everyone hates getting their picture taken

breanna was a senior in the youth group at our church. by now she’s a high school graduate and attending johnson and wales to learn how to make really good food.

she asked me to shoot her senior pictures, and in the same breath told me that she hates getting her picture taken and is horrible at it. well then in that case, sure! what’s better than taking pictures of someone who hates getting their picture taken and looks horrible in them?

ok, thankfully the latter of the claims was not true. breanna didn’t end up looking horrible in “every picture” like she claimed she would. i also don’t think she hated it, and if she did then she did a good job pretending like she didn’t. it’s funny how often people hire me to take their picture and then proceed to tell me they hate to get their picture taken. it makes me feel like the dentist of the artistic world. people hate getting their teeth cleaned, but there they are, twice a year in the dentist chair.

tara and ez tagged along for this one. it was a nice sunday afternoon right after church so we headed down to north main street in providence and took a walk down and back, shooting as we went. there were plenty of spots to use and the weather was perfect.

good luck in your post high school endeavors breanna.

california or bust

teresa king is a singer/songwriter who grew up in rhode island. she got in touch with me via facebook, the world’s best free advertising. we exchanged a whole bunch of emails and texts talking about ideas and planning the shoot for her new website and cd. she (at the time, which was august. yes, august) was in the midst of writing and recording a new cd that she could use as a demo to entice potential labels and agents.

in parallel she was having a new website designed. oh and one other thing: planning her move to california in the following couple weeks. yeah, no big deal, just changing the coast she’s lived on for twenty years. since there’s hardly any music scene in rhode island (comparatively speaking), she decided to go out to california where the soil is a little more fertile for music.

teresa had a good idea of what direction she wanted to go with the pictures. she told me her theme for the cd was “fairy tale”. i have to admit, it was my first fairy tale shoot and i wasn’t really sure what it meant. apparently it means fields and straw hats and sun streaks. i can do that. we ended up doing two sessions since the two locations were on opposite ends of the state. the first was in a remote field down in the uttermost southern part of rhode island (i don’t really know where i was) and the other was the cranston/scituate area on some private property.

the latter location was basically some guy’s backyard. teresa’s brother had asked permission at some previous point, but the kind old man seemed to have forgotten that he ever spoke with him. this resulted in the man driving his tractor toward us with a perplexed look on his face. more specifically he drove right toward me while i was shooting and decided to stop before he killed me. teresa’s brother talked to him again but couldn’t jog his memory. the man gave us permission (again) to stay and finish what we were doing. thanks mister.

i should also mention one other thing. teresa wanted makeup so she asked me if i had anyone that does that. i sure do, it is my awesomest MUA ashley, who i love to have at photoshoots with me. i wish everyone requested makeup so i could take ashley on every shoot. she did a great job, especially considering it was about seven hundred degrees at the first shoot and there was one tree in a five mile radius. i don’t know anything about makeup, but i would assume it’s difficult to apply in direct, throbbing, intense, and relentless sunlight. in addition to the makeup, it’s great to have her there to bounce ideas back and forth. we’re like siskel and ebert, except one of us is a girl and we’re not reviewing movies.

best of luck to teresa out in california, suffering from their temperate climate where she has to endure an average of seventy five degrees and low humidity. check out her website, it should be fully finished soon.


let’s go back to a time when it was a lot warmer. i’m talking july: the end of hot, sunny july. as i’ve mentioned before, my wife and I work in the youth group at our church. there’s five kids that are brothers, sisters, and cousins to one another that attend youth group. the parents asked if i’d do a shoot to get some pictures of them all together before a couple of them head off to college.

when i heard the request my initial thought was that it would probably be the most difficult shoot i’ve done to date. i love these guys, don’t get me wrong, but i had a hunch that they might think it was fun to make my job really hard. the parents are very nice people that my wife and i like a lot, so in order to appear like a put together mature adult, i obliged to the request rather than explaining that i was afraid of getting teased by a group of teenagers.

this was a parent-requested shoot that none of the five kids necessarily wanted to take part in. i contemplated forcing them to dress up like captain planet characters (there were five of them, after all) but then thought better of it. then i thought of ninja turtles but didn’t want them fighting over who was going to get to be splinter. i finally settled on letting them wear whatever they wanted.

 the two families are really close knit. they actually live only a couple houses away from one another. one house is on a lot of land that has some farm area and barns. we walked around their property (and i think on some other property) and shot wherever looked good. i ended up having fun doing the shoot, and i like to think they had a good time too. here’s some more shots from the day.

jaclyn hatching mykenzie

jaclyn and nate are friends of ours and they just had their baby sometime the other day. all was well with the birth and mom and baby are doing well. months ago we got together at their place to do a little maternity shoot for them and hopefully score lunch. only one of the two objectives were successfully executed.

their baby is of the female flavor and her name is mykenzie. it is yet another prospective woman for our boy ezra. most all of our friends are pumping out girls and i think there’s currently a 10:1 girl to ezra ratio going on right now.

it was about 342 degrees outside that day, but at least the humidity was low. my wife and ezra came along to ensure that i took good pictures. tara assumes the role of art director when she comes along, which makes for sometimes comical and sometimes contentious banter.

we’re all very happy that the birth went smoothly and that mykenzie is finally here. hopefully these pictures will serve as a good memory of the pregnancy. enjoy parenthood!

baby amelia braves the lightening

i was lucky enough to be able to take ez and tara with me to the first half of amelia’s shoot, which facilitated a little pre-shoot shoot of the two of them before amelia and co arrived. below is my favorite of those.

there was a valiant attempt to shoot amelia’s pictures at roger williams park before a storm rolled in, but the weather won out after about forty five minutes. after about the sixth shutter click the ominous clouds started to accumulate and soon turned the sky a very dark grey. being the optimistic photographer that i am, we just moved on to the next location about a hundred feet away from where we were. in that twenty second walk it started to rain, lightening, and thunder. amelia wasn’t too appreciative of the precipitation or excessively loud interaction of warm and cool air, so we headed for the cars and called it a day.

a week later i headed down to their place in exeter to round out the shoot with some more photos. the weather was a little bit better that day and we were able to shoot inside and outside. amelia was a good sport and didn’t give me any trouble.

here’s some more shots from the sessions…

plants and vows

this post is long overdue. i’ve been slacking in these summer (and now fall) months, whether it be shooting and editing or just hanging out with my wife and son. anywho, back at the end of may i shot a wedding for robyn and dori. they had it at the botanical gardens at roger williams park zoo in providence. the ceremony and the reception were both there.

robyn and dori actually live in chicago but they had their wedding in rhode island because it was more central for family and friends. the distance that people traveled to be a part of their wedding was incredible. robyn had family that flew in from england (forgive me if i remembered the country wrong, it was definitely from overseas). they both had a bunch of friends that flew down from chicago, and there were guests from other various locations that made their way to providence.

i actually met with robyn’s parents in lieu of robyn and dori because they were out in chicago. they were great people and i later realized that all of their family was awesome. you could tell that everybody at the wedding really wanted to be there to see the marriage take place.

they had the coolest seating cards i’ve ever seen at a wedding – including a faux periodic table of the elements that listed the guests instead of elements and arranged and color coded them based on their relation and location origin. i’m kind of a nerd so i was definitely into the idea.

we took shots around the botanical gardens after the ceremony and dori was kind enough to give robyn a piggy back ride when we changed locations. everything went really well and people danced until the last possible minute. enjoy the photos and best of luck when you head back to chicago.

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…

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