Friday, February 29, 2008

Chicago-Burrr!

It's been a while since i have seen this much snow, i guess that is what happens when you live in California. Flying into town to shoot a wedding with my partner Jennifer Muntz tomorrow. My first winter wedding, quite a change from shooting a wedding in Maui last month. Can't wait for the fun challenges this will create tomorrow.

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Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Adobe Lightroom Class with Tamee Renae

Tonight i attended a Lightroom class that was sponsored and put on by our local PPA group NCPP. The class was led by photographer Tamee Renae whom i met last year at Bambi and Jerry's Workshop since she works for Bambi. Lightroom is a program made by Adobe that helps photographers manage their files. Tamee did a wonderful job getting us all acquainted with Lightroom and giving us an idea of what a good workflow might look like. Thank you Tamee for helping us out and getting me started with what i think is now the market leading software in file management.

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Monday, February 25, 2008

Michelle Walker Travel Photography Show

Last night I went to a photography show with my friend and fellow Bay Area wedding photographer Sylvain Gentile. We attended Michelle Walker's Travel Photography show. Jose Villa introduced me to Michelle last year at the PDN on the Road seminar. She is a very talented Bay Area wedding photographer that has been published in many of the major magazines. Definitely someone i look up to. She took photographs from her travels to Cuba, India, Africa, and Peru and had some amazing large (40 by 60) canvases made by Simply Canvas. The show will be on display at Luka's Taproom & Lounge til March 29th. You can see the images on her new website under Galleries then Travel. We enjoyed some great food, some Oscar watching on the projector, and lastly some great company. Congrats Michelle on the success of your first show.

The talented artist-Michelle Walker.

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My favorite, the little girl looking up at Grandma in Cuba.

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Gotta love point and shoot camera flash!

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Ed Pierce Captivated by the Light Workshop-San Francisco

Tonight i attended the photography seminar "Captivated by the Light" by Ed Pierce. Ed has been in the business for over 30 years and is an excellent teacher. I have followed him via his Photovision DVD's that come out every two months. A testament to how well respected he is the DVD's are now offered free (you only pay the shipping and handling for the year-$35) due to the generosity of his sponsors like Canon and WHCC. A lot of what was discussed involved in studio lighting and shooting which is not necessarily where i am right now in my business but it was wonderful to see and hear (via video) from some of the top studios in the nation. The last video he presented was of Sandy Puc discussing how NILMDTS got started. NILMDTS is a wonderful organization of photograsphers nationwide that provides free photography services for bereavement photography. This reminded me to make sure i get my website up next week so i can put in my application to them to become a local photographer.

Ed Pierce in action...

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Friday, February 22, 2008

Star Wars Mimobot R2-D2 Designer USB Flash Drive

My friend Nicole DeMeo who owns Kamikazee Pop hooked me up with the Star Wars Mimobot R2-D2 USB Drive by Mimoco, they just stopped making them and it is part of a limited edition series. They also have Darth Vader, and the Stormtrooper which are all sold out. Chewbacca is in low stock status. They just added another 4 to the Star Wars series: Princess Leia, Hans Solo, Boba Fet, and Luke Skywalker. Pre-orders are being taken now. Check them out. They come in various sizes and i got the 1GB. They make great gifts and they come in a ton of other designs other than Star Wars. Give Nicole a call before these run out too at (415) 597-5767. Thanks Nicole for the hook up.

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#331 of 2,900

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1GB

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The rest of the almost sold out family.

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Commute Rainbow

This rain just does not want to stop, we are getting hammered with it in the Bay Area.

A glimpse of hope.

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Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Volunteer-John Muir Medical Center ER

Tonight i volunteered as usual at John Muir Medical Center's Emergency Room. I am scheduled every week on Wednesday nights from 7-11pm but make it in once or twice a month due to my crazy schedule. Ever since i moved to the Bay Area i have volunteered here. I used to be the Philanthropy Chairman at my fraternity in college and have continued to give of myself since that experience. I have accrued over 500 hours of service and having fun doing it. They now have me train the new volunteers that are brave enough to do so in the ER. Actually, it is not that bad at all. Not like what we see on TV, it is way slower pace and nobody is spurting blood everywhere and doctors are not running down hallways to screaming orders. We do actually get some of the fun stuff like gun shot wounds and bad accidents since we are the trauma center for Contra Costa County. Tonight i had the opportunity to train one the new volunteers Tia. I showed her around the ER and advised her on what to do and what to expect. Many volunteers are usually looking to go into nursing or being a doctor and want to get some experience in the environment to see if they will really like it and often times need volunteer hours to spruce up their resumes to become more competitive. Tia was no different, she want to become a nurse. She is a diabetic and want to help others manage the disease that took her father at a young age.

The patch on my green volunteer polo shirt.

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The nametag/badge that gets me in all the doors in the hospital.

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Wedding Cake Shoot for Cakework in San Francisco

Cecile from Cakework came by the studio today and dropped of a beautiful cake for us to photograph for a submission to Grace Ormonde Magazine. Mark, the photographer i manage the studio for does mainly commercial photography and he was doing this as a favor. He did not understand my excitement about the cake possibly being featured in what i think is the Cadillac of all wedding magazines. I was was excited for him. Anyways, he had to take off to run some errands so i set up the shoot and had some fun taking a few images with our new Canon Mark III 1Ds. The images below are from my point and shoot, not the 1Ds.

The initial lighting set up.

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My desk and also the computer we shoot tethered to when in the studio.

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You can see the 1Ds sitting comfortably in a small dog bed we have just for the camera.

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Tuesday, February 5, 2008

My First Tank of Gas-Gotta Love Hybrids

After picking up my new 2008 Toyota Prius last friday i had to get some gas. I already felt better that i was not driving my best friends(Ralph) Land Rover Discovery, although i was extremely thankful for him letting me borrow it til i got situated. The Prius takes about 10 gallons and i can drive it over 400 miles on one tank (i know this since my old company car was also a Prius).

Here you can see that i was getting over 37 miles per gallon and had already gone 313 miles, i usually get about 44mpg or so, first tank, just breaking her in.

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This is also a much better number than the $75 plus i was paying on the Rover. My wallet sure is happy.

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Sunday, February 3, 2008

Coffee with Livermore Wedding Photographer Sylvain Gentile

This afternoon i had the opportunity to meet Sylvain Gentile for coffee at Starbucks in Dublin. Sylvain and i are both member of David Jay's Freedom Club and started corresponding back and forth via Facebook once i found out he was local. He comes from a sport photography background (his father owns a very successful sports photography business) and is just getting into wedding photography also. We are both in a similar place where we are trying to absorb as much as possible and learn from each other. It's funny when you meet someone that is in the same place as you there is definitely no silence in the conversation. Ideas, thought, gossip, are exchanged freely and it is often a great relief meeting someone that just understands. It was great meeting you Sylvain, look forward to hanging out.

Baby Portrait Session with Gabriela

This morning i drove over to hang out with my friend Dr Ursula Boynton. I did some family portraits fro them back in January, see the post here. She is a Hospitalist physician at Alta Bates Medical Center and is now on leave after having her second baby named Gabriela. We left Gabi at home and walked her almost two year old daughter Eva to the local farmers market. When we got back i took some images of Miss Gabriela. Here is a slideshow of the images. Enjoy.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Lunch with Sacramento Photographer Ruben Gonzalez

Today I had the opportunity of meeting with Sacramento photographer Ruben Gonzalez. Ruben and i met at the last PPSV (Professional Phootgraphers of Sacramento Vallley) meeting that featured Mike Larson. We had lunch at PF Chang's in Walnut Creek and discussed many topics ranging from marketing to the lack of Hispanic photographers in the area. We spoke on different approaches we could take in our business given our Hispanic background and fluency of Spanish. Thanks for driving down Ruben, look forward to continuing our discussions on the Hispanic market.

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Friday, February 1, 2008

Picked up my New 2008 Toyota Prius

On the drive back from Lodi i got a call that my new 2008 Toyota Prius had come in and that it would be ready tonight for pickup. I drove over to Toyota Walnut Creek at about 6pm and handed my loaner jeys to JD-the salesman and he handed me my new keys. He walked me through some of the new features and even set up the bluetooth on my phone. I was very excited to say the least.

Yes, very new, only 4 miles on it.

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The next day...

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Lunch with Sam Harnack of Sam Harnack Studios in Lodi, CA

Today i drove over to Lodi to meet up with my friend Sam Harnack. We met at the Bambi Cantrell and Jerry Ghionis Workshop in Pleasant Hill last year. Sam has a very successful studio in Lodi where a large part of his clientele is high school seniors. He does and amazing job, check out his website. We grabbed lunch at a local mexican restaurant and caught up on all the wedding business and then hung out at his studio. Over lunch he mentioned to me that he was doing a boudoir session and if the client did not mind i could stay and watch. He created another site just for this type of photography and he said he has not advertised other than some Google Ad Words it and has gotten a good amount of clients just from searches online. Check out his boudoir site called Pajama Glamour. By the way, he has an amazing staff, Miss Libby and the talented Mr Chris are a last and definitely fun to hang with. So the client had no problem with me hanging out and i was able to see Sam work his magic, a very talented man indeed. Thanks Sam for letting me hang out and pick you brain.

Here is a pic i took of Sam and Jerry Ghionis at the workshop we attended.

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