Saturday, May 31, 2014

Jacob.

Meet Baby Jacob- it was his first official photo session a few days ago and he did awesome! At two weeks old, he slept the whole time and his arms and legs were literally Play-Doh in my hands. Every once in a while he would peak out of one squinted eye lid but quickly fell back asleep. I tried to arouse him enough to get some awake shots but he wasn't having any of it so I let the little guy get his rest.

This is another session where I used nothing but Speedlights and umbrellas (no natural light whatsoever) and I love the consistency of the images. Here are some of my favorite photos of this sweet baby boy:


Thursday, May 29, 2014

A Mexican Paradise on the Mayan Riviera.

My recent vacation to Mexico was freaking awesome!  It was my first time leaving the U.S.A. (Canada doesn't count) and the first stamp in my passport.  From the time I left the airport, I realized something almost immediately- the sun is definitely stronger in Mexico!  The plants are lush, the skies are blue and the water is clear.   Everything is vibrant and colorful from the flowers to the ocean and the birds to the people.  The Mexican culture is alive and everyone is inviting and welcoming.

I stayed at the Dreams Puerto Adventuras which is located on the Mayan Riviera and is an hour away from Cancun.  This all-inclusive resort and spa was very nice and all the staff were pleasant and friendly.  Most spoke good English so ordering a Piña Colada, Mojito or any other fufu drink was super easy.  The all-you-can-eat food was also excellent!  I was nervous about the food since I hear that all-inclusives tend to be the same thing every day.  Not this place!  I had something different, every day, for breakfast, lunch and dinner.  There was even a smoothie stand and coffee shop to change it up if alcohol at 10 am scared you.

The grounds were immaculate and they obviously took great pride in their location by keeping everything clean and manicured.  There were several paths to walk that were lined with flowers and plants that you won't see growing in the Midwest.  They also had several spots to relax at, including a beautiful lagoon off to the side of the hotel, outdoor beds surrounding the ocean front, a large grass-roofed gazebo, tons of grassy umbrellas and hundreds of lounge chairs all around the beach.

My only regret for this destination wedding trip was not being with my family.  I know they would of loved it!  We were unsure about having our busy 3 year-old with us in Mexico but the hotel does a great job catering to the kids.  They had activities planned throughout the day that included horse back riding, potato sack races and movies on the beach.

I tried to capture the essence of this beautiful resort by getting a variety of pics around the hotel.  Here are some in the hot sun...


Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Jay and Ariana's Wedding: Viva Mexico!

I was lucky enough to visit Mexico over the weekend for a friend's wedding celebration. I've known Jay for almost 13 years since our college days at Michigan State University. He's a great friend and awesome human being. He met Ariana at a fundraiser and their love grew into an amazing relationship that eventually led them to Dreams Puerto Adventuras on the Mayan Riviera. Jay and his beautiful bride, Ariana, were wed on the beach in front of 85 friends and family members.  It was incredible!

The hotel, ceremony, company of friends and the warm sunshine in the clear blue water was absolute perfection and a real soul rejuvenator.  I came back refreshed and with a clear mind.



Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Colt turns 3!

It's crazy to think that I have been photographing this little guy since he was a newborn!  Colt is a grown-up ladies' man and I think he knows it.  My daughter can hardly resist that big smile of his and the way he shares all of his snacks.  In fact, I better start keeping a closer eye on him now before it's too late!


Wednesday, May 21, 2014

My new help.

I'm not one to use assistants during sessions or weddings but I made an exception today.  My awesome 3 year-old daughter came with us to photograph her friend, Colt.  She did lots of important assistant tasks like: Distracted him while standing in front of the camera, blocking my shot.  She gave  me one more thing to carry (her) because the grass was "too wet" to walk through.  She refused to move out of shots because it's much more fun to be difficult than cooperative.  She also rode Colt's coattails for a treat when we bribed him for licorice.  Ahhh... but that beautiful smile and having her by my side- it was all worth it.  I couldn't have asked for a better assistant!

Of course I had to take advantage of her cuteness by snapping a few photos.


My wife took one look at these pictures and said, "Cute but I really need to show you how to put a headband on."

All images taken with the Nikon D600, Nikon 50mm f/1.4G lens and a Nikon 85mm f/1.4G lens.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Brynn.

First off, I want to say that I love these images!  Secondly, I have to admit that I was slightly apprehensive about scheduling a newborn session so late in the day with an older newborn- mostly because I've never done it before. All-in-all, the experience (and session) ended up giving beautiful images of an adorable baby girl and I'm a happy photographer.

For the record, Brynnie the Pooh (lovingly coined by her mom), made proofing a breeze with her smooth skin and perfectly-tiny features. Taking photos of her, however, was another story! At 21 days old, she was the oldest newborn I've ever photographed and much more alert than a new-newborn.  She was less tolerable to certain positions and also had the appetite of a teenage boy so there were frequent breaks to keep her satisfied. Mom handled it great and the snoring from her Dad gave the right amount of white noise to help keep her comforted during the session.

Another "first" for me as a newborn photographer, besides her age, was the lighting I used.  Because we started at 7:30 pm, I used an off-camera flash setup with 2 umbrellas and Nikon's Creative Lighting System (CLS).  I've used flashes several times before but never for a whole newborn session. I always found myself slipping into the comfort zone of natural light as a safe way to get correctly exposed images. Well, not this time and I have to admit- I nailed it! For me, not being able to tell that the newborn was lit by flashes is a good sign of proper lighting.

Oh, and I have one final note about this session: The bassinet shown in two of the images is a family heirloom passed on from 3 generations! The hat, blanket and sheets were all sewn and knit by Brynn's grandmother and great-grandmother just for her. How cool is that? I love seeing homemade things made by creative and talented people.


Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Elle and the family.

Beautiful Baby Elle has turned 1 and she's definitely all girl.

When I spoke to Elle's mom about the session, we both decided it would be fun to use the same location that they were married at almost 3 years ago.  The weather was a perfect 70 degrees and Elle's big brown eyes lit up the camera!  She's a shy girl but after 10 minutes she almost forgot that I was holding a camera.  I really love her personality because it reminds me of my own, shy daughter.

It's funny because the photos go from "Serious Elle" to "Laid Back Elle" and by the end of the session she probably would've let me hold her :)


Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Scott and Carol's Engagement.

One of the benefits of being a photographer is getting to meet new people all the time.  While it's really fun to do a photo session for a close friend, it's equally fun to meet someone new,  learn their personalities and convey their connection through a set of images.  It tests my skills as both a photographer and a person- to be able to create a bond within a short amount of time to have a comfortable and relaxed session is always a goal during any session.

I feel like I really captured Scott and Carol's spirits and love for each other in this engagement session at Stoney Creek Metropark in Shelby Township, Michigan.  They were laid back and fun which made the session go smoothly- agreeable people are always the best to photograph!  The conversations in between photos was great and the session flew by.  Now that I've gotten to know them a bit, I'm really looking forward to their intimate wedding this summer!


Monday, May 12, 2014

Vivian.

Miss Vivian was great on her first photo shoot this past weekend!  Once we got her settled and let the scowls diminish, she was a perfect little newborn.  Here are some of my favorites from the session:


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