Independence Day 2011-Flags in Celebration

Photo by Michael LoBiondo

Patriot American Flags in Charlotte NC

This holiday weekend, I wanted to share an image I took a few years ago.  My then assistant Ann Lamb and I were riding in the truck through Charlotte near the court house and we were headed back to the studio after a morning shoot, and I turned the corner to see this display of flags on the grass.  Parking were I shouldn’t have (Ann was vigilant) I spent about 30 minutes on my belly shooting from every angle.  Folks from Charlotte will recognize the building in the background and how much the Charlotte skyline has changed.  We don’t know who put the flags out, but it was very moving to see this overt display of patriotism so publicly displayed on the city’s streets.

It’s because of these chance discoveries that most professional photographers and a lot of amateurs carry camera’s with them all the time.  This was  shot with a Canon 1Ds with a wide-angle lens but could have been just as easily shot with any camera with manual controls.  Yes, I did post production in Lightroom which is a program I love and has great color.

So, have a hamburger or hot dog this weekend, watch Wimbledon, catch a ballgame, go for a swim.  “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

Go pursue some happiness.

More later.


What do 84yr old hands do…they grow something

Professional photography by Michael LoBiondo

Gardners hands

Sometimes as a professional photographer shooting on assignment, I get to wander around without any direction of where I am going except to produce images that have emotion and tell a story.  I shoot a lot of editorial photography for The Pines of Davidson retirement community and they provide a large garden area for residents to grow flowers, vegetables and the occasional weed (not the smoking kind, the pull out of the ground because it’s killing everything else kind).  As I was walking around, I met the wonderful Frances Cassidy just tending her small plot put holding on to this onion bulb.  We talked about her love of tomatoes and okra.  She is growing both and looking forward to her first fresh fried okra sandwich followed by a close second, tomato sandwiches.  I couldn’t take my  eyes off of the onion in her hands so I asked if I could photograph them.  “As long as you don’t get me in the picture” she said (I get that a lot!).  Happily, this is the shot I got using low depth of field so that the background would go soft.  I am inspired by Francis and her desire to keep “growing”.  My mom would be 82 this year and even though she’s been gone for a little while, I still keep finding her in the people I meet.

So, tomato sandwiches for lunch today?

More later…


While shooting headshots…….

Photo by Michael LoBiondo

Chef Frespech

Sometimes, even headshot assignments provide opportunities to get creative with your subjects.  The most interesting view may not be the person looking into the camera.  What view gives you the best story or gives you an inside look at someones’ personality.

This is Chef Philippe Frespech of The Pines at Davidson, a retirement community in Davidson.  He was gracious to give me a few extra minutes to get this shot of him in profile wearing his chef jacket and togue (hat), freshly cleaned and pressed.  This chef has to produce a menu for his clients who can at times be very particular and is proud of what comes out of his kitchen.

Get out your camera even if it’s your phone camera and get shooting.  Spring is coming fast and the trees are starting to bloom.  Think outside the box to tell a great story.

More later


American Farm Bureau Convention

photo by Michael LoBiondo

Delegates session

I just recently came back from Atlanta where I shot the American Farm Bureau Convention.   They invite me back every year to do the usual photography at a convention.  It reminds me of where our food comes from.  Farms run and owned by regular folks, hard working, dawn to dusk, not much profit, dependent on the weather, folks.  I remember to appreciate every bite I take (I’ve taken my fair share).
Every year, I look for different or unusual images to highlight the trip.  On sunday morning, they invite a preacher/minister and a choir to start the day.  These folks were awesome.  The choir director was singing so hard I thought his face was going to fall off!!
Photo by Michael LoBiondo

Choir Director

Photo by Michael LoBiondo

St. Paul’s Episcopal Church Choir

At the end of the convention, Mike Rowe of Dirty Jobs spoke about how there isn’t anything wrong with hard work.  Farmers do it 365/24/7.  Great speaker.
Photo by Michael LoBiondo

Mike Rowe of Dirty Jobs

So lastly, the AFBF folks are really great to work with.  One of the other photographers, Ken, wore a pedometer for the first 2 days and recorded over 20000 steps.  Our dogs were hurten’.  Here’s Ken and Mike and of course, Mary.

photo by Michael LoBiondo

Ken and Mike: Did you get it?

photo by Michael LoBiondo

Mary: Take it already!!

We dug out of Atlanta so more later.

Sit by the pool this winter

Photo by Michael LoBiondo

Pool scene for Annual Report

It got really cold this weekend in Charlotte and we were doing some Annual Report photos in town of apartment complexes.  Nothing like being around the pool in 35 degree weather with a cross wind.  Luckily the sun came out and warmed us to at least 37 degrees.   The AD didn’t want to show the typical building shots for the annual which was good because we had lost almost all the leaves on the trees.  Se we wanted to set a different tone/mood for the photography.  Who knows what the final client will actually use for their annual.  That’s the way the ball bounces sometimes.  Ultimately, you have to shoot what makes everyone happy including yourself.  It’s always a dance.

It will warm up again and I will get out my beach blanket and lounge chair…and hot chocolate.  More soon.


Shooting with a 50mm standard lens

Photo by Michael LoBiondo

Bank Annual Report

We did a recent annual report and decided to use the 50mm lens for whatever shots we could.  I really loved the thin depth of field (1.8) and in this shot it worked very well.  I got used to using zooms and I think there’s something about using prime lenses that allows you to see differently.  Check out more on