by Valentine Becker

Fourth of July (from Xanga blog)

Added on by Valentine Becker.

How did you spend your Independence Day?  I was shooting the excellent wedding of Ami and Debraj!

The vivid colors  make for a dramatic day…

...and the clothing lends itself to portraits that could be from today,  or 100 years ago…

...there were lots of modern touches...

..but the careful attention to family and tradition says it all!

Congratulations Ami and Debraj!

 

 

A Verrry Gator Wedding!

Added on by Valentine Becker.

...From my Xanga blog....

Amanda and Matt tied the knot at a really cool Church in the Round in Gainesville,  then we zipped right over to Ben Griffin Stadium to document their love of all things Gator.

Folks were hanging around inside the Swamp,  lounging,  running the steps and so forth,  so we had a ready made audience for our 50 yard line shoot…

Go Gators this fall!   Many happy years for Amanda and Matt!

BIKE WEEK

Added on by Valentine Becker.

Bikes are HUGE in Central FL,  I try to get to Bike Week in Daytona whenever I can.  This year I had other stuff going,  so here are some select shots from Bike Weeks past....

All the metal,  all the noise!  All the people!

Bikers represent a rover's way of life that started after WWII,  they covet freedom and open spaces.   See the country,  open air!

  They also exhibit a love of country that is refreshing these days....

 

They also exhibit a love of country that is refreshing these days....

  Remember this icon.   Betty Boop?

 

Remember this icon.   Betty Boop?

  This guy was practicing his juggling...

 

This guy was practicing his juggling...

  Stop by tonight,  he said to me without breaking concentration...They'll be on FIRE

 

Stop by tonight,  he said to me without breaking concentration...They'll be on FIRE

I had thought that this way of life was dying out,  that this uniquely American tradition was waning.  I realize it is not--new bikers are coming up each year,  the numbers are actually growing!

  Here's to the Iron Horse,  the people that ride,  and the good old USA!

 

Here's to the Iron Horse,  the people that ride,  and the good old USA!

What says Merry Christmas?

Added on by Valentine Becker.

Sometimes the details do it best.  The little things that you notice in a group of people gathered together around a big collection of food.

 

 

 

The golden light reminds me of the days up north,  when things were really howling cold outside,  but inside it was toasty.

Then there was this burner,  which reminded me of the camera work in the movie Drive.  It's an outdoor burner with some windows from the next building in the background.  It's warm and cold at the same time.

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Merry Christmas, everyone!  May goodness smile upon you in the new year.

CELEBRATION DETAILS

Added on by Valentine Becker.

I wandered around Celebration,  I'm fascinated by architectural details and the way light works around them.

Central FL kinda lacks in unique architecture so Celebration is refreshing.  Like the style or not,  it's different....

Wandering past the Celebration Hotel  (it's called a different name these days) I spied this classic Cadillac!  Sitting in front of a tropical-style hotel,  it conjured up Michael Corleone's business trip to Cuba in II.

Car details are great too!

Back on the farm my Dad had an old DeSoto station wagon that was built of steel.  Not crushed beer cans.  Steel.  I used to drive it around the fields when I was a kid.  One day I got it stuck in mud and it took us all day to plank it out.

All in all a refreshing walk around Celebration!

Avedon Light

Added on by Valentine Becker.
My friend Mike was down from PA with his family.  We did some family portraits and as we walked around the grounds we found one of those open-top outdoor racquetball courts....

My friend Mike was down from PA with his family.  We did some family portraits and as we walked around the grounds we found one of those open-top outdoor racquetball courts....

The light inside was so soft and even that we had to do some Avedon style portraits!

The light inside was so soft and even that we had to do some Avedon style portraits!

Mike's kids were polite and well behaved,  a pleasure to work with!

Mike's kids were polite and well behaved,  a pleasure to work with!

Chandy and Mike at Rollins Chapel

Added on by Valentine Becker.

A really cool wedding,  a bagpiper walked down the aisle right before the ceremony!

The reception was at the Winter Park Women’s Club–there were preserved wedding gowns worn by relatives in the past,  placed on antique dress forms,  and wedding portraits of Grandpas and Grandmas,  parents,  etc.

The reception was at the Winter Park Women’s Club–there were preserved wedding gowns worn by relatives in the past,  placed on antique dress forms,  and wedding portraits of Grandpas and Grandmas,  parents,  etc.

I would say the theme of this wedding was FAMILY,  elegantly carried out.

I would say the theme of this wedding was FAMILY,  elegantly carried out.

Congratulations Chandy and Mike!

Congratulations Chandy and Mike!

CATS

Added on by Valentine Becker.

I did some shots for a client and also for the Cat Hospital...

You're either a dog person or a cat person but I like to keep an open mind,  I grew up on a farm with dogs AND cats.

You're either a dog person or a cat person but I like to keep an open mind,  I grew up on a farm with dogs AND cats.

Hemingway loved cats,  he had a big bunch crowded around him while he drank and wrote. Recently the esteemed animal behaviorist from UF,  my friend Terry Curtis,  was called to the Hemingway House in Key West to give a professional opinion.  It seems that the six-toed cats were running all over the place and irritating the neighbors.   The city was about to take dire measures.  They wanted to engage an expert in deciding their next move. Terry examined the situation and offered this insight:  "They're cats!  They're not hurting anyone!  Leave 'em be!"   Score one for the good guys!

Hemingway loved cats,  he had a big bunch crowded around him while he drank and wrote. Recently the esteemed animal behaviorist from UF,  my friend Terry Curtis,  was called to the Hemingway House in Key West to give a professional opinion.  It seems that the six-toed cats were running all over the place and irritating the neighbors.   The city was about to take dire measures.  They wanted to engage an expert in deciding their next move.

Terry examined the situation and offered this insight:  "They're cats!  They're not hurting anyone!  Leave 'em be!"  

Score one for the good guys!

Kittens are the greatest!  

Kittens are the greatest!

 

Cats have impeccable manners and make great companions...

Cats have impeccable manners and make great companions...

....I'm glad they're on the planet.

....I'm glad they're on the planet.

Christie and David at the Polynesian Resort

Added on by Valentine Becker.

This loving couple got married In the beautiful soft light of approaching dusk....

The ceremony was held at a rocky point that sticks out into the lake....

The ceremony was held at a rocky point that sticks out into the lake....

The sky kicked in with some fantastic rose colored clouds...

The sky kicked in with some fantastic rose colored clouds...

....and the moon came out.   Christie and David are married!

....and the moon came out.   Christie and David are married!

Amy and Ed Long Island

Added on by Valentine Becker.

I traveled by plane train and car to this rustic spot on Long Island.  Family and friends is the name of the game for Amy and Ed,  their closest gathered around them.

The gents marched down the hill.....

The gents marched down the hill.....

....the celebratory essentials were readied.....

....the celebratory essentials were readied.....

Congratulations Amy and Ed!!!

Congratulations Amy and Ed!!!

Quiet Afternoon

Added on by Valentine Becker.

A visit to Sunken Gardens in St. Pete to scout the site for an upcoming wedding

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The sounds of the city fade behind me as I push deeper into the Gardens.

The sounds of the city fade behind me as I push deeper into the Gardens.

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The traffic roar becomes a quieting hum that disappears altogether.

The traffic roar becomes a quieting hum that disappears altogether.

I'm alone with the stunning complexity nature brings....

I'm alone with the stunning complexity nature brings....

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Every turn along the path brings new colors into view.

Every turn along the path brings new colors into view.

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I lose track of time....

I lose track of time....

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Outside the people rush back and forth shopping,  taking kids to soccer practice,  frantically escaping their jobs to stand in line to get home.  In the total quiet of the gardens Nature says to me  "Do you see who I am?  Do you understand what I do?  I will be here long after you are gone..."

Outside the people rush back and forth shopping,  taking kids to soccer practice,  frantically escaping their jobs to stand in line to get home.  In the total quiet of the gardens Nature says to me  "Do you see who I am?  Do you understand what I do?  I will be here long after you are gone..."