Tag Archives: photojournalism

Getting Directed by Kevin Costner and Modern West

When Kevin Costner and Modern West kicked off their latest tour, I got the call to photograph the concert at the Lakeland Center.

It’s pretty exciting stuff, truth be told.

It’s quick though.  You get in for the first three songs and you’re escorted out.  Most times, I don’t even remember what those songs were.  It’s a 10 minute blur of time when you’re looking for tack-sharp images.

It’s waiting for for a fracture of a second to make an image where the mic isn’t covering the performer’s mouth.   Where some fan’s hand or head isn’t featured prominently.  Where the stage lights and your camera’s metering system find common ground.  Where there is some kind of action, motion, or an element about the performance that makes it a moment worth photographing.

Those ten or so minutes quick and you check your LCD to get a quick idea of whether you got the shots you need and whether your client will be pleased.

They were.

Kevin Costner Blowing Kisses to the Crowd

Kevin and the band are great showmen and, based on the reaction of the crowd, excellent musicians too.

      I digress.

This isn’t really about the show itself, rather the show before the show and how I got directed by Kevin Costner.

It was the first night of their tour.  Opening night.  When I accepted the assignment, I had asked whether I might be able to get some pre-show access to the band.   Of course, I got no guarantees, but did get invited to go to the “meet and greet” where select guests were able to shake hands and pose with Kevin backstage.

Meet and Greet with Kevin Costner backstage

I didn’t hold out much hope that I’d be able to get anything more than these images, but I knew that since it was their first show in the tour, I might get lucky.

After the meet and greet, the band disappeared into a room and closed the door.  I knew my chances of getting any intimate images was waning, but I stayed backstage anyway.

“Come on in,” the manager said.

Success.

The thrill is kind of  immense when you are allowed to access very personal, intimate moments like that.  It doesn’t matter if it’s a  wedding shoot with a very cool couple or a real A-list Hollywood Star letting you make a few photos with them.  ( Robin Hood, JFK, The Untouchables, Field of Dreams, Dances with Wolves, Waterworld, 3,000 Miles to Graceland, The Bodyguard, etc) .

I changed my camera lens to a 14-24,  adjusted my white balance for the color temp of the room and as discreetly and doe-like as I could adjust my 200-pound, way-over-40 frame, started shooting.

Backstage, under bad lighting, with Kevin Costner and Modern West

It was almost perfect.

The band acted like I wasn’t there.  I kept quiet, stayed out of their way and just shot.  NO motor drive back here.  One frame.  Discreet.  One frame.  Discreet.  One Frame.  Pause.  One frame.  Discreet.

They had an opening show to perform in minutes.  The last thing I wanted to do was draw attention to myself or interrupt their focused moments.  Worse, get kicked out.

I knew I wouldn’t use my flash.  I knew it would do all the things that I didn’t want to do.   I also knew the light where they were standing was horrible.

There would mounted lights on the ceiling and pointed toward the walls, but there was very little light falling on the band in the center of the room.

Kevin Costner warms up with violinist Bobby Yang.

In a case like this, I’ll shoot with whatever light I can get.

I didn’t realize was that Kevin Costner was not only aware of my dilemma but he also had a solution.

“Would you like us to move to the other side of the room where the light is better?”, he asked.

“Yes,” I said out loud.

Inside, I screamed, “YES, YES, YES, YES, YES, YES, YES”!

He was directing the shoot.  He’s not only an A-list Hollywood actor, he’s also a director with incredible knowledge of scenes and backdrops and moments  and film and, most importantly to me, light.

The band moved to the other side of the room.  Costner leaned against the red wall, almost directly under one of the overhead spotlights.

The  band formed a semi-circle around him as they warmed up their voices and their instruments.

I thanked God and KC under my breath, knelt down,  and pushed the shutter.

Kevin Costner directs the shoot.

I had about 3 minutes with the band under that light.  I thought the series of  images was pretty powerful.

So did Rolling Stone magazine.

They published it here:

http://www.rollingstone.com/random-notes-2012/kevin-costner-and-modern-west-0358177

Thank you for your direction.

I think the credited image should look like this:

True image credit line.

The Pictures are Everything

  A man called me a few months ago and said he was getting married soon and wanted to meet with me about photographing his wedding.     He said he and his fiance “loved” the photographs on my web site. 

 His deep, gravelly voice said:   “The pictures are everything”.  I figured him for a lifelong smoker. 

  I was wrong.

  His name was Randy and he told me that it was to be a very small, private wedding.  There was not going to be a videographer and none of the guests would be taking photographs.

  “The pictures are everything”, he said again.

  We set up an appointment to meet at his home.  It was just a few miles from my own.

  I knocked on his door at exactly noon.  The door swung open, a massive man of a man walked out, extended his baseball mitt-sized hand and said, “Hi, I’m Randy.”

  “I know who you are,” I said. 

  He didn’t acknowledge my comment, but invited me in and introduced me to his lovely fiance, Lynn.  They offered me a drink.  I accepted.  Randy went to get it.

  “That IS Macho Man Randy Savage, isn’t it,”? I whispered to Lynn.  She said yes.

  Now, for the first time in a very long time of meeting clients and potential clients, I was nervous.

  He wasn’t the first celebrity I’ve ever met, but he was the first international celebrity who wanted me to photograph his wedding.    I had photographed HSN’s Lynn Murphy’s wedding last year, but had known her as a friend for a few years, so it wasn’t  the same.  Plus, HSN is only shown in the USA.

  Macho Man Randy Savage was an internationally-known professional wrestler and celebrity. 

  This day, and every other day we met for planning sessions and talked on the phone, he was just Randy.  He wanted nothing more than to have incredible wedding photographs for his bride.  

  “The pictures are everything”.

Lynn and Randy pose on the beach following the ceremony.

  The wedding was planned for Lido Beach in Sarasota at 7:15pm, about one hour before sunset.

The view from the Lido Beach Resort 7th Floor

  Beach weddings can be dangerous affairs.  You have to be concered about storms moving in, high winds, overeager, pasty-white  beachgoers creeping into your shot and bright sunshine that makes the couple squint or have harsh shadows on them.  The latter is always my biggest concern and I shared that with Lynn and Randy.

  “The pictures are everything.” 

  They meant it too.  They empowered me to direct the location of the setup of the bamboo trellis so it wouldn’t be directly backlit by the setting sun.  They trusted me to help choose the correct time of day to minimize the harsh sunshine. 

  They gave me everything I needed to capture the beauty, romance, emotion and incredible moments of the day.

  Most of all, they gave me themselves.

Lynn and Randy pose in the seagrass after the ceremony

    Their reception was to be a sit-down affair inside the glorious Lido Beach Resort.    The pair had met near there many years ago and wanted to return to that site to seal their union.

    The room was lit only by candles, as Lynn had requested.   

Elegant Reception Room

     Most of the reception photos were shot by that candlelight, allowing the glamor and mood to remain, enhance and maintain the dignity of the event.

Elegant Lynn Photographed by Candlelight

   Macho Man Randy Savage didn’t attend the ceremony.  He wasn’t even invited.

  It was very clear that this wedding was no different than any other union.  Lynn was the focal point. 

Bride on the Beach

    One of the first things they did after seeing their photographs was to place an order for a 24 x 36″ canvas wrap for over their piano.  I was incredibly flattered to have something that large being placed as one of the focal points of their home. 

  Randy reminded me that during our first meeting I had gotten a little cocky and said to them that one of my goals was to replace the large art print that was then hanging over the piano with one of their wedding photographs.    Success.

The Kiss photograph is now one of the focal points of their home. I could not be happier.

  “The pictures are everything”.

  I completely agree.

  (Please be advised that these photographs and all other photographs on this site are registered and protected by US Copyright laws.  I vigorously pursue all infringers)

Florida Wedding Photography Made Simple

It was a busy few days. 

In the previous post, you saw a preview or Ryan and Julia Roeling’s wedding photographs from Saturday night. 

 On Friday, I had the pleasure of photographing the preparations, ceremony and reception for Lindsey Smith and Adam Johnson.  And, it was a pleasure even though it was the largest, most detail-oriented and specific wedding shoot I’ve had in a very long time.  Adam and Lindsey even insisted I bring a second photographer to the shoot, which is something I’ve always resisted.

  Why?

  The standards I set for photographs that are delivered to the couple are incredibly high.  I didn’t think I could find anyone who had the same  photojournalistic backround and experience and was willing to shoot a wedding.  For various reasons, many true photojournalists won’t photograph weddings. 

   I reached out to a former St Petersburg Times photographer I met and bonded with while shooting portraits of John Travolta and Kellie Preston.  He said yes.  We’re still editing the photographs, but I am impressed  by his credentials, personality, interaction with the couple and their guests and most importantly:  The Power of His Pictures.

    That’s the  focus of this blog. 

 How to make Wedding Photography simple:  Deliver great images.

  I believe in the Power of the Picture. 

  It must have impact, technical perfection, mulitple layers of interest, lighting that’s appropriate for the scene and evoke an emotion.

  Simple, eh?

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Lindsey's Pre-wedding Preparations

  It can be simple as you can see from Lindsey’s preparation photograph above.  It’s an incredibly simple composition and shot, yet it’s an incredibly complex, complicated moment as she sits in the chair having her makeup done, amid organized chaos inside the hotel’s Bridal dressing room.  Only she knows what, exactly, is on her mind at this moment.

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Bridesmaid's Luscious Lashes

  Again, a simple composition, a true un-posed, unguarded moment amid the organized chaos of a Bride’s dressing area before the ceremony.  It’s also a striking image with power, beauty and drama.

  I always encourage brides to allow me to document these pre-ceremony times.   Often, these are very emotional times, with great opportunities to photograph unguarded moments that help to tell the whole story of the day.

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Wedding Rings on Wedding Dress in Extreme Black and White

 

  Simple, yet dramatic portrait of the wedding rings amid the details on the back of Lindsey’s wedding dress.  Yes, I flexed my artistic interpretation on this shot.  Yes, in case Lindsey  doesn’t like the extreme nature of the photoshop finish on it, I’m including a clean, very white version of it as well.

 

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Veiled Bride in Thought

  This is also from Lindsey’s dressing room as she had her veil placed on her and adjusted.  Simple photograph, simply-lit, but with a power about it because of the undeniable beauty of the bride, the woman in the backround (also veiled) helping adjust it, but primarily because of the gaze in her eyes.

  What must she be thinking, feeling?  I have no idea.  That’s Lindsey’s private, simple secret. 

    The simplicity of wedding photography goes beyond simple set-ups and compositions.  Those, sometimes are very complex and detailed, but never, ever time-consuming.  One of my roles as your wedding photographer is to make sure that the time spent posing for/with me is minimal.  Time spent with your loved ones and friends is always more important.

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Simple set-up, Simple Lighting, yet elegant portrait of an elegant bride

  That’s Lindsey before she left the hotel to get to the Church on time.    Due to the late arrival of Lindsey’s hair stylists, which pushed everything back,  the time we had to do pre-bridal glamorous portraits was cut down to three literal minutes.    We shot several simple set-ups in that time with the results being…..beautiful.

    I wish I would have had more time to do elegant bridal portraits around the breathtaking lobbies and lands of the hotel they were dressing in.  I didn’t, but I have enough experience with wedding photography to know that flexibility is one of the keys to staying sane and staying calm when no one else around you is.

  This is one of Adam’s portraits shot post-ceremony.  For this set up, I always put the bride in the front with the groom in the back (which I did before shooting Adam in the foreground).    This was the first time I ever brought the groom to the foreground and I truly like the finished product.  I am still learning, experimenting and growing.

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Firefighter Adam Johnson on his Wedding Day

    Adam is a firefighter, a manly-man who rushes into burning buildings and puts his life on the line to save yours.  I wanted to do a portrait of him that is extreme in it’s finish and, as always, powerful in its presentation.  (I am including a softer, cleaner version of it in the final delivery of images in case Adam doesn’t appreciate this interpretation.)

  This photograph has depth, mulitiple layers of interest, dramatic lighting and a fantastic main subject. 

  This photograph is Adam’s chance to be in the spotlight.  It is with a specific intent that you cannot make out Lindsey’s face, only the dimly-lit white of her wedding dress.  It is with specific intent that you can see the iconic presence of Jesus watching over the two at the In Carnation Catholic Church in Tampa.    It is with specific intent that Adam’s face is somewhat in shadow, bringing out the power, drama and masculinity of this Groom.

  Total set up and shoot time for this shot.  Probably one minute.  Perhaps two.    Complex Simplicity.

  (Experience pays off when hiring a wedding photographer in ways that you probably may never realize until the wedding day)

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Lindsey's Light

  I call this photograph “Lindsey’s Light” for two reasons.  One, the incredible, natural light that’s adding a little drama and beauty to this simple, photojournalstic moment at the reception.  Two, because of the joy in her smile and her gaze as she talks with the real Light of her Life, Adam,  during their first moments at the Rusty Pelican reception.

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Tipping the Bride during a First Dance

  Lindsey and Adam had obviously practiced their first dance a few times.  It was slick and smooth with twists and turns.  It was this portion, however, of their first dance that I was shooting  for.  It’s one of the moments when their eyes lock on one another like no one else even exists or is present.  It’s the electric connection between them that makes this photograph powerful. 

    It’s an important image that truly captures a special moment between them.  I tell my couples that you CAN  capture emotions like love and romance in a photograph.  This one does just that.

    It’s also simply-done when you have a photographer who truly knows photojournalism and values, above everything, The Power of the Picture.

  Throw in a great-looking, loving couple, adoring parents, siblings, friends, fellow firefighters and a few bubbles and you have the makings of  heirloom-quality, wedding day memories and images.

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Bubble-infused departure.

  Thank you Lindsey and Adam for trusting me to do this for you.

  Thank you for reading!

(Ask about discounts for active duty military men and women, firefighters, police officers and others who place their lives on the line for people they don’t even know.  I am available to travel Nation and worldwide for assignments)

Megan and Justin

Megan

Megan

  When I’m shooting something as intensely emotional as Justin and Megan’s wedding, I very seldom hear things.  I’m focused, so to speak, on my shots.
  During their ceremony, however, my ears picked up something the pastor said and I couldn’t forget it.  Apparently, this union was truly love at first sight.
  Justin is a manager at a local business and Megan was applying for a job.  The pastor said that Justin was so taken by her beauty that he was literally shaking during the interview process. 
  I’m sure you can see why.
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  Weddings are about beauty, emotion, committment, love and family.  This union had it all. 
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  Megan’s father was incredibly emotional while getting ready to give her away.   They have a very tight bond and it showed.  Emotion is one of the things that separates us from other creatures.  I feel so fortunate to be able to see and document these moments for the couples and their families.

  Laughter and joy, of course, were also quite evident.
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  The ceremony and reception was held at the Bilmar.
Romance

Romance

 
First Dance

First Dance

 
Shooting the shooters.

Shooting the shooters.

 
Justin's mother sheds a tear while dancing with her son.

Justin's mother sheds a tear while dancing with her son.

 
Justin celebrating.

Justin celebrating.

 
 

Lynn and Jerry Part 2

  Thank you all for for all your comments and views of the earlier post of HSNs Lynn Murphy and Jerry’s wedding photographs.

HSNs Lynn Murphy.

HSNs Lynn Murphy.

  Lynn and Jerry are incredibly flattered and thankful that people have been so interested in seeing their union, the love they have for one another, their families and friends and they have graciously allowed me to post some more photographs from their wedding day.   

Lynn and Jerry D'Hulster

Lynn and Jerry D'Hulster

  I guess I was kind of naive about who I was shooting that day.  Lynn and Jerry are both so down-to-earth, kind, friendly and caring that I very seldom thought about her “celebrity” status.  She doesn’t wear that cloak.  I wonder now if Jerry even realizes just how many people know her from her job as a host on HSN and what it’s going to be like to be the man that captured her heart and soul.

  It was kind of overwhelming to me that so many people would visit this blog to see parts of her wedding day.   

Lynn laughs with her mother, Maddie, before the ceremony

Lynn laughs with her mother, Maddie, before the ceremony

 Again, thank you all. 

   If you’re a family member or personal friend, leave me a comment or email me at:  tim@timboylesphotography.com and I’ll let you know where you can purchase prints and other items.    If you’re getting married, or know someone who is, and is interested in talking with me about shooting your wedding and giving you the same kinds of images,  please contact me the same way, or call me at:  727.504.9425.   I will travel anywhere for you. 

  You don’t have to be Lynn Murphy-beautiful to have stunning wedding photography.  All brides glow on their wedding days. 

   Enjoy the photos. 

The Romance of a First Dance

The Romance of a First Dance

Father-Daughter dance with Lynn's father, Jim.

Father-Daughter dance with Lynn's father, Jim.

The emotion of joy and sharing it with those closest to you

The emotion of joy and sharing it with those closest to you

Lynn, Jerry and Diana Perkovic

Lynn, Jerry and Diana Perkovic

John Creamans, Colleen Lopez and their spouses

John Creamans, Colleen Lopez and their spouses

 

Special time with close friends

Special time with close friends

Designer Anthony Mark Hankins and Lady's Day host Amy Leah Axelrod

Designer Anthony Mark Hankins and Lady's Day host Amy Leah Axelrod

Lynn and Jerry on the Gulf of Mexico

Lynn and Jerry on the Gulf of Mexico

Only have eyes for you

Only have eyes for you

 
Jerry admires his Love.

Jerry admires his Love.

Charley, Lindsay and Lindsey Rose Belcher’s Wedding

Sometimes even Charley Belcher sits in the back seat.

Lindsey Rose and Lindsay Belcher

Lindsey Rose and Lindsay Belcher

Lindsay and Charley Belcher

Lindsay and Charley Belcher

  The bride is always the center of attention at a wedding.  If you have a young, beautiful  child, they usually upstage you too.   

  Charley Belcher don’t mind. 

  He wakes up half of  Tampa Bay population’s every weekday morning as the features guy on Fox 13, but on Friday, June 5, 2009 he married his love, Lindsay.

    His daughter,  Lindsey Rose Belcher, was his Best Man.  No doubt if you know of the relationship between these two. 

Lindsey Rose Belcher's smile.

Lindsey Rose Belcher's smile.

    The ceremony was held at the Largo Botanical Garden.    This is the moment Charley greeted Linsday as she made her way to the ceremony.  Unposed.   

Charley Belcher greets his bride-to-be

Charley Belcher greets his bride-to-be

  There were so many great moments during the day.  This is one of my favorites.  Some of the photos are even too personal to share in this public forum.    Some were not.

Ceremony

Ceremony

  I always tell my clients that their wedding photography has more to do with how they enjoy it rather than my sometimes shaky camera work.    Charley and Lindsay’s day is a great example.  I can only shoot what’s there.  If your day is full of love, your photos will reflect that. 

Ceremony

Ceremony

 

Ceremony--A Kiss for Lindsey Rose

Ceremony--A Kiss for Lindsey Rose

 

Ceremony

Ceremony

  If it’s full of joy and laughter, your photos will reflect that.  I cannot shoot what’s not there, but I can capture those moments when they are there.  It’s what makes the difference between a wedding photojournalist and a wedding photographer.    

  Like Charley and Lindsay’s wedding.  It was full of those emotive moments.  I could have photographed those two all day long and you’d be able to see what they feel for each other in each and every one of those shots.  I hate to admit it, but you could almost count that another “easy shoot”. 

  I love posing my clients for glamourous portraits, but it’s not my favorite part of the day.    I’d much rather deliver an album full of emotional, spontaneous moments than an album full of portraits.   But, if done right, the portraits can also deliver a true feeling of emotion.  Again, Charley and Linsday’s wedding, did that too.

  They both, absolutely, had a bit of poser in them.

 

Largo Botanical Gardens backdrop

Largo Botanical Gardens backdrop

Beautiful Posers.

Beautiful Posers.

  Thank you Charley and Linsday for letting me be part of your most-special day.

(I was honored to shoot Charley and his daughter, Lindsey Rose, another time.  http://timboylesphotography.blogspot.com/2008/09/do-whatcha-gotta-do.html)

Lynn and Jerry D’Hulster

  Wedding photography is a tough, competitive, challenging business.  There are lots of photographers out there, each one fighting for their share of the market, and more importantly, fighting to deliver the kinds of photographs that make your clients feel the same emotions as they did when the photographs were shot.    Weddings are about emotion, committment, family, friends, joy, beauty, love, romance.   You have to be ready and prepared to capture these moments when they happen and you have to be lucky enough to find couples that trust you enough to do that without fail.

  Some weddings, though, almost shoot themselves.

Lynn

Lynn

 

  Do I need to say more?

  I believe in letting the photographs speak for themselves. 

 

The future Mrs. Lynn D'Hulster

The future Mrs. Lynn D'Hulster

  

Lynn and her mother, Maddie.

Lynn and her mother, Maddie.

 

      Millions of people know Lynn as Lynn Murphy of HSN.    Those that are lucky enough to know her personally, know her as a warm, giving, loving woman from a great family.   

  By the way, this isn’t a press release I’m writing for her and Jerry.  This is the real deal.

   Lynn’s beauty goes deep.  It’s not only superficial.

  Jerry is her match.  Outside to inside.  Front to back.   Top to bottom.

  On May 30, 2009, they married.

Enjoy the photos.

 

Lynn's father Jim escorts her to her beloved.

Lynn's father Jim escorts her to her beloved.

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Entering the reception

Entering the reception

First Dance

First Dance

Gown by Anthony Mark Hankins

Gown by Anthony Mark Hankins

 

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    Just a quick preview.  Thank you both for letting me be part of your most-special day.