International Print Competition Results are in!

International Print Competition Results are in!

International Print Competitions

Professional Photographers of America – Results are in!

I can officially say that I have merited at the international level in photographic competition.  I know that anyone not in the photography world doesn’t really know what that means.  There are local, state, district and then international level competitions.  This year two of the images I submitted received a merit (the coveted gold corner)…essentially a blue ribbon.  They will be on display at the PPA convention in January.

Here is the official press release.

Local Photographer’s Work Goes to International Exhibition

Brenda Hoffman of Brenda Hoffman Photography is honored by peers and jurors for high-quality photography.

Grand Haven, MI August 17, 2017— PHOTOGRAPHS created by Brenda Hoffman of Brenda Hoffman Photography  in Grand Haven have  recently been accepted into the General Collection of Professional Photographers of America’s 2017 International Photographic Competition. Hoffman’s work will be on display at the Gaylord Opryland Convention Center in Nashville, Tennessee, Jan. 14-16, 2018. This International Photographic Exhibition is held in conjunction with Imaging USA, an annual convention and expo for professional photographers.

A panel of 33 eminent jurors from across the United States selected the top photographs from nearly 5,800 total submitted entries at Gwinnett Technical College in Georgia. Judged against a standard of excellence, 2,660 images were selected for the General Collection and 644 (roughly 11 percent) were selected for the esteemed Loan Collection—the best of the best. The Loan Collection images will all be published in the much-anticipated “Loan Collection” book and over 200 selected General Collection images will be published in the “Showcase” book by Marathon Press.

Titled “Pause for a Moment,” and “Grand Haven, My Have”) Hoffman’s photographs will be in the International Photographic Exhibition alongside other top photographic works from the competition and traveling and special invitational displays. These images constitute one of the world’s largest annual exhibits of professional photography gathered simultaneously under one roof.

About PPA:

Professional Photographers of America (PPA) is the largest international non-profit association created by professional photographers, for professional photographers. Almost as long-lived as photography itself, PPA has roots that date back to 1869. It assists 30,000 members through protection, education and resources for their continued success. See how PPA helps photographers be more at ppa.com.



iInline image 1Inline image 2

First Looks on Wedding Day

First Looks on Wedding Day

First Look on your Wedding Day

Should you do it or not?

What is a first look?  “First look” is where you set a special time before your wedding ceremony for the bride and groom to see each other for the first time in all their wedding attire.

The standard arguments are about time and when to get photos.  Because I STRONGLY believe the day is about the marriage and not about a photo shoot, I really try to not sway my couples one way or another.  It really is up to them!   I would say about 50% of my couples do a first look.  Below are the standard arguments between the two but the real reason for this post is able to be told through the images.

Walking down the aisle takes, at most, 30 seconds and then you’ve moved into the process of the ceremony.  That means that your groom had the amount of time to take in the view and process what he is feeling before having to move on to listening to the officiant so he can participate in the ceremony.  A recent first look I photographed spoke volumes to my heart as I went through the photographs afterward.  I looked at the time stamps and they had a full 10 minutes of just enjoying those very first moments together.  He looked at her face, her dress, walked around her to take in the full view.  She then shared a private journal with him containing words of love meant just for him.

Then came the silent embrace.  The embrace that brought tears to my eyes as I looked closer and realized that there were tears streaming down his face as he held is bride, knowing the enormity of the love she has for him.  How much more sweet, intimate and poignant of a moment can you get?  And….they could each enjoy and savor those moments together.

So take a look at the images and imagine yourself in their shoes.  Is this something you would like to share with your love?  Leave a comment below to share with us your thoughts.

Direct Link to video

General Factors to consider regarding “First Looks”

Pros:

  • The first time you see each other is private and shared just between you two (and me with my quiet, ninja-like camera)
  • You both will look your freshest!
  • The nerves of seeing each other for the first time will be gone and then you can simply look forward to and enjoy your ceremony
  • Helps to ensure that there is enough time for the most important photos (the ones of you two!)
  • You can schedule all wedding party photos before the ceremony, so afterwards all the formal images left to take are family photos and then you’ll be able to head to your reception quickly instead of having your guests wait for a longer period of time.
  • This is a great trial run of walking around and moving in your dress before you have to do it in front of everyone at your ceremony!

Cons:

  • Seeing each other before the ceremony goes against tradition –
  • Did you know this tradition stems from the times of arranged marriages?  I’m betting that YOU chose  your future spouse!

Option #2 | Bride & Groom Photos after the wedding ceremony

  •      You do not see each other before the ceremony and the first time you see each other is when the bride is walking down the aisle.

Pros:

  • You get to keep up with tradition
  • If you are wanting to have a cocktail hour for guests between the ceremony and reception, taking the bulk of your images after the ceremony will allow your guests to mingle and enjoy drinks while you’re getting your pictures taken.

 Cons:

  • If the ceremony begins late, or family photos run longer than expected, then it’s always the bride and groom photo time that gets cut short.

  • The photo time after the ceremony will take longer so guests will have approximately an hour and a half to two hour break from when the ceremony ends to when the reception begins (this can be a pro or con depending if you want to entertain your guests during this time or not!)

 

Beach Sunset Engagement Session

Beach Sunset Engagement Session

Beach Sunset Engagement Session

Holland, MI – Brittney & Quinten

We all know that wedding day’s are a once in a lifetime event with no “do-overs” but engagement sessions on the other hand can be rescheduled.  This is exactly what happened with Brittney and Quinten’s engagement session.  On our first try, we were rained out a bit.  But as you can see we made the most of it.  Our second try was a beautiful sunset on the shore of Lake Michigan.  This was great because being at the beach is such an integral part of their love story.  Brittney and Quinten rocked their session.  They quickly became at ease in front of the camera and look like pros!

 

 

Upland, Indiana Wedding – W & E

Upland, Indiana Wedding – W & E

Upland Indiana Wedding

Wynn and Ellie

Two Taylor University students, Wynn and Ellie, fell in love and I had the honor of capturing their wedding day memories. It was an easy drive to Upland, Indiana for this Grand Haven Wedding Photographer.  Tears of joy flowed by many throughout the emotion-filled day.

The tears started for me when I was in with the men as they were getting ready and all the groomsmen paused around the happy groom to pray over him; praying for him and his future bride.

There were tears from the groom as he read the journal his sweet bride presented to him during their first look.  Tears flowed again when the bridesmaids prayed over Ellie moments before she walked down the aisle. And gobs of tears from Wynn’s two sisters as they watched him dance with their mother for the mother-son dance (note that his mom had a tear streaked face right along with Wynn).   Ah!  Such joy!

Thank you, Wynn and Ellie, for the honor of capturing all the emotions that told your story.  May you be blessed and be a blessing to those around you.

Frauenthal Theater Wedding – Muskegon, MI

Frauenthal Theater Wedding – Muskegon, MI

Frauenthal Theater Wedding – Muskegon, MI

Marci and Walt Tie the Knot

The day had finally arrived for Marci and Walt to get married.  We met a year and a half before and quickly became friends.  I can still remember the day.  We chatted like we had known each other for a long while and I distinctly remember giving Walt a “high five” as some time during our meeting.  It was a great fit!    We did their Fireman themed engagement session and Marci even helped me run my booth at a bridal show.  To say that I was excited to photograph their wedding was an understatement!

The historic Frauenthal Theather was their chosen venue and we had the run of the place for the day.  Since trusted me and allowed plenty of time for bridal party photos, there really was no stress as we took in the grandeur of the facility.  With the ceremony in the theater and the reception up in the ballroom, it was an easy transition for all involved.  The great team of vendors also made the day such a wonderful success.  I cannot say enough how helpful Rachel from White Dress Events was throughout the day.  Communication was clear and everyone knew where they had to be when, which is such a blessing.  Her assistant Becky even made sure my assistant Sara and I had food.  True team players!

The rest of the team rocked as well!  The food was great, the cupcakes and cakes were nummy, the dance floor was full, the decor was on point and the bride looked fabulous with great hair and dress!  Sure does take a lot of people to pull off an epic wedding…but oh, so worth it!

Here’s a video of their day:

]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]

Frauenthal Theater– Venue (one of my favs)

White Dress Events – Planning (my heroes for the night)

Caela Scott – dress (such a gorgeous one!)

Desserts by Design – cake/cupcakes (so yummy!)

Chalet Floral – flowers/decor (fantastic as always)

Harris Hospitality – dinner (always delicious!)

Modern Entertainment – DJ (great team player and kept the party going)

Salon 297 – Bride/bridesmaids hair & makeup (simply perfect!)

Dan Anderson – Officiant extraordinaire

Laketown Conference Center – Saugatuck, MI – Wedding Sneak Peek

Laketown Conference Center – Saugatuck, MI – Wedding Sneak Peek

Laketown Conference Center – Saugatuck, MI

Sneak Peek – Miguel & Katherine

The weather was absolutely perfect for yesterday’s wedding at Laketown Conference center in Saugatuck, MI.  Taking the short drive from Grand Haven, this photographer anticipated a  well-planned event, knowing that White Dress Events was on the job.  Any they certainly did not disappoint!

These are just a few of the images to give you a glimpse of what took place yesterday.  There was love and laughter all around!  Congratulations Miguel and Katherine!  May you have many years of love and happiness of you!  Thank you for the honor of being your photographer.

Team Players:

White Dress Events

Ryke’s

Laketown Golf & Conference Center

Chalet Floral

West Michigan Catering

Xavier Nicole Video

Weddings by Paulette (dress)

St. Michael’s Church – Century Club Wedding Sneak Peek – R &K

St. Michael’s Church – Century Club Wedding Sneak Peek – R &K

St Michael’s Catholic Church Wedding

Century Club Reception

Russ & Kelley’s Sneak Peek

Russ and Kelley have already seem most of these  but I’d thought I’d share with their family and friends, as well.  It was a fun-filled day with lots of laughs.  Kelley left no detail left unattended in the planning of the day and everyone had a great time throughout the festivities.  More images will come later but these will give you a glimpse into the fun.

The ceremony was at St. Michael’s Catholic church with the reception following at the Century Club.   Enjoy!

Team Players:

Church – St Michael’s

Reception – The Century Club

DJ – Dream Productions

Flowers – Artisan Flowers

Bakery – Ryke’s Bakery

Catering – Hearthstone

Linens – Wedding Events Decor

Ceremony Music – Lakeshore Strings, LLC

 

 

 

How to Photograph Fireworks

How to Photograph Fireworks

How to Photograph Fireworks

It’s time again to offer up a few helpful tips for those photography buffs so they can take advantage of a fun photo opportunity.  Independence Day is right around the corner and the fireworks display in Grand Haven, MI is quite a show.  Thousands trek down to our waterfront and claim their spot on the grass and enjoy the show that is shot from Dewey Hill.  Or perhaps you’re one of the folks who likes to set off the backyard variety now that we can buy them here in Michigan.  Either way, you can capture some fun photos for your sharing enjoyment.

Equipment:

  • Camera – duh!  An slr,  dslr, mirrorless and even some point and shoots will work
  • Tripod
  • Flashlight
  • Trigger
  • Blanket

Prepare:

Plan your location for taking the photos.  If you’re in the midst of the crowd you’ll need anticipate people in front of you.  Also, please be mindful of the people behind you (hence the blanket).  Sit down if you have people behind you.  If you’re in the backyard, there is no need to be in the center of the activity.  You simply need a spot on the perimeter where you can get a view of the sky through your lens.

Camera settings:

You will need to run in manual mode.  If you’re in auto mode, the camera will want to produce a might lighter image than you’re really trying to accomplish.

  • Aperture – Start at 7.1 or 8.0, adjust to suit
  • ISO – 100 (this is generally where I start)
  • Shutter speed – 2 – 3 seconds.  This will change and the light fades and the show gets going.  You can use bulb mode for this for convenience.  The long shutter speed allows you to capture the light trails left by the explosives.  This is what makes photographing fireworks so much fun!  Careful, though, it can be a bit addicting to work with long shutter speeds.
  • It can be easy to overexpose the images with long exposure so be willing to adjust.  It does help that it typically gets darker the longer the show goes on.
  • Lens length – I typically use a wider lens (shorter focal length) to be able to get as much of the sky in the frame as possible.  If you’re further away from the action though, you may want to consider differently.

Set up

Place your camera on the tripod.   There is really no way possible to hand-hold the camera for this long of a shutter without getting some major camera shake and image blur.  Plus, who wants to hold their neck in that position!  ha! I used one like this for several years and it worked fine with equipment that’s not too heavy.

I also recommend the trigger to help eliminate any shake from the tripod moving when you touch the camera’s trigger.  If you don’t have a trigger for this time around, you can use the timer delay for your shutter but this will take some careful timing with the show.  If you have a dslr you can lock up the mirror to eliminate some of the vibration and be super careful when setting off the trigger.  Then pick up a remote trigger for the next time.  They are inexpensive and easy to operate.  I use an older version of these.

Use the flashlight to view your buttons and settings screen on your camera.

Focus

You can usually focus on the first set of fireworks with your auto focus.  From there, I would move your auto-focus button on your lens and leave it there.  Just be careful not to nudge it.  If you’re having trouble with the auto-focus, I have set my lens to focus at “infinity” and then just backed off just a smidge.  Works like a champ!

Vibration Control

Just a note that if you have a lens with vibration control, go ahead and turn it off.  The vibration control is for hand-held situations when the shutter speed may allow for some camera shake.

Have Fun!

Be sure that in your endeavor to learn something new, that you still enjoy the show!

Disclaimer:  This is my way of approaching it.  Others, I’m sure have different ways.  It’s all good.  🙂

 

 

 

Grand Rapids Engagement – Antique Cadillac – M & K

Grand Rapids Engagement – Antique Cadillac – M & K

Grand Rapids Engagement Session

Including a 1927 Cadillac LaSalle!

How fun to include their love of vintage cars into their engagement session.  Katherine and Miguel traveled from Pennsylvania to Michigan for this session.  What a great honor to be able to photograph these two while they shared something they clearly loved together.  Katherine surely gained lots of brownie points with Miguel for arranging it all!

Katherine and I spoke about clothing for the session and she clearly knocked it out of the park with not only the style of clothing, but the color too.  It was such a fun time for all of us!  As we moved in and around the cars, there was such much to discover and unique perspectives to be had!  Thank you, Katherine and Miquel for the fun time! I will see you at your wedding in July at the Laketown Golf and Conference Center.

Frauenthal Theater Wedding – Muskegon, MI – M & W Sneak Peek

Frauenthal Theater Wedding – Muskegon, MI – M & W Sneak Peek

Frauenthal Theater Wedding  – Muskegon, MI

Sneak Peek of Marci and Walt’s epic day!

While we may have hardly left the building yesterday, we came away with an absolute plethora of images that certainly did not lack for variety.  The day was fun and full of love as family and friends settled in to the historic Frauenthal theater to watch Marci & Walt pledge to love each other forever.

All the details were perfectly planned and executed.  They had some amazing pros helping to make sure the day went off without a snag.  A big shout out to Rachel and her assistant Becky from White Dress Events, who were truly amazing and help me and my assistant through some curve balls that were thrown our way…and they made sure we were fed!

This is just a peek for now.  The rest will come later.  To catch the updates as they come, be sure to subscribe to the blog.  You can also sign up for Marci & Walt’s gallery.

Vendor Love (the team players that made the day happen!) – Thanks to all you helped make the day possible!

Frauenthal Theater– Venue (one of my favs)

White Dress Events – Planning (my heroes for the night)

Caela Scott – dress (such a gorgeous one!)

Desserts by Design – cake/cupcakes (so yummy!)

Chalet Floral – flowers/decor (fantastic as always)

Harris Hospitality – dinner (always delicious!)

Modern Entertainment – DJ (great team player and kept the party going)

Salon 297 – Bride/bridesmaids hair & makeup (simply perfect!)

Dan Anderson – Officiant extraordinaire

 

Close
error: Content is copyright protected.