Photo of the Week - Ambient

Camera: Nikon D200
Exposure: 0.6
Aperture: f/3.2
Focal Length: 50 mm
ISO Speed: 100
Exposure Bias: 0 EV


Sharing is Good

Destination Guide Atlantic City published one of my vacation photos (SEE HERE). This is why I love Creative Commons. Family vacation photos turn into marketing and advertising.
~Sharing is good.


Current Reading: Breakfast of Champions by Kurt Vonnegut
Current Music: White Album by The Beatles
Mood: Good
Sounds: Wind
Smells: Coffee & oatmeal
Temperature: 69 degrees
Thoughts: Rainbows, cherry, and lollipops…


Pittsburgh Wedding Photography

Craig Photography
Wedding Blog


Wednesday evening I watched The Music Instinct: Science and Song. Next week I will watch The Musical Mind hosted by Oliver Sacks. The effect that music has on man is a wondrous marvel. I have read numerous books on the subject asking myself, why seek an answer when the answer is not needed? Music is good. Music heals. Music is purposeful. Why seek a deeper understanding? I do, no idea why but I search for a deeper understanding of music.

The world is divided in different ways – we are either born to the west or to the east. Our politics either lean left or to the right, we either follow the teachings of evolution or the faith of creation and in the end we all sing, dance and celebrate life with music.

Man was the last thing to appear on this Earth. First there was land, then plants then animals. Then man was created to complete the natural world. Music was last. Gary Snyder writes – “we are here to entertain the rest of nature”. I think he is right. In times of war send the musicians in first. I like that.

With music I can condition myself on multiple levels. This morning I was up at 6am, showered, yoga and then practicing Bach. I listen to music while doing yoga to focus my breath and lower my hear rate. I pick up my guitar and practice Bach because I am compelled to. I get in my car and listen to the music of Edgar Meyer while driving to relax my mind.

My daughter dances, she listens intensely to music at the age of 3 ½. It is part of who she is. My wife sings lullabies to calm her, songs to get her to pick up her toys, songs of play and songs of time to eat. My daughter will ask me to play my guitar fast then slow then “let me try” as she bangs and strums.

Music is good.


Pittsburgh Wedding Photography

We were excited to see that TJ & Jamie turned in some of their photos to The Knot! They were chosen to have a gallery on the My Real Wedding page. Go (here) and read about their wedding and see a few photos we took.



Things that have been on my nerves lately- Socialism…I am so tired of hearing everybody talk about the fear of being ruled by a socialist government. The bulk of our tax dollars are spent on defense…defense of keeping society safe. I like being safe. I like that I never had to fight in war. I like that I do not feel the threat of being attacked by a foreign land. Although I do not trust Australians, to quiet of a nation, watch your back.

I do not care about Socialism…because we already are, and have been, a socialist-run nation for the past fifty years…at least. We are a socialist nation who spends our collective tax dollars on going to war or preventing war or perpetuating the idea of somebody going to war. War makes people rich…ask Dick Cheney.

Dick Cheney…a man who has made his fortune in the private sector running companies who’s profits are derived from the United States being in war. No war, no profits. Now can you understand why Dick is on TV selling national security to us? He is trying to stay in business. For the past eight years he has been a media-ghost of the vice presidency. No need to talk when profits are bombing (no I did not mean booming).

People hate the term socialist and they hate the idea of government-run business. I get that I am a business man. I do not want the government telling me what and who to photograph. I hate the capitalistic business of war. I hate war. I hate that my tax dollars help to make Dick Cheney richer.

Here is the part where this rant develops into a dream…stop going to war. If we stop going to war every other decade and keep the tax structure the way it currently is we could have healthcare and education for all. That’s right. Our government tax structure could remain in tact. If taxes do not go up I bet you people will not care how our government is labeled.

I like capitalism especially when people with capital care about society.

p.s. – The opening sentence in the constitution is “We the people”, it is not I the person. I hope that those of you who wish to criticize this rant do so. Please refrain from quoting Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity or Glen Beck; they are entertainers not journalists, nor academics. They claim to be good Americans yet they do not claim to be good human beings.

p.s.s – If you really hate socialism what you can do as an individual is refuse social security and Medicare when you retire. I bet the drug addicted, heart patient Limbaugh will accept that gift from government.


Photo of the Week

Camera: Nikon D200
Exposure: 0.4
Aperture: f/3.5
Focal Length: 18 mm
ISO Speed: 1600


Pittsburgh Wedding Photography

To see an overview on all her vendors (including us!) go here to The Knot message board and take a look!


Current Reading: Art / Work by Heather Bhandari & Jon Melber
Current Music: Big Whiskey & the GrooGrux King by Dave Mathews Band
Mood: Concerned
Sounds: Quiet hum
Smells: Coffee & lemons
Temperature: 79 degrees
Thoughts: Good luck Ella at your first day of summer camp. We love you!!!


The Fountainhead

I finished reading The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand last night (thank God). I loved it, I hated it, it made me think and it made me angry, it’s a damn good book, I am glad that I read it. Rand’s words will stick with me. They will not influence me but they have effected me. I object to objectivism and selfness is not a virtue no matter how well you argue it. Rand argued it brilliantly. The book is a classic and well deserved. It’s an anthem of thought more than a novel of ideas. The book is a soap opera argument to the work of Friedrich Nietzsche. I am guessing that Rand could care less about what Zarathustra spoke.

Howard Roark, the hero of novel, seems to be influenced by “Beyond Good and Evil” by Nietzsche. I could be wrong. If I am let me know.

The one thing I did take away from Rand’s writing is – if you object to this rant of mine I do not care.

I’ll be reading Atlas Shrugged next after some light reading on art.


Elizabeth Craig Intimates Goes LIVE!

Big announcement from my wife:

I am so excited to announce that I have finally gotten my official Intmates Photography site up and running! It’s been a work in progress and I’m thrilled to make this announcement.

So take your time and peruse my site! Elizabeth Craig Intimates welcomes you! Drop a line and tell me what you think. ;-)


Pittsburgh, PA at Night

Explore & Fountain

I spent last week glued to the TV watching this show about two friends exploring the world and following a map. It’s the story of a girl and a monkey who are both bilingual in English and Spanish. They romped around the globe getting into all types of adventures. What’s in her backpack is her only aid for keeping out of trouble. Here’s the link to the show (HERE) oh yeah…my daughter was a little sick last week also, just an FYI.

In between being coughed on and snuggling with an angel I have been reading “The Fountainhead” by Ayn Rand. Last year I gave reading this a try but had to put it down after a 100 pages. Currently, I am about 100 pages from completion of this mammoth work.

I am still not sure if I like this book but Rand’s words have been making me think. Howard Roark, the noble and indifferent man who chose to work and live within society vs. Henry Thoreau, the noble and indifferent man who decides to leave society to work and live.

You can read my past thoughts of Rand’s work (HERE). In the end I still object to objectivism.


Purposeful Blogging Workshop

Every photographer that I have ever met struggles with the same questions.

I am too busy running my business; I have no time for creative new work. How do I get more time?


It’s too important for me to keep creating so I have no time to run my business. How do I get more time?

These questions will be answered at my Purposeful Blogging workshop next month

Booking Now!

Photo of the Week

Camera: Nikon D200
Exposure: 20
Aperture: f/22.0
Focal Length: 70 mm
ISO Speed: 100
Exposure Bias: 0 EV



Current Reading: The Fountainhead by Any Rand
Curent Music: Nothing by Nobody
Mood: Happy
Smells: Coffee
Temperature: 64 degrees
Thoughts: Could Howard Roark beat Thoreau in a fight?



Photo of the Week - Ambient Art

Camera: Nikon D200
Exposure: 0.25 sec (1/4)
Aperture: f/4.0
Focal Length: 24 mm
ISO Speed: 100
Exposure Bias: 0 EV
Flash: No Flash


I Live With a Demon - Short Story

I live with a demon.

Not an unkind demon, nonetheless a demon. Not a shadow, not a reflection, not a subconscious problem…it’s a demon. I have a dreadfully bona fide, in the flesh, ever-present demon that walks side by side with me through my life.

When I awake there is the demon sitting on the edge of my bed reading through my journal. When I brush my teeth the demon is sitting on the toilet watching me. When I am exercising there the demon is in the lotus pose in the corner of the room observing me. Across the breakfast table from me is a demon. On a train, in an elevator, at the coffee shop there is this omnipresent demon. As I write this the demon sits next to me.

The demon never speaks nor shows emotion. Simply observes me. I question if this is the demon’s Hell. Watching, studying me, never getting to be more than a silhouette. This could be the demon’s penance for past sins. Observing my life could be the demon’s purgatory. This demon might be putting in his time before reincarnation or salvation or whatever happens in a demon’s life, or un-life for the matter.

For years this demon has been by my side. A purposeless demon condemned to monitor, never to interact. This demon must be more depressed than me. I have scotch, red wine, books, and music all as my escape and company. The demon only has the all-pervading task of keeping an eye on me. The demon only has his omni-ever-present damned existence to keep himself occupied.

I am not sure if the demon is a he or she.

I have tried exorcism, taken pills, seen doctors, acupuncturists, chiropractors, vitamins, sweat lodges, prayer, meditation, walking in the woods, scream therapy, dropped acid, all efforts to rid myself of this demon to no avail.

The demon came into my life on my 40th birthday. That must mean something but after all these years that have past I have never figured it out.

My 40th birthday was a completely boring day. Just as everyday before that day, I got up at 6am, yoga, swimming then laid back on the sofa for two more hours of sleep before starting my day. I had a breakfast of fruit, pancakes and coffee then out the door. In my car I was listening to “The Best of George Harrison”, it was gift from a co-worker. At work that day filling my required eight hours was hellishly dull. Internet access to all non-related sites was prohibited and the coffee pot was broken. The only perk of my job is free coffee and hi-speed internet suffering all day long. For lunch that day I had to get out of the office and into a more crowded and noisy place, the local pub. After downing three beers and a tuna fish sandwich I headed back to work. Nobody cares if you have a couple of drinks at lunch, sometimes it even makes me think better. I am a Taming Complexity Designer. I create simplicity for everyday problems. We live in a world that is tech tired and I help to figure out how to take complexity and turn it into common sense.

Then it happened…

An electrical shock-like sensation started happening in my middle back, randomly and spontaneously. Imagine a mini-taser attached to your spine sending electrical zaps from the center of your backbone out towards your skin.

I blackout, actually I whited-out in a blaze of blinding white light. Wrecked my car. I blamed it on the alcohol. Lucky nobody was hurt, not even me. As I sit on the side of the road with the paramedic my mind’s clarity came back into focus and so did the demon sitting next me.

It appears that I am dead now, I say out loud. The paramedic assures me that I am alive and tells me to take it easy for the rest of the day. I go home with this ubiquitous demon by my side.

For the next sixty years I would live with a demon by my side. Because of this I would become a public celebrity, a public joke and a profit to some. People would mock me, others would ask for my autograph and some would pray at my feet thinking I could stave off the power of evil. I would make a fortune from the notoriety and become a hermit to the life.

All this time the world constantly encountered the demon standing next to me. The demon could not see the world around him. I was his existence.

Of the range of questions that would be asked of me over the sixty years only one ever gave me the answer of why. Why this demon is with me?

Question asked to me was…Did anything stranger than this ever happen to you? My answer…Yes. They even wrote a book about it many years ago. You may have read it in your Sunday Schools…. “The Story of Job”.


People That We Like

Original post at Elizabeth’s blog – What a Great Time We Had

So John and I realized we have some pretty super cool photographer friends so we invited a few to a little soiree at our home Wednesday night. The laughs never stopped, the food never ran out and drinks just kept on flowing. It was truly a fun fun fun night and we can’t wait to do it again. Thanks to all who came…and thanks for your friendship. Below are a few funny pics and some recommendations for all the photographers that attended. Anyone would do well by any of them. They are all fantastic, creative, soulful and lovely.

My wonderful husband has gone and gotten himself addicted to the funniest looking shoes in the whole wide world. They are so funny looking that I believe other shoes actually snicker out loud when he walks by. No joke. He swears by them and as you can tell…they are quite the conversation piece. David Burke couldn’t help himself and took a little pic of his shoes plus all us normal people in on it.

Yes, I’m the one barefoot…only way to go…unless it’s a rockin’ pair of stilhettos…
So my highly addicted husband could not believe his little eyes when he opened a package from Vibram Five Fingers (yes, that’s right…he actually wrote to the company to announce his unquestioning worship to this shoe and their company) and found the deified shirt you see him wearing below. That grin has not left his face since he put it on…it actually reminds me of what our daughter’s face looks like when she gets a new princess dress. Ahhh…like daughter like father. Isn’t he so cute??

So thanks again to all you beautiful photographers that showed up last night. We had a great time with each of you. Again–you can’t go wrong with any one of the photographers listed below. Some I’ve recommended before on this blog, some are new. Each is wonderful, gifted, so crazy talented and just awesome to spend time with. What’s great also is that each one of us is just a little different from the rest. We each have our own style and unique way of doing what we do. Yes…we all rock, in case you’re wondering.

David Burke: The sweetest guy ever…EVER. His work has an urban quality to it that goes along very nicely with his storybook style. He’s honest, fun and just good people. I love his work.
Annie O’neill: Annie is so talented and has the most interesting background in photography. She knows what she’s doing and she does it very well. She’s also a sensitive person and this part of her personality really comes off in her work.
Kimberly Reed: Kim is a bit of sweetness mixed in with Rock ‘n Roll. She’s the pretty side of punk rock. Her work has a strong urban quality but balanced very well with romanticism. She pulls it off spot on. She’s also just a hilarious person who will keep you laughing all day long.
Joanne Bartone: Mother incarnate. Years and years of experience to go off of she knows exactly what she’s doing and how to exactly get what she wants in a couple. She makes you very relaxed and assured that you’re in good hands. You just know you have no worries when she’s around. Her style is sweet and romantic.
Heather Lahtinen: Heather’s style is very romantic, magazine/storybook style. Very pretty and very soft with a slight mix of sultry. It’s all romance with her and since she’s a HUGE tech geek you can always count on the latest trends and styles in her work. She’s on it and her work is very tight.
Leeann Marie: Leeann is a little new to the field and her work is truly awesome. She has a great eye and has the ability to see shots in a different way. I know this personally because she has come along with us to a few weddings and I’ll look a shot we both took and hers is better. Damn. She’s sweet and fun…love having her along when she comes.
Barb Barry: I just recently met Barb but I’m so glad to know her. Barb runs her business with her husband, Stephen, whom I have not had the pleasure of meeting yet. I really love their work as it is very sweet and storybook, my favorite kind.
Thanks to all of you for coming! Let’s do it again soon!


The life of an artist is...

I like talking with other artists, to share in conversation about their passion, views, and insecurities on art, truth, beauty, and life. You either come to life an artist or you don’t. More often than not I believe this.

The life of an artist is discipline, focus, purpose, raw skills, rhythm, tempo, and simplicity. Creativity for me is not about expression it is about the experiential process.

Recommendation (updated)

David Burke's Shoot n Learn - Build Your Foundation
(Check it out ~HERE)
My Workshop - Now Booking
(Check it out ~ HERE & HERE)
Leeann Marie Photography has just launched new website
(Check it out ~ HERE)



Current Reading: Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott
Current Music: Shine by Daniel Lanois
Smells: Coffee
Mood: Dreamy
Sounds: Printer
Temperature: 58 degrees cloudy with rain
Thoughts: Acupuncture make me sleepy


My Writing on My Writing

Do you have to write in pain? The majority of great writers do. They suffer for their art; schizophrenia, addictions, temper-disorders, self-isolation and a general sense of plain not-niceness for most of them.

I do not suffer when writing. For that reason alone I will probably never be a great writer. I do not struggle over my writing or the re-writing process. Writing comes to me in a fluid stream of consciousness. I even find re-reading my past works to be quite enjoyable.

At this point I must apologize to you, the readers of this blog, for reading this not-so-great writing. You deserve better. Let me explain.

When writing this quick-witted piece of brilliance that you are currently reading I thoroughly took pleasure in the writing process, no suffering at all. I enjoyed myself to the point that I actually saw my own ego explode right in front of my waking self just to see it reincarnated back into its original self-obsessing glory. Yes, it was magnificent…

My solution to the creative agony: stop caring about great writing and enjoy the shitty first draft. Making a mess is the best way to find out who we are…just ask my three year old.

P.S. again sorry for all the non-greatness…enjoy the photos, I suffered over them.