“be not blind for the soul lies deep”

Archive for the 'seniors' Category


BIG news on the business front!

When Holly and I met she was looking for someone to teach her more about photography and trying to find out if she should go to school again for that instead of sticking with graphic design which is what she graduated with.

At this time, I was looking for someone to design me a logo and website. That’s the premiss of how we met essentially for those of you who didn’t know. So she was looking for a photographer to show her the ropes…We technically have to say we met on-line… Which is kind of embarrassing for us =) She always makes me tell the story when people ask because I can tell it in a way that doesn’t spotlight that fact but doesn’t lie about how we met either!

My point is that at first Holly was with me shooting weddings because I could use a hand being pretty inexperienced, and because she wanted some more practice. We quickly became a great team and have actually been together since my first paying wedding!

So the whole point of this story is that Holly has been more in the background where I got most of the credit for her amazing editing, and a lot of her shots that no-one knew were hers! You can’t say we are just Ryan Richard Photography anymore. It’s not just me, it’s us! She has improved by leaps and bounds and there is no way I could produce what I promise without her. So to celebrate and recognize the goodness she brings to the table, we are now GAUPERPHOTO!

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What do ya think? I struggled for a while about changing it to my last name because no one can seem to say it right! If you actually look at it and sound it out, it’s not that hard. Gaw-per. Not Galper, Glopper, Grooper,Goopie,Golper,Gumper,groper or Galapanokis.

GAUPER … I have gone through a lot of frustration, but I am putting my trust into mankind one more so please don’t let me down! Even with Ryan Richard people would always call me Richard for some reason, or say Ryan Richards…So I am counting on you guys to get it right… got it? =)

So anyway, we have a bridal show coming up where we are the only photography vendors. The Radisson is putting on a non-traditional show that is going to be really great! Unfortunately, we have a wedding in Long Island the same day. I have been super pumped to do that wedding but we are bummed to not be able to do the show but we figured a big NY wedding and a big bridal show would be the perfect time to unveil a new logo and name!

Part of the deal of having a free booth and being a preferred vendor all year for the fanciest hotel in town was that I had to shoot the bridal show. Since I obviously couldn’t I asked if I could hire someone out to do that so I could still have the booth. I had someone great in mind and they accepted! My favorite new wedding photographer is Diana Vermeulen of Moxie Photography. I have been referring people to her left and right because she does great work for the price so if we are booked on your date or are a little out of our range, be sure to look her up!

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Since we are getting an all new identity, we needed a few fresh new images of us to display at the Bridal show we will be doing a full session soon, with another one of my new favorite photographers we have been hanging out with, Melissa Gregersen

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But since we didn’t have time to do a full session we went out for a few shots with my brother in law Dave who we are thinking about hiring on as an intern this summer.

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He graduated from Western with a marketing degree and we think he has a lot of potential not only on the business side but possibly behind the camera with some practice! These are a few shots he took for us. Thanks Dave!

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Pretty nice for his first time wielding a nice camera right?

We wanted to do a giant overhaul with a new website and blog but that just wasn’t going to happen by the NY trip and we really wanted to do it for the show and the wedding. Be on the lookout for at least a new blog by the beginning of the summer because a nice blog is LONG overdue and we know that. The new one will be much more enjoyable to visit!

But anyways, that’s the big news! I hope you guys like it. I feel like we have more of our own style and the old logo only portrayed our traditional and classic side but had nothing to do with the rustic and industrial side. I think it suits us much better and is much more modern. Let us know what you think!!

Gauper out =)


Senior Info


Thank you for your interest in a portrait session with us! We would really love to do a session with you but we also really try and work with people who share our style and will be happy when we give them images that reflect that style.

Our Style should be taken into account before booking your session with us as we may not work as well under the more traditional standards that some people are used to.

We are strictly on location, and mostly natural light, so by booking a session with us you have to be aware that we are at the mercy of the weather and therefor will have to be flexible to fit in your session. We try and use the beginning of or end of the daylight to more easily control shadows to get more of a flattering light for our subjects.

If you are wanting the majority of your senior pictures done in nature settings, we can do that but we must let you know that we are usually unable to provide more variety in those settings. We thrive and work best in urban settings that are more grungy and rustic to achieve a “beauty and the beast” type of contrast that makes colors pop and gives our images a very unique and edgy look.

Q and A:

What is your payment policy?

We ask that you send us a check for half to book your date, and then we require the remainder before we begin the session. If you decide to order more then your allotted print credit we would need a check for that before we can submit the order.

How long do sessions last?

That can depend on a lot of things but usually from one and a half to two or more hours. In either case we reserve control over when I feel like we have enough images to give you a good variety. I like to start about 3 hours before sunset so the times will vary or we could do shoots a few hours before noon to get similar light.

Do you retouch your images?

Yes we know that you want to look your best for senior pictures and don’t leave any images looking anything but the best they can. Our theory is that if it wont be there in a month we will remove and smooth. Things like moles, scars or anything else as to not offend people you will need to tell us you would like us to remove certain things that bug you. On the same note, retouching does take a great deal of time so anything you can do to help is greatly appreciated, even if you don’t tend to wear makeup, even a small amount will help us to make you images look much better.

Can I bring a friend?

Yes! I wish more people would bring friends because it makes it less awkward to be honest! Anyone who helps you to be yourself I really encourage that you bring. After all the whole goal is to get images of you being yourself in a natural and relaxed way!

Is facial hair good in pictures?

My personal opinion is that unless it’s a big part of who you are it’s best to be mostly clean shaven unless you have a descent five O’ clock shadow going on. I had a “goatee” in my senior pictures, and I think back and think it looks ridiculous but that’s just me. I still find the images have a more clean look when you shave.


Yes this is me demonstrating how bad it can look =)

Do you travel to locations we want?

We do travel for 50 cents a mile to and from a location outside downtown kalamazoo. We feel we need to charge this rate because of the time traveling, and the gas and milage put on our vehicles.

Can I suggest locations?

This subject is kind of hard because we love to give people lots of variety in there set. 90% of the time when people ask us to go to certain locations they don’t cater well to our style and a lot of times we travel a good distance to a location where we can only get a couple good shots. We spend a lot of time scouting areas to find locations that yield the best variety shots you can get in a single location. We really ask that you trust that we know the best location which is why booking us because you like our style is so important. Like I said before nature locations are not very good for what we do. Trees and flowers can be nice for a few shots, but they start to all look the same very soon.


Why do you Charge up front?

We have had to learn the hard way unfortunately that money is kind of a pain to deal with after the actual session. We used to do half down on the day of the session and then the rest when you get your proofs, but our turn around time is fast enough to where we would rather just get it out of the way so that we can focus more on getting you results. Then we don’t have to wait for a check from you to release the proofs, or worry about people getting the proofs before we are compensated for all the work we have already done. Hope this isn’t an inconvenience to you, but we have to do what’s safe and best for our business.

Why do pictures cost so much?

Most people kind of have the idea that all you need is a descent camera to give people senior pictures. And in one sense that is true. We try and give you images that are set apart from the norm. We really pride ourselves in giving people the highest quality pictures they can get from anyone. This means keeping up and researching the best Camera, lenses, computers, software, and proofing sites we can. Then we have to buy all those things. We have spent thousands on equipment and computers to give you what you paid for. Not to mention we really put our hearts and souls and hours of our time to give you great pictures. We hope you see the value in what we do!

Do you give people full resolution disks with printing rights?

I’m sorry but no we don’t and you may think its more about the money but to be honest its about the artistic integrity. When people go to print pictures it makes me cringe to think they are bringing my images to walmart to print them on low quality paper and ink. You must understand that my reputation and name is on my images, and word of mouth and my images are all I have. When people design there own graduation announcement cards with a bad design and sub par printing it makes me look really bad. I hope you understand that I have to reserve all printing rights because I feel like it’s what is best for our business. We also backup your images in 3 different places so you will always be able to order prints down the road if you so choose.

Holly is a graphic designer so we do offer custom designed grad announcements!


What is the turn around time on proofs and prints?
We always try and give you a good preview to tide you over until you get the full set but depending on the week we try and complete your set within a couple weeks. As soon as you submit your print order it only takes a couple weeks to get them.


Kayli {{senior 2009}}

post by: holly

This past saturday we had the privilege to do Kayli’s senior photos. She lives in grand rapids so we went there for something different since we do most everyone in kalamazoo.

First, I must say, this girl has quite the personality and it was awesome. She was just a joy to work with and I just so wish more people were spunky like that. I love people who are just so free spirited, it makes our job so much easier because she wasn’t really being “posed” she was making everything her own when we were downtown and it was just great.

Something to note is that I think when you see her photos below you will be able to see who she is and that is so important. With seniors, I know it is awkward and uncomfortable at first but I just encourage all of you who we have yet to shoot, to dig deep and forget we are there and that you are uncomfortable and just let loose and be yourself because it really will show in the photos, and thats what its all about, right?


First, she loves art and was telling us about this pieces of grafiti she loved so we went to it and found it was covered by a stupid fence. So, I thought it would be cool to put a page together with the quote on the grafiti for her. It has been a while since I have done pages, but gosh, I think this turned out great, i love it!

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This was the beginning of the shoot and she was less comfortable here, haha. You have to have stuff for the parents though, so I think this is the most parent-y shot we have.

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I put some cool textured in some of the photos I thought were cool and I just adore how this looks. It makes it kind of dark and interesting to me.

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This is one of my favorite photos of the day. The cutout just worked so well and she just nailed it with her face. There are certain things about this pose that she did that made it work PERFECTLY. First, it is the eyes that sell it, and she just seemed to know what we were going for and her eyes just are captivating in it. Also, the lips being slightly apart makes that impact as well. It is hard to just “tell” people to do something like that you know, sometimes you just have feel the idea and go with it.

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Another sweet sweet texture…and i love it on the this photo. I also have a thing for stripes..obviously. We have many upshots of her I feel like but this one felt different to me from what we do with other people. Where your arms and legs are really make the difference in a photo.

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I love this because it shows something about her rather than just standing there smiling.

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I have “regular” edits of these photos without the texture on them that I gave to her, but it just feels like this works so it gets in my favorites post. 🙂 It has mood and emotion and was just made for sepia! I love it!

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This was part of the graffiti that had the fence obstructing us, but we made it work. 🙂 The fence kind of made a cool texture anyways.

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I spotted this and it matched her sweatshirt so well I figured it was just destiny…and I really love how it turned out. Again, her face really sells it.

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This is my favorite of my creative edits! It just turned out really cool and texturey… 🙂

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Ryan was going to reject this one! When I saw it, I knew it would edit well so I saved it! 🙂

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I love this, who says senior pictures have to sooooo serious all the time? I mean really, when your 17 years old, you shouldn’t be all that serious anyways.

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Best fisheye face…ever. That is all that needs to be said.

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She kept offering all these things she could do and we were like….go for it. So this happened, hah. Her tongue is sticking out too…haha. priceless.

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An upshot with some sass!

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This reminds me of the movie “house bunny” when she stands over the steam to try be all Marylyn monroe and freaks out cause its so hot.

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Two very awesome poses! Who knew such a ridiculously awesome photo could happen on an old dumpster!

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So this is the second time that day we tried the bubble picture. The gum we bought just was not the greatest even though it was BUBBLE tape. This is the best we could do. I am going to get a different kind of gum for the next time we try it with someone.

Ok so that is the end of the shoot! This was a big preview but I liked so many of them, haha. I spent like 5 hours editing her photos which is crazy longer than it usually takes, but there were just so many good photos!!

So the moral of this story… it is so much better to just let loose and be who you are rather than trying to fit the mold and just busting out a cheese smile in every photo. The end. 🙂

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Brittany {{Senior 2009}}

{post by: holly}

I haven’t really done any posts on all the seniors we have been doing. It feels like we have done…well, a lot. I like doing them, they are very different from weddings. First off, they are so much quicker to edit. Second, we get a lot of time to go to a bunch of places and it gives time for ryan to think and it helps stretch our creativity. The extra money helps out too! haha.

Since Ryan got full frame his photos have just been amazing. They make editing a lot easier and they are so sharp! I love it! I can’t wait till I get to upgrade too.

Anyways, this is Brittany and she is my favorite senior so far. I felt like she just made it easy on us and that is nice. Her photos turned out amazing, the best so far in my opinion.

{{This is my favorite of the day, I love these two together.}}

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{{Doesn’t she look like Jennifer Aniston in this picture? I think so…its freaky. haha}}


{{I made her into one of the statues!}}

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{{We do upshots with everyone but this one is kind of different and I like it. I like how her legs are crossed. Little details like that really make photos great}}

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{{We did this for an engagement and to me…it is just not getting old. I think I really have a thing for the color yellow right now. I want to paint my dining room/office area yellow…real bad.}}

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{{Ryan has really gotten better at fine tuning poses for people…but like I said, she made it easier. The feet are my favorite part of this. I love those shoes, especially with a dress!!}}

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{{We were exploring a new part of downtown and came across this amazing door. When we walked passed it, I literally gasped, haha. Her dad was with us and opened it to see what was in there and turns out it is a ballet school…that was in progress at the time which was really funny.}}

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{{Ok so I said at the beginning that the other set was my favorite. This is ALSO my favorite. I got that umbrella when I was at cedarville because the rain there was insane but I sacrificed dryness for its amazing pattern because that umbrella is super small and really worthless…but isn’t it the greatest for photos! Amazing!!}}

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{{We had a ton of her, but this is the last one I am putting in here. She did serious so well}}

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Ok no more procrastinating from me anymore…gotta go finish drying my hair. The new season of The Office airs tonight!!! YESS!!

Hope you enjoy the photos!

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