Archive: February 2009  |  View all recent posts
February 25, 2009  -  Engagements

jill + bill

Bill and Jill wanted to do winter engagement portraits. They'd spent a couple years in Baltimore, and they wanted to show their friends there what winter really looks like (as well as show them Buffalo!). We met up with them for a morning shoot, and to put it bluntly it was cold as hell. Seriously, Rich and I were sitting in the car waiting for them to arrive, and we pretty much knew that we'd take a couple wintry shots, and post-pone the rest of the shoot to another day. It was THAT cold. We started at Delaware Park, and to break the wind, we headed up the steps of the Albright-Knox and shot a bit in the pillars.
As soon as we got started it didn't feel quite so cold. Being behind a camera does that to me every time - the whole world just gets kindof blocked off - and Jill and Bill were so much fun to shoot that soon we were all laughing and just playing around. A nice, overcast snowy day actually makes for some really nice light when you're taking photographs. The cloud-filled sky is a
scrim and the snow is a giant bounce card...
Because we weren't really bothered by the weather at that point, we headed into Delaware Park to get some more awesome winter shots.
Nice glasses!
Nothing says trust like a couple who obey when I say, "Hey! Hop up on that icy ledge in heels! It'll be a great shot!"
This sign on one of the light posts next to Hoyt Lake cracks me up during the summer...in the winter it's even more ridiculous. If I ever see someone swimming in there, I will direct them immediately to Gates Circle....
So, after a solid 40 minutes shooting, we all agreed that it was stupid cold, and we headed over to Spot to warm up. However, we'd shot for 40 minutes, and figured we might as well keep going. So, after a quick coffee/hot chocolate break, we wandered over to Tifft Nature Preserve.
Tifft was just crazy - we had to walk into this crazy howling wind just to get into the park, but even crazier was that we weren't the only fools out in the snow. There were animal and people tracks all over the place. Once we got back into the paths and the wooded areas, though, the wind wasn't so bad. Jill and Bill are seriously hardcore and I'm glad we went to Tifft, it was well worth it.
Seriously, driving in along the waterfront, the winds coming off the lake were so bad that it was a total whiteout with the snow the wind picked up. Brutal. But I also have to stop and point out that Bill and Jill have the most amazing smiles ever! Seriously, they kept making each other laugh, and I had such a hard time picking out one for the blog, because there were so many! I love couples that make each other crack up!
No joke -- walking out of Tifft, into that wind coming right off the lake, might have been the coldest I've ever been. Of course, because I was out of jeans, I was in dress pants, so that probably didn't help. Really, I sat under an electric blanket at home, and after a half hour, I started losing the tingling feeling in my thighs. But it was so worth it because of shots like this.

We did two winter shoots this weekend, and I loved that this shoot had a completely different feel. This one was more barren, isolated winter than the park full of sledders, but I loved the feel it gave these images.
Yeah, I thought it was interesting when you said that to me as we were going through our rough edit for the blog. A lot of times I find myself trying to "warm" and image, whether it's using a gel on a strobe or something later in PhotoShop, but for this shoot I let the winter in, as cheesy as that probably sounds...
Favorite image our yours, Alyssa, right here, oh yes...
Seriously, I grew up on Grand Island, and we had herds of deer in our yard all the time, yet when we spotted this one, it really took my breath away. Being in the city, we really don't see any wildlife (Rich just pointed out that there's a bunny that lives under our porch, but I don't count that!), so it's pretty cool that in a park in Buffalo, you can come across deer. There were two, actually, and one jetted the minute she saw us, but this one just stood there watching us, while we watched it. To dork out a bit, I thought it was really fitting that the session had this peaceful tone, and then we happened across a deer who just let us take photos with it.
Bill and Jill, thanks for being so hardy and dealing with the cold with us. We loved hanging out with you (okay, except for the walk out of Tifft -- I don't think I've ever wished for something to be over as hard as I did with that walk!!), and we're really, really looking forward to seeing you guys again in a few months for the big day! It's going to be amazing!

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February 22, 2009  -  Engagements

lindsay + nicholas

We don't shoot a lot of engagement shoots in the winter. It's cold, noses run, and most people don't feel their most romantic. Well, we had two spectacular couples who went for the outdoor, winter engagement session this weekend, and they both rocked so hard. We started with Lindsay and Nicholas -- a really cute couple who love the outdoors. And I'm going to lead off their session with my absolutely favorite shot of Rich's, maybe ever.
holy crap I rule... I'm just kiddin' - find a puddle, shoot a reflection - and voila. We're always looking for new ways to show off our couples and well, there are a ton of puddles out there right now (although now they're all frozen - thanks never-ending winter). I mean, we didn't really know what to expect going to shoot at Chestnut Ridge, but it's actually a really, really cool place for a couple who into a more outdoorsy kind of scene. It was PERFECT for Nicholas and Lindsay...who take some really incredible shots together :)
Rich lies -- we did sort of have an idea of what to expect -- we'd been to Chestnut Ridge park before. We've shot there with the cityscape in the background and done some sledding, but we'd never wandered in as far as we did this weekend, and it really was spectacular. We started off at the old toboggan runs -- which I'll probably date myself by saying I remember going down as a kid, and while I'm sure many broken bones happened there before they closed it down, it would be pretty amazing if they repaired them and brought them back to life.
The toboggan run kindof looked like maybe it would fall over and kill us beneath a twisted pile of rusted iron girders...so we decided to play it a bit more safe and wander back along the main trail into the woods for a while.
Okay, so I saw this cool old building and dragged Lindsay, Nicholas and Rich over to it, and I have to publicly appologize for laughing at Rich when he wiped out on the way there. Because it really wasn't funny. At all. Not one bit. But we got a really cool shot, so I'm sure his ego is over it :)
That shit wasn't funny. I'm laying there on my back, 70-200 lens on the pavement, and Alyssa is laughing like I'm Bozo the damned clown. I could have been John Locke crippled, and do I get any love - nope. Four years of marraige and running a business together folks...it's a good thing she's the best business/shooting partner ever. Oh, and I love her, too...when she stops laughing. Okay, so all kidding aside - check out Alyssa getting wild with a really cool sky and some off-camera strobe action here. It's a good thing I recovered enough from my fall to act as her light stand. Just a killer shot, babe.
Okay, John Locke was pushed out of a seven-story building, and Rich fell all of three feet. I see the similarities here. But the crazy thing is, four years in, and I'm laughing at Rich's injuries. Nine years together, Lindsay and Nicholas look like they've just fallen in love. (Rich told me not to be so cheesey, but seriously, they are so cute together.)
I also LOOOOVE this shot of Rich's -- rock on, babe!
I was emailing back and forth with Lindsay before our shoot and since we were going to Chestnut Ridge, I asked her if she thought she could dig up an old sled or two...and she and Nicholas came through big with a no crap Flexible Flyer. Rad.
Guys, we had a blast walking around the woods with you! The final shots we took were L+N sitting on the tailgate of Nicholas' truck. The final shot I had to MAN up a little with some grit and texture. What I mean is I think at least a piece of every guy wants to look like that - sitting on his truck's tailgate, gorgeous girl on his arm, staring off into the sunset like a total bad-ass...

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