Tag Archives: kevin vogrin

SOAR – Students Off Campus Achieving Results (Documentary Trailer)

SOAR is a collaborative program between Marywood University and NEIU19 that provides students with autism “real life experiences” in an age-appropriate environment. The enrolled students attend classes at Marywood, participate in a half-day of vocational activities in various offices and departments at the University, and participate in student activities.

This follow up documentary shadows five SOAR graduates and their triumphs and challenges finding jobs, despite their Autism Spectrum Disorder. Information about the release and screenings of the full length film will be released shortly.

For more information about SOAR, please visit:



Heather & Nella Portraits

Heather and her daughter Nella were great to work with. She can now enjoy these timeless and intimate moments of her daughter’s life forever. Here are a few of my favorites.

Scranton Holiday Show Concert Photos

After finally fixing a broken memory card, I was able to salvage shots from the 2014 Holiday Show, which took place at the Leonard Theater, in Scranton, PA. Each year, internationally recognized acts originating from Scranton, PA return to share the stage and pay respects to their hometown. Proceeds from the event are donated to the youth art and music programs in the Scranton Area. The show was a great success, selling out early in the evening.

This year’s headliners were:

The Menzingers, Tigers Jaw, Captain We’re Sinking.

Flags For The Fallen Video

In honor of Memorial Day, I’m sharing this short video I created in 2013.
Each year on Veterans Day, Marywood University’s Office of Military and Veteran Services and Student Veteran Alliance plant more than 6700 American flags in the Memorial Commons to honor those members of the military who lost their lives in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Refraction Series (New Additions)

The Refraction series is hands down the favorite series I have developed, and holds some of my favorite images I have taken throughout the years. Each of the photos were taken through refractive surfaces, and all of the images in the Refraction series are straight photography, meaning created in camera and without digital manipulation. if you enjoy this selection, check out the rest of the series through the link below.

View the rest of the series

Rekindle Your Creativity – Video Portraits

A video portrait is an excellent way to spotlight a unique individual or location. Interesting subjects can be found at every corner, and are a great way to spark your creativity.

Storytelling, either through filmmaking or writing, is made up of two types of building blocks: concrete and abstract. To demonstrate the difference between each, picture the following words in your mind: horse… money… love. The word “horse” is a literal representation; the word is concrete and universally pictured as a specific animal. The representation of “money” may come as a literal stack of money or as luxury items and the lifestyle associated with them. The word falls in between concrete and abstract. A visualization of “love” differs between person and culture. It is abstract and represented by the emotions evoked and connected with it. Much like these examples, video portraits fall into three similar categories.

Artistic Representation

The artistic portrait (abstract) is less about the subject and more about the film’s visuals or techniques. These types of portraits often are without dialogue or have separate dialogue not linked to the visuals. I often refer to this style as lyrical or visual poetry.

In George Kuchar’s Wild Night in El Rino, the subject is not a person, but a storm. George gives the audience little information to this point aside from what is visually seen. Through the use of film he documents the nuances of the storm as seen through his eyes, capturing the mood and feeling of the storm the same way a poet would capture the storm through the use of words.

The second example, Kyle, I created in 2006. Again, the film’s focus is on visuals. I chose to use a Mini DV camera at a very slow shutter speed to create a pastel colored palate the subject travels through. The limited used of sound (footsteps, breathing, and guitar playing) further adds to the idea of visual poetry composing the portrayed subject.

Mini Documentary (Indirect Approach)

Al Monelli’s Man With Puppet is an example of what I refer to as the indirect approach to video portraits (a mix of abstract and concrete). The indirect approach has a story arch that does not expose the “who”, “what”, and “why” of the subject upfront. Rater, the focus is on the inner struggles of the subject and the content is told through the visuals, building the story of the portrait as the film progresses.

The second example by James Hollenbaugh is an excerpt from Self Portrait Portrait. What is interesting about this piece is that the concrete and abstract areas are separated; the visuals serve as the abstract, and the audio the concrete. Where one ends, the other fills in. The audio tells the inner feelings of the subject, while the visuals paint a visual representation. Both are equally important, and can not exist without one another. Combined together, they create this amazing portrait.

Mini Documentary (Direct Approach)

The direct approach tells the “who”, “what”, and “why” of the subject upfront. While this style can still be artistic /semi-abstract, the main focus is on conveying information about the subject to the viewer. This is often the structure of documentary, promotional, and more recently, “Kick Starter” videos, as this information is needed upfront.

The first example is another film by James Hollenbaugh,  I Made it With Colors. The focus of the piece is to portray the organization through subject interaction.

Art 21 has an excellent direct approach example with their portrait of Martha Colburn. The piece discusses her artistic process and is accompanied by visual representations to tell her story, portraying who she is as an artist.

Let this be an inspiration to use at least one of the styles listed (or all three!) in your future projects. Video portraits are individually unique and no two subjects or ways of portraying them are the same. Plus, searching for and finding the subject is half the fun.

1:1 Ratio Photos – Should You Switch?

Lately, I’ve been switching from a 4:3 ratio to a 1:1 ratio while shooting photographs.

Nostalgia pours in as I think back to this time of the year during early days shooting on film. Leaves falling, days growing shorter, and myself alternating between 35mm and 120 film (a 1:1 ratio). Mentally, shooting on 1:1 is very refreshing and brings me back to a time when the instantaneous results of digital was not present, and composing a shot in my mind was not as fast. My memory recalls paying more attend towards changing light of compositions and limiting shots by how much film was left in the camera.

Shooting on a 1:1 format has made me rethink the entire process of capturing an image. The rule of third has changed to quadrants; geometric patterns have also become much more evident. When I hold up my camera I find myself thinking, “Why am I taking this photo and what has drawn me towards this?”  I would recommend switching formats to anyone seeking to rekindle their lost creative spark, ambition, or sense of adventure of just going out and shooting. Even if you never show or use any of the images, just shoot. Shoot, and your potential creativity will thank you later.

Recent shots I’ve taken at a 1:1 ratio.