Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Top 9 of '09

2009 is coming to an end and in retrospect, I'd have to say its been a great year.

Great and Busy

Within the last year I have found myself photographing in the entertainment world, with the media industry, for the non-profit realm, across the religious spectrum, and most recently teaching within the education system.

So here's a wrap up of the top 9 highlights in photos of 2009:

This year started off strong with a trip to DC to cover Obama's inauguration. Such an incredible experience documenting such a historic city at such a pivotal time in history.

(Andrew Grinberg of DC dances in celebration with friend Lizzy Lynch on the lawn of the Washington Monument Tuesday following the 56th inauguration of Barack Obama as the 44th president of the United States)

One of my favorite things about my job is my constant wanderlust being fueled by continual travel. From North to South to East to West, I've had the privilege of visiting all sides of the country this year.

A habit of mine while traveling for work is to always look for solace amongst personal work. Within less than 24 hours I saw the water on the west coast and then on the east. My view from a fashion shoot in San Fran to an engagement shoot in Savannah. Seeing one side to another during the course of a day has always been a desire of mine, and now, thanks to my job, I can say I've done it!

(From the Golden Gate Bridge in San Fran on the West to the Talmadge Memorial Bridge in Savannah on the East)

Of all the cities I've traveled too this year, the one I find myself wanting to visit most often is NYC. On top of being home to some of my closest friends, NYC holds fond memories of my childhood. Born a Jersey Girl, my heart feels at home in the busyness of the north.

I've had the opportunity to meet some very interesting people this year. Over the summer I photograph the 13th annual summer redneck games. I wouldn't have believed it myself had I not scene it.

Some of my favorite subjects this year have been the lovely bride and grooms that I have been honored to photograph. Especially when they're old college friends ;)

(Dan and Nancy Trifiletti)

To say it has been an interesting year in news would be an understatement. Nothing like finding the quiet moment at a "Peace in Iran" rally outside the CNN center in ATL.

Lastly, number nine, I leave you with a photo from Lobby Day with the non profit Street Grace. I had the privilege to join creative forces with some non profits this year. You can look for a lot more of this from me in the near future!!!

So Happy 2010!!! Here's to wishing for a year of creativity and inspiration led by action steps pushing forward

Monday, December 28, 2009

Roof Top Stills

One of the perks of being freelance is having the freedom to think up a concept and further more the flexibility to schedule yourself time to make it reality.

What started as a late night idea between two roommates spun into a full out day of photo shooting and non traditional lighting test. From calling on real estate friends to find a vacant penthouse high above the city, to cramming in a lighting session after a full day of moving. This shoot was more than just fun, it was a prime example of the art that can be made when you allow yourself the time and freedom to create.

Model: Chelsea Kelly

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Nikon Festival

My roommate Chelsea and I participated in a video contest sponsored by Nikon. The challenge was to document your day in 180 seconds. We got creative in our recording methods, including strapping the camera and tripod to my back seat with the seat belt and hanging the camera down from the sunroof. Enjoy our journey as we photo shoot high above the city.

1 Day, 1 City, 2 Roommates, 140 Seconds from Luanne Dietz on Vimeo.


Back in October, I spent an evening covering the Gift Card Giver ATL House Party in East Atlanta. This week CNN has picked up the story which showcases a clip of mine. Check out the CNN piece here, click here and the organization here, giftcardgiver.com

Sarasota E-Session

So thankful that my job takes me to beautiful places. Spent the evening with the lovely Christopher Kelly and Alex Miller along the water in Sarasota. I present to you the Bride and groom to be.

Ybor E-Session

I had the chance to spend some time with an old college friend and photograph her and her love during an engagement session in Ybor.

It was such a blast to be silly and make fun frames in the process. I present to you the lovely Christy Brown and Joe Nammour who will be married in the Spring of 2010.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

12.12.09 Help Portrait

A Post without a Picture for a Purpose

Today is a day that many of us photographers have been anticipating for months. Its the day that competitive walls are shaken and the comrotary that is built between people working for a greater goal shines through.

All over the world today, 7,000 photographers in 55 different countries came together to give what they can give best, the ability to make people feel beautiful through photography.

I participated today in the Atlanta Help Portrait session in Midtown, and I was so thankful to get placed with a close friend as my assistant. Together we had the privilege of creating and capturing a happy moment in the lives of less fortunate families.

Once we arrived at the location, we walked inside to find a room set up with six different portrait stations complete with lights, backdrops, pocket wizards and props. Technically, every bit of gear we needed was there. But the moment I walked into the room, it wasn't the set-up that I noticed first. It was a young boy under the age of two, with his 4 week old sister in his arms held so tight. Both dressed so beautifully, they were sitting in an oversized chair waiting patiently for their photo to be made. The smile on his face will forever be etched in my mind. It was a face that if not captured today might have been forgotten ten years from now.

As a photographer it was the most unnatural yet rewarding feeling to know that when the individual portrait sessions were over and the memory cards sent to post production, that that was the last time I would see the photos I had just made.

As professional photographers we so often shoot for our audience. Today was the exact opposite. It wasn't even about shooting for ourselves, it was about shooting for them. I can officially say that I walked out of today's help portrait session with not one of the photos that I made.

Today, for the first time, I felt the reality of the gift I have been given as a photographer. The ability I have to capture the essence of everything good in that moment, and the rareness of keeping that moment to the ones that experienced it.

So I don't have a photo of the families for you to look at, but instead I have humbled thoughts and renewed drive to keep living the good that is photography and letting the bad be drowned out by every smiling face representing a life that was touched by this beautiful gift I have to give.

Help Portrait Founder Jeremy Cowart said it best, "Today cultural borders were crossed on one side of the camera and competitive borders on the other." It was by far a movement in the right direction for our industry. :)

Ok, Ok so I kinda fibbed.. I guess I do have a photo from today.. but I didn't take it so it doesn't count;)

Photo credit goes to the lovely tripod that made this group shot happen;)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Meteor Shower.. or the Lack There Of...

Nothing like staying up until 3:30am to have the beautiful clear skies clouded up at the last minute. But we were up, and we were determined! So we drove to the cloud line.. Meteorology at it's finest.. "We need to go that way"... my roommate says as she points to the top right of the windshield.. So that way is the way we went!

We had a small window between cloud bands and what we did see was pretty much washed out by city lights.. Really made me miss Sarasota Nights and the clear skies over the beach... 3 Days until I'm FLA bound!!! Can't wait!!

Change of Pace

So A lot of things have changed in the last few months. I've started teaching at The Showcase School of Photography and have done some revamping in the way that I spread out my talent. I'm using everything I know to prepare myself to hone in on a specific direction for my photography in 2010. It's time to move forward at light speed. That being said, I've been spending a lot of time siting at my desk diving deep into social issues I can wrap my heart and lens around. The other day I grabbed a snap of my roommate and her dog.. This is what I see when I look right from my computer screen..He loves to look out the window... SQUIRREL!

L5P - Zombies

I love living less than five minutes from Little Five Points in Atlanta. It is by far one of the most interesting neighborhoods with care free personality. I spend a lot of time there around Halloween and what I found was nothing shy of entertaining. But My life seems to have been a lot about irony this last month, so for today I leave you this. CODE RED!

Friday, October 23, 2009


Headed south to Miami for some much needed family vacation time. It was an incredible weekend of family, football, sun and beach.. what more could a girl ask for;)

I even got to see the Hurricane's storm through town.. the football team of course;)

Home in the Q

On my way back to Atlanta on my last visit to Sarasota I encountered something I never could have imagined. My flight was delayed 2.5 hours and little did I know that the age old stereotype of "My grandparents live in Sarasota" would visually be played out in front of me during that time.

One arriving airplane, 10 wheelchairs later, it has been confirmed.. ;)

The Sarasota airport is always very special to me because my mom's a contract private pilot and flys out of there very often. So I always try to make a frame or two of this special place.

And of Course nothing says Sarasota like a beautiful Sunset;)

Friday, October 2, 2009

Gift Card Giver Doc

I recently shot a short doc for GiftCardGiver.com and as I was editing I caught myself smiling! Such a good feeling to be working on projects with heart.

Check out their website, great people doing great things:)

Atlanta House Party from Gift Card Giver on Vimeo.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Geekfest 2009

I spent this past weekend completely saturated in and around amazing talent and incredible inspiration in St. Pete Florida for the annual APAD Geekfest!!!

As a freelance photographer there are many times in the daily grind of my industry where I can get disillusioned and dismayed by the state of our current times. I am so thankful for this gathering annually that works as a reminder, a swift kick in the arse if you will, to pick myself up and keep feeling through photography. I was reminded by every speaker that spoke, and there were some AMAZING ones!, that the most important images, the ones that help build you as a person outside of just a photographer, are the images with heart in and behind them.

Since my dad died two years ago I have felt that I am just coasting through the daily job. Shooting what I know, and not questioning where my ambitions went. It feels as if there is a thick layer of crud between my heart and my head, a layer that on most days seems to strong to break through.

This weekend helped pry open my eyes to the light that I always knew existed. The light that shines from photography that tells the hearts story while moving people to action. I'm so excited for what sits so close on the horizon.. As soon as I can share I will! EYE Of THE STORM ;)

This weekend was...

Great Friends...

Late Nights..

Florida Games...

Newspaper Studios...

And not a lot of sleep... ;)

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The Story of the Storyteller

I put together a short synopsis of a very hard realization I have come to these last few months.

Since graduating from UF two and a half years ago, I feel that my journey with photography has been spun around and tipped upside down many times. What started in newspaper quickly moved to non profit and then back to newspaper. From there I've tried weddings, freelance, magazines, the music industry, production companies, I've even given shooting video a go!

The one common thread I've found entangled within all my new adventures and titles, is the common passion of being a storyteller. It doesn't matter what the medium is, as long as I'm visually telling stories that will ultimately make a difference, I'm happy.

So here's to working toward happiness in whatever step we find ourselves on in this adventure....

the story of the storyteller from Luanne Dietz on Vimeo.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Zack Arias

I wanted to take a second to direct your attention to a friend, and talented Atlanta based photographer Zack Arias. About two days ago he posted a blog asking photographers "how many of you are on the dock?!?". After the post went viral, something happened that no one could have expected. A blog post that was meant to inspire and draw up conversation, turned into "photographers anonymous" in regards to the fears we all have in following our passionate dreams.

As Zack sat on his porch with his wife and thought about how to handle the next days blog post, kinda where to go from here, a man walked up in his yard looking to sell him a bottle of soap. Zack said he knew at that exact moment that this man held the answers to all those searching that responded on his blog. He ran inside and grabbed his Canon 5DMarkII and shot a video called Dope,Soap and Hope. The next morning he posted it on his blog, and the responses were overwhelming.

The thing that hit me the most after following this blog for the last three days is the overwhelming support that people have to see others succeed. The first day served comment after comment on how hard it is to launch off and become a photographer and make money in the business, and the second day handed us comments about how inspiring this mans life is and how can we all help.

Zack this morning posted day three of this encouraging journey with Derricks Hope Soap Fund. Allowing and outlet for all who care to buy a "virtual" bottle of soap so that we can all make a difference in this mans life...

This to me is just a practical application of world changing photography!!! Way to Go Zack!!! you are changing lives, and I am so grateful to become a part of it.. P.S. I bought a bottle of "soap", I encourage you to too!!!

Please click on all the links and take some time to look at this three day journey.. it is game changing! I promise!

Production Bobby Watkins

After four days of Principle Photography, Bobby Watkins is a wrap!

The teams have operated so smoothly, allowing this to be one of the most efficient and creative shoots yet. We’ve completely built out the back yard to create “Bobby Watkins” birthday party and worked within all departments to make sure the scenes we are shooting are exactly as designed from the storyboards.The actors worked brilliant in fulfilling their roles of a 1950’s era family. From costumes to set design to camera techniques and technicolor, our team did their research to determine what would make a great film from that time period.

We’ve been working diligently to refine our departments and how they work with one another to create synergy and unity for the set. When the grip team is called on set, they know their job is to physically set up the shot while the camera crew is on stand by. After the grip team gets set, they move out and call for the camera crew, which then allows space and time for the camera crew to come in and set the CineAlta up along with providing initial camera view for the director to start tweaking the frame. While this is happening, you have wardrobe working on costumes while Video Village is surrounded by the script supervisor and art director to make sure the frame is clean and correct. Finally the director looks at everything, making sure it’s all what he wants, then calls for action.

Stay tuned for a full length behind the scenes as it develops....

Bobby Watkins Pre-Production

I've spent the last month working with Whitestone preparing and shooting their next short film, to release later this month, Bobby Watkins. As always this team never ceases to amaze me. With a film set in the 50's and modern time homes not catering to that style, our team went in and decided to build out most of the set from scratch.

Bobby Watkins is a short film about a boy who plans a scheme, in hops of tricking his parents into having a birthday every day... Will it work as planned?!?! you'll have to wait and see;)

Pre-Production Vignette

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Gift Card Giver

I spent the evening documenting a "Get Carded" event for gift card giver. Check out their website at giftcardgiver.com

The concept behind gift card giver, is that almost everyone has unused gift cards, that they have been given for one occasion or another, sitting unused in their wallets. So I joined friends of Gift Card Giver as they got together to "Get Carded" at a local East Atlanta home. They gathered for an evening of food, games,a silent art auction, and live music, but not before they got carded at the door. Each person attending the event was asked to bring a gift card that they wouldn't mind donating to a cause. The cause that these East Atlanta friends decided to support was the East Atlanta kids Club.

After all was said and done, the Gift Card Giver house party in East Atlanta raised around $1395 for the kids club. The house party was a sweet success. To see more from house parties in different cities, check out their website here.