Sunday, August 7, 2011

Get the Job Done: Cheyenne Car Show Photo Booth

(Photo by Illusive Dreams Photography)

I'm blogging to you live today from the Trend Settas Car Show and Benefit for the Cheyenne Animal Shelter. The show is sponsored by Liberty Storage & the Wyoming Army National Guard and is running from 10 p.m. to 4 p.m. at O'Reilly's Auto Parts, 1211 Del Range.

This is the first time that I and my colleague Jason Peckovitch of Illusive Dreams Photography have taken our photo booth concept out-of-state, from Colorado to neighboring Wyoming! We are hoping that car show participants who haven't come in contact with us before at the many Denver-area shows we frequent will generate new sales and interest in automotive photography, Jason's specialty as well as my fast turnaround editing and printing on site. Models pose with cars during a professional, on-location photo shoot with Jason. Then I edit the photos and print them on-site!

Here are the prices: $10 for 4x6, $15 for 5x7, $20 for 8x10 (all with models) Our first sale of the day was a t-shirt! But the models are hitting the participants up right now to generate a buzz so it's bound to get busy soon!

As a dog lover, I'm personally excited about being able to promote the car show's goal to raise donations for the local animal shelter. A special request has been made for the following items: non-clumping cat litter, dog and cat food, trash bags, pet toys and treats, miracle grow chemical sprayers, rack and shovel pooper scoopers etc.

Maya is one lucky dog. She was rescued two months ago from the Cheyenne Animal Shelter (Photo by Illusive Dreams Photography)

Come visit our booth!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Get the Job Done: My 5280 ad campaign for Ignite Matchmaking Services

The second photo in my first ad campaign featuring my photography will be appearing in 5280 Magazine in July!

Earlier this year I shot photos of several of Ignite Matchmaking Service's real clients so they could appear in the company's new advertisements. I worked along side Ignite's executive director Sheryl Williams and ad director Chris Faria of Ad Genie Creative.

See this ad on page 136 of July's 5280 Magazine Issue

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Breaking News: Finalist as CABJ's Print Journalist of the Year!

I found out this morning that I am one of three finalists for the Colorado Association of Black Journalist's "Print Journalist of the Year" award!

This is a great honor because peers vote for whom they think deserve the award based on the quality of their work for that year. Given all the challenges the industry has faced in the wake of advertising declines, layoffs and newspaper closures, it's a blessing that many Colorado journalists still have a job and continue to produce exceptional work. I feel honored to be one of many named and wish all of my colleagues luck. Winners will be announced at the CABJ 18th Annual Media Awards and Scholarship Banquet on July 22.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Get the Job Done: First Car Show Photo Booth of the Season!

I'm blogging to you live today from the Citywide Car Show in Broomfield where I and a colleague are hosting our first photo booth of the season. I am editing and printing today and our guest photographer is Jason Peckovitch of Illusive Dreams Photography. Our featured models are Tina and Brittany.

We are selling 5x7s for $10 ($15 with a model) and 8x10s for $15 ($20 with a model) .

The music is old school and jamming. The weather is gorgeous, hot with blue skies. Good luck to everyone in the show hoping to take home a coveted title and trophy.

Here's our first seller of the day shot with Tina:

And here are a few of my favorites from the day:

Jason did an excellent job yesterday. His shots were creative, amazingly light and clean making the editing process for me quick and easy. Tina and Brittany rocked it despite the heat of the day and I appreciated their willingness to hit the ground running, passing out cards and really working the crowd so we could get paid prints. Can't wait to work with you guys again! The show was a good practice run to work out all the kinks in running a photo booth. We got two more assignments for upcoming shows, and it looks like this summer will be busy.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Get the Job Done: Shooting Jodi's Race for Awareness

This weekend I will be the event photographer for Jodi's Race for Awareness, a 5k race/walk benefiting the Colorado Ovarian Cancer Alliance. This is the second year the race has been held, and I'm excited to be helping this young event chronicle its progression.

My colleague, Denver Post columnist Bill Johnson, wrote this great article about Jodi, the woman for whom this race was named. Here is a video her as well:

It's always fun to be a part of something new when the people involved are passionate, hopeful and overflowing with ideas because I always leave these events inspired. I look forward to building a lasting relationship with event coordinators who embrace the need for professional photographic coverage. I have been asked to give special attention to capturing storytelling imagery, including before and after race pictures and detail shots. It will be a great challenge for me to try to put into photos what these survivors, their family members and friends are experiencing as they participate in this race. At the same time, I've got to be able to capture shots the organization can use to promote their goals of raising awareness about this deadly disease. If you are in Denver this weekend, stop by City Park and make a donation to keep Jodi's dream alive. Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Get the Goods: Exclusive Workshop Discounts for My Blog Readers!

Still can't figure out how to work that digital camera you got for Christmas? Or need to brush up on some editing skills to WOW your studio clients?

Illuminate Photography Workshops owners Efrain Cruz has allowed me to announce new discounts on photography workshops to all Picture Your World Photography Facebook Fans and Blog Readers!

Just add the coupon code "PICTUREYOURWORLD" when you check out and get $15 off registration for any class offered.

Here are the detes:

1)The PICTUREYOURWORLD discount is good for new Illuminate students or ones who've previously taken classes.
2) But it's only available on new registrations only. Discount cannot be applied to previously attended or previously registered workshops.
3)Stack those discounts: This coupon can be used together with Early Registration Discounts amounting to a savings of $55 for some classes. PICTUREYOURWORLD Coupon can be used once. That's an awesome deal considering some of the workshops are as low as $ you net a 3 to 4 hour course for less than $30 a pop!

Classes span the gamut from learning how to use your camera to excelling in studio lighting and Photoshop and Lightroom techniques, as well as specialty classes including wedding, special event and product photography. Interested in a particular workshop you'd like to see offered at Illuminate? Efrain is extremely responsive to suggestions from students because he cares about making sure his participants remain viable in their chosen artistic field.

Just about everything I know has come from attending classes with amazing instructors at the top of their game including Efrain himself, certified PS Guru Armando Martinez and celebrated photographers Nathaniel Coalson and Richard Peterson, and business manager/photographer Jim Turley. I just finished a kickass Camera Raw class with Armando that has speed up my post-processing of RAW images...namely, I spend more time editing while the image is in Camera Raw and might not even have to open up PS at all!

Take advantage of these deals right now!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Get the Job Done: Shooting the first annual Rocky Mountain Early Childhood Conference

It's confirmed! I will be shooting the first ever Rocky Mountain Early Childhood conference
running April 15, 2011. I'm crazy excited about this opportunity because it's so much fun to be involved in the kinetic energy attached to a new event. But this is also the first time I put in a bid for a photography contract, competed against other photographers and won the gig!

The conference is a two-day session featuring events on Friday and Saturday including receptions, lunches, general workshop shots, and a vendor/exhibitor hall. Specifically the preschool program has requested that I be creative about my shots and use some depth of field and other photographic techniques so the imagery doesn't look like snapshots. I'm more than happy that I've been given a little more freedom to try some unconventional shots as well as shoot the necessary posed shots the organization needs as well. Thanks to my four years of consecutive coverage of the National Brotherhood of Skiers annual summits, the Council on Foundations event as well as numerous other smaller dinners and receptions I've shot locally, I have no doubt I can give the preschool program what they want in just about any lighting situation I might encounter.

It's purely coincidence, by the early childhood conference's featured speaker is Geoffrey Canada, CEO of Harlem Children’s Zone -- a guest speaker that I shot last year during the Council on Foundations annual conference held in Denver. Out of all the esteemed foundation guests (including Former Vice President Al Gore), I remember feeling more connected to Canada because a good education has been the basics for why I've been successful.

Here's one of my shots of Canada that appeared on the Council on Foundations 2010 event wrap-up page:

I'm beginning to think that I should try to specialize in special event coverage since they have been the bulk of my assignments recently. I would never give up shooting portraits because I love focusing on people, but maybe it's time I start to consider a specialization. I'll chew on this and get back with you later! :)

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Get the Job Done: My 5280 Ad Campaign for Ignite Matchmatching Services

My first ad campaign photography will be appearing in 5280 Magazine in May!

Last month I shot photos of several of Ignite Matchmaking Service's real clients so they could appear in the company's new advertisements. I worked along side Ignite's executive director Sheryl Williams and ad director Chris Faria of Ad Genie Creative.

Chris took this photo I shot of Mary:

and used it to create this great ad:

Chris specifically said he wanted it to look like the sun was shining down on Mary' right side, hence I would need some strong specular highlights to simulate sun rays. So I used two Alien Bees, one for the main light and one for the "sunlight," only that one was set several stops higher than the main light. Chris had a great idea in mind, and I simply had to follow his direction to achieve the shot he wanted for the ad, and I think it worked out well.

More advertisements will appear in 5280 issues throughout the year!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Get the Job Done: Lead Photographer for the National Brotherhood of Skiers Summit 2011

I'm blogging to you live today from Steamboat Springs, Colorado where the opening ceremonies for the National Brotherhood of Skiers Black Ski Summit 2011 will kick-off in about two hours. The NBS contracted me to serve as their event's lead photographer for the fourth consecutive year, and I'm looking forward to working for them and visiting a new city.

More than 800 registered NBS participants are in Steamboat for social events, parties, skiing activities, and races all geared toward raising funds to support the NBS Olympic Scholarship Fund designed to provide financial support for exceptional athletes of color who excel in winter sports. The intent is to propel these young athletes to Olympic and international competition. In addition, funds from this event support the operation of the National Brotherhood of Skiers. In past years, I've photographed NBS summits held in Breckenridge, Aspen/Snowmass and Winter Park.

This year, officials have asked me to focus on capturing more members engaged in skiing, snowboarding, racing and other activities and less on the social/party scene so the organization can use those images for gaining more advertisers and sponsorships.

Check out some highlights from last year's summit in Winter Park:

National Brotherhood of Skiers 2010 AMCC

Here are some of my favorite action shots from previous years:

Check in for some daily blogs about the doings here in Steamboat and wish me luck!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Breaking News: Facebook pages disabled because of nude maternity photos!

Both my personal and business studio Facebook pages have been disabled after I posted several artistic nude maternity photos of model Cellista. I apologize in advanced for this inconvenience, but I hope it's only a temporary set-back, as I have contacted Facebook to re-enable the pages after I delete the images. With more than 1,000 friends and nearly 500 studio fans, my Facebook pages are of great importance to me and have been instrumental in my personal and professional life, as I often post about features articles I write for the Denver Post as well as promote my studio.

The photos in this blog post had been on both pages for nearly two days. I received numerous accolades for the beauty of these images, however Facebook sent me two warning emails earlier this evening letting me know two of the images had been deleted (although I don't know which ones were). But because I was shooting a wedding at the time, I could not delete the rest of the images before the account was disabled. Facebook's policy says it prohibits sexually explicit photos showcasing nudity. However, I do not see Cellista's images as explicit in nature, especially given the fact that I have bee able to successfully post numerous boudoir images that would be considered far more salacious than those showcasing a mother-to-be. But Facebook apparently has a no tolerance policy for nudity of any kind, and I would adhere to those rules from now on if my account is re-opened to public access.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Get the Job Done: Alter Ego Sessions 2011

Weren't able to get your Mary Kay Alter Ego Photo Session done last year? No worries! 2011 sessions kickoff today, and more will be made available throughout the year. Here are the details:


Limited Seatings AVAILABLE so 1st come, 1st serve!

Choose an Appointment time! 4 to 8 people per session.
Sessions began at 1:30pm, 2:00pm, 2:30pm, 3:00pm, 3:30pm, or 4:00pm

Think of it as a "speed dating" makeup and photo session!! And your Makeup is ready for your Girl's Night/Date Night!!

$20 nonrefundable Sitting Fee MUST BE PAID IN ADVANCE. You will receive 2 photo sessions with a professional photographer, a "BEAUTY" photo from the photographer, a $10 gift Certificate toward your Mary Kay purchases of $50+ ($30.00 Value!!)

Plan to attend the Reveal Party in 2-3 Weeks!!

****You will be featured in the Mary Kay Alter Ego Photo Portfolio*****

To RSVP and ask questions about the next alter ego session, please contact Lisa Young, Mary Kay Personal Beauty Consultant.

Prepare for about 2 hours of FUN and Beauty your Way!!
Learn the basics of skincare, a basic care application and an advanced color application lesson!!

Need help pinpointing your who or what your alter ego is? Check out my gallery to get some ideas.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Studio chosen for a business ad campaign!

A preview of the new Ignite Matchmaking Service February ad campaign using a stock photo.

On Sunday, I will be shooting images for a local matchmaking service's ad campaign. Ignite Matchmaking Service's new February campaign will feature three or four of its own real clients as models rather than hire professional models or use stock photography for their ads. And that's where my expertise comes in!

The company's ad director, Chris Faria of Ad Genie Creative told me that they needed to find a photographer who could direct and pose "everyday" ladies with no modeling experience, helping them feel confident, attractive and at ease in front of the camera. Every once in a while, I have the pleasure of working with lovely, experienced models needing images to build their portfolios. But the bulk of my work is with clients who may not even have sat for a professional family portrait session, much less a boudoir or glamour shoot. I love being able to demonstrate through imagery just how gorgeous my clients are, and I look forward to doing the same with the ladies from Ignite. Very few of the clients in the previously linked galleries were models, just "everyday" people who ended up looking like models when their natural beauty and personality were allowed to shine.

Chris emailed me several images he found to illustrate the kind of look he's going for:

Sheryl Williams, a professional matchmaker for the service, came across photos I posted on Facebook earlier this week, and the images led her to my website. From there, she sent my website to her ad agency to see if my work qualified for their needs. Faria and a makeup artist will be on hand during the shoot as well to make sure the company's vision is maintained. The shoot, expected to last for about two hours, will be the first one I host in my new digs at Xposure Photography Studios.

Here are more of Chris' favorites he hopes we can capture during Sunday's studio session:

Friday, February 4, 2011

This Weekend: Couples Retreat

This weekend is all about couples for Picture Your World Photography!

Tomorrow during the early evening, I will be photographing Donna and her newly web husband Greg during my first ever portrait session held in the snow. My readers may remember that Donna was the winner of a free photo session drawing held in November when I reached 400 Facebook fans. A crazy holiday season caused some cancellations, but Donna and I were finally able to sync our schedules with Mother Nature so we could shoot not far after a fresh new snow. I'm thinking lots of cuddling, snowball fights and laughter! The massive storm that has swept the nation has given us the perfect opportunity for a Winter Wonderland type of setup at one of my favorite locations. Here's a shot of Donna and her blended family another photographer shot in 2009 at another wintry venue:

Then Sunday morning, I will be hosting my first Steamy Couples session -- think boudoir meets engagement! The idea became clearer for me this past week when I photographed two young couples during a Valentine's Day-themed Meetup with the Digital Photography Lighting Basics Workshops. They told me they had been searching for a photographer who was willing to allow them to pose more sensually, and it wasn't long before we had a meeting of the minds and a shared vision. Unfortunately, we only had about five minutes to quickly try out some shots before the studio closed, but I think the results were great and more than enough fodder to get us interested in setting up a private shoot for later:

Shelena and George

Shelbi and Steve:

We've talked about possibly using my two-seater soaking tub to create some sexy shots with bubbles and implied nudity. I would love to be able to start offering this as a regular service, and definitely as a special promotion for V-Day (Valentine's Day).

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

A New Studio Home for Picture Your World Photography

On Friday, I will sign a contract to be one of the photographers participating in a new Denver co-op called Xposure Photography Studios! I'm very excited about this decision because I think it shows that my company is continuing to grow and prosper.

I have been mulling over the idea for a long time now since I started hearing client concerns about being allergic to the dog hair I have in my house. Despite my best efforts, dog hair seems to be like cigarette smoke -- it just gets everywhere no matter how you try to isolate it. My basement studio in my home has always been a doggie free area from the days when I used to rent out an apartment down there. But even then, clients allergic to the dander would start to sneeze and get teary, red eyes within 30 minutes of shooting and would not be able to make it through a full two hour session without suffering. So I began my search for a studio space that I might be able to rent out.

I have had great experiences with the North Denver Photographers Studio as well as the Studios at Southland. But I have decided to try out Xposure first because of its central Denver location not far from the well-known Santa Fe Arts District and because of it's extraordinary introductory price of just $55 a month for six hours of studio time.

I visited the site last Friday and met up with organizer Karen Aguirre who also hosts numerous Meetup shootouts for photographers looking to broaden their portfolios. As I toured the facilities, Karen and I spoke about her own background as a special events photographer and my growing specialty in the same kind of coverage. The Xposure studio is well suited for family photos, senior portraits, portfolio work, commercial product photography and many other types of photography. It also includes a classroom space as well as a presentation area for showing clients your products. Karen will feature participating photographers' work once a month or so on the studios extensive gallery wall space. And the studio has access to models, and offers it's members a chance to promote their work through inclusion in the Blush Magazine Online. Xposure is now available to anyone who wants to become a member. Check it out at 1200 West Misissippi, Denver, CO 80223 (east side entrance only)
East side entrance only.

I will still be working in my home studio -- especially for playing with new equipment. But it feels good to finally have a commercial address for my business. Thank you to all my clients for their continued support of Picture Your World Photography.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Get the Job Done: Downtown engagement session

This Saturday I will be shooting an engagement session with Gina and her fiancee Vachon tomorrow afternoon! I'm very excited about this opportunity to work with Gina because even though she already had plans for someone to shoot her wedding, she still booked me to photograph her e-session. And that will provide exceptional exposure for my studio because she intends to send out the photos with her invitations and thank you notes!

I will be shooting the couple in downtown Denver, near Civic Center Park and a few other key places near the 16th Street Mall that I've been scoping out for a few months.

Here are samples of some of my favorite e-session portraits:

Harriet and Peter
Harriet and Peter are nose to nose in this adorable engagement session photo.

Adrian and Sherif
Adrian and Sherif hide under an umbrella during their rainy engagement session at a Denver University garden.

Kim and Mike
Kim and Mike's engagement portrait session near Denver's South Platte River in Lodo chronicled their favorite shared activities as a couple.

Jessaca and Nate
Jessaca and Nate are framed by a water fountain during their engagement session taken at a Denver University garden.

Krista and Scott
Scott takes Krista for a ride in this fun shot taking during their engagement portrait session at a Denver University garden .

Then on Sunday, I will be attending a Valentine's Day themed Digital Photography Lighting Basics Workshops with Bill Murphy, one of my favorite photography instructors/ This will be my second year attending one of Bill's high key sessions, and I hope I will be able to use some of the images to update my boudoir portfolio.

Here are some photos I shot at last year's meetup:

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