Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Tampa Wedding Photography and the garter toss

Time once again to show-off a favorite image from a recent wedding. Wedding photography is funny sometimes because the things that you think would be easy can be quite hard and vice-versa. The garter toss is a good example.

Most of the time, the garter toss is really several pictures. There's a picture of the groom throwing the garter and there's another of the men catching. Seldom do you get a chance to capture the entire thing in one shot. You need a lot of light, a large enough space to frame the shot and a little bit of luck.

At this wedding I got everything I needed. I set my off-camera flash on a tripod to my right and bounced it off the ceiling above the guys and I used my on-camera flash to bounce left and light the groom. Then I waited and prayed for the Hail-Mary shot...

You can see more Tampa and St. Petersburg wedding photography on my website.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

A wedding cake picture that's a cut above

As a wedding photographer in Tampa Bay, I see a lot of cake. All kinds of cakes. Big cakes, little cakes, red cakes, blue cakes. I also see a lot of cake smashing.

Photographing the cake cutting at a wedding can actually be challenging. To the outsider it might seem simple because the subjects are standing right in front of you but it's actually tricky to do because of the typically fast motion involved when someone starts smashing cake in their spouse's face. The more motion involved, the more you must increase your shutter speed to "freeze' the action. Every increase in shutter speed means less ambient light in the picture. This is why you will often see cake shots where everything behind the couple is dark.

But I'm getting away from the subject of this post which is to show a picture from a wedding a few weeks ago that I love. As a wedding photographer, I love a picture that tells a story and this one tells a story loud and clear:

There's a lot that I love about this picture from the great color in the background to the groom's obvious attempt to explain why his new bride has cake on her nose while his face remains clean. But without a doubt, it's the little boy that I love the most. I love everything about him, all the way down to the glass in his hand. He just adds so much energy to the shot!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Never let a black cat critique your work

One of the great things about having a father who is a professional photographer is that you get beautiful portraits from every event that occurs during the year. One of the bad things about having a father who is a professional photographer is that he's always bugging you to let him take beautiful portraits during everything that happens during the year.

Yesterday being Halloween, I of course wanted to take some nice shots of my two daughters in their Halloween costumes. So, after they were dressed, we went into the studio and took some pictures.

Because they're my family and because I do this quite a bit, I don't typically spend as much time or care when taking pictures of my two girls. As a result, yesterday when I looked at the pictures I had taken of my youngest daughter Mackenzie, I discovered that her Strawberry Shortcake hat was pulled down just a little bit too low over her left eye. The left eye, though visible, was in shadow. As my wife and I were looking at the picture I turned to her and said, "I'm probably the only person who will even notice that." No sooner had I said it when my oldest daughter, Samantha, walked up behind me, looked at the picture and said, "that's a great picture of Mackenzie but you can't see her eye."
Let's keep in mind that my oldest daughter is only five years old.

Now, I don't know if the shadow on Mackenzie's eye was that obvious or if Samantha, having spent her entire life being photographed, has actually developed an eye for spotting mistakes. What I do know is that five minutes after she said it, we were back in the studio taking new pictures of Strawberry Shortcake.

These two pictures are actually good exanples of how I like to work when it comes to portraits. When photographing Sam (the cat), I lit her in a more dynamic fashion with more shadow on her face. This creates more depth and contrast in the picture which I thought was appropiate for a "roaring" cat. Also, because she is in black, I shot her against dark blue. When Mac came in for her picture, I changed the background to a more red tone to match her color scheme and moved the light more on center to remove most of the shadows on her face. Strawberry Shortcake shouldn't be scary.

You can see more of my work on my website.