GNP published in Student Photographic Society

Recently we were published in the Pro Quotes column on the Student Photographic Society website. The Student Photographic Society is an outstanding organization that offers a wealth of information for photography students worldwide. Membership is granted with a small registration fee. The tips and counsel offered through this organization is an unbelievable value and something I'd recommend for every student who is interested in a potential career in photography.

In the first column several photo pros were quoted on what they wish they had done first as they were starting their business. We spoke briefly about the importance of having a good accountant, someone that you can trust to help you with the financial aspect of your business.

The second column centered on the following question, "Knowing what you know now, what action/purchase/enterprise would you have skipped when starting your business?" In this column we talked about the significance of people encouraging us to pursue photography as a career and the value of having a good system of support.

Stay tuned for additional Pro Quotes to come.

Golf is a four-letter word

After two days of weddings last weekend, I spent the past two days on the golf course. Several of our friends from Tennessee came down to Orlando for a six-rounds-in-three-days golf marathon. They started on Sunday with two rounds, played another on Monday morning, then I joined them in the afternoon for the 4th round, and finished out with two rounds yesterday. The first image...well, the caption speaks for itself. The second image is of my father, finishing out on the 18th green. The final image is of my friend Tyson. He was in our wedding and we've been friends since early grade school.

In highschool golf was really a big deal for me. Since I was a kid I've enjoyed spending time on the golf course, whether it's playing with my brothers and father, or competing in tournaments. But over the past year, with becoming a father and investing lots of time on the business, golf has really taken a back seat.

Yesterday, I was struggling my way around the course and it seemed that everytime I hit what I thought was going to be a great drive, it somehow found the fairway bunker, which always makes for a challenging second shot. But I realized a parallel between golf and photography. The more you practice the better you become. In highschool I was on the golf course every day. I'd work on the course mowing or in the proshop in the morning, and in the afternoon I'd be hitting balls with my brothers. Now I'm lucky to touch my clubs 10 times/year. But hardly a day goes by when I'm not using the camera. So if I have to choose between good golf and good photographs, I guess I'd better lean toward the latter.

Each of us has a passion. What's yours?


Image of the Week: Image 5

With two weddings this weekend we thought it would be nice to include an image from each in our Image of the Week entry.

Image of the Week: 1

The first is from Lisa and Mike's wedding. It was unbelievably warm outside, so we did a few shots outside, but worked mostly indoors. This shot was taken in the getting-ready room at the Winter Park Civic Center, where their reception was held. I really like this shot because you're able to see both sides of the action. Kissing shots are often tough because one person's face gets hidden, but using the mirror lets the viewer in on all the action. And the blues in the wall are a nice change from the warm tones we usually shoot.

Image of the Week: 2

The second image was shot during Kathryn and David's reception at Isleworth. Minutes after Joy and I arrived for the pre-ceremony photography, we noticed the light on the stairs and the textured wall and we knew this location had the potential to give us a great image. Kathryn and David did job working the camera. In camera I loved how the warm light flooded them, and then in post processing we darkened the corners and added a glow. I think this is one of my all-time favorites that we've ever shot. Of course I also like both of these images because they both demonstrate good uses of the "Rule of Thirds."

Kathryn and David

Its always exciting when we have the opportunity to photograph a wedding at Ilesworth, home of Tiger Woods and several other superstar golfers. But it's even more exciting when we have the opportunity to work with couples like Kathryn and David. They had a beautiful wedding. The details were amazing and everything went off perfectly. Kathryn had prayed for cloud cover and breeze to keep the outdoor teperature bearable and sure enough, just before the ceremony the clouds rolled in. Isleworth is a photographically rich location and we were blessed to be able to take advantage of some pretty unique light.

Thanks, Kathryn and David for letting us be a part of your special day. May God continue to bless you and your families.


Lisa and Mike

We first met Lisa and Mike at Bryan and Holly's wedding last October. At the time they were living in Atlanta, but were returning to Orlando. Lisa and Mike had a beautiful wedding ceremony at St. John Vianney Church in Orlando. Lisa was a very beautiful bride and Mike, a handsome groom, but without a doubt, the star of the show was their one-year-old daughter Kayla, who's birthday will be celebrated today with all her family and closest friends.Their reception was held in nearby Winter Park. We were honored to be a part of their special day, and we wish them all of God's richest blessings.


It's official: House for Sale

Yesterday we made it official by putting the "For Sale" sign in the yard. It's hard to believe it's been more than two years since Joy and I first walked through the front door of this house and simultaneously thought, "this is the one!"

It's a great home with lots of character. Located in desirable College Park (Orlando) with convenient access to I-4, Edgewater, Winter Park and downtown Orlando. If you know of anyone moving to Florida or perhaps just moving across town, please feel free to have them contact us.

One of our favorite features of the house is the library that we installed with the assistance of our friends and wedding clients David and Elizabeth Wright. The library has one of those cool sliding ladders so Joy and Graycen can reach the top. It's too much work to move so we're gonna have to leave it with the house and install another one in our next home.

We also really enjoy the back deck. We put in a stone pathway that leads from the deck through the back yard and in between the orange and grapefruit trees. It makes a big circle at the end near the lemon tree. It was one of those dreadful projects that I started on and worked really hard for a few days, then let it sit for several months before gaining the inspiration to complete it.

So anyhow, that's our house, and yes, it is for sale. We're excited as we contemplate the future. We're presently looking for a studio gallery here in Orlando and also one in our original hometown of Chattanooga, that will allow us to serve both markets equally.


Kim and Matt's wedding in paradise

Kim and Matt were married on the beautiful island of Abaco in the Bahamas. What an honor it was to be a part of their special day. It was an intimate wedding with about 40 of their closest family and friends. Their beautiful ceremony took place on the beach at sunset. The next day they flew back to Miami before heading to Costa Rica for their honeymoon. Congratulations Kim and Matt on your new life together. May you find true happiness and blessings.


Image of the Week: Image 4

Beautiful white beaches and crystal blue waters—there’s nothing like the beaches of the islands. While we were in the Bahamas for Kim and Matt’s wedding, we did an early-morning beach shoot. Here’s the result, and this installment of Image of the week: Image 4.


Wonderful weekend in the Bahamas

We had the pleasure of spending the weekend in the Bahamas to photograph Kim and Matt's wedding, which we will be posting soon. Our internet access has been very sparce, so we're keeping posts short. Here's mommy and Graycen enjoying the beach...or at least one of them found it enjoyable, Graycen was less amused :-)


Image of the Week: Image 3

For this week's Image of the Week we selected a three images from Brooke and Sean's e-session. It's no secret that e-sessions are one of my favorite parts of my job. They're such a laid-back time that allows us the opportunity to get to know each other before the wedding. But what I find most enjoyable is collaborating creatively with our couples and trying to produce images that are different from anything their friends and family have.

Brooke and Sean drove up from Deerfield Beach on Monday night and we shot on Tuesday morning. We never imagined it was going to rain. But it did. We shot for a while and tried staying dry, but we reached a point when we thought why not embrace the rain. The result was a handful of images that are fun and unique, and yes, a little sexy.

After we posted the images Brooke emailed and said they were so excited. And then the next day, Sean called to thank us. But I thanked them. I think that sometimes clients don't realize that we're just as excited as they are about creating excellent images. And I'll often admit that we shoot just as much for ourselves as we do for them. When the energy and chemistry are shared between the photographer and subject, the result is extremely rewarding, as was the case with this shoot. Obviously these images wouldn't have been what they are without Brooke and Sean's energy and their willingness to step out of their comfort zone and create something unique.

Logan and Cole

On Friday morning I had the opportunity to photograph Logan and Cole. I used to work with the kids' mom at AHS and I've played golf with their father several times over the past few years. We shot at their house in a nice shaded backyard. Their mom had lots of creative ideas for the pictures. I'm still going through everything we shot, but here are a couple to start with.


Friends in high places

It was exciting today to see our friends, Brian and Richard, of Flourish Floral Productions featured in this morning's Orlando Sentinel. In the "Good Living: Style & Trends" section, Brian and Richard were featured in an article titled "Tabletop decor lends panache to events."

It has been great getting to know Brian and Richard over the past few months. They are really great guys and their work is spectacular. They've even been highlighted on the hit show "Whose Wedding is it Anyway?" You can check out a clip of the show on their website under the "Press" link. Congratulations guys and I'm sure this publicity will continue to fuel your already successful design studio.


What it takes to be a successful CEO

Today I had the opportunity to do environmental headshots of Linda Watson, CEO of Lynx Transportation. Lynx is the public transportation bus system for Greater Orlando. Linda has a tough job. Lynx is responsible for servicing a three-county area the size of the state of Deleware. Unfortunately they receive very little funding, which presents obvious challenges. Furthermore, their fleet of buses is 238 in number. When I heard that I thought, "wow, that's a lot of buses." Then they explained that smaller cities, like Charlotte, NC, have 600 buses.

What struck me the most about Linda during my time with her was her personality. Upon meeting me for the first time, she repeated my name and remembered it the rest of the day. We did some shots in her office and then we went outside. While we were outside she said hello to one of the janitors and called him by name. She stood for a minute and talked with one of the bus drivers. She waved to the security guards and told them good morning. All the while, maintaining her poise and disposition for the camera. When we went back inside she went up to another security guard and thanked him for his work on a recent project.

Having worked in a corporate environment for 7 years I've been blessed to meet lots of "important" people. And everytime I do I learn something new. Thanks, Linda.


Brooke and Sean's e-session

On Tuesday morning, we had a great e-session with Brooke and Sean. What a fun couple! They had driven the night before from South Florida for the shoot. We had a great time shooting along Park Ave. and at Rollins College. Unfortunately it rained, but we were able to make the best of it, and ended with some really fun shots in an alley between two buildings. Brooke and Sean are getting married in December in Deerfield Beach, Florida. In March 2005 we photographed Brooke's sister's wedding at Stoneybrook Golf Club, and we're excited to work with their family again in a few months.


Image of the Week: Image 2

This week's Image of the Week was an easy selection. Today we're celebrating Graycen's first birthday. It's hard to believe that already a year has passed since she joined our life. And what a blessing she is. As you might imagine, over the past year we've taken a lot of images of Graycen. Joy took this image a couple months ago. So why did I select this one for Image of the Week?

Reason 1. Rule of thirds. The rule of thirds is one of my favorite "rules" of photography. While the natural tendancy is for people to center a subject in the middle of the frame, a good way to create more visual apeal is to position the subject in the left-hand third or right-hand third or top or bottom of the frame. If you look through our website and our blog you'll see lots subjects positioned according to the rule of thirds.

Reason 2. The second reason I like this image is because of the interesting crop. People often shoot their subjects so far back that it's hard for the viewer to pick up any of the subject detail, not to mention all of the other items in the picture may be distracting. Joy shot this image really close and cut off a portion of Graycen's head. Clearly the focus point is her eye, nose and hand. Had she shot the image with her entire head in the frame, the focus would have obviously been very different and most likely, less defined. Finally, the "negative" or "wasted space" at the right leaves no intrepretation to what she wanted the viewer to see.


Introducing......"Image of the Week"

It is indeed amazing to consider how much blogs have changed communication. They effect the media, the war, politics, business, education, religion and countless other social and business establishments. I wish they'd effect gas prices. :-)

Since we started our blog last year we've enjoyed receiving messages from friends, clients and other photographers who stop in and visit on a regular basis. And obviously, if you're a regular visitor you know that we use our blog to post our most recent weddings, e-sessions, family shoots, and everything else that we're trying to keep up with.

A couple weeks ago we attended WPPI in Las Vegas. And as we toured the tradeshow it was amazing to see what digital technology has done to the business. And of course the changes continue daily. With the advent of digital technology, and the affordability of equipment, it's not uncommon for an occasional guest at a wedding to be using the same cameras as we use. Over the past year we've spent a great deal of time researching what other photographers are doing, looking at their images and discovering what it is that sets apart a good photograph from an average photograph. And we always put a big emphasis on bettering ourselves by attending workshops and seminars as often as possible.

So over the next several weeks we're going to be posting a series of entries called "Image of the Week", inspired by David Beckstead. It will be both fun and educational. Hopefully some of the photo students that we visited with at Southern will get this. We'll try to do them on the weekends, but they may be posted on Friday or possibly on Monday. Obviously, we're not getting off to a good start because here it is, Monday evening. Anyhow....

The entries will be interspersed with our other work, so it may take a minute to scroll through. We hope that you'll find this both enjoyable and educational. And of course, if you agree or disagree on a particular image, please feel free to let us know. The more feedback we receive, the more we continue to grow.

Image of the Week: Image 1

Just minutes before the wedding, the bride is usually running around making sure all the last minute details are ready. This bride was as organized as ever. Everything was in its place and she was ready long before call-time. So as we sat upstairs in the bridal room, she and her bridesmaids climbed up on the couch to look down on the front lawn at the guests as they arrived. Meanwhile her father entered the room and quietly snuck around to see what they were looking at.

It was a great candid moment, as the bride turned her head around to see her father. Not to mention, he was standing at the perfect angle to catch his reflection in the mirror. I must confess, it was a little bit of luck, but that's the nature of candid images. Celebrity wedding photographer Joe Buissink admits that he's often lucky, but he says, "I work extremely hard to place myself in the way of luck and good fortune." And that's how great moments are captured forever.

Lisa and Tink

We were so blessed to have the opportunity to work with our friends Lisa and Tink on thier wedding last weekend. We were friends with Lisa from college in Tennessee. Over the years we lost touch and several months ago after they became engaged, she called. We had them over to our house and that was the first time we met Tink. And what a super couple.

The morning began at Lisa's parent's house. Then we went to the reception location and did pictures beforehand. They had a beautiful wedding at Forest Lake Church, and the reception followed at the Sweetwater Country Club. At the conclusion of the reception, Lisa and Tink drove off in a beautifully restored 1957 Ford Thunderbird. His father had owned it for 30, and just recently finished restoring it.

It was indeed a pleasure working with you. We wish you God's richest blessings and an exciting future together.

Melissa and Jason

Melissa and Jason were married at the Villas at Grand Cypress. It was a perfect afternoon for an outdoor wedding. A nice evening breeze blowing across the golf course, and everything about the wedding seemed to go perfectly. Melissa was a beautiful bride and Jason, a handsome groom. Their families and the bridal party were a lot of fun too.

I saw this painting when we entered the reception location and wanted to shoot by it. Then they set up the bar right in front of it in the little alcove. Bummer. So towards the end of the evening I started checking to see when the bar was closing down. Once it did, we grabbed this shot and I love it.

Thanks guys for being so much fun to work with. We wish you all the richest blessings on your new life together.