Hey everyone, today started off interesting. Define interesting…
Any of you that know Stacy and me probably know that we are deeply involved in the local roller derby scene. We are a derby marriage. When I met Stacy, she was a skater with the Naptown Roller Girls, and I was just starting to get hooked on the sport by way of photographing the bouts along with a close friend of mine. Long story short – shooting this sport helped me develop my personal photographic style more than anything else I’ve done. Learning to light the skaters on the track taught me TONS about how to control lighting to get the results I wanted. I quickly found myself drawing towards dramatic, dark images with very focused lighting. This same style carried over to my portrait and fashion work.
Fast forward to today…probably most of you are familiar with the sometimes annoying feature on Facebook of pushing you things you posted a number of years before on the same day. I had a rather interesting one of those pop up this morning. It turns out that it just so happened to be an image I created 3 years ago as a part of a modeling development shoot with a young woman that participated in the local jr. roller derby league. This image is one of those moments that happen in shoots…we had gotten a number of great images on regular studio backdrops with different outfits, all the standard edgy model looks. But we both wanted something more personal to her and who she was. She put her skates on with the casual outfit we had finished the model session with and just flopped down on her couch. One light overhead gave me all the punch I needed to create a classic portrait with just enough of a story to make it intriguing.
This really exemplifies the type of portrait that I love to create. A deceptively simple, visual story. This really was an image that I can look back and say, "that's when I really started to get it...my unique style."
I'd be remiss if I didn't give a very special thank you to all the roller derby friends we have made over the years. The Naptown Roller Girls, Indianapolis Junior Roller Derby, Hoosier Bruisers, Race City Rebels, and so many other leagues throughout Indiana, The U.S. and internationally have all been a part of a wonderful extended family. Skate fast!
Have a great day! -David
Dan and Emily are not only photography clients of ours, they're also very good close friends. When they first asked if we would be willing to travel to Southern Indiana for their wedding and engagement photos, it was an easy decision...absolutely!!!
New Harmony Indiana is a fantastically quaint little town in the far Southwestern corner of Indiana, with a defunct bridge that crosses into Illinois, and one lone stoplight in the center of town. It's the quintessential cozy, "Let's go get married here," town. Flower gardens line the sidewalks through town, rustic barns and historic landmarks can be found on nearly every street, and most of the locals drive golf carts rather than automobiles. The only downside to it is that in Mid-June, there are gnats. billions of obnoxious, in your face and up your nose gnats. Turns out, there is a local shop that has a wonderful natural repellent, but we didn't find that out until the second day we were there...
There are so many beautiful spots for portraits in New Harmony that it's tough to pick a favorite. The Labyrinth State Memorial is a super-fun spot with a hedge maze that is a blast to wander through. Murphy park is a great place for kids and adults to unwind and run around, the Wabash river creates the Western border of Indiana just outside of town, and there are countless little landscaped spots littered around that are perfect for photos.
The image that sticks in my mind the most though, was the last shot of the day. It was starting to sprinkle and as we were walking back down Main St. to the Inn, there was another park area I remembered seeing earlier and we made a quick run to get some shots before the rain got heavier. After a few portraits on the walls around the park, we found a bench inside that was surrounded by trees and shrubs at the end of a small gravel path. It was absolutely perfect! I gave Dan and Emily a quick suggestion on how I'd like them to sit and made a few quick shots, and that was it.
Van Deman Photography
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