Spring Ahead – 3 tips to jump start your photo skills

Morning sunlight streaming through curtains, VSCOcam f2 preset

Tip 1: Start with what you’ve got.

My “serious” cameras were away in my bedroom when I was making Saturday morning breakfast and saw the sunrise streaming through the curtains. Outdated functioning 2011 refurbished smartphone camera was nearby and caught it before the lighting changed. Years before smartphones crashed the photo-making party it was up to me to throw camera gear in a bag and remember to take it with me if I expected to make use of creative moments. Nowadays… you’ve got it in your pocket.

The best camera is the one you’ve got with you when inspiration strikes. Post a #NoFilter or edit to your heart’s content with apps of your choice.

I was an instant fan of square film negatives when I shot a Bronica SQ-Ai for college courses. (Find one here on eBay) Instagram is one of my favorite places to share & see square images today.

Tip 2: Start where you are

These images are all from around the house and yard. Some while making meals, most during busy weekdays full of kids doing homework, getting ready for activities, washing up, making other meals, and in constant motion. No exotic locations, just sights that caught my eye on site and were snapped before they were gone.

Practice seeing details and waiting for images to line up right where you are. These reflexes are key to telling wedding day stories full of details and fleeting moments, and some of my favorite photos of my kids growing up are the ones taken on such “ordinary” days mentioned above.

Black and white daylight through blinds across door panel, VSCOcam b1 present

Tip 3: Simplify

Step closer. Look for details. Cut out clutter in the background.

Don’t like what you see in the frame? Move your feet. Fill the shot with your subject.

Turning these snaps of afternoon lighting into high contrast black and white images is simple with one of my favorite apps – VSCOcam. Presets and fine tune adjustments in VSCOcam and Instagram get the look I want from the shot on the screen.

Black and white mini blind shadows and rain, VSCOcam preset b5

Bonus: Take it or regret a missed opportunity

With plentiful digital camera & smartphone cloud storage this is a no-brainer. No excuse for passing up a shot when you have a camera and abundant means to store the image.

Daylight peeking over the rooftop warmed and melted the snow in the image below. This image would further disappear the longer I waited to capture it. I took my own advice and doubled back to take this photo.

Snow melting in the sunlight, VSCOcam m3 preset

Questions?

Vintage School LetteringGot your camera out and can’t get the shot you want? Wonder what those buttons and menus on your camera do? Tired of reading screens and manuals and just want to go shoot? Book a one-on-one tutorial session with me on topics you choose, Q&A, and demonstrations.

It’s real-world use for all that technology packed in your camera, explained to help you get the photos you’re after.

Reserve your spot here!

 

PS – If you’re in the Daylight Savings regions and set your clocks ahead this weekend, remember to adjust your digital camera’s clock too!

Previously Unpublished – Kalamazoo Lake Piers in the Moonlight

Saugatuck Kalamazoo lake piers in moonlight

On a quiet Monday evening several springs back I meandered Saugatuck, Michigan with a camera and tripod. Monday was my weekend, this quiet town was somewhere new. The moon was astounding that night and the piers were a quiet spot for a pause along the Kalamazoo River.

Not all the Previously Unpublished images I’ve set aside are on film.

Not all who wander are lost.

Stay wandering. Take a camera along. eB

Prints and gift items from this image available here.

Congrats Rachelle and Josh – 10th Anniversary Flashback!

On a sunny April Saturday 10 years ago today I joined Rachelle & Josh for their springtime wedding celebration at the Morris Estate Chapel in Niles, Michigan. Colorful tulips were in bloom outside the former Centre Meeting House, now a country chapel where the newlyweds were married. As they celebrate their anniversary today, here are some of my favorites from their wedding day story. Enjoy! Congrats, newlyweds!

Bride and groom inside the Morris Estate Chapel
Bride and groom inside the Chapel
Bride, Groom and Bouquet in the Morris Farms Chapel
Bride, Groom and Bouquet & pearls
Bride and Groom with the Father of the Bride officiating the wedding at Morris Farms Estate
Bride and Groom with the Father of the Bride officiating the wedding at Morris Farms Chapel
Newlyweds outside the Morris Farms Estate Chapel
Newlyweds Rachelle and Josh greet guests outside the Morris Estate Chapel, tulips in bloom on their April wedding day
Morris Estate chapel wedding guests
Guests congratulating the newlyweds outside the chapel at the Morris Estate
Bride and groom wedding portrait ideas with bench
A quiet moment between the newlyweds
Groom and Groomsmen Country Club Portrait ideas
Groom and Groomsmen on the Country Club Green
Newlyweds wedding portrait by fireplace ideas
Congrats to the newlyweds!
Bridal party portrait ideas Morris Farms Estate Chapel
Newlyweds and their bridal party on the steps of the Morris Estate Chapel
Morris Estate Chapel spring wedding newlywed portraits outdoors
Newlyweds Rachelle and Josh on the country road alongside the Morris Estate Chapel

 

Check out The Morris Estate and Chapel here or see more Wedding Day Stories here. eB

 

Previously Unpublished – Holga 35mm at Shiojiri Niwa – Spring 2009

While rummaging for some #ThrowbackThursday images to Instagram I noted several rolls of unmarked, processed 35mm film I had set aside in 2012 and all but forgotten about until early 2015. Holding the negatives to light I instantly recalled the moments I took with my Holga but was surprised by the images I had waited to see once they hit the scanner.

Holga 35mm film sprocket lens flare at park
Holga 35mm film sprocket photo of lens flare at park

Holga 35mm film multiple exposure tree branches

Holga 35mm film sprocket stairway shadow zigzag abstract
Holga 35mm film sprocket photo – stairway shadow zigzag abstract

If the above image of the zigzag shadow on concrete stairs looks familiar, there was a megapixelized version of it posted years back as a Previously Unpublished entry. I had forgotten I made a Holga film exposure of the abstract detail as well.

Holga 35mm film sprocket photo of spring blossoms

Holga 35mm film sprocket photo end of roll
End of roll.

For more low-fi film photography loving images, check out this Lomography Stream here.

Previously Unpublished – Boardwalk at Dusk

Weko Beach boardwalk at dusk Bridgman Michigan

Previously Unpublished image from a wandering at Weko Beach, Bridgman, Michigan, spring 2006. Hoping for a dramatic sunset I arrived for a calm, overcast dusk and low key images along the boardwalk.

Specs: Trusty Nikon D70, Program exposure mode decided on 1/30th second exposure at f/7.1, my how my shooting experience has changed since learning to shoot in manual mode. Filtered with VSCOcam & Instagram.

Throwback Thursday – Zoo Safari Wedding 2005

Earlier this week I posted on my social media feeds a link to something new to me – Flash Weddings. I’m a fan of nontraditional, offbeat wedding day celebrations that incorporate elements of the newlyweds’ interests, back story, and dreams into the day’s festivities. This wedding was the first such “offbeat” ceremony I photographed for a couple who brought together handmade fashion and floral creations, South African wedding traditions, and a safari exhibit at the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo. It was during my first full year of digital photography in 2005 – years before I had kids of my own to take to the zoo to see -and sometimes behave like- wild animals. Without further rambling, allow me to present a selection of my favorites from this South African safari themed wedding celebration for this Throwback Thursday. Enjoy! -eB

Safari Wedding Fort Wayne Indiana Zoo Bride

Safari Wedding Fort Wayne Indiana Zoo Faerie Flower Girls

Safari Wedding Fort Wayne Indiana Zoo Couple

Safari Wedding ring ribbon traditions

Safari Wedding flower girl bouquet

Safari Wedding shawl covering couple

Safari wedding newlyweds Fort Wayne Children's Zoo

Safari Wedding South African drum performance at zoo

Safari Wedding reception dove release

Safari Wedding reception South African dance

Safari Wedding reception floral candle South African decorations

Safari themed wedding faerie flowergirls by pond

Lake Michigan Engagement Session – Jami and Nick

Silver Beach dunes engagement portraits

Lake Michigan lighthouse pier engagement portrait shoot

Lake Michigan Silver Beach Tiscornia lighthouse engagement portrait

Lake Michigan Silver Beach pier sunset engagement portrait

Lake Michigan Silver Beach pier lighthouse engagement portraits

Lake Michigan Silver Beach engagement portrait sunset couple

Lake Michigan Silver Beach sunset engagement portraits

BONUS: Mutual Weirdness (or outtakes)

While I’d love to gloss on and on in poetic ways about the love filling the air like seagulls fluttering with eager expectation above a parking lot full of shiny cars… bad example… Jami & Nick have a mutual weirdness I can appreciate, as well as photograph. This is a significant part of their story, and these are the images to prove it. Congrats, love birds!

Engagement Portrait outtake shock

Silver Beach engagement photos couple

engagement portrait session hair whip

engagement portrait session outtake duckface

Check out more of my favorite sessions along Lake Michigan here, and Contact Me to set up a shoot of your own! -eB

May the Fourth – Bridal Party Portraits

Disclaimer: Completely biased opinions and geekery expressed below.

Star Wars Wedding Portrait Bride and Groom
Space hair, don’t care. Anakin’s gauntlet… duck face?

Star Wars Wedding Portraits Newlyweds Vadering
The newlyweds find your lack of Vadering portraits disturbing.

Star Wars Wedding Portraits Bridesmaids Movie pose
Bridesmaids (the humans, and possibly a rip off the movie poster poses too)
Star Wars Wedding Portraits Breakfast Club pose
The Groomsmen Breakfast Club

Star Wars Wedding Portraits with Light sabers
Nary a Star Wars Day is complete without light sabers!

BONUS: photobomber Phil makes all the ladies swoon derp.

Wedding portrait photobomb animation