Who says that work cannot be fun?

We, the entire staff of Glass Lakes Photography recently returned from Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. We took three days off, closed the store, and left. Now aside from the general escape of the day to day routine we wanted to go capture some of the grand colors of Autumn. Our destination was the Tahquamenon Falls State Park. Sound familiar?, it should as I was visiting the area a few weeks ago for some shooting and scouting.  We do not partake in these ventures for commercial gain, but as a continuing investment into ourselves and our employees, not all of whom are photographers. This allows some experience into the inner workings of the creation of the art, as well as the time invested. Curating a culture of enthusiasm which can be translated into The Gallery for the benefits of our clients. This is part of what I call my duty to responsible business operation.

Over the next week, we will share stories from this trip, photos as well. Some photos you will see hanging up in the gallery, others will be online. When we arrived in the north we meet up at the Whitefish Point Lighthouse, Shipwreck museum, and Migratory Bird Observatory. There is a lot to do in that little point.

Whitefish Point Lighthouse photography scenery Joe Clark

We spent the afternoon wandering around the point area, eating lunch, and then migrating to the campground and setting up for the night. It was an early morning the next day, one must be beat the sunlight if they wish to capture water in motion without the assistance of lens filters. It was a cold night, and the water was significantly warmer, so there was a lot of fog forming in the river basin. The haze made for some interesting shots of the lower falls. Tahquamanon Falls River photogrpahy Joe ClarkBoth Alyson and Dale were working their cameras on the southern portion of the lower falls. They spent their time working away with the haze, water motion, and contrast that morning had to offer. I shot the two of them working side by side on the observation platform over the falls.

Dale and Alyson at Tahquamanon fallsWe spent our remaining time in the area exploring the wooded areas for fungi, colors, and other subjects of interest. even squeezed in some time for exploring the informative placards through out the park. These various signs tell of information about the water flow per second, why it is rust colored, and the history of the river and past proposed developments. glp_20161010-09114-by-joe-clark-glasslakesphotography-com

The second day we went to the upper falls for some shots, there was a wonderful morning red sky, of which we caught the latter portions of lingering over the falls. The light was quicker then we were that morning, by the time I was in position for the shot I wanted the color has subsided. Next year we will just have to be quicker. Morning light upper tehquamanon falls We squeezed this trip in right on time with the peak coloration of the area, and the best weather as well. After Dale and Alyson returned to Petoskey, Kayla and I were welcomed to a day of freezing temperatures and rain. Bear was starting to get a case of cabin fever the day we left the area, here he is taking a break outside before the rain moved in for the day. Bear enjoying a break in the rain. Now that we all have returned from the north, it is time to start exploring our area as the fall colors start to fill in. Are you out there exploring with your camera? Keep in mind that we offer the region’s best printing facility right in the heart of downtown Petoskey. Stop on in to see how we can help take your vision to hard copy. Soon we will have our new season of photographs in, from the summer and fall, you are welcome to peruse the new works.

Lower Tahquamanon Falls Joe Clark

Our Gallery will be closed, for a learning opportunity…

We will be closing up shop for Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday (October 9th – 11th). As our employees will be participating in our first annual Upper Peninsula Fall Colors Photography Workshop. This is a program we will be offering to the public as a means to enhance their understanding and capabilities with photography, which translates into better service for our customers. We will be open on Wednesday October 12th for normal business hours of 10am to 6pm.

Learning oppertunites.

All services are effected, Gallery, Printing Studio, Image Services, etc.

The Senior Portrait


Photography is more than just pulling out your camera and shooting; it is engaging with your subject and learning their personality, their flare if you will, in a short matter of time. Each photograph you make should portray the subject’s unique personality. This is through facial expressions, clothing styles, locations, and any accessories that may be important to you. Rather than shooting static photographs, I like to see activity happening, whether that’s interacting with the companion you’ve brought along or kayaking along the river. If these things are not present, I will still work closely with the individual to bring out what makes them, well, them!

The image above is a girl and her rescue dog. They have a close connection, and you can see from the look on her face that she adores this animal. I had a few different shots for this session, one where the dog was looking back at her as well, which could have worked given the expressions, but it was not as strong as this image. It was the emotion in her face that made the photograph. I spoke with her through the session and asked her to think about how and why this dog makes her happy, and it resulted in this image. Choosing unique photographs after the shoot is important as well. I do not give my subjects every single photograph that I take. I choose the ones that stand out.

Locations are everything! I, personally, love shooting in the studio, however it is much more fun to go out into the environment and shoot. I like to find an environment that suits my subject; the decision of place is typically up to you (we can help you decide, don’t worry). What places do you love and visit often? Is it your favorite nature preserve, the lake, or even your own home? At Glass Lakes Photography, we typically do two hour sessions. This allows us to move around and utilize the environment to the fullest. We can even do multiple locations!

The next image is an alleyway of a coffee shop downstate in Detroit. I choose this setting because of the urban look. In this case, my subject did not know much about the area, so I picked for her. It resulted in a photo series inside and out of the coffee shop. My subject brought several changes of clothes, but this jacket suited her spunky attitude. I scouted the location and noticed this vibrant red chair, and her and I decided it was a perfect spot. The pose is dynamic, but natural and relaxed.










Below we get into movement! This image was done on a balcony in the Fall. (I’ll tell you a little secret: the background was removed and replaced with a much more interesting Fall image). Here we have a dancer. Instead of dressing up in fancy clothes and doing the typically lean against a wall photo, we wanted to show what her passion is. She did her own thing, while I directed her if I needed her to move positions or tweak a pose.










Important things to remember: Personality, emotion, location, and dynamics!