BAND – Live Alive

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Before photographing Live Alive, I was fortunate enough to work with these guys before, along with Mike Falzone to create a music video for their single Keep Me Awake.

As serious as these photos appear, behind the scenes, these guys are just fun to hang around with. At one point, I recall the guys breaking out into a hoedown sing-along. Something they do to pass the time when touring on the road. With ages ranging from 15 to 23, I couldn’t help but feel like the “old guy” in the room. In my mind I was just playing the wisdom card, as to not focus on my lower back pain at the time. Haha.

When I first heard their sound, I told myself that 16 year old me would like these guys… as it turns out 32 year old me likes them too.

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This first image worked really well as a black and white, back-lit, dramatic photo and I liked it. I also thought it might look cool with some texture, so I decided to go through some of my archives of photos and add in a background…

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This is the same image as the one above, but I just added in some gritty abandoned warehouse (super original I know, but it works) to the background. The effects I wanted with the back light is still there, now with some texture. Man I love photoshop.

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Jen & Alex – Engagement

Jen and Alex have an energy that surrounds them and puts them in their own world. The best way I can describe it is… well, I can’t describe it but I think I can capture it. Congratulations to Jen and Alex. I’m looking forward to shooting their wedding in 2014.

Katie & Mike – Engagement

I had fun joking with Katie and Mike about the setting of our shoot. We  (or should I say I) went on about how “we were breaking new ground” by shooting in a location that had a lot of grit and texture. We even went ahead and shot on some train tracks. As cliche as it is, it works. It does add nice texture to an image and makes for some compelling shots. I think Mike and Katie did a great job with this shoot. Congrats to them and I wish them nothing but happiness in the future.

 

Motorcycle Mike

My friend Mike has (had actually, he sold it the day after we shot it – pretty good timing) this really cool vintage Kawasaki Motorcycle. a ’78 KZ 650 SR to be exact. Mike and his buddies like to get old mororcycles and fix ‘em, tune ‘em up and get them looking nice and pretty again. Well, that’s exactly what he/they did with this bike. I saw it in the parking lot and decided that I needed to do my first “guy on a motorcycle” shoot. I wasn’t sure how I wanted to shoot it until I saw an instagram image that his fiancé took of him on it. Something clicked (pun intended) and we set out to  shoot under a bridge. As it turns out, under the bridge (insert red hot chilli peppers song) wasn’t as cool as I thought. We ended up inbetween two old factory buildings and it worked out great. He found access to an old garage and that was a great find too.

There was this ongoing joke that I was “breaking new ground” that night with the photos I was taking. Hence the tagline. Ya know, a gungy alley and there were train tracks in some shots too.  It doesn’t get more innovative than that. Haha.

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Cartoon Portraits – Toontraits

I’ve been playing around with a new processing method for some of my images. They’re cartoon portraits, or Toontraits as I’ve named them. A combination of a photograph and post processing (I use Lightroom and Photoshop) techniques that give the look of being hand drawn/3D cell shaded rendering/old style comic print.

It’s a look I’ve been trying to achieve for a long time, ever since I started playing around with photoshop, some 8+ years ago. I finally feel like I’ve reached the style and level of quality that I want. Some of the images are studio portraits and some are environmental and the process changes depending upon the elements in the image. This technique is totally manual and I don’t think an ‘action’ would allow me to achieve the same results. I played around with amplifying the toon effect by distorting some body parts and I think it works.

I’ve included some cropped in versions to showcase the detail.

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Senior Portraits

It was a lot of fun shooting Kassidy’s senior portraits. She’s a fun girl with a quick wit and that made for a high energy session. We shot in studio on a white background with the intention of creating composite environment shots later. My favorite, by far is the prom shot. A combination of two shots I photographed (I shoot a bunch of random empty background with the hopes of creating something with them later) this image came together with a great dramatic presence. All together timeless images that I think she and her family will look back on fondly. Nothing but well wishes to her in the future.

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Cinemagraph – A test with a Fashion Model

I really wanted to challenge myself with creating a Cinemagraph. As you can see with the image below, it’s a combination of still and video. Basically it’s a video with parts of the image isolated. I wanted to create something basic like this because I had this idea for a client where a fashion designer could utilize more than just still images on their website.

I shot a test with my friend Kim (LOVE shooting with Kim!) and she stayed pretty still, but to really pull this look off, elements, like her arms, legs and face really need to be isolated. A more advanced challenge would be to get her hair and moving. So far, I’m happy with the result.

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Sunset Photo Walk – Silver Sands State Park

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I met up with my buddy John and we set out for our first photo walk together at Silver Sands State Park in Milford, CT. It’s a beautiful beach/park that, during low tide has walking access to an island. I explained to John that I brought two cameras and a nice trifecta of lenses because I didn’t know what I’d need… so why not carry more than enough. Well, After taking 5-10 shots with my 7D and 70-200 I realized that I didn’t have a CF card in the camera! John busted out into a mighty strong chuckle, as he should, at my misfortune. Here I am, explaining WHY I brought this extra gear, only to find out that it pretty much became useless. So, I used my 5D with a 50 and a 16-35 and took a few snaps. I was pretty bummed, but still tried to force myself to take some cool images. Better luck next time, me.

Chasing Lightning – Silver Sands State Park Milford CT

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So, I set out to shoot the SUPER MOON again, but stormy skies had different plans for me. I’m an opportunistic kinda guy, so I decided that I was gonna shoot the beautiful, angry skies presented to me. I made it a challenge to myself to capture some lightning. Well, I stood around for 2hrs and shoot over 600 photos and I got 2 decent shots. Ahh, the beauty of patience building exercises found only by being a photographer.

Next time you’re shooting anything, even with an iPhone, challenge yourself with something. Make it a goal to capture something specific. You’ll find yourself waiting and you’ll start to learn the beauty of waiting for that perfect moment!

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