Thursday, November 11, 2010

Extreme Makeover - Home Edition

My wife's cousin, Jane, was selected to be a recipient of the Extreme Makeover - Home Edition (EMHE).


Her story is of tragedy and inspiration... I refer you to Kathryn's blog for the whole story. She has it in two parts....

Suffice it to say- it was a GREAT adventure!

Photographing the beauty of Idaho for Jane was an honor. I know there is so much more to photograph in Idaho.... but we had 24 hours to capture what we could and then scoot back to Utah to edit and post the images for the EMHE team to select their favorites. 





A huge "Thank you" to Ray and Wayne at Pixel's Foto and Frame. They were so kind in helping with our "RUSH" order of several large canvas wraps and a handful of other large images for framing.



We were then invited to Pocatello to shoot some macro photography for Ruth Ann's room and possibly participate in a segment of the show... which was cut due to time. They did use a few quick clips of just Jillian shooting one of my cameras and if you look really close you will see my hand, the edge of my shirt and even a glimpse of my glasses... does that make me a TV star? :-)  If you want to see how to be a photographer/super star I am highlighted at 17:06-17:23.... see the link to the show a bit further down.











I was wearing a dark grey t-shirt I got while at one of Sarah Petty's marketing workshops that has the words "Well Done" on it. I was wearing one of those photographer vests and it covered up the first three letters and the last two letters so it looked like it said "I Do".... kinda funny because Jillian (one of the home makeover designers) was featured on a former season of The Bachelorette. As she was walking down the path towards me, she said "I feel like I am back on the Bachelorette." This was while they were filming, and Kathryn (who was off camera) yelled out "Oh NO YOU ARE NOT!" It was a funny moment.





They asked us to hang around in case they needed to film any more of me... so we did. It was great to see how the show is done and all the time and effort that is donated by thousands of people who just want to help out.

When the home was completed and fully furnished (in six days!) they asked me to photograph the interior of the home... but to not share them of course until after the show was aired.










Just this past Sunday, Jane's episode was on TV. If you missed it, here is a link to the site where you can view the entire show. 

Jane invited us to attend the premier in Idaho Falls with her, her children and all the key people who participated. It was a great evening. 

Jane and her children

See Jane. See Jane Smile!



Jane's daughter, Sophie, received a private lesson from YoYo Ma a few weeks ago!


 A great night with GREAT people!


The whole experience was an inspiration and a joy.  Thank you Jane.

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Friday, November 5, 2010

Utah Heart Gallery - Utah's child and family adoption connection

This is my second year of photographic participation in the Heart Gallery, a collection of images of children in Utah foster care who are looking for that perfect set of parents to love them and adopt them.

The gallery of images travels around the state depicting the wonder and personality of each of these children. It is a great avenue to encouraging families who are considering the adoption of older children.

This year I had the opportunity to photograph sibblings. Eddie and Sarah are such great little kiddos. They are FULL of personality and excitement. Eddie is extremely expressive and Sarah is a little princess.














It was a Gala event held in the Capitol Rotunda. As I entered, Eddie and Sarah ran to greet me, and gave me a big hug. We sat together at the unveiling of the portraits of all 52 children, then walked to the front together as I presented them with a gift copy of the portraits that were on display. They were so "good" through the entire event. I think they even enjoyed the treats that were served...maybe even more than anything else that night. :-)

I would encourage all photographers to find a "soft spot" in your heart and give back to your community through some volunteer service. I, along with all the other photographers who participated in this event, find great satisfaction and a feeling of value as we utilize the gifts we have been given to bring joy to others.

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Friday, October 15, 2010

Bride and Groom on the ROCKS! - IPPA quarterly

Southern Utah is a most unique landscape! As we settled in at the hotel in Moab, Kathryn and I discussed scouting the area for our Bride and Groom Location that evening. It was about that time that MJ dropped by the room and asked if we had a location selected yet. "Not yet, but we were just going out".  We jumped in the car and headed out west of town. As we drove along the west edge of town we came upon a river that cut through the towering red rocks. We followed the road along the river and just kept looking at each other in awe of the surroundings. Anywhere along the route would be great for a Bride and groom. We just kept going and eventually the road turned to gravel and it just got better and better.

I finally stopped the car and said "This is the place". And it was!
We met with everyone at 4pm and broke up into four smaller groups of 10-12 each. We were so fortunate to have a beautiful bride-to-be and her future Husband.  They were so cooperative and fun. I lead the group and we just had a great time together. Everyone shot and everyone seemed to have fun. Here are a few of my favorites of the afternoon.







The Brides Sister was so helpful with hair and make-up.  She stood by.... watching for anything that needed a quick fix.  Thanks!


It was a joy to see so many photographers that were passionate about capturing the moment!



....and nobody fell off a cliff!


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Mesa Arch - WOW!

Pre-Dawn.... Black enough to not see the path leading to Mesa Arch. I followed very closely behind MJ and Travis who were more likely able to see in the dark. After about 10 minutes we came over the ridge and saw in the early dawn the silhouette of the arch along with the silhouette of about ten photographers, each with their own tripod (that would be twenty human legs and and thirty tripod legs) all pressed together within a 15-20 to feet area.




At first I was disappointed, and then the sun began to rise and I just stood there and enjoyed the scene before me. It was so wonderful. Then I realized that I needed to take a few photographs....






What a GREAT morning!

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Randy Collier has worked in the Photographic Industry for over 30 years. He holds a Master Craftsman Photographic Degree from the Professional Photographers of America. He has been named Rocky Mountain Photographer of the Year, three-time Intermountain Photographer of the Year, and five-time Idaho Photographer of the Year. He has also received the Photoshop Guru Award from the National Association of Photoshop Professionals.

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