Category Archives: photo of the day

Come With Me

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I’m in Europe, where I’ve just got done teaching two London workshops and am currently taking two days in Paris. It was an absolute blast with fantastic attendees, and a fair share of beer and foosball (or “table football,” as it is called here.) But some of the things I stressed were pushing yourself into places you don’t usually go, and working with clients for creative results, so I thought “well, let’s actually practice what I’m preaching.”

As part of the trip, I was reunited with Claudia, a great model who moved off to Germany after getting married, but in the process she never had any wedding photos of her own! So we arranged a bridal session. The problem before me was this: I knew we could get gorgeous photos. She’s gorgeous. I could put her in decent window light and take a snap with my iPhone and it would be gorgeous. And if I’d been doing a couples’s shoot I knew I could find the uniqueness in their relationship. But her husband couldn’t make it from Germany, so how do you shoot a bridal model’s bridal photos without it looking like just another bridal modeling session she’s done? We’re celebrating the real thing here.

I reached back to an idea I’ve had for many years, and I realized this would be the perfect time to put it in practice. And, more importantly, it was fun. Belt Craft Studios was a perfect place for this, with all sorts of props that we re-appropriated, but also a bunch of stuff that we simply stole from our apartment. This was one of the tableaus we created. Thanks to Tatiana Breslow for assisting, and to Claudia for being an amazing bride, and really working her core strength for these.

Camera: Nikon D4
Lens: Sigma 12-24mm f/4.5-5.6


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Heck of a First Kiss

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No matter how long we’re in this business, we should never stop learning and growing and pushing ourselves. One of the ways I did this in 2012 was to try to push myself to capture the first kiss in creative ways. There’s a good reason I hadn’t done this before, of course — this is an extremely important moment that really doesn’t need embellishing, so it’s more important to just capture it than to be fancy and risk not capturing it. But this is an outgrowth of using second shooters and assistants I really trust. When I see a shot that can benefit from a risky technique, I tell them beforehand “OK, your job is just to get the first kiss straight-up and close, keep it simple. I’m going to do something wacky.”

For Annie and Bill the wackiness was a tilt-shift to capture the overhead lights, as well as an SB-900 I’d placed behind the altar before the ceremony started, turning a very dark scene into this.

Lens: 45mm f/2.8 PC-E
Camera: Nikon D3s
Place: The Foundry


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Coming soon: Susanne and Jason at the Douglaston Club

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One of the problems with the Brenizer method is that it’s hard enough to pre-visualize and execute a multi-image panorama of a portrait, and much, much harder if you want to have a sense of motion or candid dynamic emotion in the image. But no one said this job was supposed to be easy.

Now that the season is just about to slow down a bit, I will first be making sure my fall clients are taken care of, but then working on the how-to to end all how-tos for how to do these sorts of photos in all their iterations, taking people from “the What method?” to flawless execution, for a cost that you could probably pay just by scouring your couch cushions. Watch for release in early 2013.

Camera: Nikon D600
Lens: Lens: 35-image “Brenizer method” panorama with the Nikon 85mm f/1.4G (equivalent of 30mm f/0.5 according to Brett’s calculator)


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Portrait of a President

Whatever side of the fence you’re on, you can’t argue against President Obama’s smile (or Mitt Romney’s hair).

I can’t even describe how sharp this picture is at full size. I put the 24-70 aside for the last few years because it almost made things too easy and mindless, but it is an amazing performer.

Note: In all of these posts, negative political commentary against either side will be deleted. The entire Internet lies out there, waiting for your flame wars.

Camera: Nikon D3s
Lens: 24-70 f/2.8


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That Fleeting Moment: Romney, Obama, and Cardinal Dolan at the Al Smith Dinner

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Whew. I just got back from the Al Smith Dinner. I haven’t even download all of the images yet, but thanks to hyper-efficiency of the media world, this one has already been sent out to the newswires a couple hours ago. It was an amazing event and an incredible honor to have a near-exclusive eye on history, flanked only by two campaign photographers who have already made an incredible mark on history themselves: Eric Draper and Pete Souza.

Apparently, other than the debates President Obama and former Governor Romney haven’t been near each other since 2004. And they haven’t exactly been sharing a laugh during the debates. So it was a pleasure to be there for that brief moment where two fierce competitors put down their guard for a fleeting moment … and laughed about Mitt’s singing. (“It was pretty good!” according to the president).

More to come.

Camera: Nikon D3s
Lens: 24-70 f/2.8


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Another Chance at History

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I’ll be back as the sole independent photographer in the Al Smith Dinner tonight, with President Obama and former Governor Romney, among countless other luminaries. Watch it on C-Span at 9.

It has been an incredible honor to have an exclusive eye to history multiple times. Nervous and tremendously excited. Heck, I’m excited just to work alongside Pete Souza, let alone everything else.

Camera: Nikon D3
Lens: 24-70 f/2.8


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Sneak peek from the Nikon D600

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I did a shoot with the new Nikon D600 today. Had a great time with it, and lots more to come very soon, but I can’t wait until my favorite RAW converters start supporting it. Luckily I use custom camera profiles in-camera, and the JPGs aren’t too shabby.

My first pet peeve is that you can’t make the photographic Live View reflect the exposure how the photo will actually look, but I’m finding some work-arounds.

Camera: Nikon D600
Lens: Nikon 85mm f/1.4G


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Teaser: Shoot with Sophisticated Weddings, Kleinfeld Bridal, and more

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I had a grand old time shooting a cover and some inside editorial photos for Sophisticated Weddings’ New York Edition yesterday. This is broadway and tv actress Synthia Link sporting a gown from Kleinfeld’s bridal, one of the many fabulous dresses they donated to the shoot (yes, we said “yes” to them.) Thanks also to Maria Perry Atelier, Ariston Flowers, Oasis Day Spa, Lisa Hubbard and Jessica Vargas for their help. This was a blast.

I’m not giving too much away here … I had to shoot under very different constraints for layout of the cover photo. But I had a horizontal in my heart.

More to come.

Camera: Nikon D3s
Lens: Sigma 12-24mm f/4.5-5.6


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