This was a study in childlike curiosity. I was on an engagement photo shoot at Pamperin Park in Green Bay when we noticed a small commotion nearby.
A large egret had swooped in and perched on the railing of the small suspension bridge spanning Duck Creek. Nearby children saw the great white bird and got low to the ground, crawling toward the bird for a closer look. It was fun watching them plot among themselves and slowly inching their way toward their prey. They didn’t get much closer than this before the bird flew off.
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Emma is seven years old and full of energy. On this evening, she had bouncing-off-the-walls energy.
This is an awesome image! Now, don’t get the wrong idea. I’m not bragging on myself because it happened quite by accident – as awesome shots sometimes do. It would never enter my mind to try an set up a shot like this. Any serious photographer will tell you, there are those moments that you couldn’t have planned, couldn’t have set up, when all the planets are aligned and the angels are smiling upon you. That was this moment. Here’s how it came about.
I was outdoors, trying to capture a photo of some wrens entering/exiting their birdhouse. I was using a 300mm, zoom lens, to get a close-up, from a distance. I had just finished photographing the birds, because the day was ending and there no longer was enough light in the shaded area to get a good image.
About this time, folks showed up for a family gathering. Emma saw me with the camera and started hopping around me saying, “Take a picture of me!” I couldn’t take a photo of her because I had the long zoom lens and she was too close – I couldn’t even get the lens to focus at that distance. I told her she was too close, and if she would go a little farther away I could take a photo. Well, I meant she should move ten to fifteen feet away. Emma just heard, “farther away,” and took off running. My attempts to call her back never reached her ears and she finally stopped and turned around about 20 yards away.
The amazing thing was where she stopped. Quite by accident, she stopped in a spot where the setting sun was able to stream through an opening in the trees. Ten feet farther or closer and she would have been in the shadows. I remember being in awe at the way the light was hitting her. Thankfully I had the presence of mind to focus and shoot. Even then, I didn’t really think this shot would turn out so well…so sharp in the low light conditions. I have no idea of what she was saying to me.
For fellow photographers that would like the specifics: 1/90 sec, f/5.6, ISO 800, 300mm, handheld, no artificial light, manual mode.
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A future football fan gets a unique perspective of the game in a life-size display at the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, WI. It’s a fun place for the whole family, plenty to look at – especially for the true football fan.
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Meet David, Michelle…and the jewelry box. When we met at a local park for their Engagement Photo shoot, they told me they wanted to include this jewelry box in one of the photos because it held sentimental importance to them.
The jewelry box cover says, “You are My Forever Love.” It was a gift from David to Michelle on the day he proposed to her. In fact, it was the jewelry box that provided the words. The box has an audio feature. It will record your voice and play your personal message whenever the box is opened. David recorded his proposal to Michelle and gave her the box as a gift. When she opened it…well, I didn’t get the details of that encounter, but the photo above tells you everything you need to know.
There was a moment as we were preparing that he opened the box and the message began to play. I quickly moved away so I couldn’t hear it. I don’t know if they cared whether I heard it or not but, to me, it just seemed too special, to private, a moment for young lovers, for her ears only.
To view a larger version of the portrait above, click on it.
For friends and family of David and Michelle, a gallery of all the photos from our session can be viewed here: GALLERY
Welcome baby Blake! He is an Easter baby, born March 31, 2013. He is one day old here. I was able to capture this sweet shot of him, with his proud mama looking on.
I had taken a bunch of typical photos during out short visit and had packed up my camera to leave. The nurse had come and did her nurse stuff – checking whatever they check – and placed him in the neonatal bed. As I walked by, headed for the door, this view caught my eye and I thought it would make a great image. So, I quickly unpacked my camera and snapped a couple – this being the last one. It is my favorite of all I took.
This is a once-in-a-lifetime moment for these parents. You can’t duplicate this a week later. It’s a good example of why you should call a professional photographer when the moment really matters. The cost of a professional is minuscule when you consider the priceless memories you will have captured forever.
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“The smile upon my lips,
It will surely never die
As I’m waiting here for you
until you’re by my side.”
― Freida Martinez
An hour before the wedding, the groom waits patiently for the impending nuptials.
Our son, Paul, waits in the background as the room is decorated with flowers and arranged for a simple wedding ceremony. Sara, (his mother, my wife) did a wonderful job with the flowers and preparation.
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“Your children are the greatest gift God will give to you, and their souls the heaviest responsibility He will place in your hands. Take time with them, teach them to have faith in God. Be a person in whom they can have faith. When you are old, nothing else you’ve done will have mattered as much.”
― Lisa Wingate
Honing my Family Portrait skills. I thought the family seemed pretty relaxed for this one. I also thought the setting, with the river running through the background, was relaxing, too.
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A mother and father’s wedding rings look huge when placed on the toes of their newborn son.
During our first photo op, our son and daughter-in-law placed their wedding rings on the toes of Samuel – their first child, our first grandchild. Sammy was 1 week old at the time of this photo.
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I photograph a lot of different subjects – sunrises, lighthouse, birds, bugs, flowers, scenic landscapes, etc.; just browse through this website. The one subject that intimidates me and always proves to be my greatest challenge is people.
I can go to shoot one of my favorite lighthouses at sunrise and if the finished product doesn’t live up to my expectations, no big deal. They’ll be another day and another sunrise. The only person who is out anything is me and the only real loss is my time. When I photograph a sunrise, I’m trying to capture a moment. With a portrait, you have to first try and create “the moment” and then successfully capture it.
When photographing people, I’m not the only one who has a stake in the outcome. Others are investing their time and come with their own expectations. If I take fifty shots of a sunrise and I mess up some camera setting or I just don’t like the way any of them turned out – nobody knows but me. When you take fifty shots of a person, make them go through a battery of facial and body contortions, you’d like to have something of value to reward their patience and effort.
This photo is from a family portrait session last fall. A great group to work with – and a good lookin’ bunch, too. I like the way this turned out, but it comes in low on my “satisfaction” scale. There are a number of technical issues that spoil it for me (I won’t bore you with the specifics). I did a lot of post processing, trying to overcome those issues, and it’s still not quite there.
The good news is, each portrait session is a learning experience. And, as they say…”Practice makes perfect.”
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