The theme for this wedding was football and this was represented in various ways throughout the day. There was also a pretty lengthy shot list in which we were going to shoot the wedding party in several football formations and situations in a planned outdoor location. Mother nature put here two cents in and derailed those plans and most of the shot list was thrown out the window as a result. This is why the first image in this post is so significant.
The show must go on and although plans were changed, we still had an awesome day!
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.
The first dance is one of my most anticipated shots in any wedding. I’m not sure exactly why, maybe it has something to do with my love for music. When most people think wedding photo, they probably visualize an image of the bride and groom either kissing or posing for the camera. First dance is always atop my list, if not first. I think it’s because you can always find a picture of two people kissing or smiling for the camera, they are flooded all over facebook. There is a certain class when I look at a nice image of two people dancing.
I am anticipating this image from the moment I enter the reception venue. I visualize where I am going to stand, where my assistant will be and any other variables that come into play. My assistant has a pretty important assignment during this time and needs to have some experience, or it does not work. That is why I am happy that my wife has taken this responsibility and has been working with me now for over a year.
The newlyweds have just been introduced to the reception and are now on showcase in the center of the dance floor. There is a moment when their song begins to play where they both seem to block out the reality that they are surrounded by every important person in their lives right now. The moment is usually just that, a moment and it’s gone. I always try to capture this moment if it happens because sometimes they come out of it, reality kicks in and it looks as if they are dancing for the camera.
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).
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.
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.
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.