Saturday, December 29, 2007

Grandma's 85th Birthday Party

It just seemed like last year that we celebrated grandma's 75th birthday. I guess time slips by before you knew it was there. The whole Heidemann clan gathered at a nice restaurant in old town Florissant called Hendels. Unfortunately Erin was in Honduras at the time. She came in later that night so i drove the suburban so i could pick her up from the airport directly from the restaurant.

The night started at grandma's before dinner to catch up with the out of towners. Then Greg and I drove in the suburban to Florissant. Once we got to Hendels, we noticed we were in the enclosed porch. It definitely wasn't cold. The heater were radiant heaters that were ceiling mounted. I think they had the heat up a little to much because it felt like i was getting sun burn every time i stood up. We had drinks and talked for a bit while we waited for everyone to arrive.

Time to eat! The menu was filled with excellent choices for dinner but i decided on the fillet - it was an excellent decision. We all crammed into the long table as we waited for the food and waited and waited. I was the unlucky soul who got the food last and it was wrong so i had to wait longer. But once it was there, it was great. After we were done eating, the waiting staff brought out the cake. After i got some snap shots of it, we cut it and served it. Greg was trying to eat my cake so i proceeded to bring my plate of cake to his mouth, but he tried to block it and the cake soared out of my hand and onto his sleeve, icing down. I had a good chuckle at the icing incident.

I checked the time shortly after and i realized i had to go and pick up Erin from the airport. I said my good byes and made a relatively quick exit. I dropped off Greg at his car and proceeded to the airport.

Click here for pics.

Monday, December 24, 2007

I have a little catching up to do...

I have to start off by saying sorry for the long delay between posts. School has been taking up much of my time. But now that i have the week off from work and i am Christmas break for school, i have time to do some posting. I have a little bit of a back log of events that i need to post for, but i will start with Audrey's first birthday party.

It was a cool October day and i was heading over to Laura & Tim's house for Audrey's first birthday party. I lugged along the camera, and also brought my sugar glider Sydney in my shirt pocket (i will post on her shortly). When i got there, i quickly noticed how few people were there, but i forgot that the party was also the unveiling of Tim's masterpiece: the basement.

As i started down into the basement, i noticed the great fit and finish Tim had labored at for some time. Then i panned over to the bar area. It was marvelous! The bar top was in granite (i think), it was long, dual leveled, well lit and had a built in tap. who could want more? then i saw the sitting area with the 'L' couch from the living room upstairs and a nice plasma mounted on the wall. Finally there was a large play area for Audrey, but it was filled with tables and chairs for the party.

After some visiting and showing my portfolio and business card for Heidemann Photography, the party began for Audrey with her own individual destroyable cake. It came with a single candle and we all sang happy birthday. Then Audrey quickly dove in with her hands. Hand full after hand full of cake went to her face. It was smeared and smashed and flew everywhere - she must of had a blast. But after about five minutes of this, it was time to clean her up, serve cake to everyone else and finally open up her gifts.

Sydney was great. it was her first time at a gathering out of her zippable pouch. she did a little fussing but nothing big. Once word got out about, as i call her; my rat bat, i got her out to show everyone. She was nice and a bit scarred but we were able to look at her cute little face. After showing her off it was time to go. I had Kate help me with my camera stuff out to the car. I had a great time and a hats off to Tim and the work he did on the basement.

For pics click here.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

A Day at the Race Tracks

For Matt's (Erin's brother) birthday, He got a ticket to go on the Richard Petty Driving Experience and actually got to drive one of the Winston cars at Gateway. He arrived at Gateway at around 11 am and had to go through training for about an hour and a half. Then he was able to go driving.

The setup was that two 'students' went driving at a time. When each person drove he followed their lead car. If you wanted to go faster you closed in on the car and then they would go faster and vise versa. So actually the student was in total control of the speed. Matt's spot in line was 22nd and each group took about 15 minutes so the wait was long.

Erin's mom Barb called Erin and I to take photographs of Matt driving. So during the long wait, The Richard Driving Experience offered a ride-along option for those people who came to watch their family members drive. So Erin and I, Rachel, Maria, Reggie and April (Matt's friends) all took the opportunity to ride in the Winston cup car.

Erin and i were paired to ride in the two cars that rode simultaneously. We had to put on the flame retardant overalls and the big helmet along with a neck brace. Then we waited in line to drive while taking in the noise, heat of the cars and the smell of burning rubber. Then our time came to climb through the window and get in the car. The seat was tight, my head was immovable and the heat from the engine filled the car. But it didn't matter, the rumble from the engine was about to roar and we were going to be on our way.

Instantly my ears were filled a sound that was heard so many times while we waited. The acceleration threw my body against the seat. Then we took the first turn. The lateral g-forces were strong. The side bolstering from the seat was pushing hard against the turn-induced forces. My head was pressed hard onto the inside of my helmet, but nothing moved as i was well strapped into the car. As the car zoomed past 130 mph, the heat from the engine made my feet sweat. But none of that mattered, i was exhilarated at the speed, acceleration and handling that allowed the car to take an unbanked sharp turn at 90+ mph and banked turns at much faster which allowed the smile on my face to grow even bigger.

But unfortunately, the ride doesn't last forever. I had to get out and allow the next riders to go on their ride. then about the time that Erin and i got out of our driving attire, Matt was due to drive next. I documented the process of Matt getting in the car through the window and getting strapped in. Then he was given the sign to begin and off he zoomed. I snapped many pictures of his ride.

After we all regrouped and finished off our time at Gateway, we decided to go out to dinner at Cracker Barrel. The dinner was great but the ride along was even better.

To see the pictures, click here.


Tuesday, September 25, 2007

The Upside to Pregnancy

Not too long ago, Erin's Friend Ariella came into town from Chicago for her baby shower. Ariella and Erin became friends while they were studying nursing at UMSL. So for Erin and i, we were lucky to have Ariella squeeze us into her busy visit. We showed her around our new place and talked about her job and her hubby Daniel. But the bast part was talking about her pregnancy. I found out some cool things. Not only do your feet swell to about twice their size while carrying a baby, but the swelling is like play dough. You can hold it, shape it and impress images into it. Also, the basketball belly is great for holding glasses, plates and for an arm rest. I am starting to get a little jealous. Ariella stayed for aout two hours and Erin and I greatly enjoyed her visit. Come back soon!

To see the pics click here.


Thursday, September 6, 2007

The Rest of the Pics from MTL

Give thanks to Laura, She reminded me that i havent posted the remaining pics from our family gathering. So, with that prompting, i added them to the group that i made earlier.

Check them out here.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Our House, In The Middle of Our Street, Our House...

As of August 1st, I have a new house. I will take you through as good of a virtual tour that i can manage. But first, i will give the low-down. It is about 1150 square feet. three official bedrooms with one unofficial bedroom in the basement. two and a half baths, four car garage, two driveways and a finished basement. Erin and i will be having a house warming party to show our families the house.

The lot we have is a corner lot. On the left side of the house is half of our yard that continues to the other driveway. In the corner of the lot is a big evergreen.

The other driveway leads right up to the patio and back door. The back door is a huge Anderson glass sliding door. It feels like it weighs a ton.

On to the inside. The front door leads into the front room. Please don't mind the mess, we were still unpacking during the picture process. Then while walking down the wall way is two bedrooms, full bath and the master bedroom with an attached
half bath.

If you would walk through the door way that leads right (on the above pic) then that is our kitchen and attached dinning room, the stairs to the basement, back door and door to the garage (see below).

The stairs lead to the basement where the fireplace is. then that is in the large family room. The other half of the basement is a 'bedroom', full bath with a spa tub and our laundry room.

The garage is a four car garage and is my favorite part of the house. i am going to make a work area so i can fix/make stuff. Finally on the right side of the house is our other side yard.

Check out our pics here.


Saturday, August 25, 2007

Matt and Tanya's Wedding

On Saturday the 18th, Erin and I went to be the photographer for my buddy Matt (whom I also took their engagement pics). Erin and I got there at about 8:20 to take pictures of the outside of the church. Then the guys got there at 8:30 and I went over to the changing room to get some pics of them getting ready. Shortly after the ladies got there at 9:15 to get dressed and do their makeup. Erin was over there getting most of the ladies getting ready. Then when i was done with the guys i got some pics of the pre-wedding ritual of the ladies.
Then at 10:15 the wedding started and as you will soon hear about, the sun also came out. All was well for the procession. Then as the couple got to the front of the chapel the sun moved just right to land on the bride and not the groom. This either washed out the pics with no detail or made the picture too dark except for the sunny areas. But luckily, some clouds came and i got some great photos of the ceremony.
Matt and Tanya then were greeted by bunches of bubbles outside as they got in his Corvette. Then after they had a short drive, they came back to have the post-ceremony pictures taken. Erin and I had fun getting some fun poses but we had some time restrictions with the reception starting at noon. Then we took some pics in the studio type room in which they met and then some pics with the Corvette.
The reception went off without a hitch. The good news is that the florist was a friend of Tanya's and liked my work. She said that she would refer people to me since she had no other photographer to refer. I am going to make some business cards and make a portfolio and give them to her to help attract some business. This was great news for Erin and I. But now we are having some trouble with our business name to put on the card. Please leave your suggestions in the comments.
Then after the reception, the location pictures were taken around the Embassy Suites (where the reception was). I did some contemporary poses and pictures. I staggered the wedding party on the stairs and then took some pics from one floor up. then i got some final photos of the couple going up in the elevator to their room.
This was a great wedding and congratulations to Matt and Tanya.
To see the pics click here.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Mark Twain 07

For the record, this years family gathering was the hottest EVER! The temperature was at least 100 degrees every day. On Sunday when we left, the thermometer read 106 on the way home. Thank god for the AC in the car.

There were many new things this year:
-No Greg H
-Skeet shooting
-Bryan's new look (see pics)
-deep fried turkey
-i was in charge of the family pic
-A drinking age Bryan
-Catch Phrase

Skeet shooting was so much fun. Dad brought his two shotguns to the lake and he made reservations for Saturday morning for Uncle Leo's birthday. But unfortunately Uncle Leo did not hit one clay bird. Jean hit one, Blake hit four, Ted hit 5, I hit 8 and the winner: Dad shot 9. He hit the last one to break the tie. I had a blast (literally). While we were shooting, the rest of the guys went golfing and the girls went antiquing. When everyone returned, we cooled off at the pool. We got back in time to make the water balloons and have the 'toss right after Jean was done deep frying the turkey. We had repeat winners of Ted and Doris. We then hung out until the babies were asleep and we were able to eat dinner.

That night i got out the camera and flashes and played around with Anne, Kate, Bryan, Erin & I. Then i let Kate play around with the camera and she had fun, then it was passed off to me again and i saw Bryan all posed so i got some good shots of him. Then Anne got the camera and took pics of Kate flossing and brushing her teeth. Sarah & Blake had enough of the camera and then left the room. Then we rapped it up with Erin & I posing.

The next morning i was in charge of the family picture. I quickly and efficiently got all the groups done. I will add those pics and more to the album shortly. Afterwards Erin & I quickly packed before it got too hot. Then we hung out the the family until about noon. Then we headed home. This was yet another awesome weekend at the Mark Twain Lake.

See the pictures here.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

An afternoon at the Zoo

Saturday was a nice day to go out. So first thing in the morning i was thinking i would call up my cousin Kate and see if she wanted to go to the zoo. I looked up the time the zoo closes and other details on the Internet. But i remembered i had homework and started to do that and did not pursue the zoo any further. Then around four o'clock my friend/coworker Dan called and asked if i wanted to go to the zoo. I quickly finished the last bit of homework so i could go.

I met Dan at his apartment and met his Friend Jamee. We went to the zoo and figured we wanted to see the giraffes, apes, elephants and cats. Half way through the Wild Country area of the zoo we met up with Leana (sorry if i misspelled any names, Dan told me the spellings). Then we were able to see the apes and to our enjoyment we stumbled on some pictures of the apes. We had some fun by trying to replicate the expression of the apes. Then as time wound down to closing, we quickly went off to see the giraffes and bears before closing. Almost all the animals were out and visible - a great time to go to the zoo.

Then we walked to our cars and then tossed a Frisbee around for about half an hour. The girls wanted some ice cream and i suggested Ted Drewes since it was near Erin's place and i was meeting her after she got back from the Fox with her mom. We enjoyed some great frozen custard and tunes from a street singer who was playing the harmonica, guitar AND singing. We ended the night by looking at our pictures and laughing at the apes pictures.

See my pictures here.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Bradie's Wedding

Bradie, Erin's neighbor, friend and coworker, planned a wonderful outdoor wedding in Mountain Home Arkansas. The location was in a state part right nest to the White River. It was tucked under some shady trees and provided and awesome setting. The only down side was the swarm of gnats and high humidity.

The wedding started off with Bradie being dropped off in her brothers truck so she could walk down the isle. She was escorted by her father to the awaiting groom.

The ceremony was short and sweet. Then we jumped quickly to picture taking of the wedding party and family. Once that was over, we zoomed off to an wonderful spot - the Cotter Bridge to stop traffic and take pictures in the street. Then we went on the train tracks below to get the bridge and tunnel vi sable in the back ground of the bridge.

The reception was a homely family gathering at her parents house for freshly fried catfish. The food was great. I was able to put on a slide show of the pictures later that night to bring many "oooohs" and "ahhhhs." Then the night came to an end and we retired to our Hotel.

See pictures here.


Saturday, July 21, 2007

Matt & Tanya's Engagement

It came as a surprise, but while playing tennis on a cool April evening, Matt Said he was going to propose the next day. I asked what the plan was. He wanted to take her to the park and sing a song which was the proposal. I asked what else and Matt was still indecisive. I offered my help from my engagement and said one of the best things i did was to have a photographer take pictures of the entire "on-one-knee" proposal. I offered my services to "spy" on them and get it all on film. He agreed. Also, we would meet at work (we work together) and i would take pictures of the engagement ring. The rest of the day i left up to Matt.

The next day after work. I went directly over to Creve Coeur park and follow the set up Matt and i came up with. I would hide in the pavilion and he would be about 100 yards away under a tree. I would take pictures and wait for the sign: him to scratch his ear. i would then meet up with him and get some portraits and closeups. When i arrived, they were under the tree. I used a nice Mexican couple as a shield so i wouldn't be seen. I snapped away a waited for the sign.

Then i walked over to the newly engaged couple and took some great in the moment pictures around the park. I moved them around and got some good poses with many different settings. I tried to get some cool angles. I also let the couple enjoy their own presence and got some shots of the couple living in the moment. The happy couple thoroughly enjoyed the pictures so much that i was chosen to take the wedding photos. Congrats Matt and Tanya.

See the pictures here.


Tuesday, July 17, 2007

My First Wedding (as a Photographer)

I must say, my first wedding was when i learned the most in one single day. I was pretty much ignorant to what i had to do. But luckily this was Marcie's cousin Amber's wedding and i had Marcie's husband Mike to lean on. The day before the wedding, Mike and I played with our camera stuff for a while and to share our ideas.
Later that night, was the rehearsal dinner. The camera crew got there about 90 minutes before the actual rehearsal. Mike and I starting drafting up our game plan for the next day. We figured out where each of would be throughout the ceremony and what shot each of us would get with our different camera gear. The angles were very difficult due to the line of bright windows along all the walls, the high ceiling and the mediocre lighting. After about 75 minutes of hard work, the church coordinator arrived. We checked with her about our plans. About eight words into it, she had the most disgruntled look of anger. She shot down every idea we had. We couldn't use flash, couldn't stand here, couldn't stand there, we weren't able to be seen after the bride walked down. We were confined to the corners of the Church and the back. Begin massive panic. Mike and I instantly scattered to begin our new game plan.


With much frustration and anxiety, Mike and I were able to get a rough set up for the next day. We knew what pictures we wanted and where we were able to go in the church. We played in those spots and figured what shots we could get. After the dinner, we put our head together again to get the final plan of the pictures. We used many sketches and by the time we were done they looked like football play diagrams.


The big day. Our preparation was definitely needed and worth it. Mike and I snuck around the church with military precision snapping pictures along the way. The only tense part was taking a photo of the 1/3 second kiss, but luckily i was ready and snapped the money shot. As far as I know, no one else got a photo of the actual kiss. The wedding photos turned out great. Then The post ceremony photos were taken. Mike took care of the camera and i posed the people with surgical accuracy. I was putting hands here, feet there and angling people in an orderly way to get the good side of everybody and Mike just snapped away. All the pictures were awesome.


Off to the location shots. Amber wanted the sites around the KU campus to be the theme of the shots. We first went up a huge hill in super humid air to take pictures of the bell tower. Then we went to the pond at the other side of the hill. There was a bridge at the far end. Mike took the group to the bridge while i took pictures across the pond with my super-zoom lens. Also we took pics under a weeping willow with the pond in the back ground. Finally, we went to the Jayhawk statue for group shots around that. All pictures were spectacular.


Lastly was the reception. The angles were hard to get due to the dark room and the harsh bright light from the door when they entered - or anyone else entered. The toast and cake cutting was next. I tried my 50mm f1.4 with no flash to use the warm ambient light to light my pictures and they turned out great. Mike took some great pictures of the first dance and the games they played afterward while i went around and took pictures of everyone attending. Much fun.


We have many great photos. All in all Mike and I took 1200 pictures that night. So we have great shots of every aspect of the wedding. Thanks Mike for all your patience and hard work.


Click here for some of our photos.


Thursday, July 5, 2007

Down to the Nuts and Bolts

Well i am starting to catch up with what i have done, but i have a couple more posts before i am current. So i figure i should let you know what i am working with and how i use them. Lets start with the Camera bodies.

First i have a Canon 30D. This is my primary camera. It has a great build and feel. The functions are easy to use. It has the most bang for the buck in my opinion. The other camera body i have is the Canon xti. This is my backup body so i can have a telephoto lens on one body and a wide angle lens on the other when i shoot weddings. This is a big help to get all the pictures you are looking for without missing any while switching lenses. Another function for this camera is to allow Erin to use it to learn and while she is my assistant.

Now let us speak of what lenses i have in order of widest first. This lens is my cheapest and first, it is my 18-55mm f3,5-5.6. I only use this for the 18mm zoom, other than that, i dont like to use this lens due to the chromatic aberation and lack of sharpness and not to mention its shotty build quality. But this lens was great to learn with. Second is 28-135mm f3.5-5.6 IS. This is my close up hand held lens. the IS (image stabilation) makes this easy to use with few blurry pictures and a great range on the zoom. The 50mm f1.4 is one of my favorite lenses due to the fact you can use ambient light to light your subject, even in dim light. This give photos a nice realistic look to them. A benefit to the f1.4 is a super-blurred back ground. Next is my favorite lens, the 70-200mm f2.8 IS. The pictures from this lens are amazing, super sharp and great color saturation. I use the 2.0x telephoto extension tube to extend the range to 140-400mm f5.6. This then makes my dull poor image quality 75-300mm f4-5.6 lens useless. This lens was another that came with my first camera and was a great learning tool and thus i will pass it on to Erin to use and learn from. Lastly is 100mm f2.8 macro lens. I love the close ups, sharpness and quickness of this lens.

For quickness sake, i will just list my flash accessories:

Finally some random stuff that i got:

-Manfrotto Tripod and head

-I fit 90% of my stuff in a Pelican case

-i have a very handy air blower

-4 GB and 2x 1GB memory cards

-many bounce cards

-Gaffers Tape - handy in every situation

-i keep UV Filters on all my lenses

Well that about sums up my long list of Camera Gear.

Click here to see samples of what each lens can do.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

...You gotta love the Family.

I gotta give props to the family. They will never complain as long as you are taking good pictures. And luck would have it, no bad pics were taken. The opportunity shown at the left is my cousin-once-removed Audrey's baptism. Here i was able to put my playing to actual use. I was gathering much knowledge from the Strobist blog and a better bounce card website. The later explains my fascination with that big white thing on top of my flash. Once i saw the results of the bounce card - there was no going back.

This was great experience for me. First, i was able to gain some familiarity taking pictures in a church and practice trying to get some action pictures of the ceremony. I started to understand the value of large aperture lenses as the Church was relatively dark and there was a lot of movement. I was also able to get a creative shot of my cousin Laura and Audrey with the Crucifix in the back ground.

The previous day was Audrey's cousin Sophie's first birthday and there i was able to play a bunch with lighting, aperture and fast moving kids. The entire family came in town for these two events so i got some great pictures of everyone that was at attendance.
To see the pictures of these events click here.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

The monumental first post

Well... I would like to start off with a little history of my experiences with my camera and give you an idea of what i am working with.

Lets start this off with a glance into the past. I remember about six years ago, i was at my yearly family gathering where i stumbled upon my cousin Mike's ultra compact Pentax Optio S. He allowed me to play with this bundle of joy and it sparked a flame of inspiration and imagination in my head. And then a couple months later i just so happened to get one of my own. For months i was taking pictures left anf right. Once i became familiar and comfortable with my new found glory, i was starting to yearn for more.

Then enter my Canon Digital XT. New doors opened. I learned fast (sometimes at the expsense of Erin). I wanted to try new techniques but i needed some new glass (lenses). After my fourth lens, i started to realize some of the limitations of the XT. I did a lot of research for an upgrade and there was an awesome rebate going on witha Canon. So i went up to Schillers (a great photography resource for anyone in St Louis) and low and behold, i found out that the rebate was doubled with a purchase of a lens, so, i got a Canon 30D and a 50mm f1.4 lens. My ideas and thoughts seemed to be endless. But as you will see, i had much to learn.