The Blog

Last week I had the enormous honor of second shooting a wedding for one of my favorite people anywhere, the über-talented Stephanie Olsen. This was my first wedding for 2011, and it’s taken me five days to be able to feel my feet again. Girlfriend worked me hard.

I was in charge of the guys; Steve arrived at the church calm and happy, and he and his group of groomsmen made my job easy. Just a few quick shots here: go to Steph’s Facebook Page to see bride Katie and all the rest of the amazing photos.

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Katie surprised Steve with a guest appearance by René Rancourt, and for just a minute, he stole the show:

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Thank you again to Katie and Steve for letting me be a part of their perfect day, and Steph, you’re my hero!

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Billy is three months old, and already he is planning world domination. Did you get your tickets to the gun show?:

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He has the MOST spectacular blue eyes:

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Big sister Emma was there to help out, but wasn’t quite sure about the camera:

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The cheeks on this kid are awesome.

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Both sets 😉

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Love these:

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A big thanks to Bill and Noelle for letting me hang out with these two cuties — and stay tuned when we go back to see little Billy in three months!

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In the split second before cobwebs started to sprout from my trigger finger (March is a sloooooow month), fellow photographer and good buddy Jeri Herman agreed to take advantage of the nice weather yesterday and go out shooting with me. Everything within a 200-mile radius is brown and ugly, so we decided to challenge ourselves to work with the bland and see what we could come up with. We even took it one step further and shot at NOON! under a CLOUDLESS SKY!! Take THAT, Golden Hour.

Working with another photographer is fun because you don’t have to vamp your way through the math when you’re setting exposure. We were total geeks, shouting settings to each other on the beach, but it was fun and actually a good learning experience, as every photographer works a little differently. Here are some of the shots I got of her:

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She’s seriously a knockout, no? And here are two she caught of me — I’m thinking it’s time to update the bio pic on my site anyway…

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Lots of fun shoots coming down the pike in the next few weeks, so keep your eyes peeled. Happy Spring!

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A good friend and one-time client who just returned from vacation with her husband and two children asked me the other day how she could get her very reluctant son to smile for the camera. Like most kids in his age bracket (7–11ish), he finds picture-taking to be an annoyance, and either clams up or pastes on a cheesy faux-smile which is the photographic kiss of death. I run into this all the time; well-meaning parents coach their kids to “smile or else” before a shoot — the kids, terrified of the potential loss of ice cream or a trip to the Lego store will face the camera with teeth showing, but the smiles never quite achieve ignition, because they aren’t real. Too many families on vacation feel like they have to stand in front of some landmark, find a stranger willing to take their photo, and then do the dreaded “grip and grin” just so they can have evidence that they were there, and they had fun, dammit!

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(thanks to Awkward Family Photos for this image of a happy, footless family)

My quick and easy advice is to lower your expectations. Kids don’t like to do anything you tell them to, so why not let them think that smiling is their idea? Rather than lining everyone up and making a production out of it, try having your camera ready during some low-key moments, and then just see what happens. Let them goof around, let them explore — you’ll find that their natural smiles come out when they’re not feeling like they’re under pressure to perform. Wouldn’t this be a great vacation photo?

Even just goofing around at home can produce some pretty cool stuff. Don’t distract them with the camera, engage them!

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And if you do get them to pose for you, make sure they’re having fun!

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ETA: If you find that none of this advice is working, you could always consider hiring a professional photographer to take along on vacation with you. I’m pretty sure I’m available, especially if you’re going somewhere warm…

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Are you ready for some total amazingness? Colin Meloy, my fantasy boyfriend, sounds exactly the same live as he does in studio, which makes him the height of legit, right? Adding Gillian Welch to the mix was no small stroke of genius. You can thank me later. Or now, whatever :).

Hello. I love you. Despite your Justin Beiber haircut.

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It’s coming….can you smell it? Wedding season……!!!!!!!

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