Safari Experience

By · July 12, 2013 · Comments (0)

High School Senior Portraits

Senior Page-KK

Categories : Senior Portraits
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By · July 12, 2013 · Comments (0)

Senior Page-AM

Categories : Senior Portraits
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New Studio is Finished

By · October 9, 2012 · Comments (0)

I’m ready to show you the interior of the finished studio! It is so open, spacious, and a totally new look!

Barb Gordon Photography Studio_0002

Categories : Gordon Photography
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Barb is one of eleven professional photographers who earned the Business Impact Zone Degree (BIZ) from Professional Photographers of Iowa (PPI) at this year’s PPI Winter Convention.

Earning the BIZ degree involves four days of core competence of business management classes and the submission of a detailed business plan for a photographic studio.

PPI is the first and only state offering a business program such as this.

Iowa photographer Aletha Speaker, also a 2012 BIZ degree recipient, is responsible for getting this business program into action. The program has also been supported by four sponsors: American Color Imaging, Christian Photo, Colormaster Inc., and JB Frames & Design.

Categories : Awards
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Kids Say the Funniest Things

By · February 1, 2012 · Comments (0)

While I was setting up a background, chair, and accessories for a three month portrait, I was chatting with her six and ten year sisters. Well, they were chatting at me, I was in work mode.

I couldn’t find my small white baby fabrics and wondered out loud if I sold them at my yard sale. Then I was looking for ribbon, couldn’t find it. Talking to myself again, I figured I sold that also. Then it was a lamp. You know little kids, they pick up on everything. “Did you sell that at your yard sale too?”

Soon the ten year old asked if someone used to live in the studio, as it is an old Victorian home. “Yes, a long time ago it was a home for a family.”

 “Finally! Something you haven’t sold!” I had to burst out laughing as the building (not the business) actually is for sale.

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Equine Special Olympics

By · September 16, 2011 · Comments (0)

I accompanied this group to the Equine Special Olympics. I played “pit crew” and “gopher” and shot a few pictures. It was a blessed experience.

Mitch (on the right) rode Billy Willy, the 28 year old gelding, to a silver medal victory in the Western Pleasure Walk class and a gold medal in the Walk/Trot class! Mitch’s coach, horse trainer Jan McDonald is pictured on the left. She was amazing at getting Mitch and Billy ready for the competition.

Categories : Gordon Photography
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Garden Nymph is Published

By · December 9, 2010 · Comments (0)

My second Loan Collection Award is published.

I just received my Professional Photographers of America (PPA) Loan Collection Book 2010! It is so cool to be published in such a prestigious and beautiful book. The Loan Collection is a presentation of photographic images judged by the PPA as examples of excellence. This is my second Loan Collection award.

The image that qualified this year is “Garden Nymph”. With this image along with three others, I was awarded PPA Master Photographer of the Year, Silver. The convention coming up in January will feature a Grand Imaging Awards night.

“Garden Nymph” did terrific at the state level scoring a perfect 100 and earning the Fujifilm Masterpiece Award, Judge’s Choice, and First Place Portrait of Women Indoors.

This image along with “Crystalize” that also received a perfect 100, Judges Choice and Second Place Portrait of Women Indoors, “Clay O Patra” and “Queen of the Summer Night” combined to win Iowa’s 2010 Master Photographer of the Year.

Categories : Awards, Characters
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Tell a Story with a Character Portrait

By · October 29, 2010 · Comments (0)

Character Portraits

A character portrait tells a story about a person in a way no other style of portrait can. It takes some thought, planning, and experience to create an image that is timeless.

I photographed my dad with film in 1993 with his first horse at the Fort Dodge Fort Museum. Everything is to period except he is wearing glasses! The Carlson-Richey log home built in 1855 was moved to the museum from the bank of the Des Moines river near Stratford, Iowa.

When digital photography came along, I scanned the medium format negative, added digital painting techniques, and printed a nice 30×40 canvas for my home. The theme is perfect for my southwest decor and the perfect story about my dad!

Categories : Family Portraits
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How to Take Better Pictures-Part 6

By · October 8, 2010 · Comments (0)


The most endearing part of any photograph of people is the expression. All other elements may fail, and we still love the photograph because of the expression.

Getting a great expression is often the hardest part of taking portraits.  There are so many factors that come into play.  This skill takes time to develop and find out what works and what does not.

You could try talking about something funny or sing silly songs.  Saying “cheese” is not recommended. You know what you’ll get? A big, fake, toothy, goofy face.

Putting so much pressure on a child to perform can really get in the way of getting real expressions.

This is part six of an eight part series from an article  called “Everyday Images Made Extraordinary” that I wrote for a division of Gordon Photography & Gallery dedicated to mentoring other professional photographers who wish to learn more about the business of photography.

Categories : Basic Photo Tips
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How to Take Better Pictures Part 4

By · September 24, 2010 · Comments (0)

Choose the Right Focal Length

The focal length of the lens you select and the aperture you shoot at also affects the look of your photograph.

For you techies, I realize that the size of the digital sensor can change the true results of our lenses. I explain focal length multiplier in my article “Getting Familiar with the Settings on your Camera for Better Image Control.” But for now, let’s keep it simple.

A standard 50mm lens that comes with most cameras sees like your eye does.  It sees a similar field of view of about 50-55 degrees.  It is the most natural look because it is like our eyes, but I find it so boring that I do not own a prime lens like this.

A wider angle lens, less than 50 mm, is going to see a wider view that your own eye can normally see. This is helpful when you want to record scenery. This makes for a great vacation lens.  Do be careful when using it for portrait work as you may get distortion. When working at a wide open f-stop you will need to be more careful on how you focus.

A telephoto lens, over 50mm, is going to have a tighter view and magnify the subject.  I think portraits look better this way.  The larger the number, the more magnification it has.

A macro lens is for getting close-ups of small items like flowers, insects, or other details. Use a tripod for best results and eliminate the blur that easily occurs from being at such close range.

In this example of Lightning the cat, you can see the difference of three different focal lengths.

The same lenses are used in the garden example. You may also notice that the background is softer, not as in focus, with the 105mm lens as the 28mm lens.

The aperture you select will also determine the look of your photograph. A large f stop number like f16 will have a greater depth of field than a small f stop number like f4.

The shutter speed you use also plays a part in the final look of the image. A faster shutter speed will stop motion and a slower shutter speed can show some blur.

This is part four of an eight part series from an article  called “Everyday Images Made Extraordinary” that I wrote for a division of Gordon Photography & Gallery dedicated to mentoring other professional photographers who wish to learn more about the business of photography.

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