New Personal Work with Models Summer and Justin in Sanford, Michigan

I had a great time working with models Summer and Justin at Sanford Lake last week. The first images where shot with bare bulb flash in a part of the park with several trees to prevent the light from being knocked over by the high winds. The images on the beach and in the water were shot with natural light. 

FAQ: What If I Want to Order More Prints In A Few Months, Years, etc?


I keep multiple backups of all my clients photos. If you want to order prints or products in the future I will still have the images and will be able to get prints and products to you. My price list may change overtime and depending on what updates the print labs I use make I can’t guarantee the exact products I currently offer will be available in the future, but I should be able to get similar things made.

New Photos for the Energize Workspace

Since 2017 I’ve regularly attended workshops and networking events at the Energize Workspace in Midland Michigan. In 2018 I’ve had the privilege of teaching workshops there, renting out the space for shoots, and frequently working from there as well. In mid September I got to take some candid photos for their social media presence. Here are a few of my favorite images from the recent shoot. To learn more about the Energize Workspace click here

How I Got the Shot(s): Revisiting Lake Placid with New Technology

Way back in 2010 (when I was still in high school) my parents and I made a trip to Lake Placid, New York. This beautiful mountainous region of New York is rich with a plethora of gorgeous photographic opportunities. I shot a ton while we were out there. This was several years prior to my formal photographic training so many of the images were admitabley terrible, but some held up. After I started selling prints on my fine art website I decided to revisit many of my older nature, landscape, and wildlife images from years past.

Since 2010 the technology used to create panoramics have improved greatly. I had attempted to create panoramic images using Photoshop back in 2010 (shortly after I took the images) but the results weren’t that great since I was trying to manually stitch the images together. When I revisited these images in 2017 I used the newer technology available to me to easily stitch  these images together using Lightroom. The advancements in the technology made it easy for me to create these stunning panoramics from old images. One of the reasons I am able to still work on these older files and get better results with the newer technology is because I shoot in RAW. Shooting with the RAW file format gives you more flexibility when retouching your images and is a practice I highly recommend.

This panoramic consists of several images shot from our hotel balcony. Shot using a Nikon D200 with a Nikon 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 AF-S VR Lens on a Velbon metal tripod. The stitching and further retouching was done in Lightroom and Photoshop seven years after the images were shot. ISO 100 70mm f/16 1/13 of a second shutter speed.

This still image was shot during the same sunrise as the above panoramic from the same location. Shot using a Nikon D200 with a Nikon 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 AF-S VR Lens on a Velbon metal tripod. ISO 100 116mm f/16 1/80 of a second shutter speed.

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FAQ: What if it Rains?


I have shot several portrait sessions and weddings in the rain. Usually for portrait sessions the clients choose to reschedule which I recommend when possible. There is not extra fee for rescheduling. I have also had clients who didn’t mind being out in the rain and we have continued the shoot. If it rains we can either reschedule the session or continue shooting. It is up to the client.

How I Got the Shot: Jerry A Study in Gesture

I read an article recently (that can be read here) that I fully agree with. The article deals with technical precision versus emotion in photography (and specifically how your clients view this). The author argues that emotion is more important (especially to clients) than technical precision in photography.

When I was a student at the Hallmark Institute of Photography I shot very conservatively and did everything by the book. This is one of the reasons I graduated with the highest academic honor (highest grades through the entire year). My work was always very technically precise (correct exposures, any blemished retouched out, etc). As I’ve grown older and started to understand the craft of photography better I’ve started to realize the important of gesture and expression in photography. Even though I still try to have all my images be as technically correct as possible, adding gesture to imagery is something that I’ve learnt is very important (and something I hope to become a hallmark of my work).

In the article mentioned above the author talks about how he was originally surprised at how many high school seniors have friends (of a similar age) shoot their senior portraits. This is actually something I did quite a bit back when I was in high school. Even though I didn’t have the technical photographic ability that I would later develop at Hallmark many of the images had that gesture and expression encapsulated in my later work. This was because of the connection I had with the subject. People close to another person can more easily get good expressions out of the aforementioned person than a complete stranger can. This is one of the reasons older images of mine shot of friends still hold up because of the expression and gesture I could get in the images due to the subject and I’s closeness. This is another reason I recommend friends or siblings coming to senior portrait sessions because they can help get those natural expressions out of subjects which someone not as close to them can’t.

An example of the aforementioned portraits which have great expression and gesture is this old senior portrait of my friend Jerry. During his senior portrait he and I were joking around telling jokes and what not. This allowed me to get a genuine expression out of Jerry. This image was later published in PDNedu mostly due to the expression. The image was shot in open shade next to a barn his parents owned with a wide aperture (small f number to throw the background out of focus).

Shot using a Nikon D200 with a Nikon 50mm f/1.8 lens handheld in natural light. ISO 200 50mm f/2.8 1/350 of a second shutter speed.

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