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Robert Wheater

a personal photoblog

An Organic change to Painting

Portrait painting is something I have done in the past and did in art school. I moved to photography while in art school, I used photography to create references for painting – my original major was design/new media. I changed a few times as a lot of artists do and ended up with a photography major. In 2008, in the midst of economic downturn I started my wedding and portrait photography. It has been a fun ride and I am not stopping but I am moving toward portrait painting as a focus in my business. The first reason – I love photography and painting but the photographic industry has become oversaturated. Everyone knows at least one “professional” (read: amateur) photographer – most people know more. Cameras have become affordable and many people think they can make a quick buck or even start their own studio. I got an art degree because I love art and that is my path in life – I have always worked in the design field. My first jobs were at printing presses and then design and I have always been involved in art and design. Twenty years in art  with two degrees. I am wise enough to see that photography is something a lot of people want to do, it is accessible and social media drives it. I love photography but I also love other pursuits. Painting is a big one.

So. I never actually gave the first reason – there is too much competition and not enough demand. While in painting, you must spend years learning it and most people get into photography because the think (incorrectly) that it is something they can just pick up and now they have a job. It’s not. So, the person out to find a photographer must sort through hundreds of photographers in their area. You need luck and word of mouth to really get out there. The second reason is 99% of photographic decisions and most purchases for a home are made by women. It’s hard to compete with other women in their field. I have done it for four years and I am pretty good at it. So, I have decided to move to painting. I am still remaining in photography, I love it but I do it for my passion, not for the dollar.

So painting it is. It’s an evolution fusing the digital world of photography and my traditional artistic skill. Here is a painting of Kara. It is almost finished :) I rarely put finished work up because when I think about posting work, it’s halfway done – when I finish it – it’s time to give it to a client which is sometimes difficult to do. A lot of my time is invested in painting and it’s not like I made it for someone else… which I did.. I painted it for me because I love to paint… and it’s pretty much that simple.

 

 

Nearly finished painting of Kara

Scott | Business Portrait

When I am commissioned to create a business portrait, I always aim to do something that represents a person and with different styles of images. Every single person is their own brand and while many people don’t really care about the picture they use, I am someone people come to when they care. First, I try and key in on who you are as a brand. What do you stand for? What values do you have and what do you do? I never just take a quick head shot.
In the images below, you will see Scott. He makes wine and loves it (thanks for the wine by the way) and we set off and decided to shoot in a vineyard. I advise to any professional that they update their business portrait once every 2-3 years and keep it current and do not use black and white.
I see these black and white business portraits on color business cards. Don’t do it, everyone does. Business portraits for office professionals are best photographed within the office or where people would meet – a further connection in the image that helps a professional stand out. I especially love working with business owners and showing their business within the images – in vibrant and powerful images. Business images should be power images. An image of the owner of a salon should be softer and more fashion forward. It is attention to these details that make a business portrait that will stand leagues above your competition and have an editorial/advertising feel to them. Remember you can click images on my blog to view a larger version full screen.

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Kym | Portraits

I don’t publish client work on the internet because almost all of my clients prefer privacy, so in order to get images to show on my blog and on the internet I use models and friends. Kym had never modeled before and wanted to try it out. Here are shots of her done in my edgy fashion/glamor style. I have only been a professional photographer for a year, starting right after art school at The Academy of Art University in San Francisco.
There were many challenges in this shoot, wind being the worst. Because I rarely shoot in studio and prefer environmental and on location sessions. Kym was great and we got some great shots. Remember that you can click images to view a larger version.

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New Brochure [download here]

This is my new brochure. There is a wedding version of the brochure coming soon. I have revised all of my wedding services and the new wedding photography one will be up in a week.

Click here for the Robert Wheater Photography brochure

Fine Art vs. Photography

In the world today, photography is everywhere and everyone has a camera. Local photographers have multiplied and multiplied creating a minefield of photographers, which ones are good and the ones that aren’t are difficult to find.
In today’s photography world, my style of photography stands out because it is fine art. Fine art is much different in the fact that I create photographic art printed on canvas or fine art photographs. Real photographs are also something I provide, instead of inkjet prints. I am not one to look down on other art but the medium of our art is as important as the display itself. I would say that every photographer out there is using inkjet prints, if they are making real photographs they will let you know. You can’t print fine art on an inkjet. For one, it fades after a decade if it has UV protection less if it is not protected with a coating or UV glass frame. Two, fine art is not meant to fade, ever. Great precautions are made to protect fine art. I make real photographs created using light and a chemical process. The photograph alone will last your lifetime right out of the package. Oh and it will last for at least another generation. These photographs will last for 100 years, far longer if protected further behind museum glass (which we use in our frames).
So, the primary thing you need to ask yourself is this – do you want a picture or do you want art?

Fine Art Gallery Wraps

Fine Art Gallery Wraps

So just be sure what YOU want when you are talking to a photographer – photographic art from click to the display on your wall – or just the click. Contact me today with your art and display needs.


Military Wives and Girlfriends | Memorial Day

I was thinking of something unique I could offer for Memorial Day aside from my normal 10% off for military and veterans. I thought about something that is very usable but really is exciting for me and my feeling of creating heirlooms. So, from now until Memorial Day (May 31) I am offering something unique. Contemporary Vintage Wallet Portraits.
Trying to embrace a classic portrait style mixed with my contemporary style, I wanted to create an image that could be used for portraits from wives and girlfriends to their husbands overseas. The portrait session is only $25 and I have a wide array of picture styles to send from portraits on archival art paper which gives the images tactile feeling also. This makes a great gift. I also offer a much more sexy maxim-magazine session starting at $100.
Your session must be scheduled prior to Memorial Day 2010 (May 31). I wish I could keep the offer up all year because these are truly fun.

Wallet style shots are edited to look similar to the image on the right. This is a before/after of original photo and then the contemporary vintage edit

Wallet style shots are edited to look similar to the image on the right. This is a before/after of original photo and then the contemporary vintage edit.

Some of the final product ideas for these sessions are:

Fine Art Archival Prints

Framed Desk Prints

4×6 Hard Print (the fine art print is bonded to a Masonite backing)

5×5 Gallery Wrap

It is a good idea that we talk about your final product before we actually have the session because we can have a general direction to go. If you want a 5×5 Metallic Gallery Wrap we are probably going to shoot a completely different way than a 20×30 fine art paper print. Yes, almost all my products are focused on creating an heirloom. I don’t print any inkjet prints, I still make real photographs and focus on the end product of my photography. They are not cheap and will last generations. 90% of photographers use inkjet prints, not me. Ask me why if you are interested in knowing the differences.

Glamor Photography

The beautiful model is Sunni. This particular photo is from a photo shoot a few months ago but I am working on a new editing style that is one of my favorites currently being used by a few of my favorite photographers. Photography style changes over time and only through really doing different things does our art as a photographer stand out. Not only is a style important to a photographer, it is essential. I am chosen as a photographer because of my style capability. I can create images that are clean crisp traditional black and whites, edgier vibrant colors but now I am really falling into a style that has really only become possible with digital photography. Airbrushing aside (I post process every image I take, it is the new dark room) the image was beautiful but I am working on a style that both shows the real person with the art of glamor photography.

Glamor Style Photographs

Glamor Style Photographs

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Travis and Kira

Visalia dad, Travis and daughter Kira were a lot of fun in this session. We shot in a pink dress and then her play clothes. Here are some shots from the session in her play clothes.
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Portrait Session with Sunni

This was the second time I shot with Sunni and again, I had a blast. These images are a great example of the style you will see in my SnapRiot sessions and it was a great chance to see how much I am going to like my new SnapRiot photo sessions.

Sunni and I started on Main Street and just shot by the red door I love so much, it is a good comfort spot to develop a camera relationship to who I am photographing. Most people are ready to go before I am, I usually study someone for the first 5-6 shots and then let loose. Sunni was easy to warm up to, I think the first shot was one of the best as was the last. That’s a great session.

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If you would like to book Robert Wheater for your photography, contact him by clicking here.

Shimaka [portrait session]

Shimaka was fun to shoot, sometimes there is a warm up time in order to shoot good portraits. There was none with her. I hope she really loves her portrait session. In my portrait sessions, I cover several locations, usually trying to get some good urban style, edgy looks and some classic portraits in nature. These images are the reason, I love shooting outside of the studio.

There are a lot of Visalia portrait photographers, so make sure you look at current work and not the best of their work over twenty years. Try to look at their blog if they have one and take a look at current work.

Shimaka’s portrait session was wonderful as you can see from the images. This wide variety of styles, poses and shots are very typical of my photo shoots.

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If you would like to book Robert Wheater for a photo shoot, fill out this quick form and drop us a message on what you want. You can also email at photo@robertwheater.com or call at 559.334.3977. Robert is a photographer servicing Central California, from San Francisco to Los Angeles, although he calls Visalia, California his home.