I am going to do something which may be a bit confusing, I am going to reluctantly beat my own drum.
Many years ago when I first got started in wedding photography I developed a following fairly quickly. I was blogging before the term even existed. This was back in the era of film and I would have to wait a few weeks to get the proofs. I would scan a dozen images and put them up on my website and write an amusing story about the wedding. This was right around the time that websites like The Knot started and before long I had an audience. People I never knew and never met were sending me really nice letters about how they appreciated my work and needed me to photograph their wedding. I felt heartbroken when I had to write back and tell them I was booked. All of this fed my ego very nicely.
Soon I had around ten people working for me. I wasn't photographing all the weddings nor putting together their albums. Worst of all I was losing touch with the importance of a wedding. I was starting to think that my work was so important that the industry needed to recognize me. I started entering print competitions and started to journey down the road of needing to prove to everybody how important I am and my work was. Then, at one class I heard the story about a guy who won the most awards for wedding photography in the state of Texas actually went out of business while he was aspiring for greatness. The world certainly didn't need another photographer who felt that his S#*@ doesn't stink.
Along with big company pay came big company problems. At one point our backlog on work was over a year long. I visualized the plan about what I felt a successful company would look like, and feel like. Step number one was to get over myself. Step number two was to look at the big picture and see exactly how significant weddings are and how lucky I was to be included. I streamlined the company, changed how we did things, actually figured out how to work harder and smarter, offer more, and charge less. I did this before the start of the great recession which is one of the main reasons we're still here. The big pay was gone, so was the staff, and the backlogs. We changed how we did things and it has suited us well.
Los Coyotes Country Club is a special place to me. I had May wedding date a few years back and one bride who was putting the screws to me for a lower price before signing up. Then this lovely gal named Katie comes along for the same date. No screws, no unethical tactics, super nice, and easy going. She signed up, we did her wedding and before long she had her album. The deal was done, and all I had left of her was a few images that went into my gallery About a year ago I found out she went to work over at Los Coyotes ins sales and catering. She has been so very nice to include us in her bridal shows.
Around the holiday season she asked for a few images from a wedding we did over the summer. I sent them in reading something about a photo contest. I thought she wanted them for a website or a blog. Last month I got this very nice award from them with the term "Best Reception Photo" for 2012.
I sincerely appreciate the recognition. More than anything that's what I really want to say. I will find a nice place to hang the award. It's been here for a month and my wife Lecia keeps saying we need to say something about it on our blog. I know it sounds a bit trite and trivial to say but what I find most important is that my works registers with my clients. They have a vision for their wedding day and I am charged with doing my best to live up to their expectations. When I find people that are truly unique and wonderful I want to tell their story. For many of these clients their wedding is one of their best days of their lives and I am really honored not only to be included but allowed to tell their story. Thank you Los Coyotes for being a good friend to Lifetime Images, and also thank you to our clients who allow us the all access pass into their wedding day.
In my first year in business with Lifetime Images I had a bride who was about a close as a living Goddess as I've ever seen. She was had these amazing Green eyes and the ability to make heads turn. I remembered feeling giddy just talking to her. And then about ten years later I saw her again. She was probably 50 pounds heavier, her beautiful blond hair actually started to turn grey prematurely. She had four kids and about 300 sleepless nights since I saw her. She went from someone that you couldn't help and stare at to someone you may not notice as they walk by you at the supermarket. To be realistic, sometimes this hits people the wrong way. It's hard when attention stops. But on the other hand I had a very nice gal who was also in the same league who told me that she gets tired of people approaching her all the time and wanting her attention. When she's standing in line at Costco daydreaming she just wants to be left alone and doesn't want the guy in front of her to strike up a conversation. This tends to come off looking self-centered and arrogant. Over the years I've gotten over the charms of having a pretty face in front of me. I've had so many beautiful brides that I don't get giddy anymore. But I adore people who are very real.
Angie's is a real person, and strangely enough she's an extrovert. She likes talking to people and she's really, really funny. She'll meet you half way which is strange for someone as good looking as she is. I had the pleasure of being introduced to her through my apprentice Carmen. We got a jump start on photographing Angie and her fiance in the month of March. We went around to some neat venues that were close and convenient. The day turned out to be super long. But it was a great experience to work with Carmen not under the stress of a wedding. We took our time making some very stellar images. Angie is actually getting married for real this month. So, as the month goes on more images will leak out. To start off with here's a really good shot of Angie. The background is out of focus so it looks like it could be taken anywhere. It reminds me of the Summit House in Fullerton. Angie has this amazing dress the fits her perfectly. During the shoot she realized that there were some things about it that could be improved on even more, so when you see he wedding images the dress will look a bit different. I really want to thank Carmen to introducing me to her friend. Though the day was long and hard the day was so much fun as well. We had a great time and made many great images that will end up in the Gallery.
I love this black and white image of Angie. It shows off her Almond eyes and she's beautiful even when she isn't even paying attention. She doesn't have to try to pose it just flows out of her so perfectly.
The three weeks of winter are finally behind us in Southern California and we got just enough rain to get our cars dirty a few times. People wonder what we've been up to and what's going on. We've been doing great! Since this is going to be a busty year we've decided to take the down time in April to fix all of our computer systems and get them ready for summer. Between that, taxes and handing the final layouts on a few very large albums, we've been a bit too quiet. Time to change all that with our Spring Fling. We'll try to put up new stuff on our blog over the course of this month. More importantly we'll be adding new images that will go into the galary.
Spring in Southern California is 'Summer Lite.' It's a time to pull your shorts out of your closet and put away your winter coat. It's time to say goodbye to Basketball and Hockey for another year, and try to put the name of this year's American Idol to memory in case it comes up in a wild game of Trivial Pursuit (No, it's not Kelly Clarkson). It's also a good time for a spring cleaning. After a fun round of taxes this year we've focused our spring cleaning on cleaning the Lifetime Images Gallery. We'll give you a peak at some new additions and the stories behind them.
We're looking forward to this year. We'll be back to La Palapa a few times and even over to the Muckenthawer Mansion in the Fall. We're also going to some new places this year that we are excited to work at. Oh, but let's not forget where we've been. Being so busy we've fallen behind on our blogging. So mary great stories to share and some really cool images from weddings in March. We've got something extra special to talk about that occured in the start of March that we can't wait to share. There is simply so much going on and we're excited to fill you in! Enjoy.
Today's photo is of a beautiful young woman named Angie who is a friend of my apprentice Carmen. Angie graciously got dressed up and allowed me to take some photos of her and her fiance. We'll be seeing more of her when she actually gets married at the end of May. I'm looking forward to her wedding, they are a great couple. So instead of telling you where this image was taken I'm going to keep it very vague and ask people to guess. Sometime next week I'll put up the answer. I'll give you two hints, it's in Los Angeles, and it's at a venue.
I can tell you what was going through the bride's mind at the moment we shot this image. Someone was screaming at someone else that they didn't like us being there. It wasn't mean but she was just being loud and aggressive. We were actually about to leave this spot when I saw this lighting. For some reason the lighting just jumped out at me, and we had been at this location for about 15 minutes. I was using flash at the time and wasn't thinking about available light. But when this hit me it was about 10 seconds after I said "Okay, let's get out of here" and about five people were watching us, waiting for us to leave. I said "Hold on a moment Angie, would you mind standing right her, putting your arms behind your back and looking straight up?" And she did it, that's when this woman started talking smack about us needing to leave. I showed Angie the resulting images on the back of the camera, and she was really happy and decided to smile it up and really pose. Those images also came out very nice as well but there was something about these images that stood out. I think Angie was getting a little by the woman talking about us.Read more: Latina Bride, Southern California