Posted on 12 November 2010 | 1 response
Being invited to share a special moment such as a wedding between two love birds is something that a lot of people take for granted. Being asked to capture that day photographically for their memory’s sake is a privilege and honor. I was asked by the bride-to-be if I would like to be a part of their special day by doing just that. Dee had the right mentality going into this so there was not a lot of discussion required as far as what was needed in order to capture what she wanted. To her the photographs were the most important part of everything that she needed to arrange.
A lot of people go into weddings worried more about guest accommodations, the food, the cake, the… well you get the picture. All of these things come and go and usually will be forgotten by 98% of the attendees within days and weeks. There are only a handful of things that carry on beyond that day. They are the rings, the top of the cake (it’s fate is delayed for a year), and the photographs. Photographs capture the days events from beginning to end, re-tell the stories of the persons that attended and capture the joy and festivities to look back on for years to come.
The ceremony and reception were held out at the beautiful Bent Winds Country Club and it doesn’t appear any expenses were spared in the planning, arranging, and decorating. The Ceremony was held outside beside the lake and the reception was very elegantly arranged inside the clubhouse. With perfect weather and the excitement high the day went off without a hitch.
While the ‘boys’ were getting ready in their locker room I spent time with the ladies in the middle of all of their ‘much ados’, checked on the getaway car, and made sure everything was still looking spiffy upstairs in the formal room. Check, check, and check. The excitement level was high but the stress level was relatively low for a wedding. Everyone seemed to be flying well within their comfort zone for the most part. By 4 p.m. it was now time for the Bride to prepare for her big moment… and part of that was to spend a few minutes with ‘Daddy’.
After a some time waiting for the final ‘call’ the beautiful bride and her father began to make their way down to the crowd and then down the aisle. It’s always the most exciting part of the ceremony to see the bride come out all dolled up. It IS her day after all. Seeing it from a seat is the only perspective most people get. To be able to look straight down the aisle from the groom’s point of view is to me, the sweetest point of view one can have.
The ceremony was short and sweet and it was then my turn to steal the bride and groom away for a short amount of time so they could have a few intimate minutes together and I could begin prepping them for the shots to come.
After giving them a few moments to relax and enjoy a few minutes of solitude with one another, we began the group, formal and fun shots. Everyone was excited and the arranging was effortless.
The rest of the evening was full of laughter, dancing and fun. The male half of the wedding party ‘mysteriously’ disappeared only later to be found in the bar area watching the UNC game. This was of course expected considering the wedding theme was Carolina Blue and Tarheel symbols.
I would personally like to thank Dee and Chris for inviting us out to be a part of their special occasion. We had a blast and enjoyed ourselves immensely.
Posted on 26 September 2010 | No responses
A friend of mine asked if I would do a ‘quick’ portrait session with his newborn. By the time we aligned schedules she was a month old and wasn’t so much in ‘sleepy’ mode. I came into the shoot with some basic ideas of what I wanted to capture and of course wanted input from Mom and Dad on what they were looking for exactly.
We couldn’t for the life of us get her to stay asleep for more than a moment so some of the shots I was hoping for did not work out but that is not to say we didn’t get a lot of incredible shots.
The photo immediately below is my favorite. It is whitewashed a bit as to add an effect that I think brings out her eyes. The original is gorgeous as well but this is the one I will present online.
(below) Although the little one would not sleep… She did yawn a lot. It was just too adorable to pass up.
(below) Nothing fancy but wanted to do something a little different. This was something that although I’m not a huge fan of, I do get a lot of requests to integrate a B&W photo with some ‘pops’ of color and decided this was the best one out of the ones we had to do it with.
(below) Mom’s get a lot of the credit for the connection between a parent and a child but sometimes there is nothing like the awesome connection between a little girl and her father. It is never had to notice when the bond seen below is there.
Playtime may have been with daddy but serenity was with mom. The few times we could get her to feign sleep it was in her mother’s arms. This is another picture (like above) in which the chemistry between a child and their parent was very obvious.
My favorite features of a newborn child are the hands and feet, fingers and toes. To see something that is identical to what we all see on a daily basis but on such a small scale is amazing to me.
Thanks to Pam and Matt for inviting me in to be a part of presenting Jillian to the world and for the hospitality and reception during the entire shoot. Thanks to everyone else for visiting and sharing this moment with all of us.
Posted on 26 September 2010 | 1 response
It took quite a bit of coordinating to finally work out a time to get together with Miss Olivia and Miss Tihisa but we finally settled on a time and place and hoped that all the hard work would pay off. Olivia was a dream to work with. As with most babies she seemed to be more occupied with ‘mom’ than the camera man so getting her to look at me was a bit of a challenge since mom leaving the area wasn’t really a choice. (It becomes pretty obvious that the little ones don’t like their parents leaving their line of sight.) She was very sweet and did not put up much of a fuss other than during her wardrobe changes in which I would probably fuss more if I was made to change clothes that many times in that short duration.
We tried to use as much natural light through the windows as possible but the time of day wasn’t cooperating with us as we rushed to re-situate the set time and time again. I had the time of day planned out. I did not however take the layout of the house in relation to the neighboring structures into enough consideration.
All worked out in the end and I believe this beautiful little charmer was the sole reason for such success. Ladies and Gentlemen…. I present to you Olivia.
I wanted to capture some of the more quiet and peaceful moments of the shoot. As we were wrapping up with the shoot she travelled off to sleepy land and I was able to snag a few shots.
Thank you Tihisa for the opportunity to work with Olivia. I had not intended to venture into the ‘precious little ones’ category but it is shoots like this that keep me trying and trying again.
Posted on 21 June 2010 | 2 responses
I recently was asked to photograph a 50th Wedding Anniversary event. Having not done many personal events I thought it would be a great opportunity to jump in and help out while drying off behind my ears a bit more at these types of shoots. Unsure what to expect I was a bit anxious to get to the event and begin shooting away.
The event was beautifully planned and the decor was exquisite. The default lighting was monstrous and made white balancing a nightmare but I expected that due to where the event was being held. After adjusting as much as possible to neutralize the ‘red’, shooting became less of a challenge and more of a enjoyment. Everyone was pretty open to the cameras and the friendships and relationships in the room became easily noticeable. I soon got the impression that some of these people had not seen each other in years if not decades which gave the entire event more of a ‘homecoming’ atmosphere.
We shot for 2-3 hours before the crowd started filtering out. We were told we could leave a bit early but there was no hurry. I decided to hang around and try to capture anything else I could which included the present opening and some children at play. Overall I consider it a success and hopefully the family will too.
Some of the decor.
A fun shot of “Dad” offering a full plate all at once.
Thanks again to Tracy and Leigh who invited me to be a part of this special event.
Posted on 14 June 2010 | No responses
Wow, time has really flown. This domain is a year old now and it seems like only yesterday I was setting it up. I haven’t posted in a while and I apologize for that. This spring->summer has been very productive. I’ve now gone from refusing weddings to now doing them here and there as well as taking on requests for next year. It’s amazing how things can change so quickly.
Here are a few more shots from the wedding that pulled me into the wedding abyss.
After seeing how fun weddings can be to actually shoot I decided to dabble a little more. I soon got my opportunity on a last minute impromptu wedding of a friend of mine. This was a quaint and quiet little wedding at a nearby park. The wedding chaos was no different even with a smaller crowd and the stress was there as there would be with any wedding but it was still a blast. Those pictures will be up soon.
Posted on 18 April 2010 | No responses
Everyone take a look at the new site I’m building that is currently under development. Let me know what you think. As of this posting there is nothing in the Gallery section just yet. Thanks
Posted on 21 December 2009 | No responses
I got the opportunity to do my first real ‘baby shoot’ a couple weeks ago. Some friends wanted to make some Christmas cards for the holidays using photos of their 5 week old son Evan. I jumped at the chance. It was my first time doing a full shoot with a baby and I’d heard the advice and horror stories from other photographers.
The one thing most photographers will tell you up front is to be patient. Babies do what they want. You can only ‘coax’ them so far. They tend not to feel obligated to pay attention to you cute voices or dangling toys. A lot of times Photographers will spend most of their time waiting. Waiting on the crying to stop (which can be at any second since most newborns act pretty bipolar. Happy one second then crying the next, then happy again.), waiting on the baby to finish eating, waiting on the baby to finish getting changed. Waiting on the baby…. well you get the picture. (No pun intended)
One thing I learned is photographs can be very deceiving. Half of my pictures that turned out ok look as if Evan was posing specifically for me. What actually is going on is he is in the middle of jerking, twisting, drooling, and flopping and I just got a lucky snap in.
Overall I am happy with the outcome. Tell me what you think.
Posted on 4 October 2009 | 3 responses
I got the opportunity to work with Nick Lilly of LillyFilmsFHS last Thursday. We met downtown to see if we could grab a few shots that would work as some future promotional photos for Nick’s work. We started out without a plan and just looked for different shots as we approached different areas.
We began our journey at the Raleigh Convention Center and worked our way down to The Capitol building. At one point Greg Lilly, who came with Nick for assistance and to do filming for him, obtained permission for us to do some shooting in the club at the top of the Wachovia building. We took the queasy elevator ride to the top and spent a little time there shooting at the bar, staircase, and center room. It was very impressive to say the least. I’ve heard it was a membership only deal but I can neither confirm or deny this. Anyone?
We finished shooting at the Capitol building and began our journey back to the vehicles back at the convention center. It was a pleasure to work with Nick and Greg and would definitely do it again.
Here are a few Samples from that shoot.
Posted on 9 September 2009 | No responses
A friend of mine was wanting to save a few… cough* hundred *cough dollars on the rip-off costs of senior portraits for her daughter so I decided to step in and try to help out by taking some myself. Although I currently don’t have ‘props’ geared towards senior portraits I figured I could at least give her several options so she wouldn’t have to invest so much in the package deals offered by the company the school uses to do their portraits.
We started later in the day so the Sun wouldn’t be so obnoxious and once I arrived to their home found out we were going to head into Smithfield to actually do most of the shoot at a location she thought would be good. We arrived to find that the location was in an open enough area so that the Sun was still too much. We walked around a bit and found some spots to shoot in nonetheless. The next problem was the wind. The breeze was great for about any reason except taking photos. We took advantage of the breeze in several photos using the ‘wind blowing the hair’ effect but overall it was kind of a pain, constantly blowing her hair into her face and eyes.
Considering these setbacks the shoot still went pretty well and I must say that it was a pleasure working with Sarah and Sue. Sarah is easy and fun to work with. She had no problems getting into the work and her only complaint was the typical: “My face is hurting from smiling so much.”. I plan on going back and working with Sarah and Sue very often because it was such a pleasure. Thank you girls very much for the opportunity.
Overall I am very happy with how some of the photos and below are some of the shots that made my ‘cut’.
(above) This was the first shot we took. We were still ironing out some of the kinks and she was still getting used to being the center of attention from a photographer trying to work with the natural elements that were hindering us a bit.
(above) This one is a candid from the shoot that I think shows some of her true beauty. Although it was a ‘candid’ and not to be printed, it was just too good to no use in some manner. So here it is.
Again, thank you girls for your time and effort. Hopefully you are as happy with some of the results as I am.
Posted on 5 September 2009 | No responses
I had the pleasure of doing a photo shoot for a good friend of mine who needed new ‘Promo’ shots for his band. He hadn’t updated his head shots and promo shots in several years and needed to get new ones for some of his upcoming gigs that were a little more ‘big time’.
After a quick attempt done on the fly at an unfamiliar location to me we decided to schedule a shoot that would give us the entire day to use multiple locations. The first location we started with is one that I’ve been dying to use for a long while. There is an old abandoned house that is located near my office downtown that I thought would fit his needs very well. Turns out I was correct. This shot facilitated our needs perfectly in both settings and lighting. Here is an example of that location.
Our second location was downtown and while looking for a particular spot we stumbled upon this alley. I made Johnny stop and give it a shot and it turned out to be another great photo location. Here is an example of the second location:
Our next location was a good distance away and while trekking to our new location I found another old condemned house that looked like it may suit us. This one didn’t turn out so well but we did get a few decent shots from it…. as well as quite a few mosquito bites. Johnny got to try how his new cologne for this one: “Off”.
The final location was a church not too far from my house. After finally tacking down the exact location we decided to take a few shots and be done with shooting for the day. We did get a chance to peek into this abandoned church (which was chained closed) and what we found was the most beautiful photo-shoot opportunity in the world. We are working to determine who this building belongs to and hoping they will allow us to do a session inside. Either way, here is one of the few that we decided to keep from that last location.
All in all it turned out to be a very productive day and we got a lot of great shots from it. Johnny is very fun to work with and I would take the opportunity to work with him any time he needs it going forward.