Photographer: Events, Weddings, Portraits – Austin, Texas

Archive for February, 2011

Fun Friday Fotos (Circus, Dogs, Etc.)

Next week I plan to blog about some experiences I’ve had while photographing weddings. The subject will be about capturing great photos at weddings in a sea of guests who all have cameras pointed at the bride. I have some great photos to share and some tips for wedding photographers on how to handle different situations, so stay tuned.

Guests taking photos at wedding

Fun Stuff. We visited the Shrine Circus a few weeks back. We got all packed up and ready to go, coupons in hand, Roman’s changing bag, green tea, warm coats, and the cameras. When I arrived and pulled out my Canon 5DMii Digital SLR (the camera I shoot most of my events with) I realized that I didn’t bring a CF card, the device that stores images on the camera. I just laughed.

I guess a lot of photographers wouldn’t want to admit something like this, but I will. If you ever visit my house you’ll see that I have a detailed check list pinned to my wall that I review before I leave home to drive to one of my events. Friends visit us, see the checklist and laugh. But, to date (knock on wood!) I’ve never left behind any important equipment that I would need at a photo event, like a wedding, thanks to my checklist – which is a big deal for wedding photography. Apparently I should start using my checklist for my personal life too.

So the photo below was snapped with one of our old point-and-shoot cameras from the nose bleed seats in Cedar Park Center. Even though the photo is not of the highest quality, I still like it.

A visit to the Circus

This photo was taken recently at a friends house. Roman decided that he was a big fan of their dog and wanted to see what it was like to hang out in the dog house. Their dog is really well behaved and didn’t know what to think of a little boy encroaching in the place where he sleeps.

Roman checks out the doggy cage

Advertisements

Photo Album Secrets That Photographers Don’t Want You To Know.

Psst! Hey, I want to share a secret with you. Yes, you!

What kind of secret? I’ll give you a hint: it involves making photo albums with digital images and it is inexpensive, quick and shipped to your door. And you can use the professional quality photos that I take at your wedding to do it.

Question: Why am I sharing this secret with you? (despite the fact that I’m a photographer and many photographers sell their clients albums – hint: I’m not selling you anything here)

Answer: Because I like to share cool stuff with my friends. That’s it.

Many photographers are probably mad that I’m about to share this secret with you because they like to charge tons of money to sell you a wedding album that is full of their photos. In fact, the old way of running a photography business was to photograph a bride’s wedding, edit the photos (i.e., have the photos developed from the rolls of film used on wedding day) and create a “proof book” for the bride and groom to view and select photos for printing. Later, the photographer would spend hours with the respective couple putting together photos in a mounted wedding album (the photos were literally mounted onto the book). Phewwww! I’m exhausted from just thinking about all the time and effort that went into the old way of doing things!

Today things are arguably simpler when it comes to creating a wedding album. After I’ve edited the photos from a wedding, our designers use software to design a custom album using photos you select (telling the story of your wedding from start to finish). Once the design phase is finished, we create a PDF for you to review and share with friends. Once the bride approves the PDF custom designed album (which is purely in electronic format), we send it off for print, which only requires about 3 weeks turnaround time to get to your doorstep. It’s actually pretty uncomplicated.

And don’t get me wrong – there are great things about professional albums. There are many options these days from the traditional leather bound album, the faux leather album for the environmental bride or the modern coffee table style book for other brides. The problem for many people with professional wedding photo albums is not the quality but the price. A quality, leather album can range from $800 to $2,000 alone. Every bride and groom want to be able to enjoy seeing the photos from one of the most meaningful days of their life. But it’s simply a matter of what a bride can or will pay to have those memories immortalized on a book page.

Round Rock Engagement

The paradigm has shifted in the 21st century for the modern photography business. It is no longer standard or even obligatory for a photographer to set up shop on Main Street with a receptionist running the front and a photographer in the back studio snapping photos on a medium frame camera. Things have even changed from just 20-30 years ago when families loaded into the family sedan with freshly combed hair and new dresses to travel down to the strip shopping center for photos at the local photo mart.

The other paradigm shift is to give things away. It’s no longer good business to hold back or keep things under wraps. So I’m here to arm you with information and to help provide you with tools for your tool box. These tools will hopefully make your life easier and help save you money.

Today when a person needs a photo captured, whether it be for a wedding, portrait session, event or whatever, they ask a friend or search online to find a photographer. Many people don’t want lengthy, expensive sessions with long waits to view a proof book. Clients in the 21st century want inexpensive, quick and fun photos with a rapid turnaround time. They want a CD with images that are ready to be shared via social media sites like Facebook or that allow them to upload to their computer for email sharing or other uses.

Couple in South Austin

Which is where I get to my point. I frequently run into clients who are excited to see their wonderful wedding photos, yet leary of paying gobs of money for albums. If you don’t want to, then you don’t have to do so. There are many companies that offer free album design online that is seamless and so easy to do. One of these album design companies is called Mixbook and I can tell you that designing an album for your wedding is a snap. Just check out Monica’s Wedding Album, a bride who’s wedding I photographed a few months ago at Casa Blanca in Round Rock, Texas!

I’ve also included a 30% Coupon for Mixbook that I found online for your convenience. Keep in mind that these aren’t going to be the high-end quality books that you get from companies like Leather Craftsman or Asukabook, but they can be a fun, inexpensive alternative when your budget dictates what you can afford.

Go check it out! (links are above)


Pachelbel’s Canon: Wedding Rock Version 1.0

I’m always looking for fun stuff to write or blog about that has to do with weddings and wedding photographer. As a wedding photographer I see lots of repetition from one wedding to the next. Every bride likes to think that her wedding is special and different, and they are (usually). Each bride and groom put a different spin on how things are done. But in general, the American wedding is pretty predictable – a white dress, tuxes, gifts for the couple, a kiss, bible, cake cutting, bouquet toss, etc. You get the picture.

Traditionally with American Weddings, it has been customary for the bridal/wedding party to walk down the aisle to Pachelbel’s Canon in D Major, also known as “Canon in D Major”. If you can’t think of how it sounds, then I can almost assure you that you’ve heard it somewhere, either at a wedding, or on TV. It is very common, and it is a beautiful song, even if it is used ad nauseam. What makes it common and recognizable is that it is normally played by a string quartet, or by a traditional string instrument or orchestra and it would fall into the Classical Music category.

So here’s something kind of neat that might be different. My friend, Rick, plays electric guitar for a rock band here in Central Texas called 7 Miles an Hour. He is a great lead guitarist who, to me, sounds a little like a combination between Jerry Cantrell (of Alice n Chains) and Kirk Hammett (of Metallica) – two guitarists he likes. He’s put together a pretty cool arrangement of Pachelbel’s Canon using just electric guitar, which I’ve posted a link for below.

If you are looking for a version of Pachelbel’s Canon that has a little more of a “metal” sound, then check it out. And if you like that, you might also check out some of 7 Miles an Hour’s new stuff as well. They’ll be debuting a new album soon called “Brain Bacon”.

Click Here for: Rock n’ Roll Version of Pachelbel’s Canon for Weddings

Here’s a little history on Pachelbel’s Canon in D Major:

Pachelbel’s Canon, also known as Canon in D major (Kanon und Gigue für 3 Violinen mit Generalbaß in German) (PWC 37, T. 337, PC 358), is the most famous piece of music by GermanBaroque composer Johann Pachelbel. It was originally scored for three violins and basso continuo and paired with a gigue in the same key. Like most other works by Pachelbel and other pre-1700 composers, the Canon remained forgotten for centuries and was rediscovered only in the 20th century. Several decades after it was first published in 1919, the piece became extremely popular, and today it is frequently played at weddings and included on classical music compilations, along with other famous Baroque pieces such as Air on the G String by Johann Sebastian Bach. – Wikipedia.com


Snow Day 2011! (Fun Friday Fotos)

Today turned out to be a snow day for most people in Austin, TX. When we woke up we discovered around an inch of snow stuck to driveways and grass – something that doesn’t usually last very long in Central Texas. And the snow was something that most people had been anticipating for days. Temperatures have been below freezing for most of the week, which is abnormal for most of the year here. We even had some water piping that temporarily froze, which was unexpected as well.

Roman and I ventured outside late this morning to see the snow, which ironically was already melting (ironic because temperatures have been steadily freezing for days). This is Roman’s 2nd snow and he still doesn’t quite know what to do with it. But I did catch him smiling a few times, despite the wind and cold temperatures. Maybe next year we’ll get some more time off and build a snowman… 🙂

The view from behind our home


Austin Event Calendar: February 2011

As promised, here’s my Upcoming Events for Austin, Texas – February 2011 Calendar:

Tuesday, February 1st, 2011First Thursday – A notorious Austin event held every 1st Thursday of the month on South Congress Avenue. Shops stay open late, musical acts perform, special vendors/kiosks set up with crafts and arts of all kinds, and drink specials can be had. 1st Thursday Virtual Tour

Thursday, February 3, 2011 – Lewis Black, Paramount Theatre713 Congress Avenue  – http://eventful.com/austin/events/february

Saturday, February 5, 2011Carnaval Brasileiro Arguably one of Austin’s best annual parties, Carnaval is a Brazilian-style samba costume party usually held at the Palmer Event Center. If you haven’t been yet then you don’t know what you’re missing. Costumes are optional but you will have more fun if you attend donning a costume! More info and tix: http://www.sambaparty.com/

Sunday, February 6, 2011 Chinese New Years Festival Austin
Chinatown Center, 10901 N. Lamar Blvd
Austin, Texas 78753
Admission – FREE

Friday, February 11th, 2011 Warehouse District Ghost Tour (other dates available as well); 8pm, $20.00
From their website: On the Austin Ghost Tours’ Warehouse District Tour we will explore the city’s fascinating history on a one-and-a-half-hour walk through downtown’s shadowed streets. Relive Austin’s unforgettable history, legends, murders and true ghost stories with your knowledgeable and entertaining guide. Including Guytown, Germantown, the Driskill and much more. Listed in the Top Ten Ghost Tours in the country, experience the paranormal firsthand!

Gift

Monday, February 14th, 2011 – Valentine’s Day!

Take the love of your life out for dinner, dancing, drinks or just a romantic stroll on the hike and bike trail. There is an assortment of events to choose from!

For example, From their website: As Time Goes” – a 1940s themed dinner dance fundraiser. The Sentimental Journey Orchestra, accompanied by the Memphis Belle singers, will transport you back in time to World War II. Dancing, a superb dinner, dessert bar, free valet parking, silent and live auctions, and a host of other amenities will make this the perfect way for you to celebrate Valentines Day! Seating limited to 350, buy your tickets now. Tickets are $75 each and may be purchased at the museum, by mailFebruary 12thhttp://events.austin360.com/austin-tx/events/show/161594345-as-time-goes-by-valentine-dinner-dance

Friday, February 18, 2011 – MMA -Strikeforce Challengers: Beerbohm vs. Healy at Cedar Park Center, Cedar Park, TX

Sunday, February 20, 2011 – Motorola Marathon – taking in downtown Austin and Town Lake this is the perfect chance to tour the city and some of its best sights if you’re a runner. http://www.youraustinmarathon.com/

Sunday, February 20, 2011Paramount 5K
Race Time: 7:30am
Paramount Theatre & Downtown Austin
Entry Fee – $30-$40

Friday, February 25, 2011 – Jerry Seinfeld, Bass Concert Hall – http://eventful.com/austin/events/jerry-seinfeld-/E0-001-035201812-3

February 25-27, 2011Jugglefest
University of Texas Campus
Admission: $15 (Free with UT Student ID)

Saturday, February 26, 2011 – African-American Community Heritage FestivalHuston-Tillotson University

Sunday, February 27, 2011 – Zilker Botanical Garden, Green Garden Festival from 12-4 pm at Zilker Botanical Garden at Zilker Park in Central Austin. http://www.ci.austin.tx.us/greengarden/festival.htm

Zilker Botanical Engagement Couple

Until February 27, 2011 Red Flags Sculpture at the LBJ Wildflower Center – This nature-related installation by local artists Bill Ivey and Bob Taylor will be completed in the Center’s Savanna Meadow by Tuesday, September 7.  It is constructed of nearly 200 salvaged steel and stained cedar posts that resemble red flowers from afar and are meant to reflect the artist’s attitude toward the natural environment.

FYI: Each month I do research (combined with past events I’ve participated in) to bring fun things to this calendar. If you have suggestions or would like me to include your event, simply email me: AustinAmericana@gmail.com

Enjoy the Calendar!