This was one of my favorite engagement shoots of the year.
Adrienne and Mark met at Berkeley while in graduate school. When they came out to Washington for the Summer, we set up an engagement shoot at one of my favorite places, the Washington Park Arboretum.
We rented an aluminum rowboat and rowed across lake Washington into the arboretum at the golden hour. I think it was about 2 hours from sunset.
My idea for this shoot was to capture the magic of a warm summer day, with the classic romanticism associated with riverboats, rowboats, and old French movies. Climbing to the very end of the bow, I was far enough away to create environmental portraits of Adrienne and Mark, while not being so far away that the portrait would lack intimacy (like standing on the river bank and shooting with a long lens.)
As we maneuvered the boat to a specific area of the arboretum, I made sure to keep the setting sun behind Adrienne and Mark allowing for a golden rim-light. I exposed for the shadows and the result was exactly what I was hoping for: Beautiful skin tones, great rim-light, gorgeous background colors, and most importantly a directed but natural moment of real romance.
For the pixel peepers out there:
Canon 5D Mark II
Canon 50mm 1.4 lens, shot at f2
No flash or reflectors. I prefer natural light.
In the next part I will show a different photo from the engagement shot on medium format film with my Contax 645. It has a completely different feel.
To see the rest of the photos from this set click here.
How do I explain how it feels? I guess nothing can really prepare you for being a parent, much less the feelings you will have for your baby.
When I look at baby Maeve, I’m hypnotized.
I look at her eyelashes, the little wrinkles on her arms and legs, her soft red hair, and her perfect smooth skin. I can’t believe it is possible that Robin and I created such a beautiful and perfect being.
I am totally in love with her, think about her to the exclusion of everything else, and have a constant warm calming joy in my heart.
Born at 10:30pm on December 26th, 2010, Maeve narrowly escaped the fate of those born on Christmas day: having your birthday the same day as Jesus. I know. Tough act to follow.
Of course it won’t be entirely easy to round up all of Maeve’s friends the day after Christmas for her birthday party, but I can tell you for sure – it would be IMPOSSIBLE if she had been born on Christmas.
Robin and I spent two days at the hospital where I quickly learned some basics of being a father: how to swaddle and soothe my baby, how to take care of my lovely wife after almost 24 hours of labor, and how to hold a new being, my own baby girl, through the night, trying to help her sleep as she experienced her first few hours in the real world. It must have been terrifying for her.
Now we are at home and adjusting to an entirely new life. Robin and I spend each day revolving around baby Maeve’s needs. It’s almost as if the outside world did not exist at all. I will try to sneak out a blog post soon, but don’t expect much until the pieces of my new life have settled into a more regular pattern.
My advice to new parents? Watch the Happiest Baby on the Block DVD and do EXACTLY what it tells you to do. It’s like magic. I feel like a ‘baby whisperer’ already.
Second thing – get an Ergo Baby Carrier so you can put your newborn to sleep and keep her asleep with the movement of your body. It will allow you to do basic things such as use a remote control, pour a glass of orange juice, and yes, even write a blog entry.
Without a baby carrier it is impossible. Trust me.
As my friend Frank Huster wrote to me recently: ‘Welcome to fatherhood and the beginning of the second part of your life.’
It is so true. And completely wonderful.
It’s been a really good year. Robin and I have both done what we love and continue to pursue careers that fulfill us. Robin’s food blog is taking off and she is having a great time making friends in the food world and getting her writing recognized for how great it is. I’m very very proud of her.
This year, I celebrated the first year of my new beautiful studio loft in Seattle where I can look out over the city and work on photos all day long. It’s my favorite thing to do (besides shooting of course.)
I’ve pushed myself hard and found new ways to express myself in my photography. I’ve starting shooting completely with my own vision, applying this advice a great teacher told me:
“Shoot with your heart, not with your head.”
Thanks Peter Schwepker for that wisdom. Over time, I realize it is the only truly important lesson to learn about photography.
The biggest and best part of the year though, is this week. This is the week (fingers crossed) that Robin and I will have our first baby.
For months now we’ve been getting ready. We’ve painted and stocked a cute little nursery. We’ve had a baby shower and received almost everything we could need from our wonderful friends. We are as physically and materially prepared as we can be.
But it has also been a roller coaster of emotion. What will it be like to have a baby? Will I be a good father? Will I be able to balance my work with my family? Will I teach her what she needs to know to have a good life?
One of the reasons I chose to focus on wedding photography (out of all the ways I could express myself through photography) is for the lifestyle it allows me. I can be both creative and be there for my family. I look forward to being able to play with my little girl on weekdays and rock her to sleep in her rocker at my studio as I work on the computer, editing weddings and portraits.
Yesterday was the ‘official’ due date for us to have our baby girl. Today is the first day of being overdue. I know the baby will come when she is ready, but now, all of the sudden, I just can’t wait to meet her. I feel like life and everything else is on hold as we wait for this special perfect being to enter our lives. I want to hold her, teach her, and give her my love. All of it.
As I type this, I realize tonight could be the night. If it is, or if it is a few days from now, I will be sure to share my experience with my family, friends and you, the reader.
Wish us luck!
Last Sunday, I had the privilege of photographing the wedding of Shawn and Dyan. They’re an amazingly sweet couple whose first date was on Shawn’s birthday. Little did he know the true gift he was receiving.
The wedding, which began in Magnolia at the Magnolia United Church of Christ, was a refreshingly intimate affair. The couple did their absolute best to make the ceremony and events surrounding the wedding inclusive. It was clear this was the forming of a family and not just a marriage between two people. Declan, who is Shawn’s son, was included in all the special moments. He wore a Superman cape and charmed everyone. At the end of the ceremony, Shawn and Dyan called out to Declan as they walked down the aisle. Declan ran and jumped into their arms. It was so sweet.
Arctic Club Hotel
700 3rd Ave, Seattle, WA 98104
The Arctic Club Hotel is famous for the unique architecture on the exterior of the building, which is adorned with gold paint and sculpted walruses. This theme is also carried throughout the new hotel.
From the Arctic Club, we drove to a small park in Magnolia, Magnolia Park, where we stopped for a few minutes to take photos. Even though it was a winter day, the sky was beautiful and the air was still. It was really a nice quiet moment before the beginning of the ceremony.
I love how happy everyone was at the Magnolia Church of Christ before, during and after the ceremony.
3555 West McGraw Street
Seattle, WA 98199-3213
Phone: (206) 283-1788
Fax: (206) 283-1534
Shawn and Dyan are lucky to have so many people that love them. It’s really one of my favorites parts of any wedding: seeing friends and family come together to support a newly wedded couple!
The details at the Arctic Club Hotel are really interesting. I felt like I was in the home of a world explorer.
The most stunning part of the hotel, however, is the Northern Lights Dome Room where the couple’s reception took place. The ceiling of the room is a spectacular dome, which gives off an ethereal quality and atmosphere. It’s probably one of the most picturesque venues in Seattle.
Seeing Shawn and Dyan dance together under the dome was really moving. They have a strong love and I am proud to have been chosen to document their special day.
WEDDING PLANNER: Wedding Planning by Stephanie Solomon, Solomon Events
Sunday was amazing. Shawn and Dyan are amazing.
Whether we were up in a tree, running through the rain, cruising around town in a 1962 Rolls Royce Silver Cloud II (only 75 left in the world), or taking in the beauty of the Seattle’s Arctic Club Hotel ballroom - Shawn and Dyan’s wedding was an adventure!
I’m still working on the photos from their lovely wedding at the Arctic Club Hotel in Seattle but I can’t resist posting this sneak peek. More to come soon!
Arctic Club Hotel
700 3rd Ave, Seattle, WA 98104
As the chill sets in the air, it’s hard to think back to the summertime, isn’t it? However, it was just a short time ago. This is one of my favorite sessions from the summer. Dan and Laura are a wonderful couple. They are incredibly easy-going and kind. It was such a pleasure to shoot this portrait session for them.
The trees in Solstice Park in West Seattle really provided much needed shade on a very warm evening. They were also the perfect backdrop for this loving couple.
I love how the apples were both part of the photo shoot in terms of color and as a snack too.
Thank you, Dan and Laura. We had a great time that evening at Solstice Park and Lincoln Park. It’s really a joy to look back over these photos today. You are a fabulous couple!
I went to Brazil a long long time ago when I was in college at the University of Boulder in Colorado. It was summer break and my best friend Mark and I decided to explore as much of Brazil as possible over the span of three weeks.
We managed to hike through a beautiful jungle, explore Rio de Janeiro, nearly get mugged in Salvador da Bahia and ultimately take a 4 hour sea-taxi to a small island called Morro de Sao Paulo. Which was the best. place. ever.
I ate amazing food and met warm friendly Brazilian people everywhere I traveled. Unfortunately (or fortunately, it depends on how you look at it) I was NOT a photographer yet. Meaning that I experienced everything without a lens in front of my face. I captured a few great photos, but really, I captured a lifetime of fond memories.
Imagine my surprise when the Brazilian fashion magazine GLOSS contacted me to post some of my work…
If anyone out there knows Brazilian Portuguese I would love a translation of this article!!
***(if you translate this please post it in the comments. I will send a surprise to first person who posts it.)***
Thank you GLOSS magazine!
Adam and Annie are two of the kindest, smartest, and wonderful people one can ever hope to meet. Put them together and you have an unforgettable couple whose love for each other is abundantly apparent in every interaction they have.
Adam and Annie were a joy to shoot because their chemistry is so apparent and easy. As such, I used only film on this engagement shoot. No digital shots. No second takes were necessary.
New York’s Prospect Park has beautiful light and we were lucky to shoot on one of the last warm days of fall.
Adam and Annie, it was an honor to spend the afternoon with you at Prospect Park in Brooklyn. What great sports! Even the chill in the air on this brisk Halloween weekend did not dampen your cheerful and playful spirits. Bare feet in late Fall? Absolutely!
Thank you. I cannot wait to see you at your wedding in August.
Here is a sneak peek into the engagement shoot of Adam and Annie in Prospect Park in Brooklyn. The rest of the photos are coming soon. In the meantime, enjoy this playful shot from a fun afternoon in the park on Halloween day. Thanks.