black and white film portraits

one person one roll of film summer

I have a little travel-everywhere Pentax K1000 which was loaded with Ilford HP5 film. Sometimes, especially in the summer when the film is black and white, that roll can stay in the camera for ages. I have a 2nd Pentax K1000 loaded with color film too and that one gets used more often. This roll of Hp5 was used up at the beach, but over several different visits, mostly with my beach loving boy. Black and white film grain, sandy skin, wave splashes and ocean misty skies are a delicious combo. I’ll do this summertime black and white more often! Processed by ProPhotoIrvine, scanned (with loads of dust) by me.

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My friend Juliet Schwab has also posted her One Roll One Kid this month and you can see it here :

Love Letter to Michigan

Dear Michigan,

Thank you for the many blueberry fields and the vast apple orchards.  Thank you for treating us to glorious perfect summers and the crisp brilliant autumns and the winter wonderland.  Thank you for the summer rain and the fireflies that follow. Thank you Michigan for the unsalted sea and the sand dunes and the long hot afternoons resting on your banks.  Thank you for the beautiful sunsets shared with family and friends. Thank you Michigan for your beer enthusiasm, your growing food culture and for the coffee shops where many a rant was shared.  Thank you for the street fairs and the artist community. Thank you for the makers, the bakers and the markets.

Thank you dear Michigan portrait clients for appearing in front of my cameras over the years and for trusting me enough with your memories to return for more and more and more again. Dear Michigan, thank you especially for growing up with my children and parenting beside me. Thank you for the lifelong friendships and the smiling faces. You are all missed.

Love always, me.

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Hello to Santa Barbara, CA! We’ve been in town for about 5 months now and are happy to make our new home here in California. We are already in love with the palm trees, the salt water, the mountains, the food and the people. We can’t wait to explore and discover what is in store for us in this next chapter. I look forward to making memories with new west coast friends, and welcoming visitors from our Michigan years. I hope to see many of you in front of my cameras both here in Santa Barbara and again in Michigan dear friends. For the lovely East Grand Rapids class of 2020, I will be back in Grand Rapids for a week in June 2019 to conduct your senior portraits just like we planned way back in 4th grade! Can’t wait to see you again. xoxo.

Motherhood Project Models Needed

I have an upcoming photography project which requires a few fresh faces and test session models.  The theme is Celebrating Motherhood and my desire is to get the moms out there in front of the camera and to celebrate your relationships with your child(ren).

Moms and children in front of the camera, motherhood portraits

Here are the details:

  • Available dates are February 24th and 25th or March 3rd
  • This will be a black and white film session in your home
  • This is open to any age mother and child(ren)
  • There is no cost to the participants
  • A fine art gift print will be provided to each mother
  • A signed model release will be required for use in promotion and class discussion

Please inquire by email to if you have any questions or would like to be involved on the dates listed above.

Then, Later and Now

One of my favorite parts of being a family photographer is getting to watch all those little babies grow up over the years.  I've been a working photographer here in Grand Rapids Michigan for just over 6 years now which means I have several families that I have photographed again and again and witnessed new family members join and little ones get bigger!  This is Harrison, Then, Later and Now, along with his two little brothers.

Family photography on black and white film
Little brothers in portraits
In home family photography grand rapids michigan
Michigan child photographer
Children's portraits west michigan
On Location in home family photographer
fun casual lifestyle family photos
Lifestyle baby portraits
baby's first year in photos
cute baby photos in the bath

These sweet boys were photographed last month in their home.  The photographs were created using Kodak Portra 400 and Tri-x400 films on a Contax 645 and Canon Eos-1v and were processed and scanned by my partner lab ProPhotoIrvine.

Work Date with Cam

This little guy of mine turned 9 years old this week. I don't know if NINE feels much different than EIGHT for him, but for me it suddenly feels like a leap from being my baby.  TEN just feels so much closer than it did a week ago.  He is a deep thinker, an adventure lover, a sensitive friend, a complex student, and a constant companion.  He spends a lot of his mental energy being conflicted while trying to figure out his exact place in the real world, and also being immersed in an imaginary world suited to whatever his latest obsession is.  Right now, it is everything Dr. Who. A month ago he was Jeff Gordon and an absolute expert on every and any race car.  Next month?  I can only guess, I'm just along for the ride.  I am happy we can have our coffee dates in the back corner of The Sparrows here in Grand Rapids.  I learn a lot in the process about the nature of being Cameron. He uses his sketchbooks to simultaneously tell the stories in his imagination while also contemplating his heart.  "I've been feeling the depressive coming"   "I wonder when my maturity will come?"  "I think my humor is coming back."  So Cameron, I don't know of the places you will go at TEN, or NINETEEN or FORTY-SEVEN, but I call ShotGun along the way.

black and white film at The Sparrows in Grand Rapids
Acros film portrait Grand Rapids Michigan
black and white film lifestyle sessions grand rapids
Dena Robles, Grand Rapids Michigan film photographer
coffeeshop photography sessions Grand Rapids Michigan
Kids on film, West Michigan photographer Dena Robles
simple classic bw film portraits, Acros, The Sparrows coffee and newsstand
coffee dates with cameron Pentax K1000, Acros, Grand Rapids, Michigan