I just wanted to share a book that I recently read that I really enjoyed that’s a quick read and I highly recommend:
It’s called “the accidental millionaire” by Gary Fong. The reason I read it is because it was a gift from a family member and I was naturally interested because Gary Fong is a famous wedding photographer, inventor and entrepreneur. I realize that everyone might not connect with the book in the same way I did, but this one is a really fun read because it is so conversational and such an honest, intimate look at one man’s life and struggles. There’s really not much in the book about making millions (which is probably a good thing) – only the philosophy of thinking about things in a different way and having fun while doing it. I like to think of it as the modern, simpler version of “Zen And The Art Of Motorcycle Maintenance”.
One of my favorite little nuggets of information comes at the very end of the book (page 260 of 264):
Gary says, “When you’re passionately preparing for one thing, the universe may be preparing you for something else. As long as you’re actively and creatively preparing for something, you’re usually on the right track.”
I got the photo of the book above from Amazon.com, where Gary’s book is currently listed less than $11! Go grab it today!
I just wanted to post a blog about a nice little award we (Austin Americana Photography – formerly Martin Whitton Photography) won earlier this year. We’re proud recipients and supporters of Wedding Wire!
Austin, Texas – January 19, 2010 –WeddingWire just announced Martin Whitton Photography (now Austin Americana Photography) has been selected to receive the 2010 Bride’s Choice Awards™ for Wedding Photojournalism!
The annual Bride’s Choice Awards™ recognizes and celebrates excellence in quality and service within the wedding industry, as determined by recent reviews and extensive surveys from over 500,000 newlyweds.
Martin Whitton Photography (Austin Americana Photography) is among the top five percent of all vendors in the WeddingWire community, which includes over 100,000 wedding professionals across the US and Canada. Awards were given to winners across 19 different service categories, from wedding venues to wedding photographers.
“We are excited to recognize and honor the success of the top wedding professionals within the WeddingWire Community” said Timothy Chi, WeddingWire’s Chief Executive Officer. “The annual Bride’s Choice Awards™ program has given us the unique opportunity to highlight the best wedding professionals in each region as reviewed by brides and grooms who have utilized their services in the past year.”
We are happy to announce that Martin Whitton Photography (Austin Americana Photography) is among the very best Wedding Photojournalism within the WeddingWire Network, which includes WeddingWire and Martha Stewart Weddings. We would like to thank our past newlyweds for nominating us for the 2010 Bride’s Choice Awards™.
For more information, please visit our home at http://www.austinamericanastudio.com or our WeddingWire Storefront today athttp://www.weddingwire.com/biz/martin-whitton-photography-austin/c8d28d772f4cdf36.html
I have a lot of favorites when it comes to photography of weddings, but I think one of the things that I enjoy photographing most is watching things unfold before the ceremony as the bride and groom get ready. You can almost feel the magic and mystery in the moment of anticipation – it’s the calm before the storm when you can almost feel the electricity in the air. The bride and groom ready themselves both physically with elaborate costumes, jewelry and makeup for one of the biggest moments of their lives: when they will stand before their friends and family and a higher power to commit to one another everything they have.
Normally for the groom and groomsmen it is a time of camaraderie and reflection. But for the bride it is the foremost time of her life where she shines like never before. All of her bridesmaids, her mother and other family members recognize that she has officially made the transition from single daughter to independent woman. Like a burgeoning flower, her beauty is in full bloom and at this moment her womanhood has come into full fruition. Everyone around her recognizes the amazing, glowing aura that emanates from the bride. She is confident and hopeful for the fortuitous future that lies ahead of her and her groom.
Like I said, the “getting ready” shots are a fun thing to capture with a camera. The moments before the wedding ceremony are frequently bursting with emotion and excitement. And if I do my job right as a photographer all this is translated into the images that my camera captures.
Wikipedia defines bokeh as,
“a photographic term referring to the aesthetic quality of the out-of-focus areas of an image produced by a camera lens using a shallow depth of field. Essentially, bokeh is an aesthetic and qualitative measure of light distortion in the out-of-focus areas of an image, and is primarily caused by lens aberrations and aperture shape.”
Wikipedia goes on to explain that bokeh is taken from a Japanese word (boke), which can be interpreted as “blur” or “haze”.
In short, I just wanted to create a lead-in to the topic I’ll be writing about in the next week: Depth of Field (DOF). In a way, bokeh is the “Yin” to DOF’s “Yang”, if you will. Or perhaps bokeh could be considered the boundary that delineates where DOF begins.
At any rate, the photo above shows a flower in the foreground that is the focal point of the image. Most of the image that remains is a blurred background or bokeh. The photo is from a Zilker Botanical Garden wedding I photographed earlier this year here in Austin. More on the topic of Depth of Field in the coming days…
Tonight, September 22, 2010, we observed a very large and beautiful moon in our back yard. A friend coincidentally asked us to photograph it, so I did. It was a beautiful sight. Keep in mind that wedding photography and astronomical photography are distant cousins, meaning they require totally different equipment.
According to Space.com, tonight is a special moon; it’s the harvest moon…
A week after the first quarter phase in September comes the full moon, which will also hold the title of Harvest Moon — a full moon that occurs nearest in the calendar to the autumnal equinox.
This year we have an almost perfect example of a Harvest Moon, since the moon will turn full only 6 hours and 8 minutes after the equinox on Thursday, Sept. 23 at 5:17 a.m. EDT (0917 GMT).
So go out to your back yard and have a look and enjoy the harvest moon! Read the entire Space.com article here: Harvest Moon
Notice the little speck in the bottom right corner…I believe that is Jupiter, if my sources are correct (above).
I have a confession to make; I love serial killer movies and tv shows! There, I said it. I feel much better now that I’ve gotten that off of my chest. In particular, I love the Showtime series called “Dexter”, starring Michael C. Hall. But I’m not the only one who loves the show. Many of my friends have admitted liking the show and rooting for Dexter too. But isn’t there something morally wrong with siding with a serial killer/bad guy on tv? Perhaps there is, but the writers for Dexter do a superb job of making the viewer feel compassionate toward and a connection to a vigilante serial killer named Dexter.
So who is Dexter? He’s a blood spatter analyst (imagine CSI-type) who works for the Miami, Florida Metro Police Department. He spends his days helping to solve murders by investigating crime scenes; he spends his nights researching, planning and executing his next kill. Unlike many well known serial killers like Hannibal Lecter or Jeffrey Dahmer (who were loners), Dexter is a more of a social person on the outside. When the series began he was single but soon finds himself in a serious relationship involving children, which creates challenges for his busy schedule as a crime-fighting criminal.
During the show the viewer is allowed full access to Dexter’s every thought. He frequently obsesses about who he is (a father, killer, citizen, etc.) and he often discusses his precarious situations with his deceased father, Harry, who introduced him to killing in the name of “The Code” – a series of rules that were developed to allow Dexter to quench his desire to take away life and yet balance it with the ideals of killing in the name of justice – i.e., killing those who have killed or caused serious, malicious harm to others and somehow escaped the judicial system.
So why blog about Dexter? First, it’s one of my favorite shows on tv and second there’s a wedding scene that I enjoyed (as someone who works at a lot of weddings). [Spoiler Alert!] I’m about to discuss the end of season 3, so if you haven’t seen it, stop reading! At the end of Season 3 (Episode 12: Do You Take Dexter Morgan?), Dexter narrowly escapes the clasps of another serial killer, “The Skinner”. In the process of escaping he breaks his hand/wrist and cuts himself. But luckily he escapes just in time to make it to his wedding ceremony. One of the final scenes shows Dexter falling back into his hum-drum, suburban, Neo-Americana lifestyle with his new bride and family. As the camera pans away from the close up shot of Dexter dancing with his new wife, a single drop of red blood drips onto the back of her wedding gown, unbeknownst to either person. This drop seems to be the symbol for Dexter’s life – something serious and deadly is always lurking just beneath the surface or just behind you.
Season 5 premieres on Showtime – Sunday, September 26, 2010
Don’t miss it. Dexter could be your new addiction!
Did you know that we do personal headshots and corporate portrait sessions? Yep, we do that too! Although weddings keep things busy, we make time to photograph individuals for self promotion (like actors, musicians, etc.), seniors, and offices who need professional looking images of their employees for print or posting online.
Austin Americana Photography Studio recently worked with professionals at Texan Eye to create in house portraits of optometrists and specialists in the environment where they work. (See examples below)
Our clients have the freedom to choose where they will be photographed – natural, outdoor environment; studio environment; onsite/on location for corporate work environment.
Examples of clients for whom we’ve created beautiful, professional looking photos:
– Physician/Optometrist Offices;
– Fine Art/Media Clientele;
– Corporate Professionals