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.
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!
I met Ryane and Mike last year when I photographed a wedding for their very good friends. They were both in the wedding party and spent some time with me that day (a good trial run). I have to admit, I do not approach each wedding as if I am attending a job interview, but it’s important to realize that each time you go out to do a job, you are potentially being evaluated.
A few months after their friends wedding, I receive a phone call from Ryane explaining that she enjoyed my stealth shooting style and how I handled documenting the entire wedding. The formals were quick, comical and relaxed and they were amazed at the images I was able to capture while remaining unseen at the ceremony and reception. This was especially important to Ryane as she does not like being in front of the camera, which is very common. This is perfect for me, because this is how I shoot.
To wrap this up, they both visited me this past weekend to see their images for the first time and I was able to witness their true reaction to the images. I was definitely pleased because I knew then that I made them both happy.
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.
I was pretty psyched to go out and shoot this past weekend (as I am every weekend), but this weekend was a special case, cause I was in anticipation of the Super Moon. Not for a landscape expedition however, I was shooting an engagement session and I was prepared every step of the way. I use a little app called The Photographer’s Ephemeris, which lets me know exactly when and where the sun and moon will rise and set based on any geographical location I set (and I have a few favorites saved).
We had three locations set up for this session and we spent 3 hours shooting. The plan was to finish the evening at the beach to catch some twilight and hopefully the moon rise. The clouds were thick and low on the horizon, so I knew there was no shot of seeing it peek over the horizon, but we waited till it finally did sneak through the clouds and it was still magical.
So off I wend to go meet Brittany & Billy in Babylon Village where they often dine and hangout. We started off the night right with a glass of wine and some laughs. The images will tell the rest of the story. There are too many good images to put them all on the blog, but this is just a taste.
Hit the continue link below to see more images from the shoot.
Congratulations Brittany & Billy! I had an awesome time.
Continue reading Super Moon Engagement Shoot
This weeks image of the week is part of a bride & groom shoot taken earlier this year. Once I am finished grabbing all the formal family and wedding party images, I spend time with the bride & groom and we have some fun. This is the first time the couple are together without an entourage and they usually embrace the moment. I had the opportunity to spend some time with them during the engagement shoot last summer, so I am familiar with the couple in front of my camera. This is key.
As a wedding photographer, I need to have the skills to pull off a great portrait and I am constantly studying and trying different types of lighting. The lighting is key and when done right, it appears as if the image was lit naturally. The place sometimes looks like a studio set (portable however, cause we are constantly moving) for a TV show with the lighting and surrounding people waiting to grab their own snaps of what I am creating. Grab all you want. No flash however, while I’m getting mines!
When I am working with the bride & groom, I need to make them feel as if we are alone no matter the case. To me a portrait is not just about posing, but even more important is the expression. This image was directed in that I told them where and how to stand, the groom to put his hands around her waist and for her to place her hand on his chest. All natural and simple posing. If the posing gets complicated, then the images do not look natural and may as well be deleted from the camera. I asked the groom to gently lean in and kiss the side her forehead while the bride looks away. When the groom went in for the move, I called the brides name and she looked at me with the emotion she was feeling just as the groom laid the kiss on her. It can be hit or miss, but this technique can be quite rewarding if all goes well. A nice image to add to their collection and the bride is wearing a beautiful expression.
Preparation coverage can be very interesting because I document all the little details that the bride and groom have chose to include in their special day.
One of my favorite images from a recent wedding. I had just caught up to this image while processing some of the 4,000 images taken on this day.
Finally some nice weather. Enjoy the weekend everyone.
Just a sneak peak at the wedding from this past weekend. We were blessed with such a beautiful day and we all had an awesome time. I grabbed some from the batch as I skimmed through quickly and decided to post just a few. There is still a lot of work to be done as this was a very long day and a lot of pictures to go through.
I am going to be very busy through the next few months, but I will definitely find some time to post some pictures with a little blurb at the very least.
Congratulations Angela & Mark!
The wedding album is the icing on the cake for me when it comes to wedding photography. It’s the ultimate presentation of the favorite images and it better be pretty damn awesome. Which is why I enjoy designing these books so much.
Some time after the bride & groom have seen their images, they will select their favorites for the album or allow me the power so select these images, or a little of both. In either case, I then get to work on designing a book that begins as a single blank white page and becomes a carefully designed masterpiece filled with some of their most cherished memories of the wedding day.