Rinat Halon

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Archive for 'Large Group'

Due to an address mistake my CPP certification was late to arrive in the mail from the PPA. And when it arrived I realized that the frame I was going to use for it – was too small. I was going to buy a frame the right size, and then I saw a framed photograph sitting on the floor of my home office. It was a photograph I took when I was a photography student at the Ohio State University – one of my favorite shots to this day. It was a self portrait of my relationship with food at the time. I’ve wanted to hang this photo but couldn’t really find a good spot for it yet. And then it hit me – this self portrait needs to be behind the Certified Professional Photographer certification! It symbolizes perfectly where I came from – where I am today – and the journey that brought me here.

As I opened the back of the frame I saw how I put this frame together 20 years ago, and memories of that time came rushing back. I could feel the “me” I was 22 years ago, a young woman with a deep love to photography but with no idea how to make a future as a professional photographer. I could see me putting together this cheep plastic frame I must have found at the dollar store. The frame didn’t fit the size of the self portrait photograph perfectly, and I saw how back then I used the white paper that came with the frame – on its back side – to fill the space behind the photograph in the frame, using double sided tape to keep it all together. Then the memories of creating this photograph came back, from concept, to photographing using my first camera, the Canon AE-1 film camera. My college best friend Debra throwing the food at me and enjoying it a little too much (it’s ok, it was all part of the photo concept) in my small studio apartment’s living room. Developing this photograph in my college’s darkroom, seeing the blacks fill in on the pearl photo paper and bringing this self portrait to life.

 

 

 

When I placed the CPP certification over this self portrait, dusting off the worn out plastic “glass” of this old frame, I was in tears. Tears of joy. I could feel young Rinat in my heart, framing this self portrait as she was getting ready to take it to present at her college Photography 101 class, with no idea of where this road she chose will take her. “It’s ok”, I said to young Rinat in my heart, “You cannot even imagine where you will be in 22 years from now. Let me tell you: you will be standing in your beautiful home office. Your home where you live a joyful life with your husband who rocks Mike. Remember how you didn’t know how you will graduate with a photography degree because you were not accepted into the art school? Well, you graduated with a personalized honors degree in photography and visual merchandising. In the past 22 years you have been making a living as a professional photographer photographing internationally. And now you are also a certified professional photographer by the Professional Photographers of America – and you speak at their guilds.

So honey, rest your worry heart.

Everything will work out just perfectly.

And by the way – this self portrait you are framing? The whole series of these self portraits you created was chosen by your photography professor to be hung and displayed on the walls of the OSU Photography department. You did good my dear J

Remember this today when you don’t know what the future will bring. Remember where you came from. See where you are today. And as Rascal Flatts sings: “This much I know is true – that God blessed the broken road that led me straight to you”.

Recently I went on a beach getaway. I was walking on the beach, enjoying the beautiful view,  breathing in the smells of the fresh, clean Florida air, and enjoying the moment.

I was listening to the sound of the waves and the sea goals circling over my head when I realized I was hearing different languages spoken around me. I snapped out of my bubble and smiled as I recognized I was walking passed families speaking Russian, Japanese, Spanish and a few other languages I did not recognize. And then it hit me: everyone had a camera in their hands. They were all either taking pictures, or talking about the camera. I could tell some were frustrated; their photos were not turning out the way they envisioned. One couple I walked passed was speaking in English, and I heard the woman complain to the man “the camera is just not good enough”, she said as she sighed in sorrow. I looked the other way, wondering what they were all photographing. There was nothing there except the big blue ocean. The beautiful, living, breathing big blue ocean. The  ocean all these people came to enjoy, and relax, and re-charge by. But they were not doing that. They were all keeping very busy clicking away, and were getting frustrated when they could not seem to be able to capture the essence of the moment.

One of the things I talk about when I teach is when NOT to photograph. In this day and age with the camera equipment is accessible to anyone and everyone, it seems no one is living in the moment any longer. We are either capturing photos to be able to see them in the FUTURE, or looking through photos we captured as we reflect on the PAST. And then we wonder why the NOW, this moment in time, just seems to flee us so quickly.

That morning on the beach, me – the professional photographer – was the only person without a camera in her hands. Of course I brought a camera with me to the beach. But with years of experience and technical knowledge I know when it’s worth it to actually pull out the camera. The camera does not control my life, it’s a tool I control to capture a few special moments that are worthy of my time, energy and thought put into capturing them for prosperity sake.

The rest of the time, I choose to live NOW. And this seems to become a fleeting concept in the past few years since the photography equipment has become affordable and available to all. When we don’t realize is how much this affordable, available, easy to use equipment is costing us in time and energy. Because it’s only a piece of equipment. Think about how an airplane can safely take off and land when it’s in the hands of an experienced pilot in what seems to be a smooth, effortless motion (but we all know very well it is not). A camera follows the same concept. You can whiteness a professional photographer capture a beautiful photograph in what seems to be an effortless motion. But the same camera can become a time and energy sucker, frustrating experience when it’s in your hands if you do not know how to use this tool.

My suggestion? Get busy living life, and not capturing it. When you get somewhere decide to capture only a couple of shots, and then put the camera away. As the pilot says when the airplane takes off: “Sit back – and enjoy the ride!”.

Because that’s what life is about. Here is to a 2017 filled with beautiful, happy, relaxing and energizing NOW moments!

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To find out more about the Photo Coaching for photographers I offer, including the “8 Weeks to Photo Goal! ” program CLICK HERE

 

If you are an amateur photographer who just wants to learn how to get better pictures CONTACT ME for more information about the photography classes I offer

 

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To see some of the shots I took on Cocoa Beach, and more of my Travel Photography  CLICK HERE

 

 

 

Year round, photography is my profession. I am always thankful for that fact, and that this is how I have been making a living for the past 17 years.
But this time of year is when I reflect on what a miracle this is. Considering the fact that I never wanted to be a photographer. The only reason I took photography in college in the first place was because no other “real” classes were available my first semester in OSU. Who would have guessed that I would fall in love with this craft? That I would be lucky enough to capture life joys for clients in a way that would make them smile from the heart every time they look at these photos? That I would be able to reflect to people through my camera lens how beautiful they truly are, the beauty they just don’t see in themselves. Who would have guessed that I would have a box of tissues ready in my meeting room because every single one of my clients would shed happy tears looking through their wedding album for the first time?
Not me. I would have never guessed. And what I learned so far is that if I have to choose between money and love – I would choose love every single time. Because money can’t manifest love, but love sure can manifest money, and so much more. I am living proof of that, serving clients whom I love, and they love me. Clients who come back year after year allowing me to document for them their life’s milestones. From calming down a nervous young man before he pops the question, as I am there to capture that moment, to the joy of capturing engagement photos, to looking into the eyes of a stressed bride right before she walks down the aisle, holding her hand, and reminding her that her best friend is waiting for her at the end of this walk. And seeing a smile of relief on her face as she realizes I am right.
To sharing the joy of my client’s getting pregnant, and capturing all the wonderful memories of their baby’s first year. To fun holiday family portraits as their family expands.
To creating a photo marketing strategy for clients as they decide to take the plunge and start their small business. To sharing the joy of photography by teaching my clients how to take better pictures as we go on a group photo tour.
To chasing my client’s beloved pets around the studio to capture their pet portrait, to be invited to photograph wedding anniversaries. And birthdays. And high school senior pictures.
And this is just a partial list.

This time of year I feel that I am the luckiest woman in the world. Not having a family of my own at this point in my life, not being able to show off pictures of my children – I am SO proud to show off pictures of YOUR children that I photogrpahed!
I am grateful that I’m invited to witness, be part of, and capture all these incredible life moments you live. Thank you for trusting me with capturing your precious moments.
Becuase, to me – being your photographer, is nothing but a small miracle.
Happy Everything!
With love,
Rinat

Please visit my WEBSITE to see the packages & pricing information for the different photography products and services I offer

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1999, Ohio State University, me in the photography Department women’s bathrooms, first selfi ever!

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When is the last time you got something in the mail except bills and ads? I mean, something that really got you excited and made you happy?

I realized that on my last birthday when unexpected greeting cards came in the mail. It made me so happy to open the envelope, and glee with excitement to read these love notes. A couple of cards even made me tear up. And I hung all the cards I received on my pantry door in my kitchen, where they hung for months and months after my actual birthday, reminding me that I am loved.

Honestly, one hand written greeting card made me happier than 300 people posting Happy Birthday on my Facebook wall. Why is that, I wondered.

In this virtual world we live in it seems we all live online, and the hand written word is disappearing quickly. But the value of putting pencil to paper, of someone’s familiar handwriting, the feel and smell of the paper it is written on – that is so valuable. Because that is what makes us human, separates us from a machine, and connects us on a personal level. And all this is lost when using a virtual greeting instead.

Another thing that is lost in a virtual greeting is – the greeting. I mean, how many of you scroll back to see your birthday wishes after your birthday has passed? I am going to venture to guess none of you do that. But if you had a hand written card? Would you throw it out the day after your birthday? Or would it be sitting proudly on your desk for months after you received it?

As a professional photographer I am now preparing for the holiday season coming up sooner than we realize. Starting October I will be busy with capturing family sessions, to ensure I have their portraits ready to be put on holiday cards and mailed out to their loved ones to be received in time for the holidays.  

Because no email or Facebook post will ever replace the feeling you get when you walk to your mailbox and between the bills and junk mail find a hand written envelope addressed to you – and inside it is a card that not only has a beautiful photograph on it of this family you love so much – but also a hand written note, to you, telling you they are thinking about you during this holidays season, and that you are loved.

I am going to bet that you would wallpaper your fridge with these holiday cards! Because they are tangible, and therefore have the ability to make you feel connected with your loved ones no matter how far away they are physically from you. They just send you their essence in this holiday card – and you can feel it.

Happy holiday season everyone!

NOW BOOKING 2016 HOLIDAY PORTRAITS, Contact Rinat to book your holiday portrait session available in the greater Orlando Florida area at 407.607.3297 or http://rinathalon.com/family/

 

 

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I am fortunate enough that in my 17 year career I got to capture two double weddings so far – What are the odds? Both double weddings were of two sisters getting married. The first double wedding I photographed about 10 years ago was a Scottish one, complete with grooms in kilts and two beautifully red haired sister brides.  

The double wedding I shot this past September was of two sisters again – Galit who married Nick, and Yael who married Riley. It was a lovely backyard wedding, as the double couple tied the knot under a tree canopy in the park across the street from their home.  

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As oppose to the Scottish double wedding I photographed which was an intimate affair, this backyard double wedding had a large bridal party – which meant I needed a second shooter. I was so happy when Chris Gillyard agreed to take up that roll. As I told Galit in our pre-wedding phone consultation, they got lucky as Chris is a great professional photographer with as much experience as me if not more.

Having Chris on board, and Brittney my oh so wonderful assistant on my side– I knew I was surrounded by the best team, and could relax and enjoy capturing this wedding.

Posing them was a hoot, and one of the bridal party photos turned to be one of my favorite of all times. Isn’t it great?

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Galit wanted a photo with her sister at the park, and Chris captured the three of us as I was composing the shot

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The groom’s cake was shaped as a sandwich since both grooms love sandwiches

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This double wedding had double the emotion and double the fun – and we captured it all! Happy Ever After to Galit & Nick, as well as Yael & Riley!

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Here are some more of my favorite photos from the day:

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The next step after you book a session with me, is to discuss what to bring with you to your session. There are no set rules, but I do have some guidelines. Here is what I advise my clients on what to bring with them to the session:

  1. Apparel – generally speaking, the camera does not like anything with strips (horizontal or vertical). I shy away from big prints, as I want the focus to stay on your faces, and do not want the very cool shirt you are wearing to take attention away from you. I love colors and I think they photograph beautifully. A solid color shirt that compliments your complexion can illuminate a photo beautifully. The classic black is always a winner, as is the clean white. It all depends on the location (studio vs. the outdoors) and the purpose of your portrait. If you have a shirt, or an outfit that makes you feel like a million bucks when you wear it – it’s probably a good idea to bring with you to the session. I always tell my clients to bring more than options they need – it’s better to have more to choose from than not enough. And then I always laugh, as one after another my clients show up at my doorstep with a suitcase – makes me wonder what my neighbors are thinking…

 

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  1. Hair and makeup – it’s a great idea to have your makeup done professionally before the photo session, and I highly recommend it. With that said, it is an additional expense to take into consideration. You can find makeup artist in the department stores. I have a few professional makeup artists I work with who will do a wonderful job not only to make you look better, but also to make you feel better. Professional makeup is also good for men portraits as it eliminates the shine on the face and head. Hair style is also important. You want to get a haircut not more than one week before the session – give your hair time to adjust and fall naturally. If you style your hair a certain way do not change it right before the session – you may not like it. If you want to have more than one hair style for your photos, and want to ensure your hair is perfect for the session, invest in a hair & makeup artist – it will be worth it.

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  1. What else to bring? – Well, anything that pertains to the session. I once had a realtor come to the studio for a headshot on a rainy day. After we shot the traditional headshot, I asked her to take a few pictures with her umbrella – it matched her outfit perfectly! Guess which was her favorite photo of the session? Bring anything that will tell your story better, from your dog, to a necklace that is meaningful to you. At the end of the day, this is your portrait, to reflect this point and time in your life – how would you like to remember it?

 

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Rinat's Family - photo by Rinat Halon

Rinat’s family portrait

Thanksgiving is the time of year when the extended family comes together. It is sometimes the only time to see family members who live far away. Consequently it is a great time to capture family photos, for generations to come. If it is important to you to document this family get together to be able to remanence on the memories in years to come, these following tips are for you:

  1. Get the family photo out of the way before the turkey – the best time to take the photo is before the meal – when Uncle Tom’s shirt is still spotless and the newborn baby is awake and full of smiles. Not after the meal, when everyone goes into the “turkey coma” mode and taking a nap is the only thing left to do on the agenda.

 

  1. Instead of sitting behind the table, move the chairs and set them up in front of the table, so the beautifully decorated thanksgiving table will create a nice backdrop.

 

  1. Tall people go in the back – not so tall people in the front. Same goes with fully figured people stand in the back, less fully figured people stand in the front. It is also nice to have the nuclear families stand together, and create the extended family photo from these smaller groups. For example the son, his wife, and their child stand together to the right of the photo. The daughter and her fiancé stand to the left of the photo. And so on.

 

  1. For some reason when it comes to the family photo everyone looks for a wall to cling to. Get away from the wall – either have the table as the backdrop (like I suggested in tip #2), or set up for the family photo in the middle of the living room (which is, of course, decorated beautifully for the special event)

 

  1. If there is not enough room for the extended family photo to take place indoors – step outside! The daylight outside will be beautiful right before the meal. Sunset Eastern Time this thanksgiving is at 5:02pm – get your photos taken outdoors during the golden hour – the hour before sunset – and you’re golden! Remember – same rules of organization in front of the camera used indoors apply to the outdoors.

 

  1. If you stay indoors make sure you are not standing directly under a ceiling light. Direct light coming from above is an extremity unflattering, and creates shadows under the eyes, nose and mouth (what professional photographers refer to as “Raccoon eyes”). It is better to shoot next to the natural light coming from a big window.

 

  1. Since everyone has to be in the photo – yes, including you – the photographer (don’t think you’re getting out of that, go get your hair done!) needs to befriend the self-timer function on your camera (or your smart phone – they have it too). Choose the longest delay available on the self timer, so you will have enough time to run to your pre defined spot in the composite. Set the camera on a ladder, or somewhere taller than a table or a counter top, frame the scene and make sure everyone is seen on the display, press the shutter – and run for your life.

 

  1. Make sure everyone can see the camera. If you cannot see the camera – the camera cannot see you, and you will most likely be hidden behind a family member in the final photo. All you have to do is tilt your head a little to the left or to the right – and there you are!

 

  1. Since there is a good chance you will want to print this photo, make sure the image size on your camera is set to the highest resolution option.

 

  1. Smile and enjoy! No pressure, but this is one of the most important photos you will be part of in your life time. After all, this is the photo that captures your family dynasty for generations to come.

Liked these photo tips? For more tips and to learn photography basics – how to photograph better using anything from your smartphone camera to a beginners SLR –

Get my book on Amazon: What’s wrong with my camera? 

If you have any questions please CONTACT ME.

Happy Thanksgiving!!