Saturday, April 25, 2009

Tampa Wedding Stress

Last week I sat down with a couple who are getting married next Saturday. The first thing I asked them was, "Are you excited?" The bride said, "I don't think it's really hit us yet." At the end of our consultation she told me, "I wasn't really nervous about the wedding before but I am now!"

Most people have no idea the logistics that are involved with photographing a wedding until we sit down and start going over the details. My favorite part of the final consult is when I ask about the ceremony and watch the bride and groom start to tell me conflicting stories about what will be occurring. Suddenly they realize that, despite all the planning, they are still not in agreement on how the ceremony will take place. This happens all the time which is why it's such a good idea to sit down with your photographer beforehand. Most couples are amazed to discover how many details of their wedding have not been worked out (this is the best endorsement for hiring a wedding planner).

As I told my bride last week, it's okay to be a little stressed now. Better now than to be blind-sided at the wedding. The important thing to remember is that something will go wrong. Count on it. There will be a problem with wardrobe or the food or someone will be in a foul mood... It's almost impossible to plan an event as large as a wedding and not have something unexpected happen. The thing to remember is that usually you will be the only one who knows it's not perfect and more importantly, you will be the only one who cares. Don't let the little problems get in the way of your incredible day. Let any bumps in the road roll on by and get on with the party!

My 5-year-old daughter likes to say "Take what you get and don't throw a fit." I couldn't say it better myself. Don't let your desire to have a perfect wedding be more important than your desire to have a fun wedding. Personally, I hate a ceremony that is perfect. Where's the fun in that? Give me some flower girls who stop half-way down the aisle and have to be coaxed into continuing or a groom who forgets the words he's been practicing all week. These are the moments that break the tension and reveal us as human. They also make for the best pictures.

For more pictures of weddings in Tampa bay go to my website:

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Who's that handsome guy with the camera?

I was browsing on facebook when I came across a picture that was taken at a wedding I photographed this weekend. See anyone you recognize?

That's me with the big camera, in case you don't know. The big white thing above my camera is called a "bounce card." It may look funny but it serves a purpose in allowing me to point my flash at the ceiling while still "bouncing" some of the light straight forward. This enables me to light the couple from the front and above at the same time.

Below is the picture I was taking when the picture was taken of me. (now that's a sentence!)

For more pictures from Tampa Bay weddings, visit my website at

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

How to take better pictures

I just wrote a nice post over on Photocrati all about how to take better pictures. If you want to get a few simple tips on how to make your family pictures stand out a little more, check out my article.

History repeats itself

I'm still knee-deep in post wedding work after last weekend but I did notice something while looking through the pictures of the reception. There was a little boy in the wedding party who was fascinated by the disco lights and I couldn't resist snapping a picture. I thought it looked familier and sure enough I shot the same picture of a little girl last year at a Bar Mitzvah.

Senior pictures with Brooke

I had a great session last week with Tampa senior Brooke. It's always a plus when the model brings along a couple of clothing changes because it allows me to capture a much wider variety of moods and styles. Brooke was wonderful and we spent two hours taking pictures at University of Tampa. For more senior pictures go to my website.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Wedding - Houston and Ingrid

Saturday I photographed houston and Ingrid's wedding at the Bayanihan Arts and Events Center in Tampa. Everything was just beautiful! Ingrid had about five little flower girls and they were just precious. As a father of two little girls myself, I'm a big softie when it comes to flower girls!

I'll get some more pictures up on my website soon.

Here's a video from the day:

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Cindy and Brad Wedding Slideshow

Want to see more Tampa wedding photography? Go to

Wedding Slideshows

We've decided to start offering DVD quality slideshows in our wedding line of products! In addition to getting a DVD of the event, it's also posted online for a month and can be loaded to almost any social network site out there (including Facebook, Blogger, Wordpress, Friendster, MySpace.. etc..)

Senior Portrait Session - University of Tampa

I recently had a portrait session with a senior at the Univesity of Tampa. The funny thing about this session was that we didn't shoot it at the University of Tampa, despite the fact that he's graduating from there. I shoot senior portraits at University of Tampa all the time with clients who don't go to school there but when I get an actual student I take him off campus. :)

William plays piano so I suggested we go someplace with a nice baby grand. The great thing about this particular venue is that there's this awsome foyer with the piano and all, and right outside there's a lake and pine tree's. So, I'm able to get two totally different types of shots in one spot.

See more senior portraits at

Thursday, April 9, 2009

There's a fairly new photography blog out called Photocrati. Your's truly is a featured blogger on the site.

Photocrati is devoted mostly to fellow photographers and they've assembled a diverse team of bloggers ranging from wildlife to travel to weddings. As you might havd guessed, I'm the wedding photographer on staff and I've been writing quite a few articles about what it's like to photograph weddings here in Tampa Bay. I also write about technical stuff... gear and the like, that I wouldn't really talk about here.

So, if you're interested in the technical side of wedding photography in Tampa, head over to Photocrati.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Wedding photography lighting workshop

Wedding photography, more than most other forms of photography, is a constant learning process. For the most part, standard portrait photography stays fairly static but wedding photography is always evolving in style and equipment. Add to that the fact that every location is different ( for example, if you are a wedding photographer in Tampa Bay you better know how to take pictures on the beach ) and you find yourself constantly learning.

Last week I attended a seminar by David Zizer. David is from Ohio and is considered one of the best wedding photographers in the country. The current trend in wedding photography is photojournalistic but David still concentrates on more classic poses and lighting. I firmly believe that there is a place for both styles at a wedding and since David is the best at what he does, I wanted to see what I could learn from him.

First of all, I was pleased to discover that most of what he taught was old news to me. It was nice to learn that I already have the skills necessary to work in his style. Still, there were some nice surprises at the semeinar. I picked up a few lighting tips that were new to me.

One of the things that David is well known for is his use of wide-angle lens. Most wedding photographers will claim a zoom lens as their "go-to" lens but David is the exact opposite. He likes to shoot wide and capture the surrondings in striking detail. I think that the reason many photographers don't shoot this way is because they don't know how to light the subject and still preserve all the details in the background. Plus, the ambient light in the background is always a different temperature than the flash and that presents a problem as well.

After the seminar I spent a late night working on David's techniques and I feel I got a firm grasp on his style. The picture below is a self-portrait ( I was up late working, don't be cruel.. ) that shows the sort of style that I will be using more often for my formal portraits. The tricky part of a picture like this is that you have to match the color of the flash to the color of the chandelier light, then light the subject in a complimentary way. It's very tricky but when done right it can be a very rich image instead of one where the entire background is dark and uninviting.