Friday, January 30, 2009

Snapshots of the legends of sports

It's Super Bowl Week here in Tampa and that means lots of events. This week I worked with a client of mine who was sponsoring a charity golf tournament and needed a photographer for publicity stills, etc. There were quite a few big names at the tournament, starting with Seth Joyner who is the host of the event. Ozzie Smith, Eric Dickerson and Brett Saberhagen were there as well along with many other NFL stars. But. the big surprise was Lawrence Taylor, considered by many to be the greatest defensive back ever to play the game and Evander Holyfield, former heavyweight champion of the world.

I managed to get some good shots despite the fact that they were either practicing on the driving range or being mobbed by fans the whole time. "LT" was particularly hard to shoot because he was running a little late and everyone wanted a piece of him (only Holyfield got more attention). I asked him for a shot as he was about to light his cigar and he just looked up and said, "Go."

Thursday, January 22, 2009

If I can make myself look this good, imagine what I can do for you...

For more of my family and wedding photography here in Tampa Bay, visit my website.

Last night I was working in the studio on some ideas for my daughter's upcoming birthday party. Basically, I was trying to decide what to do with the background color since I will be taking pictures of a dozen 5-year-olds in princess dresses (it's gonna be a hoot).

After shooting a few self-portraits I got the idea to do a magazine re-touch on myself. Whenever I do a boudoir session, I do a magazine re-touch, which means I make you look like you should be on the cover of a magazine. The problem with this feature is that I don't really have many before/after examples I can show because I won't show a past clients boudoir pictures to anyone under any circumstances (naturally). So, I've decided to do a re-touch on the worst face I can find: mine!

Pretty scary, I know. As you can see in the re-touched version below, I cleaned up the blemishes, smoothed the wrinkles, removed a catch-light from the eyes and fixed the color a little. If you look closely, you can also see where I raised the bottom lid of my right eye just a tad. My right eye is wider than my left and so I corrected it a little but not so much that it would be obvious. Now I don't look so bad!

By the way, as you can see I was working with a blue background when shooting this portrait. However, the background isn't actually blue, it's being lit with a blue light. Wanna guess what color the background is when the light is off?

Thursday, January 15, 2009


For more examples of my work, got to

Last night my daughter pointed out what a beautiful sunset we were getting so I stepped outside to get a shot. I think that most people don't realize that Photoshop plays a big role in professional photography today, even something that seems simple, like a quick picture of the sunset. The picture below is actually two different pictures. What I did was set up my tripod and shoot the same picture two times.

The first time I exposed for the sky and since I really wanted the red to show up, I underexposed the shot.:

The second time I wanted the water to show up so I overexposed the shot:

Finally, I put the two images into Photoshop and combined them... using the top from one and the bottom from the other. Then I touched it up a little with some shading, lightened up the golf course grass, sharpened etc. and ended up with the finished product:

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Children's Photography Tampa Bay

For more Tampa children's photography visit my website.

The folks at my daughter's dance class were kind enough to let me slip in and take a few quick pictures of the dancers. My children are so used to me taking pictures of them that they ignore me like I'm paparazzi. However, I did manage to get one great shot.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Wedding Photographer Tampa: What to buy part 2

In the first installment of this series I talked about the proof book and why it's a great place to start when spending your wedding photography budget (For more Tampa wedding photography, please visit my Tampa wedding photography website.) This time let's talk about the hi-res CD.

Now, if you've read many posts on this blog you know that I have a love/hate relationship with the Hi-res CD when it comes to weddings. Basically, I love that you can buy digital copies of all your images to keep forever but I hate that so many people are getting inferior prints because they are not properly educated by their wedding photographer. Buy the CD (in many cases it is included) because you never know what the future may hold (someday you may be able to get a hologram made of your whole wedding, who knows?). But, if you want some prints to display, frame, enlarge, etc.... have your photographer print them.

There are three kinds of wedding photographers in Tampa Bay:

Shoot and Burn: These are the ones that photograph your wedding and hand you a CD of the images. Most will do some simple color correction and exposure correction to the files but some don't. Either way the retouching is minimal because there are 400 pictures on the disk and no one has time to retouch that many pictures. A basic retouch takes 5 minutes per image. That's 33 hours! Sorry, they run a couple of batch programs, burn the disk and move on to the next client, leaving you with sub-par pictures being printed by the kid at Wal-Mart.

Shoot, Burn and Upload: These photographers burn a disc for you and also upload your images to a service like "Pictage" so that you can order online. This is a little better than the first group because at least a pro lab is printing your pictures. Still, the same time rule applies: How much time do you think your wedding photographer spends individually retouching 300-400 pictures?

Shoot, Burn, Upload, Retouch and Print: Now we're talking! This is me (and many other Tampa wedding photographers). This is the group that burns a CD for you and uploads your images to a private gallery so that you can purchase them online but, and this is all the difference in the world, they hand-retouch every image that is ordered. These photographers are not happy to just hand off a CD. These wedding photographers take such pride in their work that they do not want a single print to be made that hasn't been personally touched and perfected by them. These are the photographers you want photographing your Tampa Bay Wedding.

So, by all means buy the CD and lock it away for safe-keeping. Take it down to the drugstore and get 300 4x6 prints made or 50 wallets to send to your friends and family. But, if you want a print to sit on your nightstand for the next 20 years or a canvas gallery wrap to hang in the living room, have your wedding photographer retouch and print it.

(Note: I searched through all my wedding pictures for an example I could post here. I wanted to show a picture as it would appear on a CD and then show the same picture as it would appear if I were to retouch and print it. Every picture I've ever printed from every wedding I've ever photographed in Tampa has been retouched by me personally so it's easy to find examples but I can't post them here. I just can't do it. I can't post a picture of one of my clients looking anything less than the very best she can, even to make a point. I'll gladly show before/after examples during a consultation but not here for the world to see. Sorry.)