Category Archives: engagement

Photo of the Day: Through the Woods

I’ve been digging into my panorama archives to really try out AutoPano Pro, and liking the efficiency and quality overall. This one was from an engagement shoot in October, 15 shots with the 85mm f/1.4. As the technological whiz kids among you may have guessed, strobes were used to give even lighting and good contrast to Maureen’s face. As if shooting panoramas of people wasn’t counter-intuitive enough, you can through flash usage into it, too. It’s a bit tricky, but the key is to figure out ways to fire your flashes at low power settings. I’ll be going over advaced applications of panoramas and “the Brenizer method” in my workshop on April 16-17. There are still a few slots open!

The extreme selective focus can make some interesting changes to perspective — if you shoot things that have no immediate frame of size reference, they tend to look much smaller. In this case, it’s almost hard to guess — is that a small branch in the foreground or a huge one in the background? I know, of course.


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Engagement: Allie and Vilas

Vilas noted that yes, he waited 363 days since they were engaged to get around to taking the photos, but I think he made a wise choice, since it would be impossible to pick better weather for a jaunt around lower Manhattan than Saturday. We started and ended at the Corner Bistro, where they met and where, that day, I also met the new love of my life — Corner Bistro hamburgers. Unbelievable.

We had a great time strolling past packed crowds, at least two celebrities — Ira Glass of This American Life and some nameless Page Six celeb surrounded by paparazzi — as well as a High Line pulsing with people blinking in their first sunlight of the year. You’ll see them again soon, with a May wedding at the Tribeca Rooftop, and they only hope the weather is as nice!

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Engagement: Karen and Kamil

Here is another case of “We just did the engagement shoot, and I’d better get the images out because the wedding is tomorrow!” It does have a certain efficiency to it.

Karen and Kamil have flown me out to California to document their Malibu wedding, and if I thought I was excited before, I’ve reached Ludicrous Excitement after how much fun our engagement shoot was at their alma mater, Harvey Mudd College.

Have you ever seen Real Genius? If not, go rent it. It’s one of the best movies of all time. If you have, though, you remember a scene with a dorm literally bursting with anarchic, geeky energy in every corner. A place like this could only exist in the movies, right?

Wrong. West Dorm, where both Karen and Kamil spent all four years, surpasses every stereotype of every college movie I’ve ever seen. There are pirate flags, and bonfires, and motorcycles, and shopping carts with Pabst Blue Ribbon cup holders. It is college at its most primal, both revelled in and enjoyed ironically.

For the first time, I actually can’t show some of my favorite images from the shoot, because so much of the West decor is Not Safe for Work.

So when I tell couples to find places that have meaning for them, and not just the prettiest possible place, I mean it.











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Engagement: Emily and Myles

I just shot these photos yesterday, and I knew I wanted to get some samples out right away, partly because I’ve been excited to shoot this awesome couple since I met them at Stephanie and Wade’s wedding, partly because the geek in me was excited to test my rental copy of the new 70-200mm f/2.8G VRII, and partially because I’m shooting their wedding tomorrow!

Yes, as I tell couples, any time between 18 months and 18 hours before the wedding can work for engagement shoot, and since Myles, a coach for the Edmonton Oilers, had been spending this past year working up there, we decided to play in the cold-but-not-Siberian-cold environment of New York in February. And we had a wonderful time. If anyone wants tips on how to make sure they can bring out passion in front of a camera, try spending most of the previous year away from your fiancée in a place with cold spells almost eighty degrees below zero.

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Photos of the Day: A Proposal in the Park

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I hope you guys all had a great Valentine’s Day weekend. Maybe some of you got engaged (hint, hint). I know one of my readers did, at least, because I was there.

Specifically, I was there in full ninja-mode, waiting on Central Park’s Bow Bridge, pretending to be one of the countless enthusiast photographers wandering around, most of my gear hidden off to the side. When Chris and Chauntey, visiting New York from Missouri, walked by, I kept an eye on them, waiting for him to drop to one knee as I surreptitiously took pictures. Which he did:

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Happily for all, she said yes! Luckily pretty much nothing distracts a woman at this time, so I got to wander around and take pictures of the moment without freaking her out.

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Then Chris introduced me, explaining why some random guy in the park was taking photos of them. I let Chauntey gather herself, and then we had fun in the park taking some portraits.

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Congratulations, guys!


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Photo of the Day: Office Space Rock Stars

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I’ll have a full write-up of my workshop later today, but here’s a teaser image from it. One of my mantras that I shared with the group is to keep pushing yourself until there is a decent possibility you might fail — if all of your shots are pretty good, you’re not expanding yourself. (Of course, this has to be at times where you are safe to fail on a few frames. The first kiss is probably not the best place for it).

So I let the group watch as I decided to give myself a challenge: I would find the most boring, ugly place around and take photos right there. So I found a featureless office hallway with the ugliest green fluorescent lighting you’ve ever seen. The only thing it had going for it was the natural perspective of a hallway. So I took my awesome couple and sat them down, so that we could see that perspective better, and I lit them with a very warm, tungsten video light. With white balance correction, that turned the ambient from a horrible puke-green to a kind of funky and cool deep turquoise, a nice contrast to her red shirt, and of course this is kind of a funky couple.


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Photo of the Day: Jump (For our Love)

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Dara and Chris told me right from the start that they loved to jump, so even though we were shooting at night, I wanted to let them bounce around a bit. What I really love about the photo, though, is that Dara is being lit by the flashlight of a police officer telling us to “Move along.” Thanks, man, that helped a lot!


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Love Projected

Ryan Brenizer Photography

Katherine, Tim and I broke into … er … gained access to a classroom at Rutgers, their alma mater, and my eyes lit up as soon as I saw the old-school overhead projector, a perfect, and scene-appropriate, light source.


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