Kat and Zak’s wedding was the first time I got to break out my Sigma 24mm f/1.8. It’s never been a traditionally well-regarded lens, perhaps because of quality control, and indeed my copy was WAY off out of the box. But some new cameras can calibrate focus per-lens manually, and that turned this into a sharp, fast, wide lens with near-macro abilities. The wide-angle nature forces me to be more creative with my macro shots. Since Kat and Zak had a corner of their house entirely devoted to video game consoles, this was a natural choice.
I’ll try and get up as much new content this week as I can. Here was a photo I took in my recent foray to Nashville, with fellow photographer Lynn Michelle as the model. I bought a Lastolite Triflash to hold three SB-900 flashes at once. Usually people just use this to pur a giant amount of light on in one direction, but here I used it from behind her to send two beams of light out to the sides and one back toward me, making the light fill and shape the area.
Like many of you, I have been sending money to give some help to the devastated country of Haiti this week, but I thought I could do a lot more, and I figure it’s always nice for people to be able to help out with a little bit of time and no cost to themselves.
So, for this week, until the end of the day Friday, for each person who comments on my blog I will add $1 to my charitable donations to Haiti. While the exact type of donations needed my be different a week from now, I will send it to one of the four-star charities listed here by Charity Navigator. One comment per unique reader will be counted.
So that I can easily tally the comments with a search, all you have to do is this. Find something you like on this blog, maybe in the archives link above, leave a quick note, and then follow it with “#haitirelief”
Ryan Brenizer — Hey, that is a photo! #haitirelief
The Internet is a crazy thing, and you never know if something goes viral, so for now I’ll have to limit it to $2,500. If for for some reason it comes to it, I will increase that cap if my accountant doesn’t shoot me over it.
I hope you don’t take this as a play for attention. I get plenty, and there are far cheaper ways I could get more. I just want to see what a community of readers can do.
It was such a pleasure to shoot Andrea and Scott’s wedding at the sumptuous Cosmopolitan Club in Manhattan. I knew right from the start, when Andrea’s mother and aunt did a dance routine in the bridal prep room, that this was going to be a fun night, and I was not disappointed. The entire evening was a mixture of class and full-out wild enjoyment. They were both constant fixtures on the dance floor, whirling from person to person making sure that their loved ones were having as good a time as possible.
Well, I certainly did.
I love this photo but never really featured it. Emilie was just an awesome bride as you can plainly see. We took this at the end of the night, and Noel said “all I can do at this point is sit.”
“Good,” I said, “That’s exactly what I had in mind.”
Noel is lit by a simple speedlight, but Emilie got the big light treatment, a White Lightning 1600 blasting through a big octobox.
I have a photo featured in the cover story of this week’s Newsweek! The story, “The Conservative Case for Gay Marriage,” is a remarkable story written by Ted Olson, the Solicitor General under George W. Bush.
Also featured was a photo by my dear friend Charlotte Geary, a great wedding photographer from Colorado Springs. (She took the above photo; I am still away in Tennessee until tomorrow).
The last thing I ever want to talk about on this blog is politics. Politics are by their very nature divisive, while the work I do is meant to show individual personalities, quirks, and stories, but also to highlight the things that are universal about human stories — passionate love, the bond between friends and family, joy, tension, anxiety, celebration, humor. But I will say this: The wedding featured here, between Jon and Jerry, was perhaps the most emotional ceremony I’ve seen out of more than 100.
You know how certain people spend their entire lives dreaming about their wedding day? Every detail, every look, every color and smile? Imagine thinking your entire live that it will never, ever happen for you … and then it does. That was how the ceremony felt.
I tell stories, and I love my couples. I mean it: When I am shooting a wedding, I am in love with my couples, and that is what allows me to be joyful and sympathetic through my work. I’ve had so many couples I love who are extremely conservative; I’ve had amazing couples where were dedicated Marxists. What I believe in is that weddings are incredible parts of our personal and family histories, and that a good marriage is a thing of wonder and beauty, and I hope that everyone that wants that can have one.
Dara and Chris told me right from the start that they loved to jump, so even though we were shooting at night, I wanted to let them bounce around a bit. What I really love about the photo, though, is that Dara is being lit by the flashlight of a police officer telling us to “Move along.” Thanks, man, that helped a lot!
This is going around the Twittersphere, and is strangely fun. Ask me any question, anonymously or not, and see my answers to a range of questions.
Let me know if you sign up for an account, and I’ll ask you something!
If not for the calling of journalism and photography, I had a dream to attend the University of Chicago School of Social Thought, which basically locks you in academia forever. So I was especially excited to shoot Victoria and Alex’s wedding on the gorgeous U of Chicago campus. They were both graduates, as well as most of the non-family guests, which always makes for a fun social scene. As for the tone of the wedding? Gorgeous, fun, and … delightfuly geeky. The best man brought a giant printout of this xkcd comic to the rehearsal dinner, after all, and compared the bride (as a girl vying for his best friend’s affections) to the brain-eating zombies in Zombieland.
Of course, I’m an online columnist. These are my people. And as you can see from the photos and slideshow, it was a fantastic group of people to spend the weekend with.
I knew, heading to Puerto Rico, that I would be shooting some fashion for a friend of mine. I knew that I’d be shooting in bright sun, which means counteracting with powerful lights, but that I’d rather not bring my White Lightnings through airport security, so I brought three speedlights and PocketWizards to trigger them, as well as a buncha gear. All of the lights were turned on to full juice in this shot, so I could evenly light two (really great) models through an umbrella at f/18, to keep the skies blue and make the sun an interesting starburst.
Well kids, remember this: Never challenge the ocean to a fight. It will win. As we moved a bit closer to the surf, one of my friends says — “Hey, look at that big wave!” Always a bad sign.
What was shore is no longer. What were speedlights, pocketwizards, batteries, etc. are now really fascinating paperweights.
But this tale is not a tragedy — remember, MacGyver can bounce back from anything. You’re just going to have to wait for part 2.