Today's portrait is an image of Niagara Symphony Principle Music Director Bradley Thachuk. This was taken a stone's throw from my studio where we have some woods nearby. I started the session in my studio but had this photo in my head for days in advance. I was grateful for the gloomy overcast day that lent itself to the mood I was going for. Available light with an off camera flash with an orange gel and a soft box modifier. Colour balance was set for the orange gel. Some post rendering was added. Shot on a Canon 5dMKII with a 70-200mm2.8 zoom.
I have much to be grateful for and I like to think I don't wait until Thanksgiving to express it. Having said that I do want to publicly express my thanks for a few things here on the blog. First and foremost, my family. I am so grateful for my wife Heather, who is my rock and support. I could write a whole blog just about her and her giving spirit and unwavering commitment to family. My kids, who are so very different from one another and I treasure each of their personalities. My parents on both my side and Heather's. We're lucky to have them! I am very grateful for good health for both Heather and I and our immediate family.
I am grateful for my business and all the wonderful clients I've had the privilege to serve over the years. More recently I am thankful for my position at Mohawk College and the positive challenges that job gives me each week. I'm so glad to have a friend and colleague in Bryan Caporicci that I collaborate with over at Sprouting Photographer.
Wow I just realized that I could fill up a really long blog post with all the things and people I am blessed with. Instead I thought I'd share with you a few pics from our excursion yesterday with our daughter Hilary. We decided to leave mid morning and head somewhere we hadn't explored yet and do some hiking. I selected Hilton Falls in Halton Ontario. It's in Milton and we really enjoyed the drive up Guelph Line to get there. Pumpkin farms, endless trees turning various shades of gold, orange and red adorned the roadsides. When we arrived we were greeted by volunteers from the local conservation group and given some free apples for our trek. Our hike covered about 15kms and we enjoyed feeding the chickadees from our hands, snapping a pic of the waterfalls and just talking about various things along the way. Life is good!
My very first wedding at Kurtz Orchards was perhaps one of my favourite weddings I've ever done. Bob & Rhonda are an easy going couple, both work in real estate and their first priority for their wedding was that it be fun for their guests. I'm pretty sure everyone was already having the time of their life but when the staff broke out the chocolate, graham crackers and marshmallows to make s'mores at the fire pit tables I was really impressed. A beautiful and elegant wedding reception meets summer camp! Love it!! Kudos to the wonder staff at Kurtz and to you Rhonda & Bob. Also special thanks to my assistant Lauren Valvasori! Florals by the lovely and talented Marsha Howe of Marsha's Floral Design
It poured rain on my windshield as I drove towards my meeting with Vanessa & Vince to photograph their engagement session at Port Dalhousie. The rain subsided but it was dark, cloudy and very windy when we all arrived near the Carousel. Often when this happens the couple opt to reschedule but Vince & Vanessa were open to stay the course and give it a go despite the weather. They are such a pleasure to be around and I soon forgot the weather and just enjoyed creating memorable images with them. Enjoy-RN
Here's a real quick teaser from last night's engagement session in Toronto with Crystal & Stephen. I'm photographing their wedding this coming New Year's Eve and we had a great time getting acquainted last night while we took some photos.
Just shot these head shots for Akira on Saturday and I have to say I'm blown away by how amazing she is in front of the camera. Akira is just eight years old and models for Minor Details modelling agency in Toronto. Akira is a very busy girl and enjoys horseback riding , swimming and of course modelling. -RN
I was asked to come back and photograph this year's annual NSO Garden Party held at the home of Harriet (Sis) Bunting Weld in Niagara on the Lake. The weather was superb for an event like this and as fundraisers go this was a bit more upscale. The master of ceremonies was Christopher Newton (former artistic director of Shaw Festival) and the dinner was by Chef Tony DeLuca. The evening's auctioneer was the incredible Christopher Blake, he was so funny and kept things moving along. Have a look and see who you recognize. -RN
Here are some of my favourite images from last Saturday's amazing day with Tomas & Victoria. I so enjoy being around this dynamic couple. The love and respect they have for one another is just inspiring! We started the day at Tomas's house and then a quick visit to Blush Salon for some hair photos, followed by getting ready shots at Victoria's home. The ceremony was at St. Kevin's in Welland and we made the short jaunt over to Merritt Island for the family and wedding party photos. The amazing reception was held at John Michaels where we set up a same day slideshow during the fabulous meal. Can't wait to show all the photos to Victoria and Tomas when they return from Jamaica!
A client of mine who I've done many projects for asked if I could try to emulate the style of portraits she has of her granddaughter's, taken in the late 50's and early 60's. She was able to bring in the albums that held a series of beautifully printed 4x5 inch prints. This morning I had the pleasure of meeting her granddaughter, her husband and her charming little 2 year old great grand daughter. As is my usual practice we held off the photo session until I could gain the trust of this adorable little girl. This is done through a series of questions, silly noises, more questions, prompting mom to sit where I want the girl to sit and so on. If anyone has ever tried to get a two year old to do exactly what you want them to do, you know that is a pretty challenging task. I am very pleased with the results and I'm posting a few of my favourites here -RN
Today I spent a most enjoyable few hours photographing Executive Coach Pam Griffiths. Pam needed some new corporate portraits and we agreed to do them all on location today. The weather started out a bit foggy and dull but in time for our session it was perfect! We began downtown and after a quick wardrobe change back at the studio we headed to Niagara on the Lake. If you want to take your company or business to the next level consider Pam Griffiths to help you get there. http://www.pamgriffithscoaching.com
Every now and then it's a great creative push to step outside what I usually do. That's what I love about my part time teaching position at Mohawk College. I like to get out with my students and do the same assignment that I assigned to them. A couple of weeks ago we all headed downtown in Hamilton and experimented with "street photography". I showed the class some videos about Vivian Maier and we were all inspired by her amazing work. If you've never heard of her, it's worth a look here http://www.vivianmaier.com So here are some of my favourite images from my two hour shoot. Just click on the image to change to the next photo.
About a week ago the phone rang at the studio and at the other end I heard a beautiful accent that sparked my interest right away. It was Tony the co-owner of the Paris Crepes Cafe in Niagara Falls. She is being featured in a South African magazine in an article highlighting women entrepreneurs from around the world. Tony wanted me to do the photographs of her that would accompany the article. We spent an hour shooting and we did some outdoor shots in front of the cafe despite the chilly temperatures. We soon moved inside as I could see Tony was getting cold. My personal favourite from the session is below. I blended the great ambient light streaming through the entrance windows and doorway with a main light to the right which was a Canon 600EXRT Speed light flash reflected into a 36 inch white umbrella. I just love the fantastic diffused highlights we see on Tony's face. She has classic African beauty with a slender neck and regal features. I emphasized those attributes by choosing a low camera angle. I love the colour in this portrait and you might just see this hanging in my studio in the coming weeks. RN
I think I have lost count as to how many times I have worked at the same wedding as Glissandi have played at. Glissandi is Deb Braun, David Braun and Doug Miller. In order they play harp, violin and flute. I was honoured when Deb called to ask if I would photograph their new publicity portraits. We had fun and tried a few different things as I like to do. This is the portrait they selected for future use. You can check out their website here at Glissandi
Well that was a nice surprise! I was contracted to cover an event at Jackson Triggs by a marketing company in Burlington for the St. Catharines Performing Arts Centre. As I understood it I was taking covering the presentation of two significant donations and some portraits of their committee. After the donation were presented, it was announced that we were going to be entertained by none other than Gino Vanelli and then he stepped out on stage and after a brief intro he broke into song. WOW he was amazing. His voice as powerful as I remember from the 1970's Hey people gotta move right?
In case your were born after 1975 you might not appreciate who we're talking about , so maybe you have heard this song see the video below.
This year I have accepted a partial load position with Mohawk College as part time professor in the Creative Photography program. This takes me out of the studio two days a week in the fall. I absolutely love teaching!! One of my classes this term is Creative lighting Techniques and here's a photo I took during class to demonstrate to the students. The in class lab was called "the water drop" and the goal is of course to capture a drop of water hitting the surface of water. That is a bit of a hit and miss exercise and helps with hand, eye co-ordination. To make the image more vibrant and interesting I showed them how to add colour and proper lighting technique. This image here is my personal favourite from the 2 hr class. BTW no photoshop was used here this image was done in camera. (lettering added being the exception) RN
Here's a few from the session last week with Brody who's interested in getting into fitness modelling. I couldn't get over the change in Brody since our last session a few years ago. He's grown in height and stature and made me feel pretty guilty about my TV snack that night after the session. Well,.. not that guilty. I did manage to consume an unhealthy amount of ice cream while enjoying a favourite show. Anyway best of luck to you Brody and hoping these shots get your portfolio kickstarted!
So often people come to our studio and compliment our backyard. I am always quick to give credit to my wife Heather for her gardening talent. People assume that I must use our backyard all the time, but I point out that the light is not always good back there due to the huge evergreens and maples that block much of the sky I'd like to use there. I did decide to challenge myself on Saturday though, so I set up a backyard studio with 4x8 sheet of foamcore over my subject along with a disc reflector to bounce light back up in the eyes. It's what we call clamshell lighting. My subject was Lauren who was full of spunk while I photographed her. She was far more interested in the fishpond than sitting for a portrait in the lighting area I wanted her in. But between the two of us we came up with some gorgeous portraits.
I was asked recently if I would like to be involved in the Piano Rebel Project© career launch of Canadian piano virtuoso Elizabeth Spano by Steve Falusi of C-Note Productions Inc.. Elizabeth has a remarkable talent of classical composition creation and her partnership has a Juno in their sights. To get a sampling of this talented Classical Piano Visionary, Composer, and Artist, take a look at this video clip. Here is one of the selections from my recent shoot for her new publicity headshots. UPDATE 2013-15: Elizabeth's career has taken off in the form of the Piano Rebel Project© under the exclusive guidance of her Executive Branding Agent & Producer Steve Falusi. Over the last year Elizabeth has recorded her first self-titled debut album, and also performed on her very own PURE PIANISM®© “A Solo Affair” Recital Tour, showcased her compositions at the posh Steinway Piano Gallery of Toronto, gave the Arts & Letters Club elite of Toronto a breathe of fresh air, and also recorded her future (live) DVD PURE PIANISM®© “A Solo Affair” at the prestigious CBC Glenn Gould Studio in Toronto. With five set albums photographed and set to be recorded, I look forward to working alongside a team of professionals who are helping shape her brand. I believe she has a very successful career ahead of her.
Had a great time photographing Emily and James who just got into town for their Riverbend wedding reception. They live and work in Japan so we had met once when they were home for Christmas and planned an engagement session a few days before the big celebration. Look for some wedding photos to follow.