Oak Tree Photography bio picture

Once a Season

As a professional photographer, I pride myself on always getting great portraits at every portrait session. After all, that is the very definition of a professional: not someone who gets lucky every now and again, or who can capture images only under optimal conditions, but someone who can consistently, reliably, capture great images, even if the weather is not so hot, or the subjects are feeling a bit camera shy, or there are unexpected stresses. Nevertheless, there are those moments when the photography gods are smiling, and there is a conjunction of a beautiful subject, a lovely surrounding, a kiss of light, and a fetching expression, all to the end that a portrait of superlative qualities is produced. So it was with Taylor. She and her parents and I had been having fun together in Claremore, Oklahoma, at a variety of lovely locations, and when we arrived at the one that is behind Taylor in the portrait, she was relaxed and comfortable. We’d become friends. And so I was able to create one of what I call “portraits of the season”: a portrait that, for a variety of reasons, stands head and shoulders above all the other portraits taken, in this case, during the fall of 2011. Now, as you’ve read this blog post, you also get to enjoy the portrait. Fortunately for Taylor and her parents, they’ll enjoy this portrait for generations to come, being as it now hangs as a canvas gallery wrap in their home!

Tom Launius
Oak Tree Photography
918.729.0500

The Thomas Family Portraits

The Thomas family were a dream to photograph. They arrived dressed impeccably and in good spirits. They were relaxed and comfortable in  front of the camera. And, on top of it all, we enjoyed a balmy fall evening with pleasant skies and mild temperatures. The fact that there were multiple generations present and lots of different couples within the family group made for a lot of variety in the portraits. Taking family portraits in Tulsa was never more enjoyable!

Tom Launius
Oak Tree Photography
918.729.0500

Miss Indian Princess, Oklahoma

Sometimes a portrait photographer has the rare privilege of stepping outside of the ordinary, to record an image of distinct beauty. So it was for me this past summer when I was in Shawnee, Oklahoma. There, I had the opportunity of meeting Devon Frazier, who had recently been crowned Miss Indian Oklahoma. This is a signature honor accorded by the Oklahoma Federation of Indian Women. To compete, Devon needed to wear authentic tribal dress, be interviewed, introduce herself at the pageant in her native tribal language, and to offer a traditional talent. Devon chose to sing and dance an ancient tribal song taught to her by her grandmother. It is Devon singing this song that you see in the image at the top of this post. Now, I should explain that there are not three Devons, as the image shows! Rather, this image is a composite of three images I took as Devon sang and danced. I was totally transfixed by her graceful, swaying movements and by the blissful, enraptured expression on her face. By combining three images of her, I hoped in some small measure to how transcendent was the experience of her song. Thank you, Devon, for your devotion to your tribe, the Absentee Shawnee, and for the beauty of your song!

Tom Launius
Oak Tree Photography
tom@oaktree.pro
918.729.0500

Lightroom for Photographers

Okay, okay, so I love photography with a passion. But what I love almost as much as photography is…teaching photography. So, once again, I am teaching a course at Tulsa Tech. This time, I’m teaching something a bit technical: I’m teaching about a piece of software called Lightroom. Nowadays, with digital photography being what it is, professional photographers find themselves spending a lot of time on the computer. While doing so can be a creative process, it can also be a great time gobbler. Well, along comes Adobe with this cool program called Lightroom that streamlines everything. Now photographers can spend less time in front of the computer and more time doing what they love much better: taking beautiful images! The photographers taking the class are loving it—they’re excited that they are going to be much more efficient at editing their images. That not only makes them happy, but me too.

Tom Launius
Oak Tree Photography
tom@oaktree.pro
918.729.0500

A Warm Family Portrait

A Tulsa family portrait outdoors in the summerIn nearly the hottest summer on record in Tulsa, Oklahoma, what’s a self-respecting photographer specializing in outdoor portraits to do? Why, keep right on taking portraits! Now, of course, there are limits: if there is a heat advisory, we re-schedule. But, otherwise, we go right on taking great portraits. Jason and Andrea came with their three beautiful children, and it was no problem. The evening sun was low in the sky. The family came dressed comfortably. They even took their shoes off for this portrait! And everything turned out fine. At Oak Tree Photography, we like a challenge. Come on summer, throw your heat at us! We’re ready!

Tom Launius
Oak Tree Photography
tom@oaktree.pro
918.729.0500