This is a two-part post because so much happened these past two months and they are connected with a common theme.
I know I said this last time, but again I’m late with a blog post. To say I’ve been busy, is well, a massive and colossal understatement. So again, here comes a major post to catch you up on my September and October to date.
Sunday the 7th
This may have been one of the more entertaining shoots I’ve done. My friend Ty was directing and choreographing a show called Evolve at the Georgia Tech DramaTech Theater. Evolve is all about the evolution of musical theater, dance, and music and is really fantastic. Ty did an amazing job with the choreography and making his multiple messages heard.
As far as the shoot itself, it was pretty easy on my end, but it was also just pure fun. Ty wanted to do splatter art on the actors themselves, and he wanted a really bright and high-keyed look for the images. The shirts were pre-splattered and we did the actors’ faces the day of the shoot. It was hilarious and kind of evil at times watching everyone splattering his or her friends with random blobs of paint. I really like the images, especially because I told the actors to be as goofy as possible. The results are awesome.
Sunday the 21st
One of the fun parts about being a photographer is meeting other photographers who have different yet similar ideas and techniques (I swear that makes sense). Jonathan is one of those photographers and he and I could ramble about photography for hours. It balances out how adorably cute and lovey-dovey he and his girlfriend, and my old high school friend, Traci are together. Jonathan found this really pretty park and wanted to get some photos done for his and Traci’s portfolios to help with their modeling careers. Traci is really progressing as a model since the last time I did a shoot with her, and she’s already landed a couple of pretty sweet gigs.
It was a fun morning, though really cold. Traci had to be carried a few times so she wouldn’t get her feet in the water. Jonathan and I were not so lucky…. These shots weren’t my best work, because I’m still terrible at posing subjects, and honestly I think it was just an off day. It was a good learning experience; though, because of the different conditions I had to work with. I think my favorite shots were the ones where we shot into the sun and I used a single flash as fill.
Friday & Saturday the 26th & 27th
Hands down, this was the highlight of the month. Lynnze and Nathan’s wedding was a blast. Lynnze and I were neighbors growing up, and have been friends since high school. She was one of the people who finally convinced me to shoot weddings, especially because she was asking me to shoot hers when I was first deciding to start about a year ago. I remember when Lynnze first asked what my fee would be. I told her a number and she promptly responded, “Are you kidding me?!” I thought I was overcharging and had offended her. Quite the opposite actually – I had way undersold and she told me as much. Well, I refused to raise my rate based on my experience at the time, so she offered to cover my airfare to Florida for the wedding. Please and thank you!
I flew in to Tampa with way too many bags. My cameras and flash were in my trusty F-Stop Tilopa BC backpack and my other electronics were in my messenger bag, all as carry on. For anyone who has never traveled with camera gear, it is not only nerve wracking, but heavy and obnoxious. I checked two items: a suitcase, containing my clothes and belt-pack, and my light stand bag. Luckily for me, I had one of my buddies, Donald, with me to help carry some of that stuff through the Atlanta airport. He gave me a ton of crap for it though. Landed in Tampa with no issues and Lynnze’s younger brother, Nate, picked us up. Nate, Donald, and I were the troublemaking, three musketeers growing up, so naturally the reminiscing and palling around resumed immediately.
Friday was the rehearsal dinner, and stupid me, I forgot to pack a nice shirt for it. The shenanigans of the three musketeers was in full swing as we tried to find a department store on the way from the airport to the house, find an appropriate shirt, and get there on time. Naturally, hilarity ensued, but I did get the shirt. The rehearsal dinner was optional for me to shoot, but I figured it would be good prep for the big day itself, and I felt like taking pictures anyways. My favorite images from Friday were the Writing of the Vows. Both Lynnze and Nathan hadn’t written their vows yet, so I told them I’d make a collage of the act. Both loved the idea, and loved the final result.
After the vow shots, we all stayed up way too late just catching up with Lynnze’s family and getting to know Nathan’s. In all honesty, I think most of the evening was spent listening to Nate, Donald, and I talk about all our hilarious adventures and the crazy things we did. If you didn't notice, Lynnze's now-husband has the same name as her younger brother. It made directing shots a pain *Ahem* - hilarious. Nathan = husband, Nate = brother/troublemaker.
Saturday absolutely flew by. 9AM I was ready, dressed, and shooting and didn’t finish until 10PM. As fast as it went, I recall every moment and loved it all. The event planner was great and helped keep little things on track when I got caught up shooting key points of the day. That Saturday was also extremely muggy. It was threatening to rain all day - we were in Florida for Pete's sake! - and it was 88°, thus I lost about 5lbs in sweat. I cannot recall being more exhausted at the end of a wedding, but it made it so much more gratifying to end that evening and process the photos.
The post-ceremony pictures with Lynnze and Nathan were probably my favorites. Nathan loves fishing and they had the idea that Nathan should be carrying off Lynnze as the day’s catch. We had a pier/dock at the back of the house and I knew exactly how I wanted to frame the image. The result pretty much surmised the whole day: fun, colorful, and intimate. As I did for a previous wedding, I’m going to keep the funny moments to myself and let the images speak for the day. Congratulations Nathan and Lynnze Naumann!
Tuesday the 30th
So, this shoot is more about how it almost didn't happen. When I landed in Atlanta on Sunday after Lynnze and Nathan’s wedding, I got off the plane with my two carry-on bags, went to baggage claim and was only able to claim one bag. Unfortunately, it wasn’t the bag with my light stands and modifiers; it was the one with my clothes. Crap. The nice people of Southwest took my claim and told me they’d most likely have the bag located in 24 hours and delivered 8 hours after that. The math in my head didn’t come out to a number I particularly liked with a full time job in the opposite direction of the airport by a full hour. I immediately emailed ACT1 Theater and told them the situation, asking if they’d prefer to change the date or just go with a makeshift natural light look. They said to keep barreling on! Okay...
At midnight Sunday, I got a call, and naturally ignored it and went back to sleep. 6AM I listened to the voicemail and jumped out of bed with joy that my bag had been located. Hallelujah! I told Southwest I’d pick up the bag that evening (Monday), because I would be picking up my roommate from the airport anyways. Southwest brought out my bag within minutes of showing my claim at the counter and all my goodies were present and accounted for, and my roommate made it off the plane with no hassles. Whew. That baggage experience has since made me worry every time a bag takes more than 10 minutes to show up on the belt. Oh well, crisis averted.
As I mentioned before, not much of a big story with this one, as ACT1 and I have gotten really good about the process and working together. The show was The Ransom of Miss Elverna Dower, and it was a quick 45 minutes to set up, shoot headshots and publicity photos, and pack back up. It was the definition of efficiency and productivity. Love it!
End of September
Part II will cover the month of October! Or at least, what I’ve shot so far… It’s been busy people, really busy.