Oak Tree Photography bio picture

Classic Claremore Senior

Jessie is a senior in the class of 2014, and I was pleased to create her portraits in my Claremore studio in the Belvidere Mansion. Jessie is cheerful and photogenic, and we made a lot of terrific portraits. When I write these blog posts, I prefer to include only one photograph, one that represents my absolute favorite from the session. With Jessie, choosing only one was no easy task! But the image on the left was my eventual choice. I chose it because Jessie’s expression is what in the portrait world is called “composed”. In a composed expression, rather than the person smiling, they are looking with a relaxed, confident gaze. While smiling expressions are most common for senior portraits, there is a place also for a composed expression and its timeless feel. Not only that, but a composed expression draws the viewer more deeply into the subject’s eyes. In this portrait, Jessie’s eyes are soulful, and the image has a serenity that no smile can communicate.

Tom Launius, CPP
tom@oaktree.pro
918.729.0500

Three Brides

I love it when a family has come to trust me so well and to like my photography so much that they return again and again. So it has been with Rachel, Lauren, and Leah. Their mother was so taken by my bridal portraiture that she came back as  her daughters, from oldest to youngest, each in turn came to their wedding day. After I took their youngest daughter’s portraits, I realized that I had one portrait of each of them that would look fantastic in a unified design of all three of them together. So, I created the image you see above. I know that these type of blog posts normally gush with superlatives—after all, I’m trying to promote my photography business!—but words cannot capture how much the mother loved this design. I was pleased she was so happy with it, since that means it will hang as an heirloom image, proudly displayed in their Claremore home.

Tom Launius, CPP
Oak Tree Photography
tom@oaktree.pro
918.729.0500

Madison at the Belvidere

I sure enjoy my studio space in the Belvidere Mansion here in Claremore, I have a lot of fun using all of the Victorian wallpaper, rugs, and furniture as backdrops, as well as taking advantage of the the massive windows for gorgeous light. One day recently, as a way of exploring some of the many ways the Belvidere can serve as a portrait space, I had Madison meet me there. We spent several pleasant afternoon hours taking beautiful portraits, the evidence of which is displayed at the bottom of this post. I photograph a lot of seniors in and around the Belvidere, and they always have a good time. The mansion is so large and there is so much variety from which to choose, their pictures always turn out unique!

Tom Launius
918.729.0500
tom@oaktree.pro

Annie Get Your Gun

Did I ever have fun taking pictures of the Claremore High School production of Annie Get Your Gun. This performance was held at a fantastic venue: the Robson Performing Arts Center. One of my favorite images is at the bottom of this post. If you would head over to my Facebook page you can see a wide variety of awesome images from the performance. While you’re there, maybe you could “Like” my page!
I had the time of my life taking these pictures. Years ago, when I was in college and in the early years after my graduation, I was in a boatload of musicals and operettas and operas, and taking these pictures brought back fond memories. I hope that you enjoy them as much as I enjoyed taking them!

Tom Launius
918.729.0500
tom@oaktree.pro

First Blossom, Redbud

Above these words you see a closeup of a redbud blossom. Now, this is not just any redbud blossom: three years ago, when we moved to Claremore, I planted this redbud. It was a gift from the yard of a new friend. The tree was a volunteer, you see, and not needed where it came from. It was out of place, in other words, so, I “adopted” it. It went into a prime location in our front yard. A slender young thing, it has struggled to survive in the tough summers we’ve been having. It almost didn’t make it through last summer. But, I dragged a hose across the yard, laid the mouth of the hose at the base of the tree, turned the water on at a trickle, and let its thirsty roots drink long and deep. I didn’t give it a drink just once, of course, but every other day, I would drag the hose across the yard and bring water. The tree hung in there—barely—but it never has blossomed. Until this morning. Out on a Saturday morning, early, to plan my springtime projects, I went over to the tree, saw that it was beginning to leaf out, then noticed a a fleck of color. The tree’s first blossom, ever! What a thrill. Maybe I shouldn’t say this, being as this is my portrait web site and all, but if I could make a decent income from taking only pictures of flowers, if I could only do so…I’d do it! But I can’t. So instead, what I do is take pictures of people as if they were flowers: precious, irreplaceable flowers, flowers whose fleeting beauty deserves to be remembered and embraced for all time.

Tom Launius, CPP
tom@oaktree.pro
918.729.0500