No silly….  the word is film.  I’m back into film and have the first image from my personal project involving scenic portraits.  I recently had the opportunity to purchase a fantastic film camera.  The kind I used to dream of owning when film was mainstream.

Now that film is becoming much less mainstream and more of an artist’s medium I am finding myself drawn to it.  I am very comfortable exploring techniques that require precise planning, concentration and execution to achieve the desired result.  This first test is an example of that in the sense that it is one scene composed of nine individual exposures.  The individual frames come together in contact sheet form to give  a slightly different presentation of the world that we saw that day.

I shot film for ten years before going completely digital in 2000.  From now on I will no longer consider myself completely digital.



February 25, 2008

Have you wondered where we’ve been lately?

It’s all about the albums here at W&W!  We’re using what’s left of winter to get albums into as many hands as possible.  It’s true that after the wedding, most couples are super busy, so we’ve been poking, prodding, gently nudging (no arm twisting) to get our album designs approved or revised.  If you are one of these people, don’t feel bad, you’re not alone. (unless your one of the three remaining whose wedding was in 2005, then that’s kinda bad, please write back soon!)

In the last two weeks alone we have been keeping the printer and book binder more than busy with books from our 2007 weddings.  It’s truly a great feeling to get a couple’s book to them and hear how their single friends are amazed, and their married friends are kind of jealous when they show their album.  That’s what we live for.

Do You Know?

February 18, 2008

Do you have any idea what is shown in the image below? If you do, you’ve probably been around photography for longer than you care to admit. In fact, some of this stuff has been in a drawer in my refrigerator for over 13 years. This month I am taking on a project that aims to restore the process of the art for me personally, and bring the medium of photography back to the tactile craft that I fell in love with.  Don’t worry though, I’m not doing anything weird or different with our wedding work.

More info soon.

I just love getting notes from people we have worked with over the years. This note just came in and I wanted to share my congratulations on their new baby! It is an exciting time when a new baby arrives, and the fun really never stops.

Even though we have done several hundred weddings in the last ten years, we still remember all of our clients! A lot of people might think that’s impossible, but seriously, between the photo sessions, the wedding, editing, album designing and retouching, by the time it’s all over we have spent many dozens of hours looking at hundreds of photos of each couple we work with. That tends to stay with you. Not only that, but every wedding is so different from our perspective. It’s our job to notice everything, so we take much more than just a passing interest. Anyway here is the note from Nicole. We can’t wait to see you at Elizabeth’s wedding!

“Hi James – Not sure if you remember me or not but you were our photographer 4 years ago at our wedding. Brad and I loved your work and get so many compliments every time someone looks at our album! I also heard you were doing our friend’s wedding in June at Ceasar’s Head…Elizabeth. She adored your work and knew she wanted to use you. So glad that worked out. We’ll be at the wedding so we hope to say a quick hello.

I just wanted to let you know that Brad and I had our first baby 3 weeks ago and wanted to share the news with you. Baker Lindan was born on Jan 24th and is a beautiful baby boy. I feel like you did so much for us by documenting our wedding in such a beautiful way and anyone that does something so memorable deserves to share in the joy of an occasion like this! So, thank you and hope you and Meredith and the family are doing well!

nicole, brad, and baker “

On a Much Happier Note

February 6, 2008

Will is growing up fast. Last Saturday, he and I set out on a day long adventure. We started at the train yard in downtown Raleigh and he had a blast! For the first time ever I totally felt like that annoying parent who wanted to take pictures of their kid and the kid is totally over it. We were sure to trespass as much as possible and do all the things that would make Meridith clutch her pearls in horror at the thought of her little boy out in such places. We left downtown around lunch time, had a great picnic lunch in a park and spent the afternoon rock climbing. A perfect day!

My favorite blue wall downtown.  Will is so over having photos taken at this point.

Thoughts on Life and Death

February 3, 2008

It has been an interesting and challenging week to say the least. It all began with a phone call last Sunday, and ended yesterday with me boarding a boat headed out to sea. As the family was scattering my brother’s ashes into the Atlantic Ocean I was reminded of something that was said to me recently. A wise person told me that if we were stripped of every possession we own and even if all of our senses of sight, hearing and smell were taken from us, we would still have our memories because those can never be taken away.

I have always known that what Meridith and I do as photographers is important to our clients and their families. I have also known that it is generally the older family members who have a great deal more interest in the family group photos that we create at weddings and I now know why. My mom carries a photo of the family with her everywhere. I don’t mean in her wallet, it’s in a frame and it sits on a table. It’s her memory.

We put a lot of energy into creating powerful, beautiful and dramatic images that our clients are excited to show the world. It often turns out that what we might consider to be the less interesting images of family groups are the ones that mean so much later on. As the ability to replay the past in our heads becomes diminished over time, these images that exist outside of our heads become so much more important. I think that a lot of what I see going on in the photography industry today misses that important point.

I’m the oldest of five kids and that has given me a perspective on life that I guess only the “older brother” can have. So many people this week had one question on their mind. Why? Why would this happen to a person twenty three years old? At a time in life when things should have just really been getting started? Lucky for them I know the answer and I don’t mind sharing it.

First, it’s important to know that every person is here on earth for a reason. The thing that is more important to remember is that the universe works in mysterious ways. There is rarely ever a straight path between cause and affect. Some people were put on this earth however briefly to remind the rest of us that life is precious. Because of this experience I will be sure to hug my son more often and do more show him that he is loved. Hopefully others will do the same. Our children hold the future inside them, and if they feel more love and positive energy from us they will be better equipped to create a brighter future. So, even though there is grief and a sense of loss right now, this loss can create a better world if we choose to see it that way.