It is thought that Craigslist does not have much legitimate content with regards to work. Yet, I still give a check almost every day just in case there is a legit photo need posted by someone. Such was the case with Pat who put up an interesting post looking for help with making a surprise proposal to his girlfriend on Sanibel Island at the Thistle Lodge.Read More
This past Saturday I photographed one of my family members professionally for the first time! My cousin whom I have not seen in over a decade due to living in different parts of the country moved down here to the Tampa Bay area. She got engaged and contaced me about an engagement shoot on Sunset Beach in Treasure Island Florida. I said sure, sounds great, you bring the romance and I will take care of the rest!
They did their homework and had several photo ideas they wanted to try out, which is fine with me as I am always looking for new shot ideas myself. It was a frigid day, actually the coldest of the year, but they dressed Florida style anyway and were real pros!
As requested, they brought the romance allowing me to make candid portraits like the one above. I wanted to have the sun melt through the couple in this shot adding to the impact of the overall image.
Besides being cold, it was incredibly windy, but at least Mother Nature also provided a classic dramatic Florida sunset to use as a background in the photographs. I prefer there to be clouds in the sky as well, as I feel it adds more interest than if the sky were cloudless.
I remembered to make a quick shot of my strobist setup this time. As you can see, I use two speedlights in my off camera flash technique for sunset portraits. There are just diffuser caps on the strobes as it was far too windy for an umbrella or anything like that.
My cousin and her fiance brought their dog, Bear, who was a good boy and watched patiently until it was his time to be in front of the lens where he immediately started dishing out big kisses!
My cousin, like me, was born in Rhode Island and will have her wedding actual up in the Ocean State. It was great to reconnect with her, and her mom (my aunt) made a surprise visit too! It was a real reunion and a very fun engagement portrait session.
Back in May I had an engagement shoot with Mary and Jason at the often used University of Tampa campus. They were wanting to add a few unique, urban shots to their engagement package so I had them meet me in downtown St. Petersburg one evening. I had a few spots in mind to use, but as often happens, my favorite shot of the day came via improvisation and just happening upon something. We were finished with one location and walking toward a corner and I thought a lone one-way sign could be a great prop. I set up my two strobes and shared my vision with Jason and Mary. After several tries they both performed their roles just as I had envisioned and the result was one of my favorite shots of the summer.
The experimentation continued with adding more urban elements into the shot like a fire hydrant and traffic light. I further pushed things by using a filter in Topaz Adjust 3 to achieve the vivid, painted look. This was also one of the first times to use one strobe for backlighting/hair lighting (seen in the glowing edge around Mary). This is a technique I will definitely be repeating.
The engagement shoot was a very fun and creative experience for me and I got to know Mary and Jason a little bit better before their upcoming September wedding. I am looking forward to photographing their big day!
I met Mary & Jason early this Sunday morning four our engagement shoot hoping to beat the heat. That worked for about 10 minutes before the heat starting beating us. To keep things simple we met on the University of Tampa campus and then all rode in my Lexus to the Tampa Convention Center nearby before returning to UT, where all the photos in this post were taken. I have photographed on the UT campus many times before, and each time I try to find a shot I never made before. The above tree shot was the new find this time and gives, I think, the best PAN'S LABYRINTH type atmosphere possible in a city setting.
I specialize in candid style photography, which means always being ready to take a photo, even in-between moments. This was a spontaneous kiss that I luckily happened to be ready for (another recently photographed kiss). As a photographer you may even want to pretend to be checking something else on your camera to see what the couple does in a more relaxed moment.
New gear (Yongnuo radio triggers, review soon) that just arrived from Hong Kong yesterday, allowed me to make shots like the hand holding shot above and the curvy tree top image that I would not have been able to before. Since radio triggers have a much greater effective distance for triggering an external flash, I could get far away and use my Nikkor AF ED 80-200mm f/2.8 lens to get in close for a distance and take advantage of that lens' great bokeh and sharpness.
It was a fun engagement shoot that allowed me to explore new creative avenues, which is always a win for both myself from an artistic standpoint and for the client with regards to the images I can create for them. I look forward to photographing their wedding in September of this year.