Saturday, July 2, 2011

Another from PSD

Nikon D90, ISO 400, AF-S DX VR Zoom-Nikkor 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G at 28mm, f/5.6 @ 1/1250. No flash.
Nik Viveza, Nik Tonal Contrast.

In April the "PSD Experience" came to Norfolk. This was one of those traveling road shows where the organizers brought together a number of mentors and presenters in the style of After Dark. The fact that it was in Norfolk meant that I had no option save to attend. Photogs seem to enjoy being presenters as well, because it exposes them, allows them to market their merch and their concepts, plus make a little slow season money.

I mostly attended sessions rather than studio or street shoots, although I did go on a couple. One such was led by David Beckstead, who has a stunning style when it comes to wedding photography. 
Beckstead brought his model onto the streets of Norfolk and posed her in a a dramatic and unconventional way that led off the beaten path bridal images. 

The takeaway here is to use your yes, take advantage of unusual juxtapositions, and move the camera around.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

One from PSD

Nikon D90, ISO 400, AF-S DX VR Zoom-Nikkor 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G at 18mm, f/5.6 @ 1/1250. No flash.
Nik Viveza, Nik Tonal Contrast.

In April I attended a workshop conducted by the "PSD Experience," in which they brought together a number of mentors and presenters in the style of After Dark. The fact that it was in Norfolk made it irresistible.

I mostly attended sessions, as there were presenters on marketing and on DSLR video, in which I have a keen and abiding professional interest. I did do on a couple of shoots, one led by David Beckstead, who has a stunning style when it comes to wedding photography. (He conducted a one-day workshop the following day, which I really wanted to attend, but could not due to the press of other business. My loss.)

Beckstead brought his model onto the streets of Norfolk of posed her in a way that led to some unconventional bridal poses. A little post processing helps to dramatize as well.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

In honor of Fathers' Day . . .

Here are two images of happy dads! Happy Fathers' Day, everyone!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

FA new Squidoo Page

Still trying to learn how to spell Web 2.0.

Let's see if I can enter this:
Impact Photography page link on Squidoo

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Looking for wedding photographers in Virginia Beach or Hampton roads? See our latest at
and our home page at

More from Stephanie and Kyle's wedding

More from the recent wedding of Stefanie and Kyle in Charleston, SC. It was a real privilege and pleasure to have been there, and to watch the wedding of a young woman who I have known from infancy.

The first kiss at the altar.
The first dance at the reception, Marriott Charleston.

Yes, I know I may be prejudiced. Not sure I care; but I have never seen a bride as flawless and as beautiful as my best friend's daughter on this day.

David Ferraro is the principal of Impact Photography, a Norfolk, VA based studio concentrating on weddings, events and portraiture. The studio website is, and David's blog is www.impactphoto.blogspot.comIf looking for the finest wedding photographers in Virginia Beach or Hampton Roads, be sure to speak with David.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Stefanie and Kyle, Charleston, SC

It was my distinct pleasure to attend the wedding of Stefanie Labash and Kyle Ryan in Charleston, SC last weekend. Stefanie is the daughter of one of my oldest and dearest friends. I've known this young woman all of her life, so it was a wonderful moment to be able to share her wedding with her .

Here is Stefanie dancing her first dance with her father. Anyone who knows Chris knows that absolutely nothing, NOTHING, ever comes between Chris and his children. So it was with great pride that he walked her down the aisle and presided over the proceedings.

And here is the expression of a proud father dancing with a perfect princess. Every father should wear an expression like this at such a moment!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Miss America-- who knew?

Caressa Cameron poses with Naja McFarland before Saturday's event.

I was asked to cover an event at ODU on Saturday, the third annual Conference for Girls and Young Women. It was a remarkable event. 
The keynote speaker was Caressa Cameron, the Virginia Commonwealth University student who became the 2010 Miss America. I wasn't sure what to expect from her as a speaker, but found myself blown away by the power and immediacy of what she had to say.

Miss Virginia and Miss America.

This event was attended by about 400 young women from the neighborhoods surrounding ODU, and Cameron held them in rapt attention.
Her remarks included the importance of positive action to achieve their goals, and the need to disregard the many negative messages in the media and society at large. She talked about the importance of choosing friends wisely, the dangers of boys, and the importance of keeping your own self interest in mind. One story that I recall was about being an eagle surrounded by chickens. A chicken, cameron said, would on its best day only fly six feet above the ground. If you are an eagle, and hang out with chickens, you too will not realize that you can fly higher, and that you were born to soar.
Inspirational stuff. I wished that the young women in my life had been on hand to hear her.

Workshop topics included sessions on healthy eating, body image, financial literacy and dream jobs. It was interesting to see how well attended the financial literacy sessions were.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Three Commencements, no waiting . . .

It is always fun to cover a University Commencement. It is one of the happiest days in the lives of the assembled graduates and their families, and it brings out more cameras per square inch than any other event this side of a wedding.
I was pleased to be asked to help shoot ODU's Commencements on Saturday. ODU ran three separate events at the Ted Constant Center in order to accommodate all their grads. A long day, but a happy one, for all involved.

ODU Commencement 2011 Flickr gallery

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Studio with Yelena

Nikon D700, 85mm @ f/4.5, 1/250th of a second, ISO 200.

A friend of a former model asked if I would do some head shots for her. This was an opportunity to try out some new tools and techniques.

Nikon D700, 85mm @ f/4.5, 1/250th of a second, ISO 200.

Used a Larson Flying Starfish as a modifier on my key light, and a reflector. Put a screen on my kicker and had at the lighting.

Nikon D700, 85mm @ f/4, 1/250th of a second, ISO 200.

Yelena came in with a sense of what she wanted to achieve and worked at it. She was easy to coach and pretty fearless.

Nikon D700, 85mm @ f/4, 1/250th of a second, ISO 200.

Friday, April 8, 2011

New TCC Student Center

Was recently asked to shoot an exterior for a new building that TCC had constructed. As luck would have it, I had been on hand for the groundbreaking ceremony as well. I thought this image was pretty good, as I was able to capture the lights of traffic during the time d exposure.

 This is the image they decided to use for a poster. It's an HDR composite of several images.

Being a college student has clearly changed since the Dark Ages when I went to school. The facility is spectacular.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Back to Basics

Decades ago I got my start as a newspaper photographer, and have always felt at home covering events and sports, things that require the ability to think on your feet and respond quickly to changing events. And light.

This picture was a challenge. Ever tried to hold and pose 100-odd college kids for a picture when the bar is open inside?
Double speedlight assist for the expose. We lost a couple, but they were thirsty . . .

In that spirit it was back to basics on Friday night as I covered an formal event for a local fraternity and sorority. One of the interesting challenges the event photographer has to contend with is changing light conditions. So I saw everything from full daylight to speedlight-assisted murk.

No doubt that going full frame makes a huge difference.

Attractive young people everywhere you cared to look!

Full frame really makes a difference when mixing speedlight and ambient.

The event, at the Planters' Club in Suffolk, was brimming with lovely young women.

As the evening wore on, the "formal" became far less so. Some things have NOT changed in 40 years....

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Mother and Child

Recently had a somewhat rare opportunity to do a family sitting for the extended family of a friend, Katrina Crowe, who recently gave birth to daughter Maysen. The session went well, except for the fact that Maysen, after having been fed, slept through the better part of the sitting.

Yet you can't hide mother love. 

Thursday, March 10, 2011

When the Light is Right Part 2

Always a good idea to review your images to find things that you might otherwise have overlooked. Rediscovered this little bit of Americana in reworking some images for a bride's book.

Three peas in a pod . . .

Saturday, March 5, 2011

NASCAR Sports Grille

Had a recent opportunity to shoot at the NASCAR Sports Grille in Hampton, VA. remarkable place.

My ignorance of NASCAR and racing is almost total. Just not something I ever got involved with or wanted to pursue. So it was with interest that I did this shoot on the afternoon of the Daytona 500. To say that the place came alive is to beggar language.

The place was packed with devoted racing fans who filled booths, an area with giant TVs and stadium style seating, and the bar. By race time the interior was full. There is also an outdoor seating area with a large bar which is heated to make cold weather quite comfortable.

The food runs to what you would expect with any bar and grille, and is quite nicely done.

Remarkable place. Would be a great venue to watch any sporting event.