Monthly Archives: February 2010

Oh man did I have some fun photographing Kristy and Alex’s wedding today! Alex had both Kristy, and myself laughing the entire day! Thank you for that Alex! This may have been one of the earliest start times I have ever had for a wedding. It was still dark out when I reached the Heldrich Hotel in New Brunswick, where Kristy was getting ready. I loved how their whole day was laid out, the hotel, their church and the reception venue, Catherine Lombardi’s, formed a nice tight triangle, all visible from each other. I have to give major props to Kristy for braving the wind and the cold in downtown New Brunswick during their photo session, thank you for that! Kristy and Alex put together a relaxed and amazing day for sure, surrounded by close friends and family. I had such an awesome time hanging out with you guys today, thank you! Congratulations, Scotland awaits you!

Believe it or not, as generous as Alex is with making other people smile, he’s pretty stingy about giving them out! This one is genuine!

I loved how you could see Kristy and Alex’s church from Kristy’s hotel room!

I found this doodle that Alex had done on a note pad.

The back ally’s of New Brunswick can be dangerous places. Lucky for us we had Alex to protect us with his “hand” gun!

And his karate kicks!

And whatever this move is! I don’t about Kristy, but I felt pretty darn safe!

I love this shot of Kristy being escorted down the aisle by her mom and dad.

This is why I carry a fish eye lens in my bag!

Do all little girls want their dad when they are upset?

Alex gave an amazingly heartfelt speech.

  • Rachael Earl - Man-Alex gives a mean roundhouse kick to the face πŸ™‚ Once again, you are awesome. That last shot is killer.

  • scott neumyer - OMG the fisheye shot is PERFECT and makes me sad that I sold my fishy πŸ™

  • Kay English - Omg Todd! These are so amazing! The dress shot is ridiculous! Is that at f22? I love all of the kicking shots and how they laughed in every picture! Thank you for letting me assist you. You are a true genius!

  • mum-Grandmum - Fantastic as ever, Todd. Just how do you do it? So proud of my boy!!!!

  • Kristy & Alex - Todd, we are so pleased with your work. I can’t really express the extent of our gratitude in this blog post! So looking forward to the rest xoxo

  • Barbara Forrester - These are absolutely brilliant. I was there and you captured the love and the fun and the sentiment of the day.

  • Karen Putnam - Best wedding photos I’ve ever seen. So artistic! And I love Kristy’s vintage-looking gown. Just beautiful.

  • ChristopherDavid - One of my favs that I’ve seen from you Todd! Simply awesome!

  • Leigh - These photos perfectly capture what was an unbelievable day. Beautiful!

  • Scott Petrillo - How beautiful this event looked. Thank you so much for sharing these pictures of a most memorable day! Best of luck!

  • Susan Lauricella - Todd, what a special gift you have of capturing the moment, a true artist,looking forward to being blown away again when we see the rest of your work! Thank you for documenting this magnificent day in our lives so perfectly!

  • Veronica Hyland - These pictures are fabulous, what a magical time.

  • susan tardugno - congratulation to both of you may you have much love and happiness . kristy you looked beautiful

  • Kim Adlerman - These are some of the most amazing wedding shots I’ve ever seen! The emotion captured in every picture is incredible, not to mention just the beauty and artistry.

  • Todd - Thanks Rachel!
    Scott, you have to be a good little boy scout and always be prepared for anything! πŸ˜‰
    Thanks for your help on this wedding Kay! Not F22, probably more like 5.6 or something.
    aaawww shucks, thanks mum!
    Kristy and Alex, glad you guys enjoyed these teasers! No need for gratitude, just doin’ my job ma’am! πŸ˜‰
    Thanks Barbara and Karen!
    Christopher, thanks ma man, I’m pretty proud of this set myself!
    And many thanks for the kind comments regarding my work to the rest of you too! πŸ™‚

  • MattW - Awesome set. The fisheye shot is amazing and the karate sequence is hilarious. Love that last one as well. They’re all good!

  • paul - i’m gonna have to agree with everyone else here todd, the fisheye shot and the last shot are amazing! as always enjoy seeing your work ^^

  • Justinelement - This is why your photographs have become inspiration to me. You are my favorite photographer of the millions i’ve seen because your work is so alive, full of flow and emotion and your post production has so much pop and essence. it truly is exquisite. Just thought you should know from the other side of the states, fellow photographer to photographer. Thanks for having something new to look at every couple days. -Justinelement

  • Todd - Thanks Matt and Paul!
    Wow, thanks Justin!!!

  • quelyn - HEyyy!! That’s Alex the owner of The Raconteur!! The best bookstore in NJ (in Metuchen!) Ah he’s such a good guy, it’s great to see he had a lovely wedding!!!!

  • kristin - beautiful moments there! Well done!

  • Maia - Love your work! Great pictures…personally love the last shot. To the couple, congrats!

  • Doug and Mark - We were the florist for Kristy and Alex. She sent us the link for your blog and just wanted to tell you how amazing your photography is!! You capture so many different personalities!! You are truly an artist!

So far 2010 has all the earmarks of being a stellar year for sure! Tamar and Russell’s wedding was my second one of the 2010 season and let me just say, the bar has been raised! I met up with Tamar at the Roosevelt Hotel in New York City to cover her prep stage of the day. After Tamar and Russell’s first looks at the hotel we headed over to the Manhattan Penthouse where the ceremony and reception would take place. We had the best of intentions of shooting outdoors for a little bit, but it was just too bitterly cold to shoot for more than 15 minutes. Tamar and Russell were so much fun to work with, making the day barely seem like “work” at all. Thank you so much guys! It was also great to see some familiar faces from weddings past at Tamar and Russel’s wedding too. Almost 3 years ago I photographed Kara and Joe’s wedding, who are friends with Tamar and her sister Yael. Almost 2 years ago I photographed Yael and Hal’s wedding, and now here I was photographing Tamar’s wedding. Then, while shooting during the reception I see this guy who looks very familiar to me but I couldn’t quite place him. When I got home I looked on my blog, and sure enough, he was a guest at Toni and Jeff’s wedding who I had just photographed last summer. Excuse me while I break into song…”It’s a small world after all, it’s a small…” Lastly, I must say that the filet mignon I had for dinner was hands down the best steak I have ever had at a wedding! Thank you! Congratulations Tamar and Russell, enjoy Costa Rica!

Check out those guns!


I loved Russel’s NYC Transit Token cuff links!

After a little “grooming”…
…Russel is ready to see Tamar in her dress.

Time to sign the Ketubah before the ceremony.

mmmmm brownies and cheesecake!

  • Ilan Duvdevani - Great Todd!
    Ilan Duvdevani

  • Kay - Wow Todd these are fabulous!!! Great job πŸ™‚

  • dottie gallardo - Hiya, it’s Yael’s workmate…she shared ur beautious photos….lotsa mazels! Photos are fantabulous!

  • Kay English - hahaha! btw I love that Wink shot! wow

  • Marsha Amdur Malev - How wonderfully happy you all are! I am so happy for you. I hope this joy lasts forever. Marsha

We got a LOT of snow the other day and Zoe and I have been having a blast playing in it! So, I thought I would post a few snaps of us enjoying the white stuff!

My wife Susan asked me to grab a shot of the house in the snow, so I did! Oh, and future potential clients coming over for a meeting, this is the house to look for, sans snow probably!

Zoe just LOVED being out in the snow!

Meet Mr. Ginormous! We spent a good part of the day making this guy and as it was getting dark, and we were both soaked to the bone and cold, I grabbed a quick shot of Zoe standing next to Mr. Ginormous looking exhausted. Sadly, I woke up the next morning to find that some vandals had pushed his torso and head over. We’ll miss ya big guy! πŸ™

Here is a quick post about capitalizing on potential opportunities. I will also explain a little about exploring your subject in more depth, even from a static shooting position. I will be using some photographs I took yesterday morning after it had snowed all night to illustrate my thoughts. Now, these are certainly not the best photographs I have ever taken, but just think of this as an exercise for the mind and eyes. I believe a lot of what I am going to get into here is in fact transferable to wedding photography as well.

Here is the set up: The other night I was stacking some firewood, just as it had started to snow. I knew that we were expecting a fairly significant (for NJ at least) amount of snow. In the past I have thought about placing “interesting” objects in the grass before it started to snow so that I could photograph them afterward. For one reason or another I just never followed through with the idea. So, last night, since I was already outside, and it had only just begun to snow I decided to seize the day, or more appropriately, the night! I didn’t have too much at my disposal as I wasn’t truly prepared to do this. Time to improvise, (kind of like a wedding huh?) I saw a bunch of our outdoor chairs sitting upside down on our table, grammar school style. I knew that these chairs would become my “subject”. I am a big fan of line, shape and pattern in my photography, so I started thinking of how I could use all of these chairs in an interesting way. I had to previsualize the photograph before I made it. This is another device I use when photographing the bride and groom. In my head I am sorting out where the light will fall, how I can use that to my advantage, how am I going to compose it, what focal length and aperture to use, where is the best angle to shoot from etc. Keep in mind that this is usually just a starting point, and sometimes it doesn’t work, or you need to tweak things, or even rethink one of those components for whatever reason.

In regards to the following photographs, I knew that I wanted a clean and simple snow laden background for the shot I was previsualizing, and to show the chairs in a semi-random pattern. Because my backyard isn’t terribly large and has a fence all the way around it, some trees, and other various objects, I knew the only way for me to achieve a clean background in such a small space was to shoot down on top of my “subject”. So, now I knew that I would be shooting from a window inside the house on the second floor. In my head, I tried to visualize what it looked like from that specific window. From there I began placing the chairs in a semi-random pattern. I also knew that I didn’t want any of the chairs to overlap one another from my shooting angle, so had to space them accordingly.

If you know what someone is likely to do before they do it, you can better prepare yourself for it right? I knew we were expecting a lot of snow and wanted to construct an interesting photograph utilizing that snow. I put everything together to achieve that goal and then executed. The same can be said of a wedding day. While it is true that every wedding is different and unique in its own way, there are a few things throughout a wedding that you can anticipate happening before they actually do happen. So prepare yourself for those moments, think ahead of time about where the light will be, what’s the best focal length and aperture to express your vision for that shot, where is the best angle to photograph it from etc. So, let’s see what I came up with…

Here is the shot pretty much as I had envisioned it the night before. I accomplished my goals; a clean and uncluttered “backdrop”, the chairs set up in a semi-random pattern which shows off their lines, and no chairs are overlapping each other. It’s pretty straight forward and I was relatively happy with the result considering I didn’t actually put too much thought into this.

So, now it’s time to subtly “explore” the “subject”, all from the same exact shooting position. The above shot was my starting point, and was how I had envisioned the shot to begin with, but that doesn’t mean it’s the best “solution”. I then zoomed in a bit to only show 3 complete chairs, and let the others be slightly cropped out.

I then zoomed out, changed to a portrait orientation and included all the chairs in the frame again, just as in the first shot, but this time I included some negative space below them. Also notice that I have gone from a square crop, to a landscape, and now to a portrait orientation.

I liked the look of all that negative space, so I decided to include just one chair in the frame this time.

As I was photographing, I noticed some birds flying to our bird feeder, so I tried to do a few shots with the birds in the frame. Obviously I couldn’t tell the birds where to go in the composition, so I just kept shooting and hoped something interesting would come out. I thought the following shot was the most interesting of the bird photographs. I liked how these two birds were positioned in the frame. I really enjoy this kind of shooting because you don’t really know what you will get, so it’s more exciting.

I kept the idea of including some negative space, but this time just changed back to a landscape orientation. When doing this, I picked up a little bit of our tree swing in the frame, which I kind of liked.

Then I decided to venture away from my “subject” and decided to only include the tree swing with a lot of negative space around it. Part of the framing decision of this was only due to other distracting elements that started creeping into the photograph.

So, you can see, I have not changed my shooting position in any way, and was able to come up with a few different looks of the same subject (except for the lone swing, but you can see how I got there). So, don’t just shoot what you think is the final photograph and pack it up, explore it a bit more and you will more than likely find something you like even better!

Don’t be shy now, chime in with comments or questions. Also, if you think this might be useful for someone else you know, please send them a link to it:

  • Claudio - Sometimes I want to get a composition like the last picture but something I don’t want appears in the frame. So I just keep in mind the final composition and take the picture anyway. After in postprocess delete carefully the disturbing object with clone stamp tool πŸ™‚

  • Naqib/Qippy - Pls ignore the first message,I accidentally cut/paste an article meant for a directory..the lesson you thought was really good in this post its made me take shots from all sorts of angles and possibility..thanks

  • Dani - Excelent exercise, i will practice it. Thanks Todd

Hello everyone. Over the past year or so I have gotten a few inquiries from other photographers as to weather or not I do workshops. As of this second, that answer is no, BUT I am trying to put something together over the next several months. Something hands on. Also, I have committed to speaking at Walter Van Dusen’s Mystic 6, happening next January 6th through the 9th in Mystic Connecticut. Walter puts together an AMAZING conference each year, and it just gets better and better every time. I highly suggest attending if you can. I will post more details on that later.

So, here is where I need your help. If you could either email me ( or leave a comment here on this post about what you would be most interested in learning from me, that would be very helpful to me. I want to see if there is a common interest among you guys, maybe it’s how I run my business, my thought process on a shoot, post-processing, etc. It can be whatever. Once I get this input, I feel it will guide me towards what people really want to know more about and it will enable me to deliver a useful, and informative presentation.

If you are a silent blog stalker and a photographer as well, now is the time I need you to chime in! So, don’t be shy, tell me what you want to learn from me.

Thank you SOOOO much in advance for taking the time to do this, I truly appreciate it!

  • Mark Beckelman - As a fellow photographer, what intrigues me is your ability to create something out of nothing – under stress and within the very tight time constraints of a wedding day. I’d be interested in hearing your thought processes — how you approach each segment of the day, and what your workflow is. Lighting philosophy and techniques would also be of interest.

  • Ryan Young - Todd, I’m one of the guys that wrote you about workshops last year. At that time I was living in Japan and you said “I don’t do workshops, but fly me to Japan and I’ll teach you everything I know.” πŸ˜‰ Well, it didn’t happen, but I’m glad to see you are considering workshops now, especially since I’m back in the US (AZ) and logistics would be simpler. I’m most impressed with (and would be most interested in learning) your control of light for these beautiful exposures. Your light work, whether using natural light or stobes is simply stunning; your exposures perfect. So light technique, metering, etc. would be of most interest to me. Additionally, you obviously have such a great rapport with your clients and watching you work and interact with them would be great. Cheers, Ryan

  • blonnie - Count me as one who would love to learn from you (or be a tagalong/assistant if you find yourself in need of one!) I check out a lot of photographers in the DE/PA/NJ area and your work absolutely stands out to me.

  • Naqib/Qippy - Hi Todd,I would like you to teach me how you edit your pictures,perhaps a step by step ‘you tube’ like hands on tutorial ie what you apply in Levels,TRA recipe,Kubota etc. A before edit and after edit snapshot would be great as I would really like to compare how much difference your originalpic is compared to your edited shots. I would simply love to learn how you get your actions in photoshop the way you do. As for photography it would be also great perhaps to see how you decide to shoot a subject,your angles,what you look for,what lenses to choose,apertures,WB, off camera flash techniques,how you shoot dance floor scenes in parties that kinda stuff…thanks so much for posting this post…I’m sure a lot of ppl are as baffled as I am and would love to see the master at work and how you do it? Also I have the same the same request as Mr.Ryan Young above.Btw are you on twitter or anythg similar? I am on twitter you can add me ,my nickname is qippy. Thanks Todd

  • Kay English - Hey Todd!@ I would love to attend a workshop! I would be interested in learning your thought process on a shoot, how you show emotions so well in photos, post-processing, and your workflow in lightroom. πŸ™‚

  • Naqib/Qippy - Btw if I got you a return ticket to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and I provided lodging would you be interested to do an asian workshop, we could discuss on how we could collaborate and work together for the Malaysia Workshop. I see in Malaysia there is a large market for such things as Joe McNally workshop was sold out in just 5 days! do let me me know what your thought is on this seriously, Honestly I wouldn’t even mind just flying you here for my own personal hands on lessons with you..heheh, seriously..thanks

  • melissa - hey Todd, indeed i have been one of the seminar pushers…. and, though i actually thought that i would treat my wedding day like a bit of a seminar/ learning experience and take mental notes on things that you did…. other things and people kept pulling me away. geez!
    anyway, i am definitely interested in your thought process and technical process…. like lens choices, strobes on the dance floor, how to get great shots in a short time frame/ under pressure. Also, i am very interested in the business end stuff. just officially starting out on my own, i’d love to hear how you first got started, marketed yourself and developed your distinct style/ rapport. also how to juggle life with work/ what aspects of the business you outsource (if you do). anyway, lots of questions! i hope you do this! thanks!

  • paul - Todd! Wow really glad to here you are interested in doing workshops! Really sad that I’m over in Korea and wouldn’t be able to attend it. Hopefully one day I could meet yea and learn from yea ^^ If I was at one of your workshops I would love to learn about your thought process during a wedding shoot and engagement session: like what lens would be good for this, what modes, apertures, etc… The two things that really stand out when I look at your pictures is that the people really POP from the photo and the colors in each photo are absolutely amazing. I would love to learn how you achieve such masterpieces! So maybe some post-processing talks would be great to hear as well ^^ btw, tx again for your book recommendations, I have been eating away through many of them and growing in knowledge ^^

  • Jennifer Smutek - Hello Todd! I always hoped that one day you would share your secrets! I am most interested in learning about your exposure and lighting techniques, particularly during the reception. I am also quite interested in your post-processing process. A workshop/seminar would be fantastic and you can bet I’d be in attendance.

    (and congrats on the new little one!)

  • Louie - Todd, I agree with Mark 100% with his comment of how you seem to bring to life a situation and scene to life that at first glance might not seem like much. So if I could get into your mindset on a shoot would be awesome. I also think that a post-edit workshop would be great too. I think that you can see a photo and really make it “pop” in post-production. I love your vignetting and dodging and burning style. Can’t wait to see you in action August 6th at my best friends wedding.

  • Joanna - Hello!! I love love to learn about your clarity and construction when you take a photograph. I would also like to compare notes when you edit photographs. I am still in the beginning stages of learning more professional photography, so I would love to take one of your workshops. I have admired your work for over a year and would love to really know your techniques!!

  • jeff tisman - Where do i put my credit card #?? i’m there!!


  • Claudio - I think I have decoded in part your technique because some of my pictures start to look like yours…
    What things to teach? Some of them I have “stolen” from here:

    How to use shallow DOF, or simulate it with Photoshop.
    Focus not always in faces, sometimes in objects. Sometimes even not show faces.
    In group o people sometimes sharp focus ony in one of them…
    Bounced flash..slave flash..
    How to train the eyes to find something beautiful where apparently there is nothing interesting..
    Maybe make people select some of your pictures and teach the secrets behind. πŸ™‚

  • Todd - Hey everyone! Thank yo SO much to all of you who posted here and to those of you who emailed me as well. I really appreciate it and I think I have a good handle on what most of you are interested in learning. I will seriously take all your questions/comments into consideration when preparing my seminar. If there are other photographers out there who haven’t responded yet, but would like to, please do so, I am still very interested in hearing what you have to say!

  • Iris Cheung - Sorry for being your silent blog stalker for years. I absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVE your work! You’ve been a great inspiration to me. I want to know everything about how you shoot at engagement sessions and weddings. Example: lighting set up, equipment use, posing, interaction with clients, post-processing etc. Thank you so much for sharing your experience. πŸ™‚

  • rachel darley - Ok… what wouldn’t I want to learn from you?! =)
    I would most enjoy seeing your interaction with clients, learning lighting and exposure techniques, post-editing and workflow….

  • Christina Wilson - I must admit that I just stumbled onto your website after looking at the photos you shot of Kristy and Alex’s wedding. I have done a few weddings myself but would love to learn more. I was so impressed my the light and mood in your images. I guess I would be interested in knowing what kind of prep kit you have and what post-processing tools you rely on most. Truly beautiful work!

  • MattW - There is a very good chance I will be living in northern NJ in the next 3-6 months and I would definitely be there if you do a workshop. I’d be interested in all the ins and outs of the wedding photography business, as I am considering pursuing the career myself.

  • Craig Metz Photography - I love your work and would love to hear an all inclusive wedding walk through. From sales pitch through finished product delivery. Hope you decide to do something.

  • John - Hi Todd- I would love to know the following either in a blog post, email response or from a workshop-

    Do you actively scout locations? I imagine that you carry a notepad and a rabbit’s foot wherever you go.

    What are you favorite “go-to” lenses? for portraits, reception candids, etc

    How many strobes are you using in general and notes on placement- I LOVE your lighting.

    Would def attend a workshop!


  • Autumn Pittelli - Hi! Going to Mystic in Jan. Looking forward to learning from yah! Your work has a very similar feel to ‘The Image is Found’ (my personal favorite photographers). I’m interested in learning about your gear (camera, lighting and post production). As I’m looking through your work, which I luv, I’m asking myself if these images are just as golden in-camera or if you can credit an editing process. Can’t tell from some of these portraits if you’re using flash or not (?) err…
    Which is the best indication of GREAT flash work–right? Many compliments to you on that! Off camera flash w/ my Nikon SB800s/900s is something I’m personally on a quest to refine. You’ve got great catch-lights in the eyes on the portraits and everything is so sharp and vibrant. Mystic in January, I’m hoping to learn two simple things which, to me, make your images stand-out **color **sharpness both in-camera and post-prod.

  • Stephanie - I’ve just discovered your photography and I’m so impressed! Would love to see how you get your exposures and beautiful colors! You are so talented with the contemporary vision.

    Stephanie Uptmor

  • Glenna - First let me tell you I love LOVE your stuff..
    Second… I know you from someplace, An online photography chat?
    A class? Better photo??


  • Estuardo Salazar - I really enjoy your work, I can spent hours scrolling on your Facebook, I would say that what I would love to learn from you would be, you post processing, your lighting specially in the reception, those shots are amazing, and of course, if you could give us a little bit of your thought process would be amazing, a workshop/ DVD it would on the top of my list of thing to buy during the year!

  • Muricio - I’ve just discovered your photography and I’m so impressed! Would love to see how you get your exposures and beautiful colors! You are so talented with the contemporary vision

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