Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Choosing Your Photographer Lesson #2 (Repost)

When shopping for a wedding photographer, it should be about more than just price, much more. While everyone has a limit, way too many brides have no budget, in mind, for anything. Your wedding photographer should account for 8.5-12% of your total wedding budget. Some spend a LOT more and others spend less.

Many brides sign-up for a lower plan with the intention of spending more. I call those brides...very smart... :)

Your wedding photographer is going to capture an event in your life which should be worth more than just a stack of "snapshots."

I get brides (& sometimes grooms) that tell me they "...just want some snapshots" of their wedding. Well, you do not want me then. I don't do snapshots. I have turned away many brides because they were just looking for "...nothing special" in their wedding photography.

I am amazed that people will spend THOUSANDS of dollars on location, even more on food, cake, flowers, limousine and a host of other items for their wedding, but skimp on the photographer. Even worse is their uncle or brother has a camera...

When the wedding is over, the food eaten, the flowers have died, and the wedding dress has been stored, what do you have? MEMORIES. If your wedding photography exceeds your expectations then your album becomes even more special!

Who wants just a plain album with some "pitures" (I get that a lot, "we just want some 'pitures'") .

I had one bride who bought the lowest plan I had. It was actually the worse value for any bride. But I figured they were on a very tight budget. When I got to the reception, I was floored by the extravagance on food, flowers and let's not forget the open bar. While those things ARE wonderful to have for your wedding, skimping on the photography should not happen. The photography is the ONLY thing you have when the wedding is over.

Your wedding photographs should EXCEED your expectations.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Watch the Whole Thing...

Ok, you have to follow this link and you MUST watch the whole thing.

Ashley Duggan-Smith (the actress/daughter) was on the Red Carpet at the Sundance/Slamdance Film Festivals recently in Park City, Utah. She was promoting her new film "Drool".

She will show up close to the end. In the meantime you can see what a real Hobbit looks like in person!!! P-r-e-t-t-y Cool! (Where is Liv Tyler...bummer - I know, I know she is an elf)

The link is here too in case you missed the link above!

Oh, you can click on the graphic above to view the link too.

Click the graphic below to read all the reviews, it will open larger in this window:

(Is there a limit on the number of links in a blog??)

Thursday, January 22, 2009

"Choosing Your Photographer" Lesson #3 (Repost)

Compare very carefully!!

I get so many brides that inquire into my services and I try to teach them what to look for in comparing photographers. You have to compare accurately and fairly.

If Studio A is charging $1500.00 for 6 (or more likely 4-6) hours of coverage. That means several things:

  • The 6 hours is for wedding day coverage ONLY (usually). I have heard of additional hours ranging from $125.00-$250.00 per hour.
  • If you want engagement, or bridal formal pictures that is extra. Some photographers will charge you $250.00 just for their time (some charge $125.00) for each additional session. That equals $500.00 for an engagement and formal bridal shoot PLUS the cost of any photographs.
  • Want your bridal shower photographed? That's another $250.00 just for time.
  • Oh, you want your bridal luncheon, final fitting, buying your shoes pictures, tux fitting, etc, etc, etc? That will be $250.00 for each event.
  • Review the "package" contents carefully. More often than not, they will include the cheapest priced items. If you want to upgrade, then that's where they get you.
  • So, you want to upgrade an album, etc...Sorry. Many photographers will not allow you to upgrade anything, period. IF they do, it is at a very high premium.
  • So you need black & white photos for the newspaper announcements (engagement & wedding)...that is extra.
  • Want your rehearsal and/or rehearsal dinner photographed? Oh, that's extra too.
  • Want to add spot color on a B&W photograph? Extra...or they will allow you a certain number of photographs for special effects. Any more than the allowed number? Extra. Don't even inquire into other special effects...probably do not offer it.
Don't be fooled into what is being offered. Read everything carefully and ask a LOT of questions.

There is something even better. If you have questions about a "package" from a photographer, call me and I will be happy to go over it with you, AT NO OBLIGATION! Wow, how much better can it get!? No pressure, no nothing. If it is a good deal, I will tell you! Of course, I might need to make mine better... ;)

Click below to go to the Homepage to read all the "Choosing Your Photographer" will be worth your time. It's that important!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

It's "OH MY GOSH!" Day

GraphiStudio is the Italian company that creates the awesome coffee-table albums I offer.

They have recently offered their design software for download to their clients. This is the same software they use if you want them to design the album for you.

I have never really offered that service, because that would just be kinda a dangerous and scary surprise if you didn't like the album ('oops, sorry' would be all I could say). But maybe not. I was just too afraid to do that. Plus they charged a "design fee" which was above and beyond the album cost. Nothing wrong with that but I was just nervous about the whole process.

With the software I can use their bag of tricks to create a really awesome custom coffee-table album right-off-the-bat!

I am playing with it if you're getting married soon, LET'S DO IT!!!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Ashley Duggan - Smith Actress Update

Ok, Ashley Duggan-Smith just returned from the Sundance/Slamdance Film Festivals in Utah and she sent me a couple of links to photos. When you click on the link, scroll down to read a review!!! Proud Papa, for sure!

She went to promote her film, "Drool" and while she was there she came across several big name stars. She said some vendor, food girl person recognized her from the cool is that!!!???

Click on the picture above to make it bigger and read the graffiti I scribbled on the pics.

Monday, January 19, 2009


Yep...congratulations go to April Vallancourt and Jeff DeMedicis on their upcoming wedding, October 10, 2009!

A location has not been completely decided on, but all I can say it will POSSIBLY be in our hemisphere!

I will have more information available as I get it.

Here is a link to their "Events". There's nothing there yet, but you may just want to remember the link.

You will be able to get to all their links from the "Wedding Spotlight" pages by clicking here. I will have their graphics posted by this evening.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Choosing Your Photographer Lesson #6 (Repost)

Short and sweet...which do you want your photographer to provide to you for your WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHS? Yeah, that most important day in your entire life.

[You can click on the picture to make it bigger]

If a photographer says they will give you pictures straight from the camera burned to a disc...for a really cheap compared to real, honest-to-goodness, professional photographers...RUN! No really, get up, leave AND RUN TO YOUR CAR!

A professional would never, ever provide you with such a low-level of service. Well, that's not completely true. Most will not. I have actually had brides bring me their disc of images to "fix". They were heartbroken at the quality. Oh, and this from from a studio photographer. For just a little more they could have had better, much better.

Be careful what you ask for, most of the time you get what you pay for. In one bride's case, she paid $1000 for 288 pictures and she got pictures straight out-of-the-camera. Just like the one here. Even worse, they looked like a 9 year old took the pictures. In her case she didn't even get what she paid for. I can take that many pictures before the wedding even starts!

Click on the picture to view a larger choose the destiny of your wedding photographs.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Bridal Show Coming Up!!!

Mark your calendars for the River Region Bridal Show on March 1, 2009, at the Legends Ballroom in Prattville, Alabama.

Should be a good one...I will be there!!

Friday, January 09, 2009

2009 Wedding Brochures Are In!!!

Yep, they are here and they look awesome.

If you are getting married this year or know someone who is, this is the brochure to get.

Call or email me and I will send one to you.

Educational Moment...

I like to do a fair amount of "artsy" stuff when I photograph. The picture to the left (that's <--- that way) is a good example (and yes it is 4:07 AM). People think they are really neat. But more often than not, they will purchase a print on regular luster or glossy paper...ummm...NO000!! While you can purchase it on anything you want, the BEST paper types to print it on would be:

  • Matte (I call that 'Fine Art-Light')
  • Real Fine Art paper ( I usually recommend the Hahnemule- William Turner paper)
These papers give the print a real fine art look (I know-duh) AND it will last a butt-load longer (can I say that?).

If you get a fine art print on FINE ART paper please make sure that you ALWAYS mat it and use a non-glare glass (the non-glare glass just looks better). You are paying a premium for the print, you might as well make it last longer than you will!

NEVER, EVER place glass directly on top of a print no matter what paper you are using, but ESPECIALLY fine art paper. I don't care what the frame-making person says.

Ok, you can go back to sleep, I am back to work.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Amanda & Mitchell UPDATE

I am just a little over half-way through the Pre-Ceremony pictures. I think I should be able to finish the category sometime today/tonight.

Just as an FYI...I never want to post anything in the Gallery that is straight out-of-the-camera.

The difference can be dramatic.

Anyway, I will post when they are done and moving to the Ceremony pictures.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

New 2009 Price Lists Ordered!!

The new 2009 Wedding brochures have been sent to the printer!

I concluded it was time, since I noticed I was running out of the current ones.

Two great announcements are: 1) I have not raised Plan pricing; 2) I have added "Packages" that will allow for brides that really do not want to choose what they want, to just pick a package.

The best of both worlds!

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Mail is now "spotty"...

Now the mail is having issues...

I cannot send any out, and incoming is not normal...

SERVER is Down on the Website...

Oops, I forgot they are doing a maintenance upgrade.

But why is that being done in the middle of the morning??? Those are usually done at night to lessen the impact and not cause unnecessary grief!!!!!!!!

Is This a Great Poem...or What!!!??

"How am I healed
when I am sad?

How am I touched
when far away?

How am I loved
when you are not here?

I am, when I think of you."



Monday, January 05, 2009

Amanda & Mitchell's Album Showcase is Ready!!

Amanda & Mitchell's Album Showcase Update

Ok! I have completed the initial layout.

All I need to do now is add the text and create the online Album.

Sometimes that is not a big deal and other just turns into a real pain. More of an annoyance with the technology. I will definately be finished with it and have it uploaded sometime today.

I am going to take a break for a bit, since my brain is now even more numb than usual.

Oh, if you click on some of the pictures in the blog to make them bigger, you will notice some banding. That is not in the album files. I have to create very low resolution files to upload to the blog. The low resolution causes the banding...just an fyi.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Amanda & Mitchell's Album Showcase Update

I am up to page 76.

I should finish it today/evening, so check back

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Amanda & Mitchell's Album Showcase & Other Stuff

I am currently working on the Album Showcase, so check back often.

Don't forget this takes a LOT of work so it is not something I can just "bada-bing" and it is done.

It looks like I am up to page 20.

Album Showcases can be the link to a wedding. If it is done well, it makes a wonderful memory. These are used to create the coffee-table books, if the couple wants one.

In other news, if you are following this kind of useless information (I find it kinda interesting), here are the latest countries and visitor information from people viewing my website, that I have gathered recently, like just now:

  • ( 8) France
  • (23) Canada
  • (6) Australia
  • (8) United Kingdom
  • (1) Finland
  • (19) China
  • (8) Romania
  • (7) Germany
  • (1) New Zealand