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November 05, 2014

Tired of seeing my watermark all over?

For the price of a McDonalds lunch, you can get rid of my name splashed across your photo.

I'm offering the option to purchase a small-sized, watermark-free image for online use (sorry, no printing).

This option is great for anyone who just wants to use a photo for social media or a website.

As always, you can still buy the full-resolution image for personal use, as well as prints and various products through the site.

About Michael Tortorich {Photographer | Journalist}

Who is Michael Tortorich? A lifelong resident of south Louisiana, his journey as a journalist (with a specific flair for photography) began well before earning a penny for his work. He's a proud LSU graduate, holding a degree in journalism (along with minors in two avid subjects, history and psychology). He has worked full-time positions at two local television stations (in graphics and as a show producer), and as a sports editor of a suburban newspaper. He currently owns and operates Michael Tortorich Photography LLC. The business provides a wide range of photography services, including event coverage and portrait sessions.

Links - https://linktr.ee/mtortorich

You can support this site by clicking through the Amazon banner any time you place an order. This does not add any cost to you.


Adventures in Baby Photography {Baton Rouge photographer Michael Tortorich}

March 03, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

"Look at the camera...look here...look at the camera!"

Sounds familiar?

If you've ever attempted to photograph a baby, you've heard or said some variation of that statement.

Babies are notoriously difficult to photograph.

Now, I don't classify myself as a baby photographer. It's not my niche. It's not my specialty. It's not what I would consider to be a strength.

It's a weakness.

And that motivates me to get better.

These days, as photographers splinter off into every direction in search of their calling or niche, it's becoming more and more evident that it's all really the same. It's all, simply, photography.

When I was asked to photograph my cousin's new baby, I was worried about the results I would get.

Upon beginning the two separate sessions (newborn and four months old), I quickly calmed because I realized that the task at hand was not unfamiliar.

The more I click the shutter of a camera, the more I realize that shooting is just shooting. You adjust here, and you adjust there. Nothing is routine.

Photography is an art. It's a skill that could always use a little more sharpening, a little more practice, and a little more attention.

No matter what I'm photographing, I'm basically thinking about the same things. How are the conditions (particularly the natural light)? What adjustments need to be made in the camera? What aspects of the photograph can I control, and cannot?

Photography is a thought process.

Of course, everyone has their own opinion on what makes great baby photos. There is no shortage of gimmicks and props in the genre. But for me, nothing tops simplicity.

Think about it. In my mind's eye, I can still picture the family photos that decorated my grandparents' homes. I can vividly recall portraits of my dad and his brothers framed on the living room wall.

At most, those photos included a toy carousel horse.

That's it. A small prop that really didn't add much, if anything. The focus was on the young child.

The objective is to capture a moment in time. It's a moment that will never exist again.

That philosophy has guided me through my sessions with my tiny new family member.

We want to remember his big blue eyes, his chunky cheeks, and his glowing smile.

The props and gimmicks, on the other hand, won't matter in the decades to come.

My grandparents are not here to see their great-grandchild. Their son is not here to see who would be his only grandchild. It makes me sad that they won't know this sweet little boy.

But, life goes on.

And, hopefully, generations to come will know and love him.

I just want my photos to hold some meaning. That's all I care about when I click the shutter.

About Michael Tortorich {Photographer | Journalist}

Who is Michael Tortorich? A lifelong resident of south Louisiana, his journey as a journalist (with a specific flair for photography) began well before earning a penny for his work. He's a proud LSU graduate, holding a degree in journalism (along with minors in two avid subjects, history and psychology). He has worked full-time positions at two local television stations (in graphics and as a show producer), and as a sports editor of a suburban newspaper. He currently owns and operates Michael Tortorich Photography LLC. The business provides a wide range of photography services, including event coverage and portrait sessions.

Links - https://linktr.ee/mtortorich

You can support this site by clicking through the Amazon banner any time you place an order. This does not add any cost to you.

 


Favorite photos of 2013 {Photographer Michael Tortorich}

December 30, 2013  •  Leave a Comment

Where did 2013 go?

That's what I'm asking myself, and you may be as well.

These years seem to pass so fast. Sign of getting old?

Probably.

Oh well, onward and upward...

First and foremost, this has been a year of growth and success for me as a photographer. I'm thankful for that, and hope the inertia continues into 2014.

Last December, I put together a blog on my favorites from the year. So why not continue the tradition?

January was filled with lots of basketball shoots (see what I did there? Shoots? Ahh...).

The above photo jumped out at me because it appears to capture the peak of the players' motion. I also liked the composition, and how the fans are visible in the background.

In this photo, also shot in January, I did my best to make lemonade out of lemons since our date was a dreary and rainy one.

Weather days are common in south Louisiana, so a setting with a roof is always preferred.

This little guy had fun anyhow. I simply positioned myself at his level and captured his expression. Right place, right time.

I know, I know, more basketball.

This one stands out to me because it illustrates how aggressive the female game can be. Even in routine plays like this, you can see the determination in the players' faces.

From my personal file, I fancied this capture of our family's dog, Sassy. It grabbed me because it snatched a typical moment in time in a simple, yet direct way.

I may be a tad biased, but I think Sassy is one good-looking dog. She always seems willing to pose for me.

Here's another from my personal collection. I wish I could say I stalked the light for hours and hours, but the true story is that I happened to walk by and everything was just perfect.

All I could do is sabotage it, so I did as little as possible and hoped the simplicity would shine through it.

The photo above probably is meaningless to most. Early in the year, I assisted my grandpa with a task he undertook for a national magazine for antique car enthusiasts.

Digging through a shuttered, old building which once housed a Ford dealership decades ago, we felt like archeologists on a modern history excavation.

He framed the article and photos and hung it in his house.

As Ansel Adams once said, "Sometimes I get to places just when God's ready to have somebody click the shutter."

Sometimes I feel the same way. It's strange how the most benign scenes can be transformed by sunlight.

When I photograph weddings, I make sure to take lots of traditional photos. I like the images that stand the test of time. Those lame Instagram filters will look silly in decades to come.

One day in 2013 I spent time shooting around Grand Isle, Louisiana.

I had a difficult time narrowing down my favorite, but I really liked the above capture.

My brother was cool enough to put up with me for an afternoon shoot during the year.

We had a few nice shots come from our time in a Baton Rouge park.

Arguably a little cliche, but I like the idea of using framing.

I'm not sure, but I think he saw me doing the frame thing with my fingers. Either way, I liked the result.

In May, I photographed this wedding scene.

Beside the traditional images from wedding ceremonies, I always try to capture the simple details.

I was asked to photograph my first quinceañera in 2013. Prior to the celebration, we spent the day going around taking candid shots.

I'm a "keep it simple stupid" type of guy, but sometimes the "worth a thousand words" shot comes along.

A quinceañera is a celebration of a girl becoming a woman. I liked this shot because it shows that every woman hangs on to the girl they once were deep down inside.

Despite the elaborate party, the girls just wanted to be alone together for a while and enjoy their friendship.

What an awesome couple. While much of their wedding was traditional, bits of their personalities could be found throughout the day.

I loved this shot. It was so them.

This plays more like an outtake, but it captured a real moment in time.

The little guy must have noticed something more important than the photo opportunity.

I love photographing musicians, especially when they are completely consumed by their craft.

I worked with so many great couples this year. This shot reminds me of one my favorite weddings from 2013.

This summer, I snapped this photo on the Mississippi River levee front. The shot was used by our Baton Rouge CBS affiliate, WAFB, on its Facebook page.

I always credit my journalism background for my ability to see the story. When you have a great photo, coming up with words for a caption feels pointless.

I did this shoot for my relatives. This photo now canvases an entire wall in their house.

Wedding receptions are always a treasure trove for photos.

Everybody wants to shot of a star quarterback like Drew Brees throwing a touchdown pass, barking out signals, or shaking hands with Peyton Manning or Tom Brady. But what about when he's giving his boys a smooch?

I loved the light in this one. When I first started shooting sports, stopping a fast play like this blocked punt seemed impossible. My timing has come a long way over the years.

This year I traveled to Colorado for the first time. I've been wanting to go back ever since.

Who doesn't love a nice bokeh shot?

This little guy was a new addition to our extended family for 2013.

I don't have a ton of experience in photographing babies, but I liked the results. It just took lots of patience and determination.

In this shot, an overcast day proved to be the perfect setting.

This event I photographed over the summer had a perfect ending. Gangnam Style, that is.

I love a sports shot when they kick up some dust.

Awesome couple. I loved the shots we took around New Orleans.

I was a regular at a few "muddy buddy" events in the area. I snapped lots of photos, but none were as interesting as the one above.

You know it's love when you can go for a mud kiss.

Last but not least, I have to tell you about the little man who came into my life in 2013.

He was found running along a rural road surrounded by sugarcane fields. His fur was shaggy and his teeth were (depending on who you ask) described as anything from cute to cringe-worthy.

We tried to find his owner, but no one spoke up for him.

Even though I had never had a dog of my own before, I decided to take him in.

Now, he has a vet, a groomer, and his own personal photographer.

About Michael Tortorich {Photographer | Journalist}

Who is Michael Tortorich? A lifelong resident of south Louisiana, his journey as a journalist (with a specific flair for photography) began well before earning a penny for his work. He's a proud LSU graduate, holding a degree in journalism (along with minors in two avid subjects, history and psychology). He has worked full-time positions at two local television stations (in graphics and as a show producer), and as a sports editor of a suburban newspaper. He currently owns and operates Michael Tortorich Photography LLC. The business provides a wide range of photography services, including event coverage and portrait sessions.

Links - https://linktr.ee/mtortorich

You can support this site by clicking through the Amazon banner any time you place an order. This does not add any cost to you.

 


Facebook fame counts for something, right? {Baton Rouge photographer Michael Tortorich}

July 11, 2013  •  Leave a Comment

When I first began taking photos and writing articles, I would always get a thrill from seeing my creations in print.

I've worked in local media, so I've often played the role of a "one-man band." In my newspaper days, I would write the article, take the photos, and lay out everything on the page.

There was always something special about seeing my name on my photos and articles. That's a feeling that never seems to go away.

These days, as you may have noticed, much of media has moved to the digital world. Like it or not, more and more people are getting their news from Facebook and Twitter than newspapers and nightly news.

Recently, one of my photos was used on the main Facebook page for our local television station, WAFB in Baton Rouge. As you can see above, some 72,000 people are connected to the page.

That same feeling I got when I saw my name in the newspapers came back.

The tools may have changed, but the concept has stayed the same.

I remember when I was a young boy, one of my friends had his drawing featured on WAFB's "Color the Weather" segment. It was a simple concept: local children would color a weather scene, and the station's meteorologists would share it with viewers during the broadcast.

I remember thinking it would have been nice to send in a drawing of my own. The problem was my perceived lack of artistic talent. At the time, I had zero confidence in my drawing skills.

Years went by, and I never tried my hand at coloring a sunshine-filled day or a winter wonderland.

It's unfortunate that I didn't. You're only a kid once.

And as we all learn, you miss 100 percent of the shots that you don't take.

In some way, I believe the kid in all of us still resides inside of us.

In time, we all have to eventually act like an adult. But that doesn't mean the wonder and excitement (and naivete) of childhood must be forfeited.

So, whether you're 8 or 80, don't give up. It's never too late.

The result may surprise you.

About Michael Tortorich {Photographer | Writer | Journalist}

Who is Michael Tortorich? A lifelong resident of the south Louisiana swamplands, his journey as a journalist (with a specific flair for photography) began well before earning a penny for his work. He's a proud LSU graduate, holding a degree in journalism (along with minors in two avid subjects, history and psychology). He has worked full-time positions at two local television stations (in graphics and as a show producer), and as a sports editor of a suburban newspaper. He currently owns and operates Michael Tortorich Photography, LLC. The business provides a wide range of photography services, including event coverage (weddings, parties, sporting events, etc.) and portrait sessions (high school/college seniors, families, children, etc.). He also coordinates social media for the City of Donaldsonville (facebook.com/DonaldsonvilleLA and twitter.com/CityofDville), and contributes to Ascension Parish online news source, The Creole.

For more information, see:

Michael Tortorich on Facebook - https:/​/​www.​facebook.​com/​tortorich
Michael Tortorich Photography on Facebook - https:/​/​www.​facebook.​com/​MichaelTortorichPhotographyLLC
Michael Tortorich on Twitter - https:/​/​twitter.​com/​MikeTortorich
Michael Tortorich on LinkedIn - http:/​/​www.​linkedin.​com/​pub/​michael-​tortorich/​22/​35a/​a61


Experience your life first, then shoot photos {Photographer Michael Tortorich}

July 04, 2013  •  Leave a Comment
 
This has been killing me for a while, so excuse me while I vent.
 
As a photographer, it's easy for me to just say shoot every angle, composition, and exposure until you're blue in the face. Shoot, shoot, shoot, and then shoot some more for safety. That's the way I shoot. I don't pretend to be some brilliant photographer who gets it right the first time every time. From experience, I've learned that the more you shoot, the more chance you have of hitting the target you wanted to hit. That takes time and effort.
 
If you're at a fireworks show, there's no point in shooting the entire time.
 
Think about it. Why did you bother to show up at all? Isn't life all about experiences? Well, if you're shooting photos the whole time, you're literally missing out on your life.
 
If you're not an avid photographer who works at putting everything together to get at least a "good" shot, then you're just wasting your time beyond the first couple of minutes of shooting anyhow. If your shutter, aperture, and ISO could use a tweaking, but you have no clue what any of those things are, then you will get your personal best shots within about two minutes. Anything longer will be more of the same.
 
For crying out loud, just put the camera down and find someone to put your arm around.
 
I know what you're thinking, listen to Tortorich getting all high and mighty. He must think he's the best thing since sliced bread.
 
No.
 
I'm not saying give up. If you are truly interested in photography, and you want to get better, then by all means shoot away. Missing the truly memorable moments of your life may actually be worth it if you are working to become a better photographer. I can respect that.
 
Think about it: The Fourth of July fireworks show has just started. You take your trusty iPhone and call up the camera app. You switch that bad boy to video, now you're feeling like Spielberg. You proceed to watch the entire fireworks show through a viewfinder. Oh, here comes the extravaganza. I'm gonna zoom in a little for some added impact. This fine Apple product will surely give me quality results, I'm sure of it.
 
Then the smoke clears.
 
You've just watched the entire show through a viewfinder. Your significant other, your kids (if you have them), think you're boring. You could have at least thrown an arm around them. You could have at least announced to them which ones you thought looked pretty.
 
You get home, you play back the video and look at the stills. Not impressed.
 
How do I know? It happens to me all the time. I shoot all kinds of cool stuff that seems way less cool when I get home and pop in my memory card.
 
Last year, I shot several football and basketball games for my cousin. I wish I could say it was a lot of fun to watch a relative play sports, but I can't. I didn't watch. I couldn't. I was too busy looking through a viewfinder the entire game, every game.
 
Now that I think of it, if I had a son playing sports, I would hire a photographer to just focus on him.
 
You may say, "Tortorich, have you lost your dadgum mind? You're a photographer. That's like a plumber going to the Yellow Pages when his faucet leaks."
 
This isn't the same.
 
We hire photographers to do what we cannot do, and also what we don't want to do. I could post myself up on the field, but why? I'd rather be in the stands with the other parents and fans, cheering like a nutcase.
 
When I sign the check for the photographer, the memo may say "photography services" but it should really say "thanks for letting me be a dad."
 
About Michael Tortorich {Photographer | Writer | Journalist}

Who is Michael Tortorich? A lifelong resident of the south Louisiana swamplands, his journey as a journalist (with a specific flair for photography) began well before earning a penny for his work. He's a proud LSU graduate, holding a degree in journalism (along with minors in two avid subjects, history and psychology). He has worked full-time positions at two local television stations (in graphics and as a show producer), and as a sports editor of a suburban newspaper. He currently owns and operates Michael Tortorich Photography, LLC. The business provides a wide range of photography services, including event coverage (weddings, parties, sporting events, etc.) and portrait sessions (high school/college seniors, families, children, etc.). He also coordinates social media for the City of Donaldsonville (facebook.com/DonaldsonvilleLA and twitter.com/CityofDville), and contributes to Ascension Parish online news source, The Creole.

For more information, see:

Michael Tortorich on Facebook - https:/​/​www.​facebook.​com/​tortorich
Michael Tortorich Photography on Facebook - https:/​/​www.​facebook.​com/​MichaelTortorichPhotographyLLC
Michael Tortorich on Twitter - https:/​/​twitter.​com/​MikeTortorich
Michael Tortorich on LinkedIn - http:/​/​www.​linkedin.​com/​pub/​michael-​tortorich/​22/​35a/​a61

Call or text at 225-717-0762.

"I shoot things...with a camera."

Welcome+to+the+Michael+Tortorich+Photography+LLC+Blog+{Contact:+225-717-0762}

Michael Tortorich Photography is based in south Louisiana.

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