As we prepare for our last game of the season and the playoffs to follow, I wanted to share just a few of the thousands of images I captured from this perfect season.
Over the past couple of years, I watched these kids learn a lot about themselves. Last year was a lesson in losing, while keeping your head up and never give up. This year we kept that same attitude which so far has led us to an undefeated season. All the while, exercising great sportsmanship as they all know what it is like to be on the losing side of an important game.
When they would notice the opposing team were bigger in size, they knew they needed to play stronger and faster. They never gave up and this perseverance has helped them grow as a team and as individuals. These victories are a result of every single player learning their responsibilities and doing their job every day.
Thanks to everyone that takes the time to volunteer as a coach. The education does not stop when school is out. Some of life’s important lessons are learned on the field.
I am so proud of this team!
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!
This weeks image(s) of the week are dedicated to my beautiful daughter who is turning 4 years old this week. She has a world of personality and has the god given ability always makes me smile. She is my little helper when I need someone to sit in and test my lighting down in the studio and never turns down an opportunity to hang out with me when I ask her to.
Being a younger sister, she always takes a back seat to the weekly excitement. Having an older brother that plays just about every sport imaginable, she is stuck following him around to practices and games, yet she never complains, because we are together. Last night we spent time going through pictures from when she was a baby while I played and sang our song, Father and Daughter by Paul Simon. This week is her time and she will have the spotlight for a change. I am looking forward to making this birthday special for her, because she deserves it.
Happy Birthday to my very special little girl, Punky. You light up my life!
Sometimes it takes time for a child to warm up to the stranger with the big camera. If you don’t have an opportunity to photograph a child before the formal portraits, and they are either shy or just do not want to have their photo taken, it may not turn out good. One very important thing I learned about photographing people in general is that there is just as much work that goes into building relationships as actually taking pictures and are often done at the same time. By that I mean simply getting to know people and more importantly, letting them get to know you and feel comfortable with you.
This beautiful young lady was as shy as can be when I arrived at the home where the bride was getting prepared. I introduced myself and went about setting up my camera. I tried not to move around too much as to intimidate her. I sat close to my equipment bag and was testing some shots inside the den where the wedding dress was hanging. The sunlight was pouring in through the windows, so I was testing for a good exposure on the dress where I would not blow out the highlights or underexpose from the sunlight. I then opened up a third stop to better expose for skin tones because I wanted to be ready to grab a shot of her, which I knew would be quick.
I turned around to see what she was up to. She was peeking her head out from the kitchen watching everything I was doing. I told her I liked her tiara and asked if I could take her picture because she looked so beautiful. She nodded yes and quickly ducked right back into the kitchen. When she peeked her head back out, I was already focused and ready to snap the shot that literally lasted about a half a second. I smiled and said “I got you”. I then asked her if she would like to see the photo. She smiled and nodded yes again as she came over to look at the back of my camera. I told her again how beautiful she looked and wouldn’t you know it, she followed me around and modeled for me for the next 20 minutes. When it came time for the formals, she was my best subject (next to the bride, of course).
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!