Christmas Wedding at The Bernards Inn

Rachel and Peter’s wedding was held two days after Christmas and The Bernards Inn was still decorated for the holidays. Peter is from Scotland and Rachel moved there with him. He showed me photos on his cell phone and it is as spectacular as you would imagine Scotland being. Below you will find a selection of photos from throughout the day. Look at the details in the bouquet arrangements. They’re made of paper thin wood. Really nice touch.

A very special thanks to my wife for assisting me with lighting setups and a second camera angle.

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Rachel Toedter and Peter Scott's Wedding at The Bernards Inn


Taking Photos In A Men’s Bathroom…WHAT?

I am always picking up on sentence fragments and things I see popping up in my social media feeds. Chris Pandolfo, owner of Lun Wah, has been doing lots of new things to bring the business another 40 years of success. has paid them a visit as one of the top bars in New Jersey.

The point of this image is to sum up what the ownership is currently experiencing. Old bathrooms in need of renovation. In my opinion there were two ways to handle it. Grungy and gross or bright and humorous. Since tiki is a fun thing, I went with bright and humorous.

The sequence in the men's room
Step 1: Go into the bathroom. Step 2: Pretend the toilets are gushing water everywhere. Step 3: Create a mess in Photoshop.


We shot this during business hours, so we had to make it super snappy. People actually have to use the bathroom. All light settings were done ahead of time. One flash was placed in the toilet paper rack on the floor. The other was super clamped to a wooden beam. The camera was mounted on a tripod in the corner. I gave Chris some direction as to what he should be reacting to.

“The urinal is shooting water all over the place!”

“The toilet is overflowing!”

It was probably my shortest photo shoot ever. A couple minutes from the time we go in there until the time we wrapped.

The final composite.
The final composite.

Go check out the kickstarter for the bathroom project. Get your business or photo on the wall once they renovate.

Equipment used:

  • Canon 6D
  • Canon 28mm f/1.8
  • Yongnuo 560III speedlites
  • Yongnuo 560-TX transmitter

To see more of my photography work, please visit

Manfrotto Advanced Bags Review for the Tri Backpack

(This is an article I wrote for Manfrotto Advanced Bags originally published on the Manfrotto Bags web site.)

Shooting both photo and cinema requires me to always have quite a few pieces of gear on hand and the room to cram in more on the fly. In a matter of days I had a maternity shoot, a family shoot and a project for Rutgers Newark. The variety of gear that I need to carry with me needs to be in one place so I can set up quickly and have my inventory available to me at all times.

What I like about the bag is it fits everything I need for a shoot including two Canon 6Ds, all three of my lenses, two flashes, transceivers, memory cards, gaffer tape, BeFree tripod and extra batteries. The pack feels sturdy on my back and the straps distribute the weight evenly. No painful digging into my shoulders. I remember when I first started out and thought bags were nonsense. But a great bag is crucial to staying organized and saving your back from unwanted stress.

The Simko Family joined me at Duke Island Park (Hillsborough, New Jersey) for a family session focusing on their children. It was a very cold day, so it was crucial to work quickly and nail their personalities before the cold took its toll on cheeks and noses. I usually keep my setup light and easy to carry for outdoor sessions like this. One bag and a lightstand for a bit of off camera flash when needed.

Manfrotto bag in Hillsborough, NJ
One lightstand, BeFree tripod and Tri Backpack
Kids being kids. I love the calm to one side and the action on the other.
Kids being kids. I love the calm to one side and the action on the other.

Rima’s maternity shoot (Lawrenceville, New Jersey) was done in the comfort of her home. The living room had plenty of natural light, but I wanted to warm up the inside a bit, so I setup an umbrella and flash with a light orange gel. Just enough to kiss the room with a slight warmth. I don’t normally like blowing out backgrounds, but I liked having the room hug her in glowing light. This is a very happy time, but it’s also important to convey that feeling by making the person feel totally comfortable. I practice the advice I’ve learned when it comes to more intimate portrait settings. Talk to the person and make them feel like it’s no big deal to be in front of a camera. Everything kind of writes itself once you’ve established that.

Rima's maternity session
Rima’s maternity session

Rutgers University has hired me recently to document events hosted at the school campuses. This particular event (Newark, New Jersey) dealt more with video and put my Tri Backpack to the test. There’s quite a bit more involved with video compared to photo. Lavalier microphone, external audio recorder, LED light, extra batteries, headphones, etc. All of these items are a standard and I’m ecstatic that I can fit this array of equipment into a single bag.

Mayor Baraka speaks at GradNation
Mayor Baraka (Newark, NJ) speaks at GradNation
Manfrotto in Newark, NJ
Newark always has some sort of crazy construction going on. I intentionally framed this to look like the crane is coming out of the bag.

Of course when a friend is just minutes from boarding a bus (New York, New York) to the airport it’s a perfect time to do a headshot. Because I’m a swell guy! Sara teaches at the University of South Dakota and needed a new headshot for her school page. No problem, Sara, and safe travels.

Portrait of Sara Lampert
Sara Lampert, Assistant Professor, History, College of Arts & Sciences at the University of South Dakota

Then I headed to Times Square for some long exposure shots of the tourists. I could have sat there all day watching people enjoying their time in New York City.

Times Square, NYC. 50mm @ f/16. 20 second exposure.
Times Square, NYC. 50mm @ f/16. 20 second exposure.
Manfrotto in New York City, New York
All I need for a day trip into Manhattan.