How to be in a group photo

•January 24, 2014 • Leave a Comment

Ramblings of a pseudo intellectual

No matter where I’m taking pictures – a wedding, party, or even portraits, I end up taking a lot of group photos. At the same time, most people who are in a group photo haven’t been in nearly as many group photos. I’m sure they’ve seen a lot of group photos, but maybe they just haven’t noticed these things. Well, let me give you a few tips so you can be at your best!

1) Don’t lean. Don’t hunch. Don’t tilt your head toward the group. I’m sure I’ve even been guilty of this in my life. This is a huge symptom of the people on the ends of a group photo. Don’t worry — the photographer won’t cut you off, and you don’t look weird being on the end. Own the space, and stand tall. Now, you want to be in close, no doubt, but get in close with…

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The perils of stock photography

•October 20, 2011 • Leave a Comment

So sometimes, you see a stock picture you sell show up somewhere and it’s super duper cool.  And sometimes, you’re like, eh, whatever.  And once in a while, you get a priceless picture of your daughter when she was 2 throwing a giant temper tantrum (which was caused by none other than you singing the song “head, shoulders, knees, and toes” to try to get her to smile for a Christmas card picture) and the picture shows up in all kinds of places and each time it makes you laugh your head off, and every time it shows up you know it made you money to put into her college savings account, which is even better.  Most recently, an appearance on Failblog:


Busy, busy, busy

•June 23, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Between the last weekend in April and the first weekend in June, I photographed three weddings.  As you may be aware, my photography business is a part-time gig for me and three weddings in a bit over a month is a pretty busy schedule for me, between the weddings themselves and all the post-editing.  Not to say I didn’t have fun.  I really did!!  But I’m tired.  I’ll post again soon to share a few favorite pictures from each event, but right now I want to focus on something that’s not my wedding photography.

I also sell stock photography.  I haven’t focused on it much the last couple years, but what’s great about it is that the work I did on my portfolio years ago is still paying off, and I make about $100 a month in royalties.  Sure, it’s not much, but it’s still pretty good for not having to lift a finger except to check my earnings online.  Besides that, I have a Google alert for my name, which usually flags sites that have used a photograph of mine and credited me by name.  It’s pretty fun!  Anyway, I just wanted to share a few links where my photographs are being used online:  (My awesome dog, Bailey!)  (My daughter, picking her nose when I was trying to take a nice picture!)  (A picture I took from the car on the highway passing downtown Albany — don’t worry, I wasn’t driving!)  (I even baked that pie!)  (I borrowed an AWESOME macro lens from a lens rental company and had fun for a week taking very close up pictures of anything I could think of — mostly words in the dictionary and bugs.)  (I had gestational diabetes when I was pregnant with my son, so I took a bunch of pictures of my testing supplies, which have now more than paid for themselves!  Note… I had to artificially get a test result that high with sugar water, my blood sugar *never* tested that high!!)  (Shot when my daughter got really, really, really mad at me for singing to try to get her to smile for a Christmas picture.  I think she *might* end up hating me when she gets older if she finds these pictures of her… but at least any money she makes goes into her college account!!)

And I also recently discovered I have a photo credit in this book!

Anyway — a couple of these came to my attention today and I always get a little giddy seeing my work being used.  🙂  Hope you enjoyed perusing!!

Feeling humbled!

•February 9, 2010 • Leave a Comment

This weekend my friend Kate and her family came to visit, with the main goal of the visit to take some maternity pictures of Kate and a few of her with her kids and husband, too.  They are a congenial, smart, and incredibly likable little group of people, so I was glad to both have them visit and take their pictures.  🙂

First, may I present you with the pictures:

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I’m definitely happy with the results — even though my main off-camera strobe committed suicide during the shoot!  (Seriously… there was even a puff of smoke!)   Such a relief, because I get a bit anxious before and after every photo shoot.  Before, because I worry I’ll mess up, and then after, because I worry the client won’t like the pictures.   I’m pretty confident in my photography abilities, but photographs are such a personal thing.  A person really puts their trust in you, and exposes a bit of themselves for a picture, or group of pictures (or in the case of an event, for capturing the whole thing to preserve their memories).  I am glad to have that anxiety, because I know it gears me up to do the best job of which I am capable, but it still is anxiety, nonetheless.  If nothing else, I suppose it keeps me from being an insufferable, overconfident d-bag.  🙂

The best reward though is knowing that folks are pleased with the results.  Kate keeps up quite an entertaining blog, as she has a true gift for the written word, and oh my goodness, could she be any sweeter?

Lisa & Renato

•December 4, 2009 • Leave a Comment

I recently photographed Lisa & Renato’s wedding.   This event offered, not only a great couple, but a great location — overlooking the Tappan Zee Bridge from a location in Nyack, NY.  Just a stunning view!

These were some fun people!! I had such a great time at their wedding. If there’s one thing I’ve loved more than anything about shooting weddings, it’s feeling like I’m a part of a happy, special event, and that was certainly true for them. Congrats again, you crazy kids!!

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•November 4, 2009 • Leave a Comment

I got a last minute phone call from a very frazzled Dave, whose daughter Sarah was about to have her sweet sixteen party, and their photographer canceled at the last minute.  I was happy to step in!

Sarah and her family were all completely lovely people, and her party was a really great time.   Before the party we shot some posed family shots, and then the party got rolling!  One sixteen year old kid even asked me to dance!  (I politely declined.)

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This is what makes a good portrait

•October 23, 2009 • Leave a Comment

The White House just released the first official First Family portrait, and I love it!

It has a formal feel without being stuffy.  It is both casual and elegant.  It is intimate and welcoming at the same time. 

There are the specific details, too, that stand out to me.  The President is just slightly closer to the camera than the rest of his family, his wife included.  It is slight, no doubt, but implies that he is playing a starring role in the eyes of the photographer.  He is the President, after all.  (Note, too, that he is the only one with any color in his outfit.)  His body language is also casual and friendly, as if he’s just asked you to tell him about your own family.  I also noticed the little bit of leg that the older daughter, Malia, is showing.  She is eleven years old now — far from an adult, for sure, but no longer a small child.  Her outfit and that bit of skin hint at a maturity and coming-of-age that she is no doubt starting to experience.  Lastly, there’s the interconnectedness of the family.  They are grouped off a little – Sasha with the President, Malia with her mom – yet they are all still in contact.  Sasha and Malia are obviously touching a parent, but Michelle is also holding Sasha’s hand, and I’m pretty sure the President and First Lady’s knees are touching. 

Even the background conveys a message.  There are two doorways, and both doors are open.  They could have been closed… but they aren’t.  You can see beyond them, but just a little.  If the doors were closed, the portrait would definitely have a more formal, closed-off feel.  But their openness implies an openness about the family, a feeling that they are at home, and they are welcoming you in. 

Annie Leibovitz, no doubt, is a master of the trade, and this photograph certainly reinforces that reputation.  I would bet that every detail in this portrait was intentional and orchestrated, but with the complete focus on making everything look unintentional.  It’s a completely lovely photograph.