Twisted Oaks Studio: Blog en-us (C) Twisted Oaks Studio [email protected] (Twisted Oaks Studio) Fri, 16 Jun 2023 08:06:00 GMT Fri, 16 Jun 2023 08:06:00 GMT Twisted Oaks Studio: Blog 120 49 Caleb's Newborn Shoot We were so happy to see this little guy born happy & healthy for his mommy and daddy! And we are very happy this new little family found us to take their pictures :)

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[email protected] (Twisted Oaks Studio) Thu, 21 Aug 2014 01:24:43 GMT
Emma's 1st Birthday Every 1 year old that comes into our studio for their 1st birthday shoot behaves differently. Some are shy, some are cranky, and some have a smile from ear to ear like Emma. Emma was a little inquisitive when Jay walked in the room since I started shooting without him, but once she warmed up to him, it was a party :) We quickly learned how excited she got with balloons, and even though she didn't dive right into her cake from the moment we put it in front of her, it only took a few minutes for her to start digging in. Emma had a blast and made our jobs extremely easy, we can't wait to have her back!

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[email protected] (Twisted Oaks Studio) Sun, 17 Aug 2014 13:53:56 GMT
The Leska Family Beach Shoot! We love doing beach sessions and letting kids run around the beach and just have FUN!

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[email protected] (Twisted Oaks Studio) Sun, 10 Aug 2014 13:58:51 GMT
The McFaul Family Beach Shoot! This family is very special for us, they were one of the first family's and close friends to trust Jay and I to take their kids pictures & have been with us ever since! We LOVE our returning clients & I think they are very happy with decision after this photo shoot :)

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[email protected] (Twisted Oaks Studio) Thu, 17 Jul 2014 16:03:20 GMT
Baby Rylee We love when our brides come back and use us for their newborn photos as they start their family, or make their family bigger. Baby Rylee was as cute as they come, even getting all dressed up for her shoot, looking like a little princess. 

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[email protected] (Twisted Oaks Studio) Thu, 19 Jun 2014 01:55:35 GMT
Lyndsey Jobe's Maternity There are some clients that we hit it off with from the moment we introduce ourselves, and the shoot just goes as smoothly as if we were taking photos for a close friend. Lyndsey and Josh Jobe were two of those clients, and walking around Batsto Village just before sunset felt more like hanging out with friends then a photo shoot. Having Alice tag along with us only made it feel more natural, and she enjoyed the walk more than any of us. We are patiently waiting for the new addition to the Jobe family, and are leaving the schedule flexible to make sure we are able to get some beautiful newborn photos for them right away. Can't wait!

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[email protected] (Twisted Oaks Studio) Thu, 12 Jun 2014 01:32:26 GMT
Jase's 1st Birthday Shoot I love this kid!! This shoot was so much fun with all of the kids.





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[email protected] (Twisted Oaks Studio) Wed, 11 Jun 2014 01:37:47 GMT
Brooke's 1st Birthday Shoot This little girl was all smiles and made our job very easy!

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[email protected] (Twisted Oaks Studio) Sun, 08 Jun 2014 01:44:27 GMT
Baby Sienna This little princess was the perfect baby for her shoot, she fell asleep within minutes and made herself pretty cozy in our new bed for our newborn shoots. Plus, I love catching up with her mommy & hearing about her two older brothers that I am sure will be very protective over this little one!

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[email protected] (Twisted Oaks Studio) Thu, 05 Jun 2014 02:15:33 GMT
Baby Damien This little one got nice and comfy in dad's shirt for some pretty cute pictures for mom & dad. We got to spend some time with this new family and we wish them the best of luck on their move!


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[email protected] (Twisted Oaks Studio) Tue, 03 Jun 2014 20:16:33 GMT
Baby Aryanna - 6 Month Shoot We took 6 month old Aryanna, along with mommy and daddy Nicole and George Hall, back to the spot in the Batsto Village where we shot Nicole's maternity photos. Aryanna had a great time soaking in the fresh air on a gorgeous night, as the deer walked around the field, and the sunset behind the village giving us some awesome light for photos. It was summer when we did the maternity shoot, which you can see by how much greener everything is, but as you can see, Nicole looked stunning during and post pregnancy. We were even able to sneak George into a few shots with his baby girl.


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[email protected] (Twisted Oaks Studio) Mon, 19 May 2014 17:36:39 GMT
The DeNafo Family We couldn't wait to post this blog, we had so much fun taking these family photos. Congrats again to the DeNafo family!


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[email protected] (Twisted Oaks Studio) Mon, 12 May 2014 15:16:31 GMT
Blake's 1st Birthday! I have a feeling this little one will be playing baseball in his future! 

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[email protected] (Twisted Oaks Studio) Tue, 22 Apr 2014 18:54:06 GMT
Logan's 1st Birthday! This little guy was shy at first but he came around when mom & dad let him dip his goldfish in the cake icing!

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[email protected] (Twisted Oaks Studio) Tue, 22 Apr 2014 18:30:28 GMT
Mason's 1st Birthday! This little guy holds a special place in our hearts & it has been amazing to see him grow over the past year! 

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[email protected] (Twisted Oaks Studio) Thu, 17 Apr 2014 17:30:41 GMT
Abbie's 1st Birthday Shoot! We love our returning clients, especially when they are this adorable! 

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[email protected] (Twisted Oaks Studio) Wed, 09 Apr 2014 23:08:26 GMT
Paige's 1st Birthday Shoot! This little girl stole my heart, a navy blue and white dress for her first birthday! Love it! untitled-6untitled-6 untitled-18untitled-18 untitled-39untitled-39 untitled-61untitled-61 untitled-92untitled-92 untitled-136untitled-136 untitled-150untitled-150 untitled-169untitled-169 untitled-181untitled-181 untitled-23-2untitled-23-2 untitled-18-2untitled-18-2 untitled-25untitled-25

[email protected] (Twisted Oaks Studio) Tue, 01 Apr 2014 15:07:07 GMT
Dario's 1st Birthday Shoot! Oh Dario! This is one happy little boy but had a serious face for a little while...until Mom & Dad started singing Happy Birthday in Italian! untitled-67untitled-67 untitled-3untitled-3 untitled-50untitled-50 untitled-55untitled-55 untitled-48untitled-48 untitled-79untitled-79 untitled-72untitled-72 untitled-107untitled-107 untitled-77untitled-77 untitled-115untitled-115 untitled-97untitled-97 untitled-132untitled-132 untitled-156untitled-156

[email protected] (Twisted Oaks Studio) Wed, 26 Mar 2014 22:07:10 GMT
Mia's 2nd Birthday Shoot! This little one was a little shy...until the cake came out!

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[email protected] (Twisted Oaks Studio) Fri, 21 Mar 2014 17:27:35 GMT
Madison's 1st Birthday Shoot  

This little one is just too cute for words, she made our job very easy!

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[email protected] (Twisted Oaks Studio) Thu, 20 Mar 2014 00:54:49 GMT
The Gault Family Our friends Jen and Sam Gault, and their two beautiful children McKenna and Caden visited the studio last week and we were able to get some great shots for them. Love how these came out, and loved how cooperative both McKenna and Caden were with letting us take their picture. 

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[email protected] (Twisted Oaks Studio) Tue, 11 Mar 2014 01:04:48 GMT
Avery & Cayden 1st Birthday Shoot! LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this shoot! This family is close to our hearts and I have to say this mom and dad made taking care of twins seem very easy! They are so fun to work with & the most well behaved twins I have ever seen!  untitled-45untitled-45 untitled-91untitled-91 untitled-86untitled-86 untitled-82-Edituntitled-82-Edit untitled-78untitled-78 untitled-57untitled-57 untitled-61untitled-61 untitled-103untitled-103 untitled-108untitled-108 untitled-118untitled-118 untitled-133untitled-133 untitled-176untitled-176 untitled-231untitled-231 untitled-220untitled-220

[email protected] (Twisted Oaks Studio) Sat, 08 Mar 2014 16:47:16 GMT
Elijah's 1st Birthday Shoot Elijah-0003Elijah-0003

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[email protected] (Twisted Oaks Studio) Fri, 07 Mar 2014 18:56:24 GMT
Our 6 Year Fertility Journey We started documenting our fertility struggles about 6 months ago and made a documentary in which we shared a couple weeks after finding out we were successful and 7 weeks along. We were honored to have our story picked up by the Courier Post and shared on the 2nd page of the newspaper as well as on their website. The Courier Post interviewed us and even sent our their own photographer to take photos of us for their article. The documentary has also been picked up by a couple fertility magazines which we are still working with the editors on now. 

To see the documentary, click on the image below. To see the article that was published in the Courier Post, click on the bottom image. 



[email protected] (Twisted Oaks Studio) Tue, 04 Mar 2014 15:14:13 GMT
2013 Highlights 2013 was an extremely exciting year for us, and one filled with a lot of learning, accomplishments, hard work, and rewards. We came into 2013 unsure exactly what the year would bring, and not exactly sure where we wanted it to bring us. With the start of 2014, we have a game plan, a set of goals, and the drive to make it even bigger and better. 2013 was our first full year of being in business, and the beginning of our adventure into wedding photography. After an extremely tough 2012, the hardest year of our lives, 2013 was a true blessing. We couldn't be more thankful for our family, friends, and now our large group of fans that follow and share our work to help Cass Imaging continue to grow bigger and bigger. We are extremely excited to see what 2014 brings, and hopefully so are you. Here are a handful of our favorite shots from this past year, and ones we will have to look back on to remind us of the great year that 2013 was...Enjoy! 

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[email protected] (Twisted Oaks Studio) Tue, 31 Dec 2013 19:48:07 GMT
2013 Black & White Newborn Collection untitled-20untitled-20 untitled-2untitled-2 untitled-2untitled-2 untitled-93untitled-93 1111 untitled-38untitled-38 Baby MaisieBaby Maisie untitled-68untitled-68 untitled-6untitled-6 C-6C-6 untitled-27untitled-27 untitled-16untitled-16 66 untitled-7untitled-7 untitled-32-Edituntitled-32-Edit 55 untitled-10untitled-10 11 untitled-3untitled-3 untitled-37untitled-37 untitled-39-Edit-2untitled-39-Edit-2 untitled-16untitled-16

[email protected] (Twisted Oaks Studio) Adorable Baby Cass Imaging Children Cute NJ New Jersey Newborn Photography South Jersey Studio Mon, 23 Dec 2013 14:41:11 GMT
Weekend of Maternity Mixed in on the same weekend as one of our biggest weddings, we had two awesome maternity shoots. The first shoot with Christine and Ray Baron was done in Batsto and the 2nd shoot with Helen and Jake was done in the studio and at the Cassario farm with a rope swing we made for her. Enjoy.

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[email protected] (Twisted Oaks Studio) Thu, 06 Jun 2013 20:19:03 GMT
Megan Knight This past weekend we got the chance to photograph up and coming young country singer Megan Knight. Megan is in the process of recording her first album and has been working with some really big names, so with an awesome father as her manager, her future looks to be pretty exciting. She needed some new shots for her upcoming album and her website, so we took her to our favorite place to shoot...Batsto. Here are a few of the shots we got. You can see the rest in the Client Gallery page. 

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[email protected] (Twisted Oaks Studio) Batsto CLS Cass Imaging Country D800E Jay Cassario Megan Knight Model Nikon Photography Singer Tue, 14 May 2013 23:41:17 GMT
The Cass Imaging Experience Ad-1

After getting a few questions recently regarding editing and resolution, I realized that there are a couple things that aren't very clearly advertised to potential customers on the Cass Imaging website. The first thing is the quality of the photographs we take. I held back no costs when starting Cass Imaging, purchasing some of the best and newest equipment out there. You might not care all that much about what kind of camera the photographer you hire is using, but let me explain that there is a big difference between an 8 megapixel camera and the two 36 megapixel cameras that we use. You want high resolution? At 36MP you can see each individual strand of hair, each eye lash, you can even see a reflection of me taking your photo if you look close enough in your lie. But, at the same time, with that much resolution and detail, every tiny little blemish can be seen, which can be pretty scary to some people, which is why I take the time that I do to edit each photo. How much do I edit? Well that depends on the customer. Every photo gets lightly edited, keeping detail where its important such as your eyes and hair, then slightly smooth away and take out some of the detail our where its not important, such as your skin. 

When choosing Cass Imaging, it's more than just getting your picture taken, its about the experience. From the moment we start planning your shoot until the photos up on the Cass Imaging website in your personal gallery, we make it as fun, easy, and comfortable for you as we can. Not everyone naturally looks like a model, not even the ones you see on magazine covers, but most of the time they have awesome photographers that make them look that way. With a little help from us on the day of your shoot, and a little editing to make you look your best, our goal is to make you look better than you ever have before and looking forward to your next shoot with us.

I managed to find 3 beautiful models willing to show their before and after photographs, letting me photograph them without their makeup on in the studio before any makeup was applied or editing was done. I wanted to demonstrate what the Cass Imaging experience is all about, and just how good we can make you look. I had each model show up without any makeup and sat them down to take one 36 megapixel shot of each of them, showing every little blemish and pore in their skin, an idea that would have most ladies running for the hills. Here is how they looked 100% all-natural, straight out of the camera. 


Ad-1 Ad-3 Ad-4 Cass Imaging has a professional make-up artist available upon request, which can be added to any package. Make-up is important, but even makeup mistakes can be fixed in the post processing, we suggest not putting too much emphasis on it. I had each model apply a little makup, nothing crazy, than I sat each one back down in front of the camera and worked with them to get a simple headshot, with a slight smile. Each one of these shots was fully processed and edited the same way I edit every client image, bringing the details out where they are needed, and smoothing them out where they aren't.

Ad-5 Ad-4 Ad-1

After the first headshot, I showed each model a close up, zoomed in shot from the back of the camera, and sent them back to make any makeup touch ups that they may want to make. Different than most photographers, I like to show you what you look like after a couple shots, giving you an idea of how you look. It makes it a lot easier for you to understand the direction Im giving you if you can see what Im seeing. Each model came and sat back down in front of the camera, this time I wanted to get a shot of them a little more playful, more of a laugh than a smile, each one looking completely natural and not fake or staged. Nothing is worse than a photograph of a forced smile, or fake laugh. I make sure that each and every photograph I give you shows your natural self, which is why you will never hear me ask you to "SMILE"...never!

Ad-2 Ad-1 Ad-1 I won't go into the details about our post processing and editing, but I will tell you that we know what we're doing. There are a lot of tricks that we use that give us an edge over our competition, tricks that will make your photographs really stand out. One editing trick we use really makes a photograph is a's all in the eyes. 

Ad-6 Ad-8 Ad-10 Just for a little fun, the girls wanted to demonstrate how frustrating it can be when you get your photos back from someone other than Cass Imaging, and they don't turn out the way you wanted them to...

Ad-1 Ad-7 Ad-11 So, to wrap up this shoot, I wanted to emphasize three reasons to go with us over our competition when it comes to the actual shoot itself. The first reason is that we LISTEN. We work with you to before and during your shoot, listening and using your ideas and input. A lot of photographers do things their way, and only their way, leaving you stuck with photos that may not look the way you want, with nothing unique to your style and taste. 


The Second reason is that we talk to you. We talk to you throughout the entire shoot, helping you pose and feel comfortable in front of the camera. A lot of other photographers expect you to know what your doing and leave you on your own with posing and facial expressions. We take our time and don't rush you, talking you through each pose, making it as easy as we can for you to look and feel your best. It is never the clients fault if a photo doesnt come out, whether it be for a bad pose or awkward expression, it's our responsibility to make you look your best, not yours. 

Ad-13 The Third reason is that we make it so we know exactly how you want to look. We always show our clients the back of the camera after a few shots, showing you how you look, and asking you to explain any changes you want to make. Rather than leaving everything to our judgement, no one knows you better than you, so sometimes what you think your showing us isnt what is being photographed. Seeing how you look on camera helps make you aware of little things you may want to do differently or fix for the next shot. This technique has been a big hit with our customers.

Ad-15 Here are some quick side by sides of the before and after shots.

Ad-2 Ad-1 The clean up...well, that's on you.


[email protected] (Twisted Oaks Studio) Before/After Cass Imaging D800 Editing NJ New Jersey Nikon Photography Photoshoot Post Processing South Jersey Studio Mon, 25 Mar 2013 13:57:12 GMT
Baby Tessa's Christening T-10


Im currently in the middle of writing a blog about a few of the more important things I've learned over this past year that we've been in business, and one of them being the importance of returning customers and continuing to make them happier each time they come back. One of those customers for us is the Marshall family...Kurt, Aimee, and their beautiful daughter Tessa. Kurt and Aimee brought Tessa to us when she was a newborn, and have been back for two more photo shoots with another booked next month for some outdoor family shots. It's our returning customers that continue to use us for their photography needs, trust us with capturing those special and important times in their lives, that have helped make us as successful as we are today. 

Since we're still not even a full year in yet, there are still jobs that we are getting that are new to us and we've gotten pretty good with stepping into unfamiliar territory and figuring out a way to get the shots we want. As was the case with Tessa's Christening this past weekend, we had no experience with shooting a Christening ceremony, yet we were more then confident we would be able to come out successful...and we did. We had Kurt and Aimee bring Tessa over to the studio a couple nights before to get a few shots of her all dressed up before the actual ceremony, which I edited for them so they could be printed out the next day. The day of the Christening we just did our thing, a camera in Sandi's hand and another in mine. Each of us had a good idea of what kind of shots we needed to get and where we would need to be to get them. The two of us have really started to work well together when both of us are shooting, including  knowing which lenses to grab to compliment each other, and each of us have our favorites. With Tessa's Christening, Sandi went with more of the wide angle lens to cover the family shots, while I went with a longer lens and a more shallow depth of field. At the end of the day we were able to capture some great moments and some awesome memories for Kurt and Aimee. 

I'll be posting the other blog Im working on within a few days hopefully, but Sandi and I want to thank Kurt and Aimee for continuing to come back to us, and we've taken good care of them in return, as we do with all our returning customers. We would also like to thank all of our returning customers that help us advertise our work and recommend us to their friends and family....words cant explain how much we appreciate you! Rather than rambling on anymore, I will leave you with some of the shots from Tessa Marshall's Christening! Enjoy!


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[email protected] (Twisted Oaks Studio) Wed, 13 Mar 2013 03:01:10 GMT
Babies are in the air! With all the maternity, baby and kid shoots it's an understatement to say families are getting larger by the minute. One of the best things about our job is photographing a mommy to be and then meeting the baby once he or she is welcomed to the world. Its also pretty cool to see how fast a little ball of joy can completely change the family dynamic and add a little stress to the parent lives. Jay and I haven't lucked out with a baby who is completely sleeping for their photo shoot, so we get to witness the feeding, changing, and questioning why the baby is still crying when we think we did everything we could phase! For two non parents we are learning a lot!! haha - and it may be scaring one of us more then helping...not mentioning any names.

On that note, I have been a little more vocal about the struggles that Jay and I have had but being around kids and babies is an absolute joy and we love every minute of it! In a way its fulfilling a nurturing need that I have, but it will still be culture shock when the babies and kids will actually live with us! Jay and I still have the convenience of doing what we want when we want, and after each photo shoot we look at each other and remind ourselves to enjoy this time while we still have it. Whether it be two or three years from now, we will look back and be thankful we had this time to dedicate to the business. 

This past maternity shoot that we did was the perfect mixture of the mommy to be, the soon to be big brother, and father! We loved being able to photograph this family in their natural environment, at their home. It was a lot easier getting 2 year old Jackson to warm up to us and do what we wanted him to, rather then in the studio. There were so many times where we have the perfect picture in our heads and it will just go a completely different way, we have learned to expect the unexpected with kids!!

This photo shoot was a little different because it was a joint photo shoot for Jackson's 2nd Birthday and Maternity pictures for Tracy and Rick, which worked out great for Jackson. He got a very tasty chocolate cupcake, posed for a few pictures, and then he was free to play! Upstairs Tracy, Rick, Jay and I were able to get a good amount of maternity pictures with Tracy's "mommy to be glow" and the perfect amount of sunlight coming through the window, which combined for a fabulous day!

Here are a few pics from Tracy's Gallery! You can see the rest of the 130 pics from this shoot in the client galleries HERE.


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[email protected] (Twisted Oaks Studio) Sun, 24 Feb 2013 01:19:07 GMT
31 Party!  

                                For my second blog I decided to keep it light before I get to the heavy stuff! Something I believe in is karma…I always have and I always will. I was always taught to be generous to people and don’t always think of yourself, it feels good to do things for others because you never know in life…

                When Jay and I started our business we did a good amount of free photo shoots for people to show everyone that Jay had talent and 8 months later we still do a few here and there for special occasions because we always enjoy helping people.  Jay and I have always tried to be generous to others from opening our house up for dinners to trips to Guatemala for missionary work.  When we first bought our house we were known for dinner parties, football parties and hosting demonstrations, but since Cass Imaging started getting busy it’s been take out in front of the computer! A few months ago a friend became a sales rep for the company 31, which are organizational totes and bags – this has my name written all over it! This friend was a friend from church who I admired because she would surprise me and others with little gifts just because and she was the type of person that always saw the glass as half filled no matter what, not like most people that would question, why is it only half filled? I mentioned that I would like to host a party and she did everything perfect, and I need to mention I wasn’t the easiest person but she would just send me little friendly reminders here and there… So we booked it and it worked out perfect! It was snowing that night but I still had people pilling in the house to buy things! I had so much fun that night, and to top it off I got awesome bags!!

                I should probably get to the point of the blog…ha-ha. So Jay and I went to a camera shop in PA to buy our second D800, and a new camera bag. “Think Tank” is the best camera bag company that is known for its high quality bags, as they should be because they are expensive...$150 for the one we bought. But if anyone knows Jay he likes to have the best,  so of course we bought a bag, but Jay wanted to buy two, one for me…but I was not so generous that day so we just got one!  So back to the 31 Party, as I was looking through the catalog to my surprise what was the hostess special …a camera bag just for me! Jay being the Google expert looked into the camera bags that 31 offers and even better found a review and people love it! The bag is awesome; you can customize the inside to whatever you want to do with it so it will be perfect for Mexico!  The night was a success, tons of food, wine and close friends and Kim and I were very happy. I was able to pick out almost $200 worth of free items, so I got totes and bags galore and all in grey & white with turquoise accents for Cass Imaging colors…well Jay doesn’t know I added turquoise ha-ha.

                So to wrap this up, I am very happy I decided to book a 31 Party, I thought I was helping out a friend and to my surprise and made out pretty good! Which kind of sums up our business...we started doing things for free and to our surprise, we are making out pretty darn good!

If you are interested in booking a 31 party please contact me and I can give you Kim’s info! 


[email protected] (Twisted Oaks Studio) 31 bag blog camera party think tank thinktank thirty one thirtyone Sun, 10 Feb 2013 03:07:17 GMT
The Other Half - Sandi's Take on the Family Business Jay&Sand-13

               Welcome to the “other half” of CASS Imaging! For warning this is my first attempt at writing a blog and most of my writing is for work where I am speaking in third person and completing assessments on only my observations and no opinions, well this should be a little different…a lot different. I would like to start off by saying never in a million years did I picture myself writing for our own photography company… but then again the last few years are nothing what I would have expected my 30’s to be like. I always imagined to be in a traditional family home, with kids, a dog and to be a social worker for a good part of my life trying to save every child in the world! Instead…things happened a little different, well a lot different.  After years of trying to have the perfect family we are taking a little break and staying in our townhouse with our crazy cats and photography equipment everywhere, but I wouldn’t change it for the world!

                The year 2013 started off with a bang, Jay starting a couple pretty cool new projects, and I left my fulltime job to put more time towards Cass Imaging. Things got to be a little too much for both of us to still hold our fulltime jobs while trying to run a successful photography business, and it was starting to hold us back, so we made the move. At the beginning of the year I dropped down to part time and now I’ve taken over a lot of the responsibilities of the business.

                We already had 6 weddings booked for this year, and were hoping to book some more after the new year…and we have. We just finalized and signed the paperwork for our 8th wedding this past Friday night, and it’s one that will be a little different and a fabulous wedding addition to our portfolio. We are going to the Rivera Mia, Mexico to photograph a high school friends wedding! Jay and I definitely thought about doing a destination wedding when we were getting married but we decided for a wedding in the Poconos instead because we did not get that excited of a response from our family members. But good news for the bride she has had an overwhelming response and they are expecting over 50-60 people coming to Mexico! Jay and I are really excited to go, and with the bride and groom willing to pay for our travels really shows how far we’ve come in this past year. We are even going to be staying for a few extra days to soak up some Vitamin D! …diet starts tomorrow..well Monday…haha!

                Jay and I are constantly looking for ways to change and improve our business and how we interact with our clients, so we decided it would be good for us to feel what it’s like to be the ones being photographed again. So Saturday we did just that and got to be on the other side of the camera for a change. Since Jay and I started dating...almost 15 years ago we don’t have any professional pictures of ourselves…I actually love being the one taking the pictures now because I do not like my picture taken...I never have. It was often a game to Jay’s mom to try and get pictures of me when I wasn’t looking, and because I didn’t enjoy it she was often thrown off. She often found photographing me to be a challenge because her two children were raised with a photographer as a mom always taking pictures of them, and I honestly do believe, no matter what they say… love being in front of the camera. 

                Even though I hated it, she always managed to sneak a few in and they would come out great. Since her passing now we really don’t have pictures, she was our only hope…so our friend Ray from KGM Expressions took the challenge and even with our winter weight we fell in love with the pictures! It was a very beneficial photo shoot because Jay and I got to get the feel of what our engaged couples feel like and picked up a lot of tips from Ray who has been doing it for a few years now.

                So this is the first of many blogs to come since my schedule has changed a little and I need to take over some more of the duties of CASS Imaging, and also because I feel that Jay’s blogs aren’t always written for the ladies out there. I also will be doing more posting on Facebook and Twitter (TWITTER…UGH…ENOUGH SAID..HAHA)…and EDITING! So I guess blogging is actually the easiest part. I am going to be researching and writing about weddings, bridal tips, baby shoots and all the props they include. I am actually starting to make our own headbands and accessories…yes 2013 will be a very busy year! For the first time in my life I will write about a few topics that I have personally went through or going through that I know a lot of women struggle with because I am sure there are women out there that can relate.  I would love to hear everyone’s feedback and ideas, thanks again if for reading this. Jay and I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for all the love and support from our friends and family! 

Click HERE to see the rest of the pics from our photo shoot.

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[email protected] (Twisted Oaks Studio) Mon, 04 Feb 2013 02:47:47 GMT
The Making Of The Cass Imaging Home Studio We took our spare bedroom and turned it into a home studio to get us through the winter. It didn't cost much to do and ended up working out awesome. We have 3 different hardwood floors, a few different backdrops, and a nice little collection of props now. I've been asked a lot of questions about how we did it, so we decided to make a quick little time lapse of us putting it together. I have never done a time lapse video before so don't beat me up to bad on it's quality, but I think it came out pretty cool. Enjoy!


[email protected] (Twisted Oaks Studio) D800 Studio Time lapse Sun, 27 Jan 2013 13:48:26 GMT
Tara and Dario Mastroianni's Maternity Shoot From the beginning, engagement shoots have been our favorite, but maternity shoots are quickly giving them a run for their money at the top spot. The thing we love about engagement shoots are that they just seem to flow. Engaged couples are genuinely happy. Happy to be in love, happy to be together getting their pictures taken, and almost have a glow about them that makes photographing them a breeze. A soon to be Mom has that same glow about her. Genuinely happy to be carrying her unborn child, looking forward to her due date, and excited to be showing her big round belly off in front of the camera. 

It's hard to believe that as we enter into 2013, it hasn't been a full year yet, and actually only 8 months since officially starting Cass Imaging. Last week Sandi and I signed up for a three month course called "A Photography Business Makeover", and the first course was this past Friday. It's geared towards helping photography businesses restart for the new year, mostly for those needing a change to help get off of a plateau that they might be hitting. We haven't slowed down, and if anything we are still having trouble keeping up, but we wanted to use this course as a way to pick up some new ideas and different ways of doing things. It was pretty cool to see the struggles that other businesses have hit, after years of being in business, and how they got through them. It was also cool to see that the struggles we are hitting, that are due to trying to keep up with the amount of business coming in, were the struggles that companies didn't hit until years into being in business. 

One of the more important parts of the course that we focused on was about branding. The idea of creating a brand for the business, and focusing on what the soul of Cass Imaging is about. We started out with the idea that we would be able to photograph anything and everything, from cars and pets to family portraits and weddings. Sounded like the way to go at first, but we quickly learned that instead of helping us, it was hurting us. We learned that people will go to the photographer that focuses primarily in the type of photography that they are looking for, whether it be for their wedding, for their newly born baby, or for their new sports car they just bought. We needed to find the area we wanted to focus on and base Cass Imaging around that. While we book more weddings, it's awesome to see that are style of photography is being seen through all of our portrait work, and that brides don't need to see a ton of wedding photos to make their decision. The more weddings we do the more we will be able to showcase our brand and whats all about.

Our goal right now is to focus on our portrait work, whether it be an engagement shoot, a baby shoot, or a maternity like this one, our ultimate goal is to create a brand for Cass Imaging that is fun, editorial, and real. Right now we need to focus on staying true to that brand, and this shoot is a great example of that. 

This shoot was especially fun because I knew the big bellied soon to be mommy. Tara and I were high school buddies when we attended Camden Catholic, and hadn't seen each other too much after we graduated. One of the awesome things about social media is that even though we haven't seen each other that much we had been able to stay in contact over the years via Facebook, which is how she knew about Cass Imaging to begin with. Her husband Dario is a great guy and along with Tara make awesome parents to the little girl or boy that is welcomed to the world in 7 weeks. This was the first maternity shoot we've done where Mom and Dad were waiting to find out the sex which I have a lot of respect for since I don't think I'll be able to wait, as impatient as I am. 

Meet Tara, Dario, and Charlie.

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[email protected] (Twisted Oaks Studio) Cass Dario Imaging Maternity Nikon Studio Tara Mon, 14 Jan 2013 17:28:06 GMT
Donna and Tom's Wedding So here it is...our first wedding!! Before I got married 7 years ago I had never even been to a wedding. Since then, I have been to a few, maybe 5, and only been in a when we decided to start shooting weddings, I knew I had a lot to learn. I turned to the internet, and Google. I started researching the different so-called "must have" shots, all the preaching of how to do this and how to do that, everything that other wedding photographers had been doing. After shooting more engagements, and hearing more of the same thing...that it was my style that made them pick me, I decided to stop looking at what other photographers had been doing and pushing as the rules of wedding photography...and just shoot our first wedding my way. 

So, thats what I did. Sandi and I discussed a game plan prior to the wedding, but only our different responsibilities throughout the day. As far as the actual photography aspect of our planning, it was simple...keep things the same. I had a film camera in my bag and the D800 in my hand most of the day. When I needed Sandi's help with posing or positioning people she put her D700 down, but the rest of the day she was shooting away. When we got back home around 12:30 that night, we couldn't believe how exhausted we were, and immediately threw all the memory cards on the desk to start uploading. Once the last card was done...1132 RAW images! Damn.

Here are a handful of the shots we got, a big handful, but enough to tell the story of Donna and Tom's wedding day...from beginning to end. It took a little longer to edit than first expected, but we wanted to take our time on each and every image and make sure we gave them what they had asked us for. We ended up giving them 250 images total. 

Do we have room for improvement? Absolutely. A lot, but only because Im extremely hard on Sandi and I when it comes to this business, and I think that it shows in our work and what we've been able to accomplish in less then a year. 

I hope everyone can get an idea for how we shoot a wedding. Our only real goal at the end of the day is to capture the moments that matter. As for the style, call it whatever you want, but its the way that I would want my wedding to be shot if I could go back and do it again. I thought that was the best approach to take. 

Enjoy! Please leave a comment letting me know your thoughts. Thanks!


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[email protected] (Twisted Oaks Studio) Bland Bride Cape Cass Donna First Groom Imaging Jersey May Shore Tom Wedding Sun, 16 Dec 2012 17:52:35 GMT
Gabe's Wedding Prep I had the privilege of being a groomsman in my good friend Gabe's wedding this past weekend at Brigalia's in Winslow, NJ. I would have loved to photograph the wedding, but when he asked that I be a groomsman instead, I couldn't have been happier. The photographer they hired to shoot the wedding Jeff Anderson is a great photographer and did an awesome job. I did however bring my camera with me to Gabe's parent's house to get some shots of him getting ready, which gave Jeff the opportunity to spend more time getting shots of Joanna and all the bridesmaids prepping. 

I switched it up a little with these and thought black and white fit really well, as the tuxes were black and white. As you'll see we had a little trouble figuring out a few little details and needed to rely on good ol' Google. Thank God for smartphones...especially when it comes to getting dressed, lol. 

Congrats to Gabe and Joanna! 


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[email protected] (Twisted Oaks Studio) Brigalia's Cass Imaging Gabe Jay Cassario Joanna NJ Prep Tux Wedding Wed, 28 Nov 2012 16:09:12 GMT
Melanie Gaffney's Dress Shoot When Sandi threw her wedding dress on for a photo shoot while we were in Maine a few months back, it was for three reasons...experience, practice, and advertising. It was an awesome opportunity for Sandi to get a first hand feel for the modeling end of a shoot like this, while also getting some great shots for the website. We ended up getting some awesome shots, and I definitely put Sandi through the ringer while getting the shots we wanted. We quickly found out that a shoot like this, while trying to be creative and different, isnt easy with a 20lb dress on that is also 6 feet longer than she is. We woke up at 4am a couple mornings to get the early morning fog, we battled the bugs, and she even went for a swim with the dress on. 

For our 2nd shoot, the model was my sister Lindsay. Lindsay wanted a completely different look than what I did with Sandi. This couldn't have been better timing, since it gave me more practice shooting a model that I'm comfortable with, and also gave me the chance to do some different things that I didn't get to do on Sandi's shoot. Lindsay's shoot also gave Sandi the opportunity to not only help her out on the modeling end, but also watch everything that I did on the shooting end. Lindsay has done a lot of work with makeup and since she also knows a good amount about modeling, we wanted to start bringing her in on shoots like this to work with the model, giving Sandi the opportunity to spend more behind the camera. 

For our 3rd shoot, everything came together perfectly, and Melanie Gaffney was a perfect fit for our first real Cass Imaging Dress Shoot. When I say first real Dress Shoot, I mean that it was the first shoot that got shot the way the rest of the Dress Shoots will be shot. Lindsay was in charge of makeup and helping Melanie with her posing, while Sandi helped the two of them out when they needed it and had her camera in her hand the rest of the time shooting with me. Melanie definitely felt more comfortable working with both of them knowing that they had both been in her shoes and knew what she was feeling. We were definitely hit with some challenges along the way, turning one day of shooting into two, but we all worked through it and ended up with some awesome shots to give Melanie at the end. 

Melanie had mentioned to me that she liked Lindsay's Dress Shoot while she was working on the new Cass Imaging logo, so we swapped. My payment to her for the new logo was this shoot, and we had a blast shooting it. It was cold, windy, and almost completely dark out the first night during some of the shooting, but she looked like a rock star, and braved through the cold even putting her legs in the water at one piont. It looked like the set of a movie at a couple points with her in a big comfy robe, waiting off to the side discussing different looks with Lindsay, while Sandi and I prepped for the next shot. 

I hope everyone enjoys this set, Mel looks awesome, and did an awesome job modeling. If your interested in doing a post wedding dress shoot like this, or considering it please ask us about it and we can personalize one any way you like. The rest of the shoot can be seen in the Client Galleries, I recommend checking out the rest, they are all great!



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[email protected] (Twisted Oaks Studio) Abandon Atsion Cassario Cassimaging D800 D800E Dress Gaffney Jersey Lake Lightroom Lindsay Melanie NJ New Nikon Rusty Sandi Sandra Shoot Mon, 26 Nov 2012 18:55:16 GMT
First Annual Batsto Day - Highlights! Batsto Village has definitely been our favorite place to shoot this year, and with business really picking up as the temperature started to drop, what could be better than having multiple photo shoots all on the same day there while the leaves were changing. Little did we know a hurricane would come barreling up the East Coast ripping all the leaves off the trees, but it was still a huge success and we plan on making it an annual event. The weather was also a little colder than we had expected it to be, but we were able to make the best of it and squeeze out every last bit of Autumn that Batsto had to left. I think next year we will schedule it a week or two earlier, but besides that I don’t think we’ll need to change a thing.

I already posted up two shoots from that day, so instead of posting the other shoots individually, I thought I would instead just post a handful from each one. So here they are…some of my favorite shots from Batsto Day.

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[email protected] (Twisted Oaks Studio) Mon, 19 Nov 2012 23:24:14 GMT
Batsto Day's Two Other Shoots Since the majority of the business we've received to this point has been family portraits, we decided to put together a day for several families to meet us at our favorite place to shoot. It turned out to be a huge success, getting more families than we initially expected, and we plan on making it an annual event now called "Batsto Day". We booked 8 families, each receiving between 30-45 minutes of shooting time, and each with a hint of uniqueness making each family's session look a little different from the next. Along with the 8 families, we were also lucky enough to book two other photo shoots that were a little different then the others that day. As much as Sandi and I love photographing families and children, there's nothing like a fun engagement shoot, so we didn't mind even throwing one into the mix on that same day. 

Now that we are closing in on our one year anniversary, and if we were asked to choose what our favorite type of photo shoot is...we would have to say engagements, without a doubt. We have found a true passion in engagement photography. We have found that there is nothing like photographing a couple that is freshly in love, excited about their wedding day, and getting what is usually their first professional photos taken together as a couple. When Sandi and I got engaged close to 10 years ago, engagement photos weren't something that had gotten popular yet, and even if offered I think we would have thought it to be silly at the time. Now looking back, both of us feel that it's such an important role in the marriage process, and something we truly feel that we missed out on. It's a unique opportunity to capture professional photos of 2 people in love, excited that they've made the decision to spend the rest of their lives together, and in a fun and relaxed atmosphere. They are photos taken to celebrate the engagement, and usually the announcement of the wedding date, but they are also the fun photos that you don't necessarily get to take on the day of the actual wedding. Wedding photos are taken in a little different of an atmosphere, one that is a little more professional, one with a time constraint, having to be careful with the dress, and then throw in the nerves and anxiety for both us and the couple.  

The engagement shoot is just fun...plain and simple, and we feel like we've done a pretty good job at making it a fun experience. It's also a great opportunity for us and the couple to get a better feel for each other. They can get an idea for how we work, and at the same we get to see how they are when in front of the camera.  

So, with Batsto Day primarily geared towards family shoots, we were excited to be shooting an engagement session at the end of the day. We also did a shoot that was very similar and had the same vibe. It was a post wedding shoot of an already married couple that just like Sandi and I, hadn't gotten engagement photos done before their wedding. The entire day went incredibly smooth and surprisingly without any problems. Im still working on getting all the family shots done, which I plan on having finished by the end of this week, but until then I wanted to share with you the two other shoots we did. 

The first shoot is of Asia and Brandon. We had only met the two of them once prior to their engagement shoot, so we were happy to see how much fun we had and how well we worked together. It was the last shoot of the day so we were running around the village trying to hit each spot I had picked out for them earlier in the day before the sun went down. They chose us to shoot their wedding and we couldn't be happier about their decision now that we know how good of a fit we are. 

The 2nd shoot is of Sarika, a co-worker of mine at Comcast and her husband Arjun. Ever since the first day that I trained her, she has always shown an interest in everything we have going on at Cass Imaging, even helping out at times when I need new ideas or her opinion on something. She had shown me her wedding photos and just like the other Indian weddings I had seen, it was extremely colorful, and a lot different than the traditional American wedding. We had talked about having me possibly take photos one day for her, and when I had told her about the Batsto Day she jumped on it, and Im glad she did. It was her and her husband's first time to Batsto, a place she knew that I love shooting at, and I think now that she's been there she completely understands why. 

Here you go...

Brandon and Asia

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[email protected] (Twisted Oaks Studio) Batsto Cass Cassario D700 D800 Engagement Family Imaging Jay Nikon Sandi Wedding Mon, 12 Nov 2012 14:23:22 GMT
Last Fall Weekend Before Hurricane Sandy Two days before Hurricane Sandy stormed in and ripped all the beautiful colors out of the trees, it was a beautiful fall day, comfortable temperature and leaves screaming color. Little did we know, this was going to be the last day of the Fall colors, so Im even more happy that we shot at a new location, Redbank Battlefield in National Park. Redbank Battlefield was a perfect location for a Fall family photo shoot, which was evident from the moment we pulled into the parking lot and seen another photo shoot already in progress. There were so many trees in the park that were lit up with Fall colors it was hard deciding on where to start. We spent about an hour just walking around, shooting in a few different spots in the park, letting the 2 boys have fun playing in the leaves in between each stop for family shots. 

After wrapping up at the battlefield, we drove down to the family farm, stopping on the way to pick up 5 bales of hay to use on the next shoot. Our long time friends Kristen and Casey brought their beautiful daughter Ava over and after a few minutes of letting her warm up to us, we were able to get some great candid shots of her with the fall colors as a backdrop. 

Here are a few of our favorite shots from each shoot that day. We would have loved to have had the awesome colors you see in these two shoots last just another week for our big Batsto Day, our multi-family shoot, but we lucked out and there were still enough leaves hanging on at the village to make for some great shots for each family. I plan on getting the post processing of the Batsto shots started tonight, so you should start seeing them being posted within a couple days. The Batsto Day was a huge success and we had an awesome day with everyone. We got some really great shots that Im looking forward to posting up and sharing with everyone. 

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[email protected] (Twisted Oaks Studio) Autumn Ava Battlefield Casario Casey Cassario D700 D800 Fall Farm Grisolia Jen Kristen Leaves National Nikon Park Redbank Tue, 06 Nov 2012 20:01:34 GMT
The Best of October 13th Weekend Shoots On the same weekend that we shot our first wedding, we also squeezed in 3 awesome family photo shoots. Its been crazy trying to get everything processed and up on the site, while trying to get some processing done on the wedding pics, but we got it done and that was with a trip to San Diego mixed in there somewhere too. Just for anyone that doesn't follow us on Facebook, here are a handful of some of our favorite shots from the three family shoots. Each shoot had it's own share of awesome shots that we just had to show off, so here they are...

The Kirk Family

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The Watson Family

[email protected] (Twisted Oaks Studio) Autumn Batsto Cass Cassario D700 D800 Fall Family Farm Imaging Nikon Photo Village shoot Mon, 29 Oct 2012 15:20:03 GMT
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This is a project that has been in the works for a while now, and we finally had enough of the details worked out, props, and a plan on how to execute everything to hopefully not only get the photos that we wanted, but tell the story we wanted to tell. Once you see these you'll understand why we wanted to wait on this shoot until we had everything worked out, and why it was an extremely important and emotional one for all three of us. Shooting these was a good time, we had a lot fun, and it wasn't only the photos we had of Mom that made us feel like she was there with us, but we couldn't help but think that she had more of an influence on this entire shoot, as we found ourselves sneaking onto private property to get the shots we wanted. Mom was always known for breaking the rules. 

There were many different ideas tossed around for this before settling on this one, in this setting, and the weather worked out perfect with a storm lurking and the sun being stuck behind the clouds before going down for the night. I had planned on explaining exactly what we wanted to tell with these, but instead I think it would be better not to. This started out as a simple trash the dress shoot, then we decided to go a little deeper with it. 

Losing our Mom has affected all of us a little different, and we have all handled it in our own ways, but most importantly always being there for each other when times are tough. When you lose someone close to you like we did, you experience a rollercoaster of emotions. The one thing we all felt, and felt the strongest, was the overwhelming feeling of being lost. All being there when it happened, all of us watching each other's reactions, seeing in each other's eye's the same feeling...of not knowing what just hit us. We had no idea what to feel, what to do, where to go, what tomorrow would bring, or most importantly what life was going to be that the life we had imagined ahead of us drastically changed. We all felt lost, we still feel lost, and that was the idea behind a lot of this project.

My mom would have loved the idea of a trash the dress shoot, and we wanted to make her part of it. My mom loved driving by the blueberry fields on our way to take the boat out on the Mullica River, and she loved her antique furniture. So I can't imagine a better setting than what we picked, with her favorite antique table, with her big wedding album in it, and her favorite wedding photo that has hung on the livingroom wall longer than Lindsay and I have been alive. Hope you enjoy these...


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[email protected] (Twisted Oaks Studio) Antique Blueberry CassImaging Cassario Castagna D700 D800 Dedication Dress Field Hammonton Jay Lindsay Mom Nancy Nikon Post Sandi Sigma Trashthedress Wedding jaycassariophoto Fri, 28 Sep 2012 22:32:01 GMT
The Thomas Family at Waterford Park Took some shots of Chris, Shauna, and Grayson who just turned 2 in August, at Waterford Park. It was a fun time just hanging out and photographing all three of them for a couple hours, having the park all to ourselves, even mixing in a couple of our 35mm film cameras which I plan on getting developed sometime this week. This was a shoot I purposely planned on using the film cameras on, since a couple of them were my Mom's cameras and this was another shoot that I know she would have been part of, have she had still been here. I plan on getting all the rolls of film developed from a couple different shoots, picking out the two best cameras I want to go with, and start incorporating them in a lot of our future shoots. 

We are almost completely booked up through November now and we're still trying to adjust to our new lifestyle of shooting on the weekends and doing all of our post processing during the weeknights after we both get home from our full-time jobs. Its honestly been a real blessing, and even though its been a little hectic at times, prepping for our first wedding coming up in a couple weeks, we are extremely excited for the future with things moving along as fast as they are now. 

I have a few pretty cool trips coming up, or I guess I could say...adventures, that Im pretty pumped about too. The weekend of my birthday Im planning on flying out to San Diego to spend some time with my Dad and do some shooting, and then heading to Ithica, NY as soon as I get back that same weekend. Have a lot of cool stuff planned, which should also be a good distraction from it being my first birthday celebrated without my mom, not specifically planned that way, but pretty good timing none the less. 

I'll keep everyone posted on some of the other cool stuff we have coming up, including 2 Post Wedding dress shoots, AKA Trash The Dress with my own twist to them. But, for now, here are a few of the shots from the Thomas family shoot this weekend. 

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[email protected] (Twisted Oaks Studio) 35mm Canon Cassario Chris D700 D800 EOS Family Film Grayson Nikon Park Shauna Thomas Waterford Mon, 24 Sep 2012 02:03:42 GMT
Brittany and Marlin's Engagement Shoot B-1 This past weekend Sandi and I had an awesome time with the recently engaged and soon to be Brittany and Marlin Hayman, at Batsto Village. We've been wanting to do a photo shoot at Batsto for a while now, and these two were the perfect couple to bring there. We got there a couple hours before sunset and shot until the sun went down over the historical village that dates back all the way to the 1700s. 

I've known Brittany since she was a little girl with braces, as her mom was very close to mine, and she had spent many weekends staying with my mom once her family moved to Maryland. My mom and her were very close before she passed, even earning my mom the name of Aunt Nancy, so I was extremely happy to get the call from Britt asking me to shoot her engagement and wedding. It had been a while since seeing her, so it was nice to get to talk about how much she loved spending time with my mom and all the fun times they had together.

Britt and her fiance Marlin were a perfect fit for a shoot I had been planning for a while, being fun and energetic, having no problem letting me try a number of different setups and shots, which required us to walk the entire village, with them often having to be patient as I tried different settings to get each shot just the way I had pictured it in my head. 

We had a great time walking around Batsto, listening to Britt tell us about all the plans she has for her big day, while Marlin did an excellent job of looking as excited as he could. We can't wait to shoot this wedding knowing how much my mom would be excited to be part of it if she was still here, most likely popping off shots with her own camera the entire time. 

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[email protected] (Twisted Oaks Studio) 50mm 85mm Batsto D700 D800 Engagement Flash Lightroom Mullica NJ New Jersey Nikon Photoshoot River SB910 Sigma Strobe Sunset Village Thu, 20 Sep 2012 03:18:42 GMT
Shut Up Justice Some of the shots from the Shut Up Justice show at Rack's this past Saturday night. Had an awesome time shooting these guys. John and the band played an awesome show. 

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[email protected] (Twisted Oaks Studio) 80-200mm 85mm Atco Band Bar Concert D700 D800 Grill Justice Live Music Nikon Rack's Rock SUJ Shut Up Wed, 19 Sep 2012 01:10:52 GMT
Big Weekend!! 2 photo shoots and logo finally done! I'm gonna keep this short...its been the busiest weekend in a while and its already late for a Tuesday night. I wanted to get this up for everyone to see before our next shoot this Thursday. It was an extremely big week for us, with a new logo design being done by Melanie Gaffney who we have teamed up with for future projects, which we couldn't be more excited about...the sky is the limit with what we can achieve together. 

I finished up the design changes just in time to get over to Amalthea Cellars Winery in Atco to spend a couple hours with Vince and Crystal taking their engagement pics which was a nice warm up for their wedding which we are shooting in May of next year. It was hot and humid but we made the best of it and had a good time walking through the beautiful vineyard and spending as much time as possible down in the nice and cool cellar with the wine barrels. 

Monday night we got together with Jamie and Mike Parks to get some shots of adorable little Addison at the Waterford Park, which worked out perfect, she was all smiles knowing that she was going to get to play on the slides in the playground as soon as we were done. Check out a few of the shots from each shoot, the rest can be seen in their galleries.

We have another couple busy weeks coming up which we are very thankful for. We appreciate everyone that has helped us get this big and busy so fast. We have the greatest friends and family and we couldn't be more thankful. Enjoy the pics!



[email protected] (Twisted Oaks Studio) Addison Almathea Cass Imaging Cellar Crystal D700 D800 E-Session Engagement Jamie Mike Nikon Parks Vince Wine Winery Wed, 29 Aug 2012 04:09:04 GMT
How Times Have Changed - Pocono Wedding 2005  

Every week night around 7 or 8 Sandi and I walk or jog around the Atco Lions football field to get in an hour of cardio after the gym. Now that the summer is winding down, football season is around the corner and all the little Michael Vicks and Peyton Mannings of the future are starting their summer workouts and training for the upcoming season. Rather than staring at the display on the back of a treadmill at the gym, it’s much more enjoyable to be out in the fresh air witnessing all the little bobble heads running around reminding me of what I used to look like at that age playing midget football. Earlier this week, all the little cheerleaders joined in and started their practices as well, which reminded me of a chaotic game of Simon Says…with a lot of yelling. As we were jogging by Coach Simon giving the girls their next cheer to try, Sandi noticed something that stood out, all the girls each had their own water bottle and next to each waterbottle…a smart phone. Since our evening cardio sessions have turned into more of business meetings at a light jog, consisting of us tossing around new ideas or planning out our schedule, our conversation that night went from a new business card design to…WOW, it is amazing how times have changed!

It really is amazing how much we have technically grown over just the past decade. The economy may be in the gutter right now, and the unemployment rate seems to not be getting any better, yet it is realistically hard to find someone that doesn’t have a cell phone on them. Its only been about 10 years or so but the idea of having only one home telephone for an entire family or not having access to a phone while driving has went out the window with the digital age that we live in. Remember the days of getting kicked off the internet when the phone would ring, hearing the phone dial out and make that horrible screeching noise of the modem connecting to the internet, or how about just the simple idea that there was a time during the day when you were cut off from the rest of the world and couldn’t be contacted by a phone call, text, or email…it realistically wasn’t all that long ago. I can still remember my first cell phone, that sat in the glove box of my jeep for emergencies. I can still remember receiving my first text message and thinking how cool is that. I also remember my first digital camera, a 3.2 megapixel Canon Powershot…our smartphones put that to shame now.

I also find it funny that Sandi and I never got engagement pics done, it wasn’t something very popular back then. We didn’t even have an engagement party, which I wish we could just have now since we never did…that would be nice. We also got married before everything in photography went digital, so we had no online gallery to view our wedding pictures, and it wasn’t until recently that it dawned on both of us that we had no professional digital images from our wedding at all. While we are shooting engagement sessions left and right, and finalizing wedding packages to offer, its crazy that even though we got married only 7 years ago, so many things are different in wedding photography due to everything being digital now.

We pulled out our box of wedding proofs last week, a box of about 4-500 4x6 photos, and picked out a handful that we wanted digital copies of and instead of scanning them I simply took a picture of them with my D800. They definitely aren’t as crisp and clean as the originals, but good enough for now, maybe I’ll do them again later and add some more to the collection. It had been a while since we had even looked at any of our wedding pictures, but it definitely was a good thing that we did because it took us down Memory Lane and reminded us just how awesome of a wedding it really was and everything that happened throughout that day 7 years ago. It also reminded us of the importance of having these memories, saved in these photographs...or images, and how passionate we both are of being able to capture these moments now for others with our photography.

I know there are a lot of people that haven’t seen these, some of you that got to experience this day with us, and those of you who might not have seen them in as long as we have…so here they are. For those of you who dont know, Sandi and I got married on June 4, 2005 in the Poconos, it was a weekend wedding where the entire bridal party and family stayed all weekend with us in log cabins on a lake. Its only a handful but I plan on adding more to the gallery in the future. All these photographs were taken by Images Photography Studio out of Williamstown, NJ. 






[email protected] (Twisted Oaks Studio) Cassario Cassimaging D800 PA Pennsylvania Poconos Wedding Wed, 08 Aug 2012 17:46:57 GMT
Maine Vacation - FINALLY! After a 4 year break, Sandi and I finally made it back up to the Blatherwick cabin on George's Pond in Maine...our first time with our cameras. We both had a very hectic and busy June and July so a 10 hour road trip to a cabin on a lake with absolutely no schedule or anything planned was just what we needed. 

So, instead of posting random pics on Facebook or just leaving all of them in a gallery on the site, I figured I would just put them all up in a blog for anyone who wants to see them. These are by no means meant to be professional quality and some of them were taken with my phone, so I was hesitant on posting all these up on a blog for everyone to see, but I figured it wont hurt for everyone to see a little of the Cassario vacation, and more relaxed and not so professional pics.

If you want to see some of the stuff we did on more of the professional side, you can take a look at the photoshoot we did with Sandi in her wedding dress, and I also have a gallery of all the bald headed eagles and loon shots for those who want to see them. It was an awesome trip and it definitely gave us time to just sit back, relax, enjoy the mountain air on the lake, do a little fishing, and look forward to all the exciting stuff we have coming up with the business.

So, I wont waste any more of your time, here are all the pics. I'll be posting a new blog this Sunday with a new engagement shoot from down the shore and some other new stuff. Enjoy. 

Some people just aren't cut out for life on the open road ~Lloyd Christmas
untitled-6 This excited little fella was giving me the ol' double number 1 symbol until he seen the camera come out...
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The house pets...
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untitled-57 D700-3 San-1 untitled-3 untitled-17-2 untitled-9-4 San-2 untitled-13 untitled-11-2 untitled-9-2 untitled-160 I wish I could say that a picture was all I left this store with...
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[email protected] (Twisted Oaks Studio) Acadia Bar Cass D700 D800 Ellsworth Harbor Imaging Lightroom4 Maine Nikon Thu, 02 Aug 2012 18:52:25 GMT
Looking Back  

We just received a deposit for our 3rd wedding this past week, and we're really starting to get excited for the trash the dress shoot we are preparing for at the end of July in Maine. So, while tweaking the website a little more yesterday, burning CDs and flash drives, and getting things a little better organized with Sandi taking over the children and baby side of the business, I sat back and started to realize how much we've accomplished over these past 6 months. It truly is a blessing how much we've accomplished and how fast we've grown in such a short period of time, especially when looking at how much we have already scheduled for the coming months, even next year. It wasn't til the death of my mother on New Years morning that I decided to start making this photography idea more of a reality and start turning it into a business, which turned out to be a blessing in more ways than one. Its the times that Im not busy or times that I dont have much going on that I start to really miss her and get sad about her passing, so the photo business has kept me so busy, along with my engineering job at Comcast, that those down times have been few and far between.

It was my mom who pushed me to always do more with my artistic ability. It was my mom that always pushed me to get my own camera rather than use hers. It was my mom who wanted to be the first to always see the new pics I took and tell me how good they were...even when they weren't. It was my mom who up until the morning that she passed made sure I was bringing my camera with me to take pics with her where ever it was that we were going, especially weekends in Shunk. Is it just a coincidence that it was 6 months ago today that the early stages of Cass Imaging were beginning to take place? I doubt it. 

Yesterday was our first Saturday that Sandi and I both had off from both our full time jobs, and had no scheduled photo shoots in almost 6 weeks. So, we spent the day out on the the scorching sun, where apparently an SPF8 isnt as strong as I think it is, as Im in a good amount of pain this morning at my desk at Comcast. After we got back we met up with some friends at Rack's Bar and Grill for some dinner and drinks, a pretty good way to end a much needed day of laziness. 

While we were eating dinner, a friend mentioned how impressed she was with how fast the photography business has "blown up" and how our client page on our website went from what seemed to be 1 to about 30 over night. So this morning I started thinking about that comment and how long ago it actually was when I bought my first DSLR, and when I started posting my photos online. From what I can tell, I bought my first DSLR, the Nikon D5000 around the 1st of May of 2010, and opened my Flickr account right around that same time...where I still post alot of my work today. The photo at the top of the basketball, I took on May 27th, 2010, which was one of the first shots I posted on Flickr with my new camera, and the crazy thing is, its my most viewed photograph I have on Flickr to almost 1000 views! It was a photo I remember taking while working out in the gym, I decided to take a break and go out to my truck to grab my camera to play around with a little shallow Depth of Field on the Opex basketball court.

Looking back at how new I was to photography just a little over 2 years ago, how far Ive come, and obviously how far I still have to go to reach my goals in this business, its funny looking back at this simple shot of a basketball that I took. A shot I took with the cheap 50mm f/1.8 lens on my first DSLR, and surprisingly still my most viewed photo to date. Even with everything I've accomplished over the past 2 years, the more professional...and lets not forget "expensive" lenses and cameras, this simple shot of a basketball is still my most viewed shot, currently sitting at 1688 views. 

Take a look, close to 1700 other people have....

For those of you who haven't seen it yet on Facebook, we are running a special for anyone with children or babies. $60 a session, for further details please take a look on our Facebook page.





[email protected] (Twisted Oaks Studio) 50mm Basketball Cass Cassario D5000 D700 Flickr Imaging Jersey Mom Nikon South f/1.8 Sun, 01 Jul 2012 16:40:34 GMT
Waterfalls And Dreadlocks  

So things are still keeping busy which is more than I can ask for right now. We have booked a couple weddings for 2013 already and have been booking each weekend as it comes along, so needless to say…as much as Sandi and I are absolutely loving how busy we are staying, we are starting to get really excited to get back up to Maine the last week of July. Its been 4 years since we’ve been back to Maine, a favorite vacation spot of ours since we started dating over 12 years ago, and one that we took every year until we started our mission work down in Guatemala 4 years ago.

To get everyone caught up on what has been going on behind the scenes, we are still working on getting everything switched over from Jay Cassario Photography to CASS Imaging. I still have to order new business cards and decide on a new logo and watermark. I have a few designs that we are tossing around right now, but need to pick one and go with it. As far as the business side of things, we are pretty much caught up now.

I have been doing my best to get away with only using the one professional camera we own right now, the Nikon D700, but Im realizing the limitations of this more and more each job we do, so within the next few months, if not sooner, we are either going to get a 2nd D700 for Sandi to use, or Im going to upgrade to the D800 and give Sandi the D700. The D700 is an amazing camera, and I dont necessarily feel that we need to upgrade to Nikon's new professional 36mp D800, but since Sandi has been shooting more and more, she has gotten to be pretty good behind the camera and I really feel that its hurting us not having her shooting more on each job. We haven't invested too much financially into the business as far as camera gear is concerned to this point, so I think this is something Im going to need to do sooner than later. 

We've also been feeling the crunch of trying to run a small business while still working fulltime jobs. With Comcast keeping me busy and Sandi getting ready to start work with a new company, we had a few late nights this past week where we were feeling the pressure of both of us still working fulltime and meeting our deadlines for CASS Imaging. Even though I went a couple nights where I was doing post processing work well into the morning hours, I was able to get everything done and stay caught up.

For those of you that follow us on Facebook, hopefully you seen the pics I posted from my hiking trip in PA this past Friday. I got the chance to take ride up to Ricketts Glen in PA, a place I have been trying to get to since I bought my first DLSR camera a couple years ago because of the awesome waterfalls it has. I went up with a buddy of mine Ray Hennessy, a popular wedding and nature photographer from Blackwood. Jersey is far from a photographers paradise since there isn’t much to photograph as far as scenery is concerned, but with that said…there are definitely a few gems within driving distance that every local photographer should take advantage of. Ricketts Glen is without a doubt one of these gems, and I took full advantage of it, hiking the entire 7 and a half miles of all different terrain, most of which seemed to be up hill. I like to think Im in good shape these days, much better conditioned for a hike like this then I was back in my bodybuilding days when I was 240lbs and would get winded just from walking up the stairs…but this hike beat me up pretty good.

It was more than worth the huffing and puffing by the end of the day, with a total of 24 sets of waterfalls to photograph, and we couldn’t have asked for better weather…a mixture of clouds and sun, and a nice cool breeze to dry the sweat my body was producing throughout the uphill rock climbing (stumbling) parts of the hike. Here are a few of the shots that I’ve gotten the chance to process, still have a lot to go through, hopefully this weekend if I get a little time. 

Saturday night we had a birthday party to shoot at The Bank on Main in Riverton, NJ. The photos were a gift to the birthday boy from the Ercolani Family, one of our favorite families to work with, and we had a great time. It was a Jamaican themed party and everyone dressed up in Jamaican gear, even the Jamaican DJ...who didnt shy away from the camera when I pointed it in his direction.

Even the little ones got involved in the fun...
I also wanted to take a minute to help a good friend get the word out that he is looking for some help raising money to go down to Nashville to work with the well known recording engineer/sound mixer Mark Linger. This is the opportunity of a life time and I wanted to try and help him in every way that I can make his dreams come true. Its not everyday that opportunities like this come along, and to have financial reasons get in the way of your dreams is just unacceptable. I have listened to Matt sing and play his guitar for years, and I've always believed that the sky is the limit with him, so maybe this is the start of something much bigger and I would love to be able to help him out in any way that I can. I will be making a donation, so if you have some extra change in your couch cushions or extra cash in your dresser drawer, please consider helping Matt get down to Nashville.
Here is the link to make a quick donation:

diVenti Project Pro-EP!





     An opportunity has presented itself for me to work with Mark Linger, Recording Engineer/Sound Mixer out of Nashville, TN. He has worked with major recording studio Forefront Records(DC Talk, Audio Adrenaline,etc.) and is currently working as Tour Manager for Jeremy Camp. 

     The dollar amount of the goal that I am trying to reach includes the cost of travel, studio time, Mark's fees, and to have other musicians work with me on this EP.  It also takes into account duplication fees once the EP is complete.  I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of those who have already given so much to helping me in pursuing the gifts that God has given me.  If nothing else, I ask you again for your continued support and prayer concerning the direction that I am to take with my music career!  You can help me by spreading the word about this project by sharing a link on Facebook and any other form of social outreach that you can think of!! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!  


[email protected] (Twisted Oaks Studio) Birthday Cass D700 D800 Glen Imaging Jamaica Jersey PA Park Party Pennsylvania Ricketts SJ South State Waterfalls Thu, 21 Jun 2012 17:32:32 GMT
Washington Square Park


Been a pretty busy but productive couple weeks. As of this past Monday, Jay Cassario Photography is now officially Cass Imaging LLC! I have a lot of work to do as far as getting everything changed over, such as designing new business cards, new logo, new email accounts, etc...but Sandi and I couldnt be more excited about all of it. 
After the meeting we had with our accountant to open the LLC, we met up with the recently engaged Frank and Cristina on Saturday in Philly, to shoot their engagement photos in Washington Square Park. It was supposed to be a hot and humid day so I was worried it was going to be a miserable day, but it turned out to not be as hot as expected and there ended up being a really nice breeze, turned out to be a beautiful day. We probably could have hung out til dark with the both of them, they were extremely easy going and within a few minutes of meeting them, Sandi and I both knew we could relax and just be ourselves. Got some great shots for them. 
On a more presonal note, today would have been my parents 37th wedding anniversary. My dad has been home this week and we're getting to spend some time with him before he leaves for San Diego again this Sunday. This past Sunday night, after I got done work, a bunch of us went over to the farm and set up a redneck slip and slide with a large sheet of plastic from one of the Castagna green houses, which was probably about 40 yards long. We stretched it out, turned the hose on, and then added some body lotion and soap which made for a nice long stretch of slippery redneck fun...those pics probably wont make it up on the blog anytime soon, lol. 
Im going to be heading up to Rickett's Glenn, PA tomorrow to spend the day hiking and shooting some waterfalls with a friend of mine, and then Saturday we have a graduation party and a birthday party at night that we're shooting. Going to be another busy weekend, but we have our vacation to Maine coming up soon where we will have an entire week to do absolutely nothing but relax. 
I probably won't post anything new til after the weekend, so I'll take this chance to say Happy Father's Day to all you fathers out there. Have a great weekend!
DSC_9095 DSC_9065 DSC_9074 DSC_9010 DSC_9117 DSC_9261
[email protected] (Twisted Oaks Studio) 50mm 80-200mm 85mm Anniversary Cass D700 Engagement Imaging Jersey Nikon Park Philadelphia Philly Photographer SJ South Square Summer Washington f/1.4 Thu, 14 Jun 2012 14:24:15 GMT
Into the Grey


Is it better to know how something ends or is it better to leave it unknown, or as a mystery? I guess that statement can depend on what the ending is referring to, but I also think that it can be asked as a general question...whether it be a book, a movie, something in history, dare I say religion, or even just something as simple as a project you started and never finished...or havent finished yet. 

Sandi and I rented the movie The Grey last night, a movie that got high ratings at Rotten Tomatoes and one I wanted to see since it came out. After struggling through 75 mins of a 78 min movie, the ending scene began...thank God. The first 3 quarters of the movie wasnt so good, but it started to get better towards the end, and I honestly said to myself...this movie can save itself with a really good ending here.


Just as the final scene started and I was hoping, really hoping, this ending kicked ass....I mean this is Liam Neeson....the screen went black and the credits started to roll. Are you kidding me?? That's it??? If I had been holding the remote in my hand I think I would have crushed it like a...well...something easy to crush (nothing is coming to mind right now).

I absolutely despise movies that end this ended, leaving it's audience unsure of what happens, in this case...ME. So, immediately another movie that did the same thing came to mind, Inception. The only difference with Inception was that I actually enjoyed the whole movie, but when it ended and it left me not knowing what really happened...with the credits starting to roll before seeing if the spinning top actually fell or not...I was absolutely furious.

After Sandi fell asleep and I was still steaming about how The Grey ended, I started thinking about why it is that I absolutely cant stand not knowing how a movie ends, and how when a writer leaves the ending up to the viewer's imagination, I feel like I've been cheated in a way. I was pissed because I was felt I almost deserved to know what happened at the end of the movie, after sitting through the boring first 3 quarters. Even knowing it was just a fictional story and the ending would have just been written in by the writer, I would be fully satisfied with whatever ending they chose....just as long as they chose one and I was able to go to sleep that night feeling like I wasn't robbed, or feeling that I knew how the story ended. Either way, whether Liam Neeson got eaten by the pack of wolves, or with a fist full of broken airplane liquor bottles managed to kill the wolves and make it out alive (which would have kicked ass), that's all I wanted to know, which isnt asking too much right? A little closure...

So as I was asking myself why I couldn't just be happy using my own imagination, or just leaving the ending as a mystery...flipping through the channels I decided to turn on the movie Big Fish. This is a movie I have seen many times, a favorite of mine, not sure if you've seen it or not, but its a movie that ends with someone dying, no mystery, just a death. Its an awesome movie, albeit with a sad ending, and although I knew that it ended this way, I decided to sit and watch the last hour or so while Sandi slept on the couch with me. 

So, here I was, completely comfortable watching the last hour of a movie that I knew ended sadly, and feeling happy that I would at least not be cheated at the end. So I watched the movie til the credits rolled, eyes swelled up with tears, amazed that this is what I thought I would be happy ending with no ending that would leave me feeling satisfied, no matter the ending. I thought, maybe if the writer had left the movie ending with the father surviving, would I still be sad at the So in a way I was completely happy with the sad ending, but is that really how I felt? Not sure. I thought maybe now that I had both scenarios play out in one night, would I now be happy with my eyes not swelled up with tears, if the writer had left the ending unknown, not telling me whether the father lived or died?

I don't know if this makes much sense to anyone else, but after thinking about it for a little while, its funny that knowing exactly how something questions to be asked, or left unanswered...does make most people feeling all warm and fuzzy inside. When the ending of something is left up to your naturally makes us feel uncomfortable, or in this case...cheated. 

I think I look at it now as getting off easy, is it so wrong to leave something to your imagination...or unanswered. I now believe that not knowing for sure how something ends or turns out is healthy for us, it makes us think, it makes us actually realize that if we dont know how something ends, we can write the ending ourselves, which ultimately means the story doesn't necessarily have to end. It could just go in a new direction leaving room for a lot more to happen before the credits roll. 

I know your probably thinking why I'm writing this, or where Im going with it. So here we go...the ending to this blog is coming, hang with me...

Im going to be meeting with an accountant in a few days and get the paperwork filled out for making Cass Imaging a Legal Liability Company or LLC (yes I changed the name since both Sandi and I will be running it). Just when I start to think business is going to slow up, my phone rings and I book an engagement shoot for the only Saturday I have left open in the month of June. I've had a lot of ventures in my 33 years (almost 34), from bodybuilding, to personal training, I was even a signature away from being a restaurant owner. All of which make for great stories, but all of which have also ended. I dont know how this photography business is going to go, and I had thought about ending it a couple times and just keeping it strictly a hobby, but Im going to leave this one unknown for now. Im going to keep this story going as long as I can, as interesting as I can. I'm going to hope the credits dont start rolling before I get a chance to write my own ending, the way I want it to end. I really love where this is going and am thankful everyday when my phone rings, or an email comes in about scheduling a photoshoot. 








[email protected] (Twisted Oaks Studio) Cass Cassario Engagement Grey Imaging Jay Jersey Movie Photographer Sandi South The Thu, 31 May 2012 18:34:36 GMT
Memorial Day Weekend We didn't have any photoshoots this weekend, but I still had the $2300 Nikon 70-200mm lens that I had rented from the week before for a couple other shoots, so I decided to just bring it along for our trip to LBI to celebrate Tatum's 2nd birthday, and all the trips out on the Mullica River. Im working on something to post up as far as a "blog" goes, so hopefully tonight or tomorrow, but for are some of the shots from the weekend. 

Traffic wasnt as bad as we were expecting. Not too bad for a Sunday on Memorial Day weekend in LBI.

Is that Don Julio?

The birthday girl...

Took a walk down to the bike shop to try and save this rescued beach cruiser...

Mr. Bike Shop Man thought this could be something we maybe want to keep an eye on...he said it looks like its hanging on by a thread, hmm...not sure he knows what hes talking about.


Time for some dinner and cupcakes...

There is a lot going on in this photo....nothing like a step full of kids and cupcakes.



Its hard to believe I used to pose for pictures, glad I decided to make the switch and be the one taking the photos now...

Is that a new bottle of Don Julio??

Here are a couple shots of when we had the boat out...

[email protected] (Twisted Oaks Studio) 70-200mm D700 Day LBI Memorial Mullica River VRII Weekend Tue, 29 May 2012 17:07:45 GMT
Double Duty First off...I just want to thank everyone that Liked our Facebook page that I finally brokedown and created, we appreciate it. I had been putting it off, unsure if it was something I wanted to do, but with our first vendor show on Sunday, I thought it was good timing to help get the word out. Creating the FB page was just the beginning, of what would turn out to be the busiest 4 days Ive had since starting this photography business. Besides all the editing from 2 photoshoots, a vendor show to get ready for, I still had that other responsibility, my full-time job, to take care of.

After a long day of shooting the Ercolani Family, running back and forth to Staples getting supplies for Sunday's Vendor show, I remembered right as my body was starting to shut down that I had a big project to work on for Comcast at 1am which I knew was going to take at least an hour if not longer. So I cranked myself full of caffeine, hit up Rita's for big ol' Misto Shake, and buckled in for a long night of editing photos and trying my best to stay awake until 1am. Luckily for me, I had almost 300 shots to go through from the shoot earlier that day, so I made it to 1am eyes still open, and was able to get through my project which I finished by 2am and was in bed just in time to get a few hours of sleep before having to wake up to drive into work for a long 8 hour day at Comcast. 

Here it is Monday night, Dancing with the Stars is on the TV (I know), and I'm going back through all the shots from both shoots, making sure I haven't missed anything, fixing little things on the website, answering emails, and I remember that I had planned on posting up a blog since its been more than a few days since my last posting. So here I am, mind completely blank trying think of something creative or at least interesting to write and I honestly...have nothing. I have a few days to get everything finished up from my last 2 shoots, and then by Thursday night, after my week at Comcast ends I'll start getting my gear ready for the shoot I have scheduled for Friday afternoon. 

Things are pretty busy right now, which is a good thing, actually its a really good thing...Im hoping it stays this way for while. Sandi has really started getting involved and taking on more and more, so thanks to her we are able to do alot more and hopefully take the business to the next level, a place I wouldn't be able to go on my own while still working full-time as an engineer for Comcast. After this past weekend shes realized how draining it can be, even with both of us involved, but she's starting to really enjoy it as much as I am, and what can be better than spending more time with me...right?

We have a trip to San Diego coming up soon, a trip to Maine to look forward to, plus I'll be picking up the boat this week to get back out on the water hopefully this weekend if the weather is there will be plenty of down time coming up. I also have a trip to PA set up to spend a day shooting waterfalls at Rickett's Glenn with another photographer in a few weeks which Im really looking forward to. So, I guess what Im trying to say is, after an extremely busy few days....I love doing this, I love photography, I love that this business is taking off, and love that Sandi is right there doing all of this with me now. I really appreciate all the Facebook Likes, all the comments, and just seeing the number of views for each pic on my website increase...I feel the love, so please keep it up, makes all of this worth while. Thank you!

So since I have nothing interesting to write about, and Im starting to just ramble on now, here are a few of my favorite shots from this past weekend. 


A quick shot of Sandi in action during the Ercolani Family shoot on Saturday...luckily for her all the kids were really great to work with. Here are some of my favorite shots that we got...

The Ercolani Family


Thursday we had Taylor's Confirmation shoot, which was a great time...anytime you can throw a horse and a wild goose in the mix things can get a little interesting. Here are a few of our favorite shots of Taylor...


[email protected] (Twisted Oaks Studio) 85mm Cinnaminson Confirmation D700 Ercolani Family Jersey New Nikon ORourke Taylor Tue, 08 May 2012 13:08:52 GMT
Branam Engagement Shoot With all the new shoots being scheduled for the coming months, I have been teaching Sandi how to use a DSLR so that she can start shooting along with me. She has taken an interest in learning and has been picking it up pretty quick, so after practicing on the cats and a little time spent shooting down the shore, she got the chance to do a little shooting at an engagement shoot we had yesterday afternoon. 

I was able to learn real quick that having 2 cameras going at the same time doesnt work well and a few minutes in we went back to me being the primary shooter and her directing the couple where and how to stand for each shot. The couple, the soon to be Brandon and Britt Branam, were a great couple to shoot and didnt mind taking some time out to let Sandi do some shooting after I was done. The location I chose, the same old railroad station I shot the Ducati at, ended up working out great and the weather couldnt have been better. We had a great time, Sandi got some good practice, and we ended up with some great shots that I think the couple will be happy with. 

Thanks again Brandon and Britt! Hope your happy with everything. 

Here are a few of the shots, see if you can pick out which two Sandi of them is actually my favorite shot of the day. 




[email protected] (Twisted Oaks Studio) 5D Anchor Blue Branam Brandon Canon Cass Cassario D700. Engagement Imaging Jay Jersey Nikon Photographer SJ Sandi South Station Train Trains Winslow Sun, 22 Apr 2012 17:08:22 GMT
Weekend In The Mountains Took a trip this past Friday afternoon up to Shunk, PA. This was the place I spent this past New Years Eve. A place I've spent many weekends through out my life. A place with so many awesome memories growing up, but also a place that due to the events that transpired the morning of January 1st would end up changing my life forever, and be forever known as the place where my mom passed. 

So, along with some great friends and my wife, we drove up to Shunk unsure exactly what to expect. I walked in and was surprised that the many many years of good memories over shadowed that one particular memory that I was so worried about, and once the initial shock settled I was actually glad to be there. Dont get me wrong, it was an emotional weekend, and at times was rough, but over all it was a great weekend, spent with awesome friends, and even lucked out with some really beautiful weather. 

We got there late Friday night, and of course immediately after stepping out of the truck, I was pleasantly surprised to see that there wasn't a single cloud in the sky, and stars so bright they were reflecting off of the hood of the Tundra. Instead of taking a ride to find an interesting subject to put in a star shot, the last thing I felt like doing was getting back in the truck to drive around searching for a run down farm house or crazy twisty road, I decided to take the opportunity to let someone else take some star shots that normally wouldnt get the chance in Jersey. A friend of mine brought his Nikon D3100 up with him, so I stepped him through setting up and taking some awesome star shots. We also had some fun with a little light painting, so it made for a pretty fun first night. I'll try and get a few of his shots off him to post up on here for everyone to see.

Saturday was a well needed day of laying around and doing nothing, taking a nap out on the grass under the sun, soaking in some fresh Vitamin D while the girls talked about things that helped put me to sleep. That was followed by a lunch at Doc's Irish Pub in the tiny country town of Canton and the usual hike down to Buttermilk Falls. The simple things are what made this a great trip. We ate dinner at the house and finished the day off with some hard core laughing that made my abs the next day feel like I had pumped out 1000 situps the day before....needed that, I think we all did. 

I did get to put the Nikon 16-35mm F4 to work at Buttermilk Falls. I was definitely more impressed with its sharpness when used on  landscape work than group portrait work, which is what I would mainly be using it for, especially when it comes down to it earning its keep. I have also been debating on whether to keep my 50mm or trading it in for the closer and more telephoto 85mm f/1.4, which I rented a couple weeks ago, but after using it for most of this past weekend and absolutely loving it, Im gonna have to save up to add the 85mm...I just cant see ditching the 50mm and feeling like it was a good move. 

So, as usual, I planned on typing a quick little update and posting some pics...I got carried away and typed way more than I wanted to. So before I go off on another tangent and bore you anymore than I already have, Im going to post some shots from the weekend. The first 3 pics were taken with the 16-35mm F4 wide angle lens, the rest were taken with the Sigma 50mm f/1.4 on the D700. 

I hope everyone has a good week and I'll be posting up some shots from a some different shoots I have this weekend, one I'll be shooting at the same place that I shot the Ducati, we'll see how it goes. 


[email protected] (Twisted Oaks Studio) 16-35mm 85mm Cassario Chris D700 Glen Jay Nikon PA Park Pennsylvania Ricketts Sandi Shauna Shunk State Thomas f4 Wed, 18 Apr 2012 04:09:14 GMT
Warm Weather & New Life  

Easter has come and gone, the first holiday where family tradition since childhood was changed from the family sit down dinner, which usually consisted of a Thanksgiving style gravy soaked, oven cooked bird with all the fixings, to something completely new....a tiny little strip mall restaurant called Iron Moto, a Japanese Hibachi Grill. So, after 33 years of spending Easter with mom and dad at home, I sat back to just take it all in, and instead of being depressed, I caught myself surprisingly thankful for all the great things going on in my life right now. Being thankful, at this moment in time, was the last emotion I was expecting to feel, while I opened wide to try and catch the chunk of freshly grilled chicken flying through the air...tossed across the table by the skinny Vietnamese gentleman that could twirl a Ginsu steak knife like a midget football cheerleader amped up on Redbull. 

Its honestly starting to feel like change is being thrown at me like food at a Japanese Hibachi grill. Easter was just the beginning, and although everything in my life right now is about change, and adapting to it as best I can, the warm weather of Spring has been a pleasant reminder that new life is starting to pop up all around, and that not all change is bad. Its only been a little over 3 months since my mom passed, but I have so much to be thankful for, so many awesome people in my life right now, and so much to look forward to this year. 

With the warm weather starting to trickle in, I cant wait to throw the boat on the back of the truck and head down to the river. Im also looking forward to all the photoshoots Im starting to book for the summer. I have the entire month of June already booked up and a few events before then, including a couple weddings, so I have alot going on in next few months...but Im welcoming it with open arms. I think I can officially say that since setting out on this photography adventure less than 2 years ago, when I bought my first camera, that Im looking at this as more of a business venture now. Theres nothing better than being able to make money while doing something you love, so Im taking all the new business opportunities and running with them...using my talent to put smiles on other people's faces.

So over the past week, Ive made a few big changes to the site, ordered a few different style business cards to try out, and pretty much just sat down and went over everything I needed to as far as being ready for the busy summer ahead. I designed a new logo, extremely simple, but one that I think fits well and one I can use as a watermark on prints without being too obnoxious. Ive also made some changes to the ordering process on my site. There were some issues with ordering different sizes of prints, but now clients will be able to order a large variety of sizes, as well as a lot of other options. 

The new business cards should be arriving next week, which Im excited to see since they're a little different looking, and there's a few different styles that I wanted to try out. And speaking of trying out, Im patiently waiting right now for the FedEx truck to pull up and drop off a lens that I'll be testing out this weekend. Im thinking of buying the Nikon 16-35mm F/4, so I rented it for the weekend to see how well it does with group shots and of course some landscape, since I'll be leaving this afternoon for Shunk, PA. Since upgrading my camera, only one of my lenses was compatible with the new camera body, so I was left a little constrained, so Ive been trying out a few different lenses to decide which route I want to go. I had an 85mm f/1.4 last week and loved it, which is more of a telephoto than the wide angle lens getting dropped off today, but I need to decide which route I want to go. 

The 85mm f/1.4 was awesome on the full frame D700, the bokah was amazing, and the colors popped. It did an awesome job while shooting a Ducati motorcycle and I used it to make a couple awesome Brenizer method shots, which I think is an awesome technique. 

Im bringing the wide angle Nikkor 16-35mm F/4 up to the mountains of north PA, the town of Shunk, for the weekend, where I'll get the chance to test it out with group shots, landscape work, and if the weather permits I hope to do a little star shooting. My main concern is going to be how well it performs with the group shots, since its an expensive lens, and the only way to justify purchasing it will be if I feel that it will help with group shots at weddings or events, where fitting alot of people in one shot is important. 

When I get home from PA I'll be posting a lot of landscape and waterfall shots hopefully, and some group shots of everyone thats going up, which I think I think theres 8 of us now, which should make for an awesome weekend...and the forecast looks great. So as I mentioned earlier, I got to play around with the Sigma 85mm f/1.4 last week, which I would go out and buy today if I felt I could justify it, but Im gonna have to hold off a little longer until I try a few other lenses out. The Ducati shoot came out awesome, and I got to shoot at an awesome location with old trains that was within a 10 minute drive from home and had never known it was there. Here are a few shots of John's Ducati.

Here are a few of the Brenizer Method or Bokah Panorama shots that I did. These were taken with either the 50mm f/1.4 or the 85mm f/1.4 that I had last week. Each one of these is the result of stitching a number of photos together using Photoshop to give it that 3D look, such a tiny shallow depth of field that cant be done with one photo, since there isnt a lens made today that can give such a shallow depth of field. Each one of these is a collection of at least 25 to 30 photos, some came out better than others, but Im still messing around with the technique and trying to perfect it. Im definitely going to do a couple of these while up in the mountains this weekend. 

Let me know what you think of this technique, Im thinking of starting to use it as an option for clients, but since Im not all that confident with it yet, Id have to give it a little time before throwing it out there. I hope everyone has a good weekend, and I'll be posting the pics from this weekend sometime next week. Enjoy...

[email protected] (Twisted Oaks Studio) 1.4 16-35mm 16-35mm f/4 50mm 50mm f/1.4 85mm 85mm f/1.4 Bokah Brenizer Method D700 DOF Depth of Field Easter Hubachi Japanese Love Mullica NJ New Jersey Nikkor Nikon PA Panorama Pennsylvania Photography Pine Barrons Prime River Shunk Sigma Spring Summer Warm Weather Wedding f/1.4 Fri, 13 Apr 2012 14:46:22 GMT
Awesome Weather and Strep Throat! Well I couldnt have asked for better weather than this, sunny and 75, off from work, and a new camera that I am excited to just pick up let alone have beautiful weather to go out and play in. But, I didnt take off work to go out on this awesome day and go shooting, or take a drive down the shore to do some long exposure work, oh no....I stayed home from work because what I thought was allergies, according to the doc, is undoubtedly Strep Throat, and it is kicking my butt. Oh, even if the meds I picked up today kicked in and I started to get a break from the horrible pain in my throat and the feeling that I got hit by a truck, I still wouldnt be able to go out and enjoy this weather...I have to study for a certification test that I am scheduled to take this Friday. 

So, since Im obviously studying so hard and dont have time for anything other than studying and sleeping, I figured I would throw a short little blog up with some photos from my Dad's birthday party that was this past Saturday night. He asked that I try to take some pics since we were expecting a big crowd, which we definitely had, but I was a little hesitant since I had tried to take inside, dark setting like shots before at high ISOs with my D90 and didnt have much luck. I knew that the D700 was supposed to be capable of handling this situation a lot better...but the how much better was what I was unsure of, because it would need to take a huge step up in the high ISO game to pull off any good shots in this place. 

Well I am stunned, amazed, you name it...with the low light, no flash, high ISO capabilities of this camera. I didnt take all that many shots  because I was trying to have a good time and not be taking pictures all night, so I let my wife Sandi take it off my hands for a little while, and even she enjoyed shooting with it and got some great shots. 

So here are some of the shots from the party which was at Rack's on Rt.30 in Atco, NJ...and no, the name does not stand for "Racks" of ribs, haha, which someone had asked that night. 







[email protected] (Twisted Oaks Studio) Wed, 14 Mar 2012 20:06:50 GMT
Staying with Nikon...My new baby came today  


Well I finally did it...made the switch to fullframe. After going back and forth for weeks on whether to make the switch over to Canon and purchase the popular 5D MarkII...or stay with Nikon and go with the D700, I stayed with Nikon (the Nikon crowd goes wild!). With both companies releasing their new fullframe cameras within the past few weeks, both the 5D and the D700 dropped a little in price and were within a few dollars of each other, so price wasnt a deciding factor, I was able to just choose which body I thought was going to be a better fit for my style of photography. Plus, this way I am able to keep my Nikon lenses and most likely pick up the newly released 36mp D800 within a year or so, which to me is the best professional camera on the market now. So, needless to say, Im pumped up to get out and get shooting, and have some fun with the new camera. 

UPS dropped it off this morning, and as much as I wanted to call out of work and spend the day playing around with my new toy, I sucked it up and went to work for the day...of course bringing it with me. I got to take a few shots with my 50mm f/1.4 attatched, which I was really impressed with. I was blown away by the high ISO performance and the AF was just as impressive, with the 3D tracking...both of which were big deciding factors in going with the D700 over the 5D. 

The mainecoons, like usual, were the victims of most of my test shots today, so Friday, Sandi and I are taking a ride down the shore to both AC and Ocean City to get out and do some real shooting with this beast. With the warm weather around the corner I already have business coming in and have started booking shoots for the spring, so Im definately starting to look forward to the rest of the year, doing some new things, taking my photography to a new level...and of course continue making my momma proud. 

Here are some of the test shots I took...all of them shot wide open with Sigma 50mm, the DOF is sick. 





[email protected] (Twisted Oaks Studio) Wed, 07 Mar 2012 03:54:54 GMT
Website News...and Mom


I think its time to start a little blogging. I purchased the domain last night and actually set up the DNS correctly to link it to my Zenfolio site, everything is working like it should be. I updated my pricing page with 2 different packages to choose from, one being an option for anything portrait related, and one for events or anything that would require an hourly rate. 

Today is March 1st, exactly 2 months since my mother went to be with the Lord, and I miss her more and more with each passing day. Photography was a love of hers. I remember as far back as I can, her always having a camera with her, always taking pictures of everything and anything, mostly me and my sister, which drove us crazy as we got older...always having to pose for family photos or having to stop to pose for vacation shots. It was while I was bodybuilding in my late 20s that I started to take a real interest in photography, while trying to get into different bodybuilding magazines. I paid a professional to take my photos for a magazine and I wasnt happy with them, so I started learning about photography and editing to improve my photos. I started having my mom take my photos, and I started learning photoshop to edit her shots since she had just got her first digital camera and only knew film at the time. I ended up making it into the Natural Bodybuilding magazine with a shot my mom took, that I had edited slightly, just improving saturation, contrast, and exposure. I remember how excited she was when I was able to show her the photo she took of me in a magazine that was on the shelves at Walmart and other stores...pretty cool stuff for both of us. 

My mom was my biggest fan when I bought my first camera, a Nikon D60 just a couple years ago, and stopped stealing her Canon Rebel drove her crazy when I would steal her camera and not want to give it back, she would get so mad at me. Once I bought my own camera and started letting her use hers again, she became my biggest fan. Up until she passed, I loved bringing my laptop over to show her new shots, especially when I got my website up, I loved calling her as soon as I put new pics up...I can still hear her getting excited about how great my photos were or how proud she was of me...since I obviously got all of my talent from her. 

I found a stack of about 30 enlarged 8x10 prints of random shots of mine, just because she liked them, most likely no intention of ever using them for anything, other than showing them off to friends and family, since she hated the internet. The stack now sits on my fridge, no idea what to do with them, other than let them sit for now...just as a reminder to me of her love for my photography. 

I have barely picked my camera up since she passed, my wife Sandi has used it more than I have, to take pics of items to post on eBay, her new found obsession. Im starting to realize that although Ive lost my biggest fan, Ive lost a connection to her by not using my camera and letting photography keep that bond between me and her alive. 

I purchased my domain and am now selling all my camera gear to make a switch over to Canon gear, and hopefully purchase a new Canon 5D MarkII within a couple weeks, after the price drops a little from the new 5D MarkIII supposedly being released tomorrow. I am starting to get my love for photography back, after a brief 2 month break, with my wife Sandi pushing me as hard as she can...showing me how much she supports me and has now stepped into the roll of being my biggest fan. 

I have a lot of ideas and things planned for the spring and summer, as well as customers starting to schedule shoots with the warmer weather around the corner. I plan on keeping this blog going and thinking of adding a Facebook page soon as well, so thanks for stopping by and stay tuned in for some new work soon. 





[email protected] (Twisted Oaks Studio) Fri, 02 Mar 2012 04:12:49 GMT