Monthly Archives: July 2010


So I had a random dream last night which included a discussion with my dermatologist about business, and how he got to be so popular.  See, it takes forever to get in for an appointment… subconscious being overactive? Anyway, he fake told me that to be as busy as he is, all someone has to do is follow his example: specialize in something people really want which has a built-in longevity and repeat business, be excellent at your specialty, cultivate the reputation for being THE one to go to for that specialty.  Not bad advice for a dream.

The quest to find a niche and a specialty is one of self-discovery and patient expectation.  That’s the polite, artsy way of saying it seems to take forever and I don’t want to wait any longer.  Sometimes it takes a step or three back to “see the forest for the trees,” so that part of the plan for this summer.  Bottom line is that the imaginary discussion taking place during REM-sleep has actually provided some humorously perfect direction.

Also, if you need a good dermatologist in the Eugene area, Jay Park is excellent – and he gives good counsel, too.


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  • Jeramie - Well you certainly have been following your own advice. I can’t imagine another photographer in Eugene making a living with you in town 🙂 Anyways, beautiful work as usual and thanks for always being a good source of inspiration, even beyond the visuals.

  • Melinda - Do you think he’ll bill you for the dream time consult? Is that covered by insurance?

    Love your images. And if you ever decide to teach a local lighting workshop I’d love to hear about it.

  • Kim O'Neil - I agree with Melinda…teach us, please! 🙂 And, I love your shots of the bride and groom on the beach. Your lighting and exposures are always perfect, Jay!

  • Liz - I love your portraits. They are some of my favorite in the biz.

  • Seth - I had a dream I got punched in the face by Optimus Prime. Your dreams are way better than mine. You got great advice. I got punched in the face by a benevolent semi. On an unrelated note, I love your work.


Zack has been an inspiration for me since 2006, roughly the beginning of of my professional career. I’ve always been fascinated with music, so music photographers hold a special place in my heart. Jeremy Cowart, Annie Leibovitz, the late Jim Marshall, Mark Seliger, and Zack Arias, to name a few music photographers I love, bring two artistic mediums together in different ways, all of which speak to me as a person.

Zack teaches a lighting workshop and has a DVD called the OneLight, which is focused on off-camera lighting (my favorite way to shoot). You’ll work with speedlights, Pocket Wizards, softboxes, umbrellas, and a number of other light modifiers. You will also do some math. Sorry, it’s just part of the process. I’ve wanted to attend this workshop for years, and 2010 was my year, it seems. I chose DC, and aside from a monster $187 ticket for being a single-occupant driver on a freeway, not a LANE, mind you… an entire freeway (like I could possibly know anything about that, thanks  a lot officer Sensitivity of the VAPD), it was a great workshop. I’m pretty comfortable with lights already, although I admit I rarely use speedlights, it’s usually my Alienbees, so it was nice to gain speedlight experience with the modifiers I already use. The math aspect was one that I was specifically interested in. I hate math. To quote Will Ferrell’s George W. Bush, “math is very much a part of  the Axis of Evil.” I think the officer who decided an Oregonian didn’t deserve a warning about a violation he couldn’t possibly know about is also in the Axis of Evil.

To explain why I wanted the math aspect, I’ll step back 4 years or so. I love natural light, but back in the day I loved natural light partially because I was scared of flashes, strobes, umbrellas, and all of the off-camera wizardry. I didn’t understand it, so therefore I loved natural light 🙂   Now, I still love natural light to this day, however; I feared strobes. I decided I didn’t like avoiding something because I was afraid of it, that’s a foolish rationale, so I bought a Canon 430EX and an Alienbee 400 with a standard shoot-through umbrella. Major fail. I didn’t get it and I didn’t do it well… so I set it all aside for “a while.” Like over a year “a while.”

Then I found Zack’s work. I saw a Flickr photo with the tag under it “Screw you all, I still love jump shots.” I instantly loved the photo and the photographer. It was now 2008 and I started paying a lot of attention to people with lights, Zack in particular. Fresh, clean, easy to understand lighting. I tried my hand at lighting again. This time I fell in love and have been using them more frequently ever since. All because I decided not to be afraid of something and was willing to make some atrociously bad images until I felt comfortable.

Fast forward to why I want the math. I don’t want to think about how to light, I just want to do it… I want it to be as second nature as aperture, ISO, and shutter speed are. That’s the “why” behind wanting the OneLight DVD and workshop experience. This July I got both, and I am so thankful – bucket list item, for sure. Zack put on a legit program, not forgetting Zack’s right hand Dan, and I highly recommend it. I’m still digesting the math, as it is my weakness, so we’ll see if I ever get to the place where it is second nature.

Zack demonstrated the techniques, then we implemented them.  Pretty simple, huh?

Dan gets lazy, but Zack shows him how to do it right.  We got turned loose to do our own thing, these are some of the images I came up with.


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  • Jeff Marsh - like

  • Rick Wenner - You got some great shots from this workshop Jay. I went to Zack’s workshop in Brooklyn last year and I had a great time too. Learned so much. Good work man

  • jayeads - thanks rick! it’s a good one, huh?

  • daronaliya - inspiring! i’ll admit that i’m scared to use strobes/etc also. perhaps i shall work on viewing off-camera lighting with curiosity rather than fear. 🙂

  • Paul Pratt - I went to a OneLight in 2009 and I went from confused to “lights on” in one day. You got some great shots from the workshop. I find the math part easy until I’m using 1/3 stop increments and I need to be 1/2 a stop brighter…too much for my brain to compute!

  • Tweets that mention DC OneLight with Zack Arias | Jay Eads Photography -- - […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by jay eads, jay eads. jay eads said: new blog. it's about @zarias and the OneLight workshop I went to […]

  • Marina - awesome. your shots are GOOD.

  • Steve Elmer - THe 3rd last one is pretty killa dude 🙂

  • Sean Openshaw - I was on the fence about going to that workshop but had I known you were going to be there I might have tried a bit harder. Great shots. The tones in your images blow me away.

  • Nirav Patel - Looks like an awesome workshop and shots are jaytastic (not sure if that word will ever catch haha)! I’m scanning the country right now for some workshops to take. Will have to add this to the growing list. I’ll be broke but educated in no time (Just like college all over again). Hope your cold is but a distant memory now. Can’t wait to see more of what you do with the stuff you learned. Take care Jay.

  • Dan - Great stuff Jay! I really like the second to last shot.

  • jayeads - thanks dan! you guys were a blast… i wish i had more time to hang with you, but you know… i had a class and whatnot 🙂


100 foot oaks, the McKenzie river, flowing fields, people who love each other… beautiful is the best word I could come up with to describe the shoot.  Kelly and Brandon have an adorable family, and an even more adorable way with their kids.  I appreciate good parenting in a much deeper way ever since I became a parent myself.  Calm, patient, loving… it takes work to keep that up in real life, not to mention at a family shoot (note previous family shoot scars in tone of type).  But, this was my kind of family shoot; great people, amazing location, the request for fun and not overly pose-y, oh, and she wants all black & white.  Yes please, and thank you.

Brandon works for the electrical vendor I contracted with at my previous job, and if you have work to be done, do yourself a favor and call New Way Electric first.  There’s a very good reason they were on the short list of my “favorite vendors” for over 10 years.

I’m sure I will post more of the session later, but for now, just try to resist the perfectly messy curls.  I dare you.


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  • Rensche Mari - Stunning family, and beautiful photos. Love the ones of the kiddies in the beginning 🙂

  • Tweets that mention a beautiful family shoot | Jay Eads Photography -- - […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by jay eads, jay eads. jay eads said: ok, i wanted to show these a little bigger than FB… so check out the blog to see Kelly and Brandon's family shoot […]

  • jan - These are gorgeous. love the personality you captured in these. Very artistic as well.

  • andrea - jay. these are phenomenal.

  • Steve Elmer - Dude, the second last one is a standout one for me… mega win!

  • Emma - LOVE them!
    I would love family pics like that!

  • Beth - Dude! you are so good! <3 every image has so much to tell!

  • Elizabeth Salib - I tried to choose a favourite but it was sooo hard. These are probably some of my favourite pictures of yours taken ever. I really like the one with the sister and the brother, where the brother is hugging her, the best, though. So crazy perfect, not that any other one is any less perfect. Gorgeous family and I love these shots. Glad you were begging for comments on Facebook or else I wouldn’t have seen these.

  • Melinda - These are really awesome Jay. I keep trying to pick out a favorite so I can tell you which I like the best and it is so hard! I think I’m going to have to go with the little girl running though. I love your composition and how you’ve conveyed motion in that one with the blurry background and her face in great focus. I love that it reminds me of running barefoot through the grass. Thanks for the photographic inspiration.

  • Drew W - Awesome work, Jay. I love the up close, wide shots in this set.

  • daronaliya - beautiful, beautiful, beautiful. that little girl is just out-of-control-adorable

  • jess - These are STUNNING Jay. Wow.My fave is the little girl with the wind blowing her hair and holding her brother’s hand. So good.