Katie + Bobby

The first wedding of the new season is always exhilarating and a little bit challenging. I have to get back in the wedding rhythm after having the winter to focus on other projects. However, the initial delay quickly gives way as muscle memory kicks in.

Katie and Bobby’s wedding was a great way to set the year in motion. The energy of the day was electric from start to finish. Not only was it the first warm spring day, but the wedding party and guests defined the event. From the moment everyone started to get together, it was nonstop chatter and laughter. It was heart-warming to see Katie and Bobby share their special day with so many excited loved ones. It was an honor to be a part of this close-knit family.

With a wedding under my belt and my camera all warmed up, I’m ready for the season! It’s going to be a good one.

 
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Light

I’m going to start off by avoiding my usual poetic language about light (that’s what my instagram is for.) Light matters, it’s true. It informs photography to the core. Images wouldn’t be possible without it. And because of all this, it’s so easily taken for granted. It’s easy to shoot in any light because the technology is so good these days. I can drop highlights all day in Lightroom hiding the fact that the background is completely blown out. But that doesn’t mean I should just let the computers do the work. 

It's so important to take time, finding the right light changes an image for the better. I continue to use light to be more than the exposure. Framing, reflecting, and backlighting amongst other ways to capturing the light as it fills the spaces I place my subjects in. I’ve said this before but being in the city, find myself surrounded by harsh shadows and contrasting lines. I’m constantly chasing the shadows and window of light that fill this urban landscape. It continues to be one of my favorite ways to compose a portrait. Discovering the balance between shadows and light and what distinguishes the figure amongst those elements. 

Here are a few of my favorites from a quick shoot with Ramsel and Jeeyoon a few weekends ago. Thanks for your willingness to go along with the flow and stare into the blinding light.

 
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Environment

Environment, it matters – plain and simple. And even though it’s rarely the focus of the photograph, especially portraits, a poor environment can make an excellent image subpar at best and a distraction at worst. We’ve all seen images with trees unintentionally popping out of people’s heads or selfies from strangers jumping into the frame. 

It definitely took me awhile to embrace the environment of my subjects. Practice early on as a photographer allowed me to make sure that the environment wasn’t a distraction but what if the surrounding could add and impact my subjects for the better? Over time I’ve learned that embracing my surroundings can bring images to the next level and deserves the same kind of care and planning that other aspects of the shoot do. 

And yes that might require walking into some strange places to scout, laying on the dirty ground or getting kicked out of space I wasn’t probably supposed to be in the first place. All the weird angles and odd body contortions I make to get the shot, not to mention the people passing by that will simple stare or worse pull out their phones and take shots of me taking shots of your subject. It’s all worth it to complete the shot, to bring the full vision into reality.

With the sun, mirrors and endless sky, Fabio and I made awesome images. Boston and beyond.

 
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Expectation

So begins my usual rant about the how scary/terrifying/awesome it is to shoot and develop a roll of film. And all of these emotions are very real during this process and not an exaggeration at all (for the most part). I definitely am sitting around for days waiting anxiously for the roll to be developed hoping that I didn’t mess something up. So what causes this storm of emotions besides the usual feelings of working on something without knowing the full outcome. 

I think the anxiety comes from expectation. I expect the images to all turn out. I expect the images to look like they do on Instagram. I am so tempted at the end of the film process to color correct the images because I don’t trust the process to create something beautiful, to not let the film be imperfect, to not meet my expectations. But this need for control can lead to a lot of disappointment because sometimes it is out of my reach. And often the lack of control is a good thing, because I am pleasantly surprised with the results. What if I didn’t have expectations? Not that I didn’t work with goals in mind or with a set processes, but that I am content with the work that is produced, flaws and all. This is something I want to be better at, leaving expectations at the door and letting the process inform the creative work.

Enjoy these lovely film images shot on Kodak Ultramax. Naomi was a lovely model as we explored the Brooklyn Botanical Garden, a place I hope to return to soon.

 
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Community

I'm going to be honest and say that the thought of being social with a group of photographers on a cold windy day was not how I wanted to spend my last Saturday. But as usual, I didn't regret the time spent with other creators at all. It's usually fun to work alone, taking the time to try out my own ideas uninterrupted. But that's not a good attitude to have at all. There is always something extra special that occurs during collaboration. These magical moments of creativity come from different perspectives and visions colliding into something beautiful and new. These organic creations couldn't and wouldn't have occurred any other way. I'm very grateful to the creative community here in Boston to continues to engage and inspire.

 

 
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