Friday, September 11, 2020

I Attended a Trump Rally

As a journalist for eighteen years, I got to see many presidents, and I made it a mission to see as many as possible in my lifetime.   Now that I am a photographer I jumped at the chance to snag tickets to see and photograph Donald Trump who was speaking ten minutes from my house at the airport in 
Freeland, Michigan on September 10th, 2020!

After requesting tickets for my husband and me we had a ton of questions about attending the event.  I am sharing my experience here to hopefully inform others who are signed up to attend a Trump rally.

First, we signed up for tickets on the website.  It was quick and easy and they immediately texted a verification code which I plugged in.  We were told to expect further instruction before the event.  But, we never heard back!  Do we have a ticket?  We decided to simply show up hoping the verification code was our entry.  More on this later!

If you want to get into the venue and actually see Trump in the flesh...get there early!
We arrived at 1:30 pm for his speech that was scheduled for 7pm. 

The queue lines were already filled in front of us!

Our friend arrived at 5:30 and had to view the event on this big screen outside the venue.

We packed several sandwiches for our long wait, but they also sold carnival foods outside the venue.

Vendors also sold Trump items.

We went during the Covid era, so they took our temperature before we even got in line. 
They handed out free masks and hand sanitizer.
They did not require this, but allowed people to attend at their own discretion and risk.

While some wore masks, most did not.

We waited in the queue lines until they opened the venue at 4pm.

I suggest you wear comfy shoes, and dress in layers for the weather!

The patriotic clothing created a festive atmosphere!

While in line, the big screen flashed a list of items that were prohibited inside the venue.

This included food, drinks, alcohol, cameras with changeable lenses, tripods, chairs, signs or banners, sticks including selfie sticks, backpacks, roller bags, coolers, laser lights or pointers umbrellas, noisemakers such as air horns, balloons, balls, explosives including fireworks.

If you had any of these items, you could run them back to your car, or dump them in the trash.

Knowing we were going to be hours without food and drink, we and others hurriedly ate and drank what we brought and shared sandwiches, chips and other rations with others.

I hope they have bathrooms inside!!!

When the venue opened, security screened us much like at the airport.  
They looked through our bags, and we went through a metal detector.

They never asked for a ticket or the verification code.  
They simply put everyone through the security process so 
don't worry if you never hear back or receive any kind of ticket!

Inside, there were portable potties...Our first stop!

Even though it seemed like hundreds of people were ahead of us in line, 
we still had an amazing spot to see the president! 

Seats were set up for several hundred and we were the first row of standing people
so we had a great view!

We were right behind the nice handicapped accommodations.

Now, for the long wait and more standing!
Music blared with oldies and people were swaying, dancing and singing along.
Such a lively, fun group!

My feet were starting to go numb as we closed in on Trump's arrival.
I actually joined several people sitting on the cement for about a half hour.

Then, we started to hear cheers, then screams!  Air Force One was landing...right on schedule!

The landing was majestic with that enormous plane!
This was my favorite moment!

No, my favorite moment was when he walked from the plane onto the stage!!!

My friend was watching a live stream at home and was told 6-7-thousand people were there to see the president in a venue that held 3-thousand.  Half the people were outside.  
The roar of the crowd thundered through my body! 

And, there he was...the president of the United States right in front of me!
It was powerful indeed!

As a professional photographer, I was pining for my good camera with 
all my changes of lenses to capture this creatively!

Yet, I only had my phone!

I still tried to be creative with my shots!

The sun faded as Trump spoke for 90 minutes!

Yes, my feet were killing me!  

After the exhilarating event, we filed to the massive parking lot
that was now lights!

Took us a half hour to find our car and it was now drizzling.
We didn't move an inch for another half hour and finally
arrived home at 10:15.

It was a very long, tiring day, but absolutely worth it to witness history being made!

Sunday, February 23, 2020

Tips and Tricks for Composite Photography

Creating composites is one of my favorite things to do with photography!

It also boosts my portrait business to a new level
 because I can offer clients photos beyond the ordinary.

I get asked all the time how to do composite work,
so here are some tips and tricks for coming up
with fun ideas and how to composite them into one photograph.

The first thing, is to decide your scene.
I like to peruse Pixabay...a free photo site for inspiration!

In the photo above,  I was creating a Christmas card for two little sisters.
I typed in Christmas on Pixabay and I found this photo of
the gingerbread house.

That gave me the idea to make it life-sized and add the girls!

I also got the snowy background from Pixabay.

I found this great shot of the grand entrance of a mansion on Pixabay:

Finding an interesting photo can spark ideas!

I decided to blow out the roof and side rooms
 so I could see the outdoors and add snow
to create a fantasy photo.

I added a sky, and winter scenes, plus snow!

I placed a photo of my daughter and a tree at the top of the staircase,

My imagination had me adding more elements and fine details until I got this:

For a Christmas portrait, I gathered these elements on Pixabay:

I found this wonderful crescent moon on Pixabay and composited 
it onto a starry night sky.

I purposely posed my clients so I could composite 
them sitting together on the moon
for their Christmas portrait.

I always photograph subjects for composites in front
of my white board at the front edge of my garage for exquisite light. 
(Click on this blog post to learn how to easily make a white board!)

To learn how to move your subject and other props from one photo

This video also shows you how to match the tone of
your subject to the background!

I love to look for seasonal backgrounds
and photograph my subjects with the background in mind.

Isn't this background amazing for autumn?
I found it on Pixabay.

These backgrounds can take your subject to places
you may never find in your area.

I created these magical portraits for my client,
dressing them in colors to match!

I also photographed the pumpkins and added those.

I always look for these backgrounds before the photo shoots
so I can coordinate clothing, props and poses.

I found this next photo of a wonderful French candy shop on Pixabay.

And, created this Christmas scene:

I found the reindeer, Santa and various elements on Pixabay!

I photographed a precious baby boy in front of the white board.

And, gave him a friend for his Christmas card:

The possibilities are endless!

By coming up with the background and theme first,
you can dress and pose your subject and capture the perfect expressions.

Adding drop shadows is important!
Watch this video tutorial to learn how to create them. 

Create composites in every season!

I hope this gives you some inspiration to try some composites
of your own.  Just start playing with it by moving
subjects to new backgrounds.

It does take trial and error to figure out proportion, shading and light,
but whenever I run into a snag, I just look up a tutorial!

I learn something new with every composite I do!