Friday, June 25, 2010

James Centre - Pittsburgh Wedding Photographers

James Centre - Pittsburgh Wedding Photographer

Recently, I had the privilege of photographing (documenting) a ten year anniversary celebration. The event was held at the James Centre in Pittsburgh. The evening started with family portraits of the couple and their two children. After the portraits the couple recommitted their lives together through a renewing of the vows. It was a beautiful ceremony followed with a first dance and toasts from many different friends and family. The D.J. gave an amazing toast and tribute to the couple followed by a tear jerking toast by their daughter. The toasts were followed by a beautiful dinner and an amazing looking cake.

Throughout the night, candid shots and portraits were taken to document the family’s event. Instead of a typical photo booth, we took portraits and images of folks enjoying themselves in different parts of the James Centre. No evening would be complete without dancing from all age groups. This evening was no different. The dancing ending with a fun filled ‘soul train’ dance. I have photographed and attended many events but this was one of the best ‘soul train’ endings ever. In fact, it looked like so much fun that I wanted to join in. However, if you ever saw me dance, you will know why I don’t dance and I stick to photography. It started with songs from the original soul train to modern songs that kept folks hopping, skipping, and dancing into the night.

James Centre - Pittsburgh PA Wedding Receptions

The evening was very similar to a wedding reception with the cutting of a beautiful cake. Guests had the opportunity to enjoy beautiful looking fruit, pastries, and other snacks while we completed the family portraits. The James Centre offers an impressive looking reception area with a nice dance floor and a “U” shaped balcony that has extra seating and photo opportunities. The west side of the facility is lined with windows that enabled beautiful lighting well into the evening. The James Centre is located minutes from downtown Pittsburgh and is very close to many photo opportunity areas including the West End Overlook, Mount Washington, Station Square, North Side, and many others.
Beautiful Pittsburgh Wedding Receptions

There is no doubt many Pittsburgh Wedding Photographers have shot and will photograph many fun filled events at the James Centre in Pittsburgh.  I am sure there are many brides who do not know this beautiful facility exists for their wedding reception or other event.

If you would like to contact me to photograph your Pittsburgh Wedding, please complete this contact form.


Thursday, June 24, 2010

Hummus recipie - Vita-Mix or Blentec

Image by Frank Kendralla

 Hummus recipie

You might ask, why should I make my own hummus when I can go to the local store and buy a large tub for around $7. First, I like to experiment with flavors without contending with the extra cost associated to it. Second, although I love good garlic in my humms, it does impact life outside the home. :-D  Therefore, I reduce the amount of garlic normally called for in some recipies.  Unless of course you can find the odorless garlic in your local store.

In this recipie, I reduced the amount of garlic and added a few other ingredients. I used roasted peppers that can be found in most local stores. I purchased a large jar from Costco. We love the taste of toasted sesame oil and used it to add a very unique taste to the hummus. It is amazing how fast and easy it is to make great tasting hummus. If you use a vita-mix, start on slow and gradually increase to the fastest speed and stop when everything is mixed to a fine consistency. On the blentec, I used the juice setting but experiment with one of the other settings if the consistency of the mix isn’t smooth enough. All total this took less than 10-15 minutes including the time to find everything in the pantry.

Below is the basic outline for the recipie. Modify according to what you enjoy.

 2 15 oz. cans garbanzo beans, one drained and one with liquid
1-2 large roasted red peppers

1 - 2 Tablespoons toasted sesame oil

1 Tablespoon olive oil

1/4 cup lemon juice

1/2 clove garlic

1 teaspoon cumin
A whole bunch of love.  :-D
I served this on a millet and flax flatbread with a few baby spinich leaves and slices of locally grown tomatoes.  Wow! Is all I can say. 

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Drew - High School Senior Portrait - Class of 2010

These images were near the Beaver Heritage Museum. A Civil War era home is located at the edge of the property and presents many tremendous photo opportunities. The rustic nature of the building is a tremendous back drop and setting for Drew's High School Senior Portraits. As you can see from the images, Drew has a large frame and a rugged setting was appropriate for his session.

The evening was perfect, overcast skies with enough light to cast some fun shadows.

I used off camera lighting with no difuser or umbrella on a light stand, camera left for most of the images in his shoot. A few of the images, I underexposed the scene by 2+ stops and filled the image with directional light to create a sunset look. This technique is critical to learn, especially living in an area where we go days and maybe weeks without any great sunsets. However, when shooting portraits, I would rather have a dull sky and create my own sunset with either an off camera flash or video light.

I used Nikon’s wireless CLS to fire the remote flash but in bright sunlight it might be a better choice to utilize a radio trigger. (Pocket wizards, Paul Buff’s, radio poppers, or the many varieties on ebay.)

These tricks can be used in many portrait settings and not only outdoors. Experiment with underexposing (use manual exposure on your camera) the scene and filling just the area you want with directional off camera lighting. With this technique you can create many different and interesting looks in your portraits.

Contact Me to photograph your Wedding or High School Senior Portrait in the Pittsburgh area.

As always, get out and enjoy the beauty of life.