Surprise Explosion at the Duke Mansion

Blabber Engagements Portraits

Sometimes we just get too caught up with the photos. Take this, take that. Do this, do that. It’s really more about the experience. Just remember that it doesn’t matter who you are, why you’re here. Capturing the moment is really what it’s about.

Danny called me a few days before I arrived, hoping I could make this date for their one year anniversary. All I really knew was he was surprising Rachel with a stay at the Duke Mansion. It was actually where I took them for their engagement photos. Rachel was a bit shocked. She was only told hours before to pack a bag.

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He pulls out a blue bag that has the infamous blue box in it. I think the photo on the lower right was my absolute favorite that day. So much emotion and excitement.
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Here’s the ring from Tiffanys she got as a gift.
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I also surprised them both with a bottle of Dom Perignon. My accountant told me about 5 minutes before I arrived I probably wouldn’t be able to write off the expense on my taxes. I figured as much. This is actually the second bottle I bought this year. The first bottle was when my friend Trey returned from Afghanistan. I also punked the news into believing that the governor was about to step off the plane with his mistress. That’s another story though.
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I have to thank Lisa for the idea on the Dom P. She and Tillman were sipping on it at their wedding.
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We sat around and talked a few. I actually took their engagement photos back in the day as well(seen here).

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We circled the house and took a few photos. It was good to catch up with these guys.

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This is one of my favorite places to shoot. They do charge you to shoot there though.

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Rachel has been killing it in the gym. She has lost over 40 pounds. She looked great!
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We then headed to uptown Charlotte. I lagged behind a second (trying not to get run over) to take this shot. I was actually following them to the restaurant they were gonna eat at.
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A photograph of the part of the Charlotte skyline where we parked. Danny works for a company that builds a lot of the skyscrapers in Charlotte.
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A kiss with a view of the Queen City in the background.
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We arrived at BLT Steak. At this point I was gonna take a few photos and let them celebrate the rest of the night alone.
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Danny had one last surprise. I was really worried because I had no idea what he was gonna do and the lighting in the restaurant was extremely dark. Dan lifted his glass and told Rachel ************************. I’ll fill this in later…
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A shot from outside the restaurant. This was a pretty difficult photograph to get. Plus I had a police officer hounding me on what I was doing.
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I told him I was capturing memories.
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Thanks for stopping by guys.

Vieques Wedding Photographer

Blabber Experimentation travel video

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I love taking photos even while traveling. Check out my San Fran trip here for a little verification! I went to Vieques recently and took A LOT of gear as you will notice in the photo below. It’s pretty easy with thinktank‘s great gear. So I was then ready to take some awesome vacation photos.

There was one minor(MAJOR) problem. I had just recently purchased the new iPhone 4. The main reason I upgraded it was the camera. Yep, I’m a sucker for technology.

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Now the funny thing was I never touched my Canon gear the entire time I was gone. I decided to make a commitment and just use my iPhone the entire time. Iphone VERSUS $20k worth of Canon equipment? Check out the photos below from Vieques.

Vieques is a very small island and it also has wild horses about anywhere you go.
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Lots of the locals also have horses and can be seen/heard riding through the towns. I took both the shots at sunset in Esperanza. Life is a little slower here. I felt like I was Ernest Hemingway in Key West in the 1930’s.
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I jumped off that cliff a few times myself but it was recorded on Angie’s Canon so it can’t make this Iphone blog post. Just imagine me gracefully diving off of it, lol.
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We also went sailing, with my parents, as well. That’s Mike Almond and his wife in the front. We met them on the sailboat. They were from Canada and had been vacationing for two weeks. I’m about to email him this blog post when it goes live!
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A couple more shots of the sailboat. We actually went snorkeling too but since the Iphone isn’t waterproof it didn’t make the trip. The last time I was in Puerto Rico I drowned Angie’s $500 point and shoot(camera) during a snorkeling trip but it’s a small price to pay when you’re trying to get that shot of a lifetime right?!?
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Here’s the sailboat before we left and also a photograph of my stepfather Jerry.
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It’s hard to explain but this island reminds me of the Fox series “LOST”. It probably has something to do with an old military base being there a decade ago and also restricted areas on the island. Sounds like a great place for a good conspiracy theory to me.
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This was flying in and my footprints in the sand.
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Not only did I take photos with the Iphone but I also recorded video as well. I decided to put this little movie together of the clips I recorded using it along with the new One Republic song “Good Life” that I heard the other day. Hope you enjoy.

Thanks for checking out the blog. I’ve never shot a wedding in Vieques but I would love to. I’ve been to the island so many times I feel I would “Babe Ruth” it and knock it out of the park. I plan on using my pro gear when that happens though!

San Fran Trip

Blabber travel

Here’s a few photographs I took while visiting San Francisco a few weeks ago. I had to bail on the Carolina heat. Actually, the original plan was to go to Utah around Arches National Park but it was a lot of plane hopping and jeep riding. After all the plane hopping and boat riding in Puerto Rico back in March I figured it was time to just go some where we could fly straight into.

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We spent the whole day flying. With the timezone gain we were able to wonder around a bit after checking into our hotel. We landed in a restaurant that specialized in garlic dishes. The garlic appetizer was pretty good but the rabbit I had was way overcooked so I will leave off plugging the name. Check out this cool shot by candle light.
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They also had a ton of old wine bottles hanging from the ceiling. Of course I had my camera, so I pretty much started the trip looking like a tourist.
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We decided to get up early the next morning and head to Fisherman’s Wharf while the light was good.
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I have a buddy in Columbia who has a sailboat. I’m still waiting to go out on Lake Murray and take some cool shots.
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More shots of the boats in the wharf.
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We went by a bike shop and picked up some wheels. We started out on a trail that would take us over the Golden Gate Bridge and into the small, but exclusive, town of Sausalito where we had lunch. After eating a sandwich touted as “the best BLT in the world” we took the ferry back into San Francisco.

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Found some cool art that someone had hung on a fence near the bridge. It was an advertisement for an art gallery. I looked but didn’t take a photo of the name but I wish I did because I really liked the art piece.

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Here’s a cool shot going across the bridge. That’s San Francisco on the right and Alcatraz just to the left.
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We also checked out a walking tour in Chinatown. It was pretty interesting and a lady by the name of Linda Lee gave the tour. We got to see sections of Chinatown were the locals shopped and gathered socially away from the touristy parts.
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The shops were pretty cool. Lots of fresh produce and FRESH meat and live animals as well.
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Salmon shashimi is probably my favorite sushi. This fish makes me want some just looking at it.
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Here’s the big mystery on how fortune cookies are made. Fortune cookies don’t even exist in China. They started right here in Chinatown.
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An older man making his way back home.
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Went to a vintage arcade and took this shot when I stepped out on the dock. I actually took a lot of photos at the arcade but figured it would be too much for the blog. Some of the games date all the way back to the turn of the century and were still fully functional.
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Here’s one of the last remaining vintage streetcars.
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and a trolley. Yeah we rode the trolley early one morning to beat the crowd.
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A construction area that got ‘bombed’ with graffiti.
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Took a sailboat ride in the bay where you can see the Golden Gate in the background. We actually got to ride under the bridge which was a pretty cool perspective.

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I looked back and got a shot of the city. It was pretty rough holding two cameras getting bounced around everywhere. It was really windy that day and the waves were rough.

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Shot of the skipper.

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One last shot of the bay.

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That’s 3 out of 7. Check back soon!