• Untitled photo
  • Untitled photo

My friend Valerie is a kick-arse Commercial Insurance Broker. Her focus is on protecting her client’s interests to the fullest extent. She is a total geek when it comes to reading the small print – not only does she do all that stuff for you, she’ll also help interpret and explain all the mumbo jumbo to you. Her focus is on adequate protection rather than cost-cutting, but when she looked into our HOA insurance she found we were vastly over-insured in one area and saved us $1000 bucks a year. She’s totally proactive and prefers to actually attend HOA board meetings if invited to do so. Valerie Taylor is on the team at Mcdermott Costa. Find Valerie's contact details on this page and give her a call if you are looking for independent commercial insurance advice and be sure to tell her I sent you. Alternatively, let me know if you’d like an introduction.


Now back to the photography… Valerie’s daughter is on the verge of leaving home for college where she’ll be studying film production. She was curious about my work and told me she’d like to learn more about long exposures and so I invited both mother and daughter over for a quick studio tour and a demonstration.


I introduced them to a photographic technique where you can keep the shutter open for several seconds; capture the main subject by firing off a strobe and then for the rest of the duration of the shutter remaining open create ghostly hands around the main portrait.


These images were created this way in camera. There is no digital trickery at play – no Photoshop, no compositing. The only post-processing techniques used were to tweak the contrast and colour balance slightly.


The greatest joy was for me to see the moment when it clicked for them both that photography and self-portraiture can be an amazing vehicle for recording and sharing self-expression as an art form. They went from playing around, to practicing timing and posing to telling stories about their life and their relationship in less than an hour and they had fun at the same time.


This triggered an idea - that this is something people would perhaps enjoy as a workshop or a service. It’s something I’m going to look into moving forward. Do let me know if you have any thought or suggestions about that or if you would be interested as a participant!

Brought to you by a Working Photographer’s Diary of Achievement:

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  • Sam Breach

    on September 16, 2017

    Thank you Lauri - it had been a couple of years since I first played with this technique and it's even got me inspired all over again!

  • Lauri Novak

    on September 16, 2017

    So awesome Sam! What a fun way to help people learn!

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