Dlhy/Robinson Wedding…Here’s to you Mrs. Robinson

Now as a second shooter for this wedding, my shooting didn’t start until the ceremony and continued for 6 hours per what the studio contracts me out for. This was my first shoot as a freelance photog for a wedding so I was looking forward to giving it a whirl. I arrived at the church in Clarendon Hills without even another car in the lot. This gave me ample time to snap some shots of the church, setting, background, etc…And shortly after I wrapped up shooting the decor, the limo arrived with all of the groomsmen. Let me just lay out my duties as a second shooter first. I work with the groom’n guys before the ceremony and the first shooter works with the bride and bridesmaids. Then comes the ceremony where we both shoot as many angles as we can. Once the ceremony is complete, I pack up and head to the reception where I take the shots of the table, cake, decor, and then begin setting up my backdrop and lights for the guests to pose for some formal portraits during the cocktail hour. During this time, the first shooter remains with the bridal party for the formals. After dinner the first shooter takes the dance floor and the second shooter gets shots of the tables. That’s the basic layout. So as you go through the photos they may seem to lack certain types of shots since I was not available for them such as the formals and the pre-ceremony bridal shots.

Overall great wedding, the groom, Jim, was great to work with and I tried to make his photo experience as quick and painless as possible before the ceremony since the nerves were there. Once the ceremony was done, the mood seemed to relax a lot and everyone was a lot more relaxed. Great atmosphere and everyone was friendly and happy to pose for photos. Speaking of which…

Click HERE for full gallery!

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James Vincent Lorang – Guitarist and Then Some

Ahh Jim. Let’s see how do I even begin to describe him. Jim is a very unique character to put it simply. He can improv his way through a melody on the guitar for quite a long time or find beauty in a piece of terracotta he finds by a building that’s being torn down. There are a number of people whose style I might look at and think that they are pushing it and that it’s not who they really are, but Jim really does march to the beat of his own drum. My good friend Brian began taking lessons with Jim a few years ago, and while I heard some interesting stories about him, it wasn’t until we got together for this shoot that I actually met him for the first time. Initially I thought I might be meeting someone who’s into their own art form and style way too much, but Jim is actually quite a humble guy, values opinions of others, and as we went down the block for him to get a pack of cigarettes he seemed to know just about everyone we walked passed by name as he said hello. To add to his uniqueness I’m not sure how many people can pull of his hairstyle which can only be described as a comb-over into a dreadlock. So if you’re looking for nice cheap guitar lessons and an interesting ride, then Jim just might be your guy. Below are some of my more favorite shots, feel free to leave a comment with your feedback!!

Click HERE to see the rest of Jims photos!!!

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Models Models Everywhere!

Wow…what a busy weekend. Different lighting setup with just about every model, different looks, poses…but one thing was the same, a fairly limited amount of time with each model. I had about 15 minutes to land the series of shots I wanted with each model. This shoot took place at Kevin May Studios. Space was not an issue to have 7 different lighting setups to run between…a tremendous amount of space to work in and quite the experience. Overall a great experience! But now without further delay, I’ll stop typing and just get to the photos! Now just to note for some folks…there are images in bikinis and lingerie, so proceed at your own risk 🙂

View all the shots HERE!

Adrienne

Angel

April

Ashley

Cody

Kelsey

Kristie

Maria

Lisa

Nikki

Skyla

Tiffany


Haley Meadow Shoot – Bringing in the new year!

What better way to kick off the new year than with a great model. And on top of that, my first shoot with a red head! After months and months of discussions, we finally settled on a date for the shoot. Which ended up being pushed back another day, but somehow we did it! The location was Haley’s apartment. With a beautiful side light, a balcony, fireplace, exposed brick, and nicely painted walls it was almost like working in a studio environment. While Haley’s had some photos of her taken before, this was her first time doing any type of true posed modeling. And with a bit of guidance and suggestions, she picked it up in no time. This was the first time where aside from looks…my focus was also to capture the more unique color of her hair. So many of the shots I sought to figure out how I could work it in. Unfortunately I must say that often times, hair takes second or third place for me since I’m often very focused on the face and pose. So this made it just a little bit more than what I was used to thinking about. Aside from the outdoor shots, there is some form of additional lighting in every other image…sometimes it’s a low fill flash and other times its a little bit of fill from a reflector.

You can see the rest of Haley’s shots HERE!

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Irene and Chaim – Puttin’ on the hitch.

I met Irene years ago when she worked for my dads company and we’ve kept in touch ever since. About two years ago she decided to move to Israel and work/spend some time there. She seemed to enjoy her stay in Israel quite a bit and it came as no big surprise when she told me that she had met Chaim and that they were getting married! The part that was a surprise was that here wedding would be here in Chicago! She asked me to shoot her wedding and we got to planning it right away. The biggest conundrum was to convey the idea to Irene as to just how much time was needed during the day to do the photos. Her idea was “Well, the ceremony is at 2, so if we meet at 1 or 1:30 for photos, that should be plenty of time, right?” No…photos take a much longer time than that. And we began by meeting early in the day at the hair salon and going from there. The flow was actually quite smooth. My assistant Sam and I started at the salon, then got some dress/getting ready shots in Irene and Chaim’s wedding suite, then picked Irene up from her makeup appointment in order to head off to the Adler Planetarium to get some posed shots with the Chicago skyline behind them. Finally the ceremony was right by Millennium Park in the Cancer Survivors Park and the reception at Tizi Melloul. Overall great time…until the police showed up! The rest of their photos HERE!

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Victoria and Isabella…models on the run!

It was a number of years ago that I took a shot of Victoria on her wedding day that helped push me into taking on photography as a hobby and then a business. My post of that shot can be found HERE! So when Victoria was in town with her daughter Bella, we got in touch and I followed them around the Botanical Gardens to snap a few shots. Bella was a little shy for about the first two minutes but then became very comfortable having me around and was all about striking the poses! You can see all of their images here: http://public.fotki.com/biggy/victoria-and-isabella/ or their SLIDESHOW.


Lena’s Modeling Session

Lena was looking to both build her portfolio a little along with simply getting some personal shots, so this gave me a little bit of freedom from simply doing full studio style shots to get some semi-creative ones (hopefully). Having done some modeling before, she was very easy to work with. She not only was able to pose well, but also had no shortage of her own ideas to incorporate into the shoot. Having worked with some more novice models in the past, it was a nice change to work with someone a bit more expressive and creative. We were shooting in the early afternoon, so the overcast skies were somewhat welcomed because her hair and eyes popped a bit more, it seemed to make an interesting combination. The rest of the time we were indoors and shooting with studio lights.

There was one interesting photo which I took that was based off of an accident initially which was the first one you’ll see below. With the strobes, the shutter speed is typically 1/60th of a second and I normally shoot at around aperture f/5.6 or f/8 which works fine when you have a nice big flash going off. However when no flash goes off, the shutter speed will become much longer in a more or less dark room. With my camera in aperture priority mode at f/8 I forgot to turn on my control unit for the strobes and the camera automatically slowed down the shutter speed causing a sort of ghost like image (images made like this are often referred to as ‘shutter drag’). So after mumbling a swear or two I reached down to turn on the controller so that next time the strobes would fire…as I did, I noticed a neat looking image with a ghost like effect. So I quickly raised the camera back up and did the shot one more time, this time intentionally…and came up with the below image. Let me know what you think, feel free to leave comments!

You can see all of Lena’s shots HERE!!!


The Darkroom

My friend Shannon somehow uprooted herself from the wonderful city of San Francisco and graced us lowly folks in Chicago! 🙂 While in town, I met up with her at The Darkroom where her friend Kathy was performing with her band…The Diplomats of Solid Sound.

So I grabbed my camera, my lenses, and of course…Snezhana and set off to take some photos in a dark dark environment.

I had never really shot a band before with the intention of coming up with quality images. Usually when I go out for an evening and there’s a local band playing I don’t bring a camera, and when I do go to a concert with a more popular band, I’ll often take a casual shot of the band or performer from far away as a memory and call it a day. Here was a chance to get nice and close to the band and snap away!

Now the band didn’t have the best lighting. Lot of red light which meant that in my post processing I had to be a bit more creative to not let it dominate the shots. Combine it with it being more on the dark-side and that made for a tough shoot! Some shots of other friends…

You can see the rest of the shots here: http://public.fotki.com/biggy/the-dark-room/


Gabby’s Bat Mitzvah

This was a first for me…not that I haven’t attended Bar or Bat Mitzvahs before, but this was my first time attending as a photographer. This was a two day shoot. Friday we would meet up to get some outdoor family shots along with the Bat Mitzvah service and then the party on Sunday. When I first met Gabby she seemed just a bit nervous and shy, but seeing as how she’d been preparing for this day for quite some time, it was quite understandable. And now the pressure was on. I had one hour to get all of my outdoor shots before we headed off to the service, so I had to work quickly. Before the shoot I decided to go with a more casual attire of cargo shorts and a t-shirt, which ended up being the right choice instead of slacks and a dress shirt since after getting down low on the ground I came up nice and muddy. “Shabbat shalom everyone, don’t mind me, I decided to take my mud bath in my clothes today!”

On Sunday I found out that, yes, I can keep up with a bunch of preteens on the dance floor! 🙂 Overall it was a great and challenging experience and a lot of fun as well. There were some technical issues to battle such as two different light sources. The natural light through the ceiling and the incandescent bulbs which conflict with each other in the cameras white balance settings. But aside from that all else went very smoothly. Congrats to Gabby, Stan, Liliya, and the rest of the family!

Want to see more? Do ya? Huh? Do ya? Well then you can see all of Gabby’s images here!
http://public.fotki.com/biggy/gabbys-bat-mitzvah/


Savannah Georgia Part 2

Day 1 was a busy day. Well perhaps not as busy as it was a late night. We were up and in class at 7am the next day. Top this off with having to edit photos at 2am so they are ready to be presented the next day and that leaves you a wee bit tired. So the next day we worked with gear that helps you change the available light and best make use of it. Reflectors, diffusers, bounce cards, etc…anything that helped modify the natural available light. We had a brief classroom session and headed out for the day to do some test shots.

Reflector

Sun Bounce

Diffuser

After a brief morning walk, we were off to our first modeling assignment with Aaron. The shoot was at the Telfair Museum of Art. A very interesting building with lot’s of lines, white, and open space. My partner for the shoot was Steve and we had about 30 minutes to get some initial shots with Aaron. A quick handshake with Aaron and the first words out of my mouth were “Can you please lay down on the lobby floor right here, I have some shots in mind.” He didn’t seem to mind at all and we were off and running!

Aaron 1

Aaron 2

Aaron 3

Aaron 4

Aaron 5

Working in the museum was a very unique experience. Once we wrapped up, we snagged a quick lunch and continued shooting outdoors. While waiting for the other photographers as they worked with Aaron, that didn’t stop me from working with other people we saw walking through the park.

Treena

Aaron 6

Treena 2

Gekko

So now we’ve had a full day of shooting, it’s nearing dinner time and we head back to the classroom for a debriefing. I figure it’s time to relax, find a nice spot for dinner, and simply carry the camera for any opportunity shots that might come up. Not so fast…there’s another assignment. We are handed a piece of paper with a scavenger hunt assignment to complete on that way to dinner. We need to capture roughly 30 different types of shots of people, in approximately 1 hour as we walk to dinner. No pressure at all. We had to have the persons permission to take the shot, which meant that we had to approach them…no candid distance shots. Some of the things we had to find included…

Red, Green, Blue
Red Green Blue

How many fingers?
HowManyFingers

Pick a number
PickANumber

A sad situation
SadSituation

Baby needs new shoes
Baby needs shoes