Some of the greens were under repair today at Berry Hills Country Club in South Charleston today.  Just in front of the ones getting worked on – they had these “temporary” greens areas with giant holes.  It was hysterical πŸ™‚

When I’m not shooting weddings or engagement and family photos on the weekend – of course I’m out golfing and shooting low scores (hopefully).  It’s a great way to meet a lot of great new ladies, have a lot of fun and enjoy the many events we get to attend throughout the year.  Berry Hills also has a reciprocal arrangement with Edgewood Country Club for play and use of each other’s facilities – so it’s double the fun!  It’s not unusual to see a wedding or party at one of these fantastic, popular venues!

In just a matter of a few months here in WV, I’ve met over 100 women through my involvement in the golf community from places all over West Virginia – locally where we live in Teays Valley – (right in between Charleston and Huntington) – to Parkersburg, Morgantown, Wheeling, Weirton, Beckley, Fairmont, Martinsburg, Clarksburg, Vienna, Bluefield and beyond!

So many places to shoot – golf – weddings – events – and portraits!

Welcome back Blog Readers!

Having moved to Charleston – Huntington WV earlier this year sure was a lot of work and a distraction from wedding and portrait photography to be sure! We did get some last photo shoots in before leaving to West Virginia and the Kanawha Valley area… it’s really the entire Ohio Valley as we are also very near Eastern Kentucky and the Ohio borders too!

While we are still looking for a place to set up the studio, new efforts have begun to relaunch the weddings and portraits this fall and into next year.  High school seniors will be wanting those unique portraiture sessions again too!

As part of this we’ve just completed a major streamlining/overhaul of our main website (including new music) – gearing up for a busy 2012 of photography for weddings, portraits, events and also some original creative and artistic projects as well!

Hard to believe there were over 14,000 images to navigate through on the old version – This undertaking was the photographers equivalent of cleaning out your garage, closets, basement and attic – all at the same time!

In the end though – less chaos = a more focused impact.  Let us know what you think of our redesign!

Project waiting in the wings – if I ever get a break between shoots here in Bakersfield, and working on my main website and photoshop skills (ha ha) – Figure out how to synchronize my Facebook – Blogger – My Space blogs so I don’t have to bounce back and forth between them all the time! There is syncing working now with Twitter to both My Space and Facebook, but sometimes I need more text than just a line or two!

It works but sometimes the updates are slow.

Then of course I have all my other sites to maintain as well – Model Mayhem, Flickr, Zenfolio (with my other domain name – – which if you haven’t checked out, is a great image hosting site which I still use for my client proofing since it has a super fast and easy “drag and drop” Mac style interface. They have free trial accounts but also several levels of higher services you can subscribe to – 

Save some cash on new paid accounts with this – Zenfolio Referral Code: ESB-HVJ-QZR

Q: Do you like to talk about yourself or your pictures? If yes, about what aspects of photography? If no, why?
A: I don’t have a massive ego so I prefer to talk about my images rather than myself.  Generally, there is a really interesting story behind every image I create – and every person I shoot.  It’s a lot of fun and very entertaining to share these things.
Q: How would you describe your attention span?
A: In my art and work I am extremely focused to the point that I sometimes forget even the basic things in life – like eating!  ha ha  But the creative side of me is a dreamer – and there are no limits to what I can dream up!  Integrating the concepts I dream up into my projects is what keeps things new, fresh and unpredictable.
Q: When did you decide to become a photographer?
A: Probably when I was given an antique bellows film camera as a child…I was fascinated.
Q: What does photography mean to you?
A: Fun, friends, life, memories, communication – it’s so much more.  Really the only one truly universal language.   Bakersfield = home = memories… it’s what we all treasure.
Q: Can you recall the first photo you took that made you go WOW!?
A: A black and white film image that was worthy of a magazine cover – the problem was – I was 10 year old!
Q: Do you have any formal training regarding photography?
A: I formally taught myself, but I do keep up with publications in print and online.
Q: How technical is your photography?
A: I know what I’m doing, but am more enamored with the emotion of an image as opposed to technical perfection… there’s always just more feeling in it.
Q: How do you feel about cropping?
A: Good – for sake of universal things like frames etc.   Bad – because one is forced into cookie cutter sizes and shapes to fit “standard” formats.  One size does not always fit all.
Q: Where is your favorite place to live and work as a photographer in the World and why?
A: California, because it’s a place where I know and love the area and it’s people.  There are endless possibilities her – even in just one day – from skiing in the mountains to surfing in the ocean, all within a couple of hours.
Q: Define the word “beauty”!
A: BE An Unbelievably Terrific You 
Q: What is your most favorite and least favorite word in photography or life? How do they make you feel?
A: Most favorite – Yes!  Least Favorite – Can’t.  There is nothing that “can’t” be done.  Either someone doesn’t want to do it – or they don’t know how.
Q: How does your personality change when you look through the camera?
A: I become more focused, when generally I’m not.
Q: How do you feel about missed shots which cannot be recreated?
A: No worries – life is filled with endless opportunities – create new ones!
Q: What is your favorite image, either your own or someone else’s or both? Describe its creation or meaning to you?
A: I wouldn’t be able to choose a single one other than personal family images in general – the things everyone want to have close.
Q: Describe a day in your personal or professional life.
A: Caffeine and emails first thing, then usually get into post processing, web development, other business things, and shoot in the afternoons on an average day…then catch up on emails at the end of the day as well.
Q: What are your favorite subjects to photograph?
A: Young adults and kids for the fun, families for the friends, models for the high energy and bands for the craziness!
Q: Tell your funniest, scariest, most bizarre story from a photo shoot!
A: Um, I had a model cancel on me once because her boat sank…  Serious!  LOL
Q: What types of assignments are you attracted most?
A: Super artsy high fashion types of shoots with a full staff and lots of money.
Q: Describe what black and white photography means to you?
A: No color.  DOH
Q: Do you think of yourself as an artist and what do you think of the word artist?
A: Yes because my work in photography is mostly creative art – not an assembly line.  I’m also a musician and multi medium art “artist” too.

Q: How do you describe your photographic style in one word?
A: Fluid
Q: What has been the most surprising or most predictable reaction to your photographs?
A: When people that have known me for some time see my images for the first time and are overwhelmed.  What did they think – I live under a rock and only come out to see them?  LOL
Q: Tell a little secret about yourself that no-one knows …
A: I don’t cheat at golf as much as my husband does – and the only time I do, is against him!
Q: Who or what would you love to shoot that you haven’t already?
A: Speaking of golf – I would love to shoot in the 60s one day (71 is my low so far).  In photography – shooting celebrities would be a blast.
Q: What would you have done differently during your photography career so far and could this be an advice to others?
A: Stuck with it at an earlier age instead of moving around from art to music and beyond.
Q: What are your thoughts on the paparazzi and their effects on photographers and photography?
A: It’s their job, but I don’t really care for it at all and never look at that type of thing.  The effect is minimal as it is not artistic work at all, just snap shots in the wrong place at the wrong time and getting paid for it.
Q: How do you feel about digital manipulation and to what extent do you utilize it?
A: It’s part of the modern day darkroom and is used by anyone who is serious.  The question is – how far?  “Manipulation” is a word loaded with bad connotations.  “Enhancements” is a more appropriate term for the traditional sense of using post processing.  True masters of digital work have taken it to an entirely new level, and it has become an art form unto it’s own beyond photography.
Q: What other thoughts would you like to share?
A: What are you reading this for?  Give me a call or email and lets get shooting!  πŸ™‚

I can’t believe I did it – added a MySpace…..what’s next?  Facebook?   Uh oh.  And just a day later I added the Facebook page as well, although their system is very strange to deal with if you are not creating a personal page… in fact, one is forced into creating a personal page even if they don’t want one!  ha ha

I did have a moment of serendipity in the whole experience however, in meeting a brilliant photographer from the UK named Cecilie Harris –  I ran across her by chance while researching “how to” put a photography Facebook site together.  Do take a look at her work… it’s quite nice and she keeps a very engaging blog as well.  OK Cecilie – how did I do?  Is that enough links for you?  πŸ™‚  If you ever make it out to California, you have a standing invitation to visit if you like.

Now the only thing about all these social networks and photo sites is running all over the web trying to keep all these places current…I should be out shooting instead!  LOL

Speaking of social networking sites, rumors from high sources indicate that Microsoft is going to buy You Tube, MySpace, Twitter and Facebook and combine them all into one new Microsoft branded social networking site called “You-My-Twit-Face“.

You heard it here first.

A brand New Carl Zeiss 24-70 f2.8 had just been added to the lineup…
See sample results in Kristin’s Portrait Gallery – (our first shoot with this lens).

Just thrilled and mortified with the expense of such an item is a strange combination – very Yin Yang, but we were looking forward to it nonetheless.  Lens in hand and ready.

Then out of the blue came Kristin!  She came over after briefly participating and bailing out on a big group shoot over at the local Bakersfield park – just 5 minutes away from us.  How perfect!

We exchanged a few calls and accelerated the timing a bit which was fine by me as it was a day of mostly finishing work for me and I needed to take a rest from it regardless.  She arrived with a full bag of model goodies, wardrobe and accessories – COOL, and very pro, plus, a model that had her makeup on and ready to go – perfectly!  (Advice to the modeling interested – hire a makeup artist or learn how to do it for yourself – and makeup for camera is not what you wear to the grocery store!!!)
We got right into it quickly and knocked out some great images in no time flat!  She has an amazing and inspiring back story which I will not go into here, but suffice to say, I was thrilled to do this shoot and create the results for her we did!  Mega Kudos.  A job well done!

Great model – yes I would shoot with her again, no question.