Rinat Halon

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Posts Tagged 'RHPC'

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As soon as Maty contacted me I knew I was dealing with a uniquely wonderful young woman. She found me online, knowing that she was coming to visit Disney all the way from Tennessee; Maty came up with the original and fun idea of having her senior portraits done – at the Magic Kingdom. Maty saw I was previously Walt Disney Imagineer’s in house photographer, so she realized I knew the Disney parks inside and out.  She also loved how colorful my photos are on my web site. She put two and two together and reached out to me to see if I can help make her dream come true.

At the same time here in Orlando myself and the rest of the state of Florida were going through Hurricane Mathew. You got to believe me when I say that getting a text from someone who claims they are in school and will call me when they get out to discuss senior portraits – I thought someone was pulling my leg as, well, Florida was closed at the time and everyone was sitting put under careful waiting for this massive storm to pass.

But as it turns out Tennessee, of course, had school that day, and Maty and I planned her senior portrait session over the phone and met in front of the Magic Kingdom gates one very early morning.

Our concept was a Disney fashion shoot. Maty loves bright colors – a girl after my own heart – so she wore a couple of very bright colored outfits for this session.

And there we were, on the Magic Kingdom’s crowded Main Street – snapping away as waves of people, kids and strollers pass us. At the beginning I realized Maty was feeling uncomfortable in front of all these people. I walked up to her and said “just look at me, pretend none of these people are here. It’s just you and me, and we are turning your dream into reality. Just think about that, realize how happy you are, and ignore everything else” Maty smiled her beautiful smile at me, and from there on she was enjoying every moment of the experience.

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As I was photographing I was wondering to myself what will happen first – will I get run over by the mob rushing to see the show at the castle, or Disney police will walk up to me and escort me out of the park. But neither of these happened. And I realized no one cared. It is, after all, the happiest place on earth. And in that spirit everyone was busy – being happy.

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We ended our session on the Dumbo the flying elephant ride. Turns out it’s a favorite ride for both Maty and I, and proving you are always a kid at heart no matter what your chronological age you actually are – we both jumped on the ride. I asked Maty to sit behind me, and as the ride started, and Dumbo was airborne, I turned around and saw Maty stretched her arms out in pure glee, I snapped a few frames and I knew it was a wrap. We succeeded in this pursuit of happiness. What an incredible high school senior session!

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On a personal note, after the session, on the way out of the park I passed Walt’s portrait. It is hanging by the entrance, just a black and white standard 8×10, most people pass it and not even notice it. When I was WDI I had to photograph in the parks before and after opening hours. Whenever I was photographing at the Magic Kingdom I would stop in front of Walt’s portrait and say hello. After the senior session with Maty, on my way out, I stopped in front of Walt’s portrait again. I smiled at him and thanked him for this incredible place he created. And I swear he smiled back at me. Hey, it’s possible. it is the Magic Kingdom after all.

For more information about high school senior portrait packages available and to book a session CLICK HERE

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When Noel called me for the first time he was very hesitant. First he asked if I do engagement shoots, and I told him I did. “Well”, he said “I want to make sure you are comfortable with photographing us”. I was guessing what he meant, but kept listening quietly. “We are same sex couple” he said “and many times before photographers were not comfortable photographing us”.

I felt so sad to hear that. It took me back to a phone call I received a year ago, from a transsexual who wanted new portraits made for her and her wife. As she explained it “I don’t look like the man in our photos any longer, and I want my wife and I to have new memories”. I was so honored to create these new memories for them!

As a professional photographer I’m aware there may be plenty of situations that could make me uncomfortable to capture. So far in my 17 years career I turned down only one photo shoot because it made me uncomfortable. However, I was uncomfortable because I felt this man may have intended on hurting me. Aside from that, as I told Noel over the phone, I am happy to photograph any kind of love.

We decided to do Noel & Cesar’s engagement photos at one of my favorite locations – Paradise Cove, where they will be getting married next year. We had such a great time capturing their engagement photos. When we walked back to the car, I realized we forgot to photograph the Campaign toast they wanted to capture. It was turning into a good old hot and sticky Florida day, so Noel and Cesar were almost ready to forget about it, but I wouldn’t. So we got the Campaign bottle and glasses out, and walked back to take a few more pictures. When I got the shot of Noel popping the cork off the Campaign bottle, I know we got THE shot, and the photo shoot was a wrap.    

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One of the things I highly recommend for couples who book me to capture their wedding day, is doing an engagement session with me. First off, it gets them comfortable in front of my camera. It also gives me time to find out about what they like and don’t like about themselves in photographs. For example – someone may dislike their smile. Someone else may have a side they consider to be their “good side” and only want that side photographed. . This in turn makes capturing the wedding day photos so much easier, as the couple and I are on the same photographic page – they know where their chin needs to be for a great composition, I know which angle they don’t like to be photographed from. And that means we can get the pictures done so much faster on their wedding day – they actually get to enjoy their cocktail hour!

As my clients indicate on the post wedding feedback form the engagement session is one thing I do that they absolutely love and value, as do I – because it increases the odds of incredible wedding day photos significantly.

So, back to Noel & Cesar’s engagement session, by the end of it session, Noel, Cesar and I were BFF’s.  What can I say? In the words of the wonderful song: “what the world needs now, is love sweet love” –

Noel & Cesar sure bring plenty of that to the world!

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I am fortunate enough that in my 17 year career I got to capture two double weddings so far – What are the odds? Both double weddings were of two sisters getting married. The first double wedding I photographed about 10 years ago was a Scottish one, complete with grooms in kilts and two beautifully red haired sister brides.  

The double wedding I shot this past September was of two sisters again – Galit who married Nick, and Yael who married Riley. It was a lovely backyard wedding, as the double couple tied the knot under a tree canopy in the park across the street from their home.  

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As oppose to the Scottish double wedding I photographed which was an intimate affair, this backyard double wedding had a large bridal party – which meant I needed a second shooter. I was so happy when Chris Gillyard agreed to take up that roll. As I told Galit in our pre-wedding phone consultation, they got lucky as Chris is a great professional photographer with as much experience as me if not more.

Having Chris on board, and Brittney my oh so wonderful assistant on my side– I knew I was surrounded by the best team, and could relax and enjoy capturing this wedding.

Posing them was a hoot, and one of the bridal party photos turned to be one of my favorite of all times. Isn’t it great?

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Galit wanted a photo with her sister at the park, and Chris captured the three of us as I was composing the shot

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The groom’s cake was shaped as a sandwich since both grooms love sandwiches

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This double wedding had double the emotion and double the fun – and we captured it all! Happy Ever After to Galit & Nick, as well as Yael & Riley!

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Here are some more of my favorite photos from the day:

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Congratulations! You did it! You are now Mr.  & Mrs.!!!

The photographer sent you a link to the online gallery for you to choose photos for the album. You use your Smartphone to choose the photos.

A few weeks later the photographer emails you the album layout design for approval. You view your album on your Smartphone again. You email the photographer back that the album is approved. And you cannot wait to see it.

Another couple of weeks go by and you to pick up your album from the photographer. The album is perfect, of course. After all, you approved it. You take the album home and start showing it off.

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Then you realize there is a small stain on your husband’s shirt sleeve. You never saw it until now. Another thing you realize all of a sudden is that on your engagement album you had the photographer write your nickname. On the wedding album you had the photographer write your full name. Now your engagement and wedding albums don’t match.  Oh well, you’re just going to have the photographer fix all this and produce a new album for you. Right?

Wrong.

In this day and age we are so used to the disposable world we live in. We are also used to doing everything fast, on super multi tasking mode. Everything is replaceable, so we don’t pay our full attention to almost anything. Why bother? If it’s not right – we’ll get a replacement.

And yet, the art of creating custom designed albums is still something that takes time and effort.

When I design an album, first I start with retouching all the pictures that go into the album. I hand retouch each single photo, a task that can take me between half an hour to an hour for each image.

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Once retouching is complete, I move on to designing the album, taking into careful consideration the storyline, composition and page layout. This task, depending on the album size, can take between 8-12 hours of work – that is – to design one album. My goal is to create an outstanding art piece that supersedes the previous one I created – every single time.

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When I email the album layout to be approved by the couple, it is their turn to pay full attention to this art piece I am creating for them. Unlike other purchased art, the couple has a say in the creation of this one. They can ask to change a page layout, a background color, or to remove a pole that appears to be “growing” out of uncle Ad’s head.  This is their chance to make sure I did not miss anything that is important to them. Because as with any art work – once this album is printed – it is final.

I ask my couples to take the time, sit in front of the biggest computer screen they have and slowly go over the album details. Make sure they are absolutely happy with it before they turn back to me and approve it.

Because, as the years will go by – this album will stay the reflection of their special day. And the album, as is their love – is not replaceable.

Cover* The photos in this post are some of the album pages I designed for Gabrielle & Bob, who were married at 71 years young at the beautiful Heathrow Country Club. Love these two, Happy Ever After to you love birds!

 

At the end of every consultation with an engaged couple who is considering hiring me to photograph their wedding day, I say: “You may not realize it, but the one person you will spend most time with on your wedding day – more time than you will spend with each other – is your photographer. Whoever you choose to photograph your wedding – you better like them, and feel comfortable with them”.

When I shoot weddings my job is not just to capture great photos, but so much more. From explaining to the bride where the bouquet needs to be (right in front of her belly button), to walking the couple through the cake cutting process. And in between I am an advisor, consultant, and a human Goggle (“does the boutonniere on the groom go on the left or the right?). Yes, the couple has to feel comfortable with me. After all, this is a very emotional day, and they want it to go smoothly. As I tell the couple – this is your first wedding (or second, ok) – but I have done many, oh many weddings in my 17 years as a professional photographer –I know what to do, and I am happy to do what I can to ensure your special day goes smoothly.

One of my favorite books of all times “Other People’s Weddings” by Noah Hawley is about a wedding photographer. There are many scenarios the lead character- Laurie – runs into that I can relate. Scenarios similar to the ones I described in this blog post. Two things that happen to Laurie that never happened to me, though. In the book, in one wedding Laurie gets beaten by the groom, and in another wedding she meets the love of her life. One I am very thankful never happened to me and the other could be very nice if it happened – you can guess which is which…anyway, I always think about this book when I work with a couple on the wedding day, and how it depicts so accurately the special relationship that develops between a couple and their trusted wedding photographer.הורד

At the end of the day, when I edit the photos, and see how the bride’s bouquet sits effortlessly in the right spot, and I go through the fun, natural looking cake cutting photos – I know I did my job well. The part of my job that hides so well behind the beautiful wedding day pictures.

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the palace hotel wedding

Wedding location: The castle Hotel, Orlando Florida

Wedding planner: Michele Butler Events

Flowers: Carly Ane’s Floral Studio

Video: Pro One Video

The last time I shot at this location was before I left Orlando, 5 years ago – and before the massive renovation they underwent. When Ryan Turnau, the Sales & Catering manager of the Palace, took me on a tour of the beautifully renovated hotel, I was elated. The wedding day shot list was coming to life in my imagination: I’m going to photograph the bride in the bistro by the pool, with all this beautiful natural light coming in through the big windows, and the green plant backdrop, providing a soft, elegant yet natural setting. Once we entered the bar area I knew immediately that is where I will be capturing the groomsmen photo. For the couple’s portraits I had a few locations in mind, depending on the time we had to shoot.

On the wedding day, my photographic plan came to life easily and effortlessly, thanks to one very calm bride & groom – the wonderfully happy Vanessa & Greg, and thanks to my assistant Priscilla who helped my notoriously crazy re-organization of the furniture in the scene without one complaint.

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The photos came out just as I imagined them. And as many times happen when I shoot, my favorite photo ends up being an unplanned one. I was waiting with Vanessa on the roof of the Palace to be called to the ceremony area, as a moment naturally unfolded before me: Vanessa was deep in thought these few moments before walking down the aisle. The young man who was to escort her down the aisle was also deep in thought, gazing at the horizon. They forgot I was there. And when I clicked the shutter, I know I just captured that day’s winning shot.

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As I was editing the photos back in the studio, I was thinking of all the areas in the Palace I didn’t use yet for shots, as time never permits on a wedding day…oh well – I will shoot something completely different next time I have a wedding at the Palace – can’t wait!

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