How We Spend Our Time - Intern Edition

posted on: March 31, 2009

Being a photographer is a super glamorous job. I mean, how could it not be? You get to spend all your time at weddings, sneaking hors d'Ĺ“uvres off the appetizer trays and hobnobbing with the guests.

No, grasshopper, you have much to learn. That's not how you spend most of your time. This intern's lesson of the day is that as a photographer, the bulk of your time is spent getting things to work. No joke.

It makes sense, when you think about it (well...I suppose it would make sense regardless of your thinking about it, but that's beside the point). The actual "taking pictures" part of being a photographer is probably something that we spend the least amount of time on. We rely so heavily on technology, which can be extremely temperamental and seems to require begging, pleading, praying, and promises of your firstborn child in order to convince it to work.

It's not easy. There's a lot of behind-the-scenes work that goes on, and it can be frustrating at times. Creating images that give people a way to relive their fabulous wedding day, or transport them back to a time when their now-teenager was just a wee little baby, that's the fun part, but it's just a small piece of the pie. And speaking of pie...let me present to you the graphical representation of the breakdown of a wedding photographer's time (click to embiggen if the print is too small)

Mobile Monday - Week 4

posted on: March 30, 2009

Mobile Monday is a weekly collection of iphone photos and twitter captions from my daily adventures.

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Not quite boat weather yet in Boston.

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I was taking photos for the Lowell Creative Economy Awards.

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I heart science.

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My first Korean meal enjoyed with a very good friend who knows a lot more about Korean food than I do.

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Some 12seconds.tv mini videos from my phone this week as well:

[iPhone] Earth Hour Tonight on 12seconds.tv


[iPhone] Neighborhood Food Drive on 12seconds.tv

LOVE IT: Validation

posted on: March 27, 2009

I wish I could remember where I found this, but I love it. It's a mini movie and it really speaks to photographers and anyone in the pursuit of happiness. ;-) (Press play on the embedded video to watch.)

Life As An Intern - Episode Three

posted on: March 25, 2009

Good-Morning World! It's another exciting day hanging out with Anne. It is so beautiful out today. The large dose of sunshine I got driving down was awesome. If you have the time today go for a walk. You will get some fresh air and sunshine and I promise you will feel great!

Last week was pretty low-key but it was filled with photo related activities so I had a great time! I started the day off with prepping the images for Anne's mobile Monday. I'm fairly new to Photoshop and it was nice to have someone who knew the program to show me how to use it. Much easier then just playing around and trying to figure it out as you go :)

We had an awesome lunch at Brewed Awakening. I had the best Nutella and banana filled crepe ever! It was seriously delicious. Of course it will take a month to burn off all the calories from the Nutella, but it was worth it.

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The afternoon was spent preparing some images for a magazine. I was simply resizing them and adding a copyright to the border. It's better to have a border with a copyright versus a watermark when images are going to be published. That way there is nothing directly on the image but they will still be printed with your name on them. Doing this reminded me that I had found a video tutorial a while back that shows how to add a border and your logo to your images, as well as how to run it as an action. I thought the link may be helpful for others who would like an easy way to do this. Here you go....  http://www.pictureinfinity.com/tutorials/actions002/index.html

I have no idea who actually created this tutorial. If you know please let me know so I can give them credit. Thanks!!
(Anne's Note: The video was created by Matt Antonino, owner and photographer of Picture Infinity.)

I spent the rest of the day putting together a guestbook for a gorgeous couple. It was really fun designing the album. It was also nice to see a full set of images from Anne and how she works a scene. The guestbook is going to be a gift for one of her clients. I love this idea!! My plan for the year was to give each client a slideshow of their images set to music, but I will be keeping this idea in mind as well.

I hope everyone has an awesome day, and remember it's now spring so get outside and enjoy it!!

Keya & Robert Engagement

posted on: March 24, 2009

Keya & Robert Engagement
One of the things that happens to me when I photograph people is that I start to "fall in love" with them. It's a platonic love like you would have for your best friend, but that love makes me want to do anything and everything I can for them. I don't know if there's something romantic about looking through a lens, afterall it can be quite cinematic when the only thing in front of you is viewed through a black tube, or if it's the process of getting to know people in a way that just isn't possible on a wedding day. I'm pretty sure it's the getting to know people- that's always my favorite part.

Keya & Robert Engagement

I love learning all of the little things that make up a couple's world. Like the new home they just moved into, or seeing the neighborhood where they spend most of their time.

Keya & Robert Engagement

Keya & Robert Engagement

Keya & Robert Engagement

Keya & Robert Engagement

As we were exploring the neighborhood, there were a bunch of kids drawing with chalk on a pillar, so we took advantage of the lovely art work and made a little of our own too.
Keya & Robert Engagement

What I really love about Keya & Robert is that they have so much fun together. They haven't lost the kid inside and it keeps their laughter strong.
Keya & Robert Engagement

Keya & Robert Engagement

Keya & Robert Engagement

The trains have been a big part of their life and relationship in Chicago, so it only seemed fitting to really explore their relationship and the part that the trains have played in their lives.

Keya & Robert Engagement

They say the sign of a great couple is when they have certain "love touches" - this is one of Robert's for Keya...
Keya & Robert Engagement

Keya & Robert Engagement

How adorable are these shoes?!
Keya & Robert Engagement

I just love their smirks. ;)
Keya & Robert Engagement

This image reminds me so much of Slumdog Millionaire, even though this was taken way before I had seen the movie - just the feeling of the rushing train and her kind of looking over her shoulder with a smile...
Keya & Robert Engagement

Keya used to wait for Robert to get home each day by hanging out in this spot, reading the newspaper until he came home. How sweet is that?
Keya & Robert Engagement

I'm a pretty big believer that everyone needs to have a big fight before they get married. Not because you need to suffer through the anger and the fear, but because you need to know how each other handles anger when it relates to something you really care about. Does your partner fight fair? Do they throw verbal insults? Do they bottle up? Do they run away? A couple that never fights worries me because it means that someone isn't standing up for what they believe in, and a relationship needs to give both people an opportunity to have their say. A great argument should lead to some compromise on the part of both people in the relationship, based on hearing each other out, no matter how long it takes.

When Keya & Robert told me that this location was where they had one of their biggest fights, I knew right then that this is a couple that will grow old together because they aren't afraid to share their feelings with each other. To help make it a place of healing, we took some time to make sweeter images and memories of that spot- because really, there will be many more things in their future that they'll have to work on in their marriage, and this is the reminder that they can get through anything together.
Keya & Robert Engagement

Keya & Robert Engagement

What a better way to end a long day than with a huge ice cream Sunday?! Yummmmmmayyyyy...
Keya & Robert Engagement

Keya & Robert Engagement

Robert had us cracking up the entire time. I can't wait for this wedding!! I can already tell it's going to be so much fun!!!
Keya & Robert Engagement

Mobile Monday - Week 3

posted on: March 23, 2009

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This last week was kinda slow because I was really sick with a wicked flu and ended up having to cancel a lot of appointments so I wouldn't cough all over people and gross them out. I didn't have much of a voice the entire week, and thus didn't feel much like venturing out too often unless I really had to. My poor husband was forced to make a few calls on my behalf and to be my translator when I sounded like I was speaking alien. If it weren't for having a meal with the interns and needing to take Misty out, I probably wouldn't have left the house at all. I really learned to appreciate not talking, however I still had hundreds of emails that required my fingers to do lots of walking. This week I'm happy to say that I have my voice back and I'm about 95% healthy again- just a few sniffles here and there which I'm keeping under wraps with some antihistamines. Technology also seems to be back on my side once again, so I'm looking forward to lots of productivity this week!! Woo Hoo!!

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This was the extent of our St. Patty's day celebration- thrilling, right? ;-)

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I love meeting over meals, especially when it involves trying a place or a dish I've never tried before.

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I am both addicted and allergic to coffee. Luckily most turtlenecks and long sleeves hide my allergic reaction.

Vegas Wedding Project

posted on: March 22, 2009

When I found out that the Wedding & Portrait Photographer's International Convention was going to be held in February, around Valentine's Day this year, I decided to make the most out of my obligation to be in Las Vegas by starting a documentary project on the Las Vegas Wedding Chapels, called the Vegas Wedding Project.

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Originally I was just curious about what it's like behind-the-scenes at a typical Vegas Wedding Chapel on the busiest day of the year- Valentine's Day. As I got to know more about the chapels and more about the history of Las Vegas weddings, it became clear that in order to do this project well, it needed to be more than I could create on my own, so several other photographers joined in and helped document the Vegas Chapels on Valentine's Day.

Each photographer chose a chapel to spend the majority of their time documenting. I decided to document the Graceland Wedding Chapel, at the recommendation of the Las Vegas Wedding Concierge, which is home of the original Elvis Themed Wedding Chapel in Las Vegas. In preparing to document the chapel, I found out that they do 60 weddings on Valentine's Day!! Other busy days for the chapels are any date like 09/09/09, 10/10/10, 07/08/09, etc. On these busy days, if you didn't make your reservation in advance, you probably won't be getting married at any of the popular chapels. However, on any other day of the year, you can pretty much just go to the Las Vegas Marriage Bureau and then get married in a chapel on the same day!

When you think of a Las Vegas Wedding, you probably think of the crazy celebrities that got married there and then got divorced shortly after. However, what I found was a lot of really sweet and genuine people wanting to do something a little different, and a little more personal than they might have done if their weddings had been at held at home with all of their family and friends. As I was documenting the behind-the-scenes process of the wedding chapel, I also asked if I could sit in on a few ceremonies. The chapel agreed as long as I had the permission of the couples. Since most couples were in and out in just under 15 minutes, I had only a short period of time to introduce myself, the project, and ask for permission to witness their vows. As it turns out, the personal stories of the people getting married at the chapel were actually the most interesting part of this project, and part of what made me really fall in love this project.

The first couple that you'll see saying their vows met when they were in 7th grade, shared their first kiss together, and then pretty much stopped talking to each other through the rest of grade school. They went their separate ways, married, had kids, divorced, and then saw each other again for the first time after high school at their 20 year reunion. It was pretty much love at first sight, and after a year and a half of dating each other and feeling like they should have been together all along, they decided to run off to Vegas to get married with Elvis.

The second couple that you'll see the most images of has been married for 37 years. They originally got married when they were 17 & 19, and shortly after they were married, he enlisted in the army, where he remained in service for about 21 years. Many of those years had been spent apart for the couple because he had been stationed in areas where she couldn't always live with him. Somehow in that they were able to raise children and remain married. Recently some of their close friends and family members had seen hard times or had passed due to age or illness, and realizing the fortune that they had found in one another, they decided to come to Vegas to renew their marriage vows to each other and celebrate the love that they still had. They took an extra moment to share some very touching vows with each other that had me in a puddle of tears.

What I loved about the chapel weddings was that it wasn't about impressing anyone. It was simply about love and commitment, and making a set of vows to be with each other through everything, no matter what happens. I hope you enjoy this little behind-the-scenes look at a Vegas Valentine: (Click on the image below to view the slideshow.)



Here are links to some of the other photographers who were out documenting the Chapels on Valentine's Day:
CoreyAnn Photography
Ray Anthony Photo

The ultimate goal of this project is to create a book on the history of Las Vegas Wedding Chapels. If you, or anyone you know of, was married in a Las Vegas Wedding Chapel on Valentine's Day, please get in touch!! We'd love to include your story in the book to be published!!

The Importance of [CLEAN] Air

posted on: March 21, 2009

Are you getting enough Oxygen in your diet right now?



"There is almost no end to the list of critical roles that oxygen plays. It is essential for combustion (oxidation) and acts as a disinfectant, deodorizer, sanitizer and preserver. All of the functions of your body are regulated by oxygen. The ability to think, feel, move, eat, sleep and even talk all depends on the energy oxygen generates. Your brain needs oxygen to process information and your body uses it to metabolize food and to eliminate toxins and waste through oxidation. Oxygen energizes cells so they can regenerate and it provides vital cellular flexibility.

You can see why oxygen must be replaced on a moment-to-moment basis. Oxygen is the only element capable of combining with almost every other element to form the essential components necessary to build and maintain our body." - Vistamagonline.com

Alexander Family Lifestyle Portraits

posted on: March 20, 2009

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I love it when I get a family who lets me capture them as they are. I find that if I let the children lead the way, I can create a really revealing look into the life of a family and the dynamics of their personalities as they play out in their interactions together. I also feel like family portraits are a great way to spend an afternoon together - it's one of the few times when it's really truly about just making time for each other, and I feel so honored when I'm the one who gets to capture that event.

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My time with the Alexander family started off with just the kids- exploring the back yard and learning what they loved about this place they called home.

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It was really fun to see how the dynamic changed when the parents came out to play. While a lot of parents feel slightly embarrassed when kids start to "act out" - I love it because it really reflects a child's personality. Years from now, when the kids have kids, there will be photos to remind them of what they were like. ;-)

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We always have to get at least ONE standard portrait of the family.

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These two are my favorites... probably because of my love of trees. ;-)

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And this image was the family favorite- I'm just dying to see how the 20"x30" canvas looks on their walls!!

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