Saturday, July 5, 2014

USB Flash Drive and Presentation Box for Wedding Clients

I'm very proud to say that I have a new product for my premium wedding clients.  I've been using USB Flash Drives for about three years now to deliver digital images from weddings.  

I bought some branded flash drives from a company who will remain nameless, and also bought some small tin metal cases for the drives.  They were nice, just a little flimsy and didn't say "classy" to me.  I want my brand to say Classy with a capitol "C".  When a bride shows my album or digital pictures to her friends, I want her to show them something elegant.

I've recently changed my delivery product to a flashdrive and presentation case from (some people know them by their previous company name, Pexagon)

Now my couples will have their names and wedding date laser etched on the flashdrive.  

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Red HeadShots

What is your comfort zone?  For me, I've become comfortable with wedding photography.  There was a time when it scared me to death, and I'd stay up the night before a wedding just worried.  Now, it's a piece of cake.  I have fun with weddings.

Remy is a friend of mine from way back.  She contacted me recently to tell me that she's been doing some acting and needed theatrical headshots.  I've done headshots for actors and models, but it's been a while.  We had a photo session at my house with my portable studio equipment (studio strobes, background, beauty dish etc).  It was fun.  I remembered some of the posing that I used to do years ago, and felt creative.

I was out of my comfort zone, but change is a good thing.  Like Zack Arias used to say, "It's just light, shadow, aperture, shutter speed".  Simple right?

I hope Remy has good luck in her acting projects, and I hope these headshots help a casting director see a little personality in the image.  Thanks Remy for reminding me that getting out of my comfort zone is good now and then.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Get Serious....

Sometimes, when you find yourself outside of your comfort zone, you remember 'WHY' you do things the way you do.

The day I showed up to photograph Annie's wedding, I had never met her before.  We were two strangers in a small cramped dressing room, an hour from her wedding ceremony.  If that sounds awkward... it is.  

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Rosemary, Michael, and the Wedding Planner...

This is the story of Rosemary, Michael, and their wedding planner, Desana Turner!

I have some experience with weddings.  I stopped counting how many weddings I've attended, but the number is up there.  I've seen weddings run as smooth as silk, and I've seen wedding disasters.

What is a wedding disaster?  Flowers and cake that get delivered to the wrong address.  Flowers that are the wrong color.  The band shows up to the wrong wedding venue.  A DJ that doesn't show up or call.  Wedding guests arrive at the reception venue, and it's locked up.  (These stories are all true).  Catering is a whole different level of disaster.  I understand that catering a large event is a tricky logistical undertaking.  But you don't want to have 200 hungry guests, and the food is an hour late coming out, and when it does come out, it's over-cooked, burnt, or worse, they run out of food.

See what I mean by disaster?  The difference between a smooth wedding, and a disaster is planning.  I'll admit, some brides can do it.  I've seen a bride and mother combination that could coordinate supplies for an invading army and not have one glitch.  It can be done, but not everyone has the time, or the OCD skills to do it well.

I've always given advice to brides that having a wedding planner.... (and the caveat is a "GOOD" wedding planner) will save you time, blood, sweat and tears.  Lots of tears.  One of those really good wedding planners that I've worked with is Desana Turner.  That woman pays attention to details.  On March 1st, I photographed Rosemary and Michael's wedding.  It was complex.  A lot of planning, decorating, and coordinating with dozens of vendors.  It still went smooth.  I tip my hat to Desana.  She was on top of things.  I think I almost heard her use profanity when she found out the horse drawn carriage wasn't going to make it,... but otherwise, she never even breaks a sweat.  The flowers, the food, the music, was perfect.

Rosemary's dress was beautiful.  The groomsmen looked sharp.  It was a gorgeous wedding.  The venue was the famous Woodward House mansion.  Built in the 1880's, the hand carved wood, and atmosphere in this beautiful venue added to the romance of the evening.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

The Bride Wore Black

Kim and I were talking about how long we'd known each other.  She was one of the first people I met when I moved to South Texas almost 10 years ago.  We used to joke that she is my recently adopted daughter.  To say that she has been through hell and back is an understatement.  She has had a rough life, between poor choices and health problems.

Through it all, she always has a goofy smile that reminds me of Carol Burnett.  I was overjoyed when she told me that she was getting married, and I was honored that she wanted me to photograph the ceremony.

I got to meet Mario a few weeks ago, and I was impressed.  He's a good guy, and I could tell pretty quickly how much he adores Kim.

The ceremony was at a country pavilion in Blanco with beautiful views.  When I arrived, Kim told me that she had to re-do her bouquet last night since her dog ate the first one.

Sometimes the most simple ceremonies can be the most beautiful.  When Kim arrived in her dress, some people may have been surprised that she wore a black dress.  If you know Kim... it fits her personality perfectly.  And she wore it with style!  The purple feather earrings and white veil were gorgeous!

Rooster Chivalry

The Chinese have a saying "May your life be interesting"...  I had one of those interesting moments yesterday.  I grew up watching the Disney TV specials on Sunday nights where they would show wildlife films.  (We didn't have the Disney channel back then... we had THREE)

There's nothing more amazing than learning something about life in the animal kingdom by observing it.  To say that it surprised me is an understatement.

For those who don't know me, my wife Judi has a chicken farm in our backyard.  We have 5 adult chickens, and we just added a dozen or so babies.  Within the adults, we have one bad tempered rooster, and the rest are hens.

I had been doing some digging around Judi's greenhouse, and occasionally I'd find a big earthworm.  The chickens usually watch us when we dig in the hopes that we'll share those worms with them.  

I'd already shared a couple of worms with the hens.  Then I found a very large wiggling worm.  I looked around to see where the nearest chicken was, and the only one I saw was our rooster.  Judi named him "Frizzle" because of his feathers.

I tossed him the worm, and expected him to gobble it down quickly like the hens do.  He just stood over the worm looking at it.  I don't know if he communicated to them orally or telepathically, but within a few seconds he had three of his hens nearby.  He seemed to peck at the worm, but he didn't grab it.  It looked as if he were showing the worm to the female chickens.  The hens quickly attacked and each got a piece of the big earthworm.

I couldn't believe what I just saw.  I told Judi, "he didn't eat it... he waited and gave it to the hens!"  Judi looked at me like I was some city boy and said "he takes care of his girls".  Amazing.  Chivalry does survive in some men, and a few roosters.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Master Photographer

I met a "Master Photographer" tonight.  What is a "master photog" you ask?  I had the same question.  He told me that he's spent the last 40 years as a photographer, and I noticed that he had several medals around his neck.
No, he didn't look like Yoda.  He did look like he might have recently eaten Yoda.  He didn't sound or talk like Yoda, ...  more like Mr. Haney from the tv show "Green Acres". (sorry, for you young people... google it)

When asked how he became a "Master", he said that he'd won 4 prestigious awards from PPA, the Professional Photographers of America.  I'm a member of PPA, and have never been impressed with the organization.  It's a very pompous group who bestow awards and titles like an ivy league university.  All of their speakers have PhD's and MPA's, and whole alphabets of initials after their names.

The "master" was a guest speaker at a local photography club.  I don't attend many meetings.  A lot of them are on weekends, and I'm usually tied up on weddings during the weekend.  The club charged $10 to attend this presentation by the master.  I was somewhat intrigued, so I paid my $10 and anxiously awaited to hear what nuggets of wisdom the master would share with us about Wedding Photography.

He started out with a slideshow of some of his work.  "Not bad" I thought... but not what I thought a Jedi Master Photographer would present.  Then he started talking.  It took me a bit to get over his high pitched voice, and the way he talked reminded me of an insurance salesman.  Every sentence had a punchline, and he would slap the back of the nearest person as he laughed at how funny he was.

Then he started telling wedding horror stories.  I especially liked the one where he said the groom was so drunk, he kept unzipping his pants and showing his anatomy to anyone in the room.  (I'm thinking "did I really pay $10 for this?")  Let's get to the wisdom, master.

Finally he said, "Here's a little tip from me to you:  During the ceremony, if you're having trouble with something or someone blocking your shot, just hold your camera high over your head, and shoot down.  Sometimes you'll get a great shot that way."

Wait... it gets better.  Then he tells more stories, about the groom that passed out during the ceremony.  Then... it's over.  He told stories for 40 minutes, and now it's time for the door prizes.  Ooohh!! I like door prizes.  Too bad most of them were lens cloths, a flashlight, and the grand prize was a free 16x20 print from one of the photo labs in town.

I didn't win.  Bummer.  I didn't get any wisdom from the master.  The force was clearly not strong with this one, and these were NOT the droids I was looking for.

May the force be with you, Master.

Katy Perry's Wedding... sort of...

No, I didn't shoot Katy Perry's wedding.  I did however shoot an incredibly beautiful wedding with a couple that I have had the most fun with.  Congratulations to Sarah and Derek Matta!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Death of a Bully

When I started writing in this blog, I wanted to make it a visual thing... using photography... to mostly talk about photography.  Sometimes, I get in the mood to write, and this blog is my only outlet.

I don't write too much on Facebook.  Lots of people there who get butt-hurt over the easiest of things.  Also I wanted to write about something from my High School days, and there are people on Facebook who may know what I'm talking about.  I digress.

There's been a lot of talk lately about Bullying.  They talk about it on news shows.  They show videos on TV of kids bullying other kids.  It's sad.  I can talk about this subject because I was bullied in school.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

The OFF Season

I've neglected my blog.  I've neglected many things, but I learned a long time ago that writing is good for the soul, and I told myself that I would write a little bit every day.  Well, I failed at that.