I was contacted by Rose last November. She had been engaged for under a week and wanted to schedule an engagement shoot. At this point, they have not yet set a date, secured a venue or anything. First things first; let’s get the engagement documented. The girl knows what she wants and I like where here priorities are at.
I was extremely flattered to hear that she found me from researching the internet. She not only found my website and images, but she also dug up some testimonials from previous clients and made it a point to let me know she heard nothing but good things. It’s nice to hear. Most of my business comes from referrals by word of mouth, so it’s nice when people find me from other means.
We scheduled the shoot and it was awesome. We walked around Argyle Lake in Babylon Village for about an hour and a half until the sun set. I got to know them together for a little while and they immediately felt comfortable in front of my camera. We took some candid shots along with a few fun staged pictures and we kept shooting until we used up every bit of available light.
Almost two months later after delivering the engagement pictures, I receive a phone call from Rose asking to book the wedding date. They were happy with the engagement photos and since we had a successful trial run, we stuck together for the wedding. Rose and Vinny were married a little over a month ago and everyone had an awesome time at the De Seversky Mansion to celebrate.
The father daughter dance is a tradition as most weddings and can be pretty emotional some times. They both know the cameras are on them at this point, along with the eyes of every family member and guest at the wedding….including Mom. Mom is usually front row on the sidelines watching while she sits this one out. But that doesn’t mean she gets left out completely. I try to capture mom in several of the images I take of the father daughter dance. The close ups are a given, but these images say a bit more.
One of my favorite post-production techniques is to style the image with a vintage/retro look when the image allows it. I aim for this when I am shooting certain images and I love it when it works. It is a technique that can easily be overused and I take care not to. This particular image was shot in an old mansion with vintage décor. Place the bride in front of an old oversized window right before she is about to walk down the aisle and click. I literally walked out of the room after snapping this shot and ran down to catch the start of the ceremony.
This weeks image is one that is almost impossible to figure out the context unless you are actually familiar with the subject. This gentleman happens to be the lead singer of a kick-ass wedding band named The Times Square Orchestra. The message this image conveys for me is this; If the singer of the band at your wedding puts on a Michael Jackson glove and starts singing Billy Jean, there’s a chance the bride and groom may want to remember that.
I have been working so much these last 8 weeks, and have looked through 20,000 photographs from recent weddings and portrait sessions. Besides a perfect portrait, the images that stand out most for me are the documentary captures that I position and wait for. Capturing an evocative and timeless moment that isn’t staged is very rewarding. No words necessary to describe what the person is thinking at that very moment. It says it all.
This moment was one that I anticipated, and having spent some time with both the bride and maid of honor before the ceremony, I was certain to capture it. The maid of honor and best man were positioned opposite the bride and groom on the alter, which was a cool setup because they did not have to turn around to see each other. They caught eye contact during the ceremony just as they were about to begin exchanging vows and there it was.
There are many important things to pay attention to during a wedding ceremony, some of which does not even occur on the main stage. There are many guests and everyone at the ceremony is in some way important to the couple getting married.
My job is to tell a story with my images and that does not mean keep the camera pointed at the couple. I need to keep an eye on the people in the first couple of rows…such as Mom & Dad. Very proud and emotional beyond control, mom could not stop herself from crying tears of joy as her daughter is starting a new journey in her life. Dad, trying to keep it together as best he can, and checking in on Mom as he knows how she is feeling. This image helps tell the story because you can almost feel the emotion pouring out of this still photograph.
This is the first installment of my image of the week series on my blog and I hope to continue for a while. My blog has been all over the place with all the different material I have been shooting and I need to try and get a routine going to keep things in order. I like to shoot anything and everything. Even though I can most certainly be labeled a wedding photographer, I like to share other images throughout my experience.
Anyway, I thought a good way for me to bring some consistency to my blog is to do an image of the week post where I can post one image per week and say as little or as much as I would like to say about it. Hopefully others will join in and post their opinions to make this even more interesting. The image I choose can be of anything recent or old, but you can bet a majority will be wedding images.
I thought I would start with an image of a wedding I shot just this past weekend. The thing I love about this image is what it stands for. The couple actually did a grand exit from the wedding reception in a classic cadillac with the just married sign on the back. I did capture the full shot of the car with the sign, but the challenge here was to capture the last kiss through the bright glare in the back window, which lasted about a half a second before they were off. It was so classic and vintage. People just don’t do this anymore.
Although summer doesn’t officially begin for almost a month, I consider Memorial Day weekend the beginning of summer. A long holiday weekend (for most), filled with parades, car & air shows and barbecue. There are also plenty of people out there need to work feverishly in order for the rest of us to enjoy our time off. Retail stores running holiday sales, market workers where we purchase goodies for our backyard bash and of course the beverage distributor, which always has a line out the door.
Continue reading Memorial Day Weekend
This shot was taken two years ago during a North Babylon Football away game. I was hired to shoot the final game of the season for the 6-7 year old team in Malverne. During halftime, I was able to capture part of an animated pep talk the coach was giving his team while preparing them for the last half of football they would play for the season.
I personally have always connected with this image and I keep coming back to it because for me it captures the essence of what it means to be a coach. The emotion on the coaches face and when he touched his heart, I knew to grab the shot. Coach your knowledge with your heart. These kids listen to your words, do what you ask, they learn the game and all the situations that go along with it from you. Show them the way you know is right.
For all the coaches out there who volunteer their time to children everywhere and don’t expect anything in return but a sense of self-satisfaction, here’s to you! Whether you know it or not, most of the kids you coach will remember you forever. You are a hero to many!
When I am asked how I would label my general style of wedding and event photography, the answer is definitely documentary. Documentary photography is what most people know as called photojournalistic. Although the technique may resemble a photojournalistic style, I do not consider myself a photojournalist. When I am hired to photograph a wedding, my job is to visually document not just the motions, but the emotions.
It used to seem easy to me when I looked at great candid images on some website and I would say, I can take that picture. That’s easy, there is no complicated lighting or planning involved. Not it’s not! I don’t care what equipment you are using; if you see a moment that is already happening, by the time you bring your camera to your eye to compose, get in position for a good vantage point, focus in the low light and press the shutter, the moment is long gone.
The most important tool I use when documenting any event is anticipation. I have to keep my eyes wide open and anticipate everything about to happen so I am ready when it does.
I just launched a gallery dedicated to documentary images on my website here. This gallery will be completely overhauled by the end of this years busy wedding season along with the rest of my portfolio.
I hope you like!