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Thursday, May 1, 2014

The Joy of Being Busy

“Never be so busy as not to think of others.”
Mother Teresa, -The Joy in Loving: A Guide to Daily Living

I've been quite busy the past couple weeks. So busy that it's difficult for me to fit in this post, but as a commitment to myself and my career... I must write! I made a promise to myself in December, let's call it an early New Year's resolution, that I would keep my work life balanced. My vow was not to take on more work than I can handle well and to make sure I carve out the occasional block of personal time. I want to keep things steady and beautiful, not crazy and insane. The great news is that I've been working with some absolutely amazing clients recently, and I cannot express how thankful I am to have them!

I've come across two inspirational sayings this week; the first by Mother Teresa, listed above. The second by Saul Williams, who said, "I speak into a microphone, and with that comes responsibility". What I have been trying to figure out recently is how to combine the two ideas. How does one manage a life of busy, and keep a cool confidence enough to be a good leader to those around them? It's tough! In any profession, the higher you climb on the work-ladder, the more responsibility is laid in your lap. This is why the news/media loves to cling onto the mistakes of politicians, actors and business people. These are our leaders, and they are held to a certain expectation, an expectation that is too high for any real and honest human being. There is no room for error, and the speedy life of social media and instant gratification doesn't make the process any easier.

So, today, I just leave you with those two inspiring quotes and much to contemplate. How will you tackle these situations in your own life?

XO - Betsy

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Portraits with Portfolio LLC

I wanted to share the result of a recent shoot I had with the advisors at Portfolio LLC based in Arizona. Lee Munson approached me in need of some fun and young yet professional portraits of his team. The idea was to have the end result be multiple shots of the team that potential clients could relate to. The asset management and wealth advisory business is in an area where they are facing a young demographic, so their need was to break out of the old-money mold. He had a very clear vision of what he wanted, which helped me in creating the imagery.

On an insider's level, I'd have to say that these photos were in no way out of character. The group was laughing and goofing the entire shoot, which made my job easy! There were plenty of jokes going around, including one about running bathtub water that was a bit x-rated, so I wont share that one here.

As we wrapped the shoot, they requested that I be the one to select their final images because I could give it a third party perspective. They didn't change a single shot that I selected, which is a huge compliment in my book. This great looking group didn't even have retouching done on the portraits. They are real and raw! I love it! Thanks again to Lee and Portfolio LLC for the invitation to be a part of such a fun shoot!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Hannah West with BMG Models

I recently shot with Hannah West, model with BMG Models, Orlando office, and daughter to the owners of Charylis in downtown Winter Park. When the agency sent me her portfolio, most of the images were fashion-oriented, showcasing a full-length Hannah. I decided to go out on a limb, like I like to do a lot of the time, and photograph beauty imagery in studio. She looks so much like a porcelain doll, and her skin is just glowing.

We created the looks around headpieces from Hazel Faire. Typically promoted for bridal, the headpieces softened up the look of the entire shoot. They are super girlie, and somewhat "hippie-esque", which I love!

See more of Hannah's images at:

Thank you to our team:
Paula Abraham, Hair & Makeup
Lindsey Warren, Photo Assistant
Marie Llewellyn, Hazel Faire Accessories
BMG Models Orlando

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Mel Weinberg, The Man Behind the Scam

It took me a while, but I finally had time this morning to pull up the Telegraph article in which my photograph of the very captivating Mel Weinberg appeared back in December. Unfortunately, my credit is misspelled and shows as "Betty Hansen", but I promise I was the one who took these photos. ;)

It was an interesting shoot, not so much because the photographs we took would blow you away, but because the stories this well-lived man had were straight out of a movie, literally. American Hustle, the movie, was based around this man's life. The Telegraph describes him as "the womanizing con artist enlisted by the FBI". His stories were just that. He didn't boast so much of womanizing, but proudly spoke of his undercover work and how he and his team took down corrupt politicians in 1980 in the states of Florida, New York and New Jersey. Originally a con artist arrested by the FBI for wire fraud, mail fraud and conspiracy, Weinberg made a deal with the FBI. His three year prison sentence would be turned into three years of probation in exchange for going undercover for three cases. He posed "as the representative of a fictitious Arab sheikh who wanted to invest in American businesses, buy stolen art, and bribe politicians in return for help with immigration issues."

The stories go on, and if you want to read more about Weinberg himself, pop over to the article where you can also find additional references with reading material:

As for the shoot, Weinberg being of elder age, could get around, but not easily. I tried not to take up tons of his time with portraits. Half the time I photographed him while he was being interviewed by the writer. The other half we staged the photos. The Telegraph requested images of him holding items from the Abscam days, but he was resistant to have anything photographed because, as he stated it, he didn't want to get into any trouble. My solution was to photograph him with the images on his walls, which consisted of a portrait of a young Weinberg looking confident and smoking a cigar, a drawing by actor Peter Faulk, sketches of his boat (confidently named Up Yours) and two images of him being interviewed by famous newscaster Mike Wallace for 60 Minutes. (See the interview here.)

My favorite images from the day were the very close portraits of his face. I love the detail and the fact that you can see so much. I find it fascinating that behind this man's face is a lifetime of unique experiences.

I am honored to have been in the presence of a man who made such an interesting notch in American history.

The Original Undercover Abscam Video:

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Behind the Scenes, LMHL Mag

If you have ever imagined what a fast-paced photo shoot is like, you have not imagined one like this. Everything was planned down to the minute, just to make sure that we would be able to capture our final shot during the golden hour when the sunset was at its peak. Ten minutes to shoot, ten minutes for the models to change, ten minutes to shoot, and back again to change. No pressure at all considering the final shot was slotted as the cover image, the image that the entire issue hangs its fate upon.

With the largest crew for one shoot this magazine has ever seen, our amazing team systematically worked as one unit. The thirteen-person team consisted of a photographer, an art director, a location coordinator, three fabulous models, two hair and makeup artists, two wedding gown coordinators, a headpiece designer and a prop stylist with an assistant. We orchestrated seven final images in a four-and-a-half hour time period, which included thirteen designer wedding gowns totaling over $72k, a multitude of magnificent designer jewelry pieces and seven handcrafted headpieces shipped in from Phoenix. The photos happened in seven different locations on the Mission Inn Resort and Spa property.

We luckily had thirty minutes shooting the final image of the day, the cover. The sun was a beautiful shade of gold for only half that time, and I stubbornly continued to photograph as the sunset changed to black. I threw in the towel just as it was no longer light enough for the sensor in my camera to focus properly.

The final images are stunning and can be found in the February/March 2014 issue of Lake Mary Healthy Living Magazine based in Seminole County. Viewing the images, you’d never know it was such a bustling afternoon.

Tali and Stephanie with Solutions Bridal
Simone Rosas, Makeover Station
Shannon Tarrant, Mission Inn Resort and Spa
Jen Class, Styling Houz
Marie Llewellyn, Hazel Faire
Makaila Nichols, Wilhelmina Models
Hunter Denoyelles, Wilhelmina Models

Latrice Williams, BMG Models Orlando