INSPIRATION - Valuable Lessons From Being Photographed Yourself

Being in front of the camera rather than behind it is an interesting topic for me. There were a lot of different directions I could have gone when I was asked to write about any lessons I’ve learned. I’m actually in front of the camera a lot being that my wife Sandi is a talented photographer who has shot weddings with me since day one. I grew up with a Mom who was a wedding photographer, so just like my son, I grew up being photographed more than most children. There’s also the few times that our small family of three have had other photographers take our family photos. With all of that being said, there’s a direction that I can go with this topic that most other photographers can’t. Being in front of a camera ultimately taught me the most valuable lesson as a photographer. It taught me that I had an interest in learning how to use a camera.

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San Diego Project

I had to fly out to San Diego last week to work on a project and decided to bring Sandi and Luke along with me. I can’t share any details about the project, but I did edit a handful of photos that Sandi and I took during the extra days we spent after the project wrapped up. My father was also in San Diego for work so we got to spend some time with him as well before he flies back to Thailand. We stayed in Old Town, and spent three days enjoying some time away from work right before the holidays. We took Luke to Legoland and the Sea Life Aquarium, which were actually a lot bigger and much better than I had expected. We also spent a lot of time hanging out in La Jolla and caught a couple nice sunsets as you’ll see.

We always try to pack light, so we only brought one camera/lens combo each. So, for those of you wondering, all of these were taken with either a 24 or a 50. All of my shots are taken with the Leica M10 + 24mm Summilux while Sandi’s were taken with the Canon EOS R + 50L. She basically brought the EOS R to see if spending a week with it would change her mind about it. Nope. It’s going back and she’s sticking with her 5D Mk4’s. Editing the photos, and being that I’m a fan of the previous Canon 50L, I agree with Sandi that the new one lacks character and still has fringing issues. But anyways… here’s some photos from our trip. Enjoy!

The Gift - Behind The Scenes

Christmas is the time of year for friends and family to get together and enjoy one another's company. At the Pennsylvania Christmas & Gift Show, the Christmas spirit starts early. Held every year, it has become a tradition for many.

A handful of BTS shots that I took during the filming of this commercial for the Pennsylvania Christmas & Gift Show. It’s always interesting when you get the chance to see other creatives at work, especially in this kind of environment. Not only do you have the camera team, but the lighting crew, grips, the director, the actors and actresses, etc. Matt Mahoney, the talented cinematographer behind the camera, filming this entire commercial, is a good friend of mine. It was very cool getting to see him in his element, especially since we often have discussions on the creative similarities and differences between shooting video and stills. I can honestly say though, when it comes to the video side of things, it really is a whole other world than the photography one I’m so used to. While these BTS photos don’t do this talented crew much justice they do give a little behind scenes look into their world.

The majority of this was shot during the day with the windows blacked out, in a real home, not on a production set. All the photos are shot with the Leica SL or M10P.

Guest Appearance - Get In Focus

Guest appearance on the Jackie Stinsman hosted ‘Get In Focus’ RVN TV Series. This is the full video, from start to finish, just under 30 mins.


BREAKDOWN - 3 SEGMENTS

 

PART 1

  • The Start of Twisted Oaks Studio

  • THE ASSociate Program

This segment covers a little insight into how Twisted Oaks Studio started and how we quickly became successful as a multi-photographer studio.


PART 2

  • Wedding Albums (Vision Art)

Twisted Oaks is a product based wedding photography studio whose main focus is providing our clients with a beautiful, unique, and custom wedding album that they can't find anywhere else. This short segment is where I talk about just that.

PART 3

  • Why Leica?

  • Recent Work & How I Shot It

Acadia Family Adventures 2018

I started vacationing up in Maine, right outside of Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park, ever since I think I was able to drive. A good friend and his family have a house on a lake up in Ellsworth and once they offered the house to us once, it became a family tradition. I started dating my wife Sandi when I was 19 and I took her up with me a year after we started dating. We traveled up there just about every year after, skipping a year here and there, but not many. In 2016, after 7 long years of struggling with infertility, Sandi was 8 months pregnant with our son when we decided to head up again before having him.

That year, which was 3 years after my Mom passed, we drove out to a tree that she had always taken pictures of. It’s a tree that sits all alone in a wide open wild blueberry field. It’s the most picturesque looking scene I think I’ve ever seen. There was always something special about that tree for me, and I wanted to give it an even more important meaning in my life… in my family’s life. I took a few maternity photos of Sandi at the tree that year and had the idea of going back to take a new photo every couple years of the two of them. This year, 2018, my son Luke turned 4 while we were up in Maine. I will admit, we had a busy year and were originally not going to go, but it was because of this one single photo that I decided to make the drive anyways. Luke turns four today, September 30th, but we celebrated his 4th birthday while we were up there with him. On Wednesday, we drove out to the tree and I was able to get the shot of Sandi and Luke together. You can see all three shots below. Not only did Luke get bigger with each photo, but so did the tree, interestingly enough.

 
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We had a great week and stayed at a new place right in Acadia this year, just to switch things up a little. Having been two years since Luke had last been there, it was pretty neat to see just how different this trip was for him. Much better on his feet compared to the last time, he was a lot more adventurous and if anything I had to constantly keep my eye on him as he had no fear. Both Sandi and I bring our cameras with us no matter where we go when we’re up there. We also make it a point to only have them out for short periods of time. Each and every year while I’m there, I tell myself to put the camera down. Each and every year once I get back home and see the edited photos in a gallery, I tell myself I should have taken more.

2016 Adventures