Current photography specials being run, in case anyone's interested...
Family or couple's portrait session, 3 hours for $270. Includes online gallery hosting with print ordering options, facebook-ready files of all your final images, and four 5"x7" prints of your choosing. Extra bonus! $50 off your session if you refer a friend who books with me.
I'm also doing a $150 headshot special, on location or in the studio, includes four web and print-ready final images.
I'll try not to spam this page with too much of this kind of thing, but feel free to head on over to my professional website and subscribe to my newsletter to be kept in the loop of special offers and discounts.
Thank you for your support over the years, and for your patience in my advertising here.
500px is a new photo sharing site a number of photographers are moving towards. Why is it so successful? The image quality and compression algorithm's 500px is using blow Flickr's right out of the water. The emphasis of the site is on selectively curated images, so it's less geared towards sharing of massive photo sets, or toward building the kind of community you find on flickr. That said, I can't stand the image quality you get on Flickr.
Here's a link to the same image I've linked to above, only on Flickr.
Open the two images side by side. Check out the skin texture and the detail of her dress. The flickr image is significantly rougher and softer than the 500px image.
I've begun to advise my wedding clients to not use flickr to share their photos with friends and family, and I offer a private, password protected gallery for their use through my photoshelter site. Why invest in a wedding photographer if you aren't going to show off the results in the highest quality possible?
I'd love to see Flickr address this problem, because it's such a great site with a great deal of user history. People have spent years building up contacts and communities on that site, but Yahoo seems content to let it slowly die on the vine. I'm not a software developer, but if 500px is able to deliver clear, large, beautiful images, I see no reason why Flickr can't do the same.
Oh, and to see the entire slideshow of my most recent wedding, Jennifer and Ovais's Fairmont Hotel Garden Ceremony, it's online now on my professional blog.
I've been forgetting to cross-post my blog to livejournal, mostly because I haven't yet found a decent plug-in for wordpress which will allow me to schedule posts ahead of time, and aggregate to LJ only as they go live.
If you have any advice on this, let me know. Also, drop a line if you only see my work here. I'm a little sad that LJ is going downhill so quickly, but I do still read my friends page.
Shot band photos last weekend out at Sutro with The Honeybirds. This month is going to be busy and terrific - I've got some headshots, more tattoo stories, and my first wedding of the season coming up.
Drop a line if you're interested in some promo photos or have a project you'd like to collaborate on.
My chest piece was done in one sitting by my friend Jason Angst at the Brew City Tattoo Convention in 2009 (He won tattoo of the day for it). I got this tattoo at a time when a lot of friends of mine were going through a really hard time related to family problems and state repression and various other legal troubles. The quote across the banner is “we are the birds of a coming storm” which is a paraphrasing of the infamous words of the Haymarket martyr, August Spies. Spies was an anarchist agitator in Chicago who was sentenced to death for his fiery views and convictions. His last words before being hung were “the day will come when our silence will be more powerful than the voices you strangle today.” In a way, thinking about his words was a way for me to deal with the difficulties my friends and I were going through and to remember that though we felt alone at times, a whole redemptive storm would follow someday.
Also by Jason Angst. Medusa is often mythologized as a symbolof femme / feminist vengeance against patriarchal power. When I got this, most of the female assigned people in my life (including my mother) were dealing with bad behavior of men in various ways and capacities. People I thought I could trust, or who were maybe positive examples of how to not be misogynist were proving me wrong left and right. This affected me in a pretty serious way and I had to re-evaluate a lot of the ways I thought about gendered violence and resistance to it. I got a tattoo of medusa as a bit of a solidarity gesture with everyone in my life dealing with violence or pain because of their place in our gendered world. The tattoo is based on a painting by Caravaggio.
My first and dearest tattoo, by Gifford Kasen . “Filth is my politics! Filth is my life!”
Live in the Sf bay area and have some ink you’d like to show off, or are a tattoo artist who just finished a really cool piece? Contact me about a shoot. I’m always looking for people with creative and interesting tats to work with.
Today is Pi day! While this is numerically irrational, and the cause of much celebration across the internet, I like to take time on this date to celebrate the presence of an aptly-named member of our family.
Pi Cat was adopted just over two years ago, a scrawny but vocal kitten from the San Francisco SPCA. She immediately came down with a bad case of ringworm – while insisting on sleeping near my pillow. Despite her best efforts, neither of us were infected. Pi’s overcome her health issues and grown into a solid lump of cat with a… unique personality. She keeps David company during late-night coding sessions, refuses to cuddle with me unless we’re both underneath her favorite blanket, and recently adjusted to the arrival of an annoying little sister.
Pi, we love you, grumpy cat. You’re our favorite greeter of guests, investigator of boxes, and lover of smelly shoes.
If you’re interested in Pi as a number, here’s a very cool link which displays Pi to one million places.
David’s a useful guy to have around. When I broke the garbage disposal, he took it apart and put it back together. He also took a grandfather clock to pieces, cleaned every part, put every tiny gear back in place – now it keeps time more accurately than it did before. Here he is, fixing our vintage Nintendo so I can get my Tetris fix. I’m totally keeping this guy.
I wanted something simple for my first tattoo, and settled on my astrological symbol in the middle of a tribal sun. While looking for artists, I became inspired to start planning out my next, oh, dozen or so tattoos and found myself scribbling constantly in my sketchbook. One day, I banged out four tribal looking symbols for the elements: earth, wind, water, and fire. I was so pleased with the results that I immediately 86’d the idea of getting anything else. And then, I found Dawn.
Dawn was a corporate graphic designer for ten or fifteen years before waking up one day and realizing she was unhappy. She quit her job, bought a motorcycle, and became a professional female bodybuilder and a tattoo artist. She told me all this to distract me while she inked up my chest, getting my attention most when she was going over the tender collar bone area. I was so inspired, I never forgot her story and repeat it to myself every time I worry about not knowing what I want to do with my life.
For a week afterwards, I wore button-down shirts so I could periodically rip them open and break into the Captain Planet theme song. Really, the symbols are just there as reminders of the love and awe I feel for the power of nature.
My most recent, and probably my favorite so far, are the words on my right forearm, “It’s always something…” I’ve always been a big dork, most of which I attribute to my mother and to my obsessive love of comedy in movies and TV. Saturday Night Live reruns were a staple growing up, and Gilda Radner was always one of my absolute favorites. Her character Roseanne Roseannadanna used to tell outrageous stories and conclude them with “It’s always something.” To me, it just means not to take things too seriously, because nothing and nobody is perfect. You’ve got to have a sense of humor about it all, or you go nuts.
My second tattoo was the wave design on my left arm. I was a water baby and have always found myself drawn to water, whether it be puddles, lakes, rivers, fountains, the bathtub, or the almighty ocean. The beach has always kind of been my happy place.
The hourglass on my left arm was next. I had the hourglass shattering, the top half carried away by blazing wings as clouds of the sand swirled in the middle. loved the concept, and felt very much that it symbolized where I was in my transition at the time (the very beginning pretty much.) wanted to much to break away from my past, to start something new, but I also wanted to hold on to the important things that had shaped me. That’s why I left some sand in the bottom half of the hourglass. The rest, I scattered to the wind.
I added on to this just a year later, adding the turquoise and purple smoke, peace sign, stars, and the quote “Vi Veri Veniversum Vivus Vici” (Latin for “By the power of truth, I, while living, have conquered the Universe”). I was big into the movie “V for Vendetta” at the time (it’s still in my Top 5) and have always been a bit of a hippie, growing up just 10 miles from where Woodstock took place in 1969. In the long run, I’m hoping to turn it into a ¾ sleeve with several elements from Greek mythology’s Garden of the Hesperides.
Then came the sugar skull on my thigh. I was in college and working at a Ben & Jerry’s that was located right below a tattoo parlor. I became easy friends with the tattoo artists and piercers upstairs through master smoothie and shake blending. One day, I jokingly asked my buddy if he’d give me a free tattoo before he moved to Atlanta, GA a week later. To my surprise, he said, “Sure, I’ll give you a free tattoo, but I get to choose what it is.” My jaw dropped, I started to stutter, but eventually said, “Holy shit, I was just kidding, but if you’re not kidding, then I’m totally not kidding!” He then asked how I felt about “a skull, and a rose, and a switchblade.” I remember laughing and declining the switchblade, then suggesting a sugar skull, which was only then starting to get going again in pop culture. The night of my 21st birthday, I got my free ink.
Live in San Francisco and have some ink you’d like to show off, or are a tattoo artist who just finished a really cool piece? Contact me about a shoot. I’m always looking for people with creative and interesting tats to work with.
Sarah Dopp is an aptly-named ‘culture conductor‘. She’s the founder of groundbreaking Genderfork blog, which has grown into an enormous online community and is constantly busy planning the next big thing. If she looks sedate in this photo, don’t let that fool you for one minute.