All the special moments of your life, captured in a unique and beautiful way

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

HS Senior Portraits in February? Sure!! ~ Here are a few of Gaby's

If you're planning a trip to Naples for Spring Break, think about using a Beach Portrait Session for your son or daughter's HS Senior Portraits. This time of year every night is just about perfect for an unbeatable combination of superb lighting and comfy temps.


In this session I used one of my favorite lighting techniques for images of females, called "short lighting". If you take a look at the direction of light you'll notice that I'm photographing Gaby with the sunlight on the opposite side of my lens. To me, this is one of the most gorgeous ways that you can photograph a woman. My assistant, Molly, was also working a diffusion panel to soften the light that was on Gaby's face.

We have so much fun working with the HS Seniors on their photos, and then everyone gets to enjoy the sunset as well! -Mark

Erin and Richard | Keewaydin Island Beach Engagement

Erin and Richard Celebrating Their Engagement | Photo by Mark Block
Erin and Richard celebrating their engagement on Keewaydin Island | Photo by Mark Block

When making engagement photos I set the stage with some simple directions to the couple, and then do my best to become "invisible" to them... And that's how I get images like this.

Congratulations once again, Erin and Richard!

Monday, January 13, 2014

Molly’s Senior Portrait ~ At the beach, of course!

Molly Lynne Block Senior Portrait by Mark Block
Molly Lynne | Photography by Mark Block
Many of you have met, or may meet, my assistant Molly... She graduates HS this year. I use the word assistant only in a cursory way, as it most definitely is far from accurate. Molly is one of the best photographers I have ever met. Her talent isn’t derived from something she has been taught or studied, nor by following any trend. Her photography is intuitive, and comes from her unique perspective of life and love, both of which she radiates. I’ve learned more from her than I could ever put into words.

Having spent so much time on the beach taking photos together, we thought it would be fun to go to out and snap a few images of her for her senior portrait.

What you may not know is that Molly is my daughter… I admire, and love everything about her, she inspires me. I’m selfishly going to miss having her with me, but so excited for the prospects in front of her.

Love you my sweet-girl!
-Dad

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Tribute to George Hurrell's Timeless B&W Photography

George Hurrell tribute | photo by Mark Block
Tribute to George Hurrell | photo by Mark Block
I figured I’d start 2014 by looking back… I’m a George Hurrell admirer, so I though it would be fun to shot this “GH” influenced image of my friend Mary in the studio today.

If you think of any iconic image of the Hollywood stars from 1930 – 1980 it will most likely be one of George Hurrell’s images. He accomplished something rarely achieved by any photographer in that his style, which is so easily recognized, represented not only his craft, but an era as well.

I love B&W images, and having the chance to do this photographic tribute to Mr. Hurrell, and and his craft, was a real treat.

Happy New Year!
~Mark

Monday, December 23, 2013

Jessica Bell + Brian Robbins Vows on Marco Island Beach

Jessica Bell and Brian Robbins Marco Island Wedding | Photography by Mark Block
Jessica and Brian's Marco Island Beach Wedding | Photography by Mark Block
I had the privilege of photographing Jessica and Brian’s wedding this afternoon at Eagle’s Nest Beach Resort on Marco Island. As is common this time of year, the weather was fantastic, sunny and warm with a sea-cooled breeze. Friends and family came from across the country, many of them (including Jessica and Brian) quite happily from places much cooler (brrr). The wedding party included Jessica’s sister, Tiffany, and Brian’s brothers, David and Jon, as well as Penelope, Hallee, Jill, Luke and Casey.

I could go on and on about family’s that bind, love, devotion, friendship, tenderness, and respect… But there is no need, they were all well represented today with these two families.

As the father of two children myself, I can warrant to you Jessica, that there is no connection or bond stronger than that of a father for his children. It transcends the ages, time and space. Know in your heart he was with you today, and always.

Congratulations, and my best wishes to you, Jessica and Brian. The privilege was indeed mine. -Mark

Wedding Photography Thank You Card to Mark Block
Wedding Photography Thank You Card to Mark Block

I also received the following comment from Jessica on Weddingwire.com:

I was very excited to plan a destination wedding on Marco Island, Florida. I had the venue and the reception planned for months before the wedding. Equally as huge to me would be finding an awesome photographer to capture the memories for us, our guests, and for our friends and family at home. I had no idea where to even begin looking for a photographer. I came across Mark's website through a search on the internet and immediately fell in love with his work. The best part? His wedding packages fit all price budgets! Prior to the wedding, he touched base with me and got my overall vision. He was very flexible and let me go 'outside the box' and have shoot go the way I wanted it to be. Leading up to the wedding, he assured me that he was just a phone call away in case I needed anything or had any questions. During the wedding, his demeanor was sweet and enthusiastic. He had a smile on his face the entire time. He was gracious to all of my guests, while still capturing the images that he needed and wanted. He was able to photograph all that was important to us. The best part? He posted a quick summary on his Facebook page with snapshots and a beautiful write-up that we were able to forward to all of our friends and family that were not able to make it down to the wedding. So very considerate! After the wedding, our pictures came quickly to us even with major holidays around our wedding date. Every picture was stunning. He even managed to capture the money shot for us, the one picture that I would have paid any price to have. Mark still is in contact with me, making sure every thing is the way that it should be and the way I like it. Our wedding was just about a month ago and he is still working to make us happy!

In conclusion, if you are looking for a photographer in SW Florida for any occasion, please use Mark Block Photography. You will be amazed at the overall quality of service, responsiveness, professionalism, value, and flexibility.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Beach Photo Session | Holiday Card Ideas

Beach Portrait Holiday Card Review
Beach Portrait Holiday Card Review
Many of my clients use a beach photography session for their holiday/Christmas cards.

Just received this email message from Elly Moayer. This is the second year I've worked with them, using a beach portrait session for their holiday card.

:-)
Thanks Elly...
Makes me happy, Enjoy!
-Mark

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Katie and Ryan's Naples FL Wedding

Katie and Ryan | Wedding Photography by Mark Block
Katie and Ryan | Wedding Photography by Mark Block
Congratulations Ryan and Catherine as they start their new life as husband and wife!

Thanks so much for allowing me to be a part of your beautiful day today. I hope we'll meet again soon.

Oh yes, and best of luck with your running, cycling, swimming (they're both triathletes). I'll be keeping my eye on Triathlete Magazine to follow along with your adventures.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Congratulations!! Jiachen and Bob

Jiachen and Bob | Naples Florida Wedding | Photo by Mark BlockThe beautiful Waldorf Astoria Naples was the setting for Bob and Jiachen Lessack’s Naples FL wedding. Their family and friends enjoyed the sunny evening breeze that carried the couple’s vows across the private deck, which was beautifully decorated in true Naples destination wedding style. After their vows we whisked the couple down the mangrove lined boardwalk to the beach to enjoy the incredible sunset, and beach photos.

Congratulation Jiachen and Bob, and thank you for selecting me as your Naples wedding photographer! -mark

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Kim and Grant’s Naples Florida Beach Wedding

Naples Beach Wedding Photography | Kim and Grant
Naples Beach Wedding Photography | Kim and Grant
Kim and Grant had a perfect sunset beach wedding at the Bay Colony Beach Club. Their simple wedding truly made their love center stage. The couple was surrounded by close friends and family as the father of the bride, Lee, performed the heart-felt ceremony.

We loved being a part of their special day! A big thank you to the lovely bride and groom!

 Kim posted the following comment about me on WeddingWire.com:

"I have a tendancy to wait until the last minute for things, or don't take into account the importance of event details. As a bride, that is obviously not a good thing! However, not a moment of my wedding was missed, and a detail not captured or created- Mark and his team did an absolutely fantastic job. Firstly, when it came to booking the date and discussing what kind of wedding I was having, etc., Mark always responded to my emails and phone calls and understood exactly what it was I was looking for. He was on time, and even with equiptment and an assistant, still never took away from the ambiance of a room or subtracted from tender moments. I was THIRLLED with the images that were captured, absolutely thrilled. The lighting and timing was beautiful, and not only that, but almost every person that attended my wedding used his pictures as their Christmas card covers!! (how cool is it, several months after your wedding, to get your friend's cards on them with pictures from your wedding- just another testament that everyone loved the results, not just me!). He is a gem, his assistant was so sweet, and clearly he has a passion and talent for his profession. I will use him again for sure."

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Wedding Film Photography | Yes, I still shoot film... Here's why.

Film photography - Couple on the beach | Photo by Mark Block
I still use film for wedding and engagement photography - Couple on the beach | Photo by Mark Block

Brides have rediscovered the inherent beauty of film images...

I get a lot of questions about being a wedding film photographer. Ever since digital photography became main-stream for use in weddings and portraits, photographers and camera companies have struggled to recreate the signature look of film. That's why every professional digital image has to be enhanced with software like Photoshop, or Lightroom. Even then, you can come somewhat close, but never fully attain the true look of film. It's the savings in the cost of film and processing, coupled with the instant gratification of digital, that has given digital such a strong presence in today's photography.

The three reasons I use film for select outdoor wedding and portrait photography...
  1. Outdoors in good light, film is unmatched in dynamic range (range of bright to shadow), and color saturation, greatly exceeding the best professional grade digital cameras in use today !
  2. Film portrays people beautifully - When my intention is to capture the emotion of a moment artistically, film always gets me there, always.
  3. If I show several similar prints to a prospective client, and only a few  of them were shot on film, when I ask them to pick the ones they really like, in almost every single case they'll choose one of the film images.
Yes, of course, I use the very latest digital (Canon full-frame) cameras, and I love the results I'm able to achieve with them. They're fantastic in low light conditions, like receptions. But for bright daylight conditions, like a beach wedding, a digital camera is at a crippling disadvantage.

I always have my film cameras (Contax 645 & Leica M6) with me, and when the lighting is right, like a beach wedding, you can bet I'll be shooting some film images!
Just a simple comparison of unedited images from a new Canon EOS 6D (approximately $3000 with lens and flash) full frame digital camera vs. Kodak Portra film shot from a 12 year old 35mm camera purchased for $39 on eBay. Granted, I'm able to take the digital image and refine it in Photoshop to make it look more like the film image. However, the film image just looks like, well... film -  Which image would rather have on your wall?


Digital Photography vs. Film Photography - Methodology

There are endless debates over dynamic range, and the sorted technical pros and cons of each media, most of them argumentative, and self-serving to the author. However, there is one school of thought that I completely subscribe to, and is perhaps the greatest distinction between film and digital photography - The methodology and approach to making images varies greatly between film and digital, even when used by the same photographer!

 

Digital Photography

Easy answer, it's convenient, relatively inexpensive, and we get immediate results. However, in digital photography, particularly with amateur photographers, there tends to be a "spray and pray" approach, tanking as many photos as you can, deleting the bad, and looking for a good one in the batch. Sure, why not, it costs nothing, and you can end up with a great shot, right? We've all done it. I've also seen people just holding up a camera phone with one hand and snapping off an image with no real intention at all - Not sure I get that.

 

Film Photography

In film photography, each push of the shutter button has a relatively high cost associated with it - About $3/per click in my case. In addition, we simply don't have that many frames on a roll, so they must be used judiciously. The resulting tendency is for the film photographer to take more time contemplating the artistry, lighting, and composition of the image, before pressing the shutter. Of course, those are some of the the primary components for making a great photograph. Add an interesting subject to the mix, and magic begins to happen... Just not before your eyes, it takes a week or two for processing.

One of the greatest examples of this was my dad when we were kids. He wasn't a professional photographer, but his images were professional caliber. He always carried his (c.1969) Mamiya Sekor 35mm camera whenever we traveled, or to family events. When he made an image, he would look over each shoulder, scanning to pinpoint the direction of light, wince up his brow (I can picture him doing it) as he computed camera settings and composition, raise the camera and take one frame. He used slide film, one of the most difficult types to work with, and always seemed to get it right. Usually, one roll of film was all he needed to tell the story of a vacation. I really used to look forward to receiving his processed slides. We would all gather in the living room in the dark, and enjoy the images projected on the screen. I'm sorry, Facebook simply can't touch that!

Friday, July 5, 2013

Model Portfolio in The Studio

Model Portfolio Photography by Mark Block
Model Portfolio Photography by Mark Block
In addition to weddings and portraits, which for the most part are outdoors, I occasionally get to shoot something different in the the studio as well. This time of year, working in the a/c certainly has its appeal. As if that wasn’t enough, today I met a very talented, and equally personable model that is building her portfolio.

The concept of the photo-shoot was to show Kylee’s versatility, and her ability to go from teen, to glamor, to pinup, which she did with confidence and poise that clearly demonstrated her talent.

It was a fun photo-shoot, and I look forward to working with Kylee again. Little doubt we’ll be seeing more of her in print!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Joshua’s First Beach Adventure

Beach Portrait Photography by Mark Block
Beach Portrait Photography by Mark Block
We’ve had more rain than usual this past week, which is not what most visitors to Naples were hoping for. One exception was Joshua, who was delighted to have had his first trip to the beach with his parents.

The soft light from the early morning overcast can really be a beautiful and even light to take beach portraits.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Melissa and Mike Lamoureux | Naples Beach Wedding

Melissa and Mike Lamoureux | Naples Beach Wedding
I photographed Melissa and Mike’s beautiful beach wedding ceremony performed by Weddings by Phyllis, an officiant that performs weddings in Naples and Marco Island.

I was subsequently contacted by Marco Island Magazine, inquiring about a few of my images from the wedding, which I gladly furnished to them.

Marco Island Magazinze Cover | photography by Mark Block
Marco Island Magazine Cover
I found out today that one of my images from the wedding was featured on the 2013 June/July Marco Island Magazine cover.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

The Moment – Sean Nguyen and Julie Fratangelo

Sean Nguyen and Julie Fratangelo EngagementYou just gotta love a guy that knows how to do things right… I received an email from Sean saying he was bringing his finance to The LaPlaya Beach and Golf Resort in Naples for the weekend, during which time he intended to propose. He asked if it would be possible for me to be nearby and to capture the moment.

Working with Bobbi, and The LaPlaya staff, Sean setup a storybook dinner on the beach.

With Sean and Julie watching, I walked by and asked to take a photo of another couple that was walking down the beach. Julie had no idea what was about to take place, when I asked to take a photo of them. I took one image, thanked them, and walked away. I shot the image in the bottom photo a few seconds later with a telephoto lens.

Congratulations once again Sean and Julie !

Sean Nguyen and Julie Fratangelo Engagement