Beth had the honour of being asked to accompany fellow Hope College alumni for the Sakiko Kanamori '63 Memorial Gala Alumni Concert back in the fall. It meant juggling our schedules. It meant hours of practice and doubt and frustration for her. It meant she had the opportunity to play on the stage of the beautiful new Concert Hall of the Jack H. Miller Center for Musical Arts. And, for the purpose of this little blog post, it meant that she needed a new headshot to be fit in somewhere around our crazy schedule. Well, one night, after we got our brood to bed, I set up a few lights, cleaned the piles off of the piano, and we took a few minutes to capture a few frames, some of which you see here.
My wife and I wanted to get away for a weekend. Beth was also interested in looking into competing in another triathlon. The stars aligned when we found that the Old Forge Triathlon was the weekend following our anniversary. This woman's dedication has me in awe. She gets up before five to meet other crazy and inspirational ladies for headlamp assisted runs and track workouts. She pores over methods and techniques. She reads up on how to take care of her body whilst simultaneously pushing it to places it has never been. It was so fun to watch her on the morning of the triathlon; she was all butterflies and determination. I captured some frames and cheered her on, and was so proud for her for what she achieved. Here are a few of the moments.
A family portrait is scheduled. During the consultation it is decided that a nice setting in the family's backyard would be where it would take place. The weather forecast tells me that we will be fine. The rain won't come until later. On my way to the house, the skies open and remind me that there are things outside of my control. When I arrive, I take a quick look around and ask if the family would be all right with just a few frames captured on the front porch, just for fun. We will reschedule another session later in the summer, but since we were all here, let's see what we can get. These fun frames were captured on said front porch, as the rain tried to blow in on us.
Racing the light, we had nearly fifteen minutes to capture personalities in a surrounding of lush greens. These two were naturals who made my job effortless. I think they enjoyed the energy of the rushed pace.
This was a first for me: a wedding without a bride. I went in curious as to how different it would make the day. To be honest, it was different logistically, but identical in feeling. Joy overflowed every moment. Through the lens for the whole evening, I would see love in the eyes of Ben and Brian. Having also captured the wedding of Ben's sister, I knew this was a family who would dance, and they did not disappoint. The energy and ebullient fun stayed strong through the last song played.
I usually don't capture senior portraits before the school year ends, because I want the subject to truly be a senior. Well, this was the exception that broke the rule: a senior portrait taken in May of senior year. Michael was content with the school-supplied portrait for the yearbook, but as the year came to a close, his parents realized that they wanted something more. Michael was game, and in the end, I think he had a great time changing outfits, personas, and locations to capture different sides of his personality. It helped that his faithful compatriot was with him the whole time, even getting in on the action for a picture or two.
I love new babies. Squishy faces, tiny fingers and toes...they're just perfect. So when Daniel went to photograph Theo, I was a little envious knowing he'd probably get a chance to hold him, which he did. Theo was pretty cooperative during the shoot, and big brother Marshall got a chance to participate as well.
What better way to spend Valentine's Day than on the frozen beach of Lake Ontario, wading up to your knees in slushy lake water?
Yeah, I can think of other activities, too. But this annual event benefits Special Olympics, so the frostbite on your toes is for a good cause. Our 12-year-old son Connor didn't enter the water this year, as temperatures were significantly colder than last year (though experienced plungers like my brother-in-law Stephen swear that colder air temperatures make the lake feel warmer), but he still raised money with his school's team that featured Principal David Dunn as one of its members. Check that item off your bucket list, Mr. Dunn!
OK, so that's kind of a lie. They had already been married for two weeks when these photos were taken.
We offer several wedding photography packages, and two of them include an engagement portrait session. Charlsey and J.T. decided to use their session for their wedding thank-you cards, hence the post-wedding photos. And this way, their dog Dexter could be a part of the action.
Combine a 1950's vibe with a 90s hip-hop playlist, and you get a delightfully quirky wedding ceremony. Lots of personal touches - toasting the newlyweds with Maker's Mark, an assortment of wedding pies instead of cake, a medley of show tunes sung by two members of the wedding party, and a reference to "Jurassic Park" during the ceremony. The bride and groom were also really excited that it snowed on their wedding day. Ah, Rochester...
It was a busy weekend filled with music lessons and ensembles, church gatherings, rehearsals, meal preparation, homework, and the usual daily chores. I ate a bowl of popcorn for dinner at 9:30pm and got ready for bed. Daniel, however, headed out to Mount Morris to photograph this:
I'm sure he could spout off about apertures and camera settings and all of the technical stuff that flies over my head no matter how many times he tries to explain it to me. But when you're looking at a moon like this, none of that stuff really matters.
Here's a few more.
No cajoling was necessary to get the two of them to pose that way.
I head across states and a province, arriving in Grand Rapids, Michigan to capture the joyous nuptials of Keely and Michael. A do-it-yourself ethos flows from every corner of this event. From the guestbook to the centerpieces, from the copper bouquet holders and metal boutonnières to the groomsmen's cufflinks, all have been made by the bride and groom.
Starting with the rehearsal I embed myself as a part of the entourage, capturing as many moments as I can; the laughs, the confusion, the utter joy.
With the big day upon us, my lens and I arrive in time to witness the setup of the gorgeous space at The Downtown Market in Grand Rapids. A flurry of activity is spread across several rooms. Makeup. Hair. Centerpieces. And yet even with all of this bustling energy, there is a calm excitement to everyone's demeanour.
The ceremony is simple, short, and lovely.
Having scoped out the locations the previous day, I quickly place the wedding party into their spots for the formal portraits. It helps that this group likes to joke with one another, so smiles are genuine, and they respond well to my direction.
The reception features wonderful food, heartfelt toasts, more laughter, and dancing.
I follow the core group to the after party at bars around town.
I pose for a picture with the last remaining, and bid them adieu, as they continue on to the after-after party.
It was a cool July evening, with near perfect weather and gorgeous late evening sunlight. Daniel photographed Emily at Corbett's Glen, a secluded park tucked away in Brighton. Emily was a delight to work with, and her mom was a terrific studio assistant, too.
Let it be known that Daniel did not have to work terribly hard to convince Emily that she should wade into the creek.
Kathleen is a writer and musician, and was looking for some headshots for an upcoming publication. These photos were taken at her home during the evening hours in early April. I love the outdoor shots, but I especially love the photograph of her perched near her bookshelf, which if you look closely, you'll see several children's book titles (and maybe a VHS tape or two).
Last week Daniel had the opportunity to photograph three found art sculptures created by local artist Bruce Day. The works are being submitted for the 65th Rochester-Finger Lakes Exhibition, held annually in July at the Memorial Art Gallery. Daniel worked with Bruce to capture the best angles of the sculptures and highlighted some of the intricate details in each piece.
All of the images - "Sounds of Summer," "Time After Time," and "The Bike" - were taken against a slate gray seamless backdrop using speed lights, and shot through a diffusing screen.
To visit Art By Day on Facebook, click here.
For more information about the Rochester-Finger Lakes Exhibition, click here.
I've always loved making cards. It's something that hearkens back to childhood, when I used to fold a sheet of construction paper in half, write "I LOVE YOU MOMMY" or whatever, and proudly hand it over to the recipient. I have my kids make their own cards most of the time, because let's be honest - it's nice to receive something that was made especially for you.
A few weeks ago, I was brainstorming about other items to sell in our Etsy shop, because while it's nice to sell art, there's not a HUGE turnover when it comes to art prints. We had some smaller art prints lying around, and suddenly something clicked. Photos. Cards. Greeting cards. Handmade cards. Handmade photo cards. I could do this!
I have had so much fun playing around with different styles - there's such an endless variety of papers, card sizes and shapes, etc., and what works with one style of photography may not work for everything. We have lots of decisions to make in the future, but we are pretty pleased with our first sets of corrugated kraft paper photo cards. Head on over to our Etsy shop and take a look!
At first, Frederick wasn't feeling it.
I don't think people realize how many pictures you have to take of a baby in order to get maybe one or two really good ones. Frederick can smile, but he isn't going to smile unless he damn well feels like it, which is usually right after a nap, a diaper change, some milk, and a burp (in that order). Then, and only then, he'll gift you with the most dazzling smiles you can possibly imagine, his eyes brightly gazing into yours, cooing sounds emitting from his mouth, and for about three minutes, everything is perfect in the world.
Per my suggestion, this was also a spontaneous shoot, as he had woken up from his nap in a particularly nice mood, so I grabbed a pair of overalls, stripped him of his uniform sleeper (fourth kid, sorry, buddy), and that's when the trouble began. Fortunately we got him to cooperate somewhat on the floor, and after a bit, we even managed to prop him up in the tiny armchair. And that was where we got the magic, in the last image below.
Frederick is about 3 1/2 months in these pictures (again, fourth-kid syndrome means we never know EXACTLY how old he is at any given moment in time).
Spontaneity! That's what kids are known for, right? Well, Daniel whipped out his camera on Thursday afternoon, after Eleanor's nap and snack (if you look closely you can still see the goldfish cracker dust on her mouth) to capture a few photos. Leaving one's expensive lighting equipment out for days can be problematic when you have a small house and kids, and he really wanted to photograph all four kids in succession that week. Hence the hoodie and Superman t-shirt too, because time was of the essence, and we had company coming for dinner. Nobody asked me for a wardrobe consultation, because...well, she could be wearing a paper bag and still be THIS CUTE. The joys of being two.