Ryan & Lillian Prince {Pompano Beach, FL}

This couple is crazy fun… capital CRAZY! Shall I explain? Well, since you insist!

Meet the Princes. First up, Ryan Prince. Although he wouldn’t admit it (probably his South Knoxville raising… ha!) Ryan is one of the most hospitable guys I know; he often goes out of his way to serve others. I’ve seen him on several occasions set this example. And, you never know what’s going to proceed out of the mouth of this strapping lad… not in a bad way but in a “did milk just squirt out of my nose?” kind of way. He’s hil-air-ious. He’s also the mastermind behind Prince Technologies {http://www.PTcabling.com}. His better half & lovely wife, Lillian (as Ryan calls her, “baby momma”), is the beauty behind all that brawn. Lillian is a photographer with rock n’ roll kind of talent {http://www.lillianprincephotography.com}. She was an art major from UT & now finds that photography is the ideal medium for her to express her creativity. We met the Princes through our church (Cornerstone Church of Knoxville) & now attend the same small group. Lillian & I began collaborating on some projects about a year ago & when our schedules allow, assisting one another for weddings. It’s super fun & always a joy to help one another out.

Recently, when Ansel & Lisa booked me for their Key Largo, FL wedding, I extended an invitation for Ryan & Lillian to accompany Joy & I to the beach. It took us approximately 15 minutes to discuss the details & the itinerary was set. We would fly into Ft. Lauderdale Friday night, Lillian & I would shoot the wedding on Saturday, & then we’d vacate until the following Saturday. Business with pleasure! Did I mention we left our kids at home? Booyah… sweet nectar of life!

That is exactly what we did… & we looked good doing it! I’ll save some of our random photos til a later post; for now we’ll focus on the Princes.

One of the things we wanted to make sure to do was to have a few mini portrait sessions for each other. We pulled it off several times; here’s what it looked like from my perspective:

I wish I had captured audio for these ’cause you’d hear Ryan telling everyone who passed by on the pier, “I’m a model… we’re in the middle of a big shoot!” One lady said, “Yeah you are!”
I have to tell you Ryan… I think purple may be your color!
Our condo was perfectly situated between the Atlantic Ocean & the Inter-coastal Waterway.
There’s absolutely no telling what was being said here.
When Ryan & Lillian first met in college through VFC (Volunteers for Christ), they spent several dates swing dancing. It seemed appropriate to give it a go!
The pics below were immediately following Lillian taking pics of Joy & I. I didn’t have my camera on me so I grabbed her’s a captured a few.
I love the whole composition of the one below… really nice!

The Bohannons {Lifestyle Session}

When I first met the Bohannon family I felt immediately connected. Kim is one of the most personable & welcoming persons I’ve met. Eddie is such a kind & considerate man who is always careful to make sure you’re taken care of. Then there’s Isaac who seems years ahead of his age… he’s a highly intelligent guy. And, 16 month old Jonathan is rarely without a smile; he’s a happy boy!

You may recall this incredible family from a few previous sessions. It was my pleasure to photograph Kim & her family about 18 months ago when she was pregnant with Jonathan… here’s a quick recap:

Then, upon Jonathan’s arrival, I was able to capture that little guy just a few weeks after his birth. Here’s his birth announcement:

Several days ago Kim contacted me & let me know it was that time. She & Eddie are expecting again & wanted me to come out & spend some time capturing this season of life… before it all changes again! It’s such a pleasure to hang with the Bohannons!

Can you believe how much Jonathan has grown?

It’s neat to see Isaac & Eddie interact… such a great insight as to how I want to interact with my boys. Here they are in their element!
Kim is such an incredible mom; I don’t even see how it’s possible that she home-schools Isaac while having this little guy running around.
Isaac plays both the piano & the guitar. And, might I say that he is quite good at both! Being a guitar player myself, I had to get some pics of him playing. As I photographed him I said, “Isaac, these are your cd cover pics!”
It was as though Jonathan was expecting me to follow him… he leaned up against the stairwell & let out a big grin.
Just as you step outside the of their home, this is the view. Here, Jonathan had a strong grip on Isaac’s hair.
The view of their home from the road.
My favorite of the day… the Bohannon family!

Emi Kate Whaley {Newborn Session}

It’s not hard for me to love the Whaley’s. I’ve known Shayne for as long as I can remember as we grew up going to the same school. Also, his family were members of the church that I often attended & we spent many summers at “Sonburn” church camp in Panama City, FL. He’s always been a wonderful guy with an exceptional gift of encouragement.

I was thrilled to schedule a newborn session for Shayne & his sweet wife, Gail, with their new addition, Emi Kate. It was a pleasure to visit their home & catch a glimpse into their lives. 6 week old, Emi Kate, is as cute as ever & I loved holding her tiny little self. Here’s a glimpse into our time together. Thanks Whaley family!!!

When I arrived Emi Kate was asleep in her daddy’s arms. I just love these pics!I wish I could sleep this sound.
Look at this happy family!

Photographing Landscapes… The Pier | Pompano Beach, FL

Following Ansel & Lisa’s Key Largo, FL wedding, Joy & I (along with our partners in action, the Princes) decided it would be a shame to be so close to the beach & not stay for a few days. We’re strategic like that! So… we planned beforehand to spend the remainder of the week at Pompano Beach. We had little scheduled with the exception of lounging by the ocean, catching up on reading, eating great seafood, & taking lots of pictures. It was perfect!

Although we were on vacation, I’m kind of a big nerd & can rarely sleep past 7:30am. Wait, speaking of big nerds, Ryan Prince spent the majority of vacation reading the unabridged version of the classic, The Count of Monte Cristo by Dumas. Folks, we’re talking over 1300 pages; he’s a certified geek. And, while I’m off subject, if you want one of the best sandwiches you’ve ever imagined, try the Monte Cristo at the Spot of Tea in Mobile, AL; grab a glass of Strawberry Sweet Tea while you’re at it. You can thank me later (& you will)! I digress. Yes, even though I’m on vacation I usually wake up before 7am, usually 6:15 or so. I haven’t always been this way but realized shortly after college that I can accomplish more between the hours of 6am-9am than I can between 9am-2pm. I try to be disciplined & wake up early. There are less interruptions & generally speaking, my mind is most focused during these hours. Not to mention, the early morning lighting is perfect for natural light photography!!

You’ve likely heard it before that the prime hours for photography are the few hours following sunrise & before sunset. There is a reason. First, the lighting is not as harsh resulting in relatively no shadows cascading from objects. It’s the same as over-cast days; it’s as though God hooked you up with a sky-sized softbox. Praise-a-lujah! Second, you can generally see a hue of colors throughout the sky that aren’t generally visible during other hours. Third, the weather is generally more mild. Don’t you just love the feeling of the cool morning air?! I could go on but you get the point.

Somewhat regularly, I am asked questions pertaining to photography. People have cameras but don’t necessarily understand much beyond the Full-Auto mode. I am asked such things as “How do you focus on your subject & let the background blur?”, “What’s the difference between a shutter speed & an aperture?”, “What is an ISO?”, “How do you photograph landscapes?”, “How do you photograph children?”, “How do you shoot without using a flash?”, “What editing software do you recommend?”, & etc. Therefore, I thought it may be beneficial to address these types of questions as they arise. Along the way, I will refer you to many fantastic photographers & friends who have tackled similar subjects well beyond my ability to do so.

I thought it appropriate to begin with an area that many pro photographer friends of mine seem to constantly affirm… shooting landscapes. And, it gives me a reason to post some of my recent favorite landscapes from Pompano Beach.

Aside from my suggestion to getting your booty out of bed early & arranging your evening schedule to catch the hours before sunrise, there’s certainly an art to photographing landscapes. Let me put a few thoughts out there for you:

The Rule of Thirds: Essentially, this rule breaks an image down into thirds, both vertically & horizontally, resulting in 9 squares. When you frame (or compose) your shot, there are certain places you should put your “points of interest” or “subject.” When doing so, it adds balance to your image & makes it more interesting. For a helpful article check out, check out Darren Rowse over at Digital Photography School, click here. Notice on the image below that the pier is in the lower third of the image (horizontal) yet I’ve framed the lifeguard stand on the right third (vertical). [ISO 100, 50mm, f/16, 1/10]

Exposure: Exposure can be somewhat subjective. One photographer wants the foreground exposed, the other wants the background, & then the spoiled want both (especially those HDR guys!). It’s different for differing styles of photography. For example, when I shoot weddings & portraits, I generally could care less about the background. I want the subject (in this example, bride & groom) to be be exposed properly. In the image below, I thought it would be cool to expose for the sun & sky while allowing the pier to silhouette. If I would’ve exposed for the pier, the sky would’ve washed out & you would not have been able to see the details in the sky. [ISO 50, 50mm, f/16, 1/25]
Aperture: Depending on what you are wanting to capture affects what aperture you choose. Simply put, aperture is a term that describes how wide or narrow the lens opens. This affects what part of the image stays in focus. It almost deals exclusively with your lens not your camera body. Many people, when referring to aperture, use the term depth-of-field. Explaining aperture is an entire blog post within itself (I promise to do so soon!). In short, if you want very little to be in focus, with the exception of the subject, you want a big aperture (low number… f/1.2, 2.0, etc.). In contrast, if you want everything to be equally in focus, you are looking for a small aperture (high number… f/16, 20, etc.). A helpful article you may want to check out is everyone’s favorite cowgirl, Ree Drummond aka The Pioneer Woman, who wrote two blog posts entitled “What the Heck is an Aperture?” For the image below I wanted everything to be in focus so I chose to shoot at f/22. [ISO 50, 24mm, f/22, 1/6]
Of course there is much more to keep in mind & there’s a ton of things I failed to include. For beginners, I highly recommend purchasing a nice tripod & head. All of the above images were shot using a tripod. And, it’s beneficial to read the manuals that come with your camera & lens. On down the road, I will spend some discussing additional principles of photography including aperture, shutter speed, shooting modes, ISO, focal length, editing software, etc. In the meantime, if you know anyone that might find this article beneficial, please pass it on. And, if you have any questions, feel free to ask & I’ll respond as soon as I can. Thanks friends, enjoy!!!

At Home TN Magazine | Cover Story

Whenever opportunities arise such as the one I will share, I can’t help but sense a huge amount of gratitude. I’m thankful to God to allow me amazing opportunities (& the talent to go about them) & I’m thankful to excellent clients who are such a pleasure to work alongside. Two months ago I made contact with Nikki Aviotti Hodum, Creative Director of At Home TN Magazine. After a brief exchange of emails she was thrilled to assign me to shoot Two Sisters Camp, weekend retreat of Tom & Josephine Zarger. The home was designed & decorated by their incredibly talented daughter, Adrienne Z. King. The shoot was fantastic & the Zarger family was more than hospitable.

A week or two following the shoot, Nikki sent me an email saying she intended to use my images as the cover & feature story for August 2010. I was thrilled. Fast forward to last Saturday when Joy & I arrived home from our vacation & the Key Largo shoot. When I went to the mailbox, there it was… the latest issue of At Home TN Magazine with my image on the cover. The article is really inviting & Lindsey Phillips did a great job writing the content. Overall, the magazine is an enjoyable read & is perfect for residents in the Tennessee region! If you’re interested you can find the magazine at Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, Target, & more. Or, visit www.athometn.com to subscribe today.

I look forward to what I hope will be a wonderful working relationship with a great magazine. Thanks At Home TN!