St. Patty's Day. by joel spangler


Emma and her friend Landon took some pictures together for St. Patty’s day. I’m amazed at how much mileage a backdrop, a speedlight and an umbrella can give you. My flash might finally be ready to retire though, seems to have a bit of trouble keeping up these days.

Had Bangers and Mash, and a delightful Troegs First Cut IPA for dinner, was a delight.

Year One. by joel spangler


Emma is already one. She ate a lot of cake, definitely experienced her first sugar high, and resulting mega nap. All in all it was a good time.

11 Months by joel spangler

We have been taking photos of our daughter at every month for the first twelve months. Over Christmas, I acquired a really cheap fixed lighting set, which I believe is for video, but decided to use it as some fill lighting for our daughter’s 11 month old pictures.

I used one of the lights facing her on the left, and had my strobe positioned overhead just off to the right. It worked really well, and among all the photos, one random one became my favorite the instant I saw it. Has a very artsy vibe, like it could be hung in an art gallery.

As my sister titled it: “Baby with Rattle, 2018”

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Louis Cole. So much wow. by joel spangler

Louis Cole is among one of my favorite musicians of all time. He’s been around for at least 8 years, but his work with his band Knower, and his recent solo work is starting to go off the charts good.

Need evidence? The backing band for this video is comprised of some of the top musicians alive right now, and they just showed up to be part of it. (Kneebody just hanging out and playing background, that’s high level. Just crazy.) Also, this is just generally amazing.


Happy Halloween by joel spangler

I have always mostly done basic natural light photography, never really busted out the flash. In my younger years, it seemed almost as if using a flash was somehow cheating. You’d see trendy blogs where everyone was shooting HDR, and seeking cameras with higher and higher ISO settings. Photo blogs would publish headlines like “If you want to learn to be a great Photographer, learn to use available light!” It never ended.

Then, I found a blog called “The Strobist”. There is a series of now legendary blog posts outlining using a basic flash setup to get very professional results. I would recommend the Lighting 101 series as a good starting point. There he outlines a very inexpensive flash setup to get started. So I got a little setup. A flash stand, wireless triggers, and an umbrella.

I have used this setup a few times now to take pictures of my daughter. The more time I spend with setting it up, the better it’s working out. Over the last weekend, we did some photos of our daughter, and our friend’s son. They came out really nice, and I’m certainly glad I invested in the flash setup.