Archive for September, 2009

National Charity Awards

One of my recent mainstays has become shooting corporate events, which is great since they’re generally a lot of fun to work, and my clients are always good people that I have no problem going the extra mile for.

I think one of the reasons that I have been flourishing with my event coverage is due in part to my ‘hands off approach’ with my clients. Just like weddings, I know that they have a lot going on and the last thing I want is to be another problem for them.

During the planning stages I ask three questions; what are theirexpectations, what shots are they specifically looking for, and where do they intend to post the images. These three questions usually give me a pretty good idea of what the client will want out of me and I can take it from there.

The images in this post are from the National Charity Awards, which are held every yearto celebrate the outstanding contributions of individuals and organizations that make this world a better place. Pictured above is National Charity Awards honoree and former governor Mike Huckabee, who is an incredibly nice guy and very easy to work with.

A great grab from that night that resulted from good timing.

The former champ, Smokin’ Joe Frazier was also on hand toreceivea lifetime achievement award.

Another cool celebrity I had the chance to shoot and talk with was the legendary Pat Boone. I of course complimented his 1997 release ofI’m In A Metal Mood: No More Mr. Nice Guy.

I have a couple more events that I am looking forward to posting and please look my way if you have an upcoming function that you would like captured!

Security Forces

Standing fast, SSgt Matthew Chase is vigilant as he guards an imposing top secretfacility…or at least that’s what I would have thought with my first glance at this photo. In reality, we’re on the Andrews AFB flight line just before 6 pm on a Saturday after drill!

Being a Reservist gives me access to some awesome people and amazing backdrops, which I’m very fortunate to have at my disposal. SSgt Chase and SrA Ryan Mathsen (below) are great troops who agreed to stick around with me for a couple of hours after we finished our work day to do this shoot. I’m incrediblygratefulto them for donating their time and going the extra mile to acquire weapons.

For this shoot I brought out my two Alien Bees 1600WS strobes and attached them to my new Vagabond II battery pack. I went”bare bulb” with the flash heads since there was a slight crosswind coming off of the runway, and I still don’t have sand bags yet.

The first light in this photo is positioned camera right and about 50 degrees off axis to created that dramatic shadow on SSgt Chase’s face. The second light is positioned far off camera left to kiss the underside of the KC-135, but still with enough fill light to keep thescenemoody. I underexposed the frame by -2 stops to create a dark and dramatic feel. I also did just a hair of retouching in Photoshop todesaturatethe colors and throw some blue into the frame.

In the second shot, I wanted to create a tight portrait frame with the jet in the background and the subject closer to the camera, but I knew this was going to be tricky…and it was. The positioning took a couple of tries and I went through a number of different exposure levels until I came to around -1 1/3 stops. I picked a point off in the distance for SrA Mathsen to stare at intently, and then positioned my first light around 30 degrees off the camera’s axis to capture the detail of his uniform and gear. I moved the second light closer to the jet to create a hot spot forseparationbetween the background and foreground, which in part made the light fall off a lot faster on the jet.

I HAD toincorporatethe other two weapons they brought along for the last shot… the M-249 and a sweet shotgun! This shot was initially tough to frame because I wanted to include the building, plane, and troops. I switched from my CZ 16-80mm to my Tamron 70-200mm to compress the frame and get all those different elements in there nice and tight. I positioned my two lights just off to their right since the strobes had to be further away to keep out of the shot.

I want to send a BIG THANKS out to SSgt Matthew Chase and SrA Ryan Mathsen for being killer subjects. In the next 5-10 years, I hope that I can shoot this type of ‘military photography’ full time as a freelancer and they’ve helped me immensely to get one step closer to that goal!

Carlos and Elizabeth Kase Wedding

For once, I’m going to keep my words real short and sweet since I just talked about how cool Carlos and Liz are in a recent blog post about theirrehearsaldinner. Plus, I think that these pictures speak well enough for themselves!

I had to kick off this blog with the image above; these four young women are Liz’s nieces who are lining up for one of the first shots of the day. The young lady on the end wasn’t quite sure what she should be doing, hence that priceless expression on her face.

In keeping pace with the rehearsal dinner, Carlos kept things real casual with an ascot and a set of vintage Ray-Bans.

Liz’s hotel overlooked the North Shore of Long Island and wouldn’t you know it… the weather was absolutelygorgeous that day!

I tell you, you leave kids alone and they’ll go out and make the pictures for you.

Everyone looked the part!

Our Lady of Ostrabrama in Cutchogue, NY.

Depending on the group, Igenerallyholler “get crazy” after the formal group shots are done…certainly no shortage of personalities in this crowd!

Bedell Cellars rolled out the red carpet for Carlos and Liz.

The first thing that stood out to me at Bedell was this AWESOME Ford truck parked just at the edge of the parking lot and I immediately knew that I had to pose Carlos and Liz in front of it.

After a great ceremony and reception, Carlos and Liz threw the party of the century! I don’t think I have ever seen so many guests on their feet the for the entire night! If you couldn’t tell from the pictures, Carlos and Liz are very rock and roll and even made a few cameos on the mic and guitar.

I want to send a BIG THANK YOU out to Carlos and Liz for inviting me along!

And if you have the time, you can check out the rest of their photos here.