Monday, April 27, 2009

Janelle & Jonathan-Engaged!

I'm so excited for Janelle & Jonathan's wedding this coming May! We just finished up talking about the timeline of their day, so I thought it would be a great time to show you some images from their engagement shoot back in the fall...

Jonathan is the Youth Pastor at St. Louise Catholic Church in Bellevue!

Check out the golden glow of the just a few short weeks I'll have some very different shots of them in here!

I had so much fun with you guys that day...looking forward to getting together again to shoot your wedding!

Monday, April 20, 2009

OSP-W "Group Shooting is Unnatural!"

Hi Everybody!

This past weekend I attended a photography conference in Seattle, OSP-W (Open Source Photo-West). It was great to see so many familiar faces in the crowd and some wonderful speakers flew in for the event. Overall I had a fantastic time and really learned a lot of "cool stuff" that I am going to spend some time processing in my brain and applying to my business. One of my favorite speakers was Kevin Swan, "Luxury Wedding Photographer" and co-founder of Kiss Wedding Albums. Random side note: Kevin Swan reminds me a TON of my older brother, John. You can just "see" the gears turning in his head as he thinks. He has a background in advertising & marketing and cuts right to the chase on a variety of topics. Simple is his thing. Don't believe me? His website which I linked to above has a SINGLE page. I was fortunate to be one of a handful of photogs who went to dinner with Kevin, Mike Larson, Shawn Austin, & Nathan Holritz after their Get Simple Seminar on Friday.

Inbetwixt the great speakers this weekend, were scheduled "Group Shoots." One or two experienced or well-known photographers would "Lead" the shoot, and the group would trounce around Seattle with a gorgeous, well moving bride model, (or engaged couple, senior, etc). Group shoots are a good opportunity to learn new techniques in shooting or posing, or shoot in locations or situations you've never encountered yet, with no pressure to produce any particular final product. Group shoots are a time to experiment, and for new shooters, it's an opportunity to build your portfolio with shots from the Group Shoot. However, personally, I usually don't like group shoots. Here's one of my favs from the Group Shoot.

I have even developed one personal motto regarding Group Shoots.
Sure, it is possible to grab beautiful shots like this fashion-y one above of our model, Brittany, but want to see what the reality was like?

See all those photographers down there? That's what it's like! You can't really get JUST where you want to be, it's difficult to give the bride direction, and it's just too darn easy to start feelin' like Paparazzi and getting elbows and lenses in your shots! Not to mention, there's 25 other people out there with nearly identical images of the identical bride!

Luckily, I was in a great group of photographers, many of whom I already knew, so it was fun to talk and laugh as we leaned over each other, walked in front of each others shots, and generally enjoyed being together on a beautiful Seattle day with friends and mutual interests. I actually hadn't signed up for any group shoot but the schedule of events rearrangd a bit and I found myself on one anyway. I only had my 50mm 1.4 and my fisheye lens with me (my most portable lenses) which are coincidentally the WORST lenses for a group shoot! lol Luckily, I love challenges so grabbed what I could with the 50mm and enjoyed separating from the pack and documenting the experience from the outside with the fisheye. Sharing this perspective with you guys is way more fun than showing a couple shots and having to explain the nutty circumstances! A picture really does say a thousand words!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Personalized Wine-Making @ Castlebridge!

Hi Everyone! Long-time no blog! I've so much to catch you guys up on! For one thing, I am looking forward to blog about Aliya & Billy's April 3rd wedding at The Canal in Ballard...first though, I wanted to share these great shots that my bride Jill from February 3rd sent me of their wine-making adventure at Castlebridge Winery, conveniently located in Kent! The wine was used above as wedding favors for their guests, which was such a cool idea I just had to share it!

I have yet to make my first batch of Castlebridge wine, but I've sampled all four flavors Jill and her VERY good friends labored over and they were DELICIOUS....from white to blush to red. Yum!

Too cute!

The final product below, featuring customized labels featuring images from Jill & Barry's Engagement session!

Thanks for sharing Jill!! I will for sure take you up on your offer to help me make my first Julie Watts Photo batch of wine at Castlebridge Winery!

In other news, here's just a little sneak peek of Aliya & Billy's wedding! That's Aliya's mother, Raina, in the background (and Billy's hidin' back there too) watching her youngest daughter on her wedding day. Doesn't this image have an unREAL amount of vintage essence?!