Posted on March 19, 2014
It’s always fun doing senior portrait photos, but especially fun when the senior is as cool as Kaleb. He’s a senior at Chippewa High School and has a great personality and is a real pleasure to work with. We decided to do the shoot in and around downtown Akron, OH and the weather was perfect. Blue skies and calm winds prevailed, and downtown was deserted. I’ve done quite a bit of photo work in downtown Akron before, so I know where to go to get some fun and interesting photos.
I used my speed lights for many of the photos to fill in shadows and to allow me to shoot into a bright sky without blowing it out. I also used off-camera lighting and reflectors to further allow me creative flexibility. Using a variety of lenses, I was able to get different looks in many photos. I also edited using some creative split toning, so the photos didn’t end up with the same final look.
Posted on March 10, 2014
Here’s some photos from a beautiful baby shower I photographed at the lovely Pine Ridge Country Club in Mentor, OH. With it’s gorgeous wooden ceiling and large, sunny windows, the venue was one of the most elegant baby showers I’ve ever seen.
The mom to be, Michelle, lives out of state and was thrilled with the lovely baby shower that was thrown for her. With over 80 attendees, she received plenty of warm congratulations and compliments. The gift table was well stocked with plenty of super cute baby clothes and toys, and the food served was decadent.
Posted on January 2, 2014
With the snow falling, I asked my daughter, Savannah, if she’d model for me this afternoon. Being naturally comfortable in front of the camera, she happily agreed and suffered through me picking out her outfit for the shoot. I’m blessed with such a fun, beautiful daughter that enjoys spending time with her dad.
We went to the back yard, which is awash in natural beauty and had fun while she tried not to blink as the snow landed on her eyelashes. I used my Nikkor 80-200 f/2.8 lens so the background would be blurred out well, but leave her face in focus. It was cold enough so we wanted to be back inside in about 20 minutes. I placed my gear in the garage to warm up gradually to avoid condensation on my photography equipment.
Posted on December 4, 2013
I had the opportunity recently to photograph the beginning of the Holiday shopping season, better known as Black Friday, at South Park Mall in Strongsville. Following recent trends toward opening on Thanksgiving evening, the mall opened it’s doors at 8:00 Thanksgiving evening and I was there to capture photos of the families and shoppers enjoying themselves.
At 8:00, the doors opened up and the lines of anxious shoppers filed themselves into the large, beautifully decorated mall. Many of the stores were open and ready for business, some with their own crowd control measures in front of their doors because of the large number of people expected to take advantage of the sales being offered. By 10:00, the mall was packed shoulder-to-shoulder with shoppers and families and was showing no signs of slowing down.
South Park Mall had special entertainment and activities to entertain holiday shoppers and their families. There were costumed characters in place to entertain the kids as well as adults. Radio stations set up equipment for location broadcasts, a live DJ had upbeat Holiday music playing, a balloon artist made fun balloons for the kids, and more.
At 11:00 I opened up a photo booth where people could donate $5 to the Red Cross and have their photo taken with “Hunky Santa” and a 5×7 print made. I set up my large soft box lights and took fun portraits of ladies and guys with this impressive man. Not only was he fun to take photos of, but he was also a really nice person and enjoyable to to talk with.
Posted on November 18, 2013
I recently shot Adam’s senior portraits in Akron Ohio. I’ve known his family for a long time and was very flattered when they selected me to be his photographer. We selected locations in and around downtown Akron for our shoot and marked a Saturday morning as the date to do the shoot.
In the morning, Adam showed up with 3 wardrobe changes, which I was happy to see. The more creative the subject is, the more creative I can be as we work together throughout the shoot. We started shooting around the Lock 3 area and moved to different locations that I had previously scouted during other shoots and in my off time.
We eventually moved on to some fire escapes to produce some very cool images and finally made our way to the Akron Library for photos at the amphitheater. Adam is in the marching band at Chippewa High School and was sure to bring his dress uniform to the shoot, looking dapper in it.
I wish Adam the best of luck at college and know he’ll be successful at it.
Posted on November 18, 2013
Trevor and Hannah are a wonderful couple who I recently shot engagement photos for their 2014 wedding. They’re naturally fun and outgoing and that really showed in their engagement photos. Because they both love the outdoors and are avid hunters, they wanted to have their session in a beautiful park near the Akron, Ohio area.
I had never been to this particular park so I arrived early to walk the area and find some creative spots to shoot at. Turns out that there were so many gorgeous spots in the area that I needn’t have bothered.
When they arrived, both Hannah and Trevor looked amazing, and she had even persuaded him to wear a tie! I had already pulled my gear out and had my off-camera lighting set up so we set right out and began shooting. Our first location was a path bordered by tall, beautiful pines on both sides, and we shot there for about 20 minutes. Secondly I put a 200mm telephoto lens on my Nikon and shot photos of them under a canopy of trees while they stood in ray of sunshine. We also shot photos in the trees and eventually made our way to a lake side which had a bench overlooking the pond. The evening’s perfect golden light flattered the happy couple and made my job quite easy.
Hannah and Trevor are busily preparing for their 2014 outdoor wedding and I’m excited to have been chosen as their wedding photographer.
Posted on September 13, 2013
As the finish line photographer, I got to see every participant’s joy in completing the event. The look of accomplishment on people’s faces was amazing, and deservedly so. Most people are on the race course anywhere between 4-10 hours, and some as long as 15 hours. These participants are some of the most fit people I’ve ever encountered. The Revolution 3 Triathlon series is totally different than the standard triathlon, with the focus not only on the event, but also on the families of the participants. Every participant is encouraged to bring their families and support network to cheer them on at the start and end of the event. Many participants crossed the finish line with their children and spouses by their side. Revolution 3 always holds their events at a family entertainment venue so the support team and families of the participants can go enjoy a day of family entertainment while waiting for their loved one to complete the race.
In case you’re not familiar with what a triathlon is, there are four different types:
- Sprint Distance; 750 meter (.465 mi) swim, 20 kilometer (12.5 mi) bike, 5 kilometer (3.1 mi) run
- Intermediate (or Standard) distance; commonly referred to as the “Olympic distance”: 1.5 kilometer (.93 mi) swim, 40 kilometer (25 mi) bike, 10 kilometer (6.2 mi) run
- Long Course; commonly referred to as 70.3 or the ‘half-Ironman’; 1.9 kilometer (1.2 mi) swim, 90 kilometer (56 mi) bike, and a 21.1 kilometer (13.1 mi) run
- Ultra Distance; commonly referred to as 140.6 or the ‘Ironman’; 3.8 kilometer (2.4 mi) swim, 180.2 kilometer (112 mi) bike, and a full marathon: 42.2 kilometer (26.2 mi) run.
(Data courtesy of http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Triathlon)
The Revolution 3 event I covered was running the Half, and Full. One can’t help but be inspired when surrounded by such amazing people, and I’ve started thinking about participating in an Olympic triathlon in the next year or so.
If you’d like to challenge yourself to the most demanding and rewarding event, visit http://rev3tri.com/
Or visit their Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/revolution3.triathlon
Posted on July 29, 2013
Last week was the annual Brodyn’s Friends Golfing for a Cure at Rosemont Country Club in Akron, Ohio. Brodyn, as you may remember from this previous blog post, is a wonderful boy that was born with Non Ketotic Hyperglycinemia (NKH), a disease that thus far doesn’t have a cure, but is being researched by some of the top minds in the medical community.
To raise funds for further research into a cure for NKH, Brodyn’s parents founded Brodyn’s Friends, a nonprofit organization dedicated to raising awareness of NKH and raising funds to help find a cure for it. The biggest fundraiser of the year is the annual Golfing for a Cure, which was held at Rosemont Country Club in Fairlawn, OH.
With the weather being seasonably hot, golfers began to arrive in the morning and were greeted by smiling faces and fresh coffee and bagels.. Many of them decided to use the driving range and practice green to knock some rust off of their swings and putts, while others milled about and read the information provided or chatted with event organizers and fellow golfers.
Around noon, the opening speeches were made, welcoming the golfers to the fundraiser and thanking them for attending. Northwestern Mutual donated a check of $10,000 to Brodyn’s Friends, recognizing their ongoing and tireless efforts to help people whose lives are affected by NKH.
At 1:00 the event began with a shotgun start, which means that every hole has golfers starting on it, rather than waiting for everybody st start off at the 1st hole. This helps the event move along smoothly rather than bottle-necking at the beginning. As the temperatures rose into the low 90’s, golfers kept cool with complimentary beverages and enjoyed themselves with a boxed lunch and complimentary cigars. Rosemont has plenty of large, mature trees surrounding it’s course so there was plenty of shade to help everybody stay refreshed.
At the close of the golf event was a wonderful buffet set out by Rosemont’s hospitality crew. Entertainment was provided by Joseph Whitehead and his guitar and a silent auction began. Items ranging from high-end liquors to baseball tickets to jewelry were up for bid with all proceeds going to Brodyn’s Friends.
To learn more about NKH and Brodyn’s Friends, visit www.BrodynsFriends.com.
Posted on July 17, 2013
Not many people have arranged for surprise wedding photos, but Dennis is a smart man. He and his long time fiance Esther have been together nearly 30 years, and the recently decided to legally tie the knot.
They decided to have the ceremony at the Justice of the Peace with only a few guests present. As far as Esther knew, they would get dressed up, say their vows, and have a nice dinner out afterward. Dennis, however, had other plans. He had contacted me a week and a half in advance to talk about photographing them after the ceremony at a local park and surprise his new bride Esther. It had been a couple of decades since they had professional photos taken of them, and he knew she would be thrilled to have new ones taken, especially on their long-awaited wedding day. Dennis scouted local parks and found a beautiful one in Cleveland that has a lake, walking trail, gazebo, and lots of beautiful trees. We arranged a time for the photo session, giving them plenty of time to drive to the park for a “Walk around the lake” with his new bride.
Because I had never been to the park, I got there about 40 minutes before our meeting time to scout potential locations to shoot photos at. With the beautiful arched bridges and beautiful forest surrounding the area, that wasn’t hard to do. I selected one remotely-triggered speed light with an umbrella and a stand to use as off-camera lighting and my favorite on-camera flash and lenses and waited for the happy couple to show up.
It didn’t take Esther long to understand what Dennis had arranged. Not only had he surprised her with a wedding day photo session, but he also surprised her with a beautiful bouquet and flowers for his lapel. She was thrilled and stunned to learn that Dennis had went to such lengths to set the surprise up so perfectly. They only had an hour to stay because of a dinner reservation so we had to get working immediately. We worked our way from location to location with efficiency, so as to allow us to get the maximum number of photos possible taken while not rushing anything. Having my gear set up and ready to go helped speed things along, and Dennis and Esther were wonderful subjects to photograph.
The love between the newly-married couple is so easy to see in these photos. One of the poses we made sure to capture recreates the pose in Esther’s favorite photo of them taken nearly 30 years ago. It is always so sweet to see a couple so obviously in love with each other and Dennis and Esther were radiant with affection.
Posted on July 10, 2013
This past Saturday I photographed a gorgeous wedding reception in Canton, OH at the Quarry Golf and Country Club in Canton, OH. The beautiful newlywed couple had chosen to get married in Panama City, FL. because they’ve always vacationed there and they brought the beach theme with them into the lovely reception I had the honor of photographing.
Looking at the wedding cake, you can see the hand-made starfish on the side and the blue “water” flowing down the cake. At the base is Sugar In The Raw which looks like sand and delicious chocolate seashells scattered around the base. The cake topper was, of course, beach-themed with a casual look. All of the guests were treated to goodie bags filled with sugar “sand” and chocolate seashells. For the meal, we had the luxury of eating the best shrimp in my memory with a pina colada dipping sauce on the side.
At the entrance to the country club is a magnificent waterfall and pond that made for ideal bridal party portraits. Terry, the lead photographer, placed them around the setting and shot photos using the prime angles, while I shot mostly off-center, candid angles. The grass around the stones was too wet to allow the ladies to comfortably stand in it with their 4″ heels, so they were positioned to stand on the large, flat stones, while the guys were arranged on the grass and surrounding rocks. The sky did a huge favor for us and passed a large cloud directly across the sun for the duration of our shoot at the waterfall, which allowed for even lighting and let the bridal party to avoid the need to squint. We then went back to the clubhouse we continued the bridal party photos, using the lake and surrounding landscaping as gorgeous backdrops.
During the reception, I used the building’s walls, pillars, and ceiling as surfaces to bounce our flashes off of, which make the photos have more even light on my subjects. Because I am able to avoid shooting the flash directly at my subjects the light isn’t harsh, like most flash photography, but instead is soft and even which makes for much more appealing photographs. In some photos I used a higher ISO and slower shutter speed combined with the flash to let the ambient light from the reception show, but still making my subject stand out. The evening finished up with a gorgeous sunset, and we had the bride and groom stand outside on a small knoll and used my flash as fill light to illuminate them while still capturing the sky.
All said and done, it was a really nice evening for everybody involved. They had the video of their wedding on the beach playing during their photos so their guests could see the ceremony. The DJ from Beach Boyz Entertainment was a real professional and moved the evening along with efficiency and fun (I wish they were all as good as him). There was dancing and laughter well into the early morning. May the happy couple find a lifetime of joy and love together!