Thursday, April 24, 2008

Under the knife

That's right. Tomorrow morning I am having reconstructive knee surgery. I tore my Anterior Cruciate some months back playing basketball and tomorrow I am having surgery to reconstruct the ligament that was torn in my knee. After that I will be off of work for at least a week. Part of me is really excited about having the time but I know it will not be like sitting on a beach and having someone bring you little fruity drinks with umbrellas in them, but maybe I could get Cory to get some mini umbrellas.... I have many things on my "to do" list for this next week. Here are a few Finishing up editing a wedding and an engagement session Reading Doing some business things Possibly watching Season Six of 24 Studying to teach a lesson to high school and junior highers Busting out the N64 (I know, I'm totally up to date on the latest gaming system) and seeing if I still have any Dr. Mario skills... Other generally cool things that you can do with one leg locked at full extension (I'll let you know what those are once I figure them out). Hopefully You'll be seeing more blogs this week! Bill

Sunday, April 20, 2008

He's graduating

Basically, I have been taking so many photos lately that tomorrow I will probably be purchasing an external hard drive to hold them all so I am not constantly burning DVD's from my laptop to free up room!

I have quite a few things in the works right now, editing a wedding that I shot last weekend that I am pretty stoked today, just got back tonight from a rad engagement session at the one, the only Disneyland! I will be working on those and hopefully we should see a blog about those soon!
But for now- Stephen and I went out a while back to Newport Beach to shoot a senior portrait session. We got there later than we had hoped and I was a little worried that the lighting wouldn't be the best but we found some great spots and made it work! Stephen is graduating from Cal State Fullerton this next month and his mother wanted some pictures of him because he never had them done in high school. Aren't moms great!
Stephen and I had a blast and I think we got some really great images!
A nice, relaxed portrait.
Stephen did a pretty good job of busting out the model looks. His future has some covers in it...
This was my first time photographing someone with the cap and gown. We took pictures of the tassle on both sides, just to be sure....
Stephen is like me, VERY serious.

I really liked the feel of this image. It said "superman" to me..

Newport Beach, CA. Thanks again Stephen! I am glad that your mom wanted some pictures of you because I think we got 'em!

It's official-I enjoy "senior" sessions. For all of you blog-stalkers out there, I am taking appointments now for senior sessions for over the summer! If any of you are interested in being a representative at your school (if you live in Corona) let me know and we can work something out!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Boulder City Day 2

Finally, some from Cory and I's second day in Boulder City celebrating Ojii's birthday!
Chris was a little bit jealous about Cory's innate ability to do the triangle face. This is his attempt.

Just can't get enough goofy faces.

Everyone was joining in on the goofy face action.
Everyone wanted their picture taken with Linda.
Cory and I had a great time in Nevada! We won't show pictures from the ride home. It pretty much would have all been pictures of the traffic in front of us!

Monday, April 7, 2008

Day 2

Day 2. I beat myself at chess. (Which is hard to do...)

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Boulder City Day 1

Last weekend, it was Cory's grandfather's (Ojii) birthday. Head to Boulder City in Nevada we did.
Saturday afternoon consisted of the "younger generation" taking some time on the boat.
At the dock their were swarms of carp! Some were 3.5 feet long. I was glad no one was pushed in because I am pretty sure a carp can strip your flesh in seconds.
Here is everyone glad that they weren't eaten alive by the carp.
Pretty nice for a Saturday in Nevada.
Being on the boat was really relaxing.
Cory won the goofy face contest hands-down with the patented "triangle face."
After we got off the boat, we headed back to the house where Uncle Rob and crew had whipped up a fabulous Spaghetti dinner for us to celebrate the birthday! It was delish!
Then Ojii came out for the celebration. He received two gifts of particular note. The "Ojii is a chick magnet" shirt and a book filled with letters and pictures from friends and family expressing how much Ojii means to them.
That is all of us. As you can tell we are very intense and serious bunch!
More to come on day 2 later.

Friday, April 4, 2008

This week will be glorious. For many reasons. First off- God is great! That alone is reason enough to have a great week. Second off, I get to be with my wonderful bride a bit this weekend and it's her birthday on Sunday! (More on that later). This week will also be glorious because this week Cory and I are house sitting. Actually, we are more like palace-sitting. Some good friends of ours are out of the country for 10 days and asked us to take care of their dogs and house-sit for them. Cory and I have been very pleased so far even though we haven't had a whole lot of time to stay here. I have decided I am going to try and e-mail them a picture every day of their house/pets while they are away and so I thought that I would share those on the blog here as well!
I think their dogs miss them...

Let me know what you think about the new picture format with the logo!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

The Why

First off- it is my good friend Scott Burn's brithday today! He is turning the ripe age of _____. Feel free to check out his blog and show him some love! I had a talk yesterday with a friend at work about an experience with a photographer that I would like to share with you to help me express the way I approach things in my photography business. My friend and his wife had their first child back in January and wanted to have photos to commemorate their first baby's first year. So they found a professional photographer whose work they liked and talked to him. He gave them a deal where he would do 5 or so sessions throughout the first year for a session fee of $300. Now, if you are in California talking to a pro photographer, that sounds like an outrageous deal.

However, as my friend is finding out, that $300 got him nothing. Zip. Zero. Nada. Nil. In all actuality, the $300 he paid only gave him the opportunity to spend more money. The $300 was for the session fee and then prints were additional fee. My friend and his wife were only allowed to look at the proofs of the pictures on location at the photographer's studio (about 35 minutes away). Additionally, the photographer said that he would only hold photos that they liked from each session if they agreed to purchase them in some form or another (either directly through prints or indirectly through including those photos in an album at the end).

Here's the kicker, the price that the photographer gave them for any print 5 x 7 or smaller- $100. Ouch. Kind of hurts to look at that desk portrait of your kid when you know that you paid a Benjamin for it. I can't imagine what an 8 x 10 would cost, much less the final album at the end! The truly sad thing about is that my friend didn't learn of the print prices until after he paid the session fee and the photographer wouldn't allow him to take any kind of pricing information home.

I am really saddened because my friend thought he was getting a photographer who would take care of the process and now is finding out that, although he loves the pictures, he feels like the photographer is doing things after the fact that are shady and wants to fire the photographer.

Experiences like this have shaped the way I do my photography and how I charge. I can remember as a high school senior getting pictures taken with many of my friends and really liking how they came back in a fancy proof book only to learn that the money my mom had paid up front didn't even allow us to keep that proof book. As a result, I think my mom shilled out some hefty funds for 1 8 x 10 that may be in a frame at my parents house and some wallets that I think we sent out to the grandparents. Yuck.

It is because of this that I have decided that I would like to include the CD of all of the full-resolution, digitally-massaged images from the session to the client. As a client, that's what I would want. What happens if my precious print gets ripped? Or after a year of looking at this pose on the wall, I decide I want a breath of fresh air and want to mix it up with a new one? With other photographers-it's "pay me more money" or "sorry, you're out of luck." If those questions face my clients, I would like them to be able to take out the cd I've given them and get some prints made where they like and when they like. Honestly, I don't mean to bash on the price of the photograph that my friend was quoted. I do believe that there are photographs that are worth $100 for a 5 x 7. However, if you are that good of a photographer, why don't you tell that upfront to your clients? Why do you feel like you have to hide it? I don't understand.

I do offer prints and a lot of my packages include a print credit at my professional lab online. But I want to make that easy for my clients. My clients are given an online, password-protected gallery that they can use to proof the images (they don't have to travel 35 minutes to a studio and get an appointment) and they can easily forward the link and the password for that gallery to any family and friends that they would like to see them (I let you take the price sheet home). Anyone who wants can order right there from the site and pay with a credit card. The prints are shipped directly to them. The lab I use gives prints that are a bit better quality than Costco and so the prints are a bit more expensive but not quite $100 for a 5 x 7.

I realize that in any given portrait session or wedding, we are going to get multiple quality images and I would like the folks I photograph for to be able to enjoy all of those images. That's why I give the cd.

When I charge clients for photography, I charge for my time. I am not trying to nickel and dime then for prints. I'll charge a bit more of a session fee, but that is for the time to take and edit the photos to be able to give you a wide variety of them,edited, rather than just one for the wall.

Speaking of Scott Burns, he said that one of the things he liked best about the photos he had taken of his family was that he loved how he had a screensaver of all the photos on his computer and he really enjoyed looking at his beloved family whenever he came back to his computer.

Just thought I would share this as the way I think through things. Let me know what you think by leaving a comment!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Some pictures, not of us

Here are a few that I took two weekends ago when Cory and I hung out in Newport. Cory and I forgot to bring our point and shoot camera and we haven't quite perfected the "self-portrait" with my honkin 5D Canon camera. As such, just a few scenic shots. Cory and I did have a great time being away. Cory started her job as a nurse a little over a month ago and has been learning a lot but transitioning to an intense job is...intense (kind of like camping). We have both definitely realized how precious our time together is. I feel like we are taking advantage of every opportunity we have to be together because it doesn't happen as easily as it used to! I am hoping to post again tonight, but I just want to say that life is good right now! And it isn't based on my circumstances! I am just really enjoying knowing the Lord and am so blessed by the people he has put around me!