Dr. Bly, I Presume

A lot of the time in professional photography, it’s not just about getting results, but getting them under exceedingly tight constraints. I’d been hired to shoot an event where this professor had given a lecture … but I wasn’t brought in until after the lecture was over and everyone was eating dinner.

I wanted a portrait for the client to use, but there’s no need to inconvenience everyone. Before contacting her, I quickly scouted the location and found an area where one of the broad fluorescent light banks was out, which made for a nice, broad directional light from the upper left. With a narrow depth-of-field, the window would be an interesting backdrop — the shot was made, now I just needed the subject.

I tapped her on the shoulder and asked if I could take her portrait. “I’ll have you back in 90 seconds,” I said. They never believe that. I took her over to the mark, showed her which way she should angle her body, shot her first pose, give some quick direction and shot the results. 30 seconds of portraiture, and she was back eating dinner a minute later.

Depending on your definition, this Saturday I shot either my shortest or my longest wedding. Lane and Eva had a beautiful, intimate ceremony at the First Unitarian Church in Brooklyn Heights, but their reception won’t be until the fall. So this was just an hour or so of coverage, and then I mingled with guests at his apartment afterward … and, although not required, I couldn’t resist taking some more photos.

All I can say about Lane and Eva is that I’m glad I’m about to get married myself … anyone the least bit cynical about love might have to rethink themselves after seeing how clearly these two glow in each others’ presence. When they tell the detailed, funny story of how they met, it’s easy to see that they’ve already written the first chapter of a long, interesting story.

This was my first wedding with the Nikon D3, and it performed like a champ. If you look carefully through wedding photographers’ portfolios, you’ll find that ceremonies generally take up a fairly small fraction. That’s because there are a lot of constraints, light is poor, many of the shots are fairly standard, etc. So doing a shoot that’s just a ceremony is an artistic challenge, but I’m very happy with the results. The church was one of the very darkest I’ve shot in — about as dark as a room lit only by small votive candles, but the images are very clean. Before the ceremony, the groomsmen waited in a room that was pitch black except for one small light bulb, but I took it as an opportunity to play with hard, dramatic light.

This wedding was 100 percent photojournalistic; I never positioned the couple in any way.

Presenting Lane and Eva:



Now *that’s* a kiss

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Lane, Eva, and Lane’s son finish the night with a group embrace.

Heather and Noam — engagment session

I met this great couple through Heather’s mother, the head of a design firm I’ve worked with. It’s quite an honor for someone who works with photographers for a living to turn to you when it really counts! They’re really a great couple, and we had a fantastic time even though the weather was freezing. My big, sturdy professional gear has one big disadvantage here: It’s all metal, so it quickly becomes an icicle. But we soldiered on, and they can look back at these images on a cold day during their summer wedding (which I will also be shooting).

This first shot will be used by Lensbabies as part of their international advertising! More news as I see what they do with it:

Focus on Love

They really love Brooklyn, so I tried to work in some of their favorite haunts and the feeling of the city into this shoot.

Morning Routine

Under the Arch

That Look

As the City Melts Away

Why Don't You Come Up and See Me Sometime?

Ring Me Up

I've hit the New York Trifecta!

Birth of Venus … and Adonis

The New York Post ran a wedding story with one of my photos in it on Sunday, Jan. 13. This means I’ve now had photos in all three major New York papers — the New York Times, the Daily News, and now the Post. Time Out New York (kids), too — can you hear me knocking, New York Magazine?

I gave them a large amount of photos to choose from and, as is part of the natural arrangement between photographers and editors, they took my least favorite one. But let’s pretend they used the one above. Noah and Allison were such a great couple to work with, and I’m glad to see their wedding in print!