Friday, December 12, 2008
My Fellow Santa Elves,
Sometimes photographers find picture ideas in the strangest of places. If you are new to shooting or even a "seasoned pro" as they say, finding new ideas is sometimes jut a kitchen sink away. I was cooking some grub the other night (not something I am good at) and found myself with an itch to snap something while I waited for the oven to finish doing it’s thing. I have this mirror that is shaped in a sorta convex way that I knew would be cool but finding something to place on top of the mirror eluded me. As it just so happens, I had some blank CD’s sitting on the cabinet and knowing that light refracts in mysterious ways from CD’s, I figured it would be worth trying to make something cool. Placing the mirror over the sink and the CD on top I was then all set to sink or swim (no pun of course). The first pic was nothing more than one of the discs being doused with water. I liked what I saw but some came off as “too easy”. So the next dilemma was to find a fluid that would seriously alter the landscape and or texture of the image. Ahhhh, nothing finer than good ole transmission fluid. I have had this bottle of fluid for at least 4 years just sitting in my utility closet and I am not about to try and give you the why behind that. So with one hand holding the fluid and the other hand holding a water bottle, I commenced a royal dousing of the CD. The rest is history. My point to all this really eludes me except to say that sometimes the coolest things to snap are sitting there right in front of us. We only have to let ourselves think beyond the subject and then simply add our given creative touch to the mix. This concept applies to people and everything else we shoot as well. So, even when you think an idea is “lame” or “stupid” know this, nobody has to see you fail (except for weddings) and if it comes out cool, you end up looking smarter than you really are. Ok, you are probably really smart! You can send my Christmas gift now if you like.
Creating Oil Spills in Kitchens,
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
Monday, November 24, 2008
As we draw within a few days of Thanksgiving I am left to ponder the spoils of a successful year in 2008. As a photographer, I tend to take for granted some of the gadgets and gizmos made by smart engineers that allow me to do what I do. You prob know where I am going with this and that is, I am thankful for bright minds. Because I am a Nikon shooter, I tend to favor their goods the most but that is not the entire scope of what is available for you up and coming shooters. Canon is hands down an amazing maker of cameras and gadgets as well. Therefore, when you hear your friends saying that they are not sure which is best tell em that Foster said you can’t go wrong either way and to just be thankful for what is out there. Speaking of pictures, I took a little field trip up the side of Bogus Basin yesterday and had myself some fun with the fog and scenery. Enjoy the pics and for those of you who have commissioned me to take your pictures this year know that I am grateful and flattered by your actions. It takes a whole bunch of study and mistakes to master the style I employ and that would not have been possible without you, the customer and friend.
Thank you :)
Turkey Legs and Beer for all My Friends,
Your T-Day To Do List
Drink a cold one
Watch some football
Play tackle football with the neighbors cat
Spike the punch Grandma makes
Get the garage ready for the in-laws
Friday, November 7, 2008
I was sitting around the house the other day thinking about this year’s election and something humbling dawned upon me. Our parents had it tough, and when I say tough I mean tough. I say this because they had no internet & no e-commerce instead settling for the mundane task of using paper and pens for everything. Ok this sounds a tad elementary but have you ever stopped and thought about how easy it is to reach out to the world these days? My Dad probably thought the next world war would be fought with pens and paper they used them so much! My point is, we as a country have no excuse for not researching the things that are most important to us most notably, the people that lead the charge! Having said that, I hope each one of you got out there and did your thing at the ballot box and no matter whom you voted for, know that if you voted you did right in my eyes. Feeling patriotic enough yet? Good cause we are planning a march for Lance Foster show is your favorite photographer in the Treasure Valley! Its Friday and I am sold on myself…..
Lastly, meet Jamie….What an exciting and gorgeous subject! I am flattered to have been chosen to capture her Senior Pictures and look forward to working with her again!
Commodities of interest
1. $2.50 at the pump….Happy again…Imagine if sleep were charged by the gallon or some other crazy unit of measure. It would be worth far more than $2.50 to most of us.
Annoyance that one just has to pick at
2. Too many photo blogs saying the same thing or outright copying others.
3. More brides who opt to have their pictures taken in their dresses days before the actual wedding date.
American Flags for All My Friends,
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Given the state of the economy I have had several conversations about the pricing structure several photographers use and if it will remain viable during these times. I say and I stress this with the utmost importance that each and every photographer needs to stay true to themselves as much as they can. In the Boise market most of us are charging way below what most markets are already charging so in turn, the prices I have seen are pretty darn good not to mention Boise has access to some excellent photographers. So let’s break this down a little more shall we?
Let’s say you book me taking package #2 at $1450
I am with you for about 6.5 hours
Post production and consultations come out to another 7 hours
Subtract Cost of Goods Sold in the Package to about $140
Your total cost per hour is $97
That is a steal no doubt and if you look at similar packages I am willing to bet the hourly rate comes out about the same. In the end, you get great stuff for one excellent rate. This doesn’t even factor the fact that most photographers provide you the digital negatives for free ($600) value or the cost of insurance, fuel, professional memberships, equipment, etc. . Just some numbers for you to ponder the next time you look at photography from a pricing standpoint.
I have loved every minute with every subject I have worked with in 2008 & I really am grateful for the chance to raise the bar with all of you on board. For my newlyweds, I want to wish all of you the best as you embark on your journey with your new partners. Thank you Tiffany Quillici for putting my stuff on billboards all over town what a flattering feeling for sure.
Most of this economic stuff is driven by fear. There won’t be breadlines anytime soon but if there is, I will be the one bringing beer and pizza.
The New Orleans Saints are beginning to drive me insane!
Change is coming America, brace yourself!
Scott Evans (Atlanta Based Photographer) is bar none the example of doing things your own way & the right way that all photographers should aspire to.
I encourage the world to keep buying the things they want, just make sure you use cash every chance you get. Your standard of living goes as the state of the community business environment goes so don’t let the fear of the year ruin your desires.
Last but not least, Happy Birthday to my man in the sand Devon Justis. Ten years of joy you have brought all of us buddy. Love you with all I got! Enjoy your presents just make sure the helmet is on at all times when skateboarding! That is a direct order from your Dad.
Saints Victory Parties for All My Friends,
Saturday, October 11, 2008
Ok so brace yourself Boise the cold weather is here but for now, enjoy this vintage picture of your favorite dork from his Army days.
Snow for All My Friends,
P.S. I have read a million blogs via the net and some just absolutely leave me dumbfounded....The things we write about huh? Ok I will include myself in that category but regardless........Lastly, why do some people put music on their websites? Do any of us listen to it? Does it matter? That one always makes me curious cause I have heard many say that is a big turn off.
Monday, September 29, 2008
Spanish Moss for All My Friends,
Going on vacation?
Please my friends, consider New Orleans…It is much cleaner these days and they really need the revenue like you wouldn’t believe. The next time you buy clothes or eat a banana remember this, about 65% of this countries goods and services come through New Orleans ports. Without that city, we would be paying through the nose for things we commonly take for granted.
Thursday, September 18, 2008
On a sad note, it seems as though my favorite fraudulent photographer has struck once again. I can no longer withhold this individuals name and if she sees this, sue me I say! I spoke with yet another bride who hired Krown Photography and pretty much got ripped off. According to the bride, Krown showed for the wedding, got the pictures, and then never provided anything afterwards. Upon hearing this poor girl’s story I almost told her that she was one of the lucky ones meaning, other brides I have spoken with said that she received the full fare and never even showed for the wedding. Why must we rip one another off? What is it about money that brings out the worst in all of us? Regardless, my crusade to spread the word of this fraud will no doubt continue and if this fraud reads this blog by all means I dare you to contact me. The bride I spoke with is not going to go away by any stretch and though I do not want to reveal her plans, it sounds to me that there will be no rest until this fraud is held accountable.
Well friends, see ya on the flip side and I am sure to have some new material upon my return from the South. Before I go I want to send a shout out to my awesome son Devon whose football team continues to dominate their opponents! Dev, your gonna be a New Orleans Saint yet my man..I love you with every ounce of my soul little man.
Five things regarding my surroundings that may only interest/annoy me
Airport music absolutely sucks! Richard Marx? Please…..
Medium OJ and McMuffin $5.75…
Boise has free Wi/Fi….What a refreshing approach; most airports charge you a king’s ransom just to check your email.
TSA screeners now have blue shirts. I guess those white shirts and bowties looked too wimpy to have any effect on terrorism. So now they look like a bunch of truck drivers for a grocery chain. Throw a head of lettuce at Osama for me will ya?
The smell of jet fuel is as soothing as it is appealing. Don’t laugh, it smells better than regular gasoline.
Wasting In Boredom,
Wednesday, September 3, 2008
Just a quick note to let the world know how relieved I am that Hurricane Gustav paled in comparison to Katrina. The family is just fine and the Saints will still be playing in the Dome on Sunday! Just loved how the mayor of New Orleans (Ray nagin) stated that "if you are caught looting, you are going straight to Angola". For those of you that don't know Angola is the "Bighouse" in Lousiana and quite a terrible place to end up. Anyway, enjoy the shot from the Boise Foothills, we have it made here let me tell ya.
Thursday, August 28, 2008
Is it just me or was summer short and super mild? Seems like the heat didn’t last long so I ask you this, is Global Warming really happening? Ok that was a bit of Al Gore sarcasm but seriously, it just seems as though summer was here today and gone today. Oh well, guess we all get to save on those A/C bills. Not much going on lately as I have been concentrating on learning the mandolin because frankly, I am running low on photography ideas of late. Like anything in life, you do it enough sometimes you have to step away from it to recharge your batteries and mine seem to always charge back up just fine. Ok so I have been doing some interesting reading regarding the posting of wedding images on MySpace, Facebook, etc. Some photographers have gone irate over this while others could care less. Just to clarify with the folks I have worked with and or may work with in the future, if you buy the rights to my images (most of you do) I encourage you to post them to your MySpace or whatever account. Honestly, it makes me happy that you like enough to share them like that. Some would say I am giving my stuff away and my response to them is “worry about your own prints”. I have neither the time or desire to force brides to display their images in a place that I and only I see fit. The only caveat to that is they don’t sell the images to bridal stores, florists, etc. That would be a copyright violation and giving businesses freebies for which they should have paid Muah. Most of my brides have a MySpace account and I have enjoyed reading the comments by people who have seen the pics. It actually helps me figure out what works and what doesn’t without ever having to ask. Sorry for the blab, had to clear all that up for ya…..
Nothing else new to report except that I am crossing my fingers that the hurricane that is looming down south doesn’t screw up my trip back home to New Orleans in September. Knock on wood and drink a cold one for me will ya? I hear it’s good luck.
Football Season for All My Friends,
Thursday, August 14, 2008
I am sitting here on the fishing pier working on some wedding pics and watching these little punk ass fish jump from the water to catch the bugs who have mistaken me for a blood donor. What is it with these little buggers that makes them think that they are every bit the baddass their larger siblings are? Hmmm..Just a thought. Wish I had my camera and I would show ya....
Just wanted to post a couple of pictures from Scott and Lindsey's wedding at The College of Idaho. What a freaking awesome couple and loads of fun to work with. I was pleasantly surprised today when I opened up my mailbox only to see a letter thanking me from Lindsey's mom. My response is to say THANK YOU Mrs. Shake I had a great time and you have a wonderful daughter. Always makes me smile when people do the little things, maybe I should take note.
One more month and I will be somewhere in the southern parts of Louisiana eating crawfish and getting some pictures in the swamps. Can't wait to go home, can't wait to go home. Long live the gators and the dixieland jazz....You just know for sure I will be posting some pics from that little escape from Boise.
Lastly, thank you Shay Dog for making me feel like a celebrity of late I look forward to talking to ya soon about your big date. Here is to the countdown of only 90 more days or so until we start a new regime in Washington and whether it be Jonny Mac or Obama yo Mama, lets just hope things are way different than they have been over the last 8 years. Don't know about you but I have just about had enough!
Later My Friends,
Friday, August 8, 2008
Well things have slowed a bit in terms of weddings but not in terms of other projects. Be that as it may I will not bore you too much on my solo stuff. What I will fill your brain with is a little checklist of need to know information for you brides out there. This is the time when I start getting calls for 2009 and if you are in the market for a wedding photographer keep these points in mind.
1. Make sure you meet your photographer and I mean physically
6. Ask them how many weddings they have shot (this is always a great question). Anything over 20 and usually you are at least dealing with a respectable shooter. If they are in fact new to weddings, ask them if they have shot alongside a more seasoned pro and then ask for a reference from that pro I mean we all have to start somewhere.
I could probably go on and on but I won’t. Just wanted to put the info out there from someone who does this for a living. While wedding sites will tell you to do this and that you are better off getting advice from those who actually do it, not those who only speak it. Oh and one last thing, AVOID at all cost the clearinghouse photography companies such as %*lla (omitted for legal reasons). Why? You never even meet your photographer until the day of your event and they pay the photographer so cruddy that they are less than motivated to give you their best.
The Constitution for All My Friends,
P.S. Wedding shots of Scot and Lindsey coming soon let me tell ya that was one hella cool wedding and may they all be like theirs!
Thursday, July 31, 2008
Monday, July 7, 2008
Wow, are we already slamming through the month of July? Where did all of the time go? Sorry it has been awhile but with my son staying with me over the summer and other obligations I have been lax in my blogs comrades. Finished up this load of weddings I have had of late and now it is time for some rest. Nate and Launa put on a HELL of a show last weekend and it was a nice way to finish up and put down the wedding camera for awhile. My only complaint? Well, when a couple pays a church to use their facilities only to be run out shortly after the ceremony was something that really peeved me off to say the least. Having said that, I did not get to capture the ideas I had for this couple at the alter but like every wedding, shoulda, coulda, woulda right? Nonetheless, I LOVE the portfolio and hope to have it posted to the galleries in about a week. Special thanks to the Ketterling & Fowler family especially Launa’s mother who was one of the nicest MOB’s (Mother of the Bride) I have ever worked with. Lastly, Nate if you read this know that you have a fan in Lance Foster. Your voice is amazing and should you pursue it, music accolades await you my man! P.S., I think I am gonna really miss you guys..Ok you can start crying now :)
The 4th of July was a blazer of sorts and like you, I drank some brews and blasted a few fireworks over the lake I live on. Got a pretty good burn from a sparkler but really, you could care less right? Ok a I am laughing too hard at myself here so I am gonna go for now. Pics of the week have been halted because I am redesigning my website which promises to look super cool once I am done.
Thursday, June 26, 2008
Finished up two more weddings last week and am glad to report that I have no more back to back weddings this year. Good thing cause it beat the you know what out of me! Nonetheless, they turned out awesome and were a hoot to cover. I really enjoy it when I am hired to cover a wedding in McCall, Idaho. The scenery is phenomenal and always make me look better than I really am! Mucho congrats to Mike & Lindsey and a special thank you to the both of them for their patience and flexibility. Other than getting pulled over by the McCall Police for doing 28 in a 25, the trip was awesome.
The next morning I had the pleasure of doing Bryon and Andrea’s wedding here in Boise at the Powerhouse. Laid back event and even had the chance to meet some fine folks who hail from Bama. Don’t think I made them too happy when I told them my dad went to LSU (Auburn fans hate LSU fans) but what can one do? If I were an Auburn fan, I would be tired of LSU whooping up on my team as well. I realized after I got home I needed to have my feet replaced! Freaking amazes me how at 33, I feel 63 after 7 or 8 hours of covering a wedding. In fact, I am almost embarrassed to admit this but it is how it is folks. So on that note when I hear people say we have the easiest job in the world, I will remember to invite them for a 2 day wedding turn around and then see how they feel. Thank you Bryon and Andrea for the opportunity to shoot your day (not in the foot mind you) it was super fun and I hope to see your mugs again. Ok gotta run I have a convention I am shooting in downtown Boise I need to prep for.
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
Well my body has let me know in no uncertain terms that wedding season is in full swing. Wish somebody would politely tell Mother Nature that it is supposed to be much warmer this time of year! Regardless, I have been able to do much of what I wanted to do differently so far this season. In terms of manipulating light I have been having a field day let me tell ya. Last weekend saw me shoot a wedding for Dustin & Amber at the Powerhouse in Boise. Lord I just love the red bricks in that place it really gives ones photos an edge I think. I was super pleased to see Amber play along with my ideas and as a result her bridal pictures are gorgeous awesome. It would be an injustice if I did not thank her new hubby Dustin for helping me round up the family when it came time for formals. I swear that is one of the toughest aspects of this job and one must tread lightly as to not offend anyone when giving them orders. I actually brought a second shooter to this wedding and he did an excellent job of capturing the candid’s for me! Mucho thanks Greg, your skills will soon be realized!
Friday June 6 was also awesome as I got to photograph a bride I had actually done pics for before. April, who was anxiously awaiting the arrival of her man Adam (Flew in from Iraq) put on a great show and it reflected nicely in their pictures. Lucky for me I had the luxury of utilizing my favorite abandoned coal plant for some of their pics and lets just say urban edge was the theme for those. If that wasn’t enough, I also shot their ceremony in the Botanical Garden here in Boise. What an awesome place to shoot! Things were a tad behind schedule but in the end it worked out perfectly! Just goes to show that with a little flexibility on everyone’s part all can and will work out! Thank you tons April & Adam! Got up the next morning and shot another wedding for Stuart and Lindsey and because I am still working on their pics, I have no previews just yet but I promise to get em up soon.
My 2 cents
The Nikon 17-55mm F2.8 lens is bar none the best portrait lens around but will hit you in the wallet!
No matter how hard I iron my shirts, they end up looking like a wrinkled rag by the end of every wedding.
Gel Filters are a photographer’s best friend!
Congrats to my extended family members Sammy and Michelle Marvin on the birth of their first child.
I have given up hope that the greed on Wall Street would subside thus help the pain at the pump.
Fuel Cards for All My Friends,
Thursday, May 29, 2008
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
Sorry it has been a bit since I last blogged I am a slacker! Been working like a dog and of course, shooting weddings and taking road trips. Just got back from a road trip into Oregon with some pals out in Vale. Never before had I taken a ride in an RV laced with fun and of course, a few cold ones. All of this came to be after I left a wedding I shot on top of C.W. Moore Plaza on Friday (Pics coming soon) and it was nothing short of awesome. I will save my thank you’s aimed at Jared and Anna for later. We started early on Saturday morning drove to Sumpter where they had one of the largest flea markets known to the human race! Simply amazing and by the time day one was done I had consumed a few too many cold ones and had to let myself fall asleep. Day 2 brought much of the same except we ended up in some old western town that provided me the chance to take some High Dynamic Range pictures that I am pretty damn happy with! I am feeling pretty amped to do another wedding this weekend and my next stop brings me to Boise’s own “Powerhouse” which is a pretty cool place to shoot a wedding. For all of you brides out there looking for a Fall photographer come and see me the summer is NOT the only time to get married you hear? I am pleased to say that I finally joined Professional Photographers of America and for the record, the resource library is second to none when it comes to knowledge based photography. I am looking forward to the many benefits they offer not to mention a chance to meet some really talented folks! More to come VERY soon I promise…
As my political brother pointed out, supply & demand is not the problem with gas prices cause if it were, we would all be waiting in line at the pump.
Oregon is one of the greenest states I have ever set foot in.
Idaho is in for a hot summer.
Weddings on top of buildings is a super cool idea.
The wedding business is more about marketing and $$ and less about the art and fun of photography which I find a tad sad.
Pam and Don are one fun couple to go on a road trip with let me tell ya!
Drinks and Snapshots for all my Friends,
Tuesday, May 6, 2008