Thursday, April 26, 2007

Unforgettable Gatherings

There's a new business in town folks, and they have an outstanding talent, an eye for floral arrangements that will take your breath away.
I first saw Lana's workmanship at Steph's wedding, and just the other day she dropped off some of the most beautiful flowers we've ever seen to the studio as a thank you.
Now they've decided to take it up a notch and open shop, so say hello to Unforgettable Gatherings.

I haven't had a chance to meet her partner yet, but if she's anything like Lana, they are going to do just fine.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Rob & Tracy

We had a bride and groom come into our new studio last weekend to capture some important images to celebrate their marriage. Rob & Tracy had a destination wedding out of the country. They wanted to light the unity candle and have a reception for the friends and family here in the States, and the privilege to host that moment was ours.
It was alot of fun to play around with the light and the textures in the shooting room, and we tried to shoot with some of the warmer tones to help tie in with the actual ceremony in the tropics.
Despite the airline chaos and the mess of traveling back home, at the end of the day, it was worth it to see the people that love them gathered around close, hearing them recite their vows to eachother.

Monday, April 23, 2007


I had an interesting time with Gillian in the new studio. She was the first person to ever ask me if my camera had a name, which caught me a little off guard. She was also the first to mention that when I have someone look out the window for a shot that I should have friends dancing outside, or signs with funny jokes that she would design for me, just to make people really laugh. :)
She was great to work with, and it was refreshing to work with someone her age that was real and down to earth. When there is no mask, just the beautiful workmanship of God, those are my favorite shoots. Tapping in to that originality, that personality that is so completely authentic, is to me part of the challenge. It makes a simple photo shoot come alive with possibility. That's what turns taking a picture into an art form, when you can capture what's on the inside and actually see it in the image, when it's a true reflection of what makes you, simply, you.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Steph & Adam

There were alot of tears at our last wedding. More than the usual.
Grandma's, Dad's, Mom's, Sister's, The Bride, The Groom, Kari....and, well I just had something in my eye, a log or something! :) That Father of the Groom
Emotions certainly ran high from the beginning to the end.
But Kari and I love these kinds of weddings. We can blend in and really capture those moments, and it's a great feeling to turn that around and give that gift back in pictures. It's something special to be able to look at those pictures years later and still remember how you felt, what you were thinking in that snapshot of time. (Especially when you've got a memory like mine. I lost my wallet and then my phone for about a month straight.)
It was a chilly day for Steph, and when we let the back door slip while outside the church, it locked behind us. Click...Whoops.
But no worries. There was Kari sprinting around the entire perimeter of the building, doing the 100-yard Dash down the hallway as I got to snap a few "Honey, please-warm-me-up" pictures. :)
The rest of the day was amazing and playful, from the wheelchair races to the best wedding party speeches that I've ever heard. It was an honor for us to be a part of the celebration.
Now, thanks to her sister Mandy, we get the chance to relive it all in a fresh and new way all her own. She's now set to give her heart away next year.

Thanks very much Steph and Adam, and thanks to the mother of the bride for the beautiful flowers. She'll be going into business soon, turning that talented art of hers into what I'm sure will be a successful wedding service for brides all over.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Meet Willy

If you haven't already noticed, we've got this beautiful, rustic looking brick wall in our new studio, and I love shooting it. In fact I have to make myself come off that wall just to change things up.
Well, it's time you meet the man that made that wall...and the fireplace...and the brick on the front of building.
It's time you meet Willy.

He's a bricklayer by trade, but in all truth, he's an artist by passion. When I mentioned that to him, he told me that the pay just went up. I told him he had it all wrong, because artists starve! He replied, "Not the old ones!"
But I've watched him over the past weeks, enough to know that when he slings that mud and it takes flight, it goes where he says it goes, and not an inch in the wrong direction. He stretches a level and he holds the line, always. And when he's placed each brick, by hand, a little tap here, a smidgen of a nudge there, there's nothing straighter or more on the bubble in this world.

He's got a work ethic that reminds me of my childhood, watching my dad come in the door after a long night's work in the coal mines. Resolved. Absolute. Tested.
Something you don't just run across on any given day... not these days.

I've met his son, I've met his brothers and sister, his wife and even his in-laws in the days that he's been here. They've all stopped in to see his handiwork. His son and brother-in-law help out by doing the heavy lifting and cutting. Then they watch Willy, and they learn the art.

This morning he brought me a doughnut and when I told him I wasn't about to take his breakfast, he said,
"You're not taking it. It was purchased for you." It tasted good. Lot's of icing.
For some reason that simple statement made me think of Christ and His gift for me. His death on the cross, what He did for me, It wasn't something I had a part in, it was an act that He pre-arranged. My eternity, purchased.

I watch Willy stretch a line and check the level of each brick, and I realize life could be that way, that each step, each day, could be somehow measured. Then maybe we wouldn't wind up spinning our wheels on uncharted courses, but instead we'd be laying a good foundation, the one God set before us.

Ephesians 2:10 tells me that we are His workmanship, created in Christ to do the good works that God has prepared in advance for us to do.
Jesus has stretched that line. God is the level. And we can go through life and just be a plain old brick, or we can be a part of something greater, stronger, a bigger plan.

He'll be finished before long, and then I'll miss having him around. I'll wish I still had a wall to finish, or that I could afford to build another. I'll really miss His simple remarks,
"Good Lord willing and the creek don't rise"..."Razzle-Frazzle", to name a few, and my favorite, when the work day is over and he's found his stopping point, "I'm pooped!".

Thanks for everything Willy and company. It's certainly been a pleasure.
If anyone would like some brickwork done, this is the man to call.
Willy Plienis, Bricklayer, 359-4354.

A Little Mini-Shoot

I had a few minutes this weekend between sessions to shoot one of my own crumbsnatchers as she was waiting for me to get done with work...

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

The Shooting Room

We're finally starting to get things up and running at the studio. Here's a quick shot of the new shooting room.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

The Hottest Model Ever...

I got to photograph this stunning, gorgeous model in the new studio today as we played around with the natural light. She is amazing to work with, and she lets me get away with it when I try new things, even after 13 years of marriage. Takes a strong woman to put up with a stubborn guy like me. :)
Willy the Bricklayer will finish with the wall in the new studio on Monday, and his scaffolding and tools are still setup. So we started to shoot with them, and now I'm seriously considering a talk with him tomorrow to see if I just can't buy some of his framework. It was fun jumping around and hanging on the scaffold and wood. It gave the shots a rustic and natural feel, and it seemed to just fit.