A Project 12 Years In The Making

I still remember the day this car was towed out of a farmer's field. It had been left for dead and was basically an empty shell of a vehicle. Jared (the owner/builder and guy in the photo below) was determined to make this Mitsubishi VR4 a beast of a machine. 

Over a decade later, with a whole lot of hard work and money, there is hardly a original factory part on this bad boy. Up until the night we did this photo shoot, I hadn't gotten the opportunity to take a ride in this finished car. Well, it did not disappoint. It's the kind of power that gives you a nauseous feeling in your gut. Sets you back into the seat, and would easily give you whiplash if you weren't prepared. I loved it. An amazing thing to finally see this car finished. 

With wind chills easily in the teens, we hit downtown OKC and found an old, dusty parking garage to take a majority of the photos. A secondary location was in front of the Skydance Bridge that overlooks Interstate 40. I'm really happy with the results. Being so dark, it called for constant use of a tripod and in certain situations, a rather long exposure. 

All photos are owned and copyrighted by Ryan Day. If you're interested in booking a shoot, just click here...

There's A First Time For Everything

I've known these two since we were all kids running around our hometown in SW Oklahoma. Now they're bringing a little bundle of joy into this world. 

Marissa and Randy are due towards the end of March. About a month ago, I sent Marissa a text to ask if they had booked a photographer for their Maternity photos. They hadn't! I quickly offered up my services. 

I know them, I know their personalities, and I know that neither of them are completely comfortable with taking photos. Especially Randy. I think, and I hope that it brought them some relief to have me take the shots rather than a photographer who doesn't know them and is just there to punch the clock after an hour. I asked Marissa to send me some looks online that she wanted to either re-create, or to make them in their own way. But mostly, when it came time to take the photos, I like to go with the flow and let their moods dictate how the shoot goes. Forcing awkward poses with people that feel out of their element anyhow never really make for natural and realistic portraits. 

In the end, I delivered over 50 shots for them to have and cherish forever. Below you'll see a few from that afternoon. 

Marissa & Randy, if you're reading this. I thank you so much for letting me be a part of this. I'm greatly looking forward to the newborn shots when Sadie arrives! 

Out of My Comfort Zone

Okay, you've let the title mislead you a bit. Rock music and the entire genre are squarely in my comfort zone. 

All the while, the lighting, studio set up, and the results you see below are all things that weren't in my photographic "norm". 

That being said, this was one of the most creative and fun shoots I've done recently. For this monochromatic look, it was quite a simple setup. One overhead light, one silver reflector, two black out shades to control light spill, a stool, and a willing subject. 

These shots were taken as promotional art content for a new midnight metal show at the local KATT-FM radio station. That's my full-time day job, and this fella in the photos is the host of the midnight metal show. He goes by "Turbo". 

The Little Man of the Hour

Over the weekend my little family loaded up and took a trip back to my hometown of Altus, Oklahoma. A little fella named Jaxton Baker was turning 1 year old. 

Jaxton's parents are both really good childhood friends of mine. So it's always good to get to see old friends. A few months prior, they approached me and asked if I could take photos of the birthday party. Of course! So that's exactly what I did. 

After arriving about 30 minutes early, I set up an off-camera flash and umbrella and we used some of the party decorations as props for some great shots.

I had a couple of other priorities over the course of the party. I wanted the focus of the shots to be of Jaxton since it was HIS birthday after all. Otherwise, I wanted to make sure all of the grandparents, aunts, uncles, and other family members had the opportunity to get pictures with the little man. I was pretty excited for when it came time for this cute little fella to tear into his smash cake. When the time came, I crouched down and got ready to fire away some shots. But, this little dude was way too polite to make himself a mess. The first few minutes he gingerly sat and ate fist fulls of cake and ran the icing through his fingers. I still was able to get some great shots of him eating his cake. By the end of it all, the floor caught the biggest mess. Crumbs of cake were everywhere. 

I really enjoyed taking pictures of Jaxton's first birthday party. Below there's a slideshow of just a few of the images I delivered to his parents. 

All images are owned and copyrighted by Ryan Day. 

Surprise! Party Time

Over the weekend I was able to be around a bunch of really fun people. It was a top secret event that the guest of honor never saw coming...

A surprise 60th birthday party. Family and friends traveled from near and far to make Ronda Pariseau shocked and teary-eyed. It was a wonderful time. 

I was initially nervous and anxious to be able to capture all of these great moments right when they were happening. I knew there were going to be several main points to focus on. Making sure I captured her arrival and look of surprise on her face, the detail shots around the room before she arrived, interaction shots around the room, and finally, the really cool impromptu photo booth shots. 

The photo booth was something new for me. Especially since I was using a somewhat new lighting setup. It wound up working great and went off without a hitch. Everyone had fun being goofy and using props. Even the kids got in on it! These wound up being some of my favorite shots of the event. Other than one extra special shot where you see the birthday girl in the foreground and in-focus and her son out of focus in the background to her right. That was just a really sweet moment. 

The overall event lasted a few hours. Afterward, I was pretty pumped at checking out everything I had captured, so I hustled home and started importing all the photos and began editing. I didn't stop. Before 10pm at night, I had delivered all the final images to the organizer of the party. They loved them just as much as I did. Below, you can see shots from different portions of the party. Enjoy! 

All images are owned and copywrited by Ryan Day. 

First Sunrise of 2016

This year, during New Year's Eve I didn't drink, or go out and party. Just spent a casual evening at home with my wife and step-daughter. Had dinner, enjoyed some sweets, and stayed up as close to midnight as we could. Hint: we didn't make it. Ha

I decided to get up at 5:50am to shower and get ready to go take some sunrise shots. I hadn't completely decided on where I wanted to go take them and since it had been so cloudy the last several days, I knew I wasn't going to get a clean horizon photo. So I headed down I-40 to visit the SkyDance Bridge and see if that location would work out. I actually wasn't sure if the bridge was even open so early in the morning. 

Luckily, it was completely accessible. So I parked and found a good shooting spot that was out of the wind since the air temperature was 18°F. The two photos below were taken about 15minutes a part. 

In the first photo, my goal was for the bridge to be the focal point, but to make the eyes move from the bottom of the image, along the wooden planks and up to the lighted structure. From there, I wanted to move the eyes up the tallest right hand portion towards the half-moon. 

The second photo was taken from a different vantage point. I wanted to create a total area of interest on the right side of the image. Almost for commercial usage or so some graphic design could be added if a local business or company would want to utilize the space available. I also wanted to show how the slight bit of initial sunrise made the SkyDance Bridge lights dim a bit. At the time of shooting, that caught my eyes at least. 

Hope you enjoy these images. It was fun and interesting for me to shoot. As always, if you'd like to purchase a print, just contact me, and I'd be glad to get you a price based on the size you'd like. 

All images are owned by Ryan Day. 

Whew, I Survived The Pit

Rock band Shinedown made a stop on their tour at the Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City on October 17th. 

This band is currently one of my favorites, and is probably atop the list of my wife's favorite bands to see live as well. They've got just about everything you want. Crystal clear concert sound, huge vocals, and driving rhythm. 

My full-time job is the Executive Producer for the Rick & Brad Morning Show on 100.5 The KATT in Oklahoma City. Suffice it to say that I was able to have the opportunity to photograph this band's performance because of my job. What can I say, it sometimes has its perks! We were privy to a 10-minute interview with Barry Kerch (the drummer) backstage. Couldn't have been a nicer guy. The woman interviewing him is our late night DJ at The KATT. This was her first interview with a band member, so she was a little shaky and lost her place a few times. Oh well. I used the same camera to shoot the video footage that I did to actually take pictures of the concert. Yeah, I was impressed with my own gear on that one. After the interview was complete, we snagged the 10-15 people who were backstage contest winners and met the band for the "Meet & Greet with Shinedown". The fans took pics and were provided with signed photos of the band as well. Lasted about 20minutes and then the band headed back to their rooms to get ready for the show. 

Anyhow, as with most photographers who are allowed in the pit, you're only allowed to take photos during the first 3 songs that the band performs. After that, security moves you out and on your way to enjoy the show from your seats. The "3 song rule" is something that's just stuck around since the 70's-80's as far as I know. Basically, 3 songs can last anywhere from 15-18minutes of shooting time. Which isn't a lot. Still, I believe in that time I took roughly 150 photos and narrowed it down to these 48 favorite shots.

You'll see Brent Smith (the lead singer) walking towards my lens at one point on top of the front stack on the stage. It was in this moment that Brent took the time between the 2nd and 3rd songs to shake hands with all the photogs in the pit. An extremely awesome gesture that I don't see from bands very often. Usually photographers are overlooked by bands unless they are hired guns by the label or band them self. 

Again, this was a blast to shoot and the first concert I was able to shoot with my new gear. Could not be happier with the results. 

Hope you enjoy these shots. If you'd like to purchase prints of any of these images, send me an email on my "About & Contact" page. 

As a reminder, all photos are copywritten and owned by Ryan Day. 

The Merkley/Gorges Fam

You'll notice a theme with the first series of blog posts here. A lot of 'firsts'. 

This family portrait shoot was a first for me in a couple ways:

1. I was shooting with a family that I've known for quite some time. Also, the matriarch is a well-established Norman photographer. 

2. It was my first family portrait shoot. Period. 

Hey, transparency is what you get from me. I'm fine with it. Hope you are too. 

Here's the deal. We agreed to take each other's family portraits without making any money. Just a fair and even trade. By the way, she did a wonderful job taking pictures of my beautiful wife, step-daughter, and me. We loved them. You can see a few of them on her Facebook page

Anyhow. I was anxious about this shoot from the moment I got into the car to meet them at the arranged location. This shoot was done at Will Rogers Park in Oklahoma City. Beautiful area. Was especially gorgeous during 'golden hour' earlier this fall when this shoot took place.

We did run into some trouble on this photo session. Apparently as of several months ago, Will Rogers Park closes at 5pm. Why? Who knows. I suppose it's to keep some riff-raff out, but it's a pain for the dozen or so photographers and families that were using the park at that very moment. A security guard walked up and told us to start making our way out of the park as soon as possible. Mind you, this was about 10 minutes into our shooting session. I was in straight-up panic mode. Although, since this family is awesome. They just had a complete lack of regard for the security officer. We had a good laugh and made our way to a couple remote areas of the park to continue shooting before we decided to call it quits before the gates locked us in. 

Here's a little gallery from the shoot.

This family is funny, quirky, sarcastic, brutally honest, and everything else that makes them unique. Love them. Since the mother is a photographer, she was helpful in getting everyone arranged and helping in that sense. You probably noticed the black and white image where the father and son are 'hugging it out'. Yeah, that happened because when they initially sat down next to each other, they were about 3 feet apart. I just asked them to get closer and that's what happened. What was intended to be an awkward hug to get close to each other wound up being a moment that I think I captured and will live on their living room wall for quite some time. 

I'd take photos of this family any day of the week. They are great friends and I look forward to meeting and photographing more families in my future. 

Thanks for reading.

Just keep in mind. All these photographs are owned and copyrighted by me, Ryan Day.