Pittsburgh Portrait photographer- Pelee Island Portrait
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
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After a long day of wedding photography, or any day for that matter, I love relaxing with a good cigar, and a drink. It usually ends up being a craft beer, but every once in a while a good spirit is just what the doctor ordered.
For the past year or so, my dad Ray, and sister Elle over at Smart Site Strategies have been working with DiSalvo’s Station restaurant in Latrobe. From time to time they bring me in to shoot photos, create a short video, and help create newsletter content that is needed.
A little while back after a Sunday brunch, we were down stairs smoking a cigar, when Joey asked if I could grab a few photographs for him. All I had on me was a camera, a 50mm lens, and a small video light, so we made do with what we had, and shot a few quick photos for their news letter.
I really enjoyed shooting these, but I wish that I had brought some lights with me.
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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.
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I love winter. I love being a photographer. This time between wedding season ending, and the next season beginning is a relaxing time for me. A time to reflect, plan, and execute the plans for the new year. While I love being based in Pittsburgh, I need time away from the city.
Growing up I spent nearly every day at 7 Springs (the local ski slopes). For a number of years I taught there. But for the years before and after, days were spent enjoying the brisk air, the board beneath my feet, and a few times per year, some fun floaty powder.
The past few years have been a bit more low key, and I am ok with that. My parents still live in the mountains, and my wife and I get a chance to go up there fairly often. This weekend was one of those chances.
We spoke to the church I grew up in, about India. Took a detour on the way back and headed up a snow covered logging road.
Relaxed and read. Played with our dog Willy, and ended with an evening out bowling.
I love these weekends.
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The cold fades
Out of dormant winter
comes life renewed.
I just celebrated my 30th year on this earth. I am incredibly grateful for the past year and all that is has brought with it.
I married my best friend, moved into a new part of pittsburgh, built my first Farm Table, and visited India with said best friend.
I have filmed some great stories over the past year, been a part of incredible weddings and festivities, and I am so excited for what 2013 has in store for us.
I love being a photographer, and I cant wait to listen to, and watch, more stories unfold.
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