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.
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.
I was thrilled to welcome Amanda and her childhood bestie Millie for some headshots and a chance to experiment with some new lighting setups I've recently invested in. I've never really had the chance to photograph such beautiful red hair in a studio setting and I've always been intrigued by the idea of trying to make red hair obvious in black and white processing. Do you get a sense of her beautiful red hair even in the black and white photo?
A studio quality headshot is a must have for working professionals, aspiring models, and just about anybody. True: you can always snap a quick and easy self portrait, dare I call it a "selfie," with your camera's phone, and resolution of camera phones are quickly catching up to professional cameras. Nevertheless, there's more to a photo than just megapixels. There's just no comparison to the flattering perspective a telephoto lens brings as well as the DSLRs ability to trigger off camera lighting, and control depth of field for those nice, blurry out-of-focus backgrounds. Please contact me if you'd like a headshot today!
Tucson model Diana Acosta brought her sons downtown and we met up for a fashion shoot. It was fun to show off some of her handmade wares and shoot in front of some of the iconic architecture of downtown. Moreover, I'm always challenging myself to find ordinary locations and make extraordinary images, often by the creative use of lighting. The reflection shots towards the end of this post, for instance, were shot from the outside of a simple blacked out office window. Other challenges during the day include overpowering the harsh daylight by using powerful strobes. A commonly misunderstood principle of exposure is that the brighter the ambient lighting conditions are, the more (not less) flash power is needed to properly expose our subject. So thanks to her sons for helping us out by carrying the lighting equipment!
Cara Marie contacted me through our network of photographers and models here in Tucson. She is an up and coming model while I have been watching desert cactus flowering left and right and been hard up for a reason to photograph some people in front of one! So next time you drive by a patch of desert in town, lookout for this one photographer tripping over thorny things to make a great image. Despite the challenges of wind and relentless spring pollen, we made a sunset shoot happen. Thank you Cara for being on time (early, in fact) and ready to make some great images!
At a time of the year when many newly engaged couples plan their wedding and dream of a new life together, another celebration of new life happens in the wilderness as big game animals birth their young. While I anxiously await the coming weddings of my brides and grooms, I am always up for some cross training of my photographic skills, plus a little exercise. By carting a beastly 600mm telephoto lens up into the bedrooms of these majestic animals, I’m able to capture the beautiful spring moments of ewes and their young lambs. While I didn’t get to witness any lamb births today, my respect for the agility of these animals revived as I scrambled into their habitat, not to mention the fact that the newborn lambs are up and negotiating these craggy ridge lines within hours of their birth. Just to come within camera range of these beautiful creatures, the wildlife photographer must climb staggering heights with dangerous drops all around. These are the areas where sheep feel safe from predators and are able to elude the mountain lions that hunt them relentlessly.
My thanks to Arizona Department of Game and Fish for their stewardship, as well as countless volunteer hours from the Arizona Desert Bighorn Society and the myriad other science-based conservation and hunting organizations that preserve our precious wildlife resources for generations to come.
Many congratulations to April and Chris, who will be wed next March here in Tucson at the beautiful Westin La Paloma resort. Some clients just make a photographers job so easy, as do these school yard sweet hearts. We took a walk through the forested peaks of Mount Lemmon and watched another beautiful sunset here in southern Arizona from Windy Point. Thank you for the privilege of capturing your engagement story. Shout out to Lauren Chon for assisting with lighting!
Many congratulations to Pastor Tim and his wife Lyndol after a long and storied career in full time ministry. I had the privilege of being called by their daughter Kim, a talented photographer in her own right, to photograph their festivities. As you can see, Kim and the rest of the church threw them quite the bash! Desert Son Community Church started in the humbled beginnings of an elementary school, like many others. In time it grew to not only its own campus but also planting new churches as well. All this in addition to supporting other great community service programs such as More Than A Bed, Angel Tree, and full time missionaries across the globe. One need only look at the size of the crowd in attendance to see the many lives they have touched over the years.
In Pastor Tim, we gain an appreciation for how busy and hard working a ministers job can be. In addition to preparing sermons for weekend worship, they are officiating everything from weddings to funerals, as well as overseeing church administration. I wish them the best as they set out their life on a new adventure on the East Coast to spend time enjoying retirement, participate in new activities and hobbies, and watching their beautiful grand kids grow.
If I need any reminder what an active industry of creatives Tucson is blessed with, I need remember no further than this weekend when fellow photographer Shawna Cadwell invited Kalei Harmon and myself invited me to a trash the dress shoot. Trash the dress shoots don't always have to involve actually destroying the dress: sometimes we can play around with paint, sometimes we make a mess at a waterfall, or just shoot more photos of a newly wed bride and groom as a couple that time limited on the day of a busy wedding, and you can preserve your dress for posterity.
Contrary to usual event sequence this particular shoot happened to precede a wedding as the beauteous Nini Pear Pear brought along her groom-to-be Julio. So in a sense, they enjoyed a most unique engagement shoot whilst three photographers played around with paint, smoke and even a little bit of broken glass. What a fun break from the usual gig and the chance to collaborate on an artistic project with my colleagues. Other photographers in my market are not my competition--they are my colleagues. I feel so blessed to work in an industry where we can share work referrals, help each other out, and come up with some bad ass images working together.
I took a break from wedding photos this week to join a class field trip to the International Wildlife Museum, which "is dedicated to increasing knowledge and appreciation of the diverse wildlife of the world as well as explaining the role of wildlife management in conservation." The Museum boasts a large and diverse collection of taxidermy ranging from the Rocky Mountain elk to exotic African plains game. Students and young children will also enjoy the hands on exhibits and live presentations from wildlife biologists on a variety of reptiles and insects. Thank you to the Museum, Safari Club International Foundation, as well as American outdoor enthusiasts such as anglers and hunters, whose recreational license fees and excise tax contributions have funded the North American model of conservation into the worldwide paragon of wildlife management.