Thursday, August 31, 2006 Update

My luck continues to be consistent. To Tony's credit and general integrity, he did have some chips and salsa delivered from Casa Manana in Lake Charles, LA. I am very grateful for him taking the time and making the effort from his art-life thingys to get the stuff and send to me. cheese dip. There is no reason to go to Casa Manana if you aren't going to get the cheese dip. He bought the stuff from Kroger's and he said they didn't have any cheese dip. Not having cheese dip from Casa (that's what locals call it) is like:
  • a car without gas
  • a painter with no paint
  • a photographer with no camera
  • a father with no children
  • a job with no paycheck
  • a family with no love
  • a lawnmower with no grass
  • a librarian with no books
  • a book with no pages
  • a friend with no cheese dip to send

My life is over. No cheese dip tonight. It is very sad.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006


Okay... this has nothing to do with photography. I grew up in Lake Charles, LA (actually Moss Bluff just north of Lake Charles). There is a restaurant there named Casa Manana. Unbelievable how good the food is.

I miss them terribly. Tony at ArtwoRX is SUPPOSED to be sending me some chips and cheese dip. He tells me you can buy it at Kroger's down there. Now that I have put the pressure on him, we will see.

Casa Manana is an absolute institution. If you get a chance to go through Lake Charles (South Louisiana) stop in at Casa Manana (oh...and stop in at ArtwoRX also).

Monday, August 28, 2006

Varner & Alderton Wedding

Kathryn and Christopher took their engagement photographs yesterday at Shakespeare Theater. Man, was it hot. Not hardly a breeze.

We managed to get some shots in spite of the heat and sweating (mostly me). Here is one of many you can view online.

I am working on doing a few fine art prints of them as well. I will post those in separate categories within the "Varner & Alderton" main section. These will consist of some watercolor and oil/canvas prints that will be available.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Varner Bridal Formal Photographs

I photographed Kathryn Varner's Bridal Formal at Shakespeare Festival today. Very beautiful bride-to-be. I have some posted (password only access...sorry). I am working on the rest and should have them up by Monday.

I will be taking the couple's engagement photos tomorrow at Shakespeare also.

Sorry for the picture, but this is very top secret...

Friday, August 25, 2006

New Businesses Spotlighted

I have added 2 new graphic links to the homepage. The first is Tony Dupuis with ArtwoRX and the other is The Pink Tea Boutique.

ArtwoRX is located in Lake Charles, LA. and The Pink Tea Boutique is located here in Montgomery, AL. They are both very unique businesses. Tony at ArtwoRX is designing a new website that he can sell his artwork and other items online that he has in the store.

You have to visit their site, I worked many hours last night to get these graphics finished and uploaded...and you must visit them now... :)

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Should Be Good to Go

It appears the DVD Slide Show page is working properly again. I would suggest you still open the page then wait about 5 minutes to allow the shows to download completely. If they do not download completely before you view them, they will skip and pause quite often.

If you have a dial-up connection, I wouldn't bother. The files will just take too long to download.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

DVD Slide Shows Access

I had a call early this evening from the web hosting company for my website. They are checking into the DVD slide show matter. They have verified the file is on the server. They are having to trouble-shoot the problem and will not be able to get back with me until tomorrow. I suspect the website is not able to connect to the other server where the file is located.

I will keep you posted.

Easy Event Photograph Access from WebShow

Another feature has been enhanced. When you are viewing a WebShow and you click the drop down control button area in the lower right corner, you will see the "Order Pictures" icon when you roll your mouse pointer over it. Now when you click that icon, it will take you directly to the entire "event" photographs you are viewing. Before it would just take you to the main website homepage.

I am working on "retro-fitting" the WebShows on the website, so just bear with me.

Yes, it is 3:00 am...

Tuesday, August 22, 2006


I have finally figured out what needed to be done to get the "Email to a Friend" button to actually show up. But... then there was the issue that it didn't actually work. But for some reason it is working now.

This will be soooo much better than telling people to go to the website. Better for me if they have to visit the website, but not for those people that have never been and don't know where to click once they were there. Now you can just click on the button and enter your name, your email address and the address you want to send it to, then click "send" and off it goes.

I am still working on the DVD Slide Show issue. I am not sure what is going on there. I know the server hosting company was having some issues and upgrades the last few days. The file is on the server (I can see it when I check) but for some reason it is not pulling it down and getting it to display. I will keep checking. Later.

DVD Slide Show page is not working...

I apologize, I am not sure why. I will try and see what the problem is and get the link back up and running as soon as I can. If you need to see a Slide Show, give me call and we can set up a time for you to come in. Thanks for your patience.

Monday, August 21, 2006

This is the new name for the Fine Art Gallery. I thought it was appropriate, and less design time, to use some design elements from my studio logo. This way I didn't have to create a completely new logo design. Just use the blue light theme ( it is a 'blue moon').

Tony at ArwoRX gallery said he wants to do a show in the spring of some of the prints I have in the gallery. We are going to work that out and see how it goes.

This week is a continuation from last week...sort of. The formal bridal for Kathryn Varner will be done this Saturday instead of last Saturday. Their engagement photos will be done at Shakespeare on Sunday afternoon. The model shoot for Javaris Thomas will be done this Thursday instead of last that? Now get back to work.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Weddings and Stuff

I will be taking Kathryn Varner's formal bridal photos this Saturday. Unfortunately, everyone will have to wait to view those, since they will be peeking!!!

Also shooting a model portfolio for Javaris Thomas on Thursday. He is from Montgomery but has already landed a few spots on television shows (I forget which ones...sorry...I will find out).

I am getting a lot of calls about wedding photography. I believe there are some brides that want to photograph the MOST IMPORTANT time in her life, on the cheap. Unfortunately (for them), I do not do snapshot wedding photography.

That's what relatives and beginner photographers are for. That may sound harsh but it really is not. I spend anywhere from 60-140 hours per wedding (minimum). That is a lot of time. I do not shoot and burn the images on a CD. I would NEVER hand over raw images to anyone, unless they insist and agree to the price.

What you are paying for is the professional photographer's expertise and time. Just like a doctor, or a lawyer. I would much rather pay an attorney $200/hour if he can get something done in a couple of hours, rather than one that charges $75.00/hour and it takes him 10 hours to get anything done, if at all (been there and done that).

Some photographers still produce the raw images for the bride. I have yet to see a photograph that is anywhere near as good straight out of the camera as compared to a finished enhanced and retouched print. Just will not happen. If you can get a photograph like the one here straight out of the camera, then by all means, use that photographer (won't happen).

Choose your wedding photographer with care. There are several in town that will do a superb job. Whether you are looking for a more traditional style, or the more popular photojournalism and storybook style, they are here in Montgomery. I know a couple of local photographers that I would not mind photographing my daughters' weddings.

This is the most important day in your life, and I quote from Raiders of the Lost Ark, "...choose wisely."

Monday, August 14, 2006

Fun Filled Weekend...

There is nothing in the world like spending the weekend in front of a computer screen re-writing code...

I did get some printing done, and I have the engagement pictures that I took on Saturday and worked on at the same time as I was coding.

The website I use for the studio has 2 ways of creating web pages. The easy way and the more difficult way. The easy way allows you to easily upload images you want to use for your website graphics. Doing so, however, counts as part of the images you are charged for. They have a multi-tier pricing plan. The number of images up to a certain amount you are charged a rate. As you upload more images the rate goes up based on the new level.

The problem with this is, it includes client photos. I can shoot well over 1000 photographs at a wedding. If I have multiple weddings online, that is a lot of photographs. If I upload pictures or graphics just used for the website, that is ADDED to this amount. So the website graphics get lumped together with the client photos in determining what level you are charged at...not really fair. But, it is great if you don't know how to do any of the coding...I have learned very quickly this weekend since I am approaching 4000 images.

I have started out with the Fine Art Gallery, recoding everything and uploading the images to a different server so I can grab the ones I want and display them. It works great but will be more work on my end. I have to resize the graphics/pictures to a specific size then manually recode everything without being able to see the images that I want to code for.

I will eventually recode everything that is part of the website graphics to pull from the other server...I can upload all I want from the other server. The issue is, you have to know what to code and how to do it.

Well, I learned and it is the most absurd way to learn. They do not give you instructions, so for part of what I wanted to do I had to look at the source code from the Internet Explorer history, and how it was pulling the images up...then recode to do it like I wanted. A really crazy way to figure it out, but the company does not give you any instructions on how to do it.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Hot Website!

Wow...Since about April through today, there have been 7,180 unique visitors to the website. That is incredibly amazing considering the whole of last year I had much less than that, total!

That is astounding for a photography studio of this size. The actual "hits" or "clicks" within the website is just absurd. The average monthly "hits" count is probably running at 30,000-75,000 (some over 100,000!) clicks with people looking around the website.

THAT IS A LOT OF CLICKS for a small studio. Well, all I can say is WOW!

The hottest area is the "Wedding Favorites" graphic icon on the homepage. This is a Webshow of some of the favorites from last year. As soon as I have time, I will update with new photos.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Engagement Photos and Other Stuff

I will be photographing Nikki Tucker and Robert Thomas this Saturday for their engagement photos. They will be having a party for the occasion at Nikki's parents house. You will be able to see those on the web soon after.

Also shot some photos today for Robert Williams, a local actor here in Montgomery.

This week has been busy printing, so I have been able to get a lot of stuff caught up.

I have added additional art prints to the Fine Art Gallery, so you may want to check that out. I have redesigned the whole Fine Art Gallery to include multiple pages. Just too many prints to display on one page. I am up to 9 pages now!

Tuesday, August 08, 2006


The "Oh My GOSH!" factor is now in the Studio.

This is a photo of the new coffee-table style books and optional case, that are offered now. They can be used for any purpose, but are primarily used for weddings.

You can choose several different cover designs and cover types (like embossed leather, etc) and paper types. Paper types come in Metallic (oh yeah!) textured linen, or luster-type finishes.

This company is one of the premium album producers in the world and they are located in Italy. All albums are made there and shipped to the USA. So you can always brag you had it made in Italy! They will even design the album for you or you can help design it yourself.

I took more photos, but you cannot really get a feel for the quality unless you see it. I have never seen this type of album so well made before. Truly awesome!

Varner & Alderton Wedding

I have more information regarding the Kathryn Varner and Chris Alderton wedding.

The wedding is schedule for September 9, 2006, at the Millbrook Church of the Nazarene Church. The reception will be held at the Millbrook Civic Center.

So, congrats to everyone involved!

Favorites and a Couple of Orders Already!

Wow...already have some favorites in the Fine Art Gallery AND 3 orders! This one is called, "Her Favorite Pink Hat" (FA0051). It is a watercolor and will look great on Fine Art paper. I think the Fine Art paper is a better choice than the watercolor paper. The colors are much more vivid and details of the print stand out. If you are unsure, order the Fine Art paper.

Some other favorites include:

  • Piano Man (FA0022)
  • Spotted Pink Lilly (FA0018)
  • Autumn Trees (FA0015)

I think I have the Fine Art Gallery the way I want it...for now. So many details to tweak...geezzuuumm!!

Model portfolios seem to be picking up a bit. I have had a few calls last week and this week already.

I was busy the whole weekend shooting a family for a surprise birthday party gift. Also had a grandmother call me to come in Sunday afternoon to photograph them with their grandson from Atlanta. Glad I was here to take the call. Seems I am always here.

Lee came in to pick up her photographs today (see previous post). Let's wish her luck on her qwest!

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Fine Art Gallery Open!

The Fine Art Gallery is now open. It took longer to figure out how to code some web stuff to do what I wanted it to do when you click the photo, or the "View Pricing & Sizes" button below each art piece. The website was NOT intended to allow you to do that, so being really smart has come in handy :)

If my daughters, Michelle and Ashley, are reading this please read the 1st paragraph again.

This will contain a collection of prints that are watercolor, oil or just straight prints. All artwork will be printed on watercolor, fine art, canvas or Metallic paper. If you would like a print on a regular "luster" paper, call me for more information and pricing. The best results will be on one of the art papers listed above.

Each paper-type has its own unique characteristics. Below each art piece is a recommended paper type. This will contain one or more different types of paper which are highly recommened for that specific print. Using one of those suggestions will greatly enhance the print. If you are not sure which to choose, choose the Fine Art, or call me to discuss.

Kodak's Metallic paper produces an unbelievable print. Depending on the subject matter, the print can appear to be almost 3-dimensional.

Watercolor paper is real watercolor paper, sounds "duh" I know. It has a slight texture to it and enhances all watercolor prints. Fine Art paper is a museum quality paper that produces very vibrant colors and will last a very, very long time. Canvas is real artist canvas. While this type of paper is primarily used for oil painting prints, you may order it for any other type of print. The actual sizes for a canvas print may vary due to the odd (rectangular) size of the print, i.e. you will not get a "true" 8x10, etc. Call the studio for pricing and more information on the canvas/oil prints.

If you have a favorite photograph, or digital photo file, that you would like painted, just give me a call and we can discuss what type would be best suited for your print.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Oops...Another Wedding!!!

I just had a call to book another wedding for September 9, 2006!

Congratulations go out to Kathryn Varner and Chis Alderton of Millbrook, AL (a lot of Millbrook brides...hmmmm).

I will post more information here in the blog as I get it.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Upcoming Wedding!!

Congratulations go out to Nikki Tucker and Robert Thomas on their engagement and upcoming wedding on Saturday, December 16, 2006.

The ceremony will be held at the Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church.

Engagement photos are scheduled to be taken Saturday, August 12, 2006, so you will want to check the "View Events" section on the main website.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Fine Art Gallery Almost Open!

Tony at ArtwoRX has talked me into doing some Fine Art prints. So, it is all his fault.

I have created a new web page to display the prints. These are prints which are printed on very, very, very high quality paper (watercolor, fine art or canvas) with archival ink.

I had previously printed some of Allison Champion's wedding photos on fine art paper and WOW!!! I cannot tell you in words what the quality is like. You just have to see it. It looks like a piece of artwork. The fine art paper just snaps the colors out and the details in the photograph are just incredible.

This can be an expensive printing process since you want to get everything right. It may take multiple printings before you can truly see a fine art print. Compared to regular paper, fine art, watercolor and artist canvas papers are very expensive. You usually buy it in packs of 10 sheets as compared to 50-100 sheet packs for regular paper. When you add the time and expense of printing multiple times to get the perfect print, the costs are way higher than just printing a wedding photo on luster paper.

The prints will last a very long time. Depending on what the print is, i.e. watercolor, oil, etc. will determine the paper type.

The picture you see here is what I call "light painting." Similar to the painter who "paints with light..." if you know what I mean.

I can assure you the original photograph looked absolutely nothing like this print. Truly amazing how it turns out. Takes some time, because you have to do a lot of work to get it to look like this.

I am still working on the website, but some prints have been uploaded. I will have the links ready for pricing, etc. perhaps today or tomorrow. I still have some studio wedding printing to get done, so I need to work on that first. So, check back. Oh, I take credit cards, and you can order online!!!