Backyard Visitor

posted in: Notes | 3

The other day, I went out into my yard after a session to relax… seeing as the weather has been great lately! Well, I didn’t quite get the break from photographing I expected… since I found a turtle who needed his portrait taken. Unfortunately, he wasn’t very cooperative! But, I guess I’ll settle for a “leave me alone!” portrait, since it still looks neat:

Mr. Turtle, peeking out to see if the photographer has left yet:

Portraits of Ann Arborites to be included in International Exhibition

posted in: News, Photography | 1

Gwinnent, GA – July 9th, 2009 – Artistic photographs featuring Dexter-Ann Arbor area residents were recently accepted into the PPA Showcase Book Volume XII and the 2009 International Print Exhibition, organized by the Professional Photographers of America (PPA). Local photographer Betsy Finn, CPP, submitted four images for consideration, all featuring clients from Southern Michigan. Almost 1,700 of the 4,300 entries were accepted into the 2009 International Print Exhibition, including all four of Finn’s images. “I was excited to learn two of my portraits would be published in the showcase collection book,” Finn said, “and I was very happy that all my entries were accepted into the exhibition.”

The PPA Showcase Book Volume XII will be available through Marathon Press next winter. It is published in eight countries across the world. Fewer than five percent of the 4,300 total submissions were selected to be published in the book – including two of Finn’s portraits: “Forever Faithful” and “Little Einstein.” “Forever Faithful” features a client’s pet border collie, and “Little Einstein” features an infant with mussed hair and an expression reminiscent of the genius, Albert Einstein. Both images were created during Finn’s standard client sessions.

Little Einstein by Betsy Finn, Cr. Photog., CPP

Forever Faithful by Betsy Finn, Cr. Photog., CPP

Finn’s other entries included an engagement portrait (“Joyride”), and a senior portrait (“Soul Shoes”). “Joyride” depicts an engaged couple in their convertible on the road in the Dexter-Ann Arbor area. “Soul Shoes” depicts a high school senior’s feet among empty pairs of shoes; it received Detroit’s 2009 Best of Show award earlier this year.

Joyride by Betsy Finn, Cr. Photog., CPP

Soul Shoes by Betsy Finn, Cr. Photog., CPP

In addition to being published, Finn’s work will be on display at the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center, January 10-12, 2010, in Nashville, Tenn. The exhibition will feature almost 1700 images representing the diverse elements of professional photography and digital imaging, including images by some of the world’s most prominent image makers. Images were chosen by a panel of more than 40 eminent photographers from across the United States. The International Exhibition of Professional Photography is the world’s largest and longest-running annual photography exhibition. The International Print Exhibition is displayed in conjunction with the Imaging USA convention, hosted by the Professional Photographers of America.

At the convention, Finn will receive a 2009 Photographer of the Year, Bronze award (because all four of her entries were accepted into the exhibition). In 2008, only fifty photographers received this award — including Finn. When asked about the back-to-back recognition, Finn said “I was completely taken by surprise. Receiving a Photographer of the Year award is no small feat, let alone getting it for a second year in a row. It’s really exciting!” When entering the PPA competition, Finn decided all her entries would feature client portraits. Finn’s competition results exemplify the work her clients receive: Showcase quality.

Betsy Finn was born and raised in Ann Arbor and now lives in Dexter. She is a Certified Professional Photographer, and her work has been featured in International Exhibitions. Her portrait studio, Betsy’s Photography, offers a creative portrait experience tailored to each client’s vision. She was named 2008 Photographer of the Year by the Professional Photographers of America, as well as Michigan’s Top 7 Photographer of 2009 by the Professional Photographers of Michigan. Finn is available for interviews, and can be reached at 734-424-0472. For more information about Betsy’s Photography Studio, visit BetsysPhotography.com.

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Atlanta Morning

posted in: Notes | 1

Earlier this week I went to Atlanta for a committee meeting at the Professional Photographers of America headquarters. I got to meet and talk with some of the people who are supporting the photography industry during my two days there.

I wanted to share this painting I created from some photographs from my hotel room.  It really was a gorgeous view, and the impressionistic style really captures the essence of being in a big city.

Executive Portrait: Thomas P. Schumm

posted in: Photography | 1

Tom visited the studio to discuss his executive portrait before the actual session took place. We ended up planning a studio executive portrait. After doing a more formal business portrait, we created this one, which is a little more intimate and contemplative.

Portraits of Steven + Betsy

posted in: Photography | 1

Well you may have noticed some new photographs of me floating around the website.  And I’m really excited to share some more of them with you.  In January, I was talking with a good friend of mine (Jeff Dachowski) about how Steven and I would really love to have an amazing portrait of the two of us.

There is something to be said for having a professional create your portrait (yes, even professional photographers go to other professional photographers for portraits).  By not doing it yourself, you can actually relax and enjoy the whole experience.  Jeff made sure we looked good, and did all the work.  And I love the natural expressions of our relationship that he captured.

Our portrait session took place in Phoenix during January’s Imaging USA convention.  In fact, it was the evening of the awards ceremony where I was recognized for being Photographer of the Year.  My friend Jeff and his wife both received Degrees from the Professional Photographers of America that evening too!  So, all in all, it was a very fun time.

Oh, and I have to tell you.  My hair is NEVER curly like this.  I didn’t even know it was possible!  But, thanks to another photographer friend of mine (Thanks Andrea!), my hair stayed curly and wavy all night long.  Very impressive.

I absolutely love this image (yes, I’m excited about these, can you tell!):

This one is also gorgeous.  Love the lighting fixtures in the hotel lobby (we’re overlooking it from that balcony).

And then finally, I asked Jeff if we could do one with us on the escalator.  So, being the good sport he is, Jeff happily obliged!

This session was a blast, and I really enjoyed being the center of attention for once (yes, I am a photographer who doesn’t mind being in front of the camera every once in a while).  I am so excited to find a place for these lovely images in our home.  Thanks Jeff, Andrea, and other photographer friends who participated behind the scenes for our mini-session!

Studio Child + Family Portrait

posted in: Photography | 1

M. and her parents came to the studio to be photographed — we did a series of photographs of M. by herself, and then several photographs of the entire family.  This first one is one of my favorites; doesn’t she look adorable!

Next, it was time for some fun!  Yes, M. is actually hanging upside down; can’t you see her braids?  Obviously not very posed, but sometimes it’s capturing that moment that makes child portraits so special.

One last kid portrait.  I noticed when she came into the studio M. was wearing some very cute pink boots.  I thought it would be really adorable to incorporate them into one of the portrait images.  Can you guess her favorite color?

And finally, the family portrait.  I love casually-posed family portraits like this one; it really captures the essence of the relationship M. has with her parents.

Thanks for a great session!  I’m looking forward to seeing you back at the studio soon; in the meantime, enjoy your new family portraits!

Local Photographer Earns Bronze Level Photographer of the Year Award

posted in: News | 2

Betsy Finn of Betsy’s Photography Studio in Dexter, Michigan has earned a Bronze Level Photographer of the Year Award from the Professional Photographers of America (PPA). Photographer of the Year presentations were made at PPA’s annual convention, Imaging USA, in January in Phoenix, AZ.

Betsy Finn Photographer of the Year

2004 was the inaugural year for PPA’s Photographer of the Year Awards. They were developed as a way to encourage photographers to improve their artistic and technical skills and demonstrate their talent through competition, as well as a way for the public to discern the best of the best.

“These awards are among the most prestigious in the industry,” confirms PPA Print Exhibition Committee Chairman Helen Yancy. “The recipients of these awards have proven the quality of their work on a consistent basis in one of the highest quality image competitions in the world, PPA’s International Print Competition.”

A PPA member earns a Bronze Level Photographer of the Year Award by placing all four images included in their print case in PPA’s renowned General Collection – and incredible accomplishment. In 2008 Finn was one of only 54 Bronze Level Photographers of the Year.

PPA, a worldwide association, exists to assist its more than 20,000 members in achieving their professional, artistic and fraternal goals, promote public awareness of the profession and to advance the making of images in all of its disciplines as an art, a science and a visual recorder of history.

Article about Betsy in Ann Arbor News

posted in: News | 0

Well, we haven’t seen it ourselves yes, but On Sunday I was mentioned in the Ann Arbor News! Very exciting, don’t you think? If you recall, one of my images won Best of Show at the Detroit Professional Photographers’ annual print competition.

A blurb was mentioned in the Business Notes section, and an article, “Betsy Finn’s photos garner awards,” was published in the Entertainment section, I believe.

Once I find out more details, I’ll be sure to spill the beans, don’t worry. In the meantime, if you can’t wait, go Look in your newspaper and check it out yourself:

Detroit Professional Photographers’ Association Print Competition Winner

posted in: News | 0

Well, I got my Detroit Professional Photographers’ Association (DPPA) newsletter in the mail today. On page nine, I found a pleasant surprise!

rp_2009-01-dppa-news-betsy-finn.jpg

Yup, that’s me, in my consultation room. the editor of the newsletter came out a number of weeks ago to “interview” me for the newsletter, but by the time this arrived in the mail, that had completely slipped my mind!

Congratulations to all the other category winners 🙂 — with all the hullabaloo the day of the print competition, I think I forgot to say that to you!

Local Photographer Wins Best of Show in Detroit

posted in: News, Photography | 0

Winning Photo Features Pioneer High School Student – Ann Arbor, MI – December 12, 2008 – For the second year in a row, a portrait by local photographer Betsy Finn was named Best of Show at the annual Print Competition held by the Detroit Professional Photographers’ Association (DPPA). Pioneer High School student Leslie Brown was the model for the photo, which Finn called “Soul Shoes.” The announcement was made just before Thanksgiving, giving Finn and Brown additional cause for thanks.

Finn submitted six images in all, receiving also one award for Best of Category, two Awards of Excellence, and four Awards of Merit. All six photos featured clients from Ann Arbor, Dexter, and Grand Rapids.

“When I created ‘Soul Shoes,’” Finn recalled, “I had an artistic epiphany. I lined up four pairs of shoes brought for outfit changes. The result, a pair of feet standing among the shoes, speaks volumes about Leslie’s personality, allowing viewers to imagine what it must be like to have a world of choices at their feet.”

“Playing the Angles,” featuring another Pioneer student, Senior Hannah Carl, received recognition from the judges for its modern and non-traditional composition. Finn’s other entries included an engagement portrait (“Joyride”), an infant portrait (“In His Hands”), an editorial-style portrait (“Coffee Break”), and a senior portrait (“Checkmate”).

“I was extremely surprised when I realized ‘Soul Shoes’ won Best of Show,” Finn said, “especially considering the odds of winning Best of Show two years in a row.” Last year, Finn’s winning photograph was of a white egret.

In preparing for the DPPA competition, Finn, whose specialty is wedding and portrait photography, made the decision that all six of her entries would be portraits of real clients. Finn’s competition results exemplify the quality of work her clients receive: Best of Show.

Betsy Finn was born and raised in Ann Arbor. She graduated from Greenhills High School and now lives in Dexter. She is a Certified Professional Photographer whose work has been featured in international exhibitions. Her portrait studio, Betsy’s Photography, offers a creative portrait experience that is tailored to each client’s vision. She was named 2008 Photographer of the Year by the Professional Photographers of America and Michigan’s Top 7 Photographer of 2008 by the Professional Photographers of Michigan. She was nominated for 2008 Detroit Photographer of the Year as well. Finn’s work will be featured in the highly acclaimed 118th International Exhibition of Professional Photography.

Finn is available for interviews, and can be reached at 734-424-0472. For more information about Betsy’s Photography Studio, visit BetsysPhotography.com.

My Photographic Inspiration

posted in: Notes | 4

Major McKinley AshI am often asked by new acquaintances how I first became interested in photography as a profession.  I’m sure that my story is similar to the stories of many other artists, but it is special to me.  So, I’ve decided to finally share my photographic inspiration with you (in a nutshell, of course).

But before I begin, I want to add one other comment.  This may be my initial inspiration, but every additional client I meet brings more fulfillment to me as an artist.  I absolutely love capturing moments that no one else can — I love the opportunity to turn a moment into something that will endure for generations.

I’ve always been interested in creative things – in first grade I convinced my grandmother to teach me piano; when I was a little older I would run an art store in my parents’ basement, and the walls on the basement stairs were covered with ‘art gallery’ items. So photography was a natural creative outlet for me. My parents have a picture of me when I was about 3 where I am holding a box of film – at 5, there is a snapshot of me peering through a ‘big’ Nikon SLR and telephoto lens. Those snapshots are actually more a reflection of my natural curiosity and desire to try new things than a sign that I was ‘born to be a photographer.’ Photography, like my other creative tendencies, came naturally to me as part of my desire to capture and document life around me – moments and memories that cannot be repeated.

My grandfather, who passed away in March 2007 (read the backstory of “Uphill Battle”) was a quiet but steady influence in my enthusiasm for photography. Two of his sons (one being my dad) love photography as a hobby; probably due to my grandfather’s interest in the art. I would rarely see him without a camera in hand, and the photographs he took on vacations were on display throughout their home – the Giza pyramids, a farmhouse in the Swiss alps, and even hot air balloons. These images encouraged me to see the wonder in the world around me!

I more recently discovered how my grandfather became interested in photography. He served in Signal Corps during World War II, and was seriously injured during the Battle of the Bulge. His injuries took over a year to heal. During that time, two of his friends (who escaped serious injury) were stationed at the Leitz factory in Germany (where Leica cameras were made). Each soldier was allowed one Leica camera — since they had to pick it up in person, his friends were unable to get my grandfather the Leica. They did send him another camera, though, and that camera was the one that piqued his interest in the art of photography.

Civil War Portrait

posted in: Photography | 0

Jeff participates in a Civil War reenactment band, the 5th Michigan Regiment Band. The band plays regularly for Civil War reenactments; the group provided soundtrack music for a civil war computer game (Sound Forge). All of the band members play on authentic Civil War instruments (antiques) as well as wear age-appropriate attire.

Family Portrait with Dogs in Dexter

posted in: Photography | 0

This Dexter family has two great puppies: Curly and Moe. We started out the session by doing something a little more active, the goal being to have the dogs use of some of their energy so they’d be calmer for the rest of the session.   The dogs were included in a number of portraits, including a great sibling shot.  Once the dogs were a little calmer, we were able to get a great portrait of the entire family — Curly and Moe were behaving like perfect angels!

Photographer of the Year

posted in: News | 0

So, more exciting news (kind of a continuation of the 118th International Exhibition of Professional Photography).  Based on how well my prints did at the international print competition, I’m going to be receiving a 2008 Photographer of the Year (Bronze level) Award from the Professional Photographers of America (PPA).  PPA just made a blog post congratulating all award recipients, and by my count, there are only 50 photographers who received a Bronze Level Photographer of the Year.  That’s pretty mind-blowing, especially when you consider that there are ~20,000 photographers belonging to PPA (the member count keeps growing so rapidly, my guess could be off by a bit I’m sure).

Congratulations to all the recipients of the 2008 Photographer of the Year Awards.  These individuals demonstrated excellence in their craft and earned tremendous achievements in PPA’s 2008 International Print Competition.

— PPA Today
{Photographer of the Year Awards}

The awards ceremony isn’t until January, though (it’s held in conjunction with the International Exhibition and Imaging USA).  You can count on me posting something official at that point in time too.  In the meantime, congratulations to all other Photographer of the Year Award recipients!

Senior Portrait :: Martin

posted in: Photography | 0

Martin’s senior portrait session was fun! Martin is actually into photography himself… architectural photography, actually. So while we didn’t go to anywhere with striking architecture, we did go outdoors for the location portion of his senior session… and where better to go than home? Martin’s family has a gorgeous yard, and even though it was hot out, I was able to create some awesome images for Martin and his parents to enjoy.

First stop — tree climbing. I saw these amazing trees, and had an idea, of course! Martin was more than cooperative… after all, how often do you get to actually climb a tree during a portrait session? Here’s one of the images of Martin up in the tree.
Ann Arbor Location Senior Portraits

Next, we went into the backyard, which has a lovely open area with this neat little hill. It looked like a great place for the next series of images! Here’s one portrait of Martin in the “field” — I really love how this one looks.
Ann Arbor Location Senior Portraits

And of course, I can’t make a post without sharing something more “typical” …so here we go.
Ann Arbor Location Senior Portraits

I always enjoy working with seniors… Thanks for a fun session Martin!

Dexter Photographer to be Featured in International Exhibition

posted in: News | 0

Tampa, Fla. — Photographic prints created by Betsy Finn of Betsy’s Photography Studio in Dexter, Mich. have recently been accepted into the General Collection of the 118th International Exhibition of Professional Photography. Betsy’s work will be on display at the Phoenix Convention Center, January 11-13, 2009, in Phoenix, Ariz. This exhibition is held in conjunction with Imaging USA, an annual convention of over 8,600 professional photographers.

Betsy’s entries featured wedding and portrait work for local clients, as well as a fine art photograph. The titles of the four pieces are listed below:

  • “He Gets It From His Father” (child portrait)
  • “Three vs. One” (family portrait)
  • “Something Old, Something New” (wedding)
  • “Spring Green” (fine art)

All four of Betsy’s entries were accepted into the General Collection — just 13 other photographers in Michigan were honored to have all four entries accepted. Betsy will be receiving further awards for her achievements at the opening of the exhibit (she’ll also be receiving a Photographer of the Year award!!).

He Gets It From His Father by Betsy Finn, Cr. Photog., CPP

Three vs. One by Betsy Finn, Cr. Photog., CPP

Something Old, Something New by Betsy Finn, Cr. Photog., CPP

Spring Green by Betsy Finn, Cr. Photog., CPP

Approximately 4,514 entries were submitted to Professional Photographers of America’s (PPA’s) International Print Competition, from which a panel of more than 40 eminent photographers from across the United States selected the images that would comprise the 2008 General and Loan Collections…the most prestigious awards.

Betsy’s entries will be in Phoenix alongside other photographic works from not only PPA’s print competition, but also traveling and special invitational displays. These images constitute the world’s largest annual exhibit of professional photography gathered simultaneously under one roof.

Professional Photographers of America (PPA), an international nonprofit association, exists to assist its more than 20,000 members in achieving their professional, artistic and fraternal goals; to promote public awareness of the profession; and to advance the making of images in all of its disciplines as an art, a science, and a visual recorder of history.

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Downtown Senior Portrait

posted in: Photography | 3

Hannah had a multi-part session, so I’m going to first show you her studio portraits, before we move on to the location part of her senior portrait session!  Long story short, it was fun and we captured some great images, despite the heat and the crows at the Ann Arbor Art Fair.  After doing some gritty urban style images, we walked back through the Art Fair booths to find a few more “scenic” locations. We found an awesome stone wall for a series of shots too!  Enjoy!

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If you’re looking to plan a unique and fun senior portrait session, get in touch with us today so we can help you with those plans! Contact the studio at 734-424-0472 or via the contact page on our website!

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