Monday, June 22, 2009

Dear sweet Howie

Well, it's hard to even see to write this, but today was my sweet Howie's final day as an earthbound cat. And what a cat he was. I think every client I've ever had who's been to my house has met Howie. He probably sat in your lap or whapped you with his tail, or even - as in one case - licked inappropriate body parts while lounging on your coat. Or maybe he dug around in your purse or just darted out the door when you came in. Howie was just a cat like none other. I think he acted more like a dog than a cat, really. And he certainly was not afraid of Hildy, even though she outweighed him by 50 pounds. They played together often, although not so much this year, but I remember a time when Howie chased the dog into her crate and then sat right in front of the door so she couldn't get out. Hildy always gave Howie a wide berth, but Howie would just walk right under or jump right over the dog.

So, what kind of tribute blog post would be complete without pictures? Here are only a few of the many I've taken of Howie over his incredibly short lifespan. He lived for only six years and I was lucky to have him for five of those.

Please, if you do nothing else, have your cat checked for heart disease. It's a certifiable killer and takes them way too early.

12 pounds of cat stuffed into a box no bigger than a loaf pan.

Not taking any crap from the dog, no matter how close she gets.

Uh, excuse me, we'd like to go outside now.

A basket full of cat in the sunshine.

Watching the birds at the feeder.

It's not a good nap if you're not all sprawled out on your back.

What's a little snow.

Just realized I had this image on a card in the camera. This was taken on Friday.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Megan and Ben - Columbus, Ohio wedding

I was so happy to get to spend Megan and Ben's wedding day with them. It was just a beautiful day, inside and out, with lots of love and personal touches. Megan was absolutely ravishing, and married Ben at Goodale Park followed by a great reception at The Burgundy Room.

It was hard to choose just a few, but here are some of my favorites:

A gift from Ben.

Grace's favorite place in the hotel room was this windowsill.

Seeing each other for the first time.

We stopped for pictures along the way on our walk to Goodale Park.

This look says "are you almost done??"

Megan's sister gave a funny and touching speech.

The kitchen was hopping and the food was excellent, as always.

Short North Piece of Cake made this beautiful cake.

A nice moment between Megan's mom and uncle.

Ben, getting a nice finger in the ear from his new sister-in-law, who always wanted a brother to torture!

Alone, in the middle of the room.

Congratulations, Megan and Ben!!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The Shot List

Well, it's Tuesday, so it must be time for the topic of the week, which today is The Shot List.

Typically, there are two kinds of shot lists: one is a list of family group photos, which is handy for remembering who you want to have in the formal altar shots (if we're doing those), and the second, which is often found on The Knot and in other wedding resources, is a list of shots to be taken throughout the day, such as "bride looking in mirror" or "mom gazing admiringly at bride", which, frankly, I think is just about the silliest thing ever. If I had never shot a wedding before, or never even attended a wedding, a list like that might be helpful, but obviously neither one of those is the case.

So, family group shot list: great and helpful; list of other shots to take: not so much. And here's why:

Ordinarily, the formal family group shots are taken immediately following the ceremony, which can be a rather hectic time: guests are funneling out, people are here and there chatting and gathering up belongings to take to the reception, and time is short, etc. Having a list of formal family groups for this portion of the day becomes extremely helpful in making sure we photograph who you want photographed. Putting a family member in charge of the list also makes things easier since they will most likely know everyone who's to be photographed and can easily spot if they're missing. Having a "runner" round up missing people is also helpful.

On the other hand, having a list of other shots to be taken during the day is more of a hindrance than anything. First off, my style is strictly based on photographing events as they unfold. If I'm having to keep my nose on a list to make sure I don't miss something, then what I'll be missing is everything that's happening around me. Second, if I don't know by now what I need to photograph at a wedding after doing this for six years, then I need to hang up my camera! I'd say it's a pretty fair bet that I'm chosen by my clients exactly because I not only know to photograph the expected but because I have a great eye for the unexpected as well.

To recap:

Formal family group shot list: good
Everything else shot list: bad.

Happy list-making!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Happy Anniversary, Megan & Nik!

I'd like to send big Happy Anniversary wishes to Megan and Nik, who celebrated their one-year anniversary yesterday. Their wedding was held in their hometown of Fremont, Ohio, and the reception was at Camp Perry up on Lake Erie, where I'll be shooting the wedding reception of their friend and groomsman next June. It was a great location and I'm excited to be there again!

Here are a few of my favorite images to commemorate their day.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Chaitali and Mike - Washington, D.C. engagement

Last Friday, I had the great pleasure to fly to D.C. to shoot Chaitali and Mike's engagement session in and around their Virginia home and on the National Mall. While the weather was less than cooperative, it certainly added a different dimension to the images, in addition to our not hitting the typical D.C. spots. I love that we were able to do something unique and unexpected in a city full of recognizable landmarks. But that's nothing compared to what a great time I had hanging out with Chaitali and Mike. We had a relaxed, fun time, and I'm looking forward to their wedding even more now!

It was hard to narrow down my favorites, but here is a generous handful:

We started at the old Torpedo Factory in Virginia which is now home to lots of art galleries.

A remnant of the factory's former days.

A little umbrella trouble.

After lunch, we hit up one of their favorite haunts, Barnes & Noble. (It's one of my favorites too! Hard not to stop and browse all the books!!)

Then back to their apartment for a quick change of clothes and a puppet nuzzle.

And a quick train ride to the National Mall.

We spent some time wandering around the beautiful grounds of the Smithsonian and managed to get in a few quick minutes without rain.

You can't walk by a carousel without having a ride.

More beautiful Smithsonian gardens.

Yep, more rain.

This alphabet sculpture was very cool.

Our obligatory national landmark shot!

Thanks so much, Chaitali and Mike, for showing me such a great time in your city!