Saturday, December 31, 2011

Beefy's 2011 Photo Picks

by Beefy Muchacho

Kasmira asked me to put together a list of my favorite photos I took of her for her blog this year. I love taking her blog photos. It’s fun to brainstorm with her to come up with locations, and it’s a great way to spend a little extra time together during busy times with work and rehearsals and meetings and whatever else.

Once the session is over, I rarely see the pictures again until they appear on the blog. She retains final say over which ones she picks, and often makes slight adjustments to the photos in terms of crop and angle. (Apparently I lilt 2 degrees or so to the right).

Anyway, here are my 13 favorite “Muchacho photographed photos” of 2011, and a little bit of my thoughts on each. I love being an occasional part of her blog, and it’s so fun to read the comments left by all of you. Happy New Year


So many of the best pictures from the year also feature great locations. This one was taken at the Wright-Patterson Air Force Museum in Dayton, Ohio. Kasmira always reminds me that the blog is about what she’s wearing, and you know.. I know that, but I also love interesting backdrops. The way the pavement here almost reflects the sky, and the little peeks of blue sky over the plane wings creates a really neat effect here. I also am really happy with how the wings overhead create a pseudo-frame. That was a total accident. Oh yeah… and look how freaking red her hair looks in front of the bright background. Awesome.

There’s always a very specific order of events when we take pictures. First we decide where she’ll stand and where I’ll be, then we take a whole crapload of full-body “Outfit” shots. After that, we work on the “Deets”, where she gets up close, and I take close-ups of the different pattern combinations or interesting accessories. Deets are my favorite part for a secret reason… Stealth Portraits! You’d never believe this, but Kasmira is basically very shy, and she’d never sit for real portraits, but I love to sneak a few close-ups while I’m technically getting pictures of her earrings. This one was taken at my uncle’s home in Three Oaks, Michigan, at his labyrinth. It’s a really beautiful setting, at the light was nice and bright, but still soft. It made for a really cool quirky portrait.


I chose this one for the face. See… at the start of a session, I have to do a little fiddling with the camera settings to make sure the light is right and whatnot. A lot of times, I’ll take random pictures and she makes these faces to see if I’m paying attention (I was). I was so pleased when she included this one in the final cut on the blog, because her silly side doesn’t get its due all that often, and it’s one of my favorite things about her.


Oh man… So there’s nothing like a good location photo, and what better location than my literal favorite place on Earth? There are a ton of great things about his picture (and the whole set from this day). I really like washed out effect on Spaceship Earth (the big golfball thing), and all of the beautiful colors of Disney World. Vacation outfits are one of Kasmira’s special skills, and this one was my favorite from our recent trip to Disney. I toyed with using the other one from this post where she was taking a bite out of Spaceship Earth, but in the end the mix of bright colors, interesting pose, and depth of field in this picture won out. You’ll also note that I was putting my own freedom in jeopardy by trespassing in a roped off area to take this picture. That’s the kind of guy I am.


This one is on the short list of my favorite photos of Kasmira I’ve ever taken. The premise was one of those “Deets” pictures to show off her turquoise ensemble, but look at the stealth portrait I managed to take. I’ll be honest and say that a lot of times, the composition on a photo is at least a little bit of a happy accident when it comes out nicely, but this one was totally intentional. I’d taken a few photos of just her hands, but then I looked up and saw the halo effect with the grass , so I had her pose this way. There’s a similar photo she took last year, where all the snow behind her makes her eyes bright like this. I love it.


Sometimes a photo stands out for me because of the experience as much as the actual photo. This one was taken at the former site of the Jewish Community Center in Cincinnati. I spent many Summers as a kid playing on these tennis courts, and so it was pretty surreal (and really sad) to see how overgrown the whole place has become since it was abandoned when the JCC moved to another location. It’s special when the experience combines with an actually cool photo, which is what happened here. There’s just something about how the greens of the court, the weeds, the trees, and her dress combined to create this sort of wild feel to the whole set. She wants to go back to the old place again, because there are a few really good locations there. Maybe we’ll see more of these next Summer.


What can you say about New York City? This is possibly the most iconic location we’ve ever taken outfit pictures. It’s hard to get bigger than the NYC skyline. I love the blown-out aspect of this picture, with the dress (my single favorite item of her clothing) and the pink scarf just blazing away, and the super-bright dock and the blues of the East River. This was a really great, and memorable day, and I love that the pictures underscore that, by being really cool.


Union Terminal in Cincinnati is the most famous building in the city, and it started making regular appearances on the blog this Summer, after we attended a wedding there in June. Of all of the Union Terminal posts, this one is my favorite. The colors of Kasmira’s outfit go perfectly with the blue patina of the huge fountain and the green shrubbery. I admit, too, that I tend to be a fan of the more classic looks in Kasmira’s wardrobe, and this one could potentially have fit in just as well in the 1930s when U.T. was in its heyday as it does now. Also, I can most reliably count on a photo NOT being cropped if that building is in the background. Even Kasmira can’t resist.


You may note that a pretty consistent feature of my favorite photos is direct sunlight, and I think this picture from the 1 year anniversary of Kasmira going back to her red hair perfectly illustrates why (and also why I will always, and forever, be a fan of the red over the blonde). Obviously, I think Kasmira would be beautiful with any hair color or style, but the red hair in the direct sunlight is so striking, and so amazing to photograph. I’m a great fan of the blues, purples, and greens in her wardrobe, and all of them look so unique and outstanding with the red hair blazing in the Sun. Am I right?


This one is another of those where the experience makes up half the story. The start of 2011 in Cincinnati was the wettest on record. It snowed and snowed and then it rained. It was almost constant for the first 4 months, so finding reasonable photo locations was challenging. We happened upon Mt. Echo Park at some point in the early stages of the year, and ended up using it several times throughout the Spring. There’s this open air shelter with these great bit granite pillars and this shiny concrete floor. It made for a relatively dry place to take outfit photos during the rainy days of March and April, and really provided a cool location for various visuals. For example, if it hadn’t been pouring rain, and the background hadn’t been washed out, you’d be able to see an incredible view of downtown Cincinnati. As it was, I love how the wet ground created this mirror effect for this set. I can’t say it was warm and comfortable at Mt. Echo this Spring, but it wasn’t raining on me, and for that I was grateful. (and able to take this cool picture).


Another one of those great “Blazing red hair in the direct sunlight” pictures that I love. The best thing about this one, though, is that it’s candid. So many of my favorite photos are the ones I take when Kasmira isn’t ready. I love catching those moments where she’s laughing or doing something silly, because that’s the Kasmira that I know and love. It doesn’t hurt, either, that this one was part of her Valentine’s Day series, and was the day dedicated to me. (I was pleasantly surprised to beat out the cats for first on the list).


There are a few pictures I’ve taken that I am really proud of. That I show other people without prompting, and this one is on that list. There’s just something about the colors, and the composition of it that makes me smile. It also makes me want to purchase a Buddy Scooter. What else can I say about it? It’s just a really cool picture.

This picture was featured in the New York Times (Online) when they were doing a thing about “Winter Shorts”, so that’s cool. I really like the colors, and how crystal sharp the snow looks (and I hate snow). It’s probably the most “professional” looking photo I’ve ever taken. But I don’t care about any of that… I chose this picture because of the experience we had taking it. Do you know how freaking cold it was that day? I mean… it was really, really cold. Take a close look at Kasmira’s nose. And her hands. That pinkish hue you see? Not blushing. That’s pure, frigid air blasting her in the face. This was easily the coldest shoot of the year. I admit that I wasn’t as cold as her, since I kept my coat on the whole time, but she seriously was walking around without a coat when it was 5 degrees outside. She’s dedicated folks.


Pam @ over50feeling40 said...

I loved this post....great photos..looks like you had so much fun and you did great work!!

Karen, David & Bill said...

Meaningful Muchacho: his love for you, his photography and your passion. All expressed in a beautiful compilation.

Kathryn from Schoolmarm Style said...


I LOVE this post! Not only does it have tons of amazing shots, but the thing that comes through so clearly is how much you adore this woman. I teared up a bit just feeling that affection come through loud and clear.

Jude said...

I'll bet it took a lot of time to do this post and I enjoyed it thoroughly. Happy New Year to you both!

Clothes Karma said...

This is a sweet (and informative) post. Beefy's adoration of you shines through! You always do have the best backdrops. I love that you both take so much time and effort into your photos.

Leah Hollett said...

This wil probably go down in my history book as my favorite post ever. The photos, the outfits and the LOVE you have for Kashmira. I'm a little teary right now. Thank you!

Hannah | The Outfit Repeater said...

This is an excellent post! I have a great interest in photography so it's neat to see the reasons and mayhem that goes into somebody else work. I gotta say though, I am in awe of September's photo! Kasmira looks so breathtaking. You both did wonderful there (her with amazing posing and you there to capture it in the best way possible)
Thanks for doing this post! I loved it. :)

maryeb said...

You are one fabulous guy for taking Kasmira's blog photos. You do a lovely job. And the fact that you enjoy the process is icing on the cake.
Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts. It's been fun to read!
I wish you both the best in 2012.

Sarah said...

All the different locations are so beautiful! Beefy, you're a fantastic, dedicated photographer. :)

The Tote Trove said...

What a lovely post. Reliving this year's looks through Beefy's words underscored that this blog is, among other things, a love letter from Beefy to Kasmira. Thanks for sharing and have a wonderful, colorful, and adventurous 2012 :)

Courtnee said...

It's great to hear from the man behind the camera, especially since he clearly adores you! Happy New Year to both of you!

The Cheap Chick said...

Awwww, this makes me so happy! I love hearing about people describe their love for one another! Not only does it give me a warm fuzzy, but it reaffirms my belief that wonderful relationships exist, and should be cherished. Kasmira - you've got yourself an AWESOME man.

Sarah R said...

Kasmira, you are one lucky lady. You can tell how much he loves you by how he writes. I wasn't planning on getting sniffly today...thanks a lot!

Anonymous said...

You are great Beefy--we love you & your pictures of the woman you love. You should be a professional photographer--or maybe you already are!
Erma in texas

La Reine said...

Words cannot express the manner in which I adore this blog.
Just thought I'd finally say so.

Sheila said...

What a fabulous summary! I love all those pictures, and hearing your commentary on them is the icing on top. Thank you for all the great shots, Mr. Muchacho!

Londyn said...

Such a great idea to do this post!! Many of those pics were my favorites as well and it was fun to hear the stories behind them. Great choices Beefy and thanks for sharing :)

Rose said...

This post made me smile so much! It's so cool to see which of Beefy's pictures are his favorites. And I have to say, the one from September, with Kasmira and her rings with the halo of light around her, is absolutely gorgeous! The way her eyes pop and the expression on her face are just lovely!

Thanks for sharing your talents here, Beefy!

Becky said...

Beefy, you're an amazing photographer. Period, end of story.


Lorena said...

I liked this post, because not only can we get as readers a glimpse of what goes on backstage .. but also because when you love one and you take their picture, it shows :) Good job Beefy.

C said...

great post. great pictures....

Beefy Muchacho said...

Thanks for the comments and the compliments, everyone. I do indeed love her, and the photo sessions are a lot of fun for both of us.

Cyn said...

I really enjoyed reading more about these photographs. Learning about the composition and settings was fascinating.

The way you wrote about your subject...just lovely.

Cel said...

Thanks for sharing! I loved reading your take on the photos and hearing from the man behind the lens :)

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