Creating Magic

One of the things I love about photography is that it can be used as a tool to freeze reality in fresh and interesting ways. There are a lot of tricks that can be used to push the boundaries of traditional imagery. I love discovering and exploring them all.

Several years ago, New York based wedding photographer Ryan Brenizer was interested in trying to replicate the feel of large format images, but with a 35mm digital sensor. Because of the imaging properties of the super large negative (or sensor), a large format camera using a wide angle lens can retain an incredible shallow depth of field. You know, the cool blurry backgrounds.

With a wide angle lens on a 35mm camera, it’s difficult to get a nice, blurry background unless the subject is very close to the lens.

What Brenizer did was to use the concept of panoramic stitching, but with a longer focal length lens. By shooting at a long focal length, and with the aperture wide open, he was able to get super blurry backgrounds. When taking a number of photos of a subject, as one would with a traditional panorama, and stitching them together, the resulting image mimics the wide angle look, crazy in-focus detail, and super blurry backgrounds of large format.

This became popularly known as the Brenizer Method.

And it’s one of my favorite techniques. I’ll show you why.

Here is a traditionally photographed image from the wedding of Sara and Derek, way back in 2012 in Omaha, Nebraska:

Sara and Derek | August 4, 2012 | Omaha, Nebraska

Sara and Derek | August 4, 2012 | Omaha, Nebraska

It was taken with my 35mm lens at f/2 — meaning the aperture was as wide open as possible.

There are some people in the background, but since this was just a test shot, I wasn’t worried about that.

All in all, it isn’t a bad image. If I waited for the background to clear, I’d be perfectly OK with delivering a shot like this to a client.

It’s good.

But it isn’t magical.

And I like to do what I can to deliver something special to my clients.

So time to break out one of my favorite lenses. My 135mm. Standing roughly in the same spot as the above photo, I was able to take this:

Sara and Derek | August 4, 2012 | Omaha, Nebraska

Sara and Derek | August 4, 2012 | Omaha, Nebraska

From just this, you can see how much more blurry the background is.

This image was just one of 94 total shots I took, moving the camera as I would a landscape panorama in order to capture a wider field of view.

This did require Sara and Derek to hold their pose for a minute while I got all of the shots I needed. They were completely game. It helped that I used this trick for their engagement session, too. So even if they thought I was a little crazy then, they saw the results.

Then after some Photoshop stitching magic, I wind up with the following:

Sara and Derek | August 4, 2012 | Omaha, Nebraska

Sara and Derek | August 4, 2012 | Omaha, Nebraska

Check out how the background now just melts away.

The focus is 100% on Sara and Derek. As it should be.

The field of view of this image is almost exactly the same 35mm as the first image in this post. But using a little fancy math I was able to determine that the effective aperture is f/0.45 — basically an impossible aperture.

You might say, a magical aperture.

Posted in Artistic Photos, Weddings | Leave a comment


April 2016 Birthday Special


So it’s been awhile since I’ve done one of these. Figure it’s about time.

Here’s the deal: April is my birthday month. So to celebrate, I’m offering you guys a special deal. Book my Tangerine package any time between now and the end of April 2016 and I will take $300 off the package price. Boom!

Now here’s the important part: You can get married any time. Your wedding is in 2017? 2018? No problem. Not only will you get the birthday discount, but you’ll also be locked in at 2016 rates. So you’re potentially getting a double whammy of a deal.

First, head on over to my Wedding Packages page to check out what all you get with the Tangerine (and check out the others, too, to see if one of those suits your needs better).

Then jump on over to my Contact page and shoot me an inquiry (quick tip: for some reason, spam filters really love me… so if you send an inquiry, be sure to check your junk folder because I usually respond pretty quickly — and leaving your phone number helps, too).

Just remember, book before the end of April to lock in your deal!

Posted in Offers | Leave a comment


Pinup Photography Special


So, I love shooting weddings. You guys know that. Or you should.

But do you know what else I love? Fun photo shoots. Like pinup-style photos.

What could be more awesome than getting dressed up in your favorite (or newly acquired) dresses, skirts, or other pinup-y style clothing and getting some awesome pictures taken? Actually, that wasn’t a rhetorical question. Because I know exactly what would be more awesome… ALSO getting some victory roles or some other appropriate hairstyle by one of the amazing people at Iasan and Sebastian Studio Salon.

Yeah, that’s right.

So I’ve put together a package to make this happen. Here’s what you get:

— Begin your day getting treated spectacularly by a stylist at Iasan and Sebastian. You’ll get professional hair AND makeup styling for your pinup shoot.

— Continue with an awesome pinup photo session. I have props, but you can bring your own.

— Receive the high resolution digital images.

— Pick your favorite from the session and receive an 11×14 print.

The price for all of this is only $500 (50% deposit required to book the session both with Studio Orange and the salon). Want to share the cost? You and a friend can share a same-day pinup session for $600.

Expect your photo session to last a few hours, and bring along as many outfit changes as you’d like. We can fit in as many as we can.

Not sure you can pull off being a pinup model? No worries. I’ve got lots of ideas, and plenty of reference material we can look through for pose inspirations that suit your comfort level. The goal here is to just have fun. And provide you with some amazing photos in the process.

Contact Studio Orange for details about how to set up your session.


Pinup photography in Lincoln, Nebraska

The classic pinup style is intended to be fun and playful.

Pinup photography in Lincoln, Nebraska

The shoot can even be personalized to reflect your interests or career. For example, Amy is a chef, so we substituted her chef’s knife for a hand mirror for a play on this classic pinup pose.

Pinup style photography in Lincoln, Nebraska

Props add to the fun.

Pinup photography in Lincoln, Nebraska

Ultimately, the goal is to just have fun.

Pinup FAQ

What is Pinup Photography?

The style most associated with pinup is photography intended for “informal” display. That is, pinned up on a wall. Thus, pinup. Get it?

Pinup photography became most popular, and is most well-known, from the World War II era, when GI’s relied on photos of their favorite female stars to remind them of home. A typical pinup photo is generally playfully suggestive and fun.

Today, pinup photography isn’t just about male gratification, but also a way for women to have fun, feel good about themselves, take ownership of their image, and put on a “character” for some unique and amazing photos of themselves.

What should I wear?

Largely the outfit(s) you choose to wear will depend on the type of image you’d like to project. For example, a pencil skirt and a button up shirt, with some horn rim glasses, can be perfect for a “sexy librarian” image. If you do a Google image search for “pinup model,” you’ll find tons of examples of outfits, from skirts and summer dresses, to gowns, to lingerie.

I do recommend bringing a couple of outfits. I also recommend making sure it’s an outfit you feel comfortable kneeling or laying down in, in order to give us the most options for poses.

Does pinup mean nudity?

Absolutely not!  Pinup is meant to be playful above all, and only mildly suggestive.

Having said that, there can certainly be a more risque quality to the photos, and pinup *can* include some nudity. However, I always leave this entirely up to you. For these sessions, I will never push for photos any more suggestive than the samples you see here. If you’re wanting to be a little more revealing, simply let me know.

Can I bring someone with me to the session?

I actually strongly recommend coming with a friend. Having someone who can assist you with touching up your makeup, changing outfits, or just lending moral support when you’re taking photos a little outside of your experience can be invaluable to helping you feel comfortable.

Also, if you are under 18 years of age and want to book a session, it is absolutely essential that you have a parent or guardian with you at the session.

Will you be posting the photos on your website or to social media?

Being able to show the work that I do is essential to my business. However, I also understand if one of my clients is nervous about having their photos seen. Especially if we do a more suggestive style of shoot. Generally, if you do not tell me otherwise, I will assume (per details in my contract) that you are ok with your photos being displayed. If you’re not, just discuss it with me and I can be accommodating.

Posted in Portraits | Leave a comment