What a joyous day it was today as Mark and Julia joined together as husband and wife.  The love between these two is amazing and you could feel it in the air.  Here are a few of my favorites images that were captured throughout the day.

Place cards set up for the reception.

The rings posed in a gorgeous bouquet.

Julia, putting on the finishing touches for her husband to be.

Mark, you have a beautiful bride.

Red, black and silver were the colors.  Nice choice, Julia!  Mark, you’re looking pretty sharp too.

Unity sand is a great keepsake and a beautiful part of the ceremony.

A little post wedding celebration time by Julia and her attendants.

What a handsome couple these two make.

Pictures are over and time to share a meal with all those attending the wedding.

Thank you Mark and Julia for the opportunity of being your photographer for the day. It was a real blessing to be a part of such a blessed day.


New Year’s Eve was a very special day for two special people.  Erin and Brian became husband and wife at a nice ceremony with family and friends.  These two are truly best friends which is a great foundation on which to grow their relationship.

Let’s start by showing off Erin’s shoes.  Very fancy in anyone’s book.  Great color!

You also need to have some fancy rings to go with those shoes.  These look mighty fine!

The most important part of a wedding is the bride and groom.  In this image, the Brian is coming to the realization that he definitely got the best part of the deal.

Erin thinks that she didn’t do too bad herself.

These two are very much in love.  For the closing shot, I had my assistant hold a flash in back of Erin and Brian to give a nice rim light as they prepared to kiss.  I kept the foreground dark for a romantic mood.

Best wishes Erin and Brian as you build your lives together.  Thanks for letting me capture some memories for you on this very special day.

The past few days in my life were pretty incredible from a photography perspective.  I was blessed to attend Cliff Mautner’s Lighting and Skillset Bootcamp at his studio in Haddenfield, NJ, just across the river from Philidelphia, PA.  Here I was with 15 other “sponges” soaking in all that we could from this amazing individual, considered to be one of the top 10 wedding photographers in the world.

All the students were able to glean some of his knowledge and technique not only from classroom discussion, but during one on one time with him as well.

Two afternoons were used to try first hand some of the techniques and ideas that we learned in class. Several models were hired to provide us brides and grooms.

If you ever have opportunity to attend a high caliber class such as this one, do what it takes to make it happen. Your photography skills will most assuredly improve.  I highly recommend Cliff’s workshop.

Below are some of my favorite images that I captured during the workshop:

I was recently hired to shoot a 50th anniversary celebration for a very nice couple.  It was amazing to see how many friends a couple of 70 year old people could have.  Not only that, these people knew how to have a great time with one another.  I could only hope that I’m as limber and spunky when I am their age.  🙂

The following is a photo of one of the table decorations.  It was taken with a fairly wide aperture (f3.2) on the lens which gave a very nice blurred background.  Some of the shapes in the background gave some interesting lines in the image as well, mimicking the curved shape of the glass.  I also added some dark vignetting to help draw the eyes to the main subject.

The detail of a wedding ceremony is truly amazing.  Let’s see, invitations to send, fancy clothes buy, renting the church, decorating the church, baking the cake…and the list goes on and on.  Today, my final shot in the “Retouching Wedding Photographs” series is all about the detail of the flowers.

This was the simplest one of the series to retouch as outlined below:

  • Increase the exposure ever so slightly
  • Add some vignetting to soften up the image and make it look a little “dreamy”

Weddings are a bit dreamy as you will notice when you watch the bride and groom look into each other’s eyes.  Looking back on my wedding day, I remember that feeling too.

Congratulations to Amanda and Will and I wish you the best as you start your married life together.

Cliff Moutner, stated to be “One of the top ten wedding photographers in the world” by American Photo Magazine is a photographer who has impacted my photographic life even though we’ve never met.  I find a lot of similarities in our thought processes from what I’ve read and heard from him over the past few months.  He is very good at walking into any situation and making the best of what is available from a lighting and architectural perspective.

The wedding I captured last week with my cameras had some very interesting lighting which made me think out of the box just a bit so that I could make the best of what I had been given.  It was at a small church and the bride was getting the final touches in one of the sunday school rooms that was designed for what I’m guessing were first and second grade kids.  I gathered that by my shins bumping into the bright green tabletops in the room.  I wanted to get some good photos of the bride’s shoes and thought I would give the green table a try, knowing that I’d need to do something with it after the fact.  Here is what I came up with as shown in the before and after image.

Here are the steps to take it from beginning to end:

  • The shoes were photographed from a backlit perspective with natural light coming in through the window.
  • I let the camera pick the exposure which left plenty of detail on the dark side of the shoes, but totally blew out a portion of the tabletop.
  • In Adobe Lightroom, I first converted the image to black and white since I knew I didn’t want the green in the photo.  I contemplated changing the green tint to blue, but I liked the black and white so much that I stopped there.
  • This was followed by brightening up the areas in the image that had the original green tint to make the tabletop a bit more uniform in brightness.  That also lightened up the bottom of the shoes that originally had the green reflection.
  • I then brought out the blacks a bit more for added contrast.

That was about it as far as tweaking the image.  Next time you are in a difficult lighting situation, make the best of what you have.  You could end up with something cool.

Over the next few days I will show examples of how to take some photographs and make them even better.  Well, at least in my opinion they look better than the originals out of the camera.  Plus, my wife says so too, so that says something.  🙂

This last week I got to capture the wedding photos for a very nice couple.  In about 4 hours time, we had the wedding and an awesome reception at the bride’s parents house.  The back yard had white Christmas light in the hedges surrounding the yard.  This made for an awesome backdrop to the photos.

The image below is of the bride, showing the image as it came out of the camera and what I ended up presenting to the family.  Here are a few things that I did to make it look to my liking:

  • Increased the overall exposure
  • Modified the color balance so that white was white
  • Increased the intensity some of the leaves in the background
  • Added some vignetting to darken the corners just a bit to help bring the focus to the subject
  • Did some minor touchup work on the brides face to make any blemishes a bit less conspicuous
  • Did a minor push up on the bottom of the brides chin to make it more acceptable to her

Next time you have a photo that is nice, but not great, try some retouching ideas and see what you end up with.  Be sure you modify a copy of the original in case you go too far with your retouching.

Today I was blessed to be able to shoot wedding photos for a very handsome couple, Chris & Alyssa.  It is great fun to be part of capturing the moment when the two pledge themselves to each other as husband and wife. A goal of mine is to be able to give the couple a visual representation of their special event that they will cherish for years to come.

The venue was a very nicely renovated church in a suburb of St. Louis, MO. One nice thing about the church that I don’t often see very often is enough natural light to shoot in.  I still had to crank up the ISO to 1600 to give me a decent shutter speed, but both the Canon 5D MkII and Canon 7D are excellent at this setting. Adobe’s Lightroom 3 was great at minimizing any remaining noise.

Below are a few photos to highlight their wedding, starting off with Alyssa and her gals:

The beautiful bride, Alyssa:

The calm and cool husband, Chris:

The rings:

These guys had so much fun together.  As you can tell by the dancing, pointing, sunglasses, etc., they were not too serious at this point of the day.


Reception dinner:

Thank you Chris and Alyssa for giving me the privilege of being your photographer on your very special day.

2009-07-16Sorry for my absence from blogging. It has been a very crazy time recently with everything going on from summer chores, to sailing vacations, to weddings.

Speaking of weddings; I had the opportunity to be the photographer at a wedding this last Saturday. Weddings are fun to attend, because this event opens up a new chapter in many lives. The bride and groom of course are now one and their lives will never be the same. They have changed for the better. There are the lives of the parents, who may now be empty nesters. They now get to relax and enjoy each others company more than they have for a while.  Well, at least until any grandkids come along.  🙂

Being the photographer at a wedding is great fun because of all the emotion and love coming forth from all the family.  It can also be a bit stressful for the photographer since you only have one chance to get it right.  When it is all over, I think the stress is worth it; being able to be a part of such a significant  event in the lives of the two people in love.

This photo is a close up of the back of the the brides dress with mom’s hands holding things tight while a helper tightens the laces.