March 17, 2010

Kelli and Sophie


A little country and a little city in this shoot. Kelli’s horse is named Sophie. Her dad brought her down from Montpelier. His picture is below with the mustache. Sometimes when I want to take a picture of a mustache like this I back down because it is so intimidating. I complimented a man in Las Vegas last week on his mustache which was similar to this one and he almost killed me with his glare. Most times these guys are softies and want you to photograph their mustache and can’t wait for you to ask but that one time they don’t is what scares you.

Back to the horse. This horse means a lot to Kelli. She grew up with Sophie and I can relate to that. These pictures will become so valuable to Kelli as time goes on I believe and I am always conscious of that while I photograph. Anyway, I photographed Kelli’s sisters wedding like 6 years ago and just have always really enjoyed this family. They are getting hitched April 2.
You can click on the image to make it larger. It is so annoying that they are so small. I am switching to another blog host soon and that will be fixed.

March 16, 2010

Looking forward to summer albums!

Here is a few pages from Cade and Tosha’s album. The wheat was out in Richmond and the wedding was at the Logan Temple and the Old Rock church outside.
The Old Rock Church has a great outdoor venue now which I am happy about because I have never been fond of shooting inside that building. My favorite reception halls in Cache Valley are The Riter Mansion and The Alumni House at USU. Both have outdoor and indoor capabilities in case of bad weather. More importantly they both have great lighting in the evening. I should also mention that I like to shoot at Sherwood Hills in the Summer. It is great, even lighting.
So just a tip: Lighting is everything in photography and you can have the most beautiful place on earth to take pictures and if the lighting is crummy, the pictures won’t be as pleasing( They won’t be crummy because we can compensate for bad lighting). I have always appreciated when a bride consults me on locations and times because they both can make my job really easy or really difficult. More importantly the pictures can be so beautiful in favorable lighting conditions. I have yet to find a photographer who has been able to control the sun!

March 4, 2010

Back to back Groomals last week

I just spent 5 days in Arizona with some of my best friends in the whole world, Janet and Clint Andersen. I guarantee Clint is the only 58 year old ever who had 9 splints put in his heart( in the last year) to play 11 games of basketball like we did 2 nights ago. Yeah, 11 games. Janet said that the doctor wanted him to exercise and test out how far he can push his heart. We pushed it to the limits. They were shorter games but 11 games of playing with Collin, Matt and Clint is like playing in dog years, it is 7 times harder than a regular game. Collin was on my team and on game 6 he hurt his hand twice and we thought he may have even broken his hand. He didn’t even consider the option of stopping and since I needed him I just smiled and told him to take a couple minutes to let it heal. Collin and I ended up winning best of 11. We ripped through that court like a CAT 5 hurricane!!
I was down there mostly to finish up a project that I started in December down in Terlinqua, Texas on the border of Mexico. It is a documentary of an extraordinary man who has worked for Clint for 17 years as a concrete laborer. His wages were less than most but he saved and sacrificed and now owns 8 homes outright, paid for in cash. He is a fascinating character and has been gracious enough to share his story which I will post when it is done.

I will do an entire post on Texas when I get a chance because I loved it down there. I ate a hamburger in Terlingua that was bigger than my smallest child. If you are someone who wants to hide from the law I have the perfect place for you. Stay tuned..

Most of my photo shoots I put a lot of time into prior to the shoot. I spend a lot of time location scouting because every couple is so different. I have learned over the last ten years that you can’t set your plans in stone because things change so quickly. Everything I do revolves around light. Light changes frequently which is why I have to be familiar with how a camera records light in every situation. These two shoots were within 24 hours and yet the light changed so drastically that I only photographed 1 of the 10 locations I had planned. Everything you see here was completely improvised on the shoot. We started at an elementary school because Anna forgot her bouquet and for the sake of time I met them out by their house which was by the school. We shot these first two right there then all heck broke loose when the school bell rang to let school out. We moved quickly to another location a block down the road where I had never shot (the second image).

Just about anywhere can be a great location if you understand light a little bit. I don’t know why I am telling you this. Maybe a little bragging and complaining. Honestly, mostly a photographer’s job consists of making lemonade out of lemons.
If I had one advice for brides I would say if you want great photographs consult the photographer on lighting before you choose where you have your reception, ceremony, time of day, etc… IT IS ALL ABOUT THE LIGHTING!!!

Of course there are ways of making the best of a bad lighting situation but some weddings just look better because of lighting. (Tangent, sorry)

This entire shoot was improvised. We didn’t go to one spot that I planned but sometimes that is the funnest way to shoot. The important thing is the couple. Anna won a free bridal session from the USU bridal faire so I had not met them till that day. Great couple and I wish them a long and happy life together!

February 1, 2010

A recap of last week…


I have decided that rather than battle trying to blog everyday I am going to try for once a week. I have so much material but I am going to start over and move forward cause with wedding season upon us in the spring I am beginning to get busy with bridal and engagement sittings.

I am thrilled with this upcoming season. I have so many things I want to do and try and then in March I am going to Vegas for WPPI, a photographer conference. I can’t wait. I have a lot of fun weddings booked. I will be in Long Island, New York in May for a fun wedding. I look forward to spring here though cause it is incredible.
Anyway, here are two couples who I got to know this week. I look forward to Dan and Laurel’s wedding coming up in March. Great people.
June 30, 2009

Cade and Tosha Groomals


Cade in his James Bond suit and Tosha fresh back from Switzerland and Korea!! Tosha knows I love Korean food so she was so nice to bring me back a Korean cookbook and some chopsticks for my family and I. Seriously, Korean food is rediculously good. If you don’t like it then remember that you don’t like all American food either. Anyway, these two cats are getting married tomorrow at the Logan temple. Should be fun.. I will have those up shortly. Meanwhile I have a boat load of posting I need to do. I have been lazy hanging out with the fam.

May 14, 2009

Jill Bridals


I love this family. These guys have been great clients and friends since I met them at a bridal faire like 5 years ago. I shot Jill’s older sister’s wedding and then took some photos for Jill’s senior photos. This is a 1966 Mustang named Sally. Coincendentally they bought it two weeks after Jill was born. We took it out and got some sweet shots.

Jill works at a veteranary clinic and taught me more about dogs in two hours than I have learned in a lifetime. We are going to go to the dog show this weekend. I have a 7 year old who has turned entreprenuer and I told her I would pay the rest for a dog if she came up with $100. At the rate she is making money it may be a week before she has it. She made $15 in like an hour selling her easter candy she got and she is my only employee as a lighting specialist (she holds a reflector for me sometimes).
Anyway, fun family, great people!


April 7, 2009

My Adventure in Chicago with Savanah and Daniel


Yes, that is rain pouring down and no that is not Chicago. It is Indiana which I personally thought was beautiful. I can imagine the corn fields in the summer are amazing. Anyway this is a photo of Savanah and Daniel on perhaps one of the most adventurous and eventful weddings I have shot to date. They will forgive me for detailing their wedding day as they are close friends and two of the most optimistic people I know. I think they have a lot to teach and hopefully you will be able to see what I mean. From beginning to end they laughed and enjoyed it all.

The story goes:
Friday Morning: I flew in and accidentally bumped into Savanah on the Shuttle bus going to the rental cars. I followed her to Steve and Brandi’s house in Parkridge, Illinois home of Hillary Clinton. We ate lunch and I then took a train to scope out locations downtown Chicago for our photo shoot the next morning at 8:00 am. Chicago was amazing. I have been there a few times but this time was the best.
Friday Day: I ate the second best hotdog I have ever eaten in my life. The first was in Chicago a decade ago.
Friday Eve: I went out to dinner at a Sicilian restaurant with Steve, Brandi, their kids and Spat (Daniel’s friend). Steve picked up the tab, thanks Steve. They were fantastic hosts. At dinner I get a call from Savanah that Daniel has not only missed his flight but missed it because he was pulled over by power hungry cop who held him for 45 minutes while his plane flew over head. Daniel’s car was registered but just didn’t have the sticker on his Cali plates. California offices were closed so the cop couldn’t verify and did the next stupid thing which is take the keys from Daniel and impound his car. I was supposed to pick Daniel up that night but the plans were now changed. His friend picked him up and took him to the airport and he left at midnight instead of arrive.
Saturday morn: Because of the late booking of the flight he had to stop in New York and he didn’t arrive till 9:30. Spat and I picked him up. We discovered that the airlines had put his luggage on a different plane and it wouldn’t be in till 10:30. The wedding was scheduled for 12:30 at the Chicago Temple. We took Daniel to Steve and Brandi’s so he could shower and stuff. He had been up all night. Then we went back to the airport dodging the airport parking monitors (mean people) and got his bag.
We didn’t really no how to get to the Temple and we got stuck in Construction. Daniel was laid back and we had a good discussion about paving your own way in this world.
Meanwhile the bride Savanah, got pulled over on her way to the wedding and got away with a batted eye.
Fortunately in our lost state we looked over and Savanah’s mom was in the other lane and we followed them to the temple. By now the once beautiful morning was turning arctic and windy.
We arrived to the temple and they pushed the ceremony time back an hour to 1:30 so we could get a few minutes of pictures in the cold and wind. We did just that for maybe 15-20 minutes then went inside just prior to Savanah turning into a popsicle.
They invited me to the ceremony which I was honored to attend and it was very nice.
Afternoon: Daniel and I hopped in my car and followed the bride and Alisha her friend. I think he wanted to come with me because of the higher chance of getting something to eat at Wendy’s. We were set on eating. We grabbed something then ditched my rental car at a quasi rest stop/ service station area off the freeway. I hopped in with them as Daniel struggled to stay awake finally succombed and eventually curled up into the fetal position as Savanah drove 80+ mph while texting in a rain storm. Savanah if you are reading this, yes, I will admit I was frightened a little. The reception was located two hours away. We had 15 minutes to shoot and where to shoot was the question. We pulled into a Walmart and in one of my favorite scenes of the day Savanah went inside to buy an umbrella and use the restroom to change back into her wedding dress.
She came out and it was raining sideways. We had choices to make. This is where it pays to hire someone with a little experience. She turned around and said, “Where do you want to go?” I had never been to Indiana let alone whatever city we were in which I still don’t know. So I said, “Right there, in the field next to the Walmart.” The image below was taken just behind the Walmart. I had to take a plastic Walmart bag out of the picture. We had to wake Daniel up but he was a great sport. The image above was in a small town in Indiana close to the reception. By the time we got done we were all soaked.
Reception: We had a great time. The food was great the dancing was fun. I got in a dance circle and after I did my dance routine the bishop looked at me jokingly and said he was going to have nightmares after my performance. I gave it my all what can I say I have never been a wall flower even as a photographer.
On the Way Home: I drove home with my hosts Steve and Brandi and we stopped by what we thought was my parking spot for my rental car and my car was missing. After calling highway patrol we discovered that there is an identical rest stop on the north side of the road. We were on the south and majorly disoriented. We found my car.
Sunday morning: Blizzard. Snow was everywhere. I drove to the airport in the A.M. and dropped off my rental car. As I got on the shuttle from Hertz to the aiport a lady entered the shuttle and said, “Sir you left your wallet in your car.” She handed it to me and I opened it and it was Daniel’s. Great, I thought. How am I going to get this to them. I knew they were leaving to Mexico that morning and I knew his wallet might be important for their honeymoon. I texted him and as it turns out their flight was delayed two hours and they were just coming to the rental place. I gave his wallet to the shuttle driver and instructed him to drive it back to the rental place. I have not heard from them since so I assumed that received it.
Meanwhile the blizzard was so bad that my flight was canceled with no certainty that they were going to reschedule. Luckily I had Harry Potter 5 on audio CD so I didn’t care. I sat in the airport for hours without a care in the world. John Adams once said, “You are never alone with a poet in your pocket.” I never leave home without a book of some sort. I am never bored!
I finally got a flight and arrived home. It was a great trip only because Savanah and Daniel are genuinely positive people. They laughed the whole time and everybody around them did too. They turned what could have been a devestating day into a wonderful memory. The important thing is that they got married and their isn’t a police officer in the world that can take that from them.