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Boudoir















I recently worked with NXT Modeling Agency here in Denver, CO. to update my boudoir portfolio. Lumber Baron Inn, a local B&B owned by Walter Keller, was kind enough to offer their elegant Victorian suites, which added to the ambiance of the shots. A special thanks to Michelle, Diandra, and Julie for their professionalism and hard work.

Studio Location :

Lumber Baron Inn

2555 W.37th. Ave.

Denver, Co. 80211

Phone : 303-350-7442

Here are some of the latest designs by Deede Vicory  who recently opened D’Loloa Couture located in Old Town Arvada. I was fortunate to have worked with DeeDe and Justin in capturing the essence of her brilliance in her bridal designs!

HDR images


Classic ‘1954 Chevy on location in Red Rocks, CO.what a beauty!
On assignment in Florida waiting for the right moment to click the shutter on this signature hole.I was up at the crack of dawn not knowing if the clouds were going break and let the sun shine on this beautiful hotel.I was lucky that morning…

This is another signature hole in Arizona taken for a client.

Fashion

I recently worked with designer Kaitlyn Thomas on a fashion spread for her Fall 2011 catalog, here is one my favorite images .With the help of a great creative team, hair , makeup, models , designer and photographer we were able to capture some great images…

Standley Lake High School

Standley Lake Wrestling

Standley Lake Wrestling






Standley Lake Wrestling

Standley Lake Wrestling

Standley Lake Wrestling

Standley Lake Wrestling

The track and field event was held on March 08, 2013 at Jeffco Stadium in Lakewood, Colorado.The event was an invitational meet with six high schools participating.

Juan Chago Santiago- Boxing

Juan Chago Santiago is the WbC Lightweight Latin American Champion and the Rocky Mountain Super Feather Weight Champion. I had the the pleasure of photographing this young Champion, at the House of Pain, Denver, Co. during his workout in the ring.

Black & White Images

I really like these 2 images , so I thought I would share them.The bride and groom were side lit in this shot and I was fortunate to capture this shot of this great looking couple.The Boettcher Mansion with beautiful parquet flooring  and 180′ view from the second floor was the location of this shot. I was looking for a great location for the ring shot and I thought the piano would be a great spot, the wedding couple were happy with the shots.

21 Tips for Wedding Photographers

Here is a great article from “Digital Photography School” on how to approach a wedding.

1. Create a ‘Shot List’

One of the most helpful tips I’ve been given about Wedding Photography is to get the couple to think ahead about the shots that they’d like you to capture on the day and compile a list so that you can check them off. This is particularly helpful in the family shots. There’s nothing worse than getting the photos back and realizing you didn’t photograph the happy couple with grandma!

2. Wedding Photography Family Photo Coordinator I find the family photo part of the day can be quite stressful. People are going everywhere, you’re unaware of the different family dynamics at play and people are in a ‘festive spirit’ (and have often been drinking a few spirits) to the point where it can be quite chaotic. Get the couple to nominate a family member (or one for each side of the family) who can be the ‘director’ of the shoot. They can round everyone up, help get them in the shot and keep things moving so that the couple can get back to the party.

3. Scout the Location Visit the locations of the different places that you’ll be shooting before the big day. While I’m sure most Pros don’t do this – I find it really helpful to know where we’re going, have an idea of a few positions for shots and to know how the light might come into play. On one or two weddings I even visited locations with the couples and took a few test shots (these made nice ‘engagement photos’).

4. In Wedding Photography Preparation is Key

So much can go wrong on the day – so you need to be well prepared. Have a backup plan (in case of bad weather), have batteries charged, memory cards blank, think about routes and time to get to places and get an itinerary of the full day so you know what’s happening next. If you can, attend the rehearsal of the ceremony where you’ll gather a lot of great information about possible positions to shoot from, the lighting, the order of the ceremony etc

5. Set expectations with the Couple

Show them your work/style. Find out what they are wanting to achieve, how many shots they want, what key things they want to be recorded, how the shots will be used (print etc). If you’re charging them for the event, make sure you have the agreement of price in place up front.

6. Turn off the sound on your Camera
9. Consider a Second Wedding Photographer

Having a second backup photographer can be a great strategy. It means less moving around during ceremony and speeches, allows for one to capture the formal shots and the other to get candid shots. It also takes a little pressure off you being ‘the one’ to have to get every shot!

10.Timidity won’t get you ‘the shot’ – sometimes you need to be bold to capture a moment. However timing is everything and thinking ahead to get in the right position for key moments are important so as not to disrupt the event. In a ceremony I try to move around at least 4-5 times but try to time this to coincide with songs, sermons or longer readings. During the formal shots be bold, know what you want and ask for it from the couple and their party. You’re driving the show at this point of the day and need to keep things moving.
11. Learn how to Use Diffused Light

The ability to bounce a flash or to diffuse it is key. You’ll find that in many churches that light is very low. If you’re allowed to use a flash (and some churches don’t allow it) think about whether bouncing the flash will work (remember if you bounce off a colored surface it will add a colored cast to the picture) or whether you might want to buy a flash diffuser to soften the light. If you can’t use a flash you’ll need to either use a fast lens at wide apertures and/or bump up the ISO. A lens with image stabilization might also help. Learn more about Using Flash Diffusers and Reflectors.

12. Shoot in RAW

I know that many readers feel that they don’t have the time for shooting in RAW (due to extra processing) but a wedding is one time that it can be particularly useful as it gives so much more flexibility to manipulate shots after taking them. Weddings can present photographers with tricky lighting which result in the need to manipulate exposure and white balance after the fact – RAW will help with this considerably.

13. Display Your Shots at the Reception

One of the great things about digital photography is the immediacy of it as a medium. One of the fun things I’ve seen more and more photographers doing recently is taking a computer to the reception, uploading shots taken earlier in the day and letting them rotate as a slideshow during the evening. This adds a fun element to the night.

14. Consider Your Backgrounds

One of the challenges of weddings is that there are often people going everywhere – including the backgrounds of your shots. Particularly with the formal shots scope out the area where they’ll be taken ahead of time looking for good backgrounds. Ideally you’ll be wanting uncluttered areas and shaded spots out of direct sunlight where there’s unlikely to be a wandering great aunt wander into the back of the shot. Read more on getting backgrounds right.

15. Don’t Discard Your ‘Mistakes’

The temptation with digital is to check images as you go and to delete those that don’t work immediately. The problem with this is that you might just be getting rid of some of the more interesting and useable images. Keep in mind that images can be cropped or manipulated later to give you some more arty/abstract looking shots that can add real interest to the end album.

16. Change Your Perspective

Get a little creative with your shots. While the majority of the images in the end album will probably be fairly ‘normal’ or formal poses – make sure you mix things up a little by taking shots from down low, up high, at wide angles

17. Wedding Group Shots

One thing that I’ve done at every wedding that I’ve photographed is attempt to photograph everyone who is in attendance in the one shot. The way I’ve done this is to arrange for a place that I can get up high above everyone straight after the ceremony. This might mean getting tall ladder, using a balcony or even climbing on a roof. The beauty of getting up high is that you get everyone’s face in it and can fit a lot of people in the one shot. The key is to be able to get everyone to the place you want them to stand quickly and to be ready to get the shot without having everyone stand around for too long. I found the best way to get everyone to the spot is to get the bride and groom there and to have a couple of helpers to herd everyone in that direction. Read more on how to take Group Photos.

18. Fill Flash

When shooting outside after a ceremony or during the posed shots you’ll probably want to keep your flash attached to give a little fill in flash. I tend to dial it back a little (a stop or two) so that shots are not blown out – but particularly in backlite or midday shooting conditions where there can be a lot of shadow, fill in flash is a must. Read more about using Fill Flash.

19. Continuous Shooting Mode

Having the ability to shoot a lot of images fast is very handy on a wedding day so switch your camera to continuous shooting mode and use it. Sometimes it’s the shot you take a second after the formal or posed shot when everyone is relaxing that really captures the moment!

20. Expect the Unexpected

One more piece of advice that someone gave me on my own wedding day. ‘Things will Go Wrong – But They Can be the Best Parts of the Day’. In every wedding that I’ve participated in something tends to go wrong with the day. The best man can’t find the ring, the rain pours down just as the ceremony ends, the groom forgets to do up his fly, the flower girl decides to sit down in the middle of the aisle or the bride can’t remember her vows….

These moments can feel a little panicky at the time – but it’s these moments that can actually make a day and give the bride and groom memories. Attempt to capture them and you could end up with some fun images that sum up the day really well.

I still remember the first wedding I photographed where the bride and grooms car crashed into a Tram on the way to the park where we were going to take photos. The bride was in tears, the groom stressed out – but after we’d all calmed down people began to see some of the funny side of the moment and we even took a couple of shots before driving on to the park. They were among everyone’s favorites.

21. Have Fun

Weddings are about celebrating – they should be fun. The more fun you have as the photographer the more relaxed those you are photographing will be. Perhaps the best way to loosen people up is to smile as the photographer (warning: I always come home from photographing weddings with sore jaws and cheeks because of of my smiling strategy).

Phillip & Sarah Kios

The location of this wedding was in scenic Morrison, Co. at the Willow Ridge Manor, which is restled in the foothills surronded by panoramic views from every direction. Sarah & Phillip Kois were a wonderful couple to work with as I captured this momentous occasion in their life! Hope you enjoy viewing these photos as much as I enjoyed photographing this fun loving couple!

Special thanks to Gregory Sargowicki Prop. at Willow Ridge Manor and Life Styles Catering on there  wonderful creative vision and professionalism.

Great Article on Equipment

I thought this would be a great article to read if you are in doubt about what to bring on a location or a wedding shoot. As an assistant photographer in Los Angeles for five years, I was fortunate to have been trained by some of the best photographers in the field. You need to be prepared for all lighting challenges you will face.

Lenses

Lenses with a large maximum aperture of f/2.8 or larger are extremely valuable for weddings. The option to use available light, even in dark churches or dimly lit reception halls, is a strong tool for the wedding photographer. Even more important is the option not to use a flash, as few people would describe the light cast by an on-camera flash as romantic. Furthermore, some locations have restrictions on flash photography during the ceremony itself, or a bride might specifically request that a flash not be used. The extra two stops of shutter speed between a f/2.8 lens and a cheaper f/4-5.6 kit lens can make the difference in getting the desired photograph.

There are photographers who make wonderful images with three to four fast primes and photographers who have every focal length covered with multiple lenses from 15-300mm. Most professional wedding photographers, however, use a set of three zoom lenses: a wide-angle zoom, a wide-to-tele zoom, and an image-stabilized telephoto zoom.

Wide-Angle Zoom

Nikon small-sensor body: Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8G ED AF-S

The wide-angle zoom lens is indispensable. This lens makes it possible to photograph in confined spaces, such as the bride’s dressing room or a packed dance floor. The wide angle perspective creates a sense of expansiveness and grandeur by showing the entire church or ceremony location. Wide images are easier to create with a full-frame sensor camera, as there are no f/2.8 lenses in the 10-22 range that gives and equivalent field of view with a small-sensor camera.

Wide-to-Telephoto Zoom

The wide-to-tele lens is the single most important lens for wedding photography. It is wide enough to take a group photograph, but still long enough to take a three-quarter portrait of a couple without the unflattering effects of wide-angle perspective distortion. Given just this lens, most professional wedding photographers could cover an average wedding to their usual standards of quality. Both Canon and Nikon offer high quality f/2.8 wide-to-tele zooms designed for a small sensor-body. These lenses are less expensive and physically smaller than their full frame counterparts.

Prime Lenses

Many photographers keep their lens kit to the three zoom lenses discussed previously. These lenses would probably cover 80-90% of the photos for any given wedding. It is worth including 2-3 fast prime lenses in your bag as well. These lenses are small, light, and fairly inexpensive. There are times at a wedding where, either for artistic or technical reasons, even an f/2.8 aperture is not enough to get the motion-stopping shutter speed or shallow depth of field desired. The faster prime lenses are ideal in these situations. An image that requires a 1/10th of a second shutter speed at f/2.8 will only require 1/30th of a second at f/1.8. That can be the difference between making a sharp image and a blurry one. However, for most professional wedding photographers, the best reason to include a few prime lenses in their wedding kit is that they provide an economical backup to their zoom lenses. Nothing is quite so terrifying as having equipment fail at a crucial moment. At a wedding in 2004, the aperture blades of a Canon 28-70/2.8 froze during the formal portraits. I remembered the 35/2 and 85/1.8 in my backup bag. After telling everyone to “take five” so I could run to the car, the backup lenses allowed me to finish the wedding without anyone noticing the failure.

My preferred three lens prime kit consists of a 28/1.8, 50/1.8, and 85/1.8, all used on a full-frame body. The 28mm takes in the full scope of most ceremony locations and also works in crowded spaces, the 50mm is good for small groups or a dancing couple, and the 85mm is long enough for ceremony vow/rings/kiss images. A wedding can be successfully photographed with just these three lenses. What is better, telling a bride that you missed the kiss because your one long zoom lens malfunctioned, or providing her with an image, even if it isn’t the absolute best photo you could have possibly taken?

Three-Lens Prime Kit:

Camera body

Most professional wedding photographers would agree that the essential tool for wedding photography is one of the current full-frame Canon or Nikon digital SLR’s. As of late 2007, the best choices would be the Canon EOS 5D (review) or the Nikon D3 (review). These bodies offer the best wide-angle capabilities with current lenses and the best image quality in low light. Does this mean that weddings cannot be photographed with a less expensive camera? Absolutely not. There are many excellent wedding photographers who use small sensor cameras such as the Nikon D300 (review) and the Canon EOS 40D (review). These cameras have excellent imaging and AF systems and, as mentioned earlier, provide a welcome boost in magnification for telephoto work. Their main drawback is the lack of f/2.8 wide-angle lenses.

What about the entry level DSLR bodies? Could you photograph a wedding with a Canon Digital Rebel or Nikon D40? In theory, yes. The imaging systems in these cameras are very good and skilled photographers have no problem creating excellent images with them. However, these cameras do not make our list of recommended primary equipment for several reasons: (1) slower handling due to increased use of buttons/menus, rather than dials; (2) reduced AF speed; and (3) inferior low light/high ISO performance. Despite those limitations, these cameras make excellent and economical backup bodies.

Only a fool would try to photograph an event as important as a wedding with only one camera body; bring a back-up body. If you do not own a back up body, or only have an entry level DSLR, look into renting.

Flashes and Accessories

  • 2-3 500-800 w/s monolight heads
  • 2-3 “speedlight” on-camera TTL flashes
  • light stands for each flash
  • umbrellas/softboxes for each flash
  • flash triggering device (radio slaves, optical triggers, or PC cords)
  • hand held flash meter

There are two schools of thought regarding electronic flashes for wedding work. Photographers with a lot of studio experience usually feel most comfortable with the flexibility and power that a set of studio monolights provide. Photographers with more editorial experience often feel more comfortable with “speedlight” TTL flashes due to their light weight and speed of setup/takedown. Studio flashes have the advantage of significantly more lighting power and many options for light modifications such as softboxes, snoots, and barn-doors. This can be an advantage when you have a large wedding group to photograph, or when the location calls for some creative lighting to achieve the proper romantic feel. In my experience, time is the scarcest resource at a wedding. The faster you can set up and tear down, the happier you and your clients will be. For my personal wedding photography, TTL flashes’ quick setup and lack of need for extension cords or electrical outlets have proven to be a far greater advantage.

With either studio strobes or speedlights, you will need light stands and light modifying devices for each flash. Umbrellas are very popular due to their easy setup, but softboxes have better light softening and directional abilities. The real-world answer is that you should use whatever you can afford and are comfortable with. Monolights require fairly sturdy dedicated light stands. Even the small ones are somewhat heavy and require a lot of support. Small TTL speedlight flashes can be mounted on just about anything, but most photographers find that investing in a set of sturdy light stands is a worthwhile investment. For those new to working with external flash, the photo.net Studio Photography Primer and Lighting Equipment and Techniques Forum will be useful resources.

Remote Flash Triggering

When setting up remote flashes for formal portraits, radio slaves are very handy. They allow you to eliminate long cords that wedding guests may trip over and to place flashes in locations where a cord would never reach. However, they are not necessary and many photographers successfully rely on optical flash triggers or infrared devices that allow the duration of remote flashes to be controlled by the camera body’s through-the-lens flash metering system.

Optical Triggers

PC Cords

Hand-Held Flash Meter

With the instant preview available on digital cameras, it is easy to take a test photo, check the exposure on the rear LCD, and adjust flash exposure if needed. However, a hand-held flash meter can be valuable when setting up flashes for formal portraits. It is easy to stand in front of the flasheswith a light meter in one hand and a radio slave trigger in the other. You quickly get an accurate idea of exposure and ratios among the different flashes you are using. Given how small and inexpensive a flash meter is, it is wise to make one a part of your wedding photography kit.