Besty | Newborn Photographer | Hoover, AL

Baby Betsy slept soundly and looked oh so cute during her photo shoot at her grandmother’s house!  After spending a pleasant late morning in the sunny guest bedroom, things got a little wilder as her brothers and cousins posed for a group shot. Congratulations David and Susanna!



Lillian | Newborn Photographer | Birmingham, Alabama

Lillian is here!  She was 13 days old when we photographed her–a little older than ideal for a sleepy newborn session.  So we worked in a more fluid way. Less posing and more “going with the flow.” She looked around a lot, slept a tiny bit, and mostly wanted to cuddle and nurse with momma. Sweet moments, all.

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Rachel + Chase | Engagement Photographer | Montgomery, Alabama

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Rachel and Chase brought their adorable puppy Nolin to the shoot. What a lovely family and so much fun!

Stella, Lee, Teddy, and Baby Makes Four | Maternity Photographer | George Ward Park, Birmingham, Alabama

It’s great to photograph a growing family, especially when you connect with a client every year or so to reconnect, share news and have some fun. Stella booked a maternity session nearly three years ago when she was pregnant with her oldest child Teddy. (And did some amazing yoga poses at nearly 9 months pregnant!) The following summer, we did a mother and son session when Teddy turned one. And now Teddy is about to become a big brother! Congrats on baby 2.0 Stella, and best wishes to Lee and Teddy too. I’m not going to spill the beans on the baby’s name just yet…




The Bolts | Family Portrait Photographer| Hoover, Alabama

Family portraits can be a lot of fun, especially if you let the kids (and adults) wander and play. Here a train theme helped carry the day.  The tracks made a great backdrop and the wooden playground trains kept Cooper and Parker happy as they explored and had fun!  Thanks to Liz and Steven for sharing their lovely children on a late afternoon outing at Ross Bridge.

Night Event Photography–Break Out That Speedlight!


Shooting events at night can be pretty challenging, and frequently I see students shy away from using flash to properly illuminate their subjects. Sometimes, the effect can be fun, such as when you get a graphically interesting silhouette. More frequently, shooting with high ISOs, slow shutter speeds and no flash can result in pretty low technical quality and disappointing imagery.

Next time you are faced with shooting a night event and you want to capture people shots, do NOT leave your flash at home or try to rely on your pop up flash!

Try something similar to what I did here at my daughter’s birthday party. First, get your camera settings straight to properly expose for ambient light (in this shot, that means the candles and the string of lights in the background.) In this case, it means I set my camera at ISO 2000, f5.6 and 1/15 second. But wait, isn’t 1/15 pretty slow for a handheld camera? Won’t you get motion blur or camera shake? Well, perhaps a little bit, but since I am using my external flash as the main light source here, that won’t likely be a problem because the speedlight will “freeze” the action. As many of you know, I am a huge proponent of bouncing flash in order to soften its effects and create a more flattering, professional looking light. But you may also have noticed that there is nothing from which to bounce the flash off of here. Enter the Gary Fong Lightsphere.

With this little gadget, which kind of looks like a Chinese soup takeout cup, I place it on top of my flash head (which is pointing straight up, BTW, and then I fire away. It softens and diffuses the light, still rendering a nice professional look. So break out your flash! You’ll likely be pleased with the results of your next night “people” shoot!


Birmingham Barons + + The Birmingham News | Editorial + Sports Photographer | Birmingham, Alabama

Congratulations to the Birmingham Barons for winning the 2013 Southern League Championship Series against defending champions the Mobile BayBears in game 5 of the 5 game series! Below are a few highlights from game 5:

These images show that despite being the bread and butter of sports photography, action images aren’t the only ways to visually tell a story. Reaction (celebration and dejection) shots are also pretty powerful. As are active portraits of key players such as this shot of Birmingham Barons 2nd baseman and series MVP Michah Johnson as he rounds the bases after hitting an out of park homer.

Go Barons!


GSI, Inc. | Corporate Headshot Photographer | Hoover, AL

A sample from the headshot session in Hoover, Alabama with GSI, Inc. –both traditional headshots and personality shots; fun stuff!

On Location Portraits–Candid and Posed

Ashley + Bryant August 10, 2013

One thing to think about when shooting portraits of couples or individuals is the approach you are going to take; are you going to pose your sitters or are you going to capture them candidly?  One of the great things about having a background as a photojournalist is that I’m comfortable with doing both and always shoot both candid and posed portraits at weddings.

As a photojournalist, I love capturing moments that show true spontenaety and emotion, without posing for the camera–it doesn’t get any better than this!  But frequently, demands of the job include client requests, time constraints, location issues and more which require posing and directing the subject in order to pull of the shot.

Frankly, I like it both ways and encourage my photography students to experiment with both methods of capturing storytelling portraiture.  Below you see the results of these two different approaches from a recent wedding I shot.

The Ashley and Bryant really wanted a photograph with the cross behind them and so we planned to photograph them in front of it accordingly. A nice shot with a little fill light in the late afternoon speaks to their faith.  And yet, the spontaneous moment after they exited the sanctuary was priceless–and it was unplanned and unposed–no direction from the photographer at all–just a lot of hustle.

Take advantage of all such methods of capturing the essence of your subjects and you’ll gather a diverse portfolio that shows that you can capture many looks from the same shoot!


McAdory High School at Parker High School football

7 Tips For Better Night Sports Photos

I regularly teach photojournalism classes where students propose to shoot night sporting events.  And I happen to shoot a fair amount of night sporting events as well.  Here are some tips to think about if you want to take your night sport shots to the next level:

1)   Go as a photographer, not as a spectator.  As fun as it sounds to shoot sports photography (and it is), your photography will suffer if you go as both a fan and a photographer.  Focus on the photography. Leave your kids, spouse, friends in the stands.

2)   Stay out of the stands.  As obvious as this might sound, you’d be surprised at the number of students who attempt to get good shots from the stands.  Get access to the field.  Before the game.  If you are shooting youth sports, this isn’t usually a problem.  High school sports might be a different story.  Contact the school for questions about getting a field pass.

3)   Bring an external flash.  Plan to use it.  Load it with fresh batteries and bring backup batteries.  Set it on full power in TTL (automatic) mode. If you can, get it off camera with a flash bracket. Or take it off camera with a synch cord (my method) and clamp it to your monopod.  Taking flash off camera can help you avoid the dreaded “red-eye.” Read More