Tyler and Elizabeth | Wedding by Blake McCollum

Getting to meet new people and be a part of the special moments in their life is an amazing thing to be a part of. Getting to do the same thing for friends I have had for years makes it just a bit more special. I've known Elizabeth since community college and Tyler since my transfer to Mississippi State (where they met and became engaged) and they showed that in their engagement session as well as their wedding day. Glad I was able to not only be there to photograph, but to celebrate with these really cool people. 

Dress: The Bride and Groom
Florist: Uptown Lily
Photographer: Blake McCollum Photography
Venue The Mississippi State University Chapel & Hotel Chester
Cakes: Creative Cakes 
Catering: Hotel Chester


David and Megan | Wedding by Blake McCollum

Some people are just meant to be from day 1. This is one of those couples. David and Megan have been dating since their first date in 2006 (more information on that from their engagement session). After many years, a long distance relationship, and even moving states to be with each other, Megan and David are happier than ever and now officially married.

As a photographer I am lucky enough to get to meet a lot of people. I would call myself a people person so I highly enjoy interacting and getting to know everybody I photograph. I get to spend hours with people on some of the most important days of their lives. Megan and David, along with their family, have made that so much fun and made me feel like part of the fam. Dinner with Megan and her mom, chatting for hours, exploring Starkville for their engagement session, frantically searching for an animal rehabilitation facility for an injured hawk I once found, picking Megan's mind about the perfect cruise..... and finally deciding she's planning a cruise for me, to getting invited to their crawfish boil rehearsal dinner.. Everybody had welcomed Joyce and myself in like they had known us for years.

Random fact: A large majority of the people that were rehearsal dinner are from Ohio. They don't really eat crawfish in Ohio.... so there was a big learning curve for a majority of the visitors but they ended up loving it.  For those of you who traveled down to Mississippi and enjoyed the food.... This link is for you.) 

Glad to see this amazing couple start a new chapter in their life that started way back in 2006. I couldn't have asked for a more awesome group of people to work with that I am lucky enough to now call friends. 

Tyler and Elizabeth by Blake McCollum

When a couple meet, date, get engaged, go to college, and then plan to get married in a city that they love, what better place for their engagement session than the city of Starkville, Mississippi. I have known these two for years now and went to college with both of them. It was a warm afternoon spent laughing, catching up, and reminiscing on days past. Excited to be a part of this good looking couple's big day coming up soon. And Hail State! (I feel like they would approve of me saying that.) 

Thanks to  Bin 612  for letting us shoot in and around their restaurant. Great food, great drinks, great night life! 

Thanks to Bin 612 for letting us shoot in and around their restaurant. Great food, great drinks, great night life! 


"The Guest Room" by Blake McCollum

Have you ever seen a movie where the character enters a secret bar? Well you can experience that in person now. If you haven't been lucky enough to experience "The Guest Room" in Starkville, MS it isn't because you missed their new big sign. Let me try to paint the picture for you. This "speakeasy" type bar is only accessible through a back Entry. A short walk down an alleyway into the basement of an existing business. There is no sign, there is no menu on the exterior wall. Only a small street light and a large wooden door down a short flight of stairs. If they are at maximum occupancy when you try and enter, they will politely tell you they are full and try back soon.  But once inside it is in my opinion one of the most interesting, best styled, and coolest vibed places to have a drink or even dinner in town. Bowties and aprons are a regular for the bartenders  who squeeze fresh fruit daily for their drink masterpieces. No loud music or TV's all over the walls just a great place to relax. Seriously my short summary of it does not do it justice, so go check them out and see for yourself (located under Restaurant Tyler in Starkville MS.) And if you want a bit more information on "The Guest Room" you can Click Here

Don't miss their feature in the May issue of  Town and Gown  floating around the area. P.S. my last name is "McCollum"

Don't miss their feature in the May issue of Town and Gown floating around the area. P.S. my last name is "McCollum"

As far as lighting these images (I am going to start trying to do lighting setups on a majority of my future blog post) they all change from scene to scene drastically, but most of the imagery included one octobox as key with a strip box gelled extremely warm (to match the existing lights) for a rim/hair light. The location might not look it in the photos but is very small area with low ceilings. Lighting gear was extremely tight in here. The area itself is extremely low light but was scattered with wall mounted tungsten burning Edison bulbs which would act as my fill light. 

Camera: Canon 5d III 
              Canon 85mm 1.2L 
              Canon 24-70mm 2.8L

Flash: 2 Alienbee 400
          Cybersync reciever/trasmitter 
          47" Octobox
          10x36" Grided Stripbox (gelled warm)

          Vegabond Mini Power 
            Manfroto Q1 Tripod

Mississippi State University Fashion Board by Blake McCollum

And so it comes to a close, another great year with Mississippi State University Fashion Board. For some of you who might not know anything about Fashion Board, and are thinking "What is Fashion Board?" Let me tell you a little about it. It's a group of like minded college students ranging in majors from merchandising and fashion design to education and engineering. It's a melting pot of awesome people from all over the country coming together to do great things including bringing the community together through advertising local vendors and promoting shopping local. Honestly it's just great people.... period. Most well known for their fashion shows they do in and around campus, I have photographed shows themed from Beyonce, Circus, Masquerade, Alice in Wonderland to True Maroon, DJ Battles, and the forever famous Trashion Shows. Now you might be wondering how I got my connection with these people. I have been photographing Fashion Board now since 2009 when I did my first show with them. I was randomly asked when I was just transferring to MSU to photograph a show and it has snowballed since. 
I have met some amazing people through fashion board and made some life long friends. Some that have went on to pursue careers in TV, modeling, styling, and anything else you can imagine. Many of these people have ended up in my personal work as well like my Down at the Water's Edge series along with my recent Carnival editorial.  Thank for another great year Fashion Board and to my seniors that are leaving after this year, it's been fun! I wish you all the best in your upcoming years and Hail State. 

La Mode Bohème poster for this show (I will have a future blog post on the making of this image)

La Mode Bohème poster for this show (I will have a future blog post on the making of this image)

Photo Credit:  Joyce Li

Photo Credit: Joyce Li

Seniors + Photobombing  Gl0tron

Seniors + Photobombing Gl0tron

Old and new executive board. 

Old and new executive board. 

As far as the lighting setup goes for these shows. They stay relatively the same but I try and mix it up with different rim, hair,  and fill lights. You can go back to the top where I linked my first show where I believe I was using a single shoot through umbrella to camera right. I have upgraded a bit to a three light setup. This time with one white bare beauty dish high and to the left. I mix up my gel filters for background lights and went blue and purple this time trying to follow the decorations along with the earth day theme. I'm not 100% sure on exact color #'s.... I usually just say "yeah that color looks good" when I hold it up and look through it. Both rim lights were bare 7" reflectors. Like I said I shoot each show a bit different but the diagram below shows for the better part of how this one worked. 
Shot on a canon 5d iii with an 85mm 1.2L lens. Shot at F3.2, ShutterSpeed 1/200, ISO 50.