cailtin and ervin get engaged

caitlin, ervin and i got together less than two weeks before their wedding to do some engagement photos. i’d put that in the ‘cutting it close’ category. scheduling was tough as ervin is in the navy and sometimes finds himself on submarines for months at a time.

we met up at swan point cemetery  in providence, which sounds like a weird place for engagement photos but actually had a good amount of spots for pictures. i just carefully framed out the gravestones because i thought that didn’t really have the right feel for this shoot.

we shot right up until the onset of a pretty good thunder and rainstorm. i was actually still packing up my stuff when it started to rain. we got it all in though so i was glad for that.

i tried this shot with a plus and an equals and two sets of caitlin and ervin. i put the camera on a tripod, cut out a plus and equals out of cardboard, brought some duct tape and taped the cardboard to the wall before anyone noticed, and shot them standing on either side of the plus sign and then took another shot of the both of them together on the right hand side of the equation. i later used photoshop to merge the two shots (which turned out pleasingly seamless) and then took a photo of wood texture (actually a hardwood floor) and superimposed that over my ghetto looking cardboard cutouts to make it look like the mathematical operators were wood. i still don’t know how i feel about how that part of it came out. does it look real or does it look like i’m a photoshop hack? be honest.

best of luck to caitlin and ervin, who at the writing of this post are already married. their plans are to move to california after getting married, an unthinkable thought for most rhode islanders who usually have a hard enough time moving to a different city in the state (i’ve moved three times in my life and am still in cranston, in the same 1.8 mile radius). have fun on the other side of the country!

whoa! these two pictures above were two totally separate shots. when i uploaded them to the blog they happened to line up like that. creepy..

rolling jaxson

i did maternity photos for nicole way back about seven or eight months ago. soon after that i took photos at her baby shower – a bit strange being the only guy at such a girl-oriented event, but no one seemed to notice me too much. anywho, nicole and craig called me up, or rather emailed me, and asked me to come by their place to take some photos of their little guy now that he’s on the other side of the tummy.

they were nice enough to let tara and ez tag along with me for the shoot. after talking a bit we realized ezra and jaxson were only one day apart, with jaxson being the older guy. kinda neat.

i took most of the shots in jaxson’s room where the sun was making it just bright enough for natural light pictures. every time i put him on his stomach he was rolling over before i could pick my camera up. after awhile i gave up and just took pictures of him in other positions. it was pretty cool how he would instantly roll over as soon as he was put down.

i used to be scared of touching humans under the age of five because i thought i would break them. having my own kid changed that, which i realized really facilitates kid shoots. i no longer have to describe to the mom where to place their child, which hand to put in front of them, please remove the drool off the chin, etc…

about halfway through the shoot the grandparents arrived. i did some individual shots and then ended the day with some group ones. it was cool to walk into nicole and craig’s house and see pictures that i took from previous shoots hanging on the wall in jaxson’s bedroom. i hope they find a place for this set of photos and that when jaxson’s borrowing the car to drive his girlfriend to the movies that they can look back at them and remember when he was just a little five month old guy.

fiona hates hats

i did maternity photos for pasha and olga a few months back (almost a half year ago actually) when fiona was still stuck in olga’s belly. recently i got to take photos of fiona while she wasn’t in the belly. she was born on december 31st (just in time to catch the tax break).

we tried a bunch of hats and blankets and props that olga picked up for the shoot. there was one hat in particular that fiona despised. it was instant scream when it touched her head. it’s actually the one in the photo above. somehow we managed to distract her for a thousandth of a second to take the picture.

other than the hat issue fiona was pretty cooperative. she was kind enough to hang out in this bucket type thing while i took a million pictures.

babies are funny. they have no idea what’s going on, or at least us adults don’t think they do. here’s the proud parents and they’re mini-human.

being a parent is cool. have fun with fiona…

ez and soph’s first date

my son is a bit of a ladies man, at which i’m not too surprised due to his gene source. at his young age of three months he’s trying to decide if he should shop in his own age category or pick up one of mom and dad’s twenty-something year old friends. one night he decided to test the waters of his own age category. he called up sophie on her cell and asked if she was busy and if she was interested in laying down on the bench for the evening. she acquiesced, knowing it was going to be a battle with her mom and dad to let her go on a date. she was, after all, eight days ezra’s minor. with ezra three months old that’s almost a ten percent age difference.

they agreed to meet up at sophie’s place, 6:30 sharp, right after their feedings. the night started off a little rough with each one playing it cool, trying not to let on that they were interested in one another. eventually they took turns screaming their heads off. infants have a weird way of flirting.

ez tried to make a quick move and slip his arm around sophie while they were hanging out in the basket of love. sophie decided to unleash her vocal siren, subsequently causing ezra to yell out at the top of his minuscule lungs.

there were a few feedings that interrupted the flow of the date but i think overall it went pretty well. i’m proud of my son. he gave soph a taste of what it’s like to hang with the ez-meister but not too much so as to keep her coming back for more. sophie’s been texting ezra non-stop since the date but ezra told me he’s trying to keep his options open right now so he’s leaving some space.

he’s not quite ready to make a long-term commitment. i think he’s waiting at least until he can hold his own head up. we’ll be keeping an eye on these two as time goes on though…

my last wedding as a non-dad (christine and johnny)

well this was a heck of a wedding for two reasons. one reason is that is was a heck of a wedding. the second is that my wife‘s water broke twenty minutes before the wedding was over.

ok here’s the deal. christine and johnny had their huge wedding at crystal lake on october 30th (yes this is another catch-up blog post). we were due to have our first child on october 27th, smack dab in the middle of a wedding i had on the 23rd and christine and johnny’s on the 30th. when i found out we were due on the 27th, i alerted the brides of both weddings and told them they were free to find another photographer if they wanted. their other choice was to take their chances on having me do it and if i couldn’t then i would have a backup photographer provided for them. they both kindly chose to have me still do it.

i took my buddy and fellow photographer john to the wedding. the plan was for him to second shoot a little bit and basically be there in case i had to leave. everything was going well – i took the getting ready shots at the renaissance hotel in providence, made it over to praise tabernacle church in cranston for the ceremony, rode over to roger williams park for family shots at the temple to music, and then to downtown providence for some cool bridal party shots out on the street.

i was real glad we got to take the trip into providence. i think the bridal party thought i was kind of crazy when i had them taking pictures in dirty providence parking garages and in front of scuzzy night club buildings. oh well.

we headed over to crystal lake for the reception where the party was already in full gear. i love the high energy from a big wedding, it feels like there’s so much stuff happening. christine and johnny expressed their relief that we made it this far into the night and i hadn’t got ‘the call’ yet. i felt relieved too; to get to the final stage of the wedding was huge.

people got on the dance floor about twenty-two seconds after salad was served. i’ve never seen anything like it. people went back to eat the next course and went right back to the dance floor. it continued like that through the whole meal. by the time dessert came i don’t think hardly anyone cared because they were all out on the floor dancing.

it was about 10:30 when i got a call from tara. she said she felt a little weird and she wasn’t sure if her water broke. hmmm. i asked her if she wanted me to leave. she said no because she didn’t think it had happened. i was about thirty minutes from home while at crystal lake. i told john what was up and went back to the wedding and tried my best to concentrate on it. 10:40 rolled around and i got another call from tara. ok this was for real. come home. i ran back in the wedding, grabbed my stuff, told christine and johnny i had to take off, let john know i had to go, and ran to my car not having any idea what was about unfold in the next few days… but that’s for another blog post. for now, take a look at some more photos from the very last wedding i ever shot as a non-dad.

karolina and bobby get hitched

karolina was one of my first bookings, one of the early signers that put their faith in me from seeing a very limited portfolio. i’m very grateful to these few brides who were willing to give me a chance as i was starting out. without them i would never have been able to prove myself as a wedding photographer. it’s hard to build a wedding portfolio without wedding pictures, but it’s also hard to get wedding jobs without having a wedding portfolio.

karolina and bobby got married at bittersweet farms in westport, ma. it was a wedding on the smaller end of the scale, roughly sixty guests or so. the room at bittersweet was the perfect size for the wedding. what an awesome venue. natural wood frame and ceiling and a room off of a balcony tucked away on the second floor of the building. i had never shot there so i wasn’t sure what to expect. it ended up being one of my favorite wedding venues.

the day/night went really well, starting off at one of the bridesmaid’s apartments to photograph the girls getting ready. they were laid back and cool, so it was a good start to the wedding. the ceremony was outdoors in a big field with a gazebo. the bridal party walked a good ways across the field to get to their positions which i thought was pretty cool.

darkness came quick after the ceremony ended. i felt like i was racing the sun to get the photos. eventually i gave up and gave in. if it was going to be dark, so be it. i pulled out my off-camera flashes and did some group shots in front of a barn with the remote flashes. we then stumbled upon a little flood light that we used for some cool dramatic lighting for shots of karolina.

i want to make sure to point out that the absolute best i’ve ever been treated as a vendor by the venue was at bittersweet. most wedding venues have a habit of treating the vendors (i.e. the dj, photographer, videographer, etc…) as second, third, and sometimes fourth class citizens. the staff at bittersweet was awesome! i made sure to tell them before i took off what i thought of it all.

i was excited to shoot this wedding because karolina and bobby were one of those couples who were really into the photographs right from the beginning. it’s nice to shoot for a couple knowing that the photos are very important to them. all the best to karolina and bobby, thanks so much for having me!

christmas in february (will)

this is getting totally lame, i know. blogging about shoots from before christmas in february is kind of weird and unseasonal. things got thrown off schedule when ezra was born so you’ll just have to bear with me for the next three or four posts.

anywho, this was my second shoot with will, the first being an urban baby shoot on thayer street in providence. bill and katie (dad and mom) wanted to have some christmas-y pictures of him for cards to send out.

this was my first shoot since ezra was born. we did it early one saturday morning and met up at a tree farm in cranston. we found an area off to the side where there were no trees for sale but rather a bunch of giant trees that wouldn’t fit in anyone’s home. katie brought some props in the form of ornaments and presents and i brougt an old-school wooden sled.

i thought it’d be cool if he was decorating trees in a field and hanging out with presents near big trees still in the ground.

we caught some seriously cool morning sunlight which i tried to exploit to its fullest potential. i ended up with some shots that i really liked and i think the christmas card came out great (they were kind enough to send one to me so i could see the final product in print).

it was so cool to hang out with will again and see how much he’s grown. last time he didn’t talk, this time he was saying my name. it was especially cool because i knew at home i had a few week old baby who would be talking and walking in a couple short years. hopefully there will be more will photoshoots in the future. thanks for the high fives will.

mimi and the fam

this shoot involved the most people for me yet (with the obvious exception of weddings). mimi was the teacher for our bradley class that tara and i took during pregnancy. she is a super nice woman and she wanted family portraits of everyone. there were three generations in total plus pets.

we did the shoot in mimi’s backyard which lent itself very well to large group photos. i got a whole group shot and then made sure to get each ‘sub-family’. i also tried my best to grab some candids from the day.

everyone was really easygoing and friendly, making my job a bit easier. i like to think i was able to capture some shots that they’ll pass down through their family for a lot of years to come. that’s a pretty cool thought.

mimi was a great teacher for our birth class. if anyone happens to be pregnant out there or is planning on being pregnant soon you should check it out. it was nice going into the hospital with a little bit of knowledge rather than just what i’ve seen in cartoons. mimi’s website is here.

four more posts and then i’m all caught up!

pasha, olga and baby plugovoy

another post in my (still) catch-up mode of shoots from before ezra was born…

pasha and olga were expecting their first child and wanted some photos to remember the pregnancy. we took a ride to a farm in scituate and over to the providence area to get a variety of shots. they were expecting to have the baby in early january and she ended up arriving december 31st. i guess it’s kind of lame to post about maternity photos after the baby already arrived. oh well.

the baby’s name is fiona and i’ll be taking pictures of her within the next week or two so check back in a bit to see pictures of the actual baby rather than the belly that the baby is contained inside of.

we took a hayride to get to the pumpkin field to take some pictures. i felt a little weird riding out there knowing we were not even remotely interested in buying a pumpkin. i had to angle the shot to frame out the picturesque pepsi trailor parked in one corner of the field. not quite sure what plant ordered a pepsi.

check out some more pictures from the shoot. shots of fiona should be here soon…

the most meaningful photos i didn’t take

when my wife said that she wanted photos of the birth, i figured i’d just toss my camera in my bag along with a bunch of snacks and a pillow and snap away when the time came. upon further thought i realized that i may not be in the proper state of being to be worrying about ISO levels and shutter speeds. tara suggested we ask our good friend karissa (of klm photography) to attend and take photos.
“okay” i said, wondering why 1) my wife would want to have someone there taking pictures of such an event, and 2) who in their right mind would want to go photograph such an event for someone else?

i was pretty sure karissa would say no. heck, i would say no if someone asked me to shoot that! on top of being a monumental thing to witness and be a part of, births can take a ton of time and start at all hours of the night. ours ended up being forty-eight hours of labor. forty-eight! not all of those hours were in the hospital, but more than twenty-four of them were. that’s a long day.

karissa said yes.

so strange, i thought to myself. she won’t stay the whole time, that’d be crazy. she’ll probably just swoop in when the pushing starts, akin to shooting the final stages of the girls getting ready before a wedding.

karissa showed up while i was still bringing things in from the car to the hospital. she was there the whole time (except a two hour break to go home and brush her teeth and let her husband know she was still alive). it was probably the best thing that could’ve happened during the birth, besides the birth. she did take awesome pictures without a doubt, but more than that she was there for me to hang with when tara fell asleep, there for me to glance at when things were getting crazy, and there to celebrate the most awesome moment that ever happened to us.

i’m no writer so my words can’t do the situation justice. go check out the photos on karissa’s blog. you may have to scroll down a post or two to find it because i was a slacker in writing this post to link to it.

huge thanks to karissa. thanks to stan too, my good buddy and husband of karissa for letting us borrow her for such a long period of time. also, stan delivered the life-saving pizza at a crucial moment. that was key. i’m not quite sure things would have worked out without that pizza delivery. klm photography

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