Rinat Halon

Photography ideas and information you need to give you results you desire.

Posts Tagged 'photography'

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When I start working with a new Photo Coaching client, as we sit down to talk about their photography business dreams and goals, they are always surprised to find themselves crying.

Last week when a new Photo Coaching client came in and we were sitting in my meeting room to chat, he could not hold back his tears. First thing he did was to apologize, and try to hide the tears. “What are you apologizing for?” I asked. He looked at me, confused.

In this day and age, and in our society, crying is considered s sign of weakness.  It is considered shameful to cry, especially in front of other people.

I believe tears are the healers of the soul.  The reason I believe that is because every single one of your body’s functions has a purpose. So how could it be that tears do not?

When we touch our deeply buried and neglected wants and dreams, they come up to our conciseness. And they hurt, because we are not allowing them to be, we are not allowing ourselves to be what and whom we want to be.

Tears are the first step in changing that. In allowing ourselves to be the person we truly want to be. First we cry to heal our soul. Then we are ready to face our fears doubts and worries that stop us from being the person we want to be. Then we make room to grow into being that person.

I named it fondly “growing pains”. And yes, fully grown adults have them too.

I handed my client a box of tissues and asked him to allow himself to cry. When the relief after the tears came he relaxed and spoke clearly about his vision for his photography business. Now, we can make a step by step plan on how to make this successful & profitable photography business vision of his – into a reality. Every day I am thankful for my photography career, but photo coaching is by far one of the most humbling experiences it offers me. I am grateful for it.

 

 

For more information about Rinat’s Photo Coaching CLICK HERE

One of the questions I get asked a lot is what do you do when a child doesn’t want to have their picture taken? As you can imagine that happened to me more than once or twice in the past 17 years. It happened again this past weekend when two and a half year old Adair was not feeling well on the day of her family portrait session. I assured the family we will get the photos, and got to clicking away. I always say the child’s attention span lasts as long as their height, but when a child is not feeling well the window of opportunity is even smaller. So we started with the most important photo – in this case, the family portrait.

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As soon as I saw we were losing Adair’s attention I asked her older sister, four and a half-year-old Marlow to give her baby sister a hug. That worked, we got some great shots, and the added benefit was that everyone ended up receiving a hug from these two sweeties, including grandma Maureen.

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In a situation like this, I find that the best thing to do is capture fun, interactive moments of the family, to distract the child from the fact they are, indeed, in the midst of a photo session

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The results are fun filled lifestyle family portraits of a happy loving family – and even Lizzie the dog gave us a smile!

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To see family portrait session pricing and package options CLICK HERE

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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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Like any other young girl growing up, I looked up to Marilyn Monroe as the idol of beauty. Her perfect hair, her perfect smile, her soft voice, that sense of mystery her eyes reflected. She was the essence of what being a woman meant, all bottled up into one perfect looking model of femininity.

I never thought much about the influence Marilyn Monroe had on my definition of femininity until I had a photography job at a Marilyn Monroe spa. I was there to photograph the opening of this new spa location, and between the guests, the food, the drinks and the music just like in Susan Vega’s song, Marilyn’s face watched us from the walls. I was drawn into her photographs, all beautiful, perfectly depicting this ideal symbol of femininity. As oppose to my childhood when I only saw her outer beauty, now the mystery in her eyes pulled me in. It was almost like she was asking me to come in behind the perfect façade and meet the real Marilyn Monroe.

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Click here for the Marilyn Monroe Spa web site

Just as I was thinking that, Marilyn in the flesh came walking out into the spa, working the crowds, her presence so strong everyone stopped what they were doing to follow her outside and watch her perform “Diamonds are a girl’s best friend” to the delight of the audience.

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Kelley Thomas Singing Diamonds are a girl’s best friends as Marilyn, click on the photo to see Kelley’s FB artis page

I have seen a few Marilyn impersonators over my career, but nothing like the quality Kelley, this Marilyn, brought to the most famous sex symbol in the world. It was as if she was channeling the real Marilyn. Right then and there I knew I wanted to get her into my photography studio for a photo shoot.

Having no idea of what I was going to do or what I wanted to photograph, when Kelley agreed to come to the studio I started researching Marilyn Monroe.

Knowing that before she was Marilyn Monroe she was Norma Jean. I searched to see what Norma Jean looked like. Coming across one of her earlier photographs, there she was: young, happy – and with a head full of brown curls, a cute smile revealing teeth that are not so perfect and playfully holding a camera. She looked nothing like Marilyn Monroe. She looked like, well, many cute Jewish girls next door, and could easily be mistaken for one of them. In fact, she reminded me of someone. Me. She reminded me of myself when I was 15. Before my TV show at 16. Before I became known. It was unbelievable, and made me even more curious about the mystery behind those eyes of the iconic Marilyn – how did she go from Norma Jean to being the world’s most known sex symbol?

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Norma Jean as photographed by her friend and photographer Andre de Dienes

First thing I learned is that the name Marilyn Monroe was given to her by the studios. In fact, when she first took on the name she had to ask how to spell it when she had to sign autographs. That tidbit of knowledge made me smile. Amusing enough as it is, it’s even funnier as I cannot seem to be able to spell the name Marilyn Monroe either. Every time I type it into this blog article the red spell check lines appear. On the other hand the name Norma Jean comes out naturally.

While researching online I came across a series of black and white photographs that stood out from the rest of the glamorized Marilyn Monroe photos. It was a black and white series shot by Alfred Eisenstaedt – the legendary life magazine photographers. Captured in 1953 at Marilyn’s back yard. As only good photographers can do in these photographs Alfred created portraits of her soul. Marilyn, wearing a black turtle neck, seems comfortable in her own skin. These are the only photos I ever seen of her looking real. Vulnerable. And a little sad. These are the only photos I ever seen of Marilyn where I could see Norma Jean’s soul reflected through her eyes.

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Photographed by Alfred Eisenstaedt

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Photographed by Alfred Eisenstaedt

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Photographed by Alfred Eisenstaedt

I knew that is what I wanted to capture in my studio. I called Kelley and asked her to bring nothing but a black turtle neck.

When Kelley sat in front of my camera, Marilyn wig on and the black turtle neck, we started talking about Marilyn.

It was incredible to watch how our conversation was bringing Marilyn to life through Kelley right in front of my camera. Being the committed professional that she is, and such a sensitive soul, Kelley was able to follow my directions and at one point of the shoot I felt like it was Marilyn herself sitting in front of me, reminiscing on her days as Norma Jean.

Photo by Rinat Halon, All Rights Reserved

Photo by Rinat Halon, All Rights Reserved

She told me that despite her world fame she was always very lonely. She told me about people she trusted manipulating and using her to their benefit. She told me how she had no idea she was going to become so famous, as no other actress before her ever got to be sp famous, and she felt she was not truly prepared for the pressures that came with the fame.

Photo by Rinat Halon, All Rights Reserved

Photo by Rinat Halon, All Rights Reserved

That venerability, that sadness in her eyes that Alfred caught so many years ago – there it was in her eyes reflecting through my lens. We did it Kelley and me – we brought Norma Jean back to life.

Photo by Rinat Halon, All Rights Reserved

Photo by Rinat Halon, All Rights Reserved

I was a little embarrassed, but share with Kelley that the night before the shoot I dreamed about Marilyn. I don’t remember my dreams often, but this one was clear and concise. Marilyn said to me: “You and I have more In common than you think”. In my dream I looked at her puzzled, “Really?” I asked. She just smiled her mysterious smile and shook her head yes. “You’ll find out” she said.

Photo by Rinat Halon, All Rights Reserved

Photo by Rinat Halon, All Rights Reserved

Kelley and I looked at each other shaking our heads; we didn’t know what it could be. We laughed it off and kept photographing. Only later, when we were almost done with the shoot Kelley said: “You know, she really just wanted to be a mother. She had to get abortions 6 times. All the other actresses did as well back then, because they were considered to be owned by the studios. When she was finally ready to get pregnant her body couldn’t hold the pregnancy.” I was tearing up behind the camera. There it was. The answer to my dream, Marilyn was right, I did find out what we had in common. I never imagined her wanting to be mother, as many people who meet me can’t imagine I never became a mother because I could not, not because I didn’t want to.

Photo by Rinat Halon, All Rights Reserved

Photo by Rinat Halon, All Rights Reserved

 

As we were wrapping up Kelley told me how when Marilyn died she still owed money on her house. It seemed everyone was making money on the iconic Marilyn – except her. “But she was just starting to take control of her own life” said Kelley “right before she died she started making changes, she started planning her future and deciding what to do next that would benefit her first. And then she was found dead.”

Photo by Rinat Halon, All Rights Reserved

Photo by Rinat Halon, All Rights Reserved

I named this blog post “I Am Norma Jean” in honor of this strong, uncompromising woman. This woman who until recently, like the rest of the world, I could only see her outer beauty. Thinking forward, my wish is that every young woman who finds out about the iconic Marilyn Monroe – is also taught about Norma Jean. Norma Jean, the face behind the façade. The lonely soul that just wanted to be loved. The woman who came from nothing, took her destiny in her own hands and despite her fears – kept bettering herself. Learning from her mistakes and making changes as she was walking life’s path. Because without Norma Jean – who she was, her personality, and the actions she took – Marilyn Monroe would not exist.

Photo by Rinat Halon, All Rights Reserved

Photo by Rinat Halon, All Rights Reserved

 

  • We are currently looking for a space to exhibit these portraits seen here and more from the photo project “I Am Norma Jean. If you are interested in sponsoring the exhibit please contact Rinat at rinat@rinathalon.com.

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Remember when we were children and wanted to buy something? We had to physically GO TO the store. It seems almost surreal in today’s Amazonic reality, but that was reality not too long ago.

Let’s say you wanted to buy a cool Tshirt. One that all the other cool kids would want. So you went from store to store, WALKING, in search of the perfect Tshirt. You checked out window displays before deciding to go into a store. You walked into all the known chain stores, but couldn’t find what you were looking for. Then you saw a small store across the street, one you never entered before. It had a window display that attracted you to walk over, and you were welcomed by the store owner, asking you what you were looking for. After listening to you carefully he told you he had just the right Tshirt for you. He then proceeded to walk over to a hidden shelf and pull out the most awesomest perfect Tshirt you have ever seen.

What are the chances that you would have gone back to this store? Most likely, you would have made this YOUR store. This was back in the day when small business owner’s visual brand was visible.

Today the small business owner’s brand gets lost in the online shopping world. Window displays were replaced by web sites, and today online is the FIRST PLACE where a potential client meets a small business. IT REPLACED THE STORE FRONT. That is the place where the small business owner can intrigue (creative window display), connect on a personal level (ask what are you looking for?) and create a call to action (“I have the perfect Tshirt for you!”).

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Unfortunately so many small business owners are unaware of their visual branding power. They spend so much money on SEO to bring traffic to their web sites. But once the potential client lands on the web site – those 15 seconds a potential client dedicates to decide if to stay or click away – they have nothing to connect to. Nothing makes them want to stick around. There is nothing there to intrigue them to know more, see more – and ultimately shop. What’s worst is, many times the thoughtless “let me just stick this photo on my web site, it didn’t cost me anything and looks kind of pretty” visual branding can literally turn potential clients away.

It’s because these photos don’t really show who you are.  Nobody really knows what you do, or understand the magnitude of gifts that you offer, the services that you provide, and the miracles that you make happen for your clients every day. But it is easy to fix. Here are my top 5 tips on creating relevant, intriguing, emotionally moving photographs that will help your business succeed:

Tip #1 – Listen to your heart – Paul Tillich said that “the first duty of love is to listen”. If you want to send a clear message to your clients, clarify first with yourself some key facts such as what are you selling? Why are you selling it? Who are you selling it to? Once you are clear about your “business being”, it much easier to figure out photographs that represent it well.

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Tip #2 – Google your business – Now that you understand which photograph you want to represent your business see which image comes up in a relevant Google search. These are the pictures potential clients see first when they Google your business. Are these images you want to be associated with?

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Tip #3 – From scratch or re-birth? From your newly acquired perspective check out the images you currently have on your web site. Do your images do you justice? Decide if you want to keep a few, and just revamp your site with more relevant, intriguing, action creating photographs. Or would you like to drop all the photos on your site and start from scratch? Either way, you should have a solid reason why you are keeping a photograph. Explain to yourself how this photograph is helping promote your business. If you convinced yourself – the photo stays.

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Tip #4 – Which photographs WILL work for your business? Now that you figured out which photographs don’t work for you, it is time to decide on the photographs that will create a call to action for potential customers brought to your site by SEO. Which photographs will make them want to connect with you? In the Personalized Image Bank process I break down the image bank to three defined photographic areas. These three areas together create a complete visual of your business story. They are the professional portrait, the atmosphere shots and the scene captures. The atmosphere shots for example depict the environment you work from, where your business is located. What this does is create a visual connection for the client, so when they walk into your business they feel comfortable, like they were there before. This familiarity raises the trust a new customer feels towards the business, which in turn encourages moving forward to do business together.

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Tip #5 – Be relevant –Today your web site is your store front’s window display. Make sure you stay current by updating your web site every time there is a change in your business. If an employee leaves, or a new employee is hired. If your business moved location, or if you painted your office walls purple. If you started selling a whole new product line – any of these changes need to appear on your web site. And a personal request from me – please ensure your portrait is current. You want clients to recognize you as soon as they walk into your business. If the portrait on your web site does not look like you any longer, it is time to replace it, as this can create trust issues for a customer who may wonder what else you may be hiding…

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  • Rinat Halon, previously Walt Disney Imagineers In House Photographer, started researching the power of a photograph while working on her personalized honors degree from The Ohio State University in Photography & Visual Merchandising ,where she wrote the thesis “The Influence of photographic Images on Brochure Appeal for the Family Financial Management Program” (May 2001). For the past 17 years she has been photographing internationally portraits, weddings and magazine lifestyle. She started working on creating Personalized Image Bank™ for small businesses 6 years ago, creating proof of sustainability for this service. Recently she was accepted into the We Venture entrepreneurship program, where she is working on scaling the PIB service and product. Her goal is to create a new, personalized, affordable, visual branding option for small business owners worldwide. For more about the Personalized Image Bank CLICK HERE. To apply to qualify for the FREE Personal Styling Session for your small business visual branding CLICK HERE.

This month I asked the event planner Andrea Pavone to write her thoughts on how to hire a photographer for an event or a wedding. “What do you like and what do you not like about working with photographers?” I asked her. Andrea and I have known each other and worked together for over 10 years now. I love working with her and value her professionalism, attention to detail, and great personality. 

Andrea was very gracious to write this blog post for us. Here it is, in her words:

In my opinion Photography is one of the most important investments you will make on your special day.  There is no way to go back and redo the photos or capture that moment again so be sure you have made the right choice and hire a professional photographer that fits your personal style.

As a wedding professional for over 10 years, here are some tips on wedding photography:

Be a Team Player and Follow the Timeline: The wedding day is so hectic and there is so much going on and so much to do.  It’s important to have a planner to keep you on schedule so you can get all the shots you want to get. The worst thing is when the photographer is taking the bride and groom off for photos and it’s time to cut the cake or time for parent dances.  Your wedding team is there to capture all your moments and make the day special for you.  Ask your vendors who they normally work with and at least look into their services.  The more vendors you have that work together on a regular basis the smoother your event will run. Johnston wedding

 

Communicate to your Photographer what shots you want taken: It’s so important to communicate definite shots you want taken so those can be a priority on your wedding day.  You can’t go back to your photographer and be upset that they didn’t get shots of something if you didn’t communicate that to them, especially if it’s not the norm.  Ask your photographer what shots they always do and any suggestions they have for your venue or style of the wedding.  A good photographer will be honored to do something unique for you, given the opportunity to be creative.   Stengl278

 

You want someone with a great reputation: You want someone who is a true professional and has a great reputation in the industry.  They will dress appropriately, show up on time and work well with the vendors you have hired.  The last thing you want is your photographer showing up in shorts and a tank top, even if it is a beach wedding.

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Don’t be afraid to ask for references: And call those people.  These are going to be the best testament to what you can expect on your big day.

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Remember you have done your research and have hired this photographer for a reason, let them be creative, sometimes those shots are the best ones. When they catch a moment and you weren’t even paying attention.

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Lastly, relax and enjoy your special day! It goes by so fast and when you get your photos you get to relive all those moments again and again.

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Photo by: Rinat Halon, All Rights Reserved

 

 

      Andrea Pavone, Pavone Events

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Pavone Events is a boutique planning company that offers personalized and customized service to all of our clients.

 

therapeutic photography Rinat Halon

Therapeutic Photography just came to me. I was in a spiritual retreat, and suddenly, during the workshop realized that I can show people the reflection of their soul through the use of my camera.
First of all it is important to understand I am NOT a therapist. What I am is a very sensitive being that is walking the spiritual path and has professional photography experience. Saying I have a professional photography experience is an understatement as I love, live, and breathe photography in all its elements. All these reasons combined are why I can use photography as a tool for inner-work.

therapeutic photography Rinat Halon
What does Therapeutic Photography mean? For example, let’s use a 30 year old woman who walks in to my studio and immediately says “I am not photogenic”, proceeding with arguments to support her claim: “I don’t like my eyes, they are too small”, “I’m fat”, “I have big teeth” and so forth.

therapeutic photography Rinat Halon

In the Therapeutic Photography sessions that are done in the privacy of my home studio and are completely confidential, the camera functions as a mirror for the person being photographed. A mirror of their soul, reflecting what they hide behind the façade they usually put up when being photographed. These sessions bring up the things we normally don’t look at.
The process starts with a phone consultation, during which I listen to the person being photographed tell me why they are coming, what it is they wish to see. Based on what I am told I advise them what to bring with them to this session. The next step is the Therapeutic Photography session itself. Arriving at my home studio usually feeling very uncomfortable about what they are about to do – which turnes into a sense of surprise when they realize during the session how freeing it is – by the end of the session many people find themselves dancing in front of the camera.
The process continues when they see their photos from the session for the first time. Using the photographs, they look back at the process they went through during the studio session, and now can see their inner selves reflecting back to them. Many realizations come up in this stage of the process, which can sometimes feel uneasy as this is an unfiltered reflection.
When I photograph, my goal is to become one with my camera in order to reflect to the person in front of the camera their beauty – even the parts they like less about themselves can appear beautiful through this different perspective.
When I first started Therapeutic Photography it was important to me to go through the process myself. I turned to a friend who is a professional photographer to photograph me. I chose to share this photo Yaniv Druker took of me because it is the hardest one for me to look at. When I look at it I see how much I have aged, I see I have one eye smaller than the other. But the deepest pain reflecting in this photo for me is my femininity. I found in Yaniv’s studio a wedding dress, and chose to wear it for this photo. There is a good reason why I chose it. I didn’t have a wedding dress when I got married, which to me says a lot about how I felt about myself and marriage in general. The pain I experience seeing myself in this photo is a sense of missing out on life. It is also a sense of confusion about what kind if a woman I am. I can see all that reflecting in my eyes. The first time I saw this photo I set in front of it and cried. Now I can embrace it, and everything it means to me. Now I can grow from it.

photo by Yaniv Druker

photo by Yaniv Druker

I have been a professional photographer for 17 years, and thanks to this tool, the camera, I continuously discover new worlds. Today I am happy to reflect to others a new world of their own. A world that existed in them all along – they just never saw it. What a great gift!

I lead photo tours around Orlando teaching anyone ages 8-80 how to take batter photos. It doesn’t matter if participants bring a camera or a Smartphone – they have fun learning through exercises that combine photography techniques and the history of the location how to take better photos.

I love seeing the participant’s faces at the beginning of the tour – “deer in the headlight look”, and half an hour later I can’t get their attention because they are so excited about taking photos now that they learned how to.

One of my favorite students is Jesse. Jesse is a bright, curious, open minded 8 year old. Often he is the only child in a group of adults, and yet he shines. Thinking out of the box, photographing from a different perspective, daring to be wrong – he does all the things that we used to do as children until we were told we shouldn’t. And thanks to that he gets great photos every single time.

photo tour, rinat halon, orlando, photography, learn, study,

photo tour

As my students find out, I believe photography is a form of sport. We talk about how to get away from photographing like tourists, and soon enough I see Krista, who is a quite sweet woman, lying on the ground capturing photos from a great angle.  Scott who has been the unofficial photographer for years at all his Toast Masters events is now holding the camera in the eye level of a dog walking by, getting a great point of view. Understanding and being able to control the camera technically frees them to start enjoying themselves – which leads to great photos.

photo tour, rinat halon, orlando, photography, learn, study,

photo tour

photo tour, rinat halon, orlando, photography, learn, study,

photo tour

It warms my heart when my past and present clients come to a photo tour. Iva, who I photographed her wedding many years ago, caught the photography bug recently, and is now completing all 3 photo tours I offer – since  I designed the tours to complete each other, and taking all three gives a basic set of photography skills.

photo tour, rinat halon, orlando, photography, learn, study,

photo tour

photo tour, rinat halon, orlando, photography, learn, study,

photo tour

But my favorite thing of all is when my students start “talking the lingo” it’s like we have our own secret language: “Hey, that was a tourist shot”, or:”There is cheetos in your frame”, and technical talk like: “so 3.5 is a shallow depth of field, I get it!”

Pam, who publishes a newspaper, told me last time she saw me that her readers are commenting her paper looks better, and they cannot figure out why. “It’s the pictures” says Pam “my pictures look so much better since I took your photo tours!”

I have been leading photo tours worldwide for the past 5 years, and it is always a joy to receive years later photos from my past students, sharing with me with pride their great photos, and thanking me for helping them see the light – literally.

Since I love photography so much – it is such a pleasure to share it with the world.

The next photo tour is Saturday February 7th 9 to noon at the beautiful Park Ave. for more info and to sign up click here

photo tour, rinat halon, orlando, photography, learn, study,

photo tour

photo tour, rinat halon, orlando, photography, learn, study,

photo tour

photo tour, rinat halon, orlando, photography, learn, study,

photo tour