Sunday, October 23, 2011

Jeff and Christine

My uncle Jeff and his wife Christine wanted to get photos taken, so they asked me, their amazing photographer niece, to do so for them.  We were supposed to do this last time they were in town like a year ago, but it didn't work out, so when they came up for his birthday last weekend, we finally got around to it.

Seeing as they don't live around here, there wasn't anywhere special they really wanted to go.  We ended up taking some shots on the roof of the bowling alley in their NASA shirts (they both work for NASA, cool, right?)

After that, we went to the park.  Not gonna lie, it's slightly creepy to see my uncle be cutesy, but these were couples pictures, so it had to happen.  I got over it.  Some of the shoot was pretty ridiculous, but then again, this is my family, so it's bound to be a little weird.

This last shot, by the way, is Christine and Uncle Jeff pretending to be fashion models who are not caring or being pleased about getting their picture taken for the cover of some huge magazine.  I told you we're ridiculous.

Seniors 2012 - Lecksi

Lecksi bowls with my brother on the Hopewell High School team, so when I'm at the bowling alley I'll talk to her and the other high school kids.  One day I basically just said "you're a senior, right?  I'm gonna do your pictures."  She said "ok" and so we took senior portraits.  Had my studio set up down in The Fallout Shelter, which works out quite well.

I kept telling Lecksi "don't look so scared!" and she would say "I'm not!" and laugh and I would get a good shot.  It was fun.  After the studio shots, we went to Hopewell Park, which is close by.  The shirt she was wearing kind of matched the fall leaves, something I thought was really cool!  The 50mm f2 prime lens kept the background from being too overbearing like her shirt though, and I really like the resulting images.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Ginny + Kyle's Engagement Photos (Part 1)

Last weekend (Saturday, mainly) was another one of those busy busy ones.  I had Ginny and Kyle's shoot, then Jeff and Christine's, then work that night, then work again in the morning, etc etc.  I like being busy though, so we're going to take a short bit out of this entry to make a note of what I did during the week.  It was discovered that my beautiful wonderful 27-inch iMac's hard drive was failing and I had to take it to the Apple store for repairs on Monday.  Got it back...Thursday night but since I was also shooting an event that night, didn't get to use it at all until Friday (yesterday).  So here I am feeling like I'm a little behind on everything, but gotta say that, wow, it was kind of nice to feel like a "normal" person and come home after work and chill out for a few days instead of continuing to work.  Oh, and the important part - BACK UP YOUR FILES!!  I work primarily off of external hard drives, but all my edits were on the iMac.  Luckily I had those backed up as well and use one of the hard drives as a Time Machine as well so was able to restore everything back to how it was when I took it in.  So, once again, BACK UP YOUR FILES!!  Music, photography, LightRoom presets, financial logs, even my FireFox bookmarks were saved.

Now then.  Ginny and Kyle.  Kyle used to be in a band (The Scratch 'n' Sniffs) that I'm friends with, and Ginny had me do photos of her nephew recently (there's one in my general September post).  We had discussed engagement pictures a couple times, and the reason the title here says Part 1 is because we're going to do some more in the winter which will be super cold but surely super pretty as well.  Part 1 occurred in the fall, obviously, and we started out at Geneva College.

Ok, so I am all about this clock photo.  In general, clocks are cool.  Time and our view of it is interesting.  But a clock for a couple, in engagement photos, kind of has a nice "forever" idea.  Like the clock will keep ticking and they'll still be together.  That's what I was going for, at least, but maybe I'm just a bit of a romantic on occasion.  Opinions?

After Geneva, we got breakfast.  It was early and none of us had remembered to eat, so we stopped at this cute little shop where I got a cinnamon roll and Apple Chai-der (half apple cider, half chai tea, SO GOOD) and then made our way to these benches along the river that Kyle and Ginny go to have cute romantic alone time.

I LOVE THESE.  They are so cute and beautiful.  Ok, the bench is beautiful and the ring/kiss is cute.  Either way, I adore them.

Our last stop was back to Kyle and Ginny's, to take a few shots of them carving pumpkins.  This was kind of ridiculous, but really just fun.  It was Kyle's idea, and since these sort of thing tend to be more about what the woman wants, Ginny and I were all for it.  Pumpkin carving, yay!

Winter pictures with these two will be really fun, I'm sure.  Gives me something in the miserable cold to look forward to!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Seniors 2012 - Kacie

Kacie's senior session was, no lie, one of the most fun I've had, and I love doing senior pictures.  They're all fun to me, but Kacie's was awesome.  I've photographed her sister before - for senior portraits awhile back and during my beauty shoot this summer (was it summer?  Spring?  No, summer.  I'm so bad with time....).  For Kacie's shoot, like Alex's, I went to their house, which is amazing.  They have all this land and beautiful scenery.  Normally my senior shoots have the studio shots first and then outdoors, but we switched it up and did the outside ones first.

The thing I really love about doing senior shoots is going somewhere that the person is comfortable and wants to be.  Not just "oh, look, this is my studio and the places I already have set up."  No.  It's so much more interesting to go and photograph in someone's natural environment.  Not only are they more comfortable, the images will be unique to them.  No one else will have pictures on that porch swing, with those flowers in the background.  Just Kacie.  And that's really cool to me.

For the studio shots, I set up in their living room with a similar lighting pattern as I used for Drew's portraits last week.  (Note: I am very proud of my lighting here, especially in this first image where she has on a white shirt.  White shirt + white background + good seperation = win.)  The beauty dish was more to the front than side, and the hair light closer to the background, but it was very similar.  The shoot, however, was very different.  Because we were having fun and Kacie's entire wardrobe was in the house, she changed a few times, grabbed hats and scarves and the camera clicked away for a bit longer than expected.  When she becomes a model for Abercrombie, I told her, she better give them my name!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Only Flesh Promos

Yes, this IS my third post today.  I've been busy!!  And don't want a repeat of last month, where I didn't update at all and then did a lame "here's what's been happening" post where I didn't get to spend as much time as I would like discussing my shoots.  So deal with the insane updating.

Anyway, on Sunday (after work and the first half of Drew's senior portrait shoot), I drove out to Greensburg to a venue called 42nd St to do promo shoots for the band Only Flesh.  Because (once again), the weather was miserable, we had to change our strategy.  Rev, the lead singer, had originally wanted to shoot out in the alley by the dumpster for dirty, gritty photos.  This wasn't going to happen.  It was pouring.  We ended up setting up in the backstage area and taking photos in a booth.  I brought in two of my three lights and set up one with an umbrella.  The guys had requested I bring my fisheye lens, which I was all about, so I grabbed a chair and did some shots of them in the booth, shooting down with the fisheye.  Because I had lean down so far to get the shot I wanted, there was some falling off of the chair.....

I also used my regular 18-55mm lens for some cool shots.  The two on the ends are the newest members of the band - that night was their first live set.  Damien (lighting a cigarette) and Rev (with the spikes) I had sit up higher to get a nice triangular kind of pose.

They also wanted some group headshots.  After the first couple shots, I grabbed my second light and put it behind them to give a little separation between their hair and the wall.  The whole thing was quite an amusing experience and reminded me why I love photographing bands so much.  Seniors and weddings, I really do like them.  They're fun.  But bands....they're an entirely different breed.  And Only Flesh is unique among them.

Seniors 2012 - Drew

I joked recently that I should do a "Zach's ex-girlfriend" senior special this year - Zach being my little brother.  I've photographed his first "real" girlfriend, a girl he hung out with in kindergarten and now his elementary school "girlfriend."  My brother and Drew were in the same class for years and she was his girlfriend because they played basketball together after school.  I love kids.  But now they're grown up and getting their senior pictures taken.

Drew and her mother came by on Sunday to do her pictures, but we ended up only doing studio shots because (like I mentioned in my last post about Jake and Melissa's wedding) the weather was horrid last weekend.  I had set up shop down in The Fallout Shelter, which worked really well because there's so much more room down there than in, say, a living room.  It was also my first shoot with a three-light set-up, as I just bought a third Alien Bee from a girl I went to college with.  From my point of view, I had a softbox to my left, a beauty dish to the right, and a hair light also to the right, but slightly behind where Drew was standing on the backdrop.  There's a photo of it on my Facebook page if you're interested.

We wanted to do more than just plain background shots though, so we cleared off the stage, grabbed the beauty dish and did some portraits of Drew and and her basketball with the brick wall.

Yesterday we finished up the shoot in Drew's yard.  I got a bit lost on my way there, honestly, but all was well in the end.  They have a pretty little garden and a big yard, and a basketball hoop.  Her mom Kelly told me she was glad to have me as their photographer because she knows we can work around each other's schedules.  Compliments like that are always so nice!

Wedding - Melissa and Jake

When I first was asked to photograph Melissa and Jake's wedding, I knew this was going to be a fun wedding.  They know Dawn and Brandon, whose wedding I photographed last year, and their (and my) friends Boo and Mason.  If they're friends with this group, I figured, it will be a blast.

It was definitely a chill, laid-back production - the wedding was in the afternoon, the reception was at a fire hall next door to the church.  Downside was it was cold and rainy.  The church was tiny, and there were a ton of people!  Everyone turned out for this wedding; Melissa and Jake have been together for something like 15 years, high school sweethearts, the whole romantic shebang, and you can tell they were thrilled to be finally tying the knot.  I love it!

We did photos inside the church, and then a few quick wedding party formals outside.  We had originally planned on going to a gazebo, but the weather killed those plans.  Definitely still got some wonderful pictures though!

The reception was so much fun.  There were a ton of people, everyone was drinking and dancing and having a great time.  I got all kinds of absolutely hysterical candid shots!

 This one just above is one of my favorites - I love how both Melissa is turned to her maid of honor and Jake is turned to the his best man.  They're married and excited and sharing that excitement with their friends and that's just awesome to me.