Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Cold Engagement Session on the Riverwalk

Welcome to Texas.  The previous week, we had balmy warm weather in the 70's.  This particular photo session the temp was hovering in the low 40's.  At first it looked like it would be grey and overcast, and then, BOOM, the sun comes out.  Crazy.
Derek is active duty military, serving our country from Clovis New Mexico.  Trust me when I say that you have no idea how much of a sacrifice he has given.  If you've ever been to Clovis, you know what I mean.

This was our only day to shoot.  Like a good soldier, he and Sarah braved the chilly wind, and we walked along San Antonio's famous Riverwalk.  He put up with my jokes, and we even had a duck that tried to get into the photo shoot.  I can't wait for the wedding.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Family Portraits in Gruene Texas

I love shooting in Gruene.  (For those of you who are not in the Hill Country of Texas, it's pronounced "Green"... it's a German name, designed to confuse tourists)

It was an overcast day that looked like it might rain, but we stayed dry, and relatively warm.  It was in the 30's last week, but we were basking in the South Texas warmth in the low 60's.  

A big Thank You to Joe and Melissa Andhor for letting me take their family portraits.  Their little boy, Shane is just precious...

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Engagement Photography New Braunfels - Jessica + Bryan

Jessica and I had been emailing each other about locations for the engagement session. A friend of mine has a gorgeous property but I wasn't able to get in touch with him to get permission to shoot there. At the last minute, literally an hour or two before the shoot, we decided on Landa Park in New Braunfels. Sometimes the prettiest places are right under your nose. 

I've shot at Landa Park before, but it was just so pretty on Sunday. It was overcast, a few sprinkles here and there, and the sun was going down fast. Bryan only gave me the look a few times at some of my ideas... (hey, I thought it would be cool to put him on the train that goes around the park.) In the end, he was very patient with me, and we got some great pictures. They are a cute couple, and we could not stop laughing.

San Antonio Wedding Jeff and Jessica

Jessica is a lot like me. She's a planner. Everything was planned, everything was scheduled, all the pieces were in place. Then the day of the wedding, a monkey wrench has to fall into the motor. Thank GOD it wasn't me as the monkey wrench this time. The makeup team was running a little behind. They arrived an hour late, and since there three girls plus the bride that got hair and makeup.... well, we didn't leave for the venue on time. It was over an hour and half later than she planned. As I was photographing the bridal prep, I could see the stress building in her eyes. Usually when I arrive at the venue, I like to scout things out, set up my light stands and tripod for the group pictures, etc. The bridal party (and me) arrived at the venue and we had five minutes before the ceremony started. I had time to get my camera out of the case and turn it on. Even with all the stress and late schedule, it was a beautiful wedding. Jeff is all Army, and all business. He's a big guy.... but you should see his eyes when he looks at Jessica.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Engagement Session at Landa Park

OMG, that was wayyyyy too much fun.  I just got home from a great engagement session at one of my favorite locations, Landa Park in New Braunfels.  I'm downloading the CF card as I write this.  I can't wait to finish the editing.

Landa Park has some of the best scenery in this area.  It's a well-kept secret, as not a lot of photographers use it for portrait sessions.  Scenic mill ponds, the beautiful Comal river, and the old buildings around the Wurstfest area are just visually awesome.

I knew it was going to be a fun session, when I told the couple to "look serious" and they couldn't stop giggling and laughing.  Bryan had a lot of patience with my corny posing requests, and Jessica said something to me that really made my whole week.  She told me she reads this blog!!  Boo-YA!

And all this time, I thought I was the only one.  Pictures coming soon.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Bexar County - Downtown Marissa + Matt

There's something to be said for keeping it simple. If you elope, you have more money to spend on the home and a honeymoon! You can still have a beautiful and romantic wedding in downtown San Antonio.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Don't be that guy...

OMG, this struck a chord with me.  I have been photographing weddings for some time, and this happens at EVERY wedding without fail.  What am I talking about?  The wedding guest who feels it is his/her responsibility to use his smart phone as a video camera and get in the way of every shot of the professional photographer whose job it is to document the wedding.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

San Antonio Quinceanera

2013 is turning out to be the year of the Quinceanera for me!  Since not everyone may even know what a Quinceanera is, I'll explain.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Brides Beware of McNay Museum in San Antonio

Everyone who knows me, knows that I'm a nice guy.  A harmless little fuzzball with a camera.  It takes a little bit of rudeness to provoke me.  That happened yesterday.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Move Over Spielberg!!

Well that wasn't so hard!  I just made a video to promote some of the products that I offer to brides.  One of my cameras has decent video capabilities, and I've never really done much with it.  I finally decided that I needed something to show customers my albums, so I sat down, set up my camera on a tripod, and hit the "Record" button.  

It sort of reminded me of my days when I was a radio DJ.  Back when I was in High School my life long dream was to be a DJ on the radio.  By my senior year, I was working at a local radio station.  I learned that talking "cold" (without reading the copy) was hard.  So I did this video cold.  I didn't want it to sound like I was reading a script.  So as a result, there are more pauses and stuttering and stammering than an Obama speech.  

I'm happy with it.  Maybe people will have an idea about my albums now.  I still have this dream that potential customers look at my website and blog. LOL. I can dream right?  Lights.... Camera.... Action!!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

The Tao Of Photography

by Richard Spears


The Silent Void

Thus spake the Master Photographer: "When you have learned to create art with your camera, it will be time for you to leave."

Something mysterious is formed, born in the silent void. Waiting alone and unmoving, it is at once still and yet in constant motion. It is the source of all beauty and art. It is the light. It is the shadows of darkness. I do not know its name, so I will call it the Tao of Photography. If the Tao is great, then the composition is great. If the composition is great, then the exposure is great. If the exposure is great, then the image is great. The client is pleased, and there is harmony in the world. The Tao of Photography flows far away and returns on the wind of morning.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Father / Son Time at the San Antonio Zoo

When life is busy, sometimes I neglect the little things.  In this case, the little one being my son Collin. This past Tuesday, I didn't have any appointments so we decided to have a father/son day and go to the San Antonio Zoo.  

This was Collin's second visit to the zoo.  He has a book of zoo animals, and it's one of his favorite books, so he was really excited to go visit the animals again.  He just turned three, so it was also a good excuse for me to take my backup camera and take some pictures of him.

Monday, August 5, 2013

San Antonio Mission San Jose Bridal Portraits

Photographers call it "chimping".  It's when a photographer looks at the picture he just took on the LCD display on the back of the camera.  I try not to do it much.  I've seen some photographers do it after every shot.  I admit I chimped this shot.  I knew my light looked good, and the pose looked great.  I wanted to see if I nailed it.  I was so excited when I saw it, I showed it to the bride.  I like to think that she had the same feeling I did.  In the window light, she looked absolutely stunning. It's been almost a week that I've been looking at it, and I think it's my best bridal portrait ever.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Lone Ranger Review

Yeah, I normally write about photography.  In a sense, cinema is photography.  It's an art which is not much different from still photography.  I am a fan of movies.  As a kid, it was my escape from life.  When I was a little boy, I couldn't wait to go to the movies on Saturday.  I also watched a TV series called "The Lone Ranger".  I wanted to be the Lone Ranger.  I had a mask, I had the silver .45 Peacemaker gun.  My little brother was Tonto.  Tonto cried a lot.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Wedding in Luckenbach Texas - Kevin and Marsha

There's sort of a sad story that relates to the details on how I ended up photographing this beautiful wedding, but that's for another blog.  

Let me tell you about Marsha and Kevin.  It proves the point that you should never say "Never".  Marsha is a strong woman, and a tremendous personality.  She was a single mom, raising John Michael, and one look at John Michael and you'll understand the upbringing he had.  At fifteen, he is polite, respectful and intelligent.  In my book, that speaks volumes about his mother.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

The Cats are Plotting To Kill Me...

Okay... maybe it's my imagination, but why is it that whenever I'm a little late on feeding the cats, they look at me like they are going to kill me later?  They are used to getting their breakfast by 8 am, and this morning it's Fathers Day... so I'm being kind of laid back.  It was an awesome wedding last night, and I'm sore.

So I get up a little late (for me) and I'm sitting at the computer, and I realize that all the cats are staring at me through the window.  They're not saying anything that I can hear...  but maybe they're sending telepathic messages that are screaming "It's past 9:00!! Feed us now, or we will slit your throat!!"

Harley is my dog.  I'm a dog guy.  She's a great dane.  She's the most laid back dog in the world.  If I'm late with her dinner, she still thanks me.  I guess that's the difference between dogs and cats.  

Friday, June 7, 2013

Bridal Portraits at Kendall Plantation

I met Katy and her fiance' on the Riverwalk when I shot their engagement pictures.  She told me that her wedding venue was the Kendall Plantation.  

I've been to the Kendall Plantation, and I've driven past it hundreds of times off Ralph Fair Rd.  It's huge, and it's beautiful.  Katy said it reminded her of Terra, the plantation house in the movie "Gone With The Wind".  OMG, it does.  You can almost see Rhett Butler carrying Vivien Lee up the stairs. It's one of those venues that I've always wanted to shoot a wedding at.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Sweet Sixteen in San Antonio

The sun was bright...  too bright really.  Photographers love sunlight... but not when it's shining down from straight up causing strange shadows on the face.

There have been times in my life when I've looked at the bright sun at mid-day, shook my fist and said "I will defeat you!  I will take good pictures despite your harsh light!!"

Sometimes I get lucky and find a little shade, and then sometimes I time the click of the shutter when the harsh sun goes behind a cloud.  

It was also hot... not just a little uncomfortable hot, but Vietnam Jungle hot.  But I can't complain, because my client was wearing a 20 lb gown.  I can't imagine how hot it was... but she never complained. Not once.  By the time we were finished, my shirt was soaked.  I came home and took a cool shower, and anxiously looked at the images.  There have been times when I think I nail a shot, and then when I get it on the computer I'm not happy with it.  This time, I got some shots that I'm proud of.  

Friday, May 17, 2013

The Rubber Ducky Attack

Sometimes I get silly with the camera...
The Duck Attack:

UnPlugged Wedding

The following is a guest blog written by Corey Ann Photography.  I felt so strongly about this, I wanted to share it on my blog.  Re-Blogged with permission by Corey Ann

Corey Talks • Why You Should Have an Unplugged Wedding

In the past I’ve blogged about being a photo friendly guest and also about guest photographers but I felt that this needed to be expanded upon a bit more… and of course I have some images to show to support why I think it’s best when the guests put their cameras down.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

San Antonio Sweet 16 Portraits

I like to think of myself as a pretty cool dad.  That's why I liked meeting Enrique.  I could tell after talking to him for just a few minutes that he is a Cool Dad.  He wanted to give his little girl a Sweet 16 party, and wanted me to be the photographer.  That meant I also got to do a portrait session with his daughter, Jacqueline.  

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Breakfast With Collin

Me and Collin just finished breakfast. We had Frosted Flakes cereal. I think it's important for a little boy to have breakfast with his dad. I got to thinking about it,... I have no memory of my dad at breakfast. He was always gone before me and Steve woke up. I do remember having breakfast with my grandfather. I remember watching him. I wanted to cut my eggs just like him, and put jam on my biscuit just like him. I never want to miss having breakfast with Collin. It's fun... two guys eating cereal and bacon...

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

How to Photograph a Wedding

People always ask me what the secret is to photograph a wedding. As one of San Antonio's most sought after wedding photographers, who's talent with a camera is matched only by my humble personality... I thought I would share some tips with some photographs from other photographers to illustrate my points:

1.  Keep the use of guns to a minimum.  Even in South Texas, where shotgun weddings are common:

2.  I cannot stress again, the importance of rule #1.  When the wedding party insists on guns, please leave the ammunition at the door:

3.  Insist that no matter how attached the groom may be to his pet, please leave the pets at home.

4.  Make sure that the bride and groom are dressed appropriately.  I always recommend traditional wedding attire:

5.  Always watch out for someone trying to photo-bomb your shot:
Like a cat

Or a horse

An Alpaca

Especially Death

6.  Speaking of horses, remember that sometimes the angle of the shot is very important:

7.  Always encourage the bride and groom to choose good venues, places that are photogenic and visually interesting

8.  Encourage the bride to not let the groom get too excited about the wedding

9.  Even though beach weddings can be very romantic, again I always encourage tuxedos for the men

10.  As a photographer, I try to capture those little candid, emotional moments

11. I try to keep the amount of Photoshop that I use to a bare minimum

12.  Most of all, I remind everyone that this is a happy occasion, and people should have fun, and look happy