First time in a long time!

Hi! I really appreciate you taking the time to visit my blog but more importantly my website. I’m going to do my absolute best to blog on a regular basis from now on. I have TONS of weddings completed since the last blog post and many, many more coming up. There is no shortage of things to talk about and share!


Today I want to share a wedding that I did a few years ago in Columbus Ohio. The Bride (Chrissy) looked stunning in her modest length dress, while Adam (the groom looked dapper in his traditional tux with the added custom cuff links to give it that personalized feel.


The day was beautiful. Partly overcast (the way I like it) and warm. We spent the morning in the bridal suite where Chrissy enjoyed mimosas and good friends. After makeup was done, hair was pinned, and the dress was on, we made our way out to the beautiful courtyard for the nuptials. The wedding went off flawlessly leaving us plenty of time to do photographs around the beautiful grounds of Pennicle Country Club where the wedding was being held. Below are a few more gorgeous photos that we were lucky enough to be a part of. Even though it was a few years ago, this is still one of my favorite weddings. Thanks again Chrissy and Adam for letting Jason Lykins Photography be a part of your day!
















Ring Girl Fun!

Not long ago I got the chance to shoot the Ring Girls of AAMMA for a promotional piece. The Goal was to shoot the girls for a poster that we’d be selling at the event. Before the shoot I brainstormed and looked to other Ring Girl photos from other MMA leagues for inspiration. I knew that I wanted to do something sexy with them but it had to be more than that. We needed a way to tie in the sport with the images. We did some images with the girls hands wrapped with the hand wraps that the fighters use but that was a little too literal and not quite sexy enough. What we ended up with was wrapping the girls in the hand wraps as an outfit (as you see above). As soon as I looked through the viewfinder I knew this was going to be the poster. The playfulness of Jamie tugging on Dawn’s strap mixed with the great look on their faces really works.

Along with the main shot above we did some individual shots of each of the girls and some other poses/looks. Hit the jump to see all of the outtakes and the shots that turned out awesome, but just didn’t make the poster. Jason

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Meet Kayla and Jake!!

Meet Kayla and Jake!

A few weeks ago I had the privilege of photographing the beautiful Kayla and her dream man Jake. Jake is in the army, stationed in Korea, but he was back for a few weeks to marry the woman of his dreams. They were married at a beautiful church in Dayton, Ohio and I was lucky enough to be there to capture the entire event. The reception was held at the officer’s club at Wright Patterson Air force Base (also in Dayton, Ohio). Having never been to the officer’s club at Wright Pat, I was a little nervous about the photographic opportunities we had available to us. Luckily there is an amazing golf course that surrounds the club that we were able to make use of.  While I was worried about the scenery, I was ecstatic about what I was seeing in the sky. One thing I always hope for as a photographer (at least when shooting outdoor portraits like this) is an overcast sky with clouds that have contrast and definition. We were very, very fortunate this day with our sky. We (the bride and myself) couldn’t have been happier. When you have a sky like this, you know two things. First, you know that it’s not going to take much power to light the subjects. Since the light levels are low, you’re usually shooting at a higher ISO which in turn allows you to bleed down the power on your lights, or allows you to use speed lights and work really quick and light. The second thing that pops into my head when I see a sky like this is the drama. My plan of attack when shooting against a sky like this is to underexpose the sky by 1 to 1-1/2 stops then using my flash to light the subject. By dropping the sky 1 stop underexposed, I allow it to become very saturated and very contrasty as in the image above. The One thing to look out for when doing this is your ratios. It’s not a set subject to background ratio, rather a “seat of your pants” judgement call. What you have to watch for, and avoid is making the background too dark. If you make the background too much darker than your subject, the viewer doesn’t know where to look. There are competing areas of the image for the viewers eyes to move to. You obviously want the subjects to be the focal point of the image, but your don’t want them to look like they are out of place either. You want the background and the foreground to look believable. As with anything, practice makes perfect and it takes a little while (and a lot of bad photos) to finally figure out where your sweet spot is. Check out a few more from that day below, and I hope to see you here again soon! Jason

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Family Fun at the Krohn

Recently I did some family shots at one of my favorite winter shooting locations here in Cincinnati, Ohio, The Krohn Conservatory. The Krohn Conservatory is our local green house and conservation center. Inside the glass walls is 1,459 acres of lush greenery year round with one room changing “displays” with the seasons. Right now (as I’m sure you can imagine) they have a wonderful Holiday display including a poinsettia “tree”, several model train tracks in an elaborate display, as well as a Christmas tree that goes from floor to ceiling in the large entry way. It’s truly a great place to visit all times of the year, but especially this time of the year when things are colder outside and beautiful greenery outside is months away.

The family I had the privilege of photographing came to me through my sons football team. The little boy in the photographs was on Jackson’s team. The two of them were a blast to spend some time with and we really were able to get some wonderful shots. All of my shots this day were done with a 28inch Westcott Apollo Softbox. I used the one Apollo in conjunction with the beautiful diffused light coming through the aged greenhouse windows.  Hit the jump to see some more images from the day, and to see how they were made…

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More From Don…

Day 2!

As many of you know my buddy Don Giannatti came to town last month to teach one of his awesome work shops. While he was here we got to do lots of shooting and I wanted to share a couple more shots from day two with you. You might remember Amanda (pictured above) from my recent fitness shots. She’s a lot of fun and has great lines and poses so I asked her to join us! As you can see from the shot above, she has looks other than the fitness model look. The lighting for this shot was a single 4foot by 6foot softbox camera right with a white reflector camera left. I was really happy with the way this image turned out mainly because I love the carefree look on her face.

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Epic Jason

My buddy Tom Seibert took this shot of me last weekend down by the Ohio River. We had a lot of fun shooting with Don Giannatti for two days. I love it when he comes to town. If you haven’t checked out his Learn To Light workshops, you’re missing out. It’s definitely worth going! We had the always lovely Tarah Sand join us for this first day of shooting and she looked a lot better in front of the camera than I did. I think you’ll agree seeing the following shots. Don called the shot above “Epic Jason” lol. I know this is a short post today, but I have been backed up like crazy with sessions to edit. I have something pretty good scheduled for later this week so be sure to check back on Friday. Until then, check out a few shots from the weekend. Jason



Don Giannatti Himself :)

Bodybuilders are MADE for Hard Light

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of photographing Amanda, a local bodybuilder and fitness competitor here in the Cincinnati area. She is sponsored by Enso (a performance apparel company), as well as GX supplements. We worked together to create images for her portfolio that brought out her muscle tone and definition (I’m pretty sure she could kick my ass), as well as her attitude and style. To accomplish this we worked with solid background colors of black and white to contrast her outfits and really make her images pop.

Having clothes and backgrounds that work well together is one part of these images, the other is the right lighting. History (and pretty much everything everything that you’ve ever been taught) tells us when you’re working with females you want a large soft light, and most of the time this is a good idea. Shooting fitness models, female body builders, and women athletes is the exception to the rule. For these types of subjects, hard light is the style of choice. Hard light makes every ridge, and every muscle stand out with the harsh shadows created by the extreme angles and level of the lighting. The image above was shot with two strip boxes behind the model and to the sides. This created the hard, rim light you see around the subject. To light the subject area facing the camera, I used a large octobank on axis and above the lens. This helped to open up the dark areas of the skin not being lit by the rims light, and also (because of how high I had the light mounted) created shadows on the muscles. Check out more awesome images of Amanda, and the lighting explanations after the jump….

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Tiffany and Chris

Hey everyone! Happy Friday to ya. A few weeks ago I got the opportunity to join Tiffany and Chris in Brownstown Indiana for their great small town wedding. The ceremony took place at her parents lovely home, and the reception was held in what appeared to be a restored and converted old country store. The reception location was wonderful. Great textures and colors to work with and really interesting lighting. Possibly the best part of the entire event though was the time Tiffany, Chris, and I spent doing some fun artistic photos near the reception. Just down the block from the reception hall was an old abandoned paper mill, and some great railroad tracks to photograph on.  Tiffany and Chris were really open to any suggestions, and we did some really fun stuff. Hope you all like the shots, and congratulations Tiff and Chris!

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Love the Rain

I sit here writing this as a therapy of sorts. My 5 year old twins are busy with a pen and the latest “Toys R Us” flyer circling what they feel is life or death important to them. Every toy that they don’t currently have that catches their eye, some that they already have, but have forgot about, and pretty much anything princess or pirate that is contained within those pages is getting circled to let me know that they “need it”.  So I sit here writing this post to tell you all about why I love rain on a wedding day, and why I actually look forward to it.

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Twin Golden Light



I hate school pictures… No offense to the photographers out there that work for Lifetouch or similar photo factories photo studios that have a strangle hold contract with schools, but I don’t like the backgrounds, the lighting, or the posing. Instead I’d rather take my own. My ex wife feels as though she should buy the pictures which means that she dresses them up for that day of school. During this last “picture day” I decided to take advantage of the extra cute clothes, and the beautiful setting sun. These shots were taken at Harbin Park in Fairfield, Ohio. It’s a simple park with an excellent view that lends itself to beautiful views with the setting Fall light. Since I took these shots everyone has been asking for the location, the camera settings, and lighting… Well I answered the first, on to the second and third!

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