Anthony & Jana

•September 16, 2009 • 1 Comment

The last wedding I photographed was Anthony & Jana’s big day.  They were such a sweet, fun-loving couple.  I had a lot of fun photographing their wedding!

Using their pictures, I also created something I’m going to call a “video album”.  It’s basically a DVD movie of all their pictures, that will play in any DVD player, and set to music.  I just mailed it to them today, so I hope they like it!

Here are a few pictures from their day:

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Experimenting with HDR

•September 7, 2009 • Leave a Comment

HDR, or high dynamic range, photography is something I didn’t know existed until very recently.  I was reading this blog post at Mental Floss (which, by the way, I LOVE Mental Floss!) and saw his description of how he attained the gorgeous images under limited lighting conditions in the comments.  I was intrigued.  Basically, an HDR image is an image created by overlaying pictures of the same thing, shot right after each other at different exposure levels (a.k.a. bracketing).  By combining these over- and under-exposed images, you can bring out a combination of highlights, shadows, and color that you’d never be able to obtain with one image.

Yesterday my family and I went on a hike in our town and came across some ruins, which I believe are the remnants of one of Adolph Zukor‘s houses, and a pump house which probably supplied water to his property from the creek.  The machinery in the pump house didn’t get very good light so I thought I’d take some pictures and try to do an HDR image with them.

Here’s what I got… first, the three bracketed images that I started with:

DSC_8147DSC_8146 DSC_8145

Then using Photoshop to combine the images and adding a little vignetting to the corners, I got this one HDR image:

Untitled HDR 00

I didn’t stop up and down very much with my bracketing, which I’m assuming could have made this picture even more interesting.  But I’m still happy with it.

I also shot a wedding on Saturday, which was a lot of fun, but since my daughter is starting KINDERGARTEN on Tuesday, aside from getting all the wedding pictures uploaded, I’m leaving the editing work until the week.  I’ve been trying to hang out with her and do some fun stuff together before school starts.  But, those wedding pictures and recap of the day will come soon!

A bit of what’s going on

•August 27, 2009 • Leave a Comment

I’ve gotten great feedback from taking the pictures at Amanda and Michael’s wedding. First, Amanda sent me an email and raved about the pictures, which is just awesome. Then, her mom recommended me as a wedding photographer to a co-worker of hers who is getting married in November. After a fierce game of phone tag, we finally chatted for awhile today and it looks like I’ve got the job! I can’t imagine a better compliment than getting a referral.

In upcoming events, I have a wedding to shoot on September 5, and I’ll be doing portraits for a friend’s kids soon after school starts. (And in a bit of news unrelated to my photography, my daughter will be starting kindergarten in a couple of weeks! Ohmygoodnesswheredidthetimego??!?!) I also got an email from a friend who lives a couple states away who, after a long bout with infertility, found herself pregnant recently. She wants to do some nice pregnancy pictures and asked me to take them. 🙂

Amanda & Michael

•July 30, 2009 • 1 Comment

This past weekend I photographed Amanda and Michael’s wedding.   Amanda is originally from my town in Rockland county, but the wedding was on Long Island at the Westbury Manor.  Amanda and Michael were a couple of fun-loving kids, very much in love, and their wedding totally reflected that.  I had a great time taking pictures of their big day, and I can’t wait until they see the pictures!!  They left for the honeymoon before I was able to email them their online gallery.

Here are some of my favorite pictures from the day and night:

Lisa & Bill

•July 6, 2009 • Leave a Comment

I took pictures at Lisa & Bill’s wedding recently.  Theirs was a smaller, more intimate affair.  It was the second marriage for both and each had two kids from their previous relationships, so it was great fun taking picture of them, and their kids, as the first pictures of their family all blended together!  They had a Jewish ceremony under the huppah, and a brunch reception for their friends and family.

Here are some of my favorite pictures from their day!

A new adventure in wedding photography

•May 30, 2009 • Leave a Comment

This weekend, my dad got married.  My mom passed away a bunch of years ago, and his new wife was a widow, too.  The day was a little weird for all the kids, but mostly fun and joyous and glad that our parents found another someone special to spend the rest of their years with (hopefully).

Being the ‘photographer’ in the family, I of course was called upon to document the day, and I happily took on the task.  When I’m a photographer at a client’s wedding, I’m sort of in charge.  I get to tell people what to do, and offer directions, and be somewhat direct when I need to be… but I found taking that role with my family, and my new family, was really difficult.  It was a hard line to balance on — I wanted to make sure the pictures turned out well, but I really felt like I had to edit myself a lot more.  I didn’t want to piss off my own family members, who might take my direction more personally, and I didn’t want to come across to my new family (FOUR new stepsiblings!) as pushy.  So while I did take some great pictures, I wish I could have done better.  Part of the problem, too, was trusting other people to snap some pictures for me.  Being I was the daughter of the groom, it was expected I would be in a bunch of posed pictures, so for those I would grab someone else to take the picture after I’d gotten it set up.  But the person I’d grab would only take one picture even though I asked them to take three or four, or they’d decide they didn’t like the angle I’d put them at and take two steps to the right (and thereby obscuring faces I’d worked hard to make sure were visible).  And again — anyone I’d ask to take control of the camera, they were family.  I couldn’t exactly bark at them to stop and do what I said.  Not only all that, but my husband and two small kids were in attendance, and I was depending on the hubby to get the kids ready and get everywhere and time… and that didn’t always happen.  Most critically, he made us late for both the pre-wedding pictures of the groom’s party, and for getting to the church.  We weren’t LATE late for either, but I didn’t get any time to set up before the ceremony started and it screwed up the quality of many of my ceremony pictures.  I really really don’t like not having time to set up my stuff – and that’s why!  I got all the requisite shots, fortunately, but I could have done better.

Regardless, not only was it a fun time, but there were definitely lots of nice pictures.  I really can’t complain.  🙂

My brother (also the best man) putting on my dads boutonniere

My brother (also the best man) putting on my dad's boutonniere

During the ceremony

During the ceremony

My brother, dad, new stepmom, and the matron of honor

My brother, dad, new stepmom, and the matron of honor

The cake

The cake

You can see more of their pictures in my wedding portfolio here.

A little decorum, please

•May 22, 2009 • Leave a Comment

So, granted, I’m pretty new to this whole wedding photography shtick.  I know I have a LOT to learn.

But, I had come across some photos of Andy Roddick’s wedding recently, where he married some gorgeous bikini model type.  Now, looking at this picture:


I would make the assumption that the lady holding the camera with the Gary Fong Lightsphere (I have the Origami myself, just for its foldability, but I’ll probably spring for a Lightsphere soon) and the tripod is their hired wedding photographer.  Certainly it makes sense, it’s the bride and her family and they’re posing for pictures.  You could argue that it could be a guest, but would a guest be there in cuffed jeans and a t-shirt?  Exactly.

Which, incidentally, brings me to my point:  what on earth is the photographer doing at a formal wedding wearing jeans and a t-shirt?   Of course, this woman is certainly an uber-high-end wedding photographer and has probably worked hard to earn her street cred as a high-end wedding photog.  But to me, it seems that no matter how ‘high-end’ you get, you’re still working at a formal event.  Would it be OK for the servers to show up in jeans?  The maitre d’?  Unless you’re having a hoe-down themed wedding, then I think the answer is a resounding ‘no’.  I know a photographer’s job is physically demanding, but there’s still a touch of decorum called for.  Lady, perhaps you are getting paid megabucks to shoot weddings, and I’m sure you’ve earned yourself the right to charge megabucks, but here, you just look unprofessional and disrespectful.

I may go somewhat casual for weddings, but you’ll never catch me in a t-shirt and jeans.  My wardrobe of choice are nice khaki slacks or capris and a pretty blouse.  Of course, I know I have to work, and run around, and bend over a lot, but the wardrobe I have for shooting weddings takes this into consideration and is, *gasp*, both comfortable AND nice-looking.  People pay me good money to take pictures of their big day – they deserve my respect and professionalism, in how I take my pictures, in how I interact with them and their guests, and in how I present myself.