The Converses [Rhode Island Family Photography]

I go way back with the Converse family. We had gone to the same church when I was growing up, Christa and I were in the same grade (and consequently in the same class of youth group), and her mom was a teacher in my class for awhile. Christa and I were also kindred spirit band geeks.


Newport Wedding Photography

We hadn’t spoken for quite a few years, and then out of nowhere I got an email from Christa asking if her and her family could take some family photos. It was a pleasant surprise and of course I said yes, so we decided on a location and set a date.

Newport Wedding Photography

They wanted to shoot in Lippit Park on Blackstone Boulevard. We met there on a (cold) Saturday morning. It was cool to see them all again, the three sisters and the mom and dad.

Newport Wedding Photography

We headed into Swan Point Cemetery across the street and took the bulk of the photos there. A cemetery might not seem like a decent place to take family photos, but if you frame out the gravestones then the rest of the property works pretty well. It was all pretty smooth except for when the security guard came and picked me up in his car and took me to the main office of the cemetery because I didn’t have a permit. Did you know you needed a permit to take pictures in a cemetery? Consider yourself warned.

Newport Wedding Photography

Five minutes later I had the paperwork filled out for the permit and I was able to go back and continue shooting. Minor hiccup.

Newport Wedding Photography

Everybody seemed to have a good time and I think they all look great. It was awesome hanging out with the Converse crew again after all that time. Enjoy the photos! Facebook album here.

Newport Wedding Photography

Newport Wedding Photography

Newport Wedding Photography

Jessica and John [Rhode Island Wedding Photography]

Blueflash Photography Photo

Have you ever pulled up to a building and felt like you just rolled onto some movie set that you didn’t think existed in real life? That’s the feeling I had when I got within viewing distance of The Ocean House in Watch Hill, Rhode Island. Check this place out:


Blueflash Photography Photo

Jaclyn and I (and the Bluecube) drove together to this wedding for Jess and John in the southwestern most tip of little Rhode Island. I began to go out of my mind with anticipation for how cool this place would be while Jaclyn remained calm and collected. It was a good balance, if you could call it that.

Blueflash Photography Photo

Let’s just say that neither Jaclyn nor myself should be appointed leaders of an expedition to an unknown land. I’d be embarrassed to admit how many times we got lost in the hallways of The Ocean House trying to go from location to location. Move fast, move a lot, eventually you find where you’re going.

Blueflash Photography Photo

Anyways, more importantly, Jess and John were great people and a pleasure to work with. Jess had some of the most serious shoes I’ve seen yet. Check these things out:

Blueflash Photography Photo

John had a great sense of humor and a plethora of jokes to tell while we were hanging out before the ceremony. The bridal party consisted of John’s two kids, Jack and Violet. I hope we delivered for Jack – he was very concerned about getting a good profile picture for Facebook.

Blueflash Photography Photo

It was a little cool outside but we braved the cold to get some photos. The band was awesome – Nancy Paolino and The Black Tie Band. I love bands at weddings. Flowers were done by one of the best florists out there – Stoneblossom. I should know, we had these guys do the flowers for our own wedding. They never disappoint.

Blueflash Photography Photo

I also feel compelled to point out that there were some great toasts at the wedding, including one of the most heartfelt I’ve heard coming from Jack. Unfortunately photos fall short when it comes to conveying speeches, but here’s the little guy delivering:

Blueflash Photography Photo

They also had the Bluecube (and Andrew, of course) at the wedding which was awesome to keep a lot of the little kids occupied. I started noticing guests wearing the Bluecube props on the dance floor after a little while. Full Bluecube album here.

Blueflash Photography Photo

Great wedding. thanks so much for having us all be a part of your day. For more photos, head over to the Blueflash Facebook page. Direct album link – here. If you haven’t “liked” the Blueflash page yet, click “like” while you’re over there. Thanks!

Anna and Nate [Rhode Island Couples Photography]

Anna and Nate wanted to have some photos taken for their ten year dating anniversary. They chose Roger Williams Park for a location. The date we settled on happened to be the same day Hurricane Sandy decided to visit the East Coast.


Blueflash Photography Photo

At the time, I didn’t have a smart phone, so I went directly from church to Roger Williams Park not knowing that Anna had sent me a Facebook message earlier that morning suggesting we wait until another day when the winds weren’t strong enough to rip roofs off of buildings.

Blueflash Photography Photo

At no fault to Anna, I sat there and waited for fifteen minutes for them to show up, but it never happened. I decided it was best I went home to take cover. That incident, among other similar ones, has prompted me to finally get a smart phone. I am now a part of the 2000’s.

Blueflash Photography Photo

Anyways… We set a date for a week later and met up at the park on a much nicer, much calmer, much less hurricane-y day. We drove around Roger Williams and took photos along the way.

Blueflash Photography Photo

I’ve been there a bunch of times whether it be for family photos, weddings at the casino, weddings at the botanical gardens, or engagement shoots. Every time it’s a challenge for me to try to take some pictures of an area that isn’t totally overused and abused. At very least, try to shoot the location in a little bit of a unique way.

Blueflash Photography Photo

I was happy with what we walked away with. Hope you guys love the pictures, and thanks for helping me move into this century of cell phone technology. I think I might’ve been the last person on earth without texting.

Blueflash Photography Photo

Blueflash Photography Photo

Blueflash Photography Photo

Blueflash Photography Photo

Blueflash Photography Photo

Michelle and Nelson [Rhode Island Wedding Photography]

Blueflash Photography Photo

Michelle and Nelson had their reception at the Biltmore in Providence, RI. Their ceremony was at Saint Francis Xavier Church in East Providence.


Blueflash Photography Photo

When I met Michelle to talk about her wedding, I was pleasantly surprised to find out that she reads the Strobist blog. It’s a blog by a guy called David Hobby and it’s for nerds who like to read about photographic lighting with speed lights instead of studio strobes. It’s not very often that one of my brides is into that sort of thing.

Blueflash Photography Photo

Anyways, we hit it off and talked about flashes and wireless triggers and what not. It was a good time.

Blueflash Photography Photo

We were able to take their limo into Providence to take photos wherever we wanted. It worked out really well, except for when we were trespassing in a bus tunnel and the bus started coming through. Other than that everything went very smoothly.

Blueflash Photography Photo

The guys had some serious orange argyle socks, the band was awesome (check out The Mac Chrupcala Orchestra here), and best of all they had the Bluecube.

Blueflash Photography Photo

Andrew came along to operate the Bluecube and Jaclyn came with as second photographer. We got to sit at a pretty serious meeting room table for dinner with executive chairs. I curled my fingers into the Mr. Burns pose and pretended that I was taking over the world. Is this the best job or what?

Blueflash Photography Photo

Thanks to Michelle and Nelson for having Blueflash at your wedding, we all had a great time and wish you all the best. Enjoy the images!

Blueflash Photography Photo

Facebook album here.

Blueflash Photography Photo

Blueflash Photography Photo

Blueflash Photography Photo

Blueflash Photography Photo

Blueflash Photography Photo

Blueflash Photography Photo

Blueflash Photography Photo

Blueflash Photography Photo

The Aspiration Project – Melinda Rainsberger

 

This post is part of an ongoing series called “The Aspiration Project”. If you missed the first post with the explanation, you can read about it here. This series also runs in the Rhode Island Small Business Journal each issue. If you are a woman in the Rhode Island or surrounding area and want to get involved, email matt at blueflashphotography dot com and we’ll get you the info. Enjoy!
 
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Introducing Mel Rainsberger:
 
Blueflash Photography Photo
 
What is your passion?
Animation and video.
 
What got you into it?
Originally I was going to be a furniture designer, but I realized I was a little bit accident prone and went into the video and animation program at RISD instead. Filmmaking allows me to use all the parts of my brain, just like in making a piece of furniture, but without all the power tools. I conceive, plan, measure, and create a complex piece.
 
What quote inspires you?
“Animation is not a genre. It is a method of storytelling.” – Brad Bird
 
What is your business?
My business is They’re Using Tools! www.theyreusingtools.com. I make video, animation and illustrations. Most of my work is for the web, for companies that want to create a small piece to target a specific demographic and entice them to take interest in their product. Most of my work is handmade in some way, to create a warm, intriguing piece of art. 
 
What spurred the conversion from hobby to business?
Animation was never quite a hobby, but I love planning and that has always been something I do ‘just for fun.’ Whether it was planning a dinner for friends, or a group outing, or a classroom lesson–I like figuring out how to have fun with a large group of people. I started making it a bigger part of my business when I realized it was a skill that other people in my field lacked, but appreciated. 
 
What are some challenges you faced and how did you overcome them?
Mostly, there’s not enough hours in the day. Part of it was leaving my night time teaching job, but ‘doing everything’ is still a constant challenge. 
 
How long have you been in business for?
6 years. 
 
What’s your ultimate goal/where would you like to be in five years?
In five years, I’d like to have at least 1-3 full time employees, to have a small agency that churns out even more interesting commercial projects and has fun doing it. 
 
What’s the best advice you can give someone contemplating turning their love into their livelihood?
Don’t be afraid of being professional and taking the time to get it right. Contracts and all that seem scary, or seem like they get in the way of what you love. But, it’s like making sure you have all ingredients before starting to cook. Really, you just want to eat, but if you don’t have any food to cook, you’re not going to enjoy eating. 
 
Do you have any other thoughts you’d like to share?
My favorite show is Futurama, one of the characters is a 180-something scientist called Professor Farnsworth (named after the creator of the television). I love that he describes flying through space as “It’s a little home business I started to fund my research.” 
 
What’s your contact info?
Web – theyreusingtools.com
Twitter – @theyusetools
Facebook – Click Here

Kelly, Mike, Grant, and the New Guy [Rhode Island Family and Maternity Photography]

Mike and Kelly (and Grant) are recent friends of ours who just moved to Rhode Island all the way from Pennsylvania. The way we ended up meeting is kind of interesting. A friend of mine was waiting tables at a restaurant that Mike and Kelly were eating at in RI when they were visiting to find  a place to live. He started talking to them while he was waiting on them and heard a little bit of their story. They were coming from Pennsylvania and were Christians looking for a good church in the area.


Blueflash Photography Photo

They were scoping out places to live in Cranston, which is where me, Tara, and Ezra live as well. My friend (also named Matt) immediately gave them my name and phone number and then (after the fact) told me that he had. A few weeks later we received a call from them and Tara took over communication with Kelly and the next thing I knew they had shown up to Ocean State Baptist Church and we were eating breakfast at T’s with them after.

Blueflash Photography Photo

We have hung out a bunch of times since then and Ezra and Grant have gotten to be pretty good pals. Anywho, enough history lesson. Kelly is pregnant with their second child and wanted to get some family/maternity shots in before the new guy makes his arrival.

Blueflash Photography Photo

We headed to the Brown campus in Providence, RI and shot some frames there. After awhile we made our way up Thayer Street and took some more shots wherever we saw fit.

Blueflash Photography Photo

Tara and Ez tagged along for this shoot as well as Rachel, a friend of ours who is interested in photography and wanted to see what a shoot was like. She’s in high school and their class had to do a career day type of project where they shadow someone who works in the field they’re interested in. I think she picked me because everyone else was busy.

Blueflash Photography Photo

Good luck with the new baby on the way, hope you guys enjoy the photos.

Blueflash Photography Photo

Blueflash Photography Photo

Blueflash Photography Photo

Jess and Shawn’s Wedding [Connecticut Wedding Photography]

You probably saw Jess and Shawn’s engagement photos (click here in case you missed them) awhile back. The shoot was out in a nature preserve in Rhode Island, well off the beaten path. Jess made cookies for props and then I got to take them home. Best props ever.


Blueflash Photography Photo

Well, the two of them are now  married and their wedding in East Lyme, CT was full of handmade things and personal touches. It was at Rocky Neck State Park. It happened to be one of the greyest, rainiest, dreariest days of the season but that didn’t seem to be much of a deterrent to having a cool wedding and getting plenty of photos.

Blueflash Photography Photo

The building was outrageous inside. There was wood everywhere. Floors, ceiling, tables, support beams, etc… Even though it was a dark day outside, there was still enough light spilling in from the windows to make it happen.

Blueflash Photography Photo

I had the pleasure of bringing along Amanda to the wedding as a second shooter. We had a nice one hour car ride each way where she was a captive audience to my ranting and raving about anything that came to mind. I enjoyed it. She did a great job contributing shots from a different viewpoint while I was busy grabbing the main stuff. She also served as a terrific dinner date in the absence of my wife.

Blueflash Photography Photo

Blueflash Photography Photo

This wedding had a little bit of dancing. It actually had enough dancing to make the second floor of the building shake and bounce so much that my off-camera flash stands almost fell over a couple times. It was that serious.

Blueflash Photography Photo

Jess and Shawn are two of the kindest people I have gotten to work with. I had a lot of interaction with Jess over the past year. She’s a graphic designer so I hired her to help me with some things (namely my last website overhaul as well as an upcoming print ad that will hit in January). She has done some great work for me and I really appreciate it.

Blueflash Photography Photo

Back in my college days I lived down the hall from Jess’s sister Cecilia. It was awesome to see her again at the wedding as part of the bridal party and catch up a little bit. I was also able to show her some new dance moves that I’ve been working on.

Blueflash Photography Photo

I parked my car really quickly when we first got there in a place that definitely wasn’t a parking space, assuming I’d move it afterwards. I forgot to move it. Thankfully, at the end of the night, that car had neither gotten a ticket or gotten towed. I love when that happens.

Blueflash Photography Photo

All the best to Jess and Shawn, thanks so much for having me and Amanda be a part of your wedding! Check out the full highlight gallery here.

Blueflash Photography Photo

Blueflash Photography Photo

Blueflash Photography Photo

Pasha, Olga, and Fiona [Rhode Island Family Photography]

You probably remember this crew from a few past shoots. I shot Fiona’s pictures when she arrived here on earth awhile back. I also did some family photos of them that involved a faux hot air balloon and a little bit of Ezra. The other mini-shoot I did was Fiona’s Father’s Day gift to Pasha. Anyways, here is another round of family photos for this little family.



These guys always show up ready to have a photoshoot. They always dress well, bring good props, and are ready to take a thousand pictures. Well, Olga is anyway.


This time was no exception. They showed up with a wagon, suitcases, and a few other little props to use. We ended up shooting on some private property in North Smithfield. It was a miniature farm, but we stayed away from the animals because we’re all city people and are lame.


Tara and Ez tagged along for this one. I always love the extra challenge of trying to get a picture without Ezra in it.


It was a grey day so I tried my best not get a lot of sky in the shots. Kind of tough, but grey is better than rain.


I really liked how this shoot came out. Check out the bigger album on Facebook here and check out the full album on the site here. Hope you guys enjoy your photos!


Katie’s Kids [Rhode Island Children’s Photography]

The title of this post is a bit misleading. All seven of these little guys and gals are not Katie’s, but I like the alliteration. These kids are brothers, sisters, and cousins. Katie was the one from the group who reached out to me to setup the photo session.



We met up at Goddard Park where the carousel building and the beach parking lot is on a dreary Saturday morning. Rain was threatening and the sky was a completely grey blob.


It worked out rather nicely that all the girls had bright reddish pink dresses. What a contrast to the blah-looking sky.


Blueflash is primarily a wedding photography outfit, but we definitely don’t stay confined in that box. I have to admit, when I got the email asking about a photoshoot of seven kids with ages ranging from one to seven, I felt like I was stepping out of my comfort zone. There are people out there who specialize in children’s photography and are good at it (like Steph Mills, for example). It’s definitely a whole different experience.


Thankfully these kids were awesome. They were a lot of fun, had a ton of energy, and were willing to keep a smile pasted on their face for close to an hour.


After a long (in kid time) shoot, I was finally able appease their numerous requests for the “funny face picture”. I think these will be great for all of them to look back on when they’re in their twenties, thirties, and older. Thanks for hanging out with me guys!




Aimee and Ben [RI Engagement Photography]

When Aimee had gotten in touch with me about her wedding, she told me she lived in Chicago and was planning their wedding from afar. After a few more emails I had found out that her fiance, Ben, was an old buddy of mine from high school. Rhode Island…



We headed into the financial district of Providence to do their engagement shoot. You may have noticed that I end up shooting in Providence quite a bit. It’s not a big city, but luckily I’m so bad at directions and have the worst memory on earth that each time I go there I find somewhere new to shoot. At least, new to me and my poor memory.


I’m feeling pretty confident that I haven’t shot much around the financial district. I need to practice keeping my composure during shoots. I feel like it’s borderline unprofessional to turn the corner, see an area that looks really cool, and then start proclaiming how great this spot is in mumble-speak over and over again until taking pictures in that location is over.


Aimee and Ben loosened up real fast and were super easy to take pictures of. We found this front wall of a building that was propped up by angled steel I-beams. I mean, how could I have not ever seen that before? I’ve lived here for 27 years.


I really like how these shots came out, as you might be able to tell from the more-than-usual amount of shots in this blog post.


There reception is going to be at Rhodes On the Pawtuxet over in Pawtuxet Village. I’m looking forward to it because it’s a cool little town and I’ve never shot over there before. At least, not that I can remember…


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