Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Bridal Show This Weekend!

I Just want to remind everyone about the bridal show this weekend Sunday, March 1, 2009, at the Marriot Hotel in Prattville, AL from 1-5pm.

Click here for a Yahoo map.
Click the graphic at the top to view River Region Bridal Event's website.

Bride & Groom FREE PRINT!!!

Come by and say "Hello" PLUS sign up for a FREE 16x20 fine art print (sorry, brides and grooms only). Yes, it's FREE!!! You can take a formal portrait of you in your wedding dress, or you and your fiance frolicking at Shakespeare (sometimes you need to include him, you know).

If you have any questions about the FREE 16x20 fine art print, please call or email me.

Can't wait to see everyone!

Did I mention the print was FREE...as in no obligation?


Monday, February 23, 2009

OK...Here I Go!!!

I have chosen this print (from the Blue Moon Gallery) to paint ... really paint ... no really. I wish to become a very odd artsy-person, at least when I paint.

I will send it to Tony at ArtwoRx in Lake Charles, LA. He has sold some of my photography fine art prints. Plus, it is far enough out-of-town that if people hate it, I will probably never know!!

Wish me luck!!! No, really I mean it.


Thursday, February 19, 2009

New Wedding!!!

Cynthia Grohne and Brian Miller will be celebrating their marriage on August 21, 2009, along the river in downtown Montgomery. I have never shot there before, so it should be a "hoot."

The reception will take place at the old Train Station downtown.

I will post some engagement pictures once we schedule those to be taken.

Congratulations to both of them!!!


Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Choosing Your Photographer Lesson #5 (Repost)

Here are a few questions you may want to remember when you are shopping for a wedding photographer.
  1. Does the price include everything, from engagement photos to reception coverage?
  2. Do I get any free black & white photos for the newspaper announcements?
  3. Are all photos retouched & enhanced before they are received by a customer?
  4. Are ANY photos retouched & enhanced or straight out of the camera? (Let them know you can tell the difference - click here to see a samples post).
  5. Are special effects included?
  6. Is there a limit on the number of special effect photos I can get at no charge? If yes, how much are extras?
  7. Is an engagement session, formal bridal, final fitting, bridal luncheon, etc., included or are those extra?
  8. How many hours do I get?
  9. Are those hours JUST wedding day coverage only?
  10. Can I choose what items I want in my package/plan?
  11. If no, why not?
  12. I want a nice coffee-table album. Can I help design it?
  13. Do you offer several options for albums or must I take what you have in your package?
  14. If I want to do a silly engagement session...is that ok? Is that extra?
  15. Do you do a slide show presentation at the reception?
  16. Do you offer my friends and family the ability to view the slide show on your website...for FREE?
  17. Do you offer my friends and family to view an online album of my wedding...for FREE?
  18. Do you offer the ability to purchase the slide show on a DVD?
  19. Do you offer Gift Certificates...online...so family and friends can help pay for my photography?
  20. Are you set in the pictures you take, or can family and friends request photos at the wedding and reception?
  21. How many hours will you invest in my wedding photography (that's pre & post production, etc)?


Monday, February 16, 2009

The Ultimate...

Friday, February 13, 2009

Drool = Movie = "Me" = Ashley Duggan-Smith

Here are some graphics and a movie poster for my daughter's first movie, that was shown at Slamdance (Sundance) Film Festival in Utah recently.

Kinda neat, huh?

Don't forget..."Me" = Ashley!!! (not me personally, but the word 'Me' in the graphics...you get it don't you?)

"Me" = Ashley because she narrates and tells some of the story in the movie. The director/writer said Ashley did such a good job acting, she added some narration to the movie and had her do it! They wanted the movie to be from her perspective (big Hollywood word - in case you didn't know).

You can click on the graphics to view them bigger, and who in the world would not want to view them bigger!!!???

Here is another link. Not sure who put this together: http://www.uploadfilms.com/drool/movie.html. There is a slide show of some stills taken from the movie ... but they do not always come up.

Here is another graphic and link to Instinctive Films:


Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Choosing Your Photographer Lesson #7

I recently had a call from a potential bride, who was looking for a photographer. When I asked what her budget was, she replied, "about $500 - $700...".

I gulped, and asked her if she had been to my website and she said she was looking at it ... (another pause and a gulp).

Just so we are clear on all this, if this is your total wedding photography budget, you might as well get a relative to shoot your wedding. Don't waste your money on hiring someone. You will get the same quality from a relative, as you would finding and hiring an amateur/part-timer/pretender in that price range;
  • Very little, if any, creativity
  • Rudimentary poses, at best
  • No retouching
  • No enhancements
  • All straight out-of-the-camera pictures (see links below)
Additionally, you are out some definitely wasted money. But, if you are ok with all of the above, go for it.

Oh, I can assure you there will be amateurs, wannabes and part-timers that will be happy to shoot your wedding and give you pictures straight out-of-the-camera (link 1 link 2 - click to view the difference) and burned to a disc for that price. But, you will not get a professional anywhere near your wedding.

Just because someone has a listing in the yellow-pages, a camera and a car does not make them a professional.

I really sympathized with the bride that called, on one hand, because that may have really been all she had to spend (or she just had no idea how much a professional photographer charges).

I spend anywhere from 200-250 hours on every bride; from engagement photos through the reception, plus all the retouching and enhancements, putting together the WebShow and the Album Showcase and other things. $500-$700 does not even come close to paying me for my time, much less "stuff" too.

On the other hand, I wondered how much she was spending on her dress, her caterer, her flowers, if there was going to be any liquor at the reception, limousine, etc.

I have shot a wedding/reception where the bride said she didn't have any money and "BADA-BING!" you get to the reception and there are 300+ people there, full bars at various locations - and FREE liquor, all you can eat buffet, full band (not DJ). It was very sad, because she really didn't buy many photographs for her wedding day...didn't have any money left...oh really?! Now she has just a handful of individual photographs and a LOT of memories, and memories will fade.

So many brides think of their photographer as the last thing they have to get. It should be right up there with your location and date of your wedding.

I have had one bride recently sign-up and she has no idea where the ceremony and reception are going to be, but she knows the date. That is a smart bride.

A photographer should never be an afterthought only when everything else has been chosen.

The photographer (a good one) is intent on capturing the memories and feelings of your special day, not just some snapshots. If you are just looking for some snapshots of the most important day in your life ... get a friend, or relative to shoot your wedding.

I have had a bride bring me a disc of images, another "photographer" shot, of her wedding ... just 288 pictures - total. It was very sad, plus they looked like a 13 year-old shot them. 288 pictures can be taken before the wedding even starts. There were no engagement photos, no final fitting photos, no formal photos and no rehearsal photos and not really much of anything else. But all of them were straight out-of-the-camera (no retouching or enhancements).

It was even more sad to have her sit in my office and cry, because she was sad at what quality she had been given for her $1000. She thought she was getting a good deal...she did not.

Your wedding is the most important day in your life. Your photography should reflect that special day.


Tuesday, February 10, 2009

It's Coming...

Monday, February 09, 2009

Looking for a Wedding Photographer?

If you are looking for a wedding photographer, be sure to check the Homepage and view the "Choosing Your Photographer" section (see the red box above).

Each lesson will provide you with vital information and what specific questions you should ask when meeting a potential photographer. I would suggest you print each one out and study them carefully.

Remember, it is YOUR wedding. You should not settle for what the photographer has chosen for you. Make sure you understand the packages, or plans and what each contains. Not knowing what is really meant by "4 hours," or "6 hours" of coverage can be heartbreaking, if you are expecting something completely different.

Use the lessons to be informed. It IS your wedding, after all!


Thursday, February 05, 2009

New Links for Brochures

I have created a more graphically-friendly website page so everyone wanting a brochure can just click on the page and choose the brochure they want.

Click here to view (or click the graphic above)

This will freeup some Homepage real estate.

When you get to the Brochure Page, all you will need to do is just click on the brochure graphic you want, include your mailing address and I will send it to you.

If you choose a Wedding Brochure, please include your wedding date and location so I can verify if I am available.

Oh, you will need your Outlook or Outlook Express mail set up. If you do not, just copy and paste the email address into your email account.


Wednesday, February 04, 2009

"Choosing Your Photographer" Lesson #4 (Repost)

Ok, so you just got engaged. Now what?

In addition to your wedding location you need to shop for a photographer (and a lot of other things).

There is nothing more discouraging than to find a really good photographer, only to learn they are booked for your date.

So many brides wait to even start looking for their photographer until after they have everything else accomplished. That is a very bad scenario. You need to start looking for a photographer immediately, more often than not, at the same time you are looking for a wedding and reception location.

Choosing your photographer is not just about getting some "pictures" taken at your wedding. The good photographers are booked well in advance.

How can you tell a good one from a mediocre photographer (or worse)? First thing you need to do is look at their website. Is the website professional looking or something that maybe a 10 year old created? I would post link examples, but that would be kinda rude...

Do the photographs displayed look like they are straight out of the camera? You may say, I have no idea. The easiest way is to check for color saturation, sharpness of photos, special effects. I have noticed a few part-timers use so many pictures straight out of the camera. This is very bad because this is what you need to expect for YOUR final pictures.

No retouching, no color or image enhancements, no nothing. It is very sad to see what a bride can expect from some photographers, many of them part-timers.

I have posted a sample a few posts back of what a photograph, straight out of the camera, looks like and the retouched and enhanced version. It would be very wise to check it out, so click here!

Never, ever compromise on your wedding photography. You are NOT saving money by hiring a photographer for $500.00 when most legitimate photographers are charging $1500+. You will be grossly disappointed in the quality and the creativity (and lack there of) of the photographer.

Snapping some pictures at a wedding does not make you a photographer.


Monday, February 02, 2009

Good Luck to Tony!

I attended a benefit concert in Lake Charles, LA this past weekend for a friend of mine, Tony Dupuis. We went to high school together. What made it even more special, he had no idea I would be there, or WORSE, be a part of the show.

There were mixed emotions about going back to my hometown. Everything has changed so much....except for the mall :(

Tony had a fall and badly hurt his neck area and will need surgery to get everything back to working-order. He is pretty much in pain most of the time. The injury has affected how long he can keep the Gallery open.

He is obviously loved in the art community there. The benefit raised over $10,000 and they are still counting. I sold 3 of the 4 watercolor prints (see the Bluemoom Gallery) I had there, so that will go to help him pay for the surgery.

Look for these in the Bluemoom Gallery:
Tony is a wonderful drummer, musician and artist and very well respected in the music world. He is not able to sit on a drum stool at all and cannot perform live because of the pain. So a lot of projects, both music and art, have had to be put on hold.

His musical career is long and impressive and I am honored he is my friend (albeit older than me).

Click here to order 2 of his CDs

His Studio Gallery is named ArtwoRx (337-721-3447) and is located in Lake Charles, LA. Go buy something! My fine art prints have been for sale there...so you can buy one, maybe two of those also!