Wednesday, March 25, 2009


This week is one of those weeks where all just seems ok with the world, as long as you don't stare at the news for too long. Spring is threatening to come on full bore and the wedding season is starting to get revved up. This year's first wedding is this weekend back at a great venue of the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art. I was there last fall and can't wait to be back on Saturday for Colleen and Brian's event. It won't rain, it won't rain, it won't rain....

In addition to seeing the sun shine and wanting to be outside to enjoy it, I got two wonderful gifts from old and somewhat new friends. The first is from my friend Stacia Spragg-Braude who just saw her 10-year-long project on a Navaho family's attempt to keep with their culture and traditions alive through the role of the sacred Churro sheep. It's a beautiful story that's told in stunning black and white images and accompanied by oral histories from the family. Stacia is a friend from my grad school days and we've shared a lot over the years. She lives on a small ranch outside of Albuquerque and was kind enough to include me in the acknowledgments of the book. I've been conversing with Stacia it seems every few days for these past ten years about this project. I've helped edit it at various stages and it's been a joy and a privilege to be a part of it all.

Yes, it's a bit self-indulgent of me to post this here but it's quite likely that I won't ever get such an honor again so I want to soak it all in, and suggest that you check out the site and possibly buy the book, which is goregous. Scott Lewis, my favorite verb, for the iambic pentameter of his eye in helping to edit the photographs and for his muse-soul that has helped turn all the neurosis into a rich, bubbly stew.

This quote is pretty representative of how Stacia sees the world. Pictures have sounds and smells and all kinds of unexpected adjectives. I've only been a sideline supporter of this project and it's a humbling honor to be recognized at all.

The other set of words come from my friend Doug Menuez. Doug's a top-notch advertising / documentary photographer. I contacted Doug a few years ago when I left newspapers as just a fan of his work. We've gotten together a few times since but more importantly we've exchanged lots and lots of thoughts about working as a creative professional and the journey that is life as an artist. See, most of the professional photography world doesn't respect wedding photography, largely because of it's history as a cheesy low-end, unsophisticated exercise. Well, that's changed in the past 10 years and I'm happy to be a part of this business even if certain industry folks don't think so highly of what we do. Screw 'em. Doug's a great guy who has no snobbery about him when it comes to working as a photographer in any gener so I show him my wedding work every now and then. I recently updated the site and just love what he had to share

This is some good &*@#. these are just awesome pictures, weddings? they are @%^&*ing life, raw, real, hot. i @%^&*ing HATE YOU!!

What I love about these two thoughts are the way they're so personal to the person giving them. At a certain point as a professional image maker, you look for more than someone saying they like your work. You look for a connection that it's more than just a guy with a camera doing what a camera does. You hope that your relationship with your work and your colleagues, and clients, transcends the everyday into something magical that forces people to come up with new expressions overflowing with excitement. It's part of the blend of fuel that keeps the whole thing moving.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Website Redux

In the next week or so I will be relaunching the website with the same design and layout but with an entirely different way to present the images. I've learned that wedding encompass a few essential truths. Emotions, fun, beauty, color, moments, etc. I thought that I would change things up a bit in how pictures are presented and group them according to different themes that I've seen and responded to. As I've been going back over images from the archives it's been fun and exciting to not just relive the weddings and the great people I've gotten to meet and get to know but also to see how my photography has evolved over time. If open minded enough, every artist can learn something about themselves when they get some distance from their work and look back on it out of the moment of creation. Not to sound too "arty" or "intellectual" about it all. I hope you like what I come up with so check back in a few days and see how it all turns out.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Great ideas

So I just realized that I've been a bad blogger and have been silent here for a while. Doing lots of work with marketing and new endeavors while keeping pace with lots of client prints and albums. Completing an album for a client is great fun. It's often a lot of work but it provides a great sense of completion. The album is the finished thought and I feel like a proud papa every time I put together an album that tells this story of a couple and the marks the beginning of their new life. I know that this album will serve as a benchmark for this family's history. It's like I'm putting something valuable off onto the sea. I probably won't see the album again but i do stay in touch with many couples and love to hear how their lives have evolved since the wedding. And now that I'm settling into life here in Philadelphia I look forward to calls from wedding couples once the babies start arriving. I would love to photograph all the babies that have been born to past couples, but they all live elsewhere.

Some news on the home front here in that I've added my first official member of the team. Annie Norton joins me here in the studio to help with a number of efforts from post-production to marketing and whatever else comes screaming down the pipeline. She's a great addition to the growth of the business and I look forward to seeing how she helps me grow.

I found this great blog post. In light of today's economic craziness, planning a wedding is surely an extra stressful affair. I know lots of people are holding off on big decisions. It's hard for everyone this year and every penny and choice seems to count ten-fold more. I'm sensitive to this kind of stress in my own life and even more so in my business. So if you're planning your wedding and you don't think you can make your ideas happen, don't worry. There are many ways to solve these problems and still walk away with a perfect wedding with everything you would want. Check out these great ideas from some folks out west.


All pictures posted on this blog are protected by U.S. copyright and are the property of Scott Lewis and can not be used without written permission.

About Me

I'm a veteran photojournalist with 20 years of experience telling stories with pictures.