Next time you visit the Emerald City and want to learn a few things about the Pacific Northwest, do yourself a favor and get on the bus with some of the most experienced guides in the industry. I was hired by Customized Tours to shoot some photos of a few of their guided tours of Washington state and before I knew it, I felt like I was like a tourist myself. Their winery tour includes not only two fantastic wineries but also a beautiful drive through the Snoqualmie Valley, the scenic Snoqualmie Falls, and wraps up with a visit to Boehms Candies, a Swiss chalet style chocolate factory. Thanks so much to the fantastic crowd of tourists who consented to being photographed and made documenting the day so much fun. I wish you a lifetime of good memories. Enjoy the rest of your trip!
Hannah and Jeremiah are my kind of couple. Not only are they willing to do some hiking for a great view, but they even braved the Arizona heat to get them. We took a hike to a favorite spot of theirs hidden in the Tucson Mountains and they still looked like a million bucks once we hit the peak. Congratulations on your engagement, love birds.
I love shooting weddings at La Mariposa in Tucson. Its just one of my favorite places in Arizona. The staff is friendly, and the grounds are full of lush greenery. I shot Grace and Casey’s wedding along with Jen Schrantz and I was yet again reminded: this is the best job in the world. Thank you Grace and Casey for choosing us, and I hope these memories will be remembered even in eternity :-)
The IPS Experience in a Nutshell
What is the IPS Experience and what makes it any different from any of the myriad other “all digital” photographers around Tucson, Arizona I could chose to hire? Simple: an easy, enjoyable experience where I guide you step by step from consultation to the end product of heirloom quality art on your walls or in your albums to be preserved for the generations. While industry veterans know the acronym as In Person Sales, I want my clients to remember it as Incredibly Personalized Service.
What’s the alternative?… Well, Normal
Like most photographers out there, I was under the ‘shoot and burn’ method of photography when I launched my business. This is the race-to-the-bottom pricing model whereby the cheapest photographer who presents at least a semi competent online presence usually wins the clients search for business. The photographer and client usually meet only on one occasion: the photoshoot. A few weeks or months after the session the photographer sends the client edited digital image files and a print release. This is often as simple as just a USB drive in a cute little box or worse yet, an email with a hyperlink to download the files and zero physical product is ever received or realized.
Why the difference?
I’ve been blessed with some great clients in my career. While I’m proud to say that I’ve delivered at least a few photos to every client that I’d call a ‘legacy shot’, I noticed that some of my best images never made it to print. Was that because clients like other photos I shot and chose to print those instead? Unfortunately: the answer is a resounding ‘NO.’ The answer is often self admitted by many clients to me today now that I provide the IPS experience: Those USB drives are received from their photographer, thrown in a desk drawer, and there the ‘photos’ still sit today. Unprinted, digitally degrading, and soon to be lost forever. Even worse are for digital download so-called ‘deliveries’ whereby the client was supposed to download them from a third party server within a period of time, after which the image files are subject to deletion. Assuming the client downloaded what they paid for, the next question pertains to file storage: do you backup your computer? Is your backup in the same location as your hard drive? Redundancy is a principle of responsible, safe data storage.
The Client IPS Experience with Echoes in Eternity LLC
In contrast with my shoot-and-burn colleagues that often only meet with you one time to meet your photo needs, I meet with my clients up to five times throughout the course of their IPS experience. This is not to waste anybody’s time, its to ensure that I understand the clients specific desired outcome of their shoot, that we order printed products of the highest quality, and that I personally deliver them to the clients home or business and deliver or install the products myself.
Step 1: Initial consultation
In our initial consultation we meet with the goal of me selling myself to you. I show you museum grade, handmade albums, framed canvasses, and my personal favorite: Fine art papers. The adage we learned in childhood: “see with your eyes, not with your hands,” most definitely does NOT apply here. I want you to hold and appreciate these products for yourself. If you wish to proceed, this is where you will make your non-refundable session reservation fee payment.
Step 2: Planning meeting
Next we’ll meet at your home or wherever you intend to hang photos from your individual boutique session. We’ll discuss wardrobe considerations if you’d like, and I’ll also make suggestions based on the lighting, windows, and wall sizes. Moreover, it will start looking really weird when I go around and tape blank pieces of paper to your walls and shoot photos of them. “Such an odd thing to do” you’ll say. Stand by for Step 4!
Step 3: Photo shoot
This is where the rubber meets the road. Most family sessions last approximately an hour to an hour and a half. I usually have either already shot at our agreed upon location or I’ll scout it out ahead of time, if practical, at the time of our scheduled shoot, so I know just where to be for the magic light at the golden hour of the day.
On this day you’ll have no payments to make or decisions to fret over. Your only job is to show up on time, with hair and makeup ready, and be ready for a fun, gently guided shoot in elegant, dramatic lighting.
Step 4: Ordering session
Remember those weird photos of your walls with a blank sheet of paper we talked about in Step 2? Well here’s where they come alive! When we meet up we’ll first play a slideshow and review all best the images from your session. Next, I’ll guide you through the process and you pick out your favorites and we’ll design wall art, collages, and albums.
Using those photos of your walls, I have software that can emulate any desired size of print or canvas of your specific photos in your actual home! We can even see what the photos look like framed or unframed. This completely eliminates guesswork on your part and saves you from the fear of buyers remorse in case of a canvas being too large or small for that place you’ve always wanted a family photo.
Planning note: Please make childcare arrangements for your children as I request that adults only be present at the ordering session. I also ask that all financial decision makers be present.
So, Step 4 is where you buy stuff. I accept, cash, check, and credit or debit cards for your convenience. Clients typically order $1,000-5,000 of products. I offer a 10% discount for orders paid in full at your originally scheduled ordering session.
Step 5: Delivery
We’re still not done. An incredibly personalized, boutique experience is not complete with the mailman dumping a cardboard box on your door step. I want to be there to see your reaction when you open your family heirloom that your grand children will show your great great grand children who you were and what you looked like. I’ll have everything from drills to nails, to levels, and even stud finders so that your products are installed safely and beautifully.
To summarize: The Incredibly Personalized Service experience could not possibly make it easier for you. All I need are clients that value the permanence of a printed product and want professional guidance from start to finish to ensure that their family and memories, will—wait for it—echo throughout eternity.
This is where I’m supposed to say “The End.” But is it? I hope not. I hope my clients become friends for life. I love nothing more than follow up from clients as to how my art has changed the way they feel about themselves and their loved ones. I’m excited to hear about referrals my clients send to me. and who knows, there just might be a Christmas gift coming from me in your mailbox some years ;-)
Ready to book? Contact me today!
As the summer temps rise across southern Arizona, wedding clients are ever in search of ways to get great photos from their special day while staying out of the Tucson heat. Here’s a fun way to start the wedding day for a bride to be. Some high contrast, low key lighting. Contrary to what you might think, we don’t need a dark closet to achieve such a look, but rather using high powered strobes and a proper understanding of controlling ambient lighting via manual exposure techniques.
I do not shoot such photos 1 on 1 alone with a bride/model, but always have at least one other person present. Further, I obtain consent for such images to be published as well as a signed release before displaying them publicly. Just because we shoot a photo like this on your wedding day, dosen’t mean I’ll display it without first checking with you. Thanks for visiting!
My valued wedding clients and buyers of my fine art landscape prints are in for a treat—a complementary 2019 calendar is on its way to you! The collection features images from my spring 2018 trip to Death Valley National Park, including some previously unreleased photos from the most remote corners of the largest national park in the lower 48 states. At this point I am not planning on selling the calendars to the general public, but if you’d like to order a fine art print from my landscape gallery I’d be happy include one with your purchase! Merry Christmas!!
Huge thanks to industry rock star Jared Polin, who has provided sample images from his hands on review of the new camera. You know someone is important when Canon invites them to a VIP shoot for first access. In fact, some of the lenses used are still in prototype phase so they're not even taking preorders yet. These photos are his intellectual property and not mine, so please contact him about any copyright concerns. I am using them here with his expressed permission.
I'll be skipping the profile photos of the camera body or reviewing the other ergonomics to instead focus (no pun intended) on the qualitative highlights of the image quality, as compared to my first hand experience with the 5DsR and 5D Mark III for several years of professional and personal use. Like many of you who Google your way into a review like this, I ask myself the question as I go through the images: Do I need this? Is it worth the upgrade? How much longer will DSLRs hang on before their users are left in the ash heap of yesteryear?
Additional disclaimer: I am not paid by Canon and they don't know me from a hole in the ground.
Because the photo editors have yet to update their programs for us to interpret these files in our choice ecosystem (Lightroom, Photoshop, Apple Photos, etc), Jared coverted the RAW files to DNGs, where I updated them in Lightroom 5.
Jared's image files give us a great impression of the camera. He didn't overwhelm us with images we don't need, and covered most of what we do. The first example addresses a question that many of us have right out the gate: has Canon finally caught up in base ISO dynamic range to the Sony sensors? Well, it doesn't appear so. Sony's flagship cameras now boast 15 stops of dynamic range, and Canon lags almost a stop and a half below that, even still with this new release, which mainly seems to borrow the sensor of the 5d Mark IV, which I visited here when it was new.
Color noise and a loss of detail are evident throughout the foregorund, even after applying noise reduction in Lightroom.
So is this a deal breaker? I tend to think so, if a camera is a horse race of statistics on a page to you. +1.5 stops DR in a Sony or Nikon camera would look a little bit better in this image, yet I'm not sure a pro would sell a shot like this anyway, without exploring some of the options below. But a camera ecosystem is so much more than dynamic range. Its about handling, auto focus capability, lens choices, and subtleties, such as Canon's legendary color science, which is particularly reknown for rendering skin tones perfectly with little need for advanced color manipulation. Those reasons and more are why I'll stick with Canon despite this ongoing use challenge.
In the case of this example we still have options. For one, we could shoot various exposures and blend them as an HDR image. This is difficult without a tripod and even more difficult if subjects wont hold still. Still another option would be to add light to illuminate the foreground, which would have lots of options here with bouncing a flash off that helpfully painted white ceiling. Finally, we can ask ourselves what the point of this image is. Say instead of the subject having his back to the camera we have a bride and groom and we want an environmental shot of their venue while they stand outside. As a viewer our eyes go to the brightest, most contrasty, most saturated part of the image, and I wouldn't want a foreground distracting the viewers attention away from the obvious subject.
Our next trip takes us to a beach shot of a model running on the beach. If I surmise Jared's purpose of this photo well its to test the continuous auto focus of a moving subject, particularly while they're off center where the AF array of a traditional DSLR doesn't cover if you prefer to track a subject with an active AF point over the eye.
Knowing Jared's style, this image wasn't cropped, so here we can see the benefits of an expanded AF array. Sony's trailblazing into the full frame mirroless market awed us DLSR shooters when their cameras hit the shelves boasting three, four, or even five hundred AF points, when we only had dozens. Canon's entry into the full frame mirrorless market boasts more than five thousand auto focus points. Wow!
We also have a preview of the new RF 28-70 f/2.0L. Yep, f/2.0!
Last and certainly not least, high ISO. This exif metadata shows this was shot at ISO 10,000. I pumped +1.0 stop in post and pushed the shadows to 100. After a quick trip to Nik Dfine2, the results are arguably quite impressive. Color noise and banding is apparent in the background given the exposure push and with some detailed time cleaning up the image in Photoshop I’m sure the results would be even more impressive. Results are arguably better than what my 5DsR would put out, even after trading some of its massive resolution for additional noise reduction. This is one reason I’ve become accustomed to adding light for such shots anyway. Isn’t that what we’re doing here anyway? Drawing. With. Light. (“photography”).
Conclusion: After a few weeks to mull the situation over, I can see why Canon went with a non-professional body to enter into the market place. And by that I mean a single card slot camera with a slower frame rate. It seems as though they have a few bugs to work insofar as continuous auto focus for tracking subjects as well as getting their native glass to market. Jumping straight in with a gambit to convert some or all of the pro industry would have too great a leap even for the dominant industry leader. While my current lens and body line up more than meets my needs for now, I can see mirror less in my future for everything from weddings to family sessions. DSLRs will more than likely hang a while longer on for wildlife and possibly even sports given the battery life shortcomings of mirrorless (EVF always on and draining power as well as running current through the sensor). Regardless of which system dominates and for how long, one thing is for certain: tech advancements have given us a beautiful array of options to make memorable images to be remembered through the ages.
Whether you printed your first ‘really good image’ at home or just invested in a collectible fine art print from your favorite artist, here’s one little attention to detail you should keep in mind. Air out your print before you frame it behind glass. Give it 24-48 hours so that all the ink can cure in to the paper and that everthing that needs to evaporate out of the ink can do so. I pay attention to, dare I say: obsess, over these details for my valued clients!
And with those words, Ansel taught us that photography will always be about the final product--the print. Print on metal, canvas, fine art paper, what have you, just make those prints happen.
If you've ever pondered the nature of my chosen business name and consider my personality, you may have sensed that I'm obsessed with print longevity and the permanence of my work. What will you remember on the other side of eternity?
So its no surprise that I'd choose fine art paper Hahnemühle to start a printed portfolio of my fine art photographs. Hahnemühle boasts the oldest paper mill in Germany and soon, in our lifetimes, will be celebrating their 500th year in operation. After half a millennium, they certainly seem to have a few things down to a science as much as an art.
I wont lie to you: fine art papers aren't cheap. Think museum grade. This is where you turn when ordinary drug store photo paper just wont cut it. What makes a fine art paper so different? Why I'm glad you asked. First of all their quality control must be at the top of their game. Quality fine art paper starts with pH neutral water for an acid free base that wont yellow with time. Next, you'll notice the substantial weight of these papers. I could try to describe it, but you really should just come over and hold these in your hand yourself. Further, the finish of these papers are as varied as one photographers style to the next. There are smooth papers, darkroom style so-called F-type fiber papers, and mould made papers that are heavily textured for a watercolor, painterly feel. Finally, the microporous coating of fine art papers usually hold a lot more ink than your typical "glossy or matte?" option at the drug store or big box retailer. More ink on a quality paper means a long lasting print. How long? Check out the industry standard bearer for print longevity: Wilhelm Imaging Research. Expect my work to last at least 120 years framed behind UV glass and 200+ years in cool, dark storage.
Get in touch with me today to schedule a review of my portfolio!
Congratulations to Zuri and George! I was privileged to join Evan Robold as his second shooter for their wedding. He truly is one of Tucson's finest and should be on every short list for evaluating wedding photographers in Southern Arizona. It was a privilege to be a part of your day, Zuri & George. I wish you a lifetime of marital happiness.
One of the many things that makes Arizona and Tucson beautiful is the landscape. OnIy in Arizona can you see the beautiful saguaro cactus. And if you love the look of saguaro cactus for a backdrop to your wedding, there's few better places to get married than Saguaro Buttes, on the east end of Tucson, not too far from beautiful Saguaro National Park (east district). I was privileged to shoot for Kristin Gray of Ivory Orchid Photography at Jennifer and Jason's wedding and as you may already know about me, there's few better ways to spend a day at 'the office' than an action packed day of chaos photographing a fast paced, romantic wedding. At least that's how it is for us photographers, while you enjoy your day :-) What a joy to be a part of two lovebirds' lives coming together. Best wishes to you, Jason and Jennifer in your new journey together.
Boo!!! 😡 A sucky, money-grubbing, stealth price increase by the U.S. Copyright Office looms on the horizon. Batch uploads for copyright registration for previously published images will now be limited to a paltry 750 images per submission, effective February 20th, 2018. Previously, the uploads were unlimited in quantity for the $55 registration fee. Because federal copyright law protects work previously published as far back as the prior three months from date of submission, a photographer could effectively protect their intellectual property with four $55 uploads at a total business expense of $220 a year. Photographers that have been procrastinating on protecting a large backlog of work, may want to pay for an upload now, before the new limit takes effect.
For the sparse number full time professional photographers left in this world, all this means is a price increase for consumers. Either the photographer must spend the time to cull down images for a submission, which is a CODB that must be passed onto the consumer indirectly, or an uploaded batch of 7,500 images will now cost the photographer $550, instead of $55.
In the digital era, and with Uncle Bob's to be found behind every pop up flash, professionals and semi-pros have a difficult enough time educating prospective clients why quality work costs good money. I didn’t invest $12,000+ on gear to include redundant backups to photograph my family’s Saturday picnic at the park. I don’t skip that picnic with my family to photograph a clients wedding as a charity service. Neither do I count it a hobby to spend even more hours in the digital darkroom perfecting a clients precious family memories at the expense of my own. I do contribute money to charity services and donate my time to good causes, but you wanting to enjoy the fruit of many years my study and practice is not necessarily a good cause just because you happen to want it. Now we have yet another structural challenge in our industry amidst and ever expanding spectrum of talents and price levels—mostly downward.
Visit the US Copyright Office website if you'd like to leave a comment to the unelected bureaucrats. If the USCO gets overwhelmed with comments filled of 'tears of rage' this may possibly be reevaluated, but I suspect it will require Congressional inquiry before it really comes under the spotlight.
By the way: you don't have to submit RAW files for a registration upload, 800x600px JPGs are just fine. There, I just saved you several hours of time monitoring your uploads. You're welcome!
The Old Pueblo never ceases to amaze me. We have gila monsters, scorpions, so you'd expect. Did you know we have a ski lift looking down on our town? How about a little wetland, too? I took a couple of my youngins out and we caught up with some teals, coots, and mallards, oh my! The Sweetwater Wetlands are located on Tucson's west side, just off the interstate. Check out their official page here, which is managed by Tucson Water, City of Tucson. Thanks for viewing!
Vivian and her husband joined me downtown for some fun Christmas light shooting and to show off some of her mad modeling skills. What a relief from the usual Tucson heat get to show off some cold weather fashion for a change! Contact Vivian for your fashion or model needs today--she's very punctual and professional.
Its often said that [quality of] light is more important than location during a photoshoot. Few things in life are worse than a beautiful location with bad light. A skilled photographer that can find or create the good light will make great art in even an undesirable location. I once shot a wedding in an oversized garage with great light and it came out so awesome that I made a sample album from the day. What beats good light + bad location? How about beautiful light AND beautiful location?!?! I'm always amazed at the landscape treasures that Tucson holds. Who knew the desert held such greenery year round? Here we're shooting at a wetland where treated city water recharges the local aquifer. So maybe it is a bad location if you find that gross. But still myriad beautiful colors and composition to be found in such a setting for the optimistic spirit.
Living in the desert has its advantages: You're almost never cold, you see plenty of beautiful rock formations, gorgeously photogenic sunsets, and a plethora of hardy desert wildlife. One annual mainstay that we often find ourselves unable to enjoy are the seasonal fall colors found on leafy, deciduous trees. Enter the nearby 'Sky Islands' as they're affectionately referred to.
I took a drive up Mount Lemmon to enjoy fall colors in the usual beauties: Bear Wallow, Marshal Gulch, and a few other hidden gems. They're not too hard to find, but you'll need a USFS pass to access some locations. They're $5 daily, but I paid $20 for yearly access, as it also grants one to Madera and Sabino Canyon as well. I'll say the colors tend to peak around the third week of October, and in a few short weeks, all the leaves will, well.. fall. Get up there soon before they're all gone!
If there's one thing I love as a small business owner, its a repeat customer. Not only does this mean they trusted me with their photographic needs previously, but I served them well enough for them to return. So I was flattered and happy that Erin called on me to set up a headshot for her.
With today's digitized world, your headshot may be the first and possibly the only impression that a potential client or job recruiter may see of you. In Tucson's highly competitive job market, there's nothing quite like the professional image that your head shot will impress upon your current and future colleagues.
My portrait sessions are about an hour and a half long. This includes time for a few wardrobe changes, backdrop and lighting adjustments to complement your hair, outfit, eye color, etc, as well as just some time getting comfortable in front of the camera so that we can capture natural, unforced expression. I typically deliver about a dozen images for which my valuable clients receive high resolution, unwatermarked images with a limited copyright release to use their images professionally as well as print for themselves. Contact me to schedule a shoot today!
Best. Wedding. Ever.
Happy anniversary to to one of my most treasured couples. May your love grow stronger with each passing year. By the way: good call timing your anniversary for a holiday weekend! :-)
The one and only Bon a' Vie wedding album!
I often don't find myself in a 'thematic' mood, per se, when it comes to publishing a collection of images from a shoot. But when Phoenix model Happy Kat came down to Tucson for a shoot I just couldn't help but note how the window light in this upscale loft would look great for a black and white collection, perhaps with a bit of contrast and grain added in post production for some extra texture to the depth. Thanks Kat for all your ideas and energy as it turned out to be a fantastic shoot!
As the Southern Arizona summer heat rages on, it becomes more challenging to stay creative in the summer months. Headshots are one way to spend the time, but so is using soft, indoor window light for full length portraits of people. While sunrise and sunset tend to saturate colors for a 'warmer' glow and are therefore the preferred times for shooting most beautiful desert landscape images, I prefer shooting during the midday hours for window light given the overall volume of light as well as the decreased likelihood that sun will be shining directly through the window onto my subject(s). Window light is one of my favorite light sources as it is soft, directional, diffuse, and of course, free! There's no batteries to charge, gear to haul, or obnoxious stands [for me] to trip over during the shoot.
Enter Tucson model Annabelle. For my first boudoir shoot, she made my job much easier. I am grateful for her hard work and preparation for the shoot!
I must also thank event planner Kathryn L'Heureux, a rising star in the Arizona wedding planner industry, for assisting with this shoot. As a male photographer I will only participate in a shoot like this with another female present or a household member of the model present.