DRACUT -- He's happily married but for 50 years Lenny Proposki has been chasing brides.
The Dracut photographer, whose work can be seen at www.bostonaftermidnight.com, contracted the camera bug as a young man, taking pictures of insurance claims for a local company. He worked as a staff photographer at Honeywell Corp. for 29 years, traveling around the country to take pictures of new product designs or VIPs at check presentations and conferences.
"I'd be in Chicago or Detroit or Atlanta, take a few pictures, click, click, click, get back on the plane and go home," he said.
His acclaimed Boston After Midnight series consists of black and white photos of some of the city's most famous landmarks; the Old State House, the brownstones of the Back Bay, the John Hancock and Prudential towers, the Leonard Zakim Bridge, all taken sometime after midnight when the bustling streets were virtually empty. The Boston Globe once referred to Proposki as "the Ansel Adams of Boston."
"I received tons of mail from Ansel Adams fans who didn't agree," he jokes.
But his specialty, and the thing he loves doing the most, is weddings. "Chasing the Bride" he calls it. But he'll shoot almost anything from a family portrait to a litter of puppies.
It began when he was at Honeywell and the women employees would see the man with a camera in each hand and one or two around his neck and ask if he was available to shoot their weddings.
Locals are familiar with his work, which appeared on the cover of the Merrimack Journal for many years, along with the popular "Where Am I" installment in which Proposki would take a picture of a local landmark and see if readers could identify it.
He recently invested in "Green Screen" technology, which will enable him to place his portrait subjects in front of various realistic-looking backgrounds, such as Times Square in New York or Fenway Park in Boston.
In addition to his website, Proposki can be reached 978-453-5045 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q: What's the trick to taking good wedding photos or any kind of photos for that matter?
A: "Make sure all your equipment is working correctly before you get there. There's nothing worse that showing up and not having something that you need so make sure you have a lot of backup. That's very important. I go with three cameras, three sets of lights and a ton of batteries. Ask yourself, what do I want to do with these pictures? With digital cameras, you can take as many as you want. Delete the not-so-good ones and keep the rest of them. Get some good software so you can work with your pictures to enhance them."
Q: How did you come up with the idea for Boston After Midnight?
A: "It's something that I wanted to do for a long time. Just random, fun pictures. I've sold over 16,000 prints to customers from France, Germany, Great Britain, the Middle East and, of course, locally. They are pictures of landmarks in Boston that people from around the world would want to take home as a remembrance."
Q: What do you mean when you say you're "Chasing the Brides?"
A: "That's exactly it. I have to chase them by letting them know that when they hire me, I have experience and creativity. I have the equipment and the expertise when it comes to lighting and exposure, background lighting and angles. I chase the brides. This is not your sister or your uncle taking your wedding photos with a small digital camera. This is a once-in-lifetime thing. It's a keepsake."
Q: What's your favorite thing to photograph?
A: "After all this time, I'd still have to say weddings. I still, to this day, get small butterflies in my stomach walking up the driveway but once I get in the building the butterflies are gone. I'm not good old friendly Lenny P. anymore. I have a job, a mission. Don't expect to find me on the dance floor or having a drink. I'm the professional. I'm the expert. That's why you hired me."
Q: What's your least favorite thing to photograph?
A: "Moving targets, like sports pictures and little kids. It's hard to get the little kids, the toddlers, to concentrate. Nobody likes to pose, really, but most of my customers understand that you have to pose to get a good shot.
"I don't really like candid shots either because if you look at my profession, what am I going to do with candid shots? How am I going to market this? How am I going to present it so I can sell it? How can this picture be seen? Ultimately, I'd like to see the Boston After Midnight series wind up in some of the Boston hotels and restaurants."