Groom in the cooler

Groom in the cooler

Here was one of my favorites from last night. I call it “Groom in the cooler.”

Technically, the walk-in cooler was made for flowers, but the groomsmen where very impressed with it’s ability to keep both them and their beer at a comfortable temperature. Any time I needed one of them for a shot I’d open the door, and there they’d be. Sometimes even with chairs.

Lighting = Drama

I get a lot of questions about lighting photos even during the day. Usually it’s from clients who look at me funny as I drag flashes out while the sun is shining brightly. These were from a shoot tonight and I thought they nicely illustrated the difference even one light makes.
Emily + Doug
This was shot with available light.

Emily + Doug
This was with one SB-800 to camera right with a shoot-through umbrella

Emily + Doug
This was available light

Emily + Doug
This shot was with an SB-800 to camera right in a 28″ Apollo soft box and an SB-900 behind her with no modifier.

Each of these was taken minutes apart. Just the addition of a little extra light makes a massive difference. The available light portraits aren’t bad at all, but the off-camera lighting adds an entirely new level to the work.

The second shooter

The second shooter

The joys of shooting in public places means you usually deal with, well, the public. Most people are very respectful of the fact that we’re working, and we try to be respectful of others and share the space. But occasionally you run in to the guy who has to get a shot of the horizon from the exact spot on the picnic table you’re shooting on.

Oh well, it made for some laughs.

Marketing for next year

I’ve been working on my current marketing for the past few years and didn’t even know it. Over the next two days I’ve got two interesting new-business meetings. The funny thing is, both contacts came from some work I did in the past. The even funnier thing is, they weren’t big flashy projects. You know the kind. They aren’t the projects you tell all your friends about because it makes you sound big time. They aren’t the projects you put in your portfolio. They are just the good workman jobs that you do to pay the bills.

I just happen to work my tail off on those and pretend they are big flashy jobs. It pays off. I never expected to get future work from either of them, but now it’s a possibility. And the new ones are projects I’ll tell people about and put in my portfolio.

Turns out working my tail off is the best marketing I’ve ever done. So what are you doing today that will pay off in the coming years?

Challenge yourself

Unified Theory

Yesterday was a long day. I prepped all morning for a bridal shoot with Mallorie. I arrived at the shoot around 2:00 and we didn’t finish until almost eight in the evening. It involved a lot of time in the heat and even shooting some bridal photos inside UT head coach Mack Brown’s office (but that’s another story). So it was a little crazy in addition to being long. When I left the shoot I was burned out. All I wanted to do was make sure we had taken some good shots and go to bed. But then there was the fact that I had an 8:45 meeting with the band Unified Theory. Yeah, my scheduling skills suck.

Unified Theory

The band was rehearsing in the band leader’s living room. It was spacious, but not so much when you add eight people and all their instruments. I was really just there to hear them for the first time and to plan out a real shoot.

Unified Theory

Despite being ready to fall over from being so tired, I sat listening to them play and was inspired to take a few photos. I decided to challenge myself. I really never shoot live music. And it was in a living room. I decided to try to make it look like A) I knew what I was doing when shooting live music and B) we weren’t in a living room.

Unified Theory

I’m not sure I succeeded on either point. But, I did have a good time shooting in a style I’m not used to. I’ve become sort of known for bright colors and different angles. Well, I didn’t like the quality of light so I immediately decided to go all black and white. I also wanted that blurry, grainy kind of look. I shot with the D200 set for 1000 ISO with a 50MM f1.8 lens. Most of them were set to 1.8 at about 1/30 of a second.

Unified Theory

What I found very interesting was how hard it was to shoot good shots of the band members playing instruments versus the singers. It was easy with the singers. They were standing up front and I could get some nice light around them. The other members were against walls or in corners and I couldn’t get an angle I liked very much. The other thing though was the instruments almost created a wall between us where it was hard to shoot. I’m curious to try that again with a focus on those guys.

Unified Theory

The band turned out to be amazing. I can’t wait to shoot some proper portraits of them. It turned into a nice challenge for me and reminded me to shoot for fun sometimes and stretch myself.

Unified Theory

Unified Theory

Unified Theory

Unified Theory

Cindy + Matt Engagement Session

Yesterday we shot Cindy and Matt’s engagment session all over Austin. We started in some woods near the 360 bridge, went to the beautiful Cimaron Hills Golf course and ended up in a field behind my house. They brought Matt’s beautiful daughter along to turn it into a family shoot too.

I hired Colton to be my assistant for the day. As he looked through the pictures on the camera he said, “Dad, you made them kiss waaaay too much.”

Cindy + Matt's Engagement
Cindy + Matt's Engagement
Cindy + Matt's Engagement
Cindy + Matt's Engagement
Cindy + Matt's Engagement
Cindy + Matt's Engagement
Cindy + Matt's Engagement
Cindy + Matt's Engagement
Cindy + Matt's Engagement
Cindy + Matt's Engagement