Saturday, November 16, 2013

Julia & Reece

Last month I had the pleasure of photographing Reece and Julia's wedding. The day was gorgeous and all the people I encountered were just wonderful. I couldn't have asked for more on my side of things.

Having been married myself, I know all about what goes into wedding planning, but I can't imagine what it must have been like for these guys because they don't even live here anymore. During most of their engagement they were away at college and before the day, graduated and moved to New Orleans. Their families must have put in a lot of help to make sure everything went off without a hitch, which it did.

Julia in front of her parent's house. I love these old houses in that part of town. Theirs was no exception. Just beautiful. The rosary hanging from the tree is something I hadn't heard of before. The superstition is that if you hang one in a tree the night before your wedding, the weather will be good on the wedding day. Or maybe it was just that rain would stay away. It must have worked. No rain all day, and just a little chill in the air. For October that was pretty good.

 The bridesmaids are driving one of the convertibles to the church. They rented two for the wedding party to travel in style. This was my first time photographing a wedding at St. Mary's church. I went there as a child and knew how beautiful it is so I was really looking forward to it.
 After the ceremony they did another thing I hadn't seen before. Instead of a receiving line at the church entrance, the bride and groom released each row and talked to their guests then. What a great idea!

After leaving the church we drove just a little ways past the reception site to Julia's grandfather's farm. The convertibles parked at the start of an old dirt and rock road and we exchanged cars for a hayride past fields and through woods to the top of a hill with a few old red structures. What a great place. I could have made pictures up there all day long.


But the sun will move across the sky and a wedding party eventually needs to get to their reception.
The reception was at Lockhaven, a beautiful spot just off the river. While dinner was inside, the dance floor was set up outside.  

I had a wonderful time and I wish the best to the happy couple in their southern adventures.


Tuesday, October 29, 2013


I love Halloween. Everything about it. Well, I could stand for the temperature to be a little warmer. Makes a variety of costume options narrower if you'll be outside. But aside from that, yay! Halloween!

If you're looking for something to do to add to your own Halloween adventures I'd like to suggest the Apocalypse haunted house in Alton. I've been to many haunted houses over the years, sometimes even traveling for them and I have to say this one is right up there with the big guys. Quality scenes and actors.

I got to make some photos the other night & I'd like to share a sneak peek with you.

The haunt will be open on the 30th from dark till 9pm, Halloween night after the Alton parade (it's right up the street) until people quit showing up, & Nov. 1st from 7 to 11pm.



Sunday, September 1, 2013

Rory & Evie

In stark contrast to my niece Evelyn (see previous post), when Rory's photo shoot started we sat him down on the grass and he looked up at me, crossed his little legs, put his hands in his lap & smiled. I couldn't believe it.

Oh my goodness I just love photographing these two. They do so well & we have a good time.
I ended up with so many photos I'm happy with it was hard to pick which ones to share.

After playing in the playground for a little while it was time to get some cake in this boy's face.

Can't have a birthday without getting at least a little messy. It's only right.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Evie is one year old!

On the one hand it feels like my niece was just born and on the other it seems like so long ago.

We don't live in the same town so I only get to see her once every couple of months. She's very clingy right now with the people she's closest to like her parents and grandma. This combined with her being an early walker made getting some one year pictures a little tricky. When she wasn't attached to my mom she was running around all over the place. But with a little patience I had some success.

We went out to the nature preserve where she got to check out the wild flowers.

I hear a lot of people say kids grow up too fast and even that they wish they'd stay little forever, but I find myself instead enjoying them growing up. I feel like I can't wait to see the girl she'll become.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Travis & Ashley's Wedding

Enjoy some photos from this wedding day I photographed a little earlier this summer. Everything was so beautiful it made my job easy. Best wishes to the happy couple! There's a lot of love here.



Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Keep it's memories

The other day I was walking my dog and came across a piece of trash on the ground that was unmistakably a wrapper of a dollar ice cream from an ice cream truck. This isn't my route, but as a fellow ice cream man I felt an obligation to clean it up.

When I picked it up I saw that it came with a message.

This is one of the reasons I love my other job.

This is such a nice sentiment that made my day feel a little brighter (even though it would seen little Eric needs to learn to use a trash can better). No other sales job has given me the warm fuzzies so often as this one.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Rainy Day

I've been pretty exhausted lately, but for some reason the other day I had a bunch of energy. I wanted to anything but sit on my butt. Even though it was raining I set up my camera in the cover of the garage and my dark tent ready in the basement. I thought for sure I could find something out there or in the house to photograph but nothing looked all that appealing. So what do I end up thinking is a good idea? Try to make some wet plate pictures of my black dog in the dark garage. Does it make it any better that I knew they wouldn't really turn out? I don't know. We had fun anyway.

After getting this one photo of her out of my system I knew I still wanted to try and make something better while I had everything out and the temperature was nice but I still had the issue as before with not being very inspired by any of my still life options.

What I decided to do was walk two houses up and knock on my neighbor Pam's door. Pam has been there in the same house for what sounds like as long as the house has been there from the way she talks about it. Occasionally we run into each other and have conversations and as I had brought up my interest in this process the last time we talked I felt that she might like to sit for me. Apparently she had been up late the night before texting with friends and at almost 1:00 in the afternoon had just recently woken up. I don't know why that amuses me. I have no idea how old Pam is, but I have a feeling it's more than how she acts and looks. Actually, it would seem that this process has aged her. It's ended up showing more wrinkles than what are apparent in real life.

So obviously she said yes, but asked to come by just a little later so she could wake up more and put herself together a bit.

Some of the funky stuff going on in these is due to experimentation. Some of it I understand and just want to push things & see it all in person, and some I'm still learning about. This was also my first time trying black stained glass. I either like it a lot or not very much. That all depends on if one of these things I'm still learning is related to it at all.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

New things are happening

This picture may not look like much to you, but what it represents to me is overwhelming.

Several months ago I was taught how to make wet plates. This is a process that was used mainly in the 1850s and 60s. It's basically creating your own film on a surface, like glass for example (what I've used so far), and making it light sensitive to make a photograph. In the end it can be a negative or a positive.

When I learned the process I made a couple alright plates. Enough to get the idea. Over the next few months I gradually collected what I would need to do this on my own with a lot of help from xmas and a tax return. When everything came together and I started making photos they didn't come out quite great. I had a strange looking fog on every one. It's a tricky process and every little thing can cause issues or just variations. I spent several days troubleshooting all different aspects of the process to come up with a clean plate. For the most part I remained positive and still excited to be learning more about it. Eventually however, as my options began to dwindle I felt more discouraged and generally bummed out. I took a break and tried again. Things started to turn around and I had some success. I'm not sure I can express how that felt. Relief is probably the best word but it doesn't seem to capture the immensity. Sadness gave way to hopefulness and I could feel the bad juju fall away from me.

This photo is the first one I've made on my own with my darkroom and the chemicals that I mixed myself that turned out OK. It's by no means great, but it's not bad. It's a starting point for things to come. 

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Taking a Walk

In general, I really like the sun. I like the way it feels when it shines on me and I miss it when it's gone for a while. On the other hand, aesthetically when photographing outdoors I prefer it to be overcast. I like the diffused, even and sometimes grayness of the look. This is something that's been on my mind a little more since spending some time in Portland over the winter. The sun has come out. The sky is clear right now as a matter of fact, but it hasn't been out as much as I'm used to and because I haven't taken many photos outside in the daytime while I've been here my feelings about it have been more on the side of missing it.

The other day I was inspired to get out and go for a hike. Take advantage of all this beautiful land just a short drive away. I picked a day that had a low chance of rain and drove out to the Columbia River Gorge area. I had a hike in mind but accidentally missed the exit to get there. When I took the next exit I was in the parking lot in front of the Multnomah Falls. I still planned to go back to the other hike but when I found out it was much more trouble than just going back to my missed exit I decided to stay and take this hike.

Here is where my earlier mention about the light comes back in. There seems to be, at least in some areas, a special quality to the light here that I haven't seen other places. It's somehow bright and dark at the same time. I noticed this the most on this walk and I think a lot of it had to do with the subjects and the way they react to the light. Almost everything up here is covered in moss and when the moss and the overcast light get together it seems to almost glow.

Getting to the top of the falls I followed a paved switchback path but once at the top there was another path that was unpaved and rocky that lead to a smaller falls. That was the part I enjoyed the most. Everything felt much more secluded and natural there.

The path ran along side the stream that connected the two falls to each other.

I have done almost nothing to these photos. I usually don't do much post work but I feel the need to emphasize that because looking at some of these I think they seem to have almost a painterly look to them and the subject didn't need any help from me to look like that.
(if you click on the photos you can view them larger)

Multnomah Falls itself was surely one of the largest waterfalls I've ever seen and I like the way you can get pretty close to it at the bottom via the bridge that sits between the upper and lower cascades.

I could really get a sense of it's powerfulness as it loudly crashed against the rocks behind it. I probably could have sat there and watched it for a while if I were dressed more appropriately for the wetness and had more time. 


Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The New Baby

So I took some time away from home to travel up to Portland OR. Reason being my sister is having her first baby. Yay! Exciting! A few years ago, shortly after getting married, her and her husband packed up & drove out here with the vaguest of plans. There's no other family nearby so I offered to come up and help if help was needed.
I got into town a few days before little Greta made her appearance so I was able to be here for the delivery.

We were at the hospital all day and finally at 11:54pm Greta Mae was born.

Now I get to spend a bit of time with my sister and brother in law and getting to know my niece. So far I know that she likes to eat and cry a lot.

Here's a few photos of the happy family: