Imagine having a playlist for your life; a soundtrack filled with songs and sounds just for you. For Tim and Caroline, some of the most musically gifted people around, they’re soundtracks contain plenty of love songs and laughter. This engagement shoot is just a snapshot of the lives they have, and will soon share.Read More
Just a quick tip today about camera angle. I have to images where the couple were standing in the exact same spot but I changed my position and completely improve this photo. Shot with an 85 mm it was pretty long and the background was compressed a good bit. I had an assistant holding lights to make sure everything was lit correctly on the couple so I could play a bit with the ambient light around me. I probably could've used a wide angle lens to capture as much of the fairgrounds as possible but it wouldn't have given me the sharpness and depth of field I was looking for on the 85mm. So I tested the light with the couple standing in shot one but realized that my background was very boring, so all I did was move over about 10 feet to my right in a perimeter around the couple allowing me to capture this really fun romantic image.Read More
I like to think of myself as a pretty adventurous person; I get to travel a good bit with my job, meet new people constantly and overall put myself in situations where I get to experience a lot more than I normally would have with a behind the desk day job. Sometimes my job isn't as adventurous but it's still just as rewarding. A few weeks ago I had the express opportunity to spend an evening with a group of men that all served on the same ship in the U.S. Navy on a ship called the USS Tutuila. Some of these men served during Vietnam some during the Korean War and some even during World War II. They needed help capturing photos for their reunion album and they called me to help them out. I have a great respect for those in uniform and it was an honor to be able to photograph them. There were somewhere around 80 men plus their wives and children here
Though this was pretty simple work, and they didn't want anything fancy, I still had a lot of fun interacting with these people and hearing stories that they were interested in telling. Many of these men served together during different tours, so to see them together all these years later was very cool. Anyway I curated just a few images that I'd like to share with you that didn't make it into their reunion book but will be in my personal collection forever because of what it meant to me not necessarily because they're the best portraits of ever taken. Hope you enjoy them.
Every photographer's bag is full of tools that they used to create the photographs that they're known for and like most professions and hobbies you are always people out there pushing the limits of their equipment and new companies creating product to make something new. Though I love ripping the cellophane off of a brand-new piece of gear, opening up that crisp cardboard box and flipping through a brand-new manual, it's not always the most cost-effective way to improve your list of gear.
When I first started getting serious about photography, I started researching lenses that I could accompany my camera with and get better and different results. I scrounged eBay day and night looking for good deals on telephoto lenses and great primes and I ended up with a small bag full of gear that changed my perspective on photography. I'm not saying that these lenses made my photography better but they helped me learn how to measure exposure on my own because the lack of metering in the camera body with these old lenses.
Though most of those lenses are long gone from my current gear lineup, My love for vintage glass has not waned. Someone's as I desperately miss, such as my Soligor 135mm 2.8 which I sold an SLR a couple of years back. The land of my medium format cameras, I still crave that shallow depth of field with my 35mm cameras and my full frame DSLRs; so to satisfy that need, I found the OG of Nikon's low light performers. A lens so popular and so well made that all of these years later they still have them in production with no changes to the original design. The 50mm 1.2.
The coveted 1.2 aperture is something many people have taken the dive to invest in. Especially in the Canon persuasion, the super fast glass can be very expensive. The thing many people love about the Nikon's is that it gets out of the way of itself. With no autofocus and completely manual controls, this lens literally features nothing but glass. With a 52mm filter thread it's very versatile with easy to find and affordable filters and accessories. A sturdy, metal body provides great stability and control and providing great balance with larger bodies that usually wear small primes like body caps. A classic Nikon knobby rubber grip covers the focus ring which allows for precise maneuvers and a short throw perfect for photography but still a great contender for videography as well.
As a quick note: If buying a used lens, make sure to thoroughly test the aperture and focus rings to make sure they are stable and snappy. You don't want to be stuck with a lens that cannot correctly land on a desired aperture value. If you would like to read more about buying used gear, click here.
I love the look that this lens gives me. Though it can be difficult to use at times, when you nail focus this lens really is a ton of fun and produces an amazing quality image that oozes character. I will say right away, this lens is not something I use for on the fly work, I have to be very invested in the thinking of my shot for this lens to come out of my bag. Everyone deserves to have a specialty lens, when you attach your camera when you're looking for just that specific thing. That lens for me has changed numerous times over the years but I think I have found a keeper with this combo.
Every photographer has a tool in their gear bag that they feel most confident with. This tool is something you can pull out of your bag and a matter the situation I know you can handle it. For photographer like David hobby, sure that tool would be some type of light source, for someone like Zack Arias, i'm sure that would be a Fuji Range finder camera. For me that tool is the 85 mm 1.8.Read More
I love networking with people in my trade. It's wonderful to spend some time with like minded people who understand the struggles of the business and who appreciate the geeky talk about gear that we all either openly or secretly love. Gaining friends in this industry in necessary to properly grow. I love photo groups and meeting new people and those networking groups and events really have helped make new friends.Read More
Conway, South Carolina is my home town and still close to the top of my favorite places to shoot in the whole world. There is just something about the way downtown feels and helps to convey the relaxed nature of the whole town. Though known as a college town, Conway is home to a lot more than just classrooms and sports arenas; it has a beautiful historic downtown area with a riverside boardwalk that makes for a wonderful location for photos!Read More
Fuquay Varina is a small town outside of the Raleigh/Durham area in eastern North Carolina. With the hillsides causing a certain ebb and flow in the roads; I can feel the ground change, I am closer to the foothills of mountains. What a wonderfully unexpected change from the flat beach land that I am used to. I had no idea what to expect when driving up from Myrtle Beach or what I would be coming to.Read More
Engagement photos are some of my favorite things in the whole world to shoot. I know that almost any blog post on a photographer's website could start that way but let me explain why:
I love engagement sessions because it's so easy to see the love between two people. I don't just mean the love that you see plastered all over bridal magazines and Pinterest, I mean the personal, hilarious and quirky love that every single couple shares, but is unique to every pair. I know that my wife and I have little things that make us crack up with a single word and every couple I have had the opportunity to shoot has always had something between them that you can just tell that no one else in the world knows.Read More
Conway, South Carolina is my home town and where I spent the first 23 years of my life. Though I only live 20 minutes away now, I don't get the opportunity to see many people that I grew up with. It's nice to catch up with people I haven't seen in forever and help them back up their memories of this time in their life with photos! My friends Adam, Christian and their son Emerson were a ton of fun to photograph!Read More
Cosplay is not a new concept, but it has become more normal in the pop culture over the last 5 years or so. Events such as Comic-Con have really pushed geek culture to the forefront and dressing up for fun doesn't just have to be on Halloween anymore. I have some friends here in the Myrtle Beach area who all dress as Disney Princesses for different events. They spend a good bit of their time doing makeup, hair and making sure their costumes are just right for everyone's enjoyment.
Click through to see the video and photos!Read More
Traveling is something that I feel I was made to do. I have had many opportunities to see different parts of the world, but still one of the easiest ways to feed my addiction is picking a place fairly close to me that allows me to get a couple hours away from home and immerse myself in a culture that is different than my own. Charleston is a beautiful old city and is very well known for it's historical significance here in the south.
Home to numerous colleges including the Citadel and the College of Charleston, a day in there is filled with just as many slouchy beanies and fixed gear bikes as there are seersucker suits and mint juleps. Make sure to watch the video and enjoy the photos!Read More
Inspiration can be found anywhere. Everyone has a different type of muse. I myself, like to consume different types of visual media. I am a big video nerd and I love the television show style medium. Even if I am working on something else, I would rather listen to dialog from a show I have watched five times than the top 40 pop charts. I also love podcasts and YouTube channels that talk on certain subjects pertaining to my profession. One thing I heard the other day while describing the visual mediums that I am so fond of was the phrase "staggeringly simple", and I feel inspired to implement this in to my work. Zack Arias, I believe hit the nail on the head with his signature phrase "More Signal. Less Noise". The less noise in my photography the better, and I don't mean the type that comes with high ISO. I am now at the point in my photography where I feel it is time to start spending more energy developing my style and how I want my images to be produced. Technique is one thing and I know how important it is, but I will spend the rest of my life developing the types of photos I produce. Now style is more than just a combination of certain techniques added together in a specific way. Two guitarists can play the same chord progression and produce completely different songs. It's more than just color or black and white. Though I shoot all types of photos, I want there to always be an underlying theme: Simplicity.
Family portraits are a staple for most households. As a photographer sometimes this genre can produce and eye roll and complete disinterest, but I soon correct myself with a quote I learned during my days as a dance instructor:
Though you may have done the basic step to the foxtrot a million times more than necessary, your partner may very well have never done it before; and if you only think about yourself, your partner may very well never do it again. With you at least.
Saturday night in Conway, SC. Many people could have been at the movies or taken the short drive to Myrtle Beach to go out to nice dinner or anything else under the sun, but instead, a few decided to join my church family on the lawn beside the church to see J&J Ministries play some great contemporary praise music. Seemed like a great time to play with some new equipment and get my feet wet! Though I have to say, I was not very happy with the first few photos that came out of my camera, I realized that the problems were all user error and nothing wrong with the camera. The focusing system is much more complex in the D600 than my old camera and though these are not the most amazing photos I have ever taken, I wanted to just share a few photos showing how wonderful of thing this was! I enjoyed it and hope we can continue doing things like this on a regular basis! There has been a fire set in the hearts of those at my church and I am so thankful to be a part of this wonderful time! More photos to come!Read More
So, now that the coast is clear and Hillary and Brent are now married, I can finally post Hillary's Bridal Portraits!
First of all, CONGRATS to Hillary and Brent! And secondly, I would like to thank Hillary for such a wonderful shoot. This session took place in downtown Conway, starting in the same place the groom's mother had her photos taken and then ending down near the train tracks. Conway is one of my favorite places to shoot just for the fact that it's so historical. I love brick building and ivy fences and luckily for me, Conway is built on those things! Enjoy!
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Now I have to be honest. Some of these photos were extremely easy to capture genuine surprise....because she was genuinely surprised! I had the honor to help out with my second surprise engagement session this year. I love these!
Meet Dominique and Stephanie: they are a wonderful couple who were celebrating their anniversary together with photos, but little did she know that he had contacted me without her knowing to request that I help him with this momentous occasion! They are so great together and a ton of fun to watch interact with each other. I love watching couples who so obviously enjoy each others company. Anyway, on to the photos!
When trying to capture real moments I have always found that it is most easy to start with a real one. See, most people are not very good at posing themselves (I include myself in that category). I like to pose a couple and then take a few shots so I have a posed photo for the set but then go fiddle in my bag or on the back of my camera so they are no longer paying attention to me. Now I am catching the couple in their natural state of reacting with each other. Another thing I like to do, it say I am just testing my light so these don't count and the couple forgets about me for a minute.
Engagement Photos are the perfect story telling medium. You have a great romance to share with the viewer and you only have a certain amount of images to do it in. Sure you could take 5,000 photos but the amazing emotional content will be lost just because of sheer size. Like a high end restaurant, there are less things on the menu because after purging all the bad and mediocre, you are left with the best they have to offer. Thats why I wanted to tell this story in just 4 images:
These types of photos are just invaluable because I, as a photographer am prepared to create images that are more natural and personal. If all I ever do are posed portraits, they could probably save money by just going to Olan Mills or Walmart. The reason clients choose more creative photography is for the CREATIVITY. I feel I have a romantic photojournalistic style to my engagement shoots and this definitely falls in the category. What is your style? What do you like? Comment Below!
Remember that if you would like to book me for a photo session or you have something special in mind to surprise your loved one, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone: 843.446.4929
Thank you for reading!
I am getting married very soon! It's finally becoming very real! See, Annie and I are the last of three couple in my church getting married within a 6 week period and I had the pleasure of photographing one of them. While shooting this wedding for a long time friend Kim, and, her now husband, Kevin, I was able to practice a little for how we would like to set up the church for our ceremony. Bonus Points! With all jokes aside, it was a beautiful ceremony and an absolute joy to shoot. Everyone was relaxed and able to have fun and enjoy the day. Here is a little taste from the photos afterward.
More photos after the jump!
My pastor married Kim and Kevin, who happens to be Kim's uncle, and after the ceremony and the formal photos were done, it was time for the marriage license to be signed.
Pastor Buddy pulled his pen out of the breast pocket of his suit jacket. Many forget that a pen is similar to a watch; a piece of functional jewelry for a man. A piece of his own personal history that holds genuine and amazing history that signifies what he has been through in his life. Well Pastor Buddy's pen is absolutely one of those types of constants throughout his life. After joining the ministry, he was given this pen. a beautiful, slender work of art that he has always kept. A pastor has many jobs; he brings us all together for sermons, marriages, funerals and more than I could tell you. But this pen has a special story because after having it for over 30 years, it has only ever been used for one thing: signing marriage licenses.
This pen has only ever graced the hands of people on the most important day of their lives as they spiritually, emotionally and, with the pen, legally bind themselves to one another. This pen has one job, and that is to permanently mark a contract of two people's love for each other.
Call me a romantic but I think this pen has an awesome story!
Did you have an item used in your wedding that has a significant meaning? How about something you keep with you every day? Let me know in the comments below!
First, let me say that the lens in discussion today is the Rokinon 8mm f/3.5 fisheye. This a fully manual lens that allows you to fine tune every little detail but does not include the comforts of automatic modes of any kind (Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority, Program, etc etc) or even autofocus. But what it offers are crisp beautiful images with plenty of contrast and clarity.
Fisheye lenses are nothing new. They were first invented to be used for weather instruments and astrophotographers, so the entire sky could be captured from horizon to horizon. I am not an astrophotographer.
They have since, been adapted to many different types of photography. The largest is definitely skateboarding and other extreme sports and the exaggeration of lines can turn a difficult trick and to something legendary on film. I am not a skateboard photographer or videographer.
So... why the heck do I have a fisheye lens?
Funny you should ask...
This is a given. Street photos can be taken with anything, if you go out looking for something in particular and that is exactly what I did with this particular outing. It was July 3rd and I was out at Barefoot Landing to capture some of the nightlife for my blog and the blogs for my day job. I think all in all, they turned out pretty well; either way, it was the perfect opportunity for me to realize how awesome this lens really is.
Real Estate Photography
This is something I do a lot of at my day job. The neat thing about this lens is that excites you about using it. I don't know how to explain it, but even using it in real estate photography makes that type of work fun again ( keep checking back for my upcoming full length post on real estate/resort photography!) It takes a little more work is post, to get the distortion to an acceptable level, but I think it is worth for the type of shots I have been able to get with it.
Family and Beach Photography
This is by far my favorite application so far. With this lens, I am able to get family of 10 in to creative poses and have fun with needing a ladder or something crazy. In this particular shot, they decided they wanted a shot of everyone with their heads close together, so I slipped on the fisheye and was able to oblige with no resistance or time to figure out how to make it happen. But then I decided to keep it on for a few more shots including this jumping of all the grandkids.
This is probably one of the most fun applications for this thing. Walking around, I was able to really get some great shots of people enjoying themselves on the dance floor and hanging out. Even a fun shot or two of the bride and groom.
What do you think would be a fun use for a fisheye lens? Maybe you have one, and use it for something in particular? Leave your opinions in a comment below! Be sure to subscribe to see some of the fun things we have coming up!
So, this is the first blog post of it's kind. I just recently had the wonderful opportunity to share one of the largest moments in a couple's life: their engagement. After a few brief coded phone calls, I was enlisted to help Justin surprise his girlfriend on the beach with a special not in a bottle on the beach and a beautiful proposal. They were such a treat to work with and I am very excited to present their photos to them. Hope you enjoy the photos and the video! [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kP5lfu4DeP4&w=640&h=360]