MY APPROACH to Photography
My measurement for a successful portrait is when a stranger can look at the person in the photo and gets a sense of what that their voice sounds like. To me, it's more than just a taking a pretty picture, it’s about revealing the authentic nature of my clients and catching that moment when you are who you are when you're with a friend and there are no cameras around.
Whenever I start working with someone new, I begin by investing the time to get to know you, what makes you tick, your sense of style and personality. Devoting this time will also help us break the ice and help you feel more comfortable when it comes time to shoot. Together, we’ll review my portfolio and select the images that you love, the ones that drew you to me and inspired you to consider working with me. I’ll also ask you to point out the images that are your least favorites. I find this is a great way to cut through the semantics of the words we use to become more clear on the visual style you love. I like to think my work has a wide range of unique styles and what works for you, may not for someone else and vice versa.
When it comes time for me to pick up my camera, all the guesswork has been taken care of so we can focus on simply being present. We will work together to co-create an environment that helps you be you. Every so often, I’ll share a few images with you to insure we are on the same page and will make adjustments when needed.
Within 24-48 hours after the shoot, you will receive an online gallery of the high resolution, color-balanced images, for you to review and select the ones you would like to use.
Since my clients range from professionals and artists to businesses large and small, my pricing and packages are custom made to fit your needs.
Ready to start talking? CLICK HERE to send me an email or call me at 707.969.7991
BACKSTORY: TMI (too much information)
I grew up watching my father, a professional wedding and portrait photographer, create stunning imagery of the people he photographed. As early as the age of 2, I was fascinated by cameras and as I grew up, taking photos (and having photos taken of me) was something that was just a part of life.
Blake age 2, 3, and 6
And then I rebelled. I did what so many troubled youths do and I got consumed by the world of improv comedy and acting. Though some could look at that as a major setback, it was in fact an amazing growing experience that turned an introverted and shy teenager into an obnoxious loudmouthed young man in his early 20's... ok, maybe it was a setback.
After my breakout role as "Guy Who Saved Woman From Burning Car" in America's Most Wanted (true story), I had my fill of acting and started my photography business in Los Angeles in 2003. In the beginning, my main clientele were in the comedy scene and they were more interested in photos that seemed fun and quirky rather picture perfect. My main focus was getting people's personality to really shine and has been the foundation of my work ever since.
As I developed my photography and lighting skills, I won BackStage's "Reader's Choice Awards" 2 years in a row. I began photographing celebrities for the covers of magazines. From the beautiful Keira Knightly to the amazing Pee-Wee Herman, I worked with all kinds of personalities and learned how to be versatile in any situation. Many of my portrait clients asked me to photograph their weddings because they liked how comfortable I made them feel during our shoot. This opened up a world of storytelling that I had not yet explored and I developed a photojournalistic style that blended well with my experience as a portrait photographer.
In 2015, I felt the need to take some time off and rethink my life and career. I sold my house and left LA to begin what was supposed to be an epic cross-country road trip. I didn't get much further than the beautiful Mendocino coastline though. During this hiatus, I moved up to Fort Bragg for a temporary job working in the kitchen at Living Light Culinary Institute. I was never a big foodie until I started eating a plant-based diet and this is what the school teaches. Besides getting to explore and indulge in my love for healthy food, I also developed a food photography course to help the students take better pictures of their culinary creations.
Food Photography Instructor at Living Light Culinary Institute
Currently, I'm enjoying my new life on the Mendocino coast. I truly love this community and want to do whatever I can to help local business owners, entrepreneurs, artists and realtors with their photography needs. Beyond taking photos, I'm developing a marketing team to help small businesses in town. In my spare time, I'm developing a plant based cookbook that will utilize my skills in the kitchen, my skills behind the camera, and the seemingly useless pop culture knowledge taking up space in my head from growing up watching way too much TV.
You can often find me hanging out on the beach with my senior dog Bodhi.
Bodhi at Seaside Beach
CLICK HERE to send me an email with any questions you may have, or if you simply want to tell me how handsome Bodhi is.
GOSSIP: What People Are Saying About Me
"Blake made sure the atmosphere was relaxed and put me at ease during our photo shoots. All the details and creative set ups come natural to Blake. He is professional, patient, and funny. I really recommend his service and expertise for an extraordinaire experience which will give you photographs to be proud of. Thank you Blake!"
~Martine Lussier, Zumba Instructor
Martine Lussier - Zumba Instructor - Seaside Beach
"I was initially drawn to Blake’s work because he doesn’t just take a picture, he takes a portrait of the person, the personality, the mood, and the story. He creates a whole world in each image. After actually shooting with him, I literally can’t bring myself to shoot with anyone else. He makes me feel comfortable, we laugh, he remembers my quirks, he’s always up for something new, he’s a genuine pleasure to spend time with, and I’m always beyond pleased with our finished product. As always, I can’t wait to see what we do next!"
~Zoey Taylor, The Warren Tattoo Shop
Zoey Taylor - Business Owner - The Warren Tattoo Shop
"I have worked with Blake for years and when I needed new brand/lifestyle photos taken, Blake and I crafted a simple plan of looks that matched the theme of my business and the various pages of my website and social media . There is no one I trust more than Blake to take exceptional, high quality lifestyle photos. They have helped me to attract & create a deeper relationship with my audience. I couldn't have done it without Blake."
~Casey Zeman, Founder & CEO of Easy Webinar
Casey Zeman - Founder & CEO of Easy Webinar
"I used to photograph my real estate listings myself. I take good photos. But the difference I experienced with Blake Floyd Gardner Photography was tremendous. Buyers were drawn to the properties. Sellers were proud of how good their properties looked. Now I want Blake to photograph every listing."
~Ryan Flegal, Broker/Owner, PropertyMix, Inc.
"Never in my life have I had such a gorgeous picture. It is, of course, a portrait, not just a headshot. It's clearly a picture of me, but it's this version of me that will appear to people in dreams when I die.”
"I want to thank you for the great work and professionalism, the environment and energy was great and I hope I will get to work with you again someday.”
CLICK HERE to get started simply call me at 707.969.7991