Thursday, December 01, 2005

Updating with some photos again

Its been a long time since I added anything to the blog so I guess I'll post a few pics from some recent sessions.

Guess that's it.


Sunday, September 18, 2005

Wedding thoughts

Yeah, so lately I've been shooting and editing a lot of weddings. Great work and I generally love being around people on the wedding day. Its a kinda "Disney magic" for grownups. There's the feeling that nothing that matters can go wrong. People just want to feel good. It can be a fun time to be around.

The thing that I've noticed more and more is that when I'm shooting posed shots I get to see a range of emotions as people interact. I normally shoot 2 or 3 of each posed shot and as I go back through its funny to see how in the space of a few seconds people react to their emotions. Often on the wedding day there are minor glitches (OK, every wedding day I've photographed had minor glitches and some had major glitches) but the wedding still occurs and its wonderful. When you put someone like the bride and her maid of honor or the bride and her father or the bride and her mother together in a shot you start off noticing that they're "posing". Ask 'em to look at each other for a second and when those people who want to "do well" for the bride & groom see how beautiful the bride is its awesome to see their tension just evaporate. Things that seemed so dominantly annoying just seconds before suddenly get 0 time to stew in their brains 'cause they're looking at that friend or daughter or granddaughter, etc and seeing how she's grown up and they're thinking of how much they feel instead of what they need to do. For those who've never photographed a wedding, the difference in the space of just a few seconds is awesome to see. Posture changes, facial muscles change and you can see how much someone means to someone else.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

What??!! A second August post?? Already!?!??

The family drove to a relatively small town this afternoon. I took some time off from the business and running around like a chicken with my head cut off and we played on the playground and had fun. I also took some photos of our daughter and built a couple of composites. Here's is one of them; its titled "Composite II - Walking".


Friday, August 05, 2005

August blog

Aren't you happy to know someone who has a blog and just won't update the darned thing?

So weddings have taken up some time lately. I've really thrown in on the weddings thing in the business. Bought a new Canon 20D, Stroboframe flash bracket and 580EX flash. A buddy of mine is going to the weddings with me as my 2nd shooter and we're getting some great images. I have a few business goals in mind for the rest of this year and hopefully much larger ones for '06.

Here's hoping.


Sunday, July 03, 2005

Playing with some new methods

OK. Perhaps a lot of people have done this before but this was my first time doing it. Given my proclivity for innuendo I could let you keep thinking what you probably thought upon reading the first sentence but . . . nawww. I worked on processing some photos into new art with a series of steps that I put into a PhotoShop action. Here's the results from a couple of my attempts.

and another

I also purchased some business plan software. We experienced some layoffs at work this week and I'd be lying if I said that one didn't influence me regarding the other. I'm working on my business plan. It may be that I can keep being a valuable member of the workforce at my place of employment; then again, why put all my eggs in one basket when I know that my employer isn't. Its all about numbers and at what threshhold I become expendable (like so many before me and, I'm sure, several after me.

Thanks for reading,


Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Business as usual

Nothing much to blog lately. It's been business as usual -- no special trips. Its just the daily work programming, designing, analyzing, developing, maintaining, etc. The photography business has my time outside work tied up. I'm having to push back on some business pieces to keep focused with the family. Sometimes, like this recent weekend, I have a ton of work that threatens to disconnect me from my wife & daughter.

Here's a link to some of my latest work. Click the image to be taken to a gallery of photos.

Thanks for reading,


Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Work & Business Success

Its been awhile since I last posted. Seems like I have a few things to touch on. Without saying too much about work I'll just say that things seem to be going good in terms of one of my projects; we found out our latest merit increases and I just passed my 5 year anniversary so I get another 5 days of time off. That makes 5 weeks + the 1 week I carried over from last year. I'm liking this.

On the business front I have sold several more weddings, put together some packages for weddings and I've made a contact from California who wants me to shoot regularly for him for pay. We'll see how that works out but it looks like the photography has turned the corner from costing me everytime I turn around to actually letting me pay off some of the equipment I've gotten. Of course, there's always 3 or 4 more lights, a new studio, thousands of dollars worth of lenses and an $8,000 body that I'm sure will make even more of a difference to the business but for now I'm looking at being pretty busy and making money.

Oh yeah, I just shot another set. It was my first in almost a month. You can view shots from the session by clicking the following photo. I'm not finished editing all the photos from this session but at least you can get an idea.

Thanks for reading,


Thursday, May 26, 2005

Vacation & Wacom tablet

Just got back from vacation a few days ago. DisneyWorld was a wonderful place to take the family. Lots of fun and not too wearing. We went to a few character meals. I highly suggest these if you have the time, money and childish inclination. It was fun for us all. Now to convert the videos to DVD and edit the images for the rest of the family.

I picked up a Wacom tablet at BestBuy to try a different approach to my photo editing. They had the Graphire3 4x5 at a good price so I figured I'd try it.

Thanks for reading,


Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Another shoot with Kristen

Shot another session with Kristen tonight. She and her Mom are great. They're fun to work with and Kristen is so incredibly photogenic. Even the throw-aways are just awesome. Working with her I seriously stretch my studio. I need more room, more lights, higher ceilings and more furniture for sets. I could shoot a whole campaign with her. Well, just click the image to be taken to the rest of the shots from this session.

Thanks for reading,


Sexy Photoshoot

I shot a set with a young lady tonight for my fine art submissions. These include a couple of lingerie shots and some silhouettes. View at your discretion.

Click the image to see the rest of the shots from this session.

Thanks for reading,


Saturday, May 07, 2005

Sick photoshoot

For anyone in the northeast I'd just have to say that all my sessions are sick and wicked awesome. Does it show that I had to sit through meetings with programmers from Boston and Maine?

Anyway. I shot a session today even though I'm still feeling this creepin' crud in my sinuses and lungs. I was at least able to sit up straight today so that was an automatic plus. Woo hoo!

Here's a shot from the session. You can click the image to go view the rest of the shots.

Thanks for reading,


Thursday, May 05, 2005

Photos & sleep

For those who wondered if I'd stopped shooting the answer is Nope. Click the following photo to be taken to my portrait gallery.

Also, for those keeping track, we're going on two weeks of Katie not sleeping in her crib. We've had a toddler bed for over a week but she still doesn't want to sleep in it; just play on it. Up until Tuesday night things had been pretty good with her sleeping several hours at a time but lately she's got to have someone in there with her. Last night she woke me up at 1:00 and wanted to go downstairs. When we got there she wanted to go outside. I said "Do what!?! Nope." and we headed back to bed.

Thanks for reading,


Saturday, April 30, 2005

Photo response to a friend 8^)

A friend recently asked if I'd stopped taking photos and blogging about them. Unfortunately for about the last 2-3 weeks I have. Chalk it up to trying to focus on family and work obligations or maybe me working on the business side of photography or maybe just that I was shooting 2-3 times a week there for awhile. I'm not sure why but I definitely had a little dry spell there. I do have some people lined up to come to the studio and shoot and even a few outdoor sessions that people have requested over the next month or two so there will be some updates in the near future but for this post I thought I'd share a composition that is a little off the beaten path for me. Over the last couple of years I've worked at understanding and practicing portraiture. Yesterday I went out with some folks from work and we shot some landscapes and abstracts at a local cemetary. Here's one the shots I captured.

Thanks for reading,


Sunday, April 17, 2005

Sorority, UT, UFC and birthday party

Big weekend. Here's the rundown:

Friday night -

Saturday -

  • Fan Day and Orange & White game up at Neyland Stadium

  • UFC 52 - Randy "The Natural" Cotoure vs Chuck "The Iceman" Liddell
    I don't think many people saw it going down the way it did. Awesome fight; great fighters. Congrats to Liddell; he earned long before now. The Matt Hughes/Frank Trigg fight was actually the fight of the night. WHEW!! Now that one was unbelievable. All-in-all I think this was worth the $35 I spent. I wish I had a larger screen and the fights weren't so late at night 'cause I'd invite some friends over to watch the fights. I love this MMA stuff.

Sunday -

  • Church again at the more modern service. Think I may have offended some people in Sunday school but ya gotta say what needs to be said. What a topic - controlling the tongue. Yeah, I guess that's what I need to be dealing with right now. Of course, the topic goes much deeper than most people are interested in. For most people its just cursing or not cursing but . . . -SIGH- there is just so much more to it and sadly the basic texts that most people use are in areas that are for more mature Christians. Take for example Paul's letter to Ephesus. Ephesians 4:29 & 5:4 are dead center in a section of admonition to believers who seemed to be coming from a more recent, honeymoon type of experience to a more seasoned attempt to live up to their moral obligations. Keep in mind that Paul is the same Apostle who wrote Romans 5:20 and I Corinthians 6:12 regarding freedom in the blood of Christ. Paul's message wasn't that we should exploit the freedom that we have (once we've been redeemed by the blood sacrifice of Jesus). His message throughout the New Testament was and is that anyone who has been redeemed need have no fear, no condemnation (Romans 8:1). Saints (biblical rather than Catholic saints) truly are free to do whatever they want with no penalty pursuing them into the afterlife. Of course, one should question one's motives when one thinks thoughts along those lines as part of being redeemed is having the Holy Spirit constantly with you, convicting you, enlightening you to help you understand the desire of God that you "be holy" (I Peter 1:16). Couple Paul's writings with James (the half-brother of Jesus) and you see James discussing rightous living for Jewish Christians (his letter was to the 12 tribes of Israel but more importantly to believers within that group of people). He calls them to accept the trials of life because those trials produce patience and patience produces perfection (James 1:2-4). As he expounds on such a broad principle as becoming perfected (which in modern language we generally label as "sanctification" as opposed to the final instant in which an omnipotent being with transform you into a being without sin and with complete perfection which is labeled "glorification"), we find that he appears to jump off topic a little and discusses the tongue. He is pretty confrontational in his statements about how one's language affects ones life. He says that the tongue has as much control in one's life as the rudder on a ship has. He further says that the tongue produces fire, destroys the natural order of life and is itself lit on fire by Hell. Hmmm. James doesn't tend to equivocate when it comes to how important a believer's language choices are now does he? This is a passage for more mature Christians than I tend to believe darken the doors of those Sunday morning buildings but lets press on and let people and the Holy Spirit prove me wrong. After talking pointedly about how powerful the tongue is in James 3, he goes on in chapter 5 (James 5:12) to start his conclusion of the whole letter by saying "Above all else, don't swear." Now that doesn't mean don't say naughty words. He isn't talking about "shit," "damn" or any other word you can put here. Those are unprofitable and fall under Paul's statement in Ephesians 4. James statement is a reiteration of Jesus' statment in the "Sermon on the Mount" (Matthew 5:33-37) where Jesus said to not swear. The point of Jesus' statement and James affirmation of that statement is this: God expects that when a believer avers something as true or false, that believer should live and speak in such a manner that others believe him or her without having to ask the believer to "promise". As a believer you should not inflate your speach in any manner. You should speak directly and you should follow through on your statements. As Jesus said in Matthew, anything else leads to evil. I'm not saying I do this, I'm saying this is the Biblical principle that should be ringing true in your heart right now if you've taken out your Bible and been following along (oh yeah, and if you're already a follower of Christ and have accepted his blood sacrifice for your sins as the only way to be reconciled to the One True living God). OK. So that's enough for now. This post turned into a brief Biblical lesson on controlling your tongue. Don't worry about the person cursing around your kids; be concerned with how inflationary your language is. Be concerned with whether people can and do take you at your word. Cursing is just a part of controlling your speech; in America with all the talk shows and gossip and one-ups-manship contests that occur, by far the most spiritually damaging speech I've be privvy to has more to do with how I communicate than the cursewords I may use or hear. Granted, those should cease. No more cursing. That's airtight but don't you want a deeper understanding that requires something of you; not just the other guy? Don't you want to be held to a higher standard of living than just "I didn't say a naughty word so I'm OK?" I know that my own heart goans for someone to stand up and point to the line of holiness and say "There! That's the standard. Not my arbitrary one of not saying some curseword (which is profitable) but the true standard of holiness to which even I in all my goody-two-shoedness cannot attain."

  • We went to Katelyn's birthday party this afternoon. I got a photo from it where Katelyn was sliding and Katie was standing behind her; you can see it at the bottom of this post. Happy Birthday, Katelyn.

If you've made it this far, thanks for reading,


Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Finally edited a few photos

It's been a hectic 2 week run. Coming off a sick child, first fine arts session, an all-day session and heading into a few weeks of event and wedding photography. I finally got a good 6 or 8 photos edited from the all-day session (still only edited one from the fine art session). I have some senior portrait photos to get printed but at least for a couple of days I have a lull.

Here's one from a recent session. As always you can click the photo to see more from this session.

Thanks for reading,


Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Focus & Fine Arts

So I had a class at work recently. It was Advanced Data Modeling and I got to share it with an acquaintance . . . I struggle to define the relationship. I always consider friends to be someone you hang out with outside of work but more and more I find that I have few or no people who meet that criteria. Must I change my definition of friendship or devote more efforts towards being a friend? Hmmm. Well, perhaps this very post is evidence of what this person mentioned to me. He directed a singular remark towards my focus. Not lack of focus, per se, just my focus. It wasn't a single comment; it was singular, thusly rendered by the implications or inferences that it seemingly brought with it and laid neatly on the table at which we sat. In my annual review I heard more comments that when put together seem to drive in the same general direction (eg. my focus). I suppose its time to direct some of my attention towards commanding more of my own mental energies. Its much more enjoyable dally sometimes but it seems that the level of dalliance to which I've attained may be a detraction.

On another note the side business (read splitting of mental, emotional and financial energies) seems to be picking up speed again. More weddings, events and model shoots lately and many more calls about scheduling events and reserving dates in advance. Why the hell did I want to do this? Just to prove that I could excel at something else? Just to impress someone or something? I still don't remember for the life of me why. I remember the intense desire to create something that I felt others connected with and were moved by but surely paints would cost less. Pencils for that matter. Oh yeah, I tried those before (along with charcoal drawings) and the results left something to be desired. Well, I finally shot something that falls into the category of fine art. I'm not saying I shot it well. I'm just saying that I shot something that in my opinion is tasteful and attractive. I will be presenting several images that are similar in elemental design to the one shown below. Hopefully I'll find some buyers but I've decided that due to the immense amounts of money and emotional effort that have gone into the images I will set a price on them that I initially felt was too high and if no one wants them then I'm out nothing. The more I think of what I and my family sacrificed for me to develop the skills just to produce this level of work the easier I'm finding it to pick a price tag and just say the heck with it. If someone likes my work, they can support my efforts by paying for a copy. Without further ado, here's my first attempt at fine art.

You can click the image for a larger version.

Thanks for reading,


Friday, March 25, 2005

Thus ends my run

Whew! Easter Egg Hunt saturday; photographed over a hundred youngsters. Sunday a 6.5 hour session. Monday cancelled due to no contact with model. Tuesday moved to Thursday. Wednesday a quick session. Thursday a slightly longer, more planned set of work. Here's a shot from last night's session.

Thanks for reading,


Thursday, March 24, 2005

Headshot in shadows

I shot this

tonight at the end of a quick photosession. The model needed some photos for a specific purpose and I just played with a single light and headshots for a little while. In retrospect I wish I'd tossed on the other Neutral Density (ND) filter and opened the lens up a little more to maintain the darkness but lessen the Depth of Field (DoF). I also wish I'd thought to remove the watch before this shot. We took it off afterwards but I like this expression and the angles in this shot best.

Thanks for reading,


Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Terry Schiavo - a tragedy but appropriate decisions by judges

What matters. I can't argue the desire of someone I've never met to either choose to "die with dignity" or "fight for another day". Either presentation is a slanted one engineered to engender support and cast aspersions at its antithesis. I can't speak to why Michael Schiavo chooses to not simply divorce Terri Schiavo and let her parents work to sustain her life indefinitely with machines or whatever methodology might present itself until they've both died (whereupon the responsibility will presumably fall to her siblings and eventually the government). That's his choice. What I think I can speak to intelligently is that each state has custodial laws. Florida's laws allow for the closest living relation to make appropriate choices in the event that an individual becomes incapacitated and does not leave a living will. Fault Michael Schiavo for his choices is you want but don't fault the courts. The President's and Republican's manueverings to pass a law that would open up the proceedings to the Federal Courts system was a ploy to pander to their conservative constituents; being a conservative constituent I found it base and offensive. The one redeeming factor in this is that when the Federal judges had the case laid before them they adjudicated it not based on popular opinion nor on political pressure from the right but based on the merits of the case. They applied the same criteria to this case as to any other judgement or appeal. None of the federal judges said that the Schindlers (Terri Schiavo's parents) didn't have a case. They said that based on the case that the Schindlers laid forth they didn't have a winnable case. They didn't win based on the merit of the arguments that they chose. Terri Schiavo has been on a respirator for almost 15 years (at the time of this writing). There have been legal decisions for years that upheld the right of Terri Schiavo's closest, living relation to make decisions for her. To me its tragic that this person was struck with such an affliction that she has to live in this state. That's tragic. What isn't tragic is that her husband who took a vow and would have followed it to its conclusion years ago has been confounded by court case after court case, appeal after appeal and now even seen new legislation created solely to remove his right to choose for his spouse even when years of legal review have upheld his right. Now I'm not saying I would make the same decision he has; I just don't know how long I would stand by watching my wife not able to live without the aid of machines and knowing that in 15 years nothing . . . NOTHING has been developed that gives me a glimmer of hope that she would ever respond to me or anyone else who knows her and cares for her. Regardless of what I'd do in a hypothetical situation, Michael Schiavo is living in a real situation and every law that has been tested either in Florida courts or in Federal courts has upheld his right and responsibility to make decisions for his wife. I don't think any of the judges whose decisions I've read seem activistic; rather they seem to be making their decisions based on the same criteria that have been used for decades regarding life choices when an individual can't make choices for himself. These laws have been tested and appear to be well delineated.

Let me reiterate: this post isn't about supporting euthanasia nor "right to die." It is about recognizing that the fights that the family has fought and lost repeatedly over 15 years are centered on who has the right to make decisions for Terri Schiavo since she can't decide or declare her decisions for herself.

Thanks for reading,


Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Creative Editing Attempt

Here's another from the photoshoot on Sunday. I tried to create a sensual, dreamy effect. The lighting was done with sets of layered gels to create a yellow hue from the front light and a purple hue from the background light.

Thanks for reading,


Monday, March 21, 2005

Long photoshoot - no comments

Wow. I worked on Easter Egg Hunt photos for at least half a day Saturday (none to show since they were of youngsters). Then I followed that up with a FULL afternoon of shooting on Sunday (1:30-8:00). We worked that session. I thought we got some good work so I posted several of them. As yet, I've gotten something like 3 comments. Oh well. Maybe they aren't to people's liking. The models seemed to like them and I know I enjoyed the shots from beginning to the final product. I've posted one here; you can click on it to be taken to the rest of the images from this session. Feel free to say what you like or don't like.

Thanks for reading,


Friday, March 18, 2005

Building a portfolio

I'm working with a young lady to build a portfolio for her. Here's a shot from last night's session.

Its taken several sessions to get many good images for her portfolio. I'm surprised at how many shots I still end up taking to get anything approaching outstanding work. We also tried to get a capture that I've been working on.

Lots of photography coming up: Easter Egg photos for kids with the Easter Bunny followed by modeling shoots on 3 consecutive days. I think I'll be so over photography by next Wednesday.

I did get another light today, though. Its an AlienBees B-400 and I'm using it for my fill light and have moved one of my B-800's to background/kicker status so that my accent lighting is evenly matched across the composition. This 4th light really has opened up another level of lighting.

I'm loathe to say much about work since apparently some people have gotten busted (though not where I work) for commenting on the careers in blogs. My work seems to be going outstandingly well right now. That's based on the exponential growth of responsibility and reliance placed upon me in a system that we're analyzing and designing. I'm LOVING this stage of the system. Query the users, interrogate their methods and map their work. Understand what they do so that I can help choose or develop something that enhances their workflow and makes their jobs more efficient and easier for them. Now this is great. Of course, as with just about anything that's good & good for you, its about triple the rest of my workload. Its very cerebral and I actually go home mentally tired but MAN is it enjoyable.

Thanks for reading,


Thursday, March 03, 2005

1Ds photoshoot

Just finished my first studio photoshoot with the Canon EOS 1Ds. Wow was it fun. I've printed an 8x10 and it looks outstanding. I'm ordering a print in 20x30 to see how it holds up. I can't believe how awesome this piece of equipment is.

Thanks for reading,


Tuesday, March 01, 2005

And here's what we got Mommy

This is the Yamaha P-120S keyboard. It's amazingly like a piano and a church organ. We were both surprised at the quality of the sound that comes out of it. It has the real touch (tm I suppose) keys that have resistance. When you play it, it feels like a real piano.

Thanks for reading,


Sunday, February 27, 2005

Guess what Daddy just bought


Yeah, so I think I need to go puke or something. I just sent a guy quite a bit of money. Why you ask. 'Cause I just purchased a used Canon EOS 1Ds.

Its a low numbered body but it only has 9800 shutter actuations. This body is rated to last for at least 150,000 actuations so I expect to use it far into the future. It'll be nice to have for some wedding and fashion work I have scheduled.


I hope I'm as into this business thing as I think I am. I've been signing contracts and working on some paying deals lately. Now I have some interest in someone rep'ing my photos for fine art prints. This really seems to be going in the direction I want. Now I just have to live up to my end of the bargain and start taking money from people who benefit from my service and skill.


Friday, February 25, 2005

I'm dead tired . . .

but have to keep going on.

I shot with 4 people this week, interviewed for one wedding, worked a regular week at my career (up until today when I took off), filed my taxes, spent hard-earned business money on equipment and delivered tons of images to people. WOW!!!

I got to shoot with some incredibly lovely young women but they all need their images to mail out immediately for a contest they're participating in. You've seen some of the images if you read the previous entry. Here's a shot of the young lady with whom I worked tonight. We started shooting around 8:30 and finished at 12:00! It was worth it (I think) and I look forward to working with her again. She had such a great personality and she (like the other girls before her) was a blast to work with.

NOTE: You can now click the link to see several more photos from this shoot.

Thanks for reading,


Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Whatcha want

I don't support the "do what you want" theory in the extreme. I think you should live a principle-based life but that you should make some personally fulfilling choices in an organic way (where things don't always fit together with 90 degree angles and straight lines). You don't always have to have the answers and no one else needs agree with you.

For me, I get to photograph people who want to sit for me. Last night I photographed two young women who are trying to get into a calendar for a national chain. I've gotten negative comments about the choices I made as a photographer (none as a husband or father yet so you could always be the first if you want to take either of those tacks). As my wife said, "Are you satisfied with the work?" I have to answer Yeah. I like the shots.

In a mostly unrelated story, a guitarist for Korn (or would it be ex-guitarist) has had a religious/spiritual experience and decided to leave Korn news story. (thanks, Jim, for pointing out the correct info on this story)

Thanks for reading,


Sunday, February 20, 2005

Career & Hobby

Work is going well lately. I found a solution that saved weeks of annoying messages popping up for end users. The last time the corporation upgraded users' software users had to make extra clicks every time they opened Word or Excel and those are two apps my business clients use everyday. I saved them that PITA. Good deal. To top that off, the application that I inherited from two other developers that has dragged on for months and months is finally going into Production in the next couple of weeks. Thank God!

The hobby is starting to pickup. I'm meeting people for wedding consultations and I'm getting pretty busy now that I have a studio where I can shoot high-quality images for people. Don't get me wrong, I like shooting outdoors and I enjoy the challenges that come with that but nothing helps my confidence like producing a relatively high number of keepers with even less frames shot. That is a direct function of being able to control all the lighting and background. I'm already wanting more furniture and a couple more lights, too. I shot today with a co-worker and I'm happy with what we produced. I have a couple of sessions this week after work and more next weekend. I'm starting to get booked a month or more in advance now. This is awesome. I just have to be satisfied with what I can offer and remember to save time for my wife and daughter.

Here's one of the photos from today. Click the image to be taken to the gallery where you can see all the images.

Thanks for reading,


Monday, February 07, 2005

Sick daughter; busy weekend - lingerie

Got home Friday afternoon. Sat down in the floor to color with my daughter and we had less than 30 minutes together before she erupted like Vesuvius. She was on the carpet so I picked her up to reassure her that she was alright (she'd only thrown up once before I didn't know if she'd know what was going on). Yep, there came the next wave. Got me all over the front of my shirt. And before I knew it, there came the next round and it was all over my shoulder and down the back of my shirt. I handed her to her Mommy and she got to clean up the kid while Daddy stripped down to clean up the clothes and the floor. Fast forward 90 minutes and we're all back downstairs where she's held down small doses of Pedialyte. She gets up to run and -SMACK- there comes the next load. At least she didn't have as much to let loose with this time. She heads back upstairs to cleanup again and I took another go at the floor (thankfully this time almost all of it was on the kitchen floor).

Saturday I had to getup, get ready, setup the studio for an 11:00 AM shoot (photo to follow) and prepare for a mad dash to my evening shoot. Yep, I shot some portfolio work for a young lady from 11:00 'til about 2:30 and then left the house shortly after 3:00 to go to an event where I photographed (with my friend) the banquet attendees (hey, its contract work and it pays). I rolled into home about 12:30 am Sunday morning. Unload the van, setup the computer again and grab a bite to eat before heading to bed. Sunday I got up, got ready and rebuilt the studio that I had to tear down Saturday. I had a 1:00 pm shoot scheduled (photo to follow). The young lady called me just before the session and asked if it was OK to bring a friend. Sure, given that we'd already worked together before and I felt comfortable with her I didn't think it'd be a problem at all (see this shoot was for me; it wasn't for her portfolio or anything). They showed up and we shot for about 90 minutes or maybe a little longer and her friend had been making some comments about the shots and how she liked several of the poses and what we were getting. At one point I think she kidded the model about wearing spike heels (Yeah, I had her in 5" FMP's) and I joked with her saying that if she wasn't careful we'd get her in the shoot, too. She responded and seemed eager to join in. I figured what the heck, sounds good to me. We finished out the set with both of them and I'm very happy with the work we produced. I'm still not thrilled because I know there are girls & guys out there that shoot more polished, more provoking or more passionate work (and I want to reach that level where I can evoke emotion in my viewers - not disgust so much as appreciation or longing or excitement); I am, however, happy with the quality of work we produced given how long I've been at this and how my quality of work had improved.

Without further ado here are two photos, one from each session.


Thanks for reading,


Monday, January 31, 2005

Quick tidbits -

I was talking to my wife at work when she got another call; we hung up; she called me back 10 minutes later just to say . . . I got busy and have to go. Hmmmmm. OK.

Since I've been doing a few paid jobs I've been waking up earlier and working more in the mornings but I still get to work late. I've taken to getting up at 5:00 in the mornings but by the time I get ready, get my daughter ready, deliver her to her grandmother's and edit wedding photos or print family portraits I'm still hauling butt to make work by 9:00. I've even been editing at night.

Invested in some fantastic portrait books by Amherst Media. One is on building a modeling portfolio for aspiring models. It includes some great material regarding how to shoot certain styles and how to help a model figure out both what she's "right" for and what she wants to do by putting her through some mental exercises where she picks out photos from magazines and describes things she wants from this type of career. The other book covers how to pose someone from the front cover to the back. It looks like it'll be a great resource.

There, finished in 5 minutes. Now you have an update.

Thanks for reading,


Sunday, January 23, 2005

Busy, BUSY weekend

So I had the Monday night session to work on this weekend and I had already scheduled a photoshoot (see photo following). Then I got a phone call late Friday afternoon asking if I could and would shoot a wedding for a family. The groom-to-be just got his papers and he was shipping back over to Iraq for a 2nd tour. He had a couple of months but apparently he was going to be traveling and taking care of business so Saturday was to be the big day. I picked up a Quantum 2x2 battery pack and rolled to the church building. We shot from about 1:30-5:00. The family was wonderful. I have their proofs on schedule to be reviewed Friday.
Today was more relaxed since it was just a TFP agreement between the model and me. We didn't have to shoot any predetermined amount or time limit. We tried out several things and I got to really play with the lighting some. Here's one photo from that set.

Thanks for reading,


Friday, January 21, 2005

Small Business Update

So I've gotten some paying business based on shooting portfolio work for models lately. I got some serious inquiries and some business for photographing groups and families, too. Now the business takes the next step towards being less unprofitable; I just signed a contract with a local hotel/banquet hall to photograph banquet attendees. I shot at this location once before for an organization's annual party and the photos turned out very good. If the next two events work out to the satisfaction of myself and the management at this hotel I suppose I can expect to obtain a long-term contract to work with them and they will offer my services on a consumption-based model to any type of attendees (businesses, conventions, reunions, etc) and also they will help me market to some wedding clients that use their services.

While this type of work isn't as profitable as it might at first seem, it is money for photography, it does get me working with people (something I enjoy) and its work that I can do and it doesn't persist after the event (since attendees will either pay for and pickup photos of themselves during the event or they can purchase them off the website afterwards).

Thanks for reading,


Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Busy but happy

Talk about raining and pouring. I went from not shooting with anyone for a month or six weeks back in November to suddenly having 5 sets lined up over the next 3 weekends and another couple of people who want to schedule some time. A young model who had taken some time off is looking to get back to shooting a set with me. I got an order off a family portrait session that I need to fill and I have a request for bid for photographing families for a church directory. I'm getting more and more busy at work and spending more time with my wife and daughter. Whew! Who needs an umbrella? Let it rain.


Tuesday, January 18, 2005


A co-worker supplied this to me and I have no other attribution. Regardless, this is funny.

Subject: Is Hell Exothermic or Endothermic?

The following is supposedly an actual question given on a University of Washington chemistry midterm. The answer by one student was so "profound" that the professor shared it with colleagues.

BONUS QUESTION: Is Hell exothermic (gives off heat) or endothermic (absorbs heat)?

Most students wrote proofs of their beliefs using Boyle's Law (gas cools when it expands and heats when it is compressed) or some variant.

One student, however, wrote the following:

First we need to know how the mass of Hell is changing in time. So we need to know the rate at which souls are moving into Hell and the rate at which they are leaving. I think that we can safely assume that once a soul gets to Hell it will not leave. Therefore, no souls are leaving.

As for how many souls are entering Hell, let's look at the different religions that exist in the world. Most of these religions state that if you are not a member of their religion you will go to Hell. Since there is more than one of these religions and since people do not belong to more than one religion, we can project that all souls go to Hell.

With birth and death rates as they are, we can expect the number of souls in Hell to increase exponentially. Now we look at the rate of change of the volume in Hell because Boyle's Law states that in order for the temperature and pressure in Hell to stay the same, the volume of Hell has to expand proportionately as souls are added.

This gives two possibilities:

  1. If Hell is expanding at a slower rate than the rate at which souls enter Hell, then the temperature and pressure in Hell will increase until all Hell breaks loose.

  2. If Hell is expanding at a rate faster than the increase of souls in Hell, then the temperature adn pressure will drop until Hell freezes over.

So which is it? If we accept the postulate given me by Teresa during my freshman year that "It will be a cold ay in Hell before I sleep with you" . . . and take into account that I slept with her last night, then the second option must be true. Thus I am certain that Hell is exothermic and has already frozen over.

The corollary of this theory is that since Hell has frozen over, it follows that it is not accepting any more souls and is, therefore, extinct; leaving only Heaving, thereby proving the existence of a divine being which explains why last night Teresa kept shouting, "Oh my God!"

The student reportedly received the only "A".

Saturday, January 15, 2005


My wife told me back at Christmas that she wants a piano. OK, says I. Why? My thinking is that I need to know whether she wants (A) a hulking piece of furniture that'll give me a hernia, collect dust and never be played or (B) something that can be hidden, is lightweight and can be taken anywhere so that there is no excuse not to play. She considers and wrestles with the idea; tells me that she doesn't want a keyboard and finally agrees to at least look at electronic keyboards. Fast forward to today and we drop by one of the local music stores (perhaps the only one), L & M Music. We take a peek at the Yamaha P120 and she decides that an electronic keyboard may not be all bad. It has Yamaha's "Graded Hammer" effect which cause the keys to respond to weight so that they both feel weighted like an accoustic piano's keys and they respond differently based on the amount of pressure you apply; hit it harder and you get a slightly different sound than if you press the key lightly. The quality of the sound produced is pretty impressive. It'll cost right at $1200 but she's excited about it and I figure its only money. It'll take me a couple of months to save up enough but we'll have it for her before too long, Lord willing.

On a separate but somewhat related note we worked around the house a little while our daughter napped this afternoon. My wife cleaned up some boxes and nicknacks from the bonus room over our garage and I put together a bookshelf for the library and cleaned up a little in there. Looks like I'll be moving my lighting/studio equipment to the room over the garage and moving the birds out (two cockatiels: Sam & Stan) and I'll be using that room for my studio. It's not really long enough but it'll do until I earn enough money and get busy enough to warrant renting/leasing a place. I have two sessions scheduled already and a third in the offing. One session is an artistic attempt by me to find some vision and capture something artistic so I'm paying the model. The other session is one where a young lady needs a portfolio started for her as she's doing some music and promotional work and needs headshots plus some different looks. We may shoot a CD cover for her either at the studio or later in the Spring; her cousin has worked with me before on environmental portraiture shoots.

The Steelers gave us all a scare tonight. I'm not a lifelong fan or anything but I'm pullin' for them this year. I hope they steamroll everyone else (sorry Payton) and crush their opposition in the SuperBowl.

Thanks for reading,


Thursday, January 13, 2005


I mentioned some studies that I'm engaging in. These are more personal and artistically expressive so I've been reluctant to share my efforts at these very much. I should receive my neutral density filter (which lowers the amount of light that comes into the camera; thus allowing me to take advantage of the faster glass I've purchased) and tonight my wife has agreed to sit for me while I shoot some lighting studies. That type of study has more to do with technical expertise rather than artistic interpretation of things so I'll share those photos online more readily. Hopefully I'll be able to get a subject in my makeshift studio at home or perhaps a location that I can share with a co-worker and shoot more lighting tests.

Oh well, without much more ado here is my first public shot on women's leg/foot fashions. I figured I'd go for something a little more innocuous than nudes as its just easier to explain around the Sunday lunch table with the family and so many women may find these more palatable than nudes.

If you click the photo and follow the link there is a color version as well; just click the Next link in the upper right corner.

Thanks for reading,


Monday, January 10, 2005

Farsightedness & Photoshoot

So I'm 36 and just realized over the weekend that my body is beginning to wear down in little bits. I'm not in great health or shape but my eyesight is something that I have always enjoyed in near perfect 20/20 fashion. I was tired this weekend and I've had some sinus irritations that affected me but at one point I picked up a paper and realized that I could not read it unless I held it at least 12-18" from my face. This was disconcerting. I tried a second time with the same results. Granted I had recently awoken from a deep sleep and my vision wasn't completely clear but the sign was clear (or blurry as it were in this case). Now a day later and I am able to focus on objects as close as 6" away. I can read moderate sized print at about half a foot away. Any closer or any smaller a font and my eyes feel like they're crossing. Well, with minor magnifications or corrections I should be able to make it without impacting my daily routine too much. I had my vision tested just over 12 months ago and the doctor prescribed a +0.75 magnification lens. Since then I've been wearing soem magnification glasses at work to help me reading a monitor or small print.

On a different note, I shot a new session for someone this weekend. I was pleased with the work overall. Still room for improvement on numerous fronts but here is one photo from the session (click the photo to be taken to more of my portraits from this session or previous ones.

Thanks for reading,


Friday, January 07, 2005

New Photo Gallery

I just updated my website with a new samples gallery. Take a look and see if you like it. I'm going to reorganize it; this was an attempt to put something together and get it migrated to the server. The next release will be an attempt at a cohesive representation of my best work.

Thanks for reading,


Thursday, January 06, 2005

Random Thoughts From My Drug-Encumbered Mind

Red Velvet Cake - ya know what's so good about this stuff? The darned stuff is actually a chocolate cake but with red coloring. It's all a mind game. It looks bright red but your tongue would swear that its chocolate. The whole enjoyment of it (after the taste and whatnot) is that its chocolate without being chocolate. How cool.

Proximity Payments - so at work we have these proximity badges that allow you to do all sorts of cool stuff like get into locked doors or use the super-D-duper Executive Washrooms (like its a shower with gold appointments or something). Now I know some fuel company also has a proximity pass that you use to automatically deduct the charges for your gasoline from your charge/debit card. Why not use something like this with the vending machines that are on every floor. I believe that its commonly accepted as truth (though I have no evidence to back it up) that people spend more when they don't have to watch the dollar bills disappearing out of their hands. Let me connect my proximity badge to my debit card and buy Snackwells (tm) or Andy Capp's Hot Fries (tm) by merely swiping my hip up against the machine. Surely there wouldn't have to be many instances of erroneous use. Has anyone performed a market study to see if this would work? Frankly I don't want to do this, I just figured it's coming down the pike someday and why not get in front of it and make a quick dime on all you moronic fatties eating too many Little Debbies . . . wait that's me.

Well, there you have two thoughts from me, or Glaxo-somebody-and-somebody-else (for the medication I've taken for my sinuses).

Thanks for reading,


Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Sugar Bowl and photoshoot

I've been re-cataloging images for the past few days. It really is time consuming. I'm back up to 15,000 out of 50,000 images in the catalog. Whew! I'm backing up my catalog this time so that I don't have to rebuild the darned thing if I hose it.

Auburn Tigers/WarEagles/Plainsmen just won the 2005 Nokia Sugar Bowl (screw the BCS). They held off Virginia Tech in the final minutes. I wish they could have blown them out like Tennessee did to Texas A&M (screw Texas while you're at it); but I'm glad for any win for them. Tuberville deserves it and the Auburn fans deserve it and apparently the football players for Auburn deserve it since they're the ones who actually earned all 13 wins this season. CONGRATS to the Auburn Tigers.

I had a photoshoot with a co-worker today. The office was closed to celebrate New Years Day so we tore off about 300 frames in a couple of hours. It was her first shoot and I think we got some decent shots. Here's one from that session. Click the image to see the rest of the photos from that session.

Thanks for reading,


Monday, January 03, 2005

Have a laugh on me

If you don't already know I am an amatuer photographer bordering on either insane or part-time professional. I currently have a vault of about 70,000 images. Not too many of them are anything that would ring your bell but they're all a step towards the next level of mastery. A website to which I subscribe has an upcoming contest for the best photo of 2004. I decided that I would finish profiling the rest of my 2004 photos into my cataloging software. At the time I had about 55,000 images profiled. All the images are either on CD or DVD. Apparently I got a bad piece of DVD media 'cause I tossed it into the DVD drive and started the profile right before going to the in-laws for supper. When I checked the computer (it takes a little while to profile 4-5 Gb of images), the profiling software had halted. I shut it down and tried to start it back up only to find that it was corrupt. Wondering at the cause I created a test catalog and sure enough the same DVD toasted that catalog. Hmmm. Now the annoying thing is that I should have backed up the catalog. It's not enough to backup the images multiple times. I've spent several hours just feeding DVDs into the machine and waiting for Portfolio to profile the images. Hopefully I'll get the catalog rebuilt in time for the contest deadline so that I can more easily evaluate my shots from last year and go through a weeding out process to find the image that I feel represents my best work.

Enjoy the laugh and thanks for reading,


Sunday, January 02, 2005

Happy New Year

I hope you and yours had a wonderful New Year celebration.

UT Volunteers won their bowl game in convincing fashion. Year after year they struggle when given an opportunity to prove themselves. Often they've been awarded better bowl bids than they may have deserved due to how well they travel (meaning how many fans follow them and spend a lot of money). In several of those instances they underperformed or appeared lackluster. By contrast this year they went to the SEC Championship game and for once they actually responded to pressure of poor performance with some pride and heart. They didn't win but they didn't just lay down and quit when they fell behind; they came back out after halftime and bloodied Auburn's nose and made Auburn perform even better just to stay ahead of the Vols. They got the invitation to the SBC Cotton Bowl (screw the BCS, its a piece of crap; don't know how to handle the large corporate donations when we do go to a playoff but the point is screw the BCS). They walked onto the field at the Cotton Bowl and took advantage of almost every opportunity Texas A&M gave them. They were quick, they were focused and they were opportunistic. Congratulations to the men on the field who displayed a desire to win and a will to go take the game from the Aggies. You were the most impressive team to play yesterday. Go Vols!

Surely you've heard about some tragedies involved with the tsunamis that hit around the Indian Ocean last week. I don't endorse any particular method of giving to the victims of these diasters but if you are looking to find a venue for providing monetary assistance then try GuideStar service. The top link in their central column allows you to search for agencies that say they provide some measure of support to the people who have endured the effects of the tsunamis. Find one you feel comfortable with and use it at your discretion if you're looking to provide monetary assistance.

Oh yeah, thanks to one of you for helping me find a potential studio here locally. It may be a fluke but the same day I called about the studio location I got a call to shoot headshots and promo work for someone who's cutting a promo CD. I may actually make 1 or 2 percent of my expenses someday. Wouldn't my wife and Visa be happy. hehehe

Thanks for reading,