Jessica's Henna Celebration

Our beautiful bride of Last night, Jessica, also invited us to her home Thursday for the customary henna party in preparation for marriage.

They had a very skilled henna artist who quickly and elegantly added line after line of the ground leaf dye onto the wedding party. (When I can find out her contact information I'll post it.)

The detail is amazing! This lasts for two to three weeks and the bride is not allowed to do any house work while it is still on her skin! :)

One reason for excitement at the party was that I finally got to work with my great friend and very talented Reno photographer, Carrie Compton! Carrie's attention to detail and ability to absorb so much from her surroundings create images that are both emotive and dynamic. (I wanna say she started by photographing extreme mountain biking and then went to fine art photography. :)

Check out everything Carrie right at her website:

Another fantastic reason to celebrate was that the couple just closed on a house that week! Here's our groom, Taha, and his wonderful mother Karima with the bag of shiny new keys!

Meanwhile... it's all coming together!

When Carrie and I decided to shoot together I said, what do you want to shoot? Carrie: "Details." I said, Go-(wo)Man-Go! When we were finished there were over 100 breathtaking images like the one above.

And this one :) This little parrot really didn't know what to make of me. (He's in the Nick and Terri Working post below on my shoulder.)

Here's another of Carrie's amazing images of the meal Karima prepared for the party. It's was delicious!

I just can't wait to show you the Wedding images from last night!!! But that will have to wait for next week!


And super big thanks to Carrie Compton for teaming up with me to bring some real diversity to the memories! Woo Hoo!

Terri & Nick @ Work

I don't often include many pictures of myself on the ol blog, so here's a bunch of fun, silly, or otherwise cool images that we've been collecting while photographing some of the most beautiful and interesting events.

Rockin it with the shades before the Jessica Kenney photo shoot at Loveland castle.

Typical sweaty on a 90 degree June wedding day!

This was our muggy Sunday with the Schneider family. So muggy in fact it fogged up all the lenses.

Must be patient... Must be patient... Must be patient...

Me at the Nero event with my white "Dont Hit Me" headband.

Terri at Memorial Hall.

Lifestyle Images with Actor Danny S.

Last week my good friend Danny came by to create some lifestyle images for his acting resume. And what a shoot we had!

Steely-cool Danny, in addition to being a sexy fireman, just finished work on "The Avengers" movie that was being filmed in Cleveland.

He's currently working with Heyman Talent agency's Cincinnati office (for you director types) :)

More importantly than great images (which were REALLY important) it was great to spend the afternoon catching up with a great guy! Thanks Danny, don't forget us when you are swimming in a pool full of monocles with your wealthy Hollywood friends!!

Why I Plan for RAW and Photoshop

Yep, I rely on RAW and photoshop and I’m proud of it. So… let’s go back to the beginning of RAW. Ok, our cards held 256MB or some ridiculously low amount of memory that won’t run a watch now. The pros all lamented the transition to digital and had the “get it right in the camera” mentality. (They were right then and they are still right now.) Why on earth would you take a RAW image at 12 MB when you can take the same image in JPG at 1 MB?!? Even good ol’ David A. Ziser used to say “RAW is for Sushi” (Mmmmm Sushi.)

Ok, let me once again establish that “getting it right in the camera” should be the goal of every professional. Let me also follow up with saying, you can get a 64 GB card for your camera, so size isn’t really an issue anymore. Having said that let me tell you how I plan ahead to use on RAW files, Lightroom, and Photoshop.
I started off resisting too. Storage space was the real issue. I’m an event photographer really, and I take a lot of images (3000-4000 per wedding). When that space limitation was lifted I started shooting RAW a lot more. The cool thing was when Lightroom 1 came along. WOW! Now that was something! I could push or pull an image 2 or 3 stops! Wow! That’s handy! I didn’t even get into the other features, this one alone was a huge asset!

So why is that useful? Have you ever been shooting a wedding or an event and had someone do something cute right in front of you? You are shooting for bright sun when a mother and son embrace in a hug in the shade behind you, or the Groomsmen play a prank on the Bride under some tungsten lights. If you take the time to adjust the camera settings the moment is lost forever, so you just click one off. **Rewind back to 1990.** That cherished moment is never captured. It’s never even considered. It was just something that happened, not a special memory. Well all that is over. I clicked off that photo even though the settings were off and now I might be able to save it. I’m thinking of RAW and Lightroom as a tool here. I wouldn’t ever recommend using RAW as a crutch for being a bad photographer (get it right if you can). I just keep it in my mind that the possibility is there, the technology is available! Even though I haven’t had the time to prepare I’ll still click when the unexpected moment unfurls before me with the hopes that I can use the new tools that were developed for photographers to capture as many valuable moments for my customers as possible.

Saving images is one thing, but abusing this “save” is easy to spot. If all the photographers images have that brightly overexposed washed out look… that’s a sign. If all of the images are exposed ok, but they are super noisy (indicating they jacked up the exposure)… that’s a sign. Once again, don’t call yourself a pro if you can’t consistently deliver high quality images in ALL situations.

Now the point! What is the ability to plan for Light room, RAW, and photoshop afford you as a photographer? Lots of things, but lets take it from the perspective of a portrait photographer. What this ability to use the available technology of today to create more and better products for your customer in a shorter time affords you is TIME! Time to devote to your clients! Time to make them feel comfortable, to give you feedback on the art you are creating for THEM!

Let’s put some things into perspective. As a portrait photographer, your customer’s are your lifeline! There would be no product without their need for it, and what a better way to say to them “Thank You” than to spend a lot of time listening to them and fulfilling their needs?

On a shoot I make sure that I know how I will to create the images I have planned. That planning will allow me to feel comfortable about being able to deliver something of value to the client. Those photos are my goal. Everything else that I can create while I’m on that shoot is “icing on the cake!” It’s what makes me better than the next guy! I’m not selling only a photograph. I am selling peace of mind that the customer will be able to choose the work of art featuring themselves they like best out of several! I’m selling them on the idea that in addition to what they need, I’ll give them more! What’s more, I’m showing them that I care about WHAT I’m creating for them by making them my priority, taking their feedback to make my product better for their specific needs, and spending as little time as needed working the camera.

Vivan Update

Well it's been a while so I thought I'd personalize the blog with an update on my lovely little girl.

She's doing great and growing! 26 inches and 14 lb.

She got her first tooth with a second coming in right now (hence the carrot above) and she's saying "mmmmm" sounds as well as....

Drooling all over the place!

Here she is having rice cereal, her first non-milk food ever!

Keep up with Viv's crazy every day changes on her facebook page here and see more photos and all kinds of goofy stuff!

Vivian Elise Viltrakis

Peter and Colleen's Magnificent Wedding!

What a magnificent use of rain on a wedding day! Last Sunday Peter and Colleen had a fabulous wedding at the beautiful Memorial Hall in Downtown Cincinnati Ohio!

The Hall has an amazing theater on the second floor that was the scene of the lovely couple's intimate ceremony!

Colleen and Peter were especially interested in my light painting and other fun creative imagery, so the beautiful Terri and I didn't let them down!

(The amazing theater!)

The receiving line!

The cake!

The beautiful designed ring by Peter!

This wedding was an elegant affair full of wonderful colorful people!

And who says rain is no good on a wedding day? When you have as much elegance and design IN your location any weather outside is a bonus!

Later on in the reception the newly weds took over control of the tunes from DJ Vernard Fields. What a great guy! Check him out at his website

Once Vernard got control back everything was fine though. :)

It was a truly magical evening!


My Friend the Enigmatic Ben

This is Ben, expert in swords, modeling, and the intricacies of Italian mask making.

We headed out to the same office park (that I had discussed last week) to take some stunning senior portraits...

And a few theatric images with the aforementioned hand crafted Italian masks!

Ben is a really awesome guy who's laid-back cool demeanor was a breath of fresh air.

In addition to all the other awesome things Ben is interested in, he also brought along full Scottish garb to go with the fine weaponry!

We ended with a few creepy photos of the hand painted masks, this one is notably mischievous (from the super long nose on the mask).

Thank you again Ben! This was certainly a fun and memorable shoot!