This time of year is something special. Like everything else, it comes and goes and before you know if, it’s gone. I usually set aside some important time to go out and shoot fall foliage, but this year has been real busy. However, I was able to deprive myself of some much needed sleep and head over to Belmont Lake State Park early one morning this week at sunrise and get a few images. Holy shit was it cold, but it is beautiful and peaceful to be at such a busy place that early in the morning…..and so close to home.
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.
Ryane & Michael just left this morning after seeing their wedding for the first time (congratulations post to follow), so I thought it would be appropriate to showcase one of their images as the image of the week. One thing I always do following each wedding I shoot is to have the bride & groom over to view their images with me for the first time. Once we meet and go through all the images, and I mean all of them in a beautiful slideshow with music, then I give them their proofs, disc and access the their exclusive gallery on my site.
Viewing the images with the client is be very rewarding. I get to witness their expressions and reactions to the images as they relive their wedding day. Words can not describe how important this is to me. Instead of sending them a link and possibly never hearing back to confirm if they are truly happy, I am there.
This day, we had a backyard wedding on a beautiful day. As sun began to dip closer to the horizon, I was anticipating a beautiful lightscape background as the sun shined through the forest of bamboo trees. The background is so beautiful, it almost looks fake.
So many good images from this wedding. I am putting together a collection of favorites and will put up a congratulations post later in the week.
Sun glare Rocks!
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.
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.
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.