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  • Welcome to Birdsong Photography

I love Tampa, Florida. 

 

Thusly and transversely, and through extensive osmosis, I also love St. Petersburg, Florida. 

I first met Christine and Steve last year during Dan and Cherrie’s Key West, FL wedding, which will be reposted shortly due to the blog changing around a bit. They made their first official blog appearance a few weeks ago in on of the “Dirty Thoughts” post, which I’ve included here because I think it’s hysterical. 

Looking forward to seeing them again in a few weeks for their wedding!

~ B

 

 

  • Tracy - I LOVE THESE PICTURES!!! You’re amazing, crazy man!ReplyCancel

Like most unexpected good things, I wasn’t actually looking for it when I found it. 

I was three weeks into the last road trip of this year, a month long trek that took me from Florida to weddings in San Francisco, Tulsa, St. Louis and Lake Tahoe, with an engagement session in Chicago thrown in for good measure. In total I put over 11,000 miles on the rental car in one month. I would say that I’m worn out from driving, but I’d do it again in a heartbeat, so I’m not sure that counts. 

This particular moment came during a morning walk in the redwoods while camping in Big Sur, California between weddings. I can’t even describe how beautiful the woods are there, or how quiet everything gets once you walk into them a good distance. The ground is covered with clover everywhere you look. Gigantic redwood trees towering above you, some which have fallen long ago, the trunks of which are now covered with thick, green moss. The smell of the woods, the leaves, the smoke from the campfires back at the campground, and the smell of the salty sea air, as the coast isn’t but a mile or so from you. I tried to take photos of what I was seeing, but no picture could actually capture being there. The crisp morning air, the sounds, the smells. But, knowing that I’d eventually sit down and try to relay the experience to you, the dedicated few that keep up with my ramblings,  I wanted to get at least a few shots. 

I’d knelt down to take a shot of a random patch of clover, briefly glanced around for the ever-elusive one with four leaves, and instead found one with only one leaf. And lo and behold, it had the shape of a heart. Now, you can feel free to insert your own ” finding love in the most unexpected places” analogy here, but simply the fact that it looked like a heart and was growing quite happily having only one leaf made it pretty cool to me. 

I was lucky enough to be able to travel the Pacific Coast Highway in California twice this year. I’ve driven it three times so far, and I’m still in constant awe of the coastline, the little towns along the way, and my favorite spot of all, Big Sur.

There’s one campground in particular that has become my retreat from all things hectic and stressful. It’s got a convenience store, a bar and a restaurant where you can actually get wifi should you need it, and several gorgeous camping spots along the Big Sur river which runs through the middle of the campground. The name of the campground is Fernwood Resort, and if you find yourself anywhere near it, you owe it to yourself to at least spend a night or two there. It’s the one spot that I can honestly remember being completely and totally relaxed this year. Granted, it’s been a really crazy and weird year, but sitting around a campfire when it’s chilly outside, the sound of the river (which is actually more of a creek) running next to the campsite, any number of fellow campers that wander by and say hello, a cold beer and absolutely no cell phone reception, is one of the greatest ways I can think of to relax for a few days in between weddings.

If you do care to venture forth from the campground, you can drive 2 miles down Highway 1 and come to a state park with beach access where you can sit and watch the surf, hunt for starfish in the tide pools, or watch sea lions in the water. It’s honestly one of the most beautiful spots I’ve seen in my travels, and I greatly enjoy it there. 

 

I’ll leave you with a random gathering of some of the shots I took while in that area this year. I’ll admittedly say I am in no way a landscape photographer, but simply shot what I saw. 

All the best ~

B

 

  • Shayna - Brett, I say it again….Coffee table book titled “Roadside Ramblings from a Roving Photographer”. These are wonderful!ReplyCancel

Someone asked me yesterday how I would describe Key West.

My first instinct was to say it’s New Orleans, without the majority of the foul stench, crime, music, and Cajun food. But if you take all that away, it’s not really New Orleans now is it?

Key West is it’s own little world, and that’s the best way to describe it. Complete island atmosphere, incredible food, more bars than you can stagger through in 3 days, and any and all kinds of tourist shops, hand-rolled cigar stands, and anything else you can imagine on a little street called Duval. And it’s a cardinal rule that if you’re going to spend any time at all on Duval street in Key West, it’s a good idea to have a wingman (or woman) to make sure you don’t accidentally end up in one of those bars where all the sweaty old guys are watching all the sweaty young guys prance around in speedos. 

That’s right. Prance. 

And to be honest, it happens to a majority of hapless tourists wandering around Duval Street, simply trying to find a drink, and walking through the first open door that looks (somewhat) like a bar. They’re not exactly marked well. It’s entirely possible that you could stagger in such an establishment, alone, in search of a beer, and come out with a few phone numbers, a five dollar bill stuffed inside your belt, a look of confusion and a twinge of guilt. You’d know something terribly wrong just happened, but you now have five dollars so you’re not going to question it.

Which actually describes an internet date I had once, but I digress. 

During this particular trip, I had the very cool opportunity to work with photographer extraordinaire Kirsten Larsson of KirstenAlana.com. She’s an excellent photographer, a complete and total travel buff, has the ability to both endure a road trip with me and serve as a bodyguard on Duval Street against all characters of questionable morality. I’ll proudly work with her again anytime. 

* Side thought ~ If you’re ever in the Miami, Florida area picking up someone from the airport, and just happen to get bored waiting on said person’s flight to show up, and want to drive around looking for thrift stores, hear me when I tell you to completely ignore that urge. Google Maps led me to what was supposed to be a Goodwill, but in reality was Bubba’s House of Bouncing Bunnies, I can only assume which was shut down due to the bullet holes in the door and the crime scene tape strung across the parking lot. It’s not the safest area in the world really.

For those of you (lucky enough to be) unfamiliar with my first encounter with Key West as a photographer, you can read about that here.

For  everyone else already inducted into my Really Awkward and Wayward Ramblings story club, or R.A.W.R, you’ll be slightly disappointed to know that there was in fact no attempt made to relocate the rock ray during this trip. Perhaps another day. 

Trish and Joe, your wedding was perfect. Sincere thanks for the opportunity to spend some time in one of my all time favorite places, with some really, really great people. 

*wedding held at Fort Zachary Taylor state park

* reception held at The Rooftop Cafe

~ B

 

 

  • Joe Treadaway - So here is what I have to say about working with Brett and Kirsten…AWESOME.

    Our entire wedding was the most amazing time with family and friends. We met Bret and Kirsten on Duval St. a couple of nights before the wedding. A great time was had by all. Having the two of them allowed us to capture moments in time that we couldn’t have imagined with only one photographer. I wasn’t supposed to see my bride before the wedding, but I can’t tell you how amazing it was to see all of the pictures of her getting ready for our special day. Brett and Kirsten froze time for us with the most beautiful shots that we could have imagined. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you!

    Brett also doubles as a fashion consultant. Good call on the flops instead of shoes brother. If it weren’t for Brett and Kirsten, we would also be without the legend of the Duval St. Landshark as well.

    So if you are looking for someone that can pretty much act as a fashion consultant, mixologist, tour guide, wedding planner, and oh yeah one helluva photographer, Brett is your guy.

    He has been threatening to meet us in an Irish pub somewhere up here in the northeast or maybe back in Key West sometime soon.

    Until then…

    nothing but love for you brother,

    Joe & TrishReplyCancel

  • Kirsten - Brett – seriously fun working with you. Never have I had a weekend wearing my wedding photographer hat where I have enjoyed myself so much. Never. Landshark disaster aside, very seriously, I am game to be your second anytime. Drop of a hat, I’m there! And wow, we make a good team eh?! These images are FABULOUS!

    Trish & Joe – you are two of the most awesome people I’ve ever had the privilege to work for. I cannot put into words how awesome it was to be part of your wedding photography team. And your families are amazing as well. What a blessing this experience was!!! Many many good wishes for you both and your future together!ReplyCancel

Nelson, Nevada is about as far off the main road as you can get before you fall into a river. 

Literally. 

It’s about 20 minutes outside Las Vegas, your GPS won’t find it, and you’d best watch where you step because there’s a plethora of scorpions, rattlesnakes and various other things that aren’t pleasant crawling around. Not to mention the mountain goats that occasionally get cranky.

If, however, you can get past all the critters,  it’s hands down one of the most awesome locations I’ve ever shot at. 

This session was a few months ago during a stop in Vegas before heading on to Oregon for a wedding. The couple and I happened to be in Vegas at the same time, so we made it an impromptu shoot, and I’m seriously  glad we did.

We ended up completely running out of daylight, and shot well after dark thanks to the Canon 5D MKII and Canon 50mm 1.2 L lens I had overnighted from Borrowlenses.com. It got so dark in fact, there was nothing for the camera to lock focus on, so I ended up having one of them hold a flashlight on the ground, lock focus, turn the light off, then take the shot. Probably not the most technically sound way of doing things, and we ended up with some insane noise in the last few photos, but still very cool images and overall a really, really fun shoot. 

I’ve included a couple of non-traditional (for me at least) shots from the session of us basically goofing around for a bit. 

 

I absolutely love these.

 

Viva Las Vegas ~

B

* Special and sincere thanks to Tony and Bobbie Werly of Eldorado Canyon Mine Tours, Inc. for being extremely gracious and allowing us on their property to shoot after business hours. 

 

 

I used to have a website. 

Then, I had a different website. 

Then I figured out flash is basically the devil, and switched to a blogsite. 

 

For all 3 of you that actually read this blog, I’m basically starting over and adding content as I’m able in between traveling, which thankfully is drawing to somewhat of a close for this year. That said, this is a wedding from last year that I absolutely loved. Gretchen and Dan are an amazingly sweet couple that I first met during a trip to Hollywood, CA to shoot their engagement session earlier in the year. 

Their wedding was held at the beautiful Emerald Grande hotel in Destin, Florida, and was absolutely stunning. One of my favorite moments of the evening was the entire room singing ” That’s Amore’ ” at the top of their lungs around one of the tables. Dean Martin, you’re still a sexy beast sir.

Sincere thanks to Tiffany Coker of Avant Images for taking some absolutely gorgeous photos during this wedding (several of which are in this post), and taking away one of the best behind the scenes wedding stories of all time, that may or may not appear on a future blog post. 

B