• Archives
  • Apr30

    Aurora-15

    If you’re a regular reader, you might remember Aurora from this post. Just as a reference, this was her home for the first couple of months of her life:

    Aurora

    It’s hard to believe how perfect this little kid has become after such a scary start to her life. It’s also hard to believe that she was under 2 pounds when she was born – Look at those chubby little legs on the photo below!

    Aurora-2

    Now, she’s able to do this:

    Aurora-1

    It’s simply amazing how far she’s come. Aurora popped over to the studio this weekend to get her infant shots done, and we had some fun with her indeed. Nothing is sweeter than a sleeping naked baby though…

    Aurora-3

    Aurora-5

    And you can’t forget to capture the details. Baby hands and feet don’t stay little for long πŸ˜‰

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    Aurora-6

    And here’s a moment with her proud mommy, Crystal:

    Aurora-7

    There’s magic when a baby connects for a split second with her eyes. It’s a special frame that you hope works out, because these looks are fleeting and hard to come by at this age.

    Aurora-11

    You can check out the full set of photos on Flickr. I think the fact that we could even have this shoot was so much more special than anything I could say about it, so I’ll just post another pic to wrap this up…

    Aurora-13

    Oh, she’s so cute I can’t stand it, just one more and then I’m outta here:

    Aurora-12

  • Apr26

    Michelle

    Posted in: News, Projects

    Michelle-8

    I was approached by Dawn, who works with one of my clients, about her daughter Kayla who is showing an interest in photography. She wanted to see if Kayla could tag along for a photo shoot to see how things work beyond just clicking the shutter. I said that that would be cool, and it would be even cooler if we got Michelle (who also works for the same client) to be a model for us.

    Michelle-6

    You can see why I chose Michelle, she’s pretty easy on the eyes as they say in the biz (or pretty much anywhere on the planet for that matter).As we were just going to be shooting different lighting scenarios, most of the shots we did were facial portraits.

    Michelle-4

    We did some experimentation with gels and generally played around. She was a trooper!

    Michelle

    And then I brought out one of the silly hats from the morning’s birthday party shoot πŸ˜‰

    Michelle-10

    She’d also make a pretty good country star with this look:

    Michelle-9

    I also did some post processing in CameraBag 2. Nevercenter, the creaters of CameraBag, are running a sweepstakes with a pretty impressive prize, a brand new Canon 5D Mk III! You may recall that I’ve reviewed this software before. Here’s my entry into their sweepstakes:

    Michelle Windy-CB

    So here’s a deal for you fine readers – the folks at Neversoft sent me some licenses for Camerabag 2 to give away to help promote the software and their sweepstakes! I’m going to give away 3 of them right here on this blog post. All you have to do is put a comment in this post (Make sure you use your real name and email address so I can send you the license key – don’t worry, your email will not be published anywhere). The first 3 comments get a copy of CameraBag 2 – That’s all there is to it!

    Here’s another shot of Michelle using a similar filter as above:

    Michelle Blue Black-CB-Vinyl

    One last shot of Michelle for you for now. I’ve got a bunch that I haven’t posted as well, but these are my favorites so far. I think she thought I was a bit insane when I asked here to do this last shot, but I absolutely love the look:

    Michelle-7

    OK, so make with the comments people! I wanna give some stuff away πŸ™‚

  • Apr24

    Phillips Team

    The term “re-shoot” can be a scary word when you’re dealing with real estate agents. There are so many different scenarios that play out in your mind as to why someone would want to do one. Also, when you are creating something for someone else, the fear of rejection is immense. Luckily, when Deborah called me from the Shirley Phillips Team to re-shoot their head shots, it was because they had expanded, and wanted a new team shot.

    Shirley

    Shirley also had her head shot redone, mainly because she liked her new hairdo πŸ˜‰ I really think she looks like Hollywood royalty here. What a beautiful woman!

    Ed

    And here’s the newest member of Shirley’s team, Edmund Greenberg. I told him to give me his best Brad Pitt face, and I think he did pretty good. Very cool, Ed, very cool.

    I really enjoy shooting faces. People have countless expressions to capture and the challenge of making them look comfortable and convey a look, whether it’s confidence, sexiness, professionalism, happiness, etc, is really a tough yet fun nut to crack with the right client. Getting the right look takes time, and I’m learning that I have to educate my clients beforehand that a good head shot is not done with one quick click.

    Of all of the technical stuff I’ve learned about photography, none of it compares to the actual art of connecting with a person on the human level. As much as we lust after the latest light modifier or craziest low-light defying DSLR or ridiculously fast and expensive glass, our gear is nothing without being out in front of our subjects and communicating with them. Making them happy is the ultimate goal here, not some technical feat with the camera. A technically perfect photo of nothing special is so much less valuable than a less-than-perfect shot of an amazing moment or expression. Besides, you need to ask yourself, “Why am I doing this in the first place?”

    For me, It has become simply about making people happy. Making people see how I see them, and how I believe the world sees them. Some days it’s very difficult, but I truly try to find the best in someone and exploit that. We all have things about ourselves that we dislike, and often those little bugs in our appearance are what we focus on. Trying to make people look past those things and helping them see themselves the way the rest of the world sees them is important to me. It can be life changing for some, and each time that happens I feel the karma train pulling up to my station.

  • Apr22

    Haiden7BDayStudio-53

    This weekend was a busy weekend for me – I had three different shoots, including a birthday party for the niece of one of my dearest clients. Haiden celebrated her birthday with a “Shake It Up” theme, and I was brought on to setup a photo shoot to capture these junior celebrities πŸ˜‰

    Haiden7BDay-53

    My “studio” was setup on the side of a Sullivan’s Island beach house porch. I had an array of hats and accessories for the kids to dress up in. You can see in the photo above that I created the coloring for the background using colored gels on a pair of speedlight flashes. The red gelled light on the right is also making use of the infamous beer coozie snoot. I also added some graphics to the finished portraits to finish them off:

    Haiden7BDayStudio-34

    The kids were really into it. I was so impressed with how well these kids played up to the camera. The shots I made were filled with energy and it really made the time fly (even if I had to listen to the likes of Selena Gomez for two hours)!

    Haiden7BDayStudio-77

    Haiden7BDayStudio-76

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    I also shot the event to capture some of the fun for the family and friends. The weather was perfect for photography – overcast early day light! The rain gods surely held out for this little girl, as the minute the party ended, the sky opened up!

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    Haiden7BDay-1

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    I shot this last shot of the party goers just as the rain started to fall. These kids were so awesome – they even helped me bring my gear to the car!

    Haiden7BDay-73

    Happy 7th Birthday Haiden!

  • Apr15

    CupcakeCamp Summerville Logo

    The third time is a charm they always say. Who the heck are they? I could do this on a weekly basis if I wasn’t afraid of reversing all the dieting I’ve been so hard at work on this year. While this was the first installment of CupcakeCamp for Summerville, it was the third event in the Charleston area. That means 3X the heavenly goodness. If you’ve read this blog before, you know that I’ve gushed about this event here and here.

    CupcakeCamp Summerville-27

    CupcakeCamp Summerville-26

    This time, the venue was previous camp sponsor Coastal Coffee Roasters, which is perfect as there are no better bedfellows with tasty pastries than tasty coffee. People patiently lined up outside on this beautifully perfect spring day to partake in the free indulgences inside.

    CupcakeCamp Summerville-10

    CupcakeCamp Summerville-12

    CupcakeCamp Summerville-11

    The theme for this event was “Springtime”, with lot’s of bright colors and fresh tasting ideas flowing, the bakers really did a great job of capturing it. Another theme that was prevalent was coffee!

    CupcakeCamp Summerville-9

    As I walked into the venue, the sounds of The Pixies and Arcade Fire filled the air, the aroma of freshly brewed coffee tingled my nostrils, and the beauty of the pastries was matched only by the loveliness of the bakers. This all led to a sense of belonging. These are definitely “my people”.

    CupcakeCamp Summerville-16

    CupcakeCamp Summerville-13

    And lets not forget the other stars of the event, the tasters! I commented to a couple of folks inside that along with fire and the wheel, holding an event specifically to give away free cupcakes is among the greatest ideas in human history. Yeah, I probably scared them with my enthusiasm.

    CupcakeCamp Summerville-7

    CupcakeCamp Summerville-22

    CupcakeCamp Summerville-18

    The Hannifords were on hand not only as volunteers, but also as bakers!

    CupcakeCamp Summerville-24

    Hey, it’s been a while since we saw some graphic cupcake porn:

    CupcakeCamp Summerville-6

    CupcakeCamp Summerville-8

    And nobody was happier to me than my own kids, who get to follow me on these cupcake adventures. Happy until the sugar crash at least πŸ˜‰

    CupcakeCamp Summerville-2

    I can’t wait until next time, which now that there are two annual events in the Charleston area, wont be very long! Until then, we all can look at this set of photos on Flickr.

  • Apr14

    Summerville-Superheroes20

    Last night I volunteered to shoot a “Summerville Superheroes” photo booth at the Summerville Relay for Life event at Summerville High School. For a $1 donation, you got one of these superhero trading cards to post on Facebook! If you were one of the subjects, please head over to this Facebook album to get your photo – Don’t forget to tag your friends as well as yourself in the photos and share our page. If you’re not the Facebooking type, you can also download your photo from here.

    Superheroes Collage2

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    Superheroes Collage1

    My family and I had a blast – A big shout-out to the Sweetgrass Pediatrics team for including us in this special event!

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  • Apr11

    Vacation Begins
    iPhone 4S

    I took the family to Orlando, FL for spring break, and I was armed only with my iPhone and my point & shoot Nikon P7000. We were traveling with our neighbors and we had a blast! We spent most of our time at Disney World, with a one day trip to Universal Studios for my son and I to get our inner Harry Potter out.

    Disney 2012 - 50
    Nikon P7000

    Disney 2012 - 41
    Nikon P7000

    Disney 2012 - 07
    Nikon P7000

    In the past when we went to the amusement parks for vacations, I’d lug around my DSLR and try to get cool shots. What I wasn’t doing was spending time having fun with my family! The shots we always looked at afterwards weren’t the artsy shots of some ride or topiary or whatever – The shots we went back to were of our loved ones having fun. So, I made lots of use of my iPhone’s crappy front-facing camera and got lots of shots like these:

    Joe & Kegan
    iPhone 4s (front facing camera)

    Family
    iPhone 4s (front facing camera)

    Joe & Mac
    iPhone 4s (front facing camera)

    Since I had my point and shoot P7000 with me, I didn’t hesitate to hand it over to strangers and loved ones to take shots with, such as these:

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    Nikon P7000 – Photographer – My Wife Amy

    Tusker House-7
    Nikon P7000 – Photographer: Our Waiter

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    Nikon P7000 – Photographer: Some Dude With A Monopod

    We also were treated to a marathon version of “The Twist” by the one and only Chubby Checker!

    Disney 2012 - 24
    Nikon P7000

    The moral of today’s post? Have fun and the good shots will follow! That and I’ve caught some awful bug while I was there. I swear, the contagion that will wipe out the world will start at Disney World. Oh yeah, and my MacBook Pro officially died while I was there. I’m awaiting it’s return from Apple land.

    Family
    iPhone 4S Front Facing Camera

    If you’re brave, you can sift through all of the gory photos here.

  • Apr1

    Bantz Men

    This morning I had the joy of spending an hour with the Bantz family. I met Don and Jana through my wife Amy a few years back. In fact, I just dug up this iPhone pic of them with their son Cameron at last year’s Brevival:

    I See The Bantzes

    The game plan was to get a casual family photo in their backyard. Unfortunately, the spot where they wanted to shoot was riddled with dappled light and harsh shadows. We only a limited time with Cameron’s fiance to get the shot they were looking for, so I didn’t have time to set up the proper lighting to handle that kind of situation (it would take a lot of power to overpower the sunlight). We found a safer spot in the shade and got this:

    Bantz Family

    I also went for a more extreme look and used that bright natural backlight to get some cool lens flare (I also love the dog in the background of this shot):

    Bantz Family

    The other shot that they really wanted is the one at the top of the post. They wanted to recreate an older photo (which Don is holding in this one) of Don with the boys, who are now men! I also got them to shoot some indoor family shots while we were at it:

    Bantz Collage