Category Archives: Sidebar Photoblog

Returning to Shutterfest at Union Station in St. Louis, MO

Returning to Shutterfest at Union Station in St. Lou!

shutterfest at Union Station

St. Louis Union Station

Back in April of 2015 I went down to St. Louis, MO for a two-day conference, known as Shutterfest. It’s a photography conference like no other. Sal Cincotta calls it the un-conference. I was absolutely amazed at all of the great content I was able to attend and all of the fantastic people that I met. It literally is a non-stop 24 hour a day learning fest. Last year I wasn’t able to make it down there. 🙁

This year I am heading back. From what I heard and saw from the group, I missed an amazing couple of days last year but this year, come hell or high water, I’m headed down there. I wrote about Shutterfest 2015 in St. Louis and I also wrote about fixing up my old Buick to take the trip and today I just wanted to let everyone know that it was the best conference, of any kind, that I’ve ever attended.

The conference is held at the famous Union Station, not too far from the Arch, the St. Louis Blues and the St. Louis Cardinals home games. When I was down there in 2015, I stayed at the Ballpark Hilton which was about a mile from Union Station. This year I’m staying at the host hotel which means I don’t have to take a shuttle or do any driving unless I want to.

This will also be the first major undertaking I’ve done since I had my stroke back on August 3, 2016. I’ve barely done any shooting since then, mostly practising in my office using my strobes in a simple setting on myself. I haven’t advertised or really pushed to do any paid sessions but it’s time to get back into real life.

I’ve used the last 7 months to strengthen my body and work on self-reliance and self-worth. I am still not back to 100% and I may never return to life as it was before the stroke so I have had to re-evaluate how and what I want to do for the rest of my life. If you want to, you can read about my short life summary in my article HELP ME HELP YOU to learn why I keep doing what it is that I do.

I’m really looking forward to learning new information and new techniques and meeting fellow photographers, models and people that live in St. Louis and the area to gain a better perspective on their views on photography and life in general. I won’t be taking the old Buick though. She died last year. Instead, I’ll be taking my old faithful Ford pickup with 18 years and 384,000 miles of experience. Yes, you read the mileage right. I’ll write more about Shuterfest17 when I get back. Until then, stay warm, stay dry, stay safe.

HELP ME HELP YOU

This post first appeared on Bill Caddy Photography

Bill Caddy

When I was a senior in high school, way back when, all of us were asked what our number one goal in life was. I know that gets asked for a lot of graduating seniors, maybe all of them. My answer at the time was, “to help people in times of trouble.” Back then I had planned to go to school for law enforcement and even started taking classes in college for criminal justice.

I soon realized that while I could get my degree and go in to law enforcement, I would probably be stuck pushing paperwork and working in an office type setting. You see, back then, any little medical issue was enough to keep me off the streets and I had flat feet and a bum knee from football. With a glut in the system because of the baby-boomers generation, there were plenty of fresh, healthy, young men (and a few women) just waiting for the chance at a career. I gave up the plan and decided to roll with life and do what ever I could find for a job. I worked in everything from dairy (milking cows for $14/day) to being an electrician to driving truck and even went back to school.

Fast forward to 2004. I was working as a security guard for a casino and had a chance to take a first responder class. I really didn’t do it to be able to help anyone but myself, I did it for a .75c pay raise. Just a couple of months after that, they held an EMT class and again I took it, this time for another $1.25/hour raise. In 2005 there was a school shooting on one of the reservations in the area I live in (we have 3) and I decided to join the local first responder group to see if I could help in any way. For the next 11 years, I volunteered with them, joined my local volunteer fire department and changed careers, working for my local ambulance service (two, in fact). I thought I had finally found my niche in life and was doing something I loved and it really had turned in to the goal that I had set way back in high school.

Working in EMS I had seen abusive situations, drug-related situations and terminal results of depression. I had friends that were in abusive relationships, physical, mental, you name it. Throughout all of this I had been an avid photographer, mostly of nature and landscapes and still-life. I have also found beauty in all things and in people. I have always looked for the good in someone and encouraged them to strive to be better. I’ve spent countless hours talking to my friends and family, even strangers, encouraging them, trying to show them how beautiful they are when their self-esteem was so low that they couldn’t see their own beauty. A few years ago I began to toy with the idea that I wanted to help show people how beautiful they really are by photographing them. I started photographing families and friends but I felt like I really wasn’t being honest with them or with my work.

I realized that one of the biggest lies that our society holds sacred is the idea that if a person, male or female but mostly female, didn’t have the right body shape, or the right hair color, or the right skin color or if they had tattoos or piercings that they were outcasts to be looked down on, shunned, or worse. I wanted to give my clients a fuller experience. But I was afraid. I let my own fear of society get me down and keep me from doing what I wanted. Then came an experience for me that has changed my life and my outlook on life. I had a stroke.

On August 3, 2016 while working I had a stroke. I was extremely lucky. I happened to be in the local emergency department because we had just brought in a patient. Within an hour and a half I had been given clot-busting drugs and flown out by helicopter to a larger hospital in Fargo, ND that was better equipped to help me. I spent the next day and a half in ICU and three more on the floor before being discharged and going home. I started physical therapy and have since regained about 90% of my life. On December 7, 2016 I see my neurologist to find out if I can return to my EMS jobs. Whatever the outcome, I have realized one thing. Life is too short to let fear or self-esteem get in the way.

This life story, if that’s what it is, is about taking control of your fears, taking back your self-esteem, taking back your life! I’m here to tell you that YOU CAN DO IT. Let me help you by showing you through my eyes, my camera, the beauty that is you. People have always used the excuse that they don’t look good in pictures. I’m here to tell you that you do. Beauty isn’t only skin deep. It comes from inside you. Let me help you find your beauty. Let me help you find that person that you always knew, deep down inside you, was there. Together, we can make a difference in your life! HELP ME HELP YOU!

OCF for a selfie.

OCF for a selfie

So, last night I was out doing some shooting and decided that I needed to do a “Selfie.” As you might have guessed, over the years, I’m not really in to taking selfies, especially with my cell phone (this wasn’t with a cell phone btw), but I decided that the moon was too cool looking with the haze from the fires out in the western US making the moon stand out in relief.

Selfie under the moon

Selfie under the moon

This was shot with a single flash, hand-held, no modifier for 8 seconds, 1600 ISO, f16. The flash was set at 1/128 power. Camera is a Nikon D700 with the Nikkor 50mm f1.8 lens.

Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights) of June 23, 2015

This morning I had the pleasure of capturing Aurora Borealis, otherwise known as Northern Lights. Tonight, if cloud cover doesn’t get in the way, should also be a great night to see some of the most beautiful natural features that we can see here on Earth.

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Split Rock Lighthouse in HDR

The other day I had the opportunity to head over to the North Shore and up to Split Rock Lighthouse. We got there just before sunset, about 8:30, and as I started to walk down the path I felt a few raindrops hit me. As I got down by the boat landing I decided that I had better put a rain sleeve on my camera and capture a few images as quickly as possible. I was able to capture this as a 5 shot HDR image that I processed in Lightroom, Photomatix Pro, Photoshop and Nik Software’s Dfine 2.0. Capture was done in Aperture Priority with a Nikon D700 and 80-400 Nikon lens.

Split Rock Lighthouse

Split Rock Lighthouse
North Shore, MN

2016 Senior Model Reps

2016-senior-rep-call

Hello 2016 Senior Model Reps! Caddy Imaging is looking for Senior Models to represent us for the upcoming 2015-2016 school year.

Some of the benefits of representing us are a goody bag, free session, discounts on print purchases and the chance to earn cash gift cards.

All high school students are welcome to apply. Freshmen, Sophomores and Juniors, if you are chosen, your photo session will not take place until your senior year.

Make sure that your phone number is current. We will be calling to set up interviews with you and your parent(s).

Martinez family Signature edit

Martinez

Martinez
2014 Copyright Caddy Imaging


A signature edit for the Martinez Family. This was just something I wanted to produce that I’d had in the back of my mind for a while.

Thomas playing the violin

Just a quick post of Thomas playing the violin.

Thomas playing the violin

Thomas playing the violin

After the Joy of Lighting class

Bowens Gemini 400Rx Lighting kit

Bowens Gemini 400Rx Lighting kit

A couple of weeks ago I told you that I was headed to Minneapolis to attend the Joy of Lighting class sponsored by West Photo and held at the Mpls Photo Center. Tony Corbell, who has teamed up with Bowens at teambowens.com, is an amazing instructor. The first day of the class was mostly classroom slides and discussions about different lighting techniques. Tony also went over the Bowens Gemini 400Rx lights that we received and the equipment that came with them. The second day was almost all hands-on, using the lights and their modifiers to practice and getting used to them. Our model, Anna Maher, was wonderful and very patient with us! Below are a couple of images from the practice sessions. We had three lighting scenarios that we practiced on. One setup used a single strobe and a softbox, the second used a single strobe with just the reflector and the third used three strobes, all with reflectors. The two gentlemen were classmates of mine that were gracious enough to let me photograph them.

Bowens Gemini 400Rx Lighting kit at the Joy of Lighting

Anna

Bowens Gemini 400Rx Lighting kit at the Joy of Lighting

Anna

Bowens Gemini 400Rx Lighting kit at the Joy of Lighting

Bowens Gemini 400Rx Lighting kit at the Joy of Lighting

 

The Martinez Family

Last month I had the privilege of photographing the Martinez family. Here are a couple of shots that they loved from the session.

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