Hamptons over Haiti a Success!

Omarosa Hosting Hamptons for Haiti on the Red Carpet
Omarosa on the Red Carpet

This past Saturday night, we had the pleasure of supporting the charity organization “Wings Over Haiti” by providing the main photography for the red carpet VIP area and the nighttime performances for their annual “Hamptons for Haiti” benefit.  The Event was hosted by Omarosa of Donald Trump’s “The Apprentice” .

When invited to shoot the event by organizer Amanda Bellino, we were more than happy to help. As most people know, last year Haiti was devastated by a 7.0-magnitude earthquake and the need for assistance has been and still is dire. Two hundred and twenty thousand victims perished and over one million people were displaced from their homes. Now that much of the immediate relief is well underway, the process of rebuilding areas affected is proving to be very difficult and time consuming. Wings Over Haiti’s founder, pilot Jonathan Nash Glynn has been instrumental in both of these efforts. After the earthquake, Jonathan used his single engine airplane to shuttle medical supplies into areas that were unreachable by larger, conventional international-aid aircraft. Risking his life during every flight, Jonathan never stopped to worry about his own safety and had to learn, in real-time, how to land on runways that were often littered with trash, debris and shrouded with dangerous blowing cross-winds, often exceeding the safety margins of the aircraft he was flying. As I spoke with Jonathan, he told me how it was only upon reflection that he realized how dangerous the missions he flew really were. The airstrips and surrounding areas were so devastated that Jonathan would have to resort to the surrounding water’s white caps to determine the crosswind direction and intensity right before landing.

Wings Over Haiti Founders Shad St. Louis, Melissa McMullan, Jonathan Nash Glynn
Wings Over Haiti Founders Shad St. Louis, Melissa McMullan, Jonathan Nash Glynn

The night of the Hamptons for Haiti benefit, we had the opportunity to meet the other founders of the organization and partners of Jonathan Nash Glynn: Melissa McMullan and Shad St. Louis. This is a great group of people that are genuinely passionate about what they are doing. There are children being given educations today that otherwise would have been only a dream if it were not for Wings Over Haiti’s dedication and efforts in the building of a school built in Croix-des-Bouquets.. We were honored to provide the photography for this event.

Red Carpet Lighting Setup For Hamptons Over Haiti
Red Carpet Lighting Setup For Hamptons Over Haiti

We started the evening by setting up our VIP red carpet shooting area (pictured here). This is where VIP’s and performers were able to have their photos taken for media release. As the night progressed, it was apparent, many people were interested in having their photo taken with the Wings Over Haiti logo board and we didn’t mind shooting anyone who was interested. This was a benefit for a great cause, so the more photos we took, the more exposure we could provide for them.

Alex Young perfoming at Hamptons Over Haiti
Alex Young Perfoming at Hamptons Over Haiti

Next came time for the main performances by the young Sag Harbor phenom Dylan Jenet Collins, local drumming group Bastards of Boom, funk/R&B singer Francois Alexander, and up and coming talent Alex Young. The night was rounded out with an amazing performance by Wyclef Jean’s sister, Melky Jean, all the while guests were dancing and having a great time supporting the cause.

Melky Jean, Mana Alexandra, Shad St. Louis, Jonathan Nash Glynn
Melky Jean, Mana Alexandra, Shad St. Louis, Jonathan Nash Glynn

The next event has not been announced yet, but we do know it may be sometime this summer.  Wherever and whenever it is, we’ll be sure to be there to capture it all. You can see the event photos by clicking here.

More photos from the Hamptons For Haiti – A Benefit for Wings Over Haiti event in Wainscott, NY at East Hampton Studios on January 15th, 2011

  • Stephen Mikhail, Alexa Winner
  • Hamptons For Haiti-East Hampton Studio-NY-Society In Focus-Event Photography-20110115200631-IMG_4755
  • Francois Alexander, Cognac Wellerlane
  • Hamptons For Haiti-East Hampton Studio-NY-Society In Focus-Event Photography-20110115200414-_MG_0039-35
  • Hamptons For Haiti-East Hampton Studio-NY-Society In Focus-Event Photography-20110115200617-IMG_4754
  • Hamptons For Haiti-East Hampton Studio-NY-Society In Focus-Event Photography-20110115200401-_MG_0038-34
  • Amanda Bellino
  • Stephen Mikhail, Alexa Winner
  • Stephen Mikhail, ??, ??
  • Stephen Mikhail
  • Hamptons For Haiti-East Hampton Studio-NY-Society In Focus-Event Photography-20110115195222-_MG_0031-27
  • Hamptons For Haiti-East Hampton Studio-NY-Society In Focus-Event Photography-20110115195209-IMG_4743
  • Stephen Mikhail, ??, ??
  • Stephen Mikhail
  • Jurgita Gendvilas, Harold Gendvilas, Lina Jokubaicyte
  • Dan Hope, Alexa Winner
  • Ruth Lapin, ??
  • Cognac Wellerlane
  • Red Carpet Lighting
  • ??, Amanda Bellino

View photos at SmugMug

Wedding Shoot Prep

Well the preparations for the Wikar-Hadix wedding are pretty much complete. I have secured a Canon 70-200/f2.8L lens and purchased (finally) the Tokina 12-24/f4 lens that I’ve wanted for quite some time now.

As far as which lens I will use for which part of the wedding, I will most likely use the Canon 70-200 for the ceremony and bride-groom session only. It’s a little too long for the reception area as the tent is large but not quite large enough to warrant that kind of focal range. I will most likely go back down to the Canon 24-105/f4L that I use 90% of the time. The other camera will have the Tokina attached the entire time, as the wide angle is an absolute must for every part of the day.

I am considering purchasing another Canon 430EX because I seem to always need fill flash, or general flash when using the wide angle into the later hours of the evening. I’ve tried the pop-up flash but end up with a shadow because the focal length is so short. The reception tent is pure white, so bounce flash with the wide angle may be necessary and I don’t want to have to pull my 430EX off the main camera at any point. I’ll have to sleep on that one.

There is an abundance of shooting locations at the wedding site, more than I’ve seen at other weddings, so that problem is pretty much solved. Shooting locations include a garden, a mausoleum with long steps to the top, a stream with an Asian style bridge flanked by trees, a French Quarter style porch on the second level of the main building and various other brick/stone walkways with antique lighting fixtures. The number of different shooting locations is definitely going to require more shots than in the past.

I will be adding about 3 new 2GB CF cards to my inventory because I want to make sure I can shoot RAW the entire time. The last wedding, I wound up shooting JPG only with the wide angle camera because I actually started running low, which I never thought would happen with 8GB of CF cards. So this time I will be going in with 12GB and hopefully that will be enough.

More to come…

Maternity Shoot Went Well…


Well, the maternity shoot with Jenny was last week and turned out to be an excellent learning experience. I didn’t have a lot of time last weeknd, or the week prior to prepare, so I had to go into it with what I knew from memory of other maternity shots I’ve seen over the years.

Jenny’s apartment had a couple of nice shooting locations. There was a couch by the front window that still had a 7:00PM setting Sun shining through and the bedroom with a nice white, semi-matte finished bed spread. For the background in the bedroom I used a heavy white sheet that I have in one of my kit containers to cover the wall and give it a more continuous color flow.

For the window shots, I used my Canon 24-105L/F4 USM IS lens because I knew Jenny would keep very still and needed the IS for the low shutter speeds of 1/20s down to 1/6s at ISO 100. This allowed me to expose for the front of Jenny’s face and which gave the window blown out highlights, which is what I was looking for. Here is sample photo…

For the bedroom, it was a little trickier. I wanted to get both side lighting shots, as well as shots that had a lot of ambient light. For the side lighting, I had Jenny’s friend hold my large reflector with the gold covering off to the side about 3-5 feet away. This worked most of the time, but other times, the angle was a bit off so the shot was a throw away. For this, and the above lighting, I used a soft box attached to the 430EX Speedlite. This box creates a larger light source and has a white reflective card on the back of it to throw some fill/catch light onto the subject. Below is a sample of that.

All in all it went very well and I am pleased with the results. Jenny was very happy with how the photos turned out. The only regret is not doing more research on maternity poses before hand, as these are specialized poses designed to minimize the added weight, yet allow for the stomach area to be in an appropriate composition. I had to kind of “wing it” and draw from memory the best I could. I also played it by ear and went with what looked good through the viewfinder and it seemed to pay off.

Maternity shoot today

Well today I will be shooting with Jenny. She wants to do a maternity shoot and this will be my first one. I’m a little limited on my equipment, I only have a 430EX speedlight, reflector and some other light modification items. Also the shoot is in her apartment where she is in the middle of moving, so we will have to get creative on where we will shoot, kind of a play it by ear situation; I’m psyched thought as that can be a good thing as it prepares you on how to think on the spot and in photography, that is an invaluable skill. More to come on this with some photos…