Welcome to our Blog page. Here we post about our lives, tips to help your personal photography-because most of life happens when you don't have a photographer there to catch it, and some of the things that go into our photography. We're not good bloggers, but we plan to get better and more consistent at it!

We love your questions and comments. Contact for more info!

Ready for Christmas? Cards?

November 15, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

Whether you want formal or fun portraits, we're here to serve you. We can do formal portraits here in our studio, or come to your home and do fun Christmas portraits, or we'll brave the cold and go out in the snow and do live winter scene portraits with you. Contact us today to get on our schedule.

Painting Stories in Italian Castles

October 25, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

When I was in Italy I had the privilege to stay in a castle near Chianti in Tuscany, about an hour south of Sienna. We were there for 6 days. Each day we were treated to delightful Italian fare by the chef, who just happened to be married to the owner of the castle. The last evening we ate in the inner courtyard of the castle. This image shows him serving the pumpkin custard we ate as our first course.

The image straight from the camera was good, and fun, but the feel of it wasn't quite as story-like as reality seemed that night. Post processing (in Photoshop) was quite extensive on this image to emphasize the details in this image that were important to the story. 

Looking at the steam rising from the serving bowl, which alone tells an important element of the story, I'm reminded of the chilly crispness to the air that night. The intensity in the chef's face reminds me of how dedicated he was to his job, and that, because of him, I experienced many glorious Italian dishes during my stay. The lamp and dishes remind me that while this was a castle to us, it was their home, and they tried to make us feel at home, even though we were in such an amazing castle. The architecture that is visible behind him hints as the grandeur of the castle and the history that had taken place within its walls. The woman helping him is his wife, an absolute Italian beauty. She looks like she belongs in a castle. However, as the castle owner, seeing her hands busy serving, reminds me of the amount of work she does to maintain her family heritage and inheritance. The castle is on a working farm, with vineyards and olive groves and sheep herds.

So this image is far from what it looked like coming out of the camera, but it looks much more like what my mind saw and remembers from my journey through Italy.

When Does Post-Production Make a Photo Better?

October 19, 2014  •  1 Comment

This past week I have been involved in an online discussion with some other photographers about painting effects on photographs. I've decided to use this week to explore when post production makes a photograph better. I'm not just talking about fixing blemishes or softening wrinkles. I talking about using filters or other artistic alterations to photographs. I shall explore a few methods and results and reasons. 

Today's first image was taken of a model in a castle in Italy. I have always like the photograph because the lighting was so perfect, but there are some offensive details in the image that I never wanted to work to correct. This year Photoshop has included an oil paint filter which is very easy to use and, if you know what you are doing, you can create interesting changes that make your images become even more story-like, which you know I'm all about!

The second image I shot in Tennessee. I think this image is great as is, but wanted to see what would happen to the trees if I turned it into a painting. I wasn't totally satisfied with just the oil paint filter, so (for you Photoshop lovers) I created another layer, used glowing edges filter, inverted it and made it a partially transparent overlay layer. Now I think a great photo is also a great painted image.


What you do think? Do you like one but not the other? What do you like about it or them? What do you dislike?

Telling a Story, Visually

September 30, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

Reflections by Rohne is all about telling stories. We are storytellers, who just happen to be photographers so we tell stories visually. Most photographers freeze moments and document time, we tell stories. Everyone has a story—romantic, family oriented, or business/professional. We take time to understand our client’s story, to capture its essence visually by harnessing elements of photography (lighting, poses, framing, and time), so people can see and relive and share their story. 

To skillfully create a video, you have to plan ahead what you are going to capture. You do this by creating a storyboard. A storyboard is a series of drawings that represent the segments you will video, put together into an order that will tell your story. 

We do much the same when we photograph your story. First, we have to learn your story. We have to get to know the characters. That may be your family, your high school senior, an engaged couple, or it may be you and your business. Next we need to know how the characters interact, what part they play in the story, and what makes them do what they do. This may be parents and children, or an extended family. This may be a couple getting ready to commit their lives to one another. It may be an entrepreneur with a passion for meeting a specific need for someone. 

It takes time to learn your story, so we require more time than just when we photograph you. If you commission us to photograph your story, expect to spend time with us, whether in a consultation meeting a week or two ahead of your photography day; or a visit to your home to meet the family members and interact; or in the case of a wedding couple, once a season throughout the year ahead of your wedding.

The result? When we are photographing you, we see and capture expressions and interactions that we know will visualize your story. We know how to subltely guide you to create expressions and interactions that visualize your story.

We want to have fun in the process, and we want you to have fun also. So often we incorporate fun things you say into your story. Sometimes that means the stories have elements of make-believe, but then again, isn't there an element of fairy tale in every love story?


Lighthouses in Autumn

September 29, 2014  •  1 Comment

Here in Grand Rapids, fall is in the air! Art is also!

ArtPrize is going on in Grand Rapids, until October 10. Last week I participated in an arts and craft show selling my lighthouse and other fine art photography. Some of my favorite lighthouse photographs were taken in the fall. There is something about the crispness of the air in the fall, not to mention the colors of the trees, that makes nature vibrant. Here are two of my favorites. The first is St. Joseph Inner and Outer Lites on lower Lake Michigan. This was taken on October day in 2012. The wind was blowing 60 miles an hour that day. I had to sit on the beach because I could not stand against the wind. The giant waves were crashing over the lighthouse about every 60 to 90 seconds.

The second image is a digital composite. You may recognize both parts. The lighthouse is Point Iroquois on Lake Superior in the Upper Peninsula. The waterfall is Tequamenon Fall. They are actually about 30 miles apart, but I photographed both on the same day and fell in love with both and thought they would really enhance each other's beauty. So, I played a little in Photoshop. Of course this was back in 1995, when Photoshop was not nearly as intuitive or sophisticated. (Yes, I've "grown up" with Photoshop. We met in 1993 and have been together ever since.)  I also had to create the reflection of the lighthouse in the water because I was on foot that day and could only stand on the edge of the water.

I will be having another tent art sale at my studio on October 11, the day after ArtPrize ends. Come by and see my work, and pick up a Christmas gift for someone. You can visit my gallery to see some of the other images I may have available that day. And of course, if you want something that is not available that day, or you live out of town, we can always do a special order for you. 

Reflections by Rohne is a mother-son team. We understand the dynamics of loving relationships. Our passion is capturing the moments and expressions of your relationships, with the love of your life, your children, your parents, your siblings, your friends, your co-workers, your teammates, and your customers. Together we are able to capture the emotions and details of your story.

Photography is “light writing.”  We love to sculpt with light to make you look amazing. Harnessing light and shadows helps to tell your story also. Good lighting can make you look younger, healthier, slimmer, and more dramatic. We harness light to draw attention to your best features, and to create the aura desired, that tells your story.

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