Sunday, March 30, 2008

Columbus Bride Magazine, Spring 2008

It's that time of year again when the spring issue of Columbus Bride magazine hits the newsstands and I pore over the issue, cover to cover, to see which of my lovely clients' images were chosen.

Below are all the images that made this issue, along with my current ad. Congratulations to my wonderful brides whose images grace these pages.

My new ad:

Melissa and Tom
May 19, 2007
Ceremony: St. Francis of Assisi
Reception: North Bank Park

Ilana and Michael
September 2, 2007
Ceremony: Congregation Beth Tikvah
Reception: Hyatt Regency

Morgan and Seth
September 29, 2007
Ceremony: Trinity United Methodist
Reception: The Vault

Andrea and Scott
May 26, 2006
Ceremony and Reception: Columbus Museum of Art

Monday, March 24, 2008

A Wedding for Kitty

I met Kitty Maer ( at Columbus Bride: The Show in 2007. Kitty is a fabulous local wedding photographer and someone I'm honored to call a friend. Kitty also had a booth in the 2008 bride show and, when I stopped by her booth to chat, we both came away saying how fun it would be to work together on a wedding. So, this past Saturday, we did just that.

Kitty's clients, Edit and Marc, were very kind to accept my presence at their wedding. Me, a complete stranger to them, and the third member of Kitty's team. I like to get in nice and close too, so I especially appreciate their allowing me to do so.

Saturday's wedding and reception took place at the Hilton at Easton and was just phenomenal. A large Russian Jewish affair, it was full of music and dancing and food and lots of love. Even though I'd never met Edit or Marc before Saturday, it was easy for me to see how much they adored each other. It was a beautiful wedding and I was honored to be part of it. Thanks to Kitty for inviting me, and thanks to Edit and Marc for allowing me to document their day.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Day 2, McKinney Fire Station #4

After spending hours and hours and hours editing the thousands of images taken by myself and my four teammates on Day 1, and then getting only four hours of sleep, I headed back to McKinney Fire Station #4 for another round, this time with the gentlemen of Shift B.

Where Day 1 was quiet and tame (the way firefighters like it), Day 2 was anything but. The guys were just serving up breakfast when I arrived, then settled into the chores, including cleaning up around the station and routine maintenance on the new fire engine. After a meeting with Captain Greg Edwards, we were off to perform a building inspection followed by - you guessed it - a trip to the grocery store. We came back for a fine lunch of grilled ham and cheese sandwiches and tomato soup prepared by Sean Stephens and then it was back out again, this time to the Public Administration building. On the way, a large contingent of stations were called to an emergency so we went to Station #2 to fill in while they were out on call. Interestingly, that station adjoins a fire training academy so I got to see some firefighter training in action, which today included rescuing victims from a second storey window and how best to carry them down a ladder. What strength this takes to balance people on your arms while walking backward down a ladder!

In the midst of that great fun, we were called to the Eldorado Country Club where a car had struck a golf cart. This was to be my first spot news ever and I was extremely excited to be part of it. I was not allowed to photograph any victims' faces, but I worked the scene from every angle, shooting paramedics in action, the crowd of people that'd gathered and even the driver of the car photographing the damaged headlight with his cel phone.

I was tipped off by Barney Tucker from Station 4 that a helicopter would be landing on the green to life-flight out one of the victims, so I ran up the hill to the green to wait with the captain while he flagged in the helicopter for landing. Getting as close as I could, I felt the strong wind from the helicopter blades pushing back my Citizens Fire Academy helmet, the strap digging into my throat. Luckily the camera in front of my face shielded my eyes from flying debris kicked up from the very dry golf course grass. While I do not know the fate of the golf cart victim, I am able to report that I did look at him while still in the golf cart and there were no visible injuries. I was told he was life-flighted because of possible internal injuries, and I sure hope he was OK.

I also learned later that I'd "scooped" the local newspaper photographer, who was sent away by policemen since someone was already there photographing the scene (yes, that would be me!). I've been asked since if I submitted my images to the local news media but considering the circumstances under which I was operating - within a workshop and traveling with the firefighters on their schedule, not to mention having no idea who the local news outlets even were - it just wasn't possible. Maybe next time, eh?

Here are some shots from my exciting second day with the fabulous firefighters of Shift B:

Oh, the irony.

To sum up this experience I'd just like to say a gigantic thank you to the workshop organizers, Huy Nguyen and Bill Holland, to my team leader, assistant and mentors, Tyler Wirken, Jeanine McClintock, David Murray and Erin Adams, and to the uber fabulous firefighters of McKinney Fire Station #4 in McKinney, Texas: Captain John Wallace, Steve Horton, Kelly Rollins, John Whitus, all of Shift A, and Captain Greg Edwards, Sean Stephens and Barney Tucker of Shift B. In addition to feeling like I have some new tools in my arsenal for taking my photography to another level, I've made some friendships I know will last a lifetime. The people I met and became close with on this journey mean a lot to me and I am forever grateful for everything they have given to me.

I'd also like to give a shout-out to my awesome teammates, Tim Forbes, Ashley Langford, Ed Atrero and David Pullum, who made this workshop his first trip ever to the United States from England. Every one of them is a fabulous photographer and I am thrilled to now be able to call them my friends.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

McKinney Fire Station #4, Day 1

At 7:00 a.m. on February 26, I made my bleary-eyed way to the hotel room of my team leader to learn what my assignment would be for the next two days. As part of the Foundation Workshop, participants were given the chance to act as news photographers covering assignments, and, in true newspaper fashion, our team's assignments were handed out mere minutes before heading out the door.

When I was told I'd be covering a fire station, I was very very excited. I mean, how cool is that!! Fire trucks and FIRE! Excitement! Drama! Emotion! I won the jackpot of all assignments! I was stoked! I was going to go out there and nail me some raging infernos!

But what I learned that first day at McKinney Fire Station #4 is that firefighters don't want fire and excitement and drama and emotion. All those things mean that something bad has happened, so "no news is good news" is the news they hope for. And, on February 26, that's what we got. No news. Good for the citizens of McKinney; not so much for a brand new "news" photographer. Not that I wished any ill upon those good citizens, but still. A little fire would've been nice. (just kidding!!)

So, I spent my day getting to know the fine firefighting men of Shift A of McKinney Fire Station #4, the station that serves mainly the airport across the street. We were called out a couple times that day to situations that corrected themselves before we arrived, so it was back to the fire station, once without even leaving the truck. (I have to say though that riding in a fire truck is pretty darn fun. But actually, it was a fire ENGINE - I learned there is a difference between a fire ENGINE and a fire TRUCK - the truck is the one with the ladder!)

We also made a trip to the grocery store - in the fire engine! - as every shift goes to the grocery store every day. Each shift at this station has their own refrigerator too, which I thought was kind of funny. Steve Horton made stew and cornbread for everyone, including me, and it was quite delicious. I truly appreciated the hospitality and friendliness shown to me by everyone there, which included Captain John Wallace, Kelly Rollins and John Whitus. All of these fine men were nice as can be and were just a joy to be around, and I was very grateful that they allowed me to hang around with them all day and bug them with my cameras.

So, finally, here are some pictures from Day 1. Check back later for pictures from my second day, with Shift B.