Hotel Lighting 101:

This past weekend Melody, the Bride, got ready at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Niagara Falls, NY.  Hotels don't offer the best lighting in the world but what they do offer are the best tools to control natural light.

Large windows act like large "Strobes" (Harsh bright light).  The dark thick shades can act like "Flags" (Block the light).  The soft white curtain is like a "Diffuser" (softens the light).  Here with Melody I used all three.  

I placed Melody by the large window.  I then used a dark shade on each side of her to make interesting shadows.  Then I used the white curtain to diffuse the line on her face for a beautiful soft look.  It's a headshot that looks complicated yet it's beautifully simple that took one minute to set up.


Four Seasons in One Hour

I shot Cara and Joe's Engagement session a couple months ago and they just submitted their top favorites to be edited.  This photo shoot was wild!

My engagement sessions usually last one hour.  When we started it was a beautiful summer day, sunny and warm.  Then it got dark and windy.  And then it got really dark, windy and cold.  It looked like it was going to snow!  Then that storm passed really quick and a beautiful sunset occurred.  We got some beautiful night time shots and as we called it a wrap and got in our cars it started to pour cats and dogs!

Cara and Joe are a fun couple and I'm looking forward to their wedding.  A lot of Brides hope for a beautiful weather.  But with me, some of my best shots were taken during a hurricane, a blizzard and wind storms.  I do hope for good weather but if Cara and Joe get some storms on their wedding day then at least they had some practice!



Seeing Double

It's almost 4 AM.  Editing, working on books and looking through countless number of images all night makes your eyes do tricks on you.  I finished my last scheduled project for the night and wanted to "play" with a photo in the digital darkroom.  The photo is of Janelle, my November 6, 2010 Bride.  I thought it turned out pretty neat so I thought I'd share....


Moments frozen in time

I'm currently designing Deena & Paul's book.  I don't often show off my "wedding photojournalism" style of photography...  I'm a sucker for B&W.  If some of my photos weren't so darn colorful they would all be B&W!

Here's a glimpse of some of the photos that made their book.


Sometimes simple is better....

Just a quick shot after the ceremony of Janelle from yesterdays wedding.  Niagara University Chapel.


A Wedding with an Edge

When I say "I'm gonna hang off cliffs just to get that shot" in my promo video, I meant it!  Lee and Phillip are rock climbers and I believe that's how they met.  They got married in Olean, NY.  The next time I shoot a wedding where you can easily slip, fall and die... I'm not going to wear dress shoes!  

The photo below I crawled to the very edge of the cliff where the drop was an easy 50 foot fall.  The second photo was down below after a quick hike.  The wedding ran late and these photos had to be taken within a 15-20 minute time frame before the reception started!  It took 7 people to make some of these photos possible, thank you for all the help!


"I've seen better shots than that"

Danielle and Paul's engagement photo shoot took place exactly where Paul proposed to Danielle a few months ago.  It was great to finally shoot Danielle and Paul.  I often see them as guests at other peoples weddings.  Now they get their chance to be in the spot light.  During the photo shoot we got a heckler, a guy jogging through the park yelled out "I've seen better shots than that".... Obviously he wasn't looking through my lens!


The Corpse Bride and her Zombie Bridal Party

Gina and Michael had a Halloween themed wedding.  They LOVED the idea to do their photos at a cemetery.  It took a couple days of location scouting to find the perfect cemetery.  Old, nearly abandoned, fallen tomb stones, middle of nowhere and spooky looking... Add a couple camera tricks and there you have it!  I'll be honest I got a lot of chills shooting here.  It was a lot of fun and a shoot that everyone involved will never forget.

Happy Halloween from Neal Urban Photography!



It's Showtime!

Erica and Nick had a "Secret" location for when it came to their wedding.  They wouldn't tell me until minutes before.  They picked the drive-in as one of their locations!  Pretty cool!


Two Kids on the Block

Kristina & Bill's engagement photo shoot literally consisted of us walking around one city block.  If I can get this much good stuff in that short period of time then I can't wait until their wedding that's a two day event in May of 2011!