• Kristy & Dave's Wedding

    Continuing on from my last post about Florida, the whole reason I was down in Jacksonville was for Kristy & Dave's wedding.

    So, I'll give you a bit of the back story to all this. Not only was I asked to attend, but also to be a part of the wedding. Uh oh. Fortunately, the dresses Kristy picked out for us were beautiful and everything was peachy. Until I found out I would have to be an usherette. Let's just say I spend a lot more time photographing weddings (well, not so much anymore) than I do partaking in them, which meant I had absolutely no idea what that meant.

    I found out later this meant actually interacting with people and seating them. So pulling up my figurative cowboy boots, in the world of weddings, you could say this was my first rodeo. Boy, was I not cut out for this. My former shy, 8th grade self emerged and I completely forgot which side the bride's family sat on for starters. The other usher was of no use at this point (I'm looking at you, Krisjon) as we both went down in history as the worst pair of greeters and seaters ever. 

    Fortunately, I was able to distract myself by grabbing my camera whenever possible. You'll have to bear with me here, I haven't shot a wedding in over two years. As things came back bit by bit, I found myself focusing on the emotional part of the wedding. Of course, this was a lot easier when I wasn't the hired photographer and worried about the set shots. So what I did get to see were my second cousin's nerves as they were lacing up her dress to David's genuine expression seeing her walking down the aisle towards him. It reminded me of why I used to love to shoot weddings, so here's to hoping I can get back into it this year. 

    Oh, if you guys only knew how incredible this woman is.

    Love you both and thank you again for letting me be a part of the wedding! Not only did I get to grow closer to one side of my family, but I met a lot of cool people along the way. Congrats guys!

  • Jacksonville, Florida

    Last weeked was some of the best couple of days I've had in awhile. Shivering in long term parking at JFK, I immediately regretted my decision to wear sandals in preparation for warmer weather. The airport was another monster entirely- everyone was unhappy and no one seemed to want to direct you to the right line. Finally, after a quick three hour plane ride, Florida was in sight. Cue slight breeze and sun at your back, we made it. I never really pick up my camera and explore anymore, so this long weekend was a great opportunity for just that.

    My mother's cousin lived in a beautiful gated community which provided me with a new obsession: Spanish moss. Oh, how I would move down South just to be surrounded by these beauties (okay, slight exaggeration, but it was incredible to see). 

    This place was incredible though, here are some of my favorite houses in the massive community.

    Of course I had to channel what a lot of my friends from Hallmark and I call our "inner Michael Zide" and grab some moody nature images. If you're reading this Zide, I hope you're at least a little proud. 

    Now what Florida trip would this be if we didn't go to the ocean? Of course it was overcast every day we spent there, but that didn't stop us from at least exploring the beach on the hunt for shark teeth. 

    Well, that's it for now! I'll be posting some images I took during the wedding, so until then! 


  • Leon @ MC2

    Whenever I get the chance to, I love to shoot in New York and Brooklyn. Despite lugging all my gear on Metro North, two subways, and up three flights of stairs, it always makes for the best days. Recently I had the chance of photographing Leon from MC2 Model Management. 

    This had to be one of the most laid-back shoots I've had to date. Everything (well, for the most part) ran smooth and Leon was game for some rooftop images despite the wind. 

    I've also learned from a few other photographers I've had the chance of assisting some of the struggles when shooting in cramped areas. I think the biggest lesson I have learned is how to assess, make adjustments, and just compromise. Let's just say you never know what may work as a backdrop.. 

  • Sounds of Silence

    As my 52 Weeks project has spanned out (which you can follow over on Flickr as well as Facebook), I've gone back and forth between conceptual portraiture and images that I just find plain beautiful. This week is no exception, after photographing a friend of mine (she's a photographer too) I found some of the images way too striking not to include in my project. 

    So I present to you, Week 10 - Sounds of Silence

    Any time I listen to that song now I picture a snowy day in Brooklyn where friend of mine sang this to no one in particular as we walked to the subway. He was absolutely dumbfounded I'd never listened to it before and I now understand his sentiment. The song came to me at just the right time. 

    I adored the painterly look these images seemed to have. I've started experimenting with continuous lighting and this is also one of my favorites from it. It also helps that Katie was freaking great, this quickly turned into a several hour long session as I got more excited with the outcome. 

    Sometimes when I start to get frustrated with various elements of a shoot, I go back to Phase One at Hallmark and throw the camera into black & white to eliminate a majority of distractions. I've found it helps an incredible amount with honing everything in to just focus on light and posing. As I was looking through them after, I found I really enjoyed this particular image as a monochromatic, so there you have it. 

  • 2013 In A Nutshell

    I don't know about you, but nothing seemed to go my way in 2013. I was so ready for 2013 to be MY year, afterall, 13 is my lucky number. Oh how wrong I was there. I can say I have never experienced a more emotionally draining year to be honest. I learned there are several types of pain, aside from the physical kind. Anything that could of gone wrong did. For the first time in my life, I started off the year reduced to an insecure, doubtful, and overall sad person. But, with every dark there is a light. As I gained momentum with my photography, my confidence and passion came back. I let go of those negative emotions and people, taking any sort of lingering feelings of hurt and throwing them into my work. I have, and will always be an emotional artist, deriving many ideas from the current places I am mentally. 

    While I was looking back on this past year, I realized through the emotional highs and lows, I learned quite a few things. So I thought I'd share my Top 13 Realizations of 2013 both personally and photographically: 

    1. You can avoid the past, but you can never completely forget it. At one point or another, it all comes back.

    2. Opportunities do not just roll in when you are sedentary. 

    3. Weekends are not an excuse for putting off that email you've been meaning to respond to.

    4. People will dislike you for a reason that will escape you. But there will always be people that will love you no matter what. 

    5. Gentlemen, aka the ones who will take you out to dinner as well as take the time to make plans with you, do still exist. Just keep searching. 

    6. Learning when to forgive and when to let go is still a very difficult line to determine.

    7. Getting up at 8:30, instead of 9:00, can make a great world of difference mentally. 

    8. You will fall in love several times throughout your life, so that does not mean you need to stick with the one that is more trouble than it's worth. 

    9. Physically, you can push yourself to do things you would of never believed possible at one point. You just have to have the right mindset and creativity to get yourself there. 

    10. Take the time to look the person you're speaking to in the eye. Compliment a stranger on their handmade necklace. Have a conversation with the barista while you're waiting for your receipt. Averted eyes and drink grab do not have the same effect on a person as a simple, "Thank you, Amy".

    11. Jealousy typically never has to do with the other person. 

    12. No matter how exhausted you are, do a lighting test the night before so you don't have to spend the next day swearing quietly behind the backdrop when no one is looking.

    13. If you love someone, speak up. If you miss someone, let them know. Don't assume they've forgotten or simply do not care. Because chances are, they haven't and still do. Life is too short to be filled with what if's. Bottom line, make the call you've been meaning to dial. 

    Although I've seen many people doubt the power of writing a new year onto your next check, I find the idea of a new year to be a new beginning. It can be hard to tell yourself on a Tuesday that you will be a better person. I know it's possible, but sometimes there are mornings where nothing, not even the promise of a new day, can get you to lift yourself out of bed. It can be hard to "seize the day" when you can't seem to get a grasp on your own life. So, instead of making any sort of resolutions, I made myself a promise. That I will utilize every single day for the next year to further myself with my passion. For the past year, my excuses outweighed my actual work. So whether you give yourself a fresh start at the hint of spring, the release of the September issue, or the start of the new year, at least you've realized there is a need for change, I know I certainly need/want/deserve one. 

    This was taken around this time last year. The space of time in between shooting and posting is grand due to the fact I never found it to be good enough. This image, as well as that feeling, carried with me throughout the year. And only just recently did I begin to let go. One of the many steps along the way was finally deciding to release this image.

    I see what needs to be fixed and how I could of made it better. To me it's messy. But so is life. I can spend hours over-analyzing the image as well as my life, or I can choose to let go and learn from it.

    So I'm making today, the last day of the year, to be my day to leave a lot of negative emotions behind. I don't expect it to be smooth sailing from here on out, but I know I won't be hiding under the deck this time around. 2014, tomorrow, the day I realized, or whatever the hell I want to decide to call my moment of decided change, is going to be a good one.