Posted by: detailsbyhartman | July 5, 2013

More Than Meets the Eye

Like every guy my age I grew up watching cartoons:  GI Joe, Thundercats, He-Man, Smurfs, Voltron, the list goes on and on.  Man I loved those cartoons.  One of my favorites was Transformers so you can imagine how geeked I was to find out they were filming a scene for Transformers 4 outside Adrian, Mi.  When Brooke learned that we were only miles away from where they were filming, and where Optimus Prime had earlier been spotted, she insisted we try to find the location and the hunt for Optimus Prime began.


It was not hard to find the location of the filming; we just drove until we saw the lights of the cop cars.  Police had the road we were on completely blocked off but a quick deter down one of those “roads” Michigan is so famous for (It was basically a dirt path through the corn field but there were Transformers about and we were on a hunt.) and we were in view of the action.  We had been informed that the vehicles were being stored at a body shop on the corner where the filming was taking place.  Sure enough , surrounded by cornfields, was a body shop with a handful of tarp-covered cars out front.  But that wasn’t all that was out front.  Sitting in front of the garage, in full view of the road, was the man himself, head of the Autobots… Optimus Prime!


Security surrounded the body shop but we were allowed to take pictures from the opposite side of the road.  So we joined the small crowd standing in the rain and I took pictures of Optimus, while Brooke held an umbrella over my camera.  I got a few shots when Brooke noticed there were vehicles coming toward us down the blocked off section of road.  I looked to see what she was talking about and “Holy Crap!” Optimus was driving down the road along with another cool looking semi.  There is a second Optimus!!  Brooke tells me to run to the intersection where the police barricade was set up because the vehicles would be coming right at me.  I think I ran over a few kids, and maybe a parent or two.  As the trucks came closer they stopped in the middle of the road and “posed” for a few shots.


The two semis, followed by a military vehicle, several smashed up cars being “carried”, and various production vehicles made their way past the police barricade, around the corner, and back to the body shop to be stored for the night.  By this time a good size crowd of fans and onlookers were gathered on the side of the road.  We were all shocked and thrilled to see so many of the movie’s big stars driving right toward us.  Optimus Prime and the others drove just feet away from me; it took me back to being a kid.  I was equally wowed by the new guys as I was the old favorite.  There was another old friend there on location.  Two bumblebees were being stored in the garage of the body shop.  They were both covered by tarps the entire time we were there.  The crew even took great care to ensure the crowd didn’t get a peek at either Bumblebee when the tarps were lifted just enough to allow a driver to climb in the passenger side, which was facing away from us.  So, sadly, I didn’t get any great shots of Bumblebee.


This is as close as I could get to Bumble Bee. See the little bit of yellow popping out.


I hope the photos I took may spark the little kid in all of you, as the experience did for me.  As for the wonderful people of Paramount, THANK YOU, for some great movies.  I can not wait for the 4th one.                                                                                                                  UPDATE:   Come back I just got more shots and will post them soon.


There is MUCH debate about this new vehicle AUTOBOT or DECEPTICON ?








I think this is my favorite detail on OPTIMUS






notice the optimi



Love this 2014 C7 Corvette Stingray


This AUTOBOT is HOUND. Cool huh?





Nice looking Lamborghini Aventador


Cleaning up after the TRANSFORMERS


from the video I saw this crew vehicle is used to ram another car out of the way.


Notice the device under the car to flip it over.


Posted by: detailsbyhartman | June 26, 2012

Paris part Deux

Hey everyone, it’s Jonathan.  I wanted to be the one to talk about this Senior shoot.  I have gotten to shoot this beautiful girl twice now so I feel a connection.  We took Paris out and around town and just let Paris be herself.   Paris has a sassy personality that I just love and she’s totally at ease in front of the camera.  As you will see the images turned out awesome.   I had such a wonderful time, and when I got back to edit the images I couldn’t help but think of the little girl from before and what she has become.

Posted by: detailsbyhartman | June 22, 2012

An hour at the zoo.

One of the joys of living right by the zoo is the ease in which we can stop in on a whim.  After a day of running errands I suggested we run over there for an hour.  We stopped home just long enough to grab our membership card and the point and shoot camera (just in case).  Being members of the zoo, we never feel the need to make a whole day of it when we go.  This means we are usually there when almost no one else is and it means we spend a lot of time at just one or two exhibits rather than a short amount of time trying to see all of them.  For those reasons we often are there to witness behavior that most families of zoo-goers miss out on.  This afternoon we were rewarded with a private show by the mama Amur tiger and her two cubs.  There was a small crowd gathered to watch the three tigers lounging around in the shade.  As soon as everyone walked away I commented to Jonathan, “Not one of the three of them can get comfortable; they are all fidgeting” and it was at that moment the mama decided to jump down from her perch and bolt across the yard with her girl following her.  (I believe it was the girl; I’m pretty sure I was told she was the smaller one.  Someone correct me if I have the cubs mixed up.)  Mama and daughter raced and chased each other around the enclosure and wrestled and tumbled and mouthed at each other.  The little girl was definitely the feistier of the two cubs.  Brother spent a lot more time watching from his perch on the rock (see above photo).  When Mama took a dip both of the cubs joined her.  The cubs stayed near the shallow sides of the pool or climbed on Mom’s back but they never rested for very long.  They wrestled and mouthed at each other and rolled and jumped over Mom and followed her around biting at her heels, tail, neck, and face.  It was an amazing moment for us to witness.

Mom, I got your tail.

One cubby laying on top of Mama.

Another cubby laying on top of Mama while being attacked by its sibling.

The little girl was contemplating climbing on the white plastic thingy in the water until Mom sunk it with her paw.  I think Mama was demonstrating to her girl that it wasn’t a stable surface for a cub to climb on.

Moments before, this little boy was intently staring at a bunny hopping across the sidwalk and then he turned his attention to Jonathan.

Posted by: detailsbyhartman | June 14, 2012

Karen’s Dream

Jonathan and I have been friends with Karen Hartley and her husband, Bill, for about five years now.  One of the first things she ever shared with me is that she has always wanted to drive a race car.  I’ve spent a lot of time in the car with Karen and I can confirm she likes to drive fast.  When I learned Bill was giving Karen 12 laps driving a race car at the Rusty Wallace Driving Experience for Christmas I offered Jonathan’s services as a professional photographer to document the day; that’s what I do when I intend to invite myself somewhere.  When Karen asked if we were coming to watch her race I responded, “Try and stop us!”  There was no way we were going to miss Karen racing around a track at 150 miles per hour in a real Nascar race car.

So on Sunday, Sunday, Sunday (You’ve all seen commercials for monster truck rallies, right?) May 27, just days after Karen’s 47th birthday the four of us went up to Michigan International Speedway (MIS) for Karen’s big moment.  We were joined at MIS by Bill’s Parents, Bill Sr. and Darlene, and his sister and brother-in law, Rene and Hank.  If there’s one thing I know about the Hartleys it’s that wherever they go they bring their own party and we were quite the cheering section.

A very nervous Bill and Karen checking in.

By the time we arrived at MIS, having had five months to worry about it, Bill was pretty freaked out that his crazy wife would drive like a maniac and get herself killed and Karen was starting to get pretty nervous as well so Bill signed her up for an add-on experience in which she first got to ride along with a professional driver for four laps.  So after a short training class Karen was suited up and climbing in the window of a real race car.  Speaking of “suited”, can I just stop here for a moment to tell you about the jumpsuits the participants wear?  They are baggy, saggy, and over-sized.  Every single person on that track looked like he or she was wearing a potato sack, except for Karen, who should have one of her own and wear it all the time.  She looked a-dore-able (and her tush looked great, which all of us commented on).  Anyway, getting back to the action: anyone else sitting in the passenger seat of a car going 170mph would either sit back and enjoy the ride or sit back and pray for it to be over.  Not Karen.  She used the time to observe the driver and make mental notes about the track.  She came out of her ride-along still nervous but feeling more prepared for her turn behind the wheel.  I don’t think the experience did anything to calm Bill’s nerves.  He was more convinced than ever that she was going to drive like a speed demon maniac.

The hand over the mouth is a classic Karen sign of excitement.

After a short but torturous (no it’s not a word but it should be) wait in the hot sun it was finally Karen’s time to climb in the driver’s side window of car number 40.  After getting seated, belted, helmeted, and some final words of advice Karen was finally ready to hit the asphalt, except it still wasn’t to be.  It turned out there was a problem with the transmission; we like to joke that was the first car Karen ruined.  She had to be un-helmeted, unbelted, and unseated.  After climbing back out through the window she was given a seat in an almost identical car number 40.

Karen and four men started the race by following the pace car for two laps.  After getting a few shots of her driving past from our vantage point on the ground we joined her family on the observation deck where we could watch the action of the entire track.  From our new spot we could listen in on the guy on the one way radio telling all the drivers what to do so they didn’t crash into each other.  Cool spot to be.  By the end of that second lap behind the pacecar Karen had already passed someone but for some reason, that has been much debated, Karen and two of the guys behind her were called back into pit road.  Karen was asked if her radio was working and since it was the three were sent back out to continue the race, this time without the pacecar to hold her back.  In no time Karen was catching up to and then passing both the cars in front of her.  She told us afterword there was a point at the beginning of the race she thought to herself, “I’ve always wanted to do this and I’m not going to get another chance; I’m going for it.”  That was the point in which she pushed the pedal to the floor and flew around the track like she owned it.  Actually, for 10 laps she did own it.  She passed every one of those guys out there.  One poor guy got passed twice.  Karen’s “party” cheered and yelled for her to go.  The guy on the radio “encouraged” her as she went zooming past two other cars.  Those of us listening in knew he was biasedly cheering her on as he chanted, “Go car 40, go car 40…”  Car 40 went!  Karen finished half a lap ahead of anyone else.  Later there would be a great deal of discussion as to whether Karen was going the maximum 150mph, like she was supposed to be going, or if the car was still capable of going 170-180mph as it would if the professionals were driving it.  As so often happens in such tales the tellers have opted for the more exciting, so 175mph is the speed we all agree she was going and certainly if you had been there none of you would put up an argument to the contrary.

“Go car 40.”

Karen on the backstretch. There’s no one else around because they are so far behind.

There was pride in the radio guys voice as he announced, “Car 40 you took the checkered flag.  Good driving.  Come on in.”  Jonathan and I made it downstairs and were at the barrier when Karen pulled up to the crowd.  I yelled to her, “You kicked everyone’s butt!”  She yelled back, “I know; it was awesome!”  She then climbed out of the car and proceeded to do a happy victory dance for the pleasure of the crowd who were now very much aware of the Hartley party in full swing.  After hugging Bill, Karen turned to me and said, “Were you yelling?  I heard you yelling.”  I was yelling; how could she have heard me?  It turns out if you stand next to the guy with the radio and yell when he talks all the drivers can hear you.  Karen said she heard me yelling, “Go Karen” and then she heard Rene yelling, “Go Karen” and then the radio guy was saying, “Go car 40.”  She said to herself, “I guess I’m supposed to go” and she did.

A very proud, very relieved Bill waits to greet his victorious wife.

“It was awesome!!”

“Were you yelling? I heard you yelling.”

The crew pulled her second car 40 to the back.  It turned out she burnt up the water pump because, as Bill knew she would, she drove like a maniac, thus trashing another car.  I overheard one of the guys Karen raced tell his family, “I got passed.”  I turned to him, pointed at Karen, and said, “By that little girl over there.”  He told me, “She said she was really scared.”  I think he felt mislead by her earlier trepidation.  That still makes me laugh.  The party continued with a lot of hugs and a lot of photos.  I believe the other four drivers enjoyed their time behind the wheel but no one that day had as much fun as Karen who had one of her dreams come true.

Victory Dance (notice the car in the background more than a full lap behind)

Posted by: detailsbyhartman | July 4, 2011

Happy 4th of July !

Here are a few shots from last night’s downtown fireworks.

Posted by: detailsbyhartman | October 23, 2010

Delaney’s Senior Shoot

Ok Ok, I know I have been missing from the blogosphere for a few months now. It’s not because nothing new is happening. Quite the contrary, we have been uber busy photographing some of the most amazing seniors.

One of our favorite senior shoots was with Delaney. Yes, she has perfect hair that seems to be perpetually backlit, and yes, I am jealous. She also has a beautiful natural smile and dresses super cute. We met Delaney, her mom Amy, and her sister Cassidy at their house for the yearbook photo. I spotted a hammock in the backyard that was the perfect spot for a few photos. Amy had to hold the hammock up, as it wasn’t tight against the tree. I think her hard work was worth it. Those photos are so pretty and Amy told us they had spent a lot of time as a family in that hammock. Win! Between their yard and the neighbors property we got a lot of beautiful fall pictures.



After a stop in a soybean field we headed to a cool spot for some graffiti shots. It was dark by the time we climbed aboard an old abandoned train car that we’ve been in love with for a while. Using a variety of lighting techniques, including my car’s headlights (thank you Cassidy for that suggestion) we got incredibly cool shots. Delaney put up with very cold and dirty conditions and still managed a beautiful smile on command. She even kept her cool when a bat flew through the train car. I, however, screamed “bat”, threw my hood over my head, and ducked. Jonathan didn’t notice the bat or my freak out, as he was too busy setting up the next shot.

Posted by: detailsbyhartman | August 8, 2010

Gin Bunny

Remember Joe?   Joe is a drummer for the band Gin Bunny and since he is also one of my favorite people Jonathan and I, along with our friend Karen, went to see him play last weekend at Pizza Papalis.  Gin Bunny is made up of  Jay (vocals/guitar), Gabe (vocals/guitar/keyboard/harmonica/apparently any other instrument that is needed), Evan (bass guitar/backup vocals), and of course Joe (the aforementioned drums/very occasional vocals).  Their style is predominantly current and classic rock and they draw a large and diverse crowd whenever they play. Last Saturday we were there amongst friends and family of the band, the guests of a 40th birthday party, and a bachelorette party.  The music was enjoyed by all and the small dance floor filled up.  As for the three of us:  we had a great time.  Karen was literally bouncing in her chair to songs she loves.  Good music and good pizza (try the Seafood -yum) what could be better than that?  Gin Bunny plays regularly at Casa Barron, The Bronze Boar, and Pizza Papalis as well as other locations around town.  To find information for upcoming events and to learn more about that booze soaked bunny visit the band at

Posted by: detailsbyhartman | July 20, 2010

Sarah’s Senior Experience with Gunner & Bucky

Our “senior season” is starting back up so I’ve been thinking about some of the great shoots from last year that I never got around to showing you.  After Sarah saw her best friend, Kate’s photos she wanted something similar but with a fall backdrop.  Due to weather her shoot was cancelled a few times so the leaves were mostly gone from the trees by the time we met up with her.  No problem there were plenty of leaves on the ground for us to play in.  There is so much I love about these photos: pretty girl, sweet animals,  lovely colors, beautiful light.  Gorgeous! 

Kate was there to help with Bucky so we convinced her to join in a few photos.  Love love love these.

Posted by: detailsbyhartman | July 3, 2010

Kristina & Brandon -married

Kristina and Brandon booked us just two weeks before their wedding and I didn’t meet them until exactly one week before the wedding at a quick engagement shoot.  We hit it off instantly.  They both have such a great sense of humor; they are so fun to be around.  We laughed the whole time.

We woke, the morning of their wedding, to stormy skies.  It was pouring and I was freaking out because their wedding was scheduled to be held at noon on the lawn of the Dearborn Inn.  Jonathan, always the calm and confident one, assured me all would be just fine.  Of course it would be fine; if the wedding had to be moved inside then so be it but I hate to think of a couple having to settle.  We drove to Dearborn and by the time we arrived the rain had stopped and no more rain was in the forecast.  Beautiful.  The day was perfect.  We had lovely overcast skies for the short ceremony at the gazebo.  The ceremony itself was attended by only a few very close family.  It is humbling to be among the few who get to witness such an intimate event.

How gorgeous is Kristina?  The headband, the makeup, the dress… it all works together.   So elegant.

OK.  I don’t know what this last photo is about but Jonathan assures me I should include it.   Very romantic.

Posted by: detailsbyhartman | June 11, 2010

Julie & Corey- married

As promised, here are Julie and Corey’s wedding pictures.  I had a LOT of trouble picking just a “few” favorites.  Their spring wedding was beautiful.  The bride and groom looked gorgeous, the decor was gorgeous, and thankfully the weather was gorgeous.  They went with a vintage look for their decor.  The reception hall was one of the most elegant I’ve ever seen:  all brown and cream and gold and ivory  accented with the peacock colors.  Swoon.  Check out the centerpieces in the photos below;  They mixed flowers and candles with handcrafted luminaries made from old family photos.  I loved it.  We kept so busy at the reception.  They played a game in which the guests were randomly selected to demonstrate their best kissing  moves and then Julie and Corey had to emulate them.  Hilarious.  After dinner the bride and groom passed around a basket of gum while they mingled with their guests.  This is an old tradition but I’m going to have to ask Julie where it comes from.  The dance floor stayed full and was the site of the largest train and Hokey Pokey in wedding history.

This is my all time favorite garter shot.  Check out the two guys to the right of  Corey.  They make me laugh.


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