Love, Love, Love my Nikon Z6

We Nikon shooters have been waiting a long time for a full framed mirrorless option.  So long that I actually bought a Sony A7III last May with a 35mm 1.4 and the Sony 85mm 1.8.  The Sony system was great and I love the advantages that a mirrorless system could deliver but something about the Sony system didn’t click and rarely did I ever take my A7III to a professional shoot.  It’s not that it isn’t a capable camera but rather because my brain is wired for a Nikon DSLR and the Sony felt more like a computer rather than an extension of my eye and hand like my D750 did.  The eye AF was nice and I love the focus peeking option to help nail focus at f1.4.   It was a love-hate relationship.  I loved the rapid fire burst shooting, endless button customization, great focusing system and image quality but something about the whole package wasn’t quite right and I realized what that was when I picked up the new Nikon Z6.  A camera is all about feel and the Sony A7III just didn’t feel right in my hand, even after a year of casual use.  The complexity of the menu system and functions lead to lots of  “This operation or setting not available as follows” in my EVF and my hands didn’t quite grip the camera in a comfortable way.

The Z6 isn’t a perfect camera but it is pretty damn close and after having it for just a week, I felt confident enough in the system to use it on a paid shoot.  The FTZ adapter is fabulous and it really works exceptionally well.  Every F mount lens works as it should on my Z6 and for me this is huge as I have over 10K invested in Nikon (and Sigma) glass.  I absolutely love the fact that Nikon included the U1-U3 settings just like my D750 had.  This makes shooting so efficient when photographing in very dynamic situations as you can completely change how the camera works with a quick turn of the dial.  The Nikon Z6 is slightly larger than the A7III and fits my hand just like my D750 did.  The grip, button placement and general ergonomics are well thought out making the Nikon Z6 a pleasure to use.

Nikon Z6 with 24-70 f4 Lens

Nikon has something great here with the Z mount.  This camera mount was built from the ground up with the idea of taking lens technology to the next level.  This seems to be working as edge to edge sharpness on the new Z lenses is impressive as well as the distortion control.  Look how huge the Z mount is compared to Sony’s E mount in the picture below.  There is so much room around that camera sensor while the Sony E mount sensor looks a bit cramped.  I do believe that the Sony E mount was created for smaller APC sized sensors and then adapted to full frame later.  Nikon has some refinements to make in the future.  I heard that eye AF in just around the corner in a firmware update and I would love to have AF-C be a bit more accurate and responsive.  The single card slot isn’t a deal breaker for me and yes I am a wedding photographer (who can also remember shooting weddings with D700’s, each with one CF card).  Do we really need redundant card slots with these new XQD super cards?  Anyway, thanks for reading!  Here is my new Z6 with it’s 24-70 mounted on it.  Love!

Nikon Z6 vs Sony A7III mount size differance

Send me those Wedding Invitations

They are as much a part of your day as your cake and flowers

Show me your wedding invitation and I will show it some camera love!  These days wedding invitations are little works of graphic genius .  They are professionally designed, color coordinated and personal to the couple making them as much a part of the wedding day as the cake and flowers.  I don’t think many of my clients read my contract but there is a short sentence in there that asks that one of the wedding invitations be sent to me.  No, no, it’s not that I want to rsvp and reserve the fish plate; it’s because I want a gorgeous picture of it.  These invites aren’t cheap either with most couples spending $2-5 (yup, each!) and that isn’t including mailing them out…. twice (for that return rsvp!).  On the wedding day I will bring the invitation along and use elements of your day to feature along with it in creating the photo.  Then there it is, part of your day, part of the story and a perfect addition to your wedding album.  Any thoughts on getting a wedding album?  Here are a few of the lovely invites from 2018.

wedding invitations photography

My Gorgeous New USB Drives

Luxurious Wood and Clean Metal

I’m so excited to show off these beauties that just arrived on my doorstep just in time for my 2019 weddings.  They came from a company called USB Memory Direct whom of which were pleasure to work with.  They made it so simple; I simply sent them a digital version of my logo and in less than an hour I had a preview of what the drives would look like.  They showed me what the logo would look like on their various shades of wood and after some trial and error I came up with this design.  The finished product looks fantastic and the printing is crisp and contrasts nicely showing off my new (expanded) logo featuring Maine!  I have two options now, the brushed metal (shown in the bottom picture) and mahogany wood.  I can’t wait to send these out soon.  Love these!!

Traci and Marc
Rustic Autumn Wedding | Newcastle, ME

Meet Traci and Marc.  I’ve been waiting for this wedding for quite a while now in anticipation for what the day would bring.  I knew it was going to the most amazing wedding as this one is a bit different then most for me.  This time the bride is my step sister and I met her way back when she was just 6 years old.  Her father passed away as did my mother and our parents found each other and got married.  Our parents eventually moved away from Connecticut and found their home in Maine.  Maine is home and I love that Traci chose our parents house for her wedding and reception.  What a gorgeous spot it is!!  (there have been many fun times had on that dock you see below).  So this wedding is different; this is my sister getting married and my daughter was the flower girl.  What an honor to memorialize this day and it would have been absolute torture if I wasn’t the photographer.  Funny… I shoot every wedding as if the people I was photographing were my own family and this time they actually were!  It seems surreal seeing my children, wife, sisters, and parents in the photos.  Love 🙂

Describe the proposal:

Marc took me to Estes Park, Colorado to celebrate our birthdays which are a couple days apart. On the day between our birthdays he surprised me with a private horseback trail ride through the woods. We got to a beautiful spot overlooking the Rockies and our guide suggested we get off the horses and take a photo. Next thing I knew he was down on one knee 🙂

What makes you special as a couple?

Marc and I are both very independent head strong individuals. We both have big dreams and we are always pushing each other to pursue them. We push each other to be better each day and support one another 100% with whatever we want to accomplish in life.

What are some unique aspects to your wedding day?

It was in my mom and step fathers backyard so that alone added a very unique charm to it. Everything had an extra personal touch. The plates were all vintage China from my mom and grandmother, the blueberries in the dessert pies were from my mom’s garden, the caterer was a restaurant my family loves and we’ve been going to for years. Everything was so personal.

Where did you go on your honeymoon?

Naples, Florida

How did you meet?

We met at a college bar called Elmers in hard hit’in New Britain! Marc creepily stared at me for hours from the other side of the room. Finally he got up the courage to come talk to me and ask me to shoot a game of pool with him.

Vendor List

Wedding Planner

My mom and I

Reception Venue

Mom and step dads backyard

Ceremony Venue

Sheepscot community church

Wedding Dress Designer/Shop

The shop was called Tulle in Andover, MA

Grooms Attire

Black suit from Express, grey shirt, purple tie

Wedding Rings

Zales

Catering

Sarah’s cafe, Wiscasset ME

DJ/Band

8th Street DJ

Hair/Make-up Artists

Megan Aloisi

Wedding Cake/Desserts

Birch bark look. Kahrens Kitchen

Autumn and Wutt
Prospect Golf Club Wedding | Auburn, ME

How did you two meet and when?

I originally went to Thailand in 2013.  My crew member and I who worked on a Schooner together in the Caribbean, heard of a job opening in Southern Thailand for a boat company. We decided that since it was slow season in St. Thomas that why not go and try it out? If all else, we would just travel and come back in a couple months. We made it to Thailand and ended up just traveling instead. Why Not Bar was the first bar we stopped into off the Bus in Pai. I didn’t know it yet, but I my future husband was the one making our drinks. He didn’t speak any English then, and I didn’t speak any Thai. His friend told me that Wutt said I was the most beautiful girl he had ever seen. I brushed it off because I was also a bartender in the Caribbean. He wasn’t fooling me with that line. A little over a week went past, stopping in to have a drink some nights. A couple days before we about to leave Pai, my crew member and I ventured to a waterfall with some friends from the hostel we were staying at. I saw very young kids playing off to the side but thought nothing of it. Who knows if it was them or someone else that passed by, but when we got out of the water, my wallet was missing. I planned on stopping at the atm on the way back to get money since I only had about 300 baht left (9 dollars or so). All my money was gone. I only had that card with me. Because of this incident I was stuck in Pai till my new card would arrive. My crew member left, but transferred $150 dollars into my account for me. I had my mom transfer him the money from my account from home. That $150 dollars ended up having to last me a whole month. I spent my days reading in my bunk, one meal a day, and some days to be social, one beer at Why Not. Eventually they started inviting me to spend time with them during the day and eat with them. Wutt and I got to know each other more and more. I eventually got my card, returned the favor by taking them to dinner and taking them out for drinks. I stayed another month then left and it wasn’t until I came back 9 months later that Wutt and I started dating. I learned Thai and he learned English. One day last year before proposing he reminded me of the day we first met and what he had said. I honestly had forgotten till he mentioned it sense I never took him seriously. “Remember when I had Benz tell you I thought you were the most beautiful woman I had seen? I was serious, it wasn’t just me being a bartender. You still are.”

Things do happen for a reason. Having my debit card stolen that day was the best thing that could of happened during my travels.

Bride/partner 1: First impressions?

He made great cocktails. He seemed nice, good hearted, very quiet and reserved. His head was half shaved, and had tattoos on his arm, but he was cute and looked like he was a guy who was pretty shy until you got to know him. He also seemed like he wasn’t afraid to punch someone in the face if they deserved it. Both were true. Found out later he used to be a Muay Thai fighter.

Groom/partner 2: First impressions?

She was the first person I met who wasn’t afraid of me. Everyone I had met since moving to Pai told me they felt intimidated and scared to talk with me at first. It took everyone a long time before they finally talked with me and got to know me. Even my best friends now said they didn’t approach me for so long because of the way I looked. They said they thought I looked mean hearted, but not her. To this day she is still the only person ever who, before getting to know me, wasn’t scared. My first impression of her was that she was kind, good hearted and beautiful. Her friend had asked me one night when the bar was crowded, which girl there was the most beautiful. To me, it was her.

First date details:

He took me on his motorcycle around Pai and took me to the Pai Cannon. He showed me a bunch of really cool spots in Pai I hadn’t seen yet. No idea when this was.

Describe the proposal:

(I’m going to give you two stories..because it happened twice…once was accidental and he wasn’t really ready, it just came out but it’s comical if you want to add it. If you just want one, just put the official apple orchard one)

1. The first time was at his bar. (I honestly had no idea he was the bar owner till like 6 months after we started dating) We had been dating now for 3 years at this point. I was out with a couple friends and he was working. Him and a couple buddies kept laughing and looking at me from the bar. For a while I thought it was nothing but then it just didn’t stop. I started to feel a little self conscious. Was my outfit weird? Did I have food on my face? Was I sitting weird? I eventually went up and asked him what they were talking about since they were clearly talking about me. He said nothing, his friend said “no nothing,” and I went back to my table. They kept looking at me and talking. I eventually went up again and asked, “What!? Do I have something on my face? Is there something wrong with my outfit? What????” Again, both of them just laughed and said it was nothing. They were just talking about something but it was nothing. I walked back, sat down and kept talking with friends. AGAIN, I could see them looking, talking, laughing. I eventually got up one more time and more sternly asked, “WHAT. WHAT IS IT. I can clearly tell you’re talking about me. What is it. Seriously, what?” Wutt then laughs and says, “no hun it’s nothing. You know..I want to buy you the ring.” That wasn’t at all what I thought they could of possibly been talking about. Me, “A ring?” Wutt, “Yeah you know, like a diamond, to marry, you know, wedding.” I stood in shock trying to process what he had just said to me. Me, “You want to buy me a wedding ring?” “Yeah you know to ask you to marry me.” “Do you want to marry me?” I probably looked as dumbfounded as I felt. He had just told me he wanted to marry me, that he wanted to propose and pretty much just asked me if I wanted to marry him. I had always imagined a surprise..you know, like you see in movies. Unexpected, down on one knee, ring in hand. Starting to laugh my initial response was, “You’re not suppose to tell me that! You’re suppose to surprise me.” Wutt, “oh! opps!” Me, “Well when you have the ring just make sure it’s a surprise.” Replaying what had just happened I slowly walked back to my table. I sat down and my friend from England and she asked me what the weird look on my face was all about and asked what they were talking about. “I’m pretty sure Wutt in a weird way, just asked me to marry him….” She almost spit out her drink. “What!!? Just now? Are you serious right now..what did you say?” Well I just told him when he had the ring to surprise me. Her mouth dropped then she bursts out laughing… “Well then… cheers!”

2. We had been together for about 5 years now and he was visiting the US. We were at Ricker Hill Apple Orchard in Maine. It was family tradition to go apple picking every year there, have a donut and have some cider. This year though we were leaving after just picking apples and getting donuts. Wutt asked me if I wanted to stay a little longer and have some hard cider. I said sure. My sister felt like hanging out too but my mom had to drive some friends of hers back home to their car. Wutt was suddenly concerned she was leaving which was odd, but he didn’t say anything about it after she left. The three of us went back and sat down to do the hard cider tasting. I called my mom to see if she wanted to come back and join us since we only lived 15 minutes away and we weren’t leaving any time soon. Wutt asked if she was coming back and seemed relieved. She came back, and we were all having cider together. Wutt kept getting up to have a cigarette more than usual. I figured it was because he was drinking. Eventually he says, “I want to ask you.” Me.. “Ask me what?” “Well I want to ask you to marry me..” Me almost laughing and shocked he was telling me what he wanted to do, told him he doesn’t tell me he is going to ask me, or ask me permission to ask me, he just does it. “oh okay..” So then he got up got on one knee, told me he loved me and asked me to marry him. I of course said yes. Apparently he had wanted my mom to be there which is why he got concerned when she left and his frequent smoking was nerves.

What makes you special as a couple?

At first we didn’t speak the same language. We communicated through friends, gestures and translators when we first met. We somehow fell in love anyway and have grown even more so as the language barrier keeps crumbling. I think having the initial language barrier helped us learn how to truly listen and be able to better recognize when something isn’t worth fighting over.

What are some unique aspects of your wedding day?

We were able to have a lot of international friends attend. His niece from Switzerland was also able to be there. We had the honor of my Captain from working on the Schooner Nathaniel Bowditch, marry us.

Wutt used to be a banquet manager. He was the only one who knew how to decorate the linens. He was the one who tied all the chair bows, folded all the napkins into their special design, and did the decorative, elaborate wrap settings for the head table and the and cake table.

Our guest book was a map for people to sign. The frame was handcrafted and put together by my Aunt Jen Smith and Tony.

Everyone helped set up. Everyone helped take everything apart. Everyone picked a song to add to the music playlist. My family, bridesmaids (Nichole, Desiree, Sage and Sarah) and friends Alexandra, Samantha, and Franziska helped with set up, errands, sanity and the bar. We would of never even had a bar menu if Samantha hadn’t stepped in and helped.

 

Where did you go on your honeymoon?

Our honeymoon has yet to happen. We will probably go to Switzerland.

Vendor List

Wedding Planner + Design: My matron of honor Sarah Nickel, Wutt and I.

Wedding Dress Shop: Formal Image

Wedding Dress Designer: Alfred Angelo

Bridal Shoe Designer: Alfani

Groom’s Suit: Formal Image

Wedding Rings: Day’s Jewelers and Gold Works

Engagement Ring: Day’s Jewelers

Bridesmaid Dresses: Formal Image

Groomsman Suits: Formal Image

Ceremony Venue: Prospect Hill Golf Course

Reception Venue: Prospect Hill Golf Course

Event Rentals: Prospect Hill Golf Course

Photographer: Joshua Atticks Wedding Photography

DJ: Sage Landry. She helped put the playlists for the reception and ceremony together. Either her or my Captain Davis from the Caribbean would change the song, if needed. The music equipment/sound system used was brought in by Davis Murray aka Barefoot Davis. He is a captain, a compass adjuster and a musician.

Band: We made a playlist with spotify.

Hair/Makeup Stylist: Ashley Bellefluer

Invitation Design: Vistaprint

Floral Design: Jean Rabon

Caterer: Great Scotts Catering

Wedding Cake/Desserts: Front Porch Bakery

Wedding Favors: Handcrafted wooden coasters with elephant designs from Thailand.