Category Archives: Portraits

Sunday Snaps

Sundays in the fall are supposed to be dedicated to football and beer; unfortunately for us our Steelers game wasn’t on cable (they still won – yeaa).  So I grabbed my camera and the nearest model (which just so happened to be my fiancees daughter) and headed out to the back yard for some pseudo candid snaps.  What is pseudo-candid?  Well, that is where you get the model to pose and as they get bored waiting for you to take the picture they look off or do something like play with their hair and THAT is the pic you snap.  Even though my model thought I was torturing her by making her sit where the zipper spiders usually hang out, I think we got some some nice pics ;o)

Smoke Break



Senior Girl

Senior Girl






Senior Relaxing

Smoke Break



Arri Lights ROCK!

This past week we were out and about doing some commercial video work for a local company who manufactures pool safety equipment. We showed up to do the shoot, and found out the shoot was to be held in a dark, unlit warehouse. Not good.

Having no continuous lights (tons of strobes, reflectors, and off camera flash -but no continuous video lights), we pretty much scrambled for anything we could find. Luckily there was another photog nearby who loaned us some lights.

Not a situation we want to be in or ever want to be in again so we went on the hunt for some cinematography lights. First stop: Barbizon in Charlotte (which ended up being our last stop as well because they are pretty much awesome. Read on).

We got hooked up with an awesome and completely knowledgeable sales rep who totally hooked us up. It just so happened they had an Arri 5 light kit that had been discontinued and they were willing to cut us an awesome deal.

Those familiar with the world of cinematography know the brand Arri and know they pretty much rock with their continuous hot lights. A couple hours later, we walked out two very happy customers with some totally awesome Arri lights and all the trimmings (barn doors, scrims, diffusers, soft box, stands…you name it).

So Guildbrook Studios pretty much has everything now for any photog or videog/cinematog shoot you can imagine. We rock.

Mother Daughter Pictures

The “R” Family – three gorgeous women comprised of a mum and her two daughters – came to us after bidding and winning one of our charity donations.   We asked them what kind of setting they wanted and the answer we got was “fences and fields”…so we gave them Fences and Fields!  The setting was stunningly raw and gorgeous and the setting sun lit them beautifully.

Unfortunately, that field probably won’t be around for long as rumor has it a developer bought it and everything around it up.  Fortunately, these portraits WILL be around for a very long time for them to enjoy!

Here are some select photos from the session:


Urban Teen Shoot

I love photographing teens and seniors.  Their shoots always end up being more of a fashion shoot…and fashion shoots just ROCK!

Back in November we donated several gift certificates to charity auctions and the “M” Family was the recipient of one of these winning auctions.  They gave us a call and said they wanted to book an urban teen shoot for their daughter.   So I took them to the coolest place I knew in Charlotte for urban pictures.  Miss Claire was the perfect model with her high cheekbones and bubbly demeanor.  We think in some pictures she actually looks like Donald Trump’s daughter, Ivanka (only with dark hair). She is simply gorgeous!  But don’t take my word for it…see for yourself!

Allow me to introduce: the lovely Miss Claire.

(click on the pics for a larger version)

Best Destination Wedding Pictures From Tasmania

These are a few of my favorite destination wedding portraits from Briony + Mark’s wedding at Avalon in Swansea, Tasmania.

Environmental Portraiture at its Best

Environmental portraiture is a portrait of a person in their working environment, in their natural surroundings.  For example: a cook in his kitchen, an interior decorator in a living room they designed, a welder in their shop, or as depicted here a cinematographer in the field.  Traditional portraiture has the subject looking directly in the camera; however some people prefer the more voyeuristic candid portrait.  It really depends on the use of the photo and the subjects preference.  Either way, environmental portraits speak volumes over traditional headshots on a paper background so consider going this route for your next portrait.

The Family Photographer…En Vogue or Old Fashioned?

Technology is advancing on an exponential level. Who DOESN’T own a computer or digital camera these days?   Most families I know even own a DSLR camera.  Professional labs know this and have made themselves available to the general public so moms can place an order for prints or even a wall canvas and have it delivered to their house in a week.  Don’t have Photoshop?  No problem.  They can even do the color correcting for you.  The majority of them even have software you can use on their website to design your own album or greeting cards.

So with all this technology available, what role does the “family photographer” have, if any?

I think the answer lies in the questions I get asked at least once a week, such as “I want to take a picture of my kids, but how to I make the background blurry?”

Anyone can pick up a camera, put it on “program” or “automatic” and capture a moment. But there really is an art behind capturing a GOOD image.  And it isn’t just about “making the background blurry”.  Its knowing WHEN to make it blurry and how blurry to make it…and when you shouldn’t make it blurry at all. Its about light:  what light to use, natural or flash or both, and how much of it to use.  How to shape that light on your subject.  What lens to use so as to not distort your subject, or if you WANT to distort your subject, what lens will give you the effect you want.  Did you even know that some lenses distort?  What about shutter speed…how fast does your shutter speed need to be to create a crisp image of your child running toward you?  How slow should your shutter speed be to create an intentional blurry picture of your child dancing?  How to angle your camera…are you looking down at your subject or looking up or straight on? What effect do different angles give the viewer of the photograph? Did you even know it did give an effect?  Its about facial analysis. A good photographer will do a facial analysis of you before taking your picture so they know how to make you look your best and to reduce the appearance of flaws.  It is about framing your subject and making sure there are leading lines to your subject and making sure there is nothing distracting in the background.  What about post-production?  That is the real art behind a photograph.  Do you want your picture to be sepia toned or black and white?  Vivid colors or maybe a washed out Abercrombie look?  Maybe you want a 1950s look or a Holga camera look.  When you send it to a lab to do this, they only make reds red and blues blue.

There is so much more than just picking up a camera and snapping a picture.  It takes a photographer YEARS to learn good photography and after they learn it, they still need to keep abreast of all the latest trends.

So while the trend of photography has shifted from formal portraits in a library to more fun, photojournalistic photography…there is and always will be a need for GOOD photography.  Even if it is just to put up on your FaceBook profile.

I want to hear your thoughts…what do you think about the family photographer?  What do you think about paper prints?