MALIA & JALE PHOTOSHOOT

I had a chance last weekend to shoot Malia (in town from Hawaii hosting a workshop) and the ever elusive Jale (who dances in the hampton roads area) the night before Malia had to fly back to Hawaii. After a fun day of tracking down a studio to shoot in because the one I normally use was unavailable to me (I will have my own studio one day soon!) the Heritage in Va Beach came through for me and let me use one of their big meeting rooms. Which was roomier than most studios I've even shot in (might have to work something regular out with them).



Anyways, we had a fun shoot and took about a thousand shots, I think I have about two hundred finals I'm still working on-- a bit more than normal, but Malia is a natural model in addition to dancer apparently and both of them were rolling through the shoot non-stop.

I still have another event from last month to process and get up as well, but these should be done next week or so after all the christmas fun is overwith. In the meantime, I hope everyone has a merry christmas and be safe when you are out and about!

MATERNITY PHOTOSHOOT

Wow, I didn't realize how long it had been since I last posted. I'm still here if anyone was worried! lol and still taking pictures...in fact going to put up a few shots that I was working on today from a photoshoot with a friend of mine who is only a few weeks away from having her baby. In my spare time though, I've been working more and more on my book, so I haven't spent as much time online working on things like my blog. I'll try to make more time to squeeze it in though in the future. I have a couple other shoots that I've been working on, so if I get a chance, I'll put up some more photos from those as well.


SALVATO WEDDING

Still working on wedding pictures from yesterday; but thought I would throw a sampling up before I get completely lost in the picture processing. The ceremony and reception were great; a perfect mix of the ceremonial part of a wedding with the family reunion aspect of one. Greg and Jacqui were awesome to work with as well, full of good ideas as well as setting up and running a pretty smooth show. The wedding took place at the Freemason Inn in Norfolk and the staff there was pretty cool as well. All in all, I had a pretty good time and felt like I was hanging out with my own family most of the time.

Hard for me to say what my favorite picture of the night was, I liked a lot of the formal portraits we set up and detail shots; gotta love the rolls royce (that was from Royal Coach Limo Co.) and the driver/owner knew a good spot to take it to where there would be some lighting in addition to just my flash at night. But I think one of my favorites has to be the shot of Jacqui in sepia she wanted. It was a pose that was supposed to resemble the pose of the picture behind her-- except that picture was in her photo album, I took a picture of that and used photoshop to paint it over the actual picture that was hanging above the mantle. Hopefully she will like it; if not, like any good wedding photographer; I shot other variants as well.


WORLD BEAT DANCE PARTY

Saturday night I attended a "hafla" thrown by Alima Dusana that was the first such dance party she has put together since starting her own dance business. I have been to many of these type of parties and I have to say this was the largest and most entertaining one I've been to and considering she was out of town for weeks before this and didn't even have as much time to promote it as she wanted, I was really impressed by the turnout and dancers.

Aside from bellydancing from both experienced dancers (one of them five months pregnant!) and new students we also got treated to live drumming (by a very talented James Banner) with dancing, ballroom dancing, meringe dancing, hip hop, some improv dancing and greek line dancing as well as some improv music as guitarists and drummers played together. Not to mention that it was a desert party as well, so there were plenty of tasty treats and wine in addition to the festivities. I can't wait to see what she does when she has more time to put it together like she had hoped for, because in my opinion, it came out pretty darn well as it was.

Congrats to Alima for hosting such a great party. Anyone that wants to find out more about her future events or dance and music classes, please visit her website: AlimaDusana.com and contact her through it.

RANDOM PICTURES

I have been taking random pictures during some time off and figured I would post a few of them, enjoy:


SPEEDY SHOOT

Well, I am about half way through processing some pictures from a photoshoot the other day that has to be one of the shortest shoots I've done. As soon as we were ready and started shooting clouds started rolling in a lot faster than they should have as well as a bit of thunder and lightning. So we wrapped it up and decided to finish up on another day. In the meantime though, here are a handful of shots from the shoot.



I have also been helping the dancer in the above pictures: Alima Dusana with her website and I am mostly finished with it, only a few pages left to complete. Check it out if interested: alimadusana.com.

REARRANGING AND OTHER STUFF



Well, the last couple days I changed my myspace albums a bit to show specific shoots instead of looking like mirrors of the albums from my actual website. At the same time, noticing that for some reason my pictures on my actual site are not opening when I click them. Apple hosts my website and I know they are changing from their .mac service to mobileme service and have been having problems on and off for the last couple weeks, but this is getting ridiculous. Hopefully they get it cleared up soon, because a photographer website that you can't view the pictures on is not very useful.

Hmm, that's about it for the last few days really, just been working on boring stuff. Did see Wanted and Hellboy in the last week. Wanted was ok, Hellboy was pretty fun. The important thing is that it is only three days until the release of the Dark Knight!

BORED, THIS HAPPENED




Short post (esp after yesterday's). Just wanted to post a picture I was playing around with, I enjoy creating this type of work as much as I do standard photography. I'm just not always happy with the outcome when I start experimenting. This one I liked though, although I just noticed I cannot find the full-size file of it. I may have accidentily deleted it, which sucks for this type of picture, because I probably cannot recreate it exactly as I did here a second time around (or maybe I can do it better).

And the person featured in the photo above is a singer and musician that travels all over and puts on great small intimate shows singing Kirtan music. His name is Wynne Paris, check out his site if you ever have a chance and definitely see his performance if you dig his work.

TAKING BETTER PICTURES PT 3: FLASH

To Flash or not to Flash, that is the question.



A lot of folks seem to not like Flashes much when they are hoping their picture doesn't come out looking like a snapshot and even more people don't like them when they are on the receiving end. I've seen some amateur photographers that also seem to think their pictures look more artistic and prefer to shoot without a flash all the time. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but a flash can be very helpful most times if you want to give yourself more options than just artistic blurs in your photography. The key thing is to learn how to best use your flash best for whatever situation you are in. And...if you have invested in an SLR digital camera, even a basic entry level model; then spend a bit more to pick up a seperate flash unit, even a generic branded one from a ritz camera or similar store, it will make a huge difference.

A seperate flash made for your brand camera can communicate with your camera settings when you set it on automatic settings to adjust the power of amplification of the flash to suit the specific conditions of each shot. It's not a perfect solution, but much better than the built in pop up flash on most cameras. It can also give you the ability to angle the flash head as well, pointing it at a 45 degree (or so) angle to bounce light off of the ceiling if low enough and cut down on the harshness of the light hitting your subject. It can also cause you to have to lower your shutter speed a bit as the light is getting spread out over the room and not all blown onto your subject, this can be good though if the shutter doesn't shoot too slowly-- it can prevent your subject from looking like they were taken with a black pit behind them and let a little light fall on the background to give some depth to your picture.

Unfortunately, it would take more room than I can dedicate here to go over all the ins and outs of using flash, various lighting or no flash at all, so I won't be able to really cover every detail. Some main issues to learn: How to set up your shutter speed manually: the lower the number, the longer the shutter will be open. You can often get away with setting it around 20-60 when bouncing the flash in a dark room and what is best is you can review your shots as you take them. What your f-stop does, a lower f-stop will allow more light into the lens-- it will give you a more shallow depth of field as well though, so be aware. And of course make use of the ability to change your film speed on the fly: the higher the number goes, the lower the light you can shoot in (but you will increase the amount of film grain in your pictures as you go higher as well). Some cameras will allow you to pick a partially manually setting as well, which would allow you to set a somewhat high film speed like 400 or 800 and a low f-stop and the camera will adjust the shutter speed based on the available light and whether or not you are using a flash.

Another thing to watch out for when you have a flash attached to the top of your camera is turning it sideways to take a vertical picture, that you may cast a huge shadow to one side of your subject if they are close to a wall. Best way to avoid this without purchasing more equipment is just to make sure your subject doesn't get to close to a wall or other object behind them when you snap a shot of them. Again, turning the flash head up and bouncing the light can help reduce this effect also.

It's very important if you want to improve at picture taking to master the use of the flash. I feel like I still am everyday. And I prefer to shoot in natural light when possible (though even then, sometimes the flash is still needed). But I think the key is to be able to use a flash and look like you didn't use a flash; not to never use one. And everything you learn about your camera to get better with a flash, will help you without one as well. I have been in plenty of situations where the lighting was terrible, especially when shooting dance. Usually the lights were low or off and a few spotlights were on and the effect because of the small environment and constant motion is never quite as cool as a concert with that cool colored spotlight effect shining on your subjects.

Also, be aware of the limits of your flash. Most people think of a flash as a night-time need, which is not usually the case. It is not often powerful enough to light up a whole area (you will always get that black pit behind your subject) and the flash also doesn't reach as far as people think. (You can see this in all of the flashes at concerts or shows from the crowd--those flashes will never reach the subject and are useless. In fact they are throwing off your cameras automatic settings and making it think it will get some use out of the flash when it will not).

The following few shots are from a restaurant and were shot as I earlier described: Flash shot at an angle (with a diffuser over it) and a low shutter speed. With the motion of the dance involved it gave a blurring effect over their motions, but with the flash allowed the picture to be taken fast enough to not overly blur the picture and be unclear.






Whereas in these photos I was prevented from using a flash at all due to the circumstances. I still shot as low a shutter speed as possible, though using a tripod to help steady the shot. I also shot as high a film speed as possible to make the most of the available lighting. Now, one thing I hate is film grain, I don't know why I just don't like it. So I do have some photoshop programs for cleaning up grain to a degree and I used that on these images and on most images like this that I shoot. Not recommending you get into that unless you are very serious about your photography. I can't stress how horrible the lighting was in these two shoots though, especially the outdoor shoot (where the background is totally black behind the dancers-- there was no way to fix that one in those conditions).










I realize this post was fairly broad and I will try to delve into specific situations in later posts. Just remember the best thing about having a digital camera is that you can take as many pictures as you want and delete them if you don't like them, so just keep trying different things and perfecting your techniques. It will pay off.

RANDOMNESS



Ah, saturday. The weather is a little bit muggy here and we have a lot of smoke covering us from the fire down in NC and the dismal swamp; so that has not been real fun. But, the day is starting to clear up some, thought the heat is still bad. I actually think I missed it in AZ, even though it was like ten degrees or so hotter, the dryness actually does make a big difference. Anyways...

Just wanted to throw up a new picture, I was going through old shoots archiving stuff and came across one I never did much with. Probably because I used an almost identical shot, but much closer up instead of this one originally. But looking at it again, I think both the close-up and this shot both came out well. But mainly it just reminds me of how many friends I have made working with the people I shoot. Sure, I don't hang out with them constantly, but I think almost every single person I've shot, either in portraits or weddings, I've made friends with one way or another. So, that is Tina up there, she is a great model and from what I understand a great dancer and a pretty cool lady as well.

And as far as my blog post the other day asking for help getting published, I just wanted to thank everyone for voting and viewing my picture. I won't know how it goes until voting closes in just over a month's time, so I may post a bulletin for help again here and there. But for all the help so far, thank you!! The support is always appreciated!

Have a good weekend everybody.

A GRADUATION



Well, I'm glad this isn't one of those post a blog everyday blogs. Anyways, been busy between photography and writing and helping my friend with her business as well. Finished her business cards and getting her website set up as well now. That picture up there is her son, I took pictures at his graduation. I don't remember having that many awards from the entire time I was in school, much less from one year. He's a smart kid, too smart for his own good sometimes I think.

I have been working on the movie John Adams throughout the last week. It was an HBO mini-series, 7 hours long. Great movie if you like history, I really enjoyed it. So if you do like history, go watch it!

And for a fan of comic books, this summer has been pretty fun at the movies. I loved Iron Man and Hulk and cannot wait for Dark Knight next month. Wanted looks pretty good as well. Outside of reading, movies has been my other recreation.

My brother is moving into his new house with his new wife next week. I haven't seen the place in person, but the pictures look pretty nice. So I'll be working with him next week getting them moved in.

Anyways, enough of this blog. My head is in ten different places as you can tell from this post. I'll try to come up with something more constructive next time.

I'll try to gather some more photography to put up as well. I have been seeing a lot of photography lately from clients that I had shot previously and whoever they have worked with since then just makes me shake my head. And that is like not one client, but five different clients with different photographers. Anyways, I'm going before I get too negative.

GHOST PICTURES! OOOOO



OK. I didn't think much about it at first, after all, the story was published in the Sun. But I have seen it picked up by actual news sites and on several forums; so I have to point out what this is.

What it claims to be is a picture of a ghost. A young boy in scotland took this picture and says it was with a digital camera and was not a double exposure and that nobody was around at the time.

What it is: a picture taken without a flash, hence the yellowish cast and the blurry picture (even the banisters and carpet-- things that don't move are blurry) because it was a long exposure. If you have a digital camera and the flash is turned off, the camera will sense this and leave the shutter open for longer to get enough light to expose the image. This is where you get the yellowish cast (from incandescent lights in the room-- it would be greenish if it were flourescent lighting).

So, if the shutter is open for ten seconds to expose the picture and someone walks by on one of the landings and nobody notices, that person would probably only be walking by for a few seconds of the exposure. Placing your hand on the banister while the rest of you walks by will mean your hand will be the one thing that is in the same spot the longest, so your body will be a blur, but your hand will be clearer. But you still are not there the whole time, so even your hand will look transparent.

Here, I spent about thirty seconds creating this picture. My camera was sitting on a desk, so will probably be clearer since it wasn't hand held. But it is a long exposure and I walked in front of the camera, stopped and moved my body around. So the only thing that stayed in one place were my feet. So the only thing you can see is my transparent feet (because even though they were there the longest, they were not there for the whole exposure). If I had moved my body around less, then you might at least be able to see it as a blur as well, but I probably moved it around more than I needed to. The other image is where I walked out of the room and stuck my head back in for about half the exposure. If I had my head there longer, then it would be less transparent and more clear and shorter it would be more transparent and more ghostly. Both of these were also taken with digital cameras:



Discussions about whether or not you believe in ghosts aside. I've never seen a convincing photo that I couldn't have faked myself pretty easily. Sometimes I think people like to come up with some supernatural explanations for things when they don't know the answer to, instead of just saying I don't know. Here you have people, that if they didn't set the photo up, took a picture and it unfolded as above and because they didn't know why it happened and didn't know someone walked by the landing; immediately assumed it was a ghost.

SO MY BROTHER GOT MARRIED




I'm slacking on the blog, I know. I've been working on a couple of projects recently and haven't been making time on the side for this. While I've been working on the photography business of course, I've also pulled my old notes out for my book I was working on years ago and started putting pieces together to start working on that again. So usually by the time I'm through messing around with that, my brain hurts and I don't feel like writing, even on here sometimes.




A few weeks ago my brother got married also. His wedding was probably one of the most fun I've been to, and I've been to a lot of weddings. Although, I wasn't really working at this one, so that helped. I did take some pictures, like the one at the top of the page, but I might have sampled a few beverages and I also let my date run around with my camera. She took most of the pictures that day, like the ones around this paragraph with me in them. But it was also like a mini-family reunion where we got to see some family I haven't seen for years and years. And the weather held out great all that weekend too, things couldn't have been more perfect. So congratulations to them.



I also recently changed part of my business profile. I know it may be shocking to other photographers, but it is something I have fought with since I started doing this. And that is releasing the full-size digital files to my clients. Between shooting personal events like weddings and parties where people are always wanting the "negatives" and many portraits where I've shot professionals that need to use their photos in a variety of ways, I have negotiated the release of those files several times in the past. I also had offered them for sale anyways and have seen several other photographers offer them for sell or give them to the client after a year. But I just couldn't justify holding onto the images just to make clients buy prints through me that have been marked up so I could make a profit. The way I saw it, I already got paid to take the pictures or design the images, so I felt like It was unnecessary for the most part. And aside from the markup of me having to order images, cover specials offered through the company, pay a monthly membership to the company, cover shipping in my costs and still have some sort of markup to make a little something; I just felt like it was too overpriced for me to play middle-man. Now granted, I don't want customers running to Wal-mart and the like to get printed, but they can still get professional quality prints at several local shops or online for much better deals than I can offer. Also in todays time, I think that there are a lot of specialty products you can find out there that no studio can sign up to offer everything. Not too mention, many people view images online as much as they do in a photo-album nowadays.

And I still carry several specialty products that are hard to find good quality products of (because many retailers of albums and other products only sell to professional studios). So if someone wants me to design and order a custom album, or a gallery wrapped canvas print or have oversized posters printed; I still work with several different companies to be able to do this.

But all in all, it just feels like the right fit for me. Feels like something I think customers want and makes it easier on me. Now I can archive files as soon as I am finished an release the files to my clients. So we'll see how it works out in the long run.

I also have been talking with a local store, the heritage, about doing an artshow there where I will be selling prints of my work. This will mostly be landscape and various nature shots. I'm still deciding what I want to create prints of, so we'll see. And I have to order the oversized wall prints still, so this will probably be later in the year. But it's still nice to have someone jump at the chance to have a show with you.

AMARIS PHOTOSHOOT



Just realized I haven't posted a blog in a while now. I have caught up on processing pictures finally though. All shoots and shows are cleared off my desktop and I'm clean and ready for more.

The picture above is from a photoshoot I did with bellydancer Amaris Ziayanah. The shoot came out pretty good. I tried a new "tulip" colored backdrop- came out kinda pink in most of the pics- for some reason I got some pixelation across it when I upload to myspace, but not on my own website or on my computer, so I don't know what the deal is with that. If you haven't seen them, please check them out: Amaris' Photoshoot.



Other than photography, I think I'm going to try and get started on my book. I put it aside several years ago, but had started throwing around some ideas recently. If I can decide the direction of things in the story, I think I can make some good progress on it now. We'll see though, depends on how many photography jobs run together.

Also have my brothers wedding coming up in a few weeks. Have to come up with a toast (ugh) and do some sort of low key bachelor party. I think it will be weird not having my camera during the wedding though. I mean, I'm sure I'll be able to take some pictures later on, but during all the ceremonial parts I'll be part of the wedding. Looking forward to it though, it should be fun and a chance to see a lot of family as well.



That's it for now. I'll try to come up with a more constructive post next time.

TAKING BETTER PICTURES PT 2: B&W



I always seem to start out saying I'm not photo expert when I give someone advice. There are many more people that are better teacher and more learned. But I have learned a little over the years and might know a few simple things to pass on to someone starting out. For that, these tips may not be helpful to experienced photographers as they might already know what I'm saying. Feel free to add your two cents though if you would like.

I have never been a huge black and white photography person. I think that some photos look good like that, some don't. I don't think that black and white is better than color or vice versa, whatever works for the picture to look best is the better choice. I have 2 main things to say about Black & White photography...

1. Like I was saying above. Not all pictures look better in black and white. Making your photo into black and white does not mean it is more artful or professional looking. Some pictures will not make good black and white photos at all. When you are looking at converting a photo or taking a picture with plans for it to be black and white, you need to not look at it in terms of color. Something very colorful (as in the example below) may look very blah in black and white. Blue, Red, Green, Purple, all look almost the same in black and white...perhaps just slight variations of gray. Instead look at a photo in terms of it's contrasts between light and dark. Look at shadows and extreme color differences (obviously black vs. white, but also dark blue vs. yellow, the shaded portion of someone's face vs the lighted portion, etc).



That may be a simplified example, I think anyone can see the color in the photo to begin with and not want to convert it to black and white. But the example can be applied to more photos than you might think. Often photographs of people, with the color dropped out of their clothing and face and background the same result happens without one realizing it. Does the contrast of the color make the picture or the contrast of the light and shadows or both?

and 2. This plays off the last blog post I did about learning to use photoshop basics to adjust your pictures. Once you convert an image to black and white, you will most likely have to play with the contrasts of the photograph to get the look you truly want. Simply opening up the contrast option might help here and there, but it is often too much: blowing out the highlights and such. You will want to experiment with the curves and levels features as well. Sometimes using different features to convert the photo to black and white is better than simply clicking the desaturate feature or dragging the saturation tab all the way down until there is no color in the photo. There are basic options in photoshop for converting the whole image to grayscale from a color format and other special features you can learn through practice. You also might want to add sepia toning (just be careful of overdoing it, sepia doesn't make a photo any more artistic than b&w does, it's just a tool) or leave just a small percentage of color in a picture for an interesting effect.

In the photos below, I have taken a color photograph that would make a good black and white with very little work because of the contrasts in the picture to begin with. But then on top of that, made some basic adjustments with contrasts or curves or levels until I got the result I was looking for. (1st is color version, 2nd is basic desaturation, 3rd is after adjustment)





Hopefully this planted a few seeds in someone that is trying to achieve a certain look with their photographs. Don't be afraid to experiment, if you aren't completely satisfied with the way your picture has come out then keep working with it until you are. Don't get too hung up on one thing, like black and white or sepia or some other special effect. The most important thing is to make your picture look it's best.

TAKING BETTER PICTURES PT 1: LEARN PHOTOSHOP



Taking better pictures...

I'm no photo expert. I have met some and read books or other teachings by some. My advice is usually simple, basic things that might be good for someone starting out. So if you are a serious photographer already doing well, you probably don't need to keep reading unless you just want to add your two cents.

I'm sure most photographers encounter this though. People find out you are a photographer and if they don't want you to take pictures, they want advice on how to take them. And my advice goes out to those that are already working at it a bit. A friend was talking to me the other day and it reminded me of one time an aspiring photographer asked me for my opinion on his work. Now I know that photography is art and the quality of art is based on opinion, so I usually don't get too picky with certain things. And there are always rules in photography, like the rule of thirds, that get broken-- I just think you should know you are breaking them and break them on purpose for an intended "look". I thought this photographers work was fine from an artistic standpoint, we all have to find our own voice as far as that goes, but he seemed to have a great eye. My advice was more technical and his objection is one I have heard quite a few times from amateur/aspiring photographers. Although this is not the only advice I have to offer, it is what I am going to talk about now... The advice the photographer ignored was this:

LEARN TO USE PHOTOSHOP

I'm not talking about all the fancy-smansy stuff you might see that turns a photograph into more of a piece of art than a picture. I'm talking about normal processing. And if you are a digital photographer, you need to learn to use at least photoshop elements or some similar program to do that processing. Downloading them to your computer is not processing them. Unless you are perfect, your picture will need some basic contrast and exposure correction, may need some color correction. The horizon line may need to be straightened. And all digital pictures need to be sharpened after downloaded (thought sharpening depends on the size you are going to display it at).

This person told me they like to shoot more film-like, more natural. Well, I used to work in a photo lab processing film pictures and we hardly ever were lucky enough to process everything someone took on a neutral setting. There is a whole keypad there where we shot the light across the film to expose the paper with your negative, that keypad we used to do all those corrections I talked about above. Color correction sometimes, but nearly every picture needed some sort of exposure adjustment. If we had given someone their photos with the "natural" look of the picture they took, we would have had many unhappy customers, blaming us for their bad pictures. Well, now there is no one processing your pictures but you, so if you care about how they turn out, it's up to you to make the adjustments.

The picture above was taken by a friend and I wanted to spend a couple minutes tinkering with it with those same basic adjustments I spoke of above to see if I could bring out the color, the shadows/exposure and sharpness a bit better. It was taken with a snapshot camera on automatic setting (which can sometimes not work how you want when dealing with sunlight and shadows). There could probably be more done to work on the picture, but I think it shows the difference a little photoshop and a few minutes can make with a picture.

(some) LEGAL COMMANDMENTS OF PHOTOGRAPHY



Reposted from Photojojo, some decent information for photographers:

Before we get started here, we have to point out that even though we’re smart and awesome and devastatingly attractive, we’re not lawyers. None of this should be construed as legal advice. If you have a legal issue, get in touch with a lawyer. Much of this information was gleaned from attorney Bert P. Krages‘ website, so we’ll go ahead and recommend him.
The Ten Legal Commandments of Photography

I. Anyone in a public place can take pictures of anything they want. Public places include parks, sidewalks, malls, etc. Malls? Yeah. Even though it’s technically private property, being open to the public makes it public space.

II. If you are on public property, you can take pictures of private property. If a building, for example, is visible from the sidewalk, it’s fair game.

III. If you are on private property and are asked not to take pictures, you are obligated to honor that request. This includes posted signs.

IV. Sensitive government buildings (military bases, nuclear facilities) can prohibit photography if it is deemed a threat to national security.

V. People can be photographed if they are in public (without their consent) unless they have secluded themselves and can expect a reasonable degree of privacy. Kids swimming in a fountain? Okay. Somebody entering their PIN at the ATM? Not okay.

VI. The following can almost always be photographed from public places, despite popular opinion:

* accident & fire scenes, criminal activities
* bridges & other infrastructure, transportation facilities (i.e. airports)
* industrial facilities, Superfund sites
* public utilities, residential & commercial buildings
* children, celebrities, law enforcement officers
* UFOs, the Loch Ness Monster, Chuck Norris

VII. Although “security” is often given as the reason somebody doesn’t want you to take photos, it’s rarely valid. Taking a photo of a publicly visible subject does not constitute terrorism, nor does it infringe on a company’s trade secrets.

VIII. If you are challenged, you do not have to explain why you are taking pictures, nor to you have to disclose your identity (except in some cases when questioned by a law enforcement officer.)

IX. Private parties have very limited rights to detain you against your will, and can be subject to legal action if they harass you.

X. If someone tries to confiscate your camera and/or film, you don’t have to give it to them. If they take it by force or threaten you, they can be liable for things like theft and coercion. Even law enforcement officers need a court order.
What To Do If You’re Confronted

* Be respectful and polite. Use good judgement and don’t escalate the situation.
* If the person becomes combative or difficult, think about calling the police.
* Threats, detention, and taking your camera are all grounds for legal or civil actions on your part. Be sure to get the person’s name, employer, and what legal grounds they claim for their actions.
* If you don’t want to involve the authorities, go above the person’s head to their supervisor or their company’s public relations department.
* Call your local TV and radio stations and see if they want to do a story about your civil liberties.
* Put the story on the web yourself if need be.

KALAA PHOTOSHOOT



Well, my picture is from a shoot I am finishing up from last weekend. The clients don't like myspace though, so I'm not posting their stuff on my myspace. You will have to check out my eblogger blog or just visit my actual website to see their entire photoshoot. It went well and was a lot of fun.



Leap day is our extra day I guess. I didn't do much useful with it though. I wish it didn't exist after today to tell you the truth.



A lot of stuff has been going on personally. A lot of tension with friends and friends of friends. Sometimes I feel like I just don't want any friends anymore. Ever feel like that? Ever feel like it's not worth getting your hopes up or getting involved with things because you are just going to be let down in the end? And you keep putting yourself in situations like that and expect things to go your way eventually? (I think that's the definition of crazy) (or stupid) I always liked being alone anyways. Even when I had that clique of friends throughout my life, I was always the odd man out. Never really had that single friend that became my best friend. I'm just not good at this I guess. Oh well, enough whining. It's confusing with me going round and round so generally anyhow I'm sure. Just venting.



So, go visit my site. www.jeremyshanephotography.com It's laid out pretty simply. Check out my portfolio and the recent shoots at the bottom of that page. I've had fun with everybody I've got to work with so far from portrait shoots to weddings. So looking forward to more.

LUNAR ECLIPSE?



Well, this is the best I got from last night when the lunar eclipse was supposed to be happening. Do you see the clouds passing in front of the moon? Yea, well...they pretty much moved in and completely covered the sky the whole night. So I missed it. Oh well, guess I'll catch the next one in 2010. grrrr

Don't have much else to add right now. Had an interesting night, but not something I want to air right now. Not totally my business even though I stuck my nose in it; so I don't want to talk much about it. Perhaps I'll have something more constructive and more general to say about it later on.

Also, been nice seeing my friends I used to work with at Sears, the last couple weeks. I don't miss the job all that much (sometimes), but I've definitely miss the people I used to work with. It was like it's own little dysfunctional family.

RANDOMNESS





A few innocent pictures above that have nothing to do with my rant. This is not any sort of educational or work related post, so run away if you want to avoid raw opinions.

I just wanted to take a minute to talk about all of the people I come across in life. But have you ever met people that are "characters" of themselves? That don't seem like real, down-to-earth people? I mean, everybody has their facade and I'm not talking about that, I'm talking those people that you normally only see on a comedy sports movie where each position is played by someone so cheesy and shoved into this generic, stereotypical character roll that it only happens in the movies. Well, no... it doesn't. I have met the tough guys that just won't stop acting like the grew up in a war zone or gangland. I have met people that seem so into their urban tough guy or girl rolls that they act like the section of the beach they live on is just like Compton. I have met hippy free-lovers that seem so lost up in the aura of life that I think they are constantly on something. I have met guys that seem to think that the snide jokes they make on internet forums (or blogs, heh) are actually funny and expect people in real life to respond how they fantasize they react online, I met a guy that acts like the dali lama (or at least he did until someone told him his car needed to be moved, then he cussed and moaned all the way out to his car and said he was just going home since he couldn't park where he wanted to). The list goes on.

Anyways, its funny meeting these folks casually, but annoying when you try to get to know them any more than that and they don't show any depth to their personality past the character they have created for themselves in their head.

ROTH WEDDING + OTHER STUFF








Still processing my 1200 wedding photos from Saturday's wedding, it will take me most of the week probably to go through each photo.

In the meantime, I just wanted to post my thoughts about something I came across last week. I'm sure this has happened to a lot of people in their life, but I find it funny anyhow. Anyways, an old coworker that was a manager of mine at one point was taking credit for training me and how well I did. He was joking to an extent, but also serious and has always made this claim whenever anyone talked well of me. I think part of the reason was that I was doing better than he was, surpassing his status quickly. Not to say I didn't learn things from him, but to be honest I learn things from everybody I ever work with. No single person is responsible for another persons success or even a majority of it most times. If that was the case, then every person they trained would be just as successful. But for some reason I was the only person that worked with him that did as well. Is it so hard for someone with such an ego to think that I came to them already very skilled in what I do and they didn't do anything more than offer me the same guidance and knowledge as anyone else I worked with that was decent at what they do.

Funny thing is as well, is that he seemed to benefit from me working with him more than I did. Not because he learned something from me, but it gave him someone he didn't have to worry about training much, didn't have to work as hard, etc.

Now it kind of irks me when I see someone taking credit for the place someone else has gotten to I guess. But maybe they don't have too many other things to hang their hat on, so they want to ride on the success of someone else.

OK, end rant. And not to take away from someone that really has helped me a lot, there are a lot of those people out there. They just don't talk much about it. But chances are, if you see someone trying to take credit for someone's success, they probably didn't have as much to do with it as they wish they did. I'm sure this applies to many other people as well, I know it does, I see it all the time.

THE LAST FEW DAYS...



Sorry it has been so long since my last post. I want to try and post every few days, not weeks. At least to throw up a new picture if nothing else. Had a busy couple of weeks and things have been going in just the right direction during that time. But I have also been busy with business stuff and life stuff, so the blog got put aside for a bit.

Where to start...well, skipping some of the normal stuff I went to scotty quixx with my friend this week on arabian night. She is the bellydancer on my friends list: Alima Dusana. Her troupe was kind of trying out that place to see if they wanted to dance there because they have had offers to start dancing there. The troupe leader seems to be for it for the most part, but I have to say I wasn't impressed. Aside from the fact it is a club and not a restaurant, it is just not the same status in my opinion as where they normally dance. But not my gig, I just went because that's what I always do, tag along with them and see what's up. Well, after waiting outside for like 20 minutes for a non-existent manager to come out and take us around back; we just walked in the front. They got started like an hour late finally. A couple drunk guys interrupted the initial performance and I noticed they had no security, but the bartenders came out and got them out of the way, although I thought a fight was going to start. Then for the solos, people just started dancing everywhere and crowded the floor so there was no room. Which pretty much left the next couple routines out the window. There was broken glass and beer on the floor that was never cleaned up, which the bare foot dancers didn't appreciate much, especially when one got glass in her foot. The DJ screwed up their music. And on and on. Needless to say, not a good place. I don't know what the others are going to decide, but at least my friend Alima decided to have some standards and said she wasn't going back.

I'm sure some other stuff happened between then and last night that I'll remember later. Last night was a blast. Well, first I went to a wedding rehearsal for a wedding I shot today, BUT AFTER THAT...went to hang out with my friend Alima at her home studio with friends Amaris and Alisha and the kids because a fabulous drummer Daveed was passing through and staying in this area for the night. It might have made my night pretty short to have to get up at six after staying up til two, and spend 10 hours shooting a wedding. But it was well worth it. Daveed is a great guy and although I was a little intimidated to play drums with him, once I got over myself and played I had a good time. I can't say enough about how talented he is though. And it was also nice to just sit around and chat and eat and drink wine and all that good stuff as well. (The picture above is from last night).

Right now I'm beat though. The wedding went well today, great people and was fun to shoot. Just spent the last few hours going through step one of processing the 1200+ pictures we shot today. whew, taking a break to watch Obama talk and type this up. But need sleep.

I FORGOT WHAT I WAS GOING TO SAY



I had a whole thing to rant about something, it had to do with politics or something like that. I don't know at this point. My mind is out of it and I'm just tired of dealing with people that are not dependable and never do what they say they are going to do. I guess when you get pissed at something, at least for me, it's hard to focus on other things. So forget it, here's a random photo and go watch idol if you're not already.

A DAY OFF...

Ah, took a day...or at least part of a day to go to the park and have a little fun with my friend and her boys. They got kites last summer that they had never opened, so we took them out on this nice teacher work day they had off of school and tried to get them in the air. Unfortunately it was just a little to calm out, we got them really flying a couple of times, but several others times just couldn't get them to catch air. I guess we will try it again on a day with some more wind. But it was nice to just get out and have some fun and not worry about anything else for a few hours.





Should be a busy week, have a couple of shoots to do and a couple to finish up and upload. All in all though, I can't wait to put this week behind me and really dig into things as I move forward.

One weird thing though is my myspace account. I tried to send some pictures to my friend in a message and myspace said it would not deliver the mail, it was spam. So I redid it in a different way and sent it again, then my account was blocked and I had to reset it. And I still couldn't send the photos. So that was annoying, still working with them to see what their parameters are for spam and what I did wrong so that I will be able to send photos to people when they want them. Hopefully that will get sorted out before next time I need to encode a photo into a message.