Pete Souza takes questions from the audience in Madison, Wis., on Sept. 27, 2022 Pete Souza takes questions from the audience in Madison, Wis., on Sept. 27, 2022

Pete Souza’s “The West Wing and Beyond” book launch

Pete Souza, President Barack Obama’s official photographer, gave a talk last night (Sept. 27, 2022) in downtown Madison. His new book, The West Wing and Beyond: What I Saw Inside the Presidency, was released yesterday.

We started the evening at Himal Chuli, our favorite Nepalese restaurant, and then headed to the Orpheum. Souza gave a great talk and there was a lively Q&A afterwards. We’re loving our autographed copy of Pete’s book. I also enjoyed seeing him at the Capitol Theatre in 2019.

Buzzing Busyness
Luke says, "To be able to lead others, a dog must be willing to go forward alone."

To be able to lead

Luke says, “To be able to lead others, a dog must be willing to go forward alone.”

I got Luke the day before Valentine’s Day right before the pandemic. He’s my Valentine’s Dog. From the start, he was quiet and soulful. And a delight. He’s good with people, good with other dogs.

I’ve wanted to share this tireless duke with the world, and now he has his chance. Please hit the Like and follow us at @lukethetirelessduke on Instagram for more dog philosophy and fun!

Luke says, "Great dogs discuss ideas, average dogs discuss events, small dogs discuss people."
A zucchini in hand
NAMIWalks Kickoff Luncheon 2022

Kickoff Luncheon

It’s always a pleasure to shoot events for NAMI Dane County. The NAMIWalks Kickoff Luncheon was held last week at Vilas Park in Madison. Between the in-person event and the Zoom, there were 81 people in attendance. The luncheon kicks off the fundraising season, which culminates with the NAMIWalks event itself. It’s not that far off now!

Studio Experiments

Studio Experiments

After trying a few different backgrounds, my model and I flipped positions. She stood by a light, and I was facing back at her. There are a few tweaks I’d make to this image in a second round. The depth of field is too shallow. I shot this wide open with an F1.4 lens. Also, because the light source is behind our subject, she doesn’t have catchlights in her eyes. I suppose one could paint those in post but using a small light by the photographer might be the best route.

The model called this her “Mona Lisa smile.” In the event photography I do, big smiles are always a great option. And the photographer sets the tone in that regard. People mirror what they see to some degree. In the studio, I’ve been using a more serious approach. There’s a fine line though. I want a steady, serious expression. But if the mouth turns downward, the image doesn’t work. So, the “Mona Lisa smile” is a happy medium. The expression is horizontal with a slight upturn of the mouth at the edges.

Portrait work

Portrait work

We warmed up over a series of 60 quick shots and then we stopped. I pulled up the last photo I had made and showed it to my model. We knew we had a keeper.

Fujifilm X-T4 \\ XF33mmF1.4 R LM WR
f1.4 \\ 1/250 sec. \\ ISO 160

The dog who thinks he can
Well-behaved dogs seldom make history.