Archive: February 2009

Pamela and Mark’s Destination Wedding at the Diplomat Country Club

Posted on February 22, 2009

Pamela and Mark found me online which searching for a South Florida Wedding Photographer. We immediately connected with them and shortly thereafter, they booked me to photograph their special day. Theirs was a destination wedding, as they currently live in New York City. I was so honored to be able to photograph their South Florida wedding. The entire event was held at the incredible Diplomat Country Club in Hallandale Beach, Florida.

Pamela and Mark’s planned their destination wedding perfectly, selecting some of the finest vendors in town – including Raffi from Petal Productions, whose floral designs are always impressive to see! Christina at the Diplomat was on hand to help facilitate all the wedding events of the day. As usual, the staff was helpful and friendly and the guests appeared to be having a wonderful time throughout the evening.

I just love photographing weddings at the Diplomat Country Club. Both Pamela and Mark were terrific subjects! They were fun to work with and we had a wonderful time roaming around the grounds capturing some amazing shots. As far as South Florida destination weddings go, this was one of the best. South Florida is just such a great place for people from up north to plan their winter weddings. The weather is usually perfect – not too hot and not too cold and guests just love the idea of coming to a South Florida wedding. What a good excuse to get out of the cold! Thanks to Pamela and Mark for a magnificent celebration and for having me there to capture all of their memories.

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My new camera is a Canon!

Posted on February 19, 2009

Look out Nikon!!

Today the UPS man delivered my new Canon 5D Mark 2. Now this camera is exciting because aside from its huge 21 mega pixel file size it’s also able to shoot High Definition Video. In the past many pro photographers and videographers have wondered; When will still photographers also be shooting video? Well now with the 5D Mark 2 a still photographer can shoot stills one second and then switch to video and back to stills in a moments notice. I’ve only had this new toy for a few hours so I have not been able to play with it for very long. However, I did shoot some video with it and I must say the quality of the high def video is excellent. YES, I’m aware that Nikon has a new D90 that also shoots video as well. However, the Nikon does not have a full frame image sensor so the quality is not as good as the Canon.
Aside from the video aspect the 5D Mark 2 is an awesome still camera. It’s 21 magapixels which is more megapixels than the Nikon D3 and it is also very good in low light situations. I still love the image quality of the Nikon D3 but why would Nikon make a $5000.00+ camera with no auto sensor cleaner.. I’m so tired of cleaning dust off the image sensor of my Nikon D3. The Canon 5D Mark 2 does have an auto sensor cleaner, which is another reason I decided to go with the Canon.
Tomorrow 2-19-09 I have a very nice wedding at Turnberry Isle Resort and club and my New Canon 5D Mark 2 is already in my gear case. Even though I only plan of shooting a few frames with my new camera I can’t wait to test it out.

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What is Wedding Photojournalism?

Posted on February 16, 2009

As a South Florida wedding photographer, I meet with a lot of clients. One of the most common things that I am asked about is whether or not I do photojournalism at weddings. Photojournalism has become a big buzz work for photographers – especially wedding photographers. When brides come in and start asking about wedding photojournalism, I must say that I sometimes cringe inside. Don’t get me wrong, I love wedding photojournalism. I enjoy shooting pictures that tell a story as well as capturing those on the fly un-posed special moments. However, As a professional photographer for 25 years and as someone who has spent countless hours studying the principles and techniques of lighting and posing etc., the concept of photojournalism, on its own, as an acceptable art form for covering weddings is hard to swallow.

While candid un-posed shots can be great and are certainly necessary to get at weddings, there is no guarantee that certain things will be covered if a photographer shoots ONLY photojournalistic style photos and nothing else. I mean, if I didn’t get a good, clean shot of the bride with her mother or father with both people smiling and looking at the camera, I would be crucified. To my clients it is simply unacceptable to miss those key shots and let’s face it, those shots are often posed. They are “must haves” and there’s no not doing them. Over the years we have known several couples that have hired photographers who primarily specialize in photojournalism. Nearly every time, they were disappointed with the outcome. They either had none of the key posed family shots they wanted, out of focus or blurry photos or photos that were badly composed where faces and expressions were obscured. The problem with photographing a wedding purely as a photojournalistic event is that there is a good chance that important shots will be missed – and there is no going back and getting those pictures later. Some strict photojournalists have newspaper backgrounds and are used to just shooting candids - covering a news story as it happens. The fact that they do not have any formal lighting and posing training is evident in their photos.

It is true that nowadays most couples want a good mix of candid photojournalistic style photos as well as the more traditional posed pictures. There is a way that I do this so that both styles are achieved. It is called light posing or casual posing. The subjects are placed in situations where the lighting is flattering and they are lightly posed so that they appear casual, not stiff, and their faces are visible in the pictures – their expressions as natural as possible. This is accomplished by talking to the subjects and encouraging them to have a good time while posing. The effect is nearly always a home run. Clients love the artistic quality and natural poses. The good lighting insures that the photo will be aesthetically pleasing and the subjects will look their best.

As a South Florida wedding photographer, photojournalism is a subject that I deal with on a regular basis. I have been able to walk this fine line with my clients by showing them the difference between totally unposed and random pictures and my lightly posed photos that appear to be photojournalistic. Once they see the difference, most clients agree that better lighting and clear views of peoples faces far outweigh candid, random shots which may or may not capture the essence of a moment depending on just how good the photographer really is. A lot of it ends up being sheer luck that a strict photojournalist actually captures a really amazing and unique shot at a wedding. We have had but a few clients who have insisted that no posed family photos be taken at all. In these cases, we will acquiesce, however we write into the contract that they have specifically requested that no guests be asked to pose for pictures etc. If they decide that they want a photo with mom or dad, they will have to come up and ask for it to be taken.

My many years as a wedding photographer have led me to the conclusion that strict photojournalism as a wedding art form is highly overrated and under-explained to brides and grooms. While some photojournalism style photos are great, shooting an entire wedding as a photojournalist without paying attention the lighting situation, and proper camera settings is sort of a “cop-out”, in my opinion, that many photographers use to mask the real issue which is that they are, in fact, under-trained in many important facets of the principles of photography. While I believe that photojournalism is an important part of wedding coverage it’s often a buzz word that has simply gotten too much buzz.

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Margarita and Dimitry’s South Florida Wedding At Temple Sinai and Tatiana Restaurant

Posted on February 3, 2009

Margarita and Dimitry’s South Florida wedding was a grand affair by all accounts! I have photographed many large Russian Jewish weddings before, but this one was really on a grand scale. As a South Florida wedding photographer, I see all kinds of weddings. For Margarita and Dimitry’s wedding, I began photographing the bride, groom and bridal party at her parents home in Sunny Isles before heading over the Temple Sinai for the ceremony. There was a pretty big bridal party and we also had to shoot photos in the temple to make sure everyone was photographed before the reception.

Their wedding reception was held at Tatiana Restaurant in Hallandale Beach. This grandiose venue serves authentic Russian fare and specializes in catering for Russian style weddings and events. Tatiana also features Russian dancers, which add a real authentic flair to an event. It is definitely a unique place with a definitely aura about it. Tatiana is far from your typical catering hall or hotel.

Margarita and Dimitry were the stars of a most magnificent evening, as nearly 200 of their relatives and best close friends celebrated alongside them at this very special South Florida wedding.

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