Photo of the day: Playful beach portraits

A really short but sweet photo of the day today. This little fella was hilarious to watch; I love photo shoots where I get entertainment out of watching the kids react to me and to themselves. I know that parents love their hyperactive children and though I know they want their kids to behave but that is not always going to happen. Kids are kids! They love to run and play and laugh and jump. Don't get me wrong, I am not a parent myself and I know there is much more stress involved in raising a child than I know. Don't think of the photographer as a guest but more as part of the family. The reason why is, the kids will be more relaxed around someone who you treat like a friend and less like a business associate. Forrester Family-37

Forrester Family-35

As a side note, I am starting to notice that anyone under the age of 6 likes the look of a 70-200 2.8. It is a huge lens and either they are made uncomfortable by it. What I have started doing instead is using either 50mm or 85mm. The 50mm is great because the front element is so small that the kids don't focus on the camera but stay on the idea of getting the picture taken. The 85mm is great too because it puts enough distance between me and the subject but not so much that the kids forget they are getting their picture taken.


Photo of The Day: Blur The Lines

I am not landscape photographer but I do enjoy fun shots and working on little projects and learning more about the art of photography. I am a big big fan of Youtube and how much I have learned just by being able to watch the video set apart for use. The newest thing I have enjoyed learning about is Long Exposure photography and using ND Filters to have longer exposures in good light. An ND filter is short for Neutral Density filter which is basically sunglasses for your camera. This photo was taken in a slightly unorthodox way by using an 85mm lens which is telephoto and normally saved for portraits. These types of shots are normally done with wide angles to capture as much of a scene as possible.

Let me know what you think!

Long Exposure-1

5 Reasons Why You Should Join a Photo Group.

With everyone already in the new year swing of things, the new has worn off and sometimes you feel a little sluggish trying to move forward with your photo projects. I know myself, I couldn't even pretend to commit to a Photo a Day project because I knew I would never keep up with it. I know I know, if I never put forth effort to maintain a project I will never fulfill one, but one of my resolutions of 2013 was to create and continually post on my blog and here you are reading it! #1) MOTIVATION The largest part of this feeling of losing touch with your projects comes from losing motivation and inspiration. Poets and Composers had muses, rock stars have coma inducing drugs (I don't condone the use of the drugs by the way. Terrible terrible things, they are.) and for many photographers, including myself and most likely you, our inspiration comes from our peers and their work. Not to say that we cant be inspired by our surroundings, but when you "surround" yourself with those whose surroundings are different than your own, how can you not help but be inspired by them?

#2) HONEST CONSTRUCTIVE CRITICISM We have all been in that situation, where you share some of your work on a photography forum. You feel so proud of your work but you know there are things that need to be fixed, but you either receive nothing or you get ripped to shreds by someone you can't even verify is a photographer. I am not saying that forums can't be helpful, but with your group mates all there sitting around a screen or a print, you will see expressions and opinions of your photo right from the start. With everyone helping with their own opinions and skill levels, you will get a more honest answer than from people you have no true connections to.

#3) FRIENDLY COMPETITION What's better than to have a photo contest with your friends? The winner could just have his meal paid for when you all meet up but knowing that you grew as an artist for the sake of doing the best you can is a very wonderful experience. The reason I think this works so well is because you all spend time trying to build each other up while strengthening yourself.

#4) SOCIAL ACTIVITY It's great to have friends that love the same thing you do. You can go shooting together, have a friend to geek out over gear with and gain a strong bond with your peers.

#5) REFERRALS This is one of the most important, if you have 5 friends that are landscape and nature photographers and someone is looking for a portrait photographer, they are much more likely to throw your name out there. From the other end of the spectrum, if you know a few wedding photographers, you have a great chance of getting second shooter jobs or assistant gigs that help pay the bills in between your National Geographic assignments.

So there you have it, photo groups. You need one, so go find one. If you can't find one, start one! Put a few ads on craigslist or up in your university. You will be surprised by some of the replies, you receive. There are many people out there who love taking photos and who are looking to get better. So get out there and get some photo friends!

Videography rig for the Non-Videographer

Just a short little post today showing how I do video for the real estate packages I do here in the Grand Strand. Video is not my strong point but I certainly do enjoy it, I dont normally include video but was asked to by a client and after explaining I do not have the experience in it, I was willing to give it a try. This company in particular had purchased a camera for me to use for both video and stills. Luckily they took my advice on the type of camera to purchase and I was able to work with a Nikon 3200. Maybe this was a bit selfish because of my desire to work with this camera which is known for spectacular video on a budget. The kit lens is not the most amazing thing in the world but it was great for what they needed and because of the VR, I could almost handhold. I attached the camera to my tripod which is pretty heavy duty, then I hold out in front of me two of the legs to act as a steady cam. To further stabilize the video, I put the camera strap around my neck to hold everything together. With this setup I was able to walk around freely with smooth transitioning video.

Stay tuned for more!


Jillian - Senior Portraits

This is one of my favorite posts I have made. This is about a wonderful girl I had the pleasure watching grow up. Jillian my little sister is in her last few months of High School where she is reaching the beginning stages of adulthood. As I grew older and at least a little wiser, I had the opportunity to watch Jillian grow in to a beautiful, funny, witty, amazing young woman. We have not always gotten along but that's part of growing up and though at times I really wanted to kill her I don't know what I would have done without her. So enjoy the photos I was privileged to capture! Jillian-8 Jillian-11 Jillian-7 Jillian-24 Jillian-26 Jillian-58 Jillian-48 Jillian-76 Jillian-31 Jillian-67


Don't forget to comment and let us know which one is your favorite!

West Virginia, mountain mama, take me home country roads

Every year, I take a trip with my church's youth group to West Virginia on a ski trip. This is a tradition shared by many church groups, in the Bible Belt at least. We all pack in a bus to go visit the mountains to enjoy the fluffy white snow that mesmerizes us so. I won't lie, snow is not something I see much of, so I do enjoy it for the few days out of the year I get to play in it.  This year was monumental, marking my 10th year of taking this trip and also the fact that I had the opportunity to stay in a cabin right on the side of the mountain. I could skit right off of the porch on to the slope! The trick was protecting my gear well enough that I could travel up the mountain and ski to my preferred destination. The mountain itself is a nice size but the runs are wide and generally slow which makes it much easier to take a large group of people. I packed my camera bag wrapped up and stuff in my back pack. I also decided to not take any of my zoom lenses as they are the easiest to disrupt calibration inside of. Anyway, the following is a small collection of photos from the trip. Let me know what you think!


My favorite shot of the trip. The cabin we stayed in was a really fun layout and though I could hear everything going on everywhere else in the house, I could see this over the 3/4 wall of my bedroom. skiing-6 skiing-16 skiing-20

I got Annie a Kindle for Christmas and boy did she use it while we were there! She got a lot of reading done and fortunately for me that meant she walked around with a small softbox in her hand all evening! skiing-12 skiing-42

Cell service was awesome at the top! skiing-45 skiing-28 skiing-41

"street" photography is much harder on a mountain but people were really active and fun the interact with. Take this guy for instance, I just like the reflections on his glasses and he was totally cool with me just snapping a few. skiing-21


Due to circumstances beyond my control, Annie and I were not able to get our normal photo on the beautiful snow covered mountain. One of those circumstances included stepping out to the front window of our cabin on our last morning, during the tail end of a snow storm, just in time to watch the transformer blow and knock out all of the power at Winterplace. We packed up the bus in the dark and then I convinced Annie to take quick shot with me in the snow that was coming down pretty hard (at least for us beach people!) It might not be the best photo I have had taken but it is one of my favorites!




Thank you so much for taking a look at my work! Please feel free to comment and let me know what you think!



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