Friday, March 28, 2008

Sandy Puc's Bellies & Babies Workshop

Last night i attended Sandy Puc's Bellies & Babies Workshop in Foster City, CA. I was joined by my friend Tamee Renae and come to find out a ton of my fellow members from NCPP. I was looking forward to seeing Sandy in action since i had seen her in some of my Photovision Educational DVD's in the past and was attracted to her work. I wanted to learn more about shooting babies and how she markets that business since many of my friends are now having babies and calling me up for images.

Sam (a nickname her Dad gave her that stuck) runs a very successful studio in Littleton, CO named Expression Photography. She also started the non-profit Now i Lay Me Down to Sleep a few years ago which has about 4,000 photographer from around the US participating in it. NILMDTS provides bereavement photography to parents suffering the loss of a baby and to help them in their healing journey. I put in my application a couple weeks ago once my website was up and running and still waiting to hear from them.

Sam spoke for over 4 hours and shared with us an amazing amount of information and more specifically how to build a profitable Baby Plan, Posing Techniques, Marketing, Community Exposure, and much more. First thing i realized was that studio lighting was not that complex. Sam uses mainly two sets of lights from Larson Enterprises which she demonstrated how to use on stage. I came out of the talk wanting to buy some studio lights, getting rid of all the furniture in my living room and doing what she does everyday in my home. She actually started the same way and was telling us how she had to back up all the way into one of her bathrooms and i think standing in the bathtub to get enough space to shoot with a long lens. Once i get my wedding business going consistently i think i might just invest in some lighting and start playing with what i learned. Thanks Sam for an excellent workshop.

Here are some fun images that my friend Laura Cottril took when Sam asked me to pose to check her camera settings during a break before the next demonstration.



Thursday, March 13, 2008

My First Trip to WPPI

I am off to WPPI in Las Vegas tomorrow. WPPI hosts the largest wedding and portrait photographer convention and trade-show in the world. I am looking forward to the great lineup of speakers and getting to meet some of the top photographers in the industry.

Here is a couple of fun clips that talented videographer Ron Dawson of Cinematic Studios produced for the show. Enjoy!

“Diary of a Washed Up Rock Star Wedding Photographer”-Episode 1

“Diary of a Washed Up Rock Star Wedding Photographer”-Episode 2

Lunch with Lori Paladino at Google

I met Lori Paladino of Lori Paladino Photography in August of last year when i attended the Modern Bridal Show at the San Francisco Ritz Carlton in my quest to research bridal shows and meet other photographers. We had fun chatting and talking about the wedding industry. Shortly after we met she had the wedding of Emily and Daniel in August that her Second Shooter was unable to work so she dropped me a line and i was happy to help and learn and excited about the opportunity. We had a great day and i was stoked that she loved my work and would let me know about weddings the following year. Recently she sent me 8 wedding dates for me to Second Shoot with her this year, i was super excited and extremely grateful. Thank you Lori, can't wait til our first wedding this year.

Lori also works part-time as a recruiter at Google. When i found out i said i would love to have lunch there and experience what i had recently read about in the book The Google Story. It is a truly remarkable place. Seems more like a college campus with so many young people walking around and the only people in suits were the ones on the visitors tours. We dinned at the main cafeteria (which is free to all) and Lori mentioned that there are tons of other places to eat with just about any type of cuisine imaginable. There are just way too many benefits to mention so i looked them up, see the Google employee benefits here. Ok, so if i were to go back to Corporate America i would definitely work here. For example, 15 days vacation your first year when i had to work 3 years to there at my old job. With on-site benfeits like this who would ever want to leave the Googleplex: there’s on-site oil change, car wash, dry cleaning, massage therapy, gym, hair stylist, fitness classes and bike repair. Thanks for having me over Lori, looking forward to coming back and trying some of the other eateries.



Live List of Searches...



Tuesday, March 11, 2008

What is ART by Creature Comforts?

I saw this Creature Comforts clip on San Francisco based Fine Art Wedding Photographer Anna Kuperberg's blog and thought i would share. Loved the comment by the NYC Hippo on the "central park moron with the flags-that was not art!". Enjoy.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Kate Chase Presents, Lou Lesko, & BART

I took BART into San Francisco earlier this evening to attend a Apple Store photography presentation. The presentation this evening was sponsored by the Advertising Photographers of America. The title was Kate Chase-The Business of Photography. Kate is an agent that represents digital artists/retouchers. Mainly people that work on large commercial jobs editing the files the photographers deliver to the client to create the idea developed for the advertisement. She spoke about the large need for full time retouchers and how there are no programs out today with a curriculum to produce the talent needed. The need is in that photographers want to go out and take photographs and not be stuck behind the computer editing their work. Some of the examples she shared with us are pretty elaborate(contain several images) pieces which take a significant amount of talent and time to create. This is also a business model that is starting to grow in the wedding industry where companies (Shootdotedit, Lavalu, etc.) are taking the captured files after a wedding and editing down the selects and then applying the any digital retouching to the images. Therefore, giving the photographer back the time to go out and do what he does best and not be stuck in the studio editing thousands of images after a wedding.


Here are some of the examples of the work of the artists she represents.

Small Dog Imageworks

Small Dog.jpg

Sugar Digital

Suga Digital.png

I also had the opportunity to meet up with my friend, photographer Lou Lesko who wrote the book Advertising Photography-A Straightforward Guide to a Complex Industry. He was kind enough give me and autograph one of his books for me that i will be taking to WPPI this week as a gift to Gene Higa, a local San Francisco Destination Wedding Photographer who is doing the work i aspire to be doing. Thanks Lou.

On the way back home i got off on the wrong BART station, there are two BART stations in Walnut Creek and the second one is called Pleasant Hill Station but is still on the Walnut Creek side. So when the Walnut Creek station was announced i jumped out to soon realize that it was the next one. Figured i would walk the mile or two and get some exercise and fresh air instead of waiting another 15 minutes for the next train. Here is a fun shot i took with my point and shoot as i walked across the overpass. Put it in Manual and played with some time lapse photography. Enjoy.


Shockwave Dancers Swimsuit Calendar Shoot with Sam Harnack Studios

Yesterday i joined my friend Sam Harnack to give him a helping hand with his calendar shoot. He was assigned to photograph a swimsuit calendar for the Stockton Lightning Arena football team dancers. I drove over to Lodi and met the group at his studio where i met the dancers and their coach, ex SF 49ers cheerleader Melissa Galvin. We drove north to Lincoln to our location. Our location was a very nice home in a gated community. They had a very large backyard that had a pool with waterfalls and wonderful landscaping. Sam plugged in via wireless to his iMac and when he started and did not stop til we wrapped later that afternoon. I spent that day managing the memory cards, helping set custom white balance and exposures with the Ed Pierce Digital Calibration Targets, using reflectors or scrims to bring in or block the bright sun, and lastly trying to not stare at all the beautiful girls running around in bikinis. We wrapped up the day with dinner at a local Mexican Restaurant in Sacramento. Thanks Sam for the invitation, it was great working with you and seeing the behind the scenes of a photographer i look up to.

Sunrise, the drive to Lodi...


The gals getting their hair did...


Sam in action...



Morgan was stunning...




My view while i held on to one of the trees with one hand and held a scrim on the other hand to cover two of the dancers.


My other view, much better...


My third view, looking down at my feet, the water fountain i was nudged in between while standing on the edge.


What i had to deal with all day...



Me so happy!


The drive home, sunset...


The man, Mr Sam Harnack.


Friday, March 7, 2008

Wedding: Jenna & John Lake Forest, IL

This weekend Jennifer and i had a wonderful time photographing the wedding of Jenna & John in Lake Forest, Illinois. Lake Forest is a beautiful suburb located just north of Chicago. Here are some of my favorite images followed by a slideshow of the day. Enjoy.

Church-First Presbyterian Church Lake Forest
Reception Venue-Victoria Highwood
DJ/Entertainer-Anthony (Frank) Cassano

Jennifer & I on our first gig together.





Seeing each other for the first time...


Lake Forest High School where they first met.





I love my new Canon 15mm Fisheye Lens


Frank (Entertainer/DJ) was awesome! I am also in love with my new Canon 85mm 1.2 Lens with which this image was taken, no flash!



Here is the slideshow of the day.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Dinner with Kenny Kim

Had dinner last night with my friend Kenny Kim at The Cheesecake Factory. We met about a month ago while he was helping with DJ's Freedom & Slumber workshop. He has had a pretty crazy schedule for the last couple of months also helping out Mike Colon at his local workshop in Orange County and then traveling with Mike and Bob Davis for their Master their Craft Tour. We caught up over dinner and i had a chance to have a real conversation outside of the craziness of a workshop. We spoke about the industry, networking, and how we both go started and where we came from. Kenny recently asked me to shoot a wedding with him in San Francisco and i feel honored and stoked about the opportunity. Thanks Kenny for dinner last night, for all your insights, and for sharing your knowledge with me. Looking forward to hanging out at WPPI in a couple of weeks.