Sunday, February 16, 2020

Fight, fight, fight for what you love

Ray and Angela luv Hunter
Poor Hunter. He'd had enough lovin' and just wanted out. Wanted out to explore the space where The Smooch! Project was collecting pics during the terribly hot and muggy Minneapolis Uptown Art Fair. Hunter wanted to run, to jump. He wanted to … well, he wanted anything but what he was getting at the moment from his parents, Ray and Angela. But they were just as determined as their young son. They wanted to get that perfect Smooch! Sandwich photo. As you can see, they succeeded. Good job, Hunter, Angela and Ray. You all fought for what you loved and got it too. Even Hunter, who scampered off as soon as his parents put him down down. All around, it was a good day for love.  

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Friday, February 7, 2020

For the love of Grace

Adrienne will forever luv Grace
I think Adrienne came to the shoot ready to talk about the Smooch! photo she wanted me to capture. She brought a framed black-and-white portrait of her beautiful late mother, Grace, and wanted to know if she could be photographed smooching it. "Yes, of course." I said, "Let's do it." "Uh, right now?" Adrienne asked in surprise. Before she knew it, we had her photo out of its frame and began experimenting with the pose. Our primary challenges were to reduce the glare of my photo lights on the print and not damage it during the shoot. It didn't take long before we nailed it. Personally, I think this is one of the most beautiful images in my archive. Adrienne was amazed that we had managed to pull it off so well and so quickly. I'm pretty sure she was also quite happy with the result. In my experience, challenging Smooch! photos often come together as if by magic. In this case, I believe the magic was the love of Grace and that special bond often found between a mother and her daughter. Thanks to Grace and Adrienne, I was blessed with yet another lovely photo for The Smooch! Project, for which I remain very grateful.


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Saturday, February 1, 2020

Love rises like the sun

Denae luvs Duane
Denae was soooo happy to smooch her dad. Like many of the men who get "talked into" participating in a Smooch! shoot, Duane was not sure about the whole thing. But as soon as his tickled daughter's lips touched his head, his face lit up. Just like that, as if the sun had suddenly broken through the clouds. A truly beautiful thing to witness. To me, capturing that instant with my camera is very much like photographing a beautiful sunrise. To capture images for The Smooch! Project, I simply create a suitable setting, invite love and affection to stop by for a moment, and wait for love to light up the scene. I watch. I click. I smile. I'm such a lucky photog!


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Friday, January 24, 2020

This dog was far far smarter than me

Rodeo luvs Ben
Rodeo sauntered into the shoot with his human family: a mom and her two sons. I photographed all four of them in various combinations and later selected this pic as the best portrait of the dog with one of his humans. Did you know I use peanut butter to get the dogs to lick their loved one where I can get the best shot? Turns out, Rodeo loves peanut butter. I mean, really loves peanut butter. As soon as my back was turned, he snatched my small plastic cup of it and instantly dove under the table with it, just far enough away so I couldn't reach him. I remember hearing the plastic crunching between his teeth while his adult human told me not to worry about it. I got the impression she was quite used to his tricks. Like I said: A very smart dog.


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Friday, January 17, 2020

There's always room for goofballs in The Smooch! Project

Molly tries to luv Lee-Lee
The sisters had a plan. "We want to to do an air kiss," one of the them said, looking a bit worried I might say no. They demonstrated one for me so I knew what they were talking about. "Yes, of course!" I happily said. From my viewpoint, The Smooch! Project has plenty of room for humor and silliness. In almost no time at all, I managed to snag this gorgeous shot of a beautifully proffered kiss vs. a dramatically feigned disdain. This photo has always reminded me of Renaissance cherubic angels, with their smooth, soft cheeks and upturned eyes. Siblings aged 11 and 12, I still wonder if their mother would have thought so too.


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Friday, January 10, 2020

A true class act

Evy luvs Ross

These two volunteered during a very chilly winter shoot. They had been married "forever" and wanted to do something to support The Smooch! Project. Evy and Ross did a great job registering smoochers during a very busy shoot. When we were done, I asked them to let me photo them before they went home. Evy, I seem to recall, had a hard time reaching Ross' cheek. I sat him down and she leaned over and planted this lovely smooch on his temple on her first try. Perfection! I don't believe Ross could have looked any more pleased, do you?


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Friday, January 3, 2020

Too bad, so sad ... but not for long

Lindsey luvs Olivia (A Temporary Tragedy)

Olivia was upset, obviously. About what I can't recall. But I do remember her mom's concern that I couldn't photograph them while her daughter was crying. I said, "Meltdowns make the best smooch shots, so please smooch away!" So Lindsey kissed her daughter as Olivia sadly sniffled and I happily collected a photo I still totally love. Olivia's tears have long since dried but not here in The Smooch! Project. For that, I am grateful. Perhaps, when she's older and sees this pic, Olivia will be too.


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Friday, December 27, 2019

That was one BIG dog

Gabe luvs Tara




The shoot was held at a veterinary college. All well-behaved animals were welcome to show up with their humans. When Tara and her husband walked in with Gabe, my immediate thought was that they had brought a donkey. Big as he was, this gentle giant had paws, not hooves, and his own special technique to smooch his human. Tara was not the only one laughing in delight. The Smooch! Project can also serve as an enjoyable spectator sport.

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Fight, fight, fight for what you love

Ray and Angela luv Hunter Poor Hunter. He'd had enough lovin' and just wanted out. Wanted out to explore the space where The Smo...