My trip and photoshoot in Pennsylvania


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Last year I met a model on Facebook by the name of Jessie Ann. Originally we started talking as friends discussing life and among other things. After awhile well I showed her some of my work, and told her I would love to shoot with her someday. She told me she did not know if that was possible since I lived all the way in Illinois.

Several Months went by we continued to talk sometimes for hours on end and alot of times about stuff that would just make us laugh, and we grew as friends!. The months had passed we continued to talk occasionally bringing up shooting, but alot of times it just would not happen for one reason or another.

She had had a few shoots with some pretty strange and shady photographers, one gave her the photos pretty much in Jpg form and unedited. To me he was just looking for a pretty face and body and that is pretty much it. His posing the model was absolutely not what I would have ever expected from someone who invested so much money into studio equipment. Photographers like this absolutely piss me off. Because those of us who struggle and use the same old equipment and provide amazing images really almost never get noticed, we even get cut on by other supposed professionals telling us we should upgrade our equipment but that takes time and money.

After she went to this photographer and he gave her the images which he never edited, she had asked me to go back and edit the photos. I gave her edits of his photos because I wanted her to atleast get something nice and not images that she never could use!. after a month or so of editing she finally said hey lets shoot again. This time we not only planned this shoot but we landed 3 different designers.She put in so much effort in order to make this shoot happen night after night we threw ideas at one another.

Finally the day came after all our reservations were made and it was time to leave on the Amtrak to Pennsylvania. After a year of talking and a few months of planning this was finally happening. It took me from 9:30 at night til 7 the next morning to arrive in Pennsylvania. I was nervous at first, I was afraid that after all this planning one of us would somehow fail to make it. But that was not the case.

After about an hour of waiting and her getting ready and us talking we finally started to shoot. I was really super impressed by her pushing herself physically to make this shoot happen. Jessie gave 110 percent of everything she had from start to finish, and although we froze at times on the beach as we were shooting, she would cover up and take a break to warm and we would start over again!!. Even when we were indoors only real break we took was to eat!!. Jessie wanted to go from one wardrobe to the next bang bang without hesitation. I was seriously amazed at how much she loved to model!.

Sunday night after all was said and done we sat on her porch where we we went through over a thousand photos, and had some dinner we chilled and talked. We came to the conclusion that we needed to shoot again lol. After awhile one of her neighbors she went to school with years ago walked up and started to talk we spent the next several hours before I had to leave talking and laughing. When the time came to go I was actually sad I had to leave and well It both kind of hit us that leaving was real. I cannot wait until we shoot again!!





Night Time Phototography Long Exposures Done Right!

chicago 1 aI have often gone out at night and thought about all the lights and how amazing they look. nothing though looks more amazing than a long exposure photograph. Cameras can capture all the ambient light the human eye cannot see.

It Is easy to think well I’m going to go out and go to the city with my camera and take photos. Long exposure photography is something that is somewhat skill and somewhat just plain dumb luck and timing. You can take one long exposure photograph thinking this will be amazing once I am done, but I have looked afterwards and thought there is really not the lights I wanted and it does not look as good as I first thought it would.

Usually I wind up trying to find some amazing Locations first. Take the photo above for instance, this was taken on a Chicago night facing the Chicago River in the foreground. The buildings make for all the light you need. The boats that passed by made for the streaks of light on the river. Lights will normally look like small starbursts especially Street lights. Here I set My Shutter speed to bulb so I could get about a 45 second exposure my Iso was set to about 200 and my F stop to about 14.

After I took the photograph I did not know how amazing this would look thinking this better turn out well, only because I forgot one essential. I forgot My Tripod that day!. I found the flattest surface I could possibly find where the camera would be steady, and set the camera there with my shutter remote attached because pressing the shutter button manually usually causes blur because the camera tends to shake. The photo above was one of the prettiest long exposures I have taken.

5e662d12-07df-42f8-9921-2f0dadbe6ea2_FULLSCREENThe photo you see here with the light throw from a Projector at the Harvest Moon Drive-In Theater in Gibson City, Illinois was taken on a rainy night. Again I forgot one important necessity at home and that was my tripod again. There was a picnic table in the front of the lot and I used that to Steady the camera. normally you cannot see the light from the projector like this on a clear night with no rain, but I got lucky on this night the rain produced this amazing light throw. I set the Camera to about a 30 second exposure here and let the camera capture this scene. So here you see the light flooding through the rainy night as families sit in their cars and watch movies. I would never suggest forgetting your tripod!!

water 2 aHere was one of my favorites here I remembered my tripod this was taken In St. Charles, Illinois. I was born i this town so this photo means a bit more to me than just some random night shot I took. Here there was a small dock off the river walk it was fairly steady, and several times i had to tell people to stay off the dock to because walking tended to cause shake, and I had to deal with the swarm of mosquitoes trying to attack me on a warm summer night and ignore the how uncomfortable I felt from them constantly biting me. This was one of the hardest shots to accomplish because of all the elements working against me, but I finally got the shot I wanted after almost 10 minutes sitting in discomfort.

This shot was on a Tripod and I set the shutter to bulb again, my F stop to about 14 or so and an iso of about 200. I took this photo just after the sun had set and the skies turn that pretty blue. i let this exposure go for about 45 seconds or so!. So not only do you capture the light but also the amazing reflection on the Fox River.

So this is just a little about long exposure photography hope you enjoyed if not for the story atleast for the amazing photos!!. Please feel free to follow me I know I Have not written in a while, but it is Valentines Day and It is Snowing well I have nothing to do so writing seemed like the best option. Like I said hope you all enjoyed. I will try to write a bit more often. Feel free to follow my blog. There are more stories you can read some just for fun and some educational.

Thank You,


The beauty of my children!…



So I have been thinking all week about what I was going to write about, and I was drawing a blank. So after I had some issues with an aunt who thought she was my kids mother, I decided to write about the most important thing in my life. Besides Photography, the most important thing to me is my Children.

Although my children are slowly growing out of Childhood, they growing into teenagers, and young wonderful adults.

I never thought when I was a teenager I would be a father as young as I was. When I was 15, and 16 years old my dreams were to become a baseball star, because I was always a great baseball player. When I was 18 or so I met my soon to be wife,, and although things did not work out between us, I will always have a place in my heart because she is my childrens mother.

We had our first Daughter Amanda when I was 21 years old. She was born with a full curly head of hair, and the biggest chubby cheeks you have ever seen. She has become the most amazingly talented young woman, she is growing up to be. Amanda has played tee-ball, soccer, and now in High School she is playing softball on her freshman team, and has learned to become a switch hitter in softball. She has amazed me with some of her interests, and some of the things she has accomplished. I am so proud to be her father, although now most of the time when she is here with me she pays more attention to her Ipod than anything else. Yet she has taught me so much, like I did not know that Shakespeare used male actors for female roles in his plays she taught me that.

My Daughter Brianna is my second daughter, and I think I protect her the most because there were some issues when my Ex- Wife was Pregnant with her. She was born a month prematurely, at a little over 5 pounds. When she was born I remember Crying, I was so happy she was finally here, and although the doctors said she was going to be a boy, she turned out to be a beautiful baby girl. We named her Brianna, because my name is Brian. She is Graduating 8th grade this year, and again I am so proud of her. There are times she will be talking to her grandfather my dad, and she will say something that amazes us!. My dad always asks ” What wisdom is Brianna gonna give us today?”. She has played soccer and although she has not been much into sports like me, or her sister, and Brother, she has accomplished alot with her school band, and Chorus. I am so proud to have a daughter like her, and I am always there for her. She is my emotional girl, and gets hurt easy. When this happens she always wants a hug from Me.

Then there is Connor. He is my wild child, and can talk your head off. He is also my picky eater still,but he is slowly growing out of that. When he was born he was my first boy,and that is what we were trying for. I stayed up all night while waiting for him to be born. He has grown up to become a great boy, and although most of his interests are his Xbox, Star Wars, and football I will always try to listen although sometimes I do get irritated by the same things I hear everytime!!! SMILES!!!. He started 2 years ago with Flag football where he could outrun about every player on his team. Last year was his first year in tackle football, and he played corner all year he never complained once although sometimes he would know he was hurt he loved it. This year will be his second year in tackle football. He also plays violin for his school band. I am proud of all his amazing accomplishments.

So now you all know about my amazing kids, and I want to end this Blog with a letter my daughter Brianna wrote me in 2011.

Dear Dad,

In Language arts class we are learning to write letters. We have also been talking about people we are thankful for. I chose you, because you’re awesome, and smart.

You’re awesome because you were one of the first people to hold me, and look at me. When I got older, you helped me if I cried, was hurt, or just needed company. I remember when I was bout six years old. I got sick, and had to be taken care of. You helped me until mom took me to the hospital. Thank you!

I love that your nice to me because sometimes no one else is. I remember when I was younger,and I got hurt. You took me to the kitchen, and helped me make different things, like meat, or eggs. I still remember how to make them, Thank you!.

Sometimes I like when you’re smart, because you will help me with my homework, and other times you will just joke around. But you are always smart, even if you are joking around. Thank You!.

Thank you for being such an awesome, smart, and nice person. You have changed my life by always being there for me. If you were not here, I would miss you.