Photography by Steve O'Donnell » Clermont and Orlando award winning professional wedding, portrait, senior and family photographer serving central FL

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Every once in a while you just need to go out and shoot for the fun of it, for practice, for the love of it.  The following was one of those days.  A friend of mine asked me if I’d like to plainly just “get out and shoot for the fun of it”, and that is exactly what we did.  He had some new flash gear he wanted to try out, and I wanted to experiment with some flash photography.  So, with the help of my step daughter and one of her friends as our subjects we set out in a local field that I’ve been dying to shoot in to have some fun.  Below are a few of my shots from that session.








Caitlin and Mike were originally acquaintances that I met through a neighbor that had thrown a party one night.  Around the same time that I met them I was considering shooting weddings.  They had watched me grow as a photographer from the beginning and when they asked me to be their photographer I was thrilled and honored.  Caitlin and Mike are some of the nicest people I’ve ever had the opportunity to meet.   They truly are a beautiful couple in love.  I’d like to thank them both allowing me to interrupt their dinner during their wedding and entertaining the thought of braving the cold weather and winds coming off the lake for the last shot shown in this set….it was well worth it and now is a wonderful piece of art ( a 2′ x 3′ canvas gallery wrap print)  gracing the walls of their home.  I wish them both a long life of love and happiness.

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I’ve had a pretty decent year so far in 2013, and I realized that I desperately need to do some serious catching up with my blog.  Back in the first weekend of February I had back to back weddings and they were both excellent.  Temperatures were freezing by Florida standards to say the least.  First up, Ryan + Rob’s wedding.  Ryan and Rob are both artist.  They are both pretty laid back people,  but what made their wedding unique was not only their personal style, but how caring, loving, and helpful their families were on their wedding day.  The families were involved in from preparations to planning to catering.  You could feel the love of family in the air all day long and by the end of the evening I felt like I was a member of the family.  Those are the best weddings ever when you walk away at the end of the night feeling like that.  I wish Ryan and Rob all my best to a wonderful life of happiness together.   Here’s just a few select images from their special day.

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Yeah yea, I know….I’m a little late with this.  I’ve been a busy dude lately and finally got a chance to pick a few.  You may or may not be aware that photographers prefer to show only their best work, after all….it makes us look awesome.  This post is not about that.  It’s not featuring my best photographs, but as the title of this post says, they are some of my favorite photos from 2012.  Some are from hired shoots, many are of my own family.  Some are completely posed, some are very candid moments, and some are just random test shots trying new photography techniques.  Many are plainly memories preserved in two dimensional form that I will surely hold near and dear to my heart for various reasons.

I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

#1.  All eyes are usually focused on the bride at weddings and I often joke with my wedding clients that the groom is just ” a well dressed prop ” for the day.  This image I captured has never stopped making me laugh.  I have no idea what is going through his mind, but I’ll leave it up to everyone else to ponder his moment.

2.  After being married for 25 years they decided to do it all over again and renew their wedding vows.  True love!

3. Reversed lens macro shot, a technique where you disconnect the lens from the camera body, flip it backwards and hand hold the lens which acts much like viewing things through a magnifying glass.  It’s not very easy to hand hold the lens to the camera body and take a shot a the same time… the area that is in focus is very thin, so the slightest movement and your subject is out of focus.  This little snail is about the size of your pinky nail.

4.   The Ponce inlet light house.  My wife likes to take little local day trips to go check out different sights and attractions.  She often sells me on her idea with “it will be a great photo opportunity”.

5.  My step daughter, known affectionately as “CL”, is often a willing participant ( with eye rolls and shrugs ) when I need a stand in subject to do photography tests.  This is just one shot that was just for testing out some new lighting equipment.

6.  Another test shot featuring CL.  Had I known it was going to turn out this cool I probably would have opted for a fancier wardrobe choice, but I still love it.

7.  My daughter “lil C”.  This was a test shot to test a crude method of bouncing flash light around and I love the way it turned out.  She’s good at following posing direction for roughly 5 minutes, so photo testing with her is a very quick and short process.

8.  CL against a beautiful summer sunset.  I love doing these types of shots!

9.  My wife.  Another test shot….hence the crappy neighborhood backdrop.  It’s hard to believe by looking at her today that 17 months ago she died for a full 30 minutes isn’t it?  That story can be found here.

10.  I am so grateful that I could capture the next shot.  My little girl’s first real roller coaster ride!  You have no idea how hard it was to get a shot like this while riding a roller coaster.

11.  The nest image is from a high school senior session I did earlier in the year.  Someone commented that it looks like it belongs in a magazine advertisement.  I consider that a huge compliment, but I just liked the way it turned out.

12.  I picked the next image because of how natural and “in-love” these two are.  I’m the lucky guy who gets to document their wedding day next month!

13.  From a wedding I photographed early in the year.  It rained on wedding day, but it stopped just in time for the ceremony to take place.  While waiting for the rain to stop I decided to make the best of the situation and take some detail shots and took advantage of the puddle at my feet.  I actually laid down in the puddle just to get the reflections.   It’s only water… will dry!

14. Another from a 2012 wedding.  Sometimes weddings get a little off schedule and before you know it the sun sets and there just isn’t enough natural light to be had.  2012 was a year of exploring flash photography in a more creative way….and it paid off big time.

15.  My wife has amazing super powers!  Again, testing some flash photography and some levitation photo trickery.  My neighbors probably think I’m nuts.

16.  My daughter “Lil C” was dying to walk our dog.  What we were concerned about was the dog seeing the neighbors stray cat ( who loves to get into our garage and mark it’s territory….thanks for that, love the smell ) and taking my daughter for a drag.  So, little by little we let her walk the dog to one house up the street, then two, then three.  Well, she dropped the leash and the dog was like “later Lil C…..I’m outta here”!

17.  Bride and groom wedding formal from my last wedding of 2012.  I was so happy I got this shot and it’s a huge favorite of mine I’m very proud of.

18.  One of my last shots for 2012 of a return client.  Pretty location, pretty light, pretty subject, fun image.

19.  “Lil C” enjoying a ice-cream treat at a local arts festival.  Think back to how happy you were when you were a little kid, and you asked your parents if you could have ice-cream because you saw a stand or shop as you were passing by, and your parents said yes.  Do you remember how happy you were?  That’s why this next shot is a favorite.

20.  Another childhood memory….playing in the leaves.  I think this is another favorite memory of mine….and I’m glad I could capture it for my daughter.

21.  The next shot is a pretty common shot to do with one subject and I really like doing these shots, but I had never seen it done with two girls at the same time.  So, while on vacation CL and her friend agreed to go for it.  It’s not easy very easy to pull this shot off while you are in the water with your camera gear.

If the lovely young lady in the following images looks familiar it’s because I shot her high school senior pictures earlier this year.  Brooke contacted me for another photo session.  Why?  Just because!  She plainly “just wanted to have another photo shoot and have some new pictures”.  Not a bad idea if you ask me!  Aside from the fact I like working with Brooke, after all she’s a natural in-front of the camera, I also just received my new camera and lens (Canon 6D with the 24-105 f/4L)and was eager to run it through the paces of a real shoot to see how it would perform.  As you can tell, I like to have fun while shooting and we had a great time with a few good laughs.  Though we could probably chalk this session up as another Clermont high school senior photo session,  sometimes it’s just fun to go out and get some great images……”just because”!  Below are some of my favorite shots from Brooks session.  Enjoy.