Reflections : Maximizing Indoor Lighting


Okay, so after yesterday’s lengthy blog post (I know some of you were thinking, you’re killing me, Smalls!…$10 itunes gift card to the first person who can name that movie), I decided to keep this post short and sweet. However, seeing how I’ve already gone on one tangent in the first sentence, I’m not sure if I can actually make it happen.

One of the great things about hosting a photography workshop is I get to do it with JD. He’s actually the person who does everything…I simply show up and talk (which is something I’m way good at…duh). JD also shoots behind-the-scene photos, so I thought I’d snag a few and talk about the photo exif data and how we worked with the light, both indoors and outdoors.

Whenever I start a photo shoot for a workshop, I set up the couple, explain what I do, photograph the subjects, then step back for questions or allow the students to practice given the same set up. Here I’m standing about four feet from my subjects, just in front of the window so light from my right side doesn’t become a distraction in my frame…

50mm f/1.2 1/200 250 ISO

Here I’m explaining how I photograph a groom, which can sometimes be difficult since guys are less likely to be comfortable/work it for my camera than a bride. I strategically placed Dan at the edge of the window frame so it could illuminate his face, but also in a way that there wouldn’t be too much light behind him, which may cause distraction and less depth of field…

50mm f/1.2 1/250 320 ISO

I stood at the opposite edge of the window (as you can see from the light on my arms and shirt), so I wouldn’t block the window light from Dan’s face…

I then positioned Dan and Rachel on a couch, but the windows (our natural light source) was behind them, so I coached them into turning their faces outward, instead of into each other, causing deeper shadows, and angling Dan’s face to the light as much as possible…

50mm f/2.0 1/125 320 ISO

While the couple sat in virtually the same position, I asked Rachel to look at my camera…but, specifically, to sit behind Dan’s face, closer to the light source (the windows to the right of the frame), so the illumination was natural and soft…

85mm f/1.2 1/160 320 ISO

We went outside for a bit and while it was slightly overcast, the day was still bright. I pulled the couple just out from under the shade of the tree, then directed them to walk toward me…

50mm f/2.8 1/500 100 ISO

The best part of the day was learning from the attendees. They all brought their personal style and flair, so watching them work their magic with the models was fun and exciting…I am pretty sure we all walked away stronger photographers because of our interactions. I hope this helps you, too, in one way or another!

Happy Thursday!

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  1. Megan

    July 28th, 2011 at 2:29 pm


  2. ashley

    July 28th, 2011 at 2:30 pm

    you always give the best information! I love it. And Sandlot… what what! Side note… how do you always dress so cute when photographing other people? I’m jealous.

  3. Rachel Nolan

    July 28th, 2011 at 2:35 pm

    The Sand Lot! Duh! 🙂 I’ve been following your blog for a while now and I love it! Thanks for the tips 🙂

  4. Whitney

    July 28th, 2011 at 2:37 pm


  5. Annetta Blair

    July 28th, 2011 at 2:39 pm

    The Sandlot (movie)—you’re killing me smalls!

  6. terri

    July 28th, 2011 at 2:41 pm


  7. ardean

    July 28th, 2011 at 2:42 pm

    Thanks for such detailed info Jasmine. The beauty of what you do is that you make it look so easy – but seeing this behind the scene’s, it’s good to know how much thought you put into it/how much you study and use light!

  8. Ashley

    July 28th, 2011 at 2:48 pm

    How is your focus so sharp when shooting with 2.8 and 1.8? where do you put the focus? bride’s eyes? I just noticed in that last shot that everything about the bride and groom are so sharp, but if i’d shot it i probably would have had just her eyes sharp

  9. Ruth

    July 28th, 2011 at 2:48 pm

    ‘The Sandlot’! 😉

  10. Crystal

    July 28th, 2011 at 2:49 pm

    The Sandlot – love that movie! 🙂

  11. Annetta Blair

    July 28th, 2011 at 2:49 pm

    you’re killing me smalls from The Sandlot….

  12. stephanie yonce

    July 28th, 2011 at 2:50 pm

    The Sandlot!

  13. Jenn

    July 28th, 2011 at 2:50 pm

    The Sandlot, of course! 🙂

  14. Ashley

    July 28th, 2011 at 2:50 pm

    I’m pretty sure the movie is The Sandlot 🙂 This is a fantastic post for someone just starting out – I’ve been struggling with indoor lighting and this gives me a new perspective!

  15. Katie

    July 28th, 2011 at 2:51 pm

    the sandlot! loving your instructional posts. keep ’em coming!

  16. Lindsay Smith

    July 28th, 2011 at 2:51 pm

    The SANDLOT!!!

  17. Amanda Hurst

    July 28th, 2011 at 2:51 pm

    Oh Sandlot, you’re the greatest! Thanks for the great tips Jasmine!

  18. Jennifer Seris

    July 28th, 2011 at 2:52 pm

    uh…Sandlot!! 🙂

  19. Sarah Snider

    July 28th, 2011 at 2:52 pm

    The Sandlot!!!!!

  20. Jenn

    July 28th, 2011 at 2:53 pm

    I guess I could have said more about the rest of the entry… but I know diddly squat about taking pictures, I just like looking at yours 🙂

  21. Kate

    July 28th, 2011 at 2:54 pm

    The Sandlot! 🙂

  22. Ruth Krueger

    July 28th, 2011 at 2:54 pm

    I couldn’t agree more. Some of my favorite photos are shot with window light…using my Noct-Nikkor 58mm f/1.2 lens. Thanks for sharing these gorgeous photos from your workshop.

    P.S. I love The Sandlot movie quote/reference!

  23. Sarah Snider

    July 28th, 2011 at 2:55 pm

    Btw thank you so much for yesterday’s post. Those are all things I have been thinking after starting my own business this past year and it’s encouraging to know I’m not the only one. But what a wonderful adventure it is!

  24. Gabby / En Route Photography

    July 28th, 2011 at 2:55 pm

    The line is from the Sandlot!!!! 😉
    You’re awesome… these posts help us more than you’d ever know! 😉

  25. Tracy

    July 28th, 2011 at 2:57 pm

    You’re killin me smalls is from the Sandlot. Great movie!

  26. Kate

    July 28th, 2011 at 2:57 pm

    The Sandlot!

  27. Paul

    July 28th, 2011 at 2:57 pm


  28. Antonis

    July 28th, 2011 at 2:57 pm

    SANDLOT! Greatest movie of all time. Amazing pictures, as always. Looks like your trip to London was a fantastic success.

  29. Jessica K

    July 28th, 2011 at 2:58 pm

    Girl, that’s "Sandlot" 🙂 Always love your posts.

  30. Paul

    July 28th, 2011 at 2:58 pm

    The Sandlot! (can you believe that was the first movie I saw in the theaters?).

    Also, I love the blog 🙂

  31. Leanne Wight

    July 28th, 2011 at 2:58 pm

    I just watched Sandlot last week with my son! What an awesome summer movie!

  32. JamieJPhotography

    July 28th, 2011 at 2:58 pm

    The Sandlot!!! 🙂 thanks for the post!

  33. Amy Cameron

    July 28th, 2011 at 2:58 pm

    The Sandlot 😉

  34. Sarah

    July 28th, 2011 at 2:59 pm

    The Sandlot!! 🙂 Loved the movie growing up! I still say that! {mostly to my siblings!!
    I love you-your style and your photography!! Thank you for sharing so much of yourself!

  35. briana moore

    July 28th, 2011 at 3:00 pm

    Sandlot!!! 🙂

  36. Tino Fernandez

    July 28th, 2011 at 3:00 pm


  37. Melissa Pearce

    July 28th, 2011 at 3:01 pm

    I know I’m prob not the first, but THE SANDLOT!!

  38. Rachel

    July 28th, 2011 at 3:01 pm

    Sandlot! Love your posts.

  39. Paul

    July 28th, 2011 at 3:02 pm


  40. Sada

    July 28th, 2011 at 3:02 pm

    The Sandlot! Best movie ever! Ha 🙂

  41. Sheila

    July 28th, 2011 at 3:02 pm

    I just realized that you’re a left-eye shooter. Are you also left-handed?

  42. Juan

    July 28th, 2011 at 3:03 pm

    The quote is from ‘The Sandlot’

    Sorry I missed you in the UK!

  43. SvetlanaHillKovich

    July 28th, 2011 at 3:04 pm

    "The Sandlot"! Great post Jas

  44. sherri lynn

    July 28th, 2011 at 3:04 pm

    This was super helpful for me – I shoot all of my food inside so I always need tips on lighting!

  45. Rachel Gnagy

    July 28th, 2011 at 3:04 pm

    The Sandlot! =)

  46. Kadee

    July 28th, 2011 at 3:06 pm

    The Sandlot right?

  47. Susie

    July 28th, 2011 at 3:07 pm


  48. Vivian Hui

    July 28th, 2011 at 3:08 pm

    The Sandlot! Of all the things, this is how you got me to make my first comment. I have been lurking for way too long but thank you for sharing your life, your work and your passion with the whole world. I’m at the crossroads right now to take the leap and reading your blog keeps me motivated and inspired. Thanks J!

  49. Camille

    July 28th, 2011 at 3:08 pm

    The sandlot! Love it!!!!

  50. Rose

    July 28th, 2011 at 3:09 pm

    I have to say that since I started reading your blogs I have learned sooo much! You inspire me beyond any other and I’m so happy that you share.

  51. Ange Movius

    July 28th, 2011 at 3:09 pm


  52. Adrienne

    July 28th, 2011 at 3:09 pm

    The Sandlot! 🙂

  53. Andrew Lang

    July 28th, 2011 at 3:10 pm

    "The best" {takes a big sniff}. . . The Sandlot.

  54. Amy

    July 28th, 2011 at 3:11 pm

    The Sandlot! 🙂

  55. Regina Marie

    July 28th, 2011 at 3:12 pm

    Movie: the Sandlot.
    My kids have been watching that FFOOORRREEEVVVVEEERRR!

    anyway, you know we love when you go on a long rant. that’s why we come here… hehehe!

    Though seeing this makes me jealous… one of these days I NEED to catch you in person!

  56. Marie

    July 28th, 2011 at 3:13 pm


  57. Jessica Chapman

    July 28th, 2011 at 3:14 pm

    I absolutely love all of your blog post. They are all so very helpful especially at time when I am trying to start my own photography business.
    P.S. Your quote is from the movie "Sandlot"

  58. Izzy

    July 28th, 2011 at 3:14 pm

    The Sandlot!

  59. Dee

    July 28th, 2011 at 3:14 pm

    The Sandlot!!!!

  60. alyssa armstrong

    July 28th, 2011 at 3:14 pm

    The Sandlot! 🙂

  61. Taryn

    July 28th, 2011 at 3:16 pm


  62. Emily Troutman

    July 28th, 2011 at 3:16 pm

    Sandlot!!!! LOVE IT! Wendy Peppercorn 🙂

  63. Elizabeth

    July 28th, 2011 at 3:18 pm

    You’re killin’ me smalls! It’s from the Sandlot 🙂 I’ve been reading your blog and 1. I’m astounded at how difficult wedding photography is 2. I think you are inspiring because of how you are using your awesome talents for God! Keep it up!

  64. Rebekah

    July 28th, 2011 at 3:18 pm

    The Sandlot!

  65. Jenny

    July 28th, 2011 at 3:19 pm

    Sandlot!! I nearly died, I say that allll the time, and most people look at me lie "why are you calling me smalls?" Lovvvve it!

  66. kaethe

    July 28th, 2011 at 3:19 pm

    sandlot : )

  67. Rhea

    July 28th, 2011 at 3:19 pm

    Sandlot Sandlot Sandlot!! Thanks for the tips 🙂

  68. Kristen

    July 28th, 2011 at 3:20 pm

    The Sandlot…ahhh love that movie and the quote!

  69. Jen Anway

    July 28th, 2011 at 3:21 pm

    The Sandlot!!! LOVE that movie!!

  70. Samantha D

    July 28th, 2011 at 3:21 pm

    SANDLOT! One of the greatest movies ever 🙂
    P.S. You are amazing 🙂

  71. Kristen

    July 28th, 2011 at 3:22 pm

    ahhh The Sandlot…love that movie..and the quote, it’s a classic!

  72. Jennifer Seris

    July 28th, 2011 at 3:22 pm

    Also, what PERFECT timing for this post!! I have a wedding Saturday where the bride is hesitant to do any photos outside at all, and the venue will be beautiful, but I was starting to wonder how that was going to work. Thanks for the great insight!

  73. Kiki

    July 28th, 2011 at 3:22 pm

    Sandlot 🙂

  74. Gabe Lawson

    July 28th, 2011 at 3:22 pm

    Great Sandlot reference! One of my favorite movies.

    And great post – using window light can be so tricky! Thanks Jasmine!


  75. Jasmine*

    July 28th, 2011 at 3:23 pm

    Whoa, apparently there are people who love Sandlot as much as I do! 😉 Congrats to Megan…who was the first commenter! (Megan, you didn’t leave your email address, so can you shoot me an email?) Thanks!

  76. LEOLAK

    July 28th, 2011 at 3:23 pm

    THE SANDLOT!!! Such a cute movie! Being played on the big screen in my neighborhood this coming weekend!

  77. Life with Kaishon

    July 28th, 2011 at 3:31 pm

    So glad you had a great workshop : )

  78. Marcus

    July 28th, 2011 at 3:57 pm

    Thx for this post. Great read and helpful.

  79. Misty Dawn

    July 28th, 2011 at 4:05 pm

    Hubs and I watch The Sandlot’s.on. Just sayin’.

    Mommy! Mommy! A doggie! Ohhhhhh BIG doggie.

  80. Jenelle Sewell

    July 28th, 2011 at 4:18 pm

    I LOVE when you give the fstops, shutter speeds and ISOs. Thanks for the tutorial on low situations! Fantastic, as always.

  81. Rachel Tatem

    July 28th, 2011 at 4:22 pm

    Too cute! Of course it is Sandlot! I love how you and your husband work so well together. My husband is my second shooter as well and people think we are insane for enjoying working together.

  82. Christin

    July 28th, 2011 at 4:37 pm

    This was very helpful. Thanks for sharing!

  83. Abby Grace Photography

    July 28th, 2011 at 4:38 pm

    I love these sort of posts! Your lighting is truly amazing, and I definitely stand a lot to learn. Thanks for the behind-the-scenes look into the workshop!

  84. Danielle

    July 28th, 2011 at 4:40 pm

    Duh, The Sandlot!!!

    You take the graham…..

    One of my favs is "Lotioning and oiling… oiling and lotioning… I JUST CAN’T TAKE IT ANYMORE!"

  85. angie

    July 28th, 2011 at 4:40 pm

    Sandlot! (great movie) Gorgeous photos…thanks for sharing your tips/tricks! 🙂

  86. Janet

    July 28th, 2011 at 4:42 pm

    Omg my bf LOVES that movie! He and his friends loved it so much they called themselves the Sandlot crew when they were younger! haha. He even tries to make me rewatch it every now and then..

  87. Damaris Mia

    July 28th, 2011 at 4:42 pm

    It was definitely helpful! Thank you 🙂

  88. jeramy

    July 28th, 2011 at 4:43 pm

    fantastic! i don’t think you’ve done a nor-cal workshop, have you?

  89. Jadrien Esquivel

    July 28th, 2011 at 4:46 pm

    Forevvvver, forevvvvvver. Good post Wendy Peffercorn 😉

  90. miguel angel photography

    July 28th, 2011 at 4:46 pm

    I lot useful info. Thank a lot amiga.

  91. donna harris

    July 28th, 2011 at 4:47 pm

    Thank you! I FEEL stronger today because of your willingness to share! 🙂

  92. Rachel Marie Photography

    July 28th, 2011 at 5:06 pm

    I always look forward to these "behind the scenes" posts! Thanks for sharing once again!

  93. Yadira

    July 28th, 2011 at 5:12 pm

    The Sandlot!!;) love this post thank you for sharing

  94. jennifer little

    July 28th, 2011 at 5:14 pm

    thank you for sharing.. very helpful + clear. best!

  95. Heather

    July 28th, 2011 at 5:15 pm

    Are you kidding? The sandlot!!!!!!!! I freaking love that movie. FOR-EV-EEERRRR! L.O.V.E.

  96. Lindsay Gee

    July 28th, 2011 at 5:19 pm

    Great Post..these are always my fav. kind of posts..and i know they take you a lot of time to put together so thank-you, thanks! Izzy-Rae says hi 🙂

  97. Shauna

    July 28th, 2011 at 5:29 pm

    Helpful as usual!! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  98. Kristin Hardwick

    July 28th, 2011 at 5:36 pm

    SO helpful! I truly appreciate you taking the time to shares these tips.. you’re clearly awesome. 🙂

  99. Amanda B

    July 28th, 2011 at 5:44 pm

    Love the Sandlot reference! Thanks for the awesome post!

  100. Robin

    July 28th, 2011 at 5:45 pm

    Behind the scenes are always interesting – just in seeing the many ways to pose and light a couple.

  101. Jaqueline Faria

    July 28th, 2011 at 5:45 pm

    The Sandlot why of course. Thanks for the post. Your always so helpful.

  102. Ashley Lynn

    July 28th, 2011 at 6:01 pm

    Thanks so much! You are so fabulous and your workshop looks amazing. 🙂

  103. Margriet

    July 28th, 2011 at 6:12 pm

    I just love your posts! And am still waiting for you to give a workshop in The Netherlands! (or somewhere nearby). Heard that you gave a workshop in England?!? but unfortunately missed it… hope for better luck next time… till than I will keep reading your blogs and dream away with all the beautiful pictures you take! Love!

  104. Heather Scharf

    July 28th, 2011 at 6:14 pm

    The Sand Lot! Best Movie Ever!

  105. Gris Brooks

    July 28th, 2011 at 6:39 pm

    The Sandlot! My boys watch the movie almost everyday. They quote from it every day too!

  106. Kristin Nicole

    July 28th, 2011 at 6:42 pm

    love hearing another photographers thought process on a shot!

  107. TIffany

    July 28th, 2011 at 7:13 pm

    Ahh your quote came from the Sandlot!! I say that to my husband all the time!!

  108. andreea

    July 28th, 2011 at 7:23 pm

    Can’t see on my phone if others responded, I’m sure they have, but the quote is from "the sandlot". Best. Movie. Ever!

  109. Paula Franco

    July 28th, 2011 at 7:28 pm

    Happy Thursday to you too!!! And thanks so much for sharing those behind the scenes!!!

  110. Walter Pickel

    July 28th, 2011 at 8:22 pm

    Pretty sure that movie was Pootytang

  111. rich

    July 28th, 2011 at 8:30 pm

    amazing tips as always!

  112. naomi chokr

    July 28th, 2011 at 8:51 pm

    SANDLOT! I was all about Benny The Jet Rodriguez!!! That guy was so hot back when i was in the 6th grade!

  113. Belinda

    July 28th, 2011 at 9:21 pm

    Love it when you do these posts! =)

  114. Jill Denny

    July 28th, 2011 at 9:34 pm

    The quote is from the Sandlot!!!

  115. Boston Photog | Roberto Farren

    July 28th, 2011 at 9:35 pm

    nice insight an really helpful. thanks for posting up, look forward to more. Regards, Roberto.

  116. Meredith

    July 28th, 2011 at 9:37 pm

    Jasmine – thank you … again!

  117. kristaQM

    July 28th, 2011 at 9:49 pm

    i LOVE that movie! my sisters and i use that line ALL the time. you know, when we were in high school and taking Spanish for the first time, we–of course–translated EVERYthing into Spanish (cuz we were so bilingual and all) and ever since, we’ve said it estas matandome pequenos. the translation’s a little rough, but oh well. 🙂

    p.s. thanks for this great reflections post!

  118. Amy Jo

    July 28th, 2011 at 11:05 pm

    Yea Sandlot (and a little shout out to Utah, since it was filmed there)!! As always, thanks for the awesome post. I really love your behind the scenes posts (thank JD for the pictures), they are always so helpful for me!

  119. Melle Veronesi

    July 29th, 2011 at 12:44 am

    Love that green shirt, woman! Oh and the advice too. 😉

  120. Cindy Habel

    July 29th, 2011 at 1:26 am

    Thanks heaps for sharing/teaching/writing so openly, I appreciate it tremendously! x

  121. nicole vargas-platinum imaging photography

    July 29th, 2011 at 1:38 am

    Ms. Jasmine that is HILARIOUS that you would use that phrase! My husband and I still use it after watching The Sandlot!

  122. Bernadette

    July 29th, 2011 at 1:40 am

    Thanks for a great post. I have been thoroughly enjoying you tutorials.

  123. Sharls

    July 29th, 2011 at 2:47 am

    Thank you for an informative post! I love these ones and am constantly learning amazing things from you!

  124. Suzy G

    July 29th, 2011 at 3:59 am

    Awesome stuff, Thanks a ton for all you share and being an inspiration….now if I can just remember it all 😉

  125. Ilmira

    July 29th, 2011 at 4:49 am

    Thank you Jasmine!

  126. Amber Tolbert

    July 29th, 2011 at 6:17 am

    thank you Jasmine for sharing. After purchasing your creativelive series and reviewing your tips just now, am I correct in thinking you stick with low iso most of the time?

  127. Erin

    July 29th, 2011 at 12:28 pm

    Very helpful! Any chance you can talk about the use of your large apertures + the distance from subject and the different effects for the range of focus here?

  128. anda

    July 29th, 2011 at 2:27 pm

    your crazy good understanding of light (and the way explain what you’re seeing) will always BLOW ME AWAY. love this post!

  129. Caitlin Elizabeth

    July 29th, 2011 at 2:42 pm

    yet another incredibly helpful post. much obliged ma’am!

  130. Brooke Summer Photography

    July 29th, 2011 at 4:39 pm

    I say that all the time (you’re killin me smalls!) and no one knows what I’m talking about! 😉 Thank you for the information, indoor lighting is always a little tricky!

  131. sarah

    July 29th, 2011 at 9:02 pm

    sand lot! now i have to go back and read the post. ps. i use that quote in my head all the time.

  132. Edward Ryan

    July 30th, 2011 at 2:48 pm

    Hi Jasmine, I was wondering if these pictures posted in Reflections: (Maximizing indoor lighting) were edited or rather they are raw shots. THanks so much

  133. Corlis Gray

    July 30th, 2011 at 3:17 pm

    He, Smalls, you wanna s’more?
    Some more of what?
    No, do you wanna s’more?
    I haven’t had anything yet, so how can I have some more of nothing?

    The Sandlot is a classic!

    Great info Jasmine! Thank you!

  134. Steve

    July 30th, 2011 at 4:10 pm

    Great information and truly beautiful images. Thank you.

  135. Karisa Joy

    July 31st, 2011 at 2:50 am

    I thought you couldn’t get anymore fabulous, until you quoted the Sandlot. Sadly I won’t win the giftcard but I had to say…. for-EV-er.

  136. michelle gunton

    July 31st, 2011 at 10:31 pm

    I love the image of all the photographers behind the couple on the couch. Love your blog, thank you.

  137. kelsey {las vegas wedding photographer}

    August 1st, 2011 at 2:38 am

    Great tips thank you!

  138. Sheila Hallmark

    August 2nd, 2011 at 4:05 pm

    Great tips! as usual! But what I want to know is where did you get that AMAZING BLOUSE! LOVE IT!

  139. Heather Barnhill

    August 2nd, 2011 at 9:49 pm

    THE SANDBOX! Love that movie! And I love all your posts too, I truly thank you for being such an inspiration help to all of us 🙂 You really are a special person.

  140. Lisa

    August 3rd, 2011 at 4:51 am

    It is actually the sandlot. Come on baseball fans.

  141. Caroline Nicholson

    August 3rd, 2011 at 2:53 pm

    Love this post Jasmine – I’m still rather stoked that I managed to get myself into almost all of your ‘behind the scenes’ pictures! Brilliant! Oh and by the way – you know Topshop ship to the USA, right?! :o)

  142. Ashley A-Photo

    August 3rd, 2011 at 3:50 pm

    This post was EXTREMELY helpful. I’m always looking for more posts like these. THankyou THANKYOU THANKYOU!!!!

  143. TinaLynn Photography

    August 9th, 2011 at 5:05 pm

    That is one of my all time favorite movie lines …the sandlot of course. We use it on my boys all the time, lol

  144. Jessica Sweeney

    August 15th, 2011 at 6:49 am

    It always helps. I’m just sad I wasn’t there to hear what you were saying. 🙂

  145. les wollam

    August 29th, 2011 at 10:18 pm

    now that was a great lesson for all who attended. wonderful

  146. Kristi

    September 7th, 2011 at 5:23 pm

    The Sandlot!! (A little late, I know)

  147. kym vitar

    November 23rd, 2011 at 4:23 pm

    a little late on the movie quote, since i see it was from JULY, but my hubs was Benny in The Sandlot!