Julie and Ashwood gathered on July 4 weekend for a beautiful summer wedding in mountains of Virginia. Situated on a hill above the town of Paris, these two found this rustic home to be their venue. Since they had never seen the place in person, we met the day before to scout out the best places for the ceremony. The house had beautiful grounds, and was easy to navigate, so we had some extra time together. Being that this was the first time I met the bride; it was a perfect chance to get acquainted.
As we made some photos together, I enjoyed getting some insight into their relationship. Although they do not have a ‘typical’ route to marriage, Ashwood and Julie have an amazing connection. Undoubtedly this lock down time has clarified their bond and brought them to the realization that they should take this step together.
Anytime a couple requests that you photograph their wedding, I am extremely honored. It is a privilege to be in the middle of this important event especially one that is happening in the 2020 pandemic. On this occasion, a limited number of people could attend. In fact, none of the bride’s family could attend in person! As a result, multiple virtual conference rooms were setup so they could view the ceremony from Europe.
As I said previously, it is always a privilege to photograph a wedding. However, Ashwood is such a good friend. Years ago, he took a chance on my photography to cover the first TEDxTysons events. Everything was new for us as he and his partners were just starting this endeavor. Whereas he could have the choice of using other photographers, he continues to support what I do by having me back. As I have come to realize, I should always take his call. He has given me access to panoramic views, mind-changing talks, influential thinkers. These two days top them all.
Last week, I was saddened to hear of the passing of Leonard Theiss. In a world that is full of strong personalities, preferences, and emotions, he was a gentle presence. Whenever we photographed an Arthur Murray event, he was there to dance, judge, and be an ambassador for his art form.
It was not an exaggeration that he was at EVERY Arthur Murray event we attended. To illustrate, we first attended a large Dance-o-rama in 2007 at the Bally’s in Atlantic City. Being that this was my first serious ballroom dance photography, many of my memories have long since left me. I found the folder of photos, and saw him at the dais with his cousin, Steve sitting next to him.
Soon after, the 2008 Northstar Dance-o-rama was officially the first event where TimeLine Media was the photography vendor. At this time, he brought students far from his home studio in Alexandria, Virginia to compete. I noticed how soft spoken, and gentle he was both on and off the floor. Likewise I saw many other dance teachers and students that were so happy to see him. Although he was an important person in the company, he gave so much of his attention to his students.
Throughout the years, Leonard became more familiar with us. Of course, we made lots of photos of him and his students, and he always made us feel welcome. Rarely, we would visit his studio to dance, and he was happy to see us do more than play with cameras. I’ll remember him as a friend to all of the staff in the DC area – a dancer that appreciated studying the craft and passing his passion along to staff and student. To all of the Theiss family, and the extended Arthur Murray family, please accept our condolences.
The cherry blossom have been in full bloom around the DC
Area. This year, they have been particularly beautiful! They have the light
puff ball look with very light colored blooms that really stands out against
the bark of the surrounding trees.
During this time of quarantine, I have been productive in my
home studio. But keeping inside means I have not been going out of the house to
make many photos. I know there are many projects that you can do while staying
at home, but this was the first really purpose-driven photos I have done in a week.
I was inspired do these first by the beautiful cherry tree of our neighbor that
was in full bloom!
Next, I wanted to try the Hi Speed Sync options of the Profoto A1 flashes. This is a new piece of gear that I am still learning. I may be replacing all of my lighting gear to Profoto I the near future. If this does in fact come true, I will be sure to make a post about the reasons for it. But for this quick test shoot, I mounted one of the A1 flashes firing into a Westcott Rapid Box Octa with the outer diffusion panel installed. I did not use the deflector plate as the A1 does not completely fit the cut out for the speedlight on the back of the Octabox. The A1 has a circular face at its output and most speedlights are rectangular.
I used another Profoto A1 as a remote controller for the off-camera light, and it worked right away! The flash could keep up at 1/1000th to 1/8000th of a second, and it was still filling the entire frame with an even exposure. I am anxious to try this setup again as I really like the results. The resulting images were much more in balance with the background compared to an exposure without the flash. I was impressed with this first high speed sync experiment with this gear!