The South Texas Alpha Derby Weekend was a experience like no other. Events spanned the entire weekend starting with the Phirst Friday (All black themed kickoff) party followed by the main event on Saturday Derby race day and after party. Sunday wines the weekend down with a jazz brunch featuring a live jazz band.
Like many photogs out there im looking for opportunity to build on my skills as well as showcase them. I out of town photographer was hired to shoot a wedding in my area and they made a Facebook post looking for a second shooter. This is pretty common tho, I rarely throw my name in the hat with the rest of the horde of people trying to be selected for a gig.
Welp, I just moved to a new city and I thought its time to put myself out there and try new things. I tossed a couple of links to my work in the post and wouldn't you know it...they picked me! The photographer and I shot a few dm's back and fourth and next thing I know im second shooting a wedding in a couple of weeks.
I was tasked with shooting the groom and groomsmen as they traveled from the hotel to the ceremony venue. I have to tell you, shooting in a moving stretched hummer limousine is not easy.
Catholic weddings differ from traditional weddings. A Catholic wedding is first and foremost a liturgy—that is, the public prayer of the whole Church, not just a private ceremony for those present. Cameras and equipment aren't allowed to be placed where they will disturb the liturgy.
The weddings location was Mission Conception. I scouted the location prior to the ceremony so I knew it was dimly lit. Thankfully we were allowed to use on-camera flash. Our movement was heavily restricted I shot from one side of the room and the primary photog had the opposite side. If you find yourself shooting a Catholic wedding be sure to ask someone in charge about the rules, they vary from place to place.
Here are a few images I was able to capture while attending a styled shoot. Id like to thank Lindsay Vaughn for hosting and the various vendors who participated.
Designing: Beyond The I Do
Baker: Three Tiers for Cake
Calligrapher: Sunkissed Scripts
Cookies: Not as Famous Cookies
Place Setting Rentals: The Prissy Plate Company
Wood Sign: Ms. Peach Plus Designs
Silk Ribbon: A Ribbon’s Nest
Bridal Gown: David's Bridal
Tux: Ferrecci & Haggar
Ring: Kay Jewelers
Ring Box: All of You Bridal’s
Bridal Bouquet: Leanne’s Flower House
Antiques: Queen of Hearts Antiques and Interiors
Videography: Cinema Jubilee
Makeup: Lovetta Beauty
Hair: Lorraine Peralta
Last week I was on a group shoot with my fellow photographers where I took this quick shots of Audre. She was one of the many models who showed up to the monthly meet. The shoot was held at Thrasher Park in Norcross, Ga. When attending meets I to talk shop, network, share knowledge, test/practice with new gear and last on the list is to shoot.
I don't know the official headcount for the meet but I do know the previous count was demolished...by a lot. Audre just happened to be one of the models I shot and I liked her pics enough to share.
All pics were taken with the Nikon D810 Sigma 135 and were lit with 2 Evolv200s fired into a 38in Glow Parapop softbox.
This is my third model shoot with my new lighting setup and I have nothing but good things to say about it. My previous shoots help get me up to speed with the functionality of the equipment. I quickly learned the advantages it has vs my old gear. Going into this shoot I knew I wanted it to be different than the others.I wanted it to challenge myself with lighting my subject and make it the best I've ever done.
The shoot location was Tanyard Creek Park. I have never been to this park so trees and grass are all I knew to expect. I did a fair amount of homework on the location as I always do. A fellow photographer told me about the covered bridge and water access.
The day of the shoot I arrived at what I believed was the park. If you've never been to Tanyard Creek the parking setup will have you guessing. I mean you don't want to leave your car and when you return it's booted or even worse towed. Once the parking is situated and meet up with my photographer friends (los tres fotógrafos) and of course meet our model, Jaqueline. I had seen pics of Jaqueline on Facebook so I knew she was gorgeous. After seeing her in person. I knew this was THE opportunity to swing for the fence and do my best or strike out trying. Anyway, the shoot was EPIC. Jaqueline couldn't have been a better model. She took direction well and improvised with posing. During the shoot, I learned that she was a makeup artist and did her own makeup for the shoot. She changed into three outfits, each time they got better. If you're interested in working with Jaqueline or you need a dope makeup artist you can contact her through her Facebook model page or Instagram Links provided below.
I am happy with the final edits and with my growth as a photographer. Thank you Jaqueline for being such an amazing model, we have to do this again. I thank you for taking the time to read this post, I hope you enjoy my work. Please comment, like and share.
Me and a couple of photog friends were scouting models for a weekend shoot. We already confirmed one and were casually looking for a possible second. Mychael reached out and messaged a model who said she was from New Jersey and would be in town over the weekend. She wanted to meet up with local photogs to shoot.
Fast forward to the day of the shoot and everything's going as planned. Shoot #1 is just about over and Mychael shows up with the out of town model. Now after lugging gear around this park and a few outfit changes we are beat! Shaheedah Miles shows up and shows out! She immediately asks for music and begins to move and contort her body from one beautiful pose into the next.
Click the pic to see what I was able to capture. Shaheedah whenever your in town we have to do it again.
After the shoot was over and the dust began to settle...I started to edit my pics. I try to edit pics of the same set similar in tone, saturation, contrast etc. While editing I felt a vibe about these shots.
Fiorella nailed the shoot!
I have never gotten so many consecutive keepers in a shoot. It was hard to narrow it down. I feel like these shots would make a good clothing or eyewear ad..dont you?
CLICK THE PIC TO SEE THE ENTIRE SHOOT
I have to admit I was reluctant to buy the Evolv. Before its release, I'd read and seen a lot of information about it and it was hard to ignore the online buzz. Still, I thought I had no need for it. I have my Xplor for my main light and a few speedlights for backup, I was set.
Fast forward to after its release and like any good piece of gear it exploded online. My facebook groups were overrun with unboxing videos, shoot videos, pics of it in its various forms Evolv/AD200) and of course pics taken with it. It was hard to miss anything surrounding this flash.
I ended up ordering and you can see the results of my first outing with it. I have to say I'm completely happy with the Evolv. If you already own Godox/Flashpoint gear it works with the R2 family perfectly. I had only triggered it from the unit when I got it to ensure it was working properly and fully charged the battery. Using it on this shoot couldn't have been easier. The X32N was used to trigger, again im familiar with Godox/Flashpoint gear so I had zero issues in the field. It was paired it with my Glow 38in Parapop which made it very portable on an old heavy duty Paul C Buff stand. My Xplor600 was in my bag just in case the Evolv wasn't enough but, I never needed it. Another thing worth mentioning is how incredible the battery life is. I shot two models and when I was done the battery was at the halfway point.
A special thanks goes to the model for this shoot Jacqueline Garzone!
While on a group shoot in Norcross, Ga Lillian Webb Park I met this gentleman and his family. They were out for a walk, enjoying the weather. My fellow photog friends were already grabbing shots when I came over. This is my favorite from the set. D700 85m 1.8D ((<-Its for sale)) Flashpoint Xplor 600 W/38in Glow Parapop camera right.
I gave his wife my contact information but, I havent heard from him. If anyone out there knows who he is send him my way. Id like to work with him.
I ventured to my hometown for high school senior portraits this past weekend. My first location was a beautiful sprawling property. I have to say, it would be hard not to get amazing shots here. It had a pond, a pine tree orchard, some of the most beautiful oak trees and a tire swing. Special thanks to both property owners for allowing us to shoot and being so welcoming. And thank you Kimberly and Sharonda for assisting.
I will be posting both shoots soon so check back!
My second location wasn't too far from the first and was just as impressive. The oaks on this property were covered with Spanish moss. My brain was spinning with shoot ideas for this place.
I shot everything with my D800...Its a 36mp picture grabbing BEAST! I'm still happy with it, I haven't even looked at replacing or upgrading to anything else.
I used a few lenses for both shoots. I forced myself to do this because I have a tendency to show love to my favorite...So, 70-200m 2.8vr1, 85m 1.8d and my 50m 1.8afs were deployed for this mission. They all performed well, no complaints.
My flashpoint Xplor 600 was my key light it was paired with the westcott XXL 48in softbox double diffused. I did use a 38in a glow parapop and the extension head for walking shots. It's a bit lighter and was more controllable for my assistant. I also used a flashpoint zoom for hair light. Everything was triggered with the R2 controller. The Xplor performed flawlessly!
Last weekend I had the opportunity to shoot with one of the more than many photography facebook groups I'm in. This group has a mixture of photographers and models with various skill levels. The group meets up once a month at a predetermined location to enjoy the hobby we love and learn from each other.
We decided to meet up at Historic Fourth Ward SkatePark. It's Atlanta's first public skatepark and offers an immense variety serving as our backdrop.
The park has a lot of cool features and the one that stands out to me is its proximity to the Atlanta Beltline. The Beltline is a non-stop happy train of people and pets passing back and forth. Some are out exercising, some are casually walking, I noticed a few out exploring, I even saw a guy with his portable kitchen and sold quick bites to eat. The Beltline sets your senses on fire!
Our group decided to setup under the overpass. The concrete walls there were nicely painted with graffiti. While we were shooting curiosity got the better of some people. Seeing all that camera and lighting gear converged in one spot definitely had something to do with it. I love it when a stranger has questions. This gives me the opportunity to engage with a stranger and explain to them what we are doing and I get to see if I can get them to pose for me. This works quite well. I figure most people who are interested probably want their picture taken anyway. (See above & below)
Our group has no intent to invade the park and pester people for photos. We brought our own models. That's right WE were prepared! Meet Sarah Conklin,_(<- Click to see her Ig) she posed for our group and this is one of the shots I got. Sarah came with a few different looks to choose from and she does makeup. She also brought the prop in this pic! We didn't chat it up much but, we will be working together again. (See Below)
I didnt mention this eariler but when we all first met up. I couldnt help but notice this woman ride her bike into the park. I noticed her hair and tattos, she had a pinup girl look. I mentioned to someone that I would love to shoot her. Fast forward back to our shoot. The same woman parked her bike near where we were shooting. I wasted no time in asking! Vanessa was more than happy to join us. (See Below)
I would like to thank everyone that participated in the shoot. A special thanks goes to those who allowed me to shoot them. I look forward to next months and working with all of you again.
Photographers..We have a knack for capturing moments. Moments can be so memorable that photos aren't needed, they are unforgettable. There are also moments that get skewed by time. In cases such as this, a simple photograph has the ability to jar that skewed memory and bring it back. I wish I would have recognized my love for photography earlier in life. I could have frozen my childhood in time and could revisit it without blurred vision.
The two images are from my hometown Midway, Al. Midway is a small town located in the eastern Bullock county. The town has changed over the years. I wish I could have captured it when I was younger.
One of my pet peeves when shooting at car shows is people getting in the shot. Occasionally having a person candidly placed in the frame with a vehicle adds to the overall shot but, more often than not it's a distraction that takes away from the subject. I understand that it's a car show so the attending crowd will be a mixed bag of spectators, enthusiasts, photographers, kids and even pets. There are a few ways to handle this. You could patiently wait on the crowd to dwindle, If possible early access works well or as a last resort you could always be that guy who speaks loudly asking people to move....dont be that guy.
In the photo above you'll see how I was able to use the magical powers of photoshop to remove the unwanted objects and make the shot usable. I spent a great deal of time cloning to get it right. I have to tell you that I am far from mastering photoshop in fact, I learn something new and become a more proficient user everytime I use it.
If you havent already seen the entire set look here Rauh-Welt Begriff
I've always owned Nikon brand speedlights. I've owned a few sb600s, 800s and I briefly owned a sb900 and for the most part, I never had much to complain about. They worked without issues as long as I shot within their capabilities.
When I decided to sell my lighting setup (Alienbees) I initially planned on keeping my Nikon speedlights. After researching the Flashpoint system and purchasing the Flashpoint Xplor 600 I decided to try the Flashpoint zoom to see how it stacked up. After playing around with it and seeing how easy it worked with its big cousin the Xplor I sold my Nikons and picked up a second.
Here are a few things I like about the Zoom Li-On.
1. The Lithium Ion battery! This is a God send No more charging and keeping track of double a batteries. Flashpoint claims its capable of 650 full power flashes per charge and its recycle times are faster. IMO every brand of speedlight needs this.
2. This is a bit of a combo bonus. Its high speed sync ready. Meaning there's no need for any additional adapters, it will sync to 1/8000 of a second and its capable of being a master to other flashpoint lights via 2.4 GHz. I've tested this, it will trigger a slave from a different room, through walls I event went outside and it triggered through brick.
3. It works as an optical slave. I was able to trigger it via Cls from my Nikon cameras, tho the max sync speed is limited to 320 of a second.
4. Last but not least the price. Adorama sells them new for $179.00. This is a noticeable difference vs brand name gear. The Adorama used section is worthy of a look. They can be found slightly cheaper there.
Now for the things I don't like.
The menu and setups can be a little confusing. One of my lights didn't come with an instruction book and the other one came with the wrong book. After toying around with them I got more familiar. In the pic above you'll notice the color difference in the lcd. The green indicates master mode and the orange represents slave...isn't that cool?
The build quality seems pretty solid. I was initially surprised how sturdy they felt. I won't be doing any drop test with mine so, ill have to update this post if anything happens.
The pros definitely outweigh the cons when it comes to the R2/Flashpoint Zoom. I'm happy with my purchase and if you're looking to join the Flashpoint family I highly recommend them.
Today is my birthday and I must tell you I'm not the celebrating type. I don't need a huge party or to be showered with gifts (unless it's photography related stuff) for me to feel special. I was asked how I'd like to spend my day. I thought about it for a second and then I knew exactly what I wanted to do.
I spent my day taking pics of my little star! She enjoyed running and playing and I enjoyed the magical world of high-speed sync. Here are a few pics from my day.
All shots were taken with my D800 28-70 or 70-200. Lighting: Flashpoint Xplor600.
Atlanta is an interesting place to live when a winter storm has been announced. Schools will be closed, some won't have to work, you'll be warned not to not drive and most important you may want buy meat and bread as soon as possible before the shelves are emptied.
My preparation for Snowpocalypse was different. I charged my batteries and planned on getting out as soon as the sun came up to capture unbothered snow. I hoped to get a shot of either a totally empty interstate or a roadway full of cars abandoned by their owners in order to save their lives. (We can be a little overdramatic when it comes to snow)
The end result was NOTHING like meteorologist predicted at least in my area it wasn't. I woke up to find the ground barely covered. I mean you cant even call it a dusting. Hours later I went outside and I saw a good opportunity for my photo project. I give you Week 2 of 52.
Here she is pic 1 of 52. I will admit after deciding to do this my mind was spinning on what to shoot first! Should I shoot at 1.8 and show big beautiful bokeh? Should I go black & white for a dramatic look? Naaaaa, I was about to sabotage this project before it really begun. I then went and picked up my D700 which I haven't used in months(notice the durrty sensor). I went outside and simply took a shot. I ended up taking 3, my camera was set to bracket shots.
D700 Tamron 17-35 @ 17mm f/13 Manual 3 shots merged.
Should I give this 365 Project ago is the question I asked myself. Before I could answer my mind was already filling with reasons why I shouldn't. My biggest concern is failure due to not having time to shoot. I'm not a full-time photographer so my camera is tucked away during the week.
I did a quick bit of research and found a lot of helpful information on how to start a project, how to remain interested and how to complete it. My advice to anyone thinking about it is to DO IT! Honestly, there's no reason not to. A project like this can ignite creativity and have you seeing things from a new perspective. It also helps you to tell your story. A photo a day for an entire year will give good insite to how 2017 went from start to finish.
My 365 will be informal, I plan on using my slr, my iphone 6s and possibly film. These shots may or may not be edited. I will take and post 1 picture for each week of the year. I'm allowing myself to play catch-up on weekends if necessary.
Now to take that first shot!
The first day of the new year! How can you not be excited? Well, I have to say IM EXCITED! Im excited because like most I have plans.
One of the things on my to-do list was to revamp my website. The problematic WordPress site was too much of a chore to maintain. I wanted to learn WordPress, it just wasn't happening. When I decided to move on Square space & Wix were the front runners. Wix offered lots of creative flexibility but Square space is a better fit. I was able to quickly begin my setup and before you know it I was creating pages and adding content with the trial setup. After a few days of playing around I upgraded my account and finally redirected my domain here, which was super easy with the Sqspace tutorial. I continuing my learning SqSpace adventures in future post. Please excuse any broken links or lack of content...Im working on it!
Well, thats pretty much it for now. My first blog post complete :) Thank you for taking the time to read and as soon as I figure out how to enable comments I will..Ha!