Saturday, November 28, 2009

Welcome to Miami, Blah, Blah, Blah

November 7: I enjoy traveling and every once in awhile I get to do something I've never done before, so when a group of friends wanted to go on a cruise, I was in! I had never been on a big cruise ship before and about 30 friends were excited about this Carnival Imagination cruise. We were also going to celebrate a friend's birthday and a good friend of the birthday girl hooked us up with all the accommodations.

We were going to depart from Miami on Monday the 9th, but most of us departed from the DC area and arrived in Miami the afternoon of the 7th. Yes, we've heard all these "Welcome to Miami" songs and we were ready to get past the welcome and get into the city life. After we settled in to our rooms in our hotels, the guys walked over to meet the girls and we decided to hang out at Maxine's Bistro & Bar just before sunset. It was a cool place to chill and there was even an art show going on by John Kissee at the Maxine Lounge.

After dinner we walked the streets of South Beach and came upon a park next to the beach with an acrobatics show going on, so we got up as close as we could to watch the show. Then some of us got some ice cream and then we headed over to Mango Mike's for some dancing till late.

It turns out that Saturday, Nov. 7 at 6 p.m. until 7 a.m. was the Audi Sleepless Night event which offered 150 free arts and entertainment programs that were presented at 80 different locations throughout the city. What a good night to be in Miami.

Jason & Rachel's DC Wedding Reception

November 6: Back in early April when the Cherry Blossoms were in peak bloom in Washington D.C., I was asked to take some pictures of Jason & Rachel. It wasn't an engagement shoot, but it sure looked and sounded like one. In any event, we were to enjoy an afternoon together walking around the tidal basin and I photographed them together as a couple.

When Jason & Rachel came around to getting engaged, they asked me to photograph an engagement shoot at their engagement party on July 12th at their friend's house. It was a beautiful day for the shoot which we did around their friend's house, but the sunlight was harsh so we tried to stay in the shade for the pictures. I also took some pictures of the engagement party which they did not expect, yet they appreciated it.

Jason & Rachel's wedding was in the Nashville, TN area on September 5th and they wanted many of their friends in the DC area to celebrate their wedding so they had a reception at the McLean Community Center. I showed up to celebrate with my friends and I got to see some friends that I spent time with many years ago. It was a enjoyable and fun evening. The bride wore her wedding dress and the decorations all helped to bring about a festive wedding reception atmosphere. The wedding cake was hilarious and I encouraged them to pose like the figures on the cake and got a few pictures of them with the cake. All in good fun. I'm glad I was there to help capture the evening with some pictures I took there.

Friday, November 27, 2009

OneLight NYC Workshop

October 27: I woke up early to make the trek from the Times Square area where I was staying to get to the Bond Street studio in Brooklyn where the workshop was going to be held. I saw some of the people there that were at the mixer, and it was exciting to meet the people that I had not met yet. I was impressed to see such ample space at the studio, and there was even a darkroom there. We had some food and drink for breakfast laid out for us and then we got started with the workshop. If you get the OneLight DVD, you'll get a lot of the material that is covered in the workshop, but it's great to actually be at these workshops and get the experience.

After some instruction time, Zack demonstrated using flashes, umbrellas and softboxes to achieve the desired result in a picture. The attendees got to use these items to shoot too, and we also took the shoot outdoors in the streets near the studio. The sunlight was fading quickly and we kept shooting till dark. We got back to the studio and discussed workflow and processing of pictures. We were all exhorted to know our equipment thoroughly, to understand light, and to be creative with our shots. I wish we could have stayed up longer, but we had to be done by Midnight at this particular workshop. I think we felt we came away with good knowledge and experiences, and some good pictures.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

OneLight NYC Mixer

October 25: I was really looking forward to the OneLight workshop with Zack Arias, his crew, and the other attendees. There was a OneLight workshop both Monday and Tuesday, and I was going to the Tuesday (10/27) workshop. Attendees who were registered for either workshop were invited to a OneLight mixer at Bar Great Harry in Brooklyn, NYC.

We had a private room in the back for the mixer which turned out to be a large enough room for the mixer. Nick Gamma, a NYC photographer helped to coordinate things for the workshop. I got to meet Zack, his wife Meg and their son. Zack's assistant Erik was there and always had a fun expression when I took a picture of him. Sherri, the UsedFilms business manager was there too. We had a good turnout and we got to hear a little speech by Zack which was inspiring. As it got later, people started leaving to prepare for the next day, and I got a chance to talk to Zack one on one for a few minutes. Talking with Zack those few minutes was like his transform video come to life and I appreciate the realism and encouragement in talking with him. It's not as easy as it looks in being a photographer and there are all sorts of things we go through in being one. I feel like I'm growing more as a person through all of this, and I'm doing what I love to do: taking pictures, capturing moments, and sharing life.

Friday, November 6, 2009

PhotoPlus Day Three and In The Heights

October 24: This was the third and last day of PDN PhotoPlus and I wanted to get as much out of it as possible. I was looking forward to Zack Arias' seminar on "The Many Uses of White Seamless: Achieving Multiple Looks from Simple Backgrounds." It turns out that Zack posted a blog about this technique, yet it was still good to see him teach it. Zack's crew from UsedFilm studios helped out and watching them put everything together was very cool.

As PhotoPlus closed for the year, it was amazing to see what went into this event and there's so much interest in taking what we've seen and heard here and applying it to our photography. As I left Jacob Javits Convention Center I could see several vendors waiting to get their gear into vehicles. It started raining harder and it was hard to find a cab, even around here. I finally ended up walking back towards where I was staying, but then figured it would be good to take this time to go see a broadway show. It was an easy decision to see In The Heights because I know someone in the cast. I got a great seat about 7 rows back from the front and in the center, and it cost me enough. It was an amazing show it further helped to reinforce my dreamer mentality. It's not where we've been, but where we're going and where our heart is through it all.

Hangin' Out with Pro Photographers (so to speak)

October 23 - Day Two of PDN PhotoPlus: I didn't have much time on the expo floor at PhotoPlus for this day, but the short time I had there was well worth it. I'm thankful for the good timing of it all, as I got to see Scott Kelby speak on the power of color, and the area around the stage was packed with photographers desiring to hear Scott speak.

Not long after Scott's presentation I ran into a few notable people in the photography industry: RC Concepcion, Dave Cross, and near them was Bob and Dawn Davis. I got to chat with all of them for a few minutes, and it was encouraging just to be around them. Later on I got to see Scott Kelby walking around with Donald Page, and then Matt Kloskowski shows up. I got a few pictures of them, and then Donald graciously took a picture of Scott and I with my camera. It was a good start to the day.