The 2012 wedding gauntlet, or so it was named, is officially over. We’re not finished for the year, but we’re finished with our most demanding portion of this year’s schedule. It was decided to take on the challenge, and put ourselves through a trial this August, with four back-to-back weddings from San Diego, CA, to Santa Barbara, CA, to Portland OR…twice. Most of the time it was just Lucas and myself, no assistants or other shooters. If it weren’t for the tips and tricks we’ve learned from some amazing speakers on Creative Live, I believe we would have had a much more difficult time.
We’ll come back to technical talk and photography business workflow in a minute, first let’s talk about how much fun we had hopping around from brewery to brewery in Portland. Obviously, we thought it was a good idea to have a relaxing day, and kind-of celebrate our accomplishments, so we spent the day visiting a few spots in Portland, OR. Lucky Lab is a great place to grab a pie and a pint in the North-West. They have delicious pizzas, good brews, a spacious floor plan and a nice beer garden to just relax and maybe throw some darts. Cascade Brewing Barrel House in the South-East is one of my favorites, and a must for any of you sour lovers out there. They serve a rotating wide array of lambics that are sure to wake up your taste buds. Last, but definitely not least is the fabulous Hair of the Dog, also in the South-East, who serves up a nice selection of house strongs. I recommend ordering a “Fred” and a chef special pickle plate…trust me you can’t go wrong!
It was a nice day filled with good food, good brews, and good friends. Of course, just because we’re out doesn’t mean we can leave the camera behind…so we grabbed a few shots from around our multiple stops. So, back to gear jargon …I’ve been loving shooting with my mid-level canon primes, the 85mm f/1.8 and the 50mm f/1.4. They’re great for reception work and interior getting ready locations due to their great speed, plus I personally prefer the shallow depth of field that comes with shooting at +/- f/2.0. This made me realize that I hadn’t even touched my 24-105mm f/4L at any one of the most recent four weddings. Well, naturally I started thinking about getting rid of my older backup body, and the 24-105, as well as the mid-level primes, and stepping up to the canon L primes…the 85mm f1.2L & the 50mm f/1.2L. From all of the research I’d done in the past, and all the wonderful professionals out there who give their time and share their experiences, I’d come to understand that these two lenses are some of the best, period. Well, I’m happy to say that, in a matter of a few days, I will be a proud owner of both these wonderful lenses. I can’t wait to get out there and shoot some portraits with the 85, and get some great reception dancing goodness with the 50!
Lastly, back on track with some great tips I’ve learned thanks to Creative Live. It can’t be stressed enough how much proper exposure and white balance is to a professional photographer. It is the first thing my eye sees when I look at other people’s work who call themselves “Professional”. If I can recommend one product, and one product alone, regardless of what camera body, manufacturer or glass you own…its the Expo Disc. At first glance you might think it’s an overpriced piece of plastic, but I can guarantee you, regardless of skill level or what’s in your gear bag, it will improve the quality of your product and help give you more consistent work, hands down. It is more important to purchase this item than it is to invest in any other gear. No lens or camera body can provide you with what this product offers.
Okay, that’s it for my rant! Check back next time, and we will get into post-processing workflow and how you can edit an entire wedding, from start to finish, in less than a day. Hint hint, it involves the Expo Disc as part of your shooting workflow…
What path will you take?
It’s hard to imagine how life was before technology, especially for the young generations. Sometimes I wonder how the now pre-teens will see the world in a few decades. What will be lost? What will be retained? How will technology have enhanced, or possibly even hindered or complicated our lives?
I speak as a hypocrite, carrying around one of the most amazing small format DSLRs on the planet, when I say that I felt like I was on a foreign planet during this trip; I felt as if I were looking into a portal of the apocalyptic aftermath, a world after the fall of technology, a world devoid of all we currently accept and demand as standard, included, instantaneous, mine. Around every turn, down every road was another desolate view of human existence. How prosperous was the future when these developments were populated, and how did it make such a turn for the worse?
If anything I learned that the only constant in this world is change. Being a planning person, detail oriented, and organized, I realized that it can, and will, all change at some point…at any instant. I don’t, however, believe that we should all give up, and, in fact, I found that it shows just how complicated we humans really are. On one side of the coin our naivety keeps history repeating itself, keeps us from learning from our mistakes. On the other side, there is beauty in our resolve, in our spirit and cunning, keeping us forging ahead to survive, to reinvent, to prosper.
What path will you take?
My eyes are open, and I am anxious to see what awaits me on the rest of this journey. I plan to harness all that comes with our gift, to try and keep balance between necessity and lust, between past and present, between amicable and insolent.
I’m sorry if I step on your toes, I intended only to stand on your shoulders. I am only human.
Our family has started a little tradition of going to Tahoe during the Christmas/New Year’s season every few years or so. This was actually our second trip. We stayed at the same resort both times, just on the foothill of the slopes. Unfortunately, this time, Tahoe was not getting any snowfall, but there were still plenty of adventures to be had. We spend some time hiking off the trails at Emerald Bay, which has quite the steep, rugged terrain. I got some of the best shots of the trip over there, especially the ones of us while we’re hiking with the lake in the background and the band-photo-shoot type shots with the mountains in the background. Money!
There were the usual adventures, including casino gambling trips, family dinners at random spots along the main drag, and just hanging out around the rooms catching up on the latest news. A few new things we did this time were some late night, middle of the night actually, hikes where I had the chance to do some really fun long exposure night sky shots. Also, we had a nice dinner out at the Chart House for our last night in town. The location of the restaurant is quite stunning and really made for some awesome sunset views of the lake. A lot of the around-the-table shots are actually from while we were eating there.
Originally, we were supposed to be doing one or two snow themed engagement shoots, but plans changed prior to the trip. Good thing too, because those could have been some pretty disappointing situations, considering the weather they were having. The trip was a blast, and we look forward to doing it again…this time hopefully in the snow!
Just got back from a fun bday weekend in Vegas. Of course we couldn’t keep the camera equipment put away, so we basically turned the hotel room into a wireless flash studio setup. These are some shots from inside the room, as well as a few other miscellaneous ones. More to come soon from Freemont Street…check back soon!
Great Las Vegas Birthday Party Photos at Vdara
Last weekend, the St. Louis/Springfield area, was experiencing a heat wave along with extreme humidity. Temperatures were in the high 90′s, and humidity was most likely a close second. On the bright side, this made for some beautiful sunsets. Pine Lake is just North of downtown Pittsfield, IL. The Pine Lake shots you see here were taken over two days. There are also some miscellaneous shots from the Louisiana, MO crossing of the Mississippi on Route 54, as well as a few from downtown St. Louis.
Friday 6/24 through Sunday 6/26 was Long Beach Race Week (LBRW). The festivities were centered around Long Beach Yacht Club (LBYC), but Alamitos Bay Yacht Club (ABYC) also shared some of the burden for hosting parties and dinners. There were roughly 150 boats racing on three different courses.
I was there almost all weekend on the water and on the docks getting to watch the races and meet some all around good people doing what they love.
The purchase galleries are no longer hosted on the site. Please contact me if you are interested in ordering prints from the event.
Recently had the pleasure of spending time with my cousin and her future fiancee in Las Vegas. We talked about when they plan on getting engaged and doing the wedding photo shoot. Looking forward to it, but until that time comes, we decided to have a little fun in Sin City. Mostly abstract stuff, but it’s not my fault…the new Cosmopolitan Hotel is stunning!