Welcome to the blog of photographer, Jodie Otte. Please browse this blog or click one of the links above.
When I was updating my website this year (still haven’t finished it, what a surprise, huh? ;)), I was contacted to exhibit some of my work at the Consumer Electronics and Photo Expo 2013 in Russia. It seemed to go really well, and it was very nice to be able to participate. Here’s a few shots that were sent to me of the exhibit which was held in the frameworks of Photosalon “World Photography Stars”. I think I had to submit about 20 images.
Clients: Six galleries are ready and going up tomorrow (Friday) – if you are waiting for yours, it is likely yours will be one of them. Two more will go up on Monday.
Erynn and I are in Pennsylvania right now, at the annual Conewago Trail Riders Fall ride. Our group from Muddy Creek Meadows comes out here twice a year, and it’s a lot of fun….
When you camp with horses, you have to tie a rope between some trees and construct a tie line for them where they stay safe and tied. We are sleeping in our horse trailer this year instead of the tent – I think we like it better this way.
Here’s our horses, Pippi and No Brakes….
No Brakes trying to figure out if Erynn has a treat for him….
In the creek….
No, we don’t all wear orange vests, Erynn is on road guard duty (when the horses cross the road, road guards keep the the cars from continuing up the street until the horses cross.
Here’s the scary bridge. My first year, we came upon this bridge and I thought I was going to plummet to my death. It’s quite frightening. Some horses have no problems going across, and others freak out really badly. Thankfully, my girl does great, so does Erynn’s.
There were 53 riders today. We road for 6 hours.
So all in all, today went well…. I haven’t ridden Pippi in a while because she has been lame, but she was doing really well today, no lameness…. She did buck after we jumped a lot in the woods, and she laid down in the creek with me on top haha… but I was thrilled to be back riding her again.
If you follow this blog or my Facebook page, you know that my daughter, Erynn, has a hobby creating special effects. She began this probably about two years ago, and every now and then, she decides she wants to create something, and it’s my job to photograph it for her. This weekend, Erynn felt the need to create, so I knew at the drop of a hat, we would have to take off up the road and find a place to shoot.
Here’s what we captured (I used a few different techniques on these images, thus the variation in effects).
Here’s a closeup of her leg that I took earlier….. this was her first “burn” work… So yeah, this is called Mom supporting her daughter’s strange creative hobbies
For the photographers…. This is with off-camera flash. I had a small square softbox on my Multiblitz light, and portable battery….. I like to use wide angles a lot when I am working to bring more scene into the image and maybe a little distortion. I was bothered by the blue sky, and wanted to create something a little more “foggy/dark”…. so I decided to pull out a longer lens and work.
I liked this effect much better….
I then went back to the wide angle lens to obtain some distortion. I decided to get more focus on the hand and the mask. I also shot with the light slightly lower than subject to pull a more “ghoul” lighting. Erynn in perfect character, distorted her body slightly with a forward lean, and we got it….
So you all are saying to yourselves, “this is disturbing! What kind of mother are you to let your daughter do these things!” Haha! Well, I have to say, she’s a really cool kid and loves to be in character for things like this.
When we were done, she ran around and had fun
and then needed a Monster at Rutters in Fawn Grove….
And of course a shout out to Multiblitz…. this was shot with this amazing lighting!
Disclaimer: As a photographer I speak up strongly against photographing on random train tracks. Most train tracks are actually off limits and federal property. Many photographers trespass and can even be arrested for photographing on especially live tracks. If anyone in Maryland remembers the Chase (Amtrak/Conrail) train crash in the 80s, the accident happened behind my house growing up. My brother ran into our treehouse to avoid the debris that was flying because of the explosion. I have some horrifying imagery from that accident burned into my brain, so that is why I stress not to photograph clients or play around near train tracks (I’ve actually seen people place babies on live train tracks and photograph them there, not kidding). These tracks that I used for this shoot were not active, and I had permission to be there.
Gorgeous little girl…… I love photographing babies at this age… when they are just starting to sit up, or can push up nicely on their bellies. We are currently booking October and November sessions – please contact us at email@example.com as this is the busy season, and we will fill up quickly, especially weekends. :)
Hello – just wanted to share a few changes that have occurred in the past few months….
…..We’ve implemented a new pricing structure that makes it easier to purchase digital images….. please inquire for details
…..We have just finished implementing a new gallery viewing program that you can easily share on Facebook, and it will insure a quicker delivery of any digital images that you purchase.
…..The big announcement is that we have moved out of the studio. I found that I have been 90% on location and 10% in the studio. It didn’t make sense to keep a studio full time anymore when I am spending much more time on location. However, I will now have two studios available to utilize when needed. Doesn’t that sound odd? I no longer will be holding a full-time studio, but have two different locations for any studio work. One is located in Northern Harford County and the other is in Ellicott City. These will be ready and waiting if we need studio work. Other than that, I am looking forward to be shooting more on location!
Here are a few from a recent on location shoot…. We are currently booking right now for the fall foliage – please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to book your shoot.
Hello all, we are wrapping up the summer, and have some major changes coming (I probably said that already I am sure…)
Would like to followup on Stormy Girl Surprise, my daughter’s horse that I told you about here…. We found out the gender of the baby tonight.
Stormy is officially 65 days pregnant. Horses are pregnant for 11 months, so we have 9 more months to go. The baby is currently the size of your hand.
Dr. Hess barely had the ultrasound in, before I could even get the video camera going, he said, “It’s a girl!” Wow…. Erynn has a ton of names ready for a boy, so this one threw us… she has a lot of thinking to do, but has plenty of time.
If you are curious to see what an equine ultrasound looks like, here’s a bit of what we saw… What you are seeing is the baby is lying on it’s left side. Head is on the right side of the screen. It appears the front legs are kind of curled up. She picks her head up and lays it back down several times. At one point, you see her lay her head down and the skeleton shows pretty good and she looks like a pterodactyl.
My daughter, Erynn, is a part of the Airville PA 4H group. Last year, if you remember, her first year on Stormy showing Western Gaming, she made it through Counties, then made it through Districts, and then went to States. Well this year, we had already planned that she would not be showing Stormy due to working on breeding her. Now that Stormy is pregnant, although Erynn is still riding her, we didn’t want her to endure the stress of making it to states as she probably would have again.
So Erynn decided to use her other horse, No Brakes, this year. No Brakes is a tiny horse (Icelandic Cross) with a ton of power. He has that name for a reason. Unfortunately 4H does not offer Jumpers as an option. Erynn loves Jumpers and she has taken both Stormy and No Brakes to jumpers shows. (There is a big difference between hunter and jumper – hunter is about the classic hunter look and “proper” details and form. Jumpers is kind of like gaming for the hunter. Jumpers is about speed, height, and power.) Erynn hates hunter, but figured that was the only thing she could compete with No Brakes in. He is not a hunter pony by any means.
She again qualified to move on to Districts from Counties yesterday on jumping 2’6″ (they don’t let her size horse do 3′ which is a shame because he jumps 3′ beautifully – he’s a jumper, all about speed and power).
Here are some shots from yesterday….
No Brakes is well known for his constant smiling. No, this is not because of a particular bit. He does this even in a bitless bridle or halter.
When I was doing jumper shows (I’m not doing them now due to my back injury), this was my most difficult thing to do. See how Erynn in mid jump is already looking toward the next jump? That’s telling No Brakes which direction to go after the jump. This will help him get on the correct lead. When I jumped, I was still going “Whew, I did the jump and didn’t die! OMG, I’m still alive! I did it! Oh, wait, there’s another jump? Where is that again???” I was not a very good jumper haha!
In contrast, here is what a typical casual jumpers show looks like….. Erynn and No Brakes from this spring….
Just a heads up – we have SIX Studio Lighting Naturally books left, and then they are gone for good – will no longer be produced. They are priced at the lowest we have ever offered. The original workshop that this book was from was valued at $1895.00.
Here are some newborn images using the technique taught….
I’m retiring the Studio Lighting Naturally book. After this stock is sold out, I’m no longer going to be offering it. I’ve been selling this book for 5 or 6 years. It’s a compilation of the lighting, posing, and method in which I go about photographing pregnancy and newborns. The lighting is taught with an simple “natural” approach that is easy to follow. So many people are intimidated by studio light, or just feel that studio lighting is not natural looking, but this book proves that you can get a natural look, and it’s easy to accomplish.
Why are you selling them out and not offering them anymore?
I’m streamlining my business. I’ve run my business the same for 10 years. I’m making changes and getting rid of everything that is taking up too much time or that I am not on top of. While working with clients, I get distracted and incredibly busy, and a book order or two come in. Before I know it, it’s been a week, and the book hasn’t gone out yet. I don’t like being late for anything, and it doesn’t make me happy when I’m behind on anything. Streamlining, less stress, you get the picture…. Decluttering as well. While I have a studio outside of my home, I have my office space inside of my home. I just moved my entire office space, and I have been going through everything. I’ve gotten rid of all paper files, everything is now virtual/digital. It’s been a relief to declutter! So I have this stack of Studio Lighting Naturally books here, and they MUST GO. They are too expensive to have printed to not sell them!
So back to the books….. they are the paperback version of the original —
STUDIO LIGHTING NATURALLY - the most popular and requested portion of our workshops is covered in this book. Are you limiting yourself as a photographer? This book is designed exclusively for the natural light photographer who wants to add “natural-looking artificial lighting” to their bag of tools or the photographer that struggles to make studio lighting look natural. So many photographers steer away from artificial lighting, afraid that it will be too harsh and fake and will never be able to maintain that natural soft look that we all love so much. Many natural light photographers become intimidated by the equipment choices – there are just so many options out there. Also, many photographers are in areas where natural light is a luxury in the fall and winter time, and not always ideal. You can delay child sessions due to weather and such, but you cannot delay newborn sessions. I hear all the time that “natural light is so pure”. Is it? Studio lighting can also be clean, pure, and absolutely stunning. Focus on shooting with simplicity. Studio lighting is not scary! Learn techniques to achieve a more natural soft diffuse lighting with tiny subjects and as a bonus, more dramatic and beautiful lighting to flatter pregnant clients. You will be amazed how easy studio lighting can be.
Besides the convenience that studio light gives you to shoot in any condition, consider future commercial jobs. Many of you know about my work with Similac Infant Formula that you may have seen in popular magazines including People, US Weekly, Working Mother, and Parenting as well as in welcome packs for new moms. When I received my first phone call from the agency representing, they specified that they wanted exactly my lighting techniques using studio lighting. I would have never landed those jobs without knowing my lights. Studio lighting truly gives you the confidence that no matter what conditions or situations you are presented with, you know you can create beautiful images. Then you will know you are a confident, well-rounded photographer, ready for anything.
The (paperback) book is 70+ pages and contains…
13 diagrams of my specific lighting setups and corresponding images – lighting setups that flatter the female subject to lighting that is completely dramatic.
Several “pull-back views” during actual shoots with corresponding images, to see exact placement and distance of lights.
Tips for photographing children with studio lights.
Tips for photographing expectant mothers with artistic lighting.
Building blocks to a newborn session with images from a full session.
Tips for photographing newborns, how to position, how to achieve “the curl”, the correct angles that are often overlooked.
How to light newborns properly in all positions.
Post Processing… four basic editing steps – steps without using an action with screenshots. You’ll be surprised at how little editing you need to do with this type of lighting. Want more time for yourself? You will have it!
Why are these books so expensive? I have worked very hard to develop my business and style over the years, and put a lot of time into learning exactly what works for my eye. This book comes directly from the workshop that was $1,895 per person. This is also my personal information which has greatly attributed to my success in this industry, I had to price accordingly.
What if I would rather learn in person? I’m sorry, we are no longer offering the workshop in person.
How long does it take for me to receive this book? The book will be shipped usually within 10 business days of order by United States Postal Service Priority Mail within the US.
Do you ship outside the US? Yes.
I am a natural light photographer but want to learn studio lighting. Is this book for me? Yes, this book is focused on learning how to use studio lighting in a simple easy-to-understand way.
I have used studio lighting for years, and I am happy with my results. Is this book for me? If you are happy with your lighting, and you know how to do flat lighting to dramatic lighting, I wouldn’t recommend this book. If you are wanting to know exactly what I do for my lighting, then this book would tell you exactly what I do.
Your paypal receipt is your order confirmation. These books are being shipped directly from the paypal receipt information.
By purchasing this book, it is understood that you know how to use your camera and how aperture, ISO, and shutter speed relate.
To purchase $200
or CLICK HERE
Due to the nature of this product, we cannot refund.
Someone is pregnant in the Otte Family! No, it’s not me – it’s Stormy Girl Surprise, Erynn’s horse.
For Christmas this year, I promised Erynn that we would get Stormy pregnant. She had five babies before, but none in the past 7 years that we have owned her. She’s an older mare, about 16 or 17 years old. We really did not think it would be difficult to get her pregnant. Boy were we wrong! I went through secondary infertility, so all of the terms and such, I was pretty familiar with.
I contracted with someone to do artificial insemination but my gut instinct was telling me not to continue down that path. Erynn really wanted a Freisian Paint Stallion to breed to and we happened to find one fairly close that could be “live cover” (or live breeding). I called and found out they were not actively breeding the stallion but after I told the owners, we just wanted one foal out of Stormy that we could keep and train (a sport horse for Erynn), and would become a part of our family, they agreed to it. We were thrilled! The first cycle we bred her, was a bad cycle. We drove her four hours up to just North of Scranton PA and ended up leaving her there for a few weeks. We brought her back, and as we suspected, no pregnancy.
Dr. Hess of Hess Equine Veterinary Services locally said that Stormy was housing too much fluid in her uterus, and we had to breed just right in the hopes of possibly getting a pregnancy (for those who are interested in this process, read about the mares with fluid HERE). The outlook was looking quite grim, but we were going to give it a good go. Bill instructed us exactly what to do regarding timing (drive four hours, one breeding session, and four hours back), and then flushing her system multiple times after breeding, as well as I had to give her shots of oxytocin for two days straight.
What have I gotten us into?
Here’s Stormy as if you follow this blog or know us, you know is Erynn’s pride and joy. She has had Stormy for 7 years. Stormy is well known at Muddy Creek Meadows as she was born and raised there. Well, technically she was born at the Conewago Trail Riders camp ground as a total surprise during a trip.
I’d like to introduce the majestic Taser…. half paint, half Freisian…… He is such a gentleman. We were amazed that his owner, Molly, at 17 years old had raised him from birth and had trained him in excellent ground manners. It was like all she had to do is look at him and he would cower to her adorable petite self! It was a lot of fun to watch their relationship.
So, because we are complete weirdos, we decided to do a bride/groom picture for laughs…. yes, we did….. haha!
Notice that Stormy and Taser are complete opposites.
Stormy ovulated exactly when Bill said she would (confirmed on ultrasound) and he had set up the scene exactly as it needed to be in order for conception to occur……..we then waited the longest 14 days ever. Here’s what we have……….. a perfect little pregnancy…… We are shocked! Baby is due between May 14th and May 29th….. and you aren’t going to believe this. Erynn’s birthday is May 21st!!!!
Here’s our little Stormageddon’s first picture!
So what color will their baby be? We have no idea!!! We’ve tried the genetics calculator and there are so many combinations. Taser and Stormy are the total opposite. Here’s our chart…. The final height of the baby is in question too. I think Taser is 15.2 hh and Stormy is just under 15.0 hh. Erynn didn’t want a 17 hh horse as Erynn is petite, and she plans on training this foal from day one. Stormy has produced a 16 hh baby, and her father and mother were 16 hh. Taser’s dad was a 17 hh Freisian. So again, we have no idea what will happen. Erynn said she would be thrilled with anything between 15 and 16 hh, 17 scares her a bit… haha! But back to color, who knows! I do know that the light color is very dominant on Stormy’s side. The paint color is not very dominant on her side. A blaze and socks is pretty dominant if the babies are dark as two of her babies that were not light colored did have that. One of her babies had two blue eyes (that look like they are surrounded in eyeliner). The genetics calculator could not specify a percentage higher of one color than others. It could be a paint or it could be a solid color or even a bay. We have no idea.
Be prepared, folks, this is going to be the most photographed foal ever. We are going to document everything we can. I suspect some camping out at the stable will occur in the hopes of catching the birth on video. Oh, and a new fun little word. This baby? Is going to be a freewalker paint. Love it!