Monday, December 21, 2009

Picking Fights with Santa


TIME FOR THE HOLIDAYS!!! I come before you tonight to wish each and every one of you a Merry Christmas and a Happy/Safe New Year. Drink some for me as I will most likely drink some for you. I cannot even begin to say just how much fun I had with each and every one of you this year and I felt as though I absolutely made some things happen that I had not tried before. I could sit here and list all of the cool things that we did but it would take a writing longer than the bible! My gratitude extends to you, the person on the other side of the lens and your families for the support and flexibility. Before I fade off into what is left of 2009 I figured it would be appropriate to give you some holiday tips. Read with a grain of salt, a grain of Tony C’s, or a grain of sand the choice is yours. Just remember, I love what I do and love the music we have all collectively made together in 2009. May 2010 see another eclipse of ideas and visions with new faces and new found friends.

Your 2009 Holiday Tips

1. Cats like trees and XMAS trees are no exception. When all else fails, pull out the BB gun.
2. Open each present like it is the first one you ever received even if underwear two sizes two big lies beneath the wrapping.
3. Tell a cop Merry XMAS if you see em working on the 25th. This doesn’t work if you are being pulled over for I have tried and failed.
4. Enjoy a movie
5. Burnt cookies make great hockey pucks.
6. Avoid planes for this is the time of year when they fly in circles making you think you are getting closer to your destination only to realize you have barely left Boise’s airspace.
7. If you do fly, ask the TSA where they got the trucker shirts.
8. Fill a stocking up with mustard and let one of the kids dig off in it. The look you’ll get is priceless!
9. Pray for my Saints
10. Lastly, remember that even if 2009 was tough for you know that no matter how cold the winter, there is always a spring time ahead. I relate and know some of the same challenges many of you have faced of late. Find a passion I say and you will notice that life begins to leave you alone more often. Regardless, if you can’t smile I will gladly do it for you and once the sun shines back at me I will ensure that warmth finds its way to you. Caring is not a sign of weakness, it is what makes us fight through the bad while taking measure in the good.

Free Photos for Whoever Laces Santa’s Sleigh with Paintball Pellets,


Friday, November 27, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

So I come to you hoping that all enjoyed their Thanksgiving activities. It is that one time of year where we are allowed to give in and accept an over indulgence of sorts. Aside from football, beer, and accidentally cooking the cat instead of the turkey (kidding), I proceeded to do what I do best, take a few shots. What I have always found is that on Thanksgiving you are surrounded by more people and animals than even the chaos of Christmas! Having said that, the six shootin Nikon was in full effect! I hope that all of you broke out the camera on T-Day and blasted a few flash blinding shots of your annoying siblings or Mom and Dad smooching in the kitchen for those are the ones you are most likely to reflect on some many years down the road. If you are on my Facebook page, post some of these images because like you I enjoy viewing them almost as much as I love taking them. Happy holidays my friends the fun has only just begun. Now we get to listen to a month of super saver deals on XMAS buying but I guess that beats the doldrums of silence.
Thinner Waistlines for All My Friends,


Friday, November 6, 2009

Time for some R&R

As I sit here in bed enjoying a little downtime I have just finally begun to realize I have completed perhaps the longest jaunt of photo edits in my history of taking pictures. Wow 2009 came on like a flood and has left me battle tested and ready for more. Equipment issues are dancing in my head and though I love the products Nikon offers, I have come to realize that anything less than a full frame sensor just won’t cut it anymore. For those of you who understand photography you know exactly what I mean when I say that full frame is the only frame thus, looking into my crystal ball I see D700’s in my future. Besides, it is thought that at some point digital full frame sensors will be the only option so why not start now?

I read an interesting article today about the trend of recent folks who have been laid off picking up the camera and calling themselves a “Professional” photographer and how it is hurting the industry. I have harped on this topic before and will again offer two thirds of my two cents.

It is a free country
At least their not getting stoned
Natural talent is what it is, NATURAL so if you lack it, you and the client will know soon enough.
Flaws in technique will be exposed early and often. (I am not above having days like this yet I still blame my equipment)
We all started somewhere though we sometimes act like we were born with a client list that rivals Mike Colon.
The “Smalls” vs. the “Bigs” is just another way of placing elitist labels on something that is here for all to enjoy.
Negative energy used excessively will ultimately end up fueling your own tank if you spend too much time staying angry at these newbie’s so lighten up already.
Somebody has to take the blame for failing studios across the country right?
If you aren’t careful, you may miss out on a free bottle of Sky Vodka from cool clients like Curtis and Amanda so relax and have some fun. (Cheers to my Colozzi crew)
I am laughing as I write this cause tomorrow I may go hypocrite on ya and join the fray of hecklers against those who dare try to discover what a million others already have. Look in the mirror already, owning a D3 doesn’t make you unique just spoiled with a larger bank account. (BIG SMILE).

Many warm and special thanks to Curtis & Amanda for an awesome go even though the weather just about killed us.
Never before have I received a tie from one of my grooms.

To my bud Nathan and his new wife Megan for the forgiveness offered after I had them trek thorough a mound of mud and disgusting filth just to get a shot near an otherwise boring pond.

To my grand finale of Tyler and Jamie who were the recipients of some extended coverage because I just wasn’t ready to accept the 2009 season as a done deal.

Lastly, I want to thank all of you I worked with to include vendors and families alike it is super cool to make new friends in the name of fun and work!

Sky Vodka for all my friends,


Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Words on the Fly


Seems like it has been forever since I posted a blog so it is now safe to say forever is no longer. It has been busy in my world and I am ready to wrap up a successful 2009 campaign. While I could sit and write about thankfulness to the brides I have worked with, I will choose instead to bask in the comfort of knowing that while 2009 turned out to be quite the project, it also turned out to be a year that defined my recognition of my own style. Many people who take pictures for a living can go on for years calling themselves “photojournalistic” or “traditional” in style but I bet if you really cornered them on the subject their answers would all sound the same and not very deep in content. So, since it has become some sort of industry standard to define your own style I spent 2009 giving that concept its due from time to time. What brought it to the forefront was an article I read in this month’s Professional Photographer magazine that brought me back to the very question I have yet to answer. No I am not looking for insight or pity to help me discover the “new me” or ask for you to rate every picture I post so that I can define my style based on biased opinions rather, I will do what the industry says I should do and place the magic label right on my own forehead using my own insight and collective thought (You can insert your own if you really want to). Have I dragged this out long enough? In case you really cared here is the long awaited punch line.
I am one who works and in doing so, one who loves his work. The true style that best serves not only myself but the clients of both past and present is nothing short of DRIVEN. That is right I said the word DRIVEN. My style is one that drives itself on the hunger for knowledge, attained perfection, the desire to please, and competency through time tested experience. You know why this means more in a word than “photojournalistic” or “Traditional”? Because it came from me and only me without the coating of a buzzword developed by God knows who. It also means that nothing is off limits and that no matter what; adaption to any situation both good and bad is all I have ever cared about when it comes to photography (Just ask people how bitchy I get when my lights won’t do what I want). So before you ask me what style I employ take note that being driven means having everything you want in a person who is perfecting anything they hope to succeed at in life. Once you quit learning and trying new things is the day you have met your professional end. Give it a day, the novelty of “Driven” is sure to make its way to the industry seminars and lackluster blogs of others too lazy to work in the very field they tell others they are passionate about.

From My Yard to Yours,


Monday, September 21, 2009

Catching Up

Friends of Fall,
It has been one wedding after another and yet still, I find myself hungry for more. From covering my pal’s Shane and Stacy’s wedding on the first weekend of September to getting up the next day to cover Will & Laeitia’s event I would say life is moving fast. I love it when I get into a groove while finding myself dealing with schedules that are behind and the dreaded faulty equipment. Yes, even the best equipment fails from time to time but somehow I keep beating Murphy to a pulp and it has me more than fired up! The consequence of this madness is the eternal time spent in front of a computer doing edits and designing books. That my friends are what you are really paying for when you hire a photographer. Enjoy the pics from the various parades of couples who make my camera eye light up! It is in the moments of completion when I know I have gotten exactly what I set out to get that I feel the satisfaction of the portfolio. Nobody has any idea how hard photographers are on their work (At least they should be if they care) and when we are happy it equates to the client being happy. Thank you Brian, Megan. Shane, Stacy, Will, Laeitia, Jessie, and Stephanie for the fun and the time well spent. With all the debate over healthcare I will not waste your time with my two cents, five cents, or fifty cents. Instead, I will simply draw an imaginary space for you the reader to place what you think is the right course for the country. Seems everyone has a solution so I just wanted to give that “Think Tank” it’s due.
Place your ideas here__________________________________________________

Good Health To All My Friends,


Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Jim & Danielle

Comrades of Fall,
Wow what a roller coaster ride it has been of late. Lots of shooting and trying like crazy to keep up in life has made me weary yet excited. Somewhere in all of this madness I have been working with some new vendors who I anticipate, will provide me with some super cool products for 2010. My feeling is, why keep everything the same? So on that note, next years packages will contain something new and different but where I find a balance of cost versus viability is where I am lost in debate. Oh well, guess I have some more time to figure that one out but stay tuned and check the “Wedding Prices” page soon for updates.

Spent the better part of my day on August 29th working with Danielle and Jim and really felt good about the portfolio we put together. If you haven’t spent any time inside of the Modern Hotel I highly advise you to check it out. Strange place for sure but in the same sense, very cool. I felt like I was trapped in this Post-Modernistic world thus the name Modern Hotel huh? Many thanks to Jim & Danielle I enjoyed the time and creating your pictures. Anyways, sorry I have been a tad absent but my focus has been on the design on wedding books and shooting the images that make up those books. More stuff coming soon.

Cool Weather & Football For All My Friends,


Thursday, August 20, 2009

Tyler & Jenna


Just a quick shout out to Jenna & Tyler for their hospitality and fun a couple weeks ago. If there ever was an easy going couple to shoot for, these two were it. It also marked the first wedding I have ever shot where the cops showed up later to tell us to keep it down. I sometimes wonder if having fun is against the law in Boise.

Sunshine For All My friends,


Sunday, August 2, 2009

Carson & Sidney


Just wanted to say thank you to Sidney & Carson for a great ceremony and for keeping it simple in the burning sun. Your wedding represents the first of two weddings I shot in 2009 for the Strong family. Much appreciation goes out to the both of you.

Seattle Space Needles for Carson & Sidney,


Desert Storm

Some cool shots of Nevada/Arizona. It must have been 130 degrees in Red Rock Park!
Much love to my “Baby D” and “Devon J” for making this a great summer and our trip memorable. More pics on that coming soon as well.

I have one question that has been on my mind for quite awhile now and it is this. As a photographer, would you like it if somebody were using your work on their website for commercial purposes? If I were a betting man I would say that it would piss you off something fierce. Now, what if you were a musician and photographer websites were using your copyrighted music for commercial purposes? Does the same rule apply in the world of art? If so, I conclude by asking why some of our local “Photographers” use an artist’s song to accentuate their galleries while paying no regard to the copyright of said artist? There are those lacking in discretion and yet when their own stuff is stolen they are the first to wine about it. Maybe there are those who will simply never be able to progress themselves by virtue of their own talents instead opting to ride on the coattails of those who possess talent that their thieves only dream of.

Sunscreen for All My Friends,


Thursday, July 9, 2009

Nick and a girl I love to call Brandi Nacho

I am sitting here on break during a PhotoShop class I decided to indulge myself with. Funny how those who know PhotoShop well, teach it too damn fast to pick up on anything new. It is as if the program came installed with a shot of Red Bull or something. Just finished posting a wedding from June 20th that was nothing short of amazing and a total blast! I would have to say I have been lucky in the fun department this year. Nick and Brandi got married somewhere behind Lake Lowell at Nick's parents house and lordy, I loved every square inch of the place. I was thrown just about every cool location in the book and because of it our pictures rocked! You often hear photographers say that they are able to "capture" the story or whatever but on this day there was little need to capture anything for it simply surrendered iteself to us! In other words, because the ENTIRE crew was game for just about anything nothing came as too difficult.....As a matter of fact, I would say it almost felt as though we were simply having fun with a camera and that is when one knows that they have it made! Mucho thanks to the both Brandi & Nicks parents who were both funny and welcoming to my presence. Last but not least, many thank you's to Brandi (Nacho) & her new hubby Nick........This year's wedding couples have been nothing short of kick ass and these two are yet another example of why my fire is burning high these days.

Old Barnes For All My Friends,


Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Airplanes & More Rain

So many galleries to build and so little time! That is what one gets when trying to shoot weddings while moving into a new home. Who cares just get it done right? Regardless, I drove up to lovely McCall, Idaho to shoot Darrin and Stacy’s wedding at the Northfork Lodge. Little did I know there was this old abandoned airplane sitting outside the entrance. Who would have thought? As I am pulling in I started thinking of how I could incorporate the plane into some pics and the groomsmen seemed to fit the bill. Given that Murphy’s Law always lingers I noticed drops of rain falling into adjacent puddles thus I knew for the second consecutive week, rain was on the menu! Luckily, the rain halted itself just long enough to get this event done and as for my airplane shots? Well, when the guys arrived they began to climb onto the damn thing which is something I NEVER had in mind but I went ahead and blasted a few and got em off. Honestly I am shocked they all climbed up there but it made for cool pics! Stacy was a gorgeous bride and both her and Darrin’s family made me feel like one of the crew. Big high fives and mucho thanks for the California Red Wine :)

Sunshine for all my friends,


Friday, June 19, 2009

Got Weddings On My Mind

When you just can't get the ideas to translate into actions you simply write them down no matter where you are. Maybe I am neurotic but I keep thinking of a barn that I will be using for this weekend's wedding.

Notes For All My Friends,


Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Loren & Angela Tough it Out

I am sitting here in Rexburg, Idaho lying around enjoying the confines of a dumpy hotel while working on pics and contemplating just how in the world I plan to move into a new house and not lose my mind. To escape the thoughts of life’s transitions I bring to you a couple that endured what ALL wedding couples fear and that is, RAIN. After all the planning and coordinating brides and grooms alike commit themselves to they are sometimes forced to make serious changes when the sky opens up and this wedding was no exception. Did I say that it also makes it somewhat difficult for the photographer too? I have read on various forums hosted by other photographers on how when it rains a “real” photographer can tough it out. I am stumped by these statements simply because I know that I can’t give my Nikon’s a rare motivational speech that makes them water proof nor have I EVER come across a wedding portfolio that was shot in the rain all day without serious equipment problems. I realize trash bags can be fitted to protect your gear but that in itself limits one’s ability to maximize their talents. On the day of Loren and Angela’s wedding we planned on meeting at the Rose Garden due in large part because it has a gazebo that provides shelter in the event of a downfall. Lucky for us we started while we had a shred of sunlight but ominous clouds hung around like a bad relative does when they overextend their stay. Funny thing is, I think I was more worried about it than Loren and Angela and that was just the breath of optimism I needed to get er done, well almost done. We shot throughout the day and luckily the torrential showers waited to fall until evening. The downer is that we never got to do our shots when the sun was setting so being ever thankful for their flexibility, we decided to re-create that part at a later date. Ahhhh, flexibility is better than a brand new set of snow tires! If the two of you read this know that I thank you from the bottom of my heart and look forward to the final chapter of our shoot. As for everyone else, if you want a photographer with equipment that can withstand rain for a good 3 hour period I suggest you call the Discovery Channel.

Umbrellas for All My Friends,

Loads of new wedding galleries are soon to be posted so stay tuned.....

Monday, June 8, 2009

Brian & Megan Engagement


Here are some pics of Brain and Megan as we tried a new location of sorts. I never realized just how cool some of the locations in Eagle are for pics. I should have shot their entire engagement portfolio at the grain silo that is clinging to life next to yet another new suburban development. I suppose if they tear it down I will have at least had the chance to blast a few pics of the place. Regardless, thank you Brain and Megan but I assure you your wedding day pics won’t let you off the hook as easy the engagements. *Wink*

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Nathan Fowler Part 1


The rock star mantra lives on as I descended upon the presence of one Nathan Fowler last week. Needing a serious set of images for his upcoming EP and new website, we set forth to convey the identity of a self-driven artist who wants the world to know that his gift for human balance is infectious. Spend a few minutes with this guy and you will know exactly what I mean. We must have covered every demeanor in the book that day with Nathan setting the tone early and often. From the laughter over typical yet delirious man thoughts, to striking artistic focus levels that tipped the scales, I finished the shoot feeling like I had visited every positive island in my mind. What makes that such a dynamic asset is that it brings out the best in both the subject and the photographer and it almost seems as if neither of you have to try to achieve what you set out for. Consider this the precursor to what I plan to profile on Nathan Fowler once the EP and website are available for the world to see. More info and pics of Nate soon. Stay tuned……..

What I am thinking that you should be hearing.........

When I hear people say we are seeing signs of a strong economic recovery, I look no further than the car dealer commercials offering to take your car back if you lose your job. Since when in a stable economy did dealers EVER offer to do that?

If everybody and their dogs can receive a tax break these days, I only ask why didn’t this happen before? I mean if people had more to spend perhaps businesses wouldn’t be in such bad shape. Are you listening Butch? Just a thought….

If you are an upcoming client of mine be advised, you will be seen through my new Nikon 10.5mm fisheye lens albeit just a few as not to commit to overkill.

So long Trevor and Shan I will miss you both and wish you safe travels to Kentucky. How we must accept the turning of the page when our friends move on…….

Buying a home is a pain in the %ss but at least it is almost over.

Ride and let the wind strike your face with grace Mr. Sims. If anybody could take a picture of that I am certain it would be you.

The Nikon 14-24 mm lens is the most overpriced and impractical lens ever made. If you bought it I am laughing at you because you could have saved about $700 and gotten a much more versatile lens in the 17-55mm variety.

Time for Bed,


Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Demirelli On Fire


Let me introduce you to Emmett Demirelli. An aspiring soccer player he is notorious for being as ferocious as a badger on the pitch (Soccer Field). We had the chance to do some quick shots for his senior portfolio before he departs for Oregon State and we made it all happen because of three simple things. 1. We were quick and to the point 2. Although we did a few traditional shots, we avoided trying to make Emmett into something he isn’t 3. We were both willing and spared ourselves the senseless chatter I am often guilty of. I will honestly say that for a quick 30 minute session these are some of the coolest and most fitting shots I have pulled off to date. No need to make you think we were all touchy feely, like typical guys it was all about getting down to business and so we could head home just in time for dinner. Oh and in case your wondering where the light is coming just use your imagination cause that is what true photography is all about.

Hats off to photographers who don't mooch equipment,


Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Dan & Bea

Comrades of Spring,

Well last Saturday I had the opportunity to shoot a wedding for Dan & Bea and from the friendliness of the weather to the flow of the day I could not have been happier with how it turned out. I am still shaking off the cobwebs from just getting into this years wedding season but all in all, I was feeling up to snuff. For once in my life I was actually up early enough to have the days first shoot all set up and ready over on 9th Street and the guys did a fabulous job playing the role. Using multiple speed lights and some wireless trippers, I was able to give them the look of a born-again rock star waiting to take the world by storm. Of course, all the planning in the world doesn’t eliminate Mr. Murphy! Just as we started one of the cables that fed the lights failed thus delayed my flow. But, despite the setback we made it work sans crappy cable! There is nothing I hate more than having to make my subjects wait on me to replace or repair faulty equipment but with electronics, comes malfunctions!

Bea looked fabulous and was a great little traffic cop while I bustled people in and out for some bridal pictures. I just love it when brides help me get the herd together because after all, I really don’t know any of the people invited thus they often are reluctant to play ball when it comes picture time. I have mounds of pictures to work through but hope to have their wedding portfolio posted in the next couple weeks. Mucho thanks to both Dan and Bea’s families for the fun and the nice dinner at the end of the night.

Wedding Food for all My Friends,


Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Angela & Loren


Had a great time with Loren and Angela last week shooting at none other than Katherine Alberton Park. Though I prefer this location in the Fall much more, it no less gave us an excellent backdrop to break in the photo taking of this soon to be married couple. You always know you have a great set of clients when they can shout out more Bear Grylls lines than you! Congrats to the both of them and I am primed and ready to shoot their wedding in June.


Wednesday, April 29, 2009


Been hanging out with some cool couples of late getting them all ready for the big day with the pictures that will end up in the invitations. Will and Laetitia were last week’s victims of my neurotic ways and we blasted through a quick set under a warm sky. Later in the week came Nate & Megan and using downtown as a backdrop, we made some music over the course of an hour. I always find myself wondering how many different ways can two people embrace? Whatever that number is I am sure it is greatly reduced once a couple knows they have a camera pointed at them. Engagements while important are not the top of the mountain for any couple who works with me. Rather, they are the chance for me to gauge what works and what doesn’t in terms of pictures so that come wedding day, all stars are aligned. Besides, there is nothing cooler than glitz and showmanship a wedding offers any photographer willing to lose themselves in a Zen state of creativity.

May 4th marks the commercial shoot for Roaring Springs and the new slide that is set to open for this season. I love working with them for two reasons. One, it is a free for all type photo shoot and I often see the results of the shoot on billboards all over town. I will be setting up some serious lighting action for these shots provided all goes as planned. Now let’s see if I can keep myself from getting electrocuted in the process.

Cupids for all my friends,


Friday, April 24, 2009

Outreach for Photographers

Things have been pretty hectic of late and that is just the way I like it. Lots of engagements and more previews to come so stay tuned. Been enjoying the nice weather and with summer just a stone throw away I anticipate lots of new material.

For any of you photographers out there looking to jump start a photography business or simply need to restructure the debt caused by business related operations have no fear, I have been asked to host a webinar for the Professional Photographers of America on May 18th at 2pm. Go to for more details or simply email me at The subject matter I will be covering includes how to utilize the Small Business Administration’s loan programs and services (some of which are free I might add). The great thing about the program is that it is conducive to both start up operations and those who are already established and wish to reorganize their current business related debt. The SBA provisions that have been placed into the stimulus act do have a shelf life of less than a year so please, if you are thinking that this may be a good fit for your operation, I strongly encourage you to attend. I am flattered that I am able to do this for an organization that knows nothing but the on going concerns of America’s professional photographer population. Hail Hail and I will see you there shutter slugs.

Bank Notes For All My Friends,


Monday, April 13, 2009

Delayed but Delivered

Sorry it has taken me so long to post a couple of pics from the last two engagement sessions. What is a man to do when he is on vacation, work? Well, I guess they were right when they said there is “No sleep for the weary” but still, enjoying some time off is vital to ones sanity given that wedding season is about to push me in the stamina department. The first session was with Jenna and Tyler and I soon learned that shade is still at a premium around here. We must have had a good 12 o’clock fireball sitting right over us making the shoot difficult at times. Unfortunately, the trees are still feeling their way in terms of sprouting a leaf or two thus, shade was nill. Despite my admissions for making false assumptions about the timing of nature’s shade coverings, we made some great images together and ended up with a nice set.

The following day it was off to McCall to meet up with Stacy and Darrin for a session in downtown McCall, Idaho. Like the previous day, the sun was giving us fits but we had plenty of places to hide from the unflattering glare via the downtown structures. Counting my lucky stars for the science of physics as it pertains to light and objects, I had a great time getting some rockstar shots of these two love birds. The good news is that come summer when I head back for their wedding, I will have them an entire day thus will be able to take advantage of the lighting conditions as they calm down during the evening hours of the summer months and to be honest, I enjoy that aspect of every wedding. To me it is a natural insurance policy of sorts.

All this talk of harsh sunlight has left me wondering how I have for the most part been able to avoid it up until last weekend. Lets just say that taking nature for granted is sure to come back to bite you in your favorite lens! Research, research, and more research of not only the surroundings one plans to shoot in, but also the study of overcoming such conditions is the only way we can make music in less than desirable conditions. This means we don’t settle if at all possible nor does it mean we lay out in the wide open and admit defeat. Light modifiers are everywhere we only need to look and evaluate. I was emailed a link from a pal last week that demonstrated what not to do in the harsh light that is our sun. Without going into to details, I will only say that I am super glad I am not the one who was forced to deliver the pictures that I saw and can only imagine how and why these shots I speak of were even attempted.

More stuff to come soon including some wild shots that my son took in Vale, Oregon over Easter not to mention some wild landscape shots I enjoyed taking using a 10mm lens that makes the clouds look pretty damn ominous let me tell ya :)

Easter Cold Ones for all My Friends,