To New Adventures; Not in Babysitting

Talk about a weekend of comfort zones. I do not believe I have been comfortable all weekend. It all started with Walter Olson and the artist challenge on Facebook. Then, I started a remodeling project based on ideas from Fixer Upper and Property Brothers. Darn you HGTV!

This weekend, I succumbed to taking newborn photos for the first time. An adventure ensued…

What did I learn this weekend about newborn photography, patience – lots of patience. My wife has loads of it, but not me. I don’t want to take away from the experience by undermining the genre or any reflection on the family or children, but it really is difficult.

If you question why photographers charge so much for a session, just accompany a new mom on her newborn photography excursion. The outcome definitely outweighs the pursuit. 

The entire time, I think I doubted myself and my abilities to capture what the mom wanted, but then my wife stepped in and wow! She made the entire shoot possible. Idea after idea and comforting the little man. I would have thought we gained another child. 


I was getting my feet wet with this very first shot or look. Lauren brought a crate with some props in them. Gifts people provided, no doubt from a shower. She was ready to rock this shoot. Thank God, because I had nothing to offer for props. 

Now, my remodeling project actually came in handy for this shoot as the new Timberwall I am installing provided a great backdrop and our bedroom provided some nice natural light.


This little guy is so adorable, but he was such a mover. We couldn’t tell if he was hungry or just squirmy. He would not go to sleep for anything. I don’t understand why he wouldn’t look at me when I called his name. (That is a joke!)

It was about this time when my wife really got her hands dirty and arranged the setup for me.  Little man kept bringing his arms out from the blanket. I had to stand on both sides of the blanket. 

This shot below, was my artistic masterpiece. (Not really, but it was another first for me as I am not an artist.)  But, it is a cute shot, right?!


So, while newborn photography is not my genre or specialty, this was fun because I was out of my comfort zone. I don’t like to be out of it because it puts a lot of pressure on me to succeed, but momma is happy with her photos and that is ALL that matters!

What’s next?

Comp Time Earned; Time for a Drink

Rush jobs never end well. But, with friends in low places, sorry Brooks to borrow, I think this shoot ended fairly well. Just know the description of the shoot is no reflection on the people, just the timing.

Again, and many thanks, to my talented friends Ronald Layman (The Faux School) and Sarah Callan (Makeup Artist), the night went well. Alexa needed a comp card made for her audition at NY Fashion Week. She had very few photos from other photographers. 

We set this up with two days prior to her audition. And the rest is history. (Perhaps I should write this after we learn of her selection.)


The headshot is crucial to the resume. The is the first impression the evaluators or judges will see before the audition begins. That would be the very first part of the resume. The second side is a series of images to display the versatility of the model.


It is wise to tailor the comp card specifically for the audition. Fashion week, one may want some fashion or editorial shots. Acting, one may want some commercial and portrait work.

So, we went with a few closeup shots and a couple full length shots to show height. 


All the above images except the top middle are mine. The image in the middle is credited to Mark Enriquez. As you can see Alexa is a very focused woman and likes her serious face, more than her smile. (Sorry gentlemen, I blocked out her contact information and no, she is not single. So don’t ask me to hook you up!)

Anyway, there is a lot of preparation that must occur before a shoot. That is why I ask for about a month heads up before setting up a shoot. While this was a little last minute, all went well. 

Good luck Alexa! 

Competition… why I never enter – until now!

In the photography realm there are too many websites, too many professionals, and too many other photographers to contend with. Are you photos on this site or that site? Are you a member of this Facebook group or that Facebook group? So many things to consider when being online. I never wanted to be pigeon holed because I am a guy and I have a camera (pretty expensive equipment I might add).

I belong to the Professional Photographers Association and with that membership comes an International and Regional photography competition. As we all know, I love taking photos and have never felt a competition would ever validate my work. I will always stick to photography no matter what anyone else thinks of my work because it is an escape for me.

I belong to a wonderful Facebook group hosted by Captured Journeys Photography. The group is very active with posting work and providing critiques. Kelly and Kalina Schneider host a number of workshops of different genres to help us all grow as models, makeup artists, and photographers. We all learn and grow together assisting each other; a type of mentorship a lot of other groups lack and most of us need.

So, I speak about 2016 as the conundrum of staying with the business of photography or move on to something else. Kelly has been a key person in keeping me interested and now allowing me to fully quit. So, I attended a few workshops during 2016 to assist in my growth. Mastering light is not easy and always still a challenge along with posing.

In the group page, we were asked to select our three favorite images from workshops or shoots that Kelly hosted. Below are my three photos that I selected because of the amount of “likes” they received when they were posted.

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The above image is Cyerria Fowler. A model I just met during that shoot. She has one of the best smiles an dispositions, that it was easy to capture this moment. This was a candid moment I captured and not a posed shot.

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The above image was a special shoot, not scheduled, for a goth shoot.  I asked Kelly if he wouldn’t mind if an Efex artist, named Sarah Callan, came along and helped on this shoot. So, a talent so young could create such works of art is rare and she will definitely be someone worth following in the now.  Mariah Orr was the model in this shoot.  She has a unique look and very good with posing.

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From the very same goth shoot, Samantha Jones modeled this headpiece.  Samantha is also a unique model in that she can pull off just about any look or genre of modeling.  Again, this image was not a posed image for me specifically, but one I captured as she was posing for another photographer.

I wish this photo was taken at Kelly’s workshops so I could submit it, but I have to go with the three above images.

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….here are others throughout 2016 that I enjoyed photographing…

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Just a few of my favorites that is.  More to come this year… I am sure of it.  Will you be part of this effort?

Last Wedding… of 2016?

In the midst of 2016, in my back and forth about being a photographer, I was commissioned to perform one last wedding.  This time, it would be between the former Miss Devon Rolle and Mr. Paul Mayton.  Now, there is always the one thing that attracts a photographer to take on specific jobs and this one had four of them; Mary Nissel-Rolle, Scott Rolle, Paul Mayton, and Devon Rolle.

April 24, 2016, two days before my birthday, I photographed these two love birds at Sach’s Covered Bridge in Gettysburg.  That is where they had their first date.  I met Paul, a Marine, who was like every other Marine I ever knew; quiet and reserved.  Not really someone who likes to smile, but I caught Devon making him smile a few times.

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I tried to make their engagement session special and memorable.  I got in the water to get a lot of shots, which is not unusual for me to just hop in the water.  The area is beautiful and I suggest, whenever you have time to take a visit.  Take some food and just enjoy the surroundings.

Devon did her homework on what style of images she wished for me to capture during their session.  Affection came easy for these two.  It definitely restores your faith in chivalry, as he treated her with every bit of care and respect.  The two of them were very great about letting me photograph them and capture those moments.

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On to September 17, 2016, which will also be remembered as my last stand; my last hoorah for weddings….of 2016.  Did I just leave the door open?  I am not positive, but I knew this one wedding would be special.  I asked my friend Kevin Mirable to assist on this wedding as I needed the assistance from different angles.  Kevin was very impressive and produced some high quality images.

Holly Hills country club was the determined location for the wedding.  I was able to photograph there previously helping out Mission of Mercy.  Jessica Miles had everything under control so I had no worries.  The setup would be tricky; as soon as the ceremony concluded, the staff at Holly Hills transformed that area of the club into a reception area nicely.

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I was very lucky to have some photogenic ladies and gentlemen with this bridal party.  No one seemed nervous during this entire time either.  It was like it was just any other day.  I didn’t observe any stressing and definitely NOT a bridezilla, thank you Devon for that.  All the weddings I have been a part of, I have rarely had a bridezilla!  (When I worked for a company, I did have bridezillas!)  Devon was all smiles, everyone in her party was all smiles and couldn’t wait for this union to occur.

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I could definitely tell the father of the bride was in the military (a recently promoted LTC) by the poise and posture of walking Devon down the aisle.  The most difficult task about photographing this wedding was not being in everyone’s field of view as she was walking down the aisle.  I didn’t have much space to work with.

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Can you also tell the groom was prior service?  Look at the heel to the ground, left right left on that Marine.  Devon all smiles and Paul with military bearing.  I’m sure he was smiling inside.  Great guy!  He is not as serious as I am making him out to be.

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The sunlight was setting for the day, but this spot was probably the best location for big groups of people without an overbearing sun in their face.  Of course, after these photos we took the bride and groom around Holly Hills amazing greens and grabbed a few shots.  This one being my favorite.

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These two are pretty amazing together.  I believe any parent would be very lucky to have these two young adults in their life.  Good luck to the both of you and we are always here if you need us.  Thank you for being the last wedding… of 2016 at least.

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Matt + Kimberly Maternity 2017

I met Matt and Kimberly from their wedding approximately 4 years ago.  While I didn’t truly meet them, I actually was a second shooter at their wedding.  They did all the decorating themselves for their wedding and made everything picture perfect.  They had a table at their wedding for SSgt. Charles Cartwright, which sealed my suspicions about these two being the real deal.

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So, after some time had gone by and keeping in touch, the two of them finally asked me to take some photos of them.  This particular time was a special announcement.  In the photo above, you can see the two of them have two dogs (Molly and Delilah).  Those two are well behaved dogs and very friendly.  Okay, back on track….

September 2016, I took their announcement photos.  Keep in mind, I have not truly found my place in the photography world.  I may have taken some good photos along the way, but maternity was definitely not my cup of tea.  Matt brought his Chevy truck out and Kimberly made their “…coming March 2017” sign.  The truck was parked next to the tree he planted for her representing their love; his proposal tree, I’ll call it.

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Together with their two dogs, they announced their pregnancy to the world…  Now, it is January of the new year and the little one is almost here.  The two of them have about two months to go, maybe less, before their bundle of joy arrives, but these two are definitely ready.

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The two girls are protective of their mommy.  Matt is so full of smiles and Kimberly is doing so well.  The weather outside was a bit chilly for all of our liking, but we wanted to get some rustic shots in, so we all braved the cold.  Can you blame Kimberly and Matt for wanting to take their photos at the family farm?

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These two made for each other…

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I think there is no better location to show the heart of Frederick than on a farm.  This is where these two had their wedding, planted their tree, and now showcasing their new edition.  I cannot wait to see what is next for this growing family.  Thank you for allowing me to be part of your story.

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Making Photography Fun Again!

Sometime in 2016, I lost my interest in photography. Taking photographs, processing photographs, or anything to do with photography in general. I am not sure if there is a deeper meaning to this back and forth, but nevertheless, I continue to take photos. I asked a single pregnant mother if she would allow me to take photos of her and her daughter. I think at first she was reluctant, but whatever changed her mind, I am glad she chose me.

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As you can see by the photo above, I ventured back to Culler Lake to take these Lauren’s maternity photos.  Lauren showed me photos and styles that interested her and we tried to make them unique in this session.  My wife was able to accompany on this effort and she did help me with lighting.  But, the day was overcast, so there wasn’t much lighting that could be reflected on the client.

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The area around Culler Lake provides so much opportunity for backdrops.  The pine trees are the only trees that have any sense of a bloom because of the season.  So, it was all about angles to get some great backdrops in her photos.  I thought it was great that we worked well together to make the intent a great image.

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The key to an image is lighting.  While we were posing inside of the covered bridge at Baker Park, it would appear dark, but having Lauren and her daughter low enough near the windows of the bridge, provided some great natural lighting.  And what a pair those two are; natural models.

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It didn’t take long for Lauren’s daughter to get used to the camera.  Sometimes with children it is hit or miss.  But, I believe she cannot wait for the little one to come so she can be the best big sister.  Thank you two for being you and allowing me to make photography fun again.

 

Welcome to 2017 with Garth

Well, 2016 provided some ups and downs for many of us.  I had a business, then I didn’t have one and then I kind of kept photographing because, well, I do love to take photos.  So, the first shoot of 2017 is the man about town and his dog “Uzi”.  Also, his parents came in to town as well.  Hayden asked me to take a few shots of him, his dog and his parents as they were visiting for the weekend from Pennsylvania.

This provided me an opportunity to walk around Culler Lake since the renovation project.  Not to deviate too much from the purpose of this first blog, but the renovation project looks really nice and has become my new favorite backdrop.  It looks great in the winter time, I cannot wait to use it when the trees are in bloom and the fountain is flowing.

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Back to Hayden and his parents.  It was a bit cold outside, but not too much.  The dogs definitely didn’t seem to mind, but I am sure Uzi was feeling it with his arthritis.  Uzi is every bit the center of attention anywhere he goes and has left his mark, literally and figuratively, on Frederick and her residents.  I believe Uzi has the most registered voters among ANY dog I have come in contact with.

The day was a bit of overcast, exactly what I expect on a winter day.  (No, there was no snow.)  Hayden was sporting his Maryland scarf that he purchased from RouteOne Apparel (www.routeoneapparel.com). I hear there are a lot of great items there to show Maryland pride.

Hayden’s parent’s dog was not so camera friendly as Uzi.  Apparently, the dog is not friendly period.  Hayden’s parents were great in this process.  I know most people do not like to have their photo taken, but I think they truly enjoyed these shots by the comments they made after I showed them on the back of the camera.  (Anything looks good on the back of that small screen.).

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I am glad that I chose to get out of the house and take some photos.  If you stop doing something for so long, getting back into something can be a bit cumbersome.  I felt great being out there.  Thank you Hayden for allowing me to capture your family moments.

"One Shot at a Time"