Categories / Technique


The majority of the time when I go out for a shoot, I prefer to go solo. It makes it easier to get the photos that I need when I don’t have any extra bodies and voices to try and work around (getting the perfect photo and then realizing your coworker is in the shot is not the greatest feeling in the world). However, there are times when it’s really great to have another person around.

When I went to take a portrait of Bill at Bumping Lake he was originally pretty straight faced. Most people are when you first put a big camera up in their face. Since I had a reporter along with me, she was able to chat with him while I waited for him to shake off the uncomfortableness of being in front of the camera and show some genuine emotion.

Sometimes all it takes is a little bit of patience and a properly positioned coworker.

— Kaitlyn

2013 Playdate Baby of the Year

Bunches of babies!

The annual Playdate Magazine baby issue cover is usually a lot of work to be original and of course photograph the cover baby in their best light.

Watch the video below to get a sense of how ambitious and crazy we were when shooting the 2013 version that included eight infants under a year old all at the same time.
-TJ Mullinax

A full gallery from the photo shoot can be found here.

Motion use during emotional story

A still photo I took of a girl crying at the memorial.

Rarely do I dive into Apple Final Cut Motion software unless I have extra time on a project. It is very useful when you need a bit of polish to your visual effects, but it can really bog down your workflow.
When planning to cover the yearly event, remembering homeless persons’ who have died, I expected to use the names in my video.
However, while editing I was not happy with the traditional fade-in, fade-out, of their names.
Since the light in the video was so wonderful, I decided not to scrimp on the text for the names and use Motion.
It took awhile to organize the Motion timeline (as seen below) that animates each name but the final video looks very nice.

I chose a moment in the video where the text is in the midst of animating to the next name. It's a 3D revolve type animation.

Watch the video and the animations below.

Using a “truck wash” to mimic a Vaseline lens trick

Before I dive into how I shot today’s photo of the twin bridges (that ran on 11A) I want to be clear that I am not encouraging anyone to take photos next to moving vehicles. It’s not very safe, period.

OK, first today’s photo.

Vehicles drive the twin bridges over the Yakima River on Interstate 82 during wet and snowy weather that fell on the upper Yakima Valley the morning of Nov. 21, 2011. TJ Mullinax/Yakima Herald-Republic

Vehicles drive the twin bridges over the Yakima River on Interstate 82 during wet and snowy weather that fell on the upper Yakima Valley the morning of Nov. 21, 2011. TJ Mullinax/Yakima Herald-Republic

This photo was actually a bit of an accident because my camera and I went through a ‘truck wash’ of sorts shortly before I took this photo.

My day began looking for wet weather traffic photos for Tuesday’s paper.  Unfortunately the weather had cleared up and the sky was rather dreary.

Because the sky was a flat gray, I headed out to the twin bridges in the Selah gap to shoot cars passing under the steel girders.

After shooting a few frames of cars under the bridge I saw a truck approach and decided to shoot it before moving on. Here’s the sequence.

Truck Wash 1

Truck almost in frame.

Truck in frame, but not all that strong.

The truck is really too close now. This is where rubber meets the road and a lot of wet stuff hits my lens. I quickly turned away after getting peppered with muck.

I was crouched behind the guard rail protecting myself from the passing truck, but not from the slush, mud and water spray that hit me full force, soaking the camera lens and half of my face.

Wet and cold I decided to move on with the assignment and return to the warm confines of my vehicle.

But as I walked away, preparing to clean my lens I remembered an old art class trick that I learned at Washington State University.  My professor called it the “Vaseline lens trick” that made a modern lens look like an old, poorly made lens from a bygone era.

I looked at my lens that was covered in muddy, mucky water with bits of sand, dirt and whatever… then I took my thumb and tried wiping off what I could.

I lifted my camera and took a couple of frames of cars passing under the bridge and ended up getting a decent art house style photo of wet, mucky traffic weather.

If you want to learn more about the Vaseline trick there’s plenty of talk about it online — or just take a look at this post by Lifehacker.