Kenny and Bri's wedding at the Viceroy in Anguilla was amazing.

Monique Lhuillier and Badgley Mischka... not a bad way to start the day:

Love it when the guy gets a sweet suit too... girls get all of the fun with the dress. :)

Is there a better location for a intimate ceremony?

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14 Comments Add A Comment
[February 13, 2012] chipgillespie said:
Sick, sick shots, man.
[February 14, 2012] Serena said:
Fantastic work, as always! I especially love that shot of the sun over the water... beautiful.
[February 23, 2012] mike larson said:
Nice work Michael. I love the west indies! Miss it. Great images, especially the light at sunset!
[March 1, 2012] Mark Richardson - Newcastle Wedding Photographer said:
You've done a great job of managing the sun in these images. Obviously what was effectively a light tent helped for the ceremony, but the backlit photos on the hillside are really well controlled. I'm guessing you weren't using any fill-flash - just exposed for the skin tones? (There's no exif on the images)
[May 31, 2012] Kevin Le Vu said:
I love small and intimate weddings! Beautifully captured Michael : )
[August 7, 2012] Russiamore said:
Just perfect! I have no words. Your photos are awesome)
[October 15, 2012] suknie slubne 2012 said:
So lovely couple!
[December 10, 2012] Nathan said:
What a beautiful gown!
[September 7, 2013] Robert Sail said:
Great wedding photos.. Very inspirational. Keep up the good work. Regards Rob
[March 27, 2015] Glenn - Nottingham UK said:
Lovely couple, great location and fantastic photography - well done.
[August 7, 2015] Glenn Mather said:
Great work. fantastic images, but as a photographer I admire you control of the exposure.
[August 15, 2016] Grace Osborne said:
You're so beautiful!
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Last month I shot Stephanie and Ty's wedding in Aruba and it was awesome. It was the second wedding I've shot there and, man, I'd shoot there a hundred more times. What a beautiful place. The wedding was on Renaissance Island, a small private island just off the coast of Aruba.

Here are some of my favorites...

I love that there are flamingos all over the island, so fun!

The sunsets in Aruba are just amazing...

As you might have been able to tell, it was getting pretty dark in those last few portraits of Stephanie and Ty. Luckily we had some time scheduled the next day for more portraits. We headed over to the other side of the island for some different scenery. Such amazing locations.

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21 Comments Add A Comment
[November 8, 2011] unique weddings said:
I love your photos. It really inspire to every women.
[November 10, 2011] Taylor said:
So nice, bro. Great looking couple, ridiculously awesome location, and of course the images are phenomenal. I'm incredibly jealous of this one :)
[November 11, 2011] Dustin Francis said:
Great set dude!
[February 3, 2012] Elizabeth Walters said:
These photos are stunning. I love the flamingo--I want it on my wall!
[February 3, 2012] Elizabeth Walters said:
These photos are stunning. I love the flamingo--I want it on my wall!
[November 10, 2012] Fotografia Ślubna Piotr Kaleta said:
Beautiful location. Good job :)
[December 8, 2012] Home cleaning melbourne said:
Lovely couples!
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[February 16, 2015] John said:
Lovely photos - love the light and the attention to detail - Well done
[February 16, 2015] John said:
Lovely photos - love the light and the attention to detail - Well done
[February 23, 2015] cream sari kosmetik said:
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[March 7, 2015] Mark said:
Wow! How long did your lens have to be to get that great shot of the flamingo? I came across a few flamingos while shooting a wedding in Inagua, in The Bahamas. They don't let you get anywhere near close enough to get a good shot. Great work, Michael.
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[December 2, 2015] Matt Selby Photography said:
Awesome photographs, very inspirational :)
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[December 21, 2016] Richard said:
I loved your post.Much thanks again.

I just got done working on the images from a wedding I shot up on Vancouver Island last month and wanted to share a couple with you. I think these might me my favorite bridal portraits I've ever taken. I love everything about them. I'm going to work on a full post of the wedding but until then, here you go!

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[September 20, 2011] Tina said:
Stunning - your right everything about them are simply stunning GREAT JOB
[September 20, 2011] rebecca said:
wow! norwood...you are amazing!
[September 20, 2011] Becky said:
So looking forward to the rest of your pictures. We were so honored to be there. These pictures are amazing!
[September 20, 2011] Barn Weddings said:
Wow, I agree I loved how it shots totally the photos. She really look so gorgeous. Beautiful gown and nice backgrounds too. Great shots !
[September 29, 2011] Anne said:
Gorgeous!! Beautiful portraits!
[October 16, 2011] Raleigh Wedding Photographers said:
Michael these are sweet, a very pretty bride too!
[October 30, 2011] brandy said:
This is really fascinating, You are an excessively professional blogger. Certainly, what a brilliant website and lighting up articles
[October 31, 2011] barbara1taylor said:
Oh, I want to get married at this place. It is so calm and beautiful and romantic. The dress and the model are just great. :)
[April 13, 2012] Jen Lin said:
simply amazing. love your work!
[June 4, 2012] elegantpark said:
sunshine bride, pure and fresh.
[July 20, 2012] jeanette said:
i agree with you!
[December 8, 2012] End of lease cleaning melbourne said:
Gorgeous and good looking couples.
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I relish, cause I discovered just what I used to be taking a look for. You've ended my 4 day lengthy hunt! God Bless you man. Have a great day. Bye

So this afternoon, Jaclyn and Nate Kaiser, of The Image is Found, both jokingly twittered that they are making a new rule that they'll only travel to places that Jet Blue or Virgin America fly to. This spurred a little Twitter debate between Nate and I about airlines and it got me thinking about why I make the choices I do when I travel.


I'm not sure whether it's apropos or ironic that I watched the George Clooney movie, Up In The Air, on a flight to New York but I sure did identify with Clooney's character and his quest for frequent flyer mile domination, haha. As photographers, we get the opportunity to travel more than the average person. Over the past few years I've traveled a ton and since we moved to Manhattan earlier this year, the past 6 months I've traveled even more than usual. I've found that if you do it right you can both enjoy your travel more and make your travel and destination weddings more profitable. I thought I'd blog about the things I've figured out regarding air travel.


#1 Pick an Airline


There are a bunch of airlines out there and I'm not going to try to say that one is "best" because the "best" airline for you might be different than the best airline for me. The first consideration should be your location. Which airlines have hubs in or near your city. If you're in Dallas, American would be you're best bet.  Houston, Continental would be a good choice... etc.


The benefit of choosing an airline with your city as a hub is that you'll have the most direct flights available. This is super important as a frequent traveller. Layovers make your travel days way longer, increase the chance for delays and generally suck. The more planes you take, the more chance there is for a flight to be cancelled/delayed...etc. If you fly direct, there is no connecting flight to miss even if your flight is delayed. Also flights in and out of hubs are, for the most part, cheaper and there are way more available to choose from.


Another consideration when choosing an airline is where they fly. One of the reasons I chose Delta is that when I was choosing an airline is that they were in talks with Northwest to merge and become the largest airline in the world. Either them or their partner airlines fly to more destinations than any other airline in the world. An airline like Virgin America or Jet Blue may meet some of the criteria but they are quite limited in the cities they serve. So if you choose them there's a good chance you'll have to fly other airlines at some point. Pick an airline that will take you pretty much anywhere you want to go and allow you to earn miles on all of your flights, not just on flights to cities they fly to.


#2 Stick with that Airline


Frequent flyer programs benefit "frequent flyers" and you'll never be a "frequent flyer" if you're flying a different airline every trip.  All airlines have frequent flyer programs but the benefits vary greatly between airlines. If you fly a budget airline such as Jet Blue or Southwest, basically, the only benefits to frequent flyers is award travel (free flights). With full service airlines you'll still get the award travel but you'll also get a ton of other benefits.


#3 Rack up the miles


Once you reach elite status, usually 25,000 miles in a calendar year, you get all kinds of fringe benefits. Here's a list of a few:


Priority Check In. Frequent flyers always have their own check in line. There's no waiting in a line of a hundred people at the airport anymore to check your bags.


Free checked baggage. With Delta, my guests and I get up to 3 bags a piece at no charge and the weight limit is 70lbs not the usual 50lbs. This alone is worth hundreds if not thousands per year.


Priority Security Screening. At most airports there is a lane for first class or elite travelers. Again, no more waiting behind a hundred people. Security screening now only takes a few minutes.


Priority Boarding. As a photographer this is one of the biggest deals. When I travel with my camera gear, the last thing I want to do is gate check it. I want it with me the whole way. As a frequent flyer with elite status I get to board the plane before the general public, meaning there will never be a time when I get into the plane and the overhead compartments are full.


FIRST CLASS. This is huge when you fly a lot. I've never paid for a first class ticket but I now fly first class almost exclusively... easily 90% of the time. Delta, and most other airlines give free or very low cost upgrades to their frequent flyers. It makes a big difference having the extra legroom but the biggest difference is the "shoulder room".  The fact that there are only 2 seats in first class where three fit in coach makes all the difference in the world. There's never a time when I worry about who is going to be sitting next to me in first class, but every time I have to sit coach I dread the waiting game of watching the people file in. I just know when I see the 6'5" 350lb mountain man, he's going to sit right next to me. Also, meals and drinks (even alcohol) are free in first class which is pretty nice.


Priority baggage handling. I think this is one of the coolest things Delta does. Whenever I check a bag a special tag is placed on it and upon arrival my bag will be among the first delivered to baggage claim. No waiting around for 30 minutes as bags trickle on to the carousel.


Bonus Miles. Once you make it to elite status, you get between a 25% and 125% bonus on your travel. Once you get to a certain point miles start adding up like crazy.  At the beginning of the year this year it took me 5 round trip flights from LA to NYC to earn the 25000 miles for a free flight. Now it takes only 2.5 round trip flights because I get a 100% bonus on all travel... fly 5000 miles, get 10000 frequent flyer miles.



#4 Don't sweat it if you have to pay a little more to stick with your chosen airline.


If I were to fly American Airlines I'd have to pay $25 each way to check one bag. Sticking with Delta saves me *at least* that much over another airline. If the difference between tickets is even more than that, the fact that all of my miles are with one airline more than makes up for it. The average cost in miles for a free flight is 25,000 miles.  If I have 6000 miles with Delta, 8400 with American, 3700 with United...etc, it doesn't matter that I've got 18100 miles in total because they're with 3 different airlines. I'm still 16400 miles from an award ticket. Don't worry about paying a little more for a ticket with your airline, you'll get it back later.



#5 Pack light.


If its possible carry everything you need on. The time you'll save by not checking bags and not having to wait for them at baggage claim is worth way more than having your choice of 14 pairs of shoes and 23 outfits for that week long trip.


There are lots of other tips I've picked up but this should do for now. Maybe this will help you, I sure wish someone had told me all this a few years ago. :) 


If you have any tips I'm missing here leave me a message in the comments. I'd love to hear them!


Since posts without pictures are boring, here is an image from a wedding I shot in Anguilla (in the British West Indies in the Caribbean) last month. I'll be blogging the whole wedding this week!


anguilla_destination_wedding_photography.jpg

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12 Comments Add A Comment
[August 22, 2010] Lara said:
I'm a Delta girl through and through too. Great post!
[August 22, 2010] Rachel Perry said:
Oh my goodness... I can't wait to see the rest of that wedding!
[August 22, 2010] Taylor said:
Blah blah blah blah blah RAD PICTURE!!! ;) Seriously, good advice, especially for someone starting to rack up miles. Virgin is just starting service to DFW this fall but AA flies everywhere and their prices are among the cheapest out there. Anyway, back to the image...such a tease...it looks freakin' awesome though and you better blog the whole wedding soon!
[August 22, 2010] 10.11. Makeup said:
Stunning. Soooo beautiful. Bri, you look amazing- of course :) Can not wait to see the rest!!
[August 23, 2010] chipgillespie said:
According to your sister-in-law, streaking through the security checkpoint is another way to get through quickly...
[August 23, 2010] Travis Hoehne said:
Michael...that's a killer shot! Seriously...really good! On a side note, I thought you were taking me on that wedding? I guess Cyndie was a better roommate ;)
[August 24, 2010] Jeff said:
Totally with you - great post outlining why everyone should choose one airline, and stick with it. I've been a Delta guy for what seems like forever, and now with the NW merger they are even better than before. Plus I feel like the domestic first class service and seats are way better on Delta than on the other biggies. However, I think United wins on international business class service. Or Singapore Airlines.
[August 24, 2010] Bri Grill said:
Your "blah, blah, blah" got us talking about making an airline commitment soon... and of course... love seeing how awesome you made us look!
[September 22, 2010] Morgan Taylor said:
WOW! This is amazing! I am putting it in my folder of curated photos that inspire me!
[October 14, 2010] Dorothy Snyder said:
Stunning photo!
[May 19, 2014] Bernice A. Johnson said:
Your all images are looking very nice

Several months ago I was hired to shoot what I thought was going to be a pretty typical engagement session in New York. Time passed and as the date came closer I got in touch with the couple to firm up the details. They told me they had some ideas about the shoot and then said they wanted it to have a 1950's theme. They wanted to shoot outside a diner, they were having a '56 T-bird there for the shoot, they were dressing up in 50's attire... in fact, it wasn't going to be typical at all.

One of the things they told me is that they wanted to shoot with the car outside the diner and have the sunset behind them. Well if you know anything about photography you know that in order for that to happen you're going to have to use lighting. I guess I could have done some HDR stuff but its not 2006 anymore. :)

So I rented a Profoto set up and drove out to New Jersey to the diner. The diner was awesome but it was also surrounded by cars, not from the 50's, which to me kind of kills the whole thing. So we positioned the car in the middle of the parking lot and I shot from pretty much the only angle that blocked out the rest of the cars and still showed the diner. I felt pretty good about the images as we were shooting but I never get too excited because you really never know what you're getting until you open them up. I even turned the strobes off at a couple of points and shot natural light just in case things weren't turning out as good as I thought they were.

When I opened the images up to begin working on them I just fell in love. Its so different from what I normally do but man they're so freaking cool.

While I typically work with natural light, when I was first getting started I never wanted to be in a situation where I felt unprepared so I learned as much as I could about off camera lighting. I'm by no means an expert but knowing this stuff has helped me get good images out of bad situations.

So here are a few of my favorites. I put in some of the natural light stuff as well. I think the difference is really interesting. Let me know what you think.

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[July 9, 2010] Jen Johnson said:
Super fun shoot! Love the off-camera stuff...gives the images an editorial feel! : )
[July 9, 2010] Mel McLellan said:
Well if it's one of your favorites ever, we had to check it out! :) Love the black and whites and the last one - supa sweet!
[July 9, 2010] matt said:
these are ridic. so clean & well thought out.
[July 9, 2010] Natalie Williams said:
LOVE!! Way to work the lighting!
[July 9, 2010] Amy Russell said:
I know it's not your normal gig, but these are some of my favorite images that you've ever delivered! Really, really cool stuff-- they not only look editorial, they look like stills from a film. I say you keep playing with the off-camera lights. Seriously!
[July 9, 2010] Tracy said:
Love the inside the car shots.
[July 9, 2010] Julie Boucher said:
Love them!
[July 9, 2010] Jennifer | Zinchuk Studios said:
Wow! What an amazing session!! Love the contrast between the lit and natural shots....and the night shots are sooo yummy!!
[July 9, 2010] Trent said:
Man. Can't believe how incredible these turned out.
[July 10, 2010] Adi Ulici said:
Wow, the lightning is gorgeous in these photos!
[July 10, 2010] Malinder said:
Amazing shoot! Love the lit pictures
[July 12, 2010] sarah k chen said:
hot stuff! you really rocked the shoot! and i'm so happy to see you blogging again! we've all missed you!
[July 12, 2010] Stephanie Castillo said:
WOW!!!! LOOOOVE THIS SHOOT!!!! AMAZING!!!!
[July 12, 2010] Stephanie Castillo said:
P.s. did you use ocf for some of these? If so, can I ask what you used? Thanks :)
[July 13, 2010] Kimberly Witort said:
Love them!
[July 13, 2010] evie said:
Awesome job, Michael! LOVE that car;)
[July 14, 2010] Kristin said:
Wow. These are amazing! Would you mind sharing exactly what lighting you used for these? It's so incredible!
[July 15, 2010] Lissette Q said:
WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
[July 19, 2010] Daniel Balboa said:
Love those last few images. Hot hot hot!!
[July 22, 2010] Grace Tan said:
I love the stuff done with the off camera flash! It just looks so good and matches the theme. Saturated colours add to the feel as well.
[July 22, 2010] Grant Perry said:
I am SOOOO diggin' your honesty and that you were totally REAL in your explanation; way to go. Wish more photogs were honest with how and what they were thinking / doing with their stuff. Refreshing. I'm even more diggin' your spot on 100% rock-the-session sharpness and composures of this shoot. Way to go brotha'
[July 23, 2010] Austin Curtis said:
yeaaaaaah dog! I like that went out on a limb. These images are straight classic! It's not 2006 anymore... that is hilarious.
[July 23, 2010] mattaltmix said:
dude, the soft light coming in through the windshield, like they're at a drive-in theatre, money.
[July 23, 2010] Louisa Coulthurst said:
These are just brilliant! I loved all of them!
[July 24, 2010] Marge Cavazos said:
Stunning, simply stunning.
[July 28, 2010] Nellie Guerrero said:
Very spiffy and I love it :) Love the red lips and pumps!
[August 6, 2010] Kim O'Neil said:
These are sweet! For someone who doesn't shoot with OCF much, you sure nailed it! Would love to know the specs on your settings...
[August 22, 2010] carrie said:
dig it! v. cool :)
[August 27, 2010] Deanna Whyte said:
Oh my god! I love these! They are really different from your usual {gorgeous} photographs, and I love the natural light shots in there, but you've done SUCH an amazing job! Seriously HOT. They must have loved them!
[September 16, 2010] Sara said:
These are simply amazing! My faves are the ones you used lighting for. The sky looks incredible, and the in-car shots are just breath taking! I wish I knew a thing about lighting so I could get shots like yours!!
[September 25, 2010] Nikki said:
wow these pics are amazing!!!! you were the photog at my friend Onada's wedding I am sure the pics will come out just as nice! Wonderful job!!!!
[December 28, 2010] Albuquerque Wedding Photographer said:
Wow! Great session. I love the composition, colors and that car! Wonderful job.
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[February 13, 2012] Nicole said:
coolest engagement shoot ever!!!
[January 16, 2017] Mark said:
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[January 17, 2017] John said:
You have brought up a very good details , thankyou for the post.

Last month I travelled to Dallas to shoot Taylor and Amanda's wedding at the Old Red Courthouse in downtown Dallas. Its probably most famous for being where JFK was shot. In fact all of the outdoor portraits were taken right next to the infamous "grassy knoll". Fascinating, eh?

Anyway, here a some of my faves from the day.


I've got to give Amanda some props. It was about 16 degrees that day and she was such a trooper. Sooooo cold, and she never complained once! My kind of bride! :)

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[February 27, 2010] camille said:
photos look great! your exposure makes me jealous. :) good stuff!!
[March 1, 2010] Lissette Q Garcia said:
You are so incredibly talented. I am sooo happy to see you blogging more often so people can see the genius at work.
[March 2, 2010] jeret slack said:
Great post cute couple. Amazing images once again :)
[March 2, 2010] Matt Paddack said:
That blue wall was sweet! To bad you didn't have more time to shoot there.
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[March 11, 2010] Rachel Perry said:
I love that dress! You wouldn't happen to know what designer it is, would you?
[March 16, 2010] Nessa K said:
That backlighting is absolutely DREAMY!
[March 17, 2010] Dominoe Imus said:
Seriously, you made that bride look so gorgeous, you could have fooled me and said it was 70 degrees outside, she looks so calm and comfortable. Beautiful!
[April 6, 2010] jenberry said:
love the blue wall contrast. gorgeous. and of course the walking into the sunset photo. excited for your brave move to NY. so incredible.
[May 17, 2010] Suzanne said:
Loved these pictures ... and especially the one with the bubbles! Fabulous!
[May 19, 2010] karl Bratby said:
suoer set of images
[June 10, 2010] Michael Roberts said:
Breathtaking images, couple is adorable.
I'm getting back on the blogging train and wanted to post a wedding from a few weeks ago and the realized I never blogged the couple's engagement session. So here are a few frames from Paula and Brian's engagement session in New York late last year.

We shot in Dumbo, and area of Brooklyn between the Manhattan and Brooklyn bridges and then walked up to Brooklyn Heights, the area where The Cosby Show was set. Such a cool, quintessentially New York neighborhood. We didn't have any sun that afternoon but I still love the images. The feel so "New York" to me.

newyorkengagement0001.jpgnewyorkengagement0002.jpg
newyorkengagement0003.jpgnewyorkengagement0004.jpgnewyorkengagement0005.jpgnewyorkengagement0006.jpgnewyorkengagement0007.jpgnewyorkengagement0008.jpgnewyorkengagement0009.jpgnewyorkengagement0010.jpgnewyorkengagement0011.jpgnewyorkengagement0012.jpgnewyorkengagement0013.jpg

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10 Comments Add A Comment
[February 16, 2010] Craig Salmond said:
As a fellow fan of NYC, I have to say that I love these pictures. I would love to do a session in the Big Apple!
[February 16, 2010] Brad Peters said:
nice! truly a new york feel
[February 16, 2010] Hayley said:
LOVE it!!! always clean, always classic and always beautiful!
[February 16, 2010] Hayley said:
LOVE it!!! always clean, always classic and always beautiful!
[February 17, 2010] matt said:
digging the umbrella shot on the boardwalk, super clean & well-composed
[February 17, 2010] jeret slack said:
I can see way you love New york. Great pictures my friend
[February 18, 2010] jenberry said:
this so reads romantic new york looking. it depicts life in that awesome city. the wide shot of them walking in the park holding hands is awesome. it's so telling of place, time and love.
[February 18, 2010] Heather said:
OBSESSED with the bridge in the background. Absolutely gorgeous. NY is my kinda town (:
[November 17, 2011] Anonymous said:
best wishes for you. good luck
[February 14, 2012] stephanie silver said:
GREAT PHOTOS!!!! wow I love them! What do I like about them?... Well where should I start? Love the vibrant colors and the locations that seem to go with each of the couples, love all the details in the photos. Love the 50's style couple and the vintage feel you captured there, Good stuff!!
February 8, 2010 Family , Miscellaneous , Travel

I've been away a while. I know. I know. It's been too long. Instead of groveling and trying to explain my absence I thought I'd make a list about what's gone on since I've last blogged... events, trips, gifts, purchases... whatever. If it's awesome and it's happened in the past couple of months its on the list.

(These are not in order of importance, just the order that they came to me.)

Cyndie and I went to New York... again. I don't think I need to explain to you again my love for New York City and more specifically Manhattan. Now I know I haven't seen the whole world, but, I've seen a lot of it and I can say with some degree of certainty that New York is my favorite place. I know it's not for everyone but for me and Cyndie there's nowhere better. The city, central park, the shopping, the restaurants... I love it all. This was actually the first time that Cyndie and I had gone to New York just for fun. Every other time I've had work there and while we always have a good time when I'm not working it was nice to not have anything but fun on the schedule for our trip.

Also it was our 10 year anniversary.

TEN YEARS!

I can't believe we've been married that long! Here are a few pics I dug out from our proofs from our wedding photos. Don't judge, it was 1999! Sorry the scans are so bad.

weddingpic.jpg

weddingpic2.jpg

And here we are now, this was in December in New York.

IMG_0117b.jpg

Which brings us to food. Our favorite thing to do, aside from going to New York, is go to really great restaurants. In the past two months we have eaten some incredible meals.  I could go on and on about them but there's probably only a few of you out there that would care so I'll just list a few of them.

DBGB. Super Chef, Daniel Boulud's less formal restaurant near the site of the famous old CBGB club in the East Village. Incredible burgers, amazing house made sausages, great beer list.

Jean Georges. Wow. One of New York's five Michelin 3 Star Restaurants. Incredible

Gramercy Tavern. I've heard about Gramercy Tavern for years and in December while we were in New York we totally lucked out and scored what is one of Manhattan's toughest reservations. It did not disappoint.

Animal. A sweet restaurant in West Hollywood that is a vegan's worst nightmare. Luckily I'm no vegan.  Pork Belly sliders, chicken liver toast, veal breast, rabbit legs... even the desert had bacon in it! Mmmmmmeat!

A16. San Francisco's famous restaurant that specializes in not just Italian food, but food from the Campania region of Italy. You have to respect a restaurant that is that focused on what they do. Its easy to try to be all things to all people and end up doing nothing well. A16 does and few things and is the best at them.

And finally the culinary version of Mecca... the place all foodies aspire to eat... perhaps the most famous restaurant in the world...

THE FRENCH LAUNDRY! This was Cyndie's Christmas gift to me. I had a wedding last weekend up in the Bay Area and Cyndie thought ahead two months ago and scored us a table. It was without a doubt the best dining experience of my life. Trying to come up with enough superlatives to describe this meal is futile. I'll probably devote an entire blog post to the meal so we'll save the details for later.

Christmas! As I said, we've been married for 10 years now and this was Makenzie's 6th Christmas and we've always been with our extended family. And while that's always been great we chose, this year, to spend it alone and create our own traditions. So this year it was just the three of us and it was awesome. We definitely missed our families but it was so much fun making things up as we went, creating traditions that will hopefully last for a long time.

I got a new camera. Not really that exciting but its always fun to get new toys.

I got a Sous Vide Supreme! This is way more exciting than a camera... at least to me. We've been getting into cooking amazing food at home and this machine has allowed us to take dinner to a whole 'nother level. We had some friends over last week for a dinner party and I made shortribs that had been cooked for 72 hours! Oh my gosh, they were amazing.

Weddings in San Diego, Hollywood and Dallas and San Francisco. Those blogs are coming up soon, I promise.

Finally, I got a book that is so incredibly inspiring. Its not a photography book, or a business book, it's about a chef named Ferran Adria who is, by many accounts, the best chef in the world. What's inspiring about this book is that it takes you through a typical day with him. He's someone that has dedicated his life to being creative. Not just making food, but creating something that's never been made before. His restaurant is only open 160 days a year because he needs the rest of the time to create. Every day the restaurant is open the first 9 hours of the day is dedicated to creating new dishes. His diners are served between 28 and 36 courses and every course a diner is served is put into a database so that if they come back to the restaurant in the future they will not be served the same dish. The have hundreds of notebooks filled with thousands of dishes they've created, not one of them something the diner will have ever seen or been served before. The 205 days a year the the restaurant is closed is spent developing new processes to make food. Inventing machines and tools if necessary to facilitate the making of whatever dish the have in their heads. That kind of commitment to creativity is just astounding to me and is really inspiring as well. I want to put that much effort into being creative for my clients.

So now you're caught up! I promise it won't be 2 months before I blog again! :)

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12 Comments Add A Comment
[February 8, 2010] Rachel Perry said:
I was going through my blogroll and was surprised to see one from you! It sounds like you've had a great couple of months!
[February 8, 2010] Sarah Smith said:
What is the name of the book that you mentioned? My husband is an avid cook and it sounds like something he would LOVE. NYC is my favorite place in the world and I am lucky enough to live only a 2 hour train ride away :) Next time you visit be sure to visit the Spice Market in the Meatpacking Disctrict - get the sampler - it will blow your mind!
[February 9, 2010] jenberry said:
so excited you're back. i think a refreshing break is needed at times. sounds like you opened your senses up to new awesome things. Basically i'm jealous.
[February 9, 2010] Natasha said:
I love it! Welcome back! SO cool to know another photographer who is as much of a foodie as we are. :)
[February 9, 2010] Brad Peters said:
good to see you back on the blog! Thanks for not giving it up! Glad to read you're doing well.
[February 11, 2010] caroline said:
We missed ya! Also, I'll be heading to New York next weekend for a portrait lighting workshop (at least, if weather allows). Been looking for some things to do/places to eat recommendations. So thanks :D
[February 11, 2010] chipgillespie said:
Dude, I'm so dang proud of you for rocking the requisite 1999-hip-young-minister gotee!! You're my freakin' inspirations! Nay -- you are the wind beneath my flippin' wings, man!! : ) And congrats on 10 years!
[February 14, 2010] marco said:
duuuude the sous vide... I wan't one just so I can be a Voltaggio brother.
[February 14, 2010] Heather Kloster said:
Congrats on 10 years!!! And OMG, Chef Adria's book sounds delicious. Must check it out.
[February 18, 2010] Hayley said:
your wedding was cutting edge for '99. and now with all your fancy cooking skills, i'm not sure if we want to have you over for dinner. i wouldn't want to make you anything ;)
[February 21, 2010] Karli Tanner said:
Glad you are back and everyone is doing well. Tell the girlz I said hi! Congrats on 10 years of happy marriage!
[February 25, 2010] HARRISON STUDIO said:
awesome! congrats you two!

Last weekend I traveled to Dallas to shoot Taylor and Amanda's engagement photos. Taylor's a photographer based in Dallas. It's always fun shooting photographers because they're always up for anything, and know that even if you feel funny doing it, you have to work it in front of the camera. Taylor and Amanda were a ton of fun and I love these images and can't wait to go back to shoot their wedding in January at the Old Red Courthouse in Downtown Dallas.

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19 Comments Add A Comment
[November 19, 2009] kristin @ The Treasured Petal said:
They are so cute! Can't wait to see their wedding!
[November 19, 2009] Jane Hasty said:
Adorable!
[November 19, 2009] ashley said:
Beautiful- Gorgeous light =)
[November 19, 2009] Amy Coffey said:
You know I love these, Norwood. The ones with the city in the background... perfect!
[November 19, 2009] Kenny said:
That one of her on his back, might be one of my favorite shots you've ever taken. Composition, lighting, the whole bit... epic.
[November 19, 2009] Jeret Slack said:
love this one... love that guys car:)
[November 19, 2009] Edmund Prieto said:
Great great shots man!!!
[November 20, 2009] chipgillespie said:
Love this session. Thanks for sharing the wisdom this week. I think the 4th one down is my favorite...
[November 20, 2009] Emily Beaty said:
Beautiful work!!! Love this session. :)
[November 20, 2009] s h e r r y said:
I love the field and the light! Seriously awesome photos.
[November 20, 2009] eric von lehmden said:
awesome session. i'll second chip and say i love the 4th one down...classic piggyback. so nice meeting you and chatting with you this week. see you at Christmas!
[November 20, 2009] Brad Peters said:
like the ones with the power lines! Great idea!
[November 20, 2009] Maalaea w/ i and m photography said:
Such a lively shoot, I love it.
[November 20, 2009] Bill Blakey said:
God Bless Texas! These look great!
[November 23, 2009] Olivia said:
Love your photos- these are all really great! :)
[December 1, 2009] Brianna Phelan said:
Great set of images, very sweet couple :)
[January 12, 2010] Jerry- Chicago Wedding Photographer said:
Love the skyline in the background!
[January 15, 2010] HomeMade Bride said:
Stunning shots! I am really digging the plaid tie. Very cute couple!
[May 8, 2010] Darrell - Charleston Wedding Photographer said:
Nice work! I wouldn't normally integrate the power lines in the shot but you made it look really cool!
October 30, 2009 Family , Portraits , Travel

I love New York. I might even go so far as to say that its my favorite place on earth. Luckily, several times a year, work takes me there and Cyndie and I always take a little time for ourselves as well. We've spent a good amount of time there and don't really do the touristy thing anymore. We just spend the days shopping, walking the streets of Manhattan and planning out where our next meal will be.

A couple of the days we went up to Central Park. It was so incredible. All of the leaves were turning, the weather was perfect and crisp and there was even a jazz band playing one day. Could there be a more quintessential fall day?

I don't always bring my big camera along but this morning I did and I took a few shots of the city, park and even a few of Cyndie. Here are some of my favorites.




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17 Comments Add A Comment
[October 30, 2009] Brad Peters said:
sweet shots!
[October 30, 2009] jenny haas said:
WOW!
[October 30, 2009] jamie delaine said:
i think central park is MAGICAL. love these photos: wow. but gotta say, definitely not a fan of NYC in general.
[October 30, 2009] ashley said:
Gorgeous photos. Your wife is beautiful! =)
[October 30, 2009] audrey said:
I love East Coast in the Fall. My hometown is MD. Wouldn't it be nice to have our pictures taken there huh Michael? Maybe in the Future we all can fly there for photo shoots. Audrey
[October 31, 2009] Kristine said:
Love these! If it's okay for me to ask, what were the NYC pictures shot at?
[October 31, 2009] Amy Hofschroer said:
Love the shots of Cyndie... stunning!!!
[November 2, 2009] chipgillespie said:
Love it, dude! Cyndie, you look beautiful!!
[November 2, 2009] Bri Stine said:
We have some of the same shots from our trip in August. Minus Cyndie and the changing leaves of course! Glad you two had fun!
[November 2, 2009] Yvett Mosqueda said:
Love the fall colors of Central Park! Thanks for sharing =)
[November 4, 2009] Rebecca Hoehne said:
BEAUTIFUL!!! And... your wife is HOT!!
[November 11, 2009] Cathy and David said:
Gorgeous shots man!!! Where's the food post you promised me? :-D
[November 16, 2009] Cameron Ingalls said:
Beautiful my friend! You rock always.... Much love
[November 19, 2009] Dennis Bullock said:
That last series rocks!
[November 22, 2009] Drew Renner said:
Mike I love these pics of NY. I love that time of year when the leaves change and begin to drop. It was fun being around you and edmund last night at the wedding.
[December 17, 2009] Chelsey said:
Such cute pictures of your wife! She's such a cute girl.
[February 3, 2010] Robert J. Trenske said:
Way to completely rock Central Park, there is no place better especially in the fall!