Oak Tree Photography bio picture

A Second Chance

Okay, okay, you and I both know how these photography web sites work: the photographer cherry picks the best images from the best sessions, then writes glowingly about how wonderful it was: how perfect the client, how spectacular the location, how passionate the photographer, yada, yada, yada. And, certainly, my web site serves up plenty of that. But if that was all my web site offered, you would begin to suspect, not so much that I was perfect, but that I was not real. So, now is the time for true confessions: I make mistakes. And, on a senior session with Matt, I made the ultimate mistake: I lost the images. That’s right, I lost them. All. I had just gotten back from the session, I immediately went to back up the camera’s memory card to my computer and, I made a thoughtless mistake in how I inserted the card into my reader, and all the images were wiped off the card. I could have died. Literally. Died. One of the hardest calls I’ve ever had to make was to Matt’s family to fess up. To my everlasting gratitude, they were gracious. We rescheduled for the next day. And, all the pictures turned out as well, or better, than the originals. Was I ever relieved. Here is one image from that “make up” shoot. Matt is a Claremore High School senior of 2013, and this was taken on the campus of Rogers State University, where he will be attending this fall, with a four year scholarship, I might add. Way to go Matt!

Tom Launius, CPP
tom@oaktree.pro
918.729.0500

Not Your Average Senior Picture

Bailey not only has excelled in academics at Claremore High School, but she also is athletic. So, I wanted to be sure that we had some fun during her senior pictures, to capture that athletic side of her. For this portrait, I had her wear a volleyball jersey and hold the volleyball. Nothing extra special there! But then I lit her with three powerful strobe lights. One of them is just above the camera. And two of them are behind her to her left and behind her to her right, just outside of the frame of this picture. When the lights are balanced just right, and when you call on the person to give you that tough, Clint Eastwood, “make my day” kind of glare, then you get the kind of awesome portrait you see here: tough, confident, striking. It goes without saying, but I’ll say it anyway: Bailey loved the picture. Which is great, since I sure enjoyed creating it for her!

Tom Launius, CPP
tom@oaktree.pro
918.729.0500

The Warm and Cool of It

With senior pictures, of course I do the traditional shots, with smiling expressions and classic poses. But I also like to mix it up, for the sake of variety and creativity. So it was that when Jamie, a 2013 Senior from Claremore High School, came to me, I figured that we would have some fun. Along with the “grandmother poses” (as traditional poses are usually called among photographers), we cut loose and I set up some different portraits. One of these portraits is very “warm”: with a red shirt and golden skin tones and a confident, almost aggressive expression on the face. The other portrait is very “cool”, with a moody downward tilt of the face and with the eyes looking away from the camera and, well, with the blue tone of the image! Jamie and his family loved both of these looks, and enjoyed the variety I created for them. Creating these senior portraits is why, after many years wasted on therapy and numerous failed medications, I am still hopelessly addicted to photography! High school seniors, in Tulsa and Rogers County, I know that this sounds like salesmanship, but I am still booking senior portraits for this Spring: time is getting late, but you can still get in touch with me for great senior pictures!

Tom Launius, CPP
Oak Tree Photography
918.729.0500

 

Appassionata

I recently enjoyed the most creative photoshoot with a very creative couple: Jill and Jeff of the Appassionata Duo. They are both members of the Tulsa Symphony and are phenomenal musicians. She is a harpist and he is a violist. You really should check out their web site here. They met me at my studio in the Belvidere Mansion in Claremore on a Monday afternoon,   and did we ever have a great time! There are so many beautiful spots within the mansion for portraits—we didn’t even begin to tap into all of them—but the ones we chose worked out extremely well. They were so gracious and accommodating. One thing that is always a treat in photographing musicians is that they have finely tuned (no pun intended!) awareness of their body position in space. I’m sure this comes from many years of learning, without looking, just where to place the fingers to pluck the strings or where to hold your arm and hand to draw the bow. Because of their skill, it’s an absolute dream when it comes to posing them: they know just how to make the micro-adjustments that turn the portrait from blah to wow! Attached are a small sampling of some of the many winning images from the shoot. I’m pleased with how they turned out, and Jeff and Jill are too!

Tom Launius, CPP
Oak Tree Photography
918.729.0500

Taste of Tulsa 2013

Was this ever a wonderful event! I loved the energy, the people, the food, and, of course, the cause: Big Brothers Big Sisters of Tulsa. I was thrilled to be the portrait photographer, taking great pictures of those who attended. For those who had your portrait taken, here is how this works: look at the gallery of images displayed at the bottom of this post. They are numbered sequentially from 1 through 100. Look for your image(s) and, when you find them, email me at tom@oaktree.pro and give me the sequence number that is displayed below each image when you view it. Then I will email you the digital image(s) in a size suitable to print as a 5×7. Of course, you may also share your digital image via email, on your smart phone, Facebook, et cetera!
Now, in honor of the wonderful evening that we enjoyed together, and as a special thanks for having supported Big Brothers Big Sisters, I would like to encourage you to contact me no later than March 1st and book a portrait session! This can be for your family, for a child, for a high school senior, or for a pet. If you book with me by March 1st, and schedule your portrait session by Memorial Day, then I will waive my studio garden session fee of $100 for those who come to my estate grounds in Claremore, or reduce my $200 home session fee to $50 for those who have their portraits done at their home. Please contact me at your earliest convenience, since the available dates and times will fill up quickly. I look forward to hearing from you!

Tom Launius
Oak Tree Photography
918.729.0500
tom@oaktree.pro