Rico, the tormented chihuahua

Poor Rico…apparently too many cats in our neighborhood run wild and walk along the walls around our yard. Rico HATES it and freaks out when he sees them. He even barks when they are nowhere to be found; the poor guy is obsessed. He sits and looks out the windows just waiting for his opportunity to pounce.

He is a great subject for photographs, though, and I made a Valentine’s day card for Julie using one of his pictures.

After I made that I found another cute picture of him lying on the floor where the sun comes through and I was wondering what he might be thinking about……my apologies to any cat lovers out there; these are HIS thoughts, not mine!
click on the pic to enlarge.

Maternity Shoot

Introducing my beautiful wife, Julie; we are expecting our first child in early April. I recently studied some new lighting methods and she is such a cooperative, supportive and easy subject to photograph. I used natural window light with one strobe on low power through a softbox behind her; the softbox created a nice rim light on her left arm which created some separation from the background. I also applied some neat photoshop effects to some of these.

The on-camera timer comes in handy.

Silhouette, window light only

The rest we shot in another room without using the strobe. This is window light only with a reflector out of the frame on the left to kick some light back for a little bit of fill; I just love this look!

We’re going to try this again in another month and compare the difference!

Ali and Jay engagement shoot

I’m shooting Ali and Jay’s wedding on May 10 and they wanted a good portrait for their announcements. We shot this on Sunday before the Super Bowl. We had an overcast day which provided some nice lighting but I also used a White Lightning strobe with a 3ftx4ft soft box for the main light. I just picked up a portable power supply so I can shoot on location without electricity nearby; it came in very handy and I can power several lights with it
After we were done I packed up my gear and noticed they had a flat tire; good thing I had a working jack in my car. I’ve just added Roadside Rescue to my list of services!

More kids!

Monday was another photo shoot for Kiera and Marco Reckling; this time we got an early start in the morning. I first photographed Kiera when she was nine days old; she’s about 8 weeks now. I had such a blast; I can’t wait to have one of my own!

I’ve learned that you don’t really want to set a time limit when photographing children; just be flexible and take advantage of the opportunities as they come up.

I was in the kitchen when I noticed the morning sun streaming onto the patio. I brought Katherine and Marco out and used a reflector to bounce the sunlight back onto them; I love the way the sun provides the backlighting.

Rock Star Photo Shoot

My cousin, Robert “Mudd” Mazzullo, is an amazing guitar builder. He has built me 4 bass guitars and they are beautiful works of art and sound better than anything I’ve ever played. His wife, Rachel, is a cellist and he has built her an electric and acoustic cello along with several other guitars and instruments. This year he decided to start marketing his work so here are some promo shots I did for ad pieces and the upcoming NAMM show (Nat. Assoc. of Music Merchants.)
Presenting Mudd Guitars

This is Ginger; amazingly photogenic and graceful.

This is Michael Thomas; he is the most hi-profile player and has played with Guns n Roses, Bang Tango and quite a few other heavy rock bands.

Fun Convention Shoot!

I just spent a couple of days working for the Sports Turf Manager’s Association. I shoot for a lot of trade show and event clients and I’m always amazed at what I learn about different industries. These members are in charge of maintaining sports playing surfaces of all kinds and it gets pretty involved.

Their founder is referred to as the “Sod God.” You might not know George Toma but you know his work; he maintains the playing field for a little event called the Super Bowl (all 42 of them!) They also call him the “Marquis de Sod.” That must be a challenging job; I can’t even mow grass in a straight line.

Their keynote speaker was pretty amazing with his ESP skills. He had four random members come up with details about a particular car of their choice, then he pulled a sealed envelope from his pocket on which he apparently had written those exact details on his flight to Phoenix that morning! He pulled off some amazing stuff!

Kate and Jeff’s wedding

They chose an incredible location for their wedding. This was in a friend’s back yard in Paradise Valley and the setting was perfect in the late afternoon. We did most of the portrait shooting before the wedding so they wouldn’t have to wait too long to hit the reception.

I loved the interior staircase for the portrait session; I was able to shoot this using natural light only then I converted some of the images to black and white. I love that classic look of an old-school black and white portrait.

Phoenix Children’s Chorus photo shoot

A couple of weeks ago I shot the annual group portraits for the PCC; getting 200 kids to stand still is a huge undertaking. Even harder is getting all their eyes open in the same shot. Good thing I have Photoshop!

During some of the breaks the directors loosen up and have some fun.

Now…….jazz-hands everyone!

Happy New Year

A couple of months ago I DJ’d a wedding at the Cedars in N. Phoenix; the manager asked if I was free for New Year’s Eve to DJ for a huge party they were having. Nice change of pace from performing and singing all night; had a blast and they were a really fun group. Of course, I had to play photojournalist, too.

Newborn photo shoot

Our good friends, Mark and Katherine, just had a baby. I think that, since Julie and I have one on the way, I was even more excited to photograph her. I’m also asking lots of advice on what to do once we have ours!
This is Kiera…

Their son, Marco, had to put his two cents in:

I think being a Dad is gonna be fun!!!

Christmas Pet Shoot

I spent a few hours photographing dogs on a Saturday before Christmas at PAWS salon in old town Scottsdale; what a blast! The owner, Tracy, brought in Santa and I photographed 17 people’s dogs with him after they were groomed. I did a photo shoot for Tracy and her dogs in October and I’m framing a couple of prints for her store walls. I used two White Lightning strobes bounced into umbrellas and the pictures came out perfect; many happy dog owners! I love working with dogs except when one almost used my camera bag for a fire hydrant! Moved it just in time; I’ll be more careful next time!

Working with dogs has its own unique challenges. For example, this guy was more interested in playing with Santa’s hat than posing; he finally settled down. The key with dogs is shooting at high speed so you catch those fleeting moments.

Katrina two years later

Since I hadn’t been back since before the storm I wanted to see what the coast looked like and it was heartbreaking. Mom and Dad took us through Waveland and Bay St. Louis and, although they are cleaned up, many buildings and homes haven’t been restored.

Fortunately Dad built their house on high ground a little farther inland and suffered minimal damage. My sister Karen and husband Jeff weren’t so lucky; their apartment was about a mile from the beach. They live in Las Vegas now and at least they have a happy ending. I didn’t see any people out that day but captured a few images of what I saw; it was very emotional. Everyone hears about New Orleans; Mississippi got hit pretty hard, too.
I think what hit me hardest was seeing “stairs to nowhere” and knowing that someone’s home used to be there.