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.