Two Sticks Studios – Scranton, Wilkes-Barre, Poconos Wedding Photographers » Scranton, Wilkes-Barre, Poconos Wedding Photography, Senior Photography and Portrait Photography

OK, who wants cake? Gabriel? Check!

Gabriel is a little guy Bob and I took photos of a couple weeks back. He is too cute and now he knows he really loves cake. After all the hard work of having some portraits done he dove right into the sweets. It’s always funny watching kids be allowed to eat cake and smash it into their mouths. They always start so unsure if it’s OK, but by the end it’s one giant happy mess and a little bit of sugar shock. Sorry about that mom!

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It turns out some of the lessons from my youth stuck with me. I remember the promenade, the do-si-do, the allemande and how to swing my partner. Like calculus, I had no idea if it would come in handy again. But thanks to the wonderful, and now-married, Susanna and Dan I got a refresher course over the weekend. They had such a unique wedding! Along with all sorts of beautiful and handmade touches that made up a huge part of their wedding, they had a band – and a caller – and square dancing. It was amazing! Apparently something happens between the time you go to gym class in middle school and when we become adults. Square dancing becomes an awfully good time. Everyone who was out on the dance floor was having some of the most fun I have ever seen people have at a wedding. It was a stroke of genius and fit so well into Susanna and Dan’s day.

These photos have a little different look. We thought a vintage touch might be nice just for a little fun.

So nicely done guys. Thank you for inviting us to be a part of such a unique day!

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Hi everyone. I wanted to do a post about bridal portraits – not necessarily the ones you might think of that are done in the studio, but the on-location ones we like to do on wedding days. They can be a huge challenge because it is often chaos on the wedding day, but they also offer a huge opportunity to find a way to produce something memorable in less-than-ideal conditions. It’s one of the best parts of the job. I was thinking that the photographs that stop me, the ones that make me wonder how the photographers did it, are the ones I didn’t expect to see. And they are almost always shot from a place that most people would not think to shoot. And often that involves risk. You might only get a few minutes of time alone with a bride for the portraits. There is always the easy way. Find a nice clean background and put the bride in a pose and fire away. Nothing wrong with that and it can produce nice work. But the next level goes beyond that. It finds moments or details that you can include in the photo that will set it apart.

I’m pretty happy with the photos below. We were in a house loaded with people and took just a few minutes to grab some shots. There were two rooms connected by French doors that had great beveled edges.  I’m a sucker for beveled edges on mirrors and windows. So for the shot, I went into the opposite room from Ashley and angled the doors so I could shoot through the glass. The framing and the “duplicate” effect of the bevel gives it a “captured moment” feel even though it was completely set up.  The other, I just draped her veil over her face to give the portraits a nice soft look. I hit the shutter once and had it. Then we were off to the ceremony.

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I remember my first job pretty clearly – a job that I was later fired from. I didn’t actually know that would be a recurring theme early in my life but it was. I was a dishwasher at a local restaurant. Oh my God,  I hated that job.  You can’t get any lower on the restaurant totem pole. I really didn’t mind the work, but the people I worked with were not terribly nice and they tended to treat the dishwashers poorly.  So one day I told my boss that I didn’t appreciate how people were talking to us and it didn’t seem like we were on the kitchen team as much as we were the people it was fun to kick around. He told me that was how people just starting out were always treated. He was explaining that to me as he was collecting my apron and pointing me toward the door. Oh well. So much for that career.

I’d like to say I promised myself that I wold never treat anyone else like that, but the reality is I probably did at some point in my life. But the awful feeling did stick with me a little.

We’ve talked a little bit about the number of photographers entering the market in this blog before. And I listen to some other photographer friends complain about it – a lot.  I say the more the merrier. Competition is a healthy thing. I also believe if you have a business plan and a commitment to your craft you will be fine as a photographer. The reality is that most people who enter this profession don’t know what it takes when you’re not behind the lens to actually make a living at it.

Anyway, enter our new friend and current amateur photographer Colleen – a high school junior who will be a professional photographer before you know it. She believes it with a certainty you rarely see for someone so young. She doesn’t love photography. She lives it. So when she asked asked us one day if we could help her out, we told her we would be happy to. And what better experience is there than real world, right? So we offered to do her senior photos but use it as a way to explain what we were doing so she could understand how the images were being created. It was like a creative classroom, and she got some cool senior photos out of the deal.  The experience from our perspective is great. Bob and I got to teach a little – something we both love to do and she got some experience not usually available to an aspiring photographer. I think in our society people can spend a little too much time looking over their shoulder rather than offering a hand to help someone up. OK, off the soapbox. It was a great experience and Colleen keeps in touch with us and we talk a little through email about what she needs to be doing. She’ll be successful. She’s focused on the big picture and I’m going to really enjoy watching her evolve as a photographer and businesswoman.

Here are a few of the shots we got of her that day.

  • June 10, 2014 - 11:22 am

    Eliza - What a fabulous experience for Colleen and the result was some absolutely gorgeous images! Kudos to you for taking a young photographer under your wing. Not all photographers are welcoming into the industry these days so it’s so nice to see some talented photographers that aren’t afraid to pass on their knowledge!ReplyCancel

Now that our friends Ashley and Dave are back from the honeymoon and comfortably settled into married  life, it seems like a good time to remind them how much fun their wedding was. From Dave’s championship belt and epic dancing to the really touching and, at times, hilarious toasts, the wedding was amazing. I don’t think the dance floor at Fiorelli’s ever stopped shaking. The party was the perfect end to a beautiful day. You guys have such amazing families and friends it was bound to be a party that you will remember forever. We will. Hope these photos help!

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This is going to come as a surprise to no one, but I’ve been talking to a lot of photographers in the past week about what makes for good photos. I’m talking about the things that go beyond lighting and posing and aperture and shutter speed.  All are important, but I grew up reading newspapers. I love them. Specifically, I love the New York times photo staff. Their images tend to just amaze me, and for the longest time I didn’t know why. I guess I just assumed they are amazing photographers and it’s hard to define why a photo affects us but some of them clearly do.

And then one day a light bulb went off.  I knew what it was about their photos that always captivated me. It was their access. They were always taking me places I had never seen. It could be backstage at a concert or inside a hut in Afghanistan with a sliver of light coming through the lone window.  Access was everything. You can’t tell a story without taking people there.

So how does this relate to senior portraits? Well, I didn’t think it did until we did Matt’s senior pictures. Matt’s a junior at Dunmore and on the football team. We were fortunate enough to get access to the locker room at Dunmore. I know I’ve never seen it and I’m thinking most of you haven’t either. Don’t get me wrong, the photos that we took in there are not about the locker room. It is just the setting, but it provides that little extra to the photo that makes it special. Plus, in the case of senior photos, it put Matt in a place that clearly means a lot to him.

So here are some of Matt’s shots from the locker room and other places about town. Enjoy. And thanks to Matt and his parents for inviting us to take these shots. It was a great day!