As a Navy Public Affairs Officer, every time I set up a Navy event for the Steelers, I was able to stay on the field to shoot pics for publication. Unfortunately, I didn’t have my combat camera issued gear, and I don’t shoot sports for a living. So my longest lens was a 180mm f/2.8 Nikon. That made those great shallow DOF shots from half way across the field difficult. But what it did give me, was the ability to shoot some great images when they were right up on me that very few people get to see.

When I am working in Studio or on location, some of the most fun photo shoots are the ones with kids. I struggle a bit with babies (they tend not to take direction well and parents always want to control the environment)– but kids are a hoot. While I am not shooting weddings anymore, I still look for any opportunity to do portraits and interesting photo projects.

As i transition my galleries and photos from my old business website to this blog, I have to say that I have shot nearly 100 weddings over the years. I started with a small Pentax K100 with a Vivitar 283 flash and 10 rolls of film, and slowly built enough capital to have a full studio, business model, clients etc. etc.

What I loved most about shooting weddings were the people. They were so inviting. I was a part of one of the most important days of their lives: from the planning, the dressing, the ceremony, the intimate moments caught alone, the reception; and then weeks later when they come and look at their images.  The wedding photographer is the guy who is there through the entire process.

At times you can feel a bit like a midwife. I have mended wedding dresses with my sewing kit. I have carried drunk best men to the ambulances. I have duct taped torn hems in the tuxedo. Calmed down panicking mothers. I even gave the benediction for the reception when the minister’s car broke down on the way to the hall.

I have also dealt with the bounced checks. Stood in the hurricane that is the bridezilla. I have been screamed at by drunk bride’s maids and mothers who can’t understand why a wedding photographer might cost more than $500.

One of my favorite memories was Madame X, who called me after two years to ask if I still had her wedding photos that she never picked up AND if I was free to shoot her wedding with her soon-to-be second husband.