In this blog I'm going to share how and why I approach your exit on your wedding day a little different than some other photographers and how it works wonderfully for me. If your reading this your most likely in one of two categories: Your either engaged and planning your special day, or maybe your a fellow photographer curious to create more dramatic exits for your happy couples. I hope this helps and lets get into it!
I'm not going to discuss lighting, or posing here but I will say that its important to trust the photographer you hired to create something from their vision, hopefully combined with your own. So your probably wondering what I could possibly be referring to when I say planning and timing for your exit. The normal response if asked when this will happen, is the end of the night so what am I talking about? Let me take a second to explain why and how I like to do this differently.
So if your planning the wedding, then you are fully aware how hard this process can be. You are also aware how much time and effort you have spent over the guest list among the other details. So you clearly invited those your surrounded by and are glad they are celebrating with you so why wouldn't we utilize them to maximize the effect of your exit? It never fails, the weddings that decide to keep with traditions and have the exit at the end of the night are missing a large number of guests at this point. Maybe they brought the kids, or maybe they are older and not wanting to dance the night away so they have said their goodbyes, hugged necks, and wished love and blessings over you. So the list of people available to send you off in style is diminished by the end of the party. While this is not the end of the world by any means, I like to suggest a different option to have a dramatic send off.
How do I do this? WE FAKE IT!! Yes you read that correctly. With a little planning, and 10 to 15 minutes of your time, you can have a much grander tunnel of loved ones to send you on your way. So we line up everyone we can get our hands on and create a line as big as space allows. This can be achieved inside or out, and with whatever method you choose to use. Sparklers, bubbles. etc. PSA- order your sparklers in advance if this is your preference and make sure to get the correct ones.. Regular sparklers will not work. They wont last long enough or put off enough sparkle for lack of a better term.
So in short, we take a few minutes, fake the exit, then let everyone return to the after party! This way everyone can relax knowing its taken care of and the night can end organically rather than orchestrated. This is simply my opinion but a method that has worked well for me for years. I would love to know your thoughts on this and how you may prefer the exit differently!
Next up "Working with your photographer and making time for wedding portraits"
Well its been a long time since writing here and that's for a few reasons. I had taken a new chance and changing my business platform and Ill just say that, things did not work out. I'm not wasting any more time on said project but more importantly, I'm not wasting time on the "what if's ". I have hit the Reset button and bigger and better things are going to happen, because I'm not capable of settling for anything else. I am making life changes and putting my Faith and Family first and then and only then can I succeed in the matters that mean the most.
If I were world known and rich beyond measure, but didn't have my family and my Faith, it would all be for not. I'm making steps to trust the Lords plan for my life and my business and I am extremely blessed and excited by this decision.
I am booking for 2018 now and would love to meet new people and create something truly meaningful and put my work in new venues. This year I print more, I shoot more, but I will also laugh more, pray more and be more present in this life. I have started bullet journaling to help keep me on the path and help get the negativity out of my life. I will be attending more seminars, classes and looking for a business mentor. Someone I respect and can trust. I'm also, for maybe the first time truly, working on myself. I'm currently listening to a wonderful book, suggested by my lovely wife, called " The Miracle Morning" by Hal Elrod. So far its incredible and I highly recommend it. I'm also go to try and help the industry more. Maybe teach classes or start a photo walk for children. Lots to work on and its time to get to it.. if you find yourself reading this I hope you can remember, times get tough, things are not always the way we want them to be, but we are meant for so much more. Dust yourself off, chin up, and smile.. smile in defeat but count the lessons in it, smile at a stranger it may change their day, and smile because we have great things to accomplish in this wonderful thing called LIFE!
Well, its been over a month since I have taken time to sit down and write here and for that I apologize but I have been extremely busy and loving it! In all the booked solid weekends, and editing we made time to sneak off last weekend to Atlanta GA for a much needed fun weekend. I love big cities and roaming around and although we did that very little, I tried to put the Fuji Xpro2 to work every chance I could. I have talked up this system every chance I have found and will continue to do so. Its exactly the tool I need to do what I love most.
If you have seen any of my work in the last year you have probably noticed my love for lines, patterns, shapes and such. Being in a city with tall buildings around every corner was basically the equivalent of taking my children to Chucky Cheese. Yes I was excited. So you wont see many portraits in the post or pretty things. You will see , to some extent, how I see the world around me. Maybe someone will find inspiration here or a good laugh at my poor writing skills and nonsense.
Let me pause and explain why we were in ATL to start with. My wife introduced me to an amazing show called, Cirque Du Soleil and we have seen a few performances together, but she has seen more than she can recall. We knew the boys had fall breaks coming up and just so happened they were performing a show we had not seen titled, "Luzia", and we couldn't think of a better way to spend the weekend so off we went! The show was remarkable as always but unfortunately , my pride and joy Fuji had to stay in his Ona Bag ( thanks Nic ). So I cant share any images from the show but you have to see it to believe it anyway. We spent Friday hanging out and exploring Atlantic Station before seeing the show. We decided while we were in town to visit the largest aquarium in the world. Georgia Aquarium and it was insane! Tidbit about this guy- I LOVE SHARKS and they have 4, yes 4 Whale Sharks here.. I was in heaven. I'm just going to drop a few of my favorites here:
Ok, if you like these few images I've posted and want to see the rest, please head over and check them out HERE
Please comment, like and share.
It's not often than you meet someone that shares many of the things you care about and someone that is genuinely a great person all in one. I would like to introduce you, in case you don't know her or of her work, to my friend and fellow photographer- Katy Sergent of Katy Sergent Photography & Design.
I met Katy through our local chapter of The Rising Tide Society, called Tuesday's Together. She is one of the leaders of the group and it didn't take long to realize she and I were going to be friends. Ok, that may have been one sided at first but who can say for sure lol. She recently reached out to me and asked if I would be interested in taking some portraits of her and even though the thought of working and shooting for a fellow photographer is daunting, I was quick to say Yes! We agreed to meet for coffee and to chat because whats a meeting without coffee? Boring is the short answer! We met up at my favorite coffee house, as I've mentioned in the past called Open Doors Coffee House and worked on the details and set the date for the session.
She and I both share a passion with nature and with the Appalachian Trail, so what better place to hang out and put my Fuji threw its paces? We agreed to meet and ride up to Dennis Cove where we jumped on the upper trail head to Laurel Falls. We took our time, laughed, swapped stories, and drug our Chaco's threw the mug. It was AWESOME!
I probably made the mistake of not starting as early as needed because after our hike, we headed off the mountain and were chasing the sun as it was setting trying to grab as many rays as we could for our project. I have driven the road many times and have always wanted to take a portrait at one of the corners ,but its a windy and busy road so I have never had the chance. That is until we came upon the "Spot" and she was a great sport and trusted me to jump out, Chinese fire drill style almost, slap on the hazard lights and get the shot I wanted.
Ok, Ill stop trying to write further and leave you with a few lasting images that hopefully not only captures Katy as I know her but as she also see's herself. That is often times the most important shot you ever take. One that might instill confidence or rekindle a passion for something forgotten about ourselves!
If you live in or visit our lovely city of Johnson City, Tennessee and love to hike then keep reading! Buffalo Mountain is close to ETSU and just off the interstate so that makes it easily accessible to anyone passing by. Its a fairly easy trek with gradual climbs and descents with views spread out along the way. A few stream crossings to break up the single track and you will probably be accompanied by the songs of nature. Bees and birds singing their tunes to sweeting the journey!
I have hiked most of the Mountain and it has never disappointed. Two of my absolute favorite hobbies are hiking and photography, so today I combined the two again. If you follow me then you know this isn't uncommon and if I'm honest it's when I like my work the most! Hint, lets take your pictures somewhere special! I am keeping this one short but this was just what I needed to clear my head, focus my chi, and have a conversation with the Lord! It all came together beautifully and reminds me just how big this life can be. I want more than anything to travel, photograph the world and the people in it! Enjoy
I love shooting senior portraits and not everyone does. I think part of that for me is, this age in a young adults life is a milestone, and its also when they are coming into themselves. You can see their personality come to life and with proper prompting they will open up and then the experience is truly special. I often kick the parents out, even if its just for a few minutes to try and connect with the model/ subject. I like to take our time and on my last session Sunday , we did that a little too well. My usual 2 hour session, turned into more than 3 and lots and lots of driving.
I have known Jaelyn for about 10 years now and it was a true privilege to take her senior portraits. She is my wife's cousin, therefore she is my family as well now. If you know me at all, I truly enjoy people, and Jaelyn is someone special.
We started the day at her school gearing up for her volleyball portraits. This was fun for me as I have never shot anything related to volleyball before, and I like a challenge! After we shot in the gym and had everything put away, we moved on to the great outdoors! The beautiful Blue Ridge Parkway to be more specific. I should say that I took a few hours prior to the session to explore and try to find the location we needed. The images below are from said scouting.
Ok, now that you know how I spent the day before I met up with Jaelyn for our session I will dive back into the heart of this post. Before the session, I only knew that she wanted some in her volleyball uniform and some in a field. Before it was all said and done we had shot in 5 different locations, but I hope from the images below you get a sense of how the day went.. it went great! It was the first session where I used the Fuji X-Pro 2 and I couldn't be happier! Hope the images are pleasing and represent my style.
There is something very free spirited about these images and the lady they capture. I hope she can always be as kind and amazing as she is today! I can only imagine the greatness ahead of her and pray that she reaches every goal she sets in place for herself!
This week has been busy, hectic, and exciting all at the same time. It was the first full week of owning my new to me Fuji Xpro 2 and as I have said before, its my all time favorite camera. I have owned a few Canon bodies, Sony a7ii, Olympus m4/3 bodies, and some point and shoots too and this one sits on top of them all to me. I also own the XT-1 for those days I want the battery grip. Ok enough about cameras.. lets talk about the events of the week shall we?
Maybe I indulged in a sticky bun while I waited lol.
I was very excited to be at the coffee house but even more so for the reason I was there. My friend and fellow photographer Katy Sergent and I were getting together to talk about her website, portraits, and future plans. Katy and I met through our local chapter of The Rising Tide Society called, Tuesdays Together and I knew immediately she was awesome. Maybe it was her Chaco's? She had mentioned allowing me ( not her words lol ) to take portraits of her for her website, and I can not wait to do just that. Is the pressure high to work with someone you respect and who shares many of the passions that you do? NOPE.. no pressure at all. ha! Speaking of portraits of Katy, I snapped this as she walked in and I was scarfing my breakfast down.
All of the above was just on Monday and that is a great start to my week, but then on Tuesday Atlas had his orientation for Kindergarten. What? Already? These are the thoughts that raced in my head. It doesn't seem like he is old enough yet -- he was just little yesterday or at least it feels that way. He was so excited! We got to see his class room and meet his teacher for the first time. He even met a few of his upcoming class mates.
Onto Wednesday: his official first day of school! What a rollercoaster this was for us as we walked him to class. He was so pumped that he didn't care whether we were there and for that, I am grateful. Its a blessing that he is excited about his journey. Austin also started his Junior year on the same day but he was less excited as you can imagine -- early mornings are not his favorites. Jaryn slept through all the excitement because he doesn't start back for 2 more weeks- slacker.
Jaryn asked that he and I spend some time on our bikes so we loaded them up and headed to Winged Deer Park to ride the trails for some much needed 2 wheel action. I forgot how much I love riding and tackling single track! I am going to have to make this a regular hobby again. We rode up until it was time to pick up Atlas from school and start the weekend! We celebrated his achievement with swimming and trips to Memaw's where we went fishing and there we got caught in a massive rain storm. As I carried Atlas and the rain pounded all 4 of us, his laughter took over -- I was trying not to fall and die while running, and I was reminded by those giggles that these moments are the most important part of this life. The mistakes, the laughter, and getting caught in the rain with my family are indescribably perfect. We came in, dried off and ate until we could barely stand. When it was time to leave, Atlas asked if we could take an adventure on the way home- he gets it honest- so Austin, Jaryn, Atlas, and I took off in Valak ( our beloved Sequioa) and headed off across Dennis Cove. We drove the gravel rode at sunset and laughed, joked, and took photos along the way. Ill drop those in below to end this post.
Then as if the week wasn't packed with Firsts and new adventures this happened!
The week started off with friends, and ended with family. What else could I ask for? I hope if you're reading this, that your week was great; but more than that, I hope you find time to play in the rain too!
I have written about this some in the past on my previous blog but as I use the FujiFilm system more, I love it more. Is it perfect, well no, but its perfect for me and my need! It feels like home in my hand and I find comfort in that. I find myself wanting a camera with me at all time for no exact reason but the un-forseen and un-predictable moments we call Life.
Its a pleasing camera to see, to use and to own. The image quality is amazing from the newest sensor but I refuse to get into the tech specs. I just want to say I am finally at piece with my equipment minus one lens, and a few flashes.. That is a great feeling! The moments I have captured in the short time with the Xpro-2 ( which I need to name I think ) have been nothing short of magical. As a parent, taking images of my children for myself, nothing is more rewarding.
If you have followed any of my blog posts in the past week, you have seen these images already but as Im transitioning to my new site I can't help but write about this amazing camera once more. What better way to start my new blog than talking about my newest camera?