ProFile: 2D Artist Vicki Idema

Q and A with ArtShots Client Vick Idema

What is your favorite color?  Texture? Shape? black_/white    Texture?  ~so many….one would be the smooth surface of a stone tossed around in the waves     Shape? like a ginko leaf

What is your favorite art-making tool and why? I am going two different directions right now. I enjoy using the exacto knife ~ when I am cutting paper I feel very relax. On the other hand, I use charcoal and like the way it blends to create the forms and shapes

Who or what influenced you to become an artist?  I can not think of any one person who had an influence on me when I started out . I have always created things with my hands which leadto study art in college (specifically fiber arts) It has only been in the past few years I have started using the human form as a subject for my art in cut paper and drawings. Analee Fuentes, a past figure drawing instructor, was a great influence. She helped to point me in this new direction

Name your favorite museum?  I've been fortunate to see the Louvre and many museums in Florence but I do not have a favorite. One of my favorite exhibits was at the Portland Art Museum a number of years ago, The Artists Touch-The Craftsman's Hand~ Three Centuries Of Japanese Prints

What music do you listen to while working?  I enjoy soft classical, Norah Jones, Jack Johnson…that type or just silence so I can hear the outside noise of birds, wind, rain….

Favorite snack food while working? I do not snack while I work

If you were commissioned to write a memoir today, what would the title be? Keep Reaching

Describe the peak, or favorite moment, in your creative process.The favorite moment in my creative process would be two fold.  Having an idea run thru my mind, get that idea on paper andafter many sketches find one that is what I want; that would be the first favorite moment. And then the second moment would have to be when I am finished with a piece and I am very pleased with the results. 

If you could have a conversation with any artist from all time, who would it be, why and what question would you ask them? I love the work of German artist ,Kathy Kollwitz (1867-1945). She looks so sad in all her drawings I don't know if I could talk to her.

A wealthy patron wants to sponsor a working studio for you anywhere in the world. Please describe the studio and its location. I have lived many places and have traveled a bit but I must say I love the Soap Creek Valley, where I presently live and have been for over 29 years. Looking out my windows and seeing the forests and wildlife that surrounds me is something I would not change. However, a larger studio with two rooms to work in that have heated floors and high ceilings to give me higher walls to create large drawings, would be nice.

ProFile: Artist Leslie Tejada

Q and A with 2D ArtShots client Leslie Tejada

What is your favorite Color? Texture?   Shape?  I resonate with purply-blues, like ultramarine violet or periwinkle.  But no color is a favorite, as each has its own character and usefulness in painting.  Rather, I favor transparentpigments like quinacdacrone gold, cobalt violet rose, sap green.  I like paintings which are textured, but no favorite texture.  Also no favorite shape, but right now I am using a lot of curvy, round shapes.

What is your favorite art-making tool and why?  I like to use the linoleum blocks I cut myself, but I have to go with the brush, so versatile and always useful.

Who or what influenced you to become an artist?  I had no direct influences as far as I know.  The need to create art seems to have been self-generated.

Name and describe your favorite art museum?  Ah, the MET in NYC.  Something for everyone, every mood.  The history of artistic endeavor in one big building.

What music do you listen to while working? Almost exclusively classical music, right now 20th century.  I have been favoring chamber music lately- Enescu, Polenc, Rachmaninoff, Ravel.

Favorite snack food while working?  Eating in the studio is not a good practice.  The possibility of ingesting toxic substances is greatly increased, and besides, the crumbs attract mice.

If you were commissioned to write a memoir today, what would the title be? Painting From the Inside Out.

Describe the peak, or favorite moment, in your creative process. There is a point at which an unfinished painting has assumed its own character, and I then try to help it become what it is trying to be.  It has a gestalt that is recognized by my unconscious mind and resonates with my vision or inspiration.  There is now a fruitful and exciting dialogue.

What do you love about the medium you work in? I approach all mediums as a researcher. What exactly can I do with this?   Right now I am painting 7 x 8” little abstracted landscapes on resined paper.  I use watercolor for initial washes, adding a little gouache if it needs to been less transparent, and then later some acrylic medium if the paint beads up too much.  It is really fun discovering what paint will do.  For years I used oil-based paints, but now I love the versatility of water-based, especially when I can use collage with it.

What Inspires you? The discovery of beauty is the inspiration for my art.  Because I follow an inner imperative to pursue my own imaginative vision, my paintings are never derivative or conceptually based, but express authentic, subjective creative experience.  Because the building blocks of my imagination are created by my visual diet, right now I immerse myself in the beauty of nature.

To learn more about her work: Leslie Tejada

ProFile: Artist Justin Lodge

Q and A with ArtShots Client Justin Lodge

What is your favorite color: Indigo  texture: Fuzzy  shape: Circle

What is your favorite art-making tool and why? Oil paint, for its flexibility

Who or what influenced you to become an artist? The open-ended questions of art history!

Name your favorite museum? The Harvard Art Museums

What music do you listen to while working? Usually listen to podcasts

Favorite snack food while working? Nuts and fruit

If you were commissioned to write a memoir today, what would the title be? Greatness: The True Story of a Super Talented and Charming Person.

Pablo Picasso said every child is an artist. Tell us about your childhood passion? Archeology. Although, I think it mostly had to do with Indiana Jones. I loved the idea of exploring exotic places and hunting for precious or magical objects. I still see great works of art as magical objects. My goal is to create paintings that present themselves as solid objects that entice the viewer to enter the painting’s illusionary space.

If you could have a conversation with any artist from all time, who would it be, why and what question would you ask them?  I would like to see the workshop of Fra Angelico. I would ask at what point in their minds do their paintings go from a collection of materials to an object of veneration.  I would also like to have coffee with Alice Neel and watch her paint. 

Learn more about his work: Justin Lodge


ProFile: Who's Normal Anyway?

Norman Wilmot Horton - that's who Normal is. He goes by many nicknames, The Big Skipper, Zolton, Normal and others best not to print. The only thing he has more of is talent.

Skip, his day to day name, is a true renaissance man. One day he'll be underneath his '53 Dodge truck fixing the transmission and the next day creating incredible ceramic masks or blowing glass ray guns.

Another big talent of his was to marry the brilliant painter Donna Beverly. And lucky for us they will be exhibiting together at the Benton County Historical Museum from November 25 to January 23, 2016. 

Do yourself a favor and bookmark the dates for the exhibit and reception. Who knows, maybe after seeing his work you'll give him a new nickname.

Client:   Skip Horton

Industry:  Art

Application:   Marketing, Promotion and Documentation

ProFile: Laura G. Berman

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Colorful. Textural. Playful. Those are the first three words that come to mind when I see the work of Fiber Artist Laura G. Berman.  

Laura signed up for my ArtShots photography because she was selected to be in an upcoming book titled Exploring Fiber Art that will be published in 2017/18 by Schiffer, and she needed professional images. Laura’s work will be in two different volumes, the wearable art and 3-D art volumes. Kudos to Laura for this great accomplishment!

Working with artists is always fun because I get to learn so much about their creative processes. We made a simple portrait of Laura wearing her work as well as images of her creations. The book will include her portrait and six images of her artwork. 

When I first saw Laura’s work I thought the artist must always wear a smile. When I met her I realized how easily her beautiful smile comes forth, which shows you just can’t separate an artist from their work.

And luckily for those living in the Mid Willamette Valley Laura is participating the the Philomath Open Studio Tour so you can meet her and buy some fabulous art. Oct. 24,25,31 and Nov. 1.

Client: Laura G. Berman

Industry: Art

Application: Publication, Web and Social Media Marketing

ProFile: Art In Situ

Client: Gabe Babcock

Industry: Art

Application: Self Promotion, Documentation and Archives

The piece above, titled The Redwoods, was created for the Autumn Lights Festival in Oakland, California. " Gabe creates large scale art specifically for a certain location, which is the Latin definition of In situ. The piece above is fifteen feet in diameter, and the glass is etched with 566 growth rings. The buildings were created from salvaged redwood and illuminated with small LED lights.

Here is an excerpt from Gabe's artist statement, "Exploring the natural world around me and focusing on my role within it, I strive to illuminate the tension between nature and humans through art.... ".

It has been a visual treat for me these past few years to document most of Gabe's art installations in city and remote locations from Hood River to Oakland. Do yourself a treat and head over to his site and view his work. Be sure to watch the video showing how he etched the glass for the piece shown here.

ProFile: Are You A Spy?

Client: The Hotel Group

Industry: Hospitality

Application: Marketing, Advertising 


Waiting for the right light can some times be tedious, but not so on this pre-dawn Saturday morning. 

Approaching the marina I realized the long string of headlights were attached to large pickup trucks waiting to put the fishing boats in the water. Oh yeah - it was fall and Saturday morning on the Columbia River -- that meant Salmon fishing. 

After my tripod was set up and the geared head finely tuned to adjust for level and plumb, it was time to sip coffee and wait for the light. Fishermen have rituals and routines and watching them was great fun. They were watching me as well, chatting between boats and occasionally a curious and muffled laugh would rise above the purr of trolling motors.

An older fellow tied his boat up next to the dock I was on and started a bit of aimless chatter. Then he paused and quite solemnly said, 'We're all wondering. You've got that thing pointed at the hotel. Are you a spy?' 

I burst out laughing until I realized, he was serious!

ProFile: The Not So Boring Beetle

Client: Self Assignment

Industry: Just For Fun

Application: Amuse My Grandchildren

Banded Alder Boring Beetle

A wildlife photographer I am not. I do not have those monster long lenses nor the patience to sit and wait for hours while a critter comes to where I think it should be and pose. Kudos to those that do!!

But living on ten acres of forest with pond and pastures does mean that sometimes you just cannot ignore what happens right in front of you. From time to time I will post some of these pics.

Above are two Banned Alder Boring Beetles canoodling in my woodpile. They were delightfully oblivious to my splitting wood with mighty blasts from my eight pound splitting maul. So finally I got my camera out to enjoy the show.

This morning Lea and I were having breakfast on the deck, reading our ever-diminishing newspaper when we both said, "Sounds like raccoons around the pond." but with the next sounds of splashing and cavorting we realized our favorite creature, the otter, had arrived to cleanse our pond from crawdads. With binoculars from the deck I realized there were three. A mother and two pups. I made a few images that I will share with another pond creature in a future post. 

But this being a wildlife morning I was not done. Walking from house to studio I noticed our cat Isis, who two weeks ago seemed near death, was sitting intently below one of our plum trees. I walked over, still carrying my camera and watched her. She was so catly nonchalant even when glancing up into the tree - twice. I knew something was up. Walking closer still I noticed a little furry Townsends Chipmunk shaking terribly as it looked down on the cat waiting below.

It was my kind of ideal wildlife photo moment. Nowhere for the critter to go too, lest it become a cat-toy, so I had more than one frame to compose and focus.

Townsends Chipmunk

ProFile: Yohn Baldwin

Client:  Baldwin General Contracting Inc.

Industry:  Commercial Construction

Application:  Executive Portrait

Baldwin General Contracting is a 'rock star' company in the Mid Willamette Valley. When Yohn started his company fifteen years ago, no job was too small. Now he builds Wilco Farm Stores, banks, fire stations, libraries and projects for both UO and OSU.  BGC employs about 70 people and many more through their sub-contractors.

One of Yohn's many qualities is his straight forward and approachable nature. He is honest, direct and full of integrity. I wanted to portray an executive with those qualities who also has nowhere else to go but up. When I found the staircase in the new BGC corporate offices I new it was the right place for Yohn.  

ProFile: Inn at Morro Bay

Client: Inn at Morro Bay

Industry: Hospitality

Application: Website, Social Media, Printed Matter 

If you have ever remodeled a kitchen, you will immediately understand this post. Some times I arrive to shoot a job, which involves five cases of gear, shuttles, airplanes, rental cars and those life-saving smart carts at airports, only to find the work is not completed and there is very little I can photograph.

News Flash: Construction projects rarely finish on time!

Despite the Skilsaws, paint buckets and scissor lifts, the client deserves a few pictures somewhere, somehow. My first solution was to rent a boat and go out in the harbor to shoot the hotel from the water. This bought a little time to form a plan, which involved sending the assistant for props, food and wine. Back at the property I focused on architectural details where dust could be cleaned and clutter cleared away. We finished the day with the shot below and then of course, we ate the food and sipped the wine!

ProFile: Donna Beverly, Painter

Client: Donna Beverly

Industry: Professional Artist / Instructor

Application: Web, Social Media

While developing my HotShot HeadShot program, it occurred to me that I could use an artist's own artwork as their background. By photographing their painting as its own separate high resolution image, any size painting could become a large digital background. The concept intrigued and excited me. So when Donna Beverly signed up to have her latest paintings photographed, we discussed updating her artist portrait. She selected her painting 'Midday Breeze' and I suggested she pick clothes with colors that were found in the painting.

Like everything else with Donna, we had lots of fun making the portraits, We both cringed at how absolutely ugly the green screen background is, and then marveled once it was stripped away and the painting placed as a photoshop layer behind her.

I love making portraits of artists in their own creative workspace, and have in the past for Donna. And this option of a studio portrait with artists' painting is a great addition to my toolkit and a sweet offering for those who want high quality and great value.

ProFiles: Lea Bayles

Client: Lea Bayles 

Industry: Life Coach

Application: Web, Print and Social Media


If you are guessing this is my absolute favorite client, you would be absolutely correct. I am so grateful to be married to this talented and beautiful woman. In this picture she is going through her dawn Chi Kung routine while in Maui. The island of Lanai is pictured in the background.

Lea's passion for living a life of creative vitality is part gift and part cultivated attitudes and routines of movement and joy. In her work as a coach she helps others re-discover and nurture their own natural creative vitality.  As her 'media producer' I am lucky enough to follow her to places like this where I get to make pictures of/for her. 

ProFiles: Bosky Optics

Client: Bosky Optics

Industry: Eyewear

Application: Web, Print, Sales and Marketing


I LOVE these sunglasses! They are by far the most comfortable glasses of any kind I have worn. And they are a unique product designed and developed by two cool dudes from Oregon State University Advantage Accelerator Program, Alex Cruft and Matt Miner.

In two years time, while completing degrees at OSU, these guys started Bosky Optics to create high quality sunglasses and ski goggles with environmentally friendly resources. The glasses are made from FSC certified wood and the goggles from bioplastics.

They have artists create designs for them from all around the world that they incorporate into their products. It has been a pleasure working with them to photograph their sport eyewear. In this portrait of them I wanted to connect their edgy attitude with a framework design and convey the idea that there is no where for them to go but up!!

This is my new pair of glasses - made of Bamboo with Zeiss lenses. Wait til you see the box they come in. BoskyOptics

This is my new pair of glasses - made of Bamboo with Zeiss lenses. Wait til you see the box they come in. BoskyOptics


ProFiles: Wolf Tree

Client: Self Assignment

Industry: Forestry, Tree Lovers Everywhere

Application: Personal, Web, Exhibition

Cardwell Hill Wolf Tree

Wolf Trees

I love that term and the wild, free ranging images it conjures up for me. There seems to be some variation of the term, but generally it has to do with large, old trees with a wide reaching canopy that shade out trees around them. 

Some times they are also called 'Pasture Trees'. When land was cleared for agriculture some times large shade trees were left for cattle or sheep. Without competition for light or other resources, the trees grew even larger and wider. Often the pastures were later abandoned and the land reverted back to forest.

The young forest growing in around The Wolf Tree was even aged, growing straight as they competed for light. In the process the old tree stood out gaining the look of a lone wolf.

Read more here: Wolf Trees    

ProFiles: Dundee Fire Station

Client: Baldwin General Contracting

Industry: Construction

Application: Web, Corporate Documentation, Editorial, 

Have you ever noticed that public safety buildings are often built of non flammable materials? There is a reason for that, and it has to do with community safety. We don't want the services that protect us to fail or be compromised by earthquake, fire or flood. Most of the time that means boring, but substantial architecture.

When Baldwin General contacted me they said this was a well designed building and I would agree. And it's frustrating when you arrive on site to see a beautifully designed building with the ugliest power and phone lines right in front of the building.... on the side of the building you most need to shoot.

To get the entire building in without the power lines was a challenge. In this case I was standing on my metal lighting case as far out in the street as I could safely be. The wind from the passing cars was a steady stream and the Fire Chief brought out a bright yellow safety vest for me to wear.

From the curving lines of the hardscaping, to the textures and complexity of structure design this was a fun building to shoot.

To see more interesting projects Click Here


ProFiles: Linda Van Powell

Client:           Civic Outreach, Inc.

Industry:       B2B Communications and Networking

Application: Portrait used on Holiday Card to thank clients for support.


When you first meet Linda Van Powell you are delightfully swept into her energy field of warmth and positivity. She wanted a portrait expressing her passion for Corvallis and gratitude for her clients.

It was a really fun photo shoot with, of course, a surprise or two. The blustery cold December evening ran counter to the feeling we wanted of warmth and welcome... but somehow she pulled it off! Also the deep winter light was a little more crisp than I wanted. We quickly made a large scrim from rolling racks and tablecloths. I love working on location because it always presents opportunities for creative thinking.

Many thanks to The VUE for loaning the use of their beautiful balcony!