READ FIRST: Blog Closed

I don’t blog anymore. This old content is a historical record and SEO test area.  You can skip this blog and go directly to my website.

For my latest work, visit my wedding photography portfolio, portrait photography portfolio, or see my product photography examples.

If you’re a photographer and want to know why I don’t blog, check out my article titled Why I Don’t Blog and How You Can Stop Blogging Too. Continue reading READ FIRST: Blog Closed

Nikon WR-R10 / WR-A10 Wireless Remote + Nikon SB-5000 Review

Nikon D5
Nikon D5 Camera Body

I’m a wedding photographer in Houston and I wanted to take a minute and share some of my thoughts about the wireless remote system from Nikon.

I’ve been using the Nikon D5, the Nikon WR-R10 / WR-A10 wireless remote system, and my Nikon SB-5000s for a long time and I thought it might be helpful to other photographers if I shared some of my thoughts on this system. Before I explain how these amazing tools all work together, I wanted to first talk about some of the individual components.

Nikon SB-5000
Nikon SB-5000

The SB-5000 is Nikon’s latest speedlight. When it was released, I replaced all of my Nikon SB-900 and SB-910 flashes. That means that I needed to purchase 5 new speedlights. Two were for on-camera flash, two were for off-camera flash, and one was for backup. These new flashes work on all modern Nikon camera bodies. They’re great for photographers who are purchasing new systems or for photographers who need a replacement for older flashes like the SB-800, SB-900, or SB-910. This flash is a true workhorse for me—particularly when I’m photographing receptions in hotel ballrooms or working outside at night.

Nikon WR-A10
Nikon WR-A10

The new Nikon WR-R10 / WR-A10 wireless remote system allows me to trigger my off-camera flashes wirelessly. In years past I used the PocketWizard FlexTT5 Transceiver and MiniTT1 Transmitter to trigger my remote flashes. Although the system worked well, I was never comfortable with the way the components were connected between the camera hot shoe or the stand and the flash. They were relatively bulky and the flashes seemed to be top heavy and somewhat wobbly with the PocketWizard devices.  By switching to the WR-R10 / WR-A10 wireless remote system, I was able to have a tiny trigger on my Nikon D5 and the wireless receiver is built into the SB-5000 speedlight.

Nikon WR-R10
Nikon WR-R10

Since I photograph weddings with two Nikon D5 bodies, I carry two WR-R10 / WR-A10 wireless remotes in a tiny ThinkTank pouch attached to one of my camera straps.  This allows me to quickly access the wireless remotes whenever they’re needed. Besides being able to set up my cameras for off-camera reception lighting, at any moment I can remove a speedlight from my camera’s hot shoe and trigger it remotely. This means that I have off-camera lighting available at any time without the need to carry additional equipment other than what I typically already have on my person.

For those Nikon photographers already using the D5 or D500, this combination is a must-have and a great addition to your wireless photography tactics. I promise that you won’t be disappointed.

Nikon WR-R10 / WR-A10 Wireless Remote Setup Instructions

The Nikon WR-R10 / WR-A10 wireless remote system works with Nikon D5 and D500 camera bodies and the new Nikon SB-5000 speedlight. You’ll need all of that equipment in order to take full advantage of this new system.

To make the wireless system work, there are several steps you’ll need to follow:

  1. Connect the WR-R10 to the WR-A10 using the USB port provided on the WR-A10. Make sure that it clicks firmly into place.
  2. Connect the WR-A10 to the 10-pin port on your Nikon D5 or D500.
  3. Take note of the channel on the top of the WR-R10. The default is Channel 15 on both the WR-R10 and the SB-5000. If you need to change that value later, you’ll need to change it on both the WR-R10 and the SB-5000.
  4. Configure your Nikon D5 or D5000 wireless options:
  5. Pair your remote flash and the WR-R10. This pairing is a one-time process. To pair the two devices:
    1. turn your SB-5000 on to “REMOTE” using the Power Switch
    2. press the MENU button on your SB-5000
    3. use the flash command wheel to scroll down one item to the wireless options
    4. use the flash command wheel to select the “PAIR” option
    5. press and hold the small gray button on the front of the WR-R10
    6. on the SB-5000, choose EXECUTE by pressing the OK button twice. The OK button is located in the center of the SB-5000 command wheel
    7. the message “pairing complete” should be displayed
    8. press the MENU button on the SB-5000 to exit the menu
  6. Now that pairing is complete, you now need to activate the wireless connection:
    1. press the Wireless Setting Button on the SB-5000 to cycle through the remote options and stop when the wireless symbol is displayed.
    2. press the MENU button on your Nikon D5 or D500
    3. go to the “PHOTO SHOOTING MENU”
    4. choose “Flash Control”
    5. choose “Wireless flash options”
    6. select the OFF option and set it “On“
    7. The LED Link light on the side of the SB-5000 should change from RED to GREEN and the LED light on the WR-R10 should change from a blinking GREEN light to a solid GREEN light.
  7. You can use the menu on the SB-5000 or your camera to adjust your flash settings. To adjust the flash settings using your Nikon D5 or D500 camera menu:
    1. Press the MENU button on your camera
    2. go to “PHOTO SHOOTING MENU”
    3. choose “Group flash options”

Advanced Off-Camera Flash Photography Tip

I was recently reading a blog post on Cliff Mautner’s website and he shared some fascinating information about how to quickly control exposure levels on off-camera flashes without having to go to the camera or flash menu.

Here’s how it works. When a Nikon speedlight is on a hot shoe and the flash is set to TTL or A and the camera is set to manual mode, you can quickly change the flash output by using the camera’s exposure compensation button. On Nikon cameras, that button is typically located to the left of the shutter button. This feature allows you to change flash power quickly in 1/2 or 1/3 stop increments.

Remarkably, this feature also works with the Nikon WR-R10 / WR-A10 wireless remote system and the SB-5000 when the SB-5000 is positioned as an off-camera flash. Although you can certainly control the off-camera flash power from within the camera menu or the flash menu, you can also use the exposure compensation button if you’re in a hurry to adjust the flash power.

Portraits / Headshots – Courtney

Courtney stopped by my home studio today for a few portraits. We tried several different looks and outfits but these two headshots were my favorites.

We worked quite a bit to get the right amount of expression from her eyes. When you’re in front of a camera, it can often be difficult to connect with the camera and the stranger behind it. But a great photographer can make that process easier and create portraits that viewers are more likely to appealing. Continue reading Portraits / Headshots – Courtney

Business Headshots: Venture Capitalist

Whenever someone from the Houston area contacts me for a business headshot or a corporate portrait, I’m always happy to oblige any request.

In some cases, my subject may need something quick and will only bring a single wardrobe while in other cases, my subjects may bring several outfits.

In every case I offer a variety of wardrobe styling changes as well as different expressions, crops, and orientations to choose from after I capture their portraits. Here are the final selects from this business portrait session with a venture capitalist. Continue reading Business Headshots: Venture Capitalist

Sean Hayes Wedding Photographer

I’m was honored to be selected to photograph the celebrity wedding of Sean Hayes and Scotty Icenogle. They’re super nice guys and they hosted a lovely, private event.

Sean Hayes is noted actor, hilarious comedian, and talented producer who is perhaps best known for his role as Jack McFarland on the NBC sitcom Will & Grace.

Scott Icenogle is a music producer and composer who has lent his talents to help create the theme songs for “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” and “Sean Saves the World.” Some of Scott’s most famous projects include Christina Aguilera’s remix “Ain’t No Other Man” and Katy Perry’s remix of “California Girls.”

Fine Art Photography & Body Image

In 1991 Shannon Bradley-Colleary commissioned a photographer to capture a series of nude photographs. Twenty years later she called me hoping to revisit that time with a similar positive experience.

When Shannon first contacted me, she expressed an interest in my fine art–not in boudoir or glamour photographs. I mention this point specifically since some folks have expressed confusion about the context of this fine art nude session. Continue reading Fine Art Photography & Body Image

Portraits / Headshots: ECOF 2012

I took these simple portraits at the 2012 ECOF Convention. This particular convention celebrates the life and work of Edgar Rice Burroughs.

The event was held in tandem with the release of Disney Studios film John Carter. For the uninitiated, John Carter was a character created by Burroughs.

Anyway, these portraits were each created in less than a minute over the course of a just a few hours. They include photos of fans, actors, executives, and family members connected to to the life and legacy of Edgar Rice Burroughs. Continue reading Portraits / Headshots: ECOF 2012

WPPI 2012 Album Competition – First Place

The Wedding and Portrait Photographers International (WPPI) convention is the largest and most diverse convention of its kind for photographers.

This year in Las Vegas, with almost 20,000 photographers in attendance from over 50 countries, I was awarded First Place in the 2012 WPPI Awards of Excellence Album Competition. Continue reading WPPI 2012 Album Competition – First Place

Knot Southern California Magazine Feature

Today I found out that my photographs were featured in the Spring / Summer 2012 issue of The Knot Southern California magazine. And I didn’t solicit anyone for inclusion in the magazine!

If I had more time, I’d love to submit my work to more wedding magazines. Unfortunately, my work as a wedding photographer is never done and I just can’t carve out enough free time to meet the requirements of magazine submission.

Anyway, if you happen to read this particular magazine, you can open it up this month, point out my wedding photography to your significant other, and say, “Hey, I know that guy!”

Just as a FYI, this was a photo from a recent (relatively speaking) Palm Springs wedding I photographed at Korakia Pensione. Continue reading Knot Southern California Magazine Feature

Korakia Pensione Wedding: Palm Springs

Lan & Dean’s wedding was at Korakia Pensione bed and breakfast in Palm Springs, California.

As a Houston wedding photographer, I’m not always presented with lovely locations like the ones found around these restored historic Moroccan and Mediterranean-style villas.

This wedding was a small affair with fewer than 12 guests, but that didn’t stop Lan from pulling out all the stops to make a day to remember! Here are a few of my favorite photos from their wedding event. Continue reading Korakia Pensione Wedding: Palm Springs

InterContinental Hotel & Mark for Events Wedding

Tuere and Danny were referred to me by one of my past wedding couples, Genevieve and Jose.

Tuere and Danny’s wedding day started off at the InterContinental hotel and ended at The Mark for Events.

Tuere is a physician and Danny is a Sheriff. As their wedding photographer, I was thrilled to find out they met on the job and it was love at first sight. Well, it wasn’t really love at first sight but lots of people think that makes for a cool story when you write about it in a wedding-related blog post.

Here’s a small sampling of photos from their wedding. Continue reading InterContinental Hotel & Mark for Events Wedding

La Quinta Resort & Club Wedding: Palm Springs

Elona and Paul were married at the La Quinta Resort & Club (near Palm Springs) on the cusp of summer. I say it was the cusp of summer because it was only Africa hot instead of unbearably hot! But even with the heat, a good time was had by all.

The wedding party was a great group of folks and I really enjoyed spending a few hours with all of them. Elona was a gracious bride and Paul was ready to get married! Here are a few select images from their wedding. Continue reading La Quinta Resort & Club Wedding: Palm Springs

Hotel Maya Same-sex Wedding

Fritz and Sebastian chose July 3rd as the date for their lifetime commitment ceremony.

Other folks might call this a gay wedding, a same sex union, or a celebration. I call it two people in love who are determined to spend their lives to together and who want to share their joy with friends and family.

The ceremony was held at Hotel Maya (within sight of the Queen Mary). Continue reading Hotel Maya Same-sex Wedding

Golf Club: Same Sex Wedding Photographer

Jaime and Amy were married at Robinson Ranch Golf Club in Canyon Country in early June. This was the first gay wedding I’ve photographed and I had an absolute blast. Jaime and Amy were so easy to work with on the day of the wedding.

Some photographers struggle with how to best photograph same sex weddings, but I’ve determined that my job as the wedding photographer is simply to photograph two people in love. And I’ve determined that my style of coverage is the same, regardless of the gender of my subjects.

Anyway, here are a few of my favorite photos from the event! Continue reading Golf Club: Same Sex Wedding Photographer

Light Bulb Photography: Houston Product Photographer

Josh dropped by the studio yesterday and asked me to photograph some of the most challenging objects I’ve ever photographed in my long career as a product photographer in Houston–clear light bulbs on a white background.

Previously, my most difficult subject has been a clear wine glass–but these bulbs ended up being even more difficult to photograph. But, after spending quite a bit of time getting them into position and adjusting my light sources, I was able to clearly delineate every edges of these highly reflective products. Also, as you can see here, I also photographed a ballast–but that was easy by comparison. Continue reading Light Bulb Photography: Houston Product Photographer

Arnold Schwarzenegger: Kenter Canyon Vote

I am often called upon to photograph events, and today I had the privilege of photographing Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger at Kenter Canyon Elementary School in Brentwood. His political campaign division, the California Dream, hired me to photograph the event.

I found the work quite challenging. It was similar to a wedding but things happened even faster. Anyway, here are a few images from today. I hope you enjoy them! Continue reading Arnold Schwarzenegger: Kenter Canyon Vote

Manhattan Beach Wedding: Verandas

Jialing and Lenny were married on Memorial Day weekend at Verandas in Manhattan Beach, California. Some of my favorite weddings that I’ve photographed over the years have been at Verandas and last Saturday was no exception–including weddings in Houston, Texas.

We started the day with the girls getting ready at Jialing and Lenny’s home in Manhattan Beach. The boys got ready at the Hilton Garden Inn in El Segundo. We had them meet up for the first time at the Manhattan Beach Pier for their first look. And the rest is history. Continue reading Manhattan Beach Wedding: Verandas

Annenberg Community Beach House Wedding

Judi and Andy’s beach wedding and reception were at the Annenberg Community Beach House on Pacific Coast Highway (PCH) in Santa Monica, California. As a Houston wedding photographer today, Galveston beaches are a more common setting.

Although I’ve photographed many wedding couples on the beach, this was one of my few beach weddings. And man it was [insert cool adjective here]. Continue reading Annenberg Community Beach House Wedding

Beach Pier Engagement Session: Judi & Andy

I met Judi and Andy on the pier the week before their wedding. Although most of the engagement sessions I photograph happen many months before the wedding, this was the only time that Andy was going to be in town (he lives in Maryland).

Enjoy this California style engagement photography on the pier! Continue reading Beach Pier Engagement Session: Judi & Andy

Downtown: Penthouse Wedding

Genevieve  and Jose’s wedding and reception were held at the LoftSEVEN Penthouse in the Haas Building on Seventh Street. Adding excitement to the day was the May Day Immigration Rally which took over that part of downtown earlier in the day. That being said, since Genevieve is an immigration attorney, we certainly wove that event into our photography. Continue reading Downtown: Penthouse Wedding

Malibu Country Inn & Paradise Cove Wedding

Katie and Evan had a small, intimate wedding for friends and family on a bluff overlooking Paradise Cove in Malibu, California.

They are local area natives but now live in Chicago so this was a great location to celebrate their marriage. Friends and family stayed at the Malibu Country Inn  and that’s where the bride and groom got ready as well. Continue reading Malibu Country Inn & Paradise Cove Wedding

Union Station & Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels Wedding

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of photographing Katy & Tony’s wedding at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels downtown.

The day started with Katy and Tony getting ready at the Downtown Marriott Hotel. Then we all went over to Union Station for some pre-ceremony wedding photography.

After that, it was off to the Cathedral for the wedding and then back to Olvera Street and a short walk to Union Station for the reception. Continue reading Union Station & Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels Wedding

Portraits / Headshots: Brianna

I first met Brianna at a wedding on New Year’s Eve. She was one of the most camera-aware kids I’ve ever met. Friends of her family later asked me if I thought she had any chance of being a child model. I told them that I’d first have to see her in front of my camera.

And that leads us to today; she certainly didn’t disappoint! I’ve photographed many child models over the years and Brianna was one the most professional I’ve ever seen–on her first time out! For those photographers out there who are looking for a child model, drop me a line and I’ll put you together with her folks. Continue reading Portraits / Headshots: Brianna

Family Portraits: Munoz

Monica brought her daughter Monet by my downtown studio today for a few headshots. Apparently she’s going to be famous. She’s up for a role in a commercial so Monica needed something to send along to an agent.

While they were here, I went ahead and photographed her son Isaiah as well. And not passing up a moment for a little family portrait photography, I talked Monica into stepping in for a few. Continue reading Family Portraits: Munoz

Golf Course Industry Magazine Cover Photo

Back in January I was commissioned by GIE Media to shoot the cover for the February issue of Golf Course Industry magazine. Cover shoots are always fun, but I had a particularly good time on this project.

My subject, Bruce Williams was a super nice guy and I was able to photograph him at Industry Hills Golf and Country Club at Pacific Palms Resort.

I’ve worked on that property many times before and thus I was comfortable working there again for this editorial portrait assignment. As I was already on-site working with Bruce, I also took this opportunity to photograph Adam Kloster, the Superintendent of the golf course. Continue reading Golf Course Industry Magazine Cover Photo

Pier Engagement Session: Jen & Minh

Jen and Minh selected the pier for their engagement session and boy did they rock it! They were super fun to photograph which made my job crazy easy. And I’ve got to give them props for their cool wardrobe choices. Even though it was pretty chilly, you wouldn’t know it from Jen’s super hot sundress. And Minh’s shirt was pretty damn cool; and I wasn’t afraid to tell him as much! Continue reading Pier Engagement Session: Jen & Minh

Washington D.C. Engagement Session; National Mall

Although Katie and Tom booked me as their local wedding photographer, they both live in Washington D.C.

Therefore, it seemed only natural that we have their engagement session in the city they now call home. If you’re wondering about the weather, I think I should mention it was “butt ass cold” when did this session–as in the low 20s. Katie had goose bumps the size of small grapes but she was one hell of an awesome trooper! Tom just took it like Superman.

Speaking of which, do you think Tom looks a bit like Christopher Reeve as seen in the early Superman films? Anyway, here are a few photos from their session on and around the National Mall in Washington D.C. Continue reading Washington D.C. Engagement Session; National Mall

Union Station Downtown Engagement Session

I met Tricia and Tarik at Union Station for their engagement session. Tricia had arranged for special permits so we were allowed in to an area that’s normally off limits to the public.

After we spent some time in Union Station, we drove over to the heart of downtown to visit the roof of Tricia’s brother’s residence. I must admit, he had a pretty amazing view! Continue reading Union Station Downtown Engagement Session

Griffith Observatory Engagement Session

I met Gen and Jose this weekend at Griffith Park for their engagement session. I was super surprised to see how busy it is up there even at 7:30 in the morning.

We took a few photos around the observatory (which wasn’t going to open until 10:00 a.m.) and then went down to a few of the park’s trails. Continue reading Griffith Observatory Engagement Session

Yosemite National Park (Day 4)

The weather for our fourth day in Yosemite National Park wasn’t very conducive to photography so I decided to leave a bit early and try to capture some of the scenery on Highway 41 while leaving the park.

I did however take a few final snaps of Yosemite (including the nefarious tree below; I’ve never been able to create a photo that matches my mind’s eye and that’s extremely frustrating for me).

I was also able to get a photo of a rainbow at the base of Upper Yosemite Falls. Continue reading Yosemite National Park (Day 4)

WPPI 2010 Album Competition: 2nd Place

These images represent my entry in the 2010 Wedding & Portrait Photographers International (WPPI) “Non-Event, Informal” category of the album competition.

I was honored with a score of 88. Upon further review by the judges, I was awarded 2nd place in the category. I feel extremely honored by the award and I wish to thank Janine for her patience and perseverance as we created this work. Continue reading WPPI 2010 Album Competition: 2nd Place

WPPI 2010 Album Competition: Award of Excellence

These images represent one of two entries in the 2010 Wedding & Portrait Photographers International (WPPI) “Non-Event, Informal” category of the album competition. I was honored with a score of 83.

This score garnered me an Award of Excellence. I wish to thank Carly for her perseverance as we created an extensive portfolio of work during the course of her pregnancy. Continue reading WPPI 2010 Album Competition: Award of Excellence

Yosemite National Park (Day 3)

The third day in Yosemite National Park was the “money day” of our trip.

Nature photography is often about being in the right place at the right time and day 3 proved that rule.

There were five or six inches of snowfall overnight and although the snow started to melt with the rising sun, for a few morning hours, Yosemite was a winter wonderland.

Later in the day I was also blessed by the appearance of more deer and a coyote! Continue reading Yosemite National Park (Day 3)

Yosemite National Park (Day 2)

This second day of our Yosemite National Park trip was plagued by intermittent rain.

Although it was quite cold, it wasn’t cold enough to snow. That being said, the storm did bring some nice cloud cover–which is always a treat in the Yosemite Valley. The wildlife was also out and about and I was able to capture some “wildlife in the wild” shots!

But overall, for most of the day, the weather was pretty miserable and I think that my photography reflects that feeling. Continue reading Yosemite National Park (Day 2)

Yosemite National Park (Day 1)

We arrived in Yosemite National Park on a cold and rainy day with a storm clouds wreathing the valley summits from El Capitan to Half Dome.

Upper Yosemite Falls wasn’t often visible and the top of the lower falls was also frequently hidden in the mists. Since I didn’t have any serious photography missions planned for the last few hours of that first day, I was satisfied with becoming reacquainted with Yosemite–the place I love so much.

Here are just a few photos to illustrate the weather on Day 1. Stay tuned to this blog; I’ll post many more photos from this trip at a later date. Continue reading Yosemite National Park (Day 1)

Pier & Beach Engagement: Jess & Chris

Jess and Chris worked extra hard to make their engagement session special. They picked great locations, brought tons of cool props, and dressed to impress! It was almost too easy to take some great photos of these guys! We started the day at the pier. Then we moved on to the strand and then finally back to the pier to pick up their bikes. You’ll see more of these guys later this year as I’ll be their wedding photographer in September. Continue reading Pier & Beach Engagement: Jess & Chris

Downtown Engagement Session: Disney Hall

I met Katy and Tony for their engagement session last weekend downtown. I’ve worked as a wedding photographer a few times in that area, but I’ve not done an engagement session down there before. It was a bit chilly, but Katy and Tony were game for anything! After working in the heart of downtown, we moved to the Walt Disney Concert Hall. Continue reading Downtown Engagement Session: Disney Hall

Staples Center Engagement Session & LA Kings Hockey

Michelle and Ben met in the Staples Center at a Los Angeles Kings game on March 18, 2004. But that’s not the beginning of their story together; Michelle and Ben had seen each other for many years.

Michelle’s dad and Ben’s parents have been season ticket holders to Los Angeles Kings games–with seats right next to each other! And although their families had been neighbors for many years, Ben and Michelle had never spoken to each other.

Anyway, in case you haven’t already guessed, Ben experienced success when he finally made his move. And the rest is history. Continue reading Staples Center Engagement Session & LA Kings Hockey

Getty Museum Engagement Session

I met Jialing and Leonard at The J. Paul Getty Museum for their engagement session.

I’m a frequent visitor to The Getty but I’m usually there to visit the amazing photography exhibits. And I do like to take a look at a Rembrandt now and again.

I will be working as Jialing and Leonard’s wedding photographer in May. Check back then for more photos of this cute couple! Continue reading Getty Museum Engagement Session

Pacific Palms Resort, St. Christopher, & Royal Vista Country Club Wedding

A few Saturdays ago I met up with Susan and Charles who were getting ready for their wedding at the Pacific Palms Resort.

After everyone got madhotsexy, we met downstairs so I could do my wedding photographer thing. Although we were tight on time, I had an advantage–I already knew most of the bridal party as many of them were also in Max & Hannah’s wedding that I photographed last year (and that’s how Susan and Charles found me).

After a few photos at the resort, everyone loaded up for a short drive over to St. Christopher Catholic Church. After a beautiful and touching ceremony (many tears were shed), we headed over to Royal Vista Country Club. Continue reading Pacific Palms Resort, St. Christopher, & Royal Vista Country Club Wedding

Product Photography: Friedericy Dolls (Part 20)

Today the folks from Friedericy Dolls dropped by the studio for a product photography session before one of their big shows. It was great to have them as always, but it was a particularly nice treat for me as I was able to run my new Nikon D3x 24 megapixel camera through it’s paces.

As you can see here, I’m awfully pleased with the performance of my new tool. Also, as you can see from these photographs, the dolls were photographed on a white background.

However, the background in these examples has not clipped clipped. In many examples of product photography that you see in magazines, photographers may completely remove any hit of background from the images; we refer to that as clipping.

For this client however, they want a visible background and thus that’s why I don’t clip these photos. Continue reading Product Photography: Friedericy Dolls (Part 20)

New Year’s Eve Surprise Wedding

I have to start this post by admitting that this was the first surprise wedding. Amanda and Jeff decided that they didn’t want to make a big deal of their wedding so they had a New Year’s Eve party at their home, invited their closest friends and family, and then in the middle of the party announced that they were getting married–right then and there.

Except for those few folks who knew about it, everyone was blown away when it happened. After the wedding and then celebrating the new year at midnight at their home, everyone took a limo ride to Orange Grove Blvd. in Pasadena to view the floats lining up for the Rose Parade.

You’ll note that we started the day at the Rialto Theatre and then moved downtown for some more photographs. Continue reading New Year’s Eve Surprise Wedding

Mission Inn Wedding

Susan and Roberto contacted me many months ago inquiring about their then upcoming wedding at the Mission Inn Hotel.

They are from Canada so at the time they were busy planning their own destination wedding. I was super stoked that they selected me as their wedding photographer from my website portfolio alone!

Anyway, this wedding was a private affair with only Roberto’s mom and dad, Susan’s mom, sister, brother-in-law and nephew in attendance–and me of course. The ceremony was in the St. Francis of Assisi Chapel which boasts treasures including Tiffany stained glass panels and an 18-karat-gold leafed altar that dates back to the mid-eighteenth century.

After the ceremony, we spent about 30 minutes taking a few photos around the hotel and then I finished up the day photographing everyone at their special dinner. Continue reading Mission Inn Wedding

Portraits / Headshots: Marsha

Marsha dropped by the studio the other day for a few commercial portraits and headshots. Although she got stuck in traffic, she appeared unphased when she walked through my door. I don’t know how she did it; I lose my mind when I get stuck in traffic. Here are just a few of the best photographs from our portrait session. Continue reading Portraits / Headshots: Marsha

Gamble House Engagement Session

Last weekend I photographed a brief engagement with Amanda and Jeff at the The Gamble House by Greene & Greene.

As their wedding photographer, I was surprised at their initiative in gaining access to this location (along with getting the appropriate permissions) but the location made perfect sense given their love of American Arts and Crafts style architecture. Continue reading Gamble House Engagement Session

Portraits / Headshots: Anna

I’ve photographed Anna before, but this is the first time she’s been to my studio. She’s always super to work with so it was kind of easy to come up a ton of great photographs. She’s currently working on her new website so I hope she finds some of these headshots useful! Anna is perhaps best known for her performance as Bee Sting on “Who Wants to Be a Superhero?” Continue reading Portraits / Headshots: Anna

Portraits / Headshots: Pediatric Dentist

Shiny Thomas dropped by my Los Angeles studio on Monday for a corporate headshot. She needed an image for her pediatric dentistry website.

Actually, now that I’ve typed that sentence, I don’t know if I can call a portrait featuring a stuffed monkey a true “corporate headshot.” Taking full advantage of our time together, we also took a few other casual portraits. At one point, even her husband jumped in for a few snaps. Continue reading Portraits / Headshots: Pediatric Dentist

Flea Market: City College

I got up early this morning and drove to the  City College flea market. It was a chilly 50 degrees, but I was warm after walking around for just a few minutes. I’ve noticed that a few of the vendors were starting to recognize me so that’s kind of nice.

When I left the studio I told myself I wasn’t going to buy anything, but I wasn’t able to escape without picking up a Polaroid 150 Field Camera (from the late 50s / early 60s) and bomber jacket for my mannequin. Anyway, here are a few photographs from today’s visit. Continue reading Flea Market: City College

Portraits / Headshots: Diana

A few days ago Diana dropped by my studio for some new headshots. She’s working on putting together a new comp card (aka ZED card). Over the years she’s appeared in hundreds of films and TV shows including Nip/Tuck, Las Vegas, Desperate Housewives, That 70’s Show, Crossing Jordan, and Numb3rs; her most recent appearances include two episodes of Californication (Season 3).

But some my favorite work can be seen on Zeroes (a parody of the TV show Heroes). Check out Zeroes: Episode 1 on YouTube if you have a couple minutes (she’s the cheerleader)! Continue reading Portraits / Headshots: Diana

Old Town Pasadena & Pasadena City Hall Engagement Session

When a client selects me as their wedding photographer, the process typically starts with the bride finding me through a search engine, a wedding directory, or through a referral.

For this couple, it was the other way around! Back in November 2008 I was approached by CBS. They wanted to film an episode of CSI: Miami in my studio. And that filming eventually lead me to Lindsay. You see, Lindsay has a blog called On that blog she shares adventure stories about film and TV locations.

Anyway, after my CSI episode aired, my studio was featured on one of her blog posts. A few months later, I was surfing the Internet and came across her blog again. This time I noticed she was looking at wedding venues. After reading about her search, I sent her an e-mail offering my services as a wedding photographer–and the rest is history! Continue reading Old Town Pasadena & Pasadena City Hall Engagement Session

Pacific Asia Museum Wedding

Vicky and Mike’s wedding day was kind of hot (as in temperature) for a fall wedding, but that didn’t stop anyone from having a great time. They both got ready at the Westin; Vicky had a huge suite for the girls (the Rose Suite) while Mike got ready with the groomsmen down the hall.

After everyone was ready, they met at City Hall for their creative session. And that was just super as it’s one of my favorite photo locations in all of the area.

After we finished making a few cool photos, we went across the street to the Pacific Asia Museum for Vicky and Mike’s wedding ceremony and reception. Continue reading Pacific Asia Museum Wedding

Pier Engagement Session: Susan & Charles

Yesterday I met Susan and Charles on the pier for their engagement session. Charles is from Hawaii so he really wanted some sand in his photos.

Susan was the maid of honor for a wedding I photographed last year so she was no stranger to my style which focuses on having lots of fun with my clients.

Susan and Charles are getting married in January of 2010 at St. Christopher Catholic Church with their reception at Royal Vista Country Club. Continue reading Pier Engagement Session: Susan & Charles

Portraits / Headshots: Cleveland Rapper T.L.

VaNisha contacted me recently about a portrait shoot for East Cleveland gangsta rapper T.L. For those of you who follow my work, you know I’m all about photographing happy smiling people. But when T.L. told me he wanted to look hard, I put aside my jokes and photographed him … hard. Continue reading Portraits / Headshots: Cleveland Rapper T.L.

Portraits / Headshots: Matt (Part 2)

Matt Sullivan came by the studio early this morning for a few fitness model photographs. Matt is the General Manager and a fitness trainer at Fitness Together.

Matt needed a portrait for their new brochure and I was happy to take a few snaps for him. The first photo below is for the corporate brochure. The second photo is for his mother. Isn’t Matt a considerate son? Continue reading Portraits / Headshots: Matt (Part 2)

Portraits / Headshots: Robin

Robin came by my studio bright and early this morning for a few casual portraits. As a portrait photographer, my job can sometimes be difficult. That wasn’t the case today. Robin was a real pleasure to photograph and super sweet.

And I was really pumped to discover that she’s a “real” rocket scientist. She’s actually working on an x-ray telescope project for the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). For me, that translates to “rocket scientist.” Check out these portraits and let me know know which one you like best! Continue reading Portraits / Headshots: Robin

Westlake Village Inn Wedding Photographer

I was super excited that Courtney and Scott selected me as their wedding photographer! And predicted, their wedding day turned out to be really beautiful. It was also particularly nice since it was the first “mild” day of the season.

Both their ceremony and reception were held at the Westlake Village Inn. Continue reading Westlake Village Inn Wedding Photographer

Portraits / Headshots: Carmen (Part 1)

Carmen Perez came by my studio this morning looking for a few fresh headshots. And boy did she come ready to look mad hot!

In case you didn’t know, Carmen’s red hot dance single Emergency is currently #10 on the UK’s pop charts. It also hit the Top 40 on the Billboard Club Play Dance Chart and made it to #5 on in its second week.

As her headshot photographer, it wasn’t difficult to get a few great photos! Continue reading Portraits / Headshots: Carmen (Part 1)

Barbie & Ken: Wedding Portraits

Barbie and Ken recently selected me as their wedding photographer so I was thrilled to get the chance to photograph them this weekend.

Although I’m usually really great at working with my wedding clients, I did have quite a bit of trouble getting different expressions out of them–they always had a plastic look on their faces. And don’t even get me started about how stiff they were (and impossible to pose).

But I did my best and I think they’ll be really happy with these wedding photographs. I know that some of them will make my wedding photographer portfolio! Continue reading Barbie & Ken: Wedding Portraits

Walt Disney Concert Hall Wedding Portraits: Kiara & Clay

I recently announced a contest where the prize was a free wedding portrait session. To enter, I asked folks to explain why they felt they deserved to win. Kiara and Clay’s response was truly touching.

They’re unable to have a professional photographer on their wedding day, so I’m hopeful that these photos will serve to help preserve their memories of this special time in their lives.

As you can see, we met at the Walt Disney Concert Hall. I think we tore up the place. What do you think? Continue reading Walt Disney Concert Hall Wedding Portraits: Kiara & Clay

Portraits / Headshots: April (Part 2)

On April Marie Eden’s last visit to my studio we did some great work. That being said, April recently contacted me again and asked for another headshot session.

Although we had already captured several headshots that were “almost perfect” (her words), April thought we could do better. I don’t know if perfection is ever possible in any portrait session but we gave it a good shot. So what do you think? Continue reading Portraits / Headshots: April (Part 2)

Brewery Studio Frequently Asked Questions

When I lived at the Brewery downtown, I was often asked many questions. Those curious folks include clients, other photographers, neighbors, and Brewery Art Walk attendees). To answer some of those questions, I’ve developed this brief list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) that I hope you’ll find helpful. Continue reading Brewery Studio Frequently Asked Questions

Executive Portraits / Headshots: Paul Webster

Paul came by the studio today for a few corporate head shots, but I couldn’t help myself so I also took a few casual portraits. And since Paul is the Faculty Director at the Ahmanson Center for Advanced Electron Microscopy and Imaging, he asked me to make another photograph featuring a something he uses in his daily work. Continue reading Executive Portraits / Headshots: Paul Webster

Product Photography: Glass & Glassware

As a product photographer, one of my most difficult subjects is glassware–more specifically, glass photographed on a white background.

And although there are thousands of Houston product photographers, product photography for catalogs remains a specialized expertise. There are several ways to approach the photography of glass objects and here’s just one example–a simple wine glass.

The key to photographing glass is to use black cards around the object along with specialized lighting to accentuate the shape of the glass. The other challenge is to ensure that nothing extraneous is seen in reflections on the glassware.

If you’re looking for a Houston product photographer who has the requisite skills to photograph your glass and glassware, I hope you’ll consider me! Continue reading Product Photography: Glass & Glassware

Product Photography: Fleabass Bass Guitars

The folks from Sprokkit and Fleabass came over to my downtown studio today for an intense product photography session featuring Fleabass guitars.

These guitars are part of a new bass line by Flea (of Red Hot Chili Pepper fame). They come in two sizes (Model 32 and Junior Bass) and four amazing color schemes (Punk Bass, Water Bass, The Wild One, and Sunny Bass).

I spent most of today taking hundreds of photos of these crazy cool instruments and hanging out with some of the nicest clients ever! Some days, I really love being a product photographer! Continue reading Product Photography: Fleabass Bass Guitars

Portraits / Headshots – Clive Cussler (Part 2)

A few days ago I was in Phoenix, Arizona and I dropped by Clive Cussler’s home for a brief portrait session. Just in case you’re not familiar with Clive Cussler’s work, he’s a best selling author with over 39 novels to his credit.

Over the years he’s also amassed an astounding collection of over 100 classic automobiles. Continue reading Portraits / Headshots – Clive Cussler (Part 2)

Portraits / Headshots – April (Part 1)

April came by the studio last Sunday in the hopes of finally getting a headshot that she and her agent could use. Apparently that’s been a challenge in the past. To be honest, I don’t really see how anyone could have a hard time photographing April. The camera really loved her. As her headshot photographer, I just needed to stand/sit there and press the shutter button on my camera. Continue reading Portraits / Headshots – April (Part 1)

Portraits / Headshots: Reshma

Reshma is certified personal trainer certified by the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) and the Aerobics and Fitness Association of America (AFAA) and she came by the studio last week for a few headshots and a few fitness photographs. She works out of a gym. I’ve done some fitness photography in the past so it was easy to knock out a few portraits for her portfolio. Continue reading Portraits / Headshots: Reshma

Portraits / Headshots: Alex (Part 2)

These portraits are not the first photographs I’ve taken of Alex. The last time I photographed her was way back in August of 2005; she would have been nine years old back then. Now here she is with braces, about to start high school as a freshman, and still a great model. After I photographed her back in 2005, she went on to have a great pre-teen modeling career (with her mom’s support). Continue reading Portraits / Headshots: Alex (Part 2)

Portraits / Headshots – Michele

Michele came by the studio for a portrait session last weekend. She also arrived at my studio with an idea. Since Michele is a rock climber, she wanted me to create a sexy photograph of her in her climbing gear. So what do you think? Did I meet her goal? Is it more than a portrait? Did you like her headshots? Drop a comment below! As her photographer, I’d really like to know! Continue reading Portraits / Headshots – Michele

Executive Portraits / Headshots – Avery Dennison

On Thursday I was called in as a last-minute photographer replacement at the Avery Dennison offices. For this executive portrait session I was asked to use a lighting style similar to that used by a previous photographer. As a corporate headshot photographer I tend to use more complex lighting than what you see here, but I think these images will work great for their purposes–especially since I was able to match the lighting configuration used by the other photographer.

I was originally hired to photograph one subject, but since I was there and already set up, another Avery Dennison executive stepped in so I could provide him with a new headshot for the internal newsletter. Here are my picks from the session. Continue reading Executive Portraits / Headshots – Avery Dennison

Portraits / Headshots: Keeira (Part 3)

Keeira Lyn Ford came by my studio on Saturday for a few new headshots. I’ve photographed Keeira many times over the years. And as her photographer (or at least one of her photographers), I was thrilled to hear that she’ll soon be appearing in the top 20 of Can You Duet, a new Country Music Television (CMT) music competition series from some of the same producers as American Idol.

In this series she’s been paired with Matt Boggs from Richardson, Texas. Make sure you tune in this weekend for the season premiere! Here are a few favorites from our photo session. Continue reading Portraits / Headshots: Keeira (Part 3)

Portraits / Headshots: Baby Photographer

I drove up last weekend for a baby portrait session. Kris gave Kelly a gift of a baby portrait session last Mother’s Day and I was there to a deliver on his promise. As you might expect, being a baby photographer typically isn’t a very easy gig. However, their daughter was so precious it was really hard to take a bad photo. Here are a few of my favorite baby photos from last Saturday. Continue reading Portraits / Headshots: Baby Photographer

Walt Disney Concert Hall Photographs

A few weeks ago I was at Disney Hall waiting for some portrait photography clients to arrive. Since I had nothing better to do, I took a few snaps of Walt Disney Concert Hall while I waited. I let me eyes wander over the building and I focused on a few interesting shapes, intersections, and colors. Enjoy! Continue reading Walt Disney Concert Hall Photographs

Walt Disney Concert Hall Wedding Portraits: Ileana & John

Ileana and John asked for a brief wedding portrait session to celebrate their elopement. I suggested that we meet at the Walt Disney Concert Hall and Ileana agreed.

As their “wedding photographer” it was really easy to make them look great. Right before we started their session, Ileana told me that she had asked her Mattel Magic 8-Ball if I’d provide them with great photos. The Magic 8-Ball replied, “Very doubtful.” WTF? Continue reading Walt Disney Concert Hall Wedding Portraits: Ileana & John

Product Photography: Jewelry

Yesterday I was experimenting with some new specialized photo processing software and my neighbor Claudia Endler was kind enough to drop by with a few of her rings allowing me to experiment with a new method of photographing jewelry.

I’m thrilled to say that my experiments worked! I’d share more details, but then I’d have to tie you up with saran wrap and dip you in olive oil. And we wouldn’t want that would we? Here’s a photo of one of Claudia’s newest  rings. Continue reading Product Photography: Jewelry

Tournament House, First United Methodist, & Country Club Wedding

I’ve really been looking forward to Pam and Larry’s wedding day. After their engagement session, I was convinced that their wedding and reception would be one in a million. And I was right!

I began the day (last Saturday) at Pam’s parent’s home . Vanessa, my second photographer, met Larry and the guys at the Courtyard.

As you can see from these photos, Pam’s dress was super amazing; it was designed by students at the Fashion Institute! As wedding photographers, it made our photography easy–the dress details really popped! The first photo below shows the hanging dress and Pam’s grandfather’s paintings in the background–two for one! Continue reading Tournament House, First United Methodist, & Country Club Wedding

Product Photography: Jewelry for Jean Dousset

Jean Dousset dropped by the studio today for a photo of a recent addition to his jewelry line. As a Houston product photographer, I always enjoy the challenge of photographing jewelry —  especially when the jewelry is as beautiful as the jewelry Jean brings by the studio! Continue reading Product Photography: Jewelry for Jean Dousset

Verandas Wedding – Angela & Howard

Angela and Howard were married last Saturday at Verandas. But before that event came to pass, I met the happy couple in their suite at the Marriott for a traditional Chinese tea ceremony (with the bride’s parents). After the tea ceremony, we spent just a couple of minutes in the lobby of the Marriott for a few creative photos and then we were off to Verandas. Continue reading Verandas Wedding – Angela & Howard

Portraits / Headshots: Christiane

This Monday I had the pleasure of again photographing Christiane, founder of Inspired Business Resources. As a portrait photographer, it’s always great when clients return year-after-year. And although it’s been several years since I’ve seen Christiane, she jumped right into the session just like a pro! Here’s my favorite portrait from our brief session. I like to think of this as her “serious business person” look. Continue reading Portraits / Headshots: Christiane

St. Charles Borromeo Wedding & Golf Club Reception

Leslie and Jason were married in a beautiful ceremony at St. Charles Borromeo Catholic church. This impressive house of worship is Leslie’s family church so she was really thrilled to be married there last Saturday. After the wedding, everyone drove over to the reception venue at a golf club.

Leslie’s grandfather was a member of the club so it was a natural location to celebrate their wedding reception. This wedding day was all about family so when I wasn’t photographing candid moments, I spent much of my time on family portraits.

Many folks from Jason’s side of the family came out from Ohio so it was really great to get everyone together. And just in case you were wondering, Leslie’s getting ready photos were from her parent’s house. Also, you noticed that I included two shots featuring one of her brother’s tattoos–but can you blame me? Continue reading St. Charles Borromeo Wedding & Golf Club Reception

Choosing the Right L-Bracket | Kirk vs Really Right Stuff

In days far past, when a photographer wanted to move a tripod mounted camera from landscape to portrait orientation, he or she would flip the camera to one side or another using capabilities present in most tripod heads.

But flipping a camera using a tripod-mounted head can sometimes take precious time. It also means that the camera is no longer perfectly balanced on the top of the tripod causing the head to take more of the camera weight than is necessary. Also, depending on the size of the camera and the tripod being used, some photographers may find it difficult to achieve perfect 90-degree positioning.

Finally, the photographer will likely need to recompose the scene after flipping the camera. Although you may think this particular problem is a trivial matter, reorienting a camera makes a big difference when taking photographs in the field under rapidly changing lighting conditions; every second counts. Continue reading Choosing the Right L-Bracket | Kirk vs Really Right Stuff

Product Photography: Rotenberg Sculpture

Jule drove a big truck into our studio on Monday and unloaded a literal ton of her sculptures. I’m just glad she had an assistant to move things around!

First let me say that her work was absolutely amazing! I would be absolutely thrilled to have any of her pieces displayed in my studio!

She’s having an exhibition on Saturday, April 11, 2009 so make sure you check it out. You can find out more on her website at Continue reading Product Photography: Rotenberg Sculpture

Brewery Studio Party Photos

We had a little party for friends and clients this weekend so I set up a photo booth area. I wish I had more photos of our guests! To be honest, I’m sure a lot more people wanted photos but I think I was too busy saying hello to everyone and no one wanted to drag me away to take their photos. Anyway … no more excuses. Here are a few photobooth photos. Continue reading Brewery Studio Party Photos

Publication: Clive Cussler’s Corsair

I was in Costco yesterday (buying some new tires) and saw that Clive Cussler’s latest novel, Corsair, has just been released. I’m happy to announce that G. P. Putnam and Sons has yet again printed one of my portraits of Clive on the back of the dust jacket.

This particular portrait of Clive Cussler also appears on the back covers of The Chase and Plague Ship. Corsair is co-authored with Jack DuBrul (who is also one hell of a nice guy) and continues the Oregon Files saga.

Since Clive remains one of my favorite authors (an author among authors), I always feel honored when my photos appear on the back of his novels. Continue reading Publication: Clive Cussler’s Corsair

Product Photography: Yellow Diamond Ring

A few weeks ago Jean Dousset returned to our Los Angeles studio with a few more rings. Here’s a huge yellow diamond engagement ring that I photographed during our product photography session. This ring is available through Jean and will retail in the low six figures. The depth of field (focus area) on this piece of jewelry was intentionally kept shallow to put greater focus on the yellow diamond. Continue reading Product Photography: Yellow Diamond Ring

Houston Product Photographer: Jewelry

One of my favorite jewelry artists, Claudia Endler, dropped by our studio on Friday. During her visit, I had the pleasure of photographing several of her new pieces. Unlike the photos I posted a few days ago, the backgrounds to these photos have been clipped to reveal a pure white background. Continue reading Houston Product Photographer: Jewelry

Diamond Ring Product Photography: Jewelry

Famed bespoke jewelry designer Jean Dousset made an appointment on Friday for an all day shoot. The stars of our product photography session were his magnificent diamond jewelry pieces. In the examples below, you’re seeing the images before they are cut from their backgrounds–a practice often called clipping. I’m showing them here in that state so if you’re looking for a jewelry photographer, you’ll see the kind of images I’ll deliver from your product photography session. Here are a few examples from the session. Continue reading Diamond Ring Product Photography: Jewelry

Portraits / Headshots: Raul Rodriguez

Here’s a portrait of Raul Rodriguez that I took last year. Raul and his hyacinth macaw Sebastian are often seen riding in the Rose Parade (part of the Rose Bowl festivities). This year Raul designed fourteen floats for the Rose Parade! In this photo Raul is clutching his Prada briefcase which he uses to carry his designs to client meetings. Continue reading Portraits / Headshots: Raul Rodriguez

Portraits / Headshots: Jane Kaczmarek

Today I was going through my portrait sessions from last year and I came across this photo of Jane Kaczmarek. She was super sweet and a really awesome subject to photograph. You might remember Jane from one of her most well-known roles as Lois in the comedy series “Malcolm in the Middle.” In that role Jane received seven Emmy nominations! Jane and her husband Bradley Whitford (West Wing) live nearby. Here’s my favorite photo from that session. Continue reading Portraits / Headshots: Jane Kaczmarek

Portraits / Headshots: Cayman (Part 2)

I was working on portrait selections for my web site redesign and came across a few photos of Cayman. I came up with this triptych which will eventually be one of the images that will rotate on my new home page. Since it was handy, I figured it might be nice to throw it up here on my blog. Continue reading Portraits / Headshots: Cayman (Part 2)

Brewery Studio Tour

Well I finally found some time to take a few photos of our live / work studio! We’re located near downtown Los Angeles in the heart of what is known as the Los Angeles Brewery Artist Complex. Although there are many buildings on the property, our studio  is housed in the south facing wing of the former Southern California Edison  Electric Power Station #3. The building itself was built in 1903 and is  registered as a Historic Cultural Landmark by the City of Los Angeles. Continue reading Brewery Studio Tour

Publication: Yosemite Photograph in Nikon Calendar

In June of 2007 I received an e-mail from Nikon asking if I would sell the rights to one of my Yosemite photographs (single use). The image in question was titled “Spring Flood” was a photograph that I had recently entered in the Nikon Photo Contest International. Naturally I was pretty stoked about this news. That being said, it’s been really hard to keep quiet about this news for all of these many months. Continue reading Publication: Yosemite Photograph in Nikon Calendar