A handful of my favorite wedding and engagement photos from 2018. Click on the image below to be taken to the blog post on the Twisted Oaks website.
Pretty stoked to find out that an interview that I did with Rangefinder Magazine about 6 weeks ago is now a full page feature on page 9 of the March Issue. I didn't even realize that they were handing the magazine out at WPPI until someone came up and told me that they loved my article. I had no idea. Here is the article...
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For those of you who don't follow my wedding work over at Twisted Oaks Studio, I share blog posts here from time to time. At the end of each year, I put together a collection of some of my favorite wedding/engagement related photos, click on the image below to see the collection from 2017. There's never really any rhyme or reason as to what makes a photo a favorite, but I'm pretty proud of this year's collection. This was a year that I really focused on fine-tuning my style even more, focusing on capturing moments, sitting back and letting things play out in front of me while being less hands-on. Focusing on artistry and composition while anticipating moments proved to be challenging last year, but 2017 was much different as it became much easier the more I pushed myself. You'll also see editorial style photos, where I was completely hands-on and posed the couple exactly the way I wanted them, knowing in my head exactly what I wanted as the final image. My goal was to provide clients with a mix of both, while still having cohesion and consistency in my style that clients can appreciate and fall in love with.
Some of the photos in this year's favorites were chosen simply because they have a lot of meaning to them. There could have been something special about the moment when the photo was taken or the process that went into making it. That doesn't necessarily make them a great photo by any means, it's simply great to me. So, don't be surprised if there are photos that aren't all that impressive to you or leave you scratching your head. I think you'll appreciate the collection as a whole, and if you have followed my work for a little while, I think you'll be able to see the changes that this year brought to my style and approach to my wedding photography work. Don't hesitate to leave a comment letting me know your thoughts.
Good Camera Straps
There are very few things that I hear photographers bitching about more than camera straps, or their struggle to find a good one. I may or may not have been one of those photographers at one point or another. I've tried a good amount of camera straps over the years and never found one that looked good but was also comfortable to wear. I know, I know, the ones with all the little pockets for memory cards and your license are nice and all, but... yes I'm kidding. But Jay, you wrote a review about how much you love your Moneymakers, what are you talking about? The Moneymaker isn't a camera strap, it's a holster, that can also double as part of my cowboy Halloween costume.
While finding a good camera strap seems to be a popular topic of conversation on message boards and social media, there's far from a shortage of options out there. There's also plenty of photographers out there that I see sporting those fancy manufacturer straps that actually come with the camera. Besides wanting to show off the camera you're shooting with, there really isn't a worse camera strap you could be using. But, there are also no cheaper options out there, so... I get it.
The Cecilia Camera Straps
I can truthfully say that I haven't had a camera strap stay on one of my cameras for more than a couple weeks since I started shooting 6 years ago. I've tried a good amount of them, just could never quite find one that I liked. Even though I don't really have a desire to use one on any of my DSLR's, my wife does. I typically only shoot my DSLR's at weddings, and my Moneymaker is my go-to for shooting those. My Leica gear is where a good strap would come in handy, and I've struggled to find a good one. I shoot with my Leica M a good amount at weddings and just about all of my personal work, so I've had a good number of camera straps come and go.
Since I had a destination wedding coming up, I was ready to try again. I remembered reading a review on SLR Lounge by my good friends Andy and Amii Kauth, from Sunshine and Reign Photography, about the Cecilia camera straps that they use. So, with a few weeks before my trip, I decided to give them a try.
After a few weeks of using the Cecilia straps, one for my Leica M10, and another for my wife to use with her 5D MarkIV, I can finally say that I found a camera strap that I like. It not only looks good, but it's also comfortable to wear and durable. It's made of high-quality Argentinean cowhide leather with stitching that can take a beating without having to worry about it coming apart. The thin part of the strap is just the right size so that it doesn't get in my way, with a thicker neck support section that has a small amount of padding to make it comfortable yet not bulky. The opposite side of the leather, on the thicker neck support area also has a good looking wool like texture made from Peruvian alpaca fiber. How do I know all this? I liked the straps so much that I reached out to the owner and had him tell me about the company and how he came up with the design of the straps. Now that I know a little more about the company and know that most of the Cecilia products are handmade... I like them even more.
The Cecilia Camera straps aren't going to be the most versatile straps on the market, but there are tons of options out there if that is what you're looking for. Black Rapid straps are probably the most popular for those looking for versatility. I personally haven't like those either, but that's just me. The Cecilia strap, however, is an awesome looking and durable leather camera strap that is actually comfortable to wear around your neck. There are many different styles to choose from and different options for different cameras, as you can see from the photos above. After 6 years, this is the longest both my wife and I have had camera straps on our cameras. Not only that, but it's rare that both of us like the same product, so that alone is saying something, ha.
After I fell in love with the their camera straps, I decided to see what else they had to offer. One of the products that the owner had mentioned during our conversation was the full-grain leather laptop skins. I've never put any kind of skin or cover on my Macbook Pro, I've honestly never seen any that I thought really looked all that good. A leather skin? That was more my style. So, I ordered the Montana Cocoa color leather skin and just like the camera straps, that hasn't come off either. It was easy to put on, and just because I was nervous about it coming off, I took it off a few days later. Underneath, there was nothing left behind from the skin, and surprisingly it went right back on with no trouble.
One of the toughest products to write a review on is a camera strap, for the same reason that it's difficult to review a camera bag. Personal preference along with style and taste can be a big influence in whether or not the reviewer likes a product. I have always tried my best to review products as honestly as I possibly can, while also being sure to explain the reasons why I like or dislike a product. For me personally, the products that I choose to use also have a lot to do with the people that stand behind and represent them. Not only does the Cecilia company make high-quality products that I personally like, but the company is one that I have a good amount of respect for. A big reason for that is they are focused on the photography community and strive to promote the work of photographers while also building relationships with them. If you are looking for a good camera strap, definitely give the Cecilia straps a look.
A couple weeks ago, Leica sent me out their 50mm Noctilux f/0.95 to shoot on the M10. I brought it along to a big farm wedding out in Pennsylvania where I shot over 2000 images with it throughout the day. All shot wide open, the way this lens was designed to be shot. I’ve shot the Noctilux a few times now over the past couple years, but this was the first time on the M10. While I do love shooting it, and while it did create some of my favorite photos that I took at the wedding, I still prefer my 50mm Summilux ASPH. The Summilux is smaller, lighter, and have always preferred the way that it handles the harsh sunlight for the way that I shoot.
Any questions, please leave them in the comments, thanks!