Headshots

This was my first attempt at doing headshots. My friend, Dalfa, needed some and asked me if I would do them for him. Up for the challenge, I pulled out three speedlights, set them up in the living room, and got to work. As usual, the hardest part was being able to pull natural expressions out of the subject. 

Lighting setup: Key light on a stand, up & camera right with a shoot-through umbrella. Second light pointed at background. Third light behind and pointed toward subject . Reflector down & camera left for a little fill light.

 The Steve Jobs!

The Steve Jobs!

Erica & Brian

I've known Erica since we were in middle school, when we were both a part of the LDC (Landsdowne Crew) (don't ask). She is one of the nicest and most genuine people you could ever meet, and very pretty, to boot.  She's also a kick-ass makeup artist. Check out her awesome work at www.ericabashamua.com.

We shot at the church in Georgetown where they were married, which happened to be Brian's school, and his mom's school before him. After shooting there for a while and learning about all the history his family has with that church we headed down to the canal for a couple more shots before calling it a wrap. Thanks for letting me photograph you, guys. You're a great couple! 

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Merry Christmas Eve everyone! 

Ceci & Phil Are Pregnant!

Ceci and Phil were awesome enough to trust me with their wedding photography when I had never shot a wedding before. Like many other firsts in life, nothing quite compares to your first wedding as a photographer. It's an equal parts mixture of nervousness, anxiety, and excitement. I learned a LOT that day and had a great time doing it thanks to these two and how nice and welcoming they were. In a way you could say that it was their trust that got me started in the photography business; doing their wedding gave me the confidence I needed to do this for real. So it goes without saying that I was very excited when Ceci contacted me about doing their pregnancy announcement shoot. Thank you, Ceci and Phil, for letting me be a part of two very special moments in your lives! I'm so happy for you guys!  

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Congratulations guys! I can't wait to meet little Phil Jr.

O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree

We decided that we wanted to pick and cut our own Christmas tree this year so this Saturday Sara and I drove out to a farm in Great Falls. I'm not sure if we were too late in the season or if this particular farm just wasn't very good, but they didn't have a single tree that was acceptable to us. Fortunately, there were several nurseries selling Christmas trees right before the farm. We got ourselves a nice 6'6'' Fraser Fir. After driving it home we spent the rest of the afternoon putting it up and decorating the rest of the house. Christmas!

 Hunting for trees

Hunting for trees

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 Slim pickings.... Very slim pickings....

Slim pickings.... Very slim pickings....

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 Putting our number one candidate through a very stringent smell test

Putting our number one candidate through a very stringent smell test

 It passed!

It passed!

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 Breaking all the rules.

Breaking all the rules.

 All ready to come home

All ready to come home

Emily & Ted

I had a great time shooting Emily and Ted's engagement session on Veterans Day. I've known Ted for years (I have fond memories of going over to his house and racing our new Tyco RCs we'd just gotten for Christmas back in 96) but shockingly enough had never met Emily. She is awesome and surprised me with how much she knew about photography. Every now and then she would say something that would make me raise my eyebrow until there were enough comments for them all to simply be coincidence. That's when she admitted that she had considered majoring in photography early in her college career. That explained it! It's always nice having someone who understands the dynamics of photography in front of the lens.

Ted and Emily are actually high school sweethearts who have been together for 9 years! Ted finally popped the big question while they were cruising the Caribbean last month.  They are adorable together and I think that really comes through in the pictures. We did the shoot at Manassas National Battlefield at Emily's request. The place was amazing, especially with all the vibrant autumn colors in full effect. Here are some of my favorites. Enjoy.

 Are you guys sure you haven't modeled before? If not you should start considering it.

Are you guys sure you haven't modeled before? If not you should start considering it.

 Talk about being naturally adorable.

Talk about being naturally adorable.

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Emily brought her special blanket that she got from her grandma. She thought it might be to raggedy, but I thought it was just perfect.

 Are you kidding me?!?!

Are you kidding me?!?!

We finished up right next door at The Winery at Bull Run. This was one of the places they looked at when searching for a venue but unfortunately it wasn't big enough.

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And I finished up by trying out some double exposures. These were all done in camera; no Photoshop here. I think they came out pretty awesome if I do say so myself :-P

Congratulations Emily and Ted! I can't wait to photograph your big day next fall. I know it's going to be a blast!

Capital Cities

You know it when you see it

You know it when it’s there

Like Michael Jackson’s Thriller

Like Farrah Fawcett hair

It’s good shit

So goes the hook for Capital Cities’ single, Farrah Fawcett Hair, a song that is quite simply about the good shit in life. I think it’s safe to add Capital Cities’ live performances to that list. From the moment they took the stage at 930 Club to the end of the encore, the L.A. duo, Ryan Merchant and Sebu Simonian (joined on tour by Channing Holmes on drums, Manny Quintero on bass, and Spencer Ludwig on trumpet) were electrifying.  Opening up with Tell Me How to Live (“aint nobody gonna tell me how to live!”) was a great choice and one that set the mood and energy for the remainder of the show. The guys kept at it, intoxicating the crowd every step of the way with their energy as they ran through every song of their single LP.  Standout moments from the set included the duo guiding the crowd through the “Capital Cities Shuffle” during Center Stage, Halloween giveaways (which included things from fabric softener to an Xbox 360 game), a cover of Staying Alive, the fan favorite I Sold My Bed But Not My Stereo, and the opening of the encore with Farrah Fawcett Hair (including one of many kick-ass trumpet solos by Mr. Ludwig). I’m so glad I got to see these guys live and can’t wait for them to roll through DC again.

No interchangeable lens cameras are allowed into 930 Club unless you have a press pass, so I brought my X10 to the show. Unfortunately we weren’t able to get very close, so I was pretty restricted with the angles I could get (and being on the  far right side meant I had more trouble getting good shots of Sebu, who was stage right). All shots are straight out of camera JPEGs, except for the few with black and white conversions.

Spencer Ludwig ripping it on the trumpet.

Sweet lens flare!

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Take a very well deserved bow, gentlemen.

And finally, here is the official Farrah Fawcett Hair video for your viewing pleasure.

Cross Keys Vineyard

Cross Keys is a beautiful vineyard located 10 miles south of Harrisonburg, VA in the heart of the Shenandoah Valley. I first visited this place back in 2009 and have made an attempt to go back to it any time I'm in the area or passing through it, so I was excited when Sara told me one of her college friends was getting married there. As I expected, the place made for an amazing venue. It also helped that the weather was absolutely perfect that day.

Here are a couple of photos I took on the iPhone with the VSCO Cam app.

Alison and Nick's National Harbor & Old Town Engagement

There's no getting around it, stepping in front of a big DSLR is an intimidating act.  From what I've read, even professional models are generally uncomfortable during the early stages of a photo shoot and only start getting in "the zone" after several minutes of awkward posing and interaction with the photographer.  So I was not surprised when I first met up with Alison and Nick and one of the first things they brought up was their concern about being in front of a camera. They told me that they are not photogenic and as a result don't have a lot of pictures of the two of them together. I assured them that they were not alone in this and that virtually everyone feels the same way (the saying "what do I do with my hands?" comes to mind). But I believe that with a bit of time to work through the nerves and a some direction here and there ( do "x, y, or z with your hands") everyone can take good photographs, and Alison and Nick certainly were no exception! 

I think that is one of the main reasons why it is important to schedule an engagement session. Not only does the couple get some great shots to share with their families and friends, but more importantly, they leave with a solid understanding of what it's like to be in front of the camera while getting to know how their photographer works. This in turn leads to a smoother shoot during the wedding which results in more quality photos from the big day. 

But I've gone on for too long now. Without further ado, I present to you Alison and Nick.  It was a pleasure getting to know these two and I'm very excited to be a part of their wedding next summer!   

Congratulations Alison and Nick! 

Baby Maverick

I'm very excited to introduce you to baby Maverick. He's a beautiful baby boy and the son of my dear friends Karla and Zach. Unfortunately he had an infection and was running a fever when we did the shoot, so he was not having any of that posing business. No matter, we improvised and moved to a more lifestyle oriented session. 

They did a fantastic job with the nursery.

Their dog, Midas, is a total sweetheart and is super gentle with, and protective of, baby Mav.

Congratulations Karla and Zach! Mav is beautiful and I know you guys are going to be great parents!