Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Thank you Katrina (you too Liza), Beth and Jo!

Another follow-up post to thank everyone for the hard work. Here are a few more shots from Redondo Beach and the Santa Monica Pier.

A few of Beth....

A few of Katrina...

And my favorite. :) Katrina - thanks for being a good sport!

Tuesday, February 27, 2007


This could be the biggest wedding date of the millennium! The media (myself included) is going to have a field day with this, everyone should remember - it's just another day! :) Coincidentally, it would have also been my grandfather-in-law, Pachau's, 100th birthday!

I think I may be the only wedding photographer NOT working that day and I am happy that I will be a guest at one of my best friend's weddings.

If you are getting married that day (Kate and Huey this is for you) here is an article I found on how to deal.

7.07.07 article, especially if you are getting married in Las Vegas.

The article's author is Rev. Laurie Sue Brockway is someone who can definitely be a calming influence on any wedding. We have worked together many times (one photo from above) on some beautiful intimate weddings. If you are looking for a someone special to officiate your day, make sure to contact her.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Thank you Sita,Lauren, Antonia and Andrea.

Over the next week I just wanted to thank all the models, hair and make-up people who made my time in California such a success. Thank you Sita, Lauren, Antonia and Andrea again!
Here are a few of my favorites from the shoot....of course, more to come soon.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Something unique.

Every now and again, I see something at a wedding that really catches my eye. Last night was one of those nights, in fact my neck hurts from all the things that caught my eye. :) But, there was one thing in particular that I thought was really unique Martin Hardy comes to your wedding and paints an original painting of the night for you to take home. So simple, yet beautiful - I loved it! He sets himself up in the corner of the room, and you can casually stroll by and watch his progress. Very cool.

Also, did I mention the aerialist? What an amazing night -
check back later in the week for more, but a few teasers...

Big BIG props go to TJ Cameron for coming out to NYC for his second trip in less than 4 weeks. This, after spending a week in California with me. Thanks man, I really appreciate it!

I also want to thank Carlos Varela for joining us. Thanks so much for your help last night, could not have done it without you!

Laura and Gordon, thanks for a great night, have a great honeymoon! Send me some pics!

Friday, February 16, 2007

Thank you Tricia.

We woke up on Saturday morning to gray skies and pouring rain - AWESOME sunny California. :) Trying to make the best of it we stole as many garbage bags we could get our hands on, wrapped our cameras (and fong dongs) and drove down to the beach. TJ was leading one of the workshop shoots and we were looking forward to watching him in action. Unfortunately, some people dont like to go out in the rain and decided to stay home which left us with no models.

So we ran back our cars to grab an early lunch. As we finished eating we were trying to figure out how to salvage the rainy day. Suddenly (as if out of some funny movie script) Tricia walked past us. Almost immediately, Lynn jumped out of her chair to ask her to join us in a shoot after she got off work. Luckily - she was free and met us at the hotel. What could have been a total washout turned out to be a spontaneous, fun shoot. I want to thank ALL the people in the city of Pismo Beach for being so friendly and nice. Including Harry's night club for letting us into a busy bar with a band playing. And - big props go to Panchos Surf Shop - you guys rock! Make sure to check out TJ's blog, C+L's blog and Shyla's blog for some killer shots. Thanks again Tricia for making our week!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

The fun shots.

I wanted to share some of the fun shots from our trip. Even though the weather wasn't always bright and sunny it sure beats the nasty storm we have here today. Yuck. I miss you guys already!

After our first day of shooting we all met up in the OC at a great mexican place, here are a few shots I stole from Shyla.

From left to right - Chris + Lynn Jaska, TJ Cameron, Sara France, who drove all the way up from San Diego - it was awesome seeing you again! Shyla, Karey Michelle (I wish we had more time to chat!), Lori Creech, and my favorite photographer who STILL doesn't have a website Regis Chen :)

Our goodbye picture in Pismo Beach. Gotta love the mini van.

From left to right - Me, Bill Cawley, Colin Michael, the fabulous Timmy, C+L=fun, and always looking good TJ Cameron.

On our way home.

How cute is Colin's son Caiden!

TJ - looking a little less pissed. :)

I have a few more that I need to add, but I gotta run off for a shoot this evening. check this post later for more.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Thank you everyone! Part I

One photo from our last night in Pismo Beach.

What an amazing trip I just had! I know the last 2 posts have been short, but this one should make up for it. :) This is going to be the first of two post recapping my trip to California.

It is no secret that I have photographed weddings for a REALLY long time. Until this weekend I never really thought about how long until Lynn said to me, "Jason, just how long is a long time?" I responded that I photographed my first party when I was just 17 years old for a local photographer where I grew up. I continued with him as his assistant and shooting my own jobs for him through high school, college (F.I.T.) and then through my 20's. She then looked at me and said "Jason, that is 21 years!" Yikes. I have to admit that during all those years, it was not always a love affair. As a matter of fact, I can honestly say I really did not enjoy many of them. While I was in college, one of my photography professors asked me to shoot his daughter's wedding. At first, I immediately turned him down because it was too much pressure. After he insisted, I agreed....2 weeks after the wedding I dropped off the photos and negs (yes, negs!!) to him. The next morning in class, he asked me to stay because he wanted to chat with me. I thought to myself "oh boy he hates the pictures!" I sat down and he looked at me, smiled and said "Jason, I just wanted to thank you for doing such an amazing job, you have a gift for shooting people I have not seen in many of my students." Of course I was truly flattered... For the next 2 years of school he continued to push me to pursue a career in wedding photography - I thought he was nuts. I wanted to shoot for Vogue. :)

OK - fast forward, 10 years later. I have my own studio, many great clients and am on my way to a successful, lucrative commercial photography career. Curve ball. I get a phone call from Steven (the wedding photographer who I worked for since I was 17) telling me he has been diagnosed with cancer and has 6 months to live. Obviously, I am shocked and terribly upset - after so many years I considered him to be a second father and mentor.

Unfortunately, Steve only got 4 of those 6 months, but at least it gave me a chance to say goodbye. A few weeks later, Doris, his wife asked that one of the last orders of business was disconnecting the studio phone number, but she offered to forward the line to my studio if I was interested. In the words of Michael Corleone from the God Father - "Just when I thought that I was out they pull me back in." :) Well - the phone starting ringing. One of the first phone calls was from a bride-to-be, I explained Steve had passed away and I was just getting started on my own taking a limited amount of weddings. She said "Jason? - Jason Groupp? Oh - MY - GO-!! You shot my Bat Mitzvah!!" Feeling very old (I had just celebrated my 30 bday) we chatted for a few minutes and she then asked if I was available for her wedding date. :)

At this point I am sure you are wondering where is going with this and why?

Well - I decided if I was going to do this on my own I really wanted to do something different, more personal and creative. It was around the time when PJ style shooting was starting to emerge and I knew it was the direction I wanted to go in. In the beginning, I had to convince some of Steve's referrals that this was the way to go. I couldn't believe that I was actually a full fledged wedding photographer realizing my professor's dream for me. Still, I was always looking for inspiration and others who were willing to share their ideas. A few years later, my friend Luke introduced me to a photography forum called OSP. It was a group of mostly west coast wedding photographers, many of them new to the business. Their ideas were young, fresh, and totally "out of the box". Since then I have become more acquainted with the community and made lots of new friends. This weekend while shooting in California I joined them for one of their "get-togethers", or as they called it an "unconference".

About 100 of the most talented people all gathered for a weekend of inspiration and an open sharing of ideas.

You guys have helped me "see" all over again and I can't thank you enough. It was awesome meeting each and every one of you. Hopefully we will all be together again soon!

I want to thank - Chris and Lynn and TJ for an amazing week of shooting - what a blast! (much more on this later)

There are a few people I also wanted to mention, if you visit their websites I think you will see how amazing this group of people are -

The first mention must go to the fabulous Tim Co.. Hope we see each other in NYC soon.

We wrapped up the weekend by spending an evening with Colin Michael and his family. They live in a beautiful place tucked into a vineyard - complete with a tree growing though the center of the home. Thanks so much for your hospitality, I cant wait to come back soon!

Jefferson, I am so happy we finally got to meet. I really enjoyed our chats, thanks for sharing all your business advice.

Tim and Mike, it was nice meeting you (again)- Luke reminded me we met 3 years ago in NY when we got together with DJ. Too funny. Hopefully I can win my 5 bucks back in a poker game soon.

Shannon may be the funniest photographer I have ever met. Thanks for the ab workout.

Ryan, Bill, Susan, and Shyla - so awesome meeting you guys.

Lori, as always it was great hanging with you too!

....and finally, my new east coast friend Sofia, we have been chatting for a while now, but haven't really had any time to hang out. Hopefully, we wont have to fly to the west coast to see each other again! :)

Check back tomorrow for more from our week long photo trek...

Saturday, February 10, 2007

California day 2

Once again a short post..... I wanted to share just a few more, again thanks so much to Jennifer, Sita, and Antonia.

Friday, February 09, 2007

California day 1

My apologies for another quick post. After 2 long succesful days of shooting with TJ and Chris + Lynn I wanted to post a few shots from day 1. Thanks to everyone for a great couple of days in LA, it's been a blast! More tomorrow!

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

They tell me it's sunny in California.

Everyone I know on the west coast says that it is always sunny and warm in southern California. Yet everytime I come into town I bring the rain. :( I will be up and down the coast this week - more on that later....I was able to just finish up Beth and Dan's slideshow before I left - I know they just got back from their honeymoon and I dont want to make them wait!

Click here!!

Saturday, February 03, 2007

American Friends of the Israeli Philharmonic.

On Thursday night I had the opportunity to once again photograph the annual fundraiser for the AFIPO. The gala was held at the iconic Waldorf Astoria. I love this event because I know I will see some good friends that I don't see often enough and it is the one time a year I get to work with my studio mate Chris Lee - his work with Orchestras from all over the world is awesome. Here are a few shots from the gala, as always it was a pleasure to work with all the people from AFIPO who work so hard to put this together. See you next year!

My good friends Ophira and Joram.

My friends Juli and Scott - who's wedding I photographed last year. I cant believe their one year anniversary is only a few weeks away!! Time flies.

Ophira and Joram with the amazing Maestro Zubin Mehta

Fran Drescher

And - of course my favorite Dr. Ruth. :)