Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Stunning Charleston Wedding (Courtney and Matt)

Although Courtney and Matt had planned a beautiful outdoor wedding Saturday at Middleton Place Plantation near Charleston, they didn't let a little rain spoil the day. Under Matt's supervision, guests and groomsmen quickly stepped in to help move the event to a nearby tent and everything went off without a hitch.
The sun started to peek through the clouds as soon as the ceremony began and turned into brilliant sunshine by its conclusion.
The celebration then moved to Woodlands Resort and Inn for the reception. It was a great weekend with some amazing venues, starting with the rehearsal dinner Friday night at Planters Inn in Charleston.

Courtney and Matt share a moment after the ceremony

Friends and relatives take cover as the rain quickly turns from a sprinkle to a steady stream

Guests and groomsmen jumped in to help move the ceremony to a tent

Courtney and Matt enjoy their first moments as husband and wife

Having some fun after the ceremony

Courtney and her dad

The sun came out after the wedding

Beautiful early-evening light at Middleton Place

Courtney at the reception

Monday, April 21, 2008

Misty Morning at Quail Hollow

I wanted to share a few images I took last week in preparation for the upcoming Wachovia Championship at the Quail Hollow Club in Charlotte.
I've been involved with the tournament pretty much since its inception in 2003. I was The Charlotte Observer's point person for golf coverage for several years and this year tournament officials hired me to document much of the behind-the-scenes action.
Quail Hollow is a magnificent course and I've photographed it several times both from the ground and from a helicopter. The cold mornings we had been having created the perfect conditions to get moody, ethereal shots around the water at the 17th hole.
I knew I would have to get there by sunrise for the best light so I got up early and braved the cold but it was all worth it.
I plan to post some images from a wedding this Saturday before heading out to cover the golf tournament.

Beautiful scene at Quail Hollow

The 16th green at dawn

View from a spectator stand at the 15th green

The 17th green is a tough target - even for the pros

Another view of the 16th green

A heron takes flight

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Luck With Light and a Bit of Blarney...

I was lucky to run into some great light on a couple of recent photo shoots.
On assignment for The London Times, I photographed North Carolina author Eric G. Wilson in Winston-Salem.
Wilson, who earlier in the day had appeared on The Today Show to talk about his book, "Against Happiness: In Praise of Melancholy," rushed to meet me at his office at Wake Forest University after his flight was delayed in New York.
Daylight was fading quickly but we were able to find a room where a shaft of light was still coming through the window and we did some quick shots there. The drama of the lighting was a good match for the content of his book.
I photographed Lance Drummond, a Bank of America executive, for a magazine cover. This shoot was early in the morning in uptown Charlotte but I was fortunate to again be able to utilize some excellent window light for a colorful, evocative image.
I always carry portable lights on these shoots but I also enjoy the challenge of using natural light when possible.

Wake Forest professor and author Eric G. Wilson

Wilson in his office

Lance Drummond

Our daughter Alison continues to live and work in London and she is loving the experience. She sent us some photos of a recent trip to Cork in Ireland.
She is thinking about spending several months in Ireland following her stay in London.
We miss you Ali!

Ali, far left, with her friend Amanda from Salisbury, green hat, and their Australian friends Jib and Cathy

Ali after kissing the Blarney Stone at Blarney Castle

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Photo Contest for a Good Cause

I've been asked to help judge a photo contest to select images for a 2009 photography calendar to be published as a fund-raiser for HAMMERS, the emergency home repair program of the Davidson Housing Coalition.
HAMMERS (Hands Around Mecklenburg/Mooresville Making Emergency Repairs Safely) was formed in 2005 and has already repaired 75 homes in the towns of Cornelius, Davidson, Huntersville and Mooresville for people who would be challenged to pay for needed emergency repairs.
The organization is part of the Davidson Housing Coalition, a non-profit geared to help those in need to find safe and affordable places to live.
It's my pleasure to lend assistance to this worthy group but we need local photographers to do their part. The theme for the calendar is "Images of Hometowns," and the pictures should depict scenes of Davidson, Huntersville, Cornelius and Mooresville. The 2008 calendar "Images of Home" included a variety of media - paintings, prints and photographs.
Bill Giduz, director of media relations for Davidson College and a fine photographer, and I will select 13 images (one for each month and a cover photo).
There is a $10 entry fee per photographer for up to three photos. Digital files must be 8 inches by 10 inches at 200 to 300 dpi. Prints must be 8x10 also. Color and b&w are both acceptable.
Check the Housing Coalition website for more information. Digital submissions should go to ann@davidsonhousing.org by 5 p.m. May 30.
Also check DavidsonNews.net for an article on the calendars.
Calendars will be available this fall at local shops or through the Housing Coalition website.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Wedding Photography (Abby and Mike)

We've been fortunate to have some fantastic clients and Abby and Mike and their families would have to rate at the top of that list.
They were so kind, gracious and relaxed that it made my job very easy.
Abby is beautiful and she also happens to be the sister of one of my good friends. Her brother Craig is a former photojournalist who covered many major sporting events for Getty Images before putting his cameras down to start his own custom home building business a few years ago.
After a wonderful ceremony at Myers Park United Methodist Church, everyone headed to The Big Chill for food, refreshment and lots of dancing to an awesome band.
(Remember to double-click the photos for better viewing and hit the back button to return.)

Some pretty light as Abby checks the action outside the church

Abby and Mike right after the ceremony

Getting ready

Beautiful bride

Abby tries to gather her emotions right before the ceremony

Happy couple

My friend Craig, Abby's brother, lines up a shot of his sister

Big finish to their first dance

Abby dances with her dad

Mike's grandparents, both in their 90s, have been married 68 years

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Pulitzer Prize Finalist

The 2008 Pulitzer Prizes were announced Monday and I was happy to learn that the last big project I worked on at The Charlotte Observer was a finalist for the 2008 Gold Medal for Public Service.
As the lead photographer on a team of editors and reporters, I was heavily involved from the onset of the project. I worked extensively to find the best visual approach to the story until I left the paper in January 2007.
The series, "Sold a Nightmare", focused on the area's high rate of housing foreclosures and questionable sales practices by one of the nation's largest homebuilders. See the Observer's article about the award here.
My challenge initially was to make interesting images from situations that weren't very visually compelling. We found a few families that we focused on to put a human face on the issue.
The Washington Post won the award for a series that exposed mistreatment of wounded veterans at Walter Reed Hospital. Newsday was the third finalist for its investigation into a railroad's safety hazards.
The Observer's project was far-reaching and took more than a year to complete. Observer photographers Todd Sumlin, Diedra Laird, Yalonda M. James and Dana Romanoff all worked on the series.
Congratulations to the winners of the Pulitzer's photography awards - Adrees Latif of Reuters for Breaking News Photography and Preston Gannaway of the Concord (N.H.) Monitor for Feature Photography.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Baby Portraits

It's always nice to get another chance to get to work with clients and Anne and Tim, whose wedding we photographed in 2005, recently contacted us to photograph their beautiful 4-month-old twins Mary Anne and Austin.
Anne and Tim helped Betsy as they set them up for their portraits, and I tried to work quickly when we had both of their attention.
Family is so important and we feel lucky to be able to share in so many great moments with our clients.

Mary Anne, left, and Austin

Tim holds Austin and Anne holds Mary Anne

Tim and Anne on their wedding day at VanLandingham Estate