Monday, April 30, 2012


My birthday was this month (thank you all for the kind birthday wishes) and as many of you know, Phyllis booked three nights at the Hyatt in Key West, Florida as a gift. Key West is about a six hour drive from our home and it's a place that I have grown to love!   When you are there, you are closer to Cuba (90 miles) than the nearest Walmart. That in itself would be a good enough reason to love Key West but I also love the vibe there. It's a cool, fun, relaxing and exciting place. 

All that is wrapped up in a wonderful natural light that makes photography a joy.  It can get warm there, into the 90s, but the few times we have visited there is usually a cool breeze that helps relieve the heat! You have some great restaurants and some tourist traps. You have Conch, it is the capitol of Conch! What is conch? It is a large snail that houses in a even larger shell. In Key West you can eat; conch fritters, conch chowder, conch steaks, conch chips.. ect ect !! You can find them in restaurants all over Florida but the Keys are known to have the best!

We really had a great time and cannot wait to go back soon, real soon, really soon (Phyllis reads my blog and I thought I would drop a hint lol). 

We spent the trip with Phyllis' childhood friend, Evie and her husband, Billy a really wonderful couple who were fun to be with !! The first day we arrived about an hour before them and after putting our luggage in our room, we took a walk outside to check out the hotel and its grounds! We walked over the the hotel's pier and a charter fishing boat had just docked. It looked like a good day, they had plenty of snapper (a great eating fish) and a few mahi mahi.

There were many seagulls and a pelican flying around diving for the fish waste that the fishermen would throw into the water as they  cleaned the fish.

As we were watching the action another hungry guest arrived, a good size shark. This pelican was trying to feast on a rather large piece of the fish carcass when he decided that the shark wanted something to eat, the fish or it!! He decided to leave the carcass to the shark!! All in all, a wise choice!!

After Evie and Bill arrived we decided to walk into town and check it out and eventually made our way to Mallory Square, the central place for all things fun: restaurants, bars, street entertainers and some of the best sunsets I have ever seen!!
We found a good Cuban restaurant in the square and had a very good dish of shrimp, scallops and lobster meat. We then started our walk on the boardwalk in Mallory Square. It was already crowded with people enjoying the great night environment, street entertainers and a few of their favorite beverages of choice!!

I wrote a blog post last year on the street entertainers and some of the same performers were there this year in addition to a few new ones!

Soon it was time to find a spot for the sunset and the four of us settled into our own spots ready for the show! In the past we have seen some wonderful sunsets in Mallory Square and we were hoping for the same tonight. We were not disappointed!!

As the sun started its decent, the sky started warming up and the different boats that dot the waters off the square started to show the warm colors on their masts.

As you might imagine, with these wonderfully warm sunsets some people's feelings also start to get warm! It is a romantic place!!! Obviously, this gentleman didn't want to be left behind !!

I would guess that most photographers love sunsets and sunrises. These beautifully warm glowing colors change sometimes a little sometimes a lot. The saturation grows stronger and stronger as the light leaves the air (increased by the perspective of a long lens).

As the sun sets, a flock of seagulls started flying around in front of me. It became a game for me trying to compose on the fly, sorry I couldn't resist the pun!!

Just as quickly as they appeared they disappeared and as one more gull made its pass, I pressed down on the shutter and hoped I had captured what I thought I saw in my viewfinder. If I did, I was hoping the gull was sharp in the image.

When I downloaded the card to my Mac, this is what I had !! I love this image, I really do lol. When I see one of my images like this one, I get the feeling you get when you hit the game winning homer, shot, drive or goal all in one!

When I saw this next image in my computer I was surprised I didn't remember shooting it !! I'm glad I did!

After the sunset I looked down and saw this gull sitting on the pier right in front of me.  I think we bonded. I wished I could have shook his claw and thanked him. Instead I just smiled at this gull sitting there looking like he was asking, " Are we through?"  I think Jonathan Livingston Seagull might have retired in Florida!! Looks good for his age doesn't he??

Monday, April 23, 2012


The third style in this series is the 'artistic style'. This, as the name implies, is led by each photographer's individualism. The style can include stylish angles, selective coloring, creative lighting, post processing techniques and various others techniques. Depending on the photographer, it may lean to a more candid style of photographing the wedding or there may be great deal of intervention as the photographers 'set-up' the shot! This style may produce some striking images but in my opinion, it can lead to an out of date looking wedding album. When in just a few years, these 'new at the moment' techniques become over used and fall out of favor for new looks!! 

For a few years images that were crooked were the rage, not so anymore! As I have written before, this is the reason we prefer a hybrid style: taking a little of each style to produce what we feel are beautiful memories for the bride and groom that will still be welcomed viewing thirty or forty years later.

Here are some examples of our images using the artistic style:

Friday, April 13, 2012


In the second in our series of wedding photographers styles we will be discussing the 'traditional approach'. This style is also known as 'formal photography' or 'portraiture' and refers to posed pictures of the wedding party and the couple's families.  These are the shots of the bridesmaids with their bouquets, the groom with his parents and the happy bride and groom looking into each others eyes or staring off as if into their future!

The plus side of this style is that you end up with some great professional images of your family and loved ones. You probably don't want to rely too heavily on formal portraiture however, or you will miss out on the energy, passion and raw emotion surrounding your wedding. Most couples want to make sure to include some photojournalistic photography in their wedding albums alongside the formal photos.

As I have stated before we tend to mix all of these three styles.  We also try and create a hybrid of them, taking the formal and adding a little twist to them. We will always make sure to take the traditional pose but then maybe play with it. This is all depends on the photographer 'reading' the couple. We try and know what our couple's personalities are like and work from that perspective out!

Here are some examples of traditional photography plus some of our hybrid style:


 The next few are the hybrid images: a mixture of formals adding    
 a little whimsy.