Tricia & Derek Engaged

About a month I had the pleasure of flying down to Virginia and Patrick Henry College, meeting up with some relatives I haven’t seen in over 8 years, and had the most AMAZING time surprising my sister who didn’t know I was coming. It’s one of those things that run in the family I think, over the years there have been occasions where one family will plan out a surprise family reunion, or show up when the other person isn’t expecting. The entire trip itself had been in the works for about a month, with not-so-sneaky planning calls between my parents and long discussions about possible ways of getting the incredulous look on her face that we were looking for.

It was an amazing weekend, I had the opportunity to see my sister, her now fiance Derek (Which I also heartily approve of), and my family. What more could you ask for?

Paul Rohde

Photocamp UT ’09

Photocamp Utah ’09 was a huge success, the event itself sold out several weeks before with over 350 people attending down at East Bay Studios. The event was targeted at anybody with an interest in photography from the absolute beginner to the advanced users who have been shooting for several years but who still want to learn. It was divided into four main seminar time slots, each with 3 possible seminars to attend during each slot giving a nice grand total of 12 main presentation options, minus the keynotes and earlybird presentations.

For me personally, I was most interested in the printing seminar. As a student I don’t take much time or money to go out and make prints of my images, which is really something I should be doing on a more regular basis. Interestingly, this particular seminar covered more of the specifics of printing images at home, from setting up the printer, talking about the kinds of printers out there, ink, paper types, color profiles and so on. It was really cool to take a look at what can be accomplished from home, and having the ability to get excellent, semi instant results out of your printing is something that would make it a valuable and viable option for me to proof and display my work.

Of course, at a photo camp, most people bring there cameras, me being no exception. Here’s a few shots:

PhotoCampUT - Schedualizing

PhotoCampUT - Calanan Shootout

PhotoCampUT - Gaze

Catch you all later,

– Paul Rohde

A shoot with Kellie Jean

Box of the land
I’ve been wanting to do something more abstract recently, nothing to out there, but something a little more minimalistic. We started with a cardboard box, a bottle of sparkling grape juice, and the idea to shoot high fashion in the middle of nowhere… Not the most ideal mix of concepts, but it did produce a few cool shots and taught me a few lessons:

  • When its cold, wear something warm.
  • Even the smallest breeze turns an umbrella into the most amazing sail you’ve ever seen.
  • It takes more than three full 32oz water bottles to hold up a light stand with an umbrella in a breeze.
  • When in doubt, do something stupid unexpected. Like put a box over the models head.
  • When the model is shivering, and still says she’s fine, don’t listen to her.

Looking back I think this shoot may have gone better if it had been warmer, being cold and having stiff fingers made me a bit slower and less willing to change lighting and settings. On that note it’s probably good I’m going to Southern California where I don’t think I’m going to have to worry about it being that cold. I also wanted to make sure I wasn’t going to give my model hypothermia, hospital trips are rad and all, just wasn’t feeling it that day :)

Enjoy the rest of the photos:

Wine for the Desert

Drinking lost

– Paul Rohde

Career Week Kickoff Part 2 : Website Revamp Process

Again in the spirit of “find a job week” here at Neumont I went back and instead of doing photography I revamped my entire website over this weekend and spent about 20-30 hours designing, creating and implementing a completely new look, feel and theme for my site. For those of you who have a vested interest in Graphic / Web design I am going to delve a bit into the design and thought process behind how this entire image has been evolving and try to cover the different aspects that played a part in this particular design.

But first, a trip down memory lane of how this sites theme has evolved:

This is the first WordPress theme I used from March of 2007 until some point in 2008. It was a highly modified version freshy theme including a revamped sidebar and posts area, and I believe a revamped comments section as well (not pictured)
Paul Rohde Photography

A concept page, created as a design in late 2007 but never used or turned into a template.
Paul Rohde - Concept Page

This particular theme was created in June of 2008 to the point that I had an entire working template, all that would have been required was to insert all the PHP that was needed to turn it into a fully working WordPress theme and it would have gone into production on this site. At some point I realized it didn’t really reflect the media centric nature of who I was and the direction I was headed; it defiantly portrayed my technical software side and even the graphic/web site but it didn’t fit with all the photography and work I’ve put into developing my photography into a potential business. Eventually I stopped work on it and focused on other things (University classes among other things).

After finally getting really tired of the Freshy theme I went template hunting on and found a red and black theme that piqued my interest. After playing with it, removing some vines and flowers and replacing them with something a bit more ‘techy’, switching to a fluid width instead of fixed width site, I activated this theme:
Obsidion Tech

An interesting thing to note at this point was that this theme has been setting not only the color and tone, but also began reflecting the entire ‘brand’ I want to portray. After this theme I began transitioning away from the logo I had created when I first began at Neumont and moved towards using just my name as my identity instead of associating a particular set of shapes or a particular symbol to my name as well. Around the end of November 2008 I began to develop this whole concept of image and identity, about who I was, what I wanted to be, what direction I wanted to take myself and where I want to be in the next 3-5 years. That was around the time I began brainstorming identity, font’s, layouts, colors and so on. I wanted to start with the core, the basics of how I was going to display myself and the most simple level and then build out a web and print identity from there. So, I started with my name. I scrapped the logo I had been using for most of my time at Neumont and created about two photoshop scratch sheets full of ideas. The first sheet here is the original starting sheet, the second is taking the favorites and beginning to refine it down more.

(click to expand)

The problem I inevitably run up against is the balance between technology, which is a rigorous logical and mathematical discipline, and art, which is creative, random at times and completely unique depending on the individual creating the art. I needed something that would appeal to both, especially as I knew I was beginning my job search soon. I ended up with a requirements spec in my mind that looked something like this: I needs to be clean, simple, not confusing, it needs to include at least my first and last name, and it to have enough flair to appeal to someone in an art position, models, photographers, other designers, etc… I finally ended with the logo that’s at the top of my site today, black or white text with a red J initial that gets slightly darker as you reach the bottom.

The first step in the design process was creating a watermark, I use it all the time, all over the place and on everything digital. Its also one of the hardest parts to get right and will let you know if the logo and colors you chose can be used effectively on a variety of different backgrounds and situations. It did require some minor tweaking and adjusting to get right, and I suppose the perfectionist in me will never stop changing it, but for now I have a fairly stable brand so to speak.

Finally, the current site. I built it off of the K2 engine I had used on a previous site for Arrowhead Bible Camp, and began with that template as the starting point. I’m a BIG fan of reusing things, modifying them to get what you need. Now, that being said, there are times when you should be creating things all the way from scratch, and I have in the past (the gray and orange template up above and all the logo’s I’ve designed to date for instance) so don’t get me wrong here. Anyways, that aside, I started by creating the backdrop for the site, working through various layout ideas, building a glassy menu bar to add some tech in there and adding feed for twitter right below the menu bar. If you look right now I only have one header image, but one thing that was important was that I could easily change the visual appearance of the site, and k2 allows me to use a folder of images and rotate through them on each page reload, thus my next step is to take a good chunk of my photography and build out several good looking header images with some color in them (I KNOW I don’t want to see myself in the header every time I visit my site).

New site and Theme

I hope you enjoyed my technical reminiscing and will look forward to hearing your comments,

Till next time,

Paul Rohde

Business Portraits

My roommate recently came and asked me to do some business portraits of him that he could use as he builds up the digital online version of himself for his blog (, and other places where pictures may be requested.  Being a roommate and all I happily obliged, and was fairly satisfied with the results, so here are my three favorites from the shoot, let me know what you think!




– Paul Rohde