So the Blue Angels are back in the air and will be performing at the Jones Beach Air Show this weekend. It’s gonna be a madhouse, but I hope to get down there and get some pictures.
Happy Memorial Day Weekend!
I spent many years seeking for the formula of getting the perfect portrait. Over time, I came to realize that people are not seeing their true self when they are completely posed in front of the camera. While those posed pictures are critical to a wedding shoot, there needs to be more. Probably the most important factor for me is to do everything I can to make sure the subjects feel comfortable in front of the camera. Most people do not like having their picture taken (myself included) and when someone feels uncomfortable, they usually look uncomfortable. Another rule I live by is that I don’t put the camera down until everyone is gone. Some of the best pictures are a result of joking around between groups and getting those scripted shots. I try not to do too much posing, yet I will direct in a way to help them feel natural and just let everything else happen. People enjoy seeing themselves smiling for real.
Although it was late December, we were actually blessed with some really nice weather and were able to shoot a fair amount of pictures outside. This particular shot was taken just as the sun was going down and was beginning to chill up quite a bit. At this point, we had taken most of the pictures from the day outside, including at the beach.
As the sun was going down, it was getting cold quick. We went down by the golf course for one last portrait, because we had shot everywhere else but there. As we were walking down the cart path, I noticed the groom was holding the brides bouquet and he heard me snap a few shots. As you can see, both the bride and groom had some fun with it and I think I may like this picture even better than the portrait we walked down there to take.
This week’s images are from the same shoot as the silhouette images from last week. As I mentioned, we shot 95% of the images from the rooftop terrace of this apartment building, which had some incredible views. I wanted to incorporate some significant NYC views into the shoot as best I could. I even shot them while we took a break to warm up a bit.
This was my 4th year volunteering for Help Portrait. I was turned on to the idea thanks to my friends over at Long Island Photo Gallery. I researched the movement and I found that their mission was quite simple. Find people in need and take their picture. Well, St. Patrick’s Parish in Bayshore made it simple for us. They found us the people and we showed up with tons of gear to take professional portraits for every family.
The church puts on a really nice Christmas party for families in need that do not have much to give their children for the holidays. They feed the families a nice meal, Radio Disney comes in to get the kids dancing and laughing and then Santa Clause comes in for a visit to deliver each child a bag of gifts that were on their Christmas list. It is one of the most heart-warming experiences I have ever been a part of.
My role in this whole thing is to take portraits of all the families that wish to receive a free portrait. Giving the gift of photography, as the Deacon described it. Some of the families do not have much to smile about, but the children were adorable and excited to see Santa. We took professional portraits of each family and our friends at LIPG were generous enough to print all the pictures for the church so they can distribute them to the families.
I am privileged to be part of this awesome event and I look forward to doing it for years to come.
Have a Happy and Safe New Year!