Desert Brides

Last month I traveled to Las Vegas to teach some photography courses. When ever we had some free time some friends and I would head out into the desert to play. On one of the days we found an old ghost town about an hour outside of Vegas. We knew we only had a few hours before we had to be back and there were so many cool opportunies with our two brides that we knew we were going to want more time. We checked the time on our cell phones a little while later and suddenly noticed that it was already time to go. We quickly scrambled to pack up all our gear. While we were packing everything back into the car Dan McClanahan called his wife Alex to check in - luckily she checked the time too and noticed we still had another hour (we had unknowingly crossed another time zone). So the happy news was we had more time to play and that's when I took the time to create the shot of the bride standing on the water tower below.

This plane wreck was supposedly from the set of 3000 Miles to Graceland


We headed out to Red Rock Canyon on another morning.  We left at 5:30 that morning to catch the sunrise even though we only had stopped shooting at 3:30 am the "night" before.  2 hours sleep was well worth the beautiful opportunity.


Photoshop World Expo!

So was sorting through my junk email folder the other day and saw something from Adobe.  I'm always getting product updates and such from them so I skipped over it.  Looked over the junk emails quickly one last time and decided to click on the Adobe email just to see what it was about.  I'm very glad I did.  It was an email from them asking for some of my images to display at Photoshop World in Orlando and possibly also in Las Vegas!  They asked for two images and the before and after versions of each. It took me quite awhile to decide what to submit.  Finally choose two and sent them to them this week and they emailed back asking for more!
Photoshop World in Orlando begins in 6 days.  Really wish I could make it down to see my images on display there.  It's kind of an unimaginable compliment to have them display my work.  To put it into perspective that non-graphic oriented people can understand - it's kind of like if there was a single program that everyone that had anything to do with music used and the creators of that  music program asked me if they could use some of my music as examples to show off.

Here are the images that I let them use.

Most of the elements in this poster where hand drawn in photoshop - took a little while but I wanted to see how I could compare to Disney's top artists

This poster took a few different turns before it ended up here.

Created this one just to see if I it was possible

After I created this one the school told me that they couldn't use it because their shirts were off and that I would have to retake the potraits.  Instead I drew on body armor and capes.  The stones were just cement parking blocks that I layered in photoshop.


Why you should NEVER skimp on wedding photography

This link to Why you should Never skimp on wedding photography was posted by a wedding venue owner and I thought I would repost it because it contained some valuable information.  This time of year is especially busy with brides planning their weddings.  And every year I get more than a few brides that are calling because the found the cheapest photographer they could and their wedding pictures -(to put it into their own words) "sucked".  They didn't capture the special moments like the brides wanted, they forgot to do things, and they didn't get the really cool portraits.  The brides want to try to reinact parts of their wedding day so that I can capture the cool stuff that they didn't get before.  Doing that can be difficult, it takes quite a bit of work and time by the time you get all the bridesmaids, groomsmen and other wedding details together it can nearly be the cost of another wedding.   Well, it's been said before - you get what you pay for.   - Here is that article

Why you should NEVER skimp on wedding photography

February 8, 2011

Let’s face it. Weddings are crazy expensive. I’m all about finding ways to save money, and there are lots of ways you can do so. But if you only splurge on one thing for your wedding, LET IT BE PHOTOGRAPHY. That’s right, I’m a venue owner and a stationery designer and I’m not telling you that your splurge item should not be one of those things, but photography. Why? Because its true! If you live in middle Tennessee, chances are you know someone who is a “photographer” and its tempting to hire them for cheap or even have them shoot your wedding as a wedding gift to you to save money, but hear me now and believe me later, DON’T DO IT!!!

Here’s why:
1. You will not get this chance again.
This is your wedding. Hopefully you will only be having one. Isn’t it worth the investment? The #1 regret I hear from Southall Eden brides about their wedding day is that they are not happy with their photos. Don’t be one of them. Besides, when else will all your family and friends be gathered in one place? Probably never, except for at your funeral, and by then you won’t care. My own sister had a very mediocre photographer at her wedding. Within a year, both my grandma and my mom passed away. Those are the last family pictures we will ever have, and they are not good. The value of that now far exceeds the $1,000 or whatever money was saved on the photographer.

2. It’s not just for you, its for everyone who loves you.

Of course your wedding day should be all about your and your fiance, but don’t forget how much time, effort, and money your family and wedding party have put into it as well. They deserve some nice photos to remember the occasion by. But even more than that, think about future generations. Won’t your kids and grandchildren want to see these? What girl doesn’t love seeing old wedding photos of the generations before her? This is the one aspect of your wedding (aside from your marriage itself) that will last forever.

3. A wedding photographer can anticipate what will happen next.
This is why you should not only get a great photographer, you should get a great wedding photographer. The word “photographer” encompasses a variety of people- family photographers, fashion photographers, commercial photographers, etc. Being good at one area doesn’t necessarily mean you are good at another. If you hire someone whose livelihood is shooting weddings, there is a pretty good chance they have done this enough times to not only know where they need to be in order to capture certain moments, but also random things like what kind of light will come through a stained glass window at 5:00 in May, etc.

4. A great photographer can turn an ordinary wedding into an extraordinary wedding.

I have seen this first hand on multiple occasions. A couple is on a tight budget and doesn’t have a lot of money for decor or fancy extras at their wedding. But they hire a great photographer, and lo and behold when you see the photos you would think the wedding cost twice what it really did. The photographer captures everything at its best, and everything that is wonderful about the day, and when you look at your photos you remember your wedding day fondly.

5. If it doesn’t turn out well, you don’t want to have hard feelings with a friend.
This is a big one. If you hire (or ask a favor from) a friend and the photos don’t turn out well, it can seriously damage your relationship. Every time you see that person for the rest of your life you will think of how s/he “ruined” your wedding photos. It may not be intentional, but you will. Its kind of like if they ran over your cat with their car tire. You know its not intentional, but you can’t help but associating them with this one unfortunate act.

So how much does a great wedding photographer cost in Middle Tennessee? This depends on what all is included. Some photographers quote their rates for shooting only, while others quote packages that include both shooting and prints, albums, digital images, etc. When you are researching photographers you should keep this in mind and make sure you are comparing apples to apples with regard to pricing. That being said, I know a couple of great photographers whose coverage starts around $2,000, but you should not be startled at a base price of $3,500 either. Sure that’s a lot of money, but what you get in return is priceless. How can you argue with that???


Hotel Vetro Wedding

Michelle & Cameron were married this fall on a rainy Saturday. Michelle had a stunning dress and lots of amazing details planned for her wedding but was concerned that the weather that day would hamper the cool portraits that she was really wanting to get. Knowing Michelle and her style and taste I was confident that we were going to have lots of great areas to create some amazing portraits for the two of them and their wedding party in and around Hotel Vetro. Everything about her wedding turned out beautifully and as you can see from the portraits we were very successful creating some stunning images for her.  I will try to post a video of the entire wedding tomorrow!

I love this piano shot and so did Michelle!

Like I said - Michelle had lot of great details that helped make her wedding amazing - The uplighting provided by Unique Events in Iowa City helped create a beautiful background for portraits

The "Good Night" shot through the glass at Hotel Vetro