I’ve been going to Pelee Island since before I was born. Litterally. I was carried there while mom was pregnant. I grew up there, was married there, and minus two summers in my early 20’s I have spent at least a week there every summer of my life.
Its my place for relaxation. Its a place with nearly no cell coverage, little entertainment, aside from what you can come up with on your own, and for me, paradise.
This year, because of our trip to India back in January, Kelly only could take two days off work, so we headed up for a long weekend of reading, sunrises, and cigars.
One morning I thought it would be good to rouse everyone for an early morning portrait session. Lets just say I was wrong. Light was changing fast, wind was picking up, and no one had had a full cup of coffee yet. I am certainly happier being a portrait photographer behind the camera, than trying to be in the photos, and adjust lights at the same time.
Along the way I played with my ND filters and long exposures. Landscapes are something I have never focused on, but i love the way the light, sky, and water changes during long exposures.
A family fishes off the North Dock on Pelee Island.
Roused the family far to early for a portrait, you can see how happy we are
In photography, lighting is the most important aspect of your work. As a Pittsburgh wedding photographer you have to be able to work with lights because the weather here isnt always cooperative. Some days you wake up, the sky is blue, and it looks like its going to be an amazing day. But by the time the reception rolls around, the light is gone, clouds moved in, the wind is blowing, and rain is pouring down. In those situations we still have a duty to our clients to create beautiful work. So we always bring a supply of portable lights and modifiers with us, and they live in our car. If a flash breaks, no problem got a back up. Pocket wizard wont fire, pull out the chord. Both flashes die, or get stolen, we have some work lights that create beautiful light when pushed through an umbrella. While the situation may not be ideal, it is our job to give our clients our best work. I heard recently that we dont get an A for showing up and being friendly. Clients expect us to be professional, polite, and make great memorable images of their day.
As a story centered wedding photographer, that makes the need for lights a little bit less, but during portrait time, and during the reception, we have to make the venue, the people, and the couple look incredible. The images have to be able to bring back memories years down the road. More importantly, they need to tell the story of the day, after everyone that attended has passed away. Wedding photography is about a legacy. It is about documenting a story for the future. Its about Grandma and Grandpa being able to look fondly back on the photos and tell the grand kids about the life they lived together.
Today I shot a few portraits of my wife, just to brush up on my lighting skill. I dont use lights often, I prefer nice beautiful natural light. But sometimes a flash is the only available light that we have.
Last year I had the pleasure to photograph Jahmar and Mindy’s beautiful wedding as a second photog for David Burke. The day was a blast, and we got some amazing photos, but one of the things that I loved, was setting up a photo booth at the reception, and being able to have everyone coming through for portraits.
This is a great way to get group portraits of friends and family, while still keeping your traditional portrait session to a manageable time, and letting guests come when they are ready. Props can be used, or not, depending on your preference, and all that is needed is a 12ftx12 space near a wall and outlet. This photo booth style is awesome because you have a photographer actually manning it, and it doesnt take much time to set up.
For me, Thanksgiving is a time of seeing friends who have moved away, and spending time with family. In my experience, most people have some kind of a tradition that revolves around Thanksgiving. For us, it’s more of a cross family tradition that started a few years ago.
After a day of eating to much, and spending time with family, my dad and I like to get a group of friends together and shoot birds. For us, its a time of multi-generational bonding. My Dad and myself release the pheasants early in the morning, and a few hours later our friends the Gooders arrive with Mr. Gooder, his son, and two grandsons. Its a chance to enjoy the outdoors, watch a beautiful dog work the field, and enjoy a dram of scotch, or a glass of wine after.
I hope you enjoy a walk through the field with us.