Post Processing and Scouting

It’s seems like it’s been quiet at since Melissa and Tom’s wedding shoot last week, but a lot is going on behind the scenes.

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I am deep in post-processing mode. Melissa and Tom’s pictures look fabulous, with so many great pictures I can’t decide which to include in the wedding collection and which to exclude.


YIKES! I’ve decided to organize all the pictures categorically in sub-albums that can quickly be printed into photo books. This way eventually Melissa and Tom can collect them all. I should be finished with the books by next weekend, and then they’ll go to the printers. As soon as they are available I will give everyone the link to purchase. There will be plenty of price options to fit just about everyone’s budget. And the books are delivered within 10 days of purchasing. That’s a great turn around time!


For those who want pictures printed on paper, or on canvas, I am working on setting that up and will have links up soon. Post processing is quite time-consuming so please bear with me.

Tom and I spent the afternoon shooting rainbows . . .

This has been a-learn-as-you-go experience for me.  I haven’t gotten much help from any local experts on the best venue options to have my pictures printed locally. I tried a local business that insisted on re-post-processing my images because they felt my images were too vibrant. Well Hell No! That’s the point expert! Vibrant, strange perspectives and as far out of the ordinary as possible! That’s me. The other problem I encountered is that these local vendors want to charge so much for printing that it is cost prohibitive for most of my customers, and leaves me no room to make a profit. Photography takes a lot of work. It’s not just showing up and taking the pictures. It’s a lot of behind the scenes post-processing, just to sort through each shoot. There are many hours of work that go into producing your final images. Although I’ve enjoyed doing pro-bono work, and have learned a lot from doing it, I can’t continue to invest this much time into projects that don’t pay. Therefore, I will not be doing any more pro-bono shoots. I will be reasonable and consider each project on an individual basis and provide a great product to my customers for a reasonable price. In other words, yes I’m an artist, but no I don’t work for free:)

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I work hard to achieve certain effects and style in my photographs. I don’t want someone who doesn’t understand the art behind my work to undo hours of work. Therefore I have gone online. Sorry local folks, but you weren’t very helpful to a newbie photographer.

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I find many of you don’t want to think about where to get the images printed. You’d rather view, pick, and order online, and have them delivered to you in a display ready format. I really understand that — NOW! The naive old girl that I am insisted she didn’t want to get involved in printing . . . HA! LOL! Guess what I’ve been researching all week? Yep, printing companies. I really don’t want my images printed at CVS or Walgreen. These places are not equipped to render the kind of color quality I am shooting for. They are setup to automatically spit out pictures like your desktop printer. If you are willing to settle for these mediocre images, then you shouldn’t go to the trouble of hiring a photographer. Use your point and shoot and take those to Walgreen. The best images you get from these sources will never do for my work. So, I have been researching the best outlet for you and will have it all setup real soon.

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This weekend, my poor neglected Tom, wasn’t having another weekend of being ignored and insisted we take time out to do some shooting together. And so we did.


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As you can tell by the images I captured this weekend, that I am always fascinated by the place I find myself in, the people in it, and the colors that surround me. There was so much happening this afternoon and I enjoyed capturing little bits of it with my camera. Tom and I happened upon this major production setup for a charity event that was taking place that evening. I couldn’t resist walking into it and snapping away. The people were so gracious and let us have our way with their set. THANK YOU GUYS!  An artist’s eye can see possibility everywhere. I hope Hina’s event will be as colorful as this Middle Eastern Style Soiree! Can’t wait to shoot it.

These last pictures are of an art piece located near the parking garage next to Malio’s. I saw someone do this recently on a training video and wanted to try it. When you stand on the side of the art installation it appears like several panels lined up in a row with a narrow space separating each panel. From the front it looks like one rectangular structure, but if you move around the piece at different angles, the geometric designs in the piece begin to form different patterns. Here is what I got . . .

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This was a nice break away from meetings, emails, phones, training sessions, and post processing. Now time to chill in front of the T.V. with Tom. TTYL

Melissa and Tom’s Wedding

February 16, 2013  Kolacki/Ward Wedding.

They Did It!
They Did It!

 A journey that started for me in 2010 when I began exploring photography as more than a hobby, brings me to this day when I am confident enough to take on the responsibility of capturing and preserving wedding memories for a very special lady.

Mo, Photographing the Honey Moon Penthouse Suite

This is my third wedding as a photographer. Each event reveals to me the couple and their families in very intimate ways. I always feel privileged to be a participant. Melissa and Tom’s wedding was lovely.MOT_6003

The ceremony was held at the nostalgic  Chapel by the Sea in Captiva. The drive from our hotel was about 40 minutes, mostly due to the busy road, and slow drive speed.


There were other events taking place that day,

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Even a cycle race


But Melissa’s day was the main event.

Sara and Melissa arrive at the Chapel

Meet the wedding planner, Sara Primeau. Having the wedding on Captiva was Sara’s idea, and only Sara would find the perfect little chapel for the event.


Getting Dressed

The dressing room was also the staging area for the brides photographs as she prepared for her walk down the aisle, to meet her groom.  

Dressing room, staging area for photos of bride, dress, makeup, etc. Distribution spot for flowers
Dressing room, staging area for photos of bride, dress, makeup touch up, etc. Distribution spot for flowers

Touching up the Makeup


Friends dropping in to congratulate the bride . . . Rita Raley in dress!


Cherie and Sara, lovely as ever !


Stepping into the gown . . .

Cherie helps Melissa step into her gown. I capture the moment from my perch on a nearby chair.

The Bridal Jewels

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One quick picture before it’s time to go . . .


The guest gather outside the church


The photographers check out photo shoot spots in the church and the dressing area for perfect light effects.

Daiana Adams poses in front of the window where we will photograph the bride.
I check the chapel for light effects and set my cameras to shoot without flash

Daiana and her girls pose for me by the beach so I can check out the light . . .

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The wedding planner sets up her flowers

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And distributes corsages  . . .

Ouma's Corsage
Ouma’s Corsage

Ready, Set, Go

The Groom and his grooms boys, enter the church
The Groom and his grooms boys, enter the church

Tom and his boys begin their walk down the aisle . . . then

Melissa prepares to enter the church and begin her walk down the aisle.
Melissa prepares to enter the church and begin her walk down the aisle.

Casual Photo Ops for the guest after the ceremony . . .

Melissa's dad capturing memories on his Iphone
Melissa’s dad capturing memories on his Iphone

Next, off to the second venue, the Lighthouse Restaurant for Dinner. It’s a mere 40 minute drive back to Sanibel and only a few minutes from the third venue and guest hotels.

Trying out a new photography technique on Daiana . ..


The Bar
The Girls
The Girl who saved the evening with her lovely voice, and musical talents. .. Alya Adams, Daiana’s oldest girl. She is merely 12.
Noa and Daiana, she’s hungry and tired. . .
The Wedding Parties’ private area
Cherie getting cozy with her hubby . . .
The decor
Ahhh the drinks
The Lighthouse Restaurant
The wines . . .
Glass Etching of the Lighthouse
Award winning eatery . . .
A very happy girl . . .
A packed house .
The lights . . .


Out on the Veranda

Love in the wind
Veiw from the veranda
Heaters to keep you warm
Taking a time out for some personal shots
She’s laughing in the wind, and I’m having fun with photo effects
daring infra-red filter . . . love it!
Catwalk by the sea
Couples in love
Friendship and hugs . ..
Rita, rocking the catwalk
Luz, working the walk on the catwalk
work it girl
Good Times
Rita is smoking . . . hot, hot, hot!
The next couple to take the plunge in October
Oh no! Is she going to bite him?
Happy in love . . .
Yeah, I love playing with actions, filters, and effects.


Next, off to the after party . . . at the Marriott Harbor Spa Resort on Sanibel Island, O La, La!

View from the balcony of the Everglades meeting room
Great shot of Alya . . . Colorful sunset!
great shot from the balcony
The wind kicked up and it cooled significantly

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It was a small affair with a big budget feel.

The Entertainment

Daiana, admires her talented daughters . .. so nostalgic. . .

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The Guests gather in the Everglades Hall

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The girls sneak up to the penthouse bridal suite to decorate the bed with rose petals. I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to get them in the shower and snap this picture. It’s priceless.


The bridal bed for Mr. and Mrs. Ward

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Three venues, a great dress, good food, lots to drink, awesome friends and family, Sara, a marvelous and out of the box thinking wedding planner . . .


. . .and two spectacular photographers . . .

Mo and Daiana shooting Melissa through the window from the veranda . . .

. . .made for quite a soiree. From the romance of the Chapel by the Sea, to the nautical ambiance of the Lighthouse Restaurant, where the  Dinner  Reception was held, and later to the spa elegance of the Marriott for the after party. This wedding was a success. 

I can’t wait to see Daiana’s shots! Post some Daiana! I’ve only posted a very small sampling of pictures in this post.  I will include some of the pictures in this post in the final collection. Especially, our Preschool Girls, and Daiana’s lovely children.  The pictures I used in this post, are crowd shots of other people, superficial shots of architectural details all lovely and special. The final collection of wedding pictures are for the Bride and Grooms eyes only and I won’t post the selections until the bride and groom have received them. I hope they will enjoy the images as much as I enjoyed shooting them.

It's a wrap!
It’s a wrap!


Sara, Paul and Bean


This post is now public because Sara gave me permission to post my favorite shots from her maternity pictures session.


Saturday, February 2, 2013, I met Sarah and Paul for their maternity session. I invited Daiana Adams to come and join the shoot. She and Noa joined us and we had a very nice afternoon.


I am always excited to see what Daiana shoots. It’s interesting how two people shooting the same scene come up with totally different images. And Daiana is a very imaginative shooter.  I took the above shot of Daiana while we were trying hats on Sara. It was impromtu, unplanned, and as always, Daiana looks like she just stepped off the streets of Paris!


It was a beautiful day for  photography, the sun was shining, the temperature was warm, but not too hot, and we shot at two locations. The first is my Super-Secret spot — Sara and Paul — must not tell anyone where we shot at!  LOL!


Whenever I shoot someone for the first time, there is a small warm-up period before everyone gets comfortable and can be themselves, and that’s when I like to start shooting. A  long day of shooting takes a lot out of the subjects, and the photographer.


It’s my job to stay on task and keep everyone excited about the session so they will emote and not just pose.


I like to capture sweet moments exchanged between the individuals I am shooting, a shy smile, a tender touch, a hug, a little look. These are what I am after.


Sara and Paul are an adorable couple. They were so kind and compliant. No matter what I asked them to do, they did. I so appreciate them letting me shoot these special pictures for them. They turned out lovely.


There are still a few more shots to process and  small finishing edits, before I complete this project.  I’ve posted a gallery that contains the shots I like best below, and will burn a disc of all the images for Sara and Paul with suggestions for printing sources. I discourage having photographs printed at places like Walgreen’s, CVS, or Walmart, simply because the print and paper quality is not always great. But they can be printed where-ever they’d like. I would suggest having a small photo book created, or at least getting the images printed on quality paper.

Finally, this was a really fun way to shoot. I enjoy scouting for ideal locations, using props, and exploring the way people interact with each other and the camera. There are some shots I would have liked to capture that we didn’t get to in this shoot, OH WELL,  I’ll try those on Shirell when I do her session next;-)  

I am not a cookie cutter type photographer, and although I do studio or location shots, I strive to make each session unique to the individual. I don’t want to capture the kind of image that anyone else can do.  I’ll do a ribbon on a belly, but shoot it differently. I don’t want the image that one sees on every photography blog, or all over Facebook with the same poses, just different people. That’s just not my style. If my client insists on a particular pose, I’ll include it in the session even if I feel it’s too cliché’, but it won’t be the featured image of my shoot. In my sessions I try to explore the subjects and capture them in ways that will uniquely reflect them. My images are not typical, and I like that. If you want typical, well, you can find those kinds of photographers everywhere. You can’t pay me enough to do typical:-)