Katia S – They’re Not Done Yet

Katia showed up and asked for a lot of portrait shots with a tighter crop. Granted she phrased it differently, but I got the direction of what she was looking to do. Typically I like to be a bit more adventuresome and scope out more dramatic poses or scenes, but she really just wanted a few nice and simple shots, so we kept it toned down. The title of this blog entry refers to the fact that just about every day for the two weeks that it took me to process the photos, Katia would check in to see if they were done. So finally the answer is YES! 🙂

Overall she was very eager to get her shots done and arrived with most of her wardrobe in hand. It did take about a minute or so for me to get her to not change poses before I even hit the shutter button as she was ready to go! 🙂 Just wait until you see all the strobes fire before you change poses…otherwise sometimes I’m still framing the image in the viewfinder and she was on her third variation of the pose. On to the photos!!! Assuming anyone reads the text I write, image #5 below may be more on the PG-13 side.

Slide Show:
[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sBxBD6qEyys]

*****Full gallery HERE!*****

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As always, comments, questions, and feedback is welcome…either leave a comment below or email:
mike@novophotography.com
http://novophotography.com


Kranti & Sunavo Engagement Ceremony!

Since this was my first Indian wedding/engagement I decided to do a bit more research to get a better understanding of the different events to look for throughout the day. It began with my second shooter and I arriving at their home for their engagement ceremony. They are planning on having their ceremony in California and then in October, having their wedding reception again in Chicago. So you could consider this a sort of part 1 of 2…the warmup. At their home I got a chance to first meet Sunavo. He was dressed and ready to go, so we started with a few shots before Kranti arrived.

The ceremony itself lasted for quite a while which gave us plenty of time to make our way around the crowd and capture shots from all different angles. In between the ceremony and the dinner we somehow managed to break away from the friends and family and capture a few images of the two of them alone. Every few minutes or so, someone would make their way outside and try chatting with the happy couple and they understandably did their best to accommodate them and still pose for photos.

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Ruth Garcia Gonzalez – Can I Get You Anything?

In just about every shoot I try to do something new. I’m a big believer in trying new ideas constantly and adding them to your knowledge base. It’s easy to go with the same ideas and shots from before that have worked, after all that’s what gets clients in the door, but keeping your signature and doing something new is a risk I like to take. So Ruth and I decided to get up at 4am and head off to the beach to catch the sunrise for some photos. This idea sounds really good when you’re planning it out, but doesn’t sound as appealing when you’re trying to drag yourself out of bed the day of the shoot. Fortunately we managed to get rolling and made it to catch the sun as it came up. Unfortunately this didn’t last too long as a nice storm rolled in.

As I’ve learned in doing wedding photography, you have to adapt to your environment whenever you’re shooting outdoors. So we made use of the rain and Ruth was up for trying just about anything. I had her repeatedly walking in the rain barefoot as you’ll see in one of the images below while I stayed nice and dry underneath a nearby structure and used my telephoto lens 🙂 Once we had a few nice rain shots, we move inside the structure and I set up my strobes to get some more shots. Finally we finished up later indoors with a few portraits. Overall she was great to work with, was up for trying any pose or idea I could toss at her and handled the entire shoot very well for this being her first ever model experience.

Click **HERE** for Ruth’s full gallery!!

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yU_7bLLyWHY&hl=en_US&fs=1]

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Click **HERE** for Ruth’s full gallery!!


Molly Pierce – Bring it on…

Every so often you get someone in front of the camera who knows how to work the lens and command their own look. Working with Molly was great…I had an idea, I would explain it, and she would strike the pose without fail. One other thing she’s able to do that many aren’t is to pull different emotions and look good displaying each of them. Some people are better when they smile, others when they have a mean look, and others might do a fantastic sad expression. From what I saw she was able to deliver the different emotions and also switch them at the drop of a hat. Overall great photo experience for me as the photographer and a few new ideas (to me) that I decided to try since we were on a roll. And just in case you’re wondering, yes she really was playing the guitar and singing. But enough chatter. On to the images!

Click HERE for the FULL ALBUM!

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Click HERE for the FULL ALBUM!


Laura Anne Martucci – My First Time

Laura was a bit shy when initially getting in front of the camera and had zero modeling or posing experience. On top of the regular time limits, we were also very limited on wardrobe, with just one of two tops to choose from. Combine that lack of experience, lack of comfort being in front of the lens, and no wardrobe…and you’re in for an interesting challenge 🙂 With Laura I stuck to the basics. I tried to go for more basic poses and expressions and use those to get her more comfortable being in front of the lens for some later shots. So many of the earlier shots have a bit more of the “high school senior photo shoot” feel. If this was a multi day shoot or I had more than a few hours, then we could have gotten more creative, but instead there was a lot of teaching from my end. I’ve picked up from models and other photographers different tactics and techniques that they use to strike a pose or make the shot. I felt that without us practicing the basics, it would have been a lot of confused posing. Another thing I did more than normal was to show Laura the shots as I was taking them. Your average model may fully understand what a reflector is, how the hair light is hitting her, etc…but for someone who has never sat under studio lights this can be a bit overwhelming. Surrounding Laura for most of the indoor shots are 5 lightstands holding lights, reflectors, backdrops, umbrellas, and so on. And to top it off, they are fairly close to her. Explaining what everything is on a basic level and how it works was key for us to break through the ‘newbie’ plateau.

Click HERE for more of Laura’s photos!

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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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