Saturday, May 30, 2009

Saturday Morning Cartoons

After spending all week editing photos from my two weddings held last weekend, this "What the Duck" really made me laugh out loud!

Here is my favorite "What the Duck" comic from this week. Rock on Aaron! "What the Duck" is an online comic strip created by Aaron Johnson. Viewers are welcome to link, post, copy/paste, or save the strips to their own sites, blogs, forums, newsletters, etc. Aaron also allows viewers to suggest titles for his individual strips, which I think is a great way to interact with his blog readers.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Get the Job Done: I survived back-to-back weddings!

I'm alive! I apologize for not writing on the blog sooner to let everyone know how my second wedding on Sunday went. For the entire weekend, my assistants and I worked 16 hours covering both of those weddings, and I still can't believe we made it through! To be quite honest, I was exhausted beyond belief and literally slept all day Monday and most of Tuesday. I didn't start to feel like myself again until Wednesday. Weddings must be like forget about all the pain, difficulty and stress related to the birth once you look at the new life you've successfully brought into the world. Starting to edit my photos on Wednesday was like that. Even though I could barely walk because my feet and back were killing me, when I saw the photos from both days, I forgot about everything save for the beauty inherent in expressing and sealing your love in front of family and friends and the trust both couple's had in me to capture their experiences.

The second wedding was nearly two hours late and incessant rains forced the ceremony to be held in a dark auditorium inside the Cable Center rather than outside in the sunlight. That meant all of our planning during the rehearsal held outside in a garden near the Cable Center went right out the window. This is what I mean when I saw that no matter how much you plan ahead, you've got to be able to adapt to changing circumstances without getting rattled. And the only way you can do that is to have the skill sets and the experience to back you up.

Despite all of this unexpected hardship, both the bride and the groom maintained their composure which made it easier for me to redirect my assistants in lieu of the dramatic changes. From that point on, everything else went on as planned. The groom took us to a great location for formal portraits on the DU campus filled with reflective pools, waterfalls, a bridge, lush green grass and trees and wonderful old buildings for great backgrounds. With the rain threatening to fall again, I and my assistants worked quickly and effectively. We were rewarded for our time with a magnificent sunset that I can't wait to see in some of my images! The ride to the wedding and to the formals in the limo was tons of fun too and I got some great images from that. Then, covering the reception inside the Cable Center's great hall was fantastic as well. Dozens of windows let in great light and it was especially fun to take photos during that special hour when the sky is that lovely navy blue right before the night fully descends.

At the end of the day, the bride said something to me that I've never heard before: "Don't even think about leaving the state, because I want you to be my family's photographer from now on!" That's exactly what I had been hoping would happen -- that a successful wedding might lead to me becoming a "photographer for life" for this couple, shooting all of their future engagements, the birth of their children, senior portraits, graduations, etc. etc. And I couldn't have asked for a better "family" to be apart of. The couple's amazing slide show of my engagement photos on a larger than life, multi-screened format was fantastic and by far the best advertisement I could ever ask for. I had several people come up and ask for business cards to book similar sessions. And the bride told me that one of her husband's groomsmen is getting married in Kenya and might be interested in having me shoot that as well....hopefully helping me secure my first destination wedding! Photos will follow!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Get the Job Done: Wedding Rehearsal Outtakes

I know I'm supposed to be relaxing right now a few hours before my next wedding, but I woke up early and started editing. Seeing how much fun Harriet and Peter had during their wedding rehearsal lightens my heart and makes me feel calmness instead of anxiety for how today will go.

I feel touched by their love and their family support. It's going to be a great day. And hearing Harriet yell at the top of her lungs when she saw me: "There's MY photographer!" and rush to hug me in front of everyone....that's a vote of confidence I can keep with me forever!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Get the Job Done: One wedding down, one to go!

If I've learned anything today after covering my second official wedding shoot it's this: No matter how much you prepare, the unexpected will happen and you need to be adaptable, quick on your feet and not easily rattled. I knew last night that I had done all I could do to get ready, and I wasn't in the least bit nervous. I think I can thank my background as a journalist for helping me out with this because my first 8 years as a hard news reporter at the Denver Post really taught me how to dig in, get the job done (and done well) and freak out later on my own time.

The first change happened as soon as I and my assistants Sean and Christine got to the church. The groom and his party were initially scheduled to dress at the church, but turns out the groom decided last minute that he wanted to get dressed at home instead. That was a little jarring, but I think it gave Sean more time to have fun with the guys when they did show up. He described some cool pictures where the guys were shooting craps and a funky shot where they hoisted the groom up to the window as if he were breaking in (or escaping more likely!). Then Sean had time to set up his extensive gear in the choir loft where he was stationed for the duration of the wedding.

Christine and I spent the first hour with the bride and her party, with me focusing on the ladies and Christine taking charge of the detail shots. I've shot with Christine and Sean before and they are both members of my Mile High DPS Social Group, and I knew Christine had an exceptional eye for details, so she happily had fun shooting the shoes, the bouquets and the rings. A quick look around the room revealed a staircase that lead up to a door. When we opened that door, sunshine came streaming through, and I knew that's where I wanted to grab some quick shots of the bride and her dress. The brilliant backlight on her blonde hair really made her appear to glow, and I can't wait to start editing those.

Moving ahead to the wedding, the priest threw in an extra kiss during the middle of the wedding that didn't happen during the rehearsal. Mind you, this was a complicated Catholic ceremony with many intricate pieces contributing to the entire event, including prayers, speeches, readings etc. etc. So I wasn't prepared for a kiss to come in the middle of the nuptials. Thank goodness Sean had me covered, as he was able to capture the moment while shooting from above in the choir loft. After the ceremony, the bride and I both laughed at that moment because she said she wasn't expecting it either! Oh well. They kissed again at the end and that was a great moment to capture.

One of the things I did differently during this ceremony was take full advantage of the high ISO capabilities of my 5D. I've been routinely testing out that feature to see where I start to see noise. I've been able to shoot at 1600 and not see a wink of aberration. So I felt comfortable cranking it up high enough to give me 1/50 to 1/100 of sec hand-held shooting only with available light and the photos are lovely. I used the flash when I wanted to capture some quick moments such as the kiss, but other than that, I am thankful the church was so well light with light streaming in through stained glass windows and an open exit door with a tremendous amount shining in as well.

The groom's family left the church after the wedding, so we weren't able to get them in the formals. I'm not sure how that happened, but the bride and groom were just as surprised as we were. So that was another issue sidestepped. I was pleased when the groom took charge during the formals. He had been thinking about some shots he wanted done, and I was more than happy to oblige him any pose he wanted to try out. But my favorites are definitely when the bridesmaids decided to group around him and smoother him in kisses. The look on his face is priceless.

We ended the four hour shoot taking photos of the couple as they drove away to their reception at Maggiano's. They had planned on having disposables at each table so people could take photos as they wanted there. The groom surprised me again when he tipped me and my assistants. That was a first, and it was most appreciated. I asked if he could give my portion of the tip to my assistants, as they were shooting this event for free. Then he surprised me again by whipping out the final payment for me!

The adrenaline pumping through my veins kept me on top of my game throughout, but as soon as the couple drove away, I felt the adrenaline fade and I was left exhausted, mentally and physically. Let me tell you, it's no easy fete carrying two cameras on you, with two flashes, each with a Gary Fong diffuser and two battery packs for each camera as well. I didn't realize how tired I was until it was all over and I could barely put together a coherent sentence. I went home and slept for four hours. While uploading and saving photos, I looked over them and I'm pleased with the results. Plus, the few shots I saw on Sean's and Christine's camera were gorgeous too. It was a win-win for all of us involved, including our clients.

But thank goodness tomorrow's event doesn't start till 3. It's going to be a late night working about 10 hours into the evening, but I will relish sleeping in!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Get Out There: My First Wedding Rehearsal

Yesterday evening I attended my first wedding rehearsal for the couple I am shooting Saturday, and I'm so glad that I took the time to do so. Being able to meet relatives, wedding party members and the Catholic priest who will perform the ceremony was extremely beneficial. The Father explained the rules about flash and using it sparingly during the wedding, plus, he granted me amazing access to the couple. I will be allowed to shoot behind the altar with a spectacular and intimate view in front of the couple. During the last wedding I shot, I could only get images of the bride and groom from under them (they were above me on the altar) and from behind.

My assistants and I were able to pinpoint some great areas to shoot the bride and groom portraits (if we can convince them to make a climb up some winding stairs!) All of our fingers are crossed that by tomorrow, the roses in the garden will have bloomed just in time for our formal portraits. We've got about an hour to shoot those after the wedding before everyone high-tails it over to Maggiano's for the reception. And I think we were able to get some great candid shots during the rehearsal that will make this a more complete story for the couple. I will upload those later today, as I have another rehearsal to attend in just a few hours for my couple getting married on Sunday.

While researching online, I was surprised by how many professionals do not attend this event. I completely understand the need of time management and appropriate payment for that time spent as professional Bruce A. Dart remarked on the forum

"Most professionals do not attend the rehearsals, although I do know one of my friends who does attend them for all of the previously mentioned reasons. As a business, I need to be concerned about the hours spent away from the studio and whether or not I get paid for what I do. I already spend anywhere from 6-8 hours or more at each event. I have an additional "prep" time to be sure my equipment is ready to go. Afterwards, sorting files, getting previews ready, designing an album, etc. takes about another 20 hours before you deliver the product. There are ways to streamline all this but the point is that there is already a LOT of time involved here."

However, I think it is a mistake not attending the rehearsal, and I will continue to include this coverage in my storytelling, photojournalistic wedding photography.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Get the Job Done: Wedding preparation tips

Even though this weekend's two-fer wedding events won't be my first wedding, I think preparing for it as if it were will help me "stay frosty" as they say in the marines, alert and anticipating every moment. This list of wedding photography survival tips I found on the Digital Photography School site is filled with great ideas, and the comments from fellow photographers that follow the post offers even more real-world insight. As I was reading through the list, it was extremely reassuring to know that I had intuitively done many of the things suggested. I think I'm on the right track and that feels good:

Find a local bookstore with a large selection of photography books. Take some time to look at books from Bill Hurter and Amherst Media. These resources will give you an incredible amount of information to walk you through the wedding photographer’s experience.

I would add that it's a good idea to take advantage of the internet, as I've done for this week. Wonderful pages about how to improve your photography on that special day abound. Plus, being able to look through other more experienced photographer's work is always a great source of inspiration. This week, I've been inspired by Mark Hayes Photography, a friend and fellow photographer in the Colorado wedding market whom I admire. I saw this unconventional bride and groom portrait pose an another photographer's website and loved it so much that I tried it at my first wedding last year.

As a wedding photographer, your job involves more than capturing the events of the wedding day. You must have the ability to do so in the style that signifies the bridal couple. Are they traditionalists? Are they contemporary? Do they want color or black and white? If they aren’t sure what they like, take the time to go through a wedding magazine with them to find clips that match their style. Once you know what they are expecting stylistically, you can shoot to capture just that!

I asked my first couple I will be shooting on Saturday to look through magazines and pull out images they liked so I could have a better sense of what they were looking for in their own wedding coverage. I was surprised when she told me she definitely wanted candid, unposed portraiture as well as images with selective colouring like this one that showcased the special hair accessory pieces she made that her flower girls will be wearing.

Meanwhile the couple I will be shooting on Sunday told me that this following shot was one of their favorites on my website because it made them laugh. I knew right then that they too would appreciate candid moments and lighthearted, fun photography to compliment their laid back style.

Arrange a pre-wedding meeting with the bride to plan out a 15-minute incremental schedule of the wedding shoot. This should include wedding preparations, bride portraits, bride and bridesmaids portraits; the groom and his groomsmen, the full wedding party, the family portraits, and the bride and groom. If you aren’t experienced shooting weddings, plan for extra time so you won’t be rushed or distracted by the time pressures.

Be sure to get the phone number of the wedding coordinator, the best man, and the bride’s personal attendant. If (and when) the wedding schedule gets off, you will want to be sure that the wedding coordinator is in the know. And when the time comes to hunt down rogue bridal party or family members who are missing out on the shoot, these numbers are handy for extra help.

Shooting a first wedding is best done with another primary shooter, or at least an assistant. An assistant will help you keep track of your shot list, schedule, managing the individuals for large group photos. In the very least, an assistant is available to carry equipment, keep track of the cell phone, and holding reflectors.

I am so lucky to have help from numerous people I've meet from the Mile High Digital Photography School Social Group I created. I will have two assistants on Saturday and four on Sunday when we are expected to have that wedding be mobbed by more than 300 guests! You just can't be everywhere at once. While I was trying to run around the church and follow the couple outside, my assistant Jason Peckovitch of Illusive Dreams was able to capture this great shot that I surely would have missed while in transition:

The bridal couple will undoubtedly have shots they want. Generally, the couple will stress the importance of photos with family members attending, and the bridal party. Once you have this initial list, you can build a more detailed list for your own reference. A shot list will keep you focused and on top as you go about the 5-8 hour shooting day. As you refer to your shot list throughout the day, won’t have to worry about forgetting anything.

This list on the 50 must-have wedding photography shots is a great basic list to get prepared. However, if you read the comments, there are several people who claim that this list is too rudimentary for the demands of today's modern wedding. I agree with posters who said it may be better to spend time with the bride and groom to have them help you refine your list of must-haves.

Arrive at the venue at least an hour before you are to begin shooting. Once you are on location, map out your location flow. Where will you start out and what shots will you take in that area? Where will you go next? What distractions must you watch out for in each location? Where is the light? Have a flow plan for your shoot and both you and your clients will stay relaxed through the day.

I would add that you need to be aware of not just the actual structure where the wedding will be held, but also of the buildings and scenery that surround it. This unforgettable shot shown of the bride and groom rushing from the church after the ceremony for a quick moment alone is made all the more better by a wide angle lens that takes in the city in the background. It creates a storytelling moment of this couple's new path in life, taking on the world together.

It was a lot of fun to go out to each session and hash out plans with my assistants who are all very talented photographers in their own rite. It was good comraderie to be able to speak a similar language and share a vision for the wedding. Attending the rehearsals will be even more beneficial.

Remember that no matter what happens on the wedding day, there will be a plethora of uncontrolled variables. Your role is to take the unexpected happenings and run with them! If you are the picture of calm and the voice of reason, everyone else will be ok! The mark of a good wedding photographer isn’t a perfectly planned and executed shoot but rather a wedding shoot in which the photographer was able to adapt to each scenario and still capture the beautiful moments of the day.
No matter how much reading and research time you put into preparing, there is a large degree of learning that will come from that first experience. Above all, set your mind on enjoying the experience no matter what comes your way. While the pressure is on, so long as you can take nervous pressure and channel it to anticipated excitement, you’ll be just fine.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Tips of the Trade: Husband and wife team share tips for great wedding photographs

Yesterday morning while yelling at -- er, I mean, having a disagreement with -- my Kodak All-in-One printer, I happened upon this amazing set of tips on the Kodak "Tips & Projects Center" webpage.

Isabel Lawrence Photographers are a husband and wife team based in Los Angeles, California. Their work has appeared in publications like People, In Style, Town & Country as well as on WE TV's Platinum Weddings and the Oprah Show. Isabel's photographs have appeared in several galleries and museums including the Ventura Museum of Art and the Latin Art Museum. Her photographs were also featured at Photokina in the Kodak pavilion in 2006. I immediately recognized Lawrence candid style as that achieved from his award winning photojournalism at the Los Angeles Times and LA Weekly. All photos in this post were shot by Isabel Lawrence Photographers. Check out their tips and try to incorporate them into your wedding day coverage. I know I will be!

To ensure natural, relaxed expressions that illustrate your subject's true feelings, encourage lots of interaction. Just be sure to keep shooting because you are sure to get some priceless moments.

When dealing with a camera shy subject, place her where the light is good and where you have a pleasing background, then have her engage with a friend off camera. The pressure of being photographed is off because she is distracted by the conversation and you will be able to capture a wonderful, fun moment.

As a photographer interested in expanding my boudoir gallery, I loved this idea! For the more daring bride, suggest setting aside some extra time during the "getting ready" portion of the day for some boudoir shots. Ask her to pickup some special lingerie or envelope her in the bridal veil. Present these photos to the bride privately after the wedding so that she can surprise her groom at a later date. This is a great opportunity to create more sales for your studio. Recommend that such special photos deserve to be displayed in a special album or portfolio box.

Pickup an old Rollieflex or Holga camera at a flea market and load it with TMax 120 film. You'll stretch yourself creatively and deliver something unique and unexpected to your clients. While I won't be doing this, I will enjoy being able to experiment with lighting up the church and reception area with strobes.

Find inspiration in obvious places. For instance, with so many couples requesting wedding images that have a photo journalistic quality, take a look at the masters of photojournalism. Photographers like Eugene Smith and Elliott Erwitt were master storytellers whose photographs are relevant to this day. Study their compositions and camera angles. If you submerge yourself in classic, well made images, you will start to see the story telling opportunities in every wedding.

Approach each wedding with the mind set that it is your first. It can be easy to fall into a rut when shooting the same type of event every week. It is so important for the photographer to be open to each couple's story and try his best to depict it in a new and fresh way.

I definitely agree with this one, as I believe the groom is often overlooked in the day coverage. I have at least one photographer dedicated to concentrating on him and his family. Give the groom just as much attention as the bride. The groom's dressing room is usually overlooked but rich in photographic opportunity. Make time to check in and take some photos of the groom and his friends getting ready. The guys will appreciate the attention and the bride will love seeing that aspect of the day.

When photographing the smaller, younger members of the bridal party, kneel down and look them in the eye. Introduce yourself and explain that you are there to take lots of nice shots of them. Sometimes, in order to break the ice with some of the shyer children, I let them take a photo of me first. If possible try to choose a location that is within the parents' vision but far enough away that Mom won't be trying to coax the typical "photo smile" out of her child.

Focus on the little things during the wedding. The bride and groom have spent a tremendous amount of time picking out the favors, programs and food but because the day is such a blur for them, they are rarely able to take it all in. Take the time to photograph each element as beautifully as you can. Not only will your clients be appreciative but so will the florist and other wedding professionals who are in a position to refer more work to you.

Using a slow shutter speed (1⁄15th or slower) and a pop of flash can be a dynamic way to show movement and energy. This is especially effective during the reception.

A portrait doesn’t always have to have a face in it. Be aware of your subject's body language and look for ways to depict emotion that are not obvious.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Get the Job Done: Wedding Week Roundup

This weekend I will be shooting the long awaited back to back wedding events: Julie and Joe Saturday morning and Harriet and Peter Sunday evening. I can't believe this busy time is finally here.

The buildup was slow with just incremental consultant meetings to make sure I and my clients were on the same page. Last month I shot Julie's bridal fitting portraits. Her twin sister and best friend since grade school were there to share the experience with her.

Last week I shot Harriet and Peter's engagement photo session. Their easy shared laughter and obvious adoration made this one of my best portrait sessions ever I believe.

It was the first time I'd worked with a friend and photographer as my assistant, and I got to experiment with blending ambient and strobe lighting. The results were amazing and fun!

Yesterday, I scouted out the location for Harriet and Peter's wedding, and I will check out Julie and Joe's church on Thursday. And this week I'll be shooting both couple's wedding rehearsals -- one Thursday evening and the other Friday morning.

Whew. I'm tired already. Are you confused yet? Believe me, planning for this has really tested my time management skills. Thank goodness I will be on furlough next week from the day job at The Denver Post so I can rest and concentrate on editing the images. Considering how exhausted I get after nearly every shoot, I may just sleep all day on Monday!

In honor of these great occasions (and my second and third official wedding events to shoot!) I will be blogging all week about weddings and tips for phenomenal coverage. If you have any tried or truisms about this type of photography, please share. While I'm still struggling with whether or not to specialize in one type of genre only, photographers who only shoot weddings really do astonish me because it seems as if it would be difficult to keep from getting into a rut. But I'm learning that each wedding is unique because each couple truly is unique in their relationship with each other and with their friends and family. Wish me luck and success for documenting these timeless rites.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Saturday Morning Cartoons

I can't tell you how many times I've been in this position. It doesn't seem to matter how much positive reinforcement you hear. Just one or even a few negative comments hiding among 100 "jobs well done" seem to crush the spirit. I have to learn how not to let this kind of criticism affect me so greatly, whether it's negative or positive.

Here is my favorite "What the Duck" comic from this week. Rock on Aaron! "What the Duck" is an online comic strip created by Aaron Johnson. Viewers are welcome to link, post, copy/paste, or save the strips to their own sites, blogs, forums, newsletters, etc. Aaron also allows viewers to suggest titles for his individual strips, which I think is a great way to interact with his blog readers.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Get Out There: Advertising on Facebook

Definitely read this great article on understanding the difference between marketing and advertising on

It made perfect sense! One of friends told me that since she updated her status on Facebook as "engaged," she had been seeing a ton of advertising on her profile page pegged toward the bride-to-be, including ads posted from wedding photographers, event planners, destination wedding sites, flowers and catering and gowns and tuxedos. The same thing happened as soon as I wrote on my profile that I was now fostering dogs for a local shelter. Suddenly, I started receiving all of these ads about rescuing abused dogs. "You should create an ad too!," my friend told me.

She was right. For only a few dollars a day, I now have an ad that brands and promotes my services on one of the most popular social sites on the web. The ad is 100% branded by the advertiser with copy and image and does not include any social actions. It can link to a Facebook Page, application or external website. Plus an ad directed to a Facebook Page or application can generate social actions for future campaigns.

I loved this "explanation" when I found it on Pronet Advertising.

Facebook Ads display in the right side column on Facebook pages in the Ad Space. The key to having as many people as possible see your add is to use keywords. The better your keywords, the more effective your add in narrowing the audience who receives it based on interests that match my offer. Even if you aren't interested in advertising on Facebook yet, be sure to check out the "best practices" guide because the information provided is great for helping you begin ANY marketing campaign.

This has also been a great opportunity for me to try to specialize my branding, since Facebook advises that ads are more likely to perform better and continue running successfully if it's displayed to targeted, smaller, more specific group users. There are tons of ads already out there for general photography services. Wedding photography is definitely a more targeted ad campaign. So I decided to narrow it down even further with a pitch for my boudoir photography as a way to test the waters about potential interest.

Teri's Rose is now featured in my new ad campaign on Facebook.

I've extended my boudoir special started earlier this month to extend throughout the wedding season, which lasts through September 2009. My Facebook ad keywords target everything I could think of (until they wouldn't let me add anymore) including girls night out parties, wedding photography, brides and grooms and the ultimate gift. I think I mustered up about 30 keywords.

Since the ad was approved yesterday, I've had more than 100 extra visitors to my business website, starting at my boudoir galleries. That may not seem like a lot, but that's 100 more visitors than I might have had otherwise. All I need is one person to book a session, and my Facebook ad campaign has paid for itself 3X over.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Get the Job Done: Harriet and Peter's Engagement Session

My favorite shot from Kim and Michael's fall engagement session

This evening, during the Golden Hour before sunset, I will take engagement photos of one of my upcoming May wedding couples, Harriet and Peter. I'm excited about this session for a couple of reasons:

1) It will be the first one I've done for a client that will combine ambient light with off camera flash. I started charging my Alien Bee battery pack Tuesday night which will allow me to take one of my AB1600 strobes on location with me. Thanks to attending several sessions with the Colorado Strobist Flickr group, I've gotten tons of practice getting great results from a very simple, my pared down "travel lighting kit," which consists of a shoot through umbrella, a light stand, a single strobe, a reflector and two Pocket Wizards. My friend and fellow photographer Christine will be assisting me with the shoot.

Lately, I've been using my Canon 580 II used off camera with a Custom Bracket and a off-camera shoe cord. So I'm very excited to be taking my portrait photography to the next level. And I'm confident that I'm more than prepared.

2) Harriet and Peter are home bodies, so they have decided to have me shoot them near their apartment complex. One of the things they told me during their consultation is how much they love having home movie nights. I think it would be so much fun to have some outtakes while they are watching their favorite flick on their living room couch!

When I shot Kim and Michael's engagement session during the fall, I loved being able to do some storytelling images explaining how their romance began through a shared love of skiing and bicycling.

For inspiration, I spent the evening looking at great shots from the E-Sessions and Engagement Photography group pools on Flickr. I loved this series of shots from Ryan Richard:

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Get the Goods: Canon 1 DS Mark II for $2,500

I am salavating as I write this. I've been coveting the Canon 1 DS Mark II since FOREVER, and especially since I got to actually hold one in my hands during a seminar last year. Believe me, if I had the funds I would be snagging this baby up myself. Unfortunately, I don't, so I thought I would pass the potential bounty on to my blog readers.

Famed fashion photographer Claudio Basso, creator of the breakthrough Renovance.TV Reality Training programs, is putting his Mark II up for sale. Basso just renewed his partnership with Canon and will be receiving two new 1DS Mark III. So he decided to offer up his Mark II. Here's what you get:

- Canon 1 DS Mark II with four batteries, charger and original packaging
- Epson Stylus Pro foto 2200 with accessories and cartridges
- Panasonic MiniDV model PV - GS39 - charger is missing
- DIRECTOR VIEW FINDER professional MARK V 12 TO 1 manufactured by Alan Gordon Enterprises Inc. Hollywood

If interested, send Basso an email at with your zipcode, and he will proceed to quote you for shipping and insurance. The whole bundle is priced to go at $2,500. OMG, that's a steal.

From My Portfolio: Community Star Awards Dinner and Concert

My evening spent shooting the first annual Community Star Awards Dinner and Concert was very fun and successful. Of course, I was exhausted afterwards. I'm still convinced I must be tapping into some part of my body that only activates when I'm shooting. I always feel like I've run a marathon, but it's because I'm on my feet constantly throughout the event trying to capture genuine moments as well as traditional portraiture. The shot above is one of my favorites from the evening. The Tivoli Student Union is filled with great rooms with wonderful architecture. Turnhalle, Room 250, is no exception. I used a wide angle lens to capture this storytelling image and dragged the shutter just a wee bit while handholding to get as much of the ambient light as possible. A pop of flash was able to illuminate the magnificent skeletal structure of the ceiling.

My client was very happy with the results. She said she thought the photos were beautiful...that's music to my ears. Here are a few more of my favorites from the evening.

The welcome booth

Greeting old friends

Prayer before dinner

Reading the program about the awardees

The Mary Louise Lee Band

Singing with the band

R&B group "Surface" perform

Overlooking the crowd

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