Sunday, October 31, 2010

An Unforgettable Day of Driving Exotic Supercars

ne of my oldest friends, Scott, had his 40th birthday this year and his wife, Maura, went all-out to make his big day special. Anyone that knows Scott knows that he is a huge gear head and loves anything with a motor and 4 wheels. The more exotic, the better.

Scott's automotive collection started moestly way back in college when he drove a "Vette". No, not a Corvette, but a Chevette. Later as Scott become more successful, he was able to trade up. Now he owns a rare BMW M-Coupe, a car designed by Chip Foose and a sweet customtized Mercedes.

For his birthday present, his wife gave him a chance to spend a day in supercars that very few people have the chance to see, much less drive. Here's where it gets good for me. Maura gets motion sickness and cannot stand to be in fast cars. I was asked to make the ultimate sacrifice and take a day off to go with him. It took me about 1/2 a second to make up my mind. It was one of the coolest things I have ever experienced.

The tour is unique in the fact that you drive ultra-exotic machines on public roads for at least 30 minutes per car. There were 5 cars and 8 drivers so there were 3 instances where each driver had to be a passenger, but I don't think anyone minded this because it let you expereince the car from a different perspective.

My whole day was spent as a passenger, and there is a very good reason these cars are named supercars. They accellerate faster and stop harder than anything on the road. I come from a motorcycling background and they are on par or exceed the performance of those. I had to recalibrate my mind with the compressed stopping distances, the "stick-like-glue" grip and pure grunt of 400-500+ horsepowered vehicles.

And even though we were warned to obey all traffic rules and that the driver would be responsible for speeding tickets or car damage, the cars were put through their paces. I rolled video of the several people driving and I noticed that I was laughing nervously in some of the turns. I am glad that I had something to occupy my mind from the terror.

The cars were mind-boggling expensive with the priciest one topping $500,000. The cheapest one of the bunch was a measly $237,000. So, next time you think you want to buy a house, skip that and see if the bank will give you a loan for a car.

If you want to schedule your own supercar tour, visit World Class Driving.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Haunted Ghost Tour in Oakland Cemetery

My wife and I were invited to participate in one of Atlanta's coolest yearly events... the historic ghost tour in Oakland Cemetery. In my opinion this is one of the most peaceful and beautiful places in the city. Unlike today's fields of fake flowers, this one has amazing sculptures, monuments and mausoleums. And it has almost 70,000 souls buried there.

We arrived right before sunset which is the perfect time to see Atlanta's buildings and grave markers blend together into some ghosty city.

The view changed by the second as the sun raced towards the horizon.

Some of the mausoleums were open giving a rare glimpse inside.

The moon was rising over the city at the same time. I should also mention that all of these photos were taken with my phone. I left my camera at the house so I could be social and not "on the job".

We were met my the "ghosts" of six people buried in there. They told us their stories and how they each got to where they are today. Some of the stories were funny, and others sad. 

Each one was a real breathing person once, now words to read on a stone. 

The guide told us that it is said people die three times. Once on their last breath, once when they are laid to rest and the final time when they are no longer remembered.

Some people may find this place scary or creepy, but I do not. To me, these are monuments to loved ones, friends and family. We already plan to make this a yearly event.

Did the dead know were were there? Did they see us visiting?

I may have seen a ghost on the way out... What do you think?

Thursday, October 21, 2010

New Web Site for an Atlanta Tennis Coach

My good friend, Kris, needed a simple web site for his freelance tennis coaching job. He asked me a year ago and waited patiently for me to get to it. I promised I would do it this week.

I took some photos of him playing tennis on a beautiful fall day, and I designed the web site for him. If you are ever in need of a tennis coach in the Marietta, Georgia area, give check him out at

Photos of a Heirloom Quality Baptism Dress

I was asked to photograph baptism dress at the Graphic Works studio today. No big deal I thought...then my boss pulled it out of the case.

It was the most intricate and delicate heirloom-quality baptism dress that I had ever seen. The workmanship was impressive, and I can only imagine the amount of hours put into making something like that. Actually, there are over 40 hours of work into this.

What I was surprised to find was that the dress was totally hand made... including the lace.

This is not something that you get to see any more because people are unwilling to spend that amount of time and effort doing this tedious and delicate work by hand.

Making the white on white details of the stitching show up was a challenge, but you can see that every stitch was placed with love. If you need a good seamstress or a baptism outfit for your child, contact Susan Wasmer at

Monday, October 18, 2010

Headshots for 3 Atlanta Financial Advisors

At my day job, we recently put the finishing touches on the new Graphic Works photography studio. We always have had part of our office dedicated to studio photography, but frankly it was a little cramped for portraits. I would have to shoot down the hall to get the depth I needed. Not the best situation when dealing with people.

Now, all this all has changed with our new allocation of photo space. I can easily take head an even full body photos with my super sweet 70-200 zoom. The gear is organized and easy to get. This is awesome.

The first subjects in the new space were 3 financial advisors. If you recognize one of the faces, it's because I had just taken photos of Mark Koppelmann a week earlier. He liked them so much that he suggested that his colleagues get head shot portraits from me. We did 3 quick poses for each person an here they are. For the full gallery, click here.

Blue Angels Strafe Atlanta

Okay, they Blue Angels did not really strafe Atlanta, but they were flying so low that I could see the pilots in detail. I was doing an outdoor photo shoot at a tennis court when a formation of low-flying f-18 fighters came zooming overhead.

It was an awesome site to behold. I snapped a few pot shots as they went in an out of my field of view in seconds.

4 Month Old Alessandra Photos

Little Alli is one of the cutest babies that I have ever met. Just look at that face!

For a child this young, she has a lot of personality. I think I saw her expression change from "joy" to "surprise" to "sadness" to "confusion" to the "look a kid makes when they have to burp"... all in less than 30 seconds.

I was lucky enough to take newborn photos and these are the follow up photos.

Helping Mom Get Ready
For babies, a lot has changes in 4 short months. They grow so fast and everyday their brains connect to new parts of their bodies. I learned today that they start to recognize faces around this time.

Just today, Alli learned to stick her tongue out which had us laughing, and me scrambling to try to take a photo between the tongue flicking out.

The most amazing feature of this child is her deep blue eyes which she got directly from her grandmother. It is almost erie how much those two look alike.

Since it was Halloween season, we had to take some photos of Alli in her pumpkin shirt. We would have taken photos of her in her costume, but "we" ran out of steam.

Babies can only go so long before they have had enough. In fact something strange started to happen to Alli and I had to put the camera down for fear of getting bitten. ha ha

To see all the rest of Alessandra's photos, click here.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Pregnancy and Family Portraits in Stone Mountain Park

Making portraits in new locations is always an adventure and challenge for me. I love discovering new settings to take pictures of my clients. You never know what a place may look like until you try it... and many times I get surprised.

This portrait session took place in Stone Mountain Park, Georgia, which is conveniently a short drive from my studio. There are good photographic locations hiding around every corner, and it will take a few months for me to explore the place. Good thing I bought a year-long pass.

I have been taking photos of the Josh and Michelle's family for many years, and slowly they keep adding to their numbers.

Currently, they have a 2 year old daughter, and are about to add a son to the mix. 

We decided to get a few belly photos for Michelle and Josh so they could remember this happy time before another big change in their lives.

At the time we had limited window of opportunity, because the doctors said Michelle could have Josh Jr. any day now. In fact, the little guy was born 2 days ago.

Luckily we got through our session before that happened and before their little girl, Danielle, even realized it was nap time. She was a trooper!