Wednesday, January 18, 2012

OCF Fun In Mystic, Connecticut!

Home to Mystic Pizza, the town's claim to fame, and the awesome Mystic Seminars (from which I recently returned), this town is quaint and full of charm - even at night, when we could barely see much of it!  Lisa Boggs was my super fun travel companion and roommie as we drove from VA to CT.  She was Navigator and DJ as I drove, and we belted out tunes in the car like karaoke was our full time job.  (Lucky for the people in my life, it isn't mine!)  We whipped out our cell phones for photo ops along the way, and ran like crazy people to the top of a ridge at a rest stop for a sunset photo in New Jersey.  The tractor trailer drivers surely were amused.

On the evening after seeing DQ Studios (Dave and Quin are seriously awesome!) speak, we were inspired by their use of OCF and decided to have a little fun in town after dinner!

After moving our speedlights around a bit and adjusting flash and camera settings, I took this photo of Lisa down by the water.  (Speedlight placed on the deck far down to the right to illuminate the side of the ship.  Hand holding a speedlight in my left hand as I take the photo.)

 1/200s; f/3.5; ISO 320

We found this industrial stairwell, pitch dark, and played around a lot to see what we could do in the space.  (Speedlight on a shelf to the right; another speedlight behind me for some separation.)

1/80s; f/2.8; ISO 400

I love the look of OCF and can't wait to play more! Pin It

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

BTS: JVS Lighting Workshop

Droolworthy.  That's the best way to describe all of Joseph's lighting equipment.  I took his speedlights workshop in 2010, so this time I was assisting him and his amazing wife, Anne, throughout the day.  He has a few different pieces now - new modifiers and a new Radio Popper system, and it was exciting to check out the new toys.  (I'm also contemplating ditching my Pocket Wizard Plus IIs for these Radio Poppers!)

I was impressed by the attendees of this particular class.  They picked up the lighting and settings quickly, and were more than ready to move the light stands and modifiers all around the studio to test out each piece of equipment during the hands-on portion of the workshop.  Joseph limits the number of students so each person has plenty of time to work with each modifier, and he walks the room to assist with any questions they may have and also give suggestions and recommendations for how to position the lights.  I've always believed that nothing beats hands-on experience.  I walked away from JVS's class in 2010 feeling confident about my lighting, and I highly recommend this workshop to anyone who wants to feel the same confidence.  (Or, if anything, you get to check out his medium format Hasselblad. I may have considered grabbing and making a run for it a couple of times.)  ;)  The next workshop will be March 6th in DC at 52 O Street Studios.

Some BTS (behind the scenes) images:

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Thursday, January 12, 2012

Mystic Seminars 2012

I was looking for something a little different this year, and I found it.  My friend Kristi Odom had been telling me about Mystic Seminars since last year.  I was on the WPPI train again for 2012, but last month I stopped in my tracks.  I've gone to WPPI for the past two years, and while my time there was invaluable, I wanted an experience where I didn't feel lost in a sea of humanity.  Mystic was perfect - it was intimate, and we all felt like we were valued and taken care of.  And by taken care of I really mean spoiled.  As in, an amazing buffet lunch provided every day; assorted coffee, teas, sodas and water throughout the day; tons of candy at the info table (I'm pretty sure I ate more than around Halloween), and rows of tables in the seminar room to place our drinks on and take notes while we sat and listened to the amazing line-up of speakers.

I look to constantly push my photography further, and it was incredible listening to and being inspired by some true artists in the industry.  Joe Buissink brought me to tears on day one.  His passion for what he does is tangible, a presence in the room when he talks.  I discovered Michael Greenberg, whose lighting techniques with just one or two speed lights are brilliant.  And listening to my dear friend Jacklyn Greenberg speak was beautiful and powerful.  Two people who blow my mind?  Dave and Quin Cheung of DQ Studios.  Their work - simply put - ROCKS!  If you haven't checked them out you neeeeed to!  They will change the way you think about lighting and creating your own light.  Quin is such a master at throwing shadows and creating captivating images.  And, okay, I admit to having a girl crush on her.  She's completely sweet, 100 percent genuine, and I told her I want her to take me shopping.  Ben and Erin Chrisman were also one of my favorites; their images are so "fearless."

Mystic was the perfect start to a new year, to get me thinking about changes I want to make in my business and how I want to push my work forward.  And let's face it, where else can you have Melissa and Jerry Ghionis photo bomb a picture with you and your girlfriends while chatting with Jacklyn Greenberg and listening to Becker sing karaoke while Susan Stripling captures it on camera with the Chrismans hanging out and having a drink.......ALL IN THE SAME ROOM?!

Photo of me and my girl crush, errrrr, Quin Cheung...

Quin and Dave rockin' it out during their talk...

Photo bomb pic of the roommies taken with Mark Crosby's camera (of Zofia Photography).

My roommate, Lisa Boggs, and I were so inspired by these speakers and their use of speed lights and off camera flash work that we went out one night and had some fun on our own.  Get ready for another blog post on that next week!

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Thursday, January 5, 2012

Workflow And Backing Up Your Files!

New Year, new computer.  Well, it doesn't always work that way, and usually you hope it doesn't happen the way it happened to me.  Let's just say thank goodness it was at the end of a busy wedding season, at a time when I wouldn't have been committed due to insanity from it all.  My computer crashed.  I wasn't surprised, honestly.  I just hoped it would have waited for a slower month is all.  Was I frustrated and stressed?  (Ask my husband.)  Was I worried?  No.  Because I back up ALL MY FILES.  Every client, every wedding, every engagement session...EVERYTHING.

My current workflow is to download cards at the end of every session onto both an internal hard drive (which I work off of) and an external hard drive.  After culling, editing and uploading to a web gallery, all files are backed up from the internal hard drive to two external hard drives.  As of lately, my backups have been on-site on the external drives, with one off-site storage of the edited .jpg files (i.e. my web gallery / order fulfillment site).  But just recently I also purchased a Cloud backup solution to ensure off-site backup of not only .jpg images, but the RAW files as well.  So my clients (and I!) never have to worry about lost moments and memories!

My new machine (which my amazingly wonderful husband spec'd and built for me), is screaming fast, and makes me wonder how I managed to get anything done with the old one!

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Tuesday, January 3, 2012

My Favorite 11 Images of 2011

I'm awestruck really.  When I think back to quitting my day job in March of 2011 (March 10th, to be exact - I'll never forget the day I gained my "freedom!"), it's incredible to see how much I've grown in just a few short months.  I've had amazing clients and am finishing up a crazy busy wedding season.  I've been shooting the Enchanted Ateleir look book for three seasons now.  And seeing my images on websites such as Anne Bowen, Washingtonian, Brides and Kleinfeld's has been kinda surreal.  Having a wedding featured on Style Me Pretty was a goal of mine, and one that I didn't expect to happen in my first year of business, but one of my amazing couples was recently featured and I couldn't have been more ecstatic!  And let me not forget the editorial shoot with Mary Amons of Bravo's The Real Housewives of DC.  April, a talented stylist and fashion blogger from the DC area, asked me to do the shoot for her interview, and of course I couldn't pass up the opportunity!

So looking back on 2011, I wanted to post 11 of my favorite images (there were really a lot more than that, which made it difficult to choose!)...

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