Archive: November 2010  |  View all recent posts
November 1, 2010  -  Engagements

laura + pete

Okay, so Laura + Pete agreed to do a morning shoot with us - which I'd say we only get to do maybe 4 or 5 sunrise shoots a year, because, well, getting up at dawn on a day you don't actually have to get up at dawn on kind of sucks. But this is why I LOOOOOOOVE shooting first thing in the morning. Sunrises just kill me. I dunno - maybe I'm not awake often enough at sunrise to see the bad ones, but it seems like whenever I am up, the sunrise is awesome, where sunset 1/2 the time is oh, it just got dark.

Anyway, I was ridiculously happy they agreed to do an early morning shoot, though as we were driving out to Clarence, the wind was literally blowing our car around, so we were a little nervous about that. It wasn't what you would call "warm," but it wasn't raining (and/or snowing), which at this time of year, I'll totally take. Especially when we're getting to shoot such a rad couple who absolutely killed their shoot!
Oh yeah - if you're planning your engagement shoot with us - there are a few reasons to think about opting for a morning shoot with us if you can swing it. First of all, and most obviously, holy crap look at that sky. Second of all - having your photo taken is stressful at first. We always start shoots out talking about that nervousness because we get it. We've been trying to have our photos taken regularly by photographers we really respect now that we've learned so much from doing it (and we don't want to miss out on documenting our family as often as possible as Murphy grows up). And it made us ridiculously aware of what all of you guys feel when we photograph you and the nervousness that goes along with. Phew, all that said - my point is that if you shoot first thing in the morning, you don't have to wait around all day being nervous about your photos.
Plus, I always like doing things first thing in the morning because then you have the whole day free. When we've done our family photos in the afternoon, I never planned for us to do anything that day in case we'd end up running late or... I don't know - it doesn't even really make sense, but I'm very nervous in front of the camera (I get mad at Rich when he tries to take my photo), so waiting around all day to do it wasn't my favorite. The next time we have our family photos done, I'll specifically asking to go for a sunrise shoot. Plus, look at this gorgeous warmth (okay, it wasn't REALLY warm, but the sun just coming up is perfect).
So, Laura + Pete brought their dog with them to the shoot - I love it when people bring their dogs, because my dogs are my baby girls. It's slightly embarrassing to admit this, but the other day at the pet store, I broke my rule of buying Xmas stuff before Halloween, because I couldn't NOT have the most adorable reindeer suit for my 85 lb. mutt :) But really, dogs are part of the family, so bringing them along is always a win, but usually most dogs don't want to hang out for 1 1/2 hours while their owners are paying way more attention to each other than the dog, but Peach was the best girl ever. Seriously, when we brought her in for photos, she'd hang, and when we wanted to shoot just Laura and Pete, she'd just sit there, look at us and wait. She is one heck of a dog!
I just want to make sure everyone caught that - Alyssa bought our 85-lb shepherd mix mutt a light-up reindeer suit.
The location. Nice, right? It's Laura's grandparents' place. Full of old, gorgeous barns and fields and it really fit them. I struggle with talking about how important any particular location is, because I don't really buy it. I think if a couple can let go a little bit and have fun together with us, we could shoot that in a paper bag and it would work because the couple is in love. What do you think?
True - but a gorgeous old barn with light spilling in the windows certainly doesn't hurt! Here's the thing about location - we certainly can shoot pretty much anywhere, but Buffalo's popular spots can get hard for me. We pride ourselves on shooting different things, and if we shoot in the same spot, say 15 times a year, 50 times in our career, it does get hard to not do set ups we know have given us good shots previously. So, whenever we shoot somewhere we've never shot before, our minds go a little nuts with new ideas, where if we're shooting somewhere for the second time that week, we might be like, well, we can't put them here in Delaware Park because we just had a shot like that on the blog.

So, I do agree that location really isn't important - and I'd much, much rather shoot a couple having fun than a different location, but I do also like to get to go fun new places. Again, especially when there are gorgeous old barns with light spilling in the windows, awesome open fields, woods, and stone and wood post fences all in the same area :) I had a LOT of fun at Laura's grandparents house.

(Also, thank you thank you thank you to Laura's family for letting us tromp around the property!)
Love this one of yours, babe - while we were shooting, the wind was going NUTS. When we started, we told them we'd make it work - like breaking the wind off the buildings and walls and whatnot, but it was about this moment when that gorgeous sun from the very beginning of the shoot completely disappeared and it dropped about 10 degrees. So, they look cute and cuddly in this one, but I think they're really just trying to stay warm.
Hey - and the wall DID totally break the gail-force wind, right??
I kept laughing - the wind was blowing Laura's hair around, as you would expect, but then I'd shoot a couple frames and notice Peach's hair blowing in the same direction. I'm sure Laura + Pete thought I was a moron for laughing, but my dog has inch long hair, so it was funny to me. :)
Chair in a field - IT NEVER GETS OLD, people. I saw a random, old , red chair in the barn, snagged it and my wife did the rest. This is definitely my favorite.
Thanks - I'm pretty stoked about that one, too. :) So, with how we were all talking up early morning shoots up at the top of the blog, I suppose I should give the one negative (aside, of course, from the I-could've-been-in-bed negative) of early morning shooting (down here at the bottom of the blog :) - Rich and I immediately post coffee, talk WAAAAY more than we do at any other time of the day. Seriously, by the end I was like, man, we're talking too much - we've told them pretty much our entire life stories, but ooooh - I'd better tell them about the time... seriously, it was bad :)
And we'll end with a classic family portrait - guys thanks soooo much for putting up with our nerdery and for spending your morning off with us. You guys were awesome to shoot, and we can't wait for the wedding!

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November 1, 2010  -  Engagements

natalie + shane

Alright - so a pause in the day for some work, and back to blogging. Next up was Natalie + Shane (William, but goes by Shane). We got together and shot with them in and around the city. And at one point, they whipped out these incredibly rad custom sneakers. Seriously, I'm so jealous. Rich immediately started trying to come up with what to write on our very own incredibly rad custom sneakers. I'm trying to think of something adorable when we're standing next to each other, but my problem is that we're giant dorks, so everything I come up with is kind of lame. I wish I were cool enough to be a real hipster. Sigh, we're just the kind of nerds who spent all day yesterday counting down to the Walking Dead premiere. Definitely not cool, just nerds :)
But Halloween was AWESOME - and then after a ton of fun (cold fun, btu fun) with the kiddo we got to come home, crash and watch a zombie movie and that great new show...about zombies. It was a great day.

Natalie is gi-normously adorable and I'm really, really glad we got to shoot them when we did. Like I said a couple posts ago, this job can really wear you down near the end of a long season. But having the couples we do who give us a million reasons to work our asses off for them makes it not just worthwhile - but actually fulfilling.

Plus Shane is, like me, a guy from Tennessee who fell in love with a beautiful girl from Buffalo.
I know, how random is that? I mean, we really don't often meet folks here who aren't from here. Maybe they've made the great migration in from Rochester, but I'd say the vast majority of WNYers are, born, WNYers. So, not only is Shane not from here - what are the odds that the two of you are both here from the same place. It made for riveting conversation - all Davy Crockett and cast iron - whoo hoo! (I kid :)

And how weird is that we spent Halloween all zombie-fied. We really aren't even big zombie folks, but I guess we were excited enough about it that now Murphy keeps telling us when he's five, he'd like to be a zombie for Halloween. Of course, he doesn't really know what zombies are - he thinks they're folks who want to get in your house that like to eat plants :)
Don't you mock Lodge Cast Iron! I do miss Tennessee sometimes. When we went down to Nashville for this wedding photographers convention last January I got pretty nostalgic - and it is one of the most beautiful states in the country - but I think Buffalo is pretty permanently home in my heart now, too. Deep, dark secret time. I was rooting on the other side of "Homerun Throwback." We called it the "Music City Miracle" in Nashville and despite my newfound love of the Bills because of my deep love for you - it was still, very obviously, a perfect lateral.

Don't hate me too much, people, the truth is if you grew up in Tennessee in the 80s SEC football was the only pro sport that anyone really cared about. Unfortunately for me, growing up in Nashville also meant you rooted for Vandy, which was a LOT like rooting for the Bills, expect the biggest thing that happened when I was a kid is they won the NIT. Which still means they weren't good enough to make the real tourney.

When the Oilers moved to Memphis and then to Nashville and made that superbowl run, everyone in town was really fired up and it WAS a lot of fun to be a part of. But, hey - that ALSO means, despite not rooting for the Bills in the 90s (I had no NFL team then) I still got to experience at least one crushing Superbowl defeat. So, in essence, I was well prepared for currently owning Spikes, McGahee and Lynch jerseys. FML. Thanks for that, babe. At least maybe I can break out my old Jevon Kearse jersey for the play-offs.

Anyway - the southern accent particular to Tennessee has, for obvious reason, always been my favorite and Shane has THE quintessential Tennessee accent. It just strikes me every time I hear an authentic one and I do miss it, though any vestige of mine was pretty much bred out by college in Maryland.

Also? I finally got to take one of those cool photos where you find the couples' wedding date somewhere in an urban environment....and it was totally by accident. I was shooting this, but with them in the middle, and then shifted to the side...and my internal monolgue, "the 26th? :click: the 26th? :click: wait a minute :click: Oh hell yeah, finally!!!" And then I looked around, and EVERY space in that particular lot/parking area was "26" - which is a little weird, but completely perfect.
Blah blah blah sports discussion not related to the Bills or Sabres blah blah blah.

But for real, guys, Rich can't stop talking about this cast iron place. It's the weirdest thing. We drove past it, and he might as well have been a 12 year old spotting Justin Bieber.

And seriously, this moment - totally them being the cutest couple ever. At one point, we were shooting, and I noticed Shane just started giving Natalie a hand massage as he was holding her hand. These two are so ridiculously cute together, but when you're watching it happen in front of you, all you can think is, "huh, my husband promised me a back massage two weeks ago and has been playing the Oregon Trail with zombies (I know, it must just be Halloween) every night instead." Sigh. But I do have to say that a week later (after several reminders), I finally get that back rub (and a great HOUR long one!!!!) so when I saw this photo, again, I was like, awwwwwww (but I got a good one, too!)
I played that game ONE night - come ON!! And I think I more than made up for it the other night with an incredibly long back massage.

And how was that not related to the Bills? It was pretty much entirely about the Bills? You're just exhausted. Speaking of which - how can an 0-7 team be so appealing? I think I like most of the players on the team more than I've liked any Bills team I've rooted for yet. Maybe it's because we kindof all want them to lose every game this year? I dunno.

Anyway, you're right, way too much sports talk - particularly in a town with two pro sports teams that currently suck.

Back to real stuff - like people in love in the fall...
These two seriously killed it.
So, we started blogging, and I turned the TV on for a second to watch while he was typing, and he was all, you have to turn it off, I can't concentrate. So, being an incredibly awesome and patient wife, I did. But I can't even begin to tell you how many times during this blog post he's leaned over and been like, "heh, heh, heh" (points to a page in the Smoky Mountain Knife Works Christmas 2010 catalog) "Look - a stocking of knives, heh heh heh." Not that I don't have a hard time concentrating when he's busy pointing out the most ridiculous things on Earth (and that fact that you have this catalog makes me question if you thought the stocking o' knives was funny or if you want one - which if you do, you're totally not getting. Like, I like getting you presents you'll like and all, but I refuse to buy a stocking of knives. That's about as ridiculous as buying your wife a Bruce Smith Fathead to, I dunno, decorate the living room with. Not that all 28 year old mothers don't want to decorate their homes with a seven foot tall Bruce Smith sticker.)
It's just been one of those days. I just got the boy down to sleep and even though it's 8 and we have a 7 am shoot, I think a coffee is definitely in order.

Can I say "thank you" for picking a particular photo for the blog? I know you rolled your eyes hard enough to sprain a frontal lobe when I was like, "Cool - VW parts!" in this random alley - but like it. I kindof want to go back, figure out who owns that building and see if they'll sell me that hood. Wouldn't that be cool to paint and hang on the wall??

Also, yes - a stocking full of pocket knives would be completely awesome, but you know it's just full of all the crappy knives they can never sell. Also, you already get on me about my KA-BAR by the bed and the benchmade monarch I carry around with an EGA on it. I can't help it that knives are so friggin sweet. Don't blame me - blame the awesomeness of KNIVES.

Tell 'em, Moe.

A.) No. No, a painted VW hood would not be "cool." And B.) Weaponry is not completely sweet. Grrr.

I love this one of yours, babe. I had a similar shot (in color), but you kicked my butt. Great job! :)
Hey, thanks :)
I think it was about here that Natalie mentioned she was really a hoodie and sneaker girl - and we were like, cool, go climb up that loading dock in your heels and dress. Sorry about that... sometimes, we're a little thick. :)
Nice shot!
Okay - so we've got one more to post tonight, so we've gotta sign off for a few minutes. GUYS - you know the end-of-the-post drill, thank you, so much and we can't wait to...YEAAAAHAHA I got to feel the baby kick for the first time!!! Alyssa has been grabbing my arm off and on the past couple weeks and I just kept missing the inutero, unnamed boy - and I just got it. So, where was I...GUYS - thank you so much, and we can't wait for the wedding. True story - I love it when posts randomly work out this way - Natalie and Shane will be guests at Alyssa and Fred's wedding and vice versa - and I'm pretty sure you guys didn't know you were doing your e-shoots on consecutive days?? Small, small big time we've got. See ya'll in a minute.

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