skies, but also with a noticeable lack of wind. Since the home was situated on the intercoastal, the bay took on an almost mirror quality, something you don't often see with large, tidal bodies of water. I couldn't help by take this panoramic of the whole bay scene and whenever I see it, I am reminded that that next perfect day is around the corner, I just have to patient enough to wait and ready to appreciate it when it arrives. A good motto for life, too, I suppose.

Just for fun, here are a few other shots from that shoot:

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Golf Extras

Another Golf Illustrated shoot came and went. I have enjoyed doing these over the years, but since we are often focusing on instructional-type shots, sometimes I feel that the creativity is lacking. Usually after a commercial or editorial shoot, once the files have been delivered, the unused images go off to live in hard drive land. So, I thought I'd take a few from the last shoot and jazz them up a little.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Amber Frederiksen Photography is going green!

Or, greener may be more appropriate.  Ever since officially launching my photography business over 3 years ago, I have always tried to think of more environmentally friendly ways to conduct business.  But, as society becomes more conscious of what we can do, and more green-friendly products become available in the marketplace, I feel I could be doing a little more.  So, my goal for 2010 is to take steps to make my business as efficient and green as possible.  I plan to mark my progress as I go to let others know what I find out along the way.  

So, to start off, I want to take an inventory of where I am currently and then I can target the areas where there may be room for improvement.  

  • DIGITAL:  One of the greatest green improvements is photography has been the digital revolution over the last decade.  No more chemicals needing to be disposed, driving to and from the lab for every assignment, and the mere lack of the waste of film canisters, sample prints and proof sheets.  With digital, I rarely print or use any tangible products in the entire process.  I can go from start to finish of an assignment without one sheet of paper being printed.  The only energy used is powering my computer and charging my batteries.
  • COMPUTER:  Yes, I am on my computer a lot more than in the past, which as we all know, wastes a certain amount of energy.  This is unavoidable to conduct business these days.  But, there are a few things we can do to lessen the impact.  First of all, I always use the energy-savings options on both of my computers, which puts the computer to sleep when it is inactive for 15 minutes.  Also, my iMac is one of the most green and energy efficient desktops available, and my Macbook Pro isn't too shabby, either.  Now, one area I need to improve on is in shutting my computers down for the night.  Admittedly, I often leave them running if I am in the middle of working on an assignment and do not want to shut all the programs down.  Well, after doing a little research, a study showed that in one year, the number of computers left idling overnight in the U.S. waste the energy equivalent to 4 million cars on the road (they did not specify if this was for a year, or  for normal use, but I'll let it slide since I don't have the exact figures in front of me).  They did also say that if all the one billion PC's were turned off for one night, the energy saved could power the Empire State Building for over 30 years.  So, this change of habit is going to be at the top of my list!
  • OFFICE SUPPLIES:  This is probably the area where I can improve the easiest with just a little effort.  I do already reuse paper for all printing that isn't required to appear "business-like" and I always save pdf's instead of printing whenever possible.  The main problem is that office supply stores have a ridiculously poor selection of "green" office products, and due to the fact that I generally will run out of something the very same day that I need it, that doesn't allow me much opportunity to shop online.  So, my goal is to find some online retailers who offer recycled, green products and to stock up in advance rather than waiting until the last minute.  Considering that I don't use much, it shouldn't be too hard.  Now, does anyone know if they make recycled dvd's??
  • TRANSPORTATION:  Unfortunately, I am not in the market for a brand new hybrid/electric vehicle.  And unless everyone wants to come to my house to be photographed or properties are in walking distance, I'm not sure how this one is going to be easily improved upon.  Any thoughts?  I do try to only drive when necessary and combine multiple errands whenever I do go out, but beyond that, I'm going to have to get creative with this one.
  • ADVERTISING:  Well, one of my other goals for my business this year is to run a new advertising campaign.  Of course, with the internet, I can technically get myself out to anyone in the world with the click of a "send" button, or even better, people can search and fin me.  However, it is necessary to send actual printed materials from time to time.  So far, all of my promotional cards and business cards have been printed with 100% recycled material, my business cards also used soy ink.   But, if you're doing a larger campaign, those can unfortunately get expensive.  I think what I will plan to do is to not sacrifice my new green standards and instead try to target my advertising more selectively.  
I plane to update throughout the year as my little seed begins to grow greener.  For now, I am off to bed...and turning off my computer.