photography

Brookside Farms Wedding – Louisville Ohio

IMG_4191Brookside Farms – The perfect place for wedding, engagement and bridal photographs.

With it’s rolling hill sides, old fence backdrops, and historic Barn, Brookside Farms is an amazing place for a wedding. Set on 120 acres of lush pastures, Brookside Farms provides no-ends of possibilities for a modern wedding with an old-world touch.

Separate houses are provided for both brides and grooms, (the farm house for the Bride and the “The Lodge” for the groom),  to allow them to get ready for their big day. And when I say houses, I mean it. These aren’t simple rooms with just enough space for the wedding party to get dressed; these are fully fledged homes with areas to meet and mingle, full sized bed rooms for the bride and her party to prepare. These homes are perfect for pre-ceremony photos – capturing those small, intimate, moments where everything comes together.

The ceremony itself can be held in any number of areas on this sprawling farm. Both the fields and the historic barn are two great locations for a wedding filled with ambiance. Trees and wooden fences dot the landscape, giving any outdoor wedding a picturesque backdrop. The barn, a 6,000 square foot historic structure, is perfect for both wedding ceremonies and receptions. It has extra rooms for catering use as well as completely modern restrooms – no guest has to worry about using an outhouse!

IMG_1759-EditThe farm house, as mentioned above, is a beautiful location for wedding photos and can also serve as housing for out-of-town guests. It’s an 1870’s brick house that has been completely restored with 3 bedrooms, two full baths, an functioning kitchen, a sitting room, sun room, and living & dining rooms. It’s a gorgeous place to take pictures of the bride and her party when she puts on her wedding dress. There’s even wireless internet for those people who want to keep their social media friends who couldn’t attend in the loop.

It’s important to mention that there are a lot of people involved with any ceremony. Wedding florists, wedding planners, wedding caterers and of course wedding photographers; Brookside Farms is set up perfectly to handle all of these flawlessly with a dedicated staff ready to help in any way needed.

When I was there last, taking photos for a couple who later became good friends, I found the Brookside Farms to be filled with charm and convenience. The perfect confluence of beauty and practicality. There was no where on the property to take a bad photo – the farm did most of the work for me. And when the evening finally came, and the sun began to set behind the hills the photos just kept getting better and better. Brookside Farms isn’t just limited to wedding day photography either. Engagement photos and Bridal Portraits can be taken there as well.

Benjamin Lehman is a Commercial Wedding Photographer from Canton, Ohio.

 

Controlling Light – Using a Flash Outdoors

Flash ComparisonPeople love to shoot at sunrise and sunset, and why not? It’s a beautiful time of the day where the sun is doing all of the hard work for you. That low horizon light is flattering in almost all cases and will often remove the need for external flashes completely.

There are times, however, when you can’t escape the mid-day sun, and that harsh, overhead light, can be anything but flattering to your subjects. This was the case when I was recently asked to take a series of portraits for the Akron/Canton Regional Food Bank. The job was to take photos of the clients and volunteers of the food bank, and because the area food banks often hand food out in the late mornings I was constantly faced with shooting with the noon-day sun in the sky. In cases such as this, it’s strongly recommended that you use some sort of a fill light, and if you do it right your photo will be beautifully exposed with your background and subjects left looking amazing.

The way I approach this problem is fairly simple. The sun will almost always be at some sort of angle to you, even in the middle of summer at high noon. The trick is to find that small difference in angle and then put your subject’s backs to it. In this way, you are using the sun as sort of a huge, nuclear rim light. You’re also keeping the sun out of their eyes, which helps reduce squinting.

The next trick is exposure. Since your using an external light source to expose your subject correctly, you need to set your camera to expose for the background. Here I like to use the magic -1 to -2 ev trick. Darkening the background in this way will both saturate the colors of the background and make your subjects pop.

All that’s left now is positioning and dialing in your light’s power. This part is where you can get creative, but generally I like to use a fairly large light source (I use an umbrella/octobox similar to this on location with my AlienBee’s 800) with it positioned directly in front of, or just to the side of my subjects. Light power is set to generally equal neutral exposure on the subjects, although more or less power can be used to add drama.

Blue Fish

Nothing lasts forever, nothing can wait too long. A lot of the people who grew up around here have memories of this place; this sea-foam-blue whale. Whenever I mention that it’s still there they say, “Really? I would have though it was torn down by now. I really loved that place.” They haven’t been here to see it and now it’s disappearing, distantly, far away from their eyes. I think you have to take the chance to see these things when it’s given to you; no use thinking it’ll be there waiting endlessly for you.

Blue Fish

Glitch

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Late Night Band

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A winter re-visit

Sometimes it’s fun to go back; To take a picture of a person or place that you’ve snapped in the past. The annual “Light up Downtown” is a good chance for me to do just that. It happens every year around the same, in the same place and it always combines two of my favorite things. Winter and Fireworks!

Snowy Tree Line

Best part about winter is running around in the snow with a camera!

Autumn

Looking Up

I love Autumn. I think all photographers do. Part of it is the early evenings that spawn gorgeous sunsets, and of course, let’s not forget those trees that take on an aura of fire as their leaves change color. So it’s always a little bitter-sweet when the fall rains (and snow!) force all the foliage to the ground, leaving the trees to resemble skeletons. Fortunately, most photographers, including myself, also love the snow and ready or not, it’s right around the corner!

Taping a Modern Day Game Show

In the past, I’ve had the pleasure to work both in front of, and behind the camera. This time around, however, it was my brother-in-law’s  time to be in front of the lens. He (a local Veterinarian) was given a chance to play on the new Skype-based game show, Let’s A$K America! I got to hang out in his office and take pictures of his experience while the show was being taped. It’s nice to see the Hollywood timeline hasn’t changed much – taking well over 3 hours to record a 15 minute segment.

And while he didn’t win the mega-bucks, he did use his time on camera to promote some worthy animal causes such as cat adoption and dog rescue.

Shooting Outdoor Events

Some people love the control they get in their studio, others love the freedom they have by shooting outdoors. Personally, I think they both have just about the same amount of pros and cons in each of their respective columns. That’s why I like to bring a little bit one into the other. When I am shooting in my studio, I’ll use windows or reflectors to hardness natural light, and when I am shooting outdoors I’ll bring a flash (or two, or seven) along to shape the light into a perfect fit for the scene. This was the case recently when we were asked to shoot an outdoor golfing event.

We started the job by scouting out the location twice. Once soon after we took on the task, and once more a few days before the event just to make sure our expectations and gear checklist were all in line.

We settled on hole #14 which has several advantages. One, it had some shade throughout most of the day. Since I knew I was bringing a large strobe, I knew I could light the players in the foreground as I wished while still using the ambient light to take care of the background. Our chosen hole also had a Pro Teebox that was raised some 4 feet above the amateur Teebox. That let me get my camera about 4 feet extra above the player’s heads which let me capture players and the rolling course behind them.

The light I chose was an Alienbees 800 with a Phototek 5′ Phototek Softlighter II. I then exposed for the background (which changed a lot throughout the day) and then set the light levels accordingly. Because of the huge size of the umbrella, I was able to have the light on the hill with me and still light up the entire area around the players in a very soft manner.

 

 

 

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