The Reason I Love Flower Girls is Because of...

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

...cute and unforced pictures like this. If you become friends with the kids from a wedding party early on in the day, you'll never have to make them pose later. I can't wait for the day, twenty years from now, when a formerly photographed flower girl contacts me to shoot her own wedding!


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The Grand Opening and Behind The Stage

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The Grand Opening of the studio on Sunday went very well. Thanks to everyone that came out, especially my Facebook and Blogger family! We met so many energetic brides looking forward to planning their weddings this year and next. A highlight of the evening was Erica Angeline's fashion show. While Anna Beth and Brandi worked our display area I decided to sneak behind the stage outside.


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Taking a Backseat to the Action

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Everybody needs a day to relax. Today was an unusually chill day for me. The wedding is over so I wanted to take a backseat for once. When I started shooting it appeared as if everyone else agreed.

I caught this driver napping around noon.

And this one too.

Not to mention this guy.

I went and grabbed lunch for two from Barista (Chennai version of Starbucks). Then I woke up the third driver and gave him a sandwich, bottle of water, and 150 rupees to drive me around town with no real destination in mind. Instead of shooting I put my camera down that is normally strapped to my hand like a workout glove and just enjoyed the sights and sounds of the city.

I've gotta do this more often!

Oh yeah, don't forget the Grand Opening on Sunday. For details click here.


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KNIGHT + The Wedding Planner

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

I'm beginning to believe there is no one on this earth that I can't make laugh or at least crack a smile. Especially when I catch dance fever in the middle of a shoot. Its either Brandi or I that decide to put our bad moves to the test when all else fails. Other times we just want to enjoy ourselves.

My good friend Michelle from Lemiga Events contacted me about a session for her new upcoming website and press releases. Of course she used the most common statement in all of my clients' first consultation, "I'm not the most photogenic person." I always say, "Yeah right. You're beautiful in your own unique way." This is very true of every person I photograph. I find out what I see (...the key is to love what you see. ©2004) is beautiful about them and try to capture just that. Friends and family end up agreeing with me in the end and people that actually like themselves do too.

Michelle is the owner of Lemiga Events and StudioWed in Atlanta. I am a part of the studio and have enjoyed the relationship Michelle and I have developed. She helped Brandi with the decor for my birthday party in April and we have two weddings to collaborate on coming up in November and January.

For her headshots/lifestyle session Michelle wanted to just be herself. I proposed we do "Michelle's Favorite Things" and we took it from there. Michelle enjoys going to the flower market and the Tiny Bistro (for lunch) at least once a week, loves fabric and linen, is a paper junkie, and likes reading wedding magazines. We incorporated all of these things into the shoot.

I decided to interview Michelle to give all of my upcoming and potential brides out there some tips on planning your wedding. I hope you find this informative and helpful!

A Photoshoot and Interview with Michelle Gainey of Lemiga Events

1. How long have you been in business? How did you get started?
I initially started planning events as a hobby, but with encouragement from family and friends, I turned my passion for planning into my business. I started Lemiga in 2004, first planning social and corporate events, and eventually branched out into weddings.

2. Why does a couple getting married need an event planner?
Event planners are important to help keep you organized, educate you on the process, and be an advocate on your behalf with other vendors.

3. What is the difference between event planning and event design?
Event planning involves the logistics of the day - coordination of the vendors and wedding day timeline. Event design involves designing the wedding day decor elements. Sometimes clients may only have colors they like and don't know where to go from there. I help them come up with a cohesive design that allows for everything from the stationery, to the flowers, to the linens, etc., all flow together nicely. As well as designing unique details that reflect the couple's personality within the wedding.

4. Your greatest memory as an event planner?
I recently had a wedding where the bride walked into her reception room and started crying. She was overwhelmed with how everything turned out perfectly as she had envisioned. Of course then I started crying too! It just felt so wonderful to be able to deliver her dream-wedding day.

5. Does having a couple on a budget limit your creativity?
Not at all. I love getting to know what is important to my clients - their interests and hobbies - where they fell in love - what they love about each other. And I take those details and design the wedding around those elements. There are always ways to incorporate those into the wedding without it being expensive.

6. Why should someone choose you to be their event planner?
A potential client would choose me as their planner because they want an event or wedding that's full of unique details and at the end of the day, reflects the couple and what is important to them. They want a planner that thinks outside the box and enjoys doing something that's never been done before. My ideal client wants to choose me because they value quality and good customer service.

8. Are you married? If so, what would you do differently planning if you could go back in time and do it again?
I have been married for 9 years. And boy are things different now than when I got married. Mainly photography! I'm so in love with wedding photography today (especially Ross' work : ) 9 years ago, photography was much more posed and not creative. So if I could have one thing different it would be a photographer who truly captures the emotion of the day, and brings an artistic approach to photography.

9. Why Atlanta?
I grew up in Atlanta and live here with my husband and two daughters.

10. Do you travel?
I love to travel! I love the challenge and inspiration of new and different locations.

11. How does photography affect your business?
After all is said and done, just like the couple, all I have are the photos. In order to have a good professional portfolio of work, quality photography is key.

12. What should a couple look for in a planner? A photographer?
You want the right fit for your style and personality. You work with your wedding vendors on a very intimate level and you want to hire professionals that you trust to understand your desires and vision and deliver that for your wedding.

13. Does communicating with the couple's photographer affect your success as a planner?
Definitely! I always communicate with the photographer to make sure we include enough time in the wedding day time line for the couple's photos. I also work with the photographer to make sure they capture all the details the couple spent so much time and energy preparing. Nothing is worse than not getting a photo of items that are sentimental or you worked hard to prepare.

16. How does lighting affect your designs?
Proper lighting is everything. Lighting changes the mood of the room. You want your guests to see all the details you've meticulously planned, and good lighting highlights colors and textures as well creating the glow for you and your guests to be photographed.

17. What is your favorite season for weddings?
In Atlanta, probably Spring. It's not too hot or cold. And the city is just beautiful with everything blooming around.

18. Where do you draw inspiration from (business and life)?
Everywhere! I'm lucky to be surrounded by a great group of wedding professionals at StudioWed and they inspire me on a daily basis. For event design I draw inspiration from fashion, home decor, architecture, colors, etc. It's funny how I can be in a random place and something sparks an idea. I always carry around my camera and notebook so I can easily jot down my ideas.

21. What are the new trends in event planning and design?
Trends come and go. I prefer to design events that are true to who my clients are and what is important to them. This way even when you look back at the event years from now, it will be timeless because it represents the essence of the couple. For example, if you met and fell in love in Paris, so we decide to incorporate Parisian touches in the wedding, even 10 years from now you'll look back on that with fondness and meaning. However, if you designed your wedding only by what was trendy at that time, when you look back on it a decade later it will probably look very dated. Yes, I follow trends and I'm always in the loop to the hottest colors and the latest and greatest ideas. But trends aren't a guiding factor for me. Being true to who you are and what you love and reflecting that within your wedding is what is most important. And who knows, by doing that you might start some new trends!

22. What is the greatest misconception that you feel brides have? Biggest mistake?
Taking on more than they can handle. There's nothing more sad than to see a bride or her family running around and working on the wedding day. When the day is properly planned and you have a good team, all you have to worry about is getting married. You don't get to do this day over again, and believe me it goes much faster than you can imagine. So have a competent team in place to handle the logistics and details for your wedding so you can just spend the time taking in all the emotion of the wedding.

23. Is it common for brides to think they can plan their wedding on their own?
Yes, in the beginning. Many brides usually don't understand all the details and organization that are needed to plan a wedding. Especially when they have full-time jobs, it can be difficult to stay on top of everything that has to be accomplished with planning a wedding. I find my brides usually have a sense of relief after hiring me, because now they know they have a partner in the planning process who is watching over them, guiding them, and ensuring that nothing is missed. And most of all they get to relax and enjoy their wedding day knowing that all the details are taken care of.

24. How did you enjoy Ross Oscar Knight dancing during your portrait session? Is he crazy or just doing what it takes to make people feel comfortable in their own skin?
The tactics definitely work! It just goes to show there's nothing he won't do to make the client feel comfortable to get the shot.

To learn more about Michelle and see some of her design ideas, check her out by clicking here.

Assistant: Lauren Wade (KNIGHT intern)
Hair: Terion Montgomery (Like A River Salon)
Location: Tiny Bistro, StudioWed, BrickWorks
Makeup: Keya DeLarge (previous shoot with Keya and Erica)
Styling: Erica Angeline (previous shoot with Keya and Erica)


Ross Oscar Knight Photography Destination Wedding Photographers


Patrick + Neethu | Chennai India - The Fusion Wedding

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

I promised everyone on Facebook an image from the Haitian/Indian fusion wedding so I thought I would also post to the blog really quick. The second part of the wedding starts in just a few hours at 5:30 AM. Oh my...

I downloaded all of the images and these two really stuck out after an initial review.

Here is the bride on her way to the Mendhi Ceremony. She still has a little henna paste to fall off before the tattoo is complete but I thought she looked amazing. Don't you agree?

The groom's expression reminds me of how he looked during his proposal to Neethu last year in New York. You probably remember the ring because it is pictured in my right tool bar under "Visit Our Website."

Here is me in my new shooting gear for the wedding. Wish me luck!

Blog ya later..


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Today I Helped a Man Cross The Road

I woke up early this morning around 6 AM. My body has now adjusted to the time in India. Instead of flagging down an auto rickshaw I took to the streets by foot in search of breakfast. I'm starting to really find my way around town now and I realize that most places I have visited here are not really that far apart. It was relatively quiet outside and there were sounds of sweeping on every corner.

The air was still and quite humid. Children waited patiently near the safety of their homes for school transportation.

I came to an intersection that I thought I remembered. It was near a bridge so I had several options of which direction to travel. As I contemplated my next move I suddenly heard grunting. At first I thought to myself, "there's no way I am this hungry." But my stomach has been known to take on a life of its own if I wait too long to eat or if I skip a meal. When I turned around I saw a man on a bicycle struggling to make it up the same hill that I had just walked with ease. The front of his bike had ten huge water jugs on the front that he was delivering down the street. My impulse was to immediately take a picture so I took one.

But as I continued to look through my lens and see the pain on this man's face there was no way I could let him just sit there without reaching his goal. I put my lens cap on and secured the camera over my shoulder and around my waist. The man seemed surprised to see me running to him. There was a language barrier because he was speaking to me in Tamil and I was speaking to him in English. It seemed that everything was ok for me to help and then I noticed his demeanor. He thought I wanted to take some of his water away! Instead of giving up I tried again to communicate. This time I stared him directly in the eyes and said, "I will HELP you." He repeated, "Help, yes. Take this, no." By now almost 5 minutes had passed but I grasped firm hold of the basket with the water and pushed with all of my might. A few cars zipped by honking and swerving around us but through the hardship, we made it.

After the ordeal, he suggested I take a drink of water from one of his jugs. I was sweaty and dirty from the rust of the bike, the tar from road and the fumes from the cars. I graciously declined and presented him with one of my business cards instead. This caught him off guard as he pointed to the card and then to me. I said, "yes, " as I watched him flip the card back and forth studying the photo on the front and information on the back. At last, he gazed at me and smiled as if I had given him $1 million bucks. That warmed my heart.

All of that time I never looked around me, except to check for racing cars. I did a 360 turn to notice the child in his driveway, the street sweeper, and a priest had all stopped to witness the entire experience. Another man ran over and grabbed the side of the bike where I once toiled and helped my new acquaintance the rest of the way.

You never know sometimes who may be trying to help you or why. There are times that people decide heartache and pain is the only way to get ahead and won't accept the support they need. Likewise, some people's narrow-mindedness towards the troubles of others around them makes life difficult for everyone. It only proves the selfish nature of far too many in our world.

'Let your light so shine before others, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.'

Someone could be watching that you may influence to do even greater deeds in the process. The ultimate form of sacrifice is service to humanity.

It started sprinkling after I ate breakfast and then there was a complete downpour. Luckily I started walking again before the heavy rains. By the time I reached my hotel 3 miles away it was totally flooded in the medians. I am hoping that after reading this blog entry, you won't let your service to others drizzle but rather let it downpour.

- KNIGHT, Building Community Through Photography

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KNIGHT + India + Photojournalism (Day Three)

Monday, August 17, 2009

I am totally freaking out this morning! I spent like $16,000 shopping yesterday. What was I thinking? You would think that after my 30 years on this earth my mom and my 5 sisters would have prepared me for picking out dresses and doing so at reasonable prices. Well they did a great job because 1 US dollar is equivalent to about 48 Indian rupees. So I spent 16,000 rupees and not 16,000 dollars. Yesterday was my shopping day for family so I browsed the Pondy Bazarre strip of stores and then met up with the bride, her mom, and aunt. They were getting fabric for the Mendhi Ceremony. I thought my mom was the Queen of bargains and negotiation (actually she always will be) but when I met up with the three ladies they had one question, how much do you want to spend? I had a clean napkin from lunch that I detailed with all of my family's names and sizes. I wrote the budget down and then we were off to several stores. The experience of sitting in a Silk House while sari after sari is laid in front of you and then opened is incredible. I could feel my heart beat rising with every new color, pattern, and fabric I examined. There will be some really happy ladies when I return to the States bearing gifts as unique as they are. Especially my wife!

I couldn't leave the guys out so while walking through the shopping district I noticed that my all-terrain, water resistant, mildew free, adjustable, reflective, vented, removable sole, laceless, backpack-friendly shoes just wouldn't do. I needed some sandals and figured my dad would like a pair too. I got him sandals from Africa last year so why not India. I tried on a few pair and then settled on brown Batas for $4.

If I wasn't going cuckoo over spending money then I was definitely being driven insane by the colors and objects around me. Everywhere I turn all I see are paintings of people's lives and the order of disorder. The intro photo of this blog entry was taken while walking through the market. That is sugar cane being pressed to make fresh juice. I didn't have any of the juice but the portrait speaks volumes and will be hanging as a canvas in my home soon. Next, I witnessed a girl walking a tight rope nearly 8 feet off the ground with a painted bamboo rod in her hand and a tall flower pot balancing her head. You couldn't pay me to leave early at this point.

As far as objects are concerned, I have been mesmerized by the number of scooters and motor cycles on the road. Last night I rode from the bride's grandmother's home (I had a lovely meal there) to my hotel on the back of a scooter to retrieve my flash. Its the first time I needed more light. During the ride I was shooting the action on the streets and in the small vendor shops. Turns out that the increased frames per second and low-light capability of my new camera trumps my faithful body back home. I wish that I had my bicycle for transportation. Everyone has a bike and most are retrofitted with a flat metal grate and rope to hold groceries, people, or just about anything else you can images. In the two photos below, although the bikes were haphazardly chained to trees or simply supported by the kickstand on concrete, I was lured by the color and the order of disorder. I'll explain more about this on my travel website and exhibition coming soon.


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Ashley + Anna Beth | Savannah, GA - Part II

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Here is part two of the wedding post..

Oh yeah, if you missed the ceremony pics check this link from a few days ago.


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I couldn't decide which ring shot to post so here is the second. Anna and I fought over this one so let us know which one you like best. If you click on the image below you will see the expanded version.

I mixed the color temperatures to accentuate the mood.

I found the perfect table and window for this shot in the restaurant.

Since I had two other photographers I was able to be with the couple every step of the way.

After the ceremony the couple had some alone time down in the spa. I followed (Oh my)! I set up a radio triggered flash in the background to create the burst of light you see. I didn't have an assistant or a stand so I used the groom's shoe as an impromptu support socket.

The couple took a quick breather before joining their guest at the reception.

Anna did custom silhouettes herself of she and Ashely for the candles along with their initial.

The candy buffet, jars of honey for wedding favors, and XBOX groom cake were all a hit!

I love it when my clients understand that lighting variations bring so much character to a room. The live band jammed the whole night.

I've never seen these two smile so much. While I was shooting the first dance I kept putting my camera down to admire the love.
Once a guest noticed I was slacking on the job I got back to business....

The adoration for Ashley and Anna Beth can be summed up with the look on the guests' faces.

Anna Beth is a daddy's girl and thats pretty much all I can say. Her father belted a few notes here.

Other couples in the room had to reaffirm their commitment to that special someone. I know I did.

I saw this coming and I was going to warn Ashley but then I thought, naaah. Just let him have it!
The couple had a silhouette artist on hand to draw their guests' portraits. Once the portraits were finished (less than 2 minutes) one copy was matted and given to the guest as a momento while the other copy was used to create a guest book that was signed by the guests. Hope you understood that...if not call the office and talk to Anna.

Let the party begin! There is so much more but you'll have to wait for the slide show. I gave you 40 pictures already!

After a long day and night of shooting the KNIGHT team got together for a quick snap shot.