As many of you already know, along with our digital work we started to shoot film again early last summer. There is something that is incredibly special about the look and feel of film that can't be completely re-produced in a digital image. I personally also love the thought process that you go through when photographing with film. It forces you to slow down, to give even more careful thought to such things as composition and lighting, and it challenges you to question the importance of the subject(s) that you are photographing. Simply stated the art form is wonderful.
Early last week we had a consultation with a bride who brought her Dad along. We quickly found out that he has been a photographer for many years and also quickly found out that he enjoys talking about the technical side of photography. I of course was in my glory because my geeky side loves coming out to play once in a while. I mentioned to him that we have been shooting film again and are looking to purchase an old Hasselblad so we can shoot some medium format film. He said that he actually has some Hasselblad equipment that is in pristine condition. He definitely peeked my interest and hopefully we can get together soon to check it out.
In the meantime after that consultation, I briefly twittered something about this conversation as I was clearly excited. Our good friend, Robert Norman saw my twitter message and texted me right away that he has a Hasselblad (which just so happened to be the exact model I was looking for - Hasselblad 500C/M) and we can use it until we find one of our own. I quickly took him up on his offer, grabbed some 120 film and got to shooting. We had a dinner meeting in New Haven the other day so we went early and shot a couple of frames around Pepe's Pizza and on Thursday during the snow storm I went and got a couple of shots outside along with a couple of random things around the house and studio. Kathleen also may have made it into some of the photos! :)
To say that photographing with this camera is simply amazing would be a complete understatement. It has filled the gap of what I felt like I have been missing in photography. (This is in no way to say anything negative about digital - as we obviously love that too). As I mentioned earlier, I LOVE the slow thought process of film and I am completely overjoyed with the square format of medium format film. It is truly something special. Today when I woke up I couldn't WAIT to bring the film to get developed and was like a kid on Christmas Day when I scanned each frame into the computer this evening. So as you can imagine I am even more excited to share some of these random shots with each of you and hope you enjoy!
When you ask Sarah and Michael when they met you get two different answers. "Senior year," Sarah says without question. Michael , clearly used to this answer, smiles and says softly, "It was sophomore year."
While Sarah may remember their initial official meeting as it took place senior year of college at Villanova, Michael's memory of Sarah goes back two years earlier, when he spotted her for the first time. They were in class together sophomore year - they may not have met or even talked during that class, but Sarah definitely made an impression on Michael. So when mutual friends introduced them officially senior year it may have been something new for Sarah, but for Michael it was the continuation of something he had seen the potential for years before. It didn't take long for them to become a couple.
After college, Sarah and Michael set off to law school together. Two different schools but relatively close to one another. When they think back about those years they are thankful that they had each other and that they were in the same boat - reading and studying replaced "normal" dates but at least they were spending time together. Studying on a Saturday didn't seem so bad when they were cuddling on the couch next to one another.
They graduated, started careers and continued to share one of their deepest passions together - traveling. Together, they have seen China, Germany, Thailand, and Cambodia just to name a very few. Each place they would go they would bring along their camera, set it up on a timer and run into place for a shot by whatever scenic location they had chosen. It was their thing to do, they have tons of pictures of them in any number of places around the world. And one that is perhaps the most meaningful.
That shot is from Niagara Falls this past summer. Sarah and Michael were walking along a scenic trail when he spotted the perfect spot for one of their photos. He told Sarah to sit by the water as he set up the camera on the timer. He ran over to meet her and pose for the picture but instead got down on one knee and pulled out a ring box. At that very moment the camera went off, preserving the moment in time forever and creating clearly one of the most significant photos of their travels, but definitely not the last. Their life journey is just beginning. Well, actually it really began back in college - either sophomore year or senior year...depending on who you ask.
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We were excited for Sarah & Michael's engagement session not only because it was our first session of the year, but also because it was actually our first time meeting Sarah & Michael in person. They had scheduled with us over the phone and while we felt like we had gotten to know them a bit via phone calls and e-mails we couldn't wait to get to know them even better over the course of the engagement session. We had a great time getting to know them - talking about the wedding plans, hearing about how they met and got engagemd and most of all - hearing all about their travels, something near and dear to our own hearts as well.
The session couldn't have taken place on a better day, we totally lucked out with some gorgeous winter weather. It was nearly 50 degrees when we started their session at Grand Central Terminal, so we decided to mix it up a bit and incorporate both the inside and the outside of the historic NYC landmark building. It was a significant location to Sarah & Michael, because Michael spends a lot of time going in and out of the terminal commuting for work. The station was busy, which we actually enjoyed because we feel that is one of the things that makes a NYC session unique - all the hustle and bustle of people walking by not even phased by what's going on around them.
From there, we headed over to Central Park which also was a bit busier than it might have been on a January afternoon due to the gorgeous weather. But Sarah and Michael were totally up for being around the crowds, and their laughter and chemistry were contagious - people walking by them in the park would smile as they watched them walking hand-in-hand or making each other laugh. And those of us behind the lens were no exception - spending an afternoon with Sarah and Michael left us smiling and totally motivated to plan our own next trip (more on that soon!).
Note: Just as a reminder: Kathleen does the story (above) and Rob does the short narrating under each photo. We hope that both of our perspectives really help you get to know all of our wonderful couples just a little better. That being said, we hope you enjoy Sarah & Michael's Engagement Session Photos in NYC!
I remember when I was young always being completely amazed by Grand Central Station when my parents brought us into the city. There was something so magical about getting off a train, coming up the stairs and walking into this magnificent space. I used to get so excited to come into the city just to have that feeling of walking into the main concourse of Grand Central. So whenever we have the opportunity to photograph there we get very excited as to us Grand Central is still just as magical as ever before. Can you imagine that the city actually considered knocking it down many years ago?
Since it was unseasonably warm out on, we actually started Sarah & Michael's engagement session outside. We thought it would be a fun and different way to photograph at Grand Central. This is my shot...
...and this is Kathleen's at the same moment. When we photograph in the city, especially in places where there are lots of people, we love to sometimes incorporate the people walking or going about their business so that we can capture some more of the feeling of what is going on. This photo actually makes me laugh because the people walking through the frame quite accurately portray how New Yorkers are on the street.
I am not sure exactly what drew Kathleen and I to this door, I think it was a mix between the color combined with the natural textures. Either way we really enjoyed the backdrop it provided for us.
Sarah & Michael were really sweet together but the moments we loved the most where the smiles that came over Michael's face as he looked over at Sarah.
As many of you who follow our work already know, we really like playing with very shallow depth-of-fields and selective focus. It allows us to create a certain softness while we highlight one particular part of the image, in this case Sarah. It is a great way to capture a relaxed portrait.
As Sarah turned to Michael, Michael of course had a smile from ear to ear. We wouldn't expect anything less! :)
To get a fun city feel, we had Sarah & Michael head across the street where we found this garage that we thought would be a cool place to shoot. The really great part was as soon as we started photographing them a taxi had pulled up and parked right in front of the "NO PARKING" sign.
Isn't it amazing how many different photos and angles you can get from one location.
Kathleen captured this photo and what I really like about it is how it was as if we had stumbled upon them on the street and they didn't know we were there.
We headed back to Grand Central where we stopped out front to grab this portrait.
I don't know what it is but there is something very distinctive about a NYC taxi and something about them that really adds to a photo.
We just really liked the lines in this area!
Sometimes we take for granted how lucky we are to live this close to New York City. It is a city that people from all over the world only dream about coming too and we are only a quick train or car ride away. Even though we have been into the city what feels like a million times before; when we saw the 42nd Street sign for whatever reason it made us realize not only how cool it is to have this kind of access into New York but also how amazing it is to be able to photograph there so often.
New York City and Grand Central specifically is one of those places that is just that much more amazing in black and white. The simple and sweet emotion between Sarah & Michael was really great.
We went down to one of the train platforms.
This one (at least to me) feels like it is a still pulled from a movie...
...which in turn is exactly what we went for when we captured this photo.
After spending a few moments down by the trains we walked around the station finding some cool spots. The man walking by in this photo is actually a train conductor who is also into photography. He saw us shooting and came and over and talked about camera gear for a couple minutes.
Love the texture and lighting in the ceiling here.
Sarah & Michael specifically requested to have a couple of photos of them taken in this pass through.
The architecture of this building is simply amazing and this hallway has so much to offer, bridges, tunnels and great chandeliers.
This is one of my personal favorite shots from their session.
Before heading over to Central Park, we of course wanted to spend time up in the main concourse.
Michael really likes the old (and still working) train schedule boards and we wanted to capture all of the people around, I think we did just that in this one.
Bringing out their inner models!! :)
When in the city we suggest going to 2 different places as to give a nice variety and a couple of different looks. We brought Sarah & Michael over to one of our favorite parts of the park. It was so great to be there because of how warm it was especially in the middle of January. We were SO happy because we had to reschedule Sarah & Michael's session twice before due to huge snow storms (which did not allow for us to get into NY) so this was quite a nice change.
One of the things about working together that we really love is to get back after a shoot and see how we each captured the same moments. As I was shooting the two images above, Kathleen got this image of Sarah & Michael just a minute later. It feels very timeless and sweet.
Not only do we think we are lucky to be able to shoot in NYC so often but to be work with such amazing couples like Sarah & Michael really make it awesome.
This is Kathleen's shot of Sarah & Michael strolling through the main archways leading up to The Mall.
The lighting under here is always really great.
Ahhhh, such wonderful architecture!
The way that the bare trees were letting through the winter Sun was so gorgeous and created a really romantic atmosphere.
We love these moments.
Sarah's ring is really timeless and beautiful - Michael did a good job! :)
On our way out of the park as we were beginning to finish up their session we stopped in one of the tunnels...
...where we captured a few more really sweet moments between Sarah & Michael...
...and of course a couple of fun ones too! :)
Sarah & Michael - thank you for spending a great afternoon with us. Can't wait for March to see all your amazing plans come together. ~Rob & Kathleen~
Usually the day after a wedding especially if the day after just so happens to be a Sunday, I love getting in front of a computer, turning on some music in iTunes and browsing through the images we captured the night before. A wedding day usually goes by so quickly and by the time we get back and spend the hour or two it takes to backup the entire event we are really tired. As I go through the images, I like to "play" with a couple of them by quickly editing them out and feel how the emotion of the wedding translates through our photography. As creative people we really need to have that feeling of completeness with each event we do and for me this is one of the ways I achieve it. Kathleen gets her "full circle" feeling when she designs the wedding album. We also of course feel fulfilled when we put the wedding stories of our wonderful couples up on our blog.
Yesterday we spent the day with Meghan and Chris who had their wedding reception at the really gorgeous Society Room of Hartford. This venue has an old and very classic feel to it, almost like an old hollywood movie from the 40s. Just wait to you see more of the room and the details we captured! This shot was during Meghan and Christopher's first dance. The flash from right them actually came from a guest who was also taking a photo of them. I saw that this guest was taking many photos and as a result their flash was going off quite often, I decided that I would wait for just the right moment, and "use" the light from their flash for my own photo. This is what came out. I really loved it.
We can't wait to show you the rest of their day. This week we have a NYC engagement session as well as the wedding we photographed last weekend at the Gramercy Park Hotel also in NYC to share with all of you, so check back soon! Happy Sunday Everyone!!
To say that we are excited about Sarah & Michael's Wedding would be a complete and total understatement. In fact we are so excited that we couldn't wait to share a little preview with all of you. This is just one of the incredible bridals of our absolutely gorgeous bride, Sarah who got married to William this past Sunday. Their wedding including their ceremony and their reception took place at the Gramercy Park Hotel in lower Manhattan. This hotel is ultra modern while somehow still maintaining a timeless feel. As you can imagine it was an absolute feast to our eyes. It was a complete pleasure to walk down each hallway or around each corner as we got to experience the very thought out design of this space. Kathleen and I were in our glory and felt truly lucky to not only have such an inspiring place to photograph a wedding but also to be able to work with a completely down-to-earth and great couple.
We have already started putting a full blog post of their wedding story together and will be sharing all of the details from their day very soon. There is so much more to come so definitely check back often! In the meantime we hope you enjoy this photo of Sarah that we took in her Penthouse Suite (which had incredible views of the city) right before heading to her and William's ceremony.
One of our big resolutions for 2010 was to have more interactive blog posts. We know there are a lot of you out there that check this site on a regular basis (thank you!) and we'd love to hear from you! So don't be shy - leave comments, e-mail us, etc. To kick that off, we thought it'd be fun for you to learn a bit about us by answering a list of random questions from time to time. I have to admit I'm a huge sucker for those online surveys where you answer a bunch of questions. I don't always answer them, but I love reading other people's answers.
We've made this first list but we'd love to be answering questions that you send to us in future posts. Also, we would love it if in the comments to this post you take a turn at the questions we answer each week so we can learn a bit more about all of you as well. No pressure of course, answer what you want to and/or just leave a comment if you'd prefer.
For those of you that may not know, we were both Communication majors in college which meant quite a bit of time watching and talking about films and TV in class. As a result, we still spend quite a bit of time doing both of those things (as you can probably tell from some of twitter updates). We used to love watching "Inside the Actor's Studio." particularly the part at the end where the actors answered the list of questions. So you may recognize a question or two from that list. Plus just some fun ones we thought we'd share with you. Once we put them together we realized it's one random list of questions but this is pretty close to the random conversations we have with one another. What better way to share our personalities with all of you than to give you a glimpse into our every day ramblings?
1) What is your favorite lens to shoot with? Rob: Canon 85mm f1.2
Kathleen: Canon 50mm f1.2
2) What part of a wedding day do you think is the most fun to photograph? Rob: Ceremony
Kathleen: Formals with Bride & Groom (It's usually the first time all day that they've away from the crowd of family & friends. It's so amazing to watch them completely relax and just be into one another.)
3) What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? Rob: Commercial Airline Pilot
Kathleen: Broadway Actress
4) As a kid, what did you think you wanted to be when you grew up? Rob: Veterinarian
Kathleen: News Reporter
5) If you were born the opposite sex, what were your parents going to name you? Rob: Lindsay
6) What is one thing you would really like to cross off your bucket list? Rob: Fly an airplane
Kathleen: Sing with a gospel choir as my backup singers (I know, completely random. Just one song, I can't think of many things cooler than hearing a whole choir singing behind you, preferably leading some clapping too. Oh, and I'd have to have a tambourine.)
7) What's your biggest pet peeve? Rob: When people stand still on those moving walkways at the airport. (It's not a ride!)
Kathleen: Kids wearing soccer cleats indoors. Itís really bad for the cleats, and for the floors. Plus I hate the noise they make.
8) What is a smell that you love? Rob: Thanksgiving tukey cooking
Kathleen: An old library book
9) If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say to you when you arrive at the Pearly Gates? Rob: Finally! Iíve been waiting for a solid headshot.
Kathleen: Wow! I guess my work is timeless too. (Iíd like to live to be a good-looking, feisty old lady.)
(Forgive us, we wanted to have some fun with that question!)
10) Whatís a piece of advice you wish you had heard earlier in life? Rob: ďYou donít ask, you donít get.Ē
Kathleen: ďYou could never change the actions of others, you can only change how you react.Ē (Would have saved me a lot of time worry about how/why other people do things. When you realize that you canít do anything about it anyway, itís unbelievably freeing.)
There you have it! Totally random, huh? Even so, hope that you enjoyed reading these. We'd love for the next list to be all questions straight from all of you. So be sure to leave your questions in the comments below or me e-mail Kathleen@robertandkathleen.com. They can be about anything from photography to just life in general - whatever you'd like us to answer. We'll do our best to answer them all.
For your viewing pleasure, we thought we'd add a photo to this post. As we talked about in this post from earlier this month, when we were in Pheonix last year we took a road trip out to Sedona to talk, clear our heads and see the Red Rocks. We thought it'd be appropriate to share one of the images of the amazing desert landscape.