Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Just do it!

The last few weeks, I have finally gotten outside and started enjoying the winter season. I'm one of those crazy people who actually enjoy all four seasons. Last weekend I went fishing with one of my friends. We probably should have picked a warmer day being it was -10 but we had a great time anyway.

I spent quite a bit of time freezing and thawing my camera, but when it did work I got a few really great pictures. You wouldn't believe the quality of light you can get in a dark little ice house at noon! I had carried my tripod all the way out there and didn't need it, what a great surprise. That brings me to the subject of my blog.

After most of the morning of toughing it out, we decided that we needed to thaw out a bit. Jeff turned on the heater and it burst into flames. Being guys, we found this incredibly cool. I though it might look good on camera, but it was going to be hard to catch and in my head talked myself out of it. This is something that photographers do ALL THE TIME. If I'm allowed to just explore I can always find something else to photograph and never make it anywhere in a timely manner. The thing that I need to work on is following those whims to photograph more. So thinking about that, we proceeded to repeatedly start the heater over and over. Probably not the smartest thing to do in a flammable ice house, but what we do for photographs and fire! I thought I got something interesting that I might be able to use somewhere down the road and that is why we follow our whims.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Inaugeration day

I think there can only be one topic today. I don't want to say much today because others are saying things that are much more important. I just wanted to share this image with everyone.

Monday, January 19, 2009


I am starting to become a closet fan of candid photography. We'll see what happens with my upcoming weddings but for this wedding, candids reigned supreme. It's not that these pictures are technically better than the other ones I have. I just love these three for their stories. I love the excitement in the first image. The second, I'll be honest I just love the look they are giving each other. The third, is all about embarrassment. This was during the best man's speech which I have to say was the best I have ever heard. I don't think anybody knew what he was going to say next, including himself.
Posed pictures can be amazing but even after looking at them over and over. These are the ones that make me smile. We'll there is one that tops them all but that isn't going to make it here...

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

If you can't get it now, get it later!

Today I thought I would share a couple of photos turned out really well from my last wedding and my process when it came to making these.

The first image is one of my absolute favorites because it fits this wedding so well and also because last year I photographed the groom's sister's wedding, I got a shot that was similar in concept. It was requested by the Jenni (the bride) that I get something similar for them. It is always great when you get a shot that you know your clients are going to be thrilled with.
First and foremost, take care of your clients! If you notice the beautiful glowing trail of light on the sidewalk, that is because it may as well have been an ice skating rink. If either Jamie or Jenni would have fallen, well, I just don't want to think about it.
I would not have gotten this shot without a tripod! For all of you who hate carrying that thing around (I am with you on it!) tripods are a lot steadier than you are and give you professional results EVERY time. While we were there another photographer was in the area and she was running around with her speed light. I'm sure she got good results because I did some of this also but the reason people want photographs at this park around Christmas is for the lights.
As for the actual photograph, speed was the hardest part. There were two reasons for this, the cold obviously and when we arrived it was just hitting twilight. Twilight in winter is beautiful. The sky is a beautiful shade of blue and the snow covered ground matches it. I highly recommend shooting at twilight summer and winter. When we arrived I quickly started looking around for what I wanted to do. We had about 10 minutes before the best time to shoot twilight so we did a large group photo and then started doing this one. I didn't really want to tilt my image in this one because it included a bit more snow in the lower right but by doing this I cut out the entire line of parked cars and traffic while still including the beautiful street lamps. Then we took two half second exposures and we were done. Always double up just in case they move in one (which they did). My only regret for this picture is that I couldn't use a smaller aperture to make all the Christmas lights flare more.

The other picture I have in here purely because I have ragged on Photoshop so much. I wouldn't have had this picture if I didn't use it. For this wedding, I was severely limited to how much the church would let me move around during the ceremony. Once I had all the standard pictures, I had to be creative. I knew that I wanted this effect for one picture when they kissed or turned around so when the time came I got got the first standard picture and then started zooming during the exposure. If you have ever done this it is very inconsistent. I think I tried about 8 times but when I look at the images none of them turned out the way I was hoping. So I had to go home take my standard picture and create the zoom blur in Photoshop. I think I learned a lesson while doing this. The important part is that you try to create you images in camera and if you can't then Photoshop can help you out. I don't think I will try and do the zooming in any future weddings during the ceremony there just isn't enough time. I will always do it in my post production now because it is consistent. The important part is that I envisioned it, applied it, and then compromised.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Happy New Year!

Yes, yes, I know. This is coming a little late. Okay, more like really late. For those of you who read this you'll be happy to know that this blog is part of my New Year's resolution. I didn't go crazy and say that I am going to blog everyday but instead I am going to blog a couple of times a week. To do this I think I have to change what I was writing about a little bit. From now on I think I will be writing a lot more about photography and its practice. A lot of what I am or have been doing. We'll see how that goes. I hope it will keep me writing much more often.

I photographed the Keller wedding last weekend and the pictures that came of it I am pretty proud of. I have to say that of all the weddings that I have done this was at the top because of the bride and groom. They were head over heels in love. Not every wedding is like that. It is a privilege to photograph a couple on a day that means so much to them and I thank them for it!

I'm sorry everyone but the next few blogs are going to be loaded with stuff about this wedding.

This first picture is one of my favorites. I have this thing for hands. I think they tell a story better than a face does sometimes. Every wedding I try and get a couple of images of just the hands. All of them candid because what fun is a posed picture of a hand??? I look at this image and see so many feelings. Love, anticipation, and comfort are at the top of the list.

It so funny how such a simple picture tell the story of a moment. That is all I strive for in my photography. I want to project what inspires me into my images.