This weeks image was inspired by a wedding I covered yesterday at this same venue. As my wife and I were on our way to the reception, we were going over a mental check of equipment/shots/timeline stuff that we usually go over while in route. I mentioned that on the dance floor, there is an 8 point star that plays well into my first dance images. One of my signature first dance shots is a backlit, highlighted image of the bride and groom on the dance floor. Because the image is backlit, if I compose the shot in such a way to capture some of the back light, it produces a star-like glare which is similar to the one on the dance floor.
As we arrived at the venue, I was lugging my equipment across the dance floor to the back of the room and I noticed that the beautiful floor I remembered was no longer there. They had replaced it with a plain dark flooring. I asked the manager and she said that they just decided to replace the floor a few months ago. No real reason, just because. Oh well, no big deal, I still captured plenty of cool images, however this just made me reflect back to this one which I happened to like a lot.
Back to work. Enjoy your weekend!
More like images of the week, this week I’m cheating a bit, but they are all from the same session. Sometimes it’s just plain hard to choose just one. If I could, I would post an entire image gallery each week, but that would be way too many photos to insert into the blog post.
This year, I have been fortunate to be busy and having so much fun doing what I do. Although I have a pretty decent web presence, I owe a lot to my friends and family who have endorsed my work this past year, because I know it’s because they believe in me. I am more confident than ever before because I do what I believe is right. I have listened to every professional in the business say that the most difficult thing as a photographer is try to be different than everyone else out there. The way I approached that theory is simply to not try to copy everyone out there so that I am not the same. This gives me the freedom to be instinctive and approach each shoot with a clear mind while not following a fixed shot list each time out. If that were the case, all of my images would look the same and this would eventually become boring.
Well, off to work. Enjoy the weekend and thanks for checking in.
This weeks image of the week comes from a wedding I just finished covering 11 hours ago. I rarely post images from events this recent, but it is so vivid in my mind. These people were so much fun, I could not help myself.
A 13 hour day of no pressure, fun-filled image making. From the moment I entered the brides home, her family and friends were so warm and inviting. Both families were amazing and the core group of friends could not have closer. They were genuinely cool with awesome personalities all around. It was so great to work with them. You know it’s a good night when the family and wedding party are looking for you at the end of the night (or morning) to make sure they say goodbye to you before you split. It really was awesome to have met everyone last night.
Congratulations to Shamie & Anthony. I look forward to meeting with you soon to go through your images together. More images to come soon.
You know what it’s like when you get that wedding invitation in the mail. The first thing you probably do is check the date in your calendar, cause that just makes sense. Then you begin to think about what you are going to wear. Maybe you need to get a new dress, or pull that old suit out of the back of the closet to send it to the cleaners. What if that invitation said something other than formal or black tie in the dress category….
Every once in a while, I find the theme of a wedding drift outside of the formal tradition. It’s kind of refreshing in that it reminds us that it is our day and we really can do what ever we want.This bride and groom held there wedding at their private residence dressed in an all out country theme. The guys were uniformly dressed in wrangler jeans cowboy boots/hats (no spurs for safety purposes). The girls were also wearing boots with cowgirl dresses. There was a country band playing at the reception and the food served was all barbeque. The bride is a professional horseback rider and yes, we took formal pictures with her horse.
The property was enormous, but there were so many people in attendance, it was difficult to get an environmental picture without guests in the frame. As the sun was saying goodbye, I looked around for a setting to take a few more shots before we completely lost daylight. I was standing on the lawn across from the house (log cabin actually) looking out over the driveway. The sky and silhouetted trees were pretty sweet. I framed the side of the barn on the left and the asked the groom if we could place the carriage on the right in front of the boardwalk. The reception was in full swing right behind me in a huge tent on the lawn and was well illuminated, but only inside the tent itself. There was a portable luxury bathroom trailer on the other side of the barn, so this area was quite busy and the only area outside the tent with an outside light. Because of the bathroom traffic, I was able to test a few shots as people returned from the bathroom. I tested the exposure balance between the sky and the flood light on the front of the barn, which was the key light that would light the bride and groom in this photo. Once I had what I was looking for, I grabbed the bride and groom from the reception and kindly asked them to pose for this picture while asking everyone else to stay clear of the frame for literally about 5 seconds.
I like this image because it totally fits the theme of the wedding. After spending part of the day here, I almost forgot I was still on Long Island.
I chose this image for this weeks post because of its significance for a couple of reasons. Shamie and Anthony thought Captree would be a cool spot for their engagement shoot because Anthony has a picture of himself when he was very little at this very same spot. He was on the beach playing as a young boy and in the background is the the Robert Moses Bridge. The image he described shows the entire length of the bridge including the Robert Moses needle. So going into this shoot, I knew I wanted to create an image for them, which has the same canvas.
We planned the shoot to end around sunset as to capture a nice silhouette of the bridge. Given the lack of natural light, I needed to set up a strobe that lights them and I wanted to make it look like they are being lit by the setting sun, so the light had to come from the side of me and light them from the front. Here is where it gets interesting. I set my light up near the water and pushed the legs of my stand into the sand so that the wind would not blow my stand with my light and battery pack into the water. Well it worked for a few shots, but then a big gust of wind took the whole thing over right after I snapped this shot and I could not react to catch it before it was submerged in the water. I quickly grabbed it in hope that the water did not make it into the battery compartment, set it aside and kept working the rest of the shoot with just my on camera flash.
Thank goodness, my light is fine and in perfect working condition. I realize afterwards that it could have been much worse…..It could have happened before I got the shot.
In honor of opening day weekend for both the NFL and our hometown NB Bulldogs, the image of the week is the team banner that will be leading our team in today’s opening day ceremony.
Football is back. Go Bulldogs!
For most of my photographic career, I would only take portraits outdoors. I have always loved the idea of environmental portraits and I still do. Even though I had the equipment, I never really embraced the idea of tampering with studio portraits……until about a year ago. Although I am primarily a wedding/event photographer, I have always studied photography from a much broader spectrum. Most of the blogs I read and photographers I follow are not even wedding shooters. I have always felt that this helped me keep my style original instead of unconsciously copying someone else.
As I became more and more curious about studio portraiture, I decided to utilize my basement as a photo studio. I purchased a few different backdrops, set up my studio strobes in position and began to experiment with my favorite subjects, my kids. The thing that intrigued me about it was the total control of the light. When shooting outdoors, I sometimes have to wait for the sun to either come back out or go back behind the clouds for a particular shot. Not here, I choose my background and set my lights up exactly the way I want and shoot. I can shoot with one light or six lights, depending on the type of shot.
I since have shot portraits for families and kids, holiday portraits, communion portraits, sports composite portraits and professional headshots. It’s a nice thing to have in my back pocket. This particular image is a communion portrait for a good friend and beautiful subject. We took some traditional portraits, but some of my favorites were the semi-silhouette images that focus more on her gesture rather then her smile.
The Studio is Open!
Ryane & Michael just left this morning after seeing their wedding for the first time (congratulations post to follow), so I thought it would be appropriate to showcase one of their images as the image of the week. One thing I always do following each wedding I shoot is to have the bride & groom over to view their images with me for the first time. Once we meet and go through all the images, and I mean all of them in a beautiful slideshow with music, then I give them their proofs, disc and access the their exclusive gallery on my site.
Viewing the images with the client is be very rewarding. I get to witness their expressions and reactions to the images as they relive their wedding day. Words can not describe how important this is to me. Instead of sending them a link and possibly never hearing back to confirm if they are truly happy, I am there.
This day, we had a backyard wedding on a beautiful day. As sun began to dip closer to the horizon, I was anticipating a beautiful lightscape background as the sun shined through the forest of bamboo trees. The background is so beautiful, it almost looks fake.
So many good images from this wedding. I am putting together a collection of favorites and will put up a congratulations post later in the week.
Sun glare Rocks!
Occasionally the bride and groom will bring their own props to incorporate into a few of the images on their wedding day. I notice this happening more and more lately, probably from a wealth of these images flooding the internet through facebook, pinterest or instagram. This is great because it tells me they care about the message the images express, which is always one of my priorities. It also provides me with an opportunity to come up with fun ways to incorporate the props.
Choosing the right lens for the job is key. Much like post-productions image effects, it’s all based on opinion and over-using any special effect can be a bit much even if the effect is nice. When I am experimenting on the job, it’s important to get the safe pictures first before I attempt to be creative if the end result is not the way you remember seeing it. This effect is done through the lens and can not be corrected in post-production. Knowing your gear is critical when envisioning an image or duh, you wouldn’t know how to create it in camera and will only exist in your mind.
Here I have included two different shots of the same image shot with different lenses. I was backed up against an array of bushes when I shot these and could not go back any further. I chose to shoot this image both with a wide angle lens and a fisheye lens. If I had shot the first image any wider to capture the entire mansion’s width, the couple would be even smaller in the frame and that would not work. The fisheye lens is a much wider angle of view and I was able to move in a bit closer, which made the couple larger in the frame. What also happens is the edges of the image get distorted due to the very wide angle of view combined with the roundness of the glass and that is the effect of the optics.
Both are nice images, I kinda like the fisheye image myself, but it’s all about taste.
Feel free to let me know your thoughts.