Filed under photography

Cooking up an impromptu photo shoot

My girlfriend Alicia’s birthday was a few weeks ago. Among her gifts were some new clothes, a watch she had been wanting for a while, and several books on the topic of cooking — the last of which I feel compelled to point out is not entirely, or even predominantly, self serving. For reasons unknown, Alicia loves to cook. This comes in handy, as my culinary skills are pushed to the limits once I get to “stir thoroughly and microwave two more minutes.”

As a side dish to these birthday gifts, however, I also served Alicia with an impromptu photo shoot, previously a staple of our relationship. The recipe is simple enough: just two strobes, an umbrella, and one willing model. Cook for about 30 minutes, season with a little Photoshop, and serve on a blog.


Of course, portraits have never been my signature dish, and this wasn’t a particularly ambitious shoot, but it’s another baby step in my mission to re-familiarize myself with the photographic basics after what seems like a year of absence from the craft.

Click a thumbnail to see the full image (pressing right/left on the keyboard lets you move through photos):

Brian and Debora’s Engagement Photos


A few weeks ago, my good friend Brian announced he was engaged. Shortly after, he and his new fiancé Debora asked if I could take their engagement photos, to which I happily obliged. Not only was I glad to help out a friend with the 100% close friends or relatives discount, but I was also seeking a bit of redemption.

This summer I had already taken photos at my brother’s wedding in Cancun, Mexico and a small ceremony for my cousin’s wedding in Toledo. They were OK, but, after a year serving as my college newspaper’s editor-in-chief, I hadn’t really had the chance to focus primarily on photography for more than a year. I felt a bit rusty this summer, and shooting these engagement photos was just what I needed to get back into practice.

We headed out to Wildwood Park in Toledo. It seemed like a good choice for photos like these because it offers a nice mix of natural and manmade settings.

Here are a few photos from the shoot (click the thumbnails for a larger popup):