Category Archives: Photography Stuff

Amanda + Ben’s Wedding

Amanda and Ben were the first of my Amanda wedding double-header this weekend…stay tuned for the second Amanda wedding later today! So, Amanda and Ben came to me thanks again to Maria and Steve who I was happy to see as guests again. Their day could not have been more ideal for an outdoor wedding at Pen Ryn, one of my favorite venues to photograph weddings. It was especially fun to have Cooper at the wedding, Amanda and Ben’s dog…he was a great subject. Enjoy a snapshot of their day.

Alyssa + Zack’s Wedding

Thank you Alyssa and Zack for trusting me to capture your day all based on a recommendation from a former couple, Megan and David. It isn’t easy to plan a wedding from far away and I was lucky enough to have Alyssa and Zack pick me, the one vendor in the middle of it all with the wedding in Garrison, NY, they live in Washington, DC, and me in Philadelphia. Their wedding was absolutely perfect from every aspect including their imported band from Boston! This was one of the weddings were I caught myself tearing up at the amazing moments and special touches throughout the day. I hope you get a taste of how special their day truly was…enjoy.

Prints from this slideshow can be ordered HERE

Planner: Weddings by Debra Thompson – www.weddingsbydebra.com
Church: St. Augustine’s Church, Ossining, NY
Flowers: Alice Norwick, petals@cloud9.net
Band: Sweet Tooth and the Sugar Babies Band, Boston, MA
Reception: The Garrison, Garrison, NY

Lisa & John’s Wedding

I can honestly say I don’t love the drive to the beach, but for Lisa and John it was well worth the drive. It was also not during the summer so I didn’t have to deal with lots of traffic! Lisa and John trusted me with their wedding after seeing me capture her cousin Maria’s wedding back at New Years Eve of 2010. It was great to be back and see so much of that family and meet a new one in John’s family. The entire day was a blast and enjoy this short slideshow of their amazing day!

Linda Decker - April 5, 2012 - 1:08 AM

Beautiful pictures. Best wishes.

LeighAnne + Ed’s Cairnwood Wedding

LeighAnne and Ed were referred to me thanks to Julianna, who’s wedding was back in February, which is poignant. When we scheduled LeighAnne and Ed’s engagement session it was one of the hottest and most humid days of the summer. What started as a nice evening turned into a sweaty, heat-shortened, session. Their wedding couldn’t have been more different. Although it was supposed to rain, it was a beautiful almost-fall day. Being at Cairnwood for the entire event was fantastic and everything looked amazing, and the day was a blast…enjoy! This slideshow is also available on Facebook here

Venue: Cairnwood – www.cairnwood.org
Planner: Love Inc – Tara Prata – www.loveincplanning.com
Caterer: Feastivites – www.feastivitiescatering.com
Florist: Stacey Ballard – www.staceyballardfloraldesign.com

Fuji x100 Pros and Cons for Wedding Photography

Sorry folks for the technical posts of late…some awesome engagement session images are about to be launched! To follow-up my initial post about the new Fuji x100 camera, here are my summaries of it, in terms of Pros and Cons

Pros
– files are awesome at ISO up to 6400 and in either JPG or RAW now that Lightroom supports it
– colors are wonderful out of the camera
– white balance is pretty darn good, but I haven’t compared it to any other camera, but it looks pretty good
– it’s darn quiet…in fact essentially silent for practical purposes, which is EXACTLY what I wanted, even better than my missed Voigtlander R3A which of course adds the sounds of the shutter cocking
– viewfinder is perfect, customizable, and bright
– AF is better than I’d expected, and using manual focus is fantastic when combined with the rear focus button which allows AF in manual mode and focuses from macro to infinity!!
– I could go on and on, but that’s enough for now

Cons
– battery…sucks big time, but easily solved with an extra battery…in these days of battery technology how they screwed this one up I have no idea
– manual focus ring on the lens is WAY too slow, but feels like it’s a potential firmware item
– the grip could be a little more substantial, but that is a nit, not a complaint

Can’t wait to put it into full use at a wedding, which is the main reason I purchased this camera!

UPDATE: Since the firmware update, I can say it’s almost like a new camera. The little things that bugged me are totally gone…with the exception of the cons listed above. The little things that bugged me were the change of ISO from modes, settings being forgotten after power off, and a few others. But they were little.

Brian Kraft - May 16, 2012 - 4:10 PM

I gave the X100 a go for a wedding and got these results. It was a challenge, but really fun too. http://www.briankraft.com/Blog/weddings/wedding-photography-fuji-x100/

Kevin Mullins - August 17, 2011 - 8:06 PM

Great little review. I’ve been using mine for weddings for the past month and it has revolutionised the way I work.

Stealth – Fuji x100 as a perfect wedding photography camera

An odd title for a blog post, I know! One of the attributes I pride myself on when photographing weddings, is stealth. When reading the recently published book, “The President’s Photographer”, Peter Souza, the current White House chief photographer, points out that transparency is key to getting true emotion in his images.

Although he goes on to poke fun at wedding photographers, his words (and the words of many former White House photographers) rings true for the best wedding photography. Capturing true emotion and the feeling of the day revolves around transparency and stealth.

To that end, I have just begun using one the most exciting cameras to come out in a long time. The Fujifulm x100 is the blend of very high end rangefinder cameras and digital technology. What makes this camera so perfect, FOR ME, is that it’s fast, QUIET, unobtrusive, and makes my work so much more consistent and real.

I’ll be using it extensively in the coming month and look forward to seeing how this camera will accent my existing cameras. Let me be clear, this will be my third, stealth, camera around my neck for moments that require more stealth.

The camera is so quite that my wife, who usually hates me taking her picture in this situation, didn’t even know that I was snapping test shots while she was watching TV…but I don’t have permission to post:)

However, here are just a couple simple, walk around, shots from my first day with the camera.

UPDATE: Real people…

I have now used this great camera with real people! I have also learned a few pros and cons of the camera design. In fact, I was the first person to call Fuji USA Pro support to discuss the camera, WITH a camera in my hands! Great guys that work there and were super helpful. So, first a few images.

it IS possible to get action with this camera, and YES I purposely picked a slower shutter speed for action blur!!

one of the great discoveries I found with the camera is that when in Manual focus mode, and using the rear focus button, you can focus in macro WITHOUT being in macro mode! sweeeeet!

quickly switching to the rear display for the viewfinder was wasy and allowed me to quickly get this, and a series of other images, from my little engineer

Very quick moment and the camera allowed me to get it…a second later it was gone

making Mother’s Day cards for grandma, using the rear focus button allows for some quick targeted focusing and then clicking away on the shutter without affecting the focus is exactly what I am used to with my DSLRs

gordon - May 17, 2011 - 1:43 AM

Looks perfect for photographing people and family members plus being a stealthy cam is very useful.

Me - May 10, 2011 - 6:39 PM

it’s ideal for candid moments, it’s silent which is extremely useful

X100 Enthusiast - May 6, 2011 - 5:14 PM

Could be useful for candid moment right?

Where to meet?

Today I was at Barnes and Noble and was browsing the magazine section near the coffee shop. It was a very busy day there, noisy, crowded. I noticed a couple meeting with a prospective wedding photographer. This is what I used to do on a regular basis, mainly because I had no where else really good to meet with couples.

Now that I have my meeting space in town I would never go back…unless of course the couple was from far away and wanted to meet in person, then of course a place in the middle will help both of us!

But, seeing the meeting taking place, made me realize that it is so distracting. Certainly to me. I want to talk, and learn about each couple and not be worried about being distracted by other people…or worse having my couple distracted! Anyway, just an observation and a way to let you know how I like to work with couples.

My lovely meeting space…I love it!

Dana Murray - September 30, 2011 - 3:24 PM

Love the black and white photo and album on the wall! Cute couple :)

Snow + Fun Couple = Awesome Engagement Session

A few days before the first of two huge snow storms, Jackie emailed me and asked about doing their engagement session in the snow. We made Plan A and Plan B…we ended up with Plan B since there was two feet of snow falling on the first day. The Sunday after, however, was absolutely amazing. Not a cloud in the sky and Jackie and Mike could not have been more fun. Every idea I had, they loved, so we had a blast. Here are a few of my favorites!

Ro - February 23, 2010 - 3:39 PM

good job craig! looks like fun

My favorite from my childhood

I am rereading a great book, God Is at Eye Level, by Jan Phillips. It is a great book about how photography is an emotional process and sometimes a healing art. It has helped me become a photographer of moments at weddings. I am always looking for those moments between the couple, with family, and family. After I had mastered the art of classic portraiture and getting those all important family portraits it has been this book that helped me become who I am as a wedding photographer.

In the first chapter of the book it has the reader try and recall what photography meant as a child. There are two distinctive memories I have about photography. The first is going to the picture drawer in my parents room. In their desk, the second drawer on the left, was the picture drawer. It had pictures jammed into the drawer as well as a large box of pictures of the family and our trips. I would spend hours just looking through the images and remembering, or being told, what was going on in the image.

One image that is also one of my best memories, is this picture.

littlecraig083

It is me and if I remember right it was taken at a lake in Michigan, close to where I was born in Elmhurst, Illinois. My dad took it and the large print of it hung next to his dresser in his room. I always loved looking at it, and of course being competitive that it was me and not my brothers. When my dad passed away I asked my mom if I could have it, and she agreed. When our youngest son, Daniel, was about the same age as I was in the image, he insisted that it was a picture of him.

So those are two memories as a child that has made me into the photographer I am today. What is your favorite picture as a child? How did images impact you when you were growing up?

Ahhh film…

I might be part of a dieing breed of photographers that still use film as part of the wedding experience. While the majority of what I shoot is digital, I still shoot a few rolls of black and white film, and sometimes color film, at weddings. You might be thinking…wait can’t you just do that with Photoshop with digital images? Yes, to a certain extent, and if you like sitting in front of the computer for long hours editing images to look like film.

I prefer the method of actually shooting film. The way I am able to make it happen, is with the help of Philadelphia Photographics. One of the last professional labs left in the Philadelphia region. The process the old school way and are amazing. So, instead of spending hours at the computer, I drop my rolls of film off at Philly Photographic and they develop and scan the film, than mail it back to me. Pretty awesome!