Here’s what my visit to New York was like when I was there for that wedding:

1. Arrive in gorgeous New York City
2. Have an ulcer two days before the wedding
3. Go to the hospital one day before the wedding
4. Heal miraculously on the wedding day (I still really don’t know how that happened)
5. Resume the painful recovery from said ulcer

Daniel & Lauren were such a pleasure to work with. Here are just a few of the many I got that day.

It’s been forever and a half… It’s been an incredibly difficult journey in the last 3 months or so… Let’s see if I can’t return to consistent blog posting.

Here’s one from last summer. Doesn’t she look a lot like Britney Spears in some of those shots?

I can’t believe summer is already over… Every year, when Labor Day rolls around, I say exactly the same thing. Maybe one day I’ll live in California, where the summer never ends.

In the meantime, here’s some shots of my boys at the local swimming pool, and a rare couple of pictures of me too.

And now a bunch of shots I took with my good friend Brittany. Wandering around in her neighborhood with a Holga:

This girl was absolutely astounding to work with. She knew how to move and just look at her! Aaaaand, she does BALLET!! My head is gonna ‘splode…

I’ve been waiting so long to share this with everyone, and the time is finally here…

If you don’t say it, I will:

Holy shit!!

Many thanks to Felicia for all the hard work (she makes it look easy, but it was hard work doing ballet moves in a studio while keeping track of lights) and Genevieve Jaslowski for hair and makeup and holding up the reflector outdoors

I remembered a picture I wanted to update my other website with (I ended up adding 2 new images to my Personal Work gallery, here – VERY proud of image #1 right now, plus it reminds me of beautiful New York City), and as I dug back into my old archive of unblogged photography, I found a photography outing I’d done recently with one of my best friends and had to share.

Enjoy.

It’s been such a difficult few months… Here’s a couple random snapshots from my trip to St. Louis:

Here’s the APE (A Photography Editor) blog post I’m reacting to: http://www.aphotoeditor.com/2011/06/17/vincent-laforet-the-future-of-photography-is-convergence/

I’m partly in agreement, total disagreement, angered and excited. But mostly I disagree and I’m pissed about these crazy claims he keeps making and then covers it all up with “oh but I’m not saying I know what’s gonna happen”. You can’t simultaneously say what you think is gonna happen and then absolve yourself from the responsibility of what you just said. Either say something or don’t.

My strong personal opinion is that although this convergence is very likely to happen, it’s going to be as slow-moving a reality as flying cars.

Maybe the savvy and rich buyers (like advertising clients) will take to it quickly because they can afford it and they are constantly connected to the ever-changing photography/video business – ie. they’re educated on the subject, like many other professionals that deal with photography and video; but first of all, the cost has to go down for it to become useful for anyone else.

Then there’s the issue of RE-educating your clients for the billionth time. For f***’s sake, wedding photographers still describe hi-res images to their clients as “Digital Negatives”!

Meanwhile, videographers are, I’m sorry to say, a major afterthought in a bride’s decision process. Not only is it an added cost, it’s also a product that offers little long-term gratification for the client. 99.99% of videographers offer what’s basically just eye-candy with music attached that they don’t have a legal right to attach in the first place.

That’s not to say videographers are crap, far from it, but they generally don’t offer something with the same lasting value that photography does. The simple reason is that it’s EASIER to offer something of value as a photographer than it is to do the same with videography.

And that’s the sad part, because wedding videographers are (usually) perfectly capable of offering something terrific for their client. It’s the client that can’t afford what really good production values cost. I’m not talking large crews, I’m talking quality work. Quality work takes time, money and effort on BOTH sides of the equation, and few people care to throw in any of those factors to get truly high-quality work.

Quality photography can easily come at a stupidly low price in the wedding business world. Elsewhere too.

And don’t forget, wedding clients are notorious for this by often suggesting that all we’re doing is clicking a button, so “how come you cost so much?”. They generally don’t understand all the rest that goes into photography BEFORE clicking the button, because we all hold in our hands what I feel are the most exciting stupid machines on the planet.

Then there’s the editorial clients. They don’t have quite as much money as ad clients, and from what I can gather, are still trying to figure out what the hell to do with video at all.

Video magazines aren’t mainstream yet, though technologically they’re beginning to surface, but even when they are mainstream, what’s the goddamn plan? Hmm? Do you continuously play every single page and let the consumer land on that page midway through an ad? Or an article? Or do you freeze a frame you think will draw in the viewer to click and watch? And do you know how quickly you have to get their attention? Depending on the total length of the video (which sets an expectation for your viewer), you have anywhere from 5 seconds to 30 seconds. MAX. And by the way that’s anywhere from 5 times to 30 times as long as what anyone would bother looking at a picture for.

Actually, that’s not true. In a picture, you get about half a glance. Mathematically, I suppose that translates to roughly 0.0021 seconds.

Then there’s the issue of being ignored. Because video takes up a lot of your time and effort as a consumer. Try being drawn into a simple 2-minute video while doing a dozen other things. Doesn’t work. You’re either in or you’re out. And once you get out of a video, you need time to get back into it again. So if video is going to inundate us “really really soon!!!”, then we’re going to learn to ignore them with 5 to 30 times the efficiency that we already ignore photography, because video takes time, and we already don’t have any of it in our busy lives full of Facebook and iPad and iPhone and Twitter and Flickr and Tumblr and blogs and texting and emails and AAARRRGGGHHHH!!! Only the best of the best of the best are gonna be able to cut through the crap, and they’re gonna ask the same rates that Christopher Nolan does. Please tell me who’s gonna be able to afford that.

You know how with really great movies, you can walk into a room with it already running, but you’re almost instantly drawn in and you can’t look away? That’s because it took millions of dollars to make that frame you walked in on look as pretty as it does. But then there’s the acting, the music, the sound and please don’t forget the most important part of all: the screenplay. Because that drives the conflict that you see almost continuously. And the multi-purpose exposition. And character development. And knowledge we now have but that the characters don’t. And on and on and on…

But we’re just talking about the best of the best from Hollywood. Not the crap some schmuck did where the story never goes anywhere, the acting is mediocre (or for the purpose of the film is non-existant), the lighting sucks, the sound is terrible and the music is missing and justified as such as artistic license. You think photography takes talent? Pffff… Try shooting a short film. I’m not gonna pretend I’m great at it. I’ve tried my hand at short films many, many times. I’m finally beginning to feel like I’m getting somewhere while still honestly having to admit that I’m nowhere with it yet. But film is INFINITELY harder than photography, and that DOES factor into whether or not there’s really gonna be any meaningful convergence.

Sure, Vincent Laforet doesn’t ask for Christopher Nolan rates and produces great work, but by his prediction, we’re all gonna be wandering around town shooting unbelievable RED Epic footage that we just threw into our backpacks that morning… And apparently we’re all gonna have 64 Exabytes (64,000,000 terrabytes) in the form of super-reliable SSD (Solid State Drive) hard drives (or hell – graphene hard drives!) that never crash and are totally affordable at just $199.95 so we can store and backup all this RAW footage we shot because we couldn’t be bothered to try and catch the right moment or because we needed 12 takes to get that fancy 2 minute single-shot in the can…

But if that’s the case, we’re back to the earlier problem of everything being ignored at a much higher rate than photography already gets ignored. Because EVERYONE will be doing this… Then what?

There are so many factors that Vincent isn’t keeping in mind that make me angry at those predictions… Of course there’s going to be a convergence… But 5 to 10 years?! Come on…  Maybe I’m one of the people who’ll be left behind when he turns out to be right much sooner than I’d expected, but I have a prediction of my own to make.

60 years from now, when all of our billboards look like the ones from Minority Report and are all in motion. You know what’s gonna look amazing then?

A still picture. Or a giant painting.

In a sea of motion, it’ll be what doesn’t move that strikes you most.

I’m not even gonna warn you; if you’re not interested in geeky video game stuff, the title already has you running in the opposite direction.

I’m not sure that I can call myself an avid gamer. I think avid gamers spend enormous amounts of time playing and I just don’t have that kind of time anymore. Even late at night, when all the work is done and I can relax, I usually choose to watch some TV over playing a game.

Now, even though I don’t enjoy a great TV show as much as I enjoy a great game, there’s a couple of reasons for it. The first is that if I start a game, I know I’ll be invested for at least an hour, and it’s already midnight by this point. I like my sleep. The second is that playing games makes me very tense. So not only will it be 1 or 2am, but now it’s gonna take me another hour to fall asleep.

TV, being the passive medium that it is, throws me into auto-pilot mode just in time for bed, all in the space of a 22-minute show.

Still, I do love my games.

And I recently pre-ordered my copy of Battlefield 3.

But today it finally dawned on me how far video games have come when, as I watched the beautifully rendered stills from the in-game footage, knowing full well that they look that much more spectacular in motion, I randomly and very suddenly thought of PONG. All I could see in my mind was a still frame of PONG (not that that’s hard to do) while my eyes were seeing screengrabs from Battlefield 3…

Holy cow…

So I can’t help but wonder how much further we’ll go in another 40 years of technological progress. Virtual reality has to be the next logical step forward, but let’s be honest, it hasn’t made the leaps and bounds we might have expected from it, nor is it as widely popular as video games. A computer is much more accessible. So is an XBox, a Wii and a Playstation.

So there you go… This is a photography blog, but I used to be a 3D Animator and I remember what it was like working for a gaming company. I’m still into gaming, so every now and then you’re gonna get stuff like this :)

Not long ago, I had the tremendous opportunity to work with a new face, plucked from the local acting and modeling agency, McCarty Talent. Immediately after seeing a few shots of her, I knew I wanted to work with Nicole K. I knew she was fresh into the modeling scene (ie. hasn’t quite learned how to move naturally for the camera) but felt confident I could get the shots I needed out of her.

I’d say I placed my bets well. Here are some of the results:

It’s been a while. One day short of three weeks in fact. And according to recent predictions, today is The Rapture: D-Day + 1! How are you feeling? Good? Good. I feel hungry, but otherwise I’m fine :)

Back to reality though; this was a behind-the-scenes shoot I did for Crimes of the Heart, a play performed superbly by some of my local actor friends. I didn’t get to see the play for myself until 2 days later, and what’s funny is that I had about as much fun observing the behind-the-curtain craziness as I did watching the play.

So many funny things we had to whisper and hold back the laughter for…

Promise, I did not write this, nor did I encourage it. What’s really funny is what I’m not posting here, but these messages to me got completely out of hand! Somehow it ended up involving silverback gorillas.

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