erin vilines

BEES! Killer Bees!!!

No, not really.  They're just regular bees... but they may have mean dispositions.

I'll be the first to say my nature photography is lacking.  I'm so used to taking photos of people and architecture that when I find myself in nature, I have a tough time choosing a clear subject.  I personally find it incredibly difficult to be in a beautiful natural location and take a photograph that encompasses what I see with my eyes.  It's not only in the location and the subject, but in the composition.  Framing elements, leading lines, strong subject- these are all important components to a great nature photo.  These are things I'm learning with nature photography.  One of the best things about shooting on occasion for The Nature Conservancy is meeting some of their fun and interesting people out in the field- one of them being Marc DelSantro.  He's an incredible nature and wildlife photographer.  He and I had been talking for a while about getting out and shooting sometime and when he saw one of my recent blog posts, he gave me a ring to head out to Heggie's Rock for some photography.

Unfortunately for us, our timing was a bit off and we missed most of the confederate daisies blooming.  On top of that, our schedules only allowed us to be out there after sunrise and before sunset- some of the best lighting to shoot.  However, we were able to capture about 30 minutes of foggy photos on a nearby marsh before heading to the rock.  Watching Marc work and seeing how he has mastered the aforementioned compositional  elements was very inspiring.  While I walked around and shot all sorts of different subjects in hopes of getting a couple of good ones, Marc surveyed the scene and would spend his time on only a few shots.  He could look around and see it.  Setting up his tripod, waiting for the wind to calm, or watching the fog to thicken or thin with the sunlight- he knew exactly what he wanted before even turning the camera on.  I still have a ways to go.  Here are a few from the marsh.


Marc in his natural habitat.


And then, like a light switch the sun came out.  No joke- it took all of 120 seconds.


From the marsh, we went on to Heggie's Rock.  Rather than explain much about its flora and/or fauna, I'll just let you click HERE and check it out.  As I mentioned before, we had a beautiful day but we were only on the rock for the harshest sunlight.  While I know Marc must have captured some great shots, I spent a lot of my time on these bees.  Again, kind of a cop out of mine to have a simple subject, but hey- it works sometimes.  :)  I hope to get out there again in the spring when the flowers and colors abound.  Meanwhile I'll keep you all posted on any other shoots with Marc!  




Hoochie (not Coochie)

A few weeks ago I was asked to help my friend Erin at The Nature Conservancy's yearly donor event, "The Hoochie" (formerly "Hoochie on the Coochie").  They originally wanted to hire me, but I chose instead to volunteer my photography services for the event since it's such a wonderful organization- even if they scrutinize photography agreements more than any bride I've met with.  ;)    You can read more here about what TNC does. This year's event was hosted at the Top Hat Soccer fields in Buckhead.  I'm not sure what I originally expected, but I definitely didn't think anyone would put a soccer field in the heart of Buckhead's elite neighborhoods including the famous Tuxedo Road.  It really was beautiful driving through these neighborhoods before the event. 

The "pre-party" was hosted at the home of Martin and Jennifer Flanagan overlooking the fields.  I can't really describe how amazing this house was, so I'll let the first pictures speak for themselves.  The rest are from the event.  Enjoy!

The Georgia director of the TNC, Shelly Lakly, with Wendy and Hank Paulson (left to right).


Inman Allen, son of Atlanta's Ivan Allen Jr.



Fresh shucked oysters all night long.


Erin at the "Birds of Prey" show just before dinner.  I'm pretty sure she had no idea they'd have a python there...


The auction tent.