Category Archives: Tim’s Thoughts

Wedding Photography Styles – Let’s throw them out the window………

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Ct. wedding photographers Style Wedding photographer

“What’s your style?”….. I hear this question with almost every one of my awesome couples. I even hear it from the couples that aren’t so awesome. Of course that’s only because they went in another direction. But hey, I can’t be for everyone and they’re still awesome… Just not as awesome. haha…

Anyway… “What’s your style?”…. I believe somewhere, there’s a handbook with questions to ask your wedding vendors and this is just one that falls under photographers. Of course my answer is generally “it’s the style you want for your day”… Followed with a laugh. Really though, wedding photography styles. They vary across the board. You’ll see some photographers with their work being very photojournalistic. Why is this? Do they prefer not to interact? Is it how they were trained? Are they more of a voyeuristic type individual? Is it just what they want to shoot? Then there’s the very formal and portraiture style, almost trained to a “T” by the book. What ever book that may be. Every pose, every piece of a day detail oriented, formulated and set up…. Artistic. Many pieces and parts of the day. At times more fun, other times more serious. Really working off the photographers thoughts and feelings of the day… Shots that you need to just trust the photographer on because you may see what they’re trying to do but really not have a clue at how awesome the shot will be. High fashion, lost of off camera lighting, more dramatic. Worked around the style of the day and in my eyes, a very edgy style with images that can be striking but with less softness to them. And then the natural light photographers. Generally softer, more elegant and love. Each style incredibly fitting for a wedding day and perfect in it’s own ways….

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Anyway…. Back to what where I was originally going with this… (I tend to ramble and get off subject at times, don’t hate. haha)… “What’s your style of shooting?”…. Well, here’s the thing for me. I don’t want to just shoot in any set style. If you look at my work you may see images that hit you more than others. Images that make you smile, think, cry, feel…. Some images a moment, some more posed or styled with off camera lightning. Some may be a single tear as the bride put on her gown and just realized “oh, shit just got real, I’m walking down the aisle to my forever”…. Maybe it’s a laugh between a bride and her girls. Maybe it’s the photos of the details, or your hands together, almost cropped out of the shot but enough where you know what that moment was. That piece of your day.

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What I’m really getting at is that I don’t want to be “a style”… I’m self taught and have run thru all the styles over the past 10 years and what I realized was this. Well, a couple things.

One: No two weddings are ever the same, no two couples are ever the same and no two days are ever the same. Wedding photography and photography in general are dictated by a few things. Lightning, imagination and creation, the subjects and the emotion.

Two: Therefor, no two weddings can ever be captured in the same way or with the same style. Maybe that’s why some couples gravitate toward certain styles that they like.

That being said, for me, it’s not about a certain style. It’s about all the styles. Each and every one and using each and every one while capturing a wedding and the days story.

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I don’t want to pigeon hole any wedding into a style. And hey, let’s be honest, I don’t want to pigeon hole myself into any certain style. What I do want to do is capture a day as it’s meant to be captured. From the moment I arrive and begin shooting I do so with an open mind. A wedding will dictate much of how I shoot. From being a fly on the wall with the getting ready shots, or capturing that tear rolling down your grandmothers face – But at times, coming in for that artistic or stunning image of a bride or groom. To the ceremony, where I’ve been told that I’m part ninja because couples never knew where I was or that I even got certain shots. I’m going to use off camera lighting for the family shots and for the bridal portrait shots we’re going to have a blast…

Ct. wedding photographers Style Wedding photographer

 

For the photos of your newly married love and yourself, we’re going to run the full spectrum (as long as time allows)… We want to capture some formal shots because even if you say you don’t want any, I promise in 10 years you’ll wish you had some. We want to capture more artistic shots. We want to capture shots that are just moments happening. It’s these moments where I want to run the full spectrum of what should be, your wedding day captured…

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And yes, at just about every wedding, as long as it’s possible and time allows, I want to create some stunning images where we set up some lighting. Maybe we do this later in the night when you need a break, or maybe it’s as the sun sets and we just want that stunning images captured. Either way, as long as you’re both “put together” (let’s face it, there have been some weddings where a groom or bride has, well, had a bit too much to drink and these shots just won’t work) we will rock out some of those creations.

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Really, what I’m saying here is that I don’t want to be a certain style for your day. I want to be every style. I want to shoot the moments in a photojournalistic style. That slight touch of a hand, the tears, the love… I want to create bridal portraits with you that will be stunning, who doesn’t want to look the best they can? I want to be a photo ninja during your ceremony… And when it comes to the formal family shots, I get the director hat put on and rock them out in a quick and painless way so everyone can just get to the party. I want to rock out the bridal party shots where we’re all having a blast and get to creating the images of you and your love. Classic, artistic, edgy and timeless….. Then we rock out the reception. Additional lighting when needed, in the middle of the dance floor while everyone is partying all around, or off to the side for those intimate shots….

Your day, your day doesn’t deserve one style. Your day doesn’t deserve to be pigeon holed…. Your day deserves every moment and every piece to be captured as it’s dictated by that moment. And well…. That’s my style. To use everything I’ve learned to create with the moments as they unfold. It’s really that simple, yet not simple at all. 🙂

Ct. wedding photographers Style Wedding photographer

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Adventures and Travels and Living…. – Assateague Island Maryland Coastline

Assateague Island Wild Horses

When was the last time you went on an adventure??? Hang on, hang on… First, what does that even mean to you? I mean, right now, an adventure can be traveling the world or heading 3 towns over and finding a new cafe… And when we’re 80, an adventure could mean walking just one more block over, hand in hand, to the park we’ve wanted to go to for so long… So when I ask “when was the last time you went on an adventure?”, you can take that as you will…

So again, when was the last time you went on an adventure??? haha….

I used to “adventure” much more often, this past year I lost track – No,  I lost hold of adventures. My demons of the past began to haunt me and I found myself turning into someone I was not. I am not…. New ventures were consuming me and I stopped living. Somewhere along the line, I stopped living. And it took life, or really the opposite of life, smacking me in the face. “Get up, Brush your damn self off and dig your heels in. Realize what you want and let the world know and do it!!!”

Ya see, I’m not a sit back and see what happens kind of guy, sometimes that can be a fault that I need to work on, at other times it’s a blessing. I’m done sitting back and allowing my past to control or dictate my now. So there it is, I found myself feeling for the first time in a very long time. Actually feeling. And well….. The ocean was calling. So….. Adventure time!

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Where to, where do I go??? Well, I wanted to go somewhere new, somewhere I haven’t been and one thing about living in southern New England, we have so much possibility with in a short drive. This drive, 6 hours but still short. To the Maryland Shoreline I went, Assateague Island National Shoreline… Ever heard of this place? I have to say, going in the off season is crazy awesome. There’s no one there, at all…… It felt like me, the ocean and well… The wild ponies.

Assateague Island Wild Horses

I have to tell you something, this place, I’ve heard of it, I’ve read about it… BUT NOTHING, can prepare you for the moment you’re standing on the marsh and one of these ponies comes up to you. They say to stay away, to back off – but well, that’s not me…. So I happily stood there, I reached out and placed my hand on this guys forehead…. As he dipped his head we had a conversation. Okay, maybe I was just talking to him, but he was listening. I swear. haha… But again, NOTHING can compare you to the energy that this island has. At least in the off season…. There’s a calm to the island, even with the wind whipping across the beach, a calm….

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Anyway… Adventures… Life… Living…….. What would it take for you to block off a day in the next couple weeks, let go, and head out on an adventure? No matter the weather, no matter the place, to go out and find new, or even experience the old again, not to run from what you’ve been facing, but to stroll into new discoveries that you can bring home with you??? I know that for me, it’s time…. New Adventures await and traveling shall again commence….

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Next up, Nova Scotia or flying into Vegas and driving into the desert… Which of those do you think I should do???? And what will YOU do?

GO! GO AND EXPERIENCE LIFE! AND IF YOU CAN DO IT WITH YOUR LOVE! ALL THE BETTER! JUST GET UP AND GO!

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It’s a turning point…. One more year….

IMG_4328So there’s this secret that I’m about to share….. It’s beyond surreal, and for some reasons (certain ones obvious) it’s hard to admit…..

Tomorrow I turn 39. The final year of this decade – my 30’s…. I can say that while I took some serious blows that were soul crushing, I also pushed beyond what I thought possible. And my 30’s, so far, have been the best possible years of my life. Though there are two things I would like to note: one, I don’t plan on allowing this final year to be anything less than awesome and two, I plan on making the next decade, oh those 40’s……. Even more awesome than what I’ve witnessed, enjoyed, been part of, lived thru, endured, accomplished, felt, loved, cried, laughed, struggled and persevered thru in my 30’s….

While skiing this past week with my kids, now 19 and 15 (gosh I started early), thru the laughter and talking I also began thinking………..

You know,  when you’re 15 – or 19 – or even 25… People in there 30’s seem so old. You’re still naive to life at that point… You start to think “I’ll never be that old”… At concerts you look back and think “why are those old people here?!?!”. These past 9 years of “30” have shown many realities. I seem to have more crows lining my eyes when I smile (the nice way of me saying wrinkles), my metabolism has decided to not go full throttle anymore (I think it may not be working at all)… There are aches that didn’t ache before (Past accidents are haunting). There are bones that don’t flex quite as easily as they once did and well (they really don’t want to flex at all)… When you hit the ground with any speed (I still get out and push myself beyond certain limits) it hurts…. And it hurts more and takes longer, at times, much longer to heal.

OH! Let me add in there that with this age there can also come a sneeze that can throw your back out and leave you, well….. That fucker will leave you right where you sneezed, just hoping that you can make it to a place to lay down till it works itself out. haha…

You know what else though, about your thirties…. You realize many many things you never thought about in your 20’s. And toward your mid-late 30’s (because 39 is your mid late 30’s), you begin to truly understand more of what you realized… You learn size is just a number. If you feel good, and it looks good, it’s all good (if you don’t like the number, rip the tag out)… Some of the other things you learn, or that I’ve learned…. Well let’s see….

  • You find comfort in the smallest of things and no longer search high and low for something that excites you, because now what might excite you could be as simple as your childs laugh. Or sitting on the porch with a book as the sun goes down. And you actually allow yourself to do these small things now.
  • Perfection is completely over-rated and control should not be a concern.
  • You don’t need to do things that you don’t want to do. Really, if you don’t want to do it, don’t. (as long as you’re not hurting anyone)…. Your time is precious and you should do those things that make you comfortable.
  • You discover just how strong willed you are and how you can make anything happen if you want it bad enough and are willing to work hard enough.
  • You realize that you mess up, and everyone messes up. It’s part of life and if you can’t accept it, you will struggle with it for the rest of your time. Instead, you work with it and do your best to not mess up or let someone else’s mess up effect your days anymore.
  • You understand that there are heart breaking pains which will always be with you. They never go away. Instead you let the feelings happen when they happen, good or bad, and you know they will happen again on another day sometime.
  • You learn that each struggle, each soul crushing blow makes you who you are. And the way you get thru it is up to you. But you will get thru it and you will be stronger on the other side.
  • You learn that others in your life have been in the trenches as well, and they’re the real ones. Not the trenches which are useless made up drama, but the real deal. And you meet some that have been deeper in the trenches and dealt with situations you could never image. And you find it admirable to see that they have come thru and are survivors and to simply be more like them would be a blessing.
  • You learn that failure will be and is part of life, and failure will, hands down, be one of your best teachers.
  • You learn not to kick others when they’re up or down. It’s unfair and unkind. And you’ve been there before and you surely didn’t want to be kicked.
  • You learn that you’re not here for yourself. You’re here for others. For those around you. Let go of what may have happened in the past and be the best you can be for those in your life. They’re there for a reason and some will always be there thru thick or thin, for good or bad.
  • You learn that tears are not weakness and emotions make you who you are. It’s up to you if you decide to let your walls down… If there are people that can’t accept your emotions, that’s on them, not you.
  • You learn to hand on, really fucking tight, to the good moments and the good memories and the rest, throw them as far away from you as you can. Fill yourself with all the good ones. Glow in their light…
  • You learn that where you live, what you live in, how much you have of something, the label on your newest purchase, status, titles, don’t mean a friggin’ thing. Rarely will anyone be remembered for their professional accomplishments but instead how they made people feel.
  • And while it’s not something I have learned, one last thing I am adding into this list is something I am going to allow…. “What is it?” you ask…. I’m going to allow myself to enjoy. When i want pizza, I will enjoy and savor that pizza. Not just one piece, I will enjoy what I want. The whiskey I drink, I will savor. And when I want to just sit and read instead of getting out and pushing myself into a workout. I will sit and read………..

I could go on, but instead, this last day of 38 I am going to slow down…. I’m going to slow WAY down today. I’m going to watch the snow fall outside and I’m going to play with our puppies. I’m going to start to peak at the other side of the coming hill (SOME SERIOUS STUFF IS COMING THAT I CAN NOT WAIT TO SHARE!)…. Thru this last year…. Of my 30’s, I will look back and appreciate everyone, every moment, every gain and every loss that has gotten me to the point I’m at.

Then, a year from today, I will bid this decade a sweet farewell. Because you know what…. I’m going to make my 40’s with some new wrinkles – a few more emerging gray hairs and all, the best yet.

This I promise…

This….. I …… Promise……..

 

 
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Who am I, right now as a photographer, your photographer…

11825739_10153507746543665_4978114759744452329_nEvery once in a while, I start to ask that question of myself and depending on the time of year or where life has me, the answer varies a little… But really. Who am I??? Well, in the past few weeks I’ve traveled quite a bit for weddings. And this Sunday I head to Jamaica for what’s sure to be an awesome one. I come back to a couple Ct. weddings, then back to Maine, then back in Ct. Rhode Island and more.

In that travel, I think- at times, more than I should, but I’m a thinker. I may not always say that most in words, but I think, think and then think some more… Sometimes it’s about the person walking down the side walk or the old man sitting on the bench I just walked by that I exchanged pleasantries with. Almost always curious of what their story is and who they are. And then my mind comes back to who I am… As a photographer, your photographer. Because who I am myself, surely reflects in who I am as a wedding photographer and creator as a whole.

First and foremost, this year I am in a quiet thinking space. I have found myself sitting, countless hours thru countless evenings in one spot… On my porch. Usually, a glass of whiskey in my hand. Something like a Double Oaked –  Woodford Reserve or Markers 46 if it’s being stirred in to create a tasty treat…

Anyway. I sit on my porch. Curtains pulled to the side. Music going, usually acoustic or indie folk at a very loud volume (good thing Chris my neighbor is cool). The sun starts to create a dappled light across the yard and into the porch area as it dips down into the trees. Then slowly, it rolls behind the peak of Sweetheart Mountain, but it’s not done yet! Because in that moment, if there are clouds, that’s when it really starts to come to life. Painting the sky in pinks, grays, purples and more.

And there… There I still sit. Lots of times I think of the way I shoot so many images, some that I pose, some that I don’t. And many more really, because my goal is to always make my couple look the best they can. Even for that couple that says “we want all candid images”, my question is this. “Do you want to look the best you can?” For a couple that says “no”… Okay then, I shoot away with out posing shots. For the couple that says “Yes, of course we want to look the best we can”… We pose. We create. Just not in a stuffy, old fashioned way. Instead in a clean, organic timeless way. All while I aim to still capture moments that happen on their own and shooting photojournalist’ically along the way. (By the way, no one has ever answered “no” to that question…)…

Back to my point, what I really do love. What I truly love about what I do, capturing weddings and all. Being invited into weddings, is love itself. I came back from a Maine wedding this past weekend and while I haven’t gone thru all the images. There’s one image that I have already gone thru and it’s actually already made it’s way onto the @tabphotographic instagram page. It’s an image, that in my head could sum up this wedding as a whole. Not because it’s full of passion. Or a sunset… Or that perfect lighting or perfect “pose”… It does it because for me – this image sums up the love of their wedding day. Newly married. His hand in hers. Not a locked down hand hold, but a soft, “come with me dear and allow me to guide you thru all the days of our future”… It’s that, or rather “those” moments and images that are my favorite thru a wedding day. And to me, it’s those that can be the perfect image of a wedding day. Not to mention, blow this image up to 48 inches wide and it would make an awesome piece of art for the couple.

So, maybe I didn’t answer the question in the way you thought I would. Maybe to some of you, I didn’t answer the question at all… I guess all I’m saying is that right now, who I am as a photographer, as your photographer, is a simple answer. I’m quietly strolling thru my year, capturing over 45 weddings across the country and more. In doing so, I love those hidden moments and gems that I find in a wedding day – in every wedding day. Because it’s in those moments I feel whole.

Because well….. I guess I just love love….

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“That moment, after the “I-do’s”… When every touch is more present. When she takes his hand and guides him up the trail as she will do now and forever… And he will in turn lead when needed and protect her always. But that simple touch of the hand in one of the most wonderful things around”……..

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A week in the life of….. An Open Letter

You know, some people see a successful photographer and they see our “party of a lifestyle” world. They see our photos, our travels, our good times and more. And I won’t lie… We do have our moments where we rock it out!

Thru that, while we surely love what we do, while we are blessed to be successful with the ability to take our passion and create a life. There is so much more. Last week, from Sunday to Sunday, I shot 4 weddings, 2 engagement sessions, booked two weddings, edited two weddings and 3 engagement sessions, drove about 500 miles, responded to at least 40 e-mails, did the laundry, dishes, got my daughter where she needed to go, drank lots of coffee, listened to tons of music, mowed the lawn, took out the trash, painted my upstairs hallway and believe it or not, even more. (I even showered)

And all that, that’s our reality, especially as a single parent 50% of the week. The reality is, we push, we push hard (harder than we even believe we can at times) and we thrive on accomplishing everything that lies on the mountain in front of us. When you see our “party life style” it’s because we simply love what we do. What you don’t see is how we collapse into the adirondack chair on the porch in dead silence trying to recharge while taking in the minutes as the sun sets in front of us…… Or how we will find a book and curl up into the smallest of balls sheltering ourselves from the world as we let go of everything in our minds and fall into a different world hidden in the pages…

This past week, roughly the past 10 days, is the hardest in every one of my years. You can read this post which I put on Facebook last week to know a bit more:

 


 

Remember these two men we tragically lost? For certain reasons, VERY CERTAIN REASONS, we need to always remember that everyone has a struggle of some sort in their life. Somewhere, on the surface or deep inside, a struggle. Much as these two awesome fucking individuals had. As bright as they were, as creative and skilled as they were. A struggle…

11406169_10153357963158665_6931891170251710933_oTomorrow marks an anniversary date for me to a really rough accident I had. It landed me in the trauma center where I was listed as a “john doe” for the first 10 hours of my stay there, in that time, I had no family. I had no one by my side. I didn’t even have myself…. That accident changed a LOT in my life. Both good and bad.

10 days after that accident I – as well as my sister, mother step mother and the rest of our family – lost my father…. (whom, for those of you that don’t know, was a professional photographer)…..

Needless to say, this stretch, every year is hard. Incredibly hard. Not to mention life as it is.

I’m an artist, deep inside, an artist. I feel things. And man, sometimes I feel them deep…. More than many, I would assume?

And most of you probably realize this.. I also know that I’m sooooo incredibly lucky to be able to do what I do with the passion that drives me day in and day out. Capturing weddings allows me to be who I am. To feel, to create, to capture. I won’t lie, come find me on a Monday after a double or triple header wedding weekend and you’ll most likely find me closed up in my house searching for any little piece of energy I can find to rebuild and recharge… But I’ll be searching because I put my all into what I do, for my couples and for myself… And I’m okay with that because I’m prepared for it…

As hard as it is, every year, every stretch, from a bit before 6/6 to a bit after 6/16, I get thru. I get thru because I have a network around me that understand who I am. As a person and individual.

I’m not writing this for myself, for attention, for this or for that…. I’m writing this because most of us, day in and day out, don’t know half the struggles that the person right next to us may be facing, going thru or trying to find a way out of. So be kind. Smile… Reach out.

Because darkness is a really fucking scary place….


 

10562576_10203314775127504_6744848613664302441_oAnd that brings me to this day, after realizing I have probably booked my June up non-stop on purpose with out it being “on purpose”. I have probably done so to stop my mind from having the time to think and feel every emotion that comes with these moments in the year… And now, today, the back end of this dark stretch marks the “anniversary” date of my fathers passing in 2006. Not many of you know, that I did, in fact, become a photographer because of my father. I never dreamed it’s what I would be doing, I never thought it would be my career, let alone be as successful as I am, yet here I sit. And I sit loving every minute of it and would thank him 100 times over if I could…

You see, I got back into photography simply as a way to keep that part of my father with me. And now, I can only hope with my highest of hopes – that, that incredible man is looking down on me with a wide smile and a giving me a pat on my back. ( That’s my dad, and that little dark haired kid, yea… That’s me )

Anyway… These weeks of non-stop are truly what our lives, at least 8 months out of the year consist of. Going non-stop, spending hours in our cars and in front of our computers. Shooting constantly, planning, staying on target and doing what we can to rock every moment of it out and loving every second of it!!! At least for me….

THANK YOUAnd the thing is, I do this for many reasons.

Inside, I’m sure one of those reasons is my father, but a couple other reasons are for each and every one of you… My clients. Because it’s receiving texts like “BLOWN AWAY – AWESOME AWESOME AWESOME” or “OMG…… I have no words but if I could get married again, every weekend, to have you work that magic – I would – I LOVE YOU – WE LOVE YOU!!! ” from brides and couples (both of which were also received this week) Or receiving thank you cards and little gifts from my couples like the one to the right…

It’s these things. It’s knowing the happiness that I bring to my couples. It’s creating pieces for them to remember and recall moments from. It’s these things that make the constant go, and the battle thru the “darker” days worth it…

And for that, while you guys are always thanking me, I THANK YOU… I don’t think a single one of you understands the fuel and energy you give me to not only keep pushing thru and creating and doing my best, but to get thru the days when I don’t want to push thru and no matter what, to continue to shine – day in and day out…

With every part of me… I thank you!!! THANK YOU!!!

I miss, love and thank you as well dad……..

 

 

 

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Adventures and Discovery – Project Coasting

 

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blog3Why is it… That so many people in this world, even more so here in the U.S., want to go on vacation and to travel to get away from “something”… I’ll be totally honest here. That’s the most completely wrong way to travel. To get away…. BUT… It’s not easy for us to go for the right reasons. To travel, to explore and to go on adventures to find things. To see things and to feel things. To smell things and to taste things…

blog6I guess the real question is simple to ask yet not simple to find an answer to.  How are we able to let go of what we want to run from, in order to discover what we should be running to? And well, you, YES YOU are the only one that can answer that question. The hardest part though, is realizing that you need to ask yourself that question in the first place. When you have the ability to stop running from, but instead run to.

Recently, I began a new project, capturing the entire US coast of the Atlantic Ocean. From there, maybe I will wrap my way around the country. But starting here is home. To discover what the shoreline changes from and morphs into from Northern Maine to the Florida Keys. While I have already begun this project, this is the first post I’m sharing. And well, I guess the reality for what is shared are only pieces and parts. Because the best shots, my favorites. The ones with that dramatic sky, the perfect light, the most serene and or secret of locations are being kept under wraps until they are released in only the most grand of ways.

blog7These teasing images are from a recent adventure into Maine. Where the wind blows cold and the waves bring full trees of drift wood ashore. In Acadia, the rocks. The waves. The smell of pine. The cracked shoreline. The rocks broken so deep, yet solid. The waves sneak up on those rocks and the shoreline of cliffs and pine. Then exploding. Hit after hit, yet the shoreline standing strong. The cliffs below, the cliffs able. The old pines, reminding me of old men, standing guard over some of the most pristine lands on the east coast. The most beautiful, the most serene with some of the oldest stories of any shoreline……

 

 


 

Hemingway quotes Acadia Maine Adventure Travel

 

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