Friday, March 30, 2012

Quetzal Jewelry Sneak Peek

When Ludwika contacted me about photographing her incredibly beautiful jewelry, I just knew I couldn't say no.  Quetzal necklaces are true statement pieces and make a great addition to any woman's wardrobe.  We wrapped the photo shoot a couple weeks ago, and I just wanted to give you a small taste of our session.

This lava (yes, LAVA!!) necklace had me swooning.  So much so, that my own necklace is due to arrive today!  Here it is worn by our beautiful model, Lindsay Kin, with many thanks to Kim Reyes for makeup, Dyan Zurick Smith for hair, and Moshe Zusman for the studio space.

Can't wait to show you the rest as the images are released to the public!
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Monday, March 26, 2012

Canon 5D Mark III - Review

I had the chance to play around last night with my new 5D Mk III, and oh. my. word. I am in LOVE.  The new autofocus system is fast and accurate, even in low light.  And with the ability to quickly select from a multitude of crosshair focus points with just one button (joystick) on the back, I can capture a fleeting moment with a desired composition and not worry about missing a beat.  The low light capabilities are astounding, and the new ISO sensitivity combined with the new autofocus system literally had me jaw-dropped.  I simply couldn't stop thinking "WOW!"  The only bad part is, I also couldn't stop thinking about how I want to buy another one.

There are many more improvements to this camera body that are fantastic - and a couple I'm not sure I like (personal preferences) - but the two mentioned above were the most important, most desired, and most impressive for me.

Here are a couple of test shots from last night.  Of my cat.  Because besides me, she was the only one awake (and moving) after midnight.  I had one 100w bulb lamp on in the room.  Other than minor color temp adjustments, these images are SOOC.

***Edited to mention all of these were taken with the 85 1.2, which is notorious for focus hunting in low light.***
ISO 8000 / f2.8 / 1/125s

100% crops

ISO 8000 / f2.0 / 1/500s

100% crop

And because I could...ISO 25,600 / f2.8 / 1/100s

100% crop!!

Major kudos to Canon for nailing it with the Mark III.  Now we just need Adobe to catch up and release an update so I can pull the RAW files into Lightroom! Pin It

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Old Town Alexandria Engagement Session: Julie + Paul

They met 4 years ago through a mutual friend.  Paul saw Julie standing there talking to her and thought she was cute, so he walked up to be introduced.  Their first few dates were hanging out with their friends - because they came to realize they had a lot of friends in common.  Little did Paul know that Julie wanted a real date - just the two of them.  But by then it didn't matter anyway; they already knew they wanted to be together.

Julie and Paul will be having a small, private marriage ceremony, but in keeping with their love of travelling they will be honeymooning in beautiful Ireland in May.  I told them, with my most charming smile, that I do travel documentary and portraits, but I don't think I'll be getting that invite to Ireland.  Ah well, maybe next time...  ;)

Aren't these two hoooottttt??!  And if you know my love for sportbikes, you know why I about died when I heard we were using Paul's new Triumph for the shoot!

It was seriously chilly during the session (in the 40s!), but Julie wanted some great photos in her super cute outfits, so she rallied through it for "high fashion!"

Julie and Paul - thank you for such a great session!  And Paul, if you need someone to babysit your Triumph while on your me. Pin It

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Celebrating One Year

It's my 1 year anniversary.  A year ago today I said my final goodbyes to co-workers at my day job so that I could pursue my dreams of running my photography business full time.  I've thought about this post - what I would write and what I might say about all the reasons and circumstances that led me to this point.  But then this morning I read one of my bride's blog posts.  And, well, she pretty much sums up the reason that I do this:

"When I began searching for our wedding photographer, I used my trusty friend, WeddingWire.  As I clicked through profile after profile and read countless reviews I waited for that *spark*.  Photography is an important part of our wedding and I wanted someone with an artistic eye, to capture this special day.  When I came upon Laurie Bracewell Photography and clicked through to her website and blog, I immediately had a good feeling.  With fingers crossed I contacted her and found out she was available for our day! Within minutes of our first phone conversation she felt like an old friend and I knew she was definitely the photographer for us!  Laurie is an inspiration to me, as she is also a graphic designer, who left her 9-5 corporate job to pursue her true passion.  She is incredibly talented and  I wouldn’t be at all surprised if she’s a big name in wedding photography in a few short years.

After having so much fun with Laurie at our engagement session, I quickly received our final photos… and I cried. They were beautiful and truly captured the love Shaun and I share.  We are so excited Laurie Bracewell will be part of our wedding… not only as our amazing photographer, but also as our friend."

Thank you, Christine, for capturing the essence of why I do this.  I love my clients and cannot express enough the gratitude I feel for getting to do what I'm so passionate about; and getting to meet and become friends with some pretty amazing people along the way.
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Thursday, March 8, 2012

JVS Speedlights Workshop - DC

JVS hosted another information-packed workshop on speedlights, complete with equipment used for each and every setup and plenty of hands-on practice time for each attendee.  I took his workshop two years ago, and this is the 2nd time I've assisted, and I still pick up nuggets of information each time.  Joseph is a down-to-earth guy who is amazingly talented, and I feel truly honored to know him and his (also amazingly talented) wife, Anne!

Here are some BTS pics of JVS and the lucky students who took the workshop.

Susan and Rob assembling the setup after JVS demonstrated how all the pieces fit together.

Heather and Maria - setup complete.

Beauty dish demo.

My sweet (and beautiful!) friend Megan Beth.  I was using the Bruce Dorn strip bank - one of my favorite modifiers!

Answering questions...

More instruction...

Drawing a diagram to demonstrate his reception lighting.

I'm a firm believer in constantly learning and pushing myself and my work forward, and I love seeing other photographers do the same.  It was a great day and a great workshop!  Also, many, many thanks to Drew Xeron and Ryder Haske for the use of their 52 O Street studio!

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Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Enchanted Atelier Spring 2012 Photo Shoot

You've probably seen a couple of these images before, but I wanted to post a few of my favorite photos from my look book shoot with Liv of Enchanted Atelier.  It's been amazing to see some of the images from this shoot featured on BRIDES and even the home page of Conde Nast!  Photos from past shoots can also be seen on Kleinfeld's and Claire Pettibone, and it all kinda blows my mind.  And our model Danielle?  Well, she kinda blows my mind too.

Model:  Danielle Fillmore of Elite Model Management
Gown:  Anne Bowen
Hair: Aleksandra Ulanowicz
Makeup: Kim Reyes
Location: St. Regis Washington, D.C.

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